Saturday, 27 November 2010

Officers would be likely to be alarmed


Nov 27th, 2010 By Ophelia Benson, from the blog Butterflies & Wheels

Apparently in the UK it’s illegal to make “offensive” comments about Allah. I wonder if that law applies to “offensive” comments about God too – they are supposed to be the same man, after all, even if Malaysians are forbidden to use the first word to mean the second unless they are Muslims.

A man has been fined for making offensive comments about Allah during the English Defence League protest in Leicester.Lee Whitby was found guilty of using racially aggravated abusive words during the protest in the city centre on Saturday, October 9.


Alexandra Blossom, prosecuting, said the comments made were bound to cause harassment, alarm or distress because of Leicester’s multicultural society and the fact the words were said in the city centre.

She said: “A number of people present that day were likely to be offended.

“It was a high-profile event and members of the public would have been in the city on a Saturday.

“The remarks are even offensive to police.

“A clear message needs to be sent out about using such behaviour in a multicultural city.”

Notice all the conditionals and subjunctives. Bound to cause; were likely to be; would have been. There’s nothing about anyone who actually was “offended,” except for the police. The police were offended, and other people could would were likely to be, but in fact as far as anyone knows were not, no doubt because they didn’t hear anything. It was only the police who heard the “offensive” comments and the police were obligingly “offended” so Lee Whitby (who is no doubt a repellent unpleasant bully) gets done for saying something that could have offended people if only the people had been in earshot.

Mr Moore said: “It is a fact you were with others chanting and police were within hearing distance but there is no evidence of non-police officers within hearing distance.

“It is likely that a police officer or officers hearing the words would be likely to be alarmed and for that reason we find you guilty of this offence.”

Whitby was fined £200 and ordered to pay a further £200 in costs, as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

A victim surcharge, despite the admitted lack of any actual victim. £415 because police officers would be likely to be alarmed.

You know what? I should send a copy of Does God Hate Women? to the Leicester police department. Surely the Leicester cops would be likely to be alarmed by the last three pages of that little book. If that’s a criminal offense, surely I am guilty.

No comments:

Post a Comment