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Ha ha! You Canít Insult Islam But I Can (Privileging Mohammedans in the U.K.)
The Sunday Times [UK] ^ | December 12, 2004 | Rod Liddle

Posted on 12/11/2004 6:56:43 PM PST by quidnunc

Here’s a short Christmas quiz. Let me rephrase that. It’s a short Winterval quiz. I would not wish to frighten or alienate any Sunday Times readers by waving Jesus Christ in their faces.

Anyway, the first question is this. One of the two statements below may soon be illegal; the other will still be within the law. You have to decide which is which and explain, with the aid of a diagram, the logic behind the new provision. a) Stoning women to death for adultery is barbaric. b) People who believe it is right to stone women to death for adultery are barbaric.

The answer is that a) should be fine and b) may land you in court charged with inciting religious hatred against Islam, under new provisions in David Blunkett’s Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill. He’s been a busy bee of late, hasn’t he. One wishes he had spent more time with Kimberly Quinn and less time behind his desk forcing ID cards and other profoundly illiberal legislation on the rest of us. Bear in mind, too, we already have legislation preventing incitement to violence.

The basis for the question above comes from a conversation I had with a diligent and helpful press officer at the Home Office. Blunkett’s plan to make the incitement of religious hatred a crime had been unveiled earlier in the week and provoked a furore.

The comedian Rowan Atkinson said this: “For telling a good and incisive joke (about religion), you should be praised. For telling a bad one, you should be ridiculed and reviled. The idea that you could be prosecuted for the telling of either is quite fantastic.”

-snip-

(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Government; Politics/Elections; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS:
Religious Hatred Bill Is Being Used to Buy Muslim Votes

An English diplomat in 17th-century Holland said that "Religion may possibly do more good in other places, but it does less harm here". In recent months, a society long celebrated for its openness and tolerance has undergone a sudden change. Churches, mosques and faith schools have been torched in tit-for-tat fashion. Members of the Dutch parliament, notably the extraordinarily brave Somali Hirsi Ali, have been forced into hiding, only appearing in public ringed by bodyguards.

Ms Ali inspired the liberal film-maker Theo van Gogh into extending a traditionally earthy Dutch anti-clericalism to Islam; the result being that he was shot and stabbed, with a warning note to Ms Ali thoughtfully affixed to his corpse with a carving knife.

I have yet to hear a single senior British politician condemn these outrages, let alone express solidarity with the persecuted Ms Ali. In case Blair, Howard and Kennedy have forgotten, she is a duly-elected member of a sister parliament in one of Europe's most respected democracies.

Instead, the ever-active David Blunkett has slipped into the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill measures extending laws against incitement to racial hatred to cover "religious hatred" as well. The reason is superficially compelling. Whereas mono-ethnic "faith groups", such as Jews or Sikhs, are protected by laws against racial incitement, the law does not cover multi-ethnic "faith groups" such as Christians or Muslims, although we can all anticipate which of those will most benefit from the law.

Critics rightly suspect a cynical attempt to claw back Muslim support for New Labour that has been squandered through the war in Iraq. It is a bone tossed to those who claim to speak on behalf of a Muslim community that overwhelmingly resides in Labour inner city heartlands.

Those claiming to speak for the Muslim community have played to the traditional Left-wing imagination by conjuring up the myth of "far-Right extremism".

In reality, evidence for "Islamophobia" — as distinct from a justified fear of radical Islamist terrorism or a desire to protect our freedoms, institutions and values from those who hold them in contempt — is anecdotal and slight. I have met one "Islamophobe" — the gay gentleman who cuts my hair, which is hardly a firm basis to jettison centuries of hard-won religious give and take.

-snip-

(Michael Burleigh in The Telegraph, December 9, 2004)
To Read This Article Click Here

1 posted on 12/11/2004 6:56:45 PM PST by quidnunc
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To: quidnunc

Islam is the chloresterol clogging up the veins of religions.


2 posted on 12/11/2004 7:19:58 PM PST by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy be")
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To: Giddyupgo; knarf; TRY ONE; Thorn11cav; BibChr; RnMomof7; Viva La Homeschool; First Conservative; ...

This is going to lead to the one world religion that people like me have been talking about.


3 posted on 12/11/2004 7:31:30 PM PST by RaceBannon (Arab Media pulled out of Fallujah; Could we get the MSM to pull out of America??)
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To: quidnunc

No comment.


4 posted on 12/11/2004 7:57:42 PM PST by Dec31,1999 (www.protestwarrior.com)
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To: Eastbound
Islam is the chloresterol clogging up the veins of religions.How about 'clogging up the veins of humanity.'
5 posted on 12/11/2004 8:06:01 PM PST by deadrock
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To: DEADROCK

That works too. ( I Spelled cholesterol wrong.)


6 posted on 12/11/2004 8:31:12 PM PST by Eastbound ("Neither a Scrooge nor a Patsy be")
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Comment: Rod Liddle: Ha ha! You can’t insult Islam but I can



Here’s a short Christmas quiz. Let me rephrase that. It’s a short Winterval quiz. I would not wish to frighten or alienate any Sunday Times readers by waving Jesus Christ in their faces.
Anyway, the first question is this. One of the two statements below may soon be illegal; the other will still be within the law. You have to decide which is which and explain, with the aid of a diagram, the logic behind the new provision. a) Stoning women to death for adultery is barbaric. b) People who believe it is right to stone women to death for adultery are barbaric.



The answer is that a) should be fine and b) may land you in court charged with inciting religious hatred against Islam, under new provisions in David Blunkett’s Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill. He’s been a busy bee of late, hasn’t he. One wishes he had spent more time with Kimberly Quinn and less time behind his desk forcing ID cards and other profoundly illiberal legislation on the rest of us. Bear in mind, too, we already have legislation preventing incitement to violence.

The basis for the question above comes from a conversation I had with a diligent and helpful press officer at the Home Office. Blunkett’s plan to make the incitement of religious hatred a crime had been unveiled earlier in the week and provoked a furore.

The comedian Rowan Atkinson said this: “For telling a good and incisive joke (about religion), you should be praised. For telling a bad one, you should be ridiculed and reviled. The idea that you could be prosecuted for the telling of either is quite fantastic.”

Exactly — and Mr Blunkett was swift to respond. Apparently, comedians were to be exempt from the law. So, if I sail a little close to the wind in this article, please assume that I’m wearing a red nose. That should put the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) off the scent. Mr Blunkett further added that the provision was intended to protect “individuals” not “ideology”.

However, this does not accord with the bill itself, which would seem to prohibit people from treating the Bible or the Koran “in an abusive or insulting way”. The bill, then, does appear to protect ideology and Mr Blunkett either has no clear idea what it is meant to achieve, other than swing a few votes, or he’s being extremely disingenuous.

Further, the Home Office clearly doesn’t have the slightest clue what would constitute an offence under the new provisions. That Home Office spokesperson told me it “wasn’t about criminalising people making justifiable comments about religion”.

Justifiable? Define, please.

“Well, I can’t say, really . . . you’ve put me in a difficult position. But it’s not about defending religion, per se.”

So what is it about? What would constitute an offence? If I said Islam was stupid, like the French writer Michel Houellebecq, would I be in court? “Definitely not.”

But if I said people who believed in something that was stupid were themselves therefore stupid, would that land me in the dock? “Um. Not sure. Possibly. I just don’t know at this stage. It has to go to the attorney-general first. I suppose, if it were likely to incite people to hate Muslims.” Then the press officer said this. “There are no definitive answers.”

That strikes me as a problem, because the police and the CPS and the judiciary, when they’re attempting to bring a prosecution or trying a case, have a penchant for definitive answers.

Later the press officer rang back. “It’s all about context,” she said. “If you wrote something in your column about Islam the CPS might not be interested, but if the same thing was said by Nick Griffin (the British National party leader) in a pub in Bradford, they might well be.”

So I’m exempt too. Mr Blunkett, or his office, has bestowed upon me an honorary red nose, for which many thanks. But Nick Griffin isn’t exempt. Doesn’t that strike you as a tad unfair, a shade undemocratic? Can you imagine the court case against him? And his defence? Would it be okay if he’d said it in a pub in Droitwich, or Diss? I quite like the idea of person-specific crimes, mind. Perhaps we could devise an offence for which only, say, Robert Kilroy-Silk or Ainsley Harriott were prosecutable.


For what it’s worth, the CPS was unwilling to offer any example of what it might consider a prosecutable offence. A few months ago the boss of the CPS, Ken Macdonald, told The Daily Telegraph: “If you’re going to criminalise a state of mind — which is what this legislation does — there has to be a very high hurdle to cross. But that makes life difficult for the prosecutors.”
Time for another question. Below are two statements. The first is from the Koran, the second is two Hadiths (sayings attributed to Muhammad): a) “And the Jews say: The hand of Allah is tied up! Their hands shall be shackled and they shall be cursed for what they say . . . we have put enmity and hatred among them till the day of resurrection.” b) “When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes . . . kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to.”



For statement a) you need to explain how this vilification of the Jews transgresses the provisions of the proposed legislation — and write a short essay on the irony of how a law cobbled together to cheer up Muslims (for electoral reasons) results in Muslims being prohibited from reading out bits of their own holy book.

You should cross-reference your answer with quotations from the Christian gospels about the wickedness of the Jews and from the Old Testament where the Jews are urged to smite the women and children of their enemies.

For statement b) you need to explain how this vigorous, arguably right-of-centre, approach to homosexuality may or may not transgress existing legislation prohibiting incitement to murder. You should then write an essay dealing with these questions:

1) If a statement, such as b), is by your consideration both wicked and stupid, should it be illegal to call the people who believe the statement to be wicked and stupid?

2) If an imam repeats the quoted Hadiths, should he be prosecuted? If someone calls him an imbecile transposed from the 7th century for repeating the Hadiths, should he or she be prosecuted for inciting religious hatred?

3) If you believe Islam or Christianity or Scientology to be fatuous and its followers deluded, can you say so without fear of prosecution if you are a) David Blunkett, b) Nick Griffin, c) Janet Street-Porter?

4) Why? What is the difference? The final question is the simplest of all. Of late, the home secretary has been behaving in a manner that suggests he is as mad as a box of frogs: true or false?

rod.liddle@sunday-times.co.uk


7 posted on 12/11/2004 9:39:44 PM PST by Slings and Arrows (Am Yisrael Chai!)
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To: Slings and Arrows
Britain has no Bill of Rights, and no real constitution, as far as I know. Therefore, there is no protection against their government intigating restrictions of unpopular (or rather, politically incorrect) speech.

Our British cousins rely on the shaky idea that the state will, in good faith, not pass any legislation that would abridge what we Americans call First Amendment rights to free speech.

Before long, we will have to start referring to Great Britain as Airstrip One, Oceania, bacaue they will have no recourse except the use of naked, totalitarian force to keep the multi-cultist dreams of the elites alive.

Personally, I believe that the only hope for British liberty is another Revolution, this time of the British people themselves against the home-grown tyranny of the multi-cultist fantasies of their own ivory tower elitists.

If not, it's fare thee well, fair Albion, for we knew thee well.

8 posted on 12/11/2004 11:15:01 PM PST by FierceDraka ("Megatons Make It Fun!")
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