Chapter

Blasphemy and Incitement to Religious Hatred: Free Speech Dogma and Doctrine

Ivan Hare

in Extreme Speech and Democracy

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199548781
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191720673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548781.003.0016
 Blasphemy and Incitement to Religious Hatred: Free Speech Dogma and Doctrine

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This chapter begins by setting out the historical justifications for laws of blasphemy. It explains how increasing secularization and diversity of religious belief have progressively undermined the justification for protecting religion at all or only the established church from attack. It then analyses how blasphemy came to be abolished in a number of jurisdictions, most recently in England, and how laws on incitement to religious hatred have been introduced in parallel. The chapter concludes that there is no justification for either laws on blasphemy or incitement to religious hatred in a state which is committed to freedom of political expression.

Keywords: blasphemy; laws of blasphemy; incitement to religious hatred; free speech; secularization

Chapter.  12361 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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