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First they came for the Book Burners and I did not speak out - because I was not a Book Burner

BNP election candidate arrested over Qur'an burning | Politics | The Observer
A senior member of the BNP who burned a copy of the Qur'an in his garden has been arrested following an investigation by the Observer.
Superintendent Phil Davies of South Wales police said: "We always adopt an extremely robust approach to allegations of this sort and find this sort of intolerance unacceptable in our society."
Owens was arrested within hours of police receiving the video. A second person, believed to have filmed the Qur'an burning, is also in police custody.

I'm trying to work out what he is in custody for. What offence has he committed, or is being an ignorant bigot in the privacy of your own back garden enough now to cause you to be locked up?

Comments

I can't help but think that the reaction, both from Islamic murderers and from jackbooted authorities is reason enough to do it just to make the point that freedom is about more than just having the right to do things that no one finds offensive.

Truth is, I'm powerfully inclined to do just that.

"I can't help but think that the reaction, both from Islamic murderers and from jackbooted authorities is reason enough to do it just to make the point that freedom is about more than just having the right to do things that no one finds offensive."

True but I do feel that a much less "robust approach" would be taken to islamic idiots burning the Union Flag, poppy wreath etc.

"True but I do feel that a much less "robust approach" would be taken to islamic idiots burning the Union Flag, poppy wreath etc."

Agreed. What's up with that anyway? Allegations of what sort exactly? Arrested on what charge? pausing with intent to loiter?

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."

- Noam Chomsky

What is needed is for someone to burn the Christian bible, film it and report it to the Police. See what happens. Then do exactly the same thing but subsituting the Koran. See what happens. Get as much publicity as possible.

It's very hypocritical and one sided. Kow tow to Muslims and they will like us-NOT !!

"I'm trying to work out what he is in custody for."

I suspect it is illegal to burn anything out of doors, at least without a permit. Police usually ignore some, e.g. BBQ parties, but if a complaint is made (and this guy obviously wanted one) they have to follow through.

In one of the press reports the police claim to have acted under the provisions of the Public Order Act. This will be the 1986 Act as amended by the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006, which inserted a number of new sections into it. These included s.29G, which states inter alia:
'29G Possession of inflammatory material
(1)A person who has in his possession... a recording, its being distributed, shown, played, or included in a programme service, whether by himself or another, is guilty of an offence if he intends religious hatred to be stirred up thereby.'

I presume the rozzers will claim Owens intended the recording of his book burning was intended to stir up religious hatred. In theory, the same could be said of someone burning a bible, though burning a Union Jack or poppy would be straightforward race hate. I'm sure the police take these matters just as seriously. Or possibly not.

As a Canadian, I never used to have much to say about the constitutional traditions of our southern neighbours; I've always been pretty content with the Westminster construct we've inherited from the "Mother Country".

But I gotta tell ya:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

sure trumps the provisions of your Public Order Act:

"29G Possession of inflammatory material
(1)A person who has in his possession... a recording, its being distributed, shown, played, or included in a programme service, whether by himself or another, is guilty of an offence if he intends religious hatred to be stirred up thereby."

JJM - no argument from me, though they don't strictly compare. The US constitution (written by people who, notwithstanding where they were actually born, were basically Englishmen living abroad) is peerless.

It might have been easier for our last government to have passed a law which simply said 'no one shall say or do anything to upset anyone else, unless the person upset is a white, Christian, hetero Brit with a job, because it's open season on them'.

"find this sort of intolerance unacceptable in our society"

This sort of intolerance being the sort that regards burning a book as reasonable grounds for arrest.

I agree entirely, this sort of intolerance should be stamped out. We should just say "it's a book, you tossers, what's the problem? Go away and stop being silly."

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