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Intolerant Muslims in Britain demand right to censor media

Muslim Action Committee are calling for changes to the law in Britain to implement an aspect of sharia law and they want the British state to do it for them. What they want is to legally ban people from displaying pictures of Mohammed, the seventh century warlord who founded their religion, because it annoys them. Never mind that showing images of this historical figure does not threaten them with violence or prevent their exercise of religion, they want to make it illegal to annoy them.

They are planning to stage a protest march in London on 18 February, expecting to attract 20,000 to 50,000 people. I hope the number is considerably larger because I am sure as hell going to be there expressing my views as well.

If they get their way, we will undoubtedly be prosecuted as Samizdata’s response to this islamo-fascist proposal will be a “Mohammed Picture of the Day”, each day and every day until hell freezes over or we run out of server space. Intolerant Islam does not like being annoyed? Well guys, you ain’t seen nothing yet, I promise you that. Our Dutch friends at The Amazing Retecool are a fairly good place to start for interesting interpretations of Mohammed’s image.

If this ever becomes law and I personally get dragged into court over what Samizdata will most certainly do, rest assured that as we are hosted in the USA we will remain on-line and ‘expressive’ regardless, even if I have to ‘host’ myself in the USA a few years earlier that I expected. So to all your intolerant Islamic fascists out there who think it is within your power to silence all the voices you dislike, with all due respect (i.e. none), you are very much mistaken.

38 comments to Intolerant Muslims in Britain demand right to censor media

  • guy herbert

    You may find this useful. Many of the images of him of course occur in Islamic art from hundreds of years before the well was poisoned by crude oil.

  • I’m not sure it’s clear from the BBC article that the MAC were calling for images of Mohammed to be banned or whether they merely want the “voluntary” Press Complaints Commission code to forbid publication of such images. E.g. when it actually gets round to stating the specific demands made:

    Mr Saddiqi said they had concluded they wanted the Race Relations Act modified to give Muslims the same protection as Sikhs or Jews.

    He also said the Press Complaints Commission code of conduct should be tightened to prevent publication of any images of Muhammad, but added the clerics accepted criticism and discussion of Islam should be allowed.

    He said the code was a voluntary code to ensure the media treated people with respect and called for that respect to be shown to Muslims, whose religion forbids any pictorial depiction of Muhammad.

    The reason for wanting the ban (whether legal or via the PCC code) is interesting:

    Mr Saddiqi said: “That act in itself is deeply offensive, it’s akin to someone standing up in your face and abusing your mum, your sister, your dad, and it’s akin to a deliberate act of provocation.”

    I.e. don’t depict Mohammed or we’ll treat it as an act of deliberate provocation.

  • guy herbert

    Too eager to help… you already have the archive in your link.

  • Excellent post. A very welcome response from Samizdata to this utterly pathetic display of idiocy.

    The more I see and hear from the religion of Islam, the more I realize how completely unreasonable, irrational, idiotic, unthinking, and dangerous such a belief system actually is.

    They get angry because a cartoon depicts them as violent….. so rather than try and refute that claim, peacefully, like everyone else would have to do, they go PROVE it.

  • Mr Saddiqi said they had concluded they wanted the Race Relations Act modified to give Muslims the same protection as Sikhs or Jews.

    My assumption was that modifying the Race Relations Act (which is certainly not voluntary) would give them the statutory ban they want. In any case quite how ‘Islam’ can be seen as a ‘race’ is a mystery to me.

  • guy herbert

    Regardless of whether one defines Islam as a ‘race’ for the purpose of the RR Act (which seems to me just as [il]logical as including Sikhs, which it does), that isn’t going to ban images of, or cartoons featuring, Muhammad.

    “Incitement to racial hatred” might be repugnant to logic as incitement to a non-crime, but it doesn’t protect anyone either from mere insult or from criticism. The MAC have mimophantic tendencies so they can’t see that.

  • Raw Data Complex

    I agree with you entirely. Such demands are outrageous.

    And just out of curiosity, what are your scenario(s) — positive and negative — for how this whole thing plays out? The Islamic extremists are of course outrageous in their demands and we can’t give in. But for how long should we keep the pot boiling? Can we realistically expect this ‘shock treatment’ will result in Islamic minds being opened to the necessity/desirability of free speech? Overall it seems to me to be a bit of a ‘damned if you do or if you don’t’ situation.

    I wonder if there is some way to say a very emphatic “NO!” to Islamic bullying without further & needlessly inflaming matters? When is our point made?

  • “Regardless of whether one defines Islam as a ‘race’ for the purpose of the RR Act (which seems to me just as [il]logical as including Sikhs, which it does), that isn’t going to ban images of, or cartoons featuring, Muhammad.”

    Wouldn’t that turn completely on how they modified the Act?

  • Our point is made when even suggesting free speech be abridged is ‘beyond the pale’ and no politician who values his career as a tax-thief dares to so much as discuss the subject. At that point we will have won this quite major battle in the ongoing culture war. On this we can settle for nothing less than complete victory.

  • Regardless of whether one defines Islam as a ‘race’ for the purpose of the RR Act (which seems to me just as [il]logical as including Sikhs, which it does), that isn’t going to ban images of, or cartoons featuring, Muhammad.

    Yet that clearly is their objective and it behoves us to not just make sure they do not get their way but to do so in such a resounding fashion that no politician in their right mind who is not overtly pandering to Islamo-fascist voters (such as George Galloway) would ever give these people the time of day in the future.

  • BL@PP

    It looks like their demands will be met. The EU is planning a new ‘media code of conduct’ to deal with religion. Predictable enough.

  • Raw Data Complex-

    I think the emphatic ‘NO’ is to uphold the rights of our free press to print whatever the hell they like. In the United States, there is a 1st Amendment which prohibits the legislature from doing what is being demanded in Britain…. THAT is the emphatic ‘NO’. The UK could do with a bill of rights of its own.

    I really don’t think its our concern to do anything but uphold the law (and thereby stop any violent protests) and uphold rights to free speech (thereby allowing the press to print pictures of Mohammed if they damned-well like, and allowing Muslims BY THE SAME RIGHT to say whatever they like in response).

  • Mr Saddiqi said: “That act in itself is deeply offensive, it’s akin to someone standing up in your face and abusing your mum, your sister, your dad, and it’s akin to a deliberate act of provocation.”

    How do you communicate with someone so utterly obtuse and disingenuous? I think Liz should strip him of his Knighthood for being a prize prawn. Oh, sorry, Muslims don’t like prawns, so I am guilty of somethingorother.

    Can it just be repeated again that the Koran does NOT consider images of Mohammed as being Harram (forbidden). It does not even forbid alcohol. These extensions are, even in Islamic terms, man-made although I doubt if anyone is going to front up and challenge someone like Saddiqi on TV without letting him slippy-slide around with some traditional double-talk.

    Finally, Saddiqi should be careful of wishing to be treated like Jews and Sikhs – he might find he loses the preferential treatment he has already scraped together by slight of hand and bamboozlement.

  • Verity

    Something 85% (don’t have exact figure; sorry) of the degrees awarded from Saudi universities are in Islamic Studies. (This makes Media Studies graduates look intelligent, realistic and ambitious.) So these people have allah, allah, allah banged into their brains from the day they are born, all through their childhood – prohibitions, rules, prayers five fucking times a day for god’s sake! and adolescence, then they go and take a university degree in it. And we treat them as sane fellow human beings. This is our big mistake.

    The enlightened west cannot allow itself to be modified by one iota by this primitive, harsh, overly ambitious warrior cult. They are bonkers.

  • Tim Sturm

    They are planning to stage a protest march in London on 18 February, expecting to attract 20,000 to 50,000 people. I hope the number is considerably larger because I am sure as hell going to be their expressing my views as well.

    What exactly are you planning Perry? Are you looking for people to join you?

  • Verity – even this ’5 times a day’ prayer was a man made idea. More control. More obedience.

    So even God gets his vegetables 5 times a day…

  • K

    What does “mimophantic” mean?

    Do we need to say NO in an aggressive inflammatory way? Can we not just calmly, and firmly say NO. I know it’ll be taken as inflammatory anyway by some people, but then that’ll just show them up more.

    The mainstream politicians should know, just because we may not march in rallies etc, doesn’t mean we won’t remember come election time.

    BTW I’m a liberal lefty type – we are not all appeasers. Frankly if you give a damn about freedom, women and gays, I don’t see how you can justify appeasement.

  • veryretired

    The multi-culturist chickens are coming home to roost.

    If there was anyone still in doubt as to the whole point of al that “cultural sensitivity” training, this is it.

    It is just as well this collision of speech freedom vs. offended sensibilities has finally come out in the open.

    I personally can’t think of a less sympathetic pleader for the speech curtailment side than these hysterical Islamists threatening everybody who dares to say or print something they don’t like with beheading.

    Sort of like NAMBLA complaining about being persecuted by repressive sex laws.

  • It is interesting to see the two facets of this action. First is the outrageous demand to alter the RRA so that it is a defacto ban on anything they don’t like.

    Second is this parallel march that is to mark their protest at the cartoons but also to object to the outrageous banners.

    One is getting wide press. Which one? The second. The march goes ahead with Red Ken’s blessing. Does the MAC’s other facet get wide exposure? Does it get Red Ken’s nod? I would think even the newt lover and Routemaster Murderer would recoil at such a move.

    Once the march goes ahead and will all sorts of ‘broad Church’ extras, my guess is we will THEN see the propaganda for the first facet being “backed up” by the masses who turn out for the second.

    When the RRA is not ammended, it will be portrayed as betraying the wishes of the majority blah blah.

  • Brian

    Er…

    Since Nick Griffin has already been prosecuted under the ‘Race Relations Act’ for saying ‘offensive’ things about Muslims, it seems no change is necessary.

    That fact that he wasn’t convicted should not be any reassurance, as he’s to face a retrial on the charges the jury couldn’t agree on.

    Interestingly enough, the Attorney-General said that the new ‘Religious Hate’ law was necessary to forbid the things that Griffin has just been tried for doing.

    Could someone tell me, did the Attorney-General lie to the House of Commons, or did his henchmen perjure themselves in court?

    PS. I also learned from this affair that the fact that what you say is true is not a defence against inciting racial hatred.

  • Keith

    Good for you! The sooner primitive fundamentalism and free speech meet on the field of battle, the better.

  • Dave

    In democracy demographics are extremely important, allowing any kind of immigration means giving away voting power. Mass-immigration means giving away massive amounts of voting power.
    These people ‘will’ succeed in changing the law at some point in the not too distant future unless immigration is seriously reduced.
    Ofcourse that wont bother the open border crowd, they will be long gone to their finer pastures, but what about the people left behind? We will be living in dhimmitude. thanks guys.

  • guy herbert

    TimC,

    I think Liz should strip him of his Knighthood for being a prize prawn.

    Whom? The Mr Saddiqi quoted certainly isn’t a knight. He’s not even a particularly well-known Mr Saddiqi. (The one most people have heard of, Dr Siddiqi of the Muslim Parliament has been very forthright recently in defense of free speech.)

    This MAC is not one I’ve encountered before, and appears on closer examination to be an ad hoc pressure group that has done a good media release. (The Brummie connection is amusing for those who know the other MAC.) But that doesn’t mean they can’t be a significant nuisance.

  • guy herbert

    What does “mimophantic” mean?

    Attributed to Koestler: “A mimophant is a hybrid species: a cross between a mimosa and an elephant. A member of this species is sensitive like a mimosa where his own feelings are concerned, and thick-skinned like an elephant, trampling over the feelings of others.”

  • veryretired

    One only lives a subservient life if one accepts that role.

    If a little, lung-scarred intellectual like Vaclev Havel can tell the Soviet Empire to go pound salt, I would hope there are still a few Englishmen who could tell the nearest screaming Islamicist where he could put his Koran, with or without pictures.

    I am not a modern, sensitive man. A little blood on the cobblestones doesn’t bother me a bit. It might be very instructive for the recent arrivals to find out whose country they’re living in, and under what set of rules the place is going to be run.

    Just because the finest hour was in 1940 doesn’t mean there aren’t some pretty damn good hours left in the old lion.

    “But first, you have to get mad…”

  • I am happy to see that fine old New York expression, “go pound salt” go international in this instance. It expresses just what has to be said to those nostalgic for the seventh century.

  • guy: my bad. For some reason I confused Saddiqi with Sacranie. It is harder to fit that fag paper between them these days!

    It is amusing that the MAC is ad-hoc, and doubly so for the pomposity and petard that supports it.

    We should set up another body The Muslim Rennaisance and Enlightenment Council, or the Muslim Congress for Free Thought or whatever. This may flush them out and expose their insidious branding exercise, as they protest at the use of “their” Trademark.

  • Jaakko Haapasalo

    I applaud Samizdata for the overall tough stance it (they?) has taken on this issue. As a Christian, I would not have published those cartoons, were I in a position to decide, both because I know how seriously such things are likely to be taken in the islamic world, and because I genuinely would not have wanted to offend.

    Unfortunately, this is way beyond offense now. Organized violence, or even the threat of it in response to mere offense is simply beyond the pale in a civilized society. We must be able to criticize, satirize and even offend religious people, myself included, without fear of bodily harm. (Boycotts are another matter, and a quite legitimate means in a free society, even if I might not agree with the ends in this case.)

    Even more unfortunately, this will end in tears for freedom-loving types everywhere. I predict, that Europe will cave in completely, on all levels (save the few outposts like Samizdata) , within weeks or months at most.

    The Danes will not stand tough (as much as I admire them), and will end up abasing themselves, apologizing for their very existence, both officially and privately, and offering extravagant ransom to their persecutors. Local, national and transnational governments and religious institutions will follow suit, and top it off with legislating that all criticism of Islam is to be considered beyond the pale. No newspaper is going to ever satirize Islam again. Immigration controls will be laxened, again to placate violent extremists. No more hatemongers will be deported.

    All this will happen even without a successful terror attack in Europe, though we will probably see (more of) those as well. A couple of angry marches in Beirut and Teheran will be enough.

    Of course I’m wrong, and it will all turn out right in the end, somehow. Meanwhile, we can only try and stand up to those who would murder political cartoonists for dissing a major religion.

  • Jaakko Haapasalo

    I would like to add that there is no particular reason for any further pointed offence for offence’s sake from “us”, and all the good ones to try and be civil still apply (like, common decency). Re-publishing the cartoons in question is warranted as an act of defiance in the face of unreasonable demands, but I would still personally not publish further cartoons in the same vein.

    Amir Taheri says it best, as an aside in a very informative piece exposing the manufactured nature or the violent protests:

    The fight between Denmark and its detractors is not between the West and Islam. It is between democracy and a global fascist movement masquerading as religion.

    You can read the full piece here (behind free subscription).

  • It is bad enough that devious types wind up the ignorant masses into a frenzy and that deluded sorts write criminal banners, but it is another order of idiocy that heads of state come out with misleading, ill-informed drivel.

    Mr Badawi of Malaysia has just blurted: “They think Osama bin Laden speaks for the religion and its followers,” he said, quoted by AP news agency.

    “The demonisation of Islam and the vilification of Muslims, there is no denying, is widespread within mainstream Western society.

    What utter disingenuous posturing. Always blame shifting. Never able to state any admission of responsibility or fault without 10x the blame pushed elsewhere.

  • Verity

    TimC – and Malaysia’s a very moderate Islamic Republic. Of course, he is speaking for the benefit fo the 60% native population. I don’t think for one minute that he believes what he’s saying. It’s for domestic consumption. He’s a politician.

    Jaakko Haapasalo – Have you been following this debate? You don’t seem to understand it. The Jyllands-Posten did not “diss Mohammad”. They were worried about the media trend to self-censorship about anything to do with Mo.

    How many times have I had to correct people on this site alone? It seems as though only half the world or less understands what this is all about. Are the rest of you so lazy you really cannot be bothered to follow the story? I mean, do all you legions of people who don’t understand the argument think a provincial newspaper in Denmark suddenly had a fit of Tourette’s syndrome and decided to attack an entire religion? Are you people daft?

  • Jaakko Haapasalo

    Mohammed with a bomb for a turban is dissing a religion by deliberately offending its adherents. “Your well-documented and oft-demonstrated religious sensibilities matter less than a theoretical probing of free speech issues.” The cause was good (exploring and defending freedom of speech), but the offense is not any less real. I see this as no different than the “Piss Christ” controversy; no doubt the artist had loftier goals than, er, pissing off Christians, but the offense and hurt caused were quite real. This is not a case of freedom of speech to say nice things or employ constructive criticism. This is a case about the freedom of speech to offend. You can’t test that without offending.

    I don’t have a problem with people being offended by nasty caricatures of revered objects of emulation, or by pretty much anything else. What I have a problem with is an orchestrated campaign of violence and threats of violence, in response to an immaterial insult.

    In an ideal world (well, maybe not perfectly ideal), I think European states should stand united and employ firm countermeasures to this violent attack by cynical extremists. Ambassadors to all countries that have encouraged the burning or out flags and the storming of our embassies (an act of war in itself) should be recalled, and an unequivocal demand for an apology, backed by trade embargoes, force of arms and threat of invasion, pacification and appropriation of natural resources, should be made. That this is not going to happen, and that Europe is going to cave in soon, is a different matter entirely.

  • Verity

    I still don’t agree with you that the cartoons were “dissin” Mo. To diss, there must be an intention to offend, or “disrespect”. The intention was to diss, if you will, self-censorship. That the cartoons offended – if indeed they did, given that they were published in a national paper Egypt back in October and no one gave a stuff – was incidental and irrelevant.

  • Jaakko Haapasalo

    I suppose that on second thought, it’s a fair point that offense is not the same thing as a “diss.” Frankly I didn’t put a lot of thought into the choice of that word; my intention was to contrast insult – “dissing” – with murder, unfavorably for the latter. I stand corrected.

    I think the cartoons were offensive to a lot of honest, sincere muslims, and the authors knew that, but went ahead anyway, hence they deliberately offended. I wouldn’t have done that, even to highlight free speech issues, although reasonable people may disagree on which is the more moral option. But now that the enemies of civilization have taken the bait and offered violence, we have no choice but to stand firm, which is why I applauded Samizdata for their uncompromising stance.

  • Jaakko Haapasalo

    On a side note, I just read a Finnish student union newspaper editorial that managed to equate, even if only on a certain level, Jyllandsposten’s cartoon provocation with Iranian calls to wipe Israel off the map. This by way of example of the basis of my pessimism about Europe.

  • Verity

    Jaakko Haapasalo – One cannot censor oneself because something that needs to be said may be offensive to some people. The Jyllands-Posten could have printed a warning, I suppose.

    Were the cartoons in the inside of the paper? If so, and they had put a warning notice on the front page saying there was some material inside that may be offensive to Muslims, what do you think the result would have been?

    Calm, rational Muslims thinking, “No thanks, I don’t want to be offended. It could ruin my whole day,” and declining to buy the paper.

    Or rabid, eager-to-be outraged Muslims snatching the papers off the counters and running off to the mosque with their hair on fire?

  • Midwesterner

    Jaakko Haapasalo,

    I don’t think the cartoons could have been very offensive for two reasons.

    One – they were published without incident in Egypt.

    Two – it was necessary to add three extra cartoons to even get the receptive audience back in the mideast to believe them to be offensive.

    This was an effort by JP to oppose or at least prove self imposed censorship to avoid attacks by Muslim activists.

    And, I believe entirely unrelated, an effort by Iran and Syria to confound the UN security council.

  • Verity

    Well, I see they got a turnout of 4,000. They predicted 100,000, if I remember right. And they were marching for censorship.