People promoting “hostility” towards a religion or the transgendered online could get much harsher sentences, of up to six years in jail, especially if they have a large online audience according to new proposals.
The Sentencing Council for England and Wales has drafted changes to public order offences, including anyone perceived as targeting online a “protected characteristics” including “race; sex; disability; age; sexual orientation; religion or belief; pregnancy and maternity; and gender reassignment.”
The most severe punishments will be handed to those “in a position of trust, authority or influence and abuses their position to stir up hatred,” such as political leaders or figureheads and anyone whose offences are “persistent.”
If an “offender was a member of, or was associated with, a group promoting hostility based on race or religion,” their sentence will also be harsher.
The Sentencing Council believes that the use of social media, YouTube, and other “websites” to stir hatred is a growing problem – despite the number of prosecutions remain relatively low.
This is encoding PC into legislation, a new religious orthodoxy backed by state censorship. Forget free speech, this is the way back to the Middle Ages.
If PC beliefs cannot stand up in a marketplace of free speech, then they’re probably not true, are they? They wouldn’t need government protection if they were true. For example, governments don’t need to pass laws protecting the idea that gravity exists.
Robert Spencer notes:
The draft law speaks only about criticizing “religion,” but everyone knows which religion is meant. No one is going to go to prison for criticizing Christianity or Judaism. This is more of Britain’s gallop toward Sharia and ruin.
hat-tip Stephen Neil