Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Blasphemy... again

I see that British Gymnastics is cracking on with implementing Islamic blasphemy rules in the UK, regardless of our existing freedom of speech laws that render their recent decision to punish Louis Smith for mocking Islam risible. Smith (Olympic medallist) has been suspended for a silly phone video that shows him laughing at one of his (drunk) mates making fun with an ornamental rug in a hotel lobby that looked like an Islamic prayer mat. I posted about this a while ago when it first hit the news and honestly feel that whether you agree with the decision or not, this is pure censorship and cultural capitulation born out of fear of violence; Winston Churchill will be turning in his grave; if you believe in ghosts, as apparently many do, read on...

One wonders what comes next; are we to be told that we're not allowed to point and laugh at superstition? Only today on radio 4 I listened to a serious, deferential interview with a Muslim "spiritual healer". In the 15 minute program Ishaq from Rotherham said that she "absolutely" believed in Jinn (supernatural creatures akin to ghosts), as do most Muslims, because they are mentioned so much in the Koran. Death-Eaters are mentioned a lot in the Harry Potter books too, I offer this only as a comparison. Yesterday on the same channel we had an interview with Canon Paul Greenwell who carries out "home blessings" for people who have seen ghosts or spirits (one wonders how they can tell the difference?) 

This is a slippery slope argument, religious people expect, and get access to express their cranky ideas (like ghosts and spirits) on mainstream media outlets like radio 4 all the time ("thought for the day" for instance); these ideas make a mockery of many of the rational ideas held by secular, non-religious people; this is a plain fact. No one is attempting to silence anyone, but what happened to the right of detractors to retort and point out what they sincerely believe to be the flaws and dangers in such view points, in whatever tone of voice seems most appropriate to them? All Religions contain ideas that beg to be mocked, they always have, the Christian magic book even warns it's followers to expect it, so, in a free society what's the justification for punishing those who do so?

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