The Corner

Blasphemy Laws by the Back Door

To describe public burnings of the Koran as uncivil behavior is an understatement, but this piece of news doesn’t say much for the state of free speech in Britain: 

Six people have been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after videos emerged on the internet apparently showing copies of the Koran being burned.

Officers detained two men on September 15 and four more yesterday and all six were bailed pending further inquiries, Northumbria Police said. ‘’The arrests followed the burning of what are believed to have been two Korans in Gateshead on September 11,’’ the spokesman said.”The incident was recorded and a video placed on the internet.’’ In a video still accessible on YouTube, six young men in hooded tops or wearing scarves over their faces can be seen pouring petrol on a book and setting it alight, before burning another. On the video, which appeared to have been filmed behind a pub, they cheer as the first book bursts into flames.

Northumbria Police said the men were not arrested for watching or distributing the video, but on suspicion of burning the Koran.

The actual facts of this particular case (at least as reported) are interesting. The burning appears to have been designed not as some sort of live spectacle, but rather as something to be put out onto the Internet later (the perpetrators are wearing masks, so it’s not unreasonable to assume that they were planning to circulate the footage), but “distributing” the video does not seem to have been what it was that brought the wrath of the law down upon their heads. Rather (and, again, if this has been correctly reported) it was the burning of the Koran itself.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More