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(UK) Free speech should always be defended, even for anti-Semites

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posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 04:04 PM
a reply to: twfau

Anjem Choudary's conviction was under the Terrorism Act.

posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 04:23 PM
a reply to: Morrad

I'm sure there are many examples but Abdullah el Faisal and these four are some. With both of these examples I would agree with the sentences, it just has to be consistent for everyone.


During the London Riots people got sentenced for encouraging people to riot, not even racial hatred, just inciting violence and you get sentenced here - that is something I think was overboard.

posted on Dec, 21 2016 @ 05:56 PM
a reply to: twfau

One of my favourite online writers, Brendan O'Neill, wrote an article with the title "Free Anjem Choudary". To be honest it shocked me when I first read it. For me personally, reading something which shocks me is also thought-provoking. For weeks I wrestled with the view that speech which incites violence, completely negates the idea of free will and personal accountability/responsibility. I had to stop thinking about it in the end as I started experiencing cognitive dissonance.

A quote from his article you may find interesting.

In Britain in 2016, a man faces jail for what he thinks. For what he says. His crime was not to harm another person or damage property, but to subscribe to a warped ideological view of the world. That is, he committed a thoughtcrime, and he’s being punished for it. His name is Anjem Choudary, the infamous imam, finger-wagger extraordinaire at what he sees as the sinful West and its decadent kuffar inhabitants, and however much it sticks in our craw we must demand that he not be sent to jail, and that his conviction be overturned. Not so much for his benefit as for ours, and for the hard fought-for principle that individuals should never — but never — be punished by the state for what they think and say.

Choudary, a clown of an Islamist hothead, a bin Laden without the balls, looking like he wandered off the set of Chris Morris’s Four Lions, has been convicted of supporting the Islamic State. He could be jailed for up to 10 years. A lawyer turned preacher, he’s long been a favourite of media outlets like the BBC, who’d wheel him on as the Islamo-bogeyman we could all collectively tut-tut over. He’s been spouting intolerant nonsense for years. First in al-Muhajiroun, a weird network that called for the imposition of Sharia law in Britain and praised 9/11. This meant the group could be proscribed in 2010 when new legislation was passed making it a crime to ‘glorify’ terrorist acts: a deeply censorious law that punishes, not acts, but opinions about acts. But over the past couple of years, say the authorities, Choudary went ‘too far’ when he started bigging up ISIS.

It is extraordinary the extent to which Choudary has been punished for his thoughts and words. This entire case hinged on the fact that Choudary thinks abhorrent things. Consider the BBC’s report about his conviction. It calls him ‘one of the most dangerous men in Britain’: ‘Not a bomb-maker. Not a facilitator. But an ideologue, a thinker… In his head there can be no compromise, no meeting of minds. Liberal democracy, personal freedom, the rule of law mandated by the people is all an affront to the will of Allah.’ In short, Choudary’s offence was not to plant a bomb, or even to ‘facilitate’ the planting of any bombs (as the BBC account says, ‘if he saw a bomb recipe he wouldn’t have known where to start’). No, his offence was to be ‘a thinker’; it was to ridicule liberal democracy and the rule of law. He has been convicted for, in the BBC’s candid but uncritical words, what lurked ‘in his head’ — his ideas. This should concern everyone who believes in freedom.

There was no evidence Choudary had organised violent acts or financially supported the Islamic State. Instead, it was revealed that he had sworn allegiance to ISIS in ‘a curry house in east London’ with his ‘closest aides’: that is, he had a sad, bravado-filled but fundamentally private conversation over a biryani. And the prosecution also quoted from various of his YouTube lectures, in which he said things like ‘[We] should dominate the whole world by Islam’ and one day Hackney and Walthamstow will be ‘under Sharia’. These are opinions, bluster. He had no plans, and in fact no prospect whatsoever, of making these thoughts a reality. He’s being punished for being a fantasist.

He ends his article with a quote from HL Mencken: ‘The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.’

Free Anjem Choudary

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 02:33 AM

originally posted by: Morrad
As a homosexual male I have been confronted with bigotry, prejudice and hate in the past. I most certainly agree with this Jewish gentleman. Censoring hateful speech drives it underground to fester and grow unchallenged.

Until we have a Trump to give it it's head...

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 03:09 AM
I'm in agreement that it's best to let people have their say openly or how else can we challenge them.

Another thing to consider is that they may not be consistently wrong and we may not be consistently right. It would do no more harm having a free and honest debate on such things as hate-speech as debating anything that we consider relatively harmless. (I think).

If we don't let people speak we get nowhere near resolving any issues and leave them feeling even more alienated and resentful.

Plus, there is the bonus that people spouting rubbish in the wrong company may end up with a smack in the mouth.

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 03:15 AM
a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

When a sickness so severe as to threaten the whole body of the world (which fascism surely does) arises, people are left with two options. Appease the virus, or conquer it. It just so happens that the only tool adequate to the task of removing fascism from the face of the world, is to turn a mirror upon it, to treat it and its advocates, the way they would like to treat others.

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 03:53 AM

originally posted by: MarioOnTheFly
a reply to: TrueBrit

Hell no, I would not want him infesting some other place either. I say drop him and all the other fascists into a part of the ocean populated by a great deal of sharks. Its not execution if they COULD swim to a barren island and starve to death. Its just not very nice is all.

You know...sometimes you express thoughts not unlike of those you condemn.

I wonder if you're aware of that.

There you have the dichotomy of our times. It is only hate speech if it is against a protected minority. The amount of times you will hear liberals calling for right wing 'fascists' to be murdered in horrible ways is unreal. The very same action in reverse is denounced as reprehensible.

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 03:56 AM
For every Bonehill that has his ability to air his poisonous, repugnant views curtailed, there is a potential Thomas Paine who will be silenced by the state.

That is the real reason for this censorship. The rulers use a seemingly black and white case like this to justify further reductions in people's ability to communicate their ideas and any who oppose are left feeling sullied by the experience so that they are less able to fight for that most fundamental human right.

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 01:31 PM
a reply to: Morrad

Quite interesting, but a little simplistic. There are many human rights/freedoms, and there are going to be times when they can interact. Some thoughts on times when restriction to speech may be a good thing:

People have a right to their own privacy, so I do not have the right to reveal confidential details, which may be seen as a restriction of my freedom of expression.

Whenever someone commits an atrocity, whether Islamist or someone like Dylan Roof, there is usually an investigation that asks how it could have been prevented. If it is found that a person was persuaded by someone to do it then that person could legally persuade someone else to do it later unless stopped. There may be quite a few ISIS members whose role is basically to indoctrinate insecure young people, should they have the freedom to do this?

On a more direct approach, murder is illegal, but how about encouraging someone to commit suicide?

All this said, the UK is ridiculous at banning controversy sometimes. The banning of news agencies like PressTV is one example.

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 02:25 PM
a reply to: Morrad

As I understand it, this man was jailed for racially harassing an individual.

That's a little different from free speech, isn't it?

posted on Dec, 22 2016 @ 02:52 PM
a reply to: CJCrawley

It was under the terrorism act, an addition was added in 2010 which criminalises the glorification of terrorist atrocities.

edit on 22-12-2016 by Morrad because: (no reason given)

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