On my (lack of) freedom trail across Asia, fresh sedition and defamation charges are pressuring journalists and activists to self-censor government criticism or face hefty consequences.
From church-state battles in America to religious freedom news around the world. Catch up on last month’s dirt, now with more snark.
Last year a Saudi court convicted Raif Badawi of “insulting Islam” for setting up a website to foster open discussion of religion. He now faces 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes. Badawi is one of many victims of victimless thought crimes who need our support.
Online hatred takes many forms, including anti-Semitism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia and Islamophobia. Internet companies and the Anti-Defamation League are teaming up to fight these and other forms of intolerance. Will it work?
Satanic school books, black masses, statues and protests remind us where church-state lines should be drawn in America and highlight the need to protect unpopular speech.
Atheists launched a “Don’t Say the Pledge” campaign on Monday to protest the phrase “under God.” I stopped saying the Pledge in my tweens for more reasons than one.
The Islamic State beheaded freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff for their American passports and media credentials, not for their faiths. Falsely portraying the men as religious martyrs cheapens their legacies as truthseekers.
Anti-Semitism continues to seep across Europe following the Israel-Hamas ceasefire. Motorcycle-riding Sikhs in Ontario must wear helmets, even though they don’t fit over their turbans. And Myanmar is asking foreign officials not use the word “Rohingya,” to which I say “ROHINGYA ROHINGYA ROHINGYA.”
Yes, online anonymity can breed and foster deception, hatred, and incivility. But without it we risk silencing voices that desperately need to be heard.