Saturday, April 5, 2008


Last Friday the UN's Human Rights Council took a direct swipe at freedom of expression. In a 32-0 vote, the council instructed its "expert on freedom of expression" to report to the council on all instances in which individuals "abuse" their freedom of speech by giving expression to racial or religious bias.

The measure was proposed by paragons of freedom Egypt and Pakistan. It was supported by all Arab, Muslim and African countries - founts of liberty one and all. European states abstained.

"THEY are accursed in heaven and on earth a catastrophe for the human race They are the virus of the generation they are the plague of the generation and the bacterium of all time Their history was and always will be stained with treachery, falseness and lying they are a model of debasement and degradation."
Egyptian government daily

'They", of course, are the Jews, perhaps the only people whom we almost routinely recognise through the excoriating language of their enemies. But these quotations are not from Nazi propaganda, long defunct. They are from a newspaper on sale in Britain today, a country in which incitement to racial hatred is supposedly illegal.

But perhaps the law is not applied where the victims are merely the usual suspects, the perpetrators foreign, the language difficult and the Government - for good reasons and bad - reluctant to offend Middle Eastern sensibilities any further.

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