Freedom of speech

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Yesterday I signed a petition calling upon the British government to proscribe, to ‘outlaw’ in other words, the English Defence League (EDL). I also advertised the petition on social media and suggested that others do the same. Shortly after I found myself embroiled in a Twitter conversation about freedom of speech as though opposing the EDL and their approach (not just to Islam but to all Muslims) was the same as opposing freedom of expression.

There’s a long and noble tradition of freedom of speech throughout the West dating back centuries:

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

John Milton, Areopagitica: A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicens’d Printing (1644)

“Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it.”

Samuel Johnson in James Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson (1791)

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But there’s a huge difference between ‘freedom of speech’ and the freedom to do (or incite) violence. Many people criticise Islam but the EDL go further – much further. Just a few minutes worth of internet searching is enough to demonstrate the litany of assaults an intimidation, arson and victimisation that this far right group of Nazis is responsible for. That’s not free speech, it’s violent discrimination against an entire demographic. And that’s illegal.

The EDL is as much a terrorist group as was ‘Muslims Against Crusades’ (MAC), another Luton based hate group that was proscribed by the Home Office years ago. Just like the EDL they were violent, sectarian thugs and their proscription had nothing to do with freedom of speech.

Muslims Against Crusades was outlawed for reasons of national security. The terrorist EDL should be banned too – not because of their opinions (odious though those opinions are) but because of their violence.

BAN THE ENGLISH DEFENCE LEAGUE
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The best EDL

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Go and visit the English Disco Lovers website. This is the best use of the acronym ‘EDL’ I know of. A parody who turn up at rallies to disco dance and have fun without discrimination or violence – just dancin’!

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While you’re at it please link the website to your blog or website. Just stick it in a blog post or something. They’re trying to ‘out SEO’ the racists so when people google ‘EDL’ the first hit they see will be Disco.

Now that has to be a cause worth supporting!

BBC News – Abu Qatada due to be deported to stand trial in Jordan

Cool! Whichever ‘side’ of whatever ‘fence’ you’re on…… Extremist hate-mongers from Qatada to Griffin, from Choudhary to Robinson have no place in a civilised Britain. This is one gone at least. http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23213740

Still think the EDL isn’t racist?

Have a look at this report from EDLreview. http://edlreview.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/edl-is-not-racist.html?m=1

Oh dear – it just gets worse and worse

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It seems that the vicious thugs of the EDL have finally provoked a response from the Muslim community that is tailored to combat them specifically. And it’s easy to understand why given the regular attacks as well as the sort of stuff EDL members post on social media…..

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The EDL have succeeded only in creating a domestic conflict that would never have existed without them. But after years of anti Muslim rhetoric and violence, UK Muslims have finally set up their own response. I suspect that it won’t be pretty.

Ever since the EDL began it’s been clear that the only thing they could ever hope to achieve was division and increasing radicalisation of both Muslims and non Muslims. And now they have their wish.

The Islamic Emergency Defence (IED) looks to be a newly created national vigilante response organisation. Its website promises to deal with those who attack UK Muslims. The website states that these issues will be resolved in “an Islamic manner” although it’s not clear (at least not clear to me) precisely what that means. The emphasis the website places on the obligation of Muslims to defend other Muslims, together with the honour afforded to martyrs makes it all look very scary indeed.

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So well done EDL – you’ve managed to create the conflict you’ve so far had to be content only to imagine. I can’t help but wonder though if you might have bitten off a little more than you can chew in provoking this particular fight. You might want to consider having some of those tacky EDL tattoos lasered off.

And well done IED – you’ve just bought into the warped mindset of neofascists in a move that can only serve to fuel even greater hostilities.

So when you two groups set out to beat and murder each other on the streets of our towns and cities please remember this…

The vast majority of British citizens want nothing to do with either of you.

EDL member jailed (BUT THEY’RE NOT REALLY VIOLENT)

Thanks to Nick Lowles of ‘Hope not hate’ for posting this news report on the conviction of a ‘would-be’ arsonist, EDL and Combined Ex Forces (CXF) member from Wales.

Today a small number of similairly fine, upstanding examples of the ‘master race’ are strutting their intolerant stuff on the streets of Burnley and Sheffield.

No doubt they’ll be driving the Taliban from the town hall steps with their usual chants of…..

“Allah? Allah? Who the fuck is Allah?”

And, significantly given recent events ….

“Burn a poppy and we’ll burn a mosque!”

I’m sure the good people of Burnley and Sheffield feel safer already.

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After all there’s nothing quite like a bunch of law abiding, zeig-heiling, Nazi-saluting, racist arsonists to inspire confidence, is there?

How will this help?

Apparent arson attack on London Mosque (signed in graffiti: ‘EDL’). http://t.co/sD1IiokKjX And a ‘prominent’ EDL leader refused to condemn it. That’s pretty instructive, isn’t it? What a pack of thugs!

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