Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Monday, November 22, 2004  

Gareth Thomas, the UK minister for international development, is claiming that dancehall singers are fuelling the spread of Aids in the Caribbean, and is expected to say so in a speech he will give in St. Kitts today in a conference on the virus. According to Thomas, songs that call for and condone the murder of gays incite violence and homophobia that prevents people from getting tested for the disease, thereby spreading it.

He also believes, effectively, that such songs should be banned: "I believe in free speech, but nobody in a democracy should be able to incite violence against minorities."

This brings to mind Theo Van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered recently after he made a documentary film that accused Islam of condoning violence against women. The film contained controversial scenes that have been labelled blasphemous by some; Bina wrote an article about it that has sparked off some lively debate about the issue, and the issue of free speech in particular.

posted by Jonathan | 8:14 AM 0 comments


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