Sunday, 29 September 2013

22 Free Speech Today

Free speech is a bedrock principle of free societies everywhere. It is no coincidence that nations which have historically protected free speech are nations such as the UK, USA, most of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. 

Those which restrict free speech include the likes of Burma, North Korea, China, Russia and all of the Islamic countries including Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, etc.

Western nations have protected free speech since before most of us were born. Most people seem to think that they always will. These people haven’t been paying attention, so please sit up because this is where things start to get scary.

57 majority Islamic Nations form an organization called the Organization of Islamic Cooperation or OIC. This is the largest voting bloc in the United Nations and for years it has been working to persuade UN member countries to ban criticism of religions (specifically Islam). Recently these efforts seem to have been bearing fruit.

When I grew up, people understood that you couldn’t call the police just because someone offended you. In fact, it was considered childish to be overly concerned with insults.

In recent years however, a combination of Multiculturalism and Political Correctness has been steadily eroding this freedom. Today, people who speak out against Islam are likely to find themselves in court, fighting for their freedom, or even in jail.

In Denmark, the president of the “Danish Free Press Society”, Lars Hedegaard was forced to appeal a conviction for “Hate Speech”.
Here are some highlights from an article posted at the Gatestone Institute[1] (emphasis mine)

Editor's note: On April 13[2012], Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, appealed to Denmark's Supreme Court to overturn his conviction by Denmark's Superior Court on May 3, 2011, after two years in lower courts, on charges of alleged Hate Speech. Under Denmark's Article 266(b), it is immaterial if what one says is true; evidence in support of the truth is inadmissible. All that matters is if someone has said something in public that might cause someone to "feel offended," or if the prosecutor thinks someone might be justified in "feeling offended." After Mr. Hedegaard spoke privately about the Muslim treatment of women, a tape of his remarks was disseminated, apparently without his knowledge or approval. The accuracy of what he said was not in dispute. A verdict is expected this week.

The following is an edited transcript of his courtroom defence:
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, of course, 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, e.g., 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 criticise 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.

Meanwhile, round the corner in super tolerant Holland, Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party (now one of the most popular parties the country) was being tried for insulting Islam. The case proceeded even though the prosecution did not want it to (surely a first in Western legal history). Here are some highlights from Geert’s defence (Geert was thrown out of the UK before he could speak there, for posing a “threat to community harmony”).

Mister President, members of the Court, I am here because of what I have said. I am here for having spoken. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak. Many have kept silent, but not Pim Fortuyn, not Theo Van Gogh, [both were murdered in Holland for criticizing Islam] and not I.

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. My witness experts subscribe to my view. There are more Islamic scholars whom the court did not allow me to call upon to testify. All agree with my statements, they show that I speak the truth. 

That truth is on trial today. We must live in the truth, said the dissidents under Communist rule, because the truth will set us free. Truth and freedom are inextricably connected. We must speak the truth because otherwise we shall lose our freedom. That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak. 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. That is why the Public Prosecutor has concluded that I should be acquitted. Mister President, members of the Court, 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. I do not wish to betray my country. A politician who serves the truth 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. Freedom and truth, 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 and about that I do complain.

 I consider this trial to be a political trial. I am being compared with the Hutu murderers in Rwanda and with Mladic. Only a few minutes ago some here have doubted my mental health. I have been called a new Hitler. I wonder whether those who call me such names will also be sued, and if not, whether the Court will also order prosecution. 

Probably not, and that is just as well because freedom of speech applies also to my opponents. 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. That is why, like Luther before the Imperial Diet at Worms, I say: “Here I stand, I can do no other.” That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak. Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many.[2]

Bear in mind that these two, are the kind of people that the media invariably refers to as “hate mongers,” dangerous right wing extremists, or Nazis, yet both are calling for Muslims (some of whom are actively trying to kill them) to have the protection of free speech.

Further South in Austria things are also looking bleak for housewife and counter-Jihad campaigner, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, who ran a private seminar explaining Islam to people. A left wing group planted an observer in the audience and sent a tape to the public prosecution.

From The Gatestone Institute[3]:
The judge ruled that Sabaditsch-Wolff committed a crime by stating in her seminars about Islam that the Islamic prophet Mohammed was a paedophile (Sabaditsch-Wolff's actual words were "Mohammed had a thing for little girls.")

The judge rationalized that Mohammed's sexual contact with nine-year-old Aisha could not be considered paedophilia because Mohammed continued his marriage to Aisha until his death. According to this line of thinking, Mohammed had no exclusive desire for underage girls; he was also attracted to older females because Aisha was 18 years old when Mohammed died.

The judge ordered Sabaditsch-Wolff to pay a fine of €480 ($625) or an alternative sentence of 60 days in prison. Moreover, she was required to pay the costs of the trial. Although at first glance the fine may appear trivial -- the fine was reduced to 120 "day rates" of €4 each because Sabaditsch-Wolff is a housewife with no income -- the actual fine would have been far higher if she had had income.

In Australia, two Christian pastors, Daniel Scott and Danny Nalia, were convicted under Victorian State legislation for insulting Islam. Amazingly, the Victorian Supreme Court upheld the conviction despite accepting that nothing the two had said was untrue.

 Fortunately for them, they had the means to take the case to the Australian Commonwealth Supreme Court. This court ruled that telling the truth is not illegal and that the Victorian Judge had made well over 100 errors in his judgement. Although they were eventually acquitted, they suffered a five year legal nightmare and enormous costs to clear their names[4].

So, here are a few points from these judgements which really stand out to me.
       1)      People can be convicted for expressing an opinion or making a statement of fact.
       2)      The truth or otherwise of these statements is considered to be irrelevant.
       3)      Convictions depend on whether someone “feels offended or not”.
       4)      The Government decides who has a right to feel offended.
       5)      So far only Muslims have been granted that right.
       6)      Prosecutions can go ahead even against the wishes of the prosecutors themselves.

All of these points violate the legal principles on which our society is founded. Supposedly learned and independent judges were still happy however, to pass these judgements without any outward sign of embarrassment.

Another pillar of our legal system which judges seem to be having problems understanding is the principle of the rule of law. It is the mark of a free society that everyone is seen as equal in the eyes of the law.

If the Prime Minister goes through a speed camera we expect him to face the same penalty as would a street sweeper. This idea marked the transition from kings and despots, who made up the rules to suit themselves, to democratic societies which valued the freedom of all people. If the legal system were to value this tradition then we would expect to see Muslims face penalties for insulting the religions and ideas of others.

Here we see British policemen standing quietly by in a demonstration in London after the Danish cartoon affair. Apparently they are unaware that inciting people to commit mass murder has been illegal in England for some centuries, even for Muslims. 

(In this picture we can just see the policeman’s dayglo jacket on the far left about half the way up)

In these two photos we see British policemen, standing quietly by in a demonstration in London after the Danish cartoon affair. Apparently they were unaware that inciting people to commit mass murder has been illegal in England for some centuries, even for Muslims.
Many of these legal principles originated in England hundreds of years ago.  They have been the basis for protecting people against tyranny in fair and just societies around the world. Sadly, the UK is now leading the rush to abandon these principles. Ironically, they are doing so in order to accommodate migrants who are fleeing from tyranny in their own countries.
In 2011, English mother of two, Emma West in a foul mouthed and obviously racist rant, (which was worthy of a public order offence) told a tram full of coloured people in England, that mass immigration of black and Polish people had ruined “her” country and they should all go home [5]. A phone video of this outburst went viral on You Tube. She was immediately arrested, imprisoned and had her children taken off her. After a few weeks of holding her without charge, the Government finally decided that it isn’t illegal to criticize immigration policy in public. They didn’t release her however, but decided to keep her locked up “for her own safety.”
This is in direct contravention of “habeas corpus”, or the right to not be imprisoned without trial. It is also in direct contraventions of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

While many people feel that those who express racist opinions deserve to be locked up, a different English judge didn’t agree. Four Somali girls were brought before him, after being recorded on security camera attacking an English girl. In the seemingly unprovoked attack, which lasted for several minutes, the four girls can clearly be seen viciously punching and kicking her to the ground, (and on the ground) while screaming “white slag!” (slut) at her[6].
The girls walked free after their defence counsel argued that being Muslims, they were just not used to the effects of alcohol. Unlike the Emma West case the same year, no mention was made of “racial aggravation”. After the sentencing, one of the delighted defendants tweeted “Happy happy happy! I’m so going out”.
No system of justice will ever be perfect. In these two judgments however the different treatment of these women seems too extreme to be explained away by the personal preferences of individual judges. Whilst other factors may have come into play, the facts remain. One woman was locked away for expressing an opinion. However distasteful this opinion may be, there seems little chance that she could have posed a threat to the other people involved. In fact, not one of them even filed a complaint.
The four Muslim girls on the other hand did not just pose a threat of violence. They carried out this abuse to the limit of their physical ability. They did this without any apparent provocation. Since both incidents are on film, (and I encourage you to follow the links I have provided) we can view them exactly as the judges did.
A couple of years prior to these incidents, a UK TV station aired a documentary about radical Muslims in a mosque in Birmingham[7]. This wasn’t just a small mosque tucked away in a backstreet. This mosque was one of Britain’s biggest. A reporter for the documentary went to the mosque regularly for a period of some months and secretly filmed the goings on in there. After attending for a while, he gained the trust of the imams and they began taking him into private assemblies. In these, preachers were spewing hatred of Kaffirs, Jews, the British people and the West in general. They were also advocating the overthrow of the UK Government. This was a capital offense until a few years ago but is apparently no longer illegal in the UK. Some of these sermons were in person and some were video cast live from Saudi Arabia.
As you would expect the police immediately took action. What you probably didn’t expect, is that they didn’t press charges against the mosque. Instead they tried to prosecute Channel 4 for hate speech. The police rather bizarrely claimed that Channel 4 had edited these sermons to make them seem more extreme. This claim was later thrown out by a court, which makes you wonder where the police got this idea from?
Whether these incidents are merely random occurrences, or symptoms of a society buckling under a creeping dhimmitude is hard to say. What concerns me however, is that even discussing these issues means being branded as an evil racist and Islamophobe.



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