Humanists Welcome UK Commitment to Freedom of Religion or Belief

February 15, 2013

From the International Humanist and Ethical Union:

Baroness Warsi, a senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister in the UK government, has emphasised in a speech to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) the importance of "freedom of religion or belief" and its "universal" applicability.

The OIC has long campaigned for international "blasphemy" or "defamation of religion" laws at the UN, strongly resisted by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) delegation over many years. But Warsi told the OIC on Friday that while genuine, hateful religious intolerance should be confronted, nevertheless: "While incitement to religious hatred remains an offence in Britain, a blasphemy law once on our statute book was abolished in 2008 – in part because we felt it was incompatible with the freedom of speech."

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