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← Worrying developments for freedom of expression in the UK

Worrying developments for freedom of expression in the UK - Comments

Metamag's Avatar Comment 1 by Metamag

Seriously, British people, what the hell did you expect, for how many decades have you allowed muslim immigration and not lifted a finger for their assimilation? Instead you made them believe they have the right to changer YOUR country AND you gave them the idiotic concept of faith schools, even maddrassas and sharia councils...and now they cover under morally bankrupt political correctness/new age/postmodernism/multiculturalism people.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 22:56:48 UTC | #909345

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 2 by Premiseless

This illustrates the true basis and emotional nature of believers who have been subconsciously brainwashed into copycat behaviour of a fictional cruel evil and harmful dictator, super magnified as a cosmic bully!

Cruelty is their only motive! Love rests upon it in their framework psychology. Almost all belief has this criminal foundation at its heart! ALL positive emotions rest firmly on a cornerstone of hatred!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:03:33 UTC | #909346

calvinchan's Avatar Comment 3 by calvinchan

Comment 1 by Metamag :

you gave them the idiotic concept of faith schools, even maddrassas and sharia councils...

I blame Tony Blair.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:04:35 UTC | #909347

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 4 by Agrajag

I'm reminded of an old proverb:
"F*ck 'em if they can't take a joke."
Steve

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:06:50 UTC | #909349

Metamag's Avatar Comment 5 by Metamag

So, I take it you don't have a single serious political party that would even try go for the root of the problem, it's only going to expand because that's the kind of wishy-washy tolerance fakery you have for a culture now, isn't it?

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:14:18 UTC | #909353

LukeCass's Avatar Comment 6 by LukeCass

I'm really sick of this. Who is going to stand up and defend the right of free expression ? Some one in a position of power and influence needs to muster up their " inner Hitch " and begin smashing this outrageous behaviour.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:24:55 UTC | #909356

mmurray's Avatar Comment 7 by mmurray

So what happened to Cameron's speech?

Michael

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:29:52 UTC | #909360

Neodarwinian's Avatar Comment 8 by Neodarwinian

Before it is too late!

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:33:55 UTC | #909362

Ivan The Not So Bad's Avatar Comment 9 by Ivan The Not So Bad

In the latest development, a talk organised yesterday by the Queen Mary College (University of London) Atheism, Secularism and Humanism Society on “Sharia Law and Human Rights” had to be cancelled after threats of violence.

The president of the society describes what happened here:

Death Threats at Atheist Meeting | British Humanist Association

Scary stuff. The police have been called in.

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 23:39:10 UTC | #909365

The Berzerker's Avatar Comment 10 by The Berzerker

can't we do something like draw Mo day but on an epically large scale

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 00:16:42 UTC | #909378

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 11 by Border Collie

Hear, Hear, Paula! Luke, the politicians, corporations, church, judiciary, media, etc. are not going to stand up to this. Each one of us must stand resolute on our own two feet the best we can, just like Paula did by writing this article. If we don't, we are lost.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 00:21:24 UTC | #909382

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 12 by Cartomancer

Can you imagine - can anyone honestly imagine - what sort of public outcry there would be if an atheist or group of atheists charged into a mosque and started disrupting the rituals and haranguing the people in there and promising to hunt them down and kill them?

Or if an atheist student told a student with islamic sympathies to remove all the offensive references to the koran from his facebook page, then organised a frothing hate campaign when the references were not removed, and the school took the side of the haters?

Or if this debacle at UCL was the other way around, with the student union contacting an islamic society and telling them they can't use koran verses to advertise a weekly prayer meeting and should remove them?

Would anyone stand up for the imagined "rights" of the atheists in these situations? Would anyone say they were the reasonable ones and their victims in the wrong for provoking their ire? Of course not. The pretense of respect for faith only goes one way.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 00:36:10 UTC | #909383

Quine's Avatar Comment 13 by Quine

The toad better jump out of the water before it gets hot enough to make toad soup.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 01:00:15 UTC | #909386

Border Collie's Avatar Comment 14 by Border Collie

No one will stand up for the rights of anyone, much less atheists, against Islam. We must stand up for ourselves and each other and try to communicate the threat of Islam to others as convincingly as we're able. However, I'm afraid that it will take a European country falling to Islam to begin to wake us up from our pc/mc stupor. And, by then it might be too late. Understand this, fellow secularists, under sharia, you will be killed. Wake up.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 01:12:25 UTC | #909389

Finch's Avatar Comment 15 by Finch

Comment 1 by Metamag :

Seriously, British people, what the hell did you expect, for how many decades have you allowed muslim immigration and not lifted a finger for their assimilation? Instead you made them believe they have the right to changer YOUR country AND you gave them the idiotic concept of faith schools, even maddrassas and sharia councils...and now they cover under morally bankrupt political correctness/new age/postmodernism/multiculturalism people.

Well-said. I hope your country can get this mess corrected before it's too late. Unfortunately, if/when a tipping point occurs, where British Muslims outnumber British non-Muslims, you will see Islam literally take over your government. I hope that never happens, for all our sakes.

Unfortunately, for Europeans, your example of (now-regretful) "tolerance" toward Islam and the damage that it has produced, within your social structure, is what has prompted we Americans to speak so loudly against this same kind of Islamic strong-arming so it doesn't take hold in our country. Americans do this at the risk of being called "intolerant" and "Islamophobic."

Well, fuck the critics. We're kinda fond of our Constitutional rights to take part in a democratic republic, to freedom of speech, to personal privacy, and to bear arms to protect our families, ourselves, and our property. Fond enough that, if followers of a misogynist, child-molester like Mohammed don't like it, they can kiss our asses.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 01:21:52 UTC | #909392

Finch's Avatar Comment 16 by Finch

Comment 14 by Border Collie :

No one will stand up for the rights of anyone, much less atheists, against Islam. We must stand up for ourselves and each other and try to communicate the threat of Islam to others as convincingly as we're able. However, I'm afraid that it will take a European country falling to Islam to begin to wake us up from our pc/mc stupor. And, by then it might be too late. Understand this, fellow secularists, under sharia, you will be killed. Wake up.

Well-said.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 01:26:35 UTC | #909394

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 17 by AtheistEgbert

Thank you Paula Kirby and others for keeping focus on what I consider is a core value or principle, that should be of high importance in the atheist movement--freedom of speech or liberty in general.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 01:35:14 UTC | #909396

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 18 by aroundtown

One more vote for Border Collie's views. Muslims seem to get away with the suggestion that if you even frown upon their religion you have broken some law. This is total crap and needs to be challenged vigorously. If they are having a problem with atheistic views I say that's their problem, not ours. Before I found RDFRS I looked for any info I could find. The video series that came from a BBC called the atheism tapes was very helpful and then I began to discover the books from the atheist authors who we are well aware of. The more information that can be disseminated to enlighten people the weaker the religious hold on people will become I hope. I think of the Civil Rights groups and their challenges, and they were getting beaten to a pulp but they marched over the bridges and on the court hall steps and refused to quit and they should serve as an example of determination to see you cause through to the end. I hope we can do the same.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 03:30:21 UTC | #909411

Beethoven's Avatar Comment 19 by Beethoven

Comment Removed by Author

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 03:56:27 UTC | #909414

Beethoven's Avatar Comment 20 by Beethoven

Islamophobia is a sign of a healthy mind.

Of course I fear bigoted violence prone people with weird beliefs about the world. They are a danger to our technological civilization and the political and cultural freedoms it espouses.

That fear has nothing to do with the color of their skin or their race. It has only to do with their beliefs and attitudes.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 03:57:53 UTC | #909415

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 21 by aroundtown

I read the tread posted in comment 9 and it is unbelievable that they got away with that intimidation. I hope someone was able to get a picture of his face to give to police. They should have gone ahead with the event and they might have been able to arrest the nut job if he made another appearance.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 04:04:41 UTC | #909416

Queen of the Pencils's Avatar Comment 22 by Queen of the Pencils

Comment 15 by Finch :

Unfortunately, for Europeans, your example of (now-regretful) "tolerance" toward Islam and the damage that it has produced, within your social structure, is what has prompted we Americans to speak so loudly against this same kind of Islamic strong-arming so it doesn't take hold in our country. Americans do this at the risk of being called "intolerant" and "Islamophobic."

I don't think Europeans can take the credit here for "prompting" Americans to speak out against Islam. I think that's more to do with your own, homegrown, fund-a-mentalist Christian propaganda machine. That and your country’s knee jerk reaction to September 11th which seems to have inspired increased hatred both to and from Muslim society in general.

Prior to 2001, there seemed to be little concern about "Islamic strong-arming" here. I'm British and was in a relationship with a Muslim man around this time. I recall no particular hostility towards the Muslim community then, neither was there much general concern about Islam taking over the country and eating our babies. In fact my time as being an atheist feminist amongst Muslims was pretty much a non issue to my then extended family.

As I also recall, around that time, the major concern for myself and my atheist friends was not Islam, but the growing tolerance of fundamental American Christian ideas such as Creationism and their aggressive anti-abortion stance.

Of course times have changed, both the rise of fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christianity are now centre stage here. And from my perspective, it’s America and not Europe that has played the larger part in making this the case. Let's not forget the growth of BOTH types of religion are to be fought against.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 04:14:21 UTC | #909418

Carlinlives's Avatar Comment 23 by Carlinlives

Comment 3 by calvinchan :

Comment 1 by Metamag :

you gave them the idiotic concept of faith schools, even maddrassas and sharia councils...

I blame Tony Blair.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And Prince Elephant Ears is an accomplice.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 05:18:18 UTC | #909422

danconquer's Avatar Comment 24 by danconquer

Hmm. I'm not yet wholly convinced that for the principle itself of Freedom Of Expression things have necessarily "gotten worse" in the way the article implies. Some areas are a little more restrictive. Some areas are now a lot less restrictive. Just last week a court threw out an "obscenity" charge which, until only a few years ago, would certainly have resulted in conviction. An endless list of films, books, plays and artworks which once languished under such legal prohibition are now available in every high street.

And there have also been a number of investigations and prosecutions against supernaturalists who have distributed homophobic material which in decades gone by would have deemed acceptable. Why not give this as an example of the threat to Freedom Of Expression? Afterall, whether or not you really support the principle is not whether you support those who happen to have like-minded views - that's easy, we all do that! - but supporting those with whom you do not.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 05:18:48 UTC | #909423

Grand-Mufti's Avatar Comment 25 by Grand-Mufti

Islamaphobia – A manufactured crisis to crush dissent

petro-dollar corrupted londonstan politics,saudi barbaria turned ur front yard into a gas station of theirs!

the choice is clear

Infidelophopia OR Islamaphobia

islam will dominate the world... freedom can go to hel l/ infidelophopia or freedom will dominate the world ...islam can go to hell / Islamaphobia

I drink to Islamaphobia..what say you

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 05:41:28 UTC | #909425

Sci Fi's Avatar Comment 26 by Sci Fi

@LukeCass

For mine, Paula has always equalled Hitch in calling out the blitheringly stupid notions of Islamists and Xtians.

I understand what you mean by the "inner Hitch". I think we should leave that to the memory of Hitch himself, though.

Instead, gird up our own "inner whatever" and let rip. Speak against with our own voice and add that voice to the multitude to provide the momentum for changing this devisive and denigrative thought process that uses "Islamophobe" as an insult.

Interesting that 'we' get labelled 'Islamophobe' but not 'Christophobe' by the apologist mob.......

Also that it seems Islamists have taken the word and convoluted the meaning to 'racist' as well. 'Coz the two go hand in hand in that poor excuse they have for a reasoning, thinking brain.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 06:30:48 UTC | #909428

PERSON's Avatar Comment 27 by PERSON

Also that it seems Islamists have taken the word and convoluted the meaning to 'racist' as well. 'Coz the two go hand in hand in that poor excuse they have for a reasoning, thinking brain.

No, there is a relationship. A lot of racists have moved to islamophobia as a substitute, saying the same kinds of things and making the same spurious incitements that they always did. It's quite possible for it not to be rational.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 06:51:21 UTC | #909430

Dirty Kuffar's Avatar Comment 28 by Dirty Kuffar

This also gets a mention in Harry's Place ; link text

I hope this incident also gets reported in the mainstream media so as to wake people up as to the threats to free speech posed by islamism in Britain and the West. As islamists become emboldened by the apparent weakness of society in standing up to them and the befuddlment of the multiculti appeasment lobby, I think this sort of incident will become more commonplace, and indeed more violent. On a practical level, I think it would be prudent for atheists, secularists etc to start learning martial arts, boxing etc for self defence ,

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 07:18:30 UTC | #909431

Carl Sai Baba's Avatar Comment 29 by Carl Sai Baba

Comment 9 by Ivan The Not So Bad :

In the latest development, a talk organised yesterday by the Queen Mary College (University of London) Atheism, Secularism and Humanism Society on “Sharia Law and Human Rights” had to be cancelled after threats of violence.

The president of the society describes what happened here:

Death Threats at Atheist Meeting | British Humanist Association

Scary stuff. The police have been called in.

They will kill people for talking about sharia law, and yet we are called crazy bigots because we are afraid of what they will do when we violate it.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 07:31:51 UTC | #909435

aball's Avatar Comment 30 by aball

The mistake Paula Kirby is making is to believe that UK society is free and that free speach rules. This has never been the case. Unfortunately we don't have a written constitution like the US to guarantee such rights, maybe we should do.

Over the last few year, thanks to the closet-Catholic Tony Blair, a fuzzy concept called "religious hatred" has been incorporated into our public order laws (replacing the ancient and never enforced blasphemy law). Quite why religion needed a specific offence is anybody's guess - the UK already had draconian laws covering incitement to violence, racial hatred and the like. In any case, the laws covering this new offence are being routinley enforced to oppress free speach and police peoples thoughts and opinions both by the police/CPS and by public or private bodies. All this is done in the name of tolerance and respect for others. It's frankly despicable.

Recent examples I can think of are: 1) A 15 year old boy arrested because he refused to take down his placard at an anti-scientology demonstration cecause if offensively refered to scientology as a sect (this was dropped but even so the police should never have interfered in the first place). 2) A christian couple owning a B&B were reported to the police by a muslim guest because she felt offended by their comments of the Islam and the prophet in particular. This case went all the way to court. They were not convicted - right decision but for the wrong reason (judge thought the muslim woman failed to prove she was genuinely offended). 3) A man was given an ASBO banning him from being seen in public with literature that could be deemed religiously offensive after he was caught putting up atheist posters in a prayer room at an airport. I have to admit this is quite a dumb thing to do, but should he really have had to go to court and end up with a criminal record for this? 4) A group of 6 men (no doubt extreme rightwing idiots) were arrested for burning a Koran and posting it on YouTube. Strangely, the offense they have been charged with is incitement of racial hatred. This seems to show how in the UK criticism of religion gets confused with racism in the eyes of the law.

There are many other examples. There is a general reflex at the moment to punish even the mildest of religious criticisms with legal harassment. What is stupid is that the new law and order bill is so fuzzily worded that it allows the police and CPS to do this. It has to stop.

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 08:10:00 UTC | #909439