Independent Christian Voice


From the UK: Restricted Free Speech

From our friends on the other side of "the pond," at Crooked Timber, concerning the British government's proposal to deem some speech "off limits":
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of blogospheric comment yet about the more surreal aspects of the British governments intention to criminalize the “glorification” of terrorism. Saying that a particular terrorist act or event was a good thing is set to be a criminal offence unless the event was more than 20 years ago, except that the Home Secretary will draw up a list of older events the “glorification” of which will also be an offence. So far there’s no clear indication of what will be on the list except the suggestion that glorifying the Easter Rising of 1916 or the French Revolution (1789-whenever you think it ended) will not be illegal. Will it be illegal to praise the following events?
  • The Irgun bombing of the King David Hotel (1946)
  • Any bombings or shootings by the Baader-Meinhof gang.
  • ETA’s assassination of Prime Minister Carrero Blanco in 1973
  • Any acts of Palestinian terrorism.
  • The assassination by Mossad of Palestinian leaders in foreign countries.
  • The assassination of any member of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.
  • The sinking of the Rainbow Warrior by the French secret service in 1985.
However repulsive it may be to praise some of these acts, it is just incompatible with a free society for it to be in some politician’s gift to decide which historical events it is or isn’t acceptable to “glorify”.
Free speech includes dissent from the official government position. When the government begins to dictate what are acceptable things to say and what are unacceptable (outside of immediate threats and statements that can create immediate and direct harm, like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater), it is a dangerous, slippery slope to lost liberty.


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