Saturday, March 05, 2005

Labour's Dumb Laws

It seems more than a few people agree that labour's law against inciting religious hatred will be counterproductive(no I am not suggesting that Charles Moore reads my blog). In fact I have not seen a single article in any of the major newspapers in support of the law apart from one by former Home Secretary David (Big) Blunkett in the Guardian. It's his law after all.

It seems the perfect religion of Islam and all powerful Allah need protection from criticism by the British Anglican state. If Islam is perfect then surely it can stand up to a lot of criticism? Muslim groups claim they only want the same protection as existing law gives racial groups such as Jews and Sikhs. The thing is as the comedian Rowan Atkinson told a Commons committee: "To criticize people for their race is manifestly irrational but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticize ideas -any ideas- even if they are sincerely held beliefs is one of the fundamental freedoms of society and a law that attemtps to say you can criticize or ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed." literally I could not have said it better myself.

The fact that the proposed law is unlikely to get through the Lords shows the law up for what it is, a cynical attempt to buy back Muslim votes lost after the Iraq invasion. This divisive law is a bit like G.W. Bush's marriage amendment and his father's anti flag burning one, vote winners with no chance of getting past.


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