Should extremists be banned from public discussion platforms?
Calls to no-platform controversial figures have come to the fore in recent years, as the world experiences a rising tide of populism, theocratisation, and alt-right movements. Though many
Those in favour of no-platforming argue that inviting representatives of extreme religious or socio-political views only ends up giving them mainstream legitimacy. In the wake of far-right leader Marine Le Pen’s highly controversial Remembrance Day appearance on the Andrew Marr Show in the UK, or the WikiLeaks revelations that the US Democratic Party sought to promote extremist Republican figures on the mistaken assumption they’d discredit themselves, there is a growing correlation between influential airtime and the rise once-fringe currents that have proven detrimental to harmonious communal relations - as shown by the spike in hate crimes. But the risk of no-platforming for liberals is that the banned figures gain traction and sympathy as “victims” or “outsider” figures, whose messages of truth are being censored by the establishment. Should opinions from every degree of the political spectrum be given equal and free airing? Are some views just too extreme? And how should democratic systems
A storm of controversy has been stoked after photographs emerged of police in Nice ordering a Muslim woman on the beach to remove items of clothing following a burqini ban in 15 French towns. But is it right for governments to decide what a woman should, or should not wear? Some, especially in Western society, see the burqa as a tool of oppression against women. But for others, governments banning the clothing some Muslim women wear is an infringement of personal freedoms and, in Western society, an Islamophobic measure. Should it be up to the state to decide?
Three years after promising a referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron announced in late February that Britain will go to the polls on June 23 to answer the question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" If voters opt to leave, it will have profound consequences not only for the UK but for the EU and transatlantic relations. The EU is already embattled and a divorce with its second-largest economy and second most populous member state - albeit one which has always had a troubled relationship with the bloc - could inflict grave damage. The US has declared a "profound interest" in a very strong UK staying in a strong EU. Within Britain, the debate is already fierce and being fought on five main fronts: Migration, the economy, security, Britain's global influence and sovereignty.