The Ranting Kraut

19.3.2006 – 27.9.2010

More Islamist Cranks

Posted by rantingkraut on July 31, 2006

In London’s Brick Lane there has been another protest against the forthcoming film Brick Lane, after a book by Monica Ali, accompanied by more general demands for censorship:

“There should be a limit to what you can write or say. You can write fiction, but you cannot use names that are reality. The reality is Brick Lane.”

The Pub Phiolosopher has extensive coverage of this and earlier threats of violence which, by the way, are not mentioned in the quoted BBC coverage of the protest.

It might have been understandable had the locals objected to filming in the area on account of any disruption that this would cause to their lives. This does not seem to be the issue however. Rather it looks as if the campaigners successfully imposed their religious values in a public space maintained through public funds.

There is no need for censorship or hate speech legislation though, in fact the solution should be much simpler than that:

If these theocrats want to live in an area where their religious beliefs are respected by everyone on the street they should have the opportunity to do so: they should have the right to buy their own land and build their own roads and houses with their own funds. Once they have done that, let them operate their gated community as a private club.

If it is a condition for membership that male residents look like ZZ-Top guitarists and that women hide their bodies from head to toe, so be it. If they find a way of making a modern standard of living co-exist with a medieval social order –good for them.

Whatever they do let them do it on their own turf among themselves like countless monks and Amish settlers before them. And whatever cult members do on their own premises, let anyone else think and say whatever they please about any religion or belief in a public space.


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