When Does Religion Become a Hate Crime?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Monday, July 19, 2004

When Does Religion Become a Hate Crime?

July 19, 2004

When does religion become a hate crime?

That's the headline in a Washington Times story about the British government, which is toying with the idea of making certain speech illegal.

The idea is to silence Islamic militants who call for the destruction of the British government and the murder of its leaders. 

But Home Secretary David Blunkett says the law would also apply to "far-right evangelical Christians."

That could mean if a Christian says that Islam is not a peaceful religion and is out to kill us, such a person could be arrested, fined and imprisoned for telling what he believes to be true.

This is a dangerous road to go down.

It isn't the evangelical Christian who is blowing himself up, along with others, or driving truck bombs into crowded areas, or attempting to dominate others by force.

This kind of moral equivalency is a distraction.

The British government's problem is that it has let too many Muslims into its country. They are not assimilating.

Regulating speech won't solve this problem.

I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.