Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Victory for free speech and a blow to indoctrination

Two news stories on related subjects came to attention today. The first was reported by the BBC:

Evangelical Christian preacher Pastor James McConnell has been found not guilty of making "grossly offensive" remarks about Islam.

The 78-year-old, from Shore Road in Newtownabbey, County Antrim, denied two charges relating to a sermon he gave in a Belfast church in 2014.

A judge said while he considered the remarks offensive, he did not consider them "grossly" offensive under the law.

Supporters of the pastor applauded when the verdict was given.

A good result for free speech as the National Secular Society outlined:

... Stephen Evans described the ruling as a "welcome reassertion of the fundamental right to freedom of expression."

He added, "While we and many others disagree strongly with the tone and content of the Pastor's remarks, a heartening and broad coalition of groups have stood up for his right to express his views.

"At a time when freedom of speech is being curtailed and put at risk in any number of ways, this is a much needed statement from the judge that free speech will be defended and that Islam is not off-limits.

"While we welcome the ruling, serious questions remain about the PPS' decision to pursue this case, particularly given that it was brought about after a complaint from a man who had to retract his praise for the Islamic State's rule."

Dr Raied Al-Wazzan, who said Mosul "has become the most peaceful city in the world" under IS, was described as the "chief witness" for the prosecution.

The NSS had written to the Northern Ireland Public Prosecution Service in an attempt to have the prosecution called off and criticising their "chilling" decision to go ahead with the case. The PPS said their decision was "in the public interest" without explaining why.

Mr Evans added: "Now that McConnell has rightly been found not guilty, the PPS needs to be held to account for its reckless pursuit of this prosecution. The terrible effect on the exercise of free speech if McConnell had been found guilty are obvious.

"The right verdict has now been reached, but this case should never have been pursued."

Meanwhile The Times (no link£) reports a follow up to the "Trojan Horse" story about "Islamist takeovers" of schools in Birmingham:

A head teacher who was accused of misconduct in the Trojan horse scandal as he forbade Christmas celebrations at a school has been banned from the profession.

Jahangir Akbar who was acting headmaster of Oldknow Academy primary school school in Birmingham will have to wait for five years before he can teach again. A disciplinary panel upheld a charge against him last month he agreed with others at the school to an undue amount of religious influence.

Frankly he he should have been barred for life (along with the "others") as they should not be allowed near schools ever again.

Not only did he ban Christmas but also Diwali and introduced a two day festival for Eid. This is unacceptable and the product of an intolerant mindset that would corrupt the minds of young children.

Finally as a sort of footnote, if any members of the Goldsmiths LGBT Society are reading this blog perhaps they would be interested in this quote from the Muslim Prime Minister of Malaysia who says:

Najib Razak spoke at an international Islamic moderation seminar in Bangi Selangor, to say that his administration will adopt some human rights protections but not those which conflict with Islam.

Noting LGBT rights, he said that some of the “more extreme aspects of human rights”, would not be defended by Malaysia.

He said this was in line with the Islamic teaching of balance and moderation.

“Although universal human rights have been defined, we still define human rights in the country in the context of Islam and the Shariah,” he said, reports the Malay Mail.

“Even though it is difficult to defend internationally, we must defend our definition of human rights.”

Please remember that the next time you support Islamic thugs trying to stop Marynam Namzie speaking.

You'll be next.

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