Three people to ask about free speech in Britain

Plus: the real number of Muslims in Birmingham, and which liquids are cheaper than milk at Tesco

17 January 2015

9:00 AM

17 January 2015

9:00 AM

Not Charlie

Some cases which make Britain a pretty poor champion of free speech:
— In 2005 Bristol pub landlord Leroy Trought was given an Asbo and told to remove a sign for his car park, calling it ‘the porking yard’, after complaints to police that it was ‘racially and sexually offensive’.
— In 2006, Angie Sayer, landlady of the New Inn, Wedmore, Somerset, was questioned by police for using a Welsh flag in a St George’s Day darts match and inviting participants to ‘slay the dragon’.
— In 2010 street-preacher Dale McAlpine was arrested, locked in a cell for seven hours and had his DNA and fingerprints taken after telling a passer-by that he thought homosexuality was sinful.

Brum statistics

A self-professed expert on terrorism apologised after telling Fox News that Birmingham is ‘wholly Muslim’. Some 22 per cent of Birmingham’s residents identified themselves as Muslim in the 2011 census, compared with 46 per cent Christian and 19 per cent non-religious. What are the most Muslim council areas in England?

Tower Hamlets 35%
Newham 32%
Blackburn with Darwen 27%
Bradford 25%
Luton 25%
Slough 23%
Redbridge 23%

Milk and water

The dairy industry claimed that milk was being sold at less than the price of water. Prices of liquids, per litre, at Tesco:

Buxton water 30p
Milk 44p
Bleach 75p
Petrol £1.05
Coca-Cola £1.49
Fosters lager £1.90

Fatwas for everything

A Saudi cleric issued a fatwa against building snowmen, after a snowstorm coated the kingdom’s highlands. Some advice from clerics in response to questions posed on
Hair transplants: permissible
Calling your father by his nickname: permissible
A woman cutting her hair in the style of Princess Diana: not permissible
Listening to Koranic verses in the car: permissible, but not if the speakers are below the level of the feet
Wishing someone Happy New Year: Permissible if you are returning a greeting but not if you are initiating it.

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  • Howe Synnott

    Break out the Champagne – Je suis Bemused.