Much debate has erupted regarding the recent jailing of British activist Tommy Robinson. This case is telling, not only in regard to the current culture in Britain, but also in regard to the culture in the United States, where many people are unaware of the principles that morally govern the situation.
On May 25, 2018, Robinson was arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to thirteen months in prison. He was arrested reportedly for “breaching the peace” by livestreaming outside the Leeds Crown Court, where a trial is underway in which twenty-seven Muslim men and two Muslim women are alleged to have raped, trafficked, drugged, and sexually exploited more than one hundred girls as young as eleven years old.
During his seventy-five minute livestream (which I recommend watching), Robinson mostly talked quietly to himself and his viewers about the widespread problem of Muslims raping children throughout England. He also spoke to some of the defendants as they arrived at the courthouse, asking, “How are you feeling about your verdict?” and noting, “You’ve got your prison bag with you.” Robinson stayed off court property, as by the letter of the law he was required to do. He gave the police no reason to arrest him.1 . . .
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1. “The Stream That Got Tommy Robinson Arrested—Muslim Grooming Gang Court Case,” May 25, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9Z4YYIx_oI.
2. Ayn Rand, Ayn Rand Answers, edited by Robert Mayhew (New York: New American Library, 2005), 20–21.
3. Although Robinson supposedly pleaded guilty, that does not mean he broke a law.
4. Daniel Hannan, “The Real Story, and Why Tommy Robinson Belongs in Prison,” Washington Examiner, June 4, 2018, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/dan-hannan-the-real-story-and-why-tommy-robinson-belongs-in-prison; “Nigel Farage’s View on the Tommy Robinson Row May Surprise You,” Leading Britain’s Conversation, May 30, 2018, https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/nigel-farage/nigel-farages-view-on-the-tommy-robinson-row-may/.
Note that in his article, Hannan uses a red-herring example regarding the double standard at hand. Rather than focusing on the way in which the British legal system has treated others who’ve reported on the child-rape trial that Robinson was arrested for reporting on, Hannan pretends that the relevant comparison is how the system has treated a few Muslims who have incited violence or solicited murder. I discuss the relevant comparisons and the double standard below.
5. Victoria Ward and Nigel Bunyan, “Members of Paedophile Gang Treated Victims as ‘Worthless,’” The Telegraph, May 9, 2012, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9254232/Members-of-paedophile-gang-treated-victims-as-worthless.html.
6. Mark Easton, “Oxford Exploitation Trial: Guilty Verdicts over Child Rapes,” BBC News, May 14, 2013, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-22438623.
7. Douglas Murray, “Rape Gangs: A Story Set in Leafy Oxfordshire,” Gatestone Institute, June 3, 2018, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/12435/rape-gangs-oxford.
8. Helen Raleigh, “Tommy Robinson’s Arrest Shows It’s Time for Britain to Save itself from PC,” Townhall, June 3, 2018, https://townhall.com/columnists/helenraleigh/2018/06/03/tommy-robinsons-arrest-shows-its-time-for-britain-to-save-itself-from-pc-culture-n2486787.
9. Ward and Bunyan, “Members of Paedophile Gang Treated Victims as ‘Worthless.’”
10. Nawaz is wrong to imply that Robinson is a “populist agitator.” Robinson essentially speaks the truth about Islam and about the fact that when its ideas are taken seriously and put into practice, horror ensues. Nawaz, who wants somehow to be both a Muslim and a man of reason, apparently does not like for people to identify the true nature of Islam, and he chooses to smear Robinson for doing so. That’s a shame.
11. “Maajid Nawaz’s Unique View on Tommy Robinson’s Arrest” (video), Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC), May 30, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FniPiSLut8.
12. “Douglas Murray on Tommy Robinson (and the Establishment)” (video), June 28, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UoJareHfIw.
13. Correction: This paragraph originally included the parenthetical, “(In December 2016, Kevin Crehan, who was tried, convicted, and jailed for leaving a bacon sandwich outside a UK mosque, was murdered in prison halfway through his twelve-month sentence.)” But this was inaccurate. According to an investigation brought to my attention by a reader, the cause of Crehan’s death was a drug overdose. See Michael Young, “Bacon Mosque Attacker Kevin Crehan Died in Bristol Prison after Drug Overdose,” Bristol Live, May 23, 2018, https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/bacon-mosque-attacker-kevin-crehan-1602270. Regarding the attack on Robinson in jail, see James Delingpole, “Britain’s Most Hated Man Isn’t all that Hateful,” The Spectator, April 8, 2017, https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/britains-hated-man-isnt-hateful/.
14. Brian Doherty, “U.K. Arrests Anti-Muslim Activist Tommy Robinson for Livestreaming outside a Trial,” Reason, May 30, 2018, https://reason.com/blog/2018/05/30/uk-arrests-anti-muslim-activist-for-film.
15. My reading of the relevant and absurdly vague law, the Contempt of Court Act 1981, is the same as that of BBC Legal Correspondent Clive Coleman: “Proceedings are ‘active’ when a suspect is arrested.” See “Contempt of Court—What Does It Mean?” BBC News, May 30, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44307037. For your own best guess at the meaning of the law, see Schedule 1 of the Act here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/49. (I address the dangerous vagueness of this law below.)
16. Ezra Levant, “Live with Ezra: Shock Video Shows Other Journalists Filming Same Trial as Tommy Robinson” (video), Rebel Media, June 1, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0B6FWyiQWI&feature=youtu.be&t=5m50s.
17. Gemma Mullin, “‘Sex Gang’ Protest Raging Mob Scream and Shout Abuse outside Court at ‘Gang’ of 27 Men and Two Women Accused of a String of Sex Crimes against Children,” The Sun, May 11, 2017, https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3538445/edl-protest-huddersfield-gang-sex-crimes-young-women/.
18. For example, see Andrew Hirst, “Trial Dates Set for 29 People Accused of Child Sex Abuse Charges,” Huddersfield Examiner, May 11, 2017, https://www.examiner.co.uk/news/trial-dates-set-29-people-13022848.
19. Doherty, “U.K. Arrests Anti-Muslim Activist Tommy Robinson for Livestreaming outside a Trial.”
20. Joanne Armstrong Brandwood, “You Say ‘Fair Trial’ and I Say ‘Free Press’: British and American Approaches to Protecting Defendants’ Rights in High Profile Trials,” NYU Law Review, November 2000, http://www.nyulawreview.org/sites/default/files/pdf/NYULawReview-75-5-Brandwood.pdf. Contempt of Court Act 1981, https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/49.
21. (Although I would not normally link to National Review, given its utterly immoral treatment of Ayn Rand and Objectivism, I am making an exception because this article by Murray is one of very few that state the truth about what has happened to Robinson.) Douglas Murray, “Tommy Robinson Drew Attention to ‘Grooming Gangs.’ Britain Has Persecuted Him,” National Review, May 31, 2018, https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/tommy-robinson-grooming-gangs-britain-persecutes-journalist/.
22. For clarity on what is and is not a violation of moral rights, see Craig Biddle, “Ayn Rand’s Theory of Rights: The Moral Foundations of a Free Society,” in The Objective Standard, Fall 2011, https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/issues/2011-fall/ayn-rand-theory-rights/.