17 January 2008

Is prohibiting extremism really the right way to go?

Today I will be taking a rather more serious note. Terrorism founded from extremist groups is a big, if slightly overplayed, subject in the media.

Everywhere there is condemnation of extremist groups be they Al Qaeda or the BNPs more vicious wings. Now while it is obvious that such groups have anegative effect on society is it really proactive to try and silence these groups?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7193049.stm

It seems Home Secretary Ms Jaqui (you can see why I'm single) Smith has recently been campaining for extremist websites to be shut down, as they could infect unerable people with malicious and dangerous ideas. Now this seems fine in principle, but where exactly do you draw the line? Websites condoning terrorism are already shut down, so she is obviously after something else. Where do you draw the line at extremism and valid causes?

But this alone is not the major reason I wrote this post. By removing the extremists ability to express themselves you are actually exagerating teh problem, by silencing these people you are infact stirring them into a greater frenzy, and in some cases validating their cause.

Recently a member of the BNP was spoke at a conference, the people who attended this were pelted with stone, hit with signs and verbally as well as physically abused. Now while I do not agree with these policies surely it would be better to let the man speak and then either laugh him down or use reason to argue his points.

In the same way instead of validating the Al Qaeda and other terrorist and extremist groups by taking them seriously as a threat, surely it would be better to give them a platfrom for public voice so that these people can see what the majority REALLY think.

It is like the Ireland debacle of over a century. The reasons behind the conflict are mostly superficial, which country owns what, what religion you are and so forth. This argument is carried by a minority nowdays, the majority more concerned with getting on with their lives.

Im sure even Osma bin Laden himself would feel his wrath fade if he was preaching to an audience only to be asked if he wanted a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit, the shouting must be making him hoarse.

4 comments:

Lee said...

Why are you equating the BNP with al-Qaida?

Could you please tell me the last time a member of the British National Party slaughtered 3,000 innocent people in New York, or 200 in Madrid, or 50 in London? Hard as I've tried I haven't seen any BNP supporters beheading members of the Islamic community and posting the video online either.

Oli said...

They are two sides to teh same coin, both have views which are contrary to current PC thinking and have been continually silenced by both government bodies and the general public. My point is more on the fact that maybe these figures should be allowed to speak, rather than silencing them.

FOUR DINNERS said...

We have freedom of speech and must defend it. The BNP's right to preach their views must be defended.

Silencing terrorist propaganda will almost certainly be counter productive.

Besides, as you say, who decides what we can and can't see and hear. The government??? God help us!!!

We may not always like what we hear but that is the price we pay for freedom of speech.

I'll fight for the BNP's right to speak today and a Communists right to speak tomorrow.

It's nowt to do with what they say. Purely their right to say it.

Nice post mate.

Sprite said...

I totally agree. I feel that the government and people have long abandoned their belief in freedom of speech. Pretty sad when you think how hard that freedom was fought for.