Thursday, November 6, 2014
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.
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.
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.
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.