Archive for October 22nd, 2005
“My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen
Those of us who have opposed this measure since its introduction in 2001 have never had a problem with its alleged intent, viz. to counter the expression of racial hatred under the disguise of religious hatred. Rather, our problem was always the legislation’s breathtaking scope and reach far beyond that intent.
The prime motivating energy for the Bill seemed to come not from communities seeking protection from bullying by the British National Party but from individuals with a more aggressive, fundamentalist agenda.
Those who have sought, from the very day of the publication in 1989 of Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses, to immunise religions against criticism and ridicule – or at least to promote legislation that is so sinister and intimidating, it can provide that immunity without even the need to prosecute anyone. In other words, to impose self-censorship.”