UK diplomat arrested over alleged tirade at Israel

A senior British diplomat has been arrested after he allegedly launched an abusive tirade against Israel and Judaism at a London gym, police said Tuesday.

Rowan Laxton, the 47-year-old head of the Foreign Office’s South Asia desk, was held on suspicion of inciting religious hatred — an offense that carries a maximum jail term of seven years.

He allegedly used foul language as he criticized Israel’s conduct during the conflict in Gaza at a fitness center at the London Business School last month.

Laxton is also alleged to have made an offensive comment about the Jewish religion.

A police spokeswoman said Laxton was arrested Jan. 27 and released on police bail — meaning he has not been charged with an offense.

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090210/ap_on_re_eu/eu_britain_arrested_diplomat;_ylt=Al8scjkcbiDqiN34WcWpUbw7Xs8F

Hm. His rant may have been offensive, but worthy of arrest? :eek:

The Foreign Office said it wouldn’t comment while police inquiries are ongoing, but confirmed that Laxton remains in his role.

Now that is strange. I would think a suspension would be in order.

You don’t post his remarks, so how can we know?

In the U.S. “fighting words” has always been considered beyond the reach of First Amendment protection.

The law under which he was arrested may be bad or good, but citizens should obey the law and work to change it if they think it is bad.

I agree with you that from the little we do know, it seems harsh.

Okay, here is a site which has bleeped his obscenities.
foxnews.com/story/0,2933,490047,00.html

While such speech is out of line, I don’t agree with prosecution under the law for this. In fact, many people who post on Catholic Answers could be prosecuted under such a law. Such laws are detrimental to a free society. I can imagine that many people here would be afraid to post if they say something about another religion even though what they say would be innocuous. Why take a change on being arrested?

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