January 25, 2020
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Is Banning The Answer To Inflammatory Words?

Is Banning The Answer To Inflammatory Words?

Timothy Timothy Garton Ash in the Telegraph:

...if it is ridiculous to suggest that there is no connection at all between Islamist ideology and Islamist terror, it is also ridiculous to suggest that were was no connection between the alarmist view of the Islamicization of Europe which these writers spread and what Breivik understood himself to be doing. “No ‘ideology’ here”? You bet there was. A significant part of Breivik’s manifesto is a restatement — often by internet copy-and-paste quotation — of precisely their horror story of Europe as ‘Eurabia’: so weakened by the poison of multiculturalism, and other leftist diseases, that it submits without a fight to a condition of dhimmitude under Muslim supremacy...

What, then, should be done about such inflammatory words? One answer, quite popular in parts of the European Left, is, “Ban them!”... 

[But] this is quite the wrong way to go. It will not stop these thoughts, just drive them underground, where they fester and become more poisonous. It will chill legitimate debate about important issues: immigration, the nature of Islam, historical facts. It will bring to court fantasists like Samina Malik, a 23-year old shop assistant prosecuted in Britain for writing bad verse glorifying jihadi martyrdom and murder, but not the real men of violence.

Direct incitement to violence should everywhere and always be met with the full rigour of the law. The ideological texts that fed Breivik’s madness did not, so far as I can see, cross that line. Allowing the expression of the crusader fantasies of extreme Islamists and anti-Islamists alike is the price we pay for free speech in an open society.

Would you think that the advice is as relevant in l'affaire Subramanian Swamy?

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