Sunday, June 28, 2015

Posting Hiatus

I think the time has come to say that this blog probably won't be updated further, except for occasional special postings about publications and so forth.  One only has to look at the yearly list to see that the number of posts have steadily declined on this blog since it began five years ago.  Unfortunately, a blog that I had plenty of time to update while a graduate student has become quite hard to maintain now that I work full time, and I'm trying to put the energy of reading and writing about law and religion issues into publishable formats (articles and books) rather than blog posts.  Still, I'm happy with the content of the posts and the number of hits they received, so everything will stay in its current place.  For those of you who have been reading along, many thanks!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Two Discussions of my Work

Much has been happening on the front of anti-blasphemy law campaigning in recent months, and it's very exciting.  I'm also very far behind on blogging!  For now, links to a couple of articles on abolishing Canada's blasphemy laws that include a discussion of my work:

Jacob Gershman, "Charlie Hebdo Attack Spurs Effort to Abolish Canada's Blasphemy Law" Wall Street Journal LawBlog (Jan. 8, 2015).

Thomas Walkom, "Canadian Blasphemy Trial a Warning Against Smugness" Toronto Star (Jan. 16, 2015).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Christian Couple Burned Alive by Mob in Pakistan After Alleged Desecration of Koran

CNN reports that a Christian couple in Pakistan were surrounded by a mob, beaten, and then thrown alive into a nearby kiln to die.  The mob formed after rumors spread that the couple had desecrated the Koran, which led to announcements through mosque loudspeakers.  No evidence has been found that a Koran was desecrated.  Police have arrested 40 in connection with the murders.

Pussy Riot Member Fails in Appeal

A member of the punk band Pussy Riot has had her appeal turned down by Russia's Constitutional Court, according to Religion Clause Blog.  Nadezhda Tolonnikova had earlier been convicted of disorderly conduct after a performance at a cathedral in Moscow.  She had appealed to the Constitutional Court, arguing that the conviction violated her freedom of expression, placed the internal rules of religious groups ahead of public law principles, and more.

Ireland to Have Referendum on Removing Blasphemy Prohibition from Constitution

According to Religion Clause Blog, the government of Ireland has agreed to hold a referendum on the question of whether the Irish Constitution's prohibition on blasphemy should be removed.  No date has been set for the referendum, nor is it known whether the blasphemy prohibition will be replaced with a prohibition on religious hatred.

Professor of Islamic Studies Assassinated Over Blasphemy Allegations in Pakistan

In the continuation of a long-going trend in Pakistan, assassins have murdered an individual accused of blasphemy.  Last month, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported that Muhammad Shakil Auj, Dean of Islamic Studies at a university in Karachi, was murdered by unidentified gunmen.  Auj was known as moderate in his views, and had previously reported being accused of blasphemy by co-workers.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Egyptian Teacher Gets 6 Month Sentence for Alleged Insults to Islam

Religion Clause has a post about a Coptic Christian elementary school teacher in Egypt who was sentenced to six months in jail for allegedly insulting Mohammed by saying that a late Coptic Pope was better than him.  An appeal is likely.