Where are the left wing and feminist voices rushing to defend JK Rowling and free speech today, asks Darren Grimes

Happily, according to his agent, the author Sir Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and was able to talk on Saturday

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Happily, according to his agent, the author Sir Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and was able to talk on Saturday. I hope and pray that he continues to pull through. The man represents values we all ought to hold dear; he symbolises how free speech is in peril. You’ll remember his novel The Satanic Verses was banned in some countries, and fatwa was issued in 1989 on him by Ayatollah Khamenei.

Darren Grimes questions the lack of left wing voices in response to death threats facing JK Rowling.
Darren Grimes questions the lack of left wing voices in response to death threats facing JK Rowling.

The Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, in tweeting how she felt ‘very sick’ at the news of the attack on Rushdie, was sent a death threat warning that she was next. It’s certainly not the first death threat Rowling has received for daring to be a woman with a view on gender ideology. Where are the left-wing and feminist voices rushing to defend Rowling and free speech today?

Where are the social media hashtags and the protests on the streets for freedom of expression and the right to offend? Across the West today, the free flow of ideas is becoming increasingly problematic; in today’s world, anybody who dares voice an idea that goes against the grain can lose their livelihood, reputation or worse.

Over recent years we’ve seen blasphemous laws ushered in by the backdoor in Britain. The Batley Grammar school teacher that the school suspended for showing a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed to children was, a year on, still reported to be in hiding. Again, where were the left-wing voices and politicians counter-protesting the case that this isn’t a country in which blasphemy and offence are actions that lead to a loss of livelihood?

Months ago, we on this channel were covering the pulling of a ‘blasphemous’ film from cinema chains around the nation thanks to similar protests. Britain has to find its backbone. This happens when you shrug your shoulders and allow freedom of speech to be placed on life support. Freedom of speech means that some will agree and some will not, and that is how we have a healthy debate.

Our ancestors fought and died for our right to offend, to speak, and for authors like Rowling and Rushdie to be able to have uncomfortable conversations. They were values worth fighting for then, and they’re sure as hell values worth fighting for now. I know whose side I’m on, do you?