A year ago, Denver Atheists and Free Thinkers (DAFT) were preparing to rally for the separation of church and state. This weekend, DAFT notes the upcoming first-ever celebration of International Blasphemy Day. The Center for Inquiry has fixed September 30 as the date for International Blasphemy Day with this reasoning:
The objective of International Blasphemy Day is to open up all religious beliefs to the same level of free inquiry, discussion and criticism to which all other areas of academic interest are subjected.
Why September 30? The last day in September is the anniversary of the original publication of Danish cartoons in 2005 depicting the prophet Muhammad’s face. Any visual depiction of Muhammad is considered a grave offence under Islamic law.
The fury which arose within the Islamic community following this publication led to massive riots, attacks on foreign embassies and deaths.
The newspapers which chose to publish these cartoons were in many cases blamed for the outpouring of violence which followed. This unfortunate yet inevitable sequence of events clearly demonstrated a dangerous misconception that had piggy-backed into the 21st century on the shoulders of ignorance, fear and apathy, that all religious beliefs and ideas deserve respect and are beyond criticism or satire.
International Blasphemy Day is a movement, not just a day, to remind the world that religion should never again be beyond open and honest discussion or reproach. Our future depends on it.
That means your religion, too.
I have no idea what the International Blasphemers intend to do on their self-declared Day. But I’ll be watching and whatever I find I’ll pass on to you.