Blasphemy is an insult that shows contempt, disrespect or lack of reverence concerning a deity, an object considered sacred or something considered inviolable.[1][2][3][4] Some religions regard blasphemy as a crime, including insulting the Islamic prophet Muhammad in Islam, speaking the "sacred name" in Judaism,[5] and the "eternal sin" in Christianity.[6] It was also a crime under English common law.[7]

In the early history of the Church, blasphemy "was considered to show active disrespect to God and to involve the use of profane cursing or mockery of his powers".[8] In the medieval world, those who committed blasphemy were seen as needing discipline.[8] By the 17th century, several historically Christian countries had legislation against blasphemy.[8] Blasphemy laws were abolished in England and Wales in 2008, and in Ireland in 2020. Scotland repealed its blasphemy laws in 2021. Many other countries have abolished blasphemy laws including Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway and New Zealand.[9] As of 2019, 40 percent of the world's countries still had blasphemy laws on the books, including 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa, or 90% of countries in that region.[10][11][12] Dharmic religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, have no concept of blasphemy and hence prescribe no punishment.[13][dubious ]


The word "blasphemy" came via Middle English blasfemen and Old French blasfemer and Late Latin blasphemare from Greek βλασφημέω, from βλασ, "injure" and φήμη, "utterance, talk, speech". From blasphemare also came Old French blasmer, from which the English word "blame" came. Blasphemy: 'from Gk. blasphemia "a speaking ill, impious speech, slander," from blasphemein "to speak evil of."[14] "In the sense of speaking evil of God this word is found in Ps. 74:18; Isa. 52:5; Rom. 2:24; Rev. 13:1, 6; 16:9, 11, 21. It denotes also any kind of calumny, or evil-speaking, or abuse (1 Kings 21:10 LXX; Acts 13:45; 18:6, etc.)."[15]


Middle Ages

Heresy received more attention than blasphemy throughout the Middle Ages because it was considered a more serious threat to Orthodoxy,[16] while blasphemy was mostly seen as irreverent remarks made by persons who may have been drunk or diverged from good standards of conduct in what was treated as isolated incidents of misbehavior. When iconoclasm and the fundamental understanding of the sacred became more contentious matters during the Reformation, blasphemy started to be regarded as similar to heresy.[17]

The intellectual culture of the early English Enlightenment had embraced ironic or scoffing tones in contradistinction to the idea of sacredness in revealed religion. The characterization of "scoffing" as blasphemy was defined as profaning the Scripture by irreverent "Buffoonery and Banter". From at least the 18th century on, the clergy of the Church of England justified blasphemy prosecutions by distinguishing "sober reasoning" from mockery and scoffing. Religious doctrine could be discussed "in a calm, decent and serious way" (in the words of Bishop Gibson) but mockery and scoffing, they said, were appeals to sentiment, not to reason.[18]

Common law

It was a common law crime according to William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England:

Blasphemy against the Almighty is denying his being or providence, or uttering conteumelious reproaches on our Savior Christ. It is punished, at common law by fine and imprisonment, for Christianity is part of the laws of the land".

In 1636, the Puritan controlled Massachusetts Bay Colony made blasphemy – defined as "a cursing of God by atheism, or the like" – punishable by death.[19] The last person hanged for blasphemy in Great Britain was Thomas Aikenhead aged 20, in Scotland in 1697. He was prosecuted for denying the veracity of the Old Testament and the legitimacy of Christ's miracles.[20]

In the United States, blasphemy continued to be prosecuted after independence, with state courts relying on Blackstone to turn down arguments that blasphemy laws had been repealed by the liberties found in the US and state constitutions.[21]

The common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were not repealed in England & Wales the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this meant that promoting atheism could be a crime and was vigorously prosecuted.[22] The last successfully prosecuted case was Whitehouse v. Lemon (1976) where the court repeated what had by then become a textbook standard for blasphemy law cases in the UK:[18]

It is not blasphemous to speak or publish opinions hostile to the Christian religion, or to deny the existence of God, if the publication is couched in decent and temperate language. The test to be applied is as to the manner in which the doctrines are advocated and not as to the substance of the doctrines themselves.

By religion


Biblical text

In Mark 3:29, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is spoken of as unforgivable—an eternal sin.[23]

Church history

In the early history of the Church, blasphemy "was considered to show active disrespect to God and to involve the use of profane cursing or mockery of his powers".[8]

In The Whole Duty of Man, sometimes attributed to Richard Allestree or John Fell, blasphemy is described as "speaking any evil Thing of God", and as "the highest Degree whereof is cursing him; or if we do not speak it with our Mouths, yet if we do it in our Hearts, by thinking any unworthy Thing of him, it is look'd on by God, who sees the Heart, as the vilest Dishonour."[24]

Catholic prayers and reparations for blasphemy

In the Catholic Church, there are specific prayers and devotions as Acts of Reparation for blasphemy.[31] For instance, The Golden Arrow Holy Face Devotion (Prayer) first introduced by Sister Marie of St Peter in 1844 is recited "in a spirit of reparation for blasphemy". This devotion (started by Sister Marie and then promoted by the Venerable Leo Dupont) was approved by Pope Leo XIII in 1885.[32] The Raccoltabook includes a number of such prayers.[33] The Five First Saturdays devotions are done with the intention in the heart of making reparation to the Blessed Mother for blasphemies against her, her name and her holy initiatives.

The Holy See has specific "Pontifical organizations" for the purpose of the reparation of blasphemy through Acts of Reparation to Jesus Christ, e.g. the Pontifical Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters of the Reparation of the Holy Face.[34]

Disputation of Paris

During the Middle Ages a series of debates on Judaism were staged by the Catholic Church, including the Disputation of Paris (1240), the Disputation of Barcelona (1263), and Disputation of Tortosa (1413–14), and during those disputations, Jewish converts to Christianity, such as Nicholas Donin (in Paris) and Pablo Christiani (in Barcelona) claimed the Talmud contained insulting references to Jesus.[35][36][37]

The Disputation of Paris, also known as the Trial of the Talmud, took place in 1240 at the court of the reigning king of France, Louis IX (St. Louis). It followed the work of Nicholas Donin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, who translated the Talmud and pressed 35 charges against it to Pope Gregory IX by quoting a series of alleged blasphemous passages about Jesus, Mary or Christianity.[38] Four rabbis defended the Talmud against Donin's accusations. A commission of Christian theologians condemned the Talmud to be burned and on 17 June 1244, twenty-four carriage loads of Jewish religious manuscripts were set on fire in the streets of Paris.[39][40] The translation of the Talmud from Hebrew to non-Jewish languages stripped Jewish discourse from its covering, something that was resented by Jews as a profound violation.[41]

Between 1239 and 1775, the Roman Catholic Church at various times either forced the censoring of parts of the Talmud that it considered theologically problematic or the destruction of copies of the Talmud.[42] During the inquisition, sects deemed heretical such as the Waldensians were also charged with blasphemy.[43]


Sufi teacher Mansur Al-Hallaj was executed in Baghdad amid political intrigue and charges of blasphemy in 922.[44]

Main article: Islam and blasphemy

Punishment and definition

Blasphemy in Islam is impious utterance or action concerning God, Muhammad or anything considered sacred in Islam.[45][46] The Quran admonishes blasphemy, but does not specify any worldly punishment for blasphemy.[47] The hadiths, which are another source of Sharia, suggest various punishments for blasphemy, which may include death.[47][48] However, it has been argued that the death penalty applies only to cases where there is treason involved that may seriously harm the Muslim community, especially during times of war.[49] Different traditional schools of jurisprudence prescribe different punishment for blasphemy, depending on whether the blasphemer is Muslim or non-Muslim, a man or a woman.[47] In the modern Muslim world, the laws pertaining to blasphemy vary by country, and some countries prescribe punishments consisting of fines, imprisonment, flogging, hanging, or beheading.[50] Blasphemy laws were rarely enforced in pre-modern Islamic societies, but in the modern era some states and radical groups have used charges of blasphemy in an effort to burnish their religious credentials and gain popular support at the expense of liberal Muslim intellectuals and religious minorities.[51] In recent years, accusations of blasphemy against Islam have sparked international controversies and played part in incidents of mob violence and assassinations of prominent figures.

Failed OIC anti-blasphemy campaign at UN

Main article: Blasphemy and the United Nations

The campaign for worldwide criminal penalties for the "defamation of religions" had been spearheaded by Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on behalf of the United Nations' large Muslim bloc. The campaign ended in 2011 when the proposal was withdrawn in Geneva, in the Human Rights Council because of lack of support, marking an end to the effort to establish worldwide blasphemy strictures along the lines of those in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran. This resolution had passed every year since 1999, in the United Nations, with declining number of "yes" votes with each successive year.[52] In the early 21st century, blasphemy became an issue in the United Nations (UN). The United Nations passed several resolutions which called upon the world to take action against the "defamation of religions".[53] However, in July 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) released a 52-paragraph statement which affirmed the freedom of speech and rejected the laws banning "display of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system'.[54]


See also: List of capital crimes in the Torah

Nathan confronts David over his sex scandal with Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite, saying "by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme" (2 Samuel 12:14).

In Leviticus 24:16 the punishment for blasphemy is death. In Jewish law the only form of blasphemy which is punishable by death is blaspheming the name of the Lord.[55] Leviticus 24:16 states that "anyone who blasphemes the name of Yahweh will be put to death".[56]

The Seven Laws of Noah, which Judaism sees as applicable to all people, prohibit blasphemy.[57]

In one of the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, called the Damascus Document, violence against non-Jews (also called Gentiles) is prohibited, except in cases where it is sanctioned by a Jewish governing authority "so that they will not blaspheme".[58]

Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism

Indian-origin religions (also called Dharma religions), Hinduism and its contemporary Buddhism and Jainism, have no concept of blasphemy.[citation needed] It is an alien concept in Indian-origin theology and culture. In contrast, in West Asia, the birthplace of Abrahamic religions (namely Islam, Judaism and Christianity), there was no room for such tolerance and respect for dissent where heretics and blasphemers had to pay with their lives.[13] Nāstika, meaning atheist or atheism, is a valid and accepted stream of Indic religious philosophy where Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, as well as Cārvāka, Ajñana and Ājīvika are considered atheist schools of philosophy.[59][60][61][62]

Insulting Buddhism is a punishable offence in some Buddhist majority counties like Sri Lanka and Myanmar. In 2015 a man from New Zealand was sentenced to prison for depicting a picture of Buddha with headphone.[63] Similarly, in 2020 Shakthika Sathkumara, a Sri Lankan author was sentenced 10 years in prison for insulting Buddhism.[64]


Blasphemy is taken harshly by Sikhs. It is called “beadbi” by Sikhs. In October, 2021, a Nihang Singh killed a man for beadbi of the Sarbloh Granth.[65] In December, 2021, a man was beaten to death at the Golden Temple for committing blasphemy.[66] Such punishments are justified with orthodox Sikhs saying, “instant justice” is deserving for beadbi which is the “ultimate act of crime”.[67][65]

Backlash against anti–blasphemy laws

Affirmation of Freedom of Speech (FOS)

Multilateral global institutes, such as the Council of Europe and UN, have rejected the imposition of "anti-blasphemy laws" (ABL) and have affirmed the freedom of speech.[68][54]

The Council of Europe's rejection of ABL and affirmation of FOS

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, after deliberating on the issue of blasphemy law passed the resolution that blasphemy should not be a criminal offence,[68] which was adopted on 29 June 2007 in the "Recommendation 1805 (2007) on blasphemy, religious insults and hate speech against persons on grounds of their religion". This Recommendation set a number of guidelines for member states of the Council of Europe in view of Articles 10 (freedom of expression) and 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

UN's rejection of ABL and affirmation of FOS

Main article: Defamation of religion and the United Nations

After OIC's (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) campaign at UN (United Nations) seeking impose of punishment for "defamation of religions" was withdrawn due to consistently dwindling support for their campaign,[52] the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), in July 2011, released a 52-paragraph statement which affirmed the freedom of speech and rejected the laws banning "display of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system'. UNHRC's "General Comment 34 - Paragraph 48" on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1976, concerning freedoms of opinion and expression states:[54]

Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant, except in the specific circumstances envisaged in article 20, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. Such prohibitions must also comply with the strict requirements of article 19, paragraph 3, as well as such articles as 2, 5, 17, 18 and 26. Thus, for instance, it would be impermissible for any such laws to discriminate in favor of or against one or certain religions or belief systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith.[69]

International Blasphemy Day

International Blasphemy Day, observed annually on September 30, encourages individuals and groups to openly express criticism of religion and blasphemy laws. It was founded in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry.[70] A student contacted the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York to present the idea, which CFI then supported. Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, said, regarding Blasphemy Day, "[W]e think religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs are, but we have a taboo on religion", in an interview with CNN.[71]

Events worldwide on the first annual Blasphemy Day in 2009 included an art exhibit in Washington, D.C., and a free speech festival in Los Angeles.[72]

Removal of blasphemy laws by several nations

Other countries have removed bans on blasphemy. France did so in 1881 (this did not extend to Alsace-Moselle region, then part of Germany, after it joined France) to allow freedom of religion and freedom of the press. Blasphemy was abolished or repealed in Sweden in 1970, England and Wales in 2008, Norway with Acts in 2009 and 2015, the Netherlands in 2014, Iceland in 2015, France for its Alsace-Moselle region in 2016, Malta in 2016, Denmark in 2017,[73] Canada in 2018, New Zealand in 2019, and Ireland in 2020.[74]

Nations with blasphemy laws

Main article: Blasphemy law

  Historic restrictions
  Local restrictions
  Fines and restrictions
  Prison sentences
  Death sentences

In some countries with a state religion, blasphemy is outlawed under the criminal code.

Purpose of blasphemy laws

In some states, blasphemy laws are used to impose the religious beliefs of a majority, while in other countries, they are justified as putatively offering protection of the religious beliefs of minorities.[75][76][77] Where blasphemy is banned, it can be either some laws which directly punish religious blasphemy,[78] or some laws that allow those who are offended by blasphemy to punish blasphemers. Those laws may condone penalties or retaliation for blasphemy under the labels of blasphemous libel,[79] expression of opposition, or "vilification," of religion or of some religious practices,[80][81] religious insult,[82] or hate speech.[83]

Nations with blasphemy laws

As of 2012[needs update], 33 countries had some form of anti-blasphemy laws in their legal code.[11] Of these, 21 were Muslim-majority nations – Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, the UAE and Western Sahara. Blasphemy is treated as a capital crime (death penalty) in some Muslim nations.[12] In these nations, such laws have led to the persecution, lynchings, murder or arrest of minorities and dissident members, after flimsy accusations.[84][85]

The other twelve nations with anti-blasphemy laws in 2012 included India and Singapore, as well as Christian majority states, including Denmark (abolished in 2017),[73] Finland, Germany, Greece (abolished in 2019), Ireland (abolished in 2020), Italy, Malta (abolished in 2016), the Netherlands (abolished in 2014), Nigeria, Norway (abolished in 2015) and Poland.[11] Spain's "offending religious feelings" law is also, effectively, a prohibition on blasphemy.[86] In Denmark, the former blasphemy law which had support of 66% of its citizens in 2012, made it an offence to "mock legal religions and faiths in Denmark".[77] Many Danes saw the "blasphemy law as helping integration because it promotes the acceptance of a multicultural and multi-faith society."[75]

In the judgment E.S. v. Austria (2018), the European Court of Human Rights declined to strike down the blasphemy law in Austria on Article 10 (freedom of speech) grounds, saying that criminalisation of blasphemy could be supported within a state's margin of appreciation. This decision was widely criticised by human rights organisations and commentators both in Europe and North America.[87][88][89]

Hyperbolic use of the term blasphemy

In contemporary language, the notion of blasphemy is often used hyperbolically (in a deliberately exaggerated manner). This usage has garnered some interest among linguists recently, and the word blasphemy is a common case used for illustrative purposes.[90]

See also


  1. ^ Miriam Díez Bosch and Jordi Sànchez Torrents (2015). On blasphemy. Barcelona: Blanquerna Observatory on Media, Religion and Culture. ISBN 978-84-941193-3-0.
  2. ^ "Blasphemy". Random House Dictionary. Retrieved 12 January 2015. Quote: impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things.; the crime of assuming to oneself the rights or qualities of God.
  3. ^ Blasphemy Merriam Webster (July 2013); 1. great disrespect shown to God or to something holy
    2. irreverence toward something considered sacred or inviolable
  4. ^ Blasphemies, in Webster's New World College Dictionary, 4th Ed,
    1. profane or contemptuous speech, writing, or action concerning God or anything held as divine.
    2. any remark or action held to be irreverent or disrespectful
  5. ^ Karesh, Sara; Hurvitz, Mitchell (2006). Encyclopedia of Judaism. United States: Facts on File. p. 180. It is considered blasphemy to utter God's personal names...Interestingly, this prohibition has crept into the practice of writing God's name in English. Many Jews will choose to write "G-d" instead of "God" to avoid blasphemy.
  6. ^ Concannon, Cavan W. (2017). Assembling Early Christianity: Trade, Networks, and the Letters of Dionysios of Corinth. Cambridge University Press. p. 114. The Didache cites Mark 3:28-29 and implicitly defines blaspheming the holy spirit as testing or examining a prophet who is speaking in the spirit (11:7). This is the sin that cannot be forgiven, though other sins can be resolved through repentance. Epiphanius, in his discussion of the heretics he calls the Alogi, says they have committed the unforgivable sin. Because they reject the Gospel of John, which was inspired by the holy spirit, their teaching is therefore contrary to what the spirit has said and liable to the penalty imposed by Jesus' saying.
  7. ^ "Blasphemy and the Original Meaning of the First Amendment". Harvard Law Review. 10 December 2021. Until well into the twentieth century, American law recognized blasphemy as proscribable speech. The blackletter rule was clear. Constitutional liberty entailed a right to articulate views on religion, but not a right to commit blasphemy — the offense of "maliciously reviling God", which encompassed "profane ridicule of Christ". The English common law had punished blasphemy as a crime, while excluding "disputes between learned men upon particular controverted points" from the scope of criminal blasphemy. Looking to this precedent, nineteenth-century American appellate courts consistently upheld proscriptions on blasphemy, drawing a line between punishable blasphemy and protected religious speech.
  8. ^ a b c d Nash, David (2007). Blasphemy in the Christian World. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–5.
  9. ^ "Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill Information Note: Blasphemy" (PDF).
  10. ^ countries and territories worldwide had blasphemy laws in 2019, Pew Research (25 January 2022)
  11. ^ a b c Laws Penalizing Blasphemy, Apostasy and Defamation of Religion are Widespread Pew Research (21 November 2012)
  12. ^ a b Blasphemy Divide: Insults to Religion Remain a Capital Crime in Muslim Lands The Wall Street Journal (8 January 2015)
  13. ^ a b Why Hinduism never developed a concept of blasphemy,, 4 February 2015.
  14. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary – Blasphemy". Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  15. ^ (from Easton's Bible Dictionary) Romans 2:24Revelation.13:1, 6; Rev.16:9, 11, 211Kings.21:10; Acts.13:45; Acts.18:6
  16. ^ cf. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae. ST II-II q10a3, q11a3, q12. Q11A3: "With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."
  17. ^ Nash, David (2007). Blasphemy in the Christian World. Oxford University Press. p. 4.
  18. ^ a b Knight, Frances (2016). Religion, Identity and Conflict in Britain. Routledge.
  19. ^ Williams Levy, Leonard (1995). Blasphemy: Verbal Offense Against the Sacred, from Moses to Salman Rushdie. University of North Carolina Press Books. p. 242.
  20. ^ "Thomas Aikenhead". Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  21. ^ Church-State Issues in America Today (3 volumes). Bloomsbury. 2007. p. 18. ISBN 9781573567541.
  22. ^ Owen Chadwick, The Victorian Church: Vol 1 1829–1859 (1966) pp 487–489.
  23. ^ Saunders, Craig D. (1 March 2021). A Mediator in Matthew: An Analysis of the Son of Man's Function in the First Gospel. Wipf and Stock Publishers. p. 77. ISBN 978-1-5326-9704-3.
  24. ^ Allestree, Richard (1658). The whole duty of man, laid down in a plain and familiar way.
  25. ^ Thomas Aquinas: Summa Theologica 2:2, q. 13.
  26. ^ The Book of Concord The Large Catechism, §55.
  27. ^ The Baptist Confession of Faith Archived 7 April 2010 at the Wayback Machine Ch. 23, §2–3.
  28. ^ The Heidelberg Catechism Archived 13 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine Q. 100.
  29. ^ Westminster Larger Catechism Q. 113.
  30. ^ Jean Calvin: Harmony of the Law vol. 4. Lev. 24:10.
  31. ^ Act of Reparation for Blasphemies Uttered Against the Holy Name, Righting Wrongs Through Prayer Archived 18 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine By Scott P. Richert,
  32. ^ Dorothy Scallan. The Holy Man of Tours. (1990) ISBN 0-89555-390-2
  33. ^ Joseph P. Christopher et al., 2003 The Raccolta, St Athanasius Press ISBN 978-0-9706526-6-9
  34. ^ Letter for 50th anniversary of the Benedictine Sisters of Reparation of the Holy Face, 2000 Archived 2 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine Vatican archives
  35. ^ Carroll, James, Constantine's sword: the church and the Jews : a history, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002
  36. ^ Seidman, Naomi, Faithful renderings: Jewish-Christian difference and the politics of translation, University of Chicago Press, 2006 p. 137
  37. ^ Cohn-Sherbok, Dan, Judaism and other faiths, Palgrave Macmillan, 1994, p. 48
  38. ^ Seidman, Naomi (2010). Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation. University of Chicago Press. pp. 136–138. ISBN 978-0-226-74507-7 – via Google Books.
  39. ^ Rodkinson, Michael Levi (1918). The history of the Talmud, from the time of its formation, about 200 B.C. Talmud Society. pp. 66–75.
  40. ^ Maccoby, Hyam (1982). Judaism on Trial: Jewish-Christian Disputations in the Middle Ages. Associated University Presses. ISBN 978-0-8386-3053-2.
  41. ^ Naomi Seidman, Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Politics of Translation, pp. 136–138
  42. ^ Jonathon Green; Nicholas J. Karolides (2009). Encyclopedia of Censorship. Infobase Publishing. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-4381-1001-1. Retrieved 13 February 2014.
  43. ^ Napier, G. (2017). Maleficium: Witchcraft and Witch Hunting in the West. Amberley Publishing. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-4456-6511-5. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  44. ^ Avery, Kenneth (2004). Psychology of Early Sufi Sama: Listening and Altered States. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-415-31106-9.
  45. ^ "Blasphemy" at
  46. ^ Wiederhold, Lutz. "Blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad and his companions (sabb al-rasul, sabb al-sahabah): The introduction of the topic into shafi'i legal literature and its relevance for legal practice under Mamluk rule". Journal of semitic studies 42.1 (1997): 39–70.
  47. ^ a b c Saeed, Abdullah; Saeed, Hassan (2004). Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam. Burlington VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-0-7546-3083-8.
  48. ^ Siraj Khan. Blasphemy against the Prophet, in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture (ed: Coeli Fitzpatrick PhD, Adam Hani Walker). ISBN 978-1-61069-177-2, pp. 59–67.
  49. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ P Smith (2003). "Speak No Evil: Apostasy, Blasphemy and Heresy in Malaysian Syariah Law". UC Davis Journal Int'l Law & Policy. 10, pp. 357–373.
    • N Swazo (2014). "The Case of Hamza Kashgari: Examining Apostasy, Heresy, and Blasphemy Under Sharia". The Review of Faith & International Affairs 12(4). pp. 16–26.
  51. ^ Juan Eduardo Campo, ed. (2009). "Blasphemy". Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing.
  52. ^ a b An Anti-Blasphemy Measure Laid to Rest Nina Shea, National Review (31 March 2011)
  53. ^ U.N. Resolutions:
  54. ^ a b c General Comment 34
  55. ^ "Blasphemy".
  56. ^ Netton, Ian Richard (1996). Text and Trauma: An East-West Primer. Routledge. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-7007-0325-8.
  57. ^ "The Seven Noachide Laws". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  58. ^ "Gentiles –. Oxford Reference". Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Oxford University Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-508450-4. Retrieved 29 May 2017. – via OUP (subscription required)
  59. ^ For instance, the Atheist Society of India produces a monthly publications Nastika Yuga, which it translates as 'The Age of Atheism'. Archived 18 April 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  60. ^ Nicholson, Andrew J. 2013. Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-14987-7. ch. 9.
  61. ^ Francis Clooney (2008). "Restoring 'Hindu Theology' as a category in Indian intellectual discourse". In Gavin Flood (ed.). The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Blackwell Academic. pp. 451–455. ISBN 978-0-470-99868-7. "By Sāṃkhya reasoning, the material principle itself simply evolves into complex forms, and there is no need to hold that some spiritual power governs the material principle or its ultimate source."
  62. ^ Francis Clooney (2003). Flood, Gavin (ed.). Blackwell companion to Hinduism. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 82, 224–249. ISBN 0-631-21535-2.
  63. ^ "Three jailed for insult to Buddha – DW – 03/17/2015". Deutsche Welle.
  64. ^ "Insulting the Buddha". 13 August 2020.
  65. ^ a b Sethi, Chitleen K.; ThePrint (19 December 2021). "What is 'beadbi' or sacrilege in Sikhism, which sees Guru Granth Sahib as living Guru". ThePrint. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  66. ^ Mehmood, Asif (18 December 2021). "Hindu man beaten to death at Golden Temple in Amritsar". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  67. ^ Taskin, Bismee (15 October 2021). "'He was running with a Sikh holy book': The 'crime' for which Sikh man was lynched & hacked". ThePrint. Retrieved 6 July 2023.
  68. ^ a b "PACE - Recommendation 1805 (2007) - Blasphemy, religious insults and hate speech against persons on grounds of their religion".
  69. ^ General Comment 34, p. 12.
  70. ^ "Penn Jillette Celebrates Blasphemy Day in "Penn Says"". Center for Inquiry. 29 September 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2013.
  71. ^ Basu, Moni (30 September 2009). "Taking aim at God on 'Blasphemy Day'".
  72. ^ Larmondin, Leanne (2 October 2009). "Did you celebrate Blasphemy Day?".
  73. ^ a b Denmark scraps 334-year-old blasphemy law 2 June 2017 the Guardian
  74. ^ Blasphemy law#Ireland
  75. ^ a b "Denmark still largely in support of 'blasphemy' law". IceNews. 2 October 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2016. A recent survey has shown that Danish citizens still largely back the country's 'blasphemy' law. The law, which makes it illegal to "mock legal religions and faiths in Denmark", is supported by around 66 per cent of Danish voters, according to a recent survey conducted by the liberal group CEPOS. Speaking about the report, religious expert Tim Jensen from the University of Southern Denmark said, "Danes may see the blasphemy law as helping integration because it promotes the acceptance of a multicultural and multi-faith society. But it can also be problematic if it reflects a belief that the feelings of religious people have a special status and require special protection," the Berlingske news agency reports.
  76. ^ Scolnicov, Anat (18 October 2010). The Right to Religious Freedom in International Law: Between Group Rights and Individual Rights. Routledge. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-136-90705-0. A different argument for the retention of the offence of blasphemy (and for its extension to the protection of all religions in the UK [the offence protected only the majority religion]) has been offered by Parekh: a majority religion does not need the protection offered by an offence of blasphemy, but minority religions do because of their vulnerability in the face of the majority.
  77. ^ a b "Danes overwhelmingly support their own blasphemy law". The Copenhagen Post. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2016. Denmark's own blasphemy law makes it an offence to "mock legal religions and faiths in Denmark", and according to a study carried out on behalf of the liberal think-tank CEPOS, 66 per cent of the 1,000 Danes questioned answered that the law should not be repealed.
  78. ^ See Blasphemy law
  79. ^ Kerr, ine (9 July 2009). "Libel and blasphemy bill passed by the Dail". The Irish Independent. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  80. ^ "Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 – Sect 124A: Vilification on grounds of race, religion, sexuality or gender identity unlawful". Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  81. ^ "Victoria Police – Racial and religious vilification". Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  82. ^ "European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), Report on the relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion: the issue of regulation and prosecution of blasphemy, religious insult and incitement to religious hatred, 17–18 October 2008, Doc. No. CDL-AD(2008)026". Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
  83. ^ See Blasphemy law and Hate speech.
  84. ^ Bad-mouthing: Pakistan's blasphemy laws legitimise intolerance The Economist (29 November 2014)
  85. ^ Sources of claims:
  86. ^ "Spain country profile". End Blasphemy Laws. International Humanist and Ethical Union. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  87. ^ "IHEU 'frustrated', as European Court fails to overturn 'blasphemy' conviction in Austria". International Humanist and Ethical Union. 26 October 2018. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  88. ^ "European Court of Human Rights rules that Austria can keep its blasphemy law". Humanists UK. 29 October 2018.
  89. ^ Cottee, Simon (31 October 2018). "A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech". The Atlantic. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  90. ^ Recanati, F. (1995) "The alleged priority of literal interpretation". Cognitive Science 19: 207–232.
    Carston, R. (1997) "Enrichment and loosening: complementary processes in deriving the proposition expressed?" Linguistische Berichte 8: 103–127.
    Carston, R. (2000). "Explicature and semantics." UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 12: 1–44. Revised version to appear in Davis & Gillon (forthcoming[when?]).
    Sperber, D. & D. Wilson (1998) "The mapping between the mental and the public lexicon". In Carruthers & Boucher (1998: 184–200).[ISBN missing]
    Glucksberg, S. (2001) Understanding Figurative Language: From Metaphors to Idioms. Oxford: Oxford University Press.[ISBN missing]
    Wilson, D. & D. Sperber (2002) "Truthfulness and relevance". Mind 111: 583–632.

Further reading