‘Hate speech’ and language control

More on the free speech.hate speech debate, this time from Karl du Fresne. He despairs that  universities, which are supposed to be bastions of free speech, are taking over from churches in trying to preach what we should not say.

Stuff: Too often so-called hate speech is simply distasteful or offensive

My first concern is that much of what is emotively described as hate speech isn’t hateful at all. Too often it simply means opinions and ideas that some people find distasteful or offensive. But merely being offended is no justification for stifling expressions of opinion in a liberal, open democracy that depends on the contest of ideas.

More worryingly, accusations of “hate speech” can be used to intimidate people into silence and put discussion of certain issues and ideas off-limits. In fact, I believe that’s the over-arching aim.

It is certainly one way of trying to get people and groups of people to shut up. I see this sort of thing more frequently. It is an insidious attack on free speech.

Anyway, who defines hate speech? The term is bandied around as if there’s some agreed definition. But there’s not, and freedom of expression is too precious to leave it to an aggrieved minority or an academic elite to define it and therefore determine what the rest of us may say.

It’s also an infinitely elastic term. In Britain, where police have the power to prosecute for hate speech, there have been some frightening cases of overkill and heavy-handedness.

Laws protecting free speech are good.

Laws giving the police the power to try to decide what speech is not acceptable is dangerous, especially the way media pressure is used these days.

The real issue here is language control – because if you can control the language people are allowed to use in political discourse, you can control the range of ideas people are permitted to articulate and explore.

It’s sometimes worse than that. Some are trying to dictate who can talk about particular topics and who can’t.

Journalists, of all people, should be ardent advocates of free speech because they have the most to fear if it’s abolished. In totalitarian regimes, journalists are often the first people to be imprisoned, as in Turkey, and even risk being murdered, as in Putin’s Russia.

I think generally journalists side with free speech. When media publish opinions that are anti-free speech – there was a ridiculous one from a young journalist or student last week – they are not promoting a clamp down on speech, they are allowing alternate opinions to be heard, which is a good thing.

But the most illiberal pronouncement I have read on the supposed dangers of free speech came from a university vice-chancellor who clearly thought that ordinary New Zealanders can’t be trusted to form their own sensible conclusions about contentious issues.

This pompous academic thought we needed guidance to keep us on the right path. And where from? Why, from universities. We can infer from this that universities see themselves as having taken over the role once filled by churches. God help us all.

I don’t believe in gods. I believe we the people need to stand up and be heard on protecting the right to free speech.

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38 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  July 25, 2018

    I was interested to note watching the video of Lauren Southern in the UK pulling her silly “Allah Is Gay” stunt (she could have come up with something more scripturally accurate than the obvious lie that Allah is Gay to make her point) that the police confiscated all her flyers on the grounds she was “disturbing the peace” – not that it was “hate speech”.

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  July 25, 2018

      Since Britain repealed blasphemy laws in 2008 we should be free to insult and offend any religion. Since Islam is not a race and Muslims comprise almost every race, ethnicity and nationality on the face of this planet, Lauren Southern cannot be accused of racism.

      So what is she being accused of? Take a deep breath and count to ten before you explode. Melanie Phillips prophetic vision of Londonistan has come to pass. Britain has reintroduced blasphemy laws, but they apply only to insulting Islam. Last week, a Pakistani court ruled that all citizens must declare their religion when applying for identity documents. The police asked Miss Southern not just about her religion, but quizzed her about a particular non-existent religious brand of Christianity.

      https://www.julesgomes.com/single-post/Lauren-Southern-and-the-Islamic-Police-State-of-Great-Britain

      Reply
    • NOEL

       /  July 25, 2018

      Good point Geeza. Where’s the hordes blocking the courts and cells because of free speech.

      Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  July 25, 2018

      I think what she did was a deliberate counterpoint to the ubiquitous “God is Gay” and “Jesus is Gay” type posters and T-shirts many people, including gay advocates and activists use.
      These garner no outrage or problem. She was outing the terrible double standards that apply.
      She proved her point very well, don’t you think?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 25, 2018

        No. I don’t think she has at all. Made herself look like a troublemaker. Everybody knows (or assumes from the deluded believers we all know) that, according to the Torah, the Bible & the Quran, the mythical Jaweh aka Allah is a narcissistic psychopathically homicidal patriarchal homophobe.

        However the mythical Jesus the Messiah (denied to be such by both the Jews & the Muslims) did not have a g/f or a Mrs, & hung around with a bunch of mostly single blokes throughout what is reported of his adult life, 3rd or 4th hand, in the Gospels. So contending that he was gay is at least possibly true. Even if its just done to mock & enrage Christians who are homophobic because, in the Bible, Jaweh is.

        She opened herself right up to the allegation she was using hate speech by being stupid.

        Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  July 25, 2018

      She was detained under S7 of the Terrorism act and charged with distribution of racist material. She was subsequently banned from re-entering the UK:
      Southern was informed that her actions “present a threat to the fundamental interests of society” by Border Force.
      That is a big step up from “disturbing the peace”.
      As per above, I’m sure people come and go from the UK wearing Jesus is Gay t-shirts without being detained and refused entry.
      It is very much a Muslim thing and suppression of free speech.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  July 25, 2018

        We are talking about two different things. I am talking about the reason the police cited as justification to take her leaflets & posters off her AT the time she was displaying them. After that they developed a different justification for banning her. See my comment above about the reason she was stupid to say Allah is Gay.

        Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  July 25, 2018

          They cited that it was “Racist material”, which clearly it was not. And it was this that led to being detained and now having a lifetime ban from the UK.

          You may disagree, but there was reason behind what she did:

          “It was for a social experiment video comparing peoples reactions when this statement was applied to different gods. It was inspired by Vice’s infamous ‘was Jesus gay’ article,” claimed Southern to Breitbart News. “Don’t suppose I know how Allah is gay is a racist statement.”

          Southern also claimed she was asked a variety of bizarre questions while detained under the Schedule 7 Terrorism Act of 2000, including how she felt about people running Muslims over, how Christian she was, and how she felt about “right-wing terrorism.”

          The leaflet was hardly inciting hatred or racism:

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  July 25, 2018

            You may disagree, but there was reason behind what she did:

            I am not disagreeing. I am saying her choice of words for her social experiment was stupid. Allah is none of those things. Nor is Allah all of us. So all she was doing was professing her ignorance & provoking trouble with a lie.

            Allah hates Jews. Allah hates Christians. Allah created Gay people. Allah is bullshit. Allah does not Exist. Allah is a Lie. Muhummad was a Liar. Muhummad was a pedophile. Allah is Bullshit. Allah is an asshole.

            Any of these sorts of statement would have been far better, if she wasn’t so stupid.

            As to the reasons used for banning her: accusing her of handing out racist material is palpably absurd – everybody knows she is anti-Islamic & Islam is a vile religion that not enuf people know anything about.

            Southern was informed that her actions “present a threat to the fundamental interests of society” by Border Force.
            Utterly gob-smacking & equally outrageous. Even our own Minister of Immigration, Iain Lees-Galloway, could see that, and courageously refused to be cowed by the Islamic Federation having the fucking cheek to tell him blasphemers should not be permitted to enter New Zealand.

            Because she was stupid Southern has made the point that someone who lies about what Islam represents can get visa banned to the UK for reasons that are patently absurd.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  July 25, 2018

              Immigration law seems to be a mess everywhere. The combination of terrorism, masses fleeing from shithole countries, unwanted cultural practices and resentment of foreign cheap labour has caused it. Consequences are poor systems and poor decisions.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 25, 2018

              I think she was trying to point out the hypocrisy of the Islamic apologists who constantly talk of Islam being an inclusive and loving religion.
              She was also driving home the point to the SJW’s who constantly defend Islam, that the religion they are so defensive about would unravel decades of social progress.
              She got the point across better than she could have ever hoped – being banned from the UK was a pretty bold illustration of how corrupt the country has become and how beholden it is to the immigrants who are taking over.
              The intent was to do the same thing with other religions, which would show, of course, that there is no social unrest caused when you take Islam out of the equation.
              The factual accuracy of the statement is somewhat irrelevant. It is the inability of the religion to accept mild mockery or criticism and the force of the retaliation that was important.

            • Gezza

               /  July 25, 2018

              I’m well aware of what she was trying to do but trying to do it by lying simply shows undecided people that she’s a liar – so the only people she’s really got thru to with this stunt are those that already hate Islam & want to ban Muslim immigration. To achieve the objective she needs to deal in the facts of what Islam teaches.

              The factual accuracy of the statement is somewhat irrelevant

              Turns out it was very relevant. Certainly to the 2nd part of the reason for the ban.

              Have she or anybody else bothered to challenge it in Court?

            • Stupidity is not a crime. Calling publicly for all unbelievers to be beheaded is; yet the British authorities routinely ignore such calls when they emanate from Muslims. It is quite clear that the sole reason for her banning was that the authorities are terrified of upsetting the Muslims.

              Therein lies the eventual destruction of one of the greatest, most liberal civilisations ever to grace the Earth, and Lauren Southern has laid bare the complicity of the current British Government in its destruction. That Government is considerably more stupid than Lauren Southern.

              The supposed sexual proclivities of something called Allah are quite irrelevant in this. Lauren Southern did not lie, she made unprovable assertions; people do that all the time, Muslims particularly. They don’t get banned from Britain for doing so. But people who upset Muslims do. And those who challenge them in court get locked up for ‘hate crime’. QED.

              PS: Coming to a town near you, if the stupidity of brainwashed Goff and his ilk get their way.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 26, 2018

              Thanks Sailor – you rephrased what I was trying to say very well. I’m sure Gezza still disagrees.

            • Gezza

               /  July 26, 2018

              And you’d be wrong again because I don’t disagree. Southern lied about what the religion teaches, when she had no need to. So she won’t have won over anybody that doesn’t already believe – as I do – the whole religion, like the other 2 that preceded it are shit. Just bollocks.

              There’s no question that, as soon as Muslims get to be a sizeable community anywhere, they try to silence by any means ALL criticism of the stupid mainstream beliefs, repressive misogyny & outright punitive & dangerous intolerance of other religions & atheism that this religion teaches.

              However Southern will not convince authorities anywhere in the West that Muslims in the West are problem – a powder keg – as long as stupid, irrational, childlike, ignorant people believe even vaguely in the equally silly creator God of Judaism and Christianity (which Islam copied off & perverts with add-on medieval Arab tribal culture & customs) and argue that Islam is “all about the same God as ours and Muslims even recognise our prophets, & recognise Our Lord, Jesus (FMD!) as a prophet. So it must a good & kind religion at heart”.

              And it fucking isn’t, not when it takes hold in numbers anywhere. –

              And, actually – neither are the other two good religions “at heart”. As intelligent people would know if they just simply read their Bible. And saw how inane they are, how false they are, and how utterly bloodythirsty, dishonest & immoral Jaweh – God The fucking Father is, & always was.

              Even I know enuf about bloody Islam to mount a plausible credible defence of it to people who don’t know a bloody thing about Islam & have never either read the Quran or the Bible. Understanding all these religions for the demonstrably hypocritical & nonsensical rubbish they teach is essential to getting rid of Islam.

              Getting rid of Islam would be nothing BUT beneficial to Muslims & everybody else. It doesn’t even teach them to be good to other Sects of Islam.

              You won’t stop Muslim immigration until people realise where it came from & what it says – and the history of the two religions as well. They’ve all justified war & seizure of land off others.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 26, 2018

              I feel like I need to invite you over for a Sunday pot luck dinner with some friends so that we can discuss your soul and how you can still be saved.
              Repent! Repent! Repent!
              Just find some love in your heart for the magic sky man Gezza. You’ll feel better. Unless you sin…

            • Gezza

               /  July 26, 2018

              If you’re still not convinced that I’m right – write a guest post setting out how we are going to remove the threat of Islam in the West. Not even Trump did it.

              We can discuss it there. Southern is pissing in the wind.

            • @HFD — From what I have read, Gezza is not on the opposing team, just questioning the tactics. I am not a Muslim, so I have no problem with people questioning things; it is precisely what creates civilisation out of primordial slime.

              I am very pleased, in fact, that something has finally happened here in NZ to wake folks up to wondering what Islam is up to. It is always helpful when the enemy fires at you, thus indicating its position. It is important now that the Goffs of NZ are held to account every time they put their brainwashed heads above the parapet, if we are to learn from, and avoid the civilisational disaster that is unfolding up North.

              When I grew up in England the principle underlying Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, where anyone could stand on a soap box and say anything they wanted without being arrested, was absolutely sacrosanct. And if you felt insulted, you just shrugged your shoulders and went to the pub.

              Look at it now. Muslims can not only scream abuse without arrest (rightly so) but are allowed to scream incitement to violence and treason without arrest, which has never been allowed under the Free Speech aegis. Yet the Police spend so much time hunting down anyone who even reads criticism of Islam, never mind voices it, that the murder rate in the Capital now exceeds that of New York!

              No society can withstand a large, aggressive faction being allowed to flout the law with impunity like this, without eventually collapsing into massive Civil Disorder, and I see nothing to stop that happening throughout the whole of Europe, Britain and Scandinavia, in the very near future. The implications are frightening; and the situation has come about entirely because of the ignorant stupidity of people like Goff, kow-towing to the Muslims while oblivious to the hideously dangerous Islam that drives them.

              Pray God that the people of NZ do not go down the same path. Islam should be outlawed as a violent, treasonous cult, and everyone here must be treated equally under the Law. Then we might avoid succumbing to this malevolent pestilence. And Gezza and I and you can continue to voice our opinions without being dragged off to prison at three in the morning, or hacked to death in the street.

            • Gezza

               /  July 26, 2018

              I’m well aware of that, Sailor – although Boko Haram arose in Nigeria out of Muslims being discriminated against by a corrupt Christian majority government & those who agitatec & protested against their deprivation of funding were murdered by (Christian) security forces in the street. Nek minute – Boko Haram.

              To get popular support for declaring Islam a dangerous cult is hugely problematic because so many Muslims in the West are “cultural Muslims” only – they eat all day & then go & join their family & friends & enjoy the end of day feast during Ramadan; they enjoy giving presents to their Muslim nieces & nephews at Eid. They are, at this point, completely harmless, & don’t have a problem co-existing with Christians, Jews, Flying Spaghetti Monsterists, & even atheists.

              Sadiq Khan is a classic example. But there are thousands like him in the West. It’s easy enuf to point to passages in the Quran like “This is no compulsion in religion” & say this is what Muhummad said Allah has said, & that the verses about how evil the Jews are & that Christians & Jews are to be subordinated to Muslims have to read in their historical context.

              That’s what deluded Christians say. The same bloody thing. Oh – ok – Jaweh was a psychopath who did all sorts of hortible things – but hey – MORALITY WAS DIFFERENT THEN – God could be an murderous, lying scumbag back then because he’s God – but he’s fucking different now! Now he’s a nice guy!

              The biggest apologists for Islam in the West are … bloody Christians! Why? Because it’s the SAME DAMN GOD! They know if they declare this religion to be false, dangerous & evil, they’re rooted! People will start to ask these obvious questions.

              There’s nothing different about how Jaweh Allah communicated with Muhummad (to “straighten out the messages that the Jews & Christians had got all wrong, over time”) than the fantasy tales of communication thru individual kings & prophets supposedly then transmitted to warlike land-grabbing ignorant bloody peasants & sheep, goat & camel herders that their own bloody religion is based on.

              All these religions have to be called out for their bullshit. Good luck with that, but I know I do my fucking level best to get people to recognise it, whenever I can – and that often means NOT upsetting some Christians because they spit the bloody dummy at a personal level.

            • @Gezza — I actually think it would be very easy to remove Islam from your society, with minimal death and disturbance, if you have the courage and the ruthlessness. I think you simply ban it on the grounds of being a dangerous cult, with instant deportation or imprisonment for anyone caught practising or preaching it. You demolish all the mosques and deport all the Imams. There is no need to punish ordinary Muslims.

              My readings indicate that the vast majority of Muslims, being essentially brainwashed and terrified into obeying their Imams rather than actually devoted to the cult, would simply carry on with their lives – shopping, cleaning and collecting their welfare – like chickens running round with their heads cut off.

              How many young Muslim girls do you suppose would traipse through the streets wearing bin-bags if there was no threat of being savagely butchered for not doing so? How many Muslim husbands would beat up their wives if they knew that prison awaited them rather than ten minutes probation as “it is part of your culture”?

              These poor creatures are actually greater victims than we are, and the irony is that removing them from the vile clutches of Islam would be doing them and their children a great service. The next generation will stand a good chance of being largely normal.

              Muslims are bullies, so the few troublemakers will keep well below the parapet if they know that a good thumping awaits them, rather than a huge payout for enduring ‘hate crime’.

              But who in the Western world is man enough to do it?

            • Gezza

               /  July 26, 2018

              But who in the Western world is man enough to do it?

              Not one single Christian leader in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Anglican, Prebyterian or you name it sect of Chritianity – for the reasons I have stated – so it’s not going to happen here or in any other country with the possible exceptions of China, Russia, & some Eastern European countries where they might happily murder or ban or repress them as they already do. And even Russia installed a tame Muslim dictator in Chechnya – they didn’t try to wipe Islam out.

              We’ll have the same rate of success in turning people away from Islam as we do turning them away from the silly & arrogant beliefs of Judaism & Christianity.

              Write a guest post, Sailor, this is getting too long & narrow.

          • Gezza

             /  July 25, 2018

            Rephrased for clarity:
            Because she was stupid Southern has made the point that someone who lies about what Islamic scriptures teach can get visa banned to the UK for reasons that are patently absurd.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  July 25, 2018

              @Alan. The problem with Immigration to Western countries is that their multiculturalism ideal encompasses religious culture as well as ethnic cultures.

              Thus people whose religious ideology includes customs beliefs and values that collide with those of liberal secular societies norms, & who, when their imported societies get large enuf, begin to agitate for their backward religious rules and attitudes and beliefs to never be criticised, and/or to be allowed govern their community instead of the mores & laws applicable to everyone else in the host society, you get conflict.

              How you prevent the entry of people who believe they are superior to other religions & races is currently proving impossible – but the Islamic Federation here demanding visas be denied to blasphemers is a very obvious sign of things to come.

            • I see no point in deliberately setting out to be offensive for no other reason than to try to shock and infuriate people.

              Yes, it’s a certain attention-getter, but it makes the attention-seeker look like an immature idiot.

  2. NOEL

     /  July 25, 2018

    “Britain has reintroduced blasphemy laws, but they apply only to insulting Islam.”
    what law is that???

    Reply
  3. sorethumb

     /  July 25, 2018

    What Makes a ‘Self-Hating’ Muslim?

    One of the major tensions for many Muslims living in the West is whether to prioritize one’s religious identity over a national identity. Multiple Pew surveys have shown that a majority of Muslims living in countries like Britain and France state that they value their Islamic identity over their national one. It is strong Islamic teaching that loyalty to the umma, the global Muslim community, must be prioritized above all.

    Repeated studies from think tanks such as the British Policy Exchange and the anti-extremism organization Quilliam have found that latter generations of Muslims growing up in the West are more likely to develop stronger religiosity. They express it through outer markers such as wearing a hijab or sporting a beard. Younger generations who have grown up in the West are also more likely to support the uptake of Sharia law or even express sympathy for Al Qaeda.
    Their upbringing straddled psychologically between the conflicting ancestral cultures of their parents and the individualized, permissive West often leaves a vacuum filled by this form of “Identity Islam.”

    https://quillette.com/2018/07/23/what-makes-a-self-hating-muslim/

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  July 25, 2018

      That’s what you aren’t allowed to say. Multiculturalism has absolutely and unnecessarily F****d Western Countries. The establishment are part of it and cannot be seen for the fools they are.

      Reply
    • “It is strong Islamic teaching that loyalty to the umma, the global Muslim community, must be prioritized above all.”

      Quite. And this is reinforced constantly, 24/7, by ‘prayer’ and brainwashing in the mosques. The notion that Muslims can ever integrate into a non-Muslim society is simply farcical. They even kill their own children if they are perceived to be insufficiently devoted to Islam.

      How anyone can be stupid enough to believe that Muslims could ever live in peace with Infidels is staggeringly beyond belief. Which is why, Mr Goff, they are so determined to ban any speech that might encourage Infidels to question Islam. The effectiveness of its long-established ‘Civilisational Jihad’ depends entirely on the gross ignorance of fools like you.

      Reply
  4. NOEL

     /  July 25, 2018

    “Britain has reintroduced blasphemy laws, but they apply only to insulting Islam.”
    what law is that??

    Waiting waiting

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  July 25, 2018

      The don’t offend the Muslim Law.

      Reply
    • I believe the phrase is “de facto”.

      ‘Hate Speech’, to paraphrase Humpty Dumpty, means anything the cowering, Muslim backside-licking authorities want it to mean. In short – question a Muslim, land up in jail. They will tailor a crime to suit later.

      Coming to a town near you if the likes of Goff have their way.

      Reply
  5. sorethumb

     /  July 25, 2018

    My friend beat around the bush over the issue of the thugs veto. He seemed to be unable to contemplate a solution to the dilemma of when one should have a say. Eg at a Jordan Peterson event. I said at the end of the meeting and that people had paid to here JP not the heckler. It turns out Jordan Peterson is wrong and therefore the public needs to be protected. My friend has a Bsc Hons in Psyc from over 30 years ago.

    He is unemployed: “some of those jobs are shit man!” and “It involved heavy lifting and being outside in cold weather” and “I don’t have to take any job. I’m better qualified that that!?” He’s counting down the days until he qualifies for super.

    Reply
  6. sorethumb

     /  July 25, 2018

    An Italian bishop has said that he would be willing to see an end to Christianity and the dominion of Islam if it meant saving migrants’ lives, Italian media reported Monday.
    https://www.breitbart.com/london/2018/07/24/italian-bishop-i-would-turn-all-churches-into-mosques-to-save-migrants/

    Obviously a deontologist.

    Reply

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