Tag Archives: Blasphemy

Derk Venema and Tanya Watkins

Ep 55: Pastafarianism and the meaning of ‘religion’

A spoof religion devised to mock creationism has attracted a global following. But what does ‘religion’ mean anyway?

With Derk Venema (03:20), Tanya Watkins (28:35), and Tony Meacham (43:17).

Full shownotes and subscriber information: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast/2021/08/ep-55

Help protect free speech in Scotland

Ep 29: Scotland’s new blasphemy law?

Where do you draw the line between safeguarding people’s protected characteristics, and guarding their right to freedom of speech? The new Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, introduced in April purports to protect groups defined by reference to protected characteristics, including ‘religion’ or ‘perceived religious affiliation’. But some have argued that the proposed legislation will chill free speech about religion.

In this episode, Emma Park is joined by Neil Barber, communications officer at the Edinburgh Secular Society, along with the NSS’s Stephen Evans, to give a detailed analysis of the language of the bill relating to offences of ‘stirring up hatred’. They argue the Bill is likely to make it all too easy to shut down valid debate about religion.

While the bill will abolish the common law offence of blasphemy against Christianity in Scotland, there are good reasons for thinking that the new statutory offences will simply be a multi-faith version of the former.

Follow Emma on Twitter: @DrEmmaPark

Browse all NSS podcasts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/podcast

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSlpdKk8m_g&feature=youtu.be

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts


Help us protect free speech in Scotland: https://www.secularism.org.uk/free-expression/scottish-hate-crime-bill.html

Scotland’s new hate speech law will be too censorious: https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2020/05/scotlands-new-hate-speech-law-will-be-too-censorious

Does Scotland’s justice minister realise the reach of his own hate crime bill? https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2020/06/does-scotlands-justice-minister-realise-the-reach-of-his-own-hate-crime-bill

Minister to correct record on hate crime bill after NSS intervention: https://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2020/06/minister-to-correct-record-on-hate-crime-bill-after-nss-intervention

Make a stand for freedom, fairness and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

Support the podcast, share with a friend and leave positive review everywhere you can.

Bonus Ep 2: Leo Igwe #FreeMubarakBala

This podcast gives an emergency update on the plight of Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria (HAN). Bala was arrested in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, by the police on the 28th April, effectively for blasphemy against Islam. Although he has not yet been formally charged, he remains in custody, probably in Kano state, which is under Sharia law. He appears to be without access to a lawyer or contact with friends or family. Leo Igwe, founder of the HAN, speaks to Emma Park about what has happened to Bala, why his situation is so dangerous, and what the international community can do to support him. As this emergency podcast has been done at short notice, we apologise for any dip in quality.

Watch this episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEttRS-h2Vo&feature=youtu.be

Transcripts: https://www.secularism.org.uk/transcripts


Fears for safety of Nigerian Humanist leader after blasphemy arrest – 29th April 2020


How you can support Mubarak Bala


Mubarak Bala: Speak Out Against Religious Tyranny In Kano By Leo Igwe – Sahara Reporters, 5th May 2020


Make a stand for freedom, fairness, and human rights by adding your voice to the call for a secular democracy. Join the National Secular Society today https://www.secularism.org.uk/join

Support the podcast, share with a friend, and leave a positive review everywhere you can.