Danish Government is Prosecuting Individuals for "Hate Speech"

Why has the Danish government switched sides?

A “terrible turn of events in Denmark,” writes Diana West. For years that country “has bravely spearheaded the West’s fights to save free speech, now and seemingly in perpetuity under assault from both the Marxian Left and the press of sharia (Islamic law).”

But now the Danish government appears to have switched sides. Instead of repealing its hate speech laws, it is prosecuting people under them merely for criticizing Muslim honor killings and “honor rapes” (that last one is my coinage). Last year Danish MP Jesper Langballe was convicted of “hate speech”–“racial discrimination”–for having discussed the honor killings in Muslim families. (Here is his ironic “confession.”) And this month Lars Hedegaard, the president of the International Free Press Society, will face trial for talking about the common incidence of within-family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture.

Update from Phyllis Chesler:

On February 24, 2011, the distinguished Lars Hedegaard, the President of the Danish Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society, will stand trial for telling the truth about Islamic gender apartheid.

Europe, once the birthplace of freedom, is fast becoming its graveyard. Read the complete original version of this item…

Here is Danish law Article 266b under which Hedegaard is being prosecuted and Langballe was convicted:

Whoever publicly or with the intent of public dissemination issues a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation is liable to a fine or incarceration for up to two years.

Under this “law,” the truth of an assertion is no defense against the charge of denigration. Thus Langballe was not allowed at his trial to bring forward evidence of honor killings. We can expect the same will happen with Hedegaard.

In fact, the hate speech laws are a perfect expression of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society. Here is a cumulative formulation of the law:

The more troublesome, unassimilable, or dangerous a designated minority or non-Western group actually is, the more favorably it is treated. This undeserved favorable treatment of a troublesome or misbehaving group can take numerous forms, including celebrating the group, giving the group greater rights and privileges, covering up the group’s crimes and dysfunctions, attacking the group’s critics as racists, and blaming the group’s bad behavior on white racism.

And here is the formulation of the First Law that is most relevant in the present instance:

The worse a designated minority or non-Western group behaves, the more racist it becomes to speak the truth about the group’s behavior.

Thus if it is the case that Muslims seek to spread sharia law and subdue all non-Muslim societies, that is bad, therefore to say that Muslims seek to spread sharia law and subdue all non-Muslim societies is racist and hateful. If it is the case that Muslims commonly commit “honor killings” against their female relatives, that seems worse, therefore to say that Muslims commit honor killings is even more racist and hateful. And if it is the case that Muslims sometimes commit “family rape,” that is even more disturbing, and so to say that Muslims commit family rape is even more racist and hateful. The more violent and threatening Muslims actually are, the more hateful is it for Westerners to speak the truth about them, and the greater the punishment such Westerners must receive.


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    Toronto Sun founder Peter Worthington has become the first Canadian journalist to connect the dots between 1. the targeting of non-Native victims in Caledonia; 2. our application of Dr. King’s teachings in confronting appeasement of extremism; and 3. the persecution of European critics of Islamic extremism such as Lars Hedegaard, Jesper Langballe and Elisabeth Sabaditsche Wolff under draconian ‘hate speech’ thought-crime laws:

    When Ontario’s McGuinty government and the leadership of the OPP sided with First Nations protesters against local residents in Caledonia in 2006, it outraged many people. In her seminal book about the issue, Helpless, Christie Blatchford avoided the native rights issue and concentrated on the abandonment of rule of law which, curiously (or maybe not so curiously), offended many rank and file OPP officers who were ordered not to provoke Indians, but to hammer down locals who protested against the protesters.

    Two of the victims of the temporary policy — Gary McHale and Mark Vandermaas, once arrested for raising the Canadian flag! — cite Martin Luther King’s famous letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, where he was under arrest for parading without a permit. In his landmark letter, Dr. King recalled that it was not an issue between legality and illegality, but right and wrong. He noted that everything Hitler did in Nazi Germany was “legal”, and everything Hungarian freedom fighters did in 1956 was “illegal”. “One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty,” Dr. King wrote. One who does this “is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

    King’s words reverberate with McHale and Vandermaas: “Condemning peaceful action because it might precipitate violence is like condemning a robbed person because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery.”

    Skip forward to Denmark today. When historian Lars Hedegaard was charged with making disparaging remarks about Muslims and Sharia law, Jesper Langballe, a Danish MP was similarly charged for supporting Hedegaard’s right to free speech. Both were charged under Article 266b of a Danish law which, extraordinarily for a democratic country, does not allow “truth” as a defence.


    Anyway, the political correctness sweeping Europe, and the fearfulness of offending that contravenes free speech, has echoes in North America — witness Caledonia, where local residents were the enemy for wanting the law upheld against protesters.

    * Toronto Sun, Peter Worthington, Feb 12/11: Truth and its Consequences [PDF]
    * see also: VoiceofCanada feature: Lessons From Dr. King
    * see also: International Free Press Society (Canada), Gary McHale & Mark Vandermaas: Dr. King’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ vs. Denmark’s thought crime prosecutions: a blueprint for victory over appeasement of Islamic extremism
    * see also: National Post, Helpless excerpt #2 of 4, Nov 17/10: Christie Blatchford: Arrested for making the police look bad [PDF] (arrests of Gary McHale & Mark Vandermaas)
    * see also: VoiceofCanada feature: THE END OF THE BEGINNING! (history, video of flag protests)

    Victory for Lars Hedegaard, not so much for Danish free speech

    The President of the International Free Press Society Lars Hedegaard was acquitted of a hate speech charge in a Danish court earlier today that was brought against him for the ‘crime’ of offending Muslims (references below).

    In political prosecutions (and we have some experience in this area) such as that against Lars Hedegaard the goal is not really to punish the ‘offender’ – it is to gain a conviction (at all costs) in order to justify the persecution and to intimidate the persecuted into silence along with those who might choose to emulate him/her.

    While the acquittal of Lars Hedegaard is certainly very good news, it is important to note that the only reason he was acquitted is because the judge found, as stated by Hedegaard afterwards, “that my supposedly offensive comments on the violations against little Muslim girls were not intended for public dissemination” (my emphasis). In other words, he was acquitted on a technicality and not because a Danish court refused to uphold an un-democratic thought-crime law written by neo-Nazis cloaked in ‘anti-racist’ clothes.

    Continue reading →

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