“Criticism of religion is not only the starting point of all criticism. It is the prerequisite of any kind of criticism. In a society where religion cannot be criticized, everything becomes religion from the length of your beard to what hand to use when wiping your backside. Where there is no criticism of religion, life and society in their entirety become religious and the littlest squeak against the existing order is an act of blasphemy.” – Lars Hedegaard.
Mark Steyn quoted these words in a speech he made when he presented Lars Hedegaard with a Defender of Freedom award - somewhat startlingly, at the European Parliament.
Mark Steyn said inter alia in his speech (all of which is a must-read, for the importance of what he says, and for the enjoyment of his wit):
After I accepted the invitation to come here, I received a couple of emails from prominent persons saying wasn’t I a bit worried that some of the people here are a bit controversial and it might not be a good idea to be seen in the same room as them. … Obviously, it would be far safer for one’s reputation to appear in the same room as less controversial figures such as the chaps appearing last weekend at the Muslim Council of Calgary’s big event in Alberta. Their keynote speaker was the Saudi-educated imam Dr Bilal Phillips, who’s on record as saying that every male homosexual should be executed. He later clarified his position: He only wants all male homosexuals in Muslim countries executed. “The media tends to take my words out of context,” he said.
Also on the bill was the moderate Muslim Shaykh Hatem Alhaj, who supports the introduction of female genital mutilation to North America. … The head of the Calgary Police Diversity Unit and multiple representatives of the Canadian state had no problem whatsoever being in the same room as Messrs Alhaj and Phillips.
There is literally nothing a prominent Muslim can say – about gays, about Jews, about women – that would render him persona non grata. That’s the world we live in: sharing a stage with a man calling for compulsory execution for homosexuals isn’t controversial; sharing a stage with Lars Hedegaard is.
I’m bored by this double standard; I’m tired of one-way multiculturalism. Like Lars, I am guilty of crimes against humanity – I always think that looks good on a chap’s resume. And you’d be surprised how much work it brings in. As with Lars, it was a thought-crime prosecution, in which truth is no defence. Unlike Lars, I beat the rap without having to go all the way to the Supreme Court. Maclean’s magazine and I were acquitted of quote “flagrant Islamophobia” for essentially political reasons – because neither the British Columbia court nor its travesty of a “human rights” code could withstand the heat of a guilty verdict. (I never did find out quite what the difference is between “flagrant Islamophobia” and common-or-garden Islamophobia, but I think flagrant Islamophobia is a lot camper.) Unlike Denmark, where the law under which Lars was prosecuted remains on the books, in Canada just a few days ago, and as a result of my case and the publicity it generated, the House of Commons finally voted to repeal the relevant provision of Canada’s Human Rights Code. At some point, it will go to the Senate and then receive Royal Assent, and a disgraceful law at odds with eight centuries of Canada’s legal inheritance going back to Magna Carta will finally be consigned to the garbage can of history. So, for those of you fighting these battles in Denmark, in Austria, in the Netherlands and elsewhere, victories are possible. But they’re hard fought, and far too few people in the multicultural west have the stomach for them. Lars Hedegaard does. …
Lars was charged, acquitted, re-charged, convicted, fined 5,000 kroner and forced to appeal to the Supreme Court – for the crime of expressing his opinion about Islam. He won, but he lost. He lost three years of his life. The point of these new heresy trials is that the verdict is ultimately irrelevant – the process is the punishment. After I saw off the Islamic enforcers in my own country, their frontman crowed to The Canadian Arab News that, even though the Canadian Islamic Congress had struck out in three separate jurisdictions in their attempt to criminalize my writing, the lawsuits had cost my magazine (he boasted) two million dollars, and thereby “attained our strategic objective—to increase the cost of publishing anti-Islamic material.” …
In the same way that the left embarked on its long march through the institutions, so too has Islam. Its Gramscian subversion of transnational bodies, international finance, human rights institutions, the academy and the justice system is well advanced.
At one of his trials … Lars quoted John Milton:
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
Milton wrote that in 1644. Three hundred and seventy years later, it falls to our generation to fight that battle all over again. Lars Hedegaard has led that fight, a fight that so many of his fellow Danes, his fellow Scandinavians, his fellow Europeans have either ducked or joined the wrong side of. In some of the oldest free societies on the planet, far too few are doing the heavy lifting for all of us, and paying a very high price.
On Tuesday February 5, 2013, Lars Hedegaard was shot at by a would-be murderer who came to his door pretending to be a postman. Fortunately, though fired at close range, the shot missed him.
Lars Hedegaard is the head of Denmark’s Free Press Society, which stands against attempts by religious and other ideological bigots to gag free speech if they don’t like what is said.
He is also head of the International Free Press Society which, under his leadership, supported Geert Wilders when he was indicted in a Dutch court of law for criticizing Islam (as it ought to be criticized).
In 2011, Lars Hedegaard was indicted in his own country for the same “crime” as Geert Wilders. He was fined, but won an appeal to Denmark’s supreme court.
Douglas Murray writes at the Spectator (UK):
It is now three days since a European journalist was visited at his door by an assassin. For three days I have waited for any response to this. The BBC reported the story in brief, as did the Mail and the Guardian posted the Associated Press story.
But where are all the free-speech defenders? Where are all those brave blogs, papers and journals who like to talk about press freedom, human rights, freedom of expression, anti-extremism and so on? Where are all the campaigners? I have been scouring the internet and apart from Mark Steyn at National Review and Bruce Bawer at Frontpage, and a few other US conservative blogs, hardly anybody seems willing even to report events in Copenhagen on Tuesday.
What explanation can there possibly be for this silence? Allow me some guesses:
Lars Hedegaard is a 70 year old white conservative male who is critical of Islamic fundamentalism. He enjoys none of the currently approved ‘minority’ statuses that might have allowed more people to leap to his defence.
Two years ago Lars was outrageously put on trial in Denmark for discussing honour killings in his own home. Nothing he said should ever have been the subject of such a trial. As it was … the charges against him were dismissed on appeal. But I know that a certain type of otherwise ‘brave’ journalist gets the heebie-jeebies thinking they might be even within a million miles of defending anyone who was once near a courtroom on speech-crime charges.
I can see the ‘liberal’ blogosphere contorting themselves over this. … “I’m happy to defend freedom of speech, but it must be speech I absolutely agree with, otherwise it’s all off.”
Then there remains the unknown identity of the attacker. The man who appeared at Hedegaard’s door has been described as ‘foreign’ looking. It remains eminently possible … that the person trying to kill Lars was not Muslim but was somebody whipped up by the lies and misrepresentations of much of the media into thinking they were doing a good deed. … But the possibility that the assassin was a Muslim would make this even harder. Surely, in the contortions which the left has got itself into over Islamic fundamentalism, even reporting the possibility that a young Muslim tried to kill a journalist for his views would risk being a hate-crime in itself. Might not even reporting such a fact (if it becomes fact), or mentioning it, let alone deprecating it, not risk causing further tensions?
But there is one other crucial part of this near-unanimous cowardice. Might it not be the case – as the media suggested through their headlines – that as an ‘Islam-critic’ Lars Hedegaard might actually have brought this on himself? Very regrettable and all that, but it has been reported that he has started a new newspaper – Dispatch International – which some reports have described as ‘anti-Islam’. From a cursory look I cannot see that it is. It looks like it is trying to do the job that any mainstream paper would do if they weren’t all so terrified. …
Well to hell with them all. We live in a culture of cowards and hypocrites. Our public squares are packed with grandstanders who talk of human rights and freedoms, but when an assassin comes to a journalist’s door they can’t even lift their fingers to their keyboards.
I am now going to take out a subscription to Dispatch International and hope people will join me in doing so here. If that is indeed why the assassin called, then let’s spread the risk around a bit. Let’s make it the most gloriously widely-read publication out there. Since the attempt on his life, Lars has invited me to write pieces for Dispatch International and I have already told him that it will be a pleasure and an honour to do so.
What has happened to Lars Hedegaard was an attempt at the ultimate form of censorship. Many people have already shown that they take these lessons to mean they should be silent.
I suggest we go the other way. Solidarity used to be a virtue of the left. … I suggest we simply make it a virtue of the remaining free.
We take these extracts from a speech to be found in full at Front Page. It was delivered by Ingrid Carlqvist, founder of Sweden’s Free Press Society, at the 2012 International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights held in Brussels on July 9, 2012.
Ladies and gentlemen. My name is Ingrid Carlqvist and I was born in Sweden in 1960, when the Social Democrats were gonna rule forever and ever and our country was the nicest and safest and most progressed in the world. Now I live in Absurdistan – a country that has the highest figure of reported rapes in the world, hundreds of so called “exclusion areas” where people live outside the Swedish society and with newspapers that hide all these horrible facts [from] the people. …
When I grew up our prime minister was Tage Erlander, a Social Democrat. In 1965 he said in parliament, after violent race riots in America:
“We Swedes live in a so infinitely happier situation. The population in our country is homogeneous, not just according to race but also in many other aspects.”
Now I live in a nation that is not homogeneous in any respect. Olof Palme that came after him decided that homogeneous was a bad thing and opened up our borders for people from all over the world. And from right to left the politicians told us that there was no such thing as a Swedish culture, no Swedish traditions worth mentioning and that we Swedes should be grateful that so many people with REAL culture and REAL traditions came to us.
Mona Sahlin, a later leader of the Social Democrats, said in an interview [in] 2002 with the magazine Euroturk, when asked what Swedish culture is:
I’ve often had that question, but I can’t think of what Swedish culture is. I think that is what makes us Swedes so envious of immigrants. You have a culture, an identity, something that ties you together. What do we have? We have Midsummer’s Eve and such corny things.
She also said: The Swedes must integrate into the new Sweden. The old Sweden is not coming back.
In this New Sweden we have more reported rapes than any other country in the European Union, according to a study by professor Liz Kelly from England. More than 5 000 rapes or attempted rapes were reported in 2008 (last year it was more than 6 000). In 2010 another study reported that just one country in the world has more rapes than Sweden, and that is Lesotho in South Africa. For every 100,000 inhabitants Lesotho has 92 reported rapes, Sweden has 53, The United States 29, Norway 20 and Denmark 7.
In 1990 the authorities counted 3 exclusion areas in Sweden, suburbs where mostly immigrants live, where very few have a job to go to, almost all of them live by welfare and the children don’t pass their exams. In 2002 they counted 128 exclusion areas. In 2006 we had 156 and then they stopped counting. In some cities, like Malmö where I live, a third of all inhabitants live in an exclusion area.
What sort of immigrants would those be? What sort of people now dominate Malmö?
Interesting that she doesn’t say. It’s highly likely that if she did, she would be prosecuted, condemned, fined, even jailed.
What did Tage Erlander mean when he said that the Swedish population was homogeneous, not just according to race but also in many other aspects? I think he meant things like norms, values, culture and traditions. A feeling of fellowship. That we all, in the Old Sweden, had a similar view of what a good society is and how we solve conflicts. He KNEW what the Swedish culture was all about, in contrast to Mona Sahlin.
In the New Sweden we need armed police officers at our hospitals because rivalling families fight each other in the hospital rooms. They gun each other down in open streets and they rob and beat old people up. The crime rate grows by the minute, but the Swedish politicians and journalists tell us that it has absolutely nothing to do with immigration. The fact that our prisons are full of foreign people is just a coincidence or is explained by socio-economic factors.
For many years I was a journalist in the mainstream media. But I was always a bit of a troublemaker, always suspicious of what people said was THE TRUTH. When everybody ran in one direction, I turned around in the other direction to see what was there.
In January 2011 something happened to make me loose my last hope about Swedish journalists. I was the vice chairman of The Society of Publicists in Malmö and had invited the Danish journalist Mikael Jalving to talk about his coming book “Absolute Sweden – a Journey in the Country of Silence.” One day the chairman phoned me and said: We must cancel Mikael Jalving because he is going to talk at a meeting arranged by a newspaper called National Today.
It didn’t matter to him, or to anyone else on the board of this society for journalists that Jalving was going to talk about his book. If he went to that meeting he would be infected by nationalist ideas and probably he would become a Nazi. …
That’s the way it works in the New Sweden, the country I call Absurdistan. The country of silence.
I was furious and left the board of that society. That led to my being invited to The Danish Free Press Society to talk about the strange country of Sweden and that led to my founding of The Swedish Free Press Society.
That is how Lars Hedegaard* and I found each other. But we didn’t settle for running one Free Press Society each; since we both have a solid background as journalists we decided to start a newspaper. …
To break the silence. A risky project!
It will be called Dispatch International “because our vision is that this newspaper will become worldwide one day.”
Dispatch will be printed in two versions – one Danish and one Swedish – but all the stories are the same. And on the internet you will be able to read our stories in English and German as well. We will write about politics in our countries and in the world. We will write about all those things that mainstream media have been hiding for so many years now. We will distinguish between news stories and commentaries and the tone will be subdued. We will let the facts talk, the facts that mainstream journalists hide from people.
And at last she comes to speak the almost forbidden words:
In Sweden NOBODY talks about immigration problems, the death of the multiculti project or the Islamisation/Arabisation of Europe. If you do, you will immediately be called a racist, an Islamophobe or a Nazi. That is what I have been called since I founded the Free Press Society in Sweden.
She concludes by asking for support for International International, by taking a subscription or becoming a shareholder or just donating money. If you do, she says -
You will take me one step closer to home. To the Sweden that once was, the Sweden I want back.
We sympathize with her optimism, and admire her project, but we do not believe she will ever have back the Sweden that once was.
* Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, brought to trial for “racism”, because he said that Muslim men maltreat women. See our posts: The new heresy, January 11, 2011; Protecting Islam from criticism, December 18, 22011; The most important struggle of our time, April 16, 2012; The last days of Europe, June 9, 2012.
We are living through the self-extinction of the European civilization that shaped the age we live in.
So writes Giulio Meotti at Front Page. He goes on:
The inquisition against Europe’s “racist” and “Islamophobic” writers and journalists sheds a unique light on this demographic and religious revolution. Cartoonists, novelists, intellectuals, reporters, these are … the new reactionaries … Western intellectuals “guilty” of fighting the stereotypes of the Western elites: multiculturalism, the “droits de l’hommisme”(the human rights turned into a spoiled child), Islam and anti-Semitism. These new witches are demonized in the name of anti-racism, which the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut called “the communism of XXI century.”
The latest victim of the leftist bien-pensants allied with the Islamic fanatics is Eric Zemmour, Jewish journalist and author of the bestseller “Mélancolie Française.” A few days ago, Zemmour has been dismissed from his radio show for having criticized the new French Minister of Justice, Christiane Taubira, “gentle and compassionate as a mother with her children, the poor children of the suburbs who steal, peddle, torture, rape, and sometimes kill.”
The late Italian writer Oriana Fallaci went to trial … in France and Italy … The Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature, Wole Soyinka, known as the “Nigerian Joyce,” has been demonized as a “racist” for having called the UK “a cesspit” [of] Islamists. Finkielkraut … has been tried, after he dared to comment on the French suburbs that “if the thugs were white everyone would have evoked fascism, when a school is burned down by an Arab then it’s ‘rebellion’”. …
The writer Michel Houellebecq was on trial for his best-selling novel “Platform” and interviews where he called Islam “the most stupid of all religions”, [and] V S Naipaul, another Nobel Prize Laureate, has been demonized as “racist” and “reactionary” by the liberal press.
In many cases, the journalists became refugees in their own countries. “My house is protected as a bunker with cameras,” Kurt Westergaard [told me], the Danish artist who created the cartoon of the Prophet wearing a bomb in his turban for the Jyllands Posten newspaper. Visiting his paper’s office is like entering a US embassy in an Arab country. The journal had erected a 2.5-metre high, one-kilometer long barbed-wire barrier, complete with electronic surveillance, around its headquarters in Visby. Mail is scanned and newspaper staff members need ID cards to enter the buildings. When Flemming Rose, the cultural editor who took the initiative of publishing the cartoons, attended a conference in Oxford, the British police had to set up “the same protection as for Michael Jackson.”
In the Netherlands, where filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by a Muslim for his criticism of Islam and the biggest mosques of Europe frame the luxuriant, wooded, watery countryside, cartoonist Gregorious Nekshot uses… a pseudonym to protect his own identity. At the University of Leiden, Rembrandt’s city, the office of Law Professor Afshin Ellian, who escaped the Iranian religious dictatorship, is protected by bulletproof walls and policemen. …
I recently spoke with Robert Redeker, the philosopher and columnist condemned to death for an article in Le Figaro newspaper. His piece, a response to the controversy over remarks about Islam made a week earlier by Pope Benedict XVI, was titled “What should the free world do in the face of Islamist intimidation?” Redeker was sentenced to death in a posting that, in order to facilitate a potential assassin’s task, provided his address, telephone and a photograph of his home. “I went to Austria for a conference and even there the bodyguards were always with me,” Redeker said. The police did not even allow him to announce his father’s death, because someone could have noted the surname. “I had to bury my father like a criminal,” he said. The marriage of his daughter was also attended by the police. Redeker had to sell his house and buy another one in a secret location. “I cannot go out to buy bread or newspapers or for a glass of wine. I cannot walk in the streets. I cannot take the train, bus or subway. I cannot answer the question of what I can expect from the future. … ”
A few days ago I received another email of threat, saying: “Dear feces eating insect, continue to scratch around the Zionist dung as it’s natural for you, the Israelis will give you thirty coins.” To quote from Walter Laqueur’s masterpiece, these really look like the last days of Europe.
Other honorable names that must be added to the list of Europeans who have spoken out against the advancing conquest of Europe by Islam are: Geert Wilders, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and Lars Hedegaard. See our posts: The West on trial (December 16, 2009); Freedom versus Islam (January 20, 2010); Civilization on trial (October 11, 2010); An honest confession of hypocrisy (October 23, 2010); The new heresy (January 11, 2011); Darkness descending – again (February 7, 2011); Sharia is the law in Austria (December 25, 2011); Only the gagged may speak freely (December 26, 2011); Darkness imminent (January 8, 2012); The most important struggle of our time (April16, 2012); Marked for death (May 10, 2012).
What will Islamic Europe be called by its conquerors? Al-Andalus, perhaps?
Will European civilization live on in America?
Note added June 11, 2012:
Finland’s Supreme Court has found a prominent politician guilty of defaming Islam for “Islamophobic” comments he made on his personal blog. The ruling represents a major setback for free speech in a Europe that is becoming increasingly stifled by politically correct restricions on free speech, particularly on issues related to Islam and Muslim immigration.
Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, accused of racism for saying that Muslims maltreat their women, was found guilty of “hate speech” on May 3, 2011.
He said at that time:
My crime is to have called attention to the horrific conditions of Muslim women and for my audacity the court has now enabled my detractors to label me a racist.
Muslims can say whatever they want with impunity. Just a few weeks ago Denmark opened its gates to the hate-spewing preacher Bilal Philips, known for his advocacy of wife-beating and the killing of homosexuals. He was provided a platform in Copenhagen and nobody thought of dragging him into court.
Our authorities and their allies among the pc elites have chosen sides in the struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of darkness and so opted for the oppressors of their own people and against those deserving of their protection.
The real victims of this despicable case are freedom of speech and the tens of thousands of girls and women – Muslim as well as non-Muslim – whose plight may no longer be mentioned in my country for fear of legal prosecution and public denigration.
We cannot permit this outcome to stand. I have therefore decided to appeal my conviction to the Supreme Court and – if that is denied – to the European Court of Human Rights.
This is a fight for liberty against tyranny. It will be long and hard but losing is no option.
On Friday, April 13, 2012, his appeal against his conviction was heard by the Danish Supreme Court.
This is what he said (translation taken from FrontPage):
Honourable Supreme Court,
My attorney has presented juridical arguments to the effect that I must be acquitted and I shall refrain from elaborating.
However, allow me to express my quiet bafflement that somebody can claim that it has been my intention to accuse every last Muslim father in the world of abusing his children – particularly in light of the fact that I have carefully explained that it was never my intention to disseminate such an absurd contention.
For precisely that reason, I would have welcomed an opportunity to review the statements I now stand accused of having uttered before they were placed on the Internet. If the interviewer had fulfilled this basic journalistic obligation, I would have demanded that my remarks be corrected so as to reflect my true opinions and the prosecutor could have saved the trouble of dragging me through the courts.
I am even more baffled at one of the claims about my person that has been circulated in connection with this case, namely that I am a racist. I have never been, I am not now and I shall never be a racist. On the contrary, all my life I have opposed racist attitudes, by which I mean hatred towards and denigrating speech about people due their descent, skin color or other so-called racial characteristics – in other words, antipathy against or ill treatment of people due to circumstances over which they have no control.
Islam is not a race and therefore criticism of Islam cannot be racism.
Islam, which lurks behind this entire case, has been described from a variety of viewpoints. Some say that it is a religion, others that is an all-encompassing ideology that contains a religion, still others emphasize its cultural norms, its culturally transmitted customs and practices. Some even maintain that Islam is so multifaceted that it is impossible to describe it.
But regardless of one’s approach, it must be clear that Islam is not a hereditary human attribute.
If our Western freedom means anything at all, we must insist that every grown-up person is responsible for his or her beliefs, opinions, culture, habits and actions.
We enjoy political freedom and we enjoy freedom of religion. This implies a largely unlimited right to disseminate one’s political persuasion and religious beliefs. That is as it should be. But the price we all have to pay for this freedom is that others have a right to criticise our politics, our religion and our culture.
Islamic spokesmen have the freedom to advocate their concept of society, which implies the introduction of a theocracy governed by god-given laws, i.e. sharia, the abolition of man-made laws and by implication freedom of expression and democracy. They are free to think that women are inferior to men as concerns their rights and their pursuit of happiness. They are even entitled to disseminate such opinions.
I cannot recall a single instance in this country where an Islamic spokesman has been prosecuted for saying that sharia will become the law of the land once the demographic and political realities make it possible. This despite the fact that we have several examples of imams who have openly declared that the imposition of theocracy is a religious duty incumbent on all believers.
In return, these theocrats and sharia-advocates must accept the right of those who believe in democracy, free institutions and human equality to criticism Islam and to oppose its dissemination and the atavistic cultural norms practiced by some Muslims.
It is this right – I would even say duty – to describe, criticise and oppose a totalitarian ideology that I have tried to exercise to the best of my ability.
My speech and my writings have had no other purpose than to alert my fellow citizens to the danger inherent in the Islamic concept of the state and the law.
I have made no secret of the fact that I consider this fight for our liberties to be the most important political struggle of our time.
I would not be able to live with my guilty conscience if – out of fear of public condemnation and ridicule – I refrained from telling the truth as I see it.
And regardless of the outcome of this trial, I intend to continue my struggle for free speech and against totalitarian concepts of any stripe.
If the court rules against Lars Hedegaard, it will be a ruling against freedom – tantamount to a death sentence on Western civilization.
Update April 23, 2012:
From the Gatestone Institute:
Lars Hedegaard, the president of the Danish Free Press Society, has been acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court on charges of “hate speech” for critical comments he made about Islam.
The verdict, however represents only a partial victory for free speech in a Europe that is being stifled by politically correct restrictions on free speech, particularly on issues related to Islam.
Although Hedegaard was acquitted, it was on a legal technicality; in its ruling, the Supreme Court stressed that the substance of the charges against Hedegaard — public criticism of Islam, — is still a crime punishable by imprisonment.
It’s becoming more urgent than ever to criticize Islam.
To criticize it is the best way to defeat it. Muslim leaders know this, so they’re trying to criminalize criticism of their appalling religion and unjust system of law.
The United Nations is doing what it can to help them. And the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, is stretching as far as she can to support the UN measures while keeping one foot in the US Constitution.
Earlier this month the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, was in Washington, welcomed by Hillary Clinton at the State Department.
Clare M. Lopez writes at American Thinker:
It is critical that Americans pay attention to what these two leaders intend to do. From 12 to 14 December 2011, working teams from the Department of State (DoS) and the OIC [discussed] implementation mechanisms that could impose limits on freedom of speech and expression.
The OIC’s purpose, as stated explicitly in its April 2011 4th Annual Report on Islamophobia, is to criminalize “incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds.” Incitement is to be defined by applying the “test of consequences” to speech. … It doesn’t matter what someone actually says – or even whether it is true or not; if someone else commits violence and says it’s because of something that person said, the speaker will be held criminally liable.
Let’s understand this clearly. If a non-Muslim says something about Islam that Muslims don’t like and they proceed to riot or bomb or assault or kill, the non-Muslim will be held responsible for the damage and the crimes?
Yes, that’s the idea. If it were to become law in the US, it would be a huge victory for Islam and a tragedy for America.
The OIC is taking direct aim at free speech and expression about Islam. Neither Christianity nor Judaism is named in the OIC’s official documents, whose only concern is to make the world safe from “defamation” of Islam – a charge that includes speaking truthfully about the national security implications of the Islamic doctrine of jihad. …
Islam is now the only religion in the world that persecutes other religions. But the Obama administration thinks it needs protection.
Last March, the State Department and Secretary Clinton insisted that “combating intolerance based on religion” can be accomplished without compromising Americans’ treasured First Amendment rights.
Sure, just as you can swim without getting wet.
The OIC … is openly dedicated to implementing Islamic law globally. This is why it is so important to pay attention not only to the present agenda, but to a series of documents leading up to it, issued by both the U.S. and the OIC. From 12 to 14 December 2011, the DoS and OIC working teams [focussed] on implementation mechanisms for “Resolution 16/18,” a declaration that was adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council in April 2011.
Resolution 16/18 was hailed as a victory by Clinton, because it calls on countries to combat “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization” based on religion without criminalizing free speech — except in cases of “incitement to imminent violence.” But if the criterion for determining “incitement to imminent violence” is a new “test of consequences,” then this is nothing but an invitation to stage Muslim “Days of Rage” following the slightest perceived offense by a Western blogger, instructor, or radio show guest, all of whom will be held legally liable for “causing” the destruction, possibly even if what they’ve said is merely a statement of fact. …
In fact, the “test of consequences” is already being applied rigorously in European media and courts, where any act or threat of violence – whether by a jihadist, insane person, or counter-jihadist – is defined as a “consequence” of statements that are critical of some aspect of Islam and, therefore, to be criminalized. Recent trials of Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, Austrian free speech champion Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and Danish Islamic expert Lars Hedegaard … all attest to the extent of these “hate speech” laws’ oppressive pall over what is left of the European Enlightenment. Now, if the OIC and the Obama administration have their way, it’s America’s turn.
The invention of “hate crime” was always stupid. It cannot matter what emotion accompanies a crime, all that matters is that it is a crime.
Once it’s understood that under Islamic law, “slander” is defined as saying “anything concerning a person [a Muslim] that he would dislike,” the scope of potential proximate causes of Muslim rage becomes obvious. Clearly, the OIC feels some sense of urgency to get the rest of the non-Muslim world, and especially the U.S., on board with these objectives as Paragraph 10:
“Expresses the need to pursue as a matter of priority, a common policy aimed at preventing defamation of Islam perpetrated under the pretext and justification of the freedom of expression in particular through media and Internet.” …
Even the Internet they will censor of they can.
The OIC’s objective has long since been entered into official U.N. language. … It required bringing the U.S. on board with the program to enforce Islamic law on slander. With the willing participation of the Obama administration, the OIC has tackled both of these challenges. …
Tackling them “would appear to [have been] the agenda in Washington, D.C. from December 12 to 14 at the meeting between Clinton and OIC Secretary General Ihsanoglu.”
It would not be overreaching to conclude that the purpose of this meeting, at least from the OIC perspective, [was] to convince the Obama administration that free speech that rouses Muslim masses to fury … must be restricted under U.S. law to bring it into compliance with sharia law’s dictates on slander.
Clinton’s own statements reflect the OIC language … “Together we have begun to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression … We are pursuing a new approach based on concrete steps … to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”
Shaming is precisely what should be used to make the ideology of Islam so universally abhorred that no one dare speak for it. Instead, Hillary Clinton wants to make us ashamed to utter a word against it.
At least this statement of hers shows she recognizes that she cannot use law to achieve the purpose. Or can she? It seems the Obama administration is trying to get round the first amendment by using laws against defamation.
The language of these resolutions instead stresses “the importance of expediting the implementation process of its decision on developing a legally binding international instrument to prevent intolerance, discrimination, prejudice and hatred on the grounds of religion, and defamation of religions.” …
It mustn’t be allowed to happen. Pay attention, the writer says, because -
An informed citizenry, as always, remains the final defense of the Republic.
An informed and critical citizenry, we would add.
Europe has capitulated to Islam.
The Jews of Europe, what’s left of them, are being harried out, mostly by the Muslims, but also by the media (such as, and especially, the BBC and the Guardian newspaper), and lickspittle dhimmi politicians and judges who are keeping the seats of power warm for their incoming Muslim overlords.
From the American Thinker:
An ugly, uni-directional pattern of bigoted violence is once again clearly on display in Western Europe. European Muslims have attacked individual Jews, synagogues, and Jewish or Israeli institutions, in Sweden, Denmark, France, Belgium, Spain, Greece, and Britain. …
Scant attention (or none at all) is being paid to the unequivocal, virulent incitement for these Antisemitic attacks emanating from the Muslim world … Hamas, for example, on its official website (posted December 31, 2008 at the site hosted by Emirnet, United Arab Emirates) urged Muslims to attack Jews across the world … Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar … advocated the murder of Jewish children, globally, claiming Israel had “legitimized the killing of their people all over the world.” …
Murderous calls for indiscriminate anti-Jewish violence … are also expressed locally, by jihadists within Europe….
On a population percentage basis, Muslims in Europe accounted for roughly 24.0 to 32.3 times the number of Antisemitic incidents as their non-Muslim European counterparts.
Hatred of Jews and recommendations that they should be killed are a large part of the religious teaching of Islam:
The ultimate “inspiration” for such rampant Muslim Jew-hatred within Europe’s Muslim communities can be traced to the sacralized bigotry of Islam’s foundational texts, disseminated by Muslim clerics such as Sheikh Feiz. As documented in a British television investigation broadcast January, 2007, the Jew-annihilationist eschatological theme from the canonical hadith quoted in the Hamas Covenant, article 7, The Prophet, ‘Allah’s prayer and peace be upon him, says: “The hour of judgment shall not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them, so that the Jews hide behind trees and stones, and each tree and stone will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him, except for the Gharqad tree, for it is the tree of the Jews.’ ” …
So where are the trials of Muslims charged with incitement to racial hatred and violence?
We’ve tried but failed to find them.
However, Europeans who make known such facts as the American Thinker does, are on trial for doing so.
Also from the American Thinker:
[In Brussels] the Vigilance Musulmane (Muslim Vigilance) advocacy group filed a complaint with the Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight Against Racism (CGKR) against professor of sociology Mark Elchardus for statements about Islamic Jew hatred. …
Professor Elchardus’ conclusions are based upon data from a 426 pp. report he co-authored entitled, “Young in Brussels: findings from the JOP monitor Brussels.” Chapter 8 of this study, “Anti-Semitism in Brussels,” devotes some thirty pages to highlighting the problem of rising Jew-hatred in Brussels, particularly amongst young Muslim students. Elchardus provided this overview of the alarming problem to De Morgen:
“Worrying is that half [only half?- JB] of Muslim students can be described as anti-Semitic … Worse, the anti-Jewish feelings have nothing to do with a low educational or social disadvantage, as is the case with racist natives. It is theologically inspired anti-Semitism… Islam’s canonical texts – Koran, hadith, and sira – are redolent with Islamic Jew-hatred …”
The impact of such sacralized, mainstream Islamic Jew hatred on Western Europe’s burgeoning Muslim community is equally apparent. During February of 2008, then European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom, and Security [bit of Orwellian Newspeak there! - JB], Franco Frattini, the European Union (EU) official responsible “for combating racism and Antisemitism in Europe,” revealed that Muslims were responsible for fully half (50%) of the documented Antisemitic incidents on the European continent. Demographic data from 2007 indicated that the total number of Europeans is 494.8 million; estimates of the number of Muslims in Europe range from 15-20 million, or some ~3.0-4.0% of the total European population. Thus, on a population percentage basis, Muslims in Europe already accounted for roughly 24.0 to 32.3 times the number of Antisemitic incidents as their non-Muslim European counterparts. …
Rather than being maliciously sued, the Professor should be commended by all decent people for his intellectual honesty and moral courage.
Other Europeans who, like Professor Elchardus, have spoken the truth about Islam and have famously been brought to trial are Elisabeth Sabaditsch–Wolffe (fined for the “denigration of religious teachings of a legally recognized religion in Austria”); Lars Hedegaard (found guilty of hate speech in Denmark), and Geert Wilders.
Today Geert Wilders made his final remarks to the court trying him for “inciting hatred” of Muslims. Here’s part of what he said:
I am obliged to speak. For the Netherlands is under threat of Islam. As I have argued many times, Islam is chiefly an ideology. An ideology of hatred, of destruction, of conquest. It is my strong conviction that Islam is a threat to Western values, to freedom of speech, to the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, of believers and unbelievers.
All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam. Day by day we see our freedoms dwindle.
Islam is opposed to freedom. Renowned scholars of Islam from all parts of the world agree on this. …
The statements for which I am being tried are statements which I made in my function as a politician participating in the public debate in our society. My statements were not aimed at individuals, but at Islam and the process of islamization. …
I am acting within a long tradition which I wish to honour. I am risking my life in defence of freedom in the Netherlands. Of all our achievements freedom is the most precious and the most vulnerable. Many have given their lives for freedom. …
I do not wish to betray the trust of the 1.5 million voters of my party. I do not wish to betray my country. Inspired by Johan van Oldenbarneveldt and Johan de Witt I wish to be a politician who serves the truth end hence defends the freedom of the Dutch provinces and of the Dutch people. I wish to be honest, I wish to act with honesty and that is why I wish to protect my native land against Islam. Silence is treason.
That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak. …
I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me. I am not complaining about it; it has been my own decision to speak. However, those who threaten me and other critics of Islam are not being tried here today. I am being tried …
My right to a fair trial has been violated. The order of the Amsterdam Court to prosecute me was not just a decision but a condemning verdict by judges who condemned me even before the actual trial had begun.
Mister President, members of the Court, you must now decide whether freedom still has a home in the Netherlands.
Franz Kafka said: “One sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark.”
Mister President, members of the Court, do not let the lights go out in the Netherlands. …
Acquit me. Political freedom requires that citizens and their elected representatives are allowed to voice opinions that are held in society.
Acquit me, for if I am convicted, you convict the freedom of opinion and expression of millions of Dutchmen.
Acquit me. I do not incite to hatred. I do not incite to discrimination. But I defend the character, the identity, the culture and the freedom of the Netherlands. That is the truth. That is why I am here. That is why I speak. …
Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many. This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of expression is the life source of our Western civilisation. …
Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom. …
We ardently hope Wilders will be acquitted. But whether he is or not, Europe has irreversibly condemned itself.
We have commented on the trials of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria, both of whom are being prosecuted for telling the truth about Islam. (See our post, Civilization on trial, October 10, 2010.)
Throughout Europe it has become a crime to say anything about Muslims and Islam that Muslims do not like. It makes no difference if what is said is provably true. This means that not only is speaking the truth in this regard a crime, but free speech itself is a heresy.
We wrote that what is really on trial is our civilization. The Western world owes its greatness to the Enlightenment. Now the values with which the Enlightenment endowed us, chief among them freedom and truth – the freedom to search for truth and declare openly what we find – are under threat. If we are to be returned to the darkness that prevailed in Europe before that dawn of the intellect, to the time when this church or that decided what people were permitted to know and say, and would punish in the cruelest imaginable ways any thinker who challenged the prevailing dogma, our civilization is as surely doomed as was Rome by Christianity.
The darkness is visibly spreading. In Denmark, Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, and Jesper Langballe, Member of Parliament, have been charged with committing the same “crime” as Geert Wilders and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.
With her usual moral clarity, Melanie Phillips writes about this travesty of justice:
A Danish MP, Jesper Langballe, was convicted of hate speech last month for endorsing Hedegaard’s comments about ‘honour’ violence and sexual abuse within Muslim families. In his statement in court … Langballe wrote about the Orwellian Danish legal rules which effectively convicted him in advance of his trial, causing him to choose to ‘confess’ rather than participate in such a totalitarian ‘circus’.
Now Lars Hedegaard faces a similar circus. Later this month, he is to stand trial for ‘racism’ after he stated about Muslim ‘honour’ violence within families: “They rape their own children.”
In vain did Hedegaard explain the following day that obviously he had not meant by this that all Muslims engage in such practices, any more than saying ‘Americans make good films’ means that all Americans make good films; in vain did he adduce copious evidence of concern — including from Muslim victims themselves — about the amount of sexual and ‘honour’ violence, including rape and incest, within Muslim families. None of this made any difference. Hedegaard is about to be burned at the Danish legal stake for his heresy. …
As far as I can see, these developments in Denmark have been totally ignored in the English-speaking media. So much for the liberals’ fetish of free speech — so noisily defended whenever Christianity [MP's one blind spot, in our view, is her defense of religion- JB], America, Israel or the west are being demonised and libelled; so much for the feminists’ professed concern for the rights of women and the obscenity of rape and sexual abuse. Two men who actually stand up for these principles are being persecuted for doing so, while the so-called progressive world is either helping pile up the faggots for their fire or looking the other way.
It’s not just Hedegaard or Langballe who are being consumed by these flames, however, but Europe’s own freedom.