Supporting the right to speak on controversial subjects in public is an essential part of a healthy society. It also needs to be recognised that arguments about this or that subject always have at least two sides that should all have the right to set out their stalls. This is especially important when there are major political or religious issues involved. Those listening to these arguments need to hear both sides before making up their minds which one they will support or whether or not the listener will take what has been said and formulate their own view and support neither side. This is how the human intellect has grown, and how free and open societies are created.
The prosecution of an Ulster protestant pastor, James McConnell aged 78 for calling Islam ‘satanic’ during the internet broadcast of a sermon he wrote has, if he is convicted, terrible implications for the future of freedom of speech. A conviction would be bad for anyone in the United Kingdom who wishes to criticise the Islamic religion of rape and murder.
Mr McConnell is being prosecuted under the Communications Act, primarily because the sermon in question was broadcast via the internet. What occurred was Mr McConnell made the sermon and a Muslim saw it and objected, and because of that the Police Service of Northern Ireland arrested Mr McConnell for malicious communications about Islam.
If anybody wanted to get an idea of just how bent our public services and legal system has become towards Islam then consider this: Mr McConnell offered an opinion of Islam, an opinion that a growing number of people share and because of that he is being prosecuted by the State. However, the Muslim who made the complaint is alleged to have made statements supportive of the Islamic thugs of ISIS yet this Muslim appears to be living untouched by the State or its policing or prosecution agencies. This is not equality, this is not justice.
Now I disagree with some of what Mr McConnell says about life the universe and everything, I disagree with him on theological grounds and I disagree with his views on homosexuality, but that doesn’t mean that I think he should be hounded into silence about these subjects. He should have the right to speak, even if it means that Muslims are offended or gays are offended. From what I can gather Mr McConnell has not ‘shouted fire in a crowded theatre’ by saying ‘burn down the mosques’ or anything like that, all he has done is given his opinion of Islam, and for that the State is taking money from you the taxpayer to prosecute this man because a Muslim has been offended. Mr McConnell on the other hand is having to self-fund his own defence and is not getting any assistance with legal fees.
This case, if the State is successful in getting a guilty verdict on Mr McConnell will have horrendous implications for the average Joe’s right to speak about Islam in a negative way. It will set a precedent that our Islam appeasing police forces and Crown Prosecution Service will grab onto and use it against anyone who says anything other than ‘Islam is a religion of peace’.
I can think of numerous scenarios where, if this case is successful, followers of Islam, the religion of rape and murder, and their Quislings in the police and the CPS will be used to shut people up. However this particular scenario is foremost in my mind at the moment. Imagine that you are a parent of a school age child and the school they attend is attempting to force your child into going on a visit to a mosque, a visit that you object to. You, the parent, contact via phone and email or social media other parents at the school and organise a group objection to the pro-Islam propaganda.
You and the other parents would then be committing an offence under the Communications Act because you objected to Islam and objected to it being forced on your children. A successful prosecution in this case could affect tens of thousands of people who although they wouldn’t physically harm a Muslim or damage a Muslim’s property, object to the ideology of Islam. A win in the McConnell case could even affect those who ask questions about or publicise the problem of Islamic Rape Gangs that is afflicting city after city in the UK. The Communications Act effectively silences anybody who wants to say something uncomplimentary, but true, about Islam. This is without doubt an appalling example of legal bullying by Muslims and their Quislings in the police and court systems.
From reading the Brietbart report on this case that was published on the 6th August 2015,it seems the State is going hell-for-leather for a conviction in this case and has previously put pressure on Mr McConnell to accept a police caution which would mean that Mr McConnell would have to admit that what he said was wrong. At the same time as the police and prosecutors are pressing Mr McConnell to admit his guilt in a police station the Muslim complainant who has allegedly backed Islamic terror is free to spread his views without sanction and without fear of arrest.
Here’s what the Brietbart news website said about this case:
“The pastor has refused to give any admission of guilt, or sign documents to that effect, and has declined the offer of an “informed warning” from police.
He said: “It is a battle of free speech. If I am put in jail people will immediately respond and say: ‘This is not right, this is terrible, this is evil’. If I am successful, I will just praise God and get on my way and still preach the Gospel.”
He added: “I am 78 years of age. I have had four heart bypasses, a liver operation and I have cancer and diabetes, but jail knows no fear for me.
“They can lock me up with sex offenders and paramilitaries and I will do my time. I won’t be withdrawing what I said and I make no apologies for my beliefs.”
Meanwhile, the local Muslim “community leader” pushing for his prosecution – who has used the controversy to leverage government into supplying land for a mega-mosque – hasexpressed sympathy for Islamic State (IS) but has been left alone by the law.”
This case is an example of two tier policing at its very worst, probably the worst example I’ve seen so far.
If the State is successful in this case then you will be at risk of arrest and prosecution should you organise online objections to an unwanted mosque in your area, or if you object to pro Islam propaganda being forced on your children or even if you want to make known your views about Islamic Rape Gangs.
This prosecution is a terrible portent for the future and I would urge people, who even if they do not support Pastor McConnell because they object to what he is saying, to support him on freedom of speech and freedom of religion grounds. Today it’s Pastor McConnell being bullied like this, tomorrow it could be you and your family in the very same position.
Brietbart report on Pastor McConnell
Pastor McConnell’s personal website