Freedom of speech is for everyone. It is the right to express unpopular views that needs defending. Let people say what they want, let there be free debate, let all arguments be held up to the light of reason. This way we may learn something, our own staid views may be challenged and we, as a society, can progress.Sure, of course. He's missed the point. In my original post, I said the police were right to protect the Islamoloons' sorry asses and therefore their right to free expression.
That's not the point.
This is: sometimes political movements are so dangerous they have to be fought. Not just debated, mulled over, disputed, but fought. This can also be true when there's competition for the public space, which these scumbags have hitherto felt they owned, demonstrating with impunity while counter demonstrators were moved away or arrested by police.
The Battle of Cable Street was a righteous fight, even though it restricted the ability of the BUF to demonstrate.
But it's for the people, not the government, to do this.
UPDATE: I'm bumping this to the main post. Steve commented:
Peter, for the second time in a week, I'm not entirely sure what you are getting at here.I haven't changed my mind to any degree.
Are you saying people should physically attack Islamists?
Wasn't the whole point of the March for Free Expression that Muslim groups were using the threat of violence to stop people speaking out? Weren't we demonstrating against people using violence to silence views they didn't like?
The tone of this post seems to imply that you've changed your mind about that.
The question here is whether someone can say (write, draw, etc) something at all. The right to free expression is not a right for me to go into someone else's living room and deliver a lecture, nor to write on their blog, nor to be published by someone who doesn't want to publish me.
Muslim opposition to those cartoons sought to prevent them being exhibited or shown at all. I clarified that in conversations with Ismaeel of the Muslim Action Committee. He was not willing to accept the display of them in private, to invited guests, during a debate about them. In other words, not at all, ever.
I support the right of these Islamofascists to state their views. Their organisation is banned, I don't think it should be. They should be able to publish and to hold public demonstrations.
But this is where reality rears its head. Firstly, sometimes we need to compromise. There's just been a Convention on Modern Liberty and Sunny Hundall was involved. He presumably sees himself as an advocate of freedom of expression, but he didn't support us until I asked people not to bring the cartoons, something that was widely criticised as being contrary to the whole idea. I made that request after talking with a reporter from BLINK who was simply unable to understand that we might not be anti-Muslim racists.
It turned out this was because she was and presumably is as straightforward an anti-white racist as you could find. But Sunny isn't. He suffers from identity politics, in my opinion, but he ain't no racist. He's the sort of person who needed to be involved. So compromise can be necessary, so long as the specific form of expression can be made somewhere and can be public enough that those who choose to do so can encounter it.
Secondly, while you have every right to shout in your own living room, you really don't have a right to come into mine and do it. That's what these scum did in Luton. Just as it would be provocative to go down Brick Lane wearing a Mohammed bomb-turban T shirt, it's provocative to go to a troop parade with an anti-troop message. It was provocative for fascists to try to march into a Jewish area of the East End.
That's where a value judgement comes into it. Fred Phelps and his unholy brood picket funerals in the USA. Other people organise to stand in front of them to obscure their hate. That's a good way to do it.
But Phelps is never going to get anywhere. In Britain today, Islamofascism has got some traction. Here's a tale from Britain today:
The book is called The Imam’s Daughter because “Hannah Shah” is just that: the daughter of an imam in one of the tight-knit Deobandi Muslim Pakistani communities in the north of England. Her father emigrated to this country from rural Pakistan some time in the 1960s and is, apparently, a highly respected local figure.Tell me that woman didn't deserve the protection of others, even if violence ensued. The instigators of the violence would in that case be the Islamofascists, not the defenders of a raped child.
He is also an incestuous child abuser, repeatedly raping his daughter from the age of five until she was 15, ostensibly as part of her punishment for being “disobedient”. At the age of 16 she fled her family to avoid the forced marriage they had planned for her in Pakistan. A much, much greater affront to “honour” in her family’s eyes, however, was the fact that she then became a Christian – an apostate. The Koran is explicit that apostasy is punishable by death; thus it was that her father the imam led a 40-strong gang – in the middle of a British city – to find and kill her.
Hannah Shah says her story is not unique – that there are many other girls in British Muslim families who are oppressed and married off against their will, or who have secretly become Christians but are too afraid to speak out. She wants their voices to be heard and for Britain, the land of her birth, to realise the hidden misery of these women.
So while I defend totally the right of those scumbags to publish and demonstrate, if they try to come into my house to do so I'm going to remove them, by force if necessary.
UPDATE: Here's the man in black, making the same point a different way. He cherishes the freedoms of America, even the right to burn the flag... he'll tell you the rest: