"At the heart of the debate about defamation of religion are actually not questions of faith or hatred, but of political power. Demanding that certain things cannot be said, whether in the name of respecting faith or of not offending cultures, is a means of defending the power of those who claim legitimacy in the name of that faith or that culture. It is a means of suppressing dissent, not from outside, but from within. What is often called offence to a community or a faith is actually a debate within that community or faith. In accepting that certain things cannot be said because they are offensive or hateful, those who wish to restrict free speech are simply siding with one side in such debates – and usually the more conservative, reactionary side."
Kenan Malik lecturer, broadcaster, a presenter of Analysis, on BBC Radio 4, and a panelist on The Moral Maze, also on Radio 4.
The full interview with Malik "Why hate speech should not be banned" is here.