Atheist Ireland is an Irish advocacy group. We promote atheism and reason over superstition and supernaturalism, and we promote an ethical, secular society where the State does not support or finance or give special treatment to any religion.
Started 1 petition
Hold a referendum to repeal Ireland's Blasphemy Laws
Open Letter to An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD Dear Taoiseach, Last October, your government decided that a referendum should be held on removing the offence of blasphemy from the Irish Constitution and that your Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald would lead consultations on a bill to be put before the Oireachtas. The clear implication of this commitment was that the referendum would be held during the lifetime of this Government. You have also said that you were “shocked and appalled by the brutal and horrific killings” at Charlie Hebdo but you must be aware that those who support murder for blasphemy also include the governments of many nations. The continuing case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan has received global attention and tragically, many others have already been executed for blasphemy. Ireland is the only European country to have introduced a contemporary blasphemy law. At the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2009, Pakistan proposed the adoption of precise wording from the Irish blasphemy law, as part of efforts by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to limit Human Rights on freedom of conscience. As Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion, has advised Atheist Ireland to convey to the Constitutional Convention: “I wouldn’t expect any harsh verdicts being handed down in Ireland, but those countries that continue to have an intimidating anti-blasphemy practice like to quote European countries to unmask Western hypocrisy.” The distinction between Ireland and those who carry out executions for blasphemy must consist of more than just the severity of the punishment applied upon conviction. Despite your recent prevarication, we the undersigned urge you to lead by example and comply with your promise of a referendum to repeal all Irish blasphemy laws. It is your duty to take a strong position on behalf of those intimidated into silence in Ireland and more importantly, on behalf of those facing execution by nations who cite Irish blasphemy laws in justification and mitigation of their behaviour. Yours Sincerely, JOHN HAMILL - AI Campaign Against Blasphemy Laws MICHAEL NUGENT - Chairperson, Atheist Ireland RICHARD DAWKINS - Evolutionary Biologist and Author STEVEN PINKER - Cognitive Scientist and Author JIM AL-KHALILI - Theoretical Physicist and Broadcaster LAWRENCE KRAUSS - Theoretical Physicist and Author MARYAM NAMAZIE - Author and Human Rights Activist JERRY COYNE - Evolutionary Biologist and Author CAROLYN PORCO - Planetary Scientist ED BYRNE - Comedian and Actor MICHAEL SHERMER - Author and Historian of Science SEAN CARROLL - Theoretical Physicist at Caltech DANIEL DENNETT - Cognitive Scientist and Author AOIFE MCLYSAGHT - Geneticist and Science Communicator ANDREW COPSON - Chief Executive, British Humanists TOBY YOUNG - Journalist and Broadcaster IAIN MIDDLETON - President, Humanist Society of New Zealand RORY O’NEILL - Gay Rights Activist ERIC ADRIAANS - National Executive Director, CFI Canada CHRISTINE SHELLSKA - President, Atheist Alliance International MICHEL VIRARD - President, Quebec Humanists SONJA EGGERICKX - President, International Humanist Union PIERRE GALAND - President, European Humanist Federation HELENA SHEEHAN - Author and DCU Professor Emerita HOPE KNUTSSON - President, Icelandic Humanist Association LONE FRANK - Neurobiologist and Science Journalist ANNE MARIE WATERS - Sharia Watch UK PATRICIA CHURCHLAND - Neurophilosopher and Author NONIE DARWISH - Director, Former Muslims United KATE SMURTHWATE - Comedian and Activist NINA SANKARI - Vice-President Atheist Coalition, Poland MICHAEL DE DORA - Representative to the United Nations, CFI TASLIMA NASRIN - Author and Poet DAVID NASH - Author and Blasphemy Law Historian DAVID NORRIS - Senator and Civil Rights Activist JOSEPH RUSSEL TETTEH - President, Ghana Atheist Alliance SÉAMUS DOOLEY - Irish Secretary, National Union of Journalists ALICE CARR - President, Progressive Atheists ELIDA RADIG - Broadcaster and Feminist HEMANT MEHTA - Editor of FriendlyAtheist.com CLARE DALY -TD for Dublin North DEBORAH HYDE - Editor of The Skeptic MICK WALLACE - TD for Wexford ANN BRUSSEEL - Member of Flemish Parliament