British Columbians join bloggers, free speech campaigners, humanist associations, religious and ex-Muslim groups to protest Bangladeshi blogger murders
Following a string of brutal “machete” murders of Bangladeshi writers, all of whom had blogged about humanism, secularism, and atheist critiques of religion, a ground-breaking open letter today calls on the Bangladeshi government to stop “victim-blaming” the bloggers, and instead focus on catching the extremists who are murdering them.Read more
A British Islamist has been arrested in Bangladesh for the organizing the recent spate of murders of Humanists there.Read more
All of the provinces and territories (except Quebec) have come together to launch a panel on assisted dying. This is good news, as the Ontario-led panel is already more credible than the one announced by the federal government earlier this year.
British Columbia was one of the first jurisdictions in North America to introduce a carbon tax and has committed to aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. More action is needed to reach those targets and the Government recently released a consultation asking for input on what it’s priorities and strategies should be to reach those targets.Read more
Christian summer camps, parenting workshops and the Gideon Bibles are being advertised through Abbotsford schools, despite neighbouring Chilliwack having recently ended the practice.Read more
Iceland’s parliament agreed today to abolish the blasphemy provision of the Criminal Code. The Pirate Party’s parliamentarians submitted the proposal in January, which received broad support from all other political parties in Parliament and the matter was unanimously supported by the committee examining the proposal. Icelanders have now taken an important step in guaranteeing human rights and joined other nations which respect freedom of speech and expression.Read more
The Chilliwack School District has officially ended the distribution of Gideon Bibles to students in its district, a Freedom of Information request has confirmed.Read more
This is a great legal victory in the battle to push back against those who would drag Canada back to the dark ages of religious domination of politics, and hopefully will serve as a precedent in to get similar situations in other jurisdictions around the country to stop inserting their religious biases into government functions from schools to government meetings of all kinds and at all levels.Read more
“We actually aren’t distributing the Gideon Bible,” she said. “It is not being distributed to Grade 5 students or in our schools.” Novak said she wouldn’t authorize permission slips to get either the Gideon book or the Dawkins book at public district schools.
Yesterday’s events are one in the long and horrific history of atrocities committed by dogmatic religious extremists who live in fear of open criticism and free expression. Yet even in this darkness, the spirit of humanity can still be seen in the tens of thousands of people who poured into the streets of Paris and cities across Europe to stand in solidarity with the fallen journalists and officers. We must capture this resilience and respond with the same spirit as Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg following the 2011 shootings in Norway: “Our response is more democracy, more openness, and more humanity. We will answer hatred with love.”Read more