There is another arrest in the United Kingdom for criminal speech, a crime that is on the rise in the West to censor and punish those who are deemed hateful or insulting in their views. The latest arrestee is reported to be Matthew Doyle, 46, a partner at a London PR agency. He was arrested after tweeting about how he asked a Muslim woman to “explain” the terror attacks in Brussels. It was a stupid and insulting act, in my view. Moreover, Doyle reportedly used some slur for Muslims in later postings. However, none of that justifies criminalizing speech and the arrest shows the increasing appetite in England (and the West) for rolling back on free speech. Indeed, we recently discussed the Obama Administration’s threats of prosecution for those who speak in ways deemed misleading or hateful.
We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws. We have seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here). This includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s disgraceful pandering to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the exercise of free speech by German citizens deemed insulting to Erdoğan.
London’s Metropolitan Police on Wednesday reportedly arrested Doyle after social media started to comment on his tweet that read: “I confronted a Muslim women [sic] yesterday in Croydon. I asked her to explain Brussels. She said “Nothing to do with me” a mealy mouthed reply.”
Doyle was obviously upset over the bombings at the Brussels airport and at a metro station killed at least 31 people and wounded 300 others. However, the young lady was right to be insulted by the suggestion that just because she is Muslim she would have to explain the actions of these murderers and terrorists.
The tweet was later deleted but the controversy raged on social media. Doyle doubled down and strangely thanked his followers “for proving I can still do PR.” The comments were inappropriate and ignorant but they were also in my view an exercise in free speech, something that is increasing precarious in England.
England has seen the rise of calls for speech prosecutions. We have previously discussed the crackdown on free speech rights in the West, particularly in England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here).
What do you think?
56 thoughts on “Englishman Arrested For Posting Anti-Islamic Tweets After Brussels Bombing”
I see mr turley that you swallow any manure which is shoved down your throat my media whores. Can you point out to me where exactly was this guy anti Muslim as you repeat?
Gene – I could see how the reader could take any of three stances on the tweet. I think Mr. Turley was just reportiing and not accusing. In fact, he is for free speech.
Personally, I found nothing in the tweet to be offensive. I don’t think they have a case.
Olly — That is a paraphrase of an Oliver Wendell Holmes supreme court decision. A quite famous one.
Of course, but can you articulate why in the context of defending the 1st amendment?
Olly — There is no right to falsely shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
It’s OK to shout fire if there is a fire, no matter how crowded. I feel like everybody is going to blow one of these days. So we should all just ignore lots of people being killed. Why isn’t NATO doing anything. That’s what we pay for. Apparently there aren’t enough undercover personnel to warn anyone. This reminds me ‘for want of a nail …”. And our fearless leader rambles in Canada, barely coherent. Mr. Ryan should get an OK for Obama to go to war. He left us in this mess when he brought home troops who weren’t in danger. He swore to protect this country, but does nothing, oh I’m sorry, he golfs. We pay him to do a job he obviously can’t do. Oh, he got bin Laden, whoopee! He’s an arrogant, lying person who got a job as a community organizer. He ran out of potential. But kept going to our regret.
My post should have made it clear I will not be voting for the sister of the woman who had a house land on her. Unfortunately that leaves Trump and his entourage. God help us.
Think Olly. Maybe God has helped us. We’ve had politicians running this country too long. He has completed the new ice rink in NYC (no charge). The city had tried to do it for five years and billions of dollars. He did that for the people of New York. He built on the West side of NY, everyone said he’d fail. He didn’t. People now live there. His workers praise him. The Clinton’s have built a library with other country’s money. I also said Loretta Lynch should be fired or face impeachment. Don’t lie, Loretta, you know it was wrong. His SCOTUS potential nominees are conservative. Wouldn’t a Cabinet with little Federal Government association be great. I wanted Kasich. I hope he is willing to continue his service to this country. And we’re going to be rid of Representatives who should be impeached or charged and convicted. Several Senators are willing to work on getting things done. And the Speaker of the House will set aside his personal thoughts and work with the White House to get things done. He wasn’t my first choice, but I watched thousands of people at rallies register for the first time. A lot had never voted before, can you believe that? Any Republican not voting for Trump is a complete jerk in my book. This is the best country in the world. Let’s make it even better and keep the Clintons in New York!
David B. Benson
I believe JT clearly understands what “constitutes” free speech everywhere and it’s based on the natural rights of man. Like every natural right, they exist regardless of how well each and every society desires to recognize them. Western civilization transitioned from the Dark Ages and used reason to establish governments with the purpose to secure those rights. We had a constitution in this country designed specifically to limit the ability of their (our government) sinful nature to erode the very freedom under which it was established. Progressives don’t like to be constrained by that constitution as they seek to carry out their utilitarian agenda. Western civilization is not progressing but rather regressing back towards the unenlightened Dark Ages. The only question in my mind is how far we must travel back in time before the next Age of Enlightenment begins.
Olly, first do not vote for Hillary. The Supreme Court will get more liberals and our Consttution will be hanging by a thread. Second vote for Trump, and don’t complain. Our Constitution needs more principled conservatives on the Court or our country and the Constitution will topple. I’m serious, this election is more dangerous than any other in my lifetime. The Court has been making law, which it is not allowed to do. Hillary has lied so much! There was no video sparking the attack on Benghazi. She lied to the families about what happened. She had no sense of urgency. Her main accomplishment was marrying Bill. Trump has good people willing to work with him. Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich (one of the smartest men in DC), Chris Christe (as a no nonsense Attorney General), Jeff Sessions and Bob Corker (two outstanding Republican Senators). We need the military built up. Two attacks this week in Turkey and Bangladesh. Our spending on foolish and unnecessary items needs to stop. Give the military every tool they need. Hillary will not do that.
I just hate to read stories like this. Ooops, I think that statement might be a hate crime.
I can assure you any and all choices the world offers you are always wrong.
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