LA News Release, "Ban on Islam UK: A Defeat for Freedom of Speech" (January 2010)

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Release Date: Monday 12th January 2010
Release Time: Immediate

Contact Details:
Dr Sean Gabb, 07956 472 199, sean@libertarian.co.uk


"BAN ON ISLAM4UK: A DEFEAT FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH," SAYS FREE MARKET AND CIVIL LIBERTIES THINK TANK

The Libertarian Alliance, the radical free market and civil liberties institute, today condemns the banning of the radical group Islam4UK as a violation of the right to freedom of speech. [Under the Terrorism Act 2000, a group can be banned if it "commits or participates in acts of terrorism, prepares for, promotes or encourages terrorism or is otherwise concerned in terrorism". Islam4UK disagrees with the Western occupation of Afghanistan, and has made its opposition plain. The banning order will come into effect on Thursday and wil make it a criminal offence to be a member, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.]

Speaking today in London, Dr Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, comments:

"The rights to freedom of speech and association are fundamental to a free society. So far as these rights are diminished, that society becomes less free. I was born in a country where these rights had been enjoyed for centuries. I have reached middle age in a politically correct police state where the Government is now trying to criminalise dissent.

"We do not agree that British soldiers in Afghanistan are rapists and murderers. We were offended by the decision of Islam4UK to say this in a march. We certainly would not welcome the transformation of this country into an Islamic state, which is desired by Islam4UK. However, the group has not attacked life or property within the United Kingdom, nor has it recommended attacks on the life or property of any identifiable British individual. This makes the group a victim of oppression by the British State.

"Just because we may disagree with or be offended by certain views does not give us the right to suppress those views. We support the right of Islam4UK to oppose the war in Afghanistan and to argue for an Islamic takeover of the United Kingdom. In the same way, we support the right of others to argue that Moslems should have no right to live in the United Kingdom. The Libertarian Alliance believes in equal liberty for all to speak their minds. Free speech that does not include the right to give offence is not free speech. It is the political equivalent of decaffeinated coffee.

"If people are upset by what they read or hear, let them ignore it or argue against it. There is no place in such debates for the Thought Police."

The Libertarian Alliance believes:

* That the Race Relations Act 1976 should be repealed;
* That the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 should be repealed;
* That, pending repeal, the Race Regulations subsequent to these Acts should be withdrawn;
* That those sections of the Public Order Act 1986 dealing with speech and publication should be repealed;
* That those sections of the Criminal Justice Act 1998 dealing with "racial aggravation" of offences should be repealed;
* That the Commission for Racial Equality and all similar organisations should be abolished, and their records burned;
* That the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 should be repealed;
* That all the Terrorist Acts should be repealed;
* That all those convicted of thought crimes under the above laws should be pardoned and, where appropriate, compensated;
* That the Human Rights Act 1998 should be amended to protect the right of people to say anything they like about public issues, and to associate or not associate as they please.

END OF COPY

Note(s) to Editors

Dr Sean Gabb is the Director of the Libertarian Alliance. He is the author of ten novels and ten other books, plus about a million words of journalism. He can be contacted for further comment on 07956 472 199 or by email at sean@libertarian.co.uk

His latest novel, The Break, has been nominated for the 2015 Prometheus Award.

His recent book, Freedom of Speech in England: Its Present State and Likely Prospects, is a defence of freedom of speech without exceptions. 

Or his book, Cultural Revolution, Culture War: How Conservatives Lost England, and How to Get It Back, explains how its current ruling class has turned England into a totalitarian police state, and how this ruling class can be overthrown and utterly destroyed.

Or another of his books, Smoking, Class and the Legitimation of Power, explains how the current "war" on smoking has nothing to do with making individuals healthy, but everything to do with enhancing the power of a totalitarian ruling class, and enriching its relevant client groups.

You can see other books by Sean Gabb here.

Extended Contact Details

The Libertarian Alliance is Britain's most radical free market and civil liberties policy institute. It has published over 800 articles, pamphlets and books in support of freedom and against statism in all its forms. These are freely available at http://www.libertarian.co.uk

Our postal address is

The Libertarian Alliance
Suite 35
2 Lansdowne Row
Mayfair
London
W1J 6HL
Tel: 07956 472 199