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Politicians, Free Speech & Bigotry: Where to Draw the Line?

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Cartoon politician addresses audience from podium

Where do we draw the line between free speech and bigotry? Where does telling the truth end and bigotry begin? Have the current standards of political correctness set by the Left ruled out any honest conversation about the problems we face with radical Islam? And finally, how can we solve these problems if we can’t talk about them?

Although bigoted speech is protected under the First Amendment, we can all agree we don’t want our elected officials to be spouting it. A number of recent cases both in the U.S. and the UK are worth examining to determine how to tackle this problem head-on and where the line should be drawn.

Read the following three cases and then tell us your opinion by taking our poll below:

A township trustee in the Chicago region has been the brunt of a vociferous year-long campaign to get her to resign after posting a number of remarks on social media surrounding issues of radical Islam. The posts (which have since been deleted) made by Shannon Brannigan included the following:

“In the 3rd District here in Illinois, our demographics include 25% Muslims of which very few integrate within the communities keeping themselves and their activities hidden from the general population. Everywhere you turn, from Orland Park to Bridgeview, those numbers are increasing leaps and bounds. We are allowing these people whether they have peaceful intentions or not into our country without question.”

“Watching President Trump and family this morning [during his Middle Eastern trip] I am so proud that they represent us! Am particularly proud that our women are not wearing the headscarves. WE AMERICAN WOMEN ARE REPRESENTED WITH DIGNITY.”

“Why are all our schools filling with Middle Eastern students without proper documentation?”

Brannigan, who refused to resign, apologized three times for the remarks and said in a statement, “After deep reflection, I can honestly say that my words were poorly crafted and my feelings were inadequately expressed. Racism and discrimination is not my intent and is not in my heart.” She further said she was sorry if her remarks were perceived as anti-Arab or anti-Muslim.

 

Sarah Champion, a Labour MP in the United Kingdom, and tireless campaigner for the young victims of sex-grooming, was forced to resign from her position as shadow secretary for women and equalities last year.

Frustrated that years after recommendations to support victims and prevent such abuse in the future were ignored by endless government commissions, Champion wrote an article saying:

“Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls. There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is? The irony of all of this is that, by not dealing with the ethnicity of the abusers as a fact, political correctness has actually made the situation about race. The perpetrators are criminals and we need to deal with them as such, not shy away from doing the right thing by fearing being called a racist.”

The Rotherham gang as well as other Muslim child sex grooming gangs in the UK were known to police and social workers for years. However, for fear of being called racists, authorities took no steps to prevent their horrific abuse of young, British children.

 

A British politician was recently suspended over remarks she made after the Manchester terror attack, in which a radical Islamist killed 22 at a pop music concert over a year ago.

Carola Godman, a member of the Conservative Party, said in a blog last year:

“Radical so-called Islamists have for decades made it perfectly plain that they hate the indigenous British, our culture, values, freedom and Christian faith. They have said that they are just biding their time and waiting for instructions from their leaders and when the word comes they will ‘systematically wipe us out.’

“Already they are raping and impregnating British girls and young women, ‘creating’ Muslim babies; just see what is happening in Rochdale. The rest of us they say they will exterminate with bombs and knives.”

“Let us hope that the 22 victims of the Manchester bomb have not died in vain. Perhaps this was the wake-up call which was needed. The policing of city centres must be revolutionised, and radical monitoring of what is going on within the Muslim population, their mosques and schools must be addressed.

“Genuine peaceful Muslim clerics, Imams and communities must take responsibility for their own. They cannot stand by wringing their hands saying, ‘it’s not us.’ It damn well is and if they are not willing to ‘police’ their own extremists, then something has to be done.

“We have been too cautious, polite, even perhaps afraid to act, while turning a blind eye and allowing vast areas of our cities to become unrecognizable as Britain. Local planners have much to answer for by allowing vast mosques to be established which hold thousands. Would Christians be allowed to build vast cathedrals in Muslim countries? No, of course not.

It is unclear why Godman’s party is bringing up the posts now. Nevertheless, the politician was suspended while an investigation is conducted. Godman for her part, said she has no desire to be part of an organization that does not allow her to voice her opinion. She said her remarks were made “at a time when our children had been massacred.”

Please take a moment to answer our poll:

Should public officials be held to higher standards of “offensive speech” or are these political correct standards stunting their ability to do their jobs?

 

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Forced to Resign for Calling Out Rape Gangs

Is Talking About Persecution of Christians Not PC?

 

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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org