Shut up for freedom
Videos of the main speeches from last week’s “Freedom of Religion, Conscience, and Thought Rally” are now available on YouTube. To save you the agony of listening to them, here is a summary:
We believe in freedom of religion, conscience, and thought. So SHUT UP ABOUT ISLAM.
The British Muslim Initiative, joint organisers of the rally with Liberty (an organisation which seems to have lost its way somewhere along the line), sum up the event as the first step towards tackling
the problem of Islamaphobia , unanimously condemned last night as the new face of racism in our midst.
This conveniently highlights the central fallacy in the thinking of the BMI – and of every speaker that evening. It is a fallacy of association or, more colourfully, the latest expression of reductio ad Hitlerum.
It goes something like this:
– the BNP and other racists criticise Islam (as an intellectually and legally acceptable expression of their underlying racism)
– therefore if you criticise Islam, you are a racist
It’s a pretty simple mistake. But plenty of people have made it.
(Hat tip Harry’s Place)