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Arrestable and non-arrestable offences during religious protests

Ten months ago, a woman called Isabel Vaughan-Spruce was arrested for silently praying outside an abortion clinic.

For days ago, a man whose name the police know but have not made public was not arrested for asking a “What is the solution to liberate people from the concentration camp called Palestine?” Then the man standing at his side led the crowd in chanting “Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!” – and he wasn’t arrested either. This took place at a protest in London on 21st October organised by the Islamic Fundamentalist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

I do not think either Isabel Vaughan-Spruce or the two Hizb ut-Tahrir members should have been arrested. I have two main reasons for this view. Firstly, I believe in free speech (well, free mental recitation in Vaughan-Spruce’s case). Secondly, I want to know what the likes of Hizb ut-Tahrir are saying and I want other people to know. The media have sugar-coated Muslim extremism for long enough.

But if we are going to have anyone arrested for religiously motivated protest, why should it be her rather than them? Here is the Metropolitan Police’s own explanation:

Specialist officers have assessed the video and have not identified any offences arising from the specific clip. We have also sought advice from specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers who have reached the same conclusion.

However, recognising the way language like this will be interpreted by the public and the divisive impact it will have, officers identified the man involved and spoke to him to discourage any repeat of similar chanting.

We are also aware of photos from the same protest showing signs and banners referring to ‘Muslim armies’.

While there are varying interpretations of what the language on the placards should be interpreted to mean, officers must take decisions based on the wording actually used.

Such care for exactitude in whether words spoken at a protest met the threshold for being an offence would be admirable if the police applied the same care to everyone. But they don’t. Ben Sixsmith, writing for The Critic, lists twelve things more arrestable than calling for Jihad.

UPDATE: This video, which I found via Dr Eli David, shows a crowd of Muslims marching down a street in London. Someone shouts (into a microphone judging from the sound) the following words, “We’ll find some Jews here! We want the Zionists! We want their blood!” Meanwhile a policeman walks beside them, saying nothing.

22 comments to Arrestable and non-arrestable offences during religious protests

  • Paul Marks

    Would I have people arrested for chanting “Gas the Jews” or for burning British flags? NO I would NOT.

    Sadly this does not work both ways – as both the forces of Islam and the Marxist “Woke” (what a bizarre alliance considering what Islam teaches about atheists – and Marxists are atheists) would have me arrested for chanting against Muhammed and burning Islamic flags (even if the flag in question was designed by an English Christian, who designed most of the flags of the Middle East).

    It is a double standard – and a vicious one.

    As for abortion – if a person can be arrested for saying NOTHING, for allegedly having anti abortion THOUGHTS, then we are living in a totalitarian madhouse.

    But then during the Covid lockdowns cancer and heart disease screening was declared “non essential” and stopped (many people have died because of that)- but killing babies was declared “essential medical care” and carried on.

  • Fraser Orr

    officers identified the man involved and spoke to him to discourage any repeat of similar chanting.

    I find this particularly disturbing…. If it isn’t illegal then plod has no business “speaking” and “discouraging”. Obviously I strongly disagree with the speech, but Natalie nails it on the head with her two points. We all know Voltaire’s “defend to the death” epithet, which is unfortunate, given that these people are literal merchants of death. But I defend their right to speak not for them but for me, and for all decent people.

    What the hell happened to Britain, mother of free speech? A thousand years of “the rights of Englishmen” evaporated in a mere ten years.

  • Paul Marks

    Fraser Orr – the decline of Freedom of Speech it Britain did not start ten years ago, it started in 1965 the Race Relations Act of that year. If we leave aside the old blasphemy and obscenity laws – which were rarely enforced, but were still there (and should not have been).

    “Racism” (then the word was “racialism”) was the excuse trotted out to justify the start of the attack on freedom of speech, but once the principle was established that you could be punished for what you said or wrote, then it was bound to be widened.

    And the double standard point remains unanswered – if someone chanted against Islam they would be arrested so fast their feet would not touch the ground, but chanting against Jews or Christians – not so much.

    The Frankfurt School of Marxism, and the British Home Office has had Marxist “academic advisers” since at least the 1970s, holds that it is only bad to speak against “disadvantaged and marginalised groups” – that such “disadvantaged and marginalised groups”, such as Muslims, can not, by definition, be the bad guys in any situation. This would be the Marxist “Diversity and Inclusion” training that the police will have had.

  • Bobby b

    Just as a sort of legalistic defense of the coppers, there was an existing judicial order in the first case, but none in the second. With that sort of a backstop, cops will hesitate far less than in the no-order situation. They’re not so prone to fearing the results of a bad decision. The judge will (or should) take the brunt of backlash.

  • JohnK

    The bottom line is that if challenged the muslims will kick off and if necessary kill. The police know his. The police are cowards. QED.

  • Alan Peakall

    To play Devil’s Advocate, I suspect than any such demonstrator brought before an English court would have a colourable case of state entrapment – conducted continuously over the 34 years since demonstrators against The Satanic Verses were permitted to shout Death to Rushdie with impunity.

  • Fraser Orr

    Much as I loathe the people in the video, one thing you have to say about them is that they are honest. Thanks to the wonder of free speech, they tell you who they are and what they want. “The difference is that you love life and we love death” they yell. I mean could they be any clearer? The terrifying thing, the wholly patronizing thing is that the silly twits of the hoi polloi think that they don’t mean what they say. They are just nice oppressed peoples who need a good dose of love, democracy and western money.

    It is hard to believe that we live in a world where people say this shit, and people defend them for saying it, and insist on “context”.

    However, I promise you the LAST thing I want to do is censor these people. I want them to shout loud and proud their views so that we know who they are, and so that the twits and twitterati have an impossible task covering it up.

  • Barbarus

    Next time some honest citizen is arrested for silent prayer / teaching the dog a Hitler salute / whatever, I hope they will have one of those videos to hand …

    “Is my learned friend seriously suggesting my client’s actions are more likely to cause offence or incite violence than those depicted in Exhibit A?” [laughter in court]

  • AndrewZ

    It seems pretty obvious that the British establishment and all the institutions that it controls are terrified of confronting the Islamist enemy within. They must know that any serious attempt to assert the primacy of the rule of law and British cultural norms would be met with riots and terrorist atrocities. They must fear that the police would be overwhelmed and that the government would have to declare a state of emergency and deploy the army to restore order. They must also understand that this would be a “masks off” moment in which the whole awful truth would suddenly be laid bare, and this would destroy their careers, their parties, and the credibility of the entire political class.

    They must know that they are sitting on a powder keg, so the only offense they will really care about is anybody creating a spark. Therefore, they will happily endorse the bullying of harmless non-conformists like Vaughan-Spruce to assert their dominance over the mainstream population, while simultaneously treating every obscure Islamist nobody like a truckload of sweating gelignite.

  • Kirk

    The point to be taken here is whose side that the government is on. You protest, silently, at an abortion clinic? Official harassment and prosecution.

    Call for the murder of innocents because of their religion? Not a damn thing happens to them.

    This is your government. Your “civilization”.

    I think you’ve lost it, a long time ago, and it’s only now that the repercussions are setting in.

    I’ve watched the insanity in the protests here in the US, and it suddenly strikes me that what happened in Germany back during the 1930s is all too easy to understand. The madness in how these creatures convince themselves that Jew-hatred is virtuous…? It’s a mass psychosis.

  • Roué le Jour

    That is my reading. I doubt the police care much one way or another about flags, but they are under orders to allow no provocation.

    What particularly irritates me is no one asking the government why, given the current situation, they are continuing to import Hamas supporters.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I don’t think anyone can now doubt that the police, along with so many British institutions, is rotten to the core.

  • Paul Marks

    Johnathan Pearce – it is the Diversity and Inclusion training the police have had, ditto the other institutions.

    The “ideological hegemony” (as Gramsci put it) of Marxist thought is so total in the Western world that most people do not even know it is Marxism.

    Fraser Orr – yes let the forces of Islam chant “Gas the Jews” and let the Marxist tosspots say “it is not possible for an oppressed group to be the aggressors” – let everyone see and hear what they are.

    As for this bizarre alliance between Islam and the Marxist “Woke” people – it is only temporary, once we are dead they will turn on each other.

  • Runcie Balspune

    It seems pretty obvious that the British establishment and all the institutions that it controls are terrified of confronting the Islamist enemy within

    Not confronting I can understand, but allying with and defending, that is reprehensible.

  • Penseivat

    Regarding the ‘twelve things more arrestable than calling for Jihad’, specifically being arrested for carrying a rape alarm in public, the reasons for the incident described were that the women were not carrying the alarms in the event of a possible attempt of rape, but to deliberately try to ruin a coronation procession. Under those circumstances, an arrest was justified, just as it would have been if air horns had been used.I
    Sixsmith should, as an alleged journalist, take an impartial look at the whole picture, but then I would expect to also see loads of flying pigs.

  • Paul Marks

    Runcie Balspune – again this is the Critical Theory Marxist Diversity and Inclusion training that all institutions push – I “bang on about” this because people keep complaining, without seeing the source of the problem. DEI or EDI is based on Frankfurt School Marxism, Herbert Marcuse and all that, I am sorry if people do not like me constantly repeating this – but it seems I have to, because it does not seem to “sink in”.

    For example, lots of Members of Parliament complain about “Woke” this and that – but only six (6) Members of the House of Commons voted against the Equality Act of 2010.

    To vote for Critical Theory “Woke” Marxist legislation and then complain about the consequences, for example “Woke” police, is really stupid.

    “But we voted for the legislation to show we are nice people (not “racists-sexist-homophobes-Islamophobes”) – we did not know what was in the Bill we voted for”.

    Ditto the Climate Act of 2008 – people who complain about the Two TRILLION (plus) cost of this Act, but do not support repealing it, are a waste of time.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    On a supposedly Conservative Facebook page, a person claimed that it was okay for the police to arrest the woman praying near an abortion clinic because such places have been decreeded by Parliament to be “protected areas”. So that’s okay then. Walking to the Israel embassy and urging the death of those in the building, and of the country they represent, is free speech, and all part of the rough and tumble of public debate, but praying outside a place where fetuses are terminated is an arrestable offence.

  • Steven R

    This whole Muslims in the west presents a real legal problem, at least with countries with birthright citizenship. How do you get rid of them? You can’t just grab them and stick them on planes back to the Middle East because they are citizens. And while some/most might be more than happy to saw off a head or at least allow to be done in their name, what about the ones that don’t want that and have assimilated and treat their Muslim-ness as seriously as most Christians in the west do? Or do we just ignore our own laws, throw the baby out with the bathwater, and revel in being called racists and anti-Muslims and whatever else? And after that, why do the Jews get a free pass? Or the border-jumper international squatters?

  • Fraser Orr

    @Steven, I’ll be honest, it makes my jaw drop that you’d say something like that. Deport all the muslims? Are you serious? The VAST majority of muslims in the west are almost indistinguishable from everyone else. I was working with a nice muslim lady earlier today and she must have left her big knife at home because my head is still attached. I hope we can agree that we don’t punish, never mind deport, people for their religion, but when they commit crimes.

    I am neither racist or anti-Muslim. On the contrary I know quite a few muslims who are simply lovely people. I’m sure they are horrified and embarrassed by the actions of Hamas. No doubt like Catholics today are horrified and embarrassed by the equally medieval Spanish Inquisition.

    “This whole Muslims in the west presents a real legal problem”

    No they don’t. There are a tiny fraction of horrible people who use Islam to justify their horrible actions. But I don’t think we should deport white males with beards either and I don’t think we should deport people who own rifles, and I don’t think we should even deport people with mental illness just because one such person killed a bunch of people in Maine yesterday.

  • Steven R

    I didn’t mean it literally. I was trying to play Devil’s Advocate. I’m sorry for not being clear.

    There have been a lot of posts here and elsewhere mentioning the 60% or so of Muslims who support what Hamas has done in the last two weeks to one level or another. There have been stories about how there is a lack of assimilation and racial unrest and crime spikes or how cops won’t do what they need to because of concerns of racism and so on. And like it or not, the last 60 years have seen huge demographic shifts in the West.

    Let’s say it gets to the point where we wake up one morning and decide we’re not going to live a Camp of the Saints scenario any longer or there is a massive terror attack from Muslims or Hispanics or Palestinians. Then what? I know diversity is our strength, but suppose enough people decide that no, it isn’t.

    Do we as a society just kick the lot of them out or decide the good ones can stay but the troublemakers and their like-minded folk have to go to save what’s left of the west. What’s the next step, because it may very well end in a situation where we have to decide the west is worth fighting for and if that’s the case and hard decisions must be made then what?

  • Kirk

    The fable about the scorpion and the frog could have been written with Islam in mind. It certainly encapsulates the problem, which is that Islam is a religion that purports to be the ultimate answer to everything, politics, spiritual, and legal. It also refuses to live at peace with non-believers, labeling them as sub-humans to be exploited.

    Were you to try and start a similar faith, today? With the same tenets, the same belief system? You’d be ostracized by all right-thinking people. Because Islam has some history behind, though… It’s OK.

    Read the Koran and the Hadiths. Recognize that that hateful literature means what it says about “unbelievers” and Jews. Realize that many people in this world believe in that book’s teaching with a fervency that you can’t quite imagine applying to anything, even your own religion. Acknowledge that it’s a mind-virus with truly epic virulence. Pay close attention to that, and then project what living in a world where that religion has reached critical mass, and you’re now one of the outnumbered downtrodden unbelievers.

    That’s the future your leaders began building for you, decades ago. They deliberately imported this crap, because they hate you and want you to go away, to be replaced by what they imagine will be a more congenial, controllable electorate that they can manipulate at will. Rotherham? That’s your endless future. Just like everywhere else that imported Islam’s violent adherents. And, make no mistake about it: They’re all violent. The religion that they keep going “back to basics” on, whenever they feel in need of validation, tells them to be violent and nasty creatures to all that aren’t like them.

    You were fools to allow your politicians the space to do these things, and now you will pay the price. The Jews are just the first; once they’re gone, you’ll be next. All of you, and the ones who convert will be second-class citizens in their own nation.

    Self-inflicted stupidity, and I’ve got little sympathy for those who are just waking up to this. You’ve watched your culture erode from under your feet like so much sand, and you did nothing about it. An Englishman can’t even defend himself, these days, without there being a prosecution. Meanwhile, the modern Islamic Mosely types go about screaming and shouting for Jewish death, with zero repercussions coming their way.

    You’re already in the bag, Englishman. They’ve brought Barbary itself to your shores, in bits and pieces. Try to escape it? You’ll find it hard to do, what with all the rules now being made against you by those you set in charge in your own land. Try protesting in like manner, with a St. George banner in place of one of those so-called faked-up “Palestinian” flags they’re so fond of… Watch what happens. Your nation is no longer your own, and if you think it is? You’re as feckless and foolish as those who went before you, signing your rights away.

    I’m really, really glad my ancestors had the wit and wisdom to leave the place, right now. Although, from the signs? We’re not all that far behind you, thanks to the same sorts of deracinated morons running everything.

    When accounts are called? Most of these idiots that have set these conditions ought to answer with their lives. They won’t; you will. This is the same sort of thing I had described to me, about the slow and steady infiltration and takeover by the Turks in the Balkans; conquer where they could, infiltrate and take over through quisling locals who sought power over their neighbors. Observe and note the similarities with what is going on today. Iranian infiltrators in the US government at the highest levels, and nobody wants to even acknowledge the effect they had on the “negotiations” with Iran that gave the Iranians access to hundreds of billions of dollars, not just the 6 billion they openly talk about in the media.

    Islam is a criminal conspiracy masquerading as a religion; that’s why they’re so loved by the Democratic Party. Sisters under the skin, you see…

  • Paul Marks

    Johnathan Pearce – yes modern “law” is often mad, both mad and evil.

    And “Conservatives” who defend such laws are not Conservatives at all.