There are, of course, social settings where it pays to watch your words. Saying you fancy the looks of a mafioso’s new girlfriend could well prove fatal. Spending time with a bunch of Hamas terrorists while expressing your love for Israel might not lead to your premature demise. In London today, young men who make remarks or play music to other youths on the street can wind up stabbed to death. A recent comment on The Independent website claims, “In this country [the UK], some views, regardless of how valid and logical, can result in anything from public rebuke to loss of a job to violence.”
For the most part, we learn how to avoid words or actions that may offend someone or some group, especially if it is known to be prone to violence. Yet these misfortunes are rare and we live our lives on the assumption that in democratic countries, we can speak freely within the norms of civil society. We recognize that in many countries, racist, homophobic, antisemitic, or “Islamophobic” hate speech can be reported to the police and lead to the arrest and eventual trial of the speaker. The United States’ First Amendment to its Constitution protects its citizens from prosecution for free speech, except where there is a credible threat of “Imminent lawless action.”
If angry exchanges take place, they are just a consequence of living in countries where free speech and unfettered opinion are cherished. We have seen what happens in countries where there is no free speech –as the Soviet Union or present day Pakistan (here, here and here); it often is not pretty and in much of the West is regarded as well worth the trade-off.
Particular sensitivities surround religious ideas, and histories. Nowhere is this more apparent today than in the instance of Islam, where anything untoward, especially statements that even a few people may consider blasphemous — such as young schoolchildren naming a toy teddy bear Mohammad, a common enough name in the Sudan — might be treated as criminal offences. In the West, within secular democratic states, most churches mercifully appear no longer interested in controlling matters such as blasphemy. When I lived in the Irish Republic in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Catholic Church held a tight grip on society. Books were banned, including by James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence and all of Sigmund Freud. Films and plays were also banned or censored. The intolerant ban on Catholics studying at Trinity College Dublin perpetuated injustice. Since the 1960s, however, we now have same-sex marriage, women’s right to abortion, and an openly gay Taoiseach (Prime Minister). This year, on October 6, a majority of the Irish voted in a referendum to abolish the blasphemy law that had been in its constitution since 1937. The country has liberalized remarkably.
Among the topics (see ‘related articles’ below) that the BBC chose to promote during 2018 in a manner that went beyond ordinary reporting both in terms of the amount of content produced and adherence to standards of ‘due impartiality’ was that of cuts in US aid to Palestinians – particularly via the UN agency UNRWA.
Nearly two weeks before any official US announcement was made the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ was already framing the topic for listeners in an item that purported to examine the question of “who would lose out the most if President Trump followed through on his threat to cut funding to the Palestinians?”
January 3rd, ‘Newshour’, BBC World Service radio:
“As we see…
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The fact that anti-Semitism is growing across much of the world is beyond debate any longer. There is the anti-Israel hatred throughout much of the Arab and Muslim worlds. That is largely been based upon verses in the Quran and continuing the atmosphere that the Jewish People are inferior and been relegated by Allah to be subservient to the Islamic peoples. In Europe anti-Semitism has been growing partially due to the influx of Islamic people from the Arab worlds of the Middle East and North Africa in mostly uncontrolled immigration. This has also allowed for the formerly quiet anti-Semitism which ran under the radar in the European culture which has become more accepted and thus has come out from the shadows and into the mainstream. The growing anti-Semitism in the United States is harder to reveal as it is very often downplayed, especially that which is coming from the far-left…
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Appeals court agrees with trial judge’s ruling that John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were manipulated by police.
B.C.’s Appeal Court has upheld a decision that found a couple accused of plotting to blow up the provincial legislature was entrapped by the RCMP.
In a ruling released Wednesday, Justice Elizabeth Bennett wrote that while the trial judge made some errors, she did not err in finding that John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were manipulated by the Mounties.
“I therefore agree with the trial judge that the overall conduct of this investigation was a travesty of justice,” Bennett wrote in her ruling.
Bennett ordered a stay of proceedings.
On December 9, 2018 The Hill, posted an article, that was short and to the point, “Iran: US sanctions will open doors to ‘drugs, refugees and bombs and assassination’ in west.”
The article focused on the remarks of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made on December 8, 2018 at what was described as an “Anti-terrorism event” in Tehran. In his remarks Rouhani stated that if nations continued to adhere to the boycott against Iran that was reimposed by President Trump over the bogus Iranian nuclear deal that had been negotiated by the Obama administration, that Iran would not be able to continue its purported efforts to combat drug trafficking.
As reported in The Hill article:
“By making Iran weaker through sanctions, many people will not be safe. Those who do not believe what we say, they had better look at the map,” Rouhani added.
He said Iran spends millions each year against drug trafficking, “the results of which guarantees more health for people from Eastern Europe to Western America and from Northern Africa to Western Asia.”
“I warn all those who boycott, that if our abilities in fighting drugs and terrorism in their origins is undermined, you will not be able to survive the debris of drugs, refugees and bombs and assassination,” he added.
Franklin Graham, the son of the late Billy Graham, tweeted that Allah and the Christian God are “not the same.” Following the recent jihad attack in Strasbourg, Graham warned that “radical Islam continues to be a major global threat,” an obvious point that nevertheless makes one an “Islamophobe” for stating it.
Graham disagrees with the Pope:
Referring to the Pope’s comments that Islamic attacks do not constitute a “war of religion,” Graham posted on Facebook that “I disagree that it’s not a war of religion. It is most certainly a war of religion”…. In his reproach of the pope’s interpretation of Islamic terror, Rev. Graham said that religion “is behind the violence and jihad we’re seeing in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and here in this country.”
No one has been indicting all Muslims, but there are those who are quick to call truth-tellers “racists” and “Islamophobes.” Until those who pretend to care about human rights acknowledge the abuses that are being committed worldwide in the name of Islam, there will be no moving forward in the war against the global jihad (stealth and violent), and no reprieve for its countless victims.