Daphna Whitmore is an Israeli-born New Zealander and a free speech advocate. She moderated this Free Speech and the Left conference session on the limits of free speech around religion, specifically looking at the idea of blasphemy, anti-semitism, and Islamaphobia.
The panelists are Jacob Mchangama and Daniel Ben-Ami.
Jacob is a lawyer, a human-rights advocate, and the author of a book on the history of Free Speech He toured NZ last year with the Free Speech Union.
Daniel Ben-Ami runs the “Radicalism of Fools” website, which is about rethinking antisemitism. He is a journalist and has written for many publications.
The panel at whether blasphemy is in a special category as a free speech issue and the distinction between Islam and Islamism – a political movement. They look at specific contentious examples such as whether burning a crucifix outside a church would be defendable as a free speech issue. Is restricting protests outside abortion clinics a limit to free speech and free assembly or not?
New Zealand no longer has blasphemy laws but around the world, there are 79 countries that do, and there are seven countries that have the death penalties for blasphemy.
This panel discussion was a part of the Plebity.org Conference 2023: Free Speech and the Left. Please visit Plebity.org