There’s a lot which is misleading about this claim. It originates from a misleading claim that a Muslim woman was arrested simply for shouting ‘shame’. The truth? The truth is slightly different.
It turns out the woman was arrested because she chose to repeatedly shout at members of a Pride march, meaning she’d gone to the march (or stayed in the vicinity as it neared) to verbally abuse members of the LGBT community. She even resorted to the childish and homophobic ‘Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’ remark. Apparently it’s a sign of how certain views are not permitted in the ‘secular West’, as though homophobia is somehow something to tolerate, just because religion is involved (and because the religious right have long felt they deserve special exemptions from rules).
In a conversation on Twitter about this very post, I pointed out (in response to the idea that Muslims don’t receive protection from Islamophobia) that this does in fact cut both ways. People can and do get arrested for Islamophobia in Western nations.
Free speech and its definition vary across different countries, and sometimes the laws are inconsistently applied. This led to a Christian preacher being arrested (later released for wrongful arrest), after actually receiving verbal abuse from a Muslim. I would like to point out that neither Islamophobia nor Homophobia should have any place in UK society and there should be consequences for harassment and verbal abuse. Free speech, in my view, does not and should not include the right to be abusive. Words can carry serious consequences and bring about dangerous repercussions. Equally, to complain about free speech whilst simultaneously running a website and Twitter account that carries anti-LGBT content is deeply ironic, and complaining of the ‘secular’ West, when other nations around the world aggressively clamp down upon any form of dissent (Iran, North Korea anyone?), is even more ironic.