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Man gets scentenced to 70 days in prison for burning a Koran

Discussion in 'Serious' started by AcidJiles, 19 Apr 2011.

  1. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-13119241

    He stole a Koran and then set it alight in a public place. He was protesting the burning of a poppy last remembrance day for which the perpetrator was fined £50. Now in this case the guy stole the Koran and has a history which makes it different but doesn't this seem a little harsh. He maybe (I don't know, although previous offenses suggest) is a racist but doesn't this bring up issues of freedom of speech. If for example a group of Christians or Muslims burnt say (although not stolen) pornography or some atheist books would anything be done? Offending people in general as opposed to specifically targeting someone, e.g. walking up to a black man and shouting swear word swear word offensive word to black people in their face surely shouldn't be a crime however unnecessary or unkind.

    I don't condone the activity but I thought this incident brings up issues with how in the UK we deal with a persons right to make a statement and their freedom of speech regardless of how others feel about. For example I am not a fan of the church so say a preacher in a UK town is telling me I will go to hell if I don't go to church and repent as I walk past, should I be offended and report him for a hate crime or (as I actually do) just walk on by and ignore it as I have better things to think about.

    Anyone know about more about Hate crime legislation, where the line is drawn and whether you think at the moment it is balanced correctly.

    As always all comments thoughts appreciated.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2011
  2. Er-El

    Er-El Member

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    So who exactly was the victim in this? I understand it's stolen property for a start, but 70 is taking it a bit too far!
     
  3. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    I'm not sure you can compare a poppy to a book of religion. Burning a poppy would of course be offensive but I doubt it would cause more than that. If a bible was burned (although I'm atheist) I would expect the offender to get an equally harsh sentence.
     
  4. tristanperry

    tristanperry Active Member

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    A pretty stupid sentence.

    I CBA to get into a debate on this topic, but I doubt whether someone who burnt any of the other religious books would get jail time.
     
  5. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    I don't think the level of general offense is important. If an individual is targeted and singled out then it is different but I could say I was a scientologist and the work of Ron Hubbard is burnt do I have the right to be as offended and would the same sentence be handed out? Or if I was an immense fan of Darwin and burning The origin of species to me would be as great offense as burning a Koran to a Muslim. Or how about Jedi who for them burning Star Wars would be of great offense (If they were full on believers of course, however deluded, not that other religious people aren't deluded of course in my eyes). We could ridicule Jedi's or scientologist's belief but why should those have any less protection from offense than a Muslim or Christian.
     
  6. AcidJiles

    AcidJiles New Member

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    Why does it have to be a religious book, surely people can believe strongly in things other than religious works. As used above say a Darwin Fanatic and the origin of species or a Dan Brown Fanatic and the da vinci code. Quite honestly what makes religious books have any right to any higher protection by law. They are words on a page that some people believe in. If I wrote a diary which meant a lot to me and someone stole and burnt it would anyone go to jail regardless of the offense level to me?
     
  7. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    I think we're all free to burn books, we're just not free to incite religious hatred.

    added: if I were to steal your diary and burn it AcidJiles, I would be arrested for theft and criminal damage possibly, I'm not sure. I wouldn't get 70 days in prison. Probably a fine. But then that isn't inciting hatred.

    Is there an underlying want to be able to burn Korans?! I'm unsure what the point of this is.
     
  8. Comrade Woody

    Comrade Woody Obsolete

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    The only part of this which should be considered a crime is the theft and subsequent destruction of property.

    I'm an atheist myself but honestly I don't see that it should matter if a book, flag or anything else is burnt so long as doing so puts nobody at risk and is merely intended to provoke a response. If someone burns a book does it alter in any way the content of its text, or change the lives of those who value its contents? If someone burns a flag does it make any difference to the people of the nation it represents? I can think of several books that mean a lot to me but if someone set fire to them I really wouldn't give a damn, I'd just think they were a t**t.

    Why can't people just accept that other people think differently? We don't need to make everyone think as we do or live as we live. The sooner people learn to rise above all of this petty-minded rubbish the better.

    I wonder if this guy appreciates the irony of his actions. Doing to a group of people the same thing that an individual had done to anger him in the first place seems pretty moronic to me.

    As for the sentence, 70 days is ridiculous if that's all it's for, but the article makes no mention of previous offences and if there are any they'd certainly reduce the impact of the story...
     
  9. RichCreedy

    RichCreedy Hey What Who

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    the victims from this will be those who are attacked and killed by the extremists who take the burning of the koran as a serious offence.

    there have already been retaliation to the american preists burning.
     
  10. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    Justice served in my opinion.

    Me being all peaceful at the moment can only think of "an eye for an eye, makes the world blind"... and little else.
     
  11. Pieface

    Pieface New Member

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    He stole and destroyed Public property (A library's book is public property isn't it?) I think the sentence is justified, as in attacking a small sect of a religion, he offended a whole community. But I agree with the sentiments, that if someone to do that to a Bible, the sentence should be the same.

    All of the crap that the extremists Muslims cause (Such as poppy burning etc) will not stop until idiots like this guy rise above it, and just ignore it. This is the sort of reaction that the Extremists want, and he's just playing into their hands.
     
  12. BRAWL

    BRAWL Well-Known Member

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    Yep and that wont happen because remember...

    "we're better than them so lets follow their example!"
     
  13. Jaybles

    Jaybles New Member

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    I disagree.
    The poppies are symbolic of people who lost their life fighting. They are symbolic to the people who care and want to remember these people.

    The book is symbolic to a different group of people who want to remember something too.

    Maybe you cannot compare them on an equal footing but either way it depends on the underlying motive.

    I obviously don't condone what either of them did and maybe it is a little harsh upon the book burner, but i think the people who burned the poppy got let off lightly.

    Ive kind of contorted how i meant to put it but couldnt get it to sound right.
     
  14. Ending Credits

    Ending Credits Bunned

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    Letting the poppy-burners off lightly set a bad precedent which could have caused the Koran-burner to retaliate in a similar fashion because he expected to be given a similarly light punishment (although I doubt this was the case, the principle still stands though).
     
  15. KidMod-Southpaw

    KidMod-Southpaw Super Spamming Saiyan

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    Burn a book. Nobody cares.
    Burn a book that people believe in. Off you go with Mr. Plod.
    It's not acts against another religion like this this that need to be punished, but acts for a religion need to be.
     
  16. Volund

    Volund Am I supposed to care?

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    If he had bought the Koran and burned it (i.e. his own property), I highly doubt that he would have been given any jail time, perhaps a slap on the wrist for inciting hatred in a public place, perhaps a day in jail/a fine.

    Therefore, I think it is relatively safe to ASSUME (as I don't know all of the details) that his sentence was based on the theft and destruction of property. Now, perhaps he got a judge who disliked the fact that it was a religious text, and he got a heavier sentence for that. I would not, however say that the 70 day sentence was because he burned a religious text, it was because of the theft and destruction of property.
     
  17. leveller

    leveller Yeti Sports 2 - 2011 Champion!

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    I hear the poppy burners have made an application to protest on the day of the royal wedding. Of course there is no way they will get the go ahead but it makes you wonder if they'll turn up regardless. If burning a poppy made a guy burn a Koran, imagine what disrupting the royal wedding will do to a television audience of 2billion (apparently).
     
  18. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD New Member

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    Burning the Koran or a poppy should not be a criminal offence. Its a free country and you should be free to do things like that. The perpetual erosion of civil liberties in this country is disgusting.
     
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  19. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    Yeah there's free speech, but if it's done in a distasteful way then I disagree with it. If he wants to burn korans in his own house then go for it, but if he does it in a public place then it is deliberately to offend people, which I don't think is right.
    Although in this case, surely the reason he got locked up is because he stole and then damaged (destroyed) the book, as someone else said, damage of someone elses/public property.
     
  20. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD New Member

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    The whole point about free speech is that the untasteful stuff is the same as the tasteful stuff. Same with the stuff which is done to offend people. Our best defence against poppy burners and the like is to prove that we don't care. By prosecuting them we only justify their actions.
     

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