A candidate in the European elections has been arrested after making a speech quoting from a book by Winston Churchill about Islam. Paul Weston, chairman of the Liberty GB party, was making the speech on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, Hampshire, on Saturday, when a member of the public complained to police and he was arrested.
He had been reading from Churchill’s book The River War, written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in Sudan. The book chronicles young Churchill’s service in Sudan at the time of the Anglo-Egyptian re-conquest, and the passage deals with his observations on Islam. But that passage is now in danger of landing Weston in prison for two years.
Weston, a candidate in the May 22 European Elections in the South East, addressed the public in Hampshire on Saturday, and speaking through a megaphone. He quoted Churchill’s criticism of Muslims for their “improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property,” which “exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.”
“No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith,” he declared, sparking outrage in one spectator, who decided to bring in the police.
Authorities didn’t wait for Weston to finish his speech, taking him away from the steps of the Winchester Guildhall – first for refusing to comply with an order for public dispersal, then on the added charge of “suspicion of religious or racial harassment.”
Many Americans are currently concerned about similar future actions in the face of legislation recently proposed by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.The Hate Crime Reporting Act of 2014 “would create an updated comprehensive report examining the role of the Internet and other telecommunications in encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and create recommendations to address such crimes,” carrying particular provisions for those who “insult Islam.”