“I Have No Regrets”: Pakistani Mother Tells Daughter To Come Home For Wedding Celebration . . . Then Burns Her To Death As “Honor Killing”

screen-shot-2017-01-17-at-10-52-25-amAfter repeated refusals of her family to allow her to marry the man she loved, Zeenat Rafiq, 18, eloped with Hassan Khan, a classmate.  She was surprised therefore when her mother found her to say that all was forgiven and that she should return home for a belated celebration of the marriage.  When she showed up, her mother and brother proceeded to beat and strangle her . . . and then burned her.  Her mother, Perveen Bibi, has proudly claimed to have upheld the honor of the family by killing her own daughter.  She told the police “I have no regrets.”

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British Home Secretary Faces Hate Speech Complaint Over Immigration Speech

amber_rudd_2016We 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 even seen comedians targeted with such court orders under this expanding and worrisome trend. (here and here). Now a recent complaint filed by a professor against Home Secretary Amber Rudd illustrates vividly how hate speech has become for some people an extension of political disagreements.  The complaint by Prof Joshua Silver, an astrophysicist, will not result in any serious investigation but it was recorded as a hate crime allegation under the existing standards.  We recently discussed the criminal charges brought against a conservative Dutch politician. Continue reading

Illinois Man Sues Over Arrest for Flag Burning

1414249_1280x720We previously discussed the case of Bruyton Mellott who was arrested after posting online pictures of himself burning an American flag has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to have the state’s flag desecration law declared unconstitutional. The 22-year-old the Wal-Mart employee was charged with flag desecration despite two Supreme Court cases clearly saying that such an act is constitutionally protected. After various experts (including myself) said that the arrest was unconstitutional, the charges were dropped, but Mellott is now suing.  I personally find Mellott’s actions to be highly offensive and disturbing.  I have never understood the burning of the flag which represents our collective rights, including free speech.  Unfortunately, important free speech cases are often triggered by the most reprehensible forms of speech or most reprehensible individuals.  In the end, the lawsuit may force legislators to confront the fact that they have continued a facially unconstitutional law on their books because they fear the political backlash if they comply with long-standing Supreme Court precedent.

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14-Year-Old African-American Girl Charged In Sending Fake KKK Tweet To High School

400px-arundelhighschoolThe entire community surrounding Arundel High School was traumatized recently when an anonymous person posted a tweet threatening that “We’re planning to attack tomorrow”. What made the tweet particularly menacing was the Twitter account: @KoolkidsKlanKkk. Police launched a full-fledged investigation and has now charged a 14-year-old African-American girl with sending a threatening tweet related to Arundel High School.

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Missouri Congressman Calls For Criminal Charges Against California Congressman In Removal Of Painting Depicting Police As Pigs

wm-_lacy_clay_official_photo_2009hshotthumbThere is an interesting controversy brewing on Capitol Hill where Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay, D-Mo., wants California Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Ca) criminally charged after Hunter took down a painting by one of Clay’s constituents that contains insulting images of police as pigs and other animals. The question is what the crime might be in such a circumstance since the painting was not damaged. It is analogous to the recent controversy at the University of Pennsylvania where students pulled down a portrait of William Shakespeare and replaced it with a portrait of a black feminist author. The painting (as in this case) was brought undamaged to the office. Of course, this is the removal of art from a Capitol building.

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