Aibu to hate what this man has done but thinking he has a right to freedom of speech

(30 Posts)
Catvsworld Sun 27-Mar-16 16:32:50

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/12205303/I-confronted-a-Muslim-tweet-suspect-says-he-will-sue-Metropolitan-Police-after-race-hate-charges-are-dropped.html

First thing I would like to say I think this man is a dick however as long as he didn't physically harm the lady or make theats then he is allowed to be a dick

We do have the right to offended and people also have the right to be offended but sadly when people say they are not allowed to say what they think anymore sadly I do believe it's becoming true

Free speech is not about hearing what ps trendy , PC , kind or good it's also about hearing what bad , ugly and upsetting

I think the police should not be reacting to Twitter out rage rather complaint for the alleged party's involved and evidence

I also think sezing his passport , searching his home was way over the top when we know in actual crimes crimals don't often face this treatment

I think we really need to decided if we really want freedom of speech

I not against a Twitter back lash people have the right also to respond negatively to what his actions but I think police invloment is to far if we value freedom of speech

I hate what you say but will defend you to the death for your right to say

Catvsworld Sun 27-Mar-16 16:35:19

My mind boggles to think why he felt he needed to stop a random Muslim women and make that comment for all he knows she may not of even know we're Belgium wasconfused

coffeeslave Sun 27-Mar-16 16:44:14

I am all for freedom of speech, but IMHO racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia etc are not sacrosanct. Racism (and all the other bigotries) kill people. That man harassed a woman on the street - if he had harassed her for any other reason (eg to give her sexist abuse) would you say he was entitled to say it for his "freedom of speech"? If a man harassed you on the street, would you say it was his right to do that?

Also, everyone is entitled to an opinion BUT that does not mean their opinion is valid, true or defensible.

notquitehuman Sun 27-Mar-16 16:45:31

YANBU. I'm betting the exchange with this woman didn't even happen. It sounds like a load of bollocks, and I assume nobody has come forward to complain about harassment.

Even if it did happen, it's hardly grounds for prosecution, and it just gives idiots like this man a persecution complex. "Ooh I can't even stand up for myself now. Thought crimes, blah blah." It'll be cited for years by every racist idiot as an example of how the Muslims are stifling free speech. The police were idiots to search his home.

ghostyslovesheep Sun 27-Mar-16 16:48:25

I'm confused as to what you mean by 'freedom of speech' because he HAS had FOS and he's used it - quiet obviously

FOS doesn't mean there are no consequences of what you say - so it's not really a FOS issue

BillSykesDog Sun 27-Mar-16 16:52:09

If the woman concerned had made a complaint arresting him would have been fine. She may well have felt her safety was threatened and it would have been a scary unpleasant experience.

However she hasn't. We don't even know if she really exists. It may well have been bravado made up for Facebook. His arrest has entirely been related to the tweets, and not the supposed incident. So, yes, in relation to those it is a huge over reaction.

It's also telling that tweets justifying attacks in Belgium or praising extremist murderers in Pakistan have not led to similar arrests. Which might make you think that the law isn't being applied equally.

He's not going to be charged now though and is planning to sue.

Catvsworld Sun 27-Mar-16 16:53:16

Being black I have many things shouted at me over the years believe me

I was once shouted at after the riots a few years back
"Look what your mates have done to the town f img bitch"

I presume he was meaning because the boys were mainly black

Tbh at first I didn't even clock on what the hell he was going on about its unpleasant , offensive but that is the nature of free speech it's not just about hearing what make ps us feel warm and fuzzy

And I still feel the police response was over the top

And quit word and some advice would have been in order but people are dicks and I hate this tend of people feeling victimised and not allowed to speak it feeds the far rights Agenda and makes people feel like they are being shut up and it helps no one

BillSykesDog Sun 27-Mar-16 16:54:14

FOS doesn't mean there are no consequences of what you say - so it's not really a FOS issue

Er....yes it does. That's exactly what freedom of speech means.

There are exceptions, for example if you actually directly threaten harm eg 'I am going to stab you'. But otherwise that's exactly what it means.

Catvsworld Sun 27-Mar-16 16:54:30

poster notquitehuman Sun 27-Mar-16 16:45:31
YANBU. I'm betting the exchange with this woman didn't even happen. It sounds like a load of bollocks, and I assume nobody has come forward to complain about harassment.

Even if it did happen, it's hardly grounds for prosecution, and it just gives idiots like this man a persecution complex. "Ooh I can't even stand up for myself now. Thought crimes, blah blah." It'll be cited for years by every racist idiot as an example of how the Muslims are stifling free speech. The police were idiots to search his home.
this

EveryoneElsie Sun 27-Mar-16 16:56:16

When did racism become freedom of speech? He stopped someone on the street and ranted hate speechat her. Thats not freedom of speech, its not even close.

Its a fucking obnoxious thing to do to someone.

ghostyslovesheep Sun 27-Mar-16 16:57:29

well then FOS is a myth isn't it - you may as well campaign for unicorns grin

we have laws in this country about saying things that insight hatred etc - so if you do that you face the consequences

he didn't actually get prosecuted so he's fine really

and I agree - that confrontation never happend

Anniegetyourgun Sun 27-Mar-16 16:59:21

I dunno. If he was unhinged enough to accost random people in the street and demand they explain why someone they've never met, who may or may not be of the same religion, carried out a terrorist act in another country, the police may have felt he was capable of escalating to actual hate crimes. It appears, fortunately, that he was just an idiot, but if he had turned out to have been stockpiling weapons and eventually broke out and started shooting people the police would have to explain why they had ignored his previous behaviour. So they checked him out. Seems fair enough really.

Agree with coffeeslave re freedom of speech. It shouldn't mean the freedom to say whatever you like to whoever you like.

NeedACleverNN Sun 27-Mar-16 17:00:55

What he did was wrong.

Stopping a random woman in the street and basically accusing her for what happened in Brussels.

That is wrong.

However the police were a bit OTT in the way they handled it.

BillSykesDog Sun 27-Mar-16 17:13:14

*Today 16:56 EveryoneElsie

When did racism become freedom of speech? He stopped someone on the street and ranted hate speechat her. Thats not freedom of speech, its not even close.
Its a fucking obnoxious thing to do to someone.*

Racism has always been covered by freedom of speech (we don't even have freedom of speech in this country incidentally). The whole point of freedom of speech is that it doesn't only guarantee that freedom to views which one person or another finds palatable. It applies to all speech even if some people find it objectionable or offensive.

But, to repeat, the incident with the woman (if it happened) wouldn't be covered by any sort of freedom of speech because it crosses the line into personally threatening and harassing an individual. But he was not arrested for that incident.

He was arrested for his tweets. And yes, it is a curtailment of FOS.

incandescentalright Sun 27-Mar-16 17:29:01

But the tweets were pretty offensive - racial slurs and so on. I think that allowing hate speech to go on curtails others' freedom (by creating an intimidating atmosphere) more than it curtails the freedom of racists etc.

thedancingbear Sun 27-Mar-16 17:37:20

What strikes me about this is that (assuming the exchange happened) there is literally nothing that the muslim woman could have said that would have sated him.

'nothing to do with me' - mealy-mouthed reply
'I'm really sorry this has happened' - should be doing more to root out extremism in her local community.
'you're next, infidel'...etc.

At the end of the day, it's harassing someone based on their race/religion. Yes, he's entitled to his free speech (imo). But I'm sick of the insinuation that exercising your right to free speech gets you a free pass to act like a total cunt.

And the stuff he posted later about 'ragheads' is pretty repellent too. In a world where depending on context you can be arrested and charged for using the 'n' and 'p' words (with good reason) - well, I can't see the difference.

nippiesweetie Sun 27-Mar-16 17:50:51

I hope that lots of people exercise their freedom of speech and approach him to demand that he answers for Anders Breveik's massacre. (This seems equivalently random to his actions.)

Dustyantique Sun 27-Mar-16 17:57:55

Mr Doyle, a partner at a south London-based talent and PR agency....

How ironic.

BillSykesDog Sun 27-Mar-16 17:58:41

But the thing is, freedom of speech: in most periods there is some sort of prevelant overarching ideology which believes that it is right. That it's the final word, and completely correct. This could be Nazism, Communism, Islamism or PC leftism. The thing the all have in common is their adherents will believe that they are right, and frequently believe that what society should or shouldn't permit to be said or thought should be tailored around shaping public discourse to only allow their 'correct' view of the world to be reflected.

So people who say 'You can't say that, it offends me'; in Nazi Germany they may have said that to someone suggesting that intermarriage between Jews and Aryans was acceptable; in North Korea to someone who believes that a countries leadership should be democratically elected; in Islamic countries to people who suggest that criticising religion is a good, healthy thing to do.

And the people who would do that would use the same arguments to insist they had the right to do that. 'I am right, the way I think is the correct way to think, to err from that way of thinking should be unacceptable.'

Choosing freedom of speech, but only freedom of speech which involves conforming to the currently prevailing ideology is not freedom of speech at all. It's quite the opposite, it's suppression.

BreakWindandFire Sun 27-Mar-16 19:09:14

There are 2 issues here - one is being a twat on twitter (yeah whatever). The other is boasting publicly about committing a crime.

By his own admission he "confronted" (ie approached with hostility or in a threatening manner) a lone woman with a small child because she was a "towelhead" and demanded that she explain the Brussels attack. And clearly didn't accept her assertions that she was some random Muslim in Croydon, her response being "mealy mouthed" rather than, er, true.

He then gives an interview to the Huffpo arguing he was justified because of her headscarf, because it's an item of clothing which leaves a person open to some abuse.

And let's be honest if he was being 'tough' he'd have confronted a big bearded 6ft Muslim man not a woman with a kid. And if he thought this woman really was something to do with ISIS, he'd have been hiding behind the nearest Croydon tree, not confronting her in the street.

He's just a common or garden street harasser with a big gob, who boasted about committing a public order offence.

BreakWindandFire Sun 27-Mar-16 19:12:50

And of course Free Speech isn't the same as consequence free speech.

Sometimes there are criminal consequences (eg. for threats) or civil consequences (eg. for slander).

And sometimes there's the consequence that while you haven't broken any laws, people think you are a big bully gobshite and decide not to patronise your PR firm.

BreakWindandFire Sun 27-Mar-16 19:17:05

Oh, and I've just looked at his Facebook page. He's started called for a UK Blasphemy Law. So his free speech is OK, but....

BillSykesDog Sun 27-Mar-16 19:31:24

BreakWind how many times does it have to be said he was not arrested for what he said to the woman, she's made no complaint and it's highly improbable the incident ever even happened.

He was arrested for the tweets.

CockacidalManiac Sun 27-Mar-16 19:59:25

I wish he'd hassled some Muslim bloke about it, and then had seven shades of shit kicked out of him. He wouldn't do that though, he's a coward.

BreakWindandFire Sun 27-Mar-16 20:10:23

He was arrested for the tweets.

Yep - a S 19 offence, which the police had to admit was not a crime he could be charged with.

If his story is true, then he's probably guilty of a S5 public order offence, or s.31(1)(b) Crime and Disorder Act offence if you want to go with the religious harassment angle.

But not the offence he was originally arrested and charged with.

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