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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Why its right to ban Islam4UK


    by Sunny on 14th January, 2010 at 11:48 AM    

    I’ve written an article for the Guardian pointing out why the decision to ban Islam4UK was right.
    An excerpt:

    I know people are fond of saying freedom of speech is absolute, but it’s not. People don’t have the absolute right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre. This relates to people’s access to information: in crowded places they don’t know whether there is a fire, and therefore start panicking if someone shouts “fire”. This principle applies to Islam4UK, too. They continually troll the media with outrageous statements and stunts they have no intention of carrying out, or are hilariously fantastical (the pictures of how Trafalgar Square / Buckingham Palace would look under sharia law, for instance).

    The public and media, not knowing much about Islam4UK, end up attaching too much importance to what this small bunch of crackpots have to say. Many also assume or want to believe that Islam4UK represents mainstream Muslim opinion. That is a failure of context and information: just like shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre. Islam4UK spokesman Anjem Choudary does this repeatedly, and a sensation-hungry media keeps dancing to his tune.

    Both British Muslims for Secular Democracy and Quilliam have also released statements agreeing with this.

    That reminds me, did anyone watch the Newsnight fight (at 18min in) between Maajid Nawaz and Anjem Choudhary? Choudhary pointedly refused to answer almost every question put to him. A complete fraud.


         
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    Filed in: Islamists, Terrorism






    21 Comments below   |   Add your own

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    1. Constantly Furious — on 14th January, 2010 at 11:55 AM  

      People don’t have the absolute right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre“.

      Yeah, they do.

      But with all rights come responsibilities: they also have the responsibility for the mayhem that might ensue.

      and a sensation-hungry media keeps dancing to his tune.

      So he/they should be banned from speaking? Why do those on the Left always want to ban what they can’t control?

    2. MiriamBinder — on 14th January, 2010 at 12:06 PM  

      To make the banning of Islam4UK analogous to the inadvisability of shouting FIRE in a cinema is stretching incredulity to breaking point.

      Freedom of Expression is absolute; to claim it conditional is like saying … and I paraphrase … “all people are equal, only some are more equal then others.”

    3. Dan — on 14th January, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

      The failure of the media in interpreting a group’s actions entails that the group should be banned? Rubbish - rather it entails that the media needs to sort itself out.

    4. Sunny — on 14th January, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

      they also have the responsibility for the mayhem that might ensue.

      And what responsibility do you think I4UK should bear for the mayhem?

      So he/they should be banned from speaking?

      You’re deliberately misreading. The media not giving someone attention doesn’t mean their right to speak is being taken away

    5. MiriamBinder — on 14th January, 2010 at 12:24 PM  

      What mayhem? The only mayhem I’ve seen is people getting themselves into a frazzle about a storm in a teacup. Does it really matter that some loathsome eejit somewhere wants to see Sharia Law the rule of law in UK? Has anything substantive been altered in the way we live our daily lives by the fantasies of some media whore?

    6. Podwangler — on 14th January, 2010 at 1:00 PM  

      Unfortunately freedom of speech is something that should be granted to everyone, not just those we agree with. Whilst I would like to see the BNP and their racist, homophobic and misogynistic agenda made illegal and banned, I am also well aware that to do so would be to infringe everyone’s freedom of speech. It’s a slippery slope. Where do you draw the line? Ireland introduced a blasphemy law which is being loudly derided across the world; what makes banning Islam4UK any better than that? Both curtail the fundamental freedom to say and write what we think, and to then face the consequences for it from other people. I can’t agree with you on this one I’m afraid.

    7. Capote — on 14th January, 2010 at 1:05 PM  

      Well, there are some people in the wider world who see Britain’s inexplicable and suicidal willingness to admit large numbers of the wholly unassimilable as a dreadful object lesson …

      http://blog.vdare.com/?s=Muslim+immigration

      Of course, the American capitalist class loves to have a cheap workforce - one so cheap that the workers qualify for food stamps and have no health insurance - and thus employers can privatise profits at the same time as socialising costs.

    8. MoreMediaNonsense — on 14th January, 2010 at 1:15 PM  

      Dan is right - the problem with Choudary is a media one. Why does the MSM give a voice day and night to this unrepresentative nutter ? His groups have tiny membership.

      I think we should have demos outside TV studios condemning them for giving publicity to this clown as it just whips up anti-Muslim hysteria and racism.

      Either that or someone should set up a Facebook group :)

    9. cjcjc — on 14th January, 2010 at 2:17 PM  

      Do we really need the “shout Fire in a crowded theatre” principle spelled out for us?!

      Though I’ve always wanted to know what you should do if you are the first to spot such a fire…

    10. Marcus — on 14th January, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

      What mayhem?

      Since Muslims arrived on these shores, we have become brutally aware of forced marriages, honour killings, jihad and suicide bombings.

      When I take a flight I now have to take off my shoes, throw away my water and generally get harassed. This courtesy is extended to families with young children and pensioners.

      Banning the organisation is a waste of time, it will simply come back with another name. British Muslims need to get their house in order, and until they do they should be the ones who are continually inconvenienced. A good start would be the banning of brides and husbands arriving from the Indian subcontinent. Likewise foreign uneducated immans who know nothing of Britain culture or heritage and often have poor English skills.

      Anyone calling publicly for Sharia law is an enemy of the state, they should be offered a one way ticket to a Muslim country of their choice that is willing to take them. If they don’t take the offer and continue to preach they should be charged with treason and thrown in jail.

    11. damon — on 14th January, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

      Now that they are banned, I wonder what this means.
      Do the police now get involved in tracking who might be trying to book a room at a university? Is everyone who was marked down as an Islam4UK supporter tracked in what they do and who they associate with?

      ‘Capote’. Are you the latest incarnation of the (dearly missed?) Edna Welthorpe?

    12. Jai — on 14th January, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

      That reminds me, did anyone watch the Newsnight fight (at 18min in) between Maajid Nawaz and Anjem Choudhary? Choudhary pointedly refused to answer almost every question put to him.

      Yep, especially the two simple questions Maajid repeatedly asked him.

      Maajid himself was excellent throughout the debate and was clearly not intimidated by Choudhary in the slightest, regardless of the various tactics his opponent attempted to use.

    13. MiriamBinder — on 14th January, 2010 at 4:00 PM  

      Oh Marcus you don’t half come out with some humdingers. The concept of ‘enemy to the state’ is another beaut especially in this context. Reminiscent of both Animal Farm and re-education as practised by the less savoury Communist regimes. …

    14. Marcus — on 14th January, 2010 at 4:10 PM  

      @Miriam

      humdinger definition: a striking or extraordinary person or thing.

      Describing person who want to replace our democracy with an Islamic theocracy governed by Sharia Law as an enemy of state does not seem particularly extraordinary to me.

    15. MiriamBinder — on 14th January, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

      No surprises there then ;)

    16. Alex — on 14th January, 2010 at 5:49 PM  

      hahahahah this is more policy exchange neocon bollox.

      I would put money on the fact that you cry every time you look in the mirror.

      Freedom of speech is very important, but you are completely retarded if you think that you are going to like every comment that is made. Anyone who thinks we should get rid of freedom of speech for the islam4uk idiots should be shot then decapitated and their heads mounted on pikes as a warning to others.

      I wouldn’t do it personally because although i don’t agree with what is said i agree with the right to say it.

      Also it is good that these organisations exist as it is an outlet for people who may otherwise go down more extreme roots. And you have the added bonus of being able to keep an eye on them and know what they are up to.

    17. lfc4life — on 14th January, 2010 at 6:38 PM  

      This is an interesting development will the EDL be next to be banned? they are an equally despicable organisation whose platform is racism and xenophobia as well been involved in violence and rioting.

    18. Dan — on 15th January, 2010 at 12:22 PM  

      #7.

      Probably, Sunny would say that the media don’t know how to handle them (hello, Daily Star) and therefore they should be banned. Perish the thought that the media cease to handle Oxfam or Save The Children in a Sunny-approved manner.

    19. Reza — on 15th January, 2010 at 12:36 PM  

      Freedom of speech must be absolute otherwise it’s not freedom of speech. As long as the speaker doesn’t actively call for the harm of others then the silencing of ideas we find distasteful and the banning freedom organizations our government dislikes is tantamount to fascism.

      So I’m not surprised to see the left coming out in support of this ban.

      As far as I’m aware, Islam4UK have not called for any violence against anyone. Therefore they mustn’t be banned.

      “People don’t have the absolute right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre.”

      Ah, that infamous chestnut, so inevitably wheeled-out by sundry Islamists, multiculturalists and socialists, indeed all those ‘offense takers’ who wish to shut down free speech and debate.

      We heard it in the ‘mo-toons’ debacle, and the Satanic Verses scandal. It’s wheeled-out whenever a commentator criticizes one of our ethnic, cultural or religious ‘minorities’ citing inconvenient truths. All these examples have been compared to “shouting fire” by the haters of free speech.

      Isalm4UK should have every right to offend. I doubt that any of those they offended would have done anything beyond shouting abuse at them.

      The irony is that the monopoly for killing or threatening those who ‘offend’ them seems to lie within the world’s Muslim population.

      And finally, next time you see some fascist wheel-out the “shouting fire” analogy, consider this: Is totally acceptable to shout “fire” when you smell smoke or genuinely believe that there might be a fire.

      Bear that in mind the next time you see a drawing of Mohammad with a bomb for a turban.

    20. Wibble — on 16th January, 2010 at 10:05 PM  

      Flamin’ Nora - even Rod Liddle thinks this is wrong:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article6990960.ece

      Two other recent examples of Liddle talking with a modicum of sense (maybe he’s getting ready for the responsibility of the Independent editor’s post ;) ):

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article6954550.ece

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article6945863.ece

    21. ukliberty — on 17th January, 2010 at 11:57 AM  

      I know people are fond of saying freedom of speech is absolute, but it’s not. People don’t have the absolute right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre. This relates to people’s access to information: in crowded places they don’t know whether there is a fire, and therefore start panicking if someone shouts “fire”.

      I wish that when people use “fire in a crowded theatre” they (1) don’t misquote it and (2) don’t abuse it.

      This principle applies to Islam4UK, too. They continually troll the media with outrageous statements and stunts they have no intention of carrying out, or are hilariously fantastical (the pictures of how Trafalgar Square / Buckingham Palace would look under sharia law, for instance).

      The public and media, not knowing much about Islam4UK, end up attaching too much importance to what this small bunch of crackpots have to say. Many also assume or want to believe that Islam4UK represents mainstream Muslim opinion. That is a failure of context and information: just like shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre. Islam4UK spokesman Anjem Choudary does this repeatedly, and a sensation-hungry media keeps dancing to his tune.

      The question in Schenk v United States about limits on freedom of speech was “whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent”, subsquently limited by another court case “to that which would be directed to and likely to incite imminent lawless action (e.g. a riot).”

      In other words, and fundamentally, we mustn’t interfere with someone unless it is to prevent harm to others (see also J S Mill On Liberty). We mustn’t ban things merely on the grounds that they are offensive and/or false.



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