Quoting the Koran won't get you banged up and prosecuted in nominally Christian Britain, but quoting the Bible will. How insane is that? Mike Overd, a former paratrooper turned Christian preacher, has just been prosecuted for "threatening behaviour" under the Public Order Act after talking on the street about homosexuality, where he invoked Leviticus 20:13 from the Old Testament, which states:
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
Such a statement is pretty strong stuff and I have a degree of sympathy for the woman who reported him to the police after claiming to have been distressed by such inflammatory words, but there is more to this story than meets the eye.
The first is that the judge who found Mr Overd guilty is a Muslim by the name of Shamim Qureshi who also presides over Sharia courts in England. Now, no matter how unpleasant the Leviticus quote might be, the idea that a Muslim activist can find a Christian guilty of quoting the Bible in Christian Britain must surely set some alarm bells ringing, one would have thought.
But apparently not. This outrage was reported by Christian Today several days ago and has been completely ignored by the mainstream media, which no doubt agree that prosecuting Christians is quite right if they dare to question the Holy Grail of progressive liberal orthodoxy. Clearly PC Plod thought the same thing too, as did the Crown Prosecution Service, which as an institution has not so much been long marched through than steam-rollered into a Soviet-style apparatus redolent of Stalin's Show Trial era.
The second point is that if quoting the Bible is a criminal offence, why is the Bible allowed to exist in Britain? Surely it is the words themselves which brought about the guilty verdict, rather than the person who stated them? Mr Overd was not offering us his personal opinion on homosexuality, he was offering us God's opinion, and as it is well-nigh impossible to haul God before the British judiciary, should not the Bible itself be on trial rather than Mr Omerd?
Make no mistake about it, despite the prosecution of Mr Omerd, it was the Bible on trial here, which leads to the interesting question of whether the Bible has any place in a British courtroom any longer, especially if it is to be used as it has always used - held in one hand by the defendant as he intones, "I swear by Almighty God that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
The unintended consequences of meddling liberalism would be funny if they were not so tragic. When looking up the exact quote for swearing the oath on the Bible in a courtroom, I found much to my surprise that the wording has changed for England, although it remains the same for Scotland. In England, it is now as follows:
I swear by [substitute Almighty God/ Name of God (such as Allah) or the name of the holy scripture] that the evidence I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
There are still liberal types who think the ongoing Islamisation of England is a myth. I suggest they wake up. No doubt most of them fail to realise that Muslims who swear the oath upon the Koran and Allah in a courtroom can perjure themselves to their heart's content if it is in the interest of Islam. It's called taqiyya - if they are remotely interested, that is.
They should also ask themselves what the chances are of a Christian Judge presiding over a Sharia court. Is this not what diversity is supposed to be all about? But diversity in England only really means Muslims can prosecute Christians, not the other way around. Just as Islam intended.
Paul Weston is Chairman of Liberty GB. He is standing for election in the Luton South constituency on 7 May. Click here to support Paul Weston's election campaign.