What happens if you decide to become secular or atheist? Or if you are part of a religious minority in a country where religion is institutionalized in state and law? In such societies blasphemy rules are used to persecute free-thinkers and religious minorities, thereby making it hard to freely speak your mind and think differently.
Speakers share their stories on how blasphemy laws are used against them, why they feel the need to speak out against such laws and why these laws have no place in the 21st century. What are the consequences of these blasphemy laws for the people who live or lived under them and for human rights in general?
Veedu Vidz enjoys engaging with his religious and cultural heritage by exploring different ideas and religious preachers in the form of parodies and discussions. In this programme, he will play his song ‘music is haram’.
Nadia El Fani is film-maker living in France, who cannot return home because of her film “Neither Allah nor Master”. The film is an account of Tunisian life immediately before and after the fall of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Others films she made include “Ouled Lenine” and “Our Breasts, Our Weapons!”.
Saif-Ul-Malook is Asia Bibi’s lawyer. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was on death row for eight years accused of blasphemy after a quarrel with Muslim neighbours. Saif ul-Malook successfully defended Ms Bibi and she was released on appeal in 2018. After her release, he received death threats and had to flee.
Sarah Haider is a Pakistan-born American activist, writer and speaker, raised as a practicing Muslim. In her late-teens, she began to read the Quran critically and left religion soon after. In 2013, she co-founded Ex-Muslims of North America, where she advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent.
Rishvin Ismath Is a former Islamist who become an ex-Muslim and co-founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka. He is the first to become
public as ex-Muslim and declared himself an Ex-Muslim atheist before the Parliamentary Select Committee recently.
Veedu Vidz is a YouTube comedian who creates satirical videos on a range of topics mainly focusing on Islam. Veedu is an Ex-Muslim who enjoys engaging with his religious and cultural heritage by exploring different ideas and religious preachers in the form of parodies and discussions. Veedu is a free speech advocate and stands for individual rights.