Blasphemy Laws as a Challenge to Religious Freedom

The Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University and the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom are co-sponsoring a half-day conference in Washington, D.C. on blasphemy laws:

Blasphemy laws designed to protect religious communities from criticism also constitute an important barrier to religious freedom. Penalties for blasphemy, ranging from public censure and fines to imprisonment and even death, can intimidate people with beliefs that diverge from established versions of orthodoxy.

How do blasphemy laws impact religious freedom in practice? Under what conditions does the suppression of religious (and non-religious) expression encourage violent religious extremism? Has the abolition of blasphemy laws promoted greater religious freedom and peaceful religious pluralism? How can the international community most effectively mobilize against such laws in practice?

The Religious Freedom Project is gathering a distinguished group of scholars, policymakers, and activists to debate these important questions. While the focus will be on Muslim-majority states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, the symposium will also explore the historical and contemporary experience of other countries, including India and the United Kingdom.

You can find more information and register here.