March for Free Expression

The next phase

Monday, March 13, 2006

Support From Anti-Islamophobia Site

lgfwatch, a website aimed at countering Islamophobia, has issued a message of support and mailed us to say:
LGFWatchdoesn't like racists, but equally we have no time for those who would curtail freedom of speech. We want more speech - even offensive speech, even speech that is offensive to us - rather than less, because only by freely exchanging ideas and opinions can we live up to the ideal of a peaceful, open, democratic society.

We'll be there on March 25th!


Anonymous Sagunto said...

My first comment would be a cautious one about the label: "islamophobia".

From the psychiatric point of view it's a silly sort of pseudo-scientific DSM-like classification (perhaps on the shortlist for a new anxiety disorder? ;-) ).

But the more serious point would be that the appreciation of "islamophobia" as a label, is heavily dependent on the intentions of the people/org's that use it.
In the Netherlands as well as elsewhere, this label is used in an attempt at silencing individuals who are critical of islam/islamism, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali for instance. It still (via xenophobia) has that connotative flavour of racism and it is used more & more, now that it is obvious that the old accusation doesn't seem to "work" anymore (islam is a religion, or presents itself as such, not a race). Islamophobia is just the sort of term to use in order to fill up the void between racism and xenophobia. There have been examples of attempts by "moderate islamists" (i.e. peaceful jihadists) to link up "islamophobia" with anti-semitism in order to outlaw it.

This is not to say that all people who use the label are islam-o-philes or even islamists, but I think it's important to remember that the good intentions of today's moderates (certainly in the case of outlawing "islamophobia") could easily be hi-jacked by tomorrow's fanatics.
Kind reg's from Amsterdam,

1:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes i agree. Im as nervous about the turn up of this support as Voltaire has been about the BNP. Incidentally i dont see why the latters members arent 'allowed' to turn up to an event if their motives are purely to support free speech. We all come from different policical pursuasions you cant exclude people surely. If this rally turns into a rally against islamophobia then it is equally bad news. The Times ran an undercover piece on student 'islamophobia' groups which turned out to be a recruitment drive for overt fanaticism the likes of which we saw in february and who seek to curtail people like Ayaan Hirshi. This should be purely about free speech and ALL should be welcome provided they support this. Im happy to see moderate muslim support from previously mentioned groups but 'islamophobia' groups, no not really. Far scarier than the BNP.

12:35 pm  
Blogger Voltaire said...

Well, lgfwatch are also unhappy with the word, but it's as close as we are going to get.

It isn't seriously likely that any radical islamists would support us. We are adamantly opposed to any of the restrictions on free expression that they all advocate.

The point, that I make over and over again, about the BNP is that they advocate political violence ("well directed boots and fists").

12:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put that quote into context by repeating it it in full, V.

Why no criticism of the far-left who call for violence,either through their support for revolution or violence against political opponents? I'm thinking of AFA/Red Action, Searchlight, SWP/UAF, et al.

Are they 'banned' as well?

10:24 am  

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