Most Tories say they’re against the ‘no-platform’ stance with extremists like the BNP. They put up Baroness Warsi against Nick Griffin on BBC Question Time even though Labour MPs like Peter Hain refused to share a platform with the BNP.
Their reasoning is that white extremists should be debated rather than shunned, otherwise the problem gets worse. And debating solves everything, right?
But you won’t be surprised to hear that it’s one rule for white extremists and another rule for Muslims. The Observer reported yesterday that David Cameron has banned Baroness Warsi from attending the Global Peace and Unity event organised by the Islam Channel. Since it’s the IC, you can expect some Muslim extremists to also be part of the proceedings. But the Tories don’t want them to be debated. Neither does Paul Goodman of ConservativeHome – who previously argued that we should debate the BNP.
Oh, bloggers at Harry’s Place are also applauding this decision, but they gave up any pretence on having equal standards on free speech ages ago.
As I’ve documented before – this hypocrisy of neo-conservatives, on the left and right, crops up regularly. Tories are against racial profiling when it’s to encourage equality in representation, but for it when arguing for black and Asian men to be stopped and searched. They want to allow white extremists like Geert Wilders coming into this country, but not Muslim ones like al-Qaradawi. They wouldn’t like white extremist groups like the BNP to be banned, but happy to advocate for groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir to be banned.
I don’t suppose it makes the heads of these ideologues explode with irony and hypocrisy, but you’d think at least government ministers who claim to care for free speech and civil liberties engage their brains a bit more. For the record: I’m not fussed either way – what pisses me off is the double-standards. Either say you’re going to debate all extremists, or don’t share a platform with any.
|Post to del.icio.us|
Filed in: Civil liberties,Media