Sara Khorshid reports from a panel discussion that brought together former hate preachers, feminists and ordinary Arab youth to debate the limits of free speech in the new Middle East.
Olga Shvarova explores how the Russian Orthodox Church’s interpretation of traditional moral values and spiritual security affects freedom of expression in Russia.
Timothy Garton Ash introduces his BBC broadcasts and online version of the Free Speech Debate principles.
A transcript of our conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, who spoke to Free Speech Debate about her book ‘Until We Are Free’.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi talks to Free Speech Debate about her book ‘Until We Are Free’ and the state of free speech and human rights activism in Iran.
Neil Dullaghan sums up a year of conflict and controversy for free speech, catalogued on our website.
Free speech can make for uncomfortable listening, argues Roger Scruton, but it needs to be defended even when it gives offence.
Julian Simmons examines a Singaporean’s expletive-laden video on the recently deceased leader and his conviction for wounding religious feelings.
In the shadow of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations, Arthur Asseraf examines the history of French colonial double standards in Algeria.
Giles Fraser speaks about his experiences of exercising his right to free speech as a priest of the Church of England.
Giles Fraser, commentator and Anglican priest, talks with Declan Johnston about the relationship between free speech and religion, and the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
The celebrated English novelist on Islam’s ‘totalitarian moment’ and why freedom of expression is not religion’s enemy but its protector.
Matthew Walton explores the deeper Buddhist context of right speech – and soul-searching on Buddhist internet message boards.
Leslie Green argues that Buddhist ideas about avoiding divisive, abusive and false speech can help us live together well in free societies
The first edition of the magazine since the attack in which 12 people were killed featured a cartoon of Muhammad on its cover. Myriam Francois-Cerrah objects.
John Lloyd explores the history and weakness of Western media coverage, and suggests one way it could be improved.
25 years after the fatwa and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Salman Rushdie discusses with Timothy Garton Ash whether there is now more or less freedom of expression in Europe, worrying developments in India and his critical view of Edward Snowden.
At the London School of Economics Students’s Union Freshers’ Fair members of the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Student Society were asked to cover up their T-shirts displaying a Jesus and Mo cartoon. This panel discussion discusses the freedom to offend and how to balance freedom of expression and civility.
Alain Bouldoires talks to Timothy Garton Ash about the survival of blasphemy laws in Europe, and calls for a ‘right to blaspheme’.
In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a famous ruling in a case involving a high school teacher and alleged anti-Semitism. Max Harris explains.
John Donatich, the director of Yale University Press, explains and defends his decision not to include illustrations in Jytte Klausen’s book.
Professor Jytte Klausen analyses and criticises Yale University Press’s decision to remove images of Muhammad from her scholarly book on the Danish cartoons controversy.
Free speech scholar Eric Heinze identifies the main arguments for laws restricting hate speech and says none are valid for mature Western democracies.
Faisal Devji explores the deeper lessons from the forced withdrawal of an ‘alternative history’ of the Hindus.
Marc-Antoine Dilhac recounts how he confronted anti-semitic prejudice in a French classroom, and argues that more good comes from an open debate about hate speech than from banning it.
Middle East specialist Rory McCarthy examines the role of Islamist movement Ennahdha in shaping, and constraining, freedom of speech in Tunisia after the Arab Spring.
Leslie Green, a distinguished legal philosopher who has written extensively about issues of obscenity and pornography, challenges our case study on online porn filters.
Katie Engelhart speaks to Ahmad Akkari to find out why he apologised to one of the Danish cartoonists eight years after fuelling worldwide fury.
Legal philosopher Martha Nussbaum gave the 2013 Dahrendorf Lecture, exploring how to live with religious diversity.
The Mormons reacted brilliantly to the musical satirising their faith, but something important is lost when we treat religions so differently – writes Katie Engelhart.
The Russian parliament’s vote in support of a declaration against acts offending religious sentiments is symptomatic of worrying trends, write Olga Shvarova and Dominic Burbidge.
At the 2013 Jaipur Festival, Ian Buruma, Reza Aslan, Ahdaf Souief and Timothy Garton Ash, in conversation with Shoma Chaudhury, talk about the relationship between religion and politics and how to deal with religious threats to free speech.
At the European Court of Human Rights, the case of I.A. against Turkey in 2005 acted as a controversial precedent for limiting Article 10’s definition of freedom of expression in the name of religion, explains Michele Finck.
Islam, Christianity and Judaism are often accused of wanting to restrict free speech. Dominic Burbidge suggests a radically different perspective, from inside the thought-system of the Abrahamic faiths.
Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi stresses the importance of free speech but emphasises the Buddhist idea of “right speech”.
The historian and writer explains the reasoning behind author Salman Rushdie’s no-show at the 2012 Jaipur Literary Festival.
The Indian constitution grants freedom to worship freely, but the mismanagement of temples undermines this freedom, writes Avani Bansal.
Aryeh Neier, human rights lawyer and president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations speaks about the future of free speech.
How a dance theatre production addresses issues of free speech, Islam and multiculturalism. Lloyd Newson, creator of ‘Can we talk about this?’, speaks to Maryam Omidi.
Bans on eating beef and pork are contested in India. Manav Bhuhshan discusses why this is an issue of caste discrimination and can be seen as a restriction on freedom of expression.
FSD’s Katie Engelhart sat in on this Frontline Club debate to discuss controversy surrounding the YouTube video Innocence of Muslims.
While a Pakistani minister offers a $100,000 reward for the murder of the man who made the notorious Innocence of Muslims video, a British Muslim responds in exemplary fashion to “this imbecile named Sam Bacile”. Timothy Garton Ash commends his clip.
Join us to debate the role internet platforms like YouTube should play in setting free speech agendas in your country, your language and across the world. Online editor Brian Pellot kicks off the discussion.
The Hrant Dink Foundation has run the Media Watch on Hate Speech project since 2009 to counter racist and discriminatory discourse in Turkish press. Project coordinators Melisa Akan and Nuran Agan explain the initiative.
Following the Arab Spring, a venerable Islamic institution’s new Statement on Basic Freedoms suggests where sharia law may (and may not) be compatible with international conventions to guarantee free expression.
During the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, a Turkish National TV presenter censored John Lennon’s song Imagine. FSD team member Funda Ustek discusses how Turkey is trying to eliminate its citizens’ ability to imagine a world without religion.
Was punk band Pussy Riot’s anti-Putin performance in a Moscow church ‘religious hatred hooliganism’ or an artistic form of political dissent? Olga Shvarova considers the case.
Acclaimed Turkish author Elif Shafak discusses the limits to free speech, the cosmopolitanism of her novels and the art of coexistence.
In 2011, the US supreme court ruled in favour of the anti-gay church’s right to protest at military funerals, writes Casey Selwyn.
Maryam Omidi takes a look at banned clothing around the world – and concludes that women tend to be the target of dogmatic dress codes.
At an event in Oxford in 2011, three Indian scholars called on OUP India to re-publish an essay which had been denounced by Hindu extremists. Less than two weeks later, the publisher reversed its earlier decision not to re-publish.
This latest episode looks at the ethics of hacktivism, crowdsourcing in war zones and the right of Christians in the UK to wear the cross at work.
In 2012, Tarek Mehanna was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison by a US court for conspiring to provide support to terrorists, writes Jeff Howard.
A new Tennessee law will permit teachers to discuss creationism alongside theories of evolution, writes Casey Selwyn.
Restrictions on hate speech are not a means of tackling bigotry but of rebranding often obnoxious ideas or arguments are immoral, argues writer Kenan Malik.
A new law allowing parents to send their children to Islamic schools at an earlier age has polarized Turkish society, write İrem Kök and Funda Üstek.
Two Christian women are taking their fight to wear a crucifix in the workplace to the European Court of Human Rights, writes Dominic Burbidge.
The third episode of the On Free Speech podcast features exclusive interviews with filmmaker Nick Sturdee on the Russian art collective Voina and stand-up comedian Tom Greeves on the UK’s parody laws.
In March 2012, self-proclaimed jihadist Mohammed Merah strapped a camera to his chest before killing seven people in France. Al-Jazeera TV channel opted not to show the footage, writes Jeff Howard.
Three human rights experts scrutinise the defamation of religion, which they argue misses the point by protecting faith rather than the often vulnerable holders of faith.
The execution of apostates should be annulled but insulting religion should be recognised as a crime, writes Iranian cleric Mohsen Kadivar.
The director of the Moral Courage Project says so-called “respect” for Muslims is often lined with fear and “low expectations” of those practising the faith.
The professor of history at the American University in Cairo talks to FSD about the Egyptian military.
Naguib Sawiris was accused of contempt for tweeting an image of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, respectively sporting a bushy beard and veil, writes Jacob Amis
BBC television’s broadcast of Jerry Springer: The Opera in January 2005 was met with protests by Christian groups. Maryam Omidi discusses whether the BBC was right to air the programme.
Professor Ayşe Kadıoğlu of Sabancı University speaks of her experience growing up in Turkey where taboos, many imposed by law, have trapped citizens “in a state of immaturity”.
In 2009, Aasia Bibi, a Christian Pakistani woman was accused of blasphemy. The governor who called for a review of her case was killed two years later, writes Ayyaz Mallick.
In 2011, Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders was cleared of charges of group defamation, incitement to hatred and discrimination against Muslims. Rutger Kaput looks at the case.
In 2010, Polish singer Doda was charged with “offending religious feelings” after she said she believed more in dinosaurs than the creation story in the Bible. Annabelle Chapman considers the case.
Manav Bhushan and Casey Selwyn question whether it was right for Tom Cruise to threaten to sue US show South Park over an episode that depicted Scientology in a pejorative manner and blatantly hinted that he was gay.
The Indian authorities’ decision to ban Savita Bhabhi, an online comic strip featuring a promiscuous housewife with an insatiable appetite for sex, was met with a criticism from the press. Maryam Omidi weighs up whether it was the right decision.
Watch and listen to atheist philosopher A C Grayling, journalist and practising Christian Charles Moore, and Usama Hasan, a scientist and imam, discuss free speech and religion.