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February 06, 2006

Common Sense in Unlikely Places

I was surprised to read an editorial in today's UK Guardian calling on British authorities to take legal action against demonstrators glorifying terrorism or inciting people to murderous behavior:

For centuries, English law has been crammed full of legal powers to arrest people who threaten violence or murder in public, or who go around terrifying ordinary people. On Friday, dozens of prima facie examples of such offences were committed during protests against Danish cartoons which offended Muslims by depicting the prophet Muhammad. One man was dressed in the garb of a suicide bomber, arguably an overt attempt to terrify of the kind that has been illegal in this country since at least the Statute of Northampton in the time of King Edward III, in the 14th century. Others carried placards demanding "Massacre those who insult Islam", "Butcher those who mock Islam", "Europe you'll come crawling when Mujahideen come roaring", "Britain you will pay: 7/7 on its way", several of which appear to breach the law dating from Victorian times that outlaws soliciting to murder. . .

. . . no society can allow the threats that were made on Friday's march to pass without further action. Those who threatened to kill should answer for their threats. They should be arrested, cautioned and placed under surveillance. If appropriate, the authorities must not be afraid of bringing charges. Those who are eligible for deportation should be deported. . . White racists are rightly arrested and charged for their hate campaigns. Muslim fanatics have to face similar severity for their no less repulsive actions. Ours is a tolerant way of life; we must be robust in defending it against its enemies.

Hear, hear!


Update

The Guardian evidently gets results! The man who appeared at the demonstration dressed up as a suicide bomber has been arrested. Not only that, but it turns out that this knucklehead was a convicted crack dealer who had recently been released from prison on parole. Welcome back to the big house, Omar.

February 6, 2006 at 04:25 PM | Permalink

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