A convicted racist who burned a Koran in front of city centre shoppers has been jailed for 70 days after a judge described the act as “theatrical bigotry”.
He is a member of the virulently racist and arguably fascist English Defence League.
Steve Hynd of Newshoggers, who is Scottish and part of our weekly Polizeros podcast, says in email.
The US laws would let Hitler talk and organise unhindered. In Europe we remember how that turns out in a way Americans just don’t.
I think of America, I think of no experience *in living memory* of facists seizing entire industrialized, advanced, nations and unleashing the full might of modern “shock and awe” on civilians by the *tens of millions*
Terry Jones’ intent in burning a Koran here in the States clearly was to incite violence. 70 days in jail is a sentence for their equivalent of a misdemeanor here.
Should Koran-burning be punishable here or would that be just more of the long, slippery slope down to decreased freedoms? or is allowing incitement to violence a long, slippery slope?
Josh Mull, the moderator of our weekly Polizeros podcast strongly advocates for freedom of speech. Also from email.
When say, John Bolton, goes on TV and threatens Iran (and therefore Iranians) with bombing and nuclear weapons – what is that? Is he inciting violence? What about the Project for a New American Century advocating war on Iraq? What about CPAC advocating deploying the military against Mexican immigrants? Where do you draw the line?
When Larry the Cable Guy goes on TV and says Chinese people talk funny, is that theatrical bigotry? What about if Pat Robertson says gay people cause hurricanes, should he go to jail? What about when PM Cameron, or Tony Blair, supports the occupation of Gaza? His INTENT is to cause the occupation to happen, right?
Curbing speech is stupid, arbitrary, and cowardly. It doesn’t solve any problems, it just makes the frightened and entitled feel better about themselves (like locking up black men for drugs – problem solved!!!)
What do you think?