Tuesday, July 17, 2018

If You're Serious About Southern - This Is The Next Logical Step

A bit of an odd thought I had earlier this morning about this Lauren Southern free-speech-or-na controversy.

Now, the reason people are objecting to various efforts to have the ban lifted on Southern & Molyneux utilizing Auckland Council venues for their tour .. is at least partially because of what these figures have said, or are likely to say. And in the case of Southern, that almost certainly entails a repetitive series of rhetorical attacks on "Islam". [I mean seriously, her last book is entitled "Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation"]

I mention this point in particular, because while s61 of the Human Rights Act makes it unlawful to "excite hostility against or bring into contempt" racial/ethnic groups in a variety of contexts ... I am unaware of any parallel and corresponding prohibition on doing likewise against religious groups or adherents on a similar basis.

Except, of course, for s123 of the Crimes Act - which covers "Blasphemous Libel". Although given the complicated and convoluted elements around *that* particular offence [including the requirement for Attorney-General approval for any potential prosecution, as well as the fact that it's been almost a hundred years since that offence was last prosecuted here, and the additional legal question as to whether it applies to anything other than Anglicanism] ... it may actually be even *less* useful in this regard than the notoriously over-extended Human Rights Commission.

Now, one potential solution here would be to bring in something analogous to s295A of the Indian Penal Code - which effectively acts as a blanket prohibition on attempts to "outrage religious feelings" or "insult" a religion or its followers.

However, I suspect that this would be more than a bridge too far for many of the people presently protesting the protest relating to Southern & Molyneux.

And, indeed, seem to directly recall a not insignificant number or spectrum of those against the block on Southern & Molyneux using a Council venue being at least somewhat in favour of the repeal of the aforementioned s123 of our Crimes Act - often on grounds of freedom of speech.

Now to be clear about this - I am *conspicuously not taking a position in favour of allowing Southern & Molyneux* into said Council-owned venue with this post.

Instead, I am simply putting forward two points: first, that if I take at face value the rhetorical stances of a reasonable number of the people *against* Southern & Molyneux being able to speak at the Bruce Mason Centre ... then the obvious 'next step' becomes something akin to the aforementioned criminal offence under Indian law.

And second, that I rather suspect if push were actually to come to shove, a not-insignificant number of the aforementioned group would quite probably balk at the idea of actually putting up a barrier (particularly one which might actually have some 'legislative teeth') to being able to attack - or, if you prefer, "speak out against" - (a) religion(s).

Perhaps I am wrong about this. Maybe I've propounded a false assumption, and most if not all of the people presently being vocal about how causing offence and inciting disharmony in the community *on a racialine basis* ought not come within the ambit of 'protected' speech ... also share similar concerns when it comes to religion and religious adherents.

Particularly when it's in the direction of those of us who're religious minorities here in this country.

But for a number of reasons, I do not think that I am.

Which, of course, raises an interesting follow-up: as if one is not to be allowed to rhetorically attack other people or ethnic/racial groupings on the basis of their ethnic/racial origins ... but *is* to be allowed to rhetorically attack the culturo-religious elements of their personhood regardless:

We have effectively set up a situation wherein no matter the colour of skin or where you come from, you are free to be a relatively liberal white person on the inside without fear of attack or disparagement.

And little-to-nothing else.

Funny thing, there - I'm pretty sure that's an integral part of Lauren Southern's desired vision for Western society.

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