The proposed laws against incitement to religious hatred are very dangerous. Had they existed in 1930's Germany, Nazism would not have been prevented, Rather, it would have been legitimised; its adherents able to portray themselves as victims, oppressed for their opinions.
This thoughtful piece in the Observer reports Stephen Fry's response to the desecration by modern anti-Semites of his great-grandfather's grave. He understands his own emotional reaction and relates it to others' desire to have laws against religious hatred.
But his conclusion is that of a free man, not a slave looking to his master, the State, to protect him.
He says he 'couldn't possibly obey a law' that allowed prosecutions of comedians or writers who caused offence, adding: 'It's now very common to hear people say, "I'm rather offended by that", as if that gives them certain rights. It's no more than a whine. It has no meaning, it has no purpose, it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. "I'm offended by that." Well, so fucking what?'
Exactly. No-one who seeks to suppress the opinions of others because those opinions offend their religious or other beliefs, is fit to live in a free society.
The Observer | UK News | I saw hate in a graveyard - Stephen Fry