Friday, March 24, 2006

March For Free Expression on Radio 4

The March for Free Expression was featured on Radio 4's World at One (23 min, 25 secs in) today. The general tone - display the cartoons and you’re an extremist.

Peter Risdon was interviewed first and he pretty much repeated what he’s said on the MfFE blog.

Then the Muslim Action Committee’s Ismaeel-Haneef Hijazi was on and he dismissed the request by the organisers to not show the cartoons at the march as too little too late. He was then asked about the police:

Nick Clarke: Do you think the police should intervene?

Hijazi: I think they should intervene because they’re risking public disturbances. Our organisation has already said we are not against freedom of speech but what we are against is public provocative abuse. They said they are going to enforce anyone bringing racist placards and I think they should do the right thing and do that. There’ll be a counter-demonstration in Birmingham. We’re not going to risk counter-demonstrations in London because we’re not going to be responsible for gathering large numbers of Muslims because if that gets out of hand we’re not going to be held responsible for that.
Who exactly is the one being provocative here? And the cartoons are now officially racist are they?

Chief Superintendent Dave George was next:
Nick Clarke: What will happen if people turn up with banners displaying these cartoons showing the prophet Mohammed?

George: Well, first of all can I just say we’ve got no evidence to suggest that will happen (!!!!) but our policing plan will have a number of provisions to take into consideration anything that happens during the day. Clearly if people are turning up and doing anything that might cause concern, harassment or distress then we have provisions to actually take action about it.

Nick Clarke: Do the police have a view as a result of the rallies that took place a month ago now on whether those images amount to a provocation to public order?
Just to get that straight - Nick Clarke is asking if, as a result of the “Kill Those Who Insult Islam” placards, the cartoons amount to a provocation to public order. Huh? Muslims threaten to murder people and yet those who wish to display some cartoons peacefully as a show of solidarity with Denmark are the ones who are provocative?
Chief Superintendent Dave George: We will deal with anything that arises on any public order event. Clearly we’ll have provision and we’ll have plans to deal with that. It would be wholly inappropriate at this stage to suggest what our course of action would be. I t would be depending on the ambient circumstances for each incident. However you can rest assured that we do have provision to deal with anything that will happen on the day.
He went on say he doesn’t think there’ll be a counter demonstration but there are provisions to deal with that as well (which will probably involve asking the counter-demonstrators exactly what they want the police to do, and then doing it for them).

I’m going to turn up with the cartoons and a "Free Abdul Rahman" picture. If the police order me not to display the cartoons I won’t wait for the rally - I’ll just come straight back home having learned that free expression doesn’t exist in my country because of Islam.

2 Comments:

Blogger jonz said...

"Free Abdul Rahman"

Excellent, I'll think I'll do the same, along with another placard

6:38 pm  
Blogger Clematis Fraud said...

We're up to London too tomorrow afternoon. The other half wants to sneak in some shopping beforehand.

You won't recognise us, obviously. Actually, you might: Mrs Me has a very large nose (yes, she is Jewish - heh heh) and a huge bust. She'll be the one with the flag and I will be the good-looking blonde one next to her.

Laters!

10:22 pm  

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