Loosening the muzzle

From The Times Online:

“PERFORMERS and writers, including Rowan Atkinson and Salman Rushdie, have helped to force a government climbdown over new legislation which bans incitement to religious hatred…”

But the best efforts of Rushdie and company might not be enough.

“Fiona Mactaggart, a Home Office minister, conceded that even under its new name the offence would place new boundaries around freedom of speech. ‘It is right and the State has a right to put some boundaries on free speech,’ she said.”

The Guardian covered the issues earlier:

“…the writers said that the legislation would “make it illegal to express what some might consider to be provocative views on religion”. It could, they say, serve as a “sanction for censorship of a kind which would constrain writers and impoverish cultural life”.”

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