Freedom of Expression

Freedom of speech: Tommy Robinson and Anjem Choudary

I shared the puzzlement of others when I heard about the conditions attached to Tommy Robinson’s bail (on a charge connected to mortgage fraud with no extreme/political element).

The terms of his early release include the condition that no one involved with the EDL can contact him until the end of his original sentence, which is still 12 months off.

Now, if reports (allegedly from a source close to Tommy Robinson) are accurate, there seems to have been some condition creep.

Tommy Robinson was released from prison (again) on Friday 14th November, and appeared in court on Monday 17th November.

After he was released, we re-arranged Tommy’s debate at the Oxford Union for the 26th November. Tommy was visited by the Probation Services and informed that if he attends this debate, he is not allowed to talk about Islam, Mohammed, or the Koran. If he does he will be recalled to prison.

Tommy is still determined to go and explain why he cannot debate certain subjects, and express his concerns that his freedom of speech is being silenced with the threat of prison when NONE of the above topics relate to his ‘mortgage fraud’. Tommy feels that this is the way they are going to handle things now to try and silence him.

Please help us make as many people as possible aware of the games that the government are playing in an attempt to keep him from speaking out.

If true, this clearly goes way beyond the original condition that he avoid contact with members of the EDL. I am not sure what justification there is for banning Tommy Robinson from discussing any of the proscribed topics.  He should be able to speak freely on these issues.  If what he says is wrong or bigoted, I am sure there will be other speakers who can point this out.  I certainly don’t always agree with Tommy Robinson, but I very much doubt he is likely to say anything as hateful or offensive as the stuff Anjem Choudary regularly comes out with – as readers will probably know, he has recently had his bail conditions softened, allowing him to preach.

Mr Riddle said police allege the Da’wah stalls have been “misused to spread extremist literature”.

    “The Da’wah stalls are a significant part of the current investigation,” the senior district judge said.

    “However it is accepted that the Da’wah stall has an ostensible purpose to spread the word of Islam and to proselytise.

    “Religious freedom is of considerable significance.”

    One would think the people making these decisions were secret counterjihadists, for they play into their narrative, and don’t help Muslims, or those opposed to anti-Muslim bigotry, one jot.