Friday, 8 January 2010

Religion and Hatred (pt 1)

I've just been monitoring an exchange on Facebook on Stonewall's group page. One guy had posted:

'yes you shouldn't bully gay people, let god punish them 4 there evil practises, u can see the evil and darkness of sin oozing from there faces, there in constant pain and misery an are evil'

He is apparently a Muslim and the response by Stonewall was:

'Apologies to anyone who read the offensive post by [name deleted] below. This has now been reported to facebook and the police.'

Now then... The chap who posted this statement does appear to be a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic but that's just my view and isn't he entitled to his? On the one hand, the first person to criticise Islam finds themselves committing all sorts of social 'sins' and can quickly find themselves attracting the attention of law enforcement - so you could argue responding in kind is appropriate. On the other hand, is it really the best use of Police time to investigate the guy who posted this? I'm pretty sure the answer is no. As a gay man, do I feel offended by reading this? No. Should I not kiss another guy in his presence? Sod that, he'll just after get over his offfence too. Seeking solace in legislation and law for this sort of thing is to my mind bonkers. I want the right to be offended and to offend.

Had we been talking about hundreds of posts by this guy or a campaign of targeting the profiles of those who are 'friends' of Facebook, I would taking a very different position but I do think there needs to be some flexibility and a couple of unpleasant posts need to be kept in perspective.

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