March for Free Expression

The next phase

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Support from Civitas

Dr David Green, the Director of Civitas, has been good enough to sign our petition and has sent us the following message:
We have long been alert to the danger of rulers who want to suppress valid criticism of their actions, but today’s threats to freedom of speech are more subtle. They come from groups who call for preferential treatment because they claim to be victims, and who define legitimate criticisms of group members as acts of oppression. The result has been ‘hate laws’ that put groups of people above criticism and authorise the use of police powers against individuals who have the temerity to voice justified but unwelcome views. It may or may not, for example, be best for children to be raised by a man and a woman rather than two men or two women, but either way it should be possible to debate the issue freely without the police being involved. So too it should be possible to criticise some Islamic doctrines without being accused of Islamophobia. Moreover, we have been here before. As John Locke warned in ‘A letter concerning toleration’ (1685), some groups ‘only ask leave to be tolerated by the magistrate’ until they are strong enough to take power and enforce their will.


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