Dispatches from the Creation Wars

British Hate Speech Laws Strike Again

Another appalling situation in England, where a 15 year old girl has been arrested for “inciting religious hatred” after she burned a Quran.

A 15-year-old girl has been arrested in the West Midlands on suspicion of inciting religious hatred after allegedly burning an English-language version of the Qur’an – and then posting video footage of the act on Facebook.

The teenager, from Sandwell, in the Birmingham area, was filmed on her school premises burning the book. Police have confirmed the incident was reported to the school and the video has since been removed from the social networking site.

And this is only the most recent example:

The incident comes just two and a half months after six people were arrested after filming themselves dousing a Qur’an with fuel and setting it ablaze behind a pub in Tyneside.

You can certainly charge the girl with a fire code violation, or at least a violation of school rules, for starting a fire on school grounds. But the charge of inciting religious hatred is a very dangerous notion and a serious threat to freedom of speech and freedom of conscience.

Repeat after me: No one has a right not to be offended by the views of others. Period. The fact that person A offends person B, or a billion person Bs, is not a legitimate reason for the government to punish person A. Ever, under any circumstances.