Scotland’s New Blasphemy Law Could Put J.K. Rowling In Jail

Threats abound to report her to the police unless she succumbs to pressure to change her pronoun usage on “X.” The witch hunt has begun.

JK Rowling
Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic via Getty Images

In 16th century Scotland, it was easy to deal with problematic women.

Nearly 2,500 people were tried and mostly executed for “witchcraft.” Their crime? Largely, they were mouthy, opinionated, a bit odd, or disliked.

If “witch!” didn’t stick, “heretic!” would do the trick, under Scotland’s then pervasive anti-blasphemy laws.

“Othering” those of minority beliefs made them easy to hang.

With the spread of liberal democracy, Scotland’s witch trials went defunct. We thought we had learned tolerance. But on April 1 of this year, a new “blasphemy” law will come into effect – set to punish modern “heretics” who blaspheme against today’s dominant societal beliefs.

The “Hate Speech and Public Order Act” introduces a new offense of “stirring up hatred” on the basis of, inter alia, transgender identity.

Nobody likes to feel hated. But the government has failed to adequately define which speech is actually banned, leaving citizens open to prosecution for saying anything the state deems unacceptable — or that any given individual decides is offensive.

There are no private places beyond the state’s listening ears — the law applies even to dinner table discussions in the family home, and can be enforced if your children decide to report you for voicing your (un)orthodox beliefs.

The cost of “free speech” is at an all-time high.

Up to seven years behind bars await our new heretics.

And the mob already has their eyes set on a target, pitchforks sharpened. A wise and wizardly woman with decidedly problematic, public views about pronouns: J.K. Rowling.

In anticipation of the law’s launch on April 1, activists are in frenzied anticipation of bringing our most successful author down.

Having commentated on social media about the need to protect single-sexed prison cells, rape shelters and changing rooms, the world-renowned Scot put a target on her back to be hunted by the puritans of the Church of Woke.

Threats abound to report her to the police unless she succumbs to pressure to change her pronoun usage on “X.” The witch hunt has begun.

Of course, crying “witch” has gone out of fashion. In fact, in 2022, Scotland’s leader issued an official state apology for the ‘historical injustice’ of witch hunts. But name-calling the enemy is too successful a technique to stop.

And so the Scottish authorities have slapped a new name on an old story, and this week launched an infantilizing campaign to support their new law. Beware: “The hate monster”!

The campaign, backed with public money, warns us against “the feeling some people get when they are frustrated and angry and take it out on others, because they feel like they need to show they are better than them’ — ‘in other words, they ­commit a hate crime.”

Young, white, working-class men are the most likely to succumb to “the hate monster,” we’re told, in a prejudicial jibe at a disadvantaged demographic. Holding alternative beliefs to those of the wealthy elite doth not make man “monster.”

Expressing anger is not, in itself, a crime. Rowling hasn’t even expressed anger. She’s merely spoken truthfully about biological reality. She may not be a working-class male. But she has reason to worry nonetheless.

Where hate speech laws have been enforced around the world, citizens have been prosecuted for tweets of a similarly cordial tone. In Finland, a parliamentarian and grandmother underwent a criminal trial for a Bible verse tweet that questioned her Church’s sponsorship of a pride event.

In Mexico, two politicians from differing parties have both been convicted of “gender based political violence” and placed on an offenders’ register, simply for upholding their beliefs about gender and pronouns on Musk’s platform.

There’s nothing to stop Scotland’s hate crime law from doing the same thing — either to J.K. Rowling; or to another citizen with less money and influence to withstand the pressure.

The author of the wizarding world could be at the center of her own next witchy tale.

The Scottish government should take heed. Jailing citizens for having the “wrong” opinions — whether a working-class male or billionaire female — has never fallen on the right side of history.

* * *

Lois McLatchie Miller is Senior Legal Communications Officer for Alliance Defending Freedom UK. Follow her: @LoisMcLatch

The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Scotland’s New Blasphemy Law Could Put J.K. Rowling In Jail