In 13 countries around the world, all of them Muslim, people who openly espouse atheism or reject the official state religion of Islam face execution under the law, according to a detailed study issued on Tuesday.
A first survey of 60 countries last year showed just seven where death, often by public beheading, is the punishment for either blasphemy or apostasy – renouncing belief or switching to another religion which is also protected under U.N. accords.
But this year’s more comprehensive study showed six more, bringing the full list to Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
But it’s almost as bad in the West? Right.
The IHEU, which has member bodies in some 50 countries and supporters in many more where such organizations are banned, said there was systematic or severe discrimination against atheists across the 27-nation European Union.
The situation was severe in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Malta and Poland where blasphemy laws allow for jail sentences up to three years on charges of offending a religion or believers.
The actual IHEU report cites Poland, other Eastern European countries and Greece for launching actual prosecutions, none of them carrying any major jail time.
Then it mentions Italy prosecuting Oriana Fallaci for offending Muslims. It mentions four cases in Austria, three of which involved Muslims.
So even Western European countries where blasphemy laws are an issue, they are mainly an issue for people who criticize Islam.