Freedom of Expression – London Mayor gets punished for calling a news reporter “concentration camp guard”

LONDON, Feb 24: London Mayor Ken Livingstone was suspended from office for four weeks on Friday for bringing his office into disrepute by comparing a Jewish reporter to a Nazi concentration camp guard. The suspension is effective March 1.

“His treatment of the journalist was unnecessarily insensitive and offensive,” said David Laverick, chairman of the Adjudication Panel for England, the disciplinary panel which ruled on the case. Mr Laverick said the panel was concerned that Ken Livingstone refused to apologise. “The mayor does seem to have failed, from the outset of this case, to have appreciated that his conduct was unacceptable, was a breach of the code (the Greater London Authority code of conduct) and did damage to the reputation of his office,” Mr Laverick said.

“This decision strikes at the heart of democracy,” the mayor said. “Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law.

”Since Mr Livingstone lost the case, he must pay his own costs, estimated at more than 80,000 pounds. “The whole point being made was a dislike for Associated Newspapers and their history of supporting policies, which are inconsistent with the policies of the mayor,” lawyer Tony Child argued earlier this week. “There’s a right to be offensive and to express in hyperbolic terms opposition to Associated Newspapers and their policies,” Mr Child added. —AP

You can read one news report by clicking on the title and the second by clicking here.

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Why I am Happy

I am happy that;

* I can walk; there are those who have never taken their first step

* I can see the beauty all round, there are those whose world is always dark.

* I can hear music being played, there are those who have spent entire life in silence

* I can work, there are those who have to depend on others for even their basic needs.

* I have been loved, there are those for whom no one has ever cared.

Lesson for Life

Open your arms to change, but do not let go of your values.

Live a good, honourable life, so that when you get older and think back, you will be able to enjoy it a second time.

When you lose, do not lose the lesson.

NOTE:- I was out of Islamabad from February 12 early morning to Februray 20 afternoon to attend several family functions in Sialkot , Gujranwala and Lahore, as such, could not make a post as per my schedule on Fabruary 16.

All that glitters is not gold

Publication and republication of the blasphemous sketches of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in many European countries has been dubbed as freedom of expression by the Western peoples. Somehow this freedom only applies when Muslims are the target.

Here are few examples of recent past revealing that the assertion of the Western peoples about freedom of expression is incorrect and baseless. 1. Some months back, David John Cawdell Irving, a researcher of history, was arrested and is under trial for delivering a hate speech in which he is said to have denied the holocaust. He had also been declared an anti-semitic and racist. He is forbidden to enter Australia, Canada, Germany, Austria and some other European countries because denying the holocaust is an unpardonable crime.

2. Over a year ago, during Mr Tony Blair’s election campaign, Labour Party had published an advertisement that showed the then leader of the opposition, Mr John Howard, a Jew, as a pig with wings having Mr Howard’s head. The British Jews reacted angrily and demanded apology from those responsible. Mr Tony Blair had immediately done the needful.3. Again over one year back, the mayor of London had likened the Jew reporter of a British newspaper who had been pestering him, to a “concentration camp guard.” This caused uproar in the Jew community and it wanted him to retract his words. The British premier had also joined them by asking the mayor to apologize.
4. A couple of years back, the then prime minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohammad, had caused a storm in the West by criticizing the Jews, although his words were true and he had also praised the Jews for their many positive accomplishments.

5. There was an outrage in the US and Europe when the Iranian president recently suggested that the Holocaust did not actually occur and that Israel should be shifted to Europe or Alaska, etc.
6. T V Al Jazeera office in Afghanistan had been “mistakenly” attacked by American forces and its reporter injured around 2001 after coverage had been given by the news channel to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, in addition to presenting the western viewpoint.

7. Similarly, Al Jazeera office in Iraq was bombed by American forces killing one staffer because they used to give some news of the other side also.

8. Recently, there has been a news leak that Mr George W Bush and Mr Tony Blair had discussed the possibility of bombing the Qatar-based channel’s headquarters as a punishment for exercising it’s freedom of expression.

What is important ?

What is important is not

* what you possess, but rather what you give.

* how many friends you have, but rather how many to whom you are a friend.

* what kind of car you drive, but rather how many people you give a lift.

* that you live in a great neighbourhood, but rather how you treat your neighbour

* the size of your house, but rather the number of people you welcome into your home.

* your social status, but whether you live your life with class.