Blasphemy laws are a violation of our rights to freedom of speech and expression, and are used around the world as a means of harassing, victimising, and discriminating against religion and belief minorities.
So long as we have these laws on the statute books in Northern Ireland, we’re simply giving legitimacy to countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to use blasphemy laws to persecute religious and non-religious minorities.
In recognition of the harm that blasphemy laws cause around the world, the UK Government repealed them in England and Wales in 2008, and is set to soon be repealed in Scotland under the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill. Since 2015 Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Malta, France, New Zealand, Canada, and Greece have repealed their blasphemy laws too, and Spain has committed to doing the same very soon. It's time for Northern Ireland to do the same!