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After Boy Mishears Imam, a Severed Hand, an Arrest

15-year-old Pakistani boy cuts off own hand after being called 'blasphemer'

(Newser) - It was a simple misunderstanding of a question asked by a holy man, but it cost a 15-year-old Pakistani boy his hand, and landed an imam under arrest. Imam Shabbir Ahmed was giving a sermon at a mosque in Punjab province, reports al Jazeera , when he asked his congregation who... More »

Now Legal in Iceland: Blasphemy

Pirate Party spearheads law's repeal

(Newser) - Iceland has repealed an anti-blasphemy law that has been on the books since 1940, meaning its people are now free to ridicule religion to their heart's content. The country's parliament, the Althing, voted almost unanimously to remove blasphemy from the Icelandic Penal Code yesterday, the Iceland Monitor reports.... More »

Actress Sentenced to 26 Years Over TV Scene

Veena Malik, her husband, and 2 others convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan

(Newser) - A Pakistani court disliked a segment on a TV show so much that it sentenced a Bollywood actress, her husband, and two others to prison for 26 years for blasphemy, reports the Independent . The trouble began when Veena Malik and her new husband appeared on a live daytime show on... More »

'No Mercy' for Mob That Shoved Christian Couple Into Kiln: PM

Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif calls murders of Christian couple 'unacceptable crime'

(Newser) - The mob that swarmed a Christian couple's home in Pakistan on Tuesday broke down their door and beat them before dragging them to the kiln where they worked and throwing them in, CNN reports. For those acts, the killers should receive "no mercy," says Pakistani PM Nawaz... More »

Mob Kills Pakistani Couple Accused of Blasphemy

Husband, wife beaten, burned on allegations they descecrated Koran

(Newser) - A married Christian couple were killed by a mob in Pakistan after being accused of desecrating the Koran, reports AFP . The brutal assault took place at the brick kiln where they worked in the town of Kot Radha Kishan, near Lahore. Police say the pair were beaten and then burned... More »

15 Killed as Islamists Battle Bangladesh Cops

Hardliners demand anti-blasphemy law

(Newser) - At least 15 people died in clashes between police and Islamic hardliners demanding that Bangladesh implement an anti-blasphemy law, authorities said. A police official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said eight people, including two policemen and a paramilitary soldier, were killed in clashes just outside the capital, Dhaka, and... More »

Pakistani Who Boycotted Protests Faces Blasphemy Inquiry

Businessman refused to close his shops over anti-Islam movie

(Newser) - Pakistani officials say they have opened an investigation into a businessman who has been accused of blasphemy after refusing to join protests over the anti-Islam video and allegedly trying to convince others also not to take part. Haji Nasrullah Khan refused to shut his shops in solidarity with protesters, prompting... More »

'Blasphemy Girl' Family Fears for Lives

Christian family in hiding after her release on bail

(Newser) - The young Pakistani girl accused of desecrating the Koran may be free on bail , but she and her family members fear for their lives and are moving from place to place, reports the BBC . The parents of the Christian girl known as Rimsha say the 11-year-old has always been slow.... More »

Pakistan Frees Girl Accused of Blasphemy

14-year-old with low IQ is out on bail

(Newser) - A Pakistani teenager who had been jailed on what look to be bogus charges of desecrating the Koran walked out of prison today, reports the Guardian . Prison officials in Rawalpindi released Rimsha Masih one day after a judge granted her bail. Rimsha is 14, but is said to have a... More »

Girl Accused of Blasphemy Granted Bail in Pakistan

First such case to see bail offered

(Newser) - Following extensive court arguments in Pakistan today, a girl accused of burning pages of the Koran has been granted bail. A minorities activist group has agreed to pay the $10,000 bail fee, CNN reports. A lawyer for the Christian girl, called Rimsha, held that she has a low IQ... More »

Cleric 'Framed' Girl to Rid Neighborhood of Christians

Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti was taken to court today

(Newser) - Witnesses say a cleric in Pakistan accused of planting evidence of blasphemy on a young girl did so because he wanted Christians like her booted from his neighborhood, the Guardian reports. Hafiz Mohammed Khalid Chishti was delivered blindfolded and handcuffed to court in Islamabad today on charges of fabricating evidence—... More »

Imam Arrested for Framing Disabled Girl for Blasphemy

Witnesses say cleric tore Koran, put pages in girl's bag

(Newser) - A Muslim cleric was arrested today for framing a blasphemy accusation against an 11-year-old Christian girl who reportedly suffers from Down syndrome, reports Reuters . Witnesses said the cleric tore pages from a Koran and put them in the girl's bag, which led to the original outrage and charges against... More »

'Pussy Riot' on Trial for Russia Church Protest

3 locked up for 'religious hooliganism' for anti-Putin song

(Newser) - Members of a female punk protest group go on trial today in Russia for "religious hooliganism." Three young women of Pussy Riot have been jailed since February after they sang a song criticizing President Vladimir Putin in Moscow's main cathedral that was slammed as "blasphemous" by... More »

Man Arrested for Declaring Atheism on Facebook

Indonesian civil servant faces up to 5 years for 'blasphemy'

(Newser) - Indonesian atheists, look out. An angry mob attacked a civil servant in Padang after he declared his atheism on Facebook, said police—who promptly arrested the civil servant. "He is suspected of having blasphemed against Islam," a police chief said of Alexander An, 30. "The man told... More »

Singer Fined for Bad-Mouthing the Bible

Polish pop star Doda slapped with $1,450 fine for offending religious feelings

(Newser) - A Polish pop singer has been fined for disparaging the Bible. Dorota Rabczewska, who goes by the stage name Doda, said in an interview that she doubted the Bible because "it's hard to believe in something that was written by someone drunk on wine and smoking herbs."... More »

Hell Breaks Loose Over Depp's Drunk Jesus Song

Some Christians angry Jesus is blitzed in lyrics

(Newser) - Having Jesus turn up for a bachelor night is bad enough. But when Johnny Depp sang about him drinking then passing out on the floor in a new song, it was more than some Christians could bear. The Christian Coalition says Depp and members of the indie band Babybird "... More »

Islamic Mickey Mouse Tweet Gets Tycoon in Hot Water

Egypt's Naguib Sawiris sends image of them in Islamic attire

(Newser) - Unfortunate tweet department: A telecom mogul in Egypt thought it would be a hoot to re-tweet images of Mickey and Minnie Mouse dressed in Islamic attire. Now tens of thousands have joined Facebook groups condemning Naguib Sawiris and demanding a boycott of his company, Orascom, which happens to be the... More »

Pakistani Minister Assassinated

Christian lawmaker opposed blasphemy laws

(Newser) - Pakistan's minister for religious minorities was gunned down today in the country's capital, AP reports. Shahbaz Bhatti, himself a member of the country's Christian minority, had been threatened by Islamic militants in the past for calling for reforms of the country's strict blasphemy laws, which impose the death penalty for... More »

Pakistan Busts Schoolkid for Blasphemy

Human Rights Watch calls the case 'mind boggling'

(Newser) - A 17-year-old boy in Karachi has been arrested for blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad in a school exam, drawing widespread condemnation, reports the BBC . Human Rights Watch called for the boy's release, saying that for police to lock him up was "mind boggling." More »

Pakistan Assassination Gives Rise to Extremists

Salman Taseer fought to repeal blasphemy laws, was major PPP force

(Newser) - Yesterday’s assassination of Salman Taseer could deepen Pakistan’s political crisis, and seriously weaken the government’s ability to oppose Islamic extremists. Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, was maybe the country’s most prominent opponent of religious parties and extremism, and a major ally of the embattled secular... More »

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