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To defend actions of this sort on the basis of free speech is to miss the point.
For burning a poppy wreath in a tolerant country by religious bigots £50 fine, for burning a sacreligious book by a free speaking Brit, in a free speaking (almost) country, jail, nuff said.
"Islamophobia does mean an irrational fear of Islam."
I despise Islam because it is, among other things, homophobic and xenophobic. Am I being irrational?
"many are still under the illusion that there is an Islamic Country in the world"
- There ARE Islamic countries in the world. The issue is that IDIOTS like you refuse to understand that just because YOU don't regard these as Islamic countries that doesn't mean that they are not Islamic countries.
What happens if you are on an airoplane and it crashes and you land up in a South Atlantic ocean island. Its very cold but you have wood but no kindling. There's nothing to lit your fire apart from you personal copy of the Koran. If you lit it it would save your life. You die if you don't lit it.
Dan: Is it OK to burn the Koran in these circumstances?
But burning people is OK?
I agree with Stephanie; thoughout the Muslim world, people who try to leave Islam, women accused of prostitution or simply drsing the wrong way, gay men & women and non-muslims are killed by people who are following instructions from the Koran.
In the 2001 census more people identified as Jedi Knights as their religion than Islam, but should people also jailed for burning Star Wars dvds?
16 April 2011 at 13:13
There is less crime (rape, robbery, assault) In Islamic countries than in European and American ones. Hence it is more peaceful in Islamic societies...generally.
Well that is debatable!! that's the kind of statement made by many about the communist eastern block. They had fuck-all, but there was no crime? YOU really know fuck-off do you Divine.
Dan still waiting that answers??
Apologies, been of the site for a while.
What religious fascism have I appeased exactly?
"When New York artist Andres Serrano plunged a plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and photographed it in 1987 under the title Piss Christ, he said he was making a statement on the misuse of religion.
"Controversy has followed the work ever since, but reached an unprecedented peak on Palm Sunday when it was attacked with hammers and destroyed after an "anti-blasphemy" campaign by French Catholic fundamentalists in the southern city of Avignon."
Well, Dan, who should be prosecuted here: the artist for giving offence or the Catholics involved?
Dan, what about bibles that are confiscated and burned by Muslims? Did you know that it is illegal to bring bibles into a Muslim country? What do you think is done to these bibles?
16 April 2011 at 08:00
Dan please answer this question. Why is political-fascism hard fought against, but religious-fascism is appeased and pampered by many of the political-left
A confrontation is exactly what these people want, what possible other reason can there be for their actions? Have you thought this through? They are simply trying to think of the action that will wind up the biggest amount of people.
Dont get these rabble-rousers mixed up with ideologes, and dont let their banal, unimaginitave stirring cloud your judgement and proportionality, Dan.
Quite frankly, this is the most extreme and obnoxious article I have read outside the various far-left outlets (assuming that the New Statesman is not far left). The degree of Leftist hypocrisy, the sheer patronisation of Muslims and Islam, and the cynical and opportunist way he, or the Left generally, uses Islam and Muslims, makes you feel physically sick.
There seems to be no limit to what Leftists such as this will say and do to protect Islam and Islamism. They have gone so far in their patronisation and opportunism, that they simply can’t stop now. Things can only get worse. Just as they did in Iran in 1979 when Leftist first started being put up against walls and shot by their ‘revolutionary’ Islamist friends.
Yes it does sound ‘intolerant’ and ‘illiberal’. But that doesn’t surprise me in the least. This is the Left we are talking about. The Left was never tolerant or liberal in the first place. This article simply shows us how far the Left is willing to go to appease Islam and Islamism.
Yes, Leftists are tolerant - to the right people and the right groups. Yes it is also liberal - to the right people and the right groups.
The Left’s current recipients of middle-class Leftist patronisation are, of course, Muslims.
And who says that burning the Koran is ‘just a giggle’? This writer may think so; but many EDL, and millions of others throughout the world, would also like to burn the Koran. Not for a giggle, but because it is one of the most obnoxious, violent and intolerant books known to man. A book that justifies and encourages Jihad against every non-Muslim on the planet. A book that encourages and justifies slavery on massive scale. A book that belittles and ridicules every non-Muslim as ’cattle’ or ’pigs and monkeys’ and as people who should either be killed or forcefully converted.
So this appeaser, this Leftist opportunist and cynic, thinks only good things about this book. Actually, he probably hasn’t read it. His Leftism, and therefore his opportunism and cynicism vis-a-vis Muslims and Islam, demands that he patronises not only every Muslim, but also their despicable holy book. And all for Leftism. Not at all for Muslims or Islam.
You may fart outside a mosque and a Muslim may bomb a nursery school. Should we be ‘averse’ to that ‘consequence’? Should we give in to every Muslim threat and every piece of Muslim blackmail - threats and blackmail which effectively demand that every non-Muslim in this country should be subject to Sharia Blasphemy Law? And here’s the New Statesman fully endorsing Sharia Blasphemy Law. And completely giving in to Muslim threats and blackmail.
Did this writer ever speak out against The Life of Brian? The ‘Piss Christ’ exhibition in London? Of course not. Christianity is a ‘white oppressor’ religion and a tool of ‘Zionist-crusaders’. It is not the religion of Brown Exotic Oppressed (who are ripe for Leftist patronisation).
And did the New Statesman as a whole ever criticise the innumerable anti-Christian works of arts over the last fifty years? The numberless academic works that not only criticised Christianity; but mocked it? What did it say about The Last Temptation of Christ? If anything - this Leftist rag would have praised it as a work of art. Thus, again, Christianity is not Brown and Exotic and thus not ripe for Leftist patronisation. The hypocrisy here is nauseating.
I believe that intolerance towards the intolerant - the Koran, Islamism, etc. - is not only acceptable, it is absolutely necessary.
Yes; if you agree that it’s ‘Nazi’ to burn the Koran. What if you don’t? What if you think it is the Koran that is Nazi?
We all want the police to do exactly what we want them to do. So of course this despicable Leftist wants the police to be the enforcer of political correctness, Community Cohesion, Embraced Diversity and, basically Islamophilia or Dhimmitude.
And, of course, Alex Massie can’t be right on this because he writes for the Spectator. And because he writes for the Spectator he must not really believe in freedom. He must be saying what he is saying about burning the Koran because he’s a ‘Nazi’, or a ‘racist’, or a ‘Islamophobe’, or ‘far right’. Isn’t Leftist political thought so incredibly sophisticated?
What the EDL and the Koran-burners do is much, much worse than what Islamoterrorists do, or what the Islamists preach, of course. The EDL are just such a threat with their bombing campaigns and their threats to annihilate Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But what I really hate about the EDL is how they want to enforce Christianity on everyone.
But ‘dialogue’ is just about forbidden by Leftists like this as well. There is no debate between the counter-jihad movement and the Leftist enablers of Islamism. The Left believes in there being ‘no platform’ for all who disagree with it. This isn’t just about this Leftist anti-free speech totalitarian being against book-burning. The Left has a No Platform police on all aspects of the counter-jihad movement - from its basic academic criticisms, to its demos, to its websites - everything!
This stuff about imprisoning book burners is just the beginning. In fact it has already gone way beyond imprisoning burners of the Koran. EDL members have had ten-year banning orders placed upon them which stop them from attending demos or even accessing EDL websites. Councillors and politicians, up and down the country, have called for the EDL to be banned outright. Every EDL demo faces a violent counter-demo from the SWP/UAF. Regional newspapers simply mirror these opinions and actions of far leftists without sometimes even realising they are regurgitating or mirroring far-leftist views and actions.
The irony is that being a typical Leftist hypocrite, there will be many ‘right wing’ or ‘Nazi’ books he would love to burn. But he doesn’t need to. Leftists like him have ‘won the culture war’ therefore they don’t need to resort to book burning. After all, he writes for a national magazine which has a known extreme Islamist as its editor. It’s all already going swimmingly for Leftists like this journalist. Booking books is just ‘crude and common’ - he’s got articles to write.
So the fucking book burners are to blame for the psychotic nature of Islamists and other Muslims? What kind of perverse logic is that? Were we to blame for Hitler invading Poland?
The Left has already said, many times, they we were to blame for 9/11 (just as the Israelis are to blame for every sick act the Islamoterrorists carry out). Not only that. The InterFaithers actually apologise for being Islamobombed. Who are these people and why do they have these positions of power and influence in our society?
Are serial killers ‘incited to murder’? Are paedophiles incited to commit acts of abuse on young children? No? Then why are Muslims always incited, by us, to commit all manner of obscenities? Is it because the neo-colonist Leftist see all Muslims as children who are not responsible for any bad action they carry out - even the bombing of infant schools? This man should be tried for treason - only, he’d love that. He’d become a true Leftist martyr.
Again. Muslims are never to blame for their own actions - but we are! They have no free will. Only we have free will. Such neo-colonialist crap about the Brown Exotic cannot only be the product of Leftist middle-class guilt.
A person who sells drugs knows that the drugs he sells will be used. A person who burns the Koran may have no idea that some psychotic Muslim will blow up twenty people 1, 000 miles away because of what he did. This writer’s cause-and-affect lack of logic is staggering. Does he really believe that the burning of a Koran alone will be the sole reason why a psychotic Muslim will kill people in revenge? What about this killer’s religion? His prior Islamic actions? The religious environment he lives in? His view on previous infidel crimes, etc? No Muslim ever kills just because of a Koran burning. He kills because his religion has taught him that violence,within his religion, is absolutely acceptable and even pious in itself.
This discussion has all the feel of a typical exercise in liberal causistry.
Just wait until largely Muslim areas of UK towns or cities start using local laws to object against pubs or clubs or other businesses on the grounds that their profance atmosphere, the presence of alcohol etc. offends their sensibilities.
Democracy is a double-edged sword. Beware!
Burning any book is a tactic, and generally not one with any noble principle behind it. Yet free speech is so under threat that I find it hard to defend you here Hodges.
Mr Divine: "There is less crime (rape, robbery, assault) In Islamic countries than in European and American ones".
Of course. There was less crime in the USSR, less crime in Hitler's Germany. When you impose a curfew and shoot those who break it, there is a huge diminution in crime. It's simple: when you reduce freedom you reduce crime. That's why there is less crime in Muslim countries. But then Muslims don't value freedom - except for themselves, of course.
So, they should go to jail, you don't mention the fatwa prounced on them calling for thier death, you must be ok with that too.
I am a christian, if they burn a bible, koran or whatever book that if free speech. You need to be able to defend your worst enemies right to say what you hate most if u want a free society, this is not one though.
When Terry Jones burns a Koran to protest a book that advocates violence to unbelievers, and the result is violence to unbelievers, then not only must it be said that he has a right to burn the Koran, but that he was right to burn it.
I wonder if Dan Hodges thinks that Pope Benedict should be arrested for his provocative Regensburg lecture, in which he illustratively employed a quote "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only bad and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached", and that led to violent protests and denunciations. Or how about the Danish cartoonists and journalists responsible for the Jyllands-Posten controversy that led to violent protests and denunciations?
My thoughts on this on spiked, looking at divisions that exist at the Observer over their actions: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/10423/
I believe that Sion Owens should also have had the freedom to release the film into the public domain, if he so chose. Freedom of speech, the cornerstone of all our freedoms, is too often compromised on the grounds that people might be harmed as a result of it. But people should be trusted to make up their own minds about whether to act upon footage of some idiot burning the Koran, rather than prevented by the state from seeing such footage in case it drives them crazy. To censor is to treat the public as a pogrom-in-waiting, whose eyes must be protected from offensive words and imagery. It is an updated, perhaps slightly more PC version of the same patronising assumptions that were exposed in the Lady Chatterley Trial: ‘Would you let your wife or servant read it?’ The question some are implicitly asking in relation to the BNP Koran video is: ‘Would you let the white working classes watch it?’ or ‘Would you let angry Muslims watch it?’. Perhaps that is what Townsend was getting at when he said the video could have ‘serious violent repercussions’.
What if I want to say that Muhammad was a rapist? What if I want to burn the Das Kapital, which some people have a religious devotion to? Where does it stop? Lame. This proves that Islam is getting an especial untouchable status... If someone insulted Jesus, I'm sure that he would be barred from entering the UK... But a guy who insulted Muhammad was already prevented from entering the UK.
@ Mr Divine, its simple you burn it to save your life, but when your rescued and return the civilization and you report your story to the worlds media, you have a Fatwah put on your head and then you get hunted down by Jihadi's and killed in a horrible manner, probably beheading. Then anyone from your host country or countries that resemble it become targets too and all hell breaks out - again...
A far more relevant comment from the Irish Times on the whole affair than that of Mr. Hodges.
Would a person be convicted for burning Mien Kampf outside a Nazi convention (assume the Nazi's would get upset and smash thinks) - no Nazi is not a race or religion.
A bible, a Torah - No Christians / Jews wouldn't set fire to UN workers.
So you agree with a law restricting freedom of expression? The guy was angry about the burning of poppies - oh of course in your eyes he shouldn't have any rights because he's a "Nazi".
Okay, so you you believe in the law. Will you be campaigning for parity between the law that Andrew Ryan was prosecuted under with the law Choudhury (the poppy burner)was prosecuted under? One attracts a jail term the other a maximum fine of £1,000. Will you be campaigning for fair sentencing guidelines?.
Will you fuck.
Mr Divine-you are very funny. Your mock situations are brilliant!
But.... you cannot compare something done recklessly, negligibly, unwillingly, under duress with an act done will deliberate intent and malice. And don’t tell me the old boy from the BNP did so unwittingly- and did not think it will hurt his intended victims.
Dan, I cant quite believe what you are saying, so if a group of people (Muslims) keep commiting acts of terror and violence in the name of Islam and Inspired by hate preachers - we know its wrong so we just dont disucss the issue's, is that right?
The fact that people where murdered and beheaded over the burning of a book shouldn't need some kind of explanation???? Should this issue be top of the agenda?
Noone is forcing these people to act in such a way..you can burn the bible for all I care...Christains might get upset, but you would see they act in such a terrible way. When is the NS going to start address Islamic Violence and Terror in a real way...that looks at the Koran and what it teaches. Oh I guess with Medhi on your panel its abit too touchy a subject...
Because I don' think that there's any debate about whether the murders committed following the US Qur'an burning were illegal.
There is a debate about whether Qur'an burning should be illegal."
Dan, don't reply, just keep your fucking mouth shut. It's bastard like you that are contributing to a confrontational future.
Seriously, don't even listen to that idiot. That Muslim-majority countries have a lower rates of crime is rubbish.
For example: homicides per 100,000
Japan - 0.5
Germany - 0.6
United Kingdom - 1.2
Australia - 1.3
Belgium - 1.7
United States - 6.0
United Arab Emirites - 0.5
Kuwait - 1.4
Iran - 2.5
Saudi Arabia - 3.2
Yemen - 6.8
Malaysia - 9.4
So, in spite of the draconion laws in Muslim-majority countries, there is actually more crime in Muslim-majority countries.
Not disagreeing with you on free speech grounds.
As a gesture, burning a religious text is only going to be immature and provocative...
However, that said, surely someone of faith so strong that a symbolic burning of a book wouldn't upset them. Surely only demonstrate the perpetrators lack of understanding/insecurity amongst their own piers maybe.
I'm atheist. If someone burned a book by Dawkins or Hitchens or anyone who relies on evidence and science, I couldn't give a shite, I wouldn't decapitate or mutilate anyone but it would be a shame for human progression.
Guess as a non-believer, I belong to a group of marginalized loonies.
Why should religious text have almost that kind of privilleged status?
Surely 1984 and 'the origin of species' are far more sacred to human development and understanding.
Oops, my bad. Off to hell I go.
@PG: You start telling everyone that you've burnt the Koran in private. Eventually the police come round to your house to arrest you for burning the Koran. You say to them, " I didn't actually burn it. I just pretended to, I made it all up." Can you be prosecuted? And if so, on what basis?
Couldn't agree with this article less. And I'm a Quaker. We don't tend to do violent racism.
Alex. Change your name and your address.
Lets look at your evidence... wherever you got it from.
The United States is 6 homicides per hundred thousand. Muslim countries including Kuwait is only 1.4, UAE 0.6, and Saudi Arabia 3.2. In other words far less than 'civilised' and economically advanced US. I think the Malaysia figure is wrong.
And when you look at countries with the same material wealth like those in Africa and South America I think you'll find that Islamic countries are much safer, and therefore peaceful as I pointed out.
What about assaults and robbery figures? You'll find there is less theft in Islamic countries.
@Luddite: You wrote, 'YOU really know fuck-off do you Divine.'
For a start off I know that it should be 'fuck-all' not 'fuck-off'. It doesn't make much sense the way you wrote it. It appears to me Luddite that you know fuck-all about appropriate prepositions.
Should you go to jail for burning a Bible? Perhaps not, seeing as Christians don't rampage through the streets looking for people to murder.
When someone burns a Koran, some people in some parts of the world are accustomed to storming through the streets baying for blood.
Wouldn't it be well taken for the local security forces to train their machine guns on them and slaughter them on the streets?
@Luddite: And why do you keep shouting at poor Dan Hodges in a fascist style?
You keep demanding of Dan in a very loud voice, 'Why is religious fascism being appeased?'
Let me speak for Dan here while he's having a dump, there is no religious fascism occurring so how can it be appeased? Point out one incidence of religious fascism in the West and I'll concede you have a case. Until then you're shouting about something that doesn't exist. Religious fascism, sounds good, but doesn't exist.
Dan- I do believe this is the first sensible thing you have said in your entire career.
No one should burn books it's just nice. But what is so special about this particular book. Most of the people that follow it's teachings can't even read it themselves. So Dan, let's not start bending over backwards appeasing illiterate religious bigots you ever know where it will end!!
I shall copy, paste and frame your kind post...
I think Hell is freezing over... I'm actually agreeing with a Dan Hodges article.
Well said, Dan!
Your attitude to Muslims is so patronising: don't wave your arms in the field in case the bull charges. You are talking about a group of people who have chosen a particular set of beliefs, not a herd of cattle following a blind instinct.
All of the above comments are missing the point: we ought to be burning the mosques, not the korans.
If you paid for it, burn it. For heavens sake, Muslims torch Bibles all the time. Possibly you should get hauled in for doing it outside a mosque as a public disturbance, but that's the limit.
Hmm... Can I get someone jailed for burning a copy of Harry Potter. Both it and the Koran are, after all, works of fiction. And can I put you in prison for saying Santa and the tooth fairy don't exist?
Jesus H Christ Dan, idiots like you will see religious fundies of all kinds choking free speech and the right to criticise their idiot beleifs and bigoted behaviour.
You are just as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden to our safety and liberty.
Blimey Hal, not you too.
This post is going up on the wall as well...
The U.S. has its share of social problems. However, one thing we Yanks got right is the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Persons whose faith is so fragile that they can't cope with some jerk burning a copy of said faith's sacred book are shit out of luck here in the U.S. of A. The Koran, the Bible, Torah scrolls, the Vedics can all be set on fire without worrying about your local policeman coming to arrest you.
Seriously, obviously that bigot in Florida was being deliberately provocative when he burned that Koran. He wanted to stir the pot and succeeded in doing so. Does this make him a jerk? You bet. Were his actions immoral? I think so. However, being an immoral jerk isn't illegal in the U.S. Nor should it be, in my humble opinion.
Burn the Koran + the Bible + the Torah + Das Kapital + Mien Kampf +...
No work of fiction deserves protection.
So, if I was to burn the novelization of StarWars in order to keep myself an my children warm over a cold, dark winter I would find myself doing time?
In my opinion the people that *choose* to work in the public sector are amongst the least talented in the land. We should be removing laws, removing jobs from the public sector, reducing taxes and removing controls on the population. That way we can look at creating wealth within the society.
I dont want to live in a controlled society where some nameless failed career politician or local administrator thinks they know whats right and best for me.
Views like the ones stated in this article are likely to make us a second world country before the mid-point of this century.
Perhaps next, cartoonists should be carted off to jail. Pakistani blasphemy law supporters would get quite the kick out of you.
I have literally zero idea how anyone can think that burning a religious text should be a criminal offence and a jail term attached.
Religion is something that in general, kids are brainwashed into believing in or people make a concious choice to adopt.
In the same way anyone who disagrees with the teachings of the religion should be free to do whatever they like against it.
I'm an atheist myself so maybe I'm a little bias because I find the notion of anything that blights the path of human evolution, causes that many deaths through war or turns people against each other something that needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth.
To offer such protection to something that contains no factual evidence, no truth and is either inflicted as a form of abuse in children or a dellusional mental illness that emerges in others is one of the most unfortunate, illogical outrages that I find majorly offensive myself.
Glad to see all Dan Hodges's shithouse arguments have been demolished by a combination of commenters above.
To refocus the argument, let's spin it this way.
I fucking hate fly fishing. I hate it sooooo much that I am going to burn - and video and broadcast said burning of - a copy of Fly Fishing by J.R. Hartley in my garden.
The Fly Fishing community think I should not do so.
The ONLY difference between my example and the burning of the Koran is the barbarism of the so-called devout muslims who think burning "their" book = permission to decapitate.
And Dan Hodges is happy to endorse that difference by way of our criminal law.
Basically, the guy's got himself into a fuckwit please-the-killer cul-de-sac, and he's using sad counter-comment nitpicking to try to get himself out. Seems to me he's failed.
Totally off-topic, but I think Reginald Sniff-Peters must the best handle I have ever come across here. A fine name, may I say.
And I suppose you robbing becomes quite difficult when one of your hands are cut orf. what? whahhhrtt...