Sunday, August 5, 2007

Is it extreme to defend free speech?

"I organised the Parliamentary campaign that last year voted down – by a margin of one – a Government plan to outlaw the incitement of religious hatred. Recent outbursts by the likes of Mr Bukhari make that vote all the more crucial for freedom of expression.
Those who argue for such laws say that one should separate the person from the ideology: hate the sin but love the sinners. But I don’t just hate Nazism, for instance. I hate Nazis. We should all hate Nazis. It is not just their ideology which is loathsome, they are loathsome people. So I believe I should be entitled to incite hatred of Nazis, short of inciting violence. My words ought not to be intimidating to any Nazi of fragile disposition. But the language I used could well – I hope - be insulting to any self-respecting Nazi."

Dr Evan Harris (MP), National Secular Society, 08.03.2007

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