What’s legitimate discourse in London (for now) will get you slapped in irons elsewhere.
Ravindra Kumar, the editor of the Indian daily paper, The Statesman, and its publisher, Anand Sinha, were both arrested yesterday due to the complaint of a local whiner, Mohd Shahid at the Bowbazar police station. Their “crime” was the publishing of an article sometime last week that originally appeared in the British paper the Independent on the 28th of January 2009.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the size of a Muslim community directly dictates the limits of free speech in any society when their numbers approach 10-15% of the local population. According to Dr. Peter Hammond in: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:”When Muslims reach 10% of the population, they will increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions (Paris — car-burnings). Any non-Muslim action that offends Islam will result in uprisings and threats (Amsterdam — Mohammed cartoons).”In Kolkata (Calcutta), a city of 13.5 million people, 18% of the population are Muslim, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the police took action against the paper for fear of what might occur in the streets of the city. What’s happening in Kolkata could very well happen in any Western city if the numbers of the faithful are enough, just look at the British reaction to Geert Wilders coming to the UK.According to one source the editor has already apologized, and though he shouldn’t have done so, but the threat of bodily harm and a lengthy jail term to assuage the violent Muslim mob has to be considered. The TT doesn’t blame Ravindra Kumar for caving in, it blames the neanderthal Muslim mob howling in the streets of Kolkata. Time and again the “religion of peace” proves that there is no such thing as moderate Islam, there’s just a butt naked Islam on display for all to see. KGS
The right to criticise religion is being slowly doused in acid. Across the world, the small, incremental gains made by secularism – giving us the space to doubt and question and make up our own minds – are being beaten back by belligerent demands that we “respect” religion. A historic marker has just been passed, showing how far we have been shoved. The UN rapporteur who is supposed to be the global guardian of free speech has had his job rewritten – to put him on the side of the religious censors. […]Starting in 1999, a coalition of Islamist tyrants, led by Saudi Arabia, demanded the rules be rewritten. The demand for everyone to be able to think and speak freely failed to “respect” the “unique sensitivities” of the religious, they decided – so they issued an alternative Islamic Declaration of Human Rights. It insisted that you can only speak within “the limits set by the shariah [law]. It is not permitted to spread falsehood or disseminate that which involves encouraging abomination or forsaking the Islamic community”.In other words, you can say anything you like, as long as it precisely what the reactionary mullahs tell you to say. The declaration makes it clear there is no equality for women, gays, non-Muslims, or apostates. It has been backed by the Vatican and a bevy of Christian fundamentalists.Incredibly, they are succeeding. The UN’s Rapporteur on Human Rights has always been tasked with exposing and shaming those who prevent free speech – including the religious. But the Pakistani delegate recently demanded that his job description be changed so he can seek out and condemn “abuses of free expression” including “defamation of religions and prophets”. The council agreed – so the job has been turned on its head. Instead of condemning the people who wanted to murder Salman Rushdie, they will be condemning Salman Rushdie himself.Anything which can be deemed “religious” is no longer allowed to be a subject of discussion at the UN – and almost everything is deemed religious. Roy Brown of the International Humanist and Ethical Union has tried to raise topics like the stoning of women accused of adultery or child marriage. The Egyptian delegate stood up to announce discussion of shariah “will not happen” and “Islam will not be crucified in this council” – and Brown was ordered to be silent. Of course, the first victims of locking down free speech about Islam with the imprimatur of the UN are ordinary Muslims.Here is a random smattering of events that have taken place in the past week in countries that demanded this change. In Nigeria, divorced women are routinely thrown out of their homes and left destitute, unable to see their children, so a large group of them wanted to stage a protest – but the Shariah police declared it was “un-Islamic” and the marchers would be beaten and whipped. In Saudi Arabia, the country’s most senior government-approved cleric said it was perfectly acceptable for old men to marry 10-year-old girls, and those who disagree should be silenced. In Egypt, a 27-year-old Muslim blogger Abdel Rahman was seized, jailed and tortured for arguing for a reformed Islam that does not enforce shariah.