There are many in our movement who think that Islamic extremists like Anjem Choudary should be silenced, to stop him spreading hate.
That's understandable, but it's a tactical mistake.
Because if we give the state licence to silence the likes of Choudary, they'll come for us next.
And we'll have no defence.
George Orwell said:
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people things they do not want to hear.
It follows that if we demand the freedom to criticise, insult, mock or offend, then we must allow the same freedom to others.
Excluding of course, threats or incitements to violence. (We'd happily see Choudary arrested for those.)
The fact is that every time some Islamist fruitloop goes off on a rant, a hundred or a thousand decent people come over to our side.
And we, in turn, exercise the precious freedom that so many of our forebears gave their lives defending.
So we say: let the Islamists rant, because universal free speech is a win-win for us, and true democracy is impossible without it.
Of course, to achieve it we'll first need to make a bonfire of all those stupid, repressive 'hate speech laws'.
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