Saturday, 2 April 2011

A leap of logic from Nick Lowles

A riot in Afghanistan, in protest at a US church burning the Qu'ran last month, has seen twenty people killed after a UN compound was set ablaze. Two of those killed were beheaded by their attackers. This was, in short, an unjustifiable attrocity committed in the name of religious honour.

However, Nick Lowles of Hope not Hate took the occasion to engage in some triumphalism;
Pastor Terry Jones is right to call for action to be taken following the murder of 12 people after a protest against his burning of the Koran. The action should be taken against him for wilful incitement.

His actions prove that we were right to block him from coming to the UK to address the EDL demo in Luton in February.
Lowles was, as he suggests, succesful in a campaign to get the pastor banned from Britain. He had been set to address an English Defence League, following from the controversy over his plans to hold "Burn-aKoran Day" on the anniversary of 9/11.

There can be no doubt that this man is a narrow minded bigot. Driven by the fundamentalism of his tiny sect, and perhaps by the desire to drum up publicity, he revealed himself to be a bizarre and hate filled moron of the highest order. His delusional foray into the "Ground Zero Mosque" issue only further emphasised this point.

But, the last time I checked, being a batshit crazy idiot is not a crime. Jones's notoriety came solely from media hysteria, and to be frank he appeared as a milder version of the truly stomach churning Westboro Baptist Church. Sure, he may not be to the taste of sane or rational people, but he was no threat to anyone. I doubt addressing the EDL - who, without him, have regularly descended into violence, threats, and intimidation - would have changed that.

So, I have to ask, by what definition was Lowles "right"? Banning him from Britain only made him more infamous. It did not stop him from going ahead with his Qu'ran burning, and it certainly did not stop a violent mob from running amok in Afghanistan with that as a pretence.

Let's be clear on that one too - if you're willing to behead somebody in order to avenge a book, it's safe to say that you probably don't need much "wilful incitement."

As such, Lowles's statement seems like little more than a smug self-contratulation in the face of attrocity. If it shows anything, it shows that censorship achieves nothing; even as its advocates sneer at and decry far more effective militant anti-fascist tactics on the streets.