Leading article

Britain doesn't need hateful laws to defeat hate preachers

Theresa May's proposals go against our tradition of free speech, and set a dangerous precedent

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

If the Labour party conference in Manchester felt like a funeral, the Conservatives’ gathering in Birmingham had the air of a wedding. It had jazz bands, champagne bars and a near-universal mood of celebration — which is odd, given that every opinion poll and bookmaker reckons the Tories are on course to lose power next year. Almost every speech delivered from the floor was more substantial, forceful and credible than any delivered at the Labour party conference. And one of the highlights was the tour de force delivered by Theresa May.

For almost two decades the job of Home Secretary has been a political graveyard. Theresa May has made it into a power base. Several home secretaries tried to deport Abu Qatada; she succeeded. She is unafraid to confront the police, berating them for stopping and searching young black men without cause. She has championed the Modern Slavery Bill which, once passed, will give Britain the most advanced anti-slavery legislation in the world.

But there was one section of her speech that ought to alarm Conservatives — her proposed ‘extremism disruption orders’ which would ban organisations and individuals broadcasting certain views. We need to prevent people preaching ‘extremist views that we believe can create the environment in which violence becomes something that others wish to do’, she said. The Home Secretary’s job is to prevent crime. When the government extends its remit to include the prevention of views, it is time to worry.

The clear inference of her words is that people will soon find themselves on the wrong side of the law if they promulgate ideas which, though expressed in a peaceful fashion, are deemed to be extreme or inspire others to violence. This raises the clear risk that the right of free speech will apply only insofar as it is not deemed by an official to be appealing to some lurking hothead. It is not hard to see who could be caught up by such a law: not just Islamists playing recruiting sergeant for terror groups, but those advocating all manner of views which lie beyond mainstream public opinion. Labour’s ‘hate crime’ laws have already been used to pursue Christian street preachers criticising homosexuality and Englishmen being rude about Scots. This magazine was once contacted by the CID, which was ‘investigating’ an article about Islamic fundamentalism — the police were trying to establish if we had violated the parameters of argument defined by New Labour. Rather than repeal such laws, Mrs May seems to want to extend them.

Mrs May’s proposed new law is clearly aimed at Islamic extremists, who solicit no sympathy. But who else might be caught in the crossfire? Vegans assert that it is morally wrong for humans to perform experiments on other creatures — an extremist opinion by most people’s standards and one which has inspired animal rights activists to bomb the homes of scientists. Should they be gagged? And what about those demanding a united Ireland? Their words, even if devoid of any call to arms, could be said to contribute to an environment which has cost many hundreds of lives in terrorism.

Mrs May’s idea to clamp down on those who undertake activities ‘for the purpose of overthrowing democracy’ is reminiscent of the language used in authoritarian regimes. What about the remaining feudalists, Marxist revolutionaries and anarchists whose anti-globalisation protests might inspire the smashing up of McDonald’s? There might even be a case for outlawing the Conservative party on the grounds that it has resisted attempts to turn the House of Lords into a directly elected chamber.

Mrs May will doubtless dismiss such examples as fanciful, but that is what ministers always do when they are passing illiberal laws. The danger always lies in their misinterpretation. We have already seen Labour’s anti-terrorism laws used by councils to spy on parents whom they suspect of living outside the catchment area of their child’s school. A minister contemplating a law which imposes restrictions on freedom must have the imagination to foresee how the measures could be used and misused by over-zealous police officers and judges.

Like many bad laws, Theresa May’s proposals seem to have been unduly influenced by one case. Shortly after the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich in May last year, the Islamist preacher Anjem Choudary was asked on to the Today programme. Invited to condemn the murder, Choudary would not do so, choosing instead to blame it on British foreign policy. It was a misjudgment to give the preacher a prime-time slot, but does it really serve us to ban him and his type from the airwaves? The British approach has been to defeat bad ideas through argument rather than censorship, and to let neo-Nazism and its Islamic equivalent perish through contempt and ridicule, rather than be muzzled.

Mrs May has succeeded in bringing crime down to the lowest levels since surveys began 30 years ago, on a budget which keeps shrinking. Her admirers say she is set to become the greatest Tory home secretary in modern times — but only if she sets about repealing, rather than augmenting, Labour’s laws abridging freedom of speech. We do live in dangerous times, but the job of the home secretary is to reject as false the choice between our liberty and our security. This, after all, is the Conservative way.

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  • Mike

    Whether these proposed new laws are hateful or not remains to be seen BUT they are totally unnecessary given the scope of existing anti-hate laws. The only reason existing laws haven’t been effective is because the left wing fascists in charge of prosecutions (CPS) along with a politically correct plod have NOT applied these laws equally and without favour across ALL communities.

    As examples we had the attempted entrapment by the BBC to try and get Nick Griffin charged, found guilty and put away with a hate crime only for the Jury to clear him for speaking a factual truth. That was a clear politically motivated attempt by the left to stop him telling the truth. Now we may not like his motives for giving us facts and we may not like him as a person, BUT it should not be a crime to tell us about grooming young girls when it was clearly happening.

    Then we have the EDL, again one may not agree with their ideas but they have a right to demonstrate peacefully in the streets when its been sanctioned by the police. But when the UAF, the real fascists party disrupts a peaceful demonstration, its the EDL that gets the blame in the media. London, Wooton Bassett and Luton have all suffered from Muslims waving hate crime placards in mass protests but the police turned a blind eye to laws being broken because their ‘masters’ were pandering to Islam.

    Anjem Chowdary has been spouting hate and not facts for years and yet he escapes from any arrests, charges or actually going to court to face his peers. The Jury acquitted Nick Griffins over exposing the truth and I’m sure they’d find Chowdary guilty of hate crimes but the CPS wont do that as political correctness towards minorities trumps law breaking.

    Finally we have 15 years of crimes committed by Pakistani men far worse than any verbal hate crimes and the authorities choose to keep a lid on this until it was eventually blown off at Rotherham. This was a hate crime, pure and simple as white girls were targeted as easy meat, why weren’t these men charged with that as well as gang rape.

    The fact is, there is adequate legislation to charge anyone of a hate crime if only the authorities applied the law equally but they dont. New hate crimes wont change that whilst the plod and the CPS are controlled by the likes of Shaun Wright and although he has finally resigned, there are still hundreds if not thousands of more “Shaun Wrights” in positions of power who can pervert the course of justice and cherry pick who to target.

    Theresa Mays proposals are pointless whether hateful or not as until you cut out the cancer of pandering to that evil religion, those who use it for political ends and those in the PC elite who protect it, we will NEVER see equal justice for all.

    • Rik

      Wow a great post you missed Paul Weston arrested for quoting Churchill in public,who in their right minds would give politicians more powers to apply selectively according to their agenda.It has been my mantra
      Equal Justice For ALL Under The Law

      • Mike

        I took a quick look at his video and its a classic case of cherry picking by a lazy and PC driven plod. Some screaming left wing fascist rings them up and cries “hate” and inside of 3 minutes they arrive mob handed with eight of them to arrest him on spurious charges of “free speech without a permit”.

        Having got back to base they then realize he hasn’t actually committed that crime so they fit him up with a hate crime for reciting Churchill. If we hadn’t known this happened in Winchester, most would have thought it would have been in Zimbabwe, Russia or North Korea.

        Did the plod or CPS drop that charge in the end as I can’t find any info about that.

        It wouldn’t surprise me as a jury would probably laugh it out of court as most are getting sick and tired of politically motivated charges that are commonplace under LibLabCon dictatorship.

        • John Croston

          Paul Weston says he will be not only be defiantly quoting Churchill again but also quoting “So long as this book ( the Koran) exists there will never be peace in the world” which Gladstone said in the House of Commons.
          It really is coming to something when an Englishman can face arrest for quoting England’s greatest statesmen.

          • mohdanga

            Yup, that’s what it is coming to in the West. Hillary Clinton wanted to sign on to the Organization of Islamic States’ ‘blasphemy law’ which would have been in direct contradiction of the US First Amendment. There are ‘hate speech’ laws on the books of every Western nation with an army of leftwing nitwit liberal ‘adjuticators’ ready to pounce at the first complaint from special interst groups.
            Here’s what else Officer Plod is concerned about:

          • Damaris Tighe

            Great respect for Paul Weston.

          • Terry Field

            No doubt the Police who arrest are the same who, across the country, in partnership with their erstewhile political masters, have presided over a mass rape fest of white girls, which according tom Channel 4 (it is drip feeding this to the public) has been the object of Islamic immigrants.
            Britian is a shameful, unfree state; the Police are an institutional monstrosity. The even fit up serving whips, ministerial grade politicians!!!!!
            Gladstone was the prime Minister of a very great HONEST country. Blair and Brown were the absolute reverse.

        • The Masked Marvel

          Things like this are another way May has alienated the police and damaged morale.

          • Fergus Pickering

            The police are corrupt. Any decent Home Secretary should alienate them.

          • The Masked Marvel

            The top brass are, absolutely, no question. Only they’re not the ones who have been alienated. They may have a few loyal street coppers willing to harass and intimidate someone investigating why they let the rape gangs continue, but the average working front line policeman is not. Yet. Instead, they’re demoralized and blame whoever is in charge.
            The problem factor is that they’re mostly proud working-class types who are hereditary Labor. So they’re already pre-disposed to hate the Tories already. May has failed here.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Many people become policemen in order to harass and intimidate people. I mean the ones who aren’t proud working-class types blah blah blah…

    • rtj1211

      I’m not sure that words do not kill if religion does not kill. Religion is words which can inspire someone to kill. So are other venomous words.

      If you tell someone that their honorably held political belief is ‘evil’, as large numbers of bloggers do at this site, then, with the greatest of respect, they may wish to kill you in the end, if you combine this with never ending belligerent insults which would have had you given 100 lashes for bullying by any headmaster worth his salt 50 years ago in school.

      Killing occurs when two implacable but opposing forces refuse to compromise. As soon as one side removes the other side’s dignity, they are not going to compromise with you. Simple fact of life. If you make them submit to you, they will simply bide their time, waiting for the moment to get their revenge on you. It may be crushing you economically, it might be destroying you in the Press, it might be killing you. But it won’t be accommodating your views…….

      So think very, very carefully before you remove the dignity of whole sections of society……

      • Mike

        By words I was merely stating that telling it as it is even if inconvenient should not kill.

        As an example, stating that Mohammed was a pedophile by western standards today is just as true an factual as saying that Christianity has killed many thousands in the past. There is no difference except in the way the laws are interpreted as the former could lead to arrest on a hate crime whilst the latter is always dismissed and ignored.

        But speaking both truths over historical facts should not end up with killing anyone but preaching to Muslims that they should follow Islamic teachings is by its very nature implicitly promoting people to kill.

      • MikeF

        “As soon as one side removes the other side’s dignity”… So you think that criticising someone else’s belief system removes their dignity? This is the classic formulation of the left in which some sort of spurious ‘respect’ for the beliefs, lifestyle and sensibilities of particular designated ‘communities’ must take precedence over free speech and it is, of course, nothing to do with protecting anybody but just a tactic employed by the left in its unchanging antipathy to democracy and free expression of opinion. Without free speech there can only be diktat and arbitary preference. That is the choice.

      • mohdanga

        How many Muslims were killed in Britain by white, native Brits as a result of Muslims marching through the streets of London with placards stating ‘Death to the Jews’, ‘Death to the West’, ‘Behead those that insult Islam’, etc?? Not much dignity shown towards the native population, eh?
        Yes, because some dopey lefty attacks my political beliefs I want to kill him. Good grief, try some logic.

      • davidjwebb1969

        If you make them submit to you, they will simply bide their time, waiting for the moment to get their revenge on you.

        Not if you expel or liquidate them they won’t.

    • MikeF

      Well your sentiments are fine but you haven’t yet emancipated yourself entirely from New Labour’s thought processes and you won’t until you stop using constructions line ‘hate crimes’ and ‘anti-hate laws’ as if they actually mean something. They don’t. They are deliberate debasements of the language that attempt to replace argument by emotive labels the purpose of which is to stifle discussion.
      That word ‘hate’ is a prime example. It is properly a verb, the noun is ‘hatred’ but that word would not serve the left’s purpose in creating an imprecation, in effect a neo-voodooistic curseword the mere utterance of which seeks to intimidate and silence. ‘Hate’ does the job, though, because it is short and simple – just basic vowel and consonant sounds that lend themselves to incantation and repetition.
      The language of the left is not what it seems – it is deviosu and manipulative. It purports to be analytical but it is in reality the deployment of irrationalism for a deliberate purpose – the destruction of free speech, equality before the law and ultimately democracy itself. If you wnat to defend real British freedoms – and I think you do – then do so in English because the English language is a mighty powerful tool in the service of reason and justice, which is why the left hate (proper use of the word) and fear it and seek to debase it.

      • Mike

        I agree and maybe we need to come up with a proper definition of what is commonly called hate crimes when it is nothing but a descriptive perversion of the English language created by Liebour..

        • mohdanga

          And hate is a human emotion….so the gov’t is now in the business of regulating emotions!

      • Zanderz

        Good post. If I recall correctly Alistair Campbell spent considerable time coining such phrases to promote the ideology of the left.

    • Damaris Tighe

      Sorry Mike, I posted my comment before reading yours!

      • Mike

        Your addition was very welcome on the vexed subject of so called ‘hate crimes’.

    • colchar

      Great post. Sadly, the Lefties hold far too much sway in Britain and what you describe will never change until they and their ideals are marginalized. Every time I consider moving back to Britain I realize that it is just too Left wing for me and that my head would explode were I to live there.

  • AJ

    This whole idea is wrong, bad law, and totally unnecessary and will gag free speech for all of us, for example, Anjam Choudrey, his ideas and words may well be unpalatable and even outrageous to many. However, he speaks the truth about Islam and its goals regarding the rest of us, as written in the Koran. Love him or hate him he tells the truth from his point of view and won’t lie to you.

    So lets be honest here this is an attempt to silence him and his like, but will impact on everyone else as a result. I don’t agree with anything he has to say, in fact I’m not religious at all. But, there is far more wisdom and subtlety in the Bible than there is in the Koran, which is repetitive, devoid of an overarching narrative, and obsessed with punishment for those who refuse to accept that a seventh-century psychopath and paedophile was the instrument of a higher power.

    Moreover, Western Civilization, even during the Early Middle Ages, has never gone static. Islam has been static ever since the imams and their ilk finally got control of the Islamic world from around 1200 A.D. onwards. Western Civilization blows away whatever the Islamic world achieved. Do you really think the Islamic world, left to its own devices, would have ever developed calculus, the internal combustion engine, the geological timetable, telephones, aircraft, computers, television, cars, spacecraft and modern medicine? If you do, you live in a dream
    world, but then, to be a Muslim, you have to live in a make-believe world.

    • rtj1211

      The Mathematics of Muslim scholars was far beyond that of ‘the West’ when we were in the ‘Dark Ages’. My view is that the Muslims are having their ‘Dark Ages’ now.

      Trust me, Muslims can be every bit as inventive as we can be – I’ve seen that demonstrated by Muslims on more than one occasion.

      I think the truth however is that no rigid conforming extremist, be they Christian, Jew or Muslim, is capable of being very inventive. They are capable of being good production managers, accountants, anything which involves rigorous attention to detail without questioning the premises.

      Those whose faith is more nuanced, more mature, are capable of being extremely inventive, however.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Or was it ancient Greek and Roman knowledge they got access to when they invaded territories?

        The Dome of the Rock was an architectural rip off of San Vitale (begun 532AD)

        • Blindsideflanker

          PS Were the dark ages so dark? Alfred the Great twice travelled to Rome, and when in power he had translated and translated works himself so that the local English population could learn.

          • Zanderz

            Posted below as well:

            The European ‘Dark Ages’ are apparently named due to our lack of historical knowledge from that time, not because of any lack of cultural, social and technological development during that time. That period of history was as dynamic and interesting as any other.

        • evad666

          It is now generally agreed that islam paid generously for Greek and Roman Knowledge. In fact other than one emir who built extensive astronomy facilities prior to him falling foul of paedophile immans when he tried to stamp out their keeping of satraps I can recall little of benefit.
          Harvest that data Mrs May. Must go someone is at the door!!

        • Angry Viking

          Muslim mathematics of the period was mostly acquired from India.

          • madge hirsch

            In the process of ruining a great civilisation.

          • Angry Viking

            Yes, indeed – go and Google the death toll caused by the Moghuls during their conquest of India for some true horror.

          • RichardBaranov

            Yes indeed! 80 million Indians murdered and the almost total destruction of Buddhism in India, courtesy of the religion of peace.

          • mollysdad

            If it takes, on average, seven minutes to behead an infidel, how many infidels can be beheaded in the space of five hours?

      • Mike

        Most would agree that centuries ago that ‘Muslim’ scholars did contribute something towards evolution & understanding but that was an awful long time ago. But were these Muslim scholars really Jewish scholars forced to live under a caliphate ? Its certainly the case that there are far more Jewish scholars, scientists etc that have won nobel prizes for their contribution to mankind whilst Islam has contributed the worst in mankind.

        • Damaris Tighe

          Many of these scholars were in fact Jewish & Christian with Arabic names. See ‘The Impact of Islam’ by Emmet Scott (who, of course, has to write under a pseudonym for fear of reprisals).

          • Mike

            Thanks for that, it was an educated guess on my part.

            All religions/cultures that control their people be it Communism, Christianity previously or Islam tend to suppress free thinking and new ideas.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Islam has a problem with science because of its account of causality. As everything is in the hands of allah, including natural causation, he can choose to change any thing at any time. Thus he can make a river flow upwards if he wants. Clearly this poses a problem for the discovery of natural law that underpins science.

            Edit: oh dear, I’ve done it again. This point already made by another poster!

          • Pat Conway

            All religions are in conflict with science.

          • PaulF

            That would explain why empirical science developed in the Judaeo Christian world and not anywhere else.

          • Pat Conway

            Science deals with the natural not the supernatural.

          • PaulF

            Even if that were true it wouldn’t help your case. Empirical science emerged in the Judaeo Christian world and not elsewhere, which discredits your assertion above.

          • Pat Conway

            No it doesn’t. Try using science to prove the existence of god.

          • Linda Smith

            Saw a TV programme interviewing Muslim teenage schoolchildren who rejected science because everything was in the koran

          • AJH1968

            Arab numerals were also not exclusively a product of Islamic countries but were transmitted from Hindu India. No doubt the development and reception of such knowledge can be attributed to the Jewish and Christian scholars you refer to above. Islamic gentlemen been primarily concerned with rapine and bloody mayhem.

          • Damaris Tighe

            I believe the much celebrated ‘arab’ zero also originated from Hindu India.

          • AJH1968

            Gwailor 875 AD if I am not mistaken and the stirrup in the 2nd century BC also in India. It is very clear how much of a blow the Islamization of India was to its Hindu inhabitants a fact completely ignored by the left. Perhaps it does not suit their narrative.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Hindu & Sikh Indians have a lot to say about it though. We should listen to them.

          • Mike

            I couldn’t post what my Indian friends say about Islam or Muslims.

        • Keith Thomas

          Right, Jewish and also Arab scholars. Many of the most intellectually able and adventurous were condemned as apostates.

          Perhaps Islam was not as dogmatic then as it is now. Islam lacks a conception of Allah appropriate to underwrite a scientific worldview. Rodney Stark writes that “Allah is not presented as a lawful creator but is conceived of as an extremely active god who intrudes in the world as he deems appropriate [hence] natural laws [are] as blasphemy in that they deny Allah’s freedom to act”

          • Blindsideflanker

            “Perhaps Islam was not as dogmatic then as it is now.”

            You reckon? Tell that to the Jewish people who lived in Yathrib, who Mohammed ‘invited’ to join his religion, when they declined he threw them out of town, then renamed Yathrib as Medina.

        • Hoot_Gibson

          you say:
          Most would agree that centuries ago that ‘Muslim’ scholars did
          contribute something towards evolution & understanding but that was an awful long time ago.
          You really mean they contributed by 100 ways to f**k a camel or the systemic rape of 1400 vulnerable white girls from Rotherham

          • Mike

            I believe there is some anecdotal evidence that camels can infect humans with syphilis.

        • Zanderz

          I think the truth of this is that those ‘Islamic’ scholars succeeded despite Islam, not because of it.

      • mohdanga

        So why are Muslim countries so backward even with their access to 21st century technology invented by the West??
        How did the Dark Age Europeans manage to build magnificent cathedrals if they were so unenlightened?

        • Zanderz

          The European ‘Dark Ages’ are apparently named due to our lack of historical knowledge from that time, not because of any lack of cultural, social and technological development during that time. That period of history was as dynamic and interesting as any other.

        • Damaris Tighe

          The cathedrals weren’t built in the period generally called the Dark Ages, but the period that followed, ie, the Middle Ages.

      • madge hirsch

        You mean the secret apostates?

  • Blindsideflanker

    I must agree, our laws of free speech is in part what makes us who we are.

    If we need something to roll back the Islmofascism that has found a foot hold in our country it is to have an establishment that isn’t so self loathing about our nation, and less tolerant of the Islomofascists. We need an establishment to proselytise our nation and culture, they need to get in the faces of the ‘communities’ including the Islmofascists as to why it is good to be here, because of our civilisation, and not from where they have come from.

    • rtj1211

      Actually, you need people to be capable of beating the Islamists in argument in front of their peers.

      You won’t change a thing ranting here or in any other right wing ‘white man’s journal’.

      You need to go into the Muslim heartlands and put your foot down when they talk about the ‘Muslim right to jihad’ if that involves harm to the UK. You tell them quite clearly that they must decide between UK citizenship and becoming a jihadi. You make sure that the TV is there when you make that statement and you make absolutely sure that the police are ready to make some arrests if violent and threatening responses come your way.

      Nothing like a few boundaries for aggressive Muslims you know. Putting feet down. Telling them clearly that this is not a Muslim country, they were invited here as guests and if they want to live in a Muslim country, well go and live in one. There are plenty in the Middle East and North Africa, after all…..

      • Blindsideflanker

        “You won’t change a thing ranting here or in any other right wing ‘white man’s journal’.”

        Agreed, but it would be a start if the self loathing white establishment saw they were part of the problem. To have them defend our civilisation would be a beginning.

        I fully agree with you about establishing some boundaries, essentially that was part of what I was attempting to argue for. As I have said before, the British establishment’s much trumpeted tolerance was really camouflage for their moral cowardice. In tolerating everything they gave room for this Islamofascism. We need to, as you say, draw some lines, and get in the faces of these Islamofascists.

      • David Prentice

        That would involve the British Army. Personally I’m all for it.

  • rtj1211

    I have to say that the Press promoting ‘Shock N Awe’ in 2002/3 would have merited this ‘Inciting of Hatred’. It was the same about the Argies before the Falklands war – I saw how it turned peacable 17 year olds into rabid anti-Argie haters, when none of them had ever met an Argentine in their lives.

    I really do think you’ll have to have a purge of GCHQ, Spectator, DT, Express and Mail if you want to make such laws stick.

    I’m not being nasty. I’m just telling the truth.

    What this story is actually about is: ‘we are too cowardly to confront these people through debate, marches or police action so we will stop free speech’.

    It’s nothing new, after all. I walked through baying Leftie crowds to enter a Cambridge Union 30 years ago to hear Michael Heseltine speak about Greenham Common etc and another time to hear the South African Ambassador get absolutely trounced about apartheid. Those Lefties didn’t believe in Free Speech nor in a debating chamber voting decisively for the opinions of those Lefties on those matters (in the case of apartheid, anyway).

    However, we do believe in trade sanctions on Russia whilst funding a coup in Ukraine, allied to a bombing campaign of an unelected government against its own people. We didn’t trust Ukraine to ‘vote the right way’ in the General Election which was due there in 2015.

    In short, you can hardly be surprised about the turn of domestic events when you look at the absolute hatred of democratic outcomes that we display in foreign arenas.

  • Roy

    Admitted enemies of the state, ones who live by their religious script which positively ascribes death to the host, the English, should not be allowed sanctuary here in Britain in the first place.

  • lookout

    The speech that got him killed, the title given to a speech by JFK, spells out true liberalism and the quest for an open and free society, I know times have changed and there are challenges to our values and freedoms but Mays speech and the new laws will take us further along the road to feudalism.

  • Roger James Michael Sutherland

    “We do live in dangerous times, but the job of the home secretary is to reject as false the choice between our liberty and our security. This, after all, is the Conservative way.”

    Is it? The Conservatives have been ban-happy for a long time. They even banned hundreds of films during the 1980s thanks to the idiotic moral panic instilled by campaigners like Mary Whitehouse. This during the reign of the supposedly classical liberal Thatcher, too. If they can ban fun harmless b-movies for the protection of morals (the ECHR would love that, btw), it’s no great leap for them to also try banning “extreme” opinions.

  • Damaris Tighe

    What most right of centre people want to see are the existing laws on incitement applied equally without fear or favour – that is, without the ‘hate crime’ add-on which in practice is applied to the majority population but rarely to minorities.

    ‘Incitement’ is far more objective than ‘extremist views’. Is the person preaching violence? ‘Extremist views’ may be simply something that the government doesn’t like & as it appears that our political class are far more afraid of indigenous protest (eg EDL) than of Islamism, we have cause to be very, very afraid of May’s proposals.

    • Linda Smith

      During recent Gaza conflict police in London prevented a small pro israel rally but let the huge pro hamas one go ahead. I think the rationale was the pro Israel one would provoke violence.

  • Zanderz

    I think the problem with laws like this is they apply to all. Clearly there is a problem with militant Islam. Some interpretations of Islam are totalitarian, supremacist and endorse the use of violence to achieve their goals. Surely the best way to deal with these interpretations is to name them and deal with them specifically. Global rules are not suitable for specific challenges. For example, we should specifically ban the burka, not ‘all head coverings’.

    A list of specific restrictions for followers and promoters of militant Islam needs to be formulated. The same principles were applied to Fascism during WW2.

    Douglas Murray should set this a his new task.

    As militant Islam is an interpretation that comes from Islam in general (the term ‘radicalization’) then some restrictions must also be placed on Islam in general to stop this happening.

    One of the benefits of a strong legislative and political resistance to Islam is that those Muslims that do not subscribe to the militant view will be emboldened to state their theological case against militant Islam. At the moment they are either too scared to say anything, or too quiet to get heard over the militant rhetoric.

    It sounds draconian BUT we are unfortunately at a time where we need to be so. The world is becoming more polarized. We have to choose our side – that of capitulation to Islam or not. If we choose ‘not’ then we need to robustly defend ourselves against Islam.

    Islam is not sleeping and is not bening. The longer politicians have their heads in the sand and their hands behind their backs the more inroads Islam (and therefore militant Islam) will have into this country.

  • John Carins

    Orwell’s 1984 was a warning not a manual. Ms May needs to get herself down to the JobCentrePlus!

  • Ahobz

    Mike below has it.

  • Des Demona

    I’m against any legislation that prevents free speech and yes there are other ways to deal with these hate preachers.
    For a very modest sum I can put you in touch with some Albanian gentlemen of my acquaintance.

  • stag

    She didn’t suggest preventing views – that it inaccurate. She wants to prevent the preaching of certain views, which is different.

    But I don’t see why our current laws should be insufficient. If Choudary really is the target, surely he his words have incited to violence? Why do we need a new law to prosecute Choudary? I don’t really get that.

    • Leo Giles Dexter

      Time to wake up. This isn’t about Choudary at all. NOT AT ALL. Its about criminalizing dissent of any kind.

    • Mike

      Who decides what views as we already have that very problem at the moment with the CPS and plod over cherry picking who they charge on many offences.

  • Leo Giles Dexter

    In his little reported speech to the UN General Assembly last week, the Prime Minister made it clear that those who promote ‘alternative’ views of the events of 9/11 and 7/7 may very well be swept up by these proposals. This represents the criminalization of dissent and the strangling of freedom of intellectual inquiry, the very hallmarks of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes. Conservatives at all levels of the party must be lobbied to make sure these dreadful proposals do not appear in the manifesto, and never make it to the statute book. If they do, then the Home Secretary should be the first to be prosecuted…for undermining democracy. Incidentally, the so-called anti-slavery legislation is very badly drafted indeed and creates whole new categories of offences which fly in the face of common sense and personal liberty.

  • colchar

    Free speech in Britain??? Just try saying anything racist, you’ll find yourself in jail. Now I am not condoning racism, I am just saying that it is not a criminal matter and that free speech in Britain is a myth.

  • Roger Hudson

    Article first appeared on the 4th Oct.? How am I reading it on the 2nd then?

  • Roger Hudson

    Britain is now a pathetic husk of it’s previous self. May will make things even wore.
    Free speech is a con trick, we all know that this slide in Britain really started with the Blair government.

    • PaulF

      Earlier than that. It began between the wars, when Britain’s ruling class, nervous about what had happened in Russia, stopped trusting in God and turned instead to freemasonry. They thought it would be a good foundation for social cohesion. It turned out to be a good foundation for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • thomasaikenhead

    The UK has plenty of laws on the statute book already but only five men have been convicted of child abuse in Rotherham despite the Jay Report making clear that there were at least 1,400 victims who were abused over decades.

    Any comment Mrs May?

  • The Masked Marvel

    At last, common sense on this issue from the Spectator. Well said. But there is still apparently some confusion on how to deal with the growing issue of radicalisation.

    It was not wrong of Today to give Choudary the air time. It was, however, wrong of the Today producers and John Humphrys to approach him the way they did. It was not only a lazy try for a gotcha moment, but a dishonest attempt by the BBC to portray Choudray as a fringe outlier, representing no one but himself, with the goal – as usual – of reassuring the audience that only the most microscopic of a minority of Muslims agree with him.

    Of course, the reason the experienced, professional journalists at Today went that route and Humphrys did little more than ask him over and over again to condemn the killing before finally continuing the interview, is that they couldn’t address his argument about foreign policy being the root cause. That’s because the BBC agree with Choudary. So they had to find a way to distance themselves from him instead of trying to dismantle his argument, which is usually what Today presenters are supposed to do.

    Teresa May has done essentially the same thing by attempting to make an official government proclamation on how Islam is meant to be interpreted. Additionally, she alienates the police on many more issues than on Stop and Search, and not in a good way. Any Home Secretary working in the current climate would have been able to get Abu Hamza deported. It’s troubling to find her praised at all in these pages, but at least the Spectator editors understand when she and this Government have gone too far on the issue of basic liberty.

    • Mike

      My problem with giving extremists air time is even with hard nosed hosts who try and get at the truth, its very difficult to get any semblance of an answer. Its bad enough with politicians who evade and twist the truth but far, far worse with scu*bags like Choudary. This is especially so when someone with an opposite view is on board as they always keep talking to use up time and then talk over the opposite view.

      Where we have these interviews what I’d like to see is a rigid time limit of say 1 minute to make a response to a question whether from the chair person or the opposite side and when their time is up their mike is turned off and the camera goes to the other person.

      I’ve seen debates on you tube over Islam where the adjudicator ensures a fixed response time is maintained and no interruptions are allowed and it works very well. Everyone gets to hear both sides of the argument without the usual left wing tactic of running over time or talking over the others response.

      That would put Choudary back in his ‘pram’ and ensure a fair debate is carried out. In all honesty I’d like to see this on all current affairs programs including question time.

      • sebastian2

        I agree. I’ve watched and listened to Choudary whose skill lies in never answering a question; never having to account for himself and his misguided beliefs; and in denying all responsibility for anything grim or otherwise unacceptable that happens, anywhere, as driven or incited by what passes for his “religion”. He and the creed he represents are, literally, irresponsible.

        I feel we’re rather entitled to take Choudary, who enjoys such publicity and media indulgence, as a model for the warped doctrine he foolishly subscribes to. Why not? I’m not aware of mohammedans demanding his removal from the airwaves. They don’t seem offended by his portrayal of their beliefs. There’s been no theological outrage at any “misrepresentation”. No veiled threats to the BBC, for instance for having him on the box. So I guess they – the world’s most otherwise readily insulted constituency – probably approve of his views. And why might that be? Because they probably share them. Many thousands, or more, of them who cannot fault his mohammedanism.

        So we have now, a large, well funded presence wholly committed to ideological and political supremacy over the UK whose citizens would either convert or die. The lucky ones might live reduced lives and pay tax. Group representatives – Choudary and others – of this seditious cult are permitted to propagate their opinions – openly calling for the overthrow of the society that supports and indulges them, and appearing tolerant of “terror”. Moreover, anyone standing against this may be investigated or otherwise harassed by the very state whose destruction is sought. On top of all that, a senior Minister, in denial of the wider truths, and oblivious to the anger of the wider citizenry, lectures the population on this rival and determined, quite brutal ideology’s “peaceful” intentions when substantial passages of its own sacred doctrine (its constitution that no-one is allowed to question) and the deeds of its followers and institutions, tell us otherwise.

        Isn’t there a kind of disturbing madness about this?

        • Mike

          There is a madness here and I cannot understand why the ruling elite are pandering to theirs and our own self destruction. Its almost like a Chamberlain moment where pretty much everyone knew WWII was about to happen but the leaders were in denial.

          Can they not see what is happening everywhere Islam is entrenched and that includes the west, I don’t think they want to.

          Going back to the ‘air time’ point I have another more direct way of ensuring debates were carried out in a fair manner. There was a barking mad female Labour plant in the audience of question time who asked a question trying to put a female Ukip spokesperson on the spot. Having asked the question she stopped talking and the Ukip woman started to reply but before she had got more than 5 or so words out, this ranting harridan started up again on her second pointless rant.

          My suggestion is to fit canine electric shock collars on that b****** in the audience and just deactivate it for 30 secs to allow her to ask the question. Then activate it again to allow the opposite viewpoint to be heard in peace and respect. Perhaps if that was a condition of getting air time we’d see a lot of changes and proper debate in the future.


          • sebastian2

            Some of these howling “plants” are, frankly, truly awful. All I can hope is that their raucous screeching does their cause – often dubious to start with – no good at all. As if to make matters worse, the Chairs of these debates seem often quite weak.

            The microphones must surely have an “off” switch somewhere?

  • sebastian2

    Let’s call it “hate speech” and spare ourselves the grammatical quibbles. So ………… hate speechers are who the Home Secretary will attempt to outlaw – along with their hatred. My fear is that it cannot be done and that free expression may be unreasonably diminished in this futile attempt. I believe we may already have enough laws against incitement to violence, and against treason, though I see few or no signs of them being applied as rigorously as many might wish. Why then should new legislation comfort us when current legislation has failed us?

    That aside, the problem is surely not that hate speechers use our freedoms to insult and threaten us but that we, through political correctness and cowardice, don’t use the same freedoms – our freedoms actually – to answer back. Fear of retribution and a seriously twisted sense of what’s multiculturally proper have so tongue-tied us that we cannot speak out and expose the utter nonsense of many mohammedans’ claims or beliefs and the wickedness of their many deeds or customary practices. We saw this in Rotherham. Many perhaps suspect – as I do – that there are more “Rotherhams”. Many things, still, that need questioning, publicising and perhaps denouncing: as they should be.

    As they should be, but are often not. The freedom of expression that hate speechers so lavishly avail themselves of is denied to their critics and to the intelligent, well informed sceptics of their creed (of which there are many). Mohammedans can, with total impunity, demand the deaths of those who “insult the prophet”. They can brandish placards, scream for vengeance, and cast the vilest of insults. They can advocate shar’ia and Britain’s overthrow. We’ve heard it. We’ve seen it. But as if there’s an unwritten law of blasphemy to which we’ve never consented, we are forbidden to take their “prophet” and his improbable doctrine to pieces or to dismantle – as we can – the RoP fallacy. To give believers a vocal taste of their own medicine: just as out loud and just as in public.

    It is not a case, therefore, merely of prohibiting hate speechers’ freedom of expression but, more crucially, one of defending our freedom utterly to oppose and challenge them; and of using existing laws to punish them for things that, done by us, would invite the swiftest penalties.

    • Mike

      Free speech is far more likely to combat all the hate & barbarity that Islam inspires and promotes than more hate crime legislation.

      As many have said previously, there’s a mountain of unnecessary legislation against so called hate crimes that isn’t even applied equally as all it does is stoke up hate for the first time in those who are unfairly targeted whilst those like Anjem Choudary continue their hate filled lies untouched.

      I’d argue that removing previous hate crime legislation would let the debates start in earnest without fear of some jobsworth in the Plod or CPS feeling your collar just because a left wing fascist objected to the truth being told.

      Like him or hate him, Nick Griffin was telling the truth when he exposed young white girls being used as meat by Pakistani men even if he didn’t put it in so many words. The BBC, Plod and the CPS all conspired against him to ‘fit him up’ but as we know, the jury saw the truth and the whole world now knows about Rotherham and what Islam spawned.

      • sebastian2

        The Tories have been guilty of political divorce from ordinary people. As far as many are concerned, they’ve simply lost the plot entirely. They don’t reflect our views. If this is so with ordinary Brits whose culture, background and customary language they are supposed to share but seem not to, how do they hope to reflect or appeal to the views of mohammedans with whom they have even less in common? The distance between them and HMG will be greater by far than the gap between HMG and the public. How can that yawning cultural and ideological (aka “religious”) chasm be bridged, or narrowed?

        Well …………. the answer appears to be by making the crudest and most appeasist RoP flattery – with highly selective quotes from mohammedans’ Dodgy Dossier – that I’ve ever heard, and that a Home Secretary truly connected would never have had the brass neck to make. Such lofty praise defies the facts and insults the intelligence of those familiar with them.

        And why focus such a substantial part of her speech on mohammedism at all? There are other creeds in Britain more worthy of the RoP title. Yet …………. not a word. Instead, many words about the cult that perhaps deserves it least.

        I will leave you to answer these questions in your own way, though I dare say your conclusion will match mine and that of many others who listened to Teresa May’s truly nauseating and ham-handed attempt to persuade us from what we know to be generally so. “Religion of Peace”? As if that was all that needed to be said about it? As if that was true in every sense? As if there was nothing else at all, anywhere, that painted a far different, darker picture?

        Dear oh dear. What a blunder. What a cock-up. Out of touch with us; remoter still from mohammedans; and detached from actuality.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “The Metropolitan Police is investigating a catalogue of vile internet abuse targeting the family of Madeleine McCann including death threats, Sky News can reveal.”
    Heads up, Spectator. I’ve subject to a 10-year campaign by a deranged cyber stalker who insists I’m Japanese rather than British. Why are you still providing a forum, Spectator?
    Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

    • You are a Japanese pretending, unconvincingly, to be a British expatriate.

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        “Madeleine McCann internet troll accused found dead in hotel”

        There will be a reckoning.

        • New balls, please!

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            You really need to do a bit of urgent fence mending, Jock. Because with all that’s on your rap sheet there’s no way you’ll get into Heaven. St. Peter will take one look at you and kick your sorry arse down below.
            Heaven for the view, Hell for the company.

          • You, my son, are not God. Now, bog off, before I knock your lights out!

  • Terence Hale

    “Britain doesn’t need hateful laws to defeat hate preachers”. I live at the moment in Holland, Philips make Electric shavers, could this be a solution?

  • WFB56

    There is much that can be easily disputed about Mrs. May’s “successes” as home secretary, not the least of which is the suggestion that any of her actions have actually impacted the crime rate.

    What cannot be disputed is that she has revealed herself as the embodiment of the “nasty politician” with her authoritarian efforts to regulate speech. This is an act which, together with the reintroductin of the European Arrest Warrant, reveals how completely unfit she is to hold any position of authority in the Government.

  • Guest

    I fear

  • Michelle

    Just gaol/deport them for sedition as Islam is a belligerent ideology and more bloodthirsty than National Socialism and Communism combined and a damn sight more dangerous Doesn’t near 1400 years of history teach you anything?.

    • Mike

      Yep, 1 year for each girl gang raped at Rotherham !

  • Blazeaway

    May’s proposal to criminalise ‘extreme’ opinion that is actually within the law is already with us.

    In Preston there was a ‘gay pride’ event last week. A church group distributed leaflets, clearly based on biblical belief, saying that homosexuality was wrong.

    A gay complained to Lancashire Police that it was offensive. Plod investigated and found no crime had been committed.

    However – and this is the appalling bit – the police said they would track down the leaflet’s publishers and visit them at home to ‘discuss’ the leaflets.

    Why? No offence had been committed. Since when have the police been calling at people’s homes to discuss biblical belief? What authority do they have?

    Surely they are acting way beyond their authority. No one’s religious beliefs should be policed by agents of the state.

    I suggest the purpose of the police’s visit is simple: to frighten and intimidate the anti-gay campaigners into never daring to express their views again.

    We have a Conservative government. Is this the Conservative way?

    • Damaris Tighe

      This is indeed frightening. Where does it end if a visit from the police results from a member of a protected minority feeling offended? And this move might deter printers from accepting jobs that could cause a visit from the police & possible prosecution.

      I’m reminded of the man who patrolled Oxford Street for years with sandwich boards telling us that eating animal protein & too much sex were harmful. His views were loony – a typical English eccentric. But he was left alone to advertise his beliefs. Today, would someone object & be taken seriously?

    • Noa

      Ah, but we have a Coalition government, not a real Conservative one. And we can’t really tell Cameron and friends apart from Miliband and comrade or Clegg and his cling-ons. If we really want any change to th increasingly totalitarian regimes which are now attempting to dictate our lives and even our thoughts to us, there is only one choice.

  • Terry Field

    Britain would do better to identify and remove the large numbers of imported barbarians, and restore its settled culture,than turn the place into a legal concentration camp.
    We all know perfectly well what is the source of the poison, and which people carry it.