Blasphemy and Religions in the Contemporary World

Major religions of the world have different formulations and beliefs concerning God, prophets, Buddha and deities; however the sacred text of all major religions advocates not going against any religion’s god, holy personalities and things. Therefore, all the major religions such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism consider blasphemy a punishable crime and some suggest capital punishment. However, according to Talal Asad, identity of Western civilization is rooted in a presumed convergence of Christianity, secularism, liberalism, and democracy, and with the freedom of expression Westerners might begin to think differently about themselves and their imagined global opposites. In this regard, Quranic spirit is to freely discuss and debate matters of faith and religion to enable people as free, moral agents to make informed choices. There is a need to promote increased deliberative and dialogic approaches between Islam and the West for a peaceful coexistence. The prerequisite of this process is to extend respect to all faiths and dogmas of the world. This session invites papers on the following themes (however not restricted to the following only):

  • Religions dogmas and blasphemy
  • Inter-faith harmony and politics of freedom of speech
  • Blasphemy through the annals of history
  • Blasphemy: A religious offence or a social anarchy