Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called cover 2, is an oldie, but is given new relevance by the news revealed in the description:
A flashback to 2009 today, in light of recent developments in the UK.
And the link: a new report from the National Secular Society (click screenshot to read):
One in seven local authorities has adopted a definition of ‘Islamophobia’ rejected by the government over free speech concerns, a new Civitas report has revealed.
In 2018, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims defined Islamophobia as “rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”. The definition has now been adopted by all major UK political parties except the Conservatives.
The National Secular Society has opposed the APPG definition from the outset on the grounds that it conflates legitimate criticism of Islamic doctrine with racism, thereby creating a de facto blasphemy code.
The Civitas report, authored by journalist Hardeep Singh, reveals over 15% of local authorities in England have now adopted the APPG definition. It also highlights how NSS lobbying successfully resulted in Lancashire and Aberdeenshire councils voting against the adoption of the definition.
As the Civitas report notes, the UK government has rejected this definition of “Islamophobia” because it violates free speech. And it does, at least if you construe Free Speech in the American First-Amendment way. In fact, even if you define “Islamophobia” as it is often (and improperly) used, as “an unwarranted fear of Islam”, that’s still free speech. (If you have an unreasonable fear of Muslims themselves, it should be “Muslimophobia”.)
But the definition adopted by 1/7th of local authorities is worse, because it can easily be construed as “fear of Muslim doctrine”, which, as the NSS points out, is not “racism”, but a form of anti-theism. Since this flawed definition has “been adopted by all major UK political parties except the Conservatives”, I call on the Labour Party in particular to rescind this definition.
They won’t, of course.