When I first read about this on Thursday it left me steaming mad. So much so that I decided to go and steam in the sauna at the local gym and think about it for a few days before posting.
So, it seems that a bunch of lads from Gateshead (not that far from where I was born) decided to burn a Koran in memory of 11th September.
[Who knows how long the overly sensitive types at YouTube will let that last?]
OK, these lads are idiots. They are also apparently racists. But as far as I can tell they’re perfectly within their rights to burn the Koran. It was (it seems anyway) their own book that they had paid for. So no big deal huh?
Except Northumbria police have arrested the six men for ‘Inciting Racial Hatred’. Bollocks! Islam/Muslim is not a race, it is a religion. One is a choice, one is not – I’ll give you three guesses which is which, and the first two don’t count.
In a joint statement, Northumbria Police and Gateshead Council said:
The kind of behaviour displayed in this video is not representative of our community as a whole.
Our community is one of mutual respect and we continue to work together with community leaders, residents and people of all faiths and beliefs to maintain good community relations.
Mutual respect? How about respect for the individual, and their rights to freedom of speech and expression? How about their rights to do what they want with their own possessions – so long as they don’t endanger life and property of others?
I sincerely hope that these men are not convicted of any crimes. If they are then I suspect that there will be civil uprising against such state stupidity.