I was deeply shocked at TV news pictures of the “Islamic” protest march in London, in which marchers – including black-veiled women – were openly displaying posters such as ” Behead those who insult Islam”. I immediately phoned the Home Office with a complaint to say, that if anything is openly inciting hatred, unlawful behaviour, violence and murder, it is that. I am a great devotee of free speech and freely expressed political and social opinions, without fear of reprisal or penalty; but even I draw the line at inciting murderous violence.
I called Scotland Yard on Saturday morning to ask if anyone had been charged during this disgraceful incident. I received some curious answers.
“The officer in charge of patrolling the demonstration wouldn’t want to inflame the situation by arresting anyone on the spot.” ” There’s all the difference between arresting someone a week later at 4 o’clock in the morning, and pulling someone straight out of a “live” demonstration.”. ” It takes two officers to arrest someone and take him away. Every time an arrest is made, it decreases the number of officers available to keep control of the march”. Interesting replies. How can you arrest someone a week later, when she is black-veiled from head-to-foot with nothing but her eyes showing?
I would like to suggest a way round the problem, which will control potential trouble-makers while minimising the threat of violence against the police. Re-invent “Checkpoint Charlie”.
Set up one or more ( well manned) security gates or check-points along the marchers’ route, through which all marchers must pass. Any banners inciting violence or murder should be confiscated, and the bearers from the demo and charged. Marchers should also be charged if they are carrying weapons or missiles, and marchers should not be allowed to wear any kind of facial covering which obscures their identity. Don’t fall for any emotional blackmail about women wearing them for “religious” reasons: if they’re going on a protest march, they have to do it with open faces – take it or leave it. Ku Klux Klan tactics are not welcome. ( The queen of Jordan, and millions of other Muslim women, don’t go around black-veiled. It is entirely a matter of personal choice: nobody “needs” to do it.)
I also want to see charges brought against the organisers of the march, for trying to instil a climate of fear into the population of this country. They have vicarious liability for the conduct of the marchers: They should be made to face up to that.
I suppose you could say that this letter was wishful thinking, particularly since nothing has changed. The police in this country are so terrified of anything to do with Muslims that if they disappeared off the planet, you would hardly notice the difference. At least she tried!