Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuhu!
I heard some most disturbing news. Apparently Sir Iqbal Sacranie is being investigated by the police for making allegedly ‘homophobic’ statements when he was asked in an interview what his views were on Civil Partnerships. He said that homosexuality was harmful. This caused an uproar and complaints to the police. This is a ridiculous suppression of the free expression of views. He was not saying that people should attack or abuse homosexuals. He was just saying it was harmful.
This is the same news bulletin about ‘Sheikh’ Abu Hamza being prosecuted, quite rightly, for allegedly making murderous agitation from the Finsbury Park Mosque. It seems that the human right of decent sober and respected people to say the truth and express non-inflammatory opinions is being rapidly eroded in the name of ‘western values’ quoting the example of real hot blooded idiots. I fear that proposals for ‘religious discrimination’ laws will actually mean that reasoned argument expressed to support Islam (mainly) will be seen as incitement to religious or other hatred: An example of something being done with apparently good motives having precisely the opposite effect. Liberalism is becoming very illiberal.
I hope the press office will be able to make a statement supporting Sir Iqbal Sacranie and the totally unjustified attack on his moderate and truthful views on homosexuality. We seem to be approaching Orwell's vision of 1984 (accurate date as far as Pakistan was concerned-- http://a-long-night-an2006.blogspot.com/p/astonishing-news-footnote.html) with universal surveillance and thought control. I don't want to see our country completely lose its sanity and decency.
Thursday 12 January 2006
Wa alaikum asalaam
I am not so much aware of everything that Iqbal Sacranie says.
Abu Hamza is an outright enemy of Islam and humanity and I am sure that he will suffer the consequences in this world and the next. If, however, Iqbal Sacranie answers a question honestly and truthfully he should not be punished for it. He might deserve punishment for other things, but surely not for saying homosexuality is harmful.
I disagree that we should not speak against the laws of the country we live in. We might comply with them, but we must still be free to criticise them. Criticism does not imply disloyalty. If we were living in apartheid
or Nazi South Africa Germany I hope we would both have had the courage to criticise and urge change.
If the claimed principles of western democracy are that there is free expression of views provided they do not incite hatred or violence, then we are being disloyal if we do not express our opinions freely. A freedom that is not exercised is likely to be lost. Just the same as it is our civic duty and responsibility to vote, then it is also our civic duty and responsibility to speak out against things which are wrong.
If the devil himself says that homosexuality is harmful then I would support the right of him to say so. A mass-murderer should be punished for the murders he did commit, not for the one he didn't, just because it is more convenient to fabricate the evidence.