UK: The Push to End Free Speech


Martin Hewitt, Chair of Britain's National Police Chiefs' Council, recently said: "We take all reports of hate crime very seriously and will investigate them thoroughly. However, we have some concerns about the proposed definition of Islamophobia made by the all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims. We are concerned that the definition is too broad as currently drafted, could cause confusion for officers enforcing it and could be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic states. There is also a risk it could also undermine counter-terrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism or prevent terrorism".

"The term Islamophobia has a broad meaning that can easily be used to restrict free and fair discussion about the Islamic religion and Islamist extremism. Instead, an alternative definition of Anti-Muslim Hatred should be specific and narrow. It should focus on addressing bigotry directed at individuals, and avoid censoring debate or freedom of expression on religion. Finally, a comprehensive definition of Anti-Muslim Hatred must take intra-Muslim hatred into account to protect those who want to speak freely or express themselves differently."

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