Monday, February 27, 2006

TREVOR PHILLIPS ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Another voice pipes up to defend freedom of speech. Sir Trevor Phillips:
Muslims in Britain must accept that British values include a commitment to freedom of speech, even if that meant offending people, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality said.

Speaking after the uproar over cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, Sir Trevor Phillips said that the right to offend was an “absolutely precious” part of British identity. He also suggested that Muslims who wanted Sharia should leave the country.

But Sir Trevor said that non-Muslims must also accept the right of imams to denounce homosexuality in a way that many would find offensive. “One point of Britishness is that people can say what they like about the way we should live, however absurd, however unpopular it is,” he told Jonathan Dimbleby on ITV1.

That’s why freedom of expression — including Muslim leaders’ right to say they think homosexuality is harmful — is absolutely precious.
Quite right.

Echoing the sentiments of Australian Treasurer Peter Costello, Phillips added:
“We have one set of laws, and that’s the end of the story. Anybody who lives here has to accept that. If you want to have laws decided in another way, you have to live somewhere else.”
Now just wait for the accusations of Islamophobia and racism to start flying about.

3, 2, 1...

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