It is important for we in the west who see our most fundamental freedoms slipping away exponentially faster than it took to earn them in the first place to remember that India has the same problem and primarily for the same reasons. Islam. John McCain when he ran for president of the United states suggested scrapping the UN in favour of the G8 plus India and Brazil. Like most brilliant ideas, it is too far ahead of the general knowledge curve to seem reasonable but is exactly what is called for. Like relativity, Einstein’s universe shaking concepts of time and gravity, not one of Einstein’s generation accepted it but all of the following one did. The question is whether or not we have the time to wait for the next generation to adopt McCain’s theory of a union of free states. Not to take the physics analogy too far but perhaps we cant afford any uncertainty principle for very long on this one.
A blogger from India has been sending me some links about the erosion of freedom of speech there as well and for the same reasons. Muslims demand that no person or agency should be able to say anything critical of Islam and perhaps worse, no one may even reproduce things Muslim leaders say which may cast Islam in a poor light even if 100% factually correct. Horrifyingly, the odd Christian Jewish and Hindu leader senses a political opportunity and will back the Islamic stance imagining perhaps that stopping religious criticism might be good for the authority of their respective churches as well.
These people need to study history and perhaps more importantly the wording of currently debated binding resolutions now in front of the UN general assembly.
Islam will not be used as anyone’s strong man. Jews Christians and Hindus will enjoy as much protection from blasphemy as the stone Buddha’s did in Afghanistan and as churches and synagogues and temples that have been on lands bordering large Muslim populations.
A few weeks ago on VTB we blogged about an Indian editor who was fired from his job from a major Indian daily newspaper for publishing a fairly innocuous piece on freedom of speech and specifically from irrational religious authority. The author of the article did a reprint saying that no matter what riots and demonstrations take place based on what he said, he stands by every word of it and while that should be allowed to be true in all cases, this was a very good article and all of us need to stand behind it in any case.
Now Indian blogger’s find themselves in danger from the law if they challenge irrational religious authority. I do wonder if the people of the early dark ages saw the creeping draconian and arbitrary rule of the western church as not to be believed in much the way all my day to day acquaintances see the current challenge to secular freedoms. But knowing the likely answer to that question is not nearly as interesting as one might think. Not only did they probably not see it coming as an unimaginable and unlikely event but we will know similar restrictions as handed down by bodies like the U.N. The E.U. and any other social policy body infected with Islamist organizations such as the Organization of Islamic Countries.
NEW DELHI: A 19-year-old blogger’s case could forever change the ground rules of blogging. Bloggers may no longer express their uninhibited views
on everything under the sun, for the Supreme Court said they may face libel and even prosecution for the blog content.
This chilling warning emerged as a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam refused to protect a 19-year-old Kerala boy, who had started a community on Orkut against Shiv Sena, from protection against summons received from a Maharashtra court on a criminal case filed against him.
Petitioner Ajith D had started a community on Orkut against Shiv Sena. In this community, there were several posts and discussions by anonymous persons who alleged that Shiv Sena was trying to divide the country on region and caste basis.
Reacting to these posts, the Shiv Sena youth wing’s state secretary registered a criminal complaint at Thane police station in August 2008 based on which FIR was registered against Ajith under Sections 506 and 295A pertaining to hurting public sentiment.
Hurting public sentiment. This sounds a lot like the threat to public safety the British used to prevent Geert Wilders from speaking in the UK. or the Canadian section thirteen of the ‘hate crimes act’ where something which is said is likely to expose a person or group to hatred or contempt under which countless Canadians have been charged most famously Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant. It seems as if nations which once stood proud and defiant in the face of religious intolerance now have created special rules which those very intolerant groups use against us. These laws go from the frightening to the ridiculous which in fact are more frightening. When they pass laws about not speaking out against their religion directly at least at one level of reason we understand it. When they pass a law saying no one may use an elephant as a symbol as it offends worshipers of the Hindu god Ganesh we now are hamstrung in anything we may say or represent for fear of any religious authority finding offense in it, and as there is now great power in being offended, you can bank on an objection from the funny hat crowd.
Thought crimes laws are like a machine gun in the sense that we like them when we are holding them but we like them less when someone else is pointing them at us. They are unlike a machine gun in another way however. Whenever you create a law which abrogates free speech no matter how noble the initial purpose may be for that law, its not a matter of if but of when someone else will take control of it and destroy its original intent and we as a free people along with it.
This has clearly happened at the U.N. in Canada, India and Holland. Do not imagine this will not effect you. It already has. It just may take a while to notice. Cancer is like that.