"I'm in favour of free speech unless I disagree with it"

It’s Tuesday. Must be time for Cancer editor News Bunny Norton to wheel out his Islamo-looney, Farooq Siddique to give us his highly personal take on Islam in his ‘A Muslim in Bristol’ column.

Strangely enough Norton’s stopped posting Siddique’s column on the Cancer website now, which is an especially nice touch this week as Siddique, in the wake of Ibrahim Mousawi’s visit to Bristol (Blogger passim), has called his column “Our rights to free speech” – which is obviously not a suitable subject for us to freely speak about on the Cancer website.

And what do you know? Siddique’s in favour of free speech. Apparently “It’s essential for the discovery of truth.”

But wait! There’s more … There are in fact limits to free speech. “Of course freedom of speech has never meant the ‘freedom to offend’,” he says as he explains why he thinks the notorious Danish cartoons mocking Muhammed are beyond the pale and should be banned.

Presumably, then, Siddique thinks nobody is offended by his Islamist friend Mr Mousawi and his Hezbollah organisation with its commitment to the destruction of the State of Israel; it’s nasty little anti-semitic TV station; it’s blackshirted Nazi saluting paramilitaries; its random firing of missiles into civilian areas of Israel and its attempts to get a notorious child killer released from prison?

What could possibly offend anyone about any of that compared to a few silly cartoons in an obscure foreign newspaper?

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6 Responses to "I'm in favour of free speech unless I disagree with it"

  1. Jon Eccles says:

    Free speech means the right to offend. If no-one objects to a remark, allowing it is hardly controversial.

    And as we’ve been finding out on the Guardian website’s guide to the Qur’an, there’s plenty in there which tests the limits of free speech a lot more than some cartoons.

    The problem is that when you accept the idea that someone’s beliefs about the metaphysical is a part of their ‘identity’, whatever the hell that means, then attacks on a particular metaphysical belief can be muddled with hate speech, which is something entirely different.

  2. badnewswade says:

    As you’ve discovered, Siddique’s secular counterparts at Indymedia / SWP are much the same. Free speech really is only for people who agree with them. Stalinist assholes.

    Whatever happened to The Bristolian, btw?

  3. The Last Bristolian says:

    The Koran is not open to interpretation, and Islamists regard many negative references to it as an insult to Islam.

  4. thebristolblogger says:

    The problem is that when you accept the idea that someone’s beliefs about the metaphysical is a part of their ‘identity’

    Siddique takes this a step further though and grafts a load of dodgy right-wing politics on to his beliefs/identity too. He then attempts to prevent any discussion of his politics by pleading they’re a part of his “beliefs”. It’s a trick that the liberal-equalities-diversity set fall for every time …

  5. Sam says:

    i think a campaign of wealth redistribution is in order.

  6. Sam says:

    and it would help if i put the comment in the post about bristol city councilors……

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