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This Week in Minority Rights 2018–12–16


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/12/16

“Today, feminism, anti-racism and LGBT advocacy have sadly become synonymous with demands for Safe Spaces and the censorship of so-called hate speech. Yet Nadine Strossen, who served as president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for 18 years, is a staunch defender of both minority rights and unfettered free speech. This is the starting point for her latest book, Hate: Why We Should Resist It With Free Speech, Not Censorship.

Nadine will join Brendan O’Neill and Paul Coleman for the Spiked US panel discussion, ‘Should we be free to hate?’, at the New York Law School on 29 January 2019. Ahead of the event, spiked caught up with her to discuss the issues at stake.


“LAHORE — A Pakistani official announced this week a new “Minorities Empowerment Package” and the creation of a task force to ensure the rights of religious minorities in the province of Punjab.

According to the newspaper Dawn, Punjab Minister for Human Rights and Minority Affairs Ijaz Augustine said the package will include new legislation and implement existing laws to assist religious minority communities.

A newly formed task force will be composed of professionals in human rights, law, and academics from a variety of religious communities, with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of human rights policies.”


“Islamabad: Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari on Wednesday expressed surprise at the US Administration’s decision to add Pakistan to the ‘blacklist for religious freedom violations’.

In a statement issued by the minister’s office, she said it was apparent the US was using this as a brazen political tactic to pressurise Pakistan to mitigate US failures in Afghanistan. “The timing of this move reflects this most clearly,” says the statement.

Dr Mazari suggested United States to assess the situation of minority rights in other countries as well. “There is no doubt Pakistan’s record on religious freedom is not ideal but then is the EU’s record much better given the restrictions on churches, the banning of certain dress codes of Muslims, refusal of entry of certain preachers — the list continues. In our own neighbourhood we have India where Muslims are being targeted and where the BJP is supporting violence against Muslims ostensibly over beef,” the statement says.”


“HALIFAX — A former Nova Scotia school teacher who spent decades advocating for the rights of people with HIV accepted a provincial human rights award Monday, while cautioning against the rise of white nationalism.

Eric Smith was among six individuals and groups recognized by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission at the Halifax ceremony.

Smith, who recently turned 61, came to national attention in 1987 when he was forced out of his elementary school teaching job on Cape Sable Island, N.S., after local parents found out he had tested positive for HIV.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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