The United Kingdom’s Continuing Koran Censorship

“…Atheist Peter Crawford came next on May 12, 2012, when he ripped up his own Koran in front of an Islamic information booth in Leicester while telling the booth’s Muslims staffers that Islam was a “load of bollocks.” Prosecutor James Bide-Thomas questioned whether Crawford engaged in a “legitimate” free speech or violated the law against “harassment, alarm or distress by insulting behaviour, basically upsetting people.” Crawford’s prosecution collapsed with a hung jury.

Yet per famed English political essayist George Orwell, some religions in modern Britain are more equal than others. A pro-gay church contributed a Bible to a 2009 exhibit at Glasgow’sGallery of Modern Art (GoMA). Visitors could write their names in its margins, the church explained, to demonstrate how LGBT people “have been marginalised by many Christian Churches and also our desire to be included in the love of God.” Yetmany visitors wrote in the text what a Christian organization called “obscenities and atheist ramblings.” Would the exhibitors “do the same if it was the Koran?” the Christians wondered.

An exhibit video, meanwhile, showed the singer Roxanne Claxton ripping pages out of a Bible and stuffing them into her knickers and bra as well as eating them. As a “bisexual woman,” Claxton declared, “I wanted to celebrate both the masculine and feminine aspects of my identity in relation to my faith as a Christian woman.” By contrast, the video appeared “disgusting and offensive” to a Pope Benedict XVI advisor, who echoed comments about the defaced Bible in saying that the exhibitors “would not think of doing it to the Koran.”

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