Friday, 23 April 2010

Asbo for Atheist Propaganda

This story got a small mention in the news but seems to have been drowned out by other minor issues, like the volcano and the election, but could have serious consequences for unbelievers especially those interested in being actively antireligious.

Atheist gets Asbo

Jurors found Harry Taylor guilty of causing "religiously aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress". This merely for putting on display some well-known cartoons: one image showed a smiling crucified Christ next to an advert for a brand of "no nails" glue; another Islamic suicide bombers at the gates of paradise being told: "Stop, stop, we've run out of virgins".

Would it be possible for atheists to claim "aggravated intentional harassment" the next time we are stopped by Mormons, or Jehovah's Witnesses knock at our doors, or when we pass by a church with a depiction of a man being tortured by being nailed to a cross, or when Bishops tell us that atheists are "less than human"?

This case seems to be bringing back a law of Blasphemy, which I thought we had just abolished.


  1. I attended the sentencing hearing at Liverpool Crown Court. See my opinion pieces on my own blog before and after.

    Mr Taylor seemed like a perfectly rational individual who wanted to make a point. I seriously doubt whether he would have been punished so severely if he had left caricatures of Gordon Brown at Labour Party offices across the country.

  2. Graham Martin-Royle25 April 2010 at 22:51

    It's mad that he could even be arrested for this. At the very most he should have been given a fine for littering. This IS blasphemy being brought back in by the back door and is a very retrograde step.