THE EDITOR: There is little need for discussion with respect to the preservation or disposal of the Sedition Act.
Fifteen minutes on social media will quickly confirm that it is not only the State that is in need of protection at this juncture of our history, but also the many citizens who are trolled, bullied and disrespected by those among us who lack the maturity, education, self-restraint, tolerance and sense of common decency necessary for civil discourse to thrive in any society.
In the absence of self-regulation, the State must be allowed to act. In this case, state intervention in the abuse that has become commonplace in both social media and public spaces is not only necessary, but would be most enthusiastically welcomed.
Until such a time, hold on to the Sedition Act, and every other law on the books that checks the liberalist urge to push the parameters of free speech and expression, and that reminds us that as citizens our amazing freedoms and rights come with awesome responsibilities.
The recent comments made by Jamaat al Muslimeen leader and former insurgent, Yasin Abu Bakr, further underscores the fact that as a society we are not yet done with the Sedition Act. His comments, given the context of his personal history, must be seen as a veiled threat and dealt with swiftly and accordingly.
I am often reminded, when the conversation turns to the “retirement” of certain laws on our books, to the discourse between Sir Thomas More and William Roper in the play, A Man For All Seasons. After Roper argues that he would cut down every law in England to go after the Devil, it is Sir Thomas who then cautions:
“Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ‘round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!”
In other words, tread carefully. And remember always that laws are created as much for your protection as they are for the pursuit of justice.