Blasphemy Day is meant to celebrate the anniversary of when a Danish newspaper published satirical cartoons of Muhammad. The group Ex-Muslims of North America honored that day last year in an extremely useful way.
Too often, we hear stories about people sentenced to death in other countries for alleged blasphemy. It’s hard to keep track of the cases and it’s hard to follow up when accurate information is difficult to come by.
That’s why EXMNA created a “Persecution Tracker.” The group said it was tracking “accounts of hate and violence motivated by Islamic intolerance.” In other words, they were cataloguing instances of where criticism of Islam — or perceived criticism of it — was met with punishment by people who believed their faith ought to be immune from it.
This year, they’ve updated that site with even more information.
Now, one year out from the Tracker’s initial launch, the organization marks 2021’s Blasphemy Day with the addition of profiles of individual nations. These cover the historical development of the country’s blasphemy and apostasy laws, and even include information on the modern-day climate toward free expression.
“This addition to the Tracker is in line with our desire to ensure it remains one of the most comprehensive resources on the persecution of freethinkers, atheists, and religious minorities at the hands of Islamic fundamentalism,” said Executive Director Sarah Haider. “Since its launch a year ago today, it has grown significantly in size and scope, and this new feature bolsters that progress by contextualizing the environments in which the persecution we catalog takes place.”
“The number of incidents we have cataloged since the initial launch of the Persecution Tracker has increased by more than threefold, and today’s additions ensure the tool remains accurate, up to date, and as comprehensive as we can make it,” said Muhammad Syed, President of EXMNA
In addition to the profiles of various countries, there are updates to the map and a better filter for people to learn about specific kinds of cases.
Check it out right here.
As I said when they first launched, the main goal of this project isn’t to disparage one religion. It’s not really even about religion. The goal is to highlight actual instances of a particular form of persecution in an attempt to get more countries to eliminate their blasphemy laws or at least protect people accused of religious intolerance because of their words or thoughts.
Every story is horrific. Not because someone allegedly criticized Islam but because the responses are so unfairly over-the-top if not fatal.
Blasphemy, as they say, is a victimless crime. And yet there are real victims all over the world.
(Large portions of this article were published earlier)