|Religious Hatred Law a Bad Joke||Eddy Morrison looks at New Labour's latest tyranny|
In February, the Government started pushing through a new law to ban what it calls "incitement to religious hatred." This measure, much beloved by liberals, is apparently designed to protect people alleged to be targeted because of their religious beliefs. There is nothing but tyranny in this evil Bill. To me, it is merely further evidence that in Britain we need to carry on the battle for our right of free speech with every means at our disposal. Offence and insult are part of everyday life for everyone in Britain. All you have to do is open a daily paper and there's plenty to offend. Or you can walk into the religious section of a bookshop and discover you're damned to various kinds of eternal hellfire which is certainly insulting, but that is just what religious differences are about. Argument and criticism are benefits, not abuses.
The idea that any kind of free society can be constructed in which people will never be offended or insulted, or in which they have the right to call on the law to defend them against being offended or insulted, is absurd. This proposed religious hatred law, carrying a maximum of seven years in prison, is quite probably the most ludicrous and unworkable law that an already tyrannical Marxist-Labour government has tried to foist on the British people. In the end, a fundamental decision needs to be made: do we want to live in a free society or not? Democracy is not a tea party where people sit around making polite conversation. In democracies, people get extremely upset with each other. They argue vehemently against each other's positions. The right to speak one's mind is fundamental to any free society.
State thumbscrewsIn 1936, with the introduction of the Public Order Act, the state cracked down on Mosley's British Union, banning political uniforms and introducing numerous other restrictions on free speech and free assembly, invoking 'public order' as the excuse. Since then, the advent of the Race Acts, more tightening up of the Public Order Act and more lately the draconian anti-terrorism laws have all given governments a bigger set of thumbscrews and more power to turn them and to turn them especially on white nationalists. This 'religious hatred' Bill is yet another turn of the same screw!
The moment you say that any idea system is sacred whether it's a belief system or a secular ideology the moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision or contempt, freedom of thought or expression becomes impossible. That is precisely what is happening in the UK. Marxist-Liberalism has a consensus which it defends ferociously, and any disagreement with it is to be made not just illegal but a positive sin against a multi-racial, multi-faith culture the ordinary Briton never wanted. In the sick society these rulers have created they are now introducing a new Inquisition, with Torquemeda replaced by the likes of Blunkett, Clarke and Straw.
With its proposed 'incitement to religious hatred' law, Prime Minister Blair's Government has set out to create an impossibility. They know the law is designed to please the Muslims, and especially the massive Islamic vote. The ability of this law to protect Muslims seems arguable. It is possible that, instead, it could be used against Muslims before it's used against anyone else! We could make a strong case that Muslims are the ones inciting religious hatred, and this law is thoroughly appropriate to a religion that can, if it wishes, call for a jihad a Holy War.
There is no question that there also are Muslim leaders who are anxious to prosecute others (witness the lengths to which they went against Rushdie: Islamic Iran declared a fatwah on him; he was to be killed on sight for criticising the Koran in his book The Satanic Verses). So this law could unleash some major expressions of intolerance from the large Muslim population of Britain.
Rioting Sikhs already have forced the closure of Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's play, Behzti, in Birmingham; and the Government has said nothing to criticise them for attacking the theatre, breaking windows and issuing death threats against those involved. Evangelical Christians caught on quickly and protested against the BBC's screening of Jerry Springer: The Opera. That still went ahead but the Behzti play was cancelled. This was a classic example of double standards used against Christians.
Threat to Briton's freedom
What this kind of attitude ultimately does, and what the law would do, is undermine a principle of free expression that affects everyone in Britain, religious or not. If we cannot have open discourse about the ideas by which we live, we are straitjacketing ourselves from our rights of freedom of thought, speech and action.
Britons have the right to take an argument to the point where somebody is offended by what they say; that is the basis of free speech. It's no virtue to support the free speech of somebody with whom you agree to, or to whose opinion you are indifferent. The real test of free speech begins at the point when people say something you can't stand. If you can't defend their right to say it, then you don't believe in free speech! These liberal-Marxists believe in free speech only as long as it doesn't get up their noses. But proper free speech will always get up somebody's nose. The tyranny of the liberal chattering classes is intolerant to the point of Stalinism. They these champions of 'democracy' for the most part want the BNP and other organisations they oppose banned. Anyone not rocking the 'approved' consensus can have as much free speech as they like though it's free speech in name only.
Tradition of irreverence
There is a long tradition of irreverent, raw and critical remarks about religion in Britain, some by very eminent thinkers, some by top comedians like Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder, muttering: "bad weather is God's way of telling us we should burn more Catholics." Is Atkinson to be dragged through the courts for this humorous remark in its historical context?
At the most farcical, we in the Spearhead Group could, for instance, declare ourselves a religious society which worships Great Britain and the white race, and therefore demand that Searchlight magazine be prosecuted for inciting religious hatred every time that slimy rag attacks the SG and its members! In the end, everyone could proclaim himself the representative of a new religion and nobody could criticise anybody! This is already happening in the field of 'race relations'. Sack a black or Asian worker, and the claim of racial prejudice will often result in big payouts to the 'victim' awarded by employment tribunals. Other reasons for sacking may be offered incompetence, laziness, insubordination but these can be judged irrelevant; the race card is played and the multi-racial consensus dictates the outcome.
The scope provided by laws that enable people to be charged for incitement to religious hatred is so vast that it would make a complete nonsense of British justice. Someone wants to build a mosque next to your semi-detached? You complain? That could be incitement to racial hatred and could mean seven years in prison for you! Say nothing and applaud the mosque, then you can have as much free speech as you want!
We must all oppose this bad joke of a new law as much as we can. Free speech is already just about non-existent in Britain: this will be another massive nail in its coffin.