‘Blasphemy!’ – blasphemy, religious hatred, and human rights: who speaks for the sacred?
Presented by CFI UK and The Ethical Society
Saturday 28th January 2012
CONWAY HALL,25 Red Lion Square Holborn
Introduced by Dr Stephen Law of Heythrop College, University of London and Editor of Think (Royal Institute Philosophy) Provost of Centre for Inquiry UK.
This event focuses on the criminalization of religious hatred, defamation, and insult under European human rights, and how this functions as a de facto blasphemy law.
Tickets on sale HERE.
General: £10 general public
Members and students: £8 BHA, AHS and SPES members and students with valid ID
Free to members of the Centre for Inquiry UK.
***Special offer*** Joint tickets to this event and the Beyond the Veil event on the 14th January: £16 general public and £12 members and student ticket offer.
11.00 am Kenan Malik – Title TBA
12.00 Andrew Copson – Blasphemy laws by the back door
Andrew Copson has been chief executive of the British Humanist Association since 2010 before which he spent five years coordinating the association’s campaigns work including on blasphemy and free speech issues.
After decades of campaigning the criminal offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel have been abolished but censorship of blasphemous content and even threatened prosecution of blasphemes continues in the UK. Andrew explores how corporate interests, opaque advertising regulations and new criminal laws continue to stifle free expression and free criticism and mockery of gods and religions.
1.30 Austin Dacey – The Future of Blasphemy
Austin Dacey, Ph.D., is a representative to the United Nations for the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the author of The Future of Blasphemy:
If blasphemy is an affront to values that are held sacred, then it is too important to be left to the traditionally religious. In the public contestation of the sacred, each of us—secular and religious alike—has equal right and authority to speak on its behalf and equal claim to redress for its violation. Laws against blasphemy and “religious hatred” are inherently discriminatory because they give traditional faith communities a legal remedy that is not available to religious minorities and secularists when their sense of the sacred is violated.
2.30 Jacob Mchangama (to be confirmed)
3.30 Additional speaker TBA
A variety of interesting books will be on sale at the event, provided by Newham books.