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14 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An embarrassment to the progressive (common sense) left, 28 April 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: A Brief History of Blasphemy: Liberalism, Censorship and the "Satanic Verses" (Paperback)
The book may be about the fifteen year old Satanic Verses controversy, but it remains surprisingly pertinent to today's debate. Webster's argument can be described thus: rather than do away with blasphemy laws they should extend to all religions (the position of the Lib Dems). People like Rushdie who create 'inflamatory' works bear full moral and possibly legal responsibility for the violent counter-reactions they spawn. Muslims he informs us have no tradition of harsh criticism of Mohammed, Allah, etc. and therefore Britons and other Westerners have no business criticising it (never mind that Rushdie is Indian and of a Muslim background).
Webster apparently feels that the solution to an unjust law (blasphemy laws covering Christianity in the UK) is extending the unjust protection to all religions (non-religious doctrines can fend for themselves). You see by silencing critical debate on religion we'll all get along, right? I found it disturbing and hypocritical that someone who self publishes under the name 'The Orwell Press' would write a work which flies in the face of much of what George Orwell stood for. This book is little more than a shallow, appeasement-minded thinking on a complex subject. Read it only to see how smug and self-righteous some far left (to the point of wrapping around to meet religious conservatives) thinkers can be.
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A Brief History of Blasphemy: Liberalism, Censorship and the "Satanic Verses"
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