Incitement and Religion

[Fourth in a series of 4 posts about “Freedom of Speech”]

[Trigger warning – this post contains a few modest proposals and references to terrible religious incitements (don’t blame me I didn’t write them), those of a sensitive disposition are advised NOT to read this post.]

In this post I am going to take a look at the 3 Abrahamic religions to decide whether any of their religious texts should be considered as direct and credible incitements to violence according to the framework that I set out in the previous post. In so many debates that I have listened to about whether these religions encourage violence, historical acts carried out supposedly in the name of each religion have been used as “arguments”. I regard these “arguments” as non-arguments because often the historical acts were carried out in opposition to the actual religious teachings, and so instead I am here going to focus purely on the religious texts.

The only “history” that is relevant in this discussion is the story of the actions of the main characters in the religions, as told by the religious texts. The actual historical truth of the religious texts is also not relevant, because it is the religious texts that form the basis of the religions, not what may or may not have actually happened. The truth about the events described in the religious texts is at best either historically disputed or unverifiable in any case.

ISLAM

Note – when I refer to apologists here I am referring to all those who try to excuse the incitements in the Islamic texts, both Muslims and non-Muslims.

AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE?

One of the central ideas in the Islamic religion is that the life of the man that Muslims regard as the last prophet was an excellent example for Muslims to follow. This is stated for example in this Koranic verse:

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YUSUFALI: Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

SHAKIR: Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.

Apologists have claimed that this pattern of conduct does not include the violent deeds of Mohammed. However there is nothing in this verse to suggest that those violent deeds should be excluded. This claim becomes particularly ridiculous when you look at the immediately preceeding and following verses which are clearly referring to a warlike campaign that Mohammed was involved in at the time. Consider this following verse particularly, which is almost certainly supposed to be Allah’s blessing for the Banu Qurayza massacre or at least a very similar event, where Mohammed’s forces executed hundreds of defenceless prisoners and enslaved their women and children:

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YUSUFALI: And those of the People of the Book who aided them – Allah did take them down from their strongholds and cast terror into their hearts. (So that) some ye slew, and some ye made prisoners.

SHAKIR: And He drove down those of the followers of the Book who backed them from their fortresses and He cast awe into their hearts; some you killed and you took captive another part.

In the modern world such an action would be considered a war crime – the execution of defenceless prisoners who had surrendered without a fight at the end of a siege. This is the sort of thing the Nazis used to get up to in occupied Europe in WWII. The apologist defence of this massacre is that the people of this settlement had helped Mohammed’s enemies in violation of an agreement that they had with Mohammed. Even if this was really the case however, it could scarcely excuse the execution of all the men of the settlement, including adolescent boys, and not just the leaders of the settlement. As for the enslavement of the women and children then again this is a criminal act in the modern Western world, by the example of his conduct the Islamic texts incite Muslims to enslave civilians captured in war, another direct and credible incitement which encourages slavery (including sexual slavery, some of the captives were taken as wives).  While the above verse refers to the taking of “prisoners” rather than slaves, later in this section slavery is justified explicitly:

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YUSUFALI: O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

SHAKIR: O Prophet! surely We have made lawful to you your wives whom you have given their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses out of those whom Allah has given to you as prisoners of war, and the daughters of your paternal uncles and the daughters of your paternal aunts, and the daughters of your maternal uncles and the daughters of your maternal aunts who fled with you; and a believing woman if she gave herself to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to marry her– specially for you, not for the (rest of) believers; We know what We have ordained for them concerning their wives and those whom their right hands possess in order that no blame may attach to you; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

Note also the reference to terror in the 33:26 verse – “cast terror into their hearts”, which flies in the face of those who claim terrorist acts have nothing to do with Islam. There are other references to terror in the Koran as well, for example:

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YUSUFALI: Remember thy Lord inspired the angels (with the message): “I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them.”

SHAKIR: When your Lord revealed to the angels: I am with you, therefore make firm those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.

You see – “strike off every fingertip”, its not really very nice is it?

The second half of Mohammed’s career, known as the Medina period, was essentially a campaign of war to establish Mohammed’s rule and consequently to establish the Islamic religion. Apologists have tried to claim that this war was purely defensive, but this is also an utterly ridiculous claim in light of the fact that Mohammed went from having just a small band of followers to ruling the entire Arabian peninsula by the end of his life. Clearly it was an expansionist campaign designed to establish Mohammed’s rule.

There are numerous incitements to violence in the Koran, supposedly Allah’s encouragements to Mohammed to wage war against the unbelievers, for example:

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YUSUFALI: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

SHAKIR: Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.

Although these incitements are quite enough evidence on their own, readers unfamiliar with the Islamic texts should understand there are many more in the Koran and Hadiths, as well documented here:

http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx

In summary then the Islamic religion incites its followers to wage war against the non-Islamic people of the world until they submit to Islam, because Mohammed did the same, according to the instructions he claimed to have received from Allah which are recorded in the Koran, and Muslims are supposed to follow the example of Mohammed’s conduct. This is not only a direct and credible incitement to violent propagation of the Islamic religion, it is also an incitement that has been heeded through the ages, and continues to be heeded in the present day. We should be glad that most Muslims do not act on these incitements most of the time, but we cannot escape from the fact that the Islamic religion incites violence against the unbelievers, and that it does so in a direct and credible manner. I therefore rule that the preaching of the Islamic religion, and construction of mosques should both be illegal under my legal framework.

It appears that the Reverend Gavin Ashenden, a chaplain to the Queen, agrees with me that Islam incites violence:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/islam-invites-people-to-violence-queens-chaplain-reverend-gavin-ashenden-claims-10104445.html

Note particularly:

Reverend Ashenden said in response: “If they are offended by my quoting the Koran they are not offended by me, they are offended by the Koran.”

This is a good way to answer those who try to suggest that telling the truth about Islam somehow “radicalizes” vulnerable people. No, its the Islamic religion that radicalizes people. It appears that a former “Islamist” also agrees that Islam incites violent conflict with the unbelievers. The fact that he now claims to interpret the texts in another way does not alter the fact that the texts clearly CAN be interpreted in this way, and that he DID once interpret them in that way.  Quote:

“In the Koran and the Hadith (the compiled sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), I found an abundance of verses that I believed justified heinous violence in support of the establishment of an Islamic state for the whole world.”

The full article is here:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/i-believed-al-qaeda-when-they-said-911-was-justified-15-years-on/

The fact that many Muslims somehow manage to interpret their Islamic texts differently does not alter the fact that those texts contain direct and credible incitements to violence that can be interpreted as such.

CURRENT LEGAL SITUATION

It is my belief that the preaching of the Islamic religion is currently in violation of UK law against incitement to violence. The failure of the UK law enforcement authorities to prosecute those who preach the faith should be a matter of the gravest concern to all UK citizens. This failure is in fact an act of appeasement of the religion. This failure is an act of cowardice by the UK authorities.

I do not believe that the preaching of the Islamic religion is currently in violation of US law because of the requirement established in Brandenburg v. Ohio for the incitement to be likely to lead to imminent unlawful action.

I humbly suggest to the people of the USA your current law is misguided. The failure to use the law to act against the Islamic religion is simply inviting more bloodshed for example in the Orlando gay nightclub massacre and Fort Hood massacre and San Bernandino massacre.

The danger of escalation of conflict can most probably be seen in the arson attack that occurred against the local mosque in the Orlando case. Armed militias are also now staging protests against mosques in the US. Surely it would be better for the law to intervene and close down all the mosques before any more incitements to violence can be made within them.

A PROPOSAL TO “BAN” ISLAM

Obviously it would be impossible to ban religious thought. We can scarcely start arresting every person who declares themselves to be a Muslim either, this would be impractical.

What we could do however:

  • Make it illegal (at least publicly) to preach the Koran as the word of a supreme being, on incitement grounds. I don’t think the Koran should be banned as a book however, because for one thing people need to be able to see for themselves WHY such a “ban” on the religion became necessary. It would also be practically almost impossible to achieve and in any case the Koran is widely published on the internet. Also, it is not the Koran that directly incites violence on its own, but rather the preaching of the Koran as the unquestionable word of Allah.
  • Withdraw planning permission for mosques and force existing mosque closures. Mosques that clearly bear the hallmarks of mosques – domes and minarets could be closed and either modified for other uses or demolished.
  • Make it illegal to wear face veils. I personally think bans on hijabs and the other headgear and burkinis would be impractical to enforce. For one thing women in Europe used to wear headscarves of a non-religious kind not so very long ago, and some even still do.
  • All legislation for example on employers and schools should be removed to allow employers to discriminate against hijab etc. wearing candidates if they wish to.  A recent decision by some UK police forces to allow the hijab as part of police uniforms is of course entirely ridiculous and should be stopped.
  • Allow employers to sack any worker for taking time out of the working day for prayer.
  • Make Ramadan fasting illegal in cases where it potentially could endanger public safety.

The sheer number of Muslims already in the West means that this is going to be a very difficult and controversial position to adopt, but its better to have this conversation now than 10-20 years from now.

An exception could be made for example for the Ahmadi religion possibly as that religion does not incite violence. It would have to be established that the Ahmadi religion did not incite other crimes, from my current knowledge I don’t believe it does however. The “most perfect life” verse would have to be clarified.  I think on the whole the message of the Mahdi probably abrogates the violent verses in the Koran, but I’m not an expert on that.

Such an exception could equally be applied to any other sect where it can be shown that religious texts override the incitements to violence in the Koran. I don’t like these other “versions” of Islam but as long as something is harmless then of course we should tolerate it. Remember, we are trying to construct a watertight legal framework here.

There are growing numbers of voices across the “West” calling for such a ban:

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/08/27/geert-wilders-close-mosques-netherlands/

German far-right AfD calls for mosque ban

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/18/germanys-far-right-afd-party-attempts-to-block-construction-of-m/

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/09/14/watch-australian-senator-calls-ban-muslim-immigration-mosques-burkas/

CHRISTIANITY

There can be no doubt that the Christian bible contains incitements to violence. For example, in Leviticus 20:10 it says:

If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

However in the New Testament, Jesus appears to implicitly contradict this ruling:

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I think this demonstrates that the old testament is over-ruled by Jesus’s moral teachings, and since Jesus is the central figure in the Christian religion, I would say his teachings take precedence.

The only doubtful statement in the new testament is (Matthew 10:34):

“I came not to bring peace, but to bring a sword”

This statement seems not only ambiguous but also at odds with everything Jesus says elsewhere, for example (Matthew 26:52):

“But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword”.

(Jesus said this after Peter had struck one of the soldiers who were attempting to arrest Jesus. Jesus subsequently healed the soldier’s wound).

I therefore rule that the former statement in Matthew 10:34 does not constitute a credible incitement, it isn’t even direct but rather ambiguous.

In conclusion then, none of Jesus’s teachings meet the credibility test of inciting violence, and Jesus’s teachings can be regarded as over-ruling the Old Testament and so I would rule that Christianity does not overall constitute a direct and credible incitement to violence. The terrible events described in the book of revelations should be regarded I believe as God punishing the human race, not as any sort of incitement. I will deal with the old testament accounts of extreme violence in the next section on Judaism, as the old testament and Judaism are based on the same stories.

JUDAISM

The Judaic religion is possibly much more problematic than Christianity, because it does not include the later moral teachings of Jesus against violence. I don’t have the knowledge of this religion to really be sure that Judaism does not constitute a direct and credible incitement. The fact that Jewish people have not for example been stoning people to death for adultery and other sins for over a thousand years (as far as I know) should be taken into account however.

Capital punishments generally could also be seen as only being applicable under the law of the land, rather than incitements to violence between citizens. Therefore, as long as the law of the land that is either secular or otherwise overrules whatever religions advocate, then any incitements to capital punishment in the religions can be ruled not credible.

The Old Testament accounts of violence, terrible though they are (including genocide), could be regarded as mere historical accounts of what took place, or at the most indirect incitement, rather than direct incitement. As far as I can determine there is no instruction to followers of the religion to repeat these acts.

Some claims have been made that the old testament was taken as justification of the treatment of indigenous peoples during the colonial era, but since these are at worst indirect incitements, they would not constitute a reason to make the religion illegal according to my framework.

SUMMARY

In the first post in this series I called for an amendment to the First Amendment to remove all mention of religions. This clears the way for a rational evaluation of whether any particular religion incites violence. In the preceeding post I created a legal framework for types of incitement that should be deemed illegal and types that should not. Clearly there is much that is problematic in all 3 Abrahamic religions, particularly Islam and Judaism, however I am inclined to rule that Islam uniquely incites violence in a direct and credible manner and that therefore Islam should solely be considered in violation of this legal framework. Furthermore, there have now been a long succession of extremely violent terrorist attacks in Europe where the Islamic religion was known to be a major motivating factor. Such events should pragmatically carry weight in deciding that its time to ban a particular religion.

If European countries that have laws against incitement fail to ban the Islamic religion, then they are violating that most important principle of just societies, namely equality before the law.
ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunnah

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banu_Qurayza

http://www.meforum.org/2159/are-judaism-and-christianity-as-violent-as-islam

Bible and Qur’an: equally violent?

http://archive.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2009/03/08/dark_passages/?page=full

Violence in the Bible—How Should We Respond?

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The Principle of the Thing – Equality Before The Law

There was a phrase you used to hear all the time in the UK. When faced with a choice between an expedient decision and an ethical one, a person would often say “no, I’m not going to do that (the expedient thing), because of the principle of the thing.”. I don’t often (or hardly ever in fact) hear anybody saying this nowadays. Have we lost sight of our former principles in the “West”?

In this post I’m going to focus on one particular principle which to my mind is of fundamental importance in a fair society, namely equality before the law, and look at the many ways this principle can and is being abused. In doing so hopefully I will also show/remind people of how principles in general are important as many seem to have forgotten about that.

DEFINITION

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:

All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.

ESSENTIAL FOR A HARMONIOUS SOCIETY

Of course the principle of equality before the law was always more of an ideal than a reality. For example, richer people are usually going to be able to afford better defense lawyers when they are accused of a crime. However just because the principle is difficult to apply absolutely in PRACTICE does not mean that we should not always be striving towards the IDEAL. Its important that the government is always seen to be at least TRYING to enforce the law fairly and consistently, this will reduce the risk of unrest and result in a more harmonious society.

VAGUE AND SUBJECTIVE LAWS

Laws that can only be judged subjectively endanger equality before the law because it is unlikely that different judges would view the same case in the same way. Any law where the crime cannot be clearly defined should therefore be amended or repealed. For example the Communications Act 2003 declares that it is illegal to send a “grossly offensive” communication on the internet. What is “grossly offensive” and what is merely “offensive” is not a distinction that can be judged objectively.

TOO MANY LAWS

There are now so many laws in the UK that it is impossible for our police to even ATTEMPT to investigate all “crimes” that are committed.Instead of abandoning/repealing some of the less serious laws, our politicians leave these laws in place. In this article we see just how ridiculous some of these laws can be:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1568475/Ten-stupidest-laws-are-named.html

On a more serious note, having too many laws provides a temptation to the authorities to arrest people for crimes they wouldn’t normally pursue, when they have a particular motivation for doing that. Such arrests cause a sense of injustice, especially when rich/powerful/influential people are not arrested when they commit the same crimes.

TOO MANY “CRIMINALS” – POLICING SOCIAL MEDIA

Sheer numbers of social media communications mean that it is simply IMPOSSIBLE to police social media consistently without creating a huge police state apparatus. Coupled with the fact that the vague Communications Act 2003 criminalizes merely “grossly offensive” communications, the volume of “crimes” being committed is simply too large to police consistently. If a few people are prosecuted at random and others are not for the same crime, despite the fact that both cases could easily be investigated, then the law is being applied unfairly.

An example of this sort of selective policing can be seen in the recent case of Stephen Bennett. Breitbart recently uncovered numerous tweets that either incited or threatened physical violence against Nigel Farage. None of these tweets are prosecuted, yet Stephen Bennett is prosecuted and convicted despite the fact that he did neither incite nor threaten physical violence against anyone (as far as we can tell from what we have been allowed to know). We could be forgiven for thinking that our police force is behaving in a politically motivated fashion. I do think that.

NOT ENOUGH POLICE

Some crimes should always be investigated, for example when large sums of money are involved, but this article suggests that police don’t always have the resources to do this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/one-in-three-cases-of-solicitor-fraud-not-even-looked-at-police/

Lack of police resources to prosecute serious crimes leads to injustice for some of the victims of crimes, as discussed in the above article.  Resources should be diverted from the policing of trivial laws to more serious cases such as these.

ARE CHRISTIANS DISPROPORTIONATELY PROSECUTED FOR “HATE CRIME”?

This article cites examples where the authors believe this is the case:

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/christians-unfairly-targeted-for-hate-crime-prosecutions/

Note particularly the case mentioned where Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were prosecuted under the public order act (with the charge that the crime was aggravated by religious hatred, thereby potentially carrying a higher sentence). More details on that case here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/merseyside/8404212.stm

It seems the prosecution’s “evidence” was flimsy in the extreme yet the CPS still deemed the case worthy of prosecution. The case was dismissed but the couple have claimed their hotel business takings were down 80% as a result of the case. In cases like this the prosecution functions as the punishment.

ARE MUSLIMS GIVEN UNDUE LENIENCY BY THE LAW?

If it seems that one group in society are getting preferential treatment then discontent will grow. I see daily there is a growing perception that Muslims are allowed to get away with all kinds of things that others are not. “They wouldn’t have arrested X for THAT if X were a Muslim” and that sort of sentiment is heard frequently nowadays. It is possible that, due to the reserved culture of the British, that this is partly because British people are simply not complaining loudly enough when crimes are committed against them.  British people also are more likely to perceive trivial comments posted on social media for example as a matter not worthy of reporting to the police.

However it is also possible that a culture of “political correctness” is inhibiting the police from prosecuting crimes committed by ethnic minorities in general as well, because the police are afraid of appearing to be “racist”. This accusation has been heard frequently in the wake of revelations about grooming gangs in Rotherham and many other places in the UK. This is leading to a growing sense of injustice among non-Muslims.

Another example of the reluctance of the police to prosecute Muslims could be seen in this story where leaflets inciting murder of Ahmadi Muslims were found. The authors were Sunni Muslims, and some of the leaflets were found in mosques in London as well as many other places. The ibtimes reported that the police refused to do anything about these leaflets, despite the fact that an Ahmadi Muslim called Mr. Asad Shah had been murdered in Glasgow by a Sunni Muslim quite recently. This tragic event should be seen as a proof that the incitements were credibly serious enough to warrant prosecution of the leaflet distributors. Contrast the lack of prosecution here with the over-the-top prosecution of Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang mentioned above.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/hate-leaflets-calling-killing-ahmadi-muslims-distributed-across-london-1553591

More examples can be seen revealed by the “Undercover Mosque” TV documentary.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Undercover_Mosque

During a demonstration the Britain First group were surrounded by hostile protestors who threw things and behaved in a threatening manner.  This situation looks extremely menacing for the Britain First members. The police have not as far as I know ever arrested anyone in connection with this incident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-Ky8QjTMOo

At a similar incident there was clearly an assault with video evidence:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/video-shows-britain-first-protestors-clashing-with-muslim-worshippers-outside-east-london-mosque-a6978646.html

Note – don’t be taken in by the Independent’s headline, watch the video and decide for yourself who is being attacked violently.

Perhaps the authorities believe that these anti-protests are useful in suppressing the Britain First group? If so they are sadly deluded, because failure to prosecute such incidents leads to a growing feeling of injustice among those who share the views of such a group. The law must be seen to be being applied fairly and consistently to all. Failure to prosecute those who attack them also gives the oxygen of publicity to the group. If you oppose the group, then you should ask the police to prosecute those who attack them in order to starve the group of this oxygen of publicity.

ARE CRITICS OF ISLAM BEING PERSECUTED FOR THEIR BELIEFS?

The authorities also seem to be interfering with the Britain First group’s right to peaceful protest:

Britain First Luton High Court Drama

Whatever anyone thinks about this group one has to remember that if the law can be misused, then it can also be misused against THEM.

Note – I am aware of the numerous unjust uses of the law against Tommy Robinson, but I plan to write about these in a dedicated post.

WHITE COLLAR CRIME PROSECUTED LESS THAN ORDINARY THEFT

In the wake of the banking crisis that occurred towards the end of the New Labour period, there was a widespread perception that bankers had been getting away with all sorts of financial misdemeanors while ordinary people would be arrested for crimes involving much smaller amounts of money. The collapse of the Lehman brothers revealed perhaps only the tip of the iceberg of such crime. This sort of class inequality in the application of the law endangers democracy and encourages disharmony.

UNDUE COMPLEXITY IN TAXATION LAWS

There have been claims that the UK tax office has a “special relationship” with big business which enables those big businesses to somehow pay less tax. However in this paper it is claimed rather that there is too much complexity in taxation and that this leads to unfairness.

TAX ADMINISTRATION AND THE RULE OF LAW

Of course big businesses can afford the tax accountants to cope with such complexity, whereas smaller businesses will be unfairly hampered by such complexity, reducing their competitiveness.

SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT FOR POLITICAL ENDS

A case of such alleged enforcement in the US:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2015/10/23/no-criminal-charges-for-lois-lerner-or-her-emailing-dog-what-irs-targeting/#2a4d3a207993

BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

In our multi-racial Western societies we have seen the rise of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement recently. This movement claims that “black” people are unfairly treated in comparison to “white” people. This movement has started riots and created widespread disorder, and people have died (including 5 policemen in a shooting spree in Dallas). These events show us the importance of equality before the law, when it is not maintained (or at least PERCEIVED to be being maintained) then serious breakdowns in social cohesion can occur.

Many commentators have questioned that the data really backs up the BLM movement’s claims, citing for example higher crime rates among “black” people – more crime leads to more arrests and confrontations with the law. This illustrates an important point – that it is not just important that the law is applied fairly, but also that when questioning the legal system we should do so objectively and fairly. The media and politicians who have allowed myths to go unchallenged are perhaps the ones really most at fault in this tragic story. Are lives being lost for no reason here?

SUMMARY

We have forgotten our principles, complacency has set in. Everyone should remember that injustices that happen to someone else today could happen to them tomorrow. If we allow our governments to get away with one injustice, they will be emboldened and think they can get away with other injustices in the future. We should see injustices against any citizen as injustices against all citizens, whoever they are, whatever they believe, and however different their beliefs may be from our own.

It is tempting to see the state as too powerful for mere individuals to challenge. However fear is contagious and the more we are reluctant to challenge authority the more authority will be empowered by our inaction. Start a blog, write about cases that concern you, write to your MP, join a march.

ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/when-laws-become-too-complex/when-laws-become-too-complex

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equality_before_the_law

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_enforcement

Universal Suffrage – Alternatives

Part two of a two part series questioning universal suffrage.

First part: Universal Suffrage Was A Mistake

The rights of prisoners to vote has become something of a first battleground over suffrage in recent years. Of course the left tend to be more lenient towards prisoners, so they are more likely to vote left. There is no doubt at all in my mind that people who have been convicted of crimes, and are now having to be housed at huge cost to the taxpayer, should NOT have the right to vote.

Beyond that I have found the question of exactly who should have the right to vote quite a difficult one. Of course the concept of universal suffrage is a very simple one, one person one vote, any alternatives are likely to be more complicated. However I think there is a very good argument to be made that anybody that is not working and is dependent on the state financially should not have the right to vote. Thus those on any kind of welfare benefits but also those on state pensions and students in receipt of grants as well would also lose the vote.

Some people would go further and say only taxpayers should have the right to vote. Why should those who are not paying any tax have a say in how that tax is spent? A problem with limiting the vote to only taxpayers is that governments don’t just spend taxes, they also pass laws. Everyone is affected by the law, regardless of whether they pay tax, it might lead to unjust laws. Such a restriction would mean housewives without their own income would lose the vote. Such a restriction would also exclude pensioners who had worked hard throughout their lives, and responsibly saved to provide for themselves in their retirement. These people are often the wisest members of society, their wisdom earned from a lifetime of experience. For these reasons I don’t think that the right to vote should be limited only to taxpayers.

Some people would go further still and say only taxpayers should have the vote AND they should get a proportion of the vote in line with the AMOUNT of tax they pay. Why should someone who pays only £1 tax have the same voting rights as someone who pays £1 million? However, in addition to the objections I raised in the last paragraph to the general idea of taxpayer only voting rights, there is also the problem that rich people are not necessarily the wisest. George Soros is a very rich man, as are Leonardo di Caprio and Paris Hilton. I think that giving the rich a disproportionately high share of the vote would be likely to narrow the electorate too much.

Some people would say that public sector workers should also be excluded. This is a tempting proposition, because public sector workers often vote left, generally they are more in favour of state power. They are likely to vote for a government that will give them more pay and shorter working hours. However for similar reasons to the above I think this would be a step too far, it would narrow the electorate too much.  Public sector workers such as the police, fire service, armed forces also risk their lives for the public good, it would hardly be right to exclude them.

An objection to all these restrictions on universal suffrage might be that in time of war, every able bodied man of a certain age, would be required to fight in defence of his country. No doubt the sacrifices of so many men in World War I was a contributory factor in the granting of universal suffrage in the first place. However, after nearly a century of universal suffrage, I think the drawbacks have become too obvious and there is now a real risk that the left will actually destroy “Western” civilization if they are simply allowed to continue. There are simply now too many people dependent on state largess.

Another restriction I have heard mooted is that there should be some sort of literary/knowledge of public affairs based test for voters. However I see this as impractical as it would be easy for the answers to the questions to be widely distributed.

In summary then I think the right to vote should be taken away from prisoners, those dependent on welfare and state pensions, and students who are dependent on government loans. Possibly the latter might be excluded simply by raising the age of suffrage back to 21. The vast majority of those under 21 years of age have either contributed little or nothing at all so far in taxes, so I think this would be fair.

Universal Suffrage Was A Mistake

Part one of a two part series questioning universal suffrage.

The concept and application of universal suffrage, one person one vote, is actually a relatively recent phenomenon in human history. In this post I will be explaining why I believe universal suffrage has been a factor in the decline of “Western” civilization. I will be referring specifically to the experience of the UK, but I believe the trends are in fact common to most “Western” countries, which have followed a similar course.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF SOCIALISM IN THE UK

With the ‘Representation of the People Act 1918’ all men over 21 in the UK gained the vote (previously voting had been restricted by property ownership constraints). This was followed by the ‘Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928’ when all women over 21 also gained the vote. This paved the way for socialism to gain the upper hand in UK politics. After the Second World War, politics swung heavily to the left with the election of a very socialist Labour government under Clement Attlee.

This government introduced the National Health Service and the Welfare State. A large scheme of council housing began, over a million new homes were built by the government. A huge program of nationalization of industries took place including the railways, telephony, coal mining and steel production to name just a few. There’s no question that in the beginning the living and working conditions of large numbers of people had been improved rapidly. Quite how quickly the free market would have produced the same improvements we’ll never know.

By the 1970s however things were not going so well. High inflation led the government to cap public sector pay increases and trade unions reacted by going on strike. Coal production fell and electricity consumption had to be rationed, leading to a 3 day working week for a time. A Labour government was elected and wages were increased again to placate the unions. However soon even the Labour government could not keep the trade unions happy and there were widespread strikes during the “Winter of Discontent” (1978-1979). Finally the Conservatives were elected under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher, and politics swung heavily to the right, and a large program of denationalization began. Even the Labour government elected later in 1997 was quite right wing in comparison with the Attlee era.

MASS IMMIGRATION AS A FORM OF GERRYMANDERING

Since the 1950s, the UK has experienced fairly high levels of immigration. However, this greatly increased from the “New Labour” period onward (1997 – present). At least in part this was due to a deliberate policy by that left wing government. A secret memo later came to light that that government was deliberately “rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity” by allowing in huge numbers of people from poor countries. Of course, these poor immigrants were expected to become Labour voters, as they would be on low wages and benefit from the more generous state handouts promised by Labour, as well as free education and health care. Thus this immigration policy can be seen as a hugely irresponsible form of gerrymandering by the left – altering the population to increase the left’s vote in the future. Quite how much these immigrants have contributed to the economy is disputed. Of course many are hard working but there is a tendency of the children of immigrants to not be so hard working and many end up on benefits.

A Conservative government was elected in coalition with the Liberal Democrats in 2010, partly thanks to their promise to vastly reduce the rate of immigration, which was causing disquiet among the general population. They have completely failed to deliver this, net migration has continued at very high levels. This situation is in part due to the UK’s membership of the EU, which is heavily dominated by left wing ideals and is also committed to free movement of people.

THE PRESENT DAY

In the present day many UK voters were born and lived in an era of prosperity and they have no recollection of the most problematic days of socialist governments. Many new arrivals from foreign countries near and far are also quite ignorant of this history. Extreme left-wing ideas are once more on the rise and the Labour party have a new leader called Jeremy Corbyn who is ready to promise the earth to gullible voters who believe that money grows on trees. He has quite literally suggested that a government under his leadership would print money and give it to poor people.

Despite the fact that relatively right wing politicians have been in power since 1979, many of the left wing changes brought about by Attlee’s government remain. The welfare state and the free health care service are still intact.  Most children receive free education.  Students in higher education receive generous loans which often are never repaid. Some welfare reform has been achieved, but very large numbers of people are still dependent on handouts from the state. In addition, increasing life spans have increased the numbers of people living on state pensions. The state is struggling under a huge national debt burden, something like £1.5 trillion. A lot of taxpayers’ money is simply servicing this debt.

All these burdens are being carried by the less than half of the population who are taxpayers. There are only 29.3 million taxpayers out of an official population of 63 million (2011 census). The actual population of the UK may be considerably higher due to illegal immigration. Furthermore, of those taxpayers quite a substantial number are public sector workers. Of course these people provide some value in services, but their wages are paid for by the state through the taxes of those working in the private sector, so in a sense the taxes they pay are merely token. Thus, substantially less than 29.3 million people, maybe as little as 30% of the population, are supporting all the rest to varying degrees (19% of the workforce are employed by the public sector but not all of these will be taxpayers).

The left are also now pushing for another form of gerrymandering, through the further lowering of the voting age to 16 years. Of course, younger people are more likely to be left wing, as they have less experience of the realities of life.

SUMMARY

Allowing those who only take from the state to vote is a little bit akin to parents giving their children an equal say in how their household finances should be run, clearly a recipe for disaster.  The introduction of universal suffrage has led to the election of left wing governments in the UK whose policies have been based on promises of unrealistic state largess. Even the current “Conservative” government is in fact quite left wing in many ways, in part because they know that they simply could not get elected on a more right wing manifesto.

Furthermore, the left’s hold on politics has deliberately been strengthened by mass immigration and they are trying to strengthen it further by lowering the voting age. It has also been strengthened, crucially, by the sheer numbers of people now dependent on the state financially. Large numbers of immigrants arriving in the country have also increased the vote for the left because the left favours more immigration, and immigrants want to be able to bring more of their relatives and people from their culture here to join them.

Reducing any of these unrealistic expectations is extremely difficult politically because all those dependents of the state have a vote. A return to property ownership based voting rights would not be a fair option, because many hard working people who pay taxes also rent their homes and own no property. In the next post I will examine other possible alternatives.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_immigration_to_the_United_Kingdom

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/pse/public-sector-employment/q2-2013/sty-public-section-employment.html

http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/pressarticle/83

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

Dysgenics and Solutions

In the last two articles I have talked about why I believe that average intelligence is falling in the “Western” world. In this article I will talk about how we can reverse this trend. Firstly attitudes will have to change. We must break the taboo and force the subject of dysgenics into the mainstream media. None of the necessary changes in government policy are going to come about until voters are forced to face reality. I appreciate that this is a huge task but the debate is already taking place in the alternative media and blogosphere to some extent. Even if those working couples who are having children currently increased the number of children they had just a little, we could soon be back to sustainable levels. If they could be made to see that the children they are having face a bleak future if average intelligence continues to decline, then they might be persuaded to have just one or two more. Couples must also be persuaded to have children earlier to reduce the risks of birth defects.

Secondly we simply have to reduce the welfare bill to reduce the burden on working families. To have children whilst you are unemployed is to abuse the system. The smallest necessary change is to stop child benefit payments altogether to those who have children while they are not working. As shown in the last article these payments directly lead to an increase in birth rates among the least intelligent members of society.  Trying to fight poverty by giving unrestricted welfare to people who will not work merely creates more poverty. A change to flexible retirement age for state pension payments should be considered to relieve the financial pressure on working families. Some people argue that we should go even further and abolish the welfare state altogether. I think we should take this suggestion seriously. However whatever is done should be done in stages, otherwise hardship will be acute and people will resort to crime, endangering the stability of society.

Another pressure seldom mentioned is the pressure on housing. In the UK we have strict planning laws, with correspondingly low rates of house building and yet very high rates of net migration into our country. We don’t want to turn our green and pleasant land into a concrete jungle, so instead we should regain control of our borders and stop immigration in its tracks. The key to a peaceful and happy future is sustainability and stability in all things. At the moment even those working couples who want to have children are thwarted by the astronomically high house prices in the UK.

Till now, successive governments have used mass immigration as a solution, for example simply propping up the NHS by importing doctors and nurses from other countries. The Labour government dramatically increased the wages of doctors partly in order to attract doctors from foreign countries. This is morally indefensible. The countries affected can scarcely afford to lose these people. In any case, eventually those countries will start to object and we will be left with a shortage of new doctors. We must return to a sustainable situation where the middle classes have enough children so that there are enough children born here capable of becoming the doctors of the future. The same applies to all other professions as well. There may in fact be a large brain drain effect occurring as the “West” draws the most intelligent people from less developed nations. This could even be a significant factor in the breakdown of stability in these countries. It may even explain why some countries continue to be basket cases even with the wide availability of new technology such as mobile phones.

If we fail to change direction, then our decline will continue until our current democratic system collapses altogether. The burden on taxpayers will just grow to the point where the state is bankrupted. Those who wish for such an outcome should think carefully about it. Banks could collapse. The police, emergency services, army would all be unpaid. A complete breakdown in law and order could occur, with no doctors and nurses available to treat the casualties of the huge crime wave that would result. Far better to at least attempt to achieve a managed transition to a better society.

Dysgenics and Welfare

It is now over half a century since the creation of the modern welfare state in the UK. The modern welfare state did not embody the principle that William Beveridge laid out that unemployed men should be supported by the state “but with complete and permanent loss of all citizen rights – including not only the franchise but civil freedom and fatherhood.”

To many people that statement seems quite shocking today. But, after so many decades of welfare without such limitations, where are we now? We have a large and growing underclass of people who have not only never worked but actually generations have now been born and grown up entirely supported by the welfare state.

We have a large and rapidly growing population of Muslims in the UK (this population doubled in a single decade according to census statistics). A disproportionately large percentage of Muslims (especially Muslim women) are not working and are supported by the state. Welfare is not only directly fueling the growth of this population, but is encouraging the least intelligent members of it to have more children. The tendency of this particular population to intermarry among cousins is also leading to more genetic defects in children, increasing the cost of care provided by our free healthcare system, the NHS.

https://muslimstatistics.wordpress.com/2013/05/04/uk-londons-welfare-recipients-highest-amongst-immigrants-from-muslim-countries/
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6915/europe-muslim-enrichment

Of course there are problems in the non-Muslim underclass as well. Parents who are addicted to drugs, alcohol and tobacco are damaging their children both in the womb and after birth. Parents on welfare may not only tend to be less intelligent in the first place, they are more likely to impair the development of their children’s brains during brain development as well.

Here is a study that shows there is a link between more generous welfare payments and birthrates of the recipients:

http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0809.pdf

No surprise there really. Why is it so controversial to talk about such an obvious problem? Welfare is taking money away from hard working families through taxation, making it more difficult for them to afford to have children.

An even larger problem for the hard working people is the growing state pension bill. This is a very large part of state spending. As people are living ever longer the cost continues to grow, making it still harder for hard working families to have children.

To summarize, our current generous welfare system is making it increasingly difficult for hard working members of society to afford to have children. Lazy and incapable people meanwhile are continuing to have children without restriction, courtesy of those hard working people. Its more than likely that average intelligence is falling as a result of these pressures.

Dysgenics and Birth Control

Of all the factors affecting the decline of the “West”, surely the largest and yet often ignored is the invention of effective birth control, and the impact of its use on birth rates. Once people had the choice to have smaller families, they began to do so but well below replacement level. The middle classes were particularly badly hit as women began to focus more on careers than raising children. Postponing children till her career was established often meant that the professional woman found she was too old to conceive, once she got around to trying to get pregnant. Of course this trend is going to lead to a decline in the average intelligence of a population. In the future there will not be enough doctors etc.. I think we can also see evidence of this decline in declining educational standards and the increasing banality of popular culture. The level of political debate also seems to be declining.

At the same time as effective birth control had become widely available, the cultures of women’s “liberation” and “political correctness” became the prevailing ideas in society. These ideologies have been stifling any debate about the possible longer term consequences of the late parenthood and childlessness of the better educated. Dysgenics has for many decades now been almost a taboo subject, associated in a great many people’s minds with the Nazi holocaust and other 20th century attempts at eugenics. The methods used by these eugenics programmes were brutal and inhumane. However if average intelligence really is in decline, as seems certain, then we need to examine the causes and look for humane solutions in for example, welfare policy. I will be examining the subject of dysgenics and welfare specifically in the next article.

The little dysgenics research that has been done to date, by Professor Emeritus Richard Lynn for example, has also included studies of differences between races. This has led to those of the “politically correct” mainstream view dismissing the very science as somehow inherently racist. The subject of racial differences in average intelligence is important, particularly for deciding whether positive discrimination is really a good idea.  However, undue focus on this aspect of dysgenics research has unfortunately distracted attention from the larger question, i.e. has average intelligence in the whole population been declining, and by how much.

For a long time the research of Professor Emeritus James Flynn seemed to suggest that intelligence was actually increasing, leading to the phrase the “Flynn Effect”. This may however have been occurring due to improvements in diet and improvements in the environment, such as the removal of lead from petrol. Its also worth considering that more recent generations might be benefiting from reduced anxiety stemming from economic prosperity, enabling them to concentrate better during IQ tests.  Thus an underlying fall in genetic intelligence may have been disguised by environmental factors.

More recent studies however seem to point towards declining average scores in IQ tests in any case:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329830-400-brain-drain-are-we-evolving-stupidity/

I explained my reservations with IQ testing in a previous article “Intelligence, Concentration and IQ Tests”. I believe IQ tests do have some value however, as they are the only real measure of intelligence we have, but I think other approaches to dysgenics research should be used in addition to IQ testing. Birth rates in different professions (for both men and women) should be studied. It is probable that if the birth rates in occupations that require higher levels of intelligence to perform them are lower than for less skilled occupations, then a decline in average intelligence is very probably taking place. I put it to the social sciences academics in our universities that they have a responsibility to study this. I am not aware of many such studies having taken place so far, I would be very grateful to my readers who know of any if they could provide information.

An example of such a study from the 2006 New Zealand census showed that women who had completed higher education were having substantially fewer babies (1.85) than those who had no higher education (2.57):

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10450313

This should be a great concern.  We need more studies like this.

To summarize this article I am not attempting to prove here that average intelligence is in decline, although I believe it is. Rather I am saying there are a lot of trends that suggest that there is such a decline taking place, and I am calling for the subject to no longer be off limits. Academics in public institutions particularly have a responsibility to study dysgenics which they are by and large neglecting. Studying social trends is what the taxpayer is paying them to do. Ignoring these trends could have very bad consequences in the long run. For example, the human race has terrible weapons of mass destruction at its disposal. If people are becoming less intelligent, the likelihood of these weapons being used grows larger. Brutal, oppressive regimes are also more likely to seize power in nations that do not have enough intelligent people to oppose them, creating misery for those who live under them.

Of course in an era of very low rates of infant mortality, effective birth control is essential for a harmonious and peaceful world. Without it the population of the human race would continue increasing until there simply was not enough food and water to go around. Then a vicious fight for survival would take place. We should therefore be aiming for sustainability in birth rates to achieve a peaceful world.

Christianity And Western Decline

I have often encountered the view that a revival of Christianity is what is needed to stop the decline of the “West”.  I take a rather opposite view however, as too often it seems to me that Christian beliefs are actually contributing to that decline.

When we are faced by a ruthless and implacable ideology such as Nazism, whose followers have no hesitation whatever in using the most brutal acts of violence to achieve their ends, turning the other cheek is not a strategy that has ever been successful.

The current Pope has been accused of being a Communist, but is he perhaps really just propagating the teachings of the New Testament, as discussed here:

http://theatheistconservative.com/communism-is-secular-christianity/

In Victorian times in the UK, there used to be a distinction made between the deserving and the undeserving poor.  In the 20th century, the welfare state was created and gradually this distinction was forgotten.  For decades, whole generations have been raised on welfare and the church has never once to my knowledge challenged the wisdom of this.  This has resulted in a growing underclass of people.  Then in the later 20th century and early 21st century the idea of “multi-culturalism” became fashionable, paving the way for an unprecedented flood of immigration.  The underclass now includes a large number of Muslims, many of whom are very hostile to our most important freedoms, including freedom of speech.

Not only did the Anglican church see no problems arising from this developing state of affairs, they have in some ways almost encouraged it.  A former archbishop suggested that we should allow Sharia law to become part of our legal system.  A bishop welcomed the call to prayer from a mosque in his diocese.  Of course there is nothing to say that the clergy cannot oppose the growing influence of Islam, but so far at least our clergy in the UK have made no attempt to do this.  In earlier times they sent brave missionaries out to far away lands to convert people and do charitable works, but political correctness is still the order of the day in the Church in our age.

Our bishops have a right to sit in the House of Lords, there is not the separation of church and state that was so wisely enshrined in the U.S. constitution. Our bishops constantly urge us to take in more migrants, even those attempting to enter the country illegally, regardless if they are hostile to democracy and free speech. Some of the migrants may even have terrorist sympathies, many probably have no skills to offer, but the bishops do not seem to be concerned about those things. The bishops also routinely interfere with attempts at welfare reform, the idea of the protestant work ethic does not seem to figure in their thinking.

In summary I would argue strongly that we should move beyond religious thinking, towards a more rational age.  If the church is to play a role in the salvation of our society and way of life, then they must learn again to be more pragmatic and realistic about the not always pleasant realities of the world.  As I have mentioned above the Church has not always been feeble and too literalist as they are today.  Regardless of whether they can regain this realism, I believe that for the UK, we should recognize that the separation of Church and State is important for a democracy to function well, and therefore we should remove the Bishops from the House of Lords.

Intelligence, Concentration, And IQ Tests

I do not believe that IQ tests measure intelligence. Rather I believe that they measure a combination of intelligence, learning and concentration at a particular point in time.  By learning I mean for example where tests contain words that are less familiar to the test subject (perhaps because the language is their second language), they might respond rather more slowly.

Also I believe that self-esteem can affect concentration.  Quite some time ago I heard of a study that was done that seemed to confirm this belief.  In the study, a group of students were first given an IQ test. Then the group was divided into 2 groups. The first group was subjected to verbal abuse and negative comments. The second group was given encouragement to increase their self-esteem. Then the 2 groups were given a second IQ test. Noticeable differences were seen in the results of the first and second tests which indicated that the verbal abuse and negative comments had caused a deterioration in the scores for the first group.

If such results can be observed after even such a short period of such verbal abuse, how much more profound could the result of a childhood of negativity received from parents or the wider community be having? A school that encourages self-esteem could for example be producing more apparently intelligent pupils.

Unfortunately I have not now been able to locate any information on this study, but if any readers know of it, I would be very grateful if you could provide any information. I think it was done in the 80s or 90s in New Zealand or Australia. The work of the psychologist Reuven Feuerstein seems to suggest something similar however.

Also other research into the effect of financial rewards for IQ tests have apparently shown that IQ scores increase noticeably when financial rewards are offered, and greater rewards also lead to greater increases.

http://news.sciencemag.org/2011/04/what-does-iq-really-measure

All this does not mean that I believe that IQ tests are useless, quite the contrary. I also believe that individuals have different levels of innate intelligence, and that that is mainly genetically determined, but environmental factors such as nutrition also play a part. Certainly at least until we really understand how the human brain works, IQ tests are the only indicator we have of intelligence. What I am implying is that IQ tests should be recognized for what they are, a measure of intelligence, learning and concentration combined. We should certainly not therefore assume that people who only achieve relatively lower scores in childhood may not later do better in life than others who had achieved higher scores, even discounting the random misfortunes people encounter in their lives.

Freedom Of Speech Is Under Threat

Freedom of speech is our most important freedom.  Without it democracy cannot function properly and advances in thought are hampered.  Today in the “West” freedom of speech is seriously threatened, from several directions.  Islamic fundamentalists are terrorizing cartoonists who draw pictures of their religious figures.  Those critical of Islam have also been threatened.   Newspapers are engaging in self-censorship due to a pervasive climate of “political correctness”.  Students are demanding “safe spaces” at universities to protect them from ideas they may be troubled by.  At the same time, “Western” governments are trying to pass ever more authoritarian laws which increase their ability to control their populations.

What are the causes of this trend?  I would argue it is the result of declining average intelligence of “Western” populations combined with the growing numbers of followers of the Islamic religion in our societies.  Islam is a brittle religion, it does not stand up to scrutiny, and so Islamic societies exact harsh punishments on those who try to criticize or publicly leave it.  These punishments are in fact stipulated in the core Islamic texts.  As the numbers of Muslims in our societies keep growing, Muslim voices demanding protection of their religion from criticism are getting louder.  Our governments are fearful that growing tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims will lead to a breakdown in law and order, and so they are acquiescing to these demands.

Although it is tempting to think that in the short term these policies will be effective in maintaining law and order, I believe that in the long run they will have a very bad effect on freedom of speech in general.  If the situation we are in is a temporary one, then these policies may be more justified as a temporary measure.  However unless they are coupled with a comprehensive and effective strategy to reduce the influence of the Islamic religion in the “West”, then our situation will not be a temporary one, but in fact will continue to deteriorate.

I will be examining the UK government’s policy responses to this situation in detail in future articles.