Sir Winston Churchill (AFP Photo)
Quoting Winston Churchill can get you arrested, as one British candidate in the European elections found out after referring to the iconic wartime leader’s thoughts on Islam from his book ‘The River War’, published in 1899.
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 Liberty GB party Chairman Paul 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, speaking through a megaphone, letting loose on 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.”
“Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it,” he went on.
“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,” police told the newspaper.
“He has been bailed pending further inquiries to report back to police on May 24,” they said.
The scene was handled by about “six or seven officers”, who asked the spectators questions before stopping Weston, mid-speech. He did not possess a permit for public addresses.
They talked to him for about 40 minutes, and at around 3pm took him downtown in a van, where he spent several hours in a cell. Later the dispersal notice was dropped, but Weston was then re-arrested for a racially aggravated crime, which, under the public order act, could land him a two-year sentence.
Liberty GB, outlining its ideas on its website, has as its core mission the promotion of views against immigration – something it calls “the most important issues of our time,” which the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Conservatives “manifestly refuse to discuss” – and the spread of fundamentalist Islam through British culture, whose traditional values they believe have been contaminated. Liberty GB believes that “Britain could be a wonderful country again, but it will take politics bordering on the revolutionary to achieve this vision.”