Liberty in the Age of Terror: A C Grayling

September 4, 2010 at 10:49 | Posted in books | Leave a comment
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In this important book. A C Grayling takes a long hard look at how, in recent years, we have allowed our civil liberties to be eroded in the pursuit of the ‘war on terror’. He examines the restrictions in freedoms we have experienced in the panic to fight an unknown enemy, and the ironic outcome that has meant that the very freedoms we believe are under threat from those enemies are being dismantled from within.

He also charts the misuses of such ‘terror legislation’; demonstrating that much of it is in any case poor legislation – too broad and to long-lived. This has led to inevitable abuses where new ’emergency’ powers have been used for outside their initial scope, in areas far removed from combating terrorism.

He also takes a look at what it is that makes our society what it is; the importance of civil liberties and free speech to the very fabric of how our society operates. He extends this argument into controversial areas such as the wearing of the burqas, multiculturalism and faith schools in a way that is both challenging and thought-provoking. He cogently argues that a society built on enlightenment values needs to have a zero-tolerance approach to intolerance in any form, even where that may challenge other cherished beliefs around individual freedom and respect for difference.

This is an important book that deserves to be widely read if we are to preserve the values that we cherish in our society – freedom, liberty and tolerance.

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