Serge Trifkovic explains just why the UK’s new Racial and Religious Hatred Bill is so wrong, and dangerous, in this superb piece in Chronicles (thanks to Andy and Steve):
The House of Lords is clashing with Tony Blair’s Labour government over its proposed Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. This is an Orwellian piece of legislation. Its real purpose of preventing any meaningful discussion of Islam. If passed it would enable authorities to charge people with “inciting religious hatred” even if they speak or write the truth about the Kuran, the hadith, the historical practice of jihad, or the long-term aspirations of the Muslim diaspora in the West.
The proposed measure has been denounced by human rights groups and prominent individuals as a new blasphemy law in a dangerous new guise. Stephen Fry, the actor, said the plans were unworkable: “Religion, surely, if it is worth anything, doesn’t need protection against anything I can say.” Rowan Atkinson, one of Britain’s best known comedians, has warned that the prime motivating energy for the Bill did not come from communities seeking protection from bullying,
but from individuals with a more aggressive, fundamentalist agenda, those who have sought, from the very day of the publication in 1989 of Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses, to immunise religions against criticism and ridicule””or at least to promote legislation that is so sinister and intimidating, it can provide that immunity without even the need to prosecute anyone. In other words, to impose self-censorship.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, the intended criminalization of “threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour” was hailed by Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, as a “long overdue” measure. Sher Khan, chairman of the group’s public affairs committee, criticized opponents of the bill, and particularly Mr. Atkinson, for having created “a media frenzy by claiming that the proposed law will ban criticism of religious beliefs; it certainly will not.”…
If Racial and Religious Hatred Bill is passed, we will be a step closer to the fulfilment of T.S. Eliot’s warning that the West would end, “not with a bang but a whimper.” In 1899, a 26 year old Winston Churchill expressed hope
that if evil days should come upon our own country, and the last army which a collapsing Empire could interpose between London and the invader were dissolving in rout and ruin, that there would be some””even in these modern days””who would not care to accustom themselves to a new order of things and tamely survive the disaster.
Even Churchill’s prescience could not envisage the possibility that “the invader” would have his Quislings and abettors at No. 10, at the Old Bailey, and at London’s County Hall.
Read it all.