Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hardly Anyone Really Believes in Free Speech

A radical Islamic group planning a protest march through the streets of a town that has achieved iconic status in Britain for honoring the passing hearses of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan ran into a stiff rebuff from the British government on Monday.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a statement saying he was “personally appalled” by the group’s plan to march through the streets of Wootton Bassett, 70 miles west of London, where townspeople have lined the sidewalks since April 2007 to mourn the passing cort├Ęges of British military casualties flown home to the nearby military airbase at Lyneham. ...
Home Secretary Alan Johnson, who is responsible for the police, said in a separate statement that he would support any request from the police or local government officials to ban the march.
The point that the opponents of the march fail to get is that suppressing the march will polarize and alienate Muslims even more.

3 comments:

Steve said...

I believe in free speech, and the right to smash a terrorist's teeth in

Matt Purvis said...

Steve, unfortunately, every Muslim isn't a terrorist, every white southerner isn't a hick, and every black male a criminal.

Benjamin said...

Freedom of speech seems to be a surprisingly American value; I wonder if the founders would think of the same meaning that we do when we say "freedom of speech."

In any case, this is an externality question: they should be allowed to protest, but doing so at the same time as a procession takes away the liberty of those who wish to stand in the parade. Why not schedule a time to protest?

Obviously, the answer is because they mean to protest during the procession, for greater publicity. I don't see how government owes them that.