My debate on Free Speech and Charlie Hebdo on the BBC World Service Radio program ‘World Update’ is available to watch below.
I debate Jodie Ginsberg of the Index on Censorship and the host, Dan Damon. They typically wheel in Liberals like her who campaign against all censorship, to defend Free Speech, but hardly those Liberals who campaign FOR censoring ‘extremism’ and other ‘offensive speech’. Jodie was consistent and agreed that there were a lot of double standards when it came to giving free speech to attack Islam and Muslims but denying Free Speech to Muslims who express opinions that offend Western (or local national) taboos. Both her and the presenter believed that they had a ‘right to offend’. Wrong, causing offense is illegal in many situations in English law. The producers edited out the part where I enlightened them both that in UK law, offense is prohibited in situations such a ‘malicious communications’ (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/27/section/1) and sexual harassment laws (even if unintentional!! i.e.”or having the effect of” >>http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/section/26).
The biggest ignorance I encounter, is that most media pundits and people of England, really don’t know their own laws. This is a problem, because it allows the courts to be very selective in how it applies these laws – usually to the discriminatory disadvantage of Muslims. It is the duty of the Dawah Carrier to know ‘where the bodies are buried’ and point out these hidden clauses (yet commonly referred to in legal cases AGAINST Muslims e.g. Azhar Ahmed) and demand they either apply them consistently or get rid of them – whatever they do, just be fair.
The debate had a good conclusion, in that both the presenter and my colleague, Jodie both accepted there was double standards of ‘free speech’ when applied to Muslims. Watch the debate here (you can hear a few of my parts are editing out, but that is what happens in pre-recorded TV and Radio debates unfortunately). The show was broadcast on 13th January 2015: