Thatcher on Thursday: We Will Not Tolerate Your Intolerance

In September 2012, Salman Rushdie made a speech stating that novels like “The Satanic Verses” would struggle to be published today because the violent fallout and fear would be too great for publishers. He’s right. One only has to look at the Charlie Hebdo firebombing in 2011 to prove this. The attack on the Paris Office of the satirical magazine came the day after it published a caricature of the Prophet making a facetious comment.

The French Prime Minister at the time, Francois Fillon, described the incident as “an unjustifable attack on the freedom of the press”.

The editor-in-chief of the magazine, Stephane Charbonnier, (Charb) said Islam could not be excluded from freedom of the press. He continued: “If we can poke fun at everything in France, if we can talk about anything in France apart from Islam or the consequences of Islamism, that is annoying.”

More than annoying, Charb. It is the beginning of thoughtcrime.

In the past 24 hours, a couple of things happened which caught my eye.

Firstly, Charlie Hebdo published the second volume of Mohammed Cartoons entitled “Life of Mohammed”.

Secondly, a 24 year old Moroccan was given an 18 month suspended sentence for calling for Charb to be beheaded.

The third thing was a Church was firebombed in Derbyshire. Police are treating it as a “possible hate crime”.

And finally, the Anti Islamist bloggers, US nationals Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were banned from entering the UK.

They were due to speak at an EDL rally at Woolwich on Saturday 29th June – Armed Forces Day. Personally, I strongly disapprove of the location and timing of the speech for obvious reasons.

The blood of many souls braver than ourselves has paid for our speech to be free. Perhaps that should have been considered when choosing a venue and date.

I also object to these people being denied entry into this country to discuss Islamism and extremists who push that political agenda.

The first 45 minutes of this BBC Asian Network radio programme includes questions to Robert Spencer. I listened to this, and failed to spot the moment where he condoned wife beating, beheading, mutilation of baby girls genitals, firebombing of religious buildings and people’s businesses etc.

Regarding the decision to ban these two people, a Government Spokesman stated: “Individuals whose presence is not conducive to the public good could be excluded by the home secretary. (…) We condemn all those whose behaviours and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form.”

Keith Vaz (incidentally the primary sponsor of EDM 945 “The Recording of Islamophobia as a crime” ) had this to say:

“I welcome the Home Secretary’s ban on Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from entering the country. This is the right decision. The UK should never become a stage for inflammatory speakers who promote hate.”

Indeed, Keith… indeed.

One final thought… Why are the views of those who question Christianity more acceptable to the state? Is the state frightened of something? Unless we can question all religions and political ideologies, it will only add fuel to the fire that is currently smouldering.

“A poet’s work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.” – Salman Rushdie

9 comments on “Thatcher on Thursday: We Will Not Tolerate Your Intolerance

  1. silverminer
    June 27, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    “I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Voltaire

    Perhaps we’ve lost our way a little since Voltaire’s time?

  2. Mark Nutley
    June 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Spot on. @Silverminer, I doubt our political class care who Voltaire is, never mind what he said.

    • Max Markham
      July 1, 2013 at 6:39 am #

      Worse still, I doubt that they KNOW who Voltaire was.

  3. Simon Roberts
    June 28, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    “Is the state frightened of something?”

    Yes, it is.

    5% of the British population are now Muslim. If even a small percentage of those decide to riot in response to a perceived insult to Islam it will be well beyond the ability of the Police to control.

    The UK Government now views the consequences of allowing free speech to be worse than the consequences of denying it.

    The time to address this problem was during the immigration phase. That time has now gone and the people are now here. The only way that freedom of speech will be restored is if people make it clear to the Government (via the electoral process) that denying freedom of speech will cost MPs and Ministers their jobs.

    Unfortunately, this does mean that we will have said riots.

    Chalk up another victory to the Frankfurt School.

    • silverminer
      June 28, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      There are those who suggest that allowing mass Muslim immigration while starting multiple wars in the Middle East, costing hundreds of thousands of Muslim lives, whilst also using the ECHR as an excuse not to deport the numerous Muslim hate preachers calling for violence against the Infidel, has been a deliberate strategy on the part of the British State.

      As soon as the riots get going (radicalised Islam bent on revenge verses the EDL etc), the Civil Contingencies Act will be activated and Britain becomes a Police State operating under martial law overnight. Add into the mix total surveillance, secret courts, press censorship, arrests without releasing the names of the arrested, new side arms for the army…not to mention the financial derivatives time bomb that is yet to be diffused and the apparent fragility of the national grid.

      This is not a healthy picture if you want nothing more than to live and raise your children peacefully in a free and prosperous society. Perhaps this is all just a “conspiracy theory” though?

    • maxmarkham
      July 1, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      Regrettably, the election threat will not work. There is consensus between the parties that we mustn’t upset the Muslims. The only way forward is UKIP or the BNP, and not all of us would be comfortable with the latter.

      • Simon Roberts
        July 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

        If one takes the view that the main parties cannot be made to change, there is still UKIP.

        Personally, I’m of the opinion that it is precisely such shifts in public mood (and the attendant changes in voting patterns) that cause the old parties to change direction.

        The worst thing to do is just accept the status quo.


  1. Steynian 477nd | Free Canuckistan! - June 28, 2013

    […] IN SEPTEMBER 2012, Salman Rushdie made a speech stating that novels like “The Satanic Verses” would struggle to […]

  2. Steynian 478 | Free Canuckistan! - July 4, 2013

    […] BOGPAPER– We Will Not Tolerate Your Intolerance!; Obama – killing coal to save the world; depositors […]

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