On one hand, it seems fair enough; the two defendants were obviously fundamentalist bozos. On the other hand, it makes one wonder against whom else the laws could be used. If, for example, Canadian Muslim reformist Irshad Manji did a bookshop tour of Australia to discuss her thesis that mainstream Islam has problematic veins of intolerance and absolutism, could she be prosecuted? Could she be prosecuted for claiming that the Koran was written as a pragmatic political tool for governing the Arab Empire, and not a divine revelation? (Also, if she did the same in Britain after the Blair government's Religious Vilification Bill, which allegedly prohibits saying mean things about the Koran, were passed, what would happen?) Could we end up with a situation where following certain lines of inquiry could lead to criminal prosecution and, instead, baroque lines of circumlocution must be devised to avoid the elephant in the middle of the room?
Please keep comments on topic and to the point. Inappropriate comments may be deleted.
Note that markup is stripped from comments; URLs will be automatically converted into links.