08 September 2010

Mr Jones, Mr Jones

I seriously can't believe we're having this debate

I just watched on Newsnight as two people (Peter Tatchell and some Catholic woman) actually toyed with the idea of limiting free speech for fear of violence

Tatchell was the more freedom loving, the Catholic couldn't see past respecting faith, as you would expect, but he still felt it was best to try and stop this bloke

For all those who claim lefty BBC bias, it was the open-mouthed Paxman leading the free speech brigade, pointing out that we're essentially bowing to threats here and if it's the Koran today, what's to stop anything else tomorrow (my words)

As far as I can see there's not even an argument here - you can burn a book if you wish, obviously it's not ok if it's Nazi Germany doing it, but in a free society I can burn whatever I want (except the Queen's image...)

This happened when Harry Potter came out in the US and far more copies were burned than what this small church in Florida is about to, no violence from wizards, and no claims to ban the activity

Yet, 'oo it's a special book' combined with 'they'll kill people' provokes a different response, a coward's one

People may die, it may even be soldiers in the Middle East, which is a little unfair on them I'll grant you - but is that Jones' fault that this is a people that choose to kill in response to the burning of what is essentially, a flammable material? This is not a lawful, respectful response - while it is far more provocative than the satirical cartoons, which could be seen as a more appropriate expression, it is essentially no different

How provocative is it to kill British soldiers, or carry placards through London? We don't go out and riot, nobody dies, nobody is threatened (well, much)

I believe in freedom, end of - and Terry Jones has a right to do whatever nutty thing he wants, we are free and tolerant, they are intolerant and we need to start recognising that we cannot be afraid of threats

Live free, or die

*Pointing out there's absolutely nothing wrong with peaceful protests over a blasphemous act, and I'm not insinuating every Muslim, or Muslim country will have a violent reaction

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