Comment, Comics and the Contrary.
I have written before about the shameful new law prohibiting the ‘glorification of terror’
. As I wrote before; “I cannot think of any wording of a modern, just law which would criminalise the imam who argues that a suicide bomber is a martyr and[, at the same time,] would leave a right-wing newspaper columnist free after he calls for the use of torture or supports the use of extra-judicial death squads. But these laws will not be used to imprison Gary Bushell or Richard Littlejohn, I will promise you.
Today, the Guardian writes; “Claims that the clause will be used to arrest Irish people celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising are alarmist nonsense.
” Perhaps, but such a sop both illustrates the true nature of these laws and is, at the same time, a gross misrepresentation of the argument against these laws. It is not that they will lead to the arrest of someone praising a distant historical event. It is that it will only be used to counter praise of terror resulting from the apparently inscrutable Orient. Western-inflicted terror and its supporters will write their columns evermore, glorifying in human destruction. For this law to work it will necessarily have to be unevenly enforced, on a political basis. That is no basis for just laws.Phil, at Actually Existing
, pointed out just what is included in this Government’s definition of terrorism – the legislative definition – which makes terrorism akin to ‘disorderly political conduct’. In other words, anything from threats to commit disruptive protest and direct action on up. If the anti-terrorism laws were to be applied consistently, they would now be able to net not only those who blockade a company headquarters in protest at its actions, but also those who say that these actions are, in whatever way, good. Of course, we are assured, anti-terrorism laws will not be used in this way, and we are saved from a police state that uses ‘terrorism’ as a means of crushing grass roots political activism. But then we are left with the spectre of the politically motivated enforcement of bad law, and this is unjust.
Where are the ‘free speech fundamentalists’ here? Where are those who circulated racist, hateful cartoons as an act of solidarity with ‘Enlightenment values’, republishing speech which had not, in any way, been censored? Will they now offer their pages and bandwidth to republish, as an act of solidarity, the sort of glorifications of terrorism that will be outlawed by this legislation? Or, will they bollocks?
Update: Phil has pointed out that he quotes the legislation here
. Nevertheless, the post I link to above is also a good one.