David Miliband has said that while Britain has a "profound commitment" to freedom of speech, "there is no freedom to cry 'fire' in a crowded theater".
Well there is if that theatre is on fire, or you believe that it might be.
Miliband was wrong to ban Geert Wilders from entering the UK. Wilders is a democratically elected Dutch politician, and even his political opponents in the Netherlands support the right of Wilders to come to the UK and speak his mind.
The Dutch foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, said his government would press for a reversal of the travel ban on Wilders, and a UK Independence party peer, Lord Pearson, who invited Wilders to Britain, said the screening of the film would go ahead today, whether he was there or not.
And so, it comes to pass, that in Britain, we now rely on Dutch politicians to defend our right to free speech.
Speaking personally I don't require the intervention of idiots like Miliband to protect me from being offended by idiots like Wilders. I'll decide what is offensive, and whether I want to watch and listen despite the fact that I may be offended. But no...Miliband knows better. According to Miliband, Wilder's Fitna video is "contrary to our laws" and will stir up religious and racial hatred, and Miliband knows this despite the fact that he hasn't even seen the video.
But it's not really 'offence' that Miliband is protecting me from. Rather, it's others reaction to offence, and we know this because in the Home Office's letter to Mr Wilders they say that his visit will “threaten community harmony and therefore public safety”.
I wouldn't normally link to such things, but if David Miliband and the UK Government don't want you to watch Fitna then you should do so and decide for yourself.
I've received not one, but two, unsolicited emails from some fellow called Iftikhar Ahmad from The London School of Islamics. This is what he told me.
Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist because they have been mis-educated and de-educated by the British schooling. Muslim children are confused because they are being educated in a wrong place at a wrong time in state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. They face lots of problems of growing up in two distinctive cultural traditions and value systems, which may come into conflict over issues such as the role of women in the society, and adherence to religious and cultural traditions. The conflicting demands made by home and schools on behaviour, loyalties and obligations can be a source of psychological conflict and tension in Muslim youngsters. There are also the issues of racial prejudice and discrimination to deal with, in education and employment. They have been victim of racism and bullying in all walks of life. According to DCSF, 56% of Pakistanis and 54% of Bangladeshi children has been victims of bullies. The first wave of Muslim migrants were happy to send their children to state schools, thinking their children would get a much better education. Than little by little, the overt and covert discrimination in the system turned them off. There are fifteen areas where Muslim parents find themselves offended by state schools.
The right to education in ones own comfort zone is a fundamental and inalienable human right that should be available to all people irrespective of their ethnicity or religious background. Schools do not belong to state, they belong to parents. It is the parents choice to have faith schools for their children. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods. There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school. There are hundreds of state schools where Muslim children are in majority. In my opinion, all such schools may be designated as Muslim community schools. An ICM Poll of British Muslims showed that nearly half wanted their children to attend Muslim schools. There are only 143 Muslim schools. A state funded Muslim school in Birmingham has 220 pupils and more than 1000 applicants chasing just 60.
Majority of anti-Muslim stories are not about terrorism but about Muslim culture--the hijab, Muslim schools, family life and religiosity. Muslims in the west ought to be recognised as a western community, not as an alien culture.
Frankly, Iftikhar, I'd rather the government spent our taxes on clown schools than Islamic schools, and I'd be more sensible in trusting a clown with a bucket of water than I would be in trusting Islamic schools to promote progressive, liberal values.
I don't doubt that Muslim children suffer bullying and abuse, but surely the answer is not to closet them away in Islamic schools and entrench the differences between Muslims and the rest. It's hardly an integrationist approach that you're pursuing.
"There is no place for a non-Muslim teacher or a child in a Muslim school."
Why? Reading your website I thought for a moment that it might be a spoof by the BNP, but having read your article on Multifaith Schools I'm of the opinion that even the greatest satirist couldn't invent your organisation. It's so bad that it had me chuckling.
"Multifaith schools are not going to bring together children from different faiths."
"Muslim children leave schools with Identity Crises crucial for mental, emotional and personality development."
"There are few Muslim schools with long waiting lists. There is a dire need for more Muslim schools."
"The study of Comparative religions is not required because Islam teaches respect, tolerance and understanding of those who are different from them."
"Highly qualified teachers can be recruited from Muslim countries for the teaching of National Curriculum, Islamic Studies, Arabic and Urdu languages so that Muslim children do not find themselves cut off from their cultural and linguistic roots."
Yes, just what we need, more foreigners with no understanding of England to help radicalise Muslim English youth.
Emma B makes her way onto Islam's most wanted list.
|You could almost be mistaken for thinking that this story from the Independent was an April Fool's wind-up.|
Yesterday, the erotic retailer Ann Summers unveiled Miss B as the "face" of its new range of products. Not 24 hours later, she finds herself on the front line of Islamic protest after Muslim leaders discovered that the range includes a new blow-up doll, called "Mustafa Shag". Unfortunately, Mustafa was one of the names given to the Prophet Mohamed. Bestowing it upon, in the words of its catalogue, "an inflatable escort for your hen-night adventures" is considered highly offensive.
Anne Summers chief executive Jacqueline Gold commented:
"We don't want to offend, but this feels like political correctness gone mad....If anyone has a better name for a blow-up doll, please let us know."
Mustapha Shag seems highly appropriate to me, and the great thing about Muslim inflatable dolls is that they blow themselves up.
I apologise for that 'highly offensive' joke.
An Egyptian paper published those cartoons five months ago and no riots or death threats ensued......Fancy that!
Could it be that the riots were nothing more than opportunism? Freedom for Egyptians has the whole set. And there's more from Rantings of a Sandmonkey. Well done to Egyptian bloggers for highlighting a hypocrisy that the mainstream press conveniently overlooked.
Via Drinking From Home.
As unbelievable as it may seem there are some people that are suggesting that the freedom of the press in the West should be compromised in order to be more 'respectful' and 'tolerant' of these people.
Christopher Hitchens has a good reply:
Is it not clear, then, that those who are determined to be "offended" will discover a provocation somewhere? We cannot possibly adjust enough to please the fanatics, and it is degrading to make the attempt.
Quite, whatever restrictions we place on our press, and however much we curtail free speech to accomodate the sensibilities of these people, they will not be satisfied until we are all living under Islamic law. Respect and tolerance may be expected but they cannot be demanded, they are courtesies that only flourish if they are reciprocated, and, as of yet, the Muslim world has demonstrated precious little in the way of either tolerance or respect for Western culture.
Over at Perfect Nico suggests that the West has become so precious in respect of cultural sensibilities that we have made a rod for our own backs.
The culture of offense being so brazenly demonstrated by protesters against the cartoons published in the Jyllands-Posten and other publications may be hard to counter because this culture is home grown. In the UK and North America (and no doubt elsewhere) it is increasingly common for people to respond to arguments they don’t like by saying they are offended, and to demand that their culture be respected.
This culture of offense is a product of Multiculturalism, a doctrine that states that everyone has the right to have their culture respected; that all cultures should be tolerated; that all cultures are equal, and equally demanding of respect.
I have never believed in this doctrine and I find it gratifying to see that Multiculturalism has sown the seeds of its own destruction. The challenge now is for the West to extricate itself from this ridiculous ideology without doing away with the liberalism and libertarian values that allowed it to take hold in the first place.
A Muslim protester who dressed as a suicide bomber has apologised "wholeheartedly" to the families of the July 7 bombings and said it was not his aim to cause offence.
The thing with organised religions is that in belonging you choose to associate yourself with that group, and the rest of that group chooses to associate itself with you. You are all ambassadors for each other and you and your religion will be judged according to the actions of you and yours. Whilst the actions of Muslim baiters may have been a bit churlish the actions of the Muslim community across the world has been an absolute disgrace and has just served to vindicate the cartoonists.
The Muslim world is collectively responsible for these scenes and I hold all Muslims that do not denounce them personally responsible for the flag-burnings, riots, deaths and incitements to kill.
I publish this picture not to offend but simply because I can, that is my right. I'm not a religious man but even if I were I would hope that I would not be so blinded by bigoted dogma as to be unable to recognise which of the images on this page is offensive.
Samizdata has published a particulaly offensive image that all Muslims should find deeply upsetting.
As any good schoolboy knows February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender History Month. This sort of communalist event isn't really my cup of tea but the idea behind it, combating homophobia, is one that all decent people can support, including the Muslim community.
But do they really expect events to be held in Mosques?
Organise an event for LGBT History Month!
What will you be doing to celebrate? Organise an event! Persuade your local library, art gallery, theatre, cinema, museum, community centre, church, temple, mosque, school or college to organise an event!
How about some dungaree-wearing whirling dervishes giving it some to Dancing Queen; now that I would be a beautiful thing!
The Scotsman reports:
A TEENAGER who was born in Uzbekistan has become the first Muslim beauty contestant to be crowned Miss England.
Hammasa Kohistani, 18, said she was delighted to have been selected to represent England in the Miss World championships. She was born in Tashkent, central Uzbekistan, after her parents were forced to flee Afghanistan.
Ms Kohistani, who speaks six languages, including Russian, Persian and French, was chosen from a group of 40 entrants at the completion of the two-day competition.
So it's not that interesting that a pretty girl won the Miss England competition, but it's a nice picture isn't it? And it certainly is interesting that Miss Kohistani is a Muslim, especially to some medieval religious lunatics in England that have objected to her very participation in the competition.
Prior to the competition Dr Hashim Sulaiman, of the Liverpool Islamic Institute, said: "There is no way a Muslim girl should be playing any part in this in this competition because it is unlawful."
Er.....hello, wake up call for Doc Hashim: You're in England and it's not illegal, you and your religious cronies are not the law. Muslims in England live by the same laws as everyone else. How dare you suggest otherwise?
The Miss World competition was invented by an Englishman. If you prefer your women in burkas, and if you want women to obey shite you spout, then you are in the wrong country.
The BBC reports that:
Police in Nottinghamshire are being given green ribbons to show solidarity with the Muslim community after a rise in racist attacks.
Hmmm...I was under the impression that Islam was a religion rather than a race, but anyway...
Rod Little in the Times writes:
Green is the colour of Islam, of course. It is also the traditional colour of Sinn Fein/IRA. When London was being blown to bits by the republicans, one could buy a green ribbon to show solidarity with their noble aims.
So, in a sense, the £2,000 of public funds that was authorised by Nottinghamshire’s top policeman is indeed money well spent: his officers will be showing solidarity with not just one but two communities.
I suppose some people might find it a little sinister that the politically neutral police should have started making such a public declaration of allegiance. If you were gay, for example, you might wonder if the green ribbon meant that the entire police force supported Islam’s rigorous approach to homosexuality. Perhaps Green should order some pink ribbons for his men, just to clear up the matter. You can wear ribbons today to assert your affection or opposition to anything.
Sir Robert Peel's Nine Principles of Policing is quite clear on this issue:
"Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law."
Clearly the police need to stop pandering to this one small section of society (ie. stop this multicultural bullshit).
This story comes hot on the heels of Bedfordshire Police releasing guidelines on how to raid a Muslim house sensitively - officers should remove their shoes and not bring dogs into the house!
All this is very sad. England has a long history of individualism and tolerance that is being threatened by giving rights, not to the individual, but to the group. It's called multiculturalism folks.
On a related subject I noticed that Edmonton's listings magazine See had the following extract in its news roundup:
Britain's transportation police tells the Daily Mail that his officers will use racial profiling to identify and search terrorist suspects. Ian Johnston says his officers won't "waste time searching old white ladies," and said searches on Middle Eastern and Asian males "is common sense". Two days later after international outrage, the British government announces police must refrain from racial profiling.
You know it's come to something when Canadians view our politically correct antics with incredulity. Funny though, that racial profiling by British police to counter terrorism is wrong, but British police wearing ribbons to pander to the sensibilities of a religious group from whose ranks the terrorists sprang is apparently worth spending our taxes on.