Episode 2 Free Speech


Episode 2

Live current affairs debate show from the Broadwater Farm housing estate in Tottenham. Viewers help set the agenda by voting for the questions they want to see debated.


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Transcript


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Hello, and welcome to Free Speech, the show which makes your voice

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heard in the national conversation. I'm Rick Edwards and welcome to Free

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Speech. Tonight we are live from Broadwater

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Farm in Tottenham, north London. Our live audience ready to tell us what

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they think but we want to hear what you think too. Just tell Tina

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Daheley. Thanks Rick - yes, we want to hear from you at home in this

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show. Here are the hashtags and addresses you need. Your answers and

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comments will come straight to me where I'll make sure they're heard

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in the debate. As well as your comments we'll be running the Power

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Bar. As the questions are asked we'll be putting them up on the

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bottom of the screen for you to debate. Just use the hashtag Free

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Speech Yes or hashtag Free Speech No to let us know what you think of the

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topic being discussed. And here is our panel. Telegraph columnist and

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historian, Tim Stanley, Broadcaster and Labour candidate for parliament,

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Amy Lame Luisa Zissman, businesswoman and star of the

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Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother and Maajid Nawaz, co-founder of

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anti-extremist think tank Quilliam and now Lib Dem candidate for

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parliament. And that's our panel. APPLAUSE. Our first question comes

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from our studio audience. My question is are the police right to

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judge young people on the way we look? Are the police right to judge

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young people based on the way that we look? Let's start with you

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please, Maajid. My answer one absolutely not. I have been probably

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the only person on this panel that has been arrested at gun point and I

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was detained over night and I know how terrifying it can be. If you're

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going to profile people racially, that tells you nothing about whether

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they'ry -- carrying drugs or weapons and all it does is breed resentment

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that we saw here in this area in Tottenham. It is difficult and some

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people fit into a certain demographic that statistically they

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will carry knives or do drugs. But on the flip side it is wrong to be

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discriminated against. The police have to profile people, because they

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can't stop and search everybody on the street. How would you respond to

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that? I would say young people, why do the police have to take the media

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stereotypes of young people, just because we're wearing hoodies or

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trainers and on the street, just because a certain group of young

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people commit those crimes, everybody who wears those brands is

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not a criminal. The media stereotype that it was 18 to 24-year-olds, but

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on the streets it was more 30-plus-year-olds who were looting

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and stealing. The gentleman at the back. I don't think, it is easy to

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jump on the police for profiling, but it is society in general. But we

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as young people are being profiled in the media and on the streets, I

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could walk op the street wearing a hoodie and see other people cross

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the street. That is not just the police. That is society. What do you

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think, Tim? That is a very good point. There are two issues. First

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that of youth being targeted on the basis of the way people dress. Well,

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no, if you wear a hoodie, it doesn't mean you're necessary lay criminal,

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but you're more likely to be a criminal and you will be judged by

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the police in that way. That is unfortunate, but the police have to

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make snap decisions. That is separate from the issue of racial

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profiling for which there is no excuse and none of this could

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justify stopping and searching, which is unconstitutional. But I

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don't think we can blame the police for trying to bring law and order to

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the streets by making judgments that are rationale basis of people

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hanging around in groups, or people looking a certain way on the basis

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of clothing. That is not unreasonable. Maajid? If you think

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that the majority of people that wear hoodies happen to be preparing

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to commit a crime. I didn't say that. Most people in California are

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wearing hoodies, so I find that strange where the statistics are.

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People wear all sorts of clothing. That is preposterous as saying all

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people in pink ties and suits are bankers and are ripping people off.

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They probably are! The gentleman here. I agree that the police have

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to make snap decisions. It is more of a society problem than it is the

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police's false. If you're to be seen wearing a hoodie and what not, the

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police do tend to think you're a xrl. But like I said, it depends on

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the police have to make snap decisions, because they see somebody

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wearing a hoodie and they have a knife and they leave them alone. It

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could come back and be a problem. Has anyone experienced stop and

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sench? -- search? A couple of years ago I was riding my bike home and I

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got stopped and searched and it was quite at the time it was quite

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humiliating. My first instances is the colour of your skin and I think

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personally the proportion rate of stop and search is high on black,

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African, Caribbean. You're seven more times like to be stopped if

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your black an white. Yes. I would say to say the idea that if you wear

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hoodie there is some chance that you're a criminal, I completely...

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That is ridiculous. I go to college and everyone I know wears a hoodie.

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So is everyone likely to be a criminal, are we all smuggling drugs

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because we wear hoodies? Let's clarify that this. -- clarify this.

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Police are walking down the street and a car alarm goes off, there are

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two people in the street. A young person in a hoodie and a little old

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lady with her bags, who are they going to stop? Let's live in the

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real world. It is a hypothetical situation. It is hypothetical. This

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gentleman? The fact that I wear a baseball cap does that make me me

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more like to commit a crime. Because I'm young mayor of Lewisham. Is

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something funny? Because it is a thing where I have been stopped

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because I was wearing a baseball jacket and a hat. While the police

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are not doing their job, they're supposed to be searching the guy in

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the white van who could be carrying how many drugs, instead of profiling

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young people. Because why am I being stopped and searched for my minding

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my own business and the same excuse is given there has been a robbery in

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the area. You should be stopping and searching the vans who have got

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loads of drugs, instead of going for young people because of the way they

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dress. That is reasonable. You can't stop everyone driving a white van.

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Then you have the same problem with white van drivers. You have to

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understand where the profiling comes from. So they will look at correct

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me if I'm wrong, they will look at crime rate in the area and look at

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the typical who does the crimes and typically I think from profiling and

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statistically it will be a young male, I don't know if it is black or

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white, I don't know if the colour of your skin makes a difference, in

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your age range, wearing those clothes. That will be the profile

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and that is when they stop people. There is a reaction on Twitter. To

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you Tim, a lot of people reacting, not necessarily in a good way. No?

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Monica says no it is discrimination, just because you're black and young

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does not mean you're going to stab someone. I did not say that. One

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says if you're innocent you have nothing worry about. And this, not

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all police profile people, but if you carry yourself in a certain way,

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be prepared. Picking up on what you said, if you're innocent and you

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have nothing to worry about. There is a humiliation associated with it.

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It is intimidation and if the first instance the young people have with

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the police is stop and search, what situation is this present gt for the

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future? It means young people will be intimidated by the police and

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won't trust the police and we need an overhaul of stop and search

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policies. Otherwise community relationships between young people

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and people as a whole and the police will continue to break down. I can

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answer that question. Because I was, when I was stopped is, I was 15 and

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the tweeter that said if you're innocent you have nothing to worry

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about. Having a gun put to your head is something to worry about.

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Although I was released, no one wants a gun puts to their head and

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we know how people can be accidentally shot to death. Well at

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16 a year later I joined an extremist organisation, because I

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became so disillusioned with mainstream society and what I saw

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going on in terms of racism and then added of course my own ideological

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dogma, which I now try to challenge. But people become so disconnected

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and disen-Fran xhiezed from society that they start seeking identities

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in other forms. And they are extra-legal organisations. How would

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you respond to this? It is sad in the sense of someone says it is a

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stereotype. I think the conversation we have picked up here is a

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stereotype. One thing we don't know is stop people on the way sis --

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basis of the way they dress, their skin colour or they're wearing a

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baseball cap. It is sad, because there is lot of positive things that

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we do with young people and lots of work we do with young people.

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Particularly on stop and search. For example, some of the young people

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want to go to Google fed up, it is a programme that we made with a local

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company here about stop and search and talking about your rights. What

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we can do and working with us. The majority of stop and searches are

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not a problem. The issues that we are looking at is not the stop and

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search, but the way we do it. It is the attitude of police officers and

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the way he or she reacts with the young people and we are working with

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young people to correct that. It is important. If you ask the majority

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of young people should the police carry out stop and search, most

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would say yes. But do it with respect and dignity and actually

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tell me the reasons why you're stopping me so it makes sense. If we

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do that, we get into a position where we use stop and search to

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protect young innocent people who want to spend their time in a public

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place and enjoy themselves. A few people nodding there. Following on

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from the point about statistics and it is a certain demographic that get

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chosen for stop and search. If you take it from race and think about

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car insurance, there is a certain demographic, maems, who -- males,

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who tend to cause the most accidents. Now there is no gender

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discrimination with car insurance and we have to foot the bill. So now

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will everybody get stopped and searched regardless? I think that is

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the only way that is fair. If we have to do it with car insurance,

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even should get stopped and searched. Because it is too

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expensive. The police officer at the stop said the majority of stop and

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searches are OK. For you and for me. But not for plenty of people here.

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The fact is it is not OK for the thousands of kids who have been

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stripped searched for no reason other than the colour of their skin

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and the police close ranks, refuse to sxrut niez themselves --

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scrutinise themselves when everyone knows they murdered a young black

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man. The police have to be respectful to the people their

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stopping and the people are powerless in that position. That is

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what the police have to realise and I think they have a lot to answer

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for. A power point. What people think. What we are thinking are the

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police right to judge us on the way we look. 61% say yes it is right.

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That is surprising. Yes. You mentioned about the way that we do

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things and your scenario of a younger and an older person. There

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was a video with a car set up with a keys not in it and expecting to see

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who would steal it and it was an old lady? Does that not suggest maybe we

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are profiling, but are we doing it in the wrong way. When you were

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speaking, I chuckled, I was not chuckling at you. I was trying to

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defend what may go through the minds of certain policemen. It doesn't

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mean it is right or wrong. But the point made by the officer there is

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the better one. There is a reality, there is a fantasy and a reality of

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what goes on in police work of mistakes are made. People feel

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targeted and that's bad for relations. In the majority of cases

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police are trying to maintain law and order. Sometimes they make

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judgements which turn out to be wrong, but the majority of cases the

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police are on our side and we owe them more trust and respect than we

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currently give them in the media. Yes, this gentleman here. Well, I

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think we have engaged... A different one to what I was going for. We have

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engaged in more general debates about stopping and searching. .

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There will be anomalies to statistics, there is always a big

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possibility that you are going to be dealing with an anomaly to those

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statistics and therefore, I think, it becomes to the idea of respond to

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go individual circumstances, what are the actual reasons that we are

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going suspect an individual of committing a crime? A particular

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moment rather than referring to statistics. There is something weird

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about the way you phrase it. You said the probabliality of there

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being an anomaly. I have been stopped and searched numerous

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amounts of times and I have always responded with the utmost respect

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from the police officers. They have treated with me dignity. The idea

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that so many people feel that they have been mistreated and they feel

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that the police force are not being in touch with the youth is in my

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opinion not really true because there is things like the police

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cadets and numerous organisation that is the police try and get

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involved with the youth and other groups of people. It is not true

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what everyone is saying. OK. Last comment up here and in the

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grey jumper. I wanted to get back to you on that, when you get a line of

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police officers, they stop you, they ask you about insurance and they ask

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you what's on your floor and they ask you if you mok smoke and as a

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full-time worker and graduate that takes liberties. Once it happens

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with one person and it happens in the community, it breaks down the

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trust and I think that's the issue. APPLAUSE

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It feels like it is about respect. We are going to move on to our next

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question. This one comes from our leaderboard, Tina. All week Free

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Speech viewers have been going to Free Speech on Facebook. Clicking

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through to the audience questions page and looking through the many

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questions, all of which, have been submitted by you at home. This is

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how it works. People click like on the questions they want to see on

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the show and we count up the likes to make this, the leaderboard, here

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it is. Published at 2pm this afternoon. There are the questions

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and there are the number of likes they got. The top question is from

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Jakes James Briggs, he asked should we legalise medicinal cannabis? No.

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I can understand the case for those who are in tremendous pain and there

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should be some resource for those people being able to access drugs.

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But the reality is that turning marijuana to something you can get

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on prescription creates a new market. If you spend your time in

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California, you see people going to the doctor saying I am down, nudge,

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nudge, wink. It creates a market for all kinds of new drugs. You don't

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get people off harder things, you simply encourage people to

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experiment with harder things. I think the message we need to send to

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people is that drugs destroy lives, but they are also a moral choice

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which means that you end up becoming part of a criminal system which

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supports child labour, which supports gangsterism in foreign

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countries, but is about dropping out of society and dropping out of the

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system and I think that's the wrong message to send to people.

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The gentleman up here in the stripy top. We should legalise all drugs.

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APPLAUSE The problems that people describe,

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aren't because of the drugs themselves, it is because they are

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in the hands of criminals. It caused more harm than the drugs themselves.

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Legalise drugs and it would solve most of the problems. Amy. I

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disagree with your statement. I really don't think they should be

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legalised. I have a very personal story about this because my sister

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was a heroin addict for 12 years and I have seen first hand how drugs

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tear apart families, communities, how they disturb children. The

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devastation is massive and what I think we really need to do is to

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look more kindly upon addicts and get to the root of the issue around

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addiction which is often a backdrop of mental health issues, social

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exclusion, economic exclusion, all sorts of things so I think we need

:20:41.:20:44.

to approach drugs in a different way, I would come down with the full

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force of the law on drug pushers and dealers, but I think we need to take

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a more holistic and kinder approach to people who have addiction issues.

:20:55.:21:04.

On Facebook, they don't want to give their name. Cannabis helped me live

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with Crohn's disease. I have tried every treatment available. It puts

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Crohn's disease into a more controllable state. I should have

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the choice. Even my doctors told me off the record not to stop. Do you

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think this person should stop? There are other medications that can deal

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with pain. He tried every single treatment. This is the only thing

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that works. I have an open mind about certain things, but I don't

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think that creating a market for legalised cannabis in all cases is a

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good idea. And that person is self medicating which is never a good

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thing to do. The doctors told them not to stop and they have tried

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every single treatment. Peter Reynolds. You are the leader of

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Clear, you want cannabis law reform? Absolutely. Explain why. For

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medicinal use. Crohn's disease is an excellent example. There are

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clinical trials taking place in Israel on this subject. But what

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most people don't realise is 100 years ago, half of the medicines

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that you could get this this country contained cannabis for a wide range

:22:17.:22:21.

of conditions. And it is only 80 years ago that we started this

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experiment of banning cannabis and on no basis exempt on the basis of

:22:26.:22:30.

prejudice and it is only 30 years ago that science has begun to

:22:31.:22:34.

explain why cannabis is so effective for such a wide range of conditions

:22:35.:22:39.

and what we advocate is very simple and that is if a doctor wants to

:22:40.:22:45.

prescribe cannabis based on his professional judgement then he

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should be able to do so and the fact of the matter is because there is so

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much... Is it n true that they can? No, they can't. There is a cannabis

:22:53.:22:58.

medicine which has existed in this country for five or six years. And

:22:59.:23:02.

it is a spray? It is a spray, OK. The ridiculous thing we are the only

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country in the world that is licensed to major pharmaceutical

:23:07.:23:10.

company to grow cannabis for medicine and our Government, our

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Home Office tells us there is no medicinal value in cannabis. So what

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we want is we want doctors to be able to prescribe cannabis and

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science has begun to explain why cannabis is effective. We have

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something in our body and cannabis modulates this and it controls our

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cardiovascular system. We will Google this later!

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The gentleman in yellow. There is some clear benefits for medicinal

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use, but where do you draw the line to ensure that access doesn't become

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easy for recreational purposes and lead to potentially situations like

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Amy discussed? One of the remarkable things about cannabis is it is safe.

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Even professor, the chair of the Government's advisory panel says

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that cannabis is a safer drug than aspirin and can be used without any

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serious effects. That's not... Aspirin doesn't give you

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schizophrenia. You are walking into The Daily Mail characture. Cannabis

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does not give you schizophrenia. It is nonsense. You look at the

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statistics, anybody in this country is six times more likely to be

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admitted to hospital for mental and behavioural problems related to

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alcohol than for cannabis. APPLAUSE

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It done mean you should release another drug on to the market. There

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are strong arguments for legalising cannabis for adults all around. Very

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strong arguments, here tonight we are talking about medicinal use. It

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is outrageous that politicians and civil servants can try and override

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what a doctor wants to prescribe for his patients.

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APPLAUSE We have got to be very careful.

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There is two extremes to this debate. One is legalise everything,

:25:17.:25:23.

let's go to the corner shop and buy crack cocaine, why not? There is a

:25:24.:25:27.

middle ground. I agree request something that Nick Clegg said when

:25:28.:25:31.

he came back from Columbia. He said that middle ground will be UN review

:25:32.:25:34.

into this. The Government is under going a review into this and there

:25:35.:25:37.

is a serious question about looking at cannabis because it isn't

:25:38.:25:41.

statistically as you have said correctly, it doesn't lead to as

:25:42.:25:45.

much social damage and health damage as alcohol. It has a medicinal

:25:46.:25:50.

purpose. We are talking here specifically, not about

:25:51.:25:54.

legalisation, but decriminalisation and changing the debate from being

:25:55.:25:58.

one of law and order to health. It is a health question and like any

:25:59.:26:02.

other health question, if someone is an alcoholic, we don't say let's ban

:26:03.:26:06.

alcohol? We say they need rehabilitation. If someone gets

:26:07.:26:11.

addicted to cannabis then they can go to rehab like everyone else who

:26:12.:26:17.

is addicted to alcohol and cigarettes.

:26:18.:26:22.

We were talking specifically about medicinal use. The evidence really

:26:23.:26:27.

is overwhelming, OK. I am going to chat to the police about this.

:26:28.:26:34.

LAUGHTER Alex Marshall, where do you stand?

:26:35.:26:38.

The Government makes laws and it is for the police to enforce the laws

:26:39.:26:42.

so the police don't have a role in make the laws, there is no doubt the

:26:43.:26:48.

harm that is done. Interest a medical point of view, in medicine,

:26:49.:26:52.

the established practise is you always test things thoroughly and

:26:53.:26:55.

you have have a scientific basis for a treatment that a doctor provides.

:26:56.:27:00.

I am from the College of Policing, we doing research to make sure the

:27:01.:27:04.

policing approaches we use, stop and search an example we heard about

:27:05.:27:07.

earlier, are based on sou evidence, not on judging people by the way

:27:08.:27:11.

they look, but on the evidence of what works. You should look at

:27:12.:27:15.

evidence in these things, but the laws are made by Government, not by

:27:16.:27:20.

the police. This from someone called Younglin.

:27:21.:27:28.

Tim needs to leave his elitist fantasy world and visit the

:27:29.:27:30.

Netherlands. They have different access to

:27:31.:27:34.

cannabis. Let's look at the Power Bar to see what people at home

:27:35.:27:40.

think. Should we legalise medicinal cannabis. 66%, Free Speech, yes.

:27:41.:27:49.

The gentleman at the back. I think cannabis is miraculous. I read a

:27:50.:27:58.

story about a girl, $1 million of diagnostics wasn't able to diagnose

:27:59.:28:07.

her condition and oil cured her having less seizures. I want to

:28:08.:28:14.

address Tim on this one because he said if it was medicinal you could

:28:15.:28:19.

go to your doctor and be like, "I am in pain. I need a little bit of -

:28:20.:28:23.

what about alcohol, you don't have to lie to your doctor? You can go to

:28:24.:28:27.

the shop and buy it and drink as much as you want and it kills

:28:28.:28:31.

people. Weed never killed anybody. APPLAUSE

:28:32.:28:38.

Alcohol is bad. People abuse it and it kills people. Let's ban it.

:28:39.:28:43.

That's not an arguemed for legalising a different kind drug.

:28:44.:28:47.

Alcohol is part of our society. If we did try and restrict it, or ban

:28:48.:28:51.

it, if we did try to restrict it or ban it that would have extraordinary

:28:52.:28:58.

societal effects. Like wise, if we tried to legalise drugs, it will

:28:59.:29:03.

have societal effects because we have not... There are two sides to

:29:04.:29:10.

this argument. It will have a massive, massive effect we can't

:29:11.:29:15.

predictment Luisa? I'm all for legalising

:29:16.:29:24.

cannabis for medicinal purposes. But if you have a problem like Crones

:29:25.:29:34.

you can grow the weed its and from a corrupt Government point of view,

:29:35.:29:38.

think how much the Government makes from pharmaceutical companies and

:29:39.:29:44.

how much of an interest The In it. When you legalise weed, you go into

:29:45.:29:51.

another shady area of grey, where people can self-prescribe and the

:29:52.:29:55.

government would lose a huge amount of money from prescribing legal

:29:56.:30:05.

drugs. The lady in red? Tim said about alcohol being part of our

:30:06.:30:10.

society that is only because of its long-standing history. If it was

:30:11.:30:15.

discovered today, would we accept it causes lung cancer and alcohol has

:30:16.:30:19.

such long effects in society. It is only because of its history. That is

:30:20.:30:28.

true. If we discovered alcohol I would say it should be illegal. No!

:30:29.:30:38.

We have case studies where they have experimented with the legalisation

:30:39.:30:43.

of cannabis and they have found that generally and this is not

:30:44.:30:46.

necessarily the case going forward, but there hasn't been a mass surge

:30:47.:30:54.

of people getting aticket dicted -- addicted and they started taxing the

:30:55.:30:59.

trade and raised a lot of money. Because surprisingly, a lot of

:31:00.:31:04.

people are on weed. And final think Afghanistansters -- gangsters, they

:31:05.:31:09.

deprived them of a lot of money and it makes economic and social sense.

:31:10.:31:13.

I am standing for Parliament answering the police point, I will

:31:14.:31:19.

campaign on the legalisation of medicinal cannabis. That is

:31:20.:31:22.

something I decided a long time ago before this debate. Yes? Does that

:31:23.:31:30.

mean this is all a business to the Government? I thought our debate was

:31:31.:31:35.

on the medicinal side. You mentioned they tax it. So that does mean that

:31:36.:31:38.

we are looking at the economic benefits over the benefits of

:31:39.:31:44.

people? That is what laws should be on. It comes down to a lot about the

:31:45.:31:49.

Government and people don't realise how much influence the Government

:31:50.:31:53.

has and how much is made from alcohol and Sigg ketds -- cigarettes

:31:54.:32:00.

and how much they would lose out. Because people would self-grow. Any

:32:01.:32:05.

taxation goes back into the health industry and you deprive organised

:32:06.:32:09.

crime of lots of their revenues. Which is a huge problem when you

:32:10.:32:14.

talk about the consequences and costs to society by policing

:32:15.:32:19.

organised crime. And the cost to society, let's be real, drugs, when

:32:20.:32:25.

we talk about regulating them, it is a huge industry and if you add that

:32:26.:32:32.

to the health benefit and that poor soul who is living in pain, people

:32:33.:32:38.

should be allowed to decide what to do with their own bodies when it

:32:39.:32:46.

comes to medicinal cannabis. It is not crack cocaine. Now we tried to

:32:47.:32:51.

debate this on our last show in Birmingham, but then we didn't. But

:32:52.:33:03.

better late than never. I talk about being Muslim gay in society. These

:33:04.:33:08.

labels shouldn't fit well together, but here I am and I refuse to give

:33:09.:33:14.

one up over the other. I kept it to myself, because I was afraid what

:33:15.:33:17.

the community would say, what my parents would say. I came out to my

:33:18.:33:21.

parents when I was in my 20s. My mum came into my room and questioned me

:33:22.:33:27.

about my sexuality. I said this in Urdu, which is my mother tongue.

:33:28.:33:35.

That means my mum, gay. There was an occasion where my mum asked whether

:33:36.:33:39.

I need to go and see a doctor. I said this isn't something that I can

:33:40.:33:43.

take a medicine for. When I introduced my partner to my parents,

:33:44.:33:48.

I introduced him as the person I want to marry and although I entered

:33:49.:33:52.

into a civil partnership, they sort of saw it equal as a marriage and my

:33:53.:33:59.

mum attended the ceremony and ended up giving me away and giving us her

:34:00.:34:07.

blessing. It sounds a cliche but it was the best moment of my life. The

:34:08.:34:12.

character has allowed me to reach out to many people. My mum, my

:34:13.:34:20.

aunties and sisters came to one of my shows. The gay community were

:34:21.:34:24.

inspired and in awe that a Muslim woman dressed in a nick nick cab has

:34:25.:34:37.

come. So when it will be right to be Muslim and gay? Why did you want to

:34:38.:34:46.

ask that question? It is an issue affecting a lot of gay Muslims in

:34:47.:34:51.

the country. Thousands of gay Muslims and I think it is a topic

:34:52.:34:55.

that is relevant today. It is a topic that doesn't get discussed on

:34:56.:35:02.

any level. Continuously gets brushed under the carpet and I would like to

:35:03.:35:10.

get it discussed. Amy? What do you think I think it is absolutely all

:35:11.:35:15.

right. I think he is inspiring and to hear your story about your family

:35:16.:35:22.

being so loving and gentle with you is just wonderful. Of course, it is

:35:23.:35:28.

OK to be gay and Muslim and Christian and nonreligious and

:35:29.:35:32.

whatever. This is the 21st Century and you know, not only do we have

:35:33.:35:37.

the laws to support this equalitiers -- equality, we have changed a lot

:35:38.:35:43.

of hearts and minds in the past 20 years. It is, we are looking at a

:35:44.:35:48.

fantastic weekend ahead on Saturday we will have the first equal

:35:49.:35:52.

marriages taking place here in the UK and I think it is a proud moment

:35:53.:36:00.

for the country. What is your position on this? Well, the Islamic

:36:01.:36:09.

position is we don't label people by their sexuality or their nationality

:36:10.:36:13.

or their race. This label was invented in the Victorian era. As

:36:14.:36:20.

soon as you diskrim napted by label, you diskrim named. In Islam we don't

:36:21.:36:27.

have a title like that. You are just humans. The only thing that is

:36:28.:36:35.

judged, it is just actions. And there many actions which are sinful

:36:36.:36:40.

and many are permitted. We can't say you can't be gay and Muslim. We

:36:41.:36:50.

don't make the disrim crimination between sexuality. That is when

:36:51.:36:57.

discrimination begins. I'm confused. Would you therefore describe him as

:36:58.:37:05.

sinful? What he does in his own home ills not my concern. I'm just

:37:06.:37:12.

saying. Look, what he does in the privacy of his own home is not my

:37:13.:37:16.

concern. If you want a judgment, you can refer it to god. I'm not God,

:37:17.:37:26.

I'm just a human being. But Islamic says thr things like drinking

:37:27.:37:33.

alcohol, eating pork or different gender intercourse out of marriage

:37:34.:37:37.

which is sin you feel. But you -- sinful. You can still be a muss

:37:38.:37:48.

Muslim. The real intolerance. It is rich that he says he can't profile

:37:49.:37:53.

young people because they have hoodies, but his organisation

:37:54.:37:59.

profiles Muslims who have orthodox beliefs and calls them extremists

:38:00.:38:08.

and he is a Government-funded stooge attacking Muslims. What we are

:38:09.:38:13.

talking about is different. But I have got a right to get back to the

:38:14.:38:19.

subject. Quilliam doesn't profile Muslim and we are not Government

:38:20.:38:24.

funded. But back to the subject... You were. It is time we had an

:38:25.:38:30.

honest debate. We are as Muslim communities in the plural,

:38:31.:38:35.

simultaneously oppressed and the oppressors. That is a dynamic that

:38:36.:38:40.

plays out in any other scenario of victimhood, whetherivity is domestic

:38:41.:38:45.

abuse, somebody usual lip has abuse done to them and they turn to an

:38:46.:38:50.

abuser whether with a wife or children. It is a cycle of violence.

:38:51.:38:54.

And with Muslim communities across the world, we have failed a lot of

:38:55.:38:59.

violence. I faced torture in prison in Egypt I have been had police

:39:00.:39:06.

brutality and in turn we become brutalisers of others. And in the

:39:07.:39:11.

case of being a minority within this minority, we sometimes end up

:39:12.:39:16.

discriminating against minorities within the minority and a case in

:39:17.:39:25.

point is gay Muslims. Yesterday a film was shown about an openly gay

:39:26.:39:31.

muz whip who has to -- Muslim who has to live in hiding because he has

:39:32.:39:37.

been attacked. We have to have an honest debate. It doesn't mean every

:39:38.:39:43.

Muslim is homophobic. But we have to be honest and say there is

:39:44.:39:48.

discrimination within Muslim communities and call a spade a

:39:49.:39:55.

spade. I'm a British Muslim, my family has been in London for 50

:39:56.:40:01.

years. And the question raised, the two topics are controversial, but

:40:02.:40:05.

you can be gay and Muslim. I think it was wrong for the mosque to ban

:40:06.:40:09.

the discussion a few weeks ago, because we live in a democracy,

:40:10.:40:13.

where we are allowed to disagree. The mosque are not here to defend

:40:14.:40:19.

themselves. But OK, I don't think we're allowed to sensor anything.

:40:20.:40:25.

But I know him and he does a lot of work for the gay community. Being a

:40:26.:40:30.

drag queen isn't the same as being gay. It may sound obvious. Being gay

:40:31.:40:39.

is not about and sex or sexual - anal sex or sexual membering

:40:40.:40:47.

Nishings. -- mechanics. And to say they're in the same vein as

:40:48.:40:52.

murderers and paedophiles. He has a position of responsibility and that

:40:53.:40:55.

same language is used by people around the world to justify

:40:56.:41:01.

murdering and persecuting people in the community and it causes a lot of

:41:02.:41:08.

sadness. I volunteered for a UK organisation and we have helped

:41:09.:41:14.

asylum seekers and people in the UK who have been disowned by their own

:41:15.:41:17.

family and simply to love someone isn't a sin. No religion is

:41:18.:41:26.

preaching hate. If there is 1.5 Muslims and 10% is gay. People need

:41:27.:41:37.

to stop hating and start loving. Well Maajid talks about how he loves

:41:38.:41:44.

minorities. But he tells the Government that certain beliefs are

:41:45.:41:50.

extreme. Let's stick to what we are talking about. Including the belief

:41:51.:41:55.

that what is sinful and what is not sinful to believe in mainstream

:41:56.:42:00.

believes. If I believe that same gender physical intercourse is a sin

:42:01.:42:06.

doesn't make me extremist. There are Christians that believe this. Don't

:42:07.:42:10.

ask me to judge people. I'm not here to judge anyone. Will be judged when

:42:11.:42:15.

I'm dead. You should not be called extremist for holding mainstream

:42:16.:42:19.

beliefs. And people that hold these beliefs are not attacking anyone.

:42:20.:42:23.

They are holding the beliefs and being treated as outcasts and modern

:42:24.:42:38.

day her ticks. Anonymous, it is come -- it is hard coming out in a Muslim

:42:39.:42:44.

family and you live two lives. I came out to my mum and still haven't

:42:45.:42:50.

told the family. I don't wish to. I am happy, I am gay and I am Muslim.

:42:51.:42:56.

And another one as a Muslim the issue around homosexuality within my

:42:57.:43:03.

faith and community is one of anom imty -- anonymity and it has led to

:43:04.:43:10.

depression and suicidal thoughts. My siblings know telling my parents is

:43:11.:43:15.

something else. Isn't it attitudes within the community that we are

:43:16.:43:26.

hearing stories like this? All Muslims are human and we all commit

:43:27.:43:35.

sin. In the thee logy you cannot say I have done this. You keep it

:43:36.:43:41.

private. We all do sins, but you shouldn't be I must come out. Who

:43:42.:43:47.

said you should come out? Just you know I tell everyone about my

:43:48.:44:00.

private life. You do not choose to be gay.

:44:01.:44:04.

APPLAUSE If you want to live your life by a

:44:05.:44:09.

book that's ancient, it is just so beyond the views are outdated. I

:44:10.:44:17.

think it is bad... There is a confusion. It should be why can you

:44:18.:44:23.

not be religious and gay? APPLAUSE

:44:24.:44:27.

Can I braefl clarify that -- briefly clarify that? Being gay refers to

:44:28.:44:31.

emotions of feelings, right? That's different from actions, all right.

:44:32.:44:34.

We're talking about actions. I'm not saying about feelings in Islam

:44:35.:44:41.

feelings are not sinful, right? Actions are a good person or a bad

:44:42.:44:45.

person, that's all we're saying. Being gay is not bad. That's not

:44:46.:44:52.

what I'm saying. We don't even label the people to discriminate them. You

:44:53.:44:59.

are the one that discriminates them. You are the one that makes the

:45:00.:45:04.

discrimination. You don't even acknowledge it, that's worse. I

:45:05.:45:10.

treat them as humans. The lady here. He came out and said the censorship

:45:11.:45:16.

that happened on BBC Free Speech was not only an attack on LG and BT. The

:45:17.:45:37.

fact that you have sensored it and postponed it. Postpone is not the

:45:38.:45:44.

same as sensored. The mosque, the concern, they expressed concern and

:45:45.:45:48.

the BBC decided to abide by that and they came out saying. You need to

:45:49.:45:57.

identify, you identify yourself as gay. Why do you chose to be Muslim

:45:58.:46:06.

when it says within Islam, that that is prohibited?

:46:07.:46:14.

APPLAUSE I would like to say that sexual

:46:15.:46:18.

orren tation is not a choice. It is a choice for you to be Muslim. No.

:46:19.:46:26.

No. Couldn't get involved in this. Why would you choose to be a Muslim.

:46:27.:46:34.

In the Koran it says that's prohibited? What is prohibited is

:46:35.:46:37.

the act... you to be Muslim.

:46:38.:47:15.

That's wrong. I was brought up in an Islamic household. I am from a

:47:16.:47:19.

conservative Pakistani community. If my mum and dad can accept me, why

:47:20.:47:25.

can't the wider community accept me? The lady in the blue.

:47:26.:47:28.

APPLAUSE I think the question that you are

:47:29.:47:32.

asking is when will the Muslim community accept you as a gay

:47:33.:47:38.

person, accept gay or homosexuality. It is not accepted in Islam so the

:47:39.:47:45.

Muslim community will never accept homosexuality. You can be gay, but

:47:46.:47:48.

then at the same time, if you choose to follow a religion which prohibits

:47:49.:47:53.

homosexuality you can't ask when will they accept for you to be gay?

:47:54.:47:59.

Can I just say then? Yes. What are people like me meant to do? Gay

:48:00.:48:05.

teenagers, the suicide rate is going up. Homophobic crime is being

:48:06.:48:09.

unreported. It is because of attitudes like that that are causing

:48:10.:48:15.

people like me such dilemma. I will speak out and continue to speak out

:48:16.:48:18.

and you are right to identify however you want, what we are

:48:19.:48:21.

hearing right now and you can think whatever you want, the danger with

:48:22.:48:26.

literalism is insisting there is only one way of doing things. If we

:48:27.:48:33.

take literalism literally then only 200 years ago slavery was accepted

:48:34.:48:37.

and justified by religion. Let me finish. The Koran explicity and

:48:38.:48:45.

literally allows for slavery as does the Bible, but we no longer practise

:48:46.:48:50.

that because our attitudes has changed. There is no one way of

:48:51.:48:55.

interpreting things. Fed wants to -- fed wants to -- if he wants to be a

:48:56.:49:03.

Muslim. This gentleman says he is not going to discriminate against

:49:04.:49:10.

him. APPLAUSE

:49:11.:49:12.

God does not exclude anyone. That's a crucial first point. Everyone has

:49:13.:49:17.

the right to define for themselves what their identity is and we all

:49:18.:49:22.

have identities which quite often are contradictory. We have to find

:49:23.:49:26.

some way navigating that, of remaining faithful to our vision of

:49:27.:49:29.

God whilst remaining faithful to who we are. To add to that also, the

:49:30.:49:33.

rest of society and in particular the State, should not try to impose

:49:34.:49:39.

its view, its morality upon Islam. This is a conversation that has to

:49:40.:49:44.

happen within Islam. There might be room and there might be room for

:49:45.:49:48.

growth and change. You decide for yourself, but the idea of saying to

:49:49.:49:53.

someone, "You are a sinner." You cannot be part of this religion."

:49:54.:49:57.

That's anti-God because that's a decision that God makes, not you.

:49:58.:50:04.

APPLAUSE What you said about interpretation,

:50:05.:50:08.

you are pushing the idea that there is no true sperption of Islam. By --

:50:09.:50:12.

interpretation of Islam. You are saying that the people, the

:50:13.:50:17.

extremists, their interpretation of religion is valid. There is

:50:18.:50:21.

mainstream Islam. There are things that are universally accepted within

:50:22.:50:25.

Islam. The gentleman brought up the idea of drinking, of doing drugs,

:50:26.:50:29.

you know, those things are prohibited within Islam. I can chose

:50:30.:50:33.

not to do them or I can, but for me to go out and say, "I am a Muslim

:50:34.:50:40.

and I drink" And that should be accepted, that's not religion. You

:50:41.:50:47.

are conflating choice. He was born the way he is and I am sure he can

:50:48.:50:52.

speak for himself. Many, many Muslims would consider you a sinner

:50:53.:51:01.

for covering your face. This is all interpreted, just as you have got

:51:02.:51:06.

the right... No. No. No, look you are going into all sorts of

:51:07.:51:11.

different avenues now. Can I finish my point? They should you shunnedant

:51:12.:51:15.

be speaking in -- shouldn't be speaking in front of men. Oh come

:51:16.:51:27.

on. Osama Bin Laden was asked why do you go against Islamic prohibitions

:51:28.:51:33.

of killing women and children. He said, "Oh, the law is not set in

:51:34.:51:37.

stone." He believes in different interpretation of Islam. You can

:51:38.:51:46.

reinterpret it. In Islam, we believe in rules and principles. You can't

:51:47.:51:51.

just change those things. Yes, you have been very patient. I

:51:52.:51:58.

think the real question we should be asking is when will religion accept

:51:59.:52:04.

homosexuality? Narrowing it done to Muslims is not doing anyone any

:52:05.:52:09.

favours. APPLAUSE

:52:10.:52:12.

Let's get to the Power Bar. Some comments. This is the minority view

:52:13.:52:17.

though. You can't be gay in a Muslim. You are not a Muslim, you

:52:18.:52:23.

are just Asian. These are the messages coming in. "Being gay and

:52:24.:52:29.

Muslim is not right and it is disrespectful." # 1% of -- 71% of

:52:30.:52:37.

people watching say yes, it is all right to be a gay Muslim.

:52:38.:52:40.

APPLAUSE The gentleman up here.

:52:41.:52:44.

The question of the Bible and the Koran. In society, there are laws

:52:45.:52:51.

and we are here to abide by the laws. If Christians have the Bible

:52:52.:52:57.

and the Bible sets out rules that Christians should follow, you are

:52:58.:53:00.

either a Christian or not a Christian. Equally so, the Koran and

:53:01.:53:05.

the laws that are set for you to follow, you either accept or reject.

:53:06.:53:10.

On the basis of all these, people have rights to their choices. It is

:53:11.:53:15.

all about choice and the life you want to lead. You should not hold us

:53:16.:53:19.

to ransom because of the life you want to live. I am a Christian and I

:53:20.:53:24.

am also a lesbian and I believe that they are all made in God's image.

:53:25.:53:27.

APPLAUSE God has also given us the ability to

:53:28.:53:33.

judge for ourselves and to think for ourselves and that is the crucial

:53:34.:53:38.

point here. We will make the judgement that they want to follow a

:53:39.:53:43.

biblical or a Koran-led form of that faith. What I find odd is the idea

:53:44.:53:47.

that there is one true interpretation which can be applied

:53:48.:53:51.

across the religion or across the culture. For me, I deeply respect

:53:52.:53:56.

people who choose to live a chased life who are gay and who choose to

:53:57.:54:02.

live according to the biblical precepts, but I accept you have to.

:54:03.:54:07.

Those who choose to follow a different kind of relationship with

:54:08.:54:12.

God and people who say, "You ain't going to get into heaven." That's

:54:13.:54:18.

not my call. That's God's call to make. All religion practises love.

:54:19.:54:23.

For you to separate them from the religion is not practising love. You

:54:24.:54:28.

are not loving them for who they are. Love them regardless because at

:54:29.:54:32.

the end, you are practising one religion.

:54:33.:54:36.

The gentleman at the back there. The biggest problem here for Islam, I am

:54:37.:54:40.

going to speak as an outsider, I am a Catholic Christian, Islam, the

:54:41.:54:47.

issues is tolerance. I have friends who are Muslims. They would tell

:54:48.:54:54.

you, Islam is not about love, it is about rules, rules, rules. The issue

:54:55.:55:02.

here is what I call Protestant heritage. Islam, there are two many

:55:03.:55:07.

interpretations involved. The big issues are defying some dogma saying

:55:08.:55:13.

this is what it really means. You have got to tolerate that he is gay.

:55:14.:55:27.

I tolerate that you are a lesbian. I congratulated this gentleman three

:55:28.:55:32.

times for his nondiscrimination. I don't have a problem with him, but

:55:33.:55:36.

he has a problem with me. Is the issue here not that as soon as you

:55:37.:55:42.

start judging somebody else based on one factor of their personality and

:55:43.:55:47.

identity you get it into a really dangerous... That's a good place to

:55:48.:55:52.

end. That's it. We're off air until April, 10th. We are coming from

:55:53.:55:55.

Winchester and we will be joined by a special audience made up of two

:55:56.:56:02.

groups of people, those educated in a comprehensive system and those

:56:03.:56:08.

educated privately. Our audience questions page on Facebook has been

:56:09.:56:12.

reset and it is waiting for your questions. Click like on the ones

:56:13.:56:16.

you most want to see on the programme, we will count them up and

:56:17.:56:19.

see what comes top. This is your programme and we follow your agenda.

:56:20.:56:25.

From us in Tottenham, good night. APPLAUSE

:56:26.:56:31.

The live current affairs debate show comes from the heart of the Broadwater Farm housing estate in Tottenham. In the run-up to the show viewers help set the agenda by voting for the questions they want to see debated on the show's Facebook page, which are then discussed by the panel.


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