There has been a significant amount of talk over Tony Blair's recent speech in which he essentially said 'conform to our tolerant society or get out of/stay away from Britain'. It was certainly refreshing to see Blair come out and say something that obviously has been on his mind for a while - at least since the 7 July bombings - not masked by political correctness. The Muslim Council of Britain called the PM's speech 'alarming', but I think that's rubbish. Certainly this isn't just a case of extremist Muslims spontaneously emerging in Britain - they have to be reacting to something (such as the Iraq war) - but I can't help but agree with Blair this time. It's about time that he told extremists who come to Britain and use their right to free speech (which they would be denied in most Muslim countries) to violently denounce their adopted home. (I'm referring to calls to arms and incitement to murder, not simply criticism of the government.) What I find so ridiculous about the Muslim Council of Britain's comment about Blair's speech is that Blair was very specific in describing exactly whom he was addressing. Blair said the threat came from 'a new and virulent form of ideology associated with a minority of our Muslim community'. I think that anyone with a brain understands what he means. I think it is a failure of responsibility on behalf of the Muslim Council to overlook this and pretend to not understand exactly who is being condemned.
What do you all think? Is there/should there be a limit to freedom of speech?
There is a link through this article to a video of the full speech: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6219626.stm