Tuesday, July 30, 2019

UK: Police Award Payout to Black Christian Arrested for Preaching

Scotland Yard has agreed to pay a Christian preacher £2,500 ($3,095) for wrongful arrest and humiliating treatment after the Metropolitan Police detained him last February, stripped him of his Bible, handcuffed him, and drove him several miles away where they left him.

The 64-year-old Pentecostal Christian, Oluwole Ilesanmi, said he welcomed the decision as a victory for freedom of speech. Mr Ilesanmi moved to the United Kingdom from Nigeria in 2010 as a Protestant missionary.

Two officers approached the former dentist last February as he was preaching outside Southgate Tube station in North London. Police reportedly had received a call from a passer-by accusing Mr Ilesanmi of hate speech.

A viral video of the arrest that has now been viewed over ten million times stirred up a public outcry and the advocacy group Christian Concern took up the man’s case, which eventually led to the decision to compensate the man for damages.

In their police report, the arresting officers said they had arrested Mr IIesanmi “to prevent a breach of the peace” yet video footage of the event shows no hostile or aggressive conduct by Mr Ilesanmi.

In the verbal exchange recorded in the two-minute video, one of the officers tells the preacher, “we are going to require you to go away,” or “I will arrest you for breach of peace.” “You’re causing problems; you’re disturbing people’s days and you’re breaching their peace,” the officer said.

To this, Mr Ilesamni replied, “I will not go away because I need to tell them the truth. Jesus is the only way, truth and life.”

“Nobody wants to listen to that,” the policeman replied.

The video also shows the police officer taking Mr Ilesanmi’s Bible away, to his visible distress.

When the preacher asks officers not to take his Bible, one of the officers, who is white, says: “You should’ve thought about that before being racist.” Mr Ilesanmi is black.

Ilesanmi admits that he described Islam as an “aberration” — seemingly the trigger for the racism allegation — but insists he was not denigrating Muslims but merely expressing his perspective as a Christian.

On Sunday, Mr. Ilesanmi told the Mail: “I believe God loves everyone, including Muslims, but I have the right to say I that I don’t agree with Islam – we are living in a Christian country, after all.”

“I was upset when they took away my Bible,” he said. “They just threw it in the police car. They would never have done that if it had been the Qur’an. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?”

The video was taken by Ambrosine Shitrit, who said she was passing by when she saw Mr Ilesanmi debating with a Muslim man.

“The preacher was fearless, but if I hadn’t started filming he would have been attacked,” Ms. Shitrit said. “He was not breaching the peace and in no way had he been Islamophobic. I would’ve been the first person to have said something if he had been.”

In early March, the Metropolitan Police directed its Professional Standards Unit to begin a review of the arrest in the face of extensive criticism.

According to Hounslow-based Sergeant Dave Turtle, this sort of heavy-handed approach to Christians is too familiar, adding that police officers need better training to understand the rights of street preachers.

Turtle called for a “fundamental review” of police training for faith issues since “we’ve had a number of situations across the country where street preachers have been arrested and then de-arrested.”

Observers have noted a strange discordance in that Muslims seem able to preach in London without being harassed by police, whereas Christians are often treated with hostility.

The £2,500 indemnification was awarded as “compensation for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, aggravated damages for exceptional harm and humiliating and distressing treatment, and recognition for the potential psychological trauma experienced during the arrest,” the Mail reported.

Commenting on the case, Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: “Despite laws that theoretically support the freedom to preach in public, in practice police officers are quick to silence preachers at the first suggestion that a member of the public is offended.


Scarlett Johansson Bemoans 'Political Correctness' in New Interview

This week’s reason to roll your eyes at the Avengers’ star comes courtesy of an interview with As If magazine, a publication I’m not entirely unconvinced wasn’t conjured out of nowhere for the precise purpose of getting me mad this Monday morning.

In the interview, conducted by artist David Salle, Johansson — a white, cis woman who has received criticism for accepting roles that might perhaps be better suited for Asian and transmasculine actors — talks about “political correctness” when it comes to casting, adding that she “should be allowed to play any person.”

“Today there’s a lot of emphasis and conversation about what acting is and who we want to see represent ourselves on screen,” Johansson told Salle. “You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.”

Two years ago, the actress received flack for playing the lead role in the Ghost in the Shell, which many viewed as whitewashing a Japanese character. The cycle repeated in 2018 when she accepted the lead role of a transmasculine gangster in Rub & Tug, though she soon withdrew from the part following criticism.

“There are a lot of social lines being drawn now, and a lot of political correctness is being reflected in art,” Johansson continued. “I think society would be more connected if we just allowed others to have their own feelings and not expect everyone to feel the way we do.”

The actress issued a statement addressing the As If interview following backlash on social media, claiming that her comments had been taken “widely” out of context in order to produce “clickbait.”

“I personally feel that, in an ideal world, any actor should be able to play anybody and art, in all forms, should be immune to political correctness,” said Johansson, per The Advocate. “I recognize that in reality, there is a wide spread discrepancy amongst my industry that favors Caucasian, cis gendered actors and that not every actor has been given the same opportunities that I have been privileged to. I continue to support, and always have, diversity in every industry and will continue to fight for projects where everyone is included.”


Political correctness warriors at Berkeley could end up criminalizing language

The modern usage of the notion of “political correctness” that emerged along with the American civil rights movement seems quaint considering the naked efforts at censorship in today’s world wielded by social justice frauds.

The latest shenanigans in the liberal bastion of Berkeley, California, don’t surprise anyone. The Berkeley City Council unanimously decided to eliminate gender from its law books, changing how the city interacts with its citizens.

This, like most actions taken by the left, can be excused as a well-meaning gesture, but it’s not. This is about training people to accept legal changes in language promoting and codifying a political agenda.

The moment you allow partisans to change language, you are unlocking the door to politicians and activists working together to control everything you say, and ultimately criminalize language itself.

The New York Times reported on Berkeley’s latest effort at language control. “Manhole will be replaced with maintenance hole. Sisters and brothers will be replaced with siblings and he or she will be banished in favor of they even if referring to one person,” The Times said. “The law would apply to traffic, health and safety regulations, garbage collection, environmental rules, construction permits, all of the business of the city.”

Berkeleyside, a local news site, reported on the city’s bizarre effort, “The rationale for this change states ‘amending the municipal code to include gender-neutral pronouns by illuminating any gender preference language within the municipal code will promote equality.’ ” This includes, by the way, referring to pregnant women now as “pregnant employees,” because “equality,” or something.

That, of course, is not true. Remember, the left usually tries to convince people to accept the absurd by inserting either “It’s for the children,” “It’s for the whales,” and the ubiquitous “It’s for equality,” because who can be against any of those things?

The left has always been desperate to make contradicting them bigoted at least and ultimately illegal. One would think they would be more interested in persuading people on issues that matter to them. But even they believe they can’t. The left cannot win discussions and debates on the issues, so their only solution is to silence non-conformists with assignments of bigotry and “hate,” hoping to silence and even ruin detractors.

How does the Berkeley ordinance explain itself?

“In recent years, broadening societal awareness of transgender and gendernonconforming [yes, they have that as one word] identities has brought to light the importance of non-binary gender inclusivity. Therefore, it is both timely and necessary to make the environment of City Hall and the language of city legislation consistent with the principles of inclusion,” CBS News reported.

We are assured by a representative for the city that Berkeley’s approximately 1,500 employees, according to The Times, “are not obliged to follow the new rules and conversation.”

And yet with this move, touted as something to make people feel more included, yet how safe would anyone in that environment feel simply using terms like “he” and “she?” Part of the conditioning of an act like this is to brainwash others to see a person using regular gender pronouns as a bigot, expanding the existential danger of using an unapproved pronoun.

We know the left wants to make it impossible to escape condemnation and punishment of whatever they’ve determined to be racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry in general, of everyone. And the only way to do that is to change the language and definitions.

The end goal of the left everywhere is to create an environment relying on fabricated language standards allowing for the arrest and/or ruination of those who use the wrong words or communicate in a way that someone finds offensive.

You think I’m going too far? It’s already happening. In England this past December, the Daily Mail reported that a mom was arrested for calling a transgender activist a man.

Kate Scottow was arrested in front of her children and locked in a cell for seven hours after calling a transgender woman a man on Twitter, said the newspaper.

“Three officers detained Kate Scottow at her home before quizzing at a police station about an argument with an activist on Twitter over so-called ‘dead naming.’ [as an example, if one were to refer to Caitlyn Jenner as Bruce]. The 38-year-old … had her photograph, DNA and fingerprints taken. … More than two months after her arrest … she has had neither her mobile phone or laptop returned which she said is hampering her studies for a masters in forensic psychology,” the newspaper reported.

Make no mistake, this is where we’re headed — making it possible to ruin someone’s life for being rude.

Moreover, Human Events reported, “A British doctor has been sacked from his government job following his refusal to refer to a hypothetical person described as a ‘six-foot-tall bearded man’ with feminine pronouns. Dr. David Mackareth … alleges that the topic of transgenderism and gender fluidity came up in a conversation with a line manager who asked him: ‘If you have a man six foot tall with a beard who says he wants to be addressed as ‘she’ and ‘Mrs,’ would you do that? … Describing it as an “interrogation,” the doctor claims his boss told him that it was ‘overwhelmingly likely’ he would lose his job unless he complied.”

The doctor did not comply, was fired and is now suing, Human Events reported.

Refusing to allow the left to change the language doesn’t make you a bigot, it makes you someone who cares about the freedom in this country that all of us count on, especially minorities who rely on the government not being powerful, intrusive and controlling. That is our fight, especially as totalitarian control continues to be masked as “tolerance.”


Dr. Charles Kesler: The left sees political correctness as 'established religion,' shuns dissenters

Left-wing Democrats have caused American politics to be dominated by political correctness and patrol those who dissent from their norms, according to Dr. Charles Kesler.

The left thrives on P.C. culture and uses it as a type of moral compass, Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont-McKenna College in California, claimed in an interview airing Sunday on "Life, Liberty & Levin."

"What you see in the phenomenon of political correctness -- which is so powerful -- in a way, it came from the universities, but now it is utterly dominating American politics too," he said.

"If you look at the Democratic presidential candidates, if you look at the 'squad' in Congress, their agenda is driven by political correctness, and political correctness means you hate and cannot tolerate the imperfection -- the moral imperfection -- of your fellow Americans."

Levin: Trump was addressing content of congresswomen's character, not color of their skinVideo
Nodding to Hillary Clinton's monikers for supporters of President Trump, Kesler claimed many liberals see "deplorables" and "irredeemables" as people, "who have not evolved."

"We're all supposed to be evolving together into a more perfect union -- as President Obama liked to say -- but the fact [is] that we're not," he said.

Many liberal Democrats, he added, are not receptive to the ideologies of conservatives and center-right moderates.

"The fact that there are these recalcitrant people who insist on ruling themselves [and] having a different kind of government, fundamentally, than the kind that we want and that we think history promises -- the left is not prepared for that," he told host Mark Levin.

"It's become kind of... a Medieval established religion. There's an inquisition, there's an index of forbidden books and forbidden thoughts which you're not supposed to read or think.

"There is a strict moral patrol to make sure that you are not caught thinking things you shouldn't be thinking or saying things you shouldn't say. And it's the antithesis of freedom."

However, Kesler claimed some classical liberals are looking at the leftward shift in the Democratic Party and not agreeing with what they are seeing.

They, "are looking around them and saying we don't recognize the America that these people are leading us towards. It doesn't seem to be a free country anymore."



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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