Two men in the UK are being prosecuted for distributing leaflets that violate the law forbidding the incitement hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation. (Independent)
The men charged were named last night as Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27. They are accused of handing out a leaflet entitled “The Death Penalty?” in Derby.
The leaflets, which were also pushed through letterboxes, are understood to have called for homosexuals to be executed.
What does this accomplish? Who wins when speech is stifled? Certainly not our community, who now appear to be intolerant of religious view. Certainly not Muslims, who now are cast as murderous. Certainly not people of good will, who now have to take sides and play the which-minority-do-we-support game.
I think it far wiser to allow haters to say outrageous things and then use that as an opportunity for dialogue and interaction. Give Muslim clerics in the UK the opportunity to side with the gay community through public discourse, rather than force them to take a ‘religious freedom’ position that calls for the death penalty.
I know that other cultures have other values, but I am glad that the US values freedom of speech over freedom not to be insulted.