Last year has seen some positive developments in the fight against outdated blasphemy laws. For example, in Ireland, as part of a referendum, a majority voted against the remaining blasphemy laws. In Pakistan, although blasphemy laws still exist, the Supreme Court acquitted Asia Bibi who was held on the death row for eight years because of unsubstantiated allegations of blasphemy. These developments may suggest that things are starting to change.
Blasphemy laws seek to restrict speech that may be perceived as offensive to Prophets and holy personages. Despite a global movement to abolish blasphemy laws, the laws remain in place. In fact, at least thirteen countries still hand down the death penalty for offences committed in contravention of blasphemy laws.