It’s strange the people and organisations that get criticised in the wake of an atrocity like the Woolwich attack. Frankly, I find the censorial instincts of supposedly intelligent commentators and columnists on Twitter, suggesting that the BBC or ITV were doing something editorially remiss by showing the harrowing pictures of the incident, far more unnerving than those images.
They could do much worse than to remind themselves of the well-documented dangers of prior restraint before tweeting such asinine crap. It is the public’s right to know the truth of incidents that occur in our society and we are privileged to live in a time when the truth of events (in most instances) is more accessible than ever.
The comments following the killing of soldier Lee Rigby from moderate Muslim figures, such as Huffington Post’s Medhi Hassan and commentator Mohammed Ansar, have shown how deeply they cherish the freedoms that make this country what it is.
Conversely, the actions of the English Defence League have shown how utterly they fail to grasp the fundamentality of those liberties. In an uncomfortable synergy of perspective for those wall-eyed cretins, it’s a trait the EDL shares with the perpetrators of this barbaric crime.
There are many frameworks for hatred: from pseudo-intellectual discussions of ‘privilege’, to perversions of religion, to crazed nationalism. Some of these frameworks are easier to undermine and dismantle than others. Extremist interpretations of religion are the most difficult. Their tenants are infallible, immune to rational argument and logic.
We should be under no illusions as to the dangers of extreme Islamism. A day after the Woolwich incident, 19 people died in a suicide bombing in Niger carried out by jihadist group Mujao.
And, yet, the strongest weapon against extremist Islamists is Britain’s ongoing inclusion and support of moderate Muslims. We must show that every day in Britain all races and religions can exist together equally and peacefully. That’s how we win.
There’s no logical no to gay marriage
I’m just going to quote them directly: “A lesbian Queen with a test tube heir”, “a father could marry his son for tax reasons”. A collection of the dribblings from the mouth of Tory grandee Lord Tebbit last week posing as arguments against gay marriage.
It’s fair to say that if this is what they’ve come to, then those against same-sex nuptials have lost the debate.
The gay marriage bill has trundled off to the Lords, where one of the finest collections of old bigots in the country will no doubt do their best to fuck it up.
What the proposed legislation has done almost more effectively than anything else is highlight the insincerity of that most central of Conservative beliefs: the freedom of the individual.
Tories believe in absolute freedom of the individual, unless it’s doing something a bit rum like committing your life to a person you love who happens to be the same gender.
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