I’m uneasy with the outcry over demonstrations and the chanting of ‘jihad’.
I believe in the right to demonstrate -however strongly I might actually disagree with the cause about which the demonstrators are protesting.
The line that I draw is when a protest prevents everyone else going about their lawful business: I’d sooner someone was arrested for blocking a road than chanting ‘jihad’.
Of Course, some chanting could contravene the laws that we have passed to prevent incitement to violence and hatred and, no doubt, that threshold has been reached on occasion in recent days.
But does chanting ‘jihad’ reach that threshold?
The difficulty in any court will be the question whether ‘jihad’, beyond any reasonable doubt, constitutes incitement or a ‘hate crime’. Surely the defence would simply plead that the proper and true meaning of ‘jihad’ is purity and spiritual renewal, rather than violent holy war.