Vivie Charlie 19th issue responds to criticism of Paul Weston, Chairman of Liberty GB, being invited to the Mohammed Cartoon event as a guest speaker. They confirmed they were “happy” for him to speak. This was at odds with the hopes of one of their contributors who hoped they would express their disgust. As I mentioned prior to the 19th issue:
Will Vive Charlie publicly mention how “disgusted” they are at Paul Weston’s presence? Possibly not. Jihadist Joe is not into that “marxist labelling” he told another blogger. Rather, I suspect it will be more on the lines that free speech means that we should listen to everyone and any attempt to close off anyone’s access should be resisted. Also, that hosting in support of free speech is not the same thing as supporting what a guest speaker thinks or has to say. I suspect the language will be a tad more colourful in making these points against the PC brigade.
The problem is the difference between free speech – I have on this blog given everyone a chance to hear what Paul Weston has to say in a youtube video about white genocide and his Andrew Neil interview – and giving a solidarity platform that emboldens the far right. Rather than the right for all to draw what the hell we like and those offended will just have to get over it, this is about ensuring we do not condone a politician that wants to ban all muslims from public office.
In the 19th issue of Vive Charlie, they mention “criticism has steadily increased because Paul Weston is due to speak at the event after being invited to do so by Sharia Watch.” They do not spell out why people are so critical of Paul Weston and Liberty GB – suggesting instead “the desire by some to control who gets to have freedom of speech and who doesn’t.”
The difference of opinion from me is that the far right are pariahs for civil society, just like clerical fascists, and deserve eternal opposition for those that value liberty and freedom – which they both seek to destroy if they obtained power. It makes a mockery of free speech having someone who is so against it speaking, who himself would control who gets to have freedom of speech, by denying public office to muslims.
It is very difficult to stand by someone without also being shoulder to shoulder with them. As the co founder knows having linked to my articles, the problem with Paul Weston talking on free speech is his “white genocide” narrative for the UK saying muslims will kill white people, and banning all muslims from public office. What helps feed such paranoia and totalitarian policy response? That islamic extremists will kill cartoonists. Hence, by giving him a solidarity platform at this event of all things, it is emboldening the far right.
Free speech means we can disagree with one another. My hope is that those willing to participate in the event will at least reflect on what Paul Weston stands for, and then decide the matter for themselves. Vive Charlie does not even hint what these disagreements might be – especially on their being anti free speech. I trust they will use google and see what has been said about Weston and Liberty GB. No cause is so big that you betray the very principles you claim to be upholding at the same time.
“By co-hosting this event we are not supporting, sharing, or legitimising anyone’s views other than those regarding the right to depict Mohammed and oppose blasphemy laws.” Just giving a platform to someone with repellent, obnoxious, racist views which they use to deny free speech.
“It would be hypocritical of us to claim we support freedom of expression and then pull out of the event because we don’t agree how someone has exercised that freedom.” Notice how it suddenly does become about more than the freedom to draw Mohammed? If it is about free expression in general, than the anti-free speech position of Paul Weston becomes a legitimate point to bring up.
Liberty GB is the sort of group that can write about maintaining western liberal democracy and then in the same paragraph “We must stop the building of mosques and remove all Islamic institutions. National culture must come first.”
So much for free speech and freedom of expression for everyone.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog
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