Hours before the Paris atrocities, Al Arabiya news reported a speech by David Anderson QC, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation. In it, he said that because some mainstream media were ‘grossly irresponsible’ in their coverage of Muslim issues, Ipso, the press standards body, ought to consider making it possible for an entire religious group to bring a complaint about coverage.
Mr Anderson is an able and distinguished lawyer. Surely he knows that the entire history of this subject is that mainstream Muslim bodies are constantly trying to criminalise hostile remarks about their religion. And surely he knows that if this were conceded, the chilling of free speech would be unprecedentedly severe. And surely he should know that this subject is not within his remit anyway.
On Monday night, David Cameron said at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet that:-
‘It is not good enough to say simply that Islam is a religion of peace and then to deny any connection between the religion of Islam and the extremists.’
Under the Anderson clause, we ‘grossly irresponsible’ journalists would probably get into trouble for reporting the Prime Minister.
This is an extract of Charles Moore’s Notes. The full article can be found here.