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    Glen Hoddle

    As-salam alaikum

    What do you think of Glen Hoddle being sacked because he believes in reincarnation and said in an interview that people who are disabled did something wrong in a past life and that's why they are the way they are.

    Do you think that a country which preaches freedom of speech and freedom of belief should be so prejudiced?

    Or do you think that maybe absolute freedom of speech can never exist because of the possibility of upsetting others?

    I wonder if we can continue the discussion. Moderator of this forum may close this thread thinking that this better go to 'religious affairs' and 'religious affairs' moderator might tell us to go back to 'khel-khilari'.


      good point PG lol this is a good example showing us that religion can't and shouldn't be separated from any other topic.

      Maybe the moderator can give us the go-ahead to discuss this issue here - after all Glen Hoddle was the coach for the England football team until yesterday. What do you say moderator???


        Hey guys whz up!

        I'm not a dictator or anything if you guys think that it is something that needs to be discussed..sure go a head!



          Hoddle deserved to be sacked - he is a born again christian and he believes in re-incarnation - thats a contradiction in itself. Freedom of speech - sure BUT that that goes out of the window when you are in a position of power - you have to be diplomatic there is no way you can say those sorts of comments and hope to get away with it. Thinking these thoughts and actually expressing them are too different things.
          If you are I expressed some prejudiced opinions there is no problem with that - but he is in the limelight - he was stupid for saying that. Just shows how misguided he is. Anyway his job has been on the line ever since he had his book on the memoirs of the World Cup published.


            Azhar - I also feel that there was more to the sacking than just what he said. People were disillusioned about him since the world cup and then the memoirs and the press didn't like him. This seems to me to be more of an excuse to get rid of him.

            I also agree with you when you say we can't go around expressing our prejudices, etc. in public. That's why I feel that 'freedom of speech' as a concept can not and should not exist. There need to be limits set in every aspect of life. The west seems to advocate freedom of speech when they want and go against it whenever they want.

            And Boss, thanks for the go-ahead!


              Yes, you are correct, the West is very good at advocating "freedom of speech" for individuals inother countries but in a lot of cases won't allow it in their "own back yard" - e.g. you cant agree with the views of the IRA, Islamic Fundamentalist etc etc.

              But coming back to Hoddle - he became too big for his boots.
              What did Hoddle do in his "previous life" to deserve the managership of the England team?


                This is an article from this week's economist on Glen Hoddle - I thought it was interesting - waiting for your comments...

                   How dare he think?
                BAGEHOT may know a political football when he sees one, but is otherwise ignorant—utterly, wilfully, pig-headedly, egregiously, proudly, I-couldn’t-give-a-tossly ignorant—of the game of soccer.

                Glenn Hoddle’s mind is evidently more open. The man who until this week was England’s soccer coach has, as they say in the secret services, no “need to know” about various matters of grave and habitual concern to this column. Push him on the difference between, let us say, the dignified and efficient sides of a constitution, or the merits of the additional-member system, and he might suspect you of attempting an off-colour joke. Or he might surprise you. For this is—was—evidently a soccer coach who thinks. He does not do it well, but he does it. Moreover, he does not think only about football, but also about big and tricky questions of the kind that teenagers and autodidacts—possessors, that is, of intellects not yet sicklied o’er with the pale cast of learning—tend to ask. Where did life begin? How big is space? And if there really is a god, why does he allow some people to enter the world with mental or physical handicaps?

                It was asking—and answering—this last question that resulted in Mr Hoddle being (let’s not offend anyone here) “terminated by mutual consent”. His answer, blurted out in an interview with the Times, is that people who are born disabled are being punished for the bad karma they collected in a former life. This answer was deemed to offend disabled people, whose crosses are hard enough to bear (sorry: who already have enough challenges, troubles and distinguishing features) without a soccer coach calling their affliction (sorry: predicament, condition, unavoidable value-neutral corporeal circumstances) a form of punishment.

                Having spoken his mind, Mr Hoddle had to lose his head. The prime minister said so. The minister for the disabled said so. The minister for sport almost said so. (What he actually said was something weasel-like on the lines of: It’s not really up to me but I deeply regret that circumstances have arisen in which Mr Hoddle’s continuation as coach is beginning to look increasingly untenable.) Most newspapers said so, too. Having winkled out and then publicised the offensive views in question, the Times thundered that a national coach is a sporting icon and that diplomacy is rightly a part of his job. The Independent concluded that public figures “have a duty to act responsibly with regard to issues such as race, disability and sexuality”.

                Sorry? Perhaps only a column that is unable to unravel the complexities of the off-side rule can fail to see what makes believing in reincarnation a sacking offence, or an offence at all. It may be that Mr Hoddle really did upset a lot of disabled people (as opposed to the pressure-groups that claim to speak on their behalf). But even if he did, the right to offend people is a corollary of the right of free speech. Those were, if memory serves, the grounds on which the government defended Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses”, which caused conniptions throughout Islam. And what is “irresponsible”, as the Independent has it, about believing in reincarnation, as do millions of Hindus and Buddhists? It is in the nature of religions that the next fellow is liable to dismiss your deeply held beliefs as poppycock. It is—or should be—in the nature of liberal societies that you are free either to subscribe to the poppycock or denounce it as poppycock, without forfeiting your job in either event.

                So what justifies setting aside this commonsensical rule in the case of Mr Hoddle? If you rake through the verbiage, you turn up two half-arguments.

                The first is that the freedoms of speech and religion need not apply to a person who is so manifestly unserious. Mr Rushdie is a proper intellectual, an aspersion nobody has cast at Mr Hoddle. Whereas it was the great novelist’s business to speak his mind, it was no business of the soccer coach to probe the mysteries of divinity. Besides, Mr Hoddle is neither a Hindu nor a Buddhist but a muddled Christian who has picked up some stray ideas from a faith-healer. It is pompous, goes this argument, to invoke lofty liberal freedoms in defence of the nonsense trotted out by this worthless but well-remunerated wretch.

                The second argument is the opposite of the first. Far from being unserious, the coach of the national team is by virtue of the office he holds a public figure, a role model, an ambassador, the very embodiment of national virtues. Being dignified (and therefore not believing in reincarnation) goes with the job of being England’s soccer coach, just as being dignified (and therefore believing in the resurrection of the dead) goes with the job of being Archbishop of Canterbury.

                Neither argument convinces. A country that extends freedoms of speech and religion only to special classes of licensed people—writers, the adherents of organised creeds—is not taking these liberties half seriously enough. Even sportsmen have a right to rave. By the same token, a country that disposes of its soccer coach for a stray remark about reincarnation (first denied and subsequently apologised for) is taking football too seriously by half. Soccer does not yet need an archbishop.

                From the prime minister down, the British government made both mistakes this week. Tony Blair first called without thinking for the head of Hoddle, then denied without thinking that he had allowed political correctness to damage freedom of speech. It fell to John Major, a former prime minister, to get it right. In the House of Commons he expressed his distaste for a government that felt it necessary to put itself at the head of any mob in order to garner a headline—even a mob incensed by nothing more than “the dotty ramblings of a football coach”.