Soon, we'll be needing all our prison space for political prisoners.
A Clockwork Orange
I am the law!
The Muslim mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has made available well over a million pounds – generous in these austere times - with which to combat the menace of online hate speech. He has given this money into the stewardship of the police force – or ‘service’ as it is known in these gentlest of times – and we must hope it will be spent wisely and for the benefit of the wider populace. It is regrettable that no such sums are available to help towards the housing of the mentally ill ex-servicemen who line some of the capital’s streets, for example, but we can be sure that the hounding of those who dissent against Facebook’s community standards, or the in-house politesse of Twitter, is a need of more pressing urgency.
Unusually for a Labour man, no new legislation will be required for this witch-hunt although, as we shall see, the existing legislation is not quite the full story when it comes to speech inimical to those of the Mohammedan faith. For we know almost to a certainty that this initiative is not intended to protect The Salvation Army or The Church of Scientology. The Seventh-Day Adventists will not be the immediate beneficiaries of this new pledge to benefit the citizens of London, the ultimate responsibility with which an urban mayor is tasked.
Whereas much legislation seems written to produce tears of frustration in the reader, the legislation extant in the UK pertaining to ‘hate speech’ repays inspection. Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003 states that a criminal act is committed where the accused is found to be “using (a) public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety”. This is an extraordinary triumvirate of outcomes liable to prosecution. Let us examine them carefully, and perhaps seek to discover what lies behind them in the longer, more pious vision of our current lawmakers.
Now, I am about to enter into dispute with an ex-employer about whom I am writing an article. I have asked them variously to confirm or deny certain events in what we’ll call the anatomy of a constructive dismissal. I can say without reservation, and with the stoutest of Boy Scout salutes, that each and every one of the emails I fire off to this outfit will cause them to be annoyed, inconvenienced and quite possibly anxious lest they receive bad publicity in any way, shape or form. But is this priel of outcomes consistent with the Communications Act cited above? Apparently so. And yet it is a perfectly legitimate exercise pursuivant to my intention to document certain events for the enlightenment of others who may not be aware of details.
It all seems very antithetical set within the context of Western law, with its traditions of free speech, and libel and slander, and the clear demarcation between those two territories. Let’s examine the kernel of UK libel law as it stands. Let me add at this point that, proud holder as I am of a Law A Level, I am no lawyer or legal expert. What I do know is that nuance is an essential element of the law. Also, I believe I am right in saying that UK law is still run along the ‘precedent’ priciple from, I think, Roman law. In this arrangement, law is malleable and refinable. There is no fixed set of legal dictates that are applicable sub specie aeternitatis. This is, of course, far from being the case in Islamic law.
The word “slander” has a substantially different sense in sharia than in contemporary English usage. We use the word to indicate that you have said something that is substantially untrue about someone or something in such a way as to damage their reputation. It must be proven to be objectively false.
In sharia law, the word translated as “slander” is the Arabic word ghiba. It means to say anything about someone that they do not like, even though it is true. This rule was given by Mohammed himself;
“Do you know what slander is? It is to mention of your brother that which he would dislike.” Someone asked, “What if he is as I say?” And he replied, “If he is as you say, you have slandered him, and if not, you have calumniated him.”
Note that, by definition, this kind of slander is true.
Again, I stress my lack of credentials. However, I believe there is a metaphysical difference between the law of slander and its written concomitant, libel, and the order of defamation it represents, and that same notion in sharia, under-written by the Koran as it clearly is.
British law, with regards to defamation, seeks to prevent individuals being harmed by the statements of others within a framework of objective validation. In other words, it is not enough for me to dislike the fact that my neighbor has said that I smell objectionable. There must be a rigorous examination as to whether I do, along with proof that this will damage my reputation at the steam bath. In the terms of sharia, it is simply enough for my neighbor to have said it. That has caused me annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety and, regardless of what the truth of the matter might be in the real, external world, that is sufficient for a case to be brought. Subjective values have taken the place of objective values.
Among other things, we can see several pertinent indications that only a Muslim mayor would have introduced this initiative, or at the very least a kufr who hopes that by appeasing the tiger it will eat him last.
Khan is a devious, rather unpleasant little man, but he is possessed of the cunning necessary to advance within today’s political class. I hope he wouldn’t object to my saying that, or I may find myself in chokey. Making ‘hate speech’ punishable by imprisonment, which it de facto already is, will have several effects.
Firstly, free speech will be even more policed than it already is. ‘Police’ shares the same etymological roots as ‘polite’ and ‘political’, we note with interest. Of course, free speech no longer exists. It is an archaic and antique concept, like astral ether or the four humours. And, as noted, Khan intends the policing to be in one area and one area only, that area being criticism of Islam, even if that criticism is objectively verifiable. There will be some strategic taqiyya in defending the occasional insult to LGBT people, but essentially this is a Mohammedan diktat.
Secondly, it will introduce an element of sharia into the legal framework of the capital city of one of the world’s most significant countries. I’m sure readers are familiar with the modern parable of the boiling frog, in which a frog dropped into boiling water will immediately leap out whereas, if it placed in a pan of cold water and gentle heat applied until boiling point, the creature will die. London is being prepared for a new legal system.
Thirdly, it will divert scant police resources from the currently unfashionable pursuit of actual criminals. Anyone who has visited certain parts of London will know what a horrible place it can be, and not because of people being rude about women wearing Muslim face veils.
Fourthly and finally, it will subtly reinforce the message Muslim leaders across Europe are whispering; We are the masters now.