2010-01-02

Arab Sheiks, Hindu Sikhs, Jesus Freaks




Colm has posted a good run-down with some excellent points of the problems seen with the blasphemy.ie campaign as it stands.

I somewhat agree, but I'm also of the opinion that the response has to be somewhat tempered, in order to not have yourself branded a crazy fringe group. The statements (quoted, not illegal, some quite tame) don't go far enough, but the context is important. The Dermot Ahern one is quite reaching, and probably not illegal. They probably would have gotten more mileage from me if they'd gotten behind the likes of the infamous Muhammad cartoons, or the murdered Dutch film-maker (whose name escapes me). But of course, muslim-bashing is a touchy subject and doesn't get you in mainstream news sources.

I'm also not convinced this is a PR coup. For the most part, stories sell themselves, and a reasoned but moderate view is a pretty good way to make media outlets yawn and move on. In the past year, I've spent a good few mornings on the phone with Joe Duffy's or Gerry Ryan's researchers offering a completely rational view on Airsoft, its legality, its place in society. None of this ever appeared on radio, because they were hoping I was a giant IRA nut or a crazy shut-in. The best way to make your story boring is to talk sense. You need to shout louder and be heard without losing your credibility. This is the hard part.

I think possibly the best thing blasphemy.ie can do right now (right after they get a better hosting plan) is to follow up while the public eye is on them with something a lot meatier. This is a pretty feeble attempt to get prosecuted. There are more laws than most of us have ever read that are never intended to be enforced, and I suspect this is one of them.


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