Jerry Springer: The Opera: June 2005 Archives

June 10, 2005

Thou shalt not bear false witness, for it is the law.

United Kingdom: New laws against incitement to religious hatred have received strong criticism, some of it hypocritical. The Racial and Religious Hated Bill would create make incitement to religious hatred an offence, but the definition includes words and behaviour which is likely to stir up religious hatred too.

Liberal Democrat MP Evan Harris is concerned that the plans will stifle freedom of expression, and that it is too broad a measure for dealing with what is essentially race hatred. He has put forward an amendment to the Bill with narrows its remit to specifically to outlaw reference to a religion or religious belief or to a person's membership or presumed membership of a religious group as a pretext for stirring up racial hatred against a racial group. The amendment as written makes no provision for dealing with sectarianism - which is analogous to racism as it is really hatred of somone on the basis of the perceived religious beliefs of their parents.

The Conservatives are expected to support this amendment, although their reasons for opposing the legislation are different - it would prevent fundies from lying about minority faiths! Conservative shadow Home Secretary David Davis started off well enough when he pointed out that law would seriously undermine freedom of speech and be massively counter-productive. But he then noted:

Whilst this new law would technically prevent what many people may regard as reasonable criticism of devil worshippers and religious cults.

And presumably prevent reasonable criticism of barking mad fundies who use their religion as an excuse to spread hatred about minority faiths, pooves etc.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Jerry Springer: The Opera category from June 2005.

Jerry Springer: The Opera: March 2005 is the previous archive.

Jerry Springer: The Opera: December 2005 is the next archive.

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