U.K. Politician Arrested for Encouraging Stoning of Muslim Writer on Twitter
Shortly after the broadcast, Compton tweeted: "Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really." According to Reuters, Compton was upset over the writer's claims that no politician should have the right to comment on human rights abuses, such as the stoning of women in Iran. Compton later attempted to clarify the post in a follow-up tweet that read: "I made an ill-conceived attempt at humour in response to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Radio 5. I [apologize] for any offence caused, it was wholly unintentional."
The damage, however, had already been done. On Wednesday evening, West Midlands Police arrested the conservative politician for violating the U.K.'s Communications Act 2003, and eventually released him on bail. A spokesman for the country's Conservative Party confirmed that Compton's party membership had been indefinitely suspended, but regional secretary Roger McKenzie thinks the punishment should be even more severe. "It is wholly unacceptable for a public official to make such racist comments," McKenzie told Members of Parliament. "Councillor Compton must resign his seat immediately."
Alibhai-Brown, meanwhile, has vehemently condemned Compton's actions, and is calling for him to be held to equally stringent legal standards. "If I, as a Muslim woman, had said about him what he said about me then I would be arrested in these times of the war against terror," she said. Sadly, she's probably right.