I found the quote here. It comes from BBC News in 1998. Remember what life was like before 9-11?
If one does not accept that Islam should allow free speech, then one must accept that it is all right for religious leaders to condemn to death those whose speech is considered to be offensive. Within the framework of a particular religious belief system it may be argued that since the particular religion is an absolutely correct model of existence -the ultimate truth - it is justifiable to kill those who cast doubt on the validity of the religious orthodoxy. Witch burners and Spanish inquisitors no doubt felt that their deeds were completely justified. And it is precisely the fact that witches were burned and heretics tortured and murdered by members of a particular orthodoxy that makes the right to free speech more important than the right to be protected from offensive speech. That which is considered to be offensive in a particular here and now may later be considered no more offensive than the suggestion in modern day Spain that the earth rotates around the sun.
Alan Murphy, USA
Recently, a Twitter troll who was interested in stifling free speech sent a screen shot of a tweet of mine to a twitter account that purported to report hate speech about Islam to the authorities in United Kingdom. See here. I wasn't the only one affected as it was a re-tweet, so as many as three of us were being not so subtly accused of hate speech. My curiosity was piqued so I started looking into just what happens in the UK when people talk about Islam.
I found stories about Geert Wilders from the Netherlands, who was temporarily banned from entering the UK for speaking his opinions about radical Islam and it's affects on his society. Eventually this ban was overturned, but see if you can understand this from the British Home Office:
"The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence. We still maintain this view."So they oppose extremism, but they're willing to appease extremists to keep the peace. The people who the British government are afraid of aren't people like Geert. It's the radical Islamists in their own communities. If Geert were, say, a Muslim who had criticisms about Christian faiths, I have no doubt he'd be left to travel around the UK freely, and rightly so.
Michael Savage, an outspoken radio commentator from the US was banned from the UK and still is. The reason? Maybe they were trying to balance out their list, what with all the Islamists.
Look at this couple in Liverpool. They were having a conversation about religion in their Hotel, and were reported to the authorities. Defend your own religion, tell someone what you may think is wrong with the tenets of their religion, and the police will be knocking at your door.
Recently, the BBC refused to show "Can We Talk About This?" a play about the Islamic threat to the freedom of speech. This is after they showed "Jerry Springer: The Opera", which is offensive to Christians. Double standards are often the way with political correctness.
Speaking of double standards, last year a man was threatened with losing his job for displaying a cross made out of palm leaves in his work van. Yet, his boss displayed a Che Guevara poster in his office and, according to the same article from MailOnline it would be alright to wear a burka to work. Just amazing.
A man in Gainsbourough, Lincolnshire was sentenced to a year in prison for posting 'anti-Islamic materials' in his window. Must have been pretty bad right? No one can find out because the government won't release the content of those posters, even after Freedom of Information requests.
Also recently, a man showed up at a meeting where a talk was to be given on "One Law For All", a campaign to stop the double standards and implementation of Sharia Law in the UK. He pointed a camera at the group and threatened to murder anyone who said anything about negative about "The Prophet". Ann Marie Waters, who was to give the speech says this:
Question: can you remember the last time you heard the Government – or any political party – give a robust and dogged defence of free speech? No, neither can I. But there have been plenty of opportunities.I'm floored.
I truly believe that one could tweet the wrong thing about Islam and be put into prison in the UK.
One bright note. A Muslim UK man has been jailed for twelve years for threatening the creators of South Park on the internet.