Fitna now censored in the UK
Well, it no longer is.
LiveLeak, the British company which boldly went where the American Network Solutions did not dare, has also been threatened into submission. Their Fitna link now leads to the following message:
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill-informed report from certain corners of the British media that could seriously affect the safety of some staff members, LiveLeak has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people from all backgrounds and religions who gave us their support. They realised that LiveLink.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believed in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
Cranmer knows rather a lot about the price that may be paid for speaking out for what one believes, and that price may indeed be very high, but the notion of freedom of expression being censored in a free country by any authority other than Parliament (which may not bind its successors) is repugnant to all freedom-loving and law-abiding democrats.
This film is provocative; it is shocking and even repugnant, and it may even emanate from a desire to cause maximum offence, but it also has an undoubted educational purpose insofar as, for the first time in such an accessible medium, it helps to explain the theological genesis of the jihadi suicide bomber. Of course the qur’anic quotations are devoid of context, and of course millions of Muslims will find the implicit interpretations repugnant, but that was the very purpose of the film.
It may have assisted all peace-loving Muslims the world over if the outrage over this film had been matched and even surpassed by protests and demonstrations against all the featured acts of barbarism committed by jihadists 'for the glory of Allah'. But they have not.
It is not Cranmer’s desire to cause gratuitous offence, but in the United Kingdom in the 21st century His Grace’s ‘bottom line’ must reverberate the length and breadth of the land:
Freedom of speech must be tolerated, and everyone living in the United Kingdom must accept that they may be insulted about their own beliefs, or indeed be offended, and that is something which they must simply endure…
And the principle in enshrined in law. In an important judgement on a case dealing with religious freedom of speech in the High Court on 23rd July 1999, Lord Justice Sedley quoted Socrates and two famous Quakers when he declared: "The irritating, the contentious, the eccentric, the heretical, the unwelcome and provocative have a right to be heard."
Just a decade later, this is no longer the case.
There is one religio-political agenda which has no compatibility with British democracy; indeed, it is in the process of destroying it. It may be observed that one may attack Christianity and offend Christians by blaspheming the name of Christ with impunity; there is no sensitivity to the level of this offence, and therefore no censorship. But any such attack on Islam and its prophet not only meets with the full force of the law, there are draconian levels of pre-emptive censorship just in case the Queen’s Peace is disturbed.
The default 'blasphemy law' in the UK is now Shari’a, and it is under its absolutes that all religio-political discourse must now be conducted. The Qur'an is now treated with greater respect than the Bible; the name of Allah is more fearful than that of Jehovah; and the life and teachings of Mohammed are more sacred than those of Jesus.
Cranmer presumes the Archbishop of Canterbury is content with the incorporation of this aspect of Shari’a into UK law, albeit by the back door.