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Sadly Pat is 110% correct here
I was quite taken by Helen Dale’s argument here:
Helen Dale 23 January 11:08
“I hate to break it to you, but we are not all Charlie.
The reason is simple: Charlie Hebdo was consistent in its support for freedom of speech. Its editors were not just targeted by Islamists: they’d been hauled through the French courts (where they won) and were figures of hate to both the French extreme right and conservative Catholics.
Charlie Hebdo had been out on a limb for years, true to the freewheeling anti-clericalism that owes its origins to the protests of 1968. Charb, its editor, refused to buckle.
The rest of us – with the partial exception of the United States – have buckled. There are widespread restrictions on speech, in France and elsewhere. Australia has 18C, among many others.
“Hate speech” laws are frequently based on the supposition that hate speech has the same effect as the common law offence of incitement. Incitement requires a demonstrable effect on the intended audience. Burning a cross on a black family’s front lawn, for example, amounts to incitement to commit acts of violence against that family.
It’s also important to remember hate speech laws are akin to the definition of “advocating terrorism” in the national security legislation. Because – as George Brandis told me last year – incitement is difficult to prove, governments look for other ways to restrict speech. “Advocating terrorism” in the Foreign Fighters legislation removes the requirement for demonstrable impact.
At the heart of criminalising “hate speech” is an empirical claim: that what an individual consumes in the media has a direct effect on his or her subsequent behaviour. That is, words will lead directly to deeds.
But because this is untrue – playing Grand Theft Auto and watching porn hasn’t led to an epidemic of car thefts and sexual assault – justifications for laws such as 18C and hate speech laws now turn on the notion that offence harms “dignity” and “inclusion”. Obviously, dignity and inclusion can’t be measured, while crime rates can.
Support for dignity and inclusion produces weird arguments – white people are not supposed to satirise minorities, for example. Sometimes, legislation is used – bluntly – to define what is funny.
Allowing what is “hateful” or “offensive” to be defined subjectively, as 18C does – and not according to the law’s usual objective standard (the reasonable person) – means “offence” is in the eye of the beholder. It enables people who are vexatious litigants and professional victims to complain about comments the rest of us would laugh off.
Tim Wilson, Australia’s Freedom Commissioner, has already argued18C ensures an Australian Charlie Hebdo would be litigated to death. Despite the fact 18C refers only to race, Tony Abbott’s justification for backing down on repeal was to preserve “national unity” with Australia’s Muslim community. This conflates religion with race in the crudest possible way.
This conflation is what leads to the coining of nonsense terms such as “Islamophobia”. “Homophobia” actually means something, because being homosexual is an inherent characteristic, not a choice. Islam is an idea, and it is perfectly reasonable to be afraid of an idea.
18C is far from the only potential constraint. The equivalent Victorian legislation explicitly takes in religion as well as race. A smart lawyer would bring suit in Victoria, because Charlie Hebdo would probably be caught there.
The confusion of religion for race is so pervasive – even in the US, where people ought to know better – that French people across the political spectrum have been forced to point out – while France does indeed have “hate speech” laws – they are used to protect characteristics that people cannot change, such as being black or gay.
“We do not conflate religion and race. We are the country of Voltaire and Diderot: religion is fair game” French left radical Olivier Tonneau wrote in response to repeated claims that attacking Muhammad or Islam was racist.
Apart from being unsupported by anything approaching evidence, hate speech laws have serious unintended consequences. Recently, British polling firm YouGov surveyed British attitudes to Muslims and discovered Britons see Islam negatively, but are unwilling to say so.
In other words, governments and law enforcement have to rely on anonymised polls conducted by private firms to find out what people really think.
It’s not maintainable to have partial freedom of speech. The fact that most Western countries now do makes what little freedom we still have harder to defend. Muslims who respect arguments for free speech can’t help but notice our inconsistencies. Anyone who thinks they don’t notice is guilty of treating people who profess a certain faith like children.
We won’t be Charlie until we have purged 18C, its state-based equivalents and the illiberal national security legislation from the nation’s statute books.”
So what do my readers think about this?
Pat on the money yet again…
As is David Wood
I have been rather slack about posting to this blog of late, for a couple a reasons, firstly its the season for spending more time with the family , secondly I have been far more focused on my car projects , in particular getting my sports car sorted and fitted with a new manual transmission because the auto I had in it was sounding like a bag of nails and running very badly. having to make a clutch peddle and ensure it works properly took longer than I expected and then I also had to alter the gearshift so that I falls conveniently to hand. The wrenching gods even made the speedo cable a problem as the corolla cable had an incomparable fitting for my Smiths speedo. I solved that one with a short length of fuel line and some hose claps to splice the last inches of my existing cable outer to the end of the Corolla cable.
Any way its time to get back too it but I just feel compelled to share this picture that was posted to my face book time line:
Its nice to see that companies are waking up the the “halal” scam and not letting the politically correct ninnies extort them into endorsing the pernicious ideology of Islam.
I don’t sleep very well at the bets of times but I have spent most of last night listening to the rolling coverage of the siege in Sydney and I am both desperately saddened by the death of two hostages and annoyed that a sniper did not take the scumbag out before any hostages could be killed. Further I can not comprehend why he was out on bail after being changed with murdering his wife and how he was able to get hold of a hand gun.
Finally I have been utterly sickened by all of the obsequious excuse making for Islam We, as a society well understand that the the majority of this in this country who follow that religion are decent people who mean their fellow Australians no harm so we do not need the sort of endless excuse making for the religion that has been so evident in the Media coverage for this atrocity done in the name of Allah. Simply put, if this was not an act based upon an “Islamic” motivation then why was it clothed in Islamist vestments?
Sadly nothing to cheer about on this one Comrades
With the reports of the attack on the Canadian parliament still echoing around the mainstream media it seems that this is, surprise surprise another Jihadist attack :
Ottawa was put into lockdown overnight Australian time after Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot to death a Canadian soldier standing guard at the nation’s war memorial on Wednesday, then stormed Parliament in a hail of gunfire before he was killed by the sergeant-at-arms.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared the act a “terror attack” as he said that Canadians would not be intimidated by such actions.
I do think that I may be re reading a rather well worn sermon if I say that this is yet another proof that allowing ourselves to be blind to the religious affiliations of the immigrants that have flooded into the western countries after the second world war. To some extent this is the truth that dare not speak its name. You see if anyone dares to say that there is a problem with so many of those who follow the religion invented by Mohammad we are shouted down as if we are advocating under age buggery. just look at the sort of panicked tweet from from the deputy leader of the Greens:
— sarah hanson-young (@sarahinthesen8) October 23, 2014
The far left are altogether too keen to make excuses for Muslim migrants and one of the big ways they do this is to denounce anyone who even implicitly questions the bonafides of any Muslim . However I think that there have been enough instances of Jihadists emerging form the western communities of the Muslim Diaspora for us to at least question the wisdom of allowing the importation of further Muslim immigrants.
No matter how many virtues that we may find in multiculturalism, like the things that have clearly enriched our society, we can’t pretend that it is a rose without thorns and our task as a culture is to find a way that we can enjoy the blossoms without bleeding profusely from the thorns, and that may require some very tough decisions, decisions that sir Humphrey would describe as “very courageous”