Turn again, Dick Warrington

Daniel at Crooked Timber has a thoughtful article on the proposed religious hatred law, even if he comes down against it:

“This is a bad and illiberal Bill, but most of the opposition to it is pretty ill-informed and quite ill-conceived. It’s got nothing to do with giving Abu Hamza the right to censor your every weblog post and everything to do with preserving public order in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, ‘Islamophobia’ is not a fictitious problem in as much as there are quite clearly ‘critiques’ of Islam which are being used as a fig leaf for outright racism and the self-styled defenders of ‘Enlightenment values’ don’t seem to regard this as any problem at all of theirs. In fact, an awful lot of people commenting on this issue don’t appear to be able to keep a decent degree of separation in their own minds between genuine civil liberties issues and just randomly having a go at Muslims for being backward and uncivilised. And if I was a Muslim, I daresay I’d be pretty hacked off at that.”

Crooked Timber, 13 December 2004