Maajid Nawaz: Police need to focus on knife crime not "thought crime"
15 February 2020, 17:34
Maajid Nawaz gives his take on why law enforcement should not be investigating "thought crime."
Harry Miller won a case at the High Court this week after it was ruled the police response to a complaint about his alleged “transphobic” tweets were a "disproportionate interference" on his right to freedom of expression.
He was visited by Humberside Police at his workplace in January last year after a complaint was lodged about the tweets.
The 54-year-old was told by an officer "I am here to check your thinking" and his tweets would be recorded as a non-crime hate incident.
Maajid said police should not have been involved and described the situation as "Orwellian".
"People must be allowed to harbour bigoted thoughts and express bigotry in general terms, don't investigate them for "non-crime hate incidents", and certainly don't arrest them for it," Maajid said.
"I want to live in country where just like the BNP (British National Party) is allowed to exist, a former Muslim radical who has been imprisoned for a thought crime during the war on terror era, can have a radio show."
"That's what it means to be in a free and democratic society," he said.
The High Court ruled on Friday the actions of police were unlawful and had a “substantial chilling effect” on Mr Miller's right to free speech.
In his ruling Mr Justice Julian Knowles added that the effect of the police turning up at Mr Miller's place of work "because of his political opinions must not be underestimated".