A soccer fan was recently arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after allegedly ripping up pages of the Qur'an and throwing them at a match. While on bail, he was also banned from attending any football games, visiting St Andrew's -- the stadium of the incident -- and going to any city where his team, Middlesbrough, was playing.
Insults against Islam are taken very seriously in Britain, and the world of soccer is particularly sensitive to them. After the incident, the Middlesbrough Football Club suspended six more people and vowed to ban anyone convicted of the “crime” from the Riverside Stadium, its home ground, for life.
A Middlesbrough club spokesman said it operates on a "zero tolerance policy" towards all forms of discrimination, and supports football's pledge to "eradicate racism in all its forms."
Nobody could answer the question of what "race" Islam is. Muslims belong to all races, including white. But we know that the word “racism” has lost its original sense, and indeed any sense.
Originally the concept of racism had a place and an important role in both ethical and political discourses.
Now, it’s best avoided because it’s lost its positive characteristics, its usefulness, and has instead become a tool for intolerance, intimidation, restriction of freedom of speech and other freedoms: in short, a means of oppression.
The 19th-century German philosopher Gottlob Frege, one of the founders of modern logic, distinguished between the two dimensions of a concept: its meaning (or reference) and its sense.
The meaning or denotation is the class of objects to which the concept refers, while the sense or connotation is the concept's descriptive qualities.
There is an inverse proportion between the two: the larger the meaning, the narrower the sense and vice versa.
A concept like "universe," just because it has as reference an all-including class of objects, has practically no sense, in that it has very little descriptive, or delimitative, power.
Defining a word means exactly that: giving it borders that restrict it and in so doing make it precise.
Since the word "racism" has started being used to refer to many attitudes, behaviors and ideas that have little or nothing to do with racism in the strict sense, its meaning has become progressively larger and larger, correspondingly decreasing its sense.
When today I hear about someone or something being called "racist," I hardly ever believe that it’s true. The likeliest explanation, I think to myself, is either yet another case of excessive political correctness or a personal attack. The descriptive capability of the term has gotten lost or at least has dramatically eroded.
There is at the moment a worrying trend: what has for a long time been a common Leftist ploy -- the shouting of “racist” to shut down any criticism of Islam -- is now on its way to being enshrined in British law.
The soccer case is one example of this attempt. Another is what’s happening to Tim Burton, the Radio Officer of the party Liberty GB, which will contest the May 22 European Parliament Elections for Britain (donations to help with the election campaign are welcome).
Burton will appear at Birmingham Magistrates' Court, England, on April 8, charged with racially aggravated harassment for a few tweets in which he called prominent British Muslim Fiyaz Mujhal “a mendacious grievance-mongering taqiyya-artist.”
Mujhal, founder and director of the organisation Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), was exposed by The Telegraph newspaper last year for having massaged some facts and figures about “anti-Muslim attacks” following the Woolwich murder of soldier Lee Rigby. For this and other discrepancies between police official figures of anti-Muslim crimes and the inflated ones of Tell MAMA, the organisation, which had received £375,000 from the UK government, had its public funding discontinued.
The obvious paradox here is that Tell MAMA, clearly in desperate search for “Islamophobic” crimes that could justify its requests for public funds, didn’t find a sufficient number of them of a serious enough nature. So, first it exaggerated them both quantitatively and qualitatively, calling “attacks” simple posts on Facebook and other social media. Then, when this manipulation had become well known, it used the same tactic against the people, like Tim, who called the bluff, in a self-perpetuating cycle.
Burton’s trial is very worrying for anyone who holds dear freedom of speech and basic civil liberties. One of the worrisome aspects is the conflating of “religion” with “race.” Tim Burton is accused of racially aggravated harassment for tweets concerning Islam. Not only is Islam clearly not a race and Muslims can and do belong to all races, but also the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service considers those two charges (racially- and religiously-aggravated crimes) as distinct and separate ones.
The Crown Prosecution Service, though, despite officially paying lip service to this distinction, in Tim Burton’s case is trying to conflate the two because it does not have sufficient ground to get a conviction on the “religiously aggravated” charge, which requires stronger evidence, so has decided to prosecute using the easier “racially aggravated” one.
As the CPS's own website says, it is “more difficult to prosecute for inciting religious hatred as opposed to racial hatred.”
The attempt to “racialise Muslims” clearly exists but not, as Tell MAMA says, on the part of Liberty GB. It exists on the part of British Islam apologists and their allies, the politically correct establishment.
Since there are no blasphemy laws in the UK and criticism of any religion, including Islam, is theoretically tolerated, only two alternatives are left to British Muslims who want to protect Islam from the expression of the uncomfortable truths of its supremacist and violent nature. One is to invoke the introduction of a blasphemy law; the other, subtler and more effective, is to turn existing equality, anti-racist, “hate crime” laws into a sharia-style blasphemy law.
The Macpherson Report, which followed the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in London in 1993, reached the conclusion that the British police force is “institutionally racist” and, with the alleged intent of redressing the balance, established that absolutely anything perceived by a “victim” as a racist incident is de facto a racist incident: simple perception becomes legal reality, whether it’s true or not.
This makes the endeavor to legally treat anti-Islam criticism as racist even more dangerous, as it may render it subject to the ruling of the Macpherson Report.
An attempt had previously been made by the Labour government, when the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 was passed, to formulate it in such a way that it could criminalize the criticism of Islam, the Quran and Muhammad. This was made impossible by the opposition of the Catholic Church and the Church of England, as well as various evangelical Christian groups which threatened to use this law against the Quran, which is full to the brim with incitements to religious hatred. Therefore the bill had to be amended.
But what went out legally by the door of Parliamentary procedure is now being reintroduced surreptitiously through the window of the politically correct law enforcement and prosecution establishment.
This is why Liberty GB will hold a public protest outside the courthouse and considers this trial crucially important.
The point of the Liberty GB campaign is, firstly, to show to the British and Western public what taqiyya – lying to infidels for the good of Islam -- is and to show the whole nature of Islam in relation to non-Muslims through it. For this reason, Islam scholar Professor Hans Jansen is scheduled to appear at the trial and give evidence as an expert witness on taqiyya. We’ve christened this a “taqiyya trial.”
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, the goal is to defend free speech and stop the effective use of anti-racist legislation as blasphemy laws.
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