Friday, March 18, 2005


Theocracy on the March Pt. 2

Yes, you have to hate hatred; No, you can't ban Hatred

As mentioned before, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill was before the Lords on Tuesday. It includes the outlawing of incitement of "hatred against persons on racial or religious grounds".

Speaking in defence of the this provision, Lord Alli did little more than make a fool of himself:

"This debate can be characterised by a conflict of freedom: the freedom to say what you like in a fair and democratic society, and the freedom to live your life without the violence that flows from what a person says about the colour of your skin, your religious beliefs or your sexual orientation."

Erm.. isn't violence illegal without this provision? If this is a new kind of violence, how does it 'flow' from speech? Is there demonstrable evidence of this violence and the harm it causes to distinguish genuine victims from false accusers?

He then underlines his 'right on' credentials by proposing as follows:

"Having dealt with the points of principle in these provisions, I feel rather like Oliver Twist. I want more. I hear the noble Beadle on the Front Bench from the workhouse saying, "More! You want more?". Yes, I want more. I would like the Government to go further. I have written to the Minister asking her to give consideration to the extension of the provisions to cover gay men and lesbians through a new offence of incitement to homophobic hatred."

He goes on to quote some horrid sentiments that would be covered by his law (finding all his examples in Afro-Carribbean culture, for some reason):

"Perhaps I may give some practical examples of what I mean in three extracts of homophobic lyrics in popular, contemporary rap music. I have no idea who Beenie Man is, but he sings,

"Hang lesbians with a long piece of rope".
In another song he sings,

"I'm dreaming of a new Jamaica, come to execute all the gays".
Another current popular rap song states,

"Step up to the front line, burn the men who have sex with men from behind. Shoot queers". "

Apparently, Lord Alli wants to outlaw Islam. Which actually-existing strand of Islam is not homophobic? I have written before on what Islamic jurists have to say on the matter. (No, it's not nice. Yes, it is fucking bonkers).

To add to that, here is someone in the UK (ie, under the jurisdiction of the new law) saying very much the same thing on a serious-minded website dedicated to propagating Islamic beliefs:

[I quote the whole segment because I want it to be clear that when the writer says "most Muslim scholars have ruled that the punishment for this act should be the same as for zina (i.e., one hundred whiplashes for the man who has never married and death by stoning for the married man)" that such rulings are authentically derived from the Koran as well as Hadeeth]:


"Regardless of the consensus of the larger society, homesexuality is not a sexual norm, or alternative. Islam considers homosexuality as a sexual deviation leading to a perverted act which goes against the natural order Allah intended for mankind. It is a corruption of the man's sexuality and a crime against the opposite sex. Therefore, the Islamic Shari'ah strictly prohibits the practice of this perverted act, which is mentioned in many places in the Holy Qur'an.

"The story of Prophet Lot's people, who were addicted to this practice, is the best example. Prophet Lot, alayhes salam, said to his people, "Verily, you do sodomy with men, and rob the wayfarer! And practice all wickedness in your meetings." [29:29]And he said to them, "Of all the creatures of the world, will you approach males, and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your wives? Nay, you are a trespassing people!" [26:165-166]

"But their answer to Prophet Lot, alayhessalam, was, "Bring us the Wrath of Allah if you are telling us the Truth." [29:29]And so Allah gave them the punishment they deserved, "And We rained on them a rain of torment. And how evil was the rain of those who had been warned." [26:173]

"Because of the danger, and the atrocity of this crime, Allah has punished the people who committed it by four kinds of punishments. No people have been punished by all four combined before: He blinded their eyes, He turned the town of Sodom upside down, He rained on them stones of baked clay piled up, and He sent against them a sayhah [a torment and an awful cry].

"Just as a person who has a sexual urge should not satisfy it by committing zina, a person who has this perverted thought should not act upon it. In order to maintain the purity of the Muslim society, most Muslim scholars have ruled that the punishment for this act should be the same as for zina (i.e., one hundred whiplashes for the man who has never married and death by stoning for the married man).

"Some have even ruled that the punishment of both partners in sodomy is execution by the sword, if they committed the act by their own choice and agreement. For Ibn Abbas narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhe wa sallam, said, "Whomever you found committing the crime of Lot's people [i.e., sodomy], then kill both partners." (Ahmad) The unprecedented plagues and the many dangerous diseases that have appeared in our time such as the fatal AIDS disease, and which are the result of this immoral crime, show the wisdom of inflicting such strong punishment for this sin."

Sound judicial reasoning, and very pleasant too!

By his absurd proposal, which he knows noone will take seriously, Lord Alli is trying to imply that the hatred provision is all about multicultural toleration. It isn't. It's about special deference in law for religion.

(BTW - if his law was enacted, who do you think would be arrested the most: Imams, or Afro-Caribbeans? Perhaps the latter. Don't we have enough laws like that?)

(Yet) more on the Bill to follow.

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