- Write Foreign Government Leaders
- Press U.S. Government Leaders
- Support Secular Rescue
- Bring CFE to Your Community
- Raise Awareness at the Grassroots
While it is necessary that the public become educated about the moral and legal basis for the right to freedom of expression and about current threats to its existence, it is also important that the public act to promote and defend free expression. On this page you will find a collection of different ways in which you can take action—from writing to political leaders to helping raise social awareness. In all of your communications, please remember to mention the Center for Inquiry and the Campaign for Free Expression!
Write Foreign Leaders
The Cases featured on the Campaign for Free Expression website take root in many countries, and followers of the Campaign reside in many more. You can urge leaders of foreign countries, as well as your own, to respect the right to freedom of expression and immediately grant freedom and protection to prisoners of conscience and dissidents.
To share your thoughts with leaders of foreign countries that have not protected freedom of religion, belief and expression, simply search for the contact information of that country’s embassy, and send an email or letter addressed to the Ambassador, asking ask that he or she convey your concerns to government officials in their home country.
To share your thoughts with your own leaders who might engage in pressuring other countries that have not protected freedom of religion, belief and expression, search for the contact information of federal or national elected officials, particularly those who represent you, and urge them to take action or else to pressure the central government to do so.
In addition, U.S. citizens can consider writing to Ambassadors who represent countries which are featured on the Cases page.
Press the U.S. Government
If you live in the U.S., you can write your elected officials and the Obama administration to let them know that you care deeply about protecting the right to freedom of expression and want the U.S. government to take a strong stand for this right in the global arena.
In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering a specific resolution that calls for the repeal of blasphemy laws around the world. Take a moment to tell your U.S. representative to co-sponsor this measure and support its passage.
Support Secular Rescue
Violent Islamists who have claimed responsibility for the murders of more than a half dozen secularists and activists in Bangladesh since 2015 are now threatening the lives of a number of writers, bloggers, publishers, and activists in the country.
Generous public support has helped CFI to assist several individuals and families in escaping to safety, either temporarily or permanently — but many others remain in danger.
CFI will continue to raise funds for this important cause so that we can act quickly and decisively before another writer or activist is attacked. Please give now so that we can help these courageous defenders of secularism and freedom of religion, belief, and expression.
Bring CFE to Your Community
Your community group can advance the cause of the Campaign for Free Expression any time of the year through events such as lectures, discussions, and public demonstrations. But, you and your group can also get involved right now with two particularly timely initiatives which we celebrate as part of the Campaign: Banned Books Week and International Blasphemy Rights Day.
Banned Books Week
Banned Books Week falls toward the end of September each year and raises awareness about the widespread censorship of books that some find to be offensive. The event is primarily coordinated by the American Library Assocation, with schools, libraries, and other organizations taking part to promote the free exchange of ideas. Here are some ways you can show your support for the cause:
- Invite an author of a banned book to give a talk to your group. If that’s not feasible, another great option is to invite a school librarian or other speaker to give a presentation on censorship, book banning, blasphemy, and/or free speech.
- Organize a Banned Books Readout in a public space. Invite group members and passers-by to read aloud sections from their favorite banned and challenged books.
- The Metro State Atheists at Metropolitan College of Denver came up with this service project idea: Food for Freethought. During Banned Books Week a few years ago, they gave away donated books to students on their campus who brought in non-perishable food items to be donated to a food bank. If you’re not connected with a campus group, see if you can team up with a local library for a similar project.
International Blasphemy Rights Day
International Blasphemy Rights Day (IBRD) was founded by CFI to commemorate the Danish Muhammad cartoons that incited riots on September 30, 2005. However, its significance has extended far beyond defending the right to publish blasphemous cartoons; it’s more imperative than ever that we stand up for the ability to criticize religion and its effects without fear of retaliation. IBRD is a day to celebrate the right to free expression, and that no idea, even one considered by some to be sacred, is immune from criticism. Here are some ideas of how your group can take part:
- Invite a speaker who can talk about blasphemy laws and free expression issues around the world. Check out the CFI Speakers Bureau for ideas.
- Educate your community about blasphemy issues around the world by putting up an informative display in a local library or community center.
- Sponsor a bus and/or billboard campaign to advertise yours and other local freethought groups. Though this may not seem “blasphemous,” it’s a fact that many municipalities and transit authorities have refused to run these ads in light of them being considered “offensive.”
- Host a blasphemous art or cartoon contest. Keep in mind that blasphemous images can be more than just Muhammed—check out these Charlie Hebdo covers as examples.
- Research speech ordinances in your municipality and find out if there are ones that inhibit free expression and assembly. If so, organize a coalition to lobby against them.
- Curious as to how to turn IBRD into a day of service? On the Sabbath (Sunday) preceding or following September 30th, your group can engage in a day of volunteer work; after all, in Exodus 31:15 it says, “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall surely be put to death.”
Need more ideas for Banned Books Week or International Blasphemy Rights Day, or else the Campaign for Free Expression? Contact the CFI Outreach department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help Raise Awareness
Many of the stories mentioned on this website or elsewhere have not garnered local, national, or international media attention. We need to change that. How? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Post about the Campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #CFICFE or about International Blasphemy Rights Day with the hashtag #.
- Share news articles, videos, and other materials regarding the Campaign and IBRD on Facebook.
- Write posts about the Campaign and IBRD on your blog or website.
- Pen a letter to the editor in your local newspaper on the importance of protecting freedom of expression.
- Organize an event in your community.
Need assistance? Email email@example.com.