Letter: Blasphemy and the democratic right of dissent

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The Independent Online
Sir: The suggestion by the Commission for Racial Equality that the blasphemy law should be extended to all religions or abolished is an act of intellectual and ethical irresponsibility, because it implies that it is a matter of indifference which alternative is brought about. But it is clear that there is a vast difference in the social and political consequences of the two alternatives.

The extension of the law would be an act of unparalleled tyranny in a supposedly free, modern society, threatening an illiberal censorship that could potentially affect not only literature and journalism, but also serious philosophical and sociological discussions of religion. The blasphemy law should be abolished; it is an anachronistic impediment on the road to a tolerant and democratic society.

Yours faithfully,

ANDREW BELSEY

Lecturer in Philosophy

University of Wales

College of Cardiff

8 September

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