Monday, 7 January 2008

Blogger Threatened With Arrest

via Inversions & Deceptions

It has become apparent that a far-right blogger based in Dunstable, Lionheart, has been sent an e-mail warning him of impending arrest by Bedfordshire Police - on suspicion of inciting racial hatred:

The offence that I need to arrest you for is “Stir up Racial Hatred by displaying written material” contrary to sections 18(1) and 27(3) of the Public Order Act 1986.

You will be arrested on SUSPICION of the offence. You would only be charged following a full investigation based on all the relevant facts and CPS consent.

Paul I will see you on the 19/02/08 when I will tell you everything that you need to know. Due to being out of the office for six weeks I will not have access to my email as of tomorrow 04/01/08.

[DC Holden]

It is not clear which of Lionheart's postings was the catalyst for this police action (Pub Philosopher provides links to a few possibilities).

Lionheart describes himself as "an unapologetic Christian". Almost every post on his main blog and a side blog entitled 'Holy War - Al Qaeda's Luton & Dunstable War front' concerns terrorism, Al Qaeda and/or 'jihad'.

In a political stance statement (Link) he takes pains to point out that he is "not a racist", but writes in support of Nick Griffin's BNP and talks of illegal immigrants "robbing, raping and killing innocent British citizens" and "taking the jobs from the British population and taking from our tax paying welfare state". He suggests that Muslims "...take from our welfare system to help cripple our Nation as part of their Islamic War against us".

All of the posts linked by Pub Philosopher contain instances of rhetoric, that could reasonably be described as hate speech aimed at Muslims. Lionheart claims that 'Pakistani Moslem[s]...captur[e] our children so that they can be raped and sold on as dirty kaffir meat'. Another linked post talks of 'gangs of Moslem rapists and murderers...terrorising our society'. A third calls for 'Islam and its adherents [to] be repelled from this Christian land'.

All of this and much more of Lionheart's writing surely constitutes hate speech. But is it incitement? And is the idea of incitement - the possibility that someone else may do something upon reading or hearing your views - much of a basis for a legal restriction on speech in the first place?

1 comment:

john b said...

People, even if they're as unpleasant as Lionheart appears to be, shouldn't go to jail for their opinions and I thoroughly oppose his arrest.

However, lol.