Sunday, October 16, 2005

I love my neighbourhood

Yes indeedy, I've got the coolest neighbors. First a jihadi and now a Neo-Nazi.

The common thread between these two characters (well, except an ideology of hate, and I bet they hate some of the same people and each other!), is that they've been arrested over what they've written and published.

Clearly I don't want either one of the venom-spewing-nitwits in my neighbourhood, driving down property prices and causing trouble. But I have been a little bit disturbed by some aspects of the Babar Ahmad case and I'm not entirely clear what exactly the Neo-Nazi guy did, though he's pled guilty to "stirring up racial hatred".

Can you believe it? That was the actual charge - stirring up racial hatred. And the Labour Government wants to make it an offense to "stir up religious hatred" too. (See my previous post on that) This isn't the same as inciting violence, this is just...well, I'm not sure what it is. And I've read the Home Office guidance on stirring up - which sadly is no longer on their site.

Here's what they have instead:

Stamping out religious hate crime

In 2004, the government introduced an offence of ‘incitement to religious hatred’ to protect against extremists stirring up hatred because of people’s particular religious beliefs or lack of religious beliefs.

Examples of religious hate crime include:

  • display of written material or broadcast of images likely to stir up racial or religious hatred
  • religiously aggravated damage and assault

If you feel that you have been a victim of religious hate crime you should contact the police immediately.

Which is slightly worrying since I wasn't aware that this legislation had passed. This really frightens me, because I don't know what this means, and anyone could take offense or feel that I was stirring up hatred, I guess.

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