A pastor from Northern Ireland is to be prosecuted after describing Islam as “satanic” …
(The pastor’s name is James McConnell. Please read a report of the prosecution here.)
The secular courts have no business making findings of fact that Islam is, or isn’t, “satanic”. If Islam were to be satanic, it would be the alleged offender’s duty to warn the public of this. Even if this was not his duty, or Islam was not satanic (a finding of fact that a secular court has no business making), the accused would merely be exercising his right of free speech.
This oppressive prosecution could be defeated using this entirely secular argument, which is (in the proper sense of the word) a *secularist* argument.
Instead, I predict that the Christian Institute or the Christian Legal Centre will muscle in on this act because the victim is a Christian, and that the National Secular Society won’t lift a finger to help the victim because it isn’t run by true secularists, but by militant missionaries of atheism for whose deep hatred of Christianity their nominal secularism is merely a camouflage.
The winning secular argument will not be presented by the lawyers for the defence.
Instead, they will present a flawed argument. They will not argue properly that the accused’s secular Convention rights are being infringed – rights that Christians, Atheists and Moslems alike need to have protected. Rather, they will argue that there is some non-existent privilege that only Christians have. They will argue that it infringes “religious” rights to have this privilege limited. Even if they do not argue like this, the media will report falsely that they did, or, at very least, commentators on reportage of the court case will insinuate this.
The self-appointed spokesmen of “secularism”, who should be defending the accused, will instead rejoice that a Christian is being oppressed by the state for criticising Islam, rather than lamenting (as they should, if they were truly secularist, rather than anti-Christian activists masquerading as secularists) that the state is oppressing anybody at all who has merely criticised a religion that the state unjustly privileges.
That is the sorry story that I predict will now unfold, like a Greek tragedy.
Oh well, at least a man who publicly denounces Islam as “satanic” isn’t yet being prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act … at least so far as we have been allowed to discover.
I look forward to the next prosecution in the series, when the National Secular Society itself complains that a preacher somewhere has offended against the Malicious Communications Act, by denouncing atheism as satanic, and the one after that, when a Christian complains that somebody from the National Secular Society itself has said something unkind about Christianity. Eventually, somebody is going to get prosecuted for saying that Satanism is satanic, you mark my words!