Britain’s Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) has condemned the murder of Pakistan Cabinet Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian who was a prominent opponent of the country’s blasphemy laws.
GALHA was founded 30 years ago partly in response to Britain’s then archaic blasphemy laws which were being used to censor and silence gay people in Britain. Since then GALHA has campaigned for the removal of all blasphemy laws worldwide, which can be used just as ruthlessly to intimidate minority religions as then can gay people, atheists, humanists and creative artists.
GALHA Chair Adam Knowles commented:
“While we do not share Shahbaz Bhatti’s religious beliefs, we supported his right to campaign against these repressive laws. We would like to express our sympathy to his family, and very much hope that his murderers will be brought to justice. Wherever they are applied, blasphemy laws threaten the basic rights of anyone who dissents from the established religion, whatever that may be.”
“GALHA believes in a secular society in which people of all religions and none enjoy freedom of expression, and no one group or belief system is privileged above any other.”