No to Naz Shah’s blasphemy law

Jul 7, 2021 by

by Tom Slater, spiked:

Free speech is more important than protecting people from ‘emotional harm’.

Is the Labour Party now pro-blasphemy laws? Recent events suggest that at the very least it is edging towards that position.

Labour’s comments during the Batley Grammar scandal – a religious-studies teacher from the school remains in hiding for the crime of showing a Muhammad cartoon to his students – is one particularly shameful case in point.

Both Tracy Brabin, who was Batley and Spen’s MP at the time Islamist protests outside the school erupted, and newly minted Labour MP Kim Leadbeater, who triumphed at last week’s by-election, took a cowardly, equovical stance on the issue – limply defending the teacher while saying the ‘upset and offence’ at his actions were ‘understandable’.

In so doing, they essentially rubber-stamped the right of those Islamist protesters, who shut down Batley Grammar in March shortly after word of the cartoons lesson got out, to dictate a secular school’s curriculum in line with their hardline religious beliefs.

Now, this week, we have Bradford West MP Naz Shah, laying the intellectual foundations for blasphemy laws in parliament, in a much-shared speech that she gave in the Commons, responding to the government’s draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

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