March for Free Expression

The next phase

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Muslims are Welcome: No Danish cartoons, please

At the very start of this campaign, we said this is a march in support of freedom of expression, not a march against Muslims. We meant it. But there has been a lot of mistrust about this from Muslims, and some disappointment from those who would like to use it to attack all followers of Islam. The latter is of no consequence to us; the former is a great concern.

Comments here have been illuminating. Particularly striking has been the use of the "First they came for..." motif both by people who feel under attack by Muslims, and by Muslims who feel under attack in Britain and Europe. Let's ignore whether these sentiments have reflected reality. The fact is they do represent the way people feel. People feel under attack from each other, there is vast mistrust and misunderstanding.

At the outset, we said that displays of the Danish cartoons would be welcome on Saturday. No, let me rephrase that: At the outset, I, Peter Risdon, said the cartoons would be welcome. I am going to take full responsibility for this. I now think that was a mistake.

In practice, Muslims who wholeheartedly endorse our statement of principle, as quoted below by Peter Tatchell in his superb essay, who abhor the threats made against Danish cartoonists and believe people should have the right to publish things they themselves find offensive or abhorrent would be UNABLE to come to our rally on Saturday, because to be surrounded by these cartoons, now, in the present context when the BNP are using them as a rallying point, would be intolerable.

So I now appeal to people not to bring the cartoons on T-shirts or placards.

Instead, because the principle of free expression must be upheld in this context as well, we will arrange a forum in which they can be seen and debated without this being, in context, intimidating to anyone.

The principle of freedom of expression is used, by some, as a trojan horse, as a proxy for racism and islamophobia. Not by me. Not by us. Not by this campaign.

380 Comments:

Anonymous BNP said...

LOL a U-Turn

2:28 pm  
Anonymous aeneas said...

I knew it. This is becoming a campaign AGAINST the cartoons. A campaign that has been hijacked by Muslims so they can have a 3rd march against free speech!

2:30 pm  
Blogger Jew 90 said...

This is surely what the march is about. By restricting the free speech of the protestors you will play into the hands of Islamophobia Watch, Salma Yaqoob, MAC, MPACUK and more importantly the racist BNP. I'm very disappointed by this turn of events. The campaign should be for free expression, not free expression decided by Islamist and far right pressure.

This is wrong. I will not be turning up.

2:35 pm  
Blogger the void said...

whilst the void would hope they'd go further and refuse a platform to Freedom Associationers and Libertarian Alliancers, this is a noble compromise and the void wishes them well.

to all those who will whine about this, well i feel you're showing your true colours, if you can't demonstrate for free speech without using racist cartoons as your justification then its a pretty poor affair if you ask me.

2:36 pm  
Anonymous Dino said...

Muslims are Welcome? you didnt think this one thought did you. they should of been invited from the start. So now its look like this rally was and is by racist. own goal anyone or piss ups and breweries spring to mind and now the racist are gonna kick off on "them Moslims" that turn up and when people come to their aid of the Moslims, the hooligains are gonna kick in their heads. its going bad to worse and were only 2 days away from it

2:38 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

Sorry Peter, I really think this is a huge mistake. Self-censorship is no better than imposed censorship. There must be no compulsion to publish the cartoons and there must be no compulsion not to. Please read through your statement of principle again. If people want to show the cartoons, let them. There must be no special attempts to appease any one group of people who may or may not support this march, whatever religious or political background they come from.

I had no intention of showing the cartoons myself, but I wholeheartedly support the right of anyone else who wanted to.

I'm hugely disappointed by this. You've done exactly what the censors want. I'm really not sure I'll bother coming along now, to be honest, and I'm guessing plenty of other people who have supported this campaign feel the same. I donated money to this campaign in good faith, an right now this feels like a betrayal of that faith. Will you be reimbursing people?

2:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed at this turn of events. The reactions to the cartoons are the latest, biggest example of people seeking to place restrictions on free speech. For example the calls from Muslim organisations for the UN to create an international blasphemy law. If you think the cartoons are being claimed by the racists as a rallying point, they need to be reclaimed by those of us who support free expression!

I'm still intending to come, but I'd saddened by this.

2:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll still be there, but I believe this is a serious mistake.

2:49 pm  
Anonymous Phil Hellene said...

'We don't believe in censorship but we will censor ourselves so that those who believe in censorship will be welcome to stand alongside us'

Depressingly British - and the Islamist groups and their far-left allies can merrily continue to benefit from the ignorance of the non Internet-using public who have not seen for themselves the embarrasing fact that the cartoons in question (the original 12 from the Danish newspaper, not the extra ones concocted by the Danish imams to get the desired reaction) are as mild and whimsical as they actually are.

2:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cartoonist who made the "bomb-in-turban" drawing has stated that it was made as a protest against terrorists using islam as an excuse for killing people, it was never intended to mock muslims in general. Why on earth cant we bring a placard of this cartoon? I fear this is turning into a march for free self-censorship.

2:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't help but feel slightly disappointed by this, and also ambivalent. Freedom of expression must necessarily include the freedom to offend. Nevertheless the organisers' wish not to cause Muslims to feel excluded is a noble one.

Am I now to bring a banner that reads "Demand Freedom Of Expression! (as long as nobody takes offence with what I say, that is.)'?

@void: the cartoons are not 'racist', please stop describing them as such. They lampoon a religion. Not brilliantly, admittedly, but the criticism that they are racist is entirely hollow. If a similar cartoon was produced attacking some of Christianity's unsavoury elements you wouldn't describe it as racist, would you?

To be even handed here, am I now not allowed to bring my Piss-Christ t-shirt?

2:59 pm  
Blogger CM said...

Well, then I'm not coming!

I don't accept the idea that "Muslim sensitivities" can determine what I say, write or think about Islam. This is nothing to do with disliking Muslims as people or wishing them harm, or, indeed, wanting to hurt their feelings, but I am not a Muslim and simply do not intend to accept sharia law, in part or in whole, which is what the cartoons business is about.

3:02 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

What action will you take against people who come along with the cartoons, then?

Peter, I urge you to reverse this decision as soon as possible. It is entirely contrary to the original stated aims of this campaign. If you have conceded this ground, you must also logically concede that the makers of JS:T0 and Behzti were in the wrong too.

If you don't want to show the cartoons yourself, that's fine, but demanding other people don't as well, lest they offend Muslims, is surely the antithesis of what this campaign was about.

Unless you reverse this decision ASAP, I hereby withdraw my support unreservedly.

What a depressing turn of events.

3:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy to take their money then move the goal posts. Great scam! Those dhimmi suckers.

3:12 pm  
Blogger the void said...

as i've said before, if the word racist is wrong semantically then i can not think of another word that describes an attempt to stereotype and ridicule a large community with the many diversities that islam includes

you could argue all day about what does and doesn't mean 'race' - the fact is that the end result of these cartoons is the same as the end result of racism, and the islamic community who have been offended feel in much the same way as if they had been judged for the colour of their skin

to many (not me) religion is not regarded as choice, but a central part of an individuals personal make up which cannot be changed, much like race or sexuality

to whilst it may not be technically racism, it is prejudice along the same lines as racism or homopobia and should be addressed as such

3:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can I have my donation back, please? I did never want to support a self-censuring event.

3:14 pm  
Blogger anton said...

Another pathetic example of grovelling to Muslim 'sensibilities' .. the reason i supported, contributed and intended to participate in this march.

Count me and my family out too!

3:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the void:

The cartoons criticize misuse of a religion. If they take it as criticism of their religion, then they admit the religion is patently extremist.

Now have a look at this:
http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004824.htm

and in particular the excuse he tries: "It was a jest. Danes jest a lot."

3:17 pm  
Anonymous anon said...

Good move. You've been very brave. It's not acceptable to victimise anyone, and I'm disappointed by the eagerness from some parties to do just that. They can organise their own demonstrations. I don't want any reimbursement for the money I gave to this campaign - it has always been honest in its objective to stand up for free speech as a universal principle, and it has gone back on none of its stated principles whatever.

3:17 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

Void.

Race is something innate, that you are born with, that you do not choose, and which has no necessary effect on what kind of person you are. Therefore, criticising someone on the basis of their race is mindless. Religion is something that you choose, which you actively endorse, and which necessarily informs many or all of your moral judgements and behaviours. Thus, criticising someone on the basis of their religion, or simply criticising a religion itself is perfectly valid. Indeed, it is necessary. A religion is a belief system and all belief systems must be open to challenge. The allying of the religion Islam with the political ideology Islamism makes this especially urgent. All political ideologies must be open to challenge. No one ideology can claim exception from this simply because it draws all of its ideas from a holy book.

Criticising a religion is in no way prejudice akin to racism and homophobia. Criticising a religion is specifcally focussed on looking at the beliefs and ideas and statiing you disagree with them. It is no different to criticising, say, the ideology of a political party. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, and conflating it with mindless racism is a thoroughly disingenuous thing to do.

3:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, the march was about freedom of expression, now it is about avoidance of bad feelings.

3:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No arguments with you on this one, Peter...

3:23 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

“Any concept of one person being superior to another can lead to racism.”

Walter Lang

Some of the crap thats coming out of people on this subject is racism. P.S the cartoon were racist just as the Der Sturmer cartoons of jews were anti jewdaic, but then steve biko was right

"Not only are whites kicking us; they are telling us how to react to being kicked"

3:26 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing how some people's true colours are coming out... free expression for dialogue just so that they can offend another? Racism and Islamaphobia. That's not why I participated in this.

3:27 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

OH FOR GOD'S SAKE!!! So much for Freedom of Expression. I sent you 45 pounds in donations. How about sending it back?

I'm serious. I gave you money because I thought you were standing up to the tyranny of Islam, you sniveling coward. Either reverse course once again and welcome those cartoons back again THAT WERE THE ORIGINAL REASON FOR THIS MARCH or refund my money.

3:30 pm  
Anonymous Mosca said...

It looks like the far-left line seems to be now that to in any way criticise or mock (or even simply to depict) the historical person of Mohammed is now 'racist'.

The further the goalposts are moved to accomodate the professionally offended, the more certain the violent outbreak of real racism on a mass scale in a few generations' time. Perhaps this is the real objective?

3:35 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

"I thought you were standing up to the tyranny of Islam,"

point proven

nothing to do with freedom of expression but a collective muslim and islam cross burning by Klansmen........Is cross burning a form of free speech?

3:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have gone against none of your stated objectives - it was never about ridiculing Islam as some people seem to believe. Keep the money and well done for taking a position of your own and expressing it without accepting intimidation. Well done.

3:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey rastaman, this never was "against the tyranny of Islam"
But your statement makes me think my donation is ok despite the u-turn. After all, they are displaying the cartoons in context.

I always thought there should be other mocking cartoons as well, on all the religions, including the admirers of Miss Piggy, so the message would be clear.

3:39 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

I never thought this was about standing up to the tyranny of Islam, whatever that's meant to mean. I thought it was about standing up to the tyranny of anyone who seeks to repress free speech.

Now you have made the decision to not display the cartoons, I trust you will be similarly against anyone displaying anything that any religion might take offensively.

3:43 pm  
Anonymous Edwin said...

Is the French Charlie Hebdo cartoon recently censored in Wales (see link - Mohammed, Jesus etc sitting on a cloud with the caption "Stop complaining, Mohammad ... we've all been caricatured, here") still acceptable, or is that wicked and racist too?

3:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good move. Amazing how some people on your site are trying to intimidate you into saying you encourage people to bring in the cartoons without pointing to any argument as to why they specifically are so necessary in a rally for free expression.

You have been very very brave - and now for just taking a line yourself, you have taken the wind out of the sails of those who only wanted this as an opportunity to upset others.
All you're saying is you don't want the march to be about the BNP agenga - which won't do the campaign for free expression any good.

I thoroughly approve.

3:47 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

They should not be necessary and neither should they be banned.

Unless both of those conditions are satisfied, I don't see how you can claim this march to still be in favour of free expression.

3:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very revealing some of these comments ... I think the decision is right. No U-turn on any of the stated objectives.

3:51 pm  
Blogger wardytron said...

I don't want this site to encourage people to bring the cartoons, or to discourage it. I thought the point was that that should be up to individuals.

3:52 pm  
Anonymous aeneas said...

Can I still bring a Danish Flag, or is Denmark a racist country?

3:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We assert and uphold the right of freedom of expression

Well that was a load of bullshit then wasn't it.

3:57 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

"I never thought this was about standing up to the tyranny of Islam, whatever that's meant to mean".

Oh PLEASE! It was the burned embassies, the murders, the death threats, the violence in the streets, the screaming, the shouting, all instigated by Imams, that brought about the need for this march.
This is just an accidental, coincidental march that "happened" to be organized and has nothing to do with all that Islamic violence? All those Muslims bitching like hell about this march and trying to compromise it has no bearing?

Come on. Who do you think you're kidding. You sound like you did before Churchill took over and saved England from the Nazis. Then you finally got some balls. This is about Islamic tyranny. You're damned right it is and you know it. God... pearls before swine. What's the use?

4:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I ask what the Danish flag has to do with a march for free expression? is it a nationalist march you are attending? maybe a Danish Nationalist Party march? Are you a Nazi?

4:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has turned Orwellian - reminds me of newspeak more than of free speech. Lost in translation.

4:01 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

Rastaman,

I simply don't agree with you. The MFE was about far more than that.

It is small-minded comments such as yours that have led to this March having such a bad reputation and, dare I say it, the organisers feeling they need to take such a drastic step to distance themselves from your kind of nonsense. What a shame that, in doing so, they have contradicted their own aims.

4:03 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"Criticising a religion is in no way prejudice akin to racism and homophobia. Criticising a religion is specifcally focussed on looking at the beliefs and ideas and statiing you disagree with them. It is no different to criticising, say, the ideology of a political party."

so as has been asked (and no-one has yet answered) would you consider the Der Sturmer cartoons of jews racist or offensive

judaism is a religion also is it not

however in many ways the cartoons are an irrelevance, it was the act of publishing them in a national newspaper which was the racist act, these cartoons are not in any way of standards high enough to have been reproduced in the national press, so the question has to be what is the motivation for publication?

just as what is the motivation for showing these cartoons on saturday?

the comments of many above me, i believe belie the true motivations of those who wished to bring along depictions of the cartoons

4:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"May I ask what the Danish flag has to do with a march for free expression? is it a nationalist march you are attending? maybe a Danish Nationalist Party march? Are you a Nazi?"

Are you proposing burning it?
If you are coming then I am definitely not.

4:05 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

publican decoy, once again: Pearls before swine.

4:06 pm  
Anonymous Coward killer said...

Cowardice, appeasement, self censorship.. all the same qualities of the British estabishment during the 30's that made Hitler legit.

This is a dangerous precedent.. read your history..

What a bunch of wimps... You have obviously caved in to the Islamic pressure groups and the Mayor of Londinistan.. Another victory for Sharia law and another defeat for Liberty..

I suggest another demonstration should be organised with people who have the backbone to stand up for TRUE LIBERTY!!

4:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Say for arguments sake it is about "Islamic Tyranny" - like imagine you have an argument with your father and it results in your false imprisonment (being grounded) by the evil dictator (dad) - would it help to promote free dialogue and exchange to be wearing a t-shirt that says "Dad's an evil **** and I should be pissing on his head."

What's the most valuable thing about free expression? Yes the right to criticise and say what we want we have all day, but if we just use that to insult other people than we get off to a bad start. Let muslims explain how and why the cartoons might be offensive to them and if they are but it would help to do that in a climate which doesn't have us looking like the KuKluxKlan.

4:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a practicing muslim doctor. I treat all patients equally and with care, whether they are muslim,christian,Jew,Hindu or any other faith. I use freedom of speech but appropriately without hurting anyone's feelings because i believe this is what a civilised attitude should be.
Now let me ask those who misuse "freedom of speech" saying that anything can be said,if so, does this mean a person can stand up and start saying abusive words to other person or his mother on that person's face because after all he is free to express himself?

4:08 pm  
Anonymous polemicist said...

Whatever happened to "The free exchange of ideas depends on freedom of expression and this includes the right to criticise and to mock"?
I am incredibly disappointed by this - it is nothing but dhimmitude.
The adverse reactions to the cartoons are the problem of those who cannot respond in an adult manner. Taken in the light of the "God is great" rantings of most convicted terrorists the cartoon with the bomb is an astute political comment on the source of such terrorism.
I will not be supporting a rally that seeks accomodation with those that wish to censor criticism of their superstitions.

4:10 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

This makes me both angry and sad. I had such hopes for you.

4:11 pm  
Blogger wardytron said...

Amid all the cretinous remarks this thread's receiving - the worst so far being someone suggesting that to bring a Danish flag is tantamount to Nazism - I would stress that I sympathise with how difficult a decision this must have been to make, especially given the level of interest from the far right, and from those who think that the sky will fall in as a result of this decision.

It won't, but the principle remains that you can't have a march for free expression, prompted by a row over some cartoons, and then tell people they can't display those cartoons without it looking like another retreat and another bit of self-censorship.

4:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so that's no cartoons because they'll upset the Muslims, no national flags because that will upset the lefties, no Jerry Springer The Opera posters because it might offend Christians, no Cat Stevens records because they'll offend the Jews (and anyone with ears), no football shirts because that will suggest there may be hooligans, no speaking English just in case there are Welsh speakers around, no hoodies because we don't want to look like yobs, no chanting because we'll sound like a mob.......

.....so what's on the agenda for the March then. Let's all stand around and be nice to one another without saying anything.

4:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU ARE A JOKE.

Maybe it would be better if the march was cancelled!

Hello we want free speech, but remember not to talk about the cartoons!!!!

I feel sorry for people that sent you money.

4:17 pm  
Anonymous aeneas said...

Dear Mr or Mrs Anonymous

My reason for bringing a Danish Flag was to show solidarity and support to those poor cartoonists who are afraid for thier lives (I'm not even Danish). Do you beleive that the death threats are justified? In answer to your question I am not a Nazi, but are you? My politics are left of centre.

4:17 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

The Void,

Jews are both a race AND a religion, whereas Muslims are simply the latter. The Motoons made (a very poor and crude) criticism of Islam, the religion. The anti-jewish cartoons were specifically motivated by hatred against Jews as a race, not by arguing that the religion of Judaism is problematic.

I feel that distinction is vital.

4:18 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

I'm very disappointed.

I'm very disappointed indeed.

I've also donated money to this cause, not to bash Muslims but to protest at the self censorship shown by our Government, papers ... and now us.

I really think that you have lost a lot of people with this shameful U-turn. Shame on your utter lack of spine.

That said.

I was very worried that the cartoons would be used to justify violence and we don't want to exclude Muslims. This would fix the issue.

Can we carry placards with the Danish Cartoons covered and place the word "censored" on the front?

What is going to be Voltaire? How do we protest against the self censorship now that we have chosen to self censor ourselves?

I await in intrepidation ...

(BTW void, you are a twat)

4:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(BTW void, you are a twat)

Buy that man a Carlsberg.

PS I would've added self-publicising blog whore before the twat though.

4:25 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

Void = twat. Yes. You've hit on it exactly. Good show.

4:27 pm  
Anonymous Phil Hellene said...

Re. Nazi anti-Jewish cartoons - the actual equivalent of the Mohammed cartoons would be caricatures of Moses, David et al. for FFS (or the god Jehovah as a personage), not Der Sturmer cartoons depicting Jews as a whole as hook-nosed conspirators who drink the blood of gentile babies. Muslim-related caricatures of the latter type have not appeared and would not appear in Westerm media.

While of course anti-Jewish cartoons of precisely the traditional anti-semitic kind are regularly printed all over the Islamic world.

4:27 pm  
Anonymous obsessive_katy said...

I can understand why you have made this move. But I do not support it.

If people want to self-censor, this is fine (although I would question their decision), but to staunch people's freedom of expression on a March for Free Expression surely gives mixed messages.

To do it so late in the day when many people may not get to see this is also appalling. Can anyone say 'damage limitation'?!

I'm sorry, I am very unlikely to attend as I feel let down and misled.

4:29 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

Jew cartoons: right on. Want to see a few Arab cartoons of Jews? Looky here.

http://www.islamanazi.com/cartoon2.htm

4:30 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"The anti-jewish cartoons were specifically motivated by hatred against Jews as a race, not by arguing that the religion of Judaism is problematic."

tenuous as ever, how do you define race, Jewish people are from many different backgrounds and parts of europe/asia/africa .. does there have to be some kind of genetic marker which defines race

the fact is what unifies the jews is judaism, just as what unifies muslims is islam

is anyone going to answer the question about the anti-semetic cartoons of the 30's ... would you support them being shown at this march?

4:31 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

The Jewish ones were more inventive:

http://boomka.org/blog/wp-content/plugins/falbum/wp/album.php?album=72057594067999377

Check this: A void is an empty vessel ... what to empty vessels make?

4:35 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

You bet, Voidbrain. If I were a Jew hater like you I would feel free to bring all I could and pass them around, and you can bet no one would make death threats at you for doing so.

4:36 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"Muslim-related caricatures of the latter type have not appeared and would not appear in Westerm media."

the stereotypes may be different and more contemporary, but they apply just in the same way as they did back then ... the inference being islam = terrorist, as opposed to jew = baby eater (which is unlikely to work as a line of propaganda in this day and age ... gotta keep up with the times)

and if you dont think thats a stereotype that appears in the western media then i suggest you have a watch of some of the hollywood action films made over the last 10/15 years

4:36 pm  
Blogger the void said...

youre rastaman youd probably get nicked though

4:36 pm  
Anonymous obsessive_katy said...

the_void said

the comments of many above me, i believe belie the true motivations of those who wished to bring along depictions of the cartoons


I don't believe that anyone so far has stated that they would be bringing the cartoons with them.

Where are you getting this assumption from?

I for one, like many others here, was not planning to carry a copy of the cartoons (or anything relating to the Islamic faith, as it happens) but would not have condemned those who had chosen to. It goes against my core idea of Freedom of Expression.

4:36 pm  
Anonymous Phil Hellene said...

And perhaps you should watch some Hollywood action films, Void, and notice how evil European terrorists with funny accents (often played by the token British actor) have regularly been the villains for decades for fear of offending anyone.

4:38 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:39 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

Void, you dispectful twat you wrote:

"the fact is what unifies the jews is judaism, just as what unifies muslims is islam"

That should be written:

"The fact is what unifies the Jews is Judaism, just as what unifies Muslims is Islam"

To not give Islam and Judaism a leading capital letter is terribly disrespectful.

4:41 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

"youre rastaman youd probably get nicked though"

Void you are a terrible little racist aren't you?

4:42 pm  
Anonymous void is a twat said...

Cancel the march!!! Instead lets all go to the mosque and get down on our kness and submit and apologise to allah for being insensitive!

4:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonder if the voltaire brothers have got death threats and now shitting there pants!
...
Peter, do not worry allah can only hurt you in this life!

4:44 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

Sorry but no. The relationship between Islam and Muslims is fundamentally different to the relationship between Judaism and Jews.

Anti-semitic 30s cartoons? Utterly vile. Would I ban people from displaying them on the march? With a heavy heart, no, but I would also reserve the right utterly lambast anyone who did.

Happy now? Or would you like to call me and everyone else here racist yet again. your old generalisations and reductive sloganning of "schoolboy" and "right-wing" have been strangely absent from your latest comments too. What's going on there?

4:46 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

I still want my donation returned and I see that I'm not alone in this. This campaign has been compromised and that was the whole point and why I sent money. You cannot compromise freedom of speech. Even if it hurts, even if it goes against your beliefs, yes, even if it offends your personal values. If you are going to organize a Freedom of Expression march, bill it as a free speech march and ask for donations for it, then you must either produce what people are paying for or cancel the march and return the money. Democracy and its Freedoms CANNOT BE COMPROMISED!

4:54 pm  
Blogger the void said...

because i didnt want to get into the same level as argument as rastaman and the like, or the erson who on another thread said that i obviously had never had sex

imo the schoolboy level of debate to be found here (not by yourself) is self evident and requires no further satire

"Would I ban people from displaying them on the march? "

what about white hoods and burning crosses? where do you draw the line?

4:56 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

Twat:
Apparently nowhere. you're still running your obnoxious mouth, aren't you?

4:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@void

You can surely see the difference between artefacts such as the '30s cartoons demonizing Jews, and the attire and behaviour of the Klan - as oppose to the Jyallands-Posten cartoons.

On the one hand, material specifically designed to incite hatred - and on the other a political satire noting the correlation (note: not causation, correlation) between Islam and terrorism in the world today.

To compare the two is yet more of your intellectual dishonesty - exactly on a par with your semantically inaccurate and disingenuous claims of 'racism'.

I genuinely think you should stop now. It is clear you cannot debate this issue in a clear and rational way, preferring instead to resort to lazy accusations and adolescent rhetoric.

5:04 pm  
Anonymous Michael Stephen Fuchs said...

Well, a lot of Monty Python quotes spring to mind at this delicate juncture. ("Judean People's Front?! We're the People's Front of Judea! Fuck off! Splitters!" and "This is supposed to be a happy occasion. Let's not bicker and argue over who killed who . . .")

But I'd suggest that perhaps we can all find a view on this - and that we really SHOULD find a view on this - that might satisfy everyone, and that also accords with the Principle of Statement.

To that end, I'd point out that Voltaire never forbade anyone to bring the cartoons. Rather he "appealed" to us not to - presumably voluntarily. Perhaps he could have phrased it less emphatically - something like "please consider how the cartoons are likely to drive away a lot of our fellow free speech supporters who happen to be Muslim, and consider giving it a miss."

But, regardless of phrasing, I'd say he's got a point. (Personally, due to my extremely dim view of religious dogma, not to mention my disinclination to be subject to rules for Muslims, plus my belief that groups who want to participate in modernity had better get used to some criticism, I'm not sure I would endorse his point.) But it's true that there is a distinction to be made between 1) having the right to any form and content of speech, totally free from A) government censorship and B) religious, or any other manner of, physical violence; and, on the other hand, 2) choosing voluntarily to be nice and not go out of your way to piss people off. These are different things.

Reasonable people can differ about whether (2) is important at something like this March, and whether we ought to care about it - especially when (1) is so direly under threat. So, I'd say, go on and differ. Have at one another! Hammer and tongs! But while you do it, please bear in mind two things:

* Voltaire never undertook to outlaw anyone's speech (1); he merely appealed to our niceness (2), not to mention self-interest in not going out of our way to piss off allies. The government certainly won't keep you from bringing the cartoons, and I don't expect Voltaire will either.

* If you do choose to bring the cartoons, or if you don't, or if you want to argue that people should bring them, or want to argue that people shouldn't . . . in no case will you be subject (hopefully!) to any threatened or real physical violence.

That is to say, in summary, that official censorship is off the menu, and violence is off the menu - and whether to bring the cartoons is down to individual conscience (knowing, for whatever it's worth to your conscience, that the organiser thinks it would be a good idea if you wouldn't).

I'd hope that such a distinction might allow us to disagree on the details, while still agreeing on the fundamental principles - and thus not to dissipate our unity and strength in fractiousness.

Humbly submitted. HTH. $00.02. YMMV.

Michael Stephen Fuchs

P.S. If there does happen to be any attempt at official, forceful censorship . . . or any move toward physical violence . . . I'll be standing against it, and I'll be pretty pissed off. And I expect everyone here will enthusiastically be standing, and pissed off, right there with me. 8^)

5:05 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

The organisers have made it perfectly clear that this March was neither solely about the cartoons or an attack on Islam. Those who believe it was ought to have read what Voltaire have posted on the subject.

This must have been an incredibly difficult call, and I'm glad I didn't have to make it.

The amount of interest this rally has received has surpassed what I thought possible a few weeks back and it looks certain that there will be other marches and events in the future.

For now, I can see how some might view Muslim reaction to the cartoons being displayed as similar to the Leftists who have been scared off by the Freedom Association. However, judging by some of the comments here, there was clearly a danger that many would turn up simply to parade the cartoons which would make this event look like a BNP bash. Which it isn't.

What would be the point of fuelling the perception that we were running an Islam-bashing contest if it prevented "moderate" and reformist Muslims from turning up and Rend Shakir delivering her speech only to non-Muslims?

We have to be pragmatic. Those who are concerned about Islam can surely agree that the changes they so desperately wish to see happen to the religion will only occur through the actions of Muslims. Scaring them off isn't going to help our cause or theirs. Voltaire assure me that they have had many e-mails from Muslims who:

1) Do not expect non-Muslims to obey Muslim law;
2) Do not consider that these cartoons should have been banned;
3) Will not oppose having the cartoons shown in context at a debate.

And if the movement is going to forward, how much better to have had a large rally which was fully inclusive of all than a smaller rally of non-Muslims which could label the movement Islamophobic from the start.

Voltaire and I will be doing our damnedest to organise a forum where the cartoons can be seen in context, with a broad range of panellists to debate the issue.

And if the decision by Peter to ask for some restraint to be shown offends you so much, why not turn up at the March with a banner saying "Why can't I display offensive cartoons at a Freedom of Expression March?" or a banner that says "Cartoons - CENSORED!" or some such. Not only will you be making your point, but given that camera crews and two teams from 5 Live will be there, you may be able to provoke more of a public debate on this if you can get yourself seen or interviewed.

5:11 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

ML1, that's all wrong. People have been asked specifically NOT to bring the cartoons. No one was asked not to bring anti-semitic, anti-black or anti-anything other. The cartoons are a symbol now of anti-Islamic fascism. Yes they are. The cartoons are a symbol now of oppression of Freedom of Speech by these same Islamic fascists. Yes they are.
By asking specifically and ONLY about those cartoons you are responding specifically and ONLY to these very same Islamic fascists. Not to the Muslim community, not to Islam, but to the Islamic fascists and no one else.

Admit it.

5:20 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

Rastaman, I don't think that you or others should give up the ghost on this, just because of the lack of cartoons.

This March isn't about Muslims and it’s not about cartoons.

It is irrefutable that Islam is not perfect and in dire in need of modernization or reinterpretation in the light of the 21 century (void, down boy, sleep now you ugly little troll) and we must be able to critique the political nature, if not the religious nature of Islam.

The suppression of the cartoons is the most contemporary example of our self censorship and an indication that the age of enlightenment is over. Mob rule is returning.

We are not a mob, nor will the enlightened Muslims that will be joining us.

If a public speaker talks about the cartoons and we all cheer and agreed that we should be able to print them, that is enough for me.

There will be a mob of thugs looking for a reason to fight us, if they see a Danish cartoon they will be 'justified' (in their mind at least).

Why give them the opportunity? We can still talk, and talk we will.

A great deal of like minds will be there on Saturday, I'm looking forward to meeting them. I've a few Muslim friends and they appear to consider the cartoons an insult, I'm looking forward to having a rational chat with some that don't.

I’m terrible scared that we are quickly descending into World War 3 and tyranny, for me this march is about how we can take steps away from this.

5:20 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"On the one hand, material specifically designed to incite hatred - and on the other a political satire noting the correlation (note: not causation, correlation) between Islam and terrorism in the world today."

the jyllands posten published these cartoons with the direct intention of inciting religious hatred, they were not published in any other context, as has been said they ain't particularly funny, clever or worthy of publication

the paper had previously refused to show similiar cartoons mocking christianity for fear of causing offence

5:26 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

Void you empty little can, you are still making noise ... could you take your self indignant diatribe elsewhere? Adults are talking.

5:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@void

I really must correct you, as you are not in receipt of the facts.

A Danish writer by the name of Kåre Bluitgen was writing a book, for children, about Mohammed. He noted that he was having trouble finding artists to illustrate it for him, and this led Flemming Rose - editor of Jyallands-Posten - to write some editorial about this seemingly unusual phenomenon.

As a companion piece to the article he invited 40-odd cartoonists to portray Mohammed in a satirical light. Most of them declined as they were fearful of reprisals.


These facts combined are sufficiently culturally interesting to justify a controversial and challenging piece of editorial in a newspaper.

At no point whatsoever has there been any indication whatsoever that the **intention** of Mr. Rose or Jyallands-Posten was to inflame religious hatred.

Once again, you are stating a 'fact' that is false and misleading. You are incapable of debating on a rational and factual level.

Therefore I ask you again: please stop now.

5:32 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"Void you empty little can, you are still making noise ... could you take your self indignant diatribe elsewhere? Adults are talking."

now theres an individual who genuinely believe in freedom of expression

voltaire, im off and i salute you, i think you made the right decision, and dont be put off by those winging here, youre smoking out those on the far right and the racists and that can only be a good thing

of course they wouldn't think so...

5:32 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

Rastaman

"No one was asked not to bring anti-semitic, anti-black or anti-anything other."

Perhaps that might be because there haven't been hordes of people posting comments about how they're going to come with "All Jews are Evil", "Blacks go home" and that Jews and Blacks can like it or lump it?

Whether you recognise it or not, Voltaire are trying to collect and maintain as broad a coalition as possible. The more inclusive we are, the more people will listen. The danger is such inclusiveness leading to a dilution of the message. I don't think that's the case here. As I said, we're trying to put on a forum to view and discuss the cartoons properly.

The problem stems from the fact that most of our media were spineless and didn't print the cartoons thus stifling debate. The void (no, not that one) was filled by the BNP, to such an extent that in the eyes of many Muslims, a march where many people are displaying the cartoons will feel like a BNP knees-up. They might be wrong, but that's the perception and for a proper debate we need to hear the voices of every-day Muslims, not just the rantings of Al Ghurabaa et al.

I'm not sure how to take some of your remarks. Do you object to the presence of Muslims on the march? If so, I suggest you do not really appreciate freedom of expression.

5:34 pm  
Anonymous emil said...

Voltaire, your about face has a name. It's called appeasement. You may view this as a justified tactical move designed to attract Muslims, but in the process you've compromised the principle of free speech, i.e. the very principle at the core of your endeavour. I understand your desire to appeal to as many Muslims as possible, but you shouldn't have done it in a way that dillutes your message to the point where group cultural and religious relativism trumps a universal principle. It's a pitty you've discredited yourself and the good work you've done so far. It's a shame you've let down many people who supported you and took you very seriously. I would have liked to help with the web site you intended to set up on a permanent basis, but now I won't. After the dust settles on this March for Free Expression with Strings Attached, maybe you'll see your mistake clearly and hopefully you'll learn from it.

5:35 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

The Friendly Infidel said: "The suppression of the cartoons is the most contemporary example of our self censorship and an indication that the age of enlightenment is over. Mob rule is returning."

Right. This is what I'm saying... over and over. We MUST NOT suppress the display of those cartoons by anyone who wants to display them, by so much as even requesting that they not be displayed.

I urge everyone going to this march who had intended to wear or carry one of the cartoons to still do so. I would love to wear my own Muhammed Terrorist Bomber tee-shirt to it, unfortunately I live in the US.... or perhaps fortunately, since the Islamic Fascists (I call them IslamaNazis) could never get away with exerting that kind of pressure on us here.

5:35 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

LOL!

> Therefore I ask you again: please stop now.

There is nothing to stop.

Just a Void.

A void of intelligence*

(*Void, I'm not sure if you can read very well and the above is a play on words. So I want to be very clear - I'm insulting your lack of intellect, not suggesting that you have any - remember _Adults_are_talking_)

5:36 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

That is your own interpretation of JP's motives, one for which the only 'proof' is your own prejudices.

JP stated that they published the cartoons in order to see what limits free expression had. Maybe that is true and maybe it isn't, but neither you or I have no way of knowing.

What is true is that the cartoons were originally commissioned for a children's book about the life of Mohammed, designed to promote understanding and respect for Islam among non-Muslims. That is quite the opposite of "the intention to incite racial hatred", that you claim.

MSF and ML1,

I appreciate your points. Can the organisers confirm that anyone displaying the cartoons will not be ejected from the march? I don't want to display the cartoons, but I won't stand with people who prevent others from doing so.

5:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get a load of this

the "islamic human rights commission" is calling on their people to contact the police if anyone brings a Mohammed Cartoon t-shirt or placard.

5:44 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5:44 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

Rastaman, I'm begining to think that your contribution to this discussion is as useful as Void's.

We are discussing a British issue in the city of London. As an American I don't think your contribution is appilicable.

You quote me correctly, but I also said:

"I’m terrible scared that we are quickly descending into World War 3 and tyranny, for me this march is about how we can take steps away from this."

Struting around in your T-shirt is not stepping away from War World 3, it is stepping up to it.

5:45 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

No, ML1, I have no objection to anyone of any persuasion attending the march, wearing drag, noses shaped like penises, signs depicting Jews drinking blood, Muslims carrying swasticas or upside down crosses or whatever or whoever.

That's my point that you insistently refuse to look at and acknowledge. There should be no objections to any form of free expression and if anyone violates the law by going too far, let the coppers sort it out. That's not your job. That's what's disappointed so many of us. You have exceeded your authority. Unless you think that you have been given some special power to determine the parameters of freedom of speech for the rest of us?

5:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the "islamic human rights commission" is calling on their people to contact the police if anyone brings a Mohammed Cartoon t-shirt or placard."

Are they an offence now? Funny.

5:48 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

Thefriendlyinfidel....

I knew that self-righteous, separatist crap would come at me from someone but I sure never thought it would be you.

I have a great interest in protecting Democracy and Freedom. Anywhere. As you should have.

5:51 pm  
Anonymous publicansdecoy said...

Dear me. They do understand that the Muslims protestors were arrested because they carried placards specifically inciting violence and murder? Do the motoons do this? Of course not.

5:53 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

emil said...

"Voltaire, your about face has a name. It's called appeasement. You may view this as a justified tactical move designed to attract Muslims, but in the process you've compromised the principle of free speech [snip]"

I agree with you, this is a bit of a U turn. But we cannot say that the "Radical Muslims have won" because the March is going ahead (I hope) and plenty will see it as an attack irrespective of cartoons being shown. Plenty will call their brothers apostates for standing next to us.

Speakers will discuss the cartoon issue along with other topics, we will cheer, we will agree, we will make a difference.

5:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Islamic Human Rights Commission is a contradiction in itself. They care nothing for the rights of anyone but their fellow Islamic activists. They are anti-democratic hypocrites who use the language of rights as a cover for their Islamist campaigns, hence their campaign to urge the police to arrest anyone who displays the Muhammad cartoons (although this breaks no law), after defending those protestors who called for beheadings, slayings, etc (would they defend people who called for the killing of Muslims or anyone who insulted the West or Christianity?).

Realistically, how many Muslims are you expecting to come to support the March for Free Expression? Enough to justify undermining the whole principle of the demonstration by trying to stop the display of the Muhammad cartoons?

5:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) I am 100% motivatd by muslim reaction to the cartoons, and the dangerous rise of politcal Islam.

2) I don't feel threatend by any other religions, in the same way as I do by Islam.

3) I don't intend to display the cartoons, although those that choose to do so should not face intimidation to stop.

Am I welcome?

Yours,

Confused

5:56 pm  
Blogger Bagrec said...

Well done Peter.
Absolutely the right decision I think.

I might even be able to persuade a few more to come now!

5:59 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

"I knew that self-righteous, separatist crap would come at me from someone but I sure never thought it would be you."

Rastaman, I'm sorry to offend, but this my city and I don't really want to see it go up in flames and if you follow your press like I think you do, you'll know we have a big issue with riots in Europe.

I'm about condoning the censorship of the cartoons, not celebrating them.

I'd love to borrow your Muhammad Terrorist Bomber tee-shirt cover the face and stick the word censored across it.

5:59 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

Confused - that's pretty much the same boat I'm in. I'm a signed up Islamophobe (with the global acts of violence against the unbeliever who the hell isn't?)

But I’m also concerned by the less visible issues of what Mr Blair is getting up to eroding our rights, all in the name of anti terrorism.

I'm really looking forward to meeting some Muslims that are afraid of rising totalitarianism in their own religion.

I think that you if feel like spitting at Muslims when you see them you won’t be welcome.

Catch you on Saturday

(BTW is that Mike? Sounds like the sort of concise question you’d ask …)

6:09 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

FriendlyInfidel

Yes, I know you do have a big problem with riots in Europe, I also know that most of them are rioting Muslims, according to the news, anyway. This is exactly why I would wear that tee shirt. Sooner or later you simply have to take a stand. A people who allow fear to rule them are a people enslaved. The end of dictatorships almost always occurs only when the people finally rise up and fight back. If someone wants to kill me over a cartoon, let them step right up.

I'm not out to do battle with Muslims. I am out to do battle with Islamic Fascism and that's what my blogsite (and 100's of others) is entirely about.

We lost 3000 people murdered over here to Islamic fascism. Not to Bin Laden, he's merely a symptom. We know who the enemy truly is here and I think you do too.

Don't give in. Don't waver. Hold fast. The alternative is truly terrible.

6:11 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

Rastaman:

Glad you cleared that one up.

No, I do not think we have been given the right to determine the parameters of free speech for everyone who turns up. But you may have noticed that banners that incite violence or are racist are not welcome. Are you complaining about that as well? Or are you just complaining that the organisers have asked people not to bring the cartoons? If so, why? That isn't consistent.

In principle, I'm in favour of having the cartoons there, but if it alienates a whole load of people we want involved in the debate about the limits of free speech I think it's counterproductive and gives the wrong impression about the march.

By organising a separate event for the cartoons, we are demonstrating that we will not be bullied by extremists and will be able to provide an environment in which the cartoons can be properly discussed.

We ARE going to exhibit the cartoons. We are also going to have Muslims at the rally, supporting the right of the Danish cartoonists to live without fear. This is a lot more powerful than just us doing it.


publicansdecoy:

"I appreciate your points. Can the organisers confirm that anyone displaying the cartoons will not be ejected from the march? I don't want to display the cartoons, but I won't stand with people who prevent others from doing so."

A good point and one I agree with. Let's wait till Voltaire are back and see what they say.


FriendlyInfidel:

"We are not a mob, nor will the enlightened Muslims that will be joining us.

If a public speaker talks about the cartoons and we all cheer and agreed that we should be able to print them, that is enough for me.

There will be a mob of thugs looking for a reason to fight us, if they see a Danish cartoon they will be 'justified' (in their mind at least).

Why give them the opportunity? We can still talk, and talk we will.

A great deal of like minds will be there on Saturday, I'm looking forward to meeting them. I've a few Muslim friends and they appear to consider the cartoons an insult, I'm looking forward to having a rational chat with some that don't.
"

Same here.

And as for the IHRC - anyone who puts Oprah Winfrey up for "Islamophobe of the Year" must be a few sandwiches short of a picnic...

6:11 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

> Realistically, how many Muslims are
> you expecting to come to support
> the March for Free Expression?
> Enough to justify undermining the
> whole principle of the
> demonstration by trying to stop the
> display of the Muhammad cartoons?

I bloody well hope so, or its all in vein.

6:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This latest U-turn is another example of the countless cowardly and weak concessions that Europe continues to submit to a certain 'hostile religon'..

I was hoping that this march would be seen as a show of strength, and will, and guts to STAND UP to the intimidation and aggression.. to stand up to thugs who kill artists or threaten artists that express themselves.. to truly say "I AM SPARTACUS" and show solidarity with Denmark and the other european countries who had the spine to publish these silly cartoons in the first place!!

If certain 'people' who are welcomed to join the March but are offended of what we are marching about, and are offended of what might be shown or worn at this march... they have the freedom to NOT ATTEND and be offended.. but instead we have to make exceptions and concessions for these people and SELF-CENSOR ourselves once again because of FEAR..

Another retreat, another head buried in the sand, another cave-in, another example of submission..

We are truly FUCKED now!!

6:13 pm  
Anonymous Freedom to appease said...

This latest U-turn is another example of the countless cowardly and weak concessions that Europe continues to submit to a certain 'hostile religon'..

I was hoping that this march would be seen as a show of strength, and will, and guts to STAND UP to the intimidation and aggression.. to stand up to thugs who kill artists or threaten artists that express themselves.. to truly say "I AM SPARTACUS" and show solidarity with Denmark and the other european countries who had the spine to publish these silly cartoons in the first place!!

If certain 'people' who are welcomed to join the March but are offended of what we are marching about, and are offended of what might be shown or worn at this march... they have the freedom to NOT ATTEND and be offended.. but instead we have to make exceptions and concessions for these people and SELF-CENSOR ourselves once again because of FEAR..

Another retreat, another head buried in the sand, another cave-in, another example of submission..

We are truly FUCKED now!!

6:15 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

I think this decision is a mistake but it will not stop me coming along on Saturday.

Let's all grow up a bit shall we. If you have a tantrum and say that you are not coming to the rally, who does that help? It certainly does nothing to further free speech. The only people who will be happy about a low turnout on Saturday are the MAB and the appeasers in 'Respect'.

All movements have disagreements but you need to keep focused on the bigger picture. We need as many people as possible out there on Saturday showing their support for free speech.

Anyway, I've just bought two Danish flags and I've got to fly them somewhere.

6:18 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

ML1, I am utterly consistent and you either know it or you have pudding for brains. You keep attacking me claiming "inconsistencies". Are you skimming over what people write and just picking out a sentence here and there? I'm tired of repeating myself trying to bring you the light. Is that the idea? Keep throwing utter bullshit back at people so they'll give up and shut up? That way you win?

You caved in. Read all the comments. Get out of denial. You caved in. Anything else you say is an utter lie. Screw those who "might be offended". For Gods sakes man. Spare us your lofty philosophy and precious, sensitive ideals. You're pumping bad air.

6:22 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

Steve you are absolutely right. Everyone who had intended to go should still go, and bring all their friends. And their signs, and their tee shirts, and ball caps shaped like ducks or whatever the hell.
Political Correctness is what helped in a major way to bring on a lot of your troubles over there. Time to put it aside.
There's a lot of us here in the US paying very close attention to how you handle this.

6:28 pm  
Anonymous peejay said...

I absolutely agree that everybody should still go. We need to put down a marker that we won't put up with others interferring with free speech.

(I also think the decision not to support bringing cartoons is absolutely the wrong decision, sowing confusion and disagreement - but we should still go!)

6:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was going to attend but I'm not going to bother now. The whole point of the march is 'Freedom of Expression'. You can't have it both ways, either it is for 'Freedom of Expression' or its only selective. The cartoons are integral to the debate and banning them is dismissing the whole point of the march. You might as well change the march to a "Freedom for Sharia expression" march as that is what you are turning it into. How stupid...

6:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TheFriendlyInfidel,

Its not Mike, but I will be there Saturday, hope this is a turning point.

Regarding peoples disappointment about Peters request not to show the cartoons, I think it is the right decision although at first it would seem contradictory to the goals.

Appearing to be as extreme as our opponents will just put us in the political waste bin from day one.

We should learn from the mistakes of our opponents, i.e. the first anti-cartoon protests which called for the beheading of cartoonists etc. A total PR disaster (not that they care) but the MCB and the MAC must have been cursing, not because they disagreed but because of the bad publicity.

Its all about PR, I don't mind sacrificing a few principles for the long term objective (whatever that may be).

6:53 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Utter cowardice... I can hear Voltaire turning in his grave... you've surrendered the right to use his name.

This Rally has been rendered pointless. I'm sure the MAC are very happy.

6:53 pm  
Blogger Dan said...

Rastaman

We appear to be talking past each other.

I'll put my hands up and state I misread one of your comments - I see you are in favour of allowing racist banners at the rally, so I agree, you are being consistent.

But you never answered my question - have you been arguing so vociferously that by not allowing racist banners Voltaire have copped out to the PC brigade and you demand your money back?

I've hunted through several comments boxes and have yet to find an example of this. I can only assume, as this thread would suggest, that you have a rather far-fetched view of most Muslims which is feeding your indignance over Peter's decision to ask people not to bring the cartoons to the rally.

Until you can show me that you have been as scathing over Voltaire's decision to ban racist placards as this request, I put it to you that you are obsessed with Islam.

Repeat after me: This March is not all about Islam.

If you think it is, you can't have been reading what Voltaire have been writing over the past month.

I think it boils down to this.

You don't care that for many Muslims who agree with the principles behind this March, the presence of hundreds of people with the cartoons will make them feel like they're in the midst a BNP rally. Given that most Muslims in this country are non-white, that can't be a great feeling.

Most of the Muslims that have written to Peter have explicitly said that they do not object to the cartoons being present because of their faith, but because the BNP have so successfully seized this issue as their own.

We will grab it back from them, but the rally may not be the best place to do it. A forum with a full public debate is what we need, with the cartoons on display.

I believe we need to engage "moderate" Muslims and let their voices be heard over the din that is the MAC, MAB, MCB, IHRC, etc., and if that means asking people to make the rally environment a little less of an attack on Islam (which it was threatening to become) and more of a March for Free Expression, so be it.

You don't. Fair enough. How then do you suggest we get moderate Muslims on side?

Right. Off home.

See you all on Saturday!

7:03 pm  
Blogger DFH said...

Cross-posted from my blog:

I'm fucking furious, me. I've just read this on the March for Free Expression website:

At the outset, we said that displays of the Danish cartoons would be welcome on Saturday. No, let me rephrase that: At the outset, I, Peter Risdon, said the cartoons would be welcome. I am going to take full responsibility for this. I now think that was a mistake.

In practice, Muslims who wholeheartedly endorse our statement of principle, as quoted below by Peter Tatchell in his superb essay, who abhor the threats made against Danish cartoonists and believe people should have the right to publish things they themselves find offensive or abhorrent would be UNABLE to come to our rally on Saturday, because to be surrounded by these cartoons, now, in the present context when the BNP are using them as a rallying point, would be intolerable.

So I now appeal to people not to bring the cartoons on T-shirts or placards.


I had no intention of turning up with a placard displaying the Danish cartoons. BUT I FUCKING WELL WILL NOW.

There was a slim chance my work would prevent me from attending on Saturday but by this morning I felt happy enough to buy my NON-REFUNDABLE, short-notice, insanely expensive rail tickets from North Yorkshire to London. I still have important stuff to do on Saturday morning AND Saturday evening, but I managed to get tickets which would allow me just enough time to dash from Kings Cross to Trafalgar Square, stay for the demo, and race back again to Kings Cross for the return journey. That's a 500 mile round-trip for a couple of hours in the capital.

Having read Peter Risdon’s post my first thought was - fuck it, money down the drain, stay at home, take time over my work and have a nice leisurely Saturday. But I’ve decided that I’m not wasting the tickets. I’m going to Trafalgar Square, and I’ll have the fucking cartoons on display. They were the catalyst for this demonstration and I intend to show solidarity with the cartoonists, journalists and publishers who now face each day with the prospect of murder.

Peter Risdon cites Tatchell’s “superb essay” in his defence. Yes, Tatchell makes many good points, but if the organisers of the march really think I, or many like me, promoted Saturday’s event because we were inspired by the prospect of hearing Mr Tatchell “assert the right to condemn British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan” then they were very much mistaken. I will attend on Saturday, even though I now know that Trafalgar Square will once again, for the umpteenth time this year, echo to the sound of our troops being condemned and Palestinian terrorists lauded, and God knows what else, but I will endure because that is free expression.

I won’t be fucking censored though, and I hope nobody else will. Join me.

7:03 pm  
Anonymous Kevin Petrie said...

I signed your petition.
You can take my bloody name off and I certainly won't be going to what looks like a sorry excuse for a march for freedom of expression now.
What a cop out.

7:11 pm  
Blogger anton said...

BRAV0 DFH!!!!

p.s. I want a refund!

7:11 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

How many citizens have any real idea of what the Enlightenment really was? French philosophers did take humanity forward by recognising no external authority of any kind, but there was a darker side. Voltaire: "Blacks are inferior to Europeans, but superior to apes." Hume: "The black might develop certain attributes of human beings, the way the parrot manages to speak a few words." There is much more in a similar vein from their colleagues. It is this aspect of the Enlightenment that appears to be more in tune with some of the generalised anti-Muslim ravings in the media.

well there be of tee shirts of caricatures depicting jews from nazi germany and will there be the anti semitic cartoons from iran on tee shirts all in support of free expression. If the answer is No then this nuremberg rally.. sorry the trafalgar sq rally is full of hypocrisy and not for freedom of expression but for freedom to discrimination against "pakis". (the racist term pakis is used to highlight the hypocrisy)

This is nothing more then a cross burning

7:26 pm  
Blogger a china teapot said...

"So I now appeal to people not to bring the cartoons on T-shirts or placards."

You are doing the one thing which I thought we were protesting against alowing religion to dictate the behavior in a secular society. I am withdrawing my support for this event. I will not attend.

7:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While you're at it, why not ban any depictions that might be insulting to Christians, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, blacks, Chinese, Slavs, American-Indians, Polish,any posters about JC:TO, any posters promoting the Sikh play, anything pro or anti foxhunting, anything pro or anti Labour, anything pro or any abortion, the list goes on ad infinitum. After all, there will always be someone offended by something. I'm a little disturbed by your inability to grasp the point of the march YOU organised. This sounds more and more like a schoolboy idea with little or no planning. And I'm in stitches that this march will be banning the exact objects which were the cause of the need for this march in the first place. The various Jihadi organisations must be laughing their socks of.

7:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I now feel able to turn up to this march, I said to my girlfriend I would go along, and if there were racist elements in the crowd I would leave. Not because they can't protest whatever they like, but because I don't have to give my support to them if they do. it's the principle of free speech I feel compelled to defend, not the cartoons application of it.

See you saturday

7:33 pm  
Anonymous A2 said...

Muslims also should wish for the right to insult religious beliefs. Consider the following quote:

"Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who
disbelieve, then they would not believe" Q8:55

Speaking as an unbeliever, I find such a statement highly insulting and offensive, but I defend anyone's right to say it. I don't ask that the book be withdrawn or the offending verses removed. I don't demand a personal apology from the heads of state of countries that allowed it to be published. I don't threaten the printers or publishers or booksellers. I don't even ask that it be self-censored in the name of civility. Such actions would be wrong.

Free speech is for everyone.

7:37 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

Bring all you tee shirts of Danish cartoons, Irans anti-semitic cartoons, Neo nazi propergander cartoons of jews and Jim crow cartoons....But you know what i don't think there will be any Irans anti-semitic cartoons, Neo nazi propergander cartoons of jews and Jim crow cartoons. because your all full of hypocrisy. THIS IS A ANTI MUSLIM AND ANTI ISLAM CROSS BURNING RALLY. March for Free Expressionin In the words of Jim royle "My Arse"

when you come for my muslim neighbors, you'd better have room for me in your concentration camps

7:38 pm  
Anonymous Camel Jockey said...

Moderate Muslims?? Is there such a thing? I don't think so..

Anyone read the news about the 'moderate' afghan government who will punish a muslim (with death) for converting to christianity?

I read a blog recently that summed it up perfectly

" Radical Muslims say: Apostates must be executed by being chopped into pieces."

"Moderate Muslims say: Apostates must be executed without being chopped into pieces."

"Clearly, there are significant differences between radical and moderate Islam after all."

Do I want to engage in dialogue with
people such as this about western liberal freedoms? People who say this is not an issue about Islam are correct.. but lets be honest.. would we be marching about this if the worldwide muslim community had not reacted (the violent way they did) to these harmless cartoons?

Britain and Europe are being held hostage.. especially in Britain.. The police are scared.. the prime minister(the twat)is scared.. and the spineless losers who organised this event are running scared too..

Welcome to the Islamic republic of Europe!! See you all at friday prayers..

7:38 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

"Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe" Q8:55

The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) had defined humans as rational animals. The ability to observe, investigate, and understand causes and the capacity to act based on that understanding is essential to being human.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes

It is plain that humans can know and understand things; indeed, Aristotle supposes that it is our very nature to desire knowledge and understanding (Metaphysics i 1, 980a21; De Anima ii 3, 414b18; iii 3, 429a6-8). In this way, just as the having of sensory faculties is essential to being an animal, so the having of a mind is essential to being a human.

think on mate and don't quote out of context

7:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry, would you be so ready to defend Jews in a rally where there were posters calling Jews devils and depicting them eating babies? I've seen such posters in 'anti-war' marches. Bet that didn't bother you. If you want to attend rallies showing anti-semitic cartoons (you seem very keen btw) then you shouldn't have too much problem finding such a rally in any Muslim country. But when you come looking for my Jewish neighbours you'd better have room in Auschwitz #2 for me too.

7:44 pm  
Blogger TheFriendlyInfidel said...

Muslims that believe that Apostates should be killed are most definately not invited.

However I doubt they would want to come.

7:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Muslims are Welcome: No Danish cartoons, please" translated from Dhimmi this translates as; "Please don't hurt us. If we promise not to bring the cartoons will you let us leave Trafalgar Square alive? Please".

7:48 pm  
Blogger schmoo said...

THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE

There were bigots to the left,
and bigots to the right,
there were bigots to the front,
plus silly anarco-trendies carping on the internet,
and fellow bigots from the National Cunt.

But into the valley of freedom,
ride the valiant Light Brigade,
brave warriors for truth,
they want everyone to know the score,
they'll die for the right to be rude,
and to look at pictures of girls in the nude,
and serious stuff, like the right to be a bore.

Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the Light Brigade,
calling for the right to call a spade a spade,
and god a nasty rotter,
but sorry,
now they're saying on their blog,
that you can't say god is a mother ****er.

The facist pig bigots, religious, left and right,
have got 'em one by one,
and now freedom has gone,
you know - the magic thing our grand dads faught World War 2 for and won.

Now you can't even sing a raucous rebel song,
or even mock,
and call a priest a fool in a frock,
because of bigots, religious, left and right,
they are all equally sick, frustrated and uptight,
they can't take a poke, they can't even take a joke,
fuck 'em, fuck, fuck fuck!

free expression 'Take Me to A Free Country' cartoon at: http://schmoontherun.blogspot.com/

i will be there - on best behaviour because it seems there will be some very touchy people watching, and apparently they don't smile much and get upset easily.

But nevertheless genuine respect to them (we are all human - or am I wrong?), and to the organisers and everyone who comes, and even the bigots, after all they need the most help.

7:58 pm  
Anonymous Harry said...

"Harry, would you be so ready to defend Jews in a rally where there were posters calling Jews devils and depicting them eating babies? I've seen such posters in 'anti-war' marches. Bet that didn't bother you. If you want to attend rallies showing anti-semitic cartoons (you seem very keen btw) then you shouldn't have too much problem finding such a rally in any Muslim country. But when you come looking for my Jewish neighbours you'd better have room in Auschwitz #2 for me too."

What????? just show your hypocrisy your for show support for the racist danish cartoons but against the others. I shall make my self clear, i'm against them all and i don't see them as any form of Free Expression but racist action and yet it nearly goes unnoticed that European history of xenophobia spilling onto it newspaper is repeating itself. This is shameful act of abuse of power in which people with the power of a printing press and media resources can subjugate a minority community in their respective homelands. The Danish cartoons were an exercise of press might over rights of ethnic minority, who have no voice in that nations press and media industries. all the roles they play in the media industry is the cleaning jobs or as targets for insults and scaremongering. This deliberate and premeditated act to insult was very idiotic and dangerous and now you show your real hypocrisy for not showing up with Iranian Holocaust cartoons. You didn’t feel the same for the Prophet Mohammed caricatures and futher more i will be with my jewsish brothers in Auschwitz #2, because once they have gased the muslims, they start with the jews

8:06 pm  
Blogger FractalNymph said...

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH! FREEDOM WILL ALWAYS INCLUDE FREEDOM TO OFFEND!

8:10 pm  
Anonymous Rastaman said...

Twat Void leaves, Twat Harry arrives.... twat Harry... anybody want to be first with that? ;-)

Sorry, but you couldn't possibly expect me to resist that one. Besides, it's all been said about 20 times over now. Everyone knows where they stand, you're either: coming to the march; not coming to the march; still undecided. From here I'll be watching and hoping. Personally speaking, the appeasement bit has me wishing that a bunch of shrieking Muslims attack the marchers while TV cameras from every nation are recording the whole thing. That should turn a few heads.

8:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

While it's nice to see so much animated debate on the blog (surely that's what this march is all about!), can we please agree that anyone can bring along anything they want, but that no placard present signals automatic endorsement by the MFfE campaign?

No, let's get cracking bringing down the blasphemy law.

8:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harry,

Boo hoo, muslims are victims, blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Anybody who criticise is a racist, whaaaaaaahhhhhhh!

For gods sake open your mind to other ideas for a second.

8:30 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"There were bigots to the left,
and bigots to the right,
there were bigots to the front,
plus silly anarco-trendies carping on the internet,"

you poor thing, it must be so terrible to live in such a totalitarian regime where the evil imams only have to dictate a whim for the poor repressed white christian slaves to be thrown in jail or cast into slavery

our muslim dominated parliament, as well as the complete dominance of muslims in the uk business community (go to your local shop, just see it for yourself) shows that those of us who believe in the right to free speech can only be doomed

as bloggers are sent to jail, as the muslim caliphate extends across london we can only shiver in fear as our rights to free speech are further cast into the gutter and the white male is further oppressed

witness the gestapo nature of the police, and the muslim ruling elite within them, watch as our muslim dominated armed forces terrorise innocent christians, pity the poor zionists living under occupation from their evil muslim neighbours

as the muslim nations take control of our industry, our coal mines and north sea oil fields, the white man can only cower against the babaric hordes streaming over the channel with the hope of stealing what few little low paid jobs in casual labour we have left

meanwhile muslim bigots scream abuse at the white man from the pages of the sun, the muslim dominated bbc pumps out daily propaganda, our hundreds of christian church schools are forced to operate in secrecy as the imams take power everywhere we look

the poor white man, who fought wars the world over to establish the great christian tradition now lies bloodied and broken as the dispossessed islamists lay seige to our cities and impregnate our daughters

freedom of speech is dead, this website proves it, all those whove made anti-islamic comments expect to be rounded up and shot by the queens new republican guard

only valiant poets like schmoo can save us from this tidal of religious bigotry that threatens to swamp us by demanding that the press complaints commission rules be changed to incorporate respecting the sensitivities of different religions - the radical, violent, religious zealots seeking to undermine our hard won freedom

who would have thought that a handful of teenagers with some silly placards would have grown into a movement

"Rode the Light Brigade,
calling for the right to call a spade a spade,"

and a nigger a nigger a fag a fag and a dago a dago ... bnp websites that way mate, theyve probably already published your poem by now

8:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aaahhh what a shame. you were so close to actually making a point and a stand.... and it gets fluffed at the last second.
so now the march for free expression is being censored is there really any point?

8:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sick and tired of this confusion between race and religion. The Nazi's used it to persecute, now Islamicists are using it to quell Free expression. Invertebrates like Jack Straw are easily taken in by Islamicists who use this deceit to try and add a sense of gravitas to their irrational demands. Suddenly, because we want to protect our heritage, our Freedoms, we are branded Islamophobic, but the term doesn’t cut deep enough, because by simply not agreeing with them we are somehow Islamophobic, so we are then racist… a term guaranteed to get week kneed politicians in a panic... and seemingly 'Freedom of Expression' campaigners too. Neither accusations are true of course, though I would find bitter irony in being labelled a racist by such intolerant religious groups.

8:39 pm  
Blogger wardytron said...

I really don't think there's any point in engaging with anything "The Void" has to say - as far as he's concerned it's a racist march and Norris McWhirter is an "arch-Nazi", so it's a waste of words and time acknowledging him. Let's ignore every comment he makes, please, if we want to have a sensible discussion.

I want to say that surely it might have been a better idea for this site not to have endorsed or encouraged the cartoons, but neither to have done the opposite. I still hope there's time for a rewording of the contentious sentence, "I now appeal to people not to bring the cartoons on T-shirts or placards", so that it's a bit more along the lines of "bring them if you want, but it's not with our blessing, but being pro-free speech and everything, it's up to you".

I mean, I would be as horrified and intimidated as anyone to be surrounded by yelling xenophobes brandishing placards of the one offensive cartoon, but that was never on the cards anyway.

8:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To those of you who have donated money - all you have to do, is complain to your credit card company for refund. The PayPal disputes team, will refund the money and make additional debits against the people running this so called "March for Freee Expression" a mockery of a stand for free speech.

Once you have got your money back, I humbley suggest you donate it to a political organisation such as the BNP - the *ONLY* party that really understands what free speech is all about.

8:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Freedom of expression has been in the news in recent weeks and attempts by both the State and extremist Islamicists to stifle freedom of expression have come under the spotlight in the wake of the Nick Griffin and Mark Collett trial in January and the recent furore over the publication of satirical cartoons featuring Mohammed.

On Saturday in central London a wide range of political, religious and lobby groups will be taking part in a protest rally to affirm the importance of free expression in frank and honest debate, including the freedom to criticise and mock religions and faiths. The BNP, the only political party which champions free speech backs the protest and we have also been made aware that Civil Liberty supporters will be present to demonstrate against the encroaching intolerance of Marxism and militant Islamicists."

you gonna add them to your supporters list?

8:50 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voltaire.. you should read your 'mission statement' again... because with these restrictions you have surely failed it.

I see from the MAC site..you've been talking to them... so I can only imagine that you've buckled under their pressure to see it their way.

Whatever the reason...You've betrayed yourself, and you've betrayed all those people like me who supported this rally... who think that 'Mission statement' was worth fighting for... Alas...it's not to be

8:51 pm  
Blogger Balo said...

Peter you have my wholehearted support and respect, what you have done has taken courage, you have in my eyes proven one thing, you are responsible in your use of free speech and expression, stay strong and DO NOT LET the SMALL MINDED Racist THUGS Usurp our cause.

9:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the march is now obsolete. You presented it as a march in support of freedom of expression yet you want to deny freedom of expression. Funny also how you decided to change the mission statement after you received generous funds from numerous people. Perhaps you should consider refunding people if they request it as you really have obtained funds using deceptive methods. Since you use Paypal it should be relatively easy to refund anyone who wants a refund and holding on to money gained under deception is, I believe, illegal.

9:01 pm  
Blogger the void said...

Norris McWhirter is an "arch-Nazi"

what else would you call a supporter of aparthied

(im back, but not for long)

BNP signed up eh ... a bold coalition, maybe it's time to throw in the towel

9:02 pm  
Anonymous aeneas said...

When I first saw the news about not displaying the cartoons I was so outraged that I felt obliged to rush to make my views known immediately. When I spoke about the march been hijacked by Muslims I was referring to those of the Islamofascist variety (in my rush I did not make that distinction) and hope that people didn’t think that I was talking about all Muslims. I have great respect for Muslims such as Irshad Manji who is courageously trying to reform Islam from within. If the Muslims who come to this rally are as committed to reforming their religion as this farsighted and inspiring woman then I am happy to stand by their side in our quest to protect free speech.

However, I am uneasy that there appear to be a number of people posting here who cry racist when anyone criticises Islam (I have been a victim of their abuse). I think that the people who are doing this are trivialising racism and undermining the fight against racism. Any reasonable person opposes racism, but those that attribute racist motives with those who don’t have a racist bone in their body are doing this ongoing, and important, fight a serious disservice and they should be ashamed of themselves. They are using race as a label to criticise anyone who disagrees with them (just like the witch hunters of the Middle Ages). I do not support the BNP and never will, and resent been associated with people with their sort of views by people who want to use the label of “racist” to silence anyone who disagrees with them; it is cheap and demonstrates a lack of real argument.

I am still disappointed that the organisers are discouraging the display of the cartoons because I feel that the irrational reaction to them was the catalyst that created the level of outrage that encouraged people to support the noble quest to defend free speech.

Our overall campaign might be our last chance to prevent the polarisation of our society into two mutually hostile extremist camps. If we fail, it will, in my opinion, be a gift for the far right who will be waiting with open arms for those who feel that they have tried everything else to try to get mainstream politicians to stop appeasing extremists. We MUST succeed, and I urge all those who say that they will no longer be coming to reconsider their positions. I don’t think that racists should come, but those who have been erroneously accused of racism by those who don’t seem to understand the word should not be intimidated.

I sympathise with the organisers who had to make their difficult decision. I think that it was wrong, but I appreciate the fact they have taken on some massive responsibilities in organising this rally and defer to their leadership on this matter. I hope that their decision is the correct one. In any case, the rally is a beginning and therefore I will be there.

9:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balo - Islam=religion, NOT a race. Therefore your accusation of RACIST thugs is somewhat ignorant. People choose to believe in a religion, it is not forced upon them and in doing so they should accept criticism, unless their religious beliefs are so fragile and easily shattered which seems to be the case with many folk.

9:05 pm  
Blogger the void said...

by the way, what would the free expressionists make of these guys?

US Fundamentalists to Hold Child Abuse Seminars in the UK

9:05 pm  
Blogger JAM said...

What an own goal. From 'March For Free Expression' to 'Stroll For Muslim-Approved Expression'. Dhimmitude at its finest.

Void, haven't you a sixth-form UAF meeting to run off to?

Seriously my man, the more erudite people here are making you look, well, rather stupid.

I checked your blog - hilarious! Is your satire a satire on satire itself? Or is meant to be that excruciatingly unfunny? Seriously man, you need to get out more. So much time spent achieving so little...

Oh, and have you ever tried repeating a word - any word - 100 times? It starts to lose all meaning after a while. The same thing applies to the term 'racism'.

'Racist' is a very serious accusation and you devalue its meaning by repeating it ad nauseam. It would help if you actually knew what it meant, as opposed to what your right-on friends and lecturers tell you it means.

Now go listen to some ChumbaWumba.

9:08 pm  
Anonymous David Duff said...

This is an extract from my latest post on my site. I wish now I hadn't made arrangements with other people to go:

"I don't know whether to laugh or weep or just throw my bloody monitor out the window! This is exactly the sort of wooly-minded, wet, pathetic, useless hand-wringing, political parsing that one would expect from the 'Revd. J. C. Flannel'. The whole point of claiming freedom of expression is precisely the freedom to insult and offend other people. I wanted to go in order to defend the right of the BNP to spout their tripe; to defend the right of my commenter (a couple of posts ago), Abu Shayub, in spouting his version of Muslim rubbish; and to defend, God help me, the likes of 'lenin' and Meaders as they bore us all to death with their version of the ravings of a mad, old German-Jew and his murderous acolytes. No ifs, no buts, no maybes, no exceptions, if it's legal, shout it to the roof-tops!



I shall go on Saturday, not with enthusiasm and not in support, but only because I have never been on a demo before, so I am curious; and also, because I have made arrangements to meet up with a fellow blogger or two. I just hope Peter Risdon trips over his Sunday Observer and breaks a leg!"

9:09 pm  
Anonymous Jensen said...

This was suppose to be a fight for a principle - not politics’! you just politicized it by compromising the principle.

Voltaire - you've just ruined every thing you build up.

I must say I’ am very sadden by this unforeseeable move :-(

9:13 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

"in the present context when the BNP are using them as a rallying point, would be intolerable."


you've got to be kidding me.

Since when did we allow white supremacist fascists to dictate the issue and influence it?

The BNP are opportunists - they will jump onto anything that will further their cause.

But it wont stop me wearing a Mohammed cartoon t-shirt - because I wont let Nazis like the BNP or Islamofascists like the MCB and their ilk tell me what I can or cannot satirise.

The BNP, along with the IslamoNazis can go to hell.

9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sod principles, I just want to win.

The fact that like minded people are going to meet up on Saturday is a sign we are actually starting to get organised, this is a massive first step.

9:18 pm  
Blogger Balo said...

In response to Anonymous who posted Islam=religion, NOT a race. Therefore your accusation of RACIST thugs is somewhat ignorant.

Ill rephrase as to keep from offending your sensitivity's to my poorly thought out use of the English language.

Peter Do Not Let Racists, The Culturally Intolerant, The Small minded who fail to understand others Religious Beliefs and simply attack instead of try to get along or understand Usurp our cause, Freedom Of Expression and Speech is what we are about !!

9:18 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"The BNP, along with the IslamoNazis can go to hell."

perhaps you can tell the bnp that when you meet them on saturday

9:19 pm  
Anonymous Will said...

Would someone mind giving me a list of abreaviations of muslim groups and their full names please?

9:23 pm  
Blogger wardytron said...

While I'm here I'll copy and paste something I said to publicansdecoy, my point being that even if you disagree with the non-toons idea you should still go:

I do think it's a mistake to demand no cartoons - I think that's a colossal mistake and I had a long argument with Brownie on Harry's Place a month ago about how you have to publish them, because the more people that do the more it normal it becomes, and the less it’s seen as a big deal, and the more likely it is that we can have a sane world in which people don’t riot and kill over cartoons. Whereas the more fearful and reluctant we are to publish them, the more we encourage the idea that it’s wrong, and an insult to Muslims, and that they’re right to be offended, and all this old toss. So you end up with this ridiculous situation where a couple of days ago some Welsh vicar resigned because his 400-strong circulation pamphlet published a cartoon showing all the Abrahamic prophets with Jesus saying "look, we've all be caricatured" – ie one giving equal treatment to the lot of them.

I really think that if people had been less spineless a couple of months ago, and they’d been published all over the place – not gratuitously or to cause offence, but just to demonstrate what the row was about – then publishing or printing or waving them would now be less of a big deal. But we all backed off, and help to create the impression that it actually was a big deal to publish them, and now we’re in the ridiculous position where someone who names himself after Voltaire is trying to censor a march for free expression. But it’s not his fault, it’s the fault of people like Jack Straw for apologising as soon as they were published.

But we don’t want to go out of our way to antagonise Muslims either – and I can only sympathise with the March For Free Expression bunch for wanting to keep the moderates onside. Also bearing in mind the far-right elements that want to capitalise on a row between extremists, don’t we want to avoid free speech becoming something built entirely around Islamists v the far right. How does that benefit non-nutters? I don't see how it can benefit people like us if we keep out of the argument. We didn't like it when people said "oh, I can't possibly go because there are UKIP supporters there", and I don't think we should do the same now. This is a coalition that ought to be kept as wide as possible, which is only going to happen if people stay in it.

9:23 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

"DO NOT LET the SMALL MINDED Racist THUGS"

that is a serious accusation Balo -
it is ISLAM i have a problem with.

That is a religion - a set of ideas - an ideology - that is utterly at odds with the free market liberal values.

Primarily because its stuck in a 7th century mindset when the rest of humanity is living in the 21st century.

9:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing to see educated muslims saying things like "I use freedom of speech but appropriately without hurting anyone's feelings because i believe this is what a civilised attitude should be".

You are utterly confused. You are talking about "being polite". We all (nearly) strive to be polite. Being offended occassionally and having to put up with impolite people is the mild comeuppance for living in a free society where laws are not based on how offended someone feels or claims to feel about something (particularly when they are being told how offended to be by the imams themselves).

I'd rather maintain my legal protection to say Mohammed was a power hungry tyrant and present evidence for it, in a discussion about Islam, without having to deal with the "crime" of having insulted someone elses prophet.

Should you have to live by the rules of Buddism (killing any living creature including flies is distinctly frowned upon) or should the rules of a religion (eg not creating images of Mohammed) be restricted to those who want to follow the religion ?

I'd rather not be bound by someone elses religion thanks although I wouldn't always choose to ram their superstitions back down their throats with a bit of fact and logic because i'm POLITE, not because it should be or is illegal.

9:25 pm  
Anonymous Nick Pullar said...

As the Head Steward, I assure you all that no-one will be ejected from the March for ANY banner-related reason other than a banner which encourages violence. (This emphatically excludes the cartoons.)

I confess, I really wonder about Peter's decision. I can't say that I wholeheartedly support it (my suggestion was for banners with the cartoons on to be encouraged, but to not be displayed while a Muslim speaker was talking - in that showing good manners is not a surrender of our assertion that the cartoons are permissable in this country.)

Nonetheless, we are where we are, and I hope that our Muslim neighbours who really support free speech (even for the cartoonsists) will take this opportunity to attend, now that Peter has made a very substantial concession in their interest.

See you all on Saturday.

9:26 pm  
Anonymous James said...

Question to 'The Void'...
Why exactly are you here? You agree with being civil and not offending people and so on from what i have seen from your posts so why are you here bothering these people?

9:27 pm  
Anonymous Will said...

Nick, could yougive me the full name of M.A.C. please? I can't figure it out. XD

9:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balo,

"The Small minded who fail to understand others Religious Beliefs"

We understand them all too well, that's why I will be marching for freedom of expression (freedom from religous censorship).

9:29 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

"perhaps you can tell the bnp that when you meet them on saturday"

why not?

"to many (not me) religion is not regarded as choice, but a central part of an individuals personal make up which cannot be changed, much like race or sexuality"

which returns us back to the Middle Ages and forgets about the Age of Enlightenment. Sorry mate - that doesnt work.

I have a right to take the piss out of religion , no matter what it is. I certainly do not want Western society to return to the age of being fearful of religion. God knows - we've spent hundreds of year to get to where we are. And I dont fancy returning to pre-Galileo days.

9:29 pm  
Anonymous Spartacus said...

I am sad and disappointed, but most of all I am angry. Voltaire, your appeal for the Danish cartoons not to be brought to the rally is wrong. Freedom of expression must be absolute or it is nothing. This means that everyone from Libertarians to Communists to Nationalists (yes, that includes the BNP) to Anarchists to Islamists to Zionists to Evangelists to Satanists to Atheists must say what they will, as they are free to do.

I will stand with anyone who holds to this view in order to defend it. This includes Muslims of any stripe if they truly subscribe to this principle. I will not stand for self censorship in the face of opposition by anyone, including (but by no means only) those Muslims who do not subscribe to this principle.

Yes, I gave money. No, I won't ask for it to be returned because this would put in jeopardy the insurance for which it helped to pay and therefore the wellbeing of those who choose to attend the rally regardless of this shameful turn of events. I didn't intend to bring or display the Jyllands Posten cartoons because I had other plans to demonstrate the far more widespread nature of the threat to freedom of expression. If I do now attend, I am likely to display those cartoons. However, at this point, my attendance is seriously in doubt.

You now have a choice: Change your mind, blog the change and save the rally, or stand your ground, lose support and kill this movement. The battle has begun. Time is short. Which side are you on?

9:31 pm  
Anonymous Nick Pullar said...

Will:

M.A.C. stands for "Muslim Action Committee". They are a banner group and run a website http://www.globalcivility.com.

Cheers!

9:33 pm  
Blogger Brituncula said...

Personally one of the things which attracted me to the march is the determindly non-aggressive and reasoned attitude of the organisers. I don't fancy being in something that could be portrayed by the media as blackshirts mark 2.

9:36 pm  
Anonymous Will said...

AH! committee! Many thanks Nick!

9:36 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

How about a compromise?

Anyone with a Danish cartoon t-shirt also carries a "Free Abu Hamza" placard?

he was ,after all, imprisoned for what he said , not what he did.

9:39 pm  
Blogger Balo said...

In Reply to Charles Martel,
who wrote:
"DO NOT LET the SMALL MINDED Racist THUGS"

that is a serious accusation Balo -
it is ISLAM i have a problem with.

Guess What, I am a white British Male of no particular religious persuasion.

It is intolerance of others views either religious or otherwise that reinforces my endorsement of Peters decision to remove the cartoons, would I wear a t-shirt that insulted black people in Harlem and expect them to listen to me when talking about freedom of expression, no most likely Id end up dead or in hospital before I uttered a word, and Id have achieved nothing... As to your views on Islam, had you considered that the Majority are not vocal and a far more liberal in their views, It is sheer ignorance to think every Muslim is on a mission to impose Sharia law and take us back into the 7th Century,

An apt quote I once heard ,
Worry not about the Mote in my eye instead worry about the beam in your own.

Put simply we should worry more about our own extremists , the BNP and others who wish to latch onto and userp the cause for freedom of expression march for their own.

9:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a mess!

Freedom of expression, but with an appeal not to express your view...

I am deeply irritated by the charges of 'Islamophobia' and racism levelled at each and every opportunity, here and on the MAC website.

Freedom of speech is certainly not what it claims to be.

This is the beginning of the end of our liberties, folks.

9:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

um hellllllooo why dosent this freedom of speech apply 2 anti-semists when they make comments about jews but when a islamaphobic person says something about islam they say "its freedom of speech" but look at that man who wrote th book on hitler's war he ended up in JAIL

9:51 pm  
Anonymous Sir Weakling said...

I find it amusing how so many people in favour of this march feel they have to constantly repeat the phrases: " I do not support the BNP" "I am not a racist" " I have respect for Muslims "
"I am not a fascist"..

Thats Britain for you; If one person even attempts to stick up for it's country and it's (fading) culture,and it's way of life, you have to first make it clear to EVERYONE that you're not a racist zazi..?

If people felt that way back in 1945 then we would all be really speaking german right now wouldn't we?

This mentality smacks of the same historical policies of appeasement, liberal self-loathing, and spineless approaches that led to Europe having to be rescued from itself twice in the last century!!

Does Britain have the will and the GUTS to stand up for itself this time around?

9:51 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

This decision is reprehensible.

Why?

Two reasons:
1) Because the chant to anyone who objects to them should be:

The cartoons do NOT say "We should attack Muslims". They say "Some Muslims are attacking us and we don't like it.

YOU SHOULD BE ARGUING WITH THE EXTREMISTS WHO PERVERT ISLAM NOT WITH ME."

That is the response to objections to the cartoons.

2) Because most of the cartoons were very mild, and they were published in the context of an article discussing the very real fears that led to self-censorship.

I suggest that, to be absolutely clear that this is not about us wanting to attack Muslims and it really is about our abhorrence of violence, all Marchers should carry a banner with this one of the 12 cartoon and the words "FREE SPEECH FOR MUSLIMS" underneath.

Let us be clear. If we back away from the freedom to show these cartoons, it will be ordinary Muslims who will suffer.

PG

9:56 pm  
Blogger JAM said...

"How about a compromise?

Anyone with a Danish cartoon t-shirt also carries a "Free Abu Hamza" placard?

he was ,after all, imprisoned for what he said , not what he did."

No, he was incarcerated for something he *did* - that being incitement to violence/murder.

The Danish cartoonists are guilty of no such crime, despite what the imams claim. Their cartoons are fair comment IMO.

9:56 pm  
Blogger Jim in Phoenix said...

If this were a march for free expression, the cartoons would be welcome. If the moslems were in favor of free expression they would have no problem with the cartoons.

If the moslems don't want to live in peace among others who believe differently than them, let them go back to whatever middle eastern hellhole they came from.

9:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but look at that man who wrote th book on hitler's war he ended up in JAIL

If that's the sum of your argument well that's easy. THAT HAPPENED IN AUSTRIA YOU FUCKWIT.

I no more agree with laws against holocaust revisionism than I do with laws against insulting religion. That's freedom of speech!

The question here is not 'what about the anti-Semites'. The question is 'why is a free speech march kow-towing to Islamist groups such as the MAC and left wing arseholes? Thus giving the racist BNP the best advertising it could've wished for!

9:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m not totally happy about this, but some of these reactions strike me as being well OTT. For a start nobody has said the cartoons will be banned, in fact they’ll be on show for anyone who wants to see them. It’s not a ban, just a request to act sensibly and try to take account of the views of some of the people who support us. If you really believe in freedom of speech you shouldn’t allow a tactical issue like this to deter you from taking part.

I do wonder about the priorities of some people posting here . Are you marching for the principle of free speech or are you just looking for a chance to say “bollocks to Muslims” and get away with it?

9:58 pm  
Blogger the void said...

"we would all be really speaking german right now wouldn't we?"

taboid right wing cliche of the day 2

10:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally: "bollocks to Muslims" and get away with it?

Only joking, but my main problem is with the rise of political Islam.

10:06 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

balo -> i have an intolerance of intolerant ideologies. that is all.
I have an intolerance of people who wish to inforce their intolerance through laws - the MCB and MAC would dearly love to have satirising and criticising Islam completely banned. That will be the end of free speech in the UK if they accomplish that.

I am too, of no religious persuasion either.

"it is sheer ignorance to think every Muslim is on a mission to impose Sharia law and take us back into the 7th Century"

well, the "representatives" that pop up on the BBC sure as hell give the appearance that they eventually want that. The cartoon war is the first phase of this war. If you dont realise this, then you really need to do some serious reading.
starting with this
and this


"would I wear a t-shirt that insulted black people in Harlem"

dragging out the "racism" card yet again.

Islam is just a religion. A set of ideas.

If i was born into a communist family, I would grow up a communist - would I be pushing for laws that banned giving "offense" to my communist sensibilities?

There are a lot of things that Roman Catholics find "offensive" in modern England - are they pushing for laws to protect their sensibilities?

10:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope if the Void had his way it would be

"we would all be really speaking Russian right now wouldn't we?"

or

"we would all be really speaking Arabic right now wouldn't we?"

My taboid right wing cliche of the day 1 & 2

10:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I completely agree that the march shouldn't be all about the cartoons and be nothing but the cartoons but:

If it really is a march for freedom of expression the cartoons must show up at some point, they shouldn't be confiscated and they should be treated as legitimate to the march.

You risk alienating Muslims supporters if they are surrounded by these cartoons? true! But you risk alienating allot of other people if these cartoons are banned from the march or if people carrying them feel threatened.

Please please think carefully about the official stance on this

10:11 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

"Let us be clear. If we back away from the freedom to show these cartoons, it will be ordinary Muslims who will suffer."

very good point. if anything - it is they that should have the right to take the piss out of their religion, and take control of it back from totalitarian Imams.

10:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can someone please accuse the BNP of being racist again? Because everytime someone does, we get more members.

Cheers.

(Must remember to sign up to the BNP myself sometime. Ho hum)

10:15 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

"Can someone please accuse the BNP of being racist again?"


"They have freedoms, opportunities and resources that we European nationalists can only dream of, yet the USA shares with Ireland alone in the white world the dishonour of not having a proper nationalist political party.

Nick Griffin
Here

I rest my case.

10:23 pm  
Anonymous Will said...

Well after having a look at all this have reached only one conclusion. That Peter has been pressured by the MAC AND Sayyida Rend Shakir, i would assume that they said that if he didnt give in on this that she wouldnt speak at the event, thats the sort of feel i get from both the MAC's websites and from peter's statement on the site here tonight. Have to say if that is the case I will be greatly saddened and depressed that this has happened. Peter has stated, from the outset that this is not a anti muslim march, and I believe that and I think really when it is included in the 'why' post AND in the press release it should be clear to all that that is the case. To suggest that because the danish cartoons may be displayed it makes the whole march anti islamic is simply a nonsence and anyone with brains would realise that. I say let the far right come, let anyone who wants to come come with what they please because this is about freedom of expression and if you exclude groups and peoples that wish to attend then your not letting them have their say, their word.

Oh and one last thing... If the BNP are only right on one thing (and I believe they are)its freedom of expression, freedom of expression to say whatever the hell you please about religion.

10:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why are we going out of our way to protect people's thin-skinned sensitivities above the protection of people's right to have an opinion?

Aren't these the same people who only recently demanded the 'deaths of the infidels' (such as myself)?

How worried were they about alienating anyone?

And as for their demands for 'civility' - anyone remember 7/11, 7/7, Madrid? Anyone? Without terrorists claiming these atrocities in the name of Islam, the cartoons would not exist, as they would make no sense.

When we are called pigs, and our women whores for enjoying their freedom of dress, and homosexuals 'carriers of disease' (Head of the British Muslim Council) - where is their civility?

Islamophobe? Increasingly so.

10:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you say, but...

"How worried were they about alienating anyone?"

Not worried whatsoever, but it did nothing to further their cause either. It was a PR disaster.

10:29 pm  
Blogger Sonic said...

"remember 7/11"

I do every time I need a late night snack...

I think the organisers have made the right decision, the response of some of the extremist commentators here just shows how right they are to distance themselves from them.

If they object to being called racists, as Islam is a religion not a race, then we surely can agree that they are religious bigots, something which, after the UK's experience of Northern Ireland over the last 20 years, we can all agree is unwanted in any area of our public life.

10:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sonic,

From a previous post:

"1) I am 100% motivatd by muslim reaction to the cartoons, and the dangerous rise of politcal Islam.

2) I don't feel threatend by any other religions, in the same way as I do by Islam.

3) I don't intend to display the cartoons, although those that choose to do so should not face intimidation to stop."

What label would you give me?

10:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is now the point of the march? Perhaps we should join the counter-demonstrations in the 30 or so other places all over the UK and let the London Met enjoy a sunny Saturday afternoon in a park?

10:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our host is in a very bad position, if he does not make some statement of this kind the muslims will kill him. If we just ignore him and turn up with the cartoons anyway that will probably be the best way forward.

10:38 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

sonic -> there's a difference between tearing apart a religion's central tenets through logic, rationality and argument and indeed satire versus tarring everyone that adheres to that religion with the same brush.

by your logic, Richard Dawkins is a "bigot".

terms like "racist" and "bigot" are bandied about rather too much nowadays, as a means to stifle argument, discourse and rational debate.

10:39 pm  
Blogger Henrik said...

What - no cartoons? The cartoons have become the problem? I thought this was organized by people with courage to stand up for the right to draw caricatures, critisize terrorists and poke fun at holier-than-thou religions.

Did the muslims threaten violence if any cartoons were visible? Did they declare that carrying the cartoons would make it an anti-islam march?

It's very much like the UK government strongly discouraging publications of the cartoons. As long as people keep banning them, they'll remain 'dangerous'. Anyone with courage to break that ban will make them benign, like they were meant to be in the first place.

When they've been published enough times, someone will eventually stand up and notice that they didn't destroy the planet. And that actually they point out something relevant: That Mohammad was a person of war, and that Islam is being used as justification for terrorism. That's what triggered the most interesting of the cartoons, and until those issues are cleared up, islam deserves cartoons like this.

Banning them caves in to the islamists. Then we'll have to pick up the struggle for free expression yet another day.

10:47 pm  
Anonymous Will said...

"Did the muslims threaten violence if any cartoons were visible? Did they declare that carrying the cartoons would make it an anti-islam march?"

Henrik, Yes, yes they did.

"MAC leaders fear there will be a disturbance of the peace if this does not happen."

I think they also threatened Peter with Sayyida Rend Shakir al-Hadithi being withdraw from the protest as a speaker.

And they have stated that the march is anti-muslim: "the MAC have said from the start that this march is primarily to attack Muslims and Islam and as time goes on more and more evidence comes to light."

both quotes from their website.

It is clear to me that this group has no interest in free speech and peter needs to realise this and take them on instead of trying to work with them.

10:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

said...

"Can someone please accuse the BNP of being racist again?"


"They have freedoms, opportunities and resources that we European nationalists can only dream of, yet the USA shares with Ireland alone in the white world the dishonour of not having a proper nationalist political party.

Nick Griffin
Here

I rest my case.


Wow. Shocking stuff. The veins in your forehead must be popping whenever you visit ligali's or OBV's websites.....

Any talk of counterbalancing areas of society over "represented" by whites and we have legal postitive discrimination to "counterbalance" this hidiously white society and unlected government supported and funded organisations like OBV is born. Yet when BME's are over represented in any section of society, it's not important and any talk yet alone efforts of a counter balance, are rejected as racism.

And you call the BNP racist?

Nope, sorry, you have to learn that the pathetic clip board, tick boxing liberals, who treat whites differently to BMEs are the real racists in this country.

10:56 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

The Problem of Militant Islam In Europe

read it all.

10:57 pm  
Blogger Charles Martel said...

anon -> i dont see the world divided into a "white world" versus a "black world" versus a "yellow world"

if anyone sees the world divided that way, then they are by definition racist.

11:00 pm  

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