Surprised to find Boris Johnson MP has a new blog design. And with it a new post by Melissa regarding the proposed Racial and Religious Hatred Bill. Those who occassionally glance through this blog will know that I myself am opposed to the bill, particularly the bit on religious hatred.
The proposed ban on incitement to "religious hatred" makes no sense unless it involves a ban on the Koran itself; and that would be pretty absurd, when you consider that the Bill's intention is to fight Islamophobia. As for the measures Clarke announced yesterday, to stop people "glorifying or condoning" acts of terrorism, they seem to trap us in a semantic convolvulus. What is "condoning" an act of terror?
The Daily Mail yesterday denounced the evil mullahs who "blame us" for the bombings, in the sense that we were co-invaders of Iraq. But, er, it was surely the same Daily Mail that, two weeks ago, printed an article by Sir Max Hastings, saying that the chief provocation for the bombings was Britain's role in the Iraq war. Are we proposing to bang up Sir Max, George Galloway and all the millions of Britons who make the same point as the evil mullah?
Actually I know many of you right wingers who may have wandered into this tiny blog by accident would probably agree with The Daily Mail to bang us 'lefties' in prison. Remember this?
Back to the topic of religion. I seem to remember being forced feed a leaflet on converting to Christianity. Not that I have anything to convert from seeing as I am a person of no faith. Didn't the Catholic Church speaker at last week's vigil mentioned something about people of all faiths and non faiths should join together? Well, then please refrain yourself from approaching me with that book unless you are willing to be involved in a debate with me.
And what about the outdated Blasphemy law that some Christian factions has threaten to invoke in order to stop us BBC license payers from enjoying a crude television programme featuring a gay Jesus? And then there was that protest by the Sikh community in Birmingham.
What with this new law, we are not allowed to criticise organised religion anymore. How are we to combat Islamic extremism if such laws would bar us from opening our mouth in such a PC world?
Free speech should be the way on religion. If it is alright to criticise political belief then it should be as well for religion.
But I do need protection from religious fanatics, can this bill provide me that?