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Why International Blasphemy Rights Day didn't pick up momentum?
Currently, the world seems to be in the grip of a religious violence and a sort of holy war caused or justified by differences in religion and religious beliefs. The religious arguments are the bases of fundamentalism or religious extremism these days.

The Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris and killing of some atheist bloggers in some countries has sent shivers across people and they remained indoors this time rather than participating in International Blasphemy Rights Day (IBRD) observance.

In some countries, IBRD was observed selectively on September 30 to make fun of the religions and supporting the freedoms of conscience and expression. The organization called, Inquiry Office of Public Policy (IOPP) in the United States had founded the observance to raise the voice against most aggressive blasphemy laws and a dismal record on human rights prevalent in the community of nations.

The first IBRD was observed in 2009 in the USA with an art exhibit in Washington DC and a free speech festival in Los Angeles. Ever since observance has become an event in many Western countries by the human rights activists but there are few takers only.

However, in the USA, blasphemy laws have been deemed unconstitutional since long. Norway has scrapped its long standing blasphemy law, meaning it is now legal to mock the beliefs of any religion being followed within or without.

According to IOPP, the freedom of conscience is a fundamental right, and it must be valued, protected and advanced everywhere in the world. The observance organizers are of the view that IBRD is not meant to offend but to have serious dialogue and debate on the aggressive blasphemy laws being used by certain counties leading to dismal record of human rights.

In some countries even blogging about his atheism and criticizing religious leaders for their unlawful and unethical behaviour is taken as breach of law.

In many countries religious insult criminal laws prohibit defamation of religions as such or their beliefs, practices and divinities accord death penalties or publicly being beaten to death.

The observance tries to stress the point that religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs. However, the observance has not picked up the momentum since criticism or even disdain for religion attracts violent reactions by the extreme groups.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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