Sunday, 7 February 2010

Cleric uses police to censor a blogger

This article is from pubphilosopher


I've been jolted out of my recent lethargy by this story. It appears that an Anglican vicar complained to the police about an article written by blogger Seismic Shock, which the vicar claimed had associated him with terrorist organisations . The police then paid a visit to the blogger and to his university, demanding access to his computer files and strongly suggesting that he should delete his blog.
The vicar, Stephen Sizer, apparently left this comment on a Christian blog that had linked to Seismic Shock:
Dear Vee,
You must take a little more care who you brand as anti-semitic otherwise you too will be receiving a caution from the police as the young former student of Leeds did recently. One more reference to me and you will be reported.
A number of bloggers have picked up this story and many are asking how the hell the police came to be involved in this. Surely an allegation of libel is a civil dispute not a matter for the police.
However, as regular readers of this blog will know, over the past few years the government has passed a number of laws which effectively give religious fanatics more rights and protection than the rest of us. They only have to utter the phrase 'religious hate speech', or something similar, and the police are obliged to follow the complaint up. Seismic Shock isn't the first person to have a visit from the cops after writing an article criticising a religious viewpoint, and he will not be the last.
Seismic Shock has been the victim of censorship by intimidation. Worse still, this was done using the taxpayer-funded forces of the state rather than the civil law. Regardless of where you stand on the Zionist vs Anti-Zionist conflict, or the various Jewish-Christian-Muslim arguments, this is a vicious attack on free speech.
If you have a blog, please publicise this story as many others have this weekend.
If you would like to email Stephen Sizer and tell him what you think, his address is here.

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