A few days ago, at a migrant centre in Holland:
(Hat tip: Vlad Tepes blog)
Points from a must-read by the Gatestone Institute's Giulio Meotti:
'On December 9, for the first time in Dutch history, a court criminalized freedom of expression: The truly heroic Dutch Member of Parliament, Geert Wilders, was found guilty of the "crime" of "hate speech."
The death sentence against Salman Rushdie in 1989 by Iran's supreme leader looked unreal. The West did not take it seriously. Since then, however, this fatwa has been assimilated to such an extent that today's threats to free speech come from ourselves. It is now the West that put on trial writers and journalists.
The Red Brigades, the Communist terror group which devastated Italy in the 1970s, coined a slogan: "Strike one to educate one hundred." If you target one, you get collective intimidation. This is exactly the effect of these political trials about Islam.
"Hate speech" has become a political weapon to dispatch whoever may not agree with you. It is not the right of a democracy to quibble about the content of articles or cartoons. In the West, we paid a high price for the freedom to write them and and read them. It is not up to those who govern to grant the right of thought and speech.
In Europe now, the same iron curtain as in the Soviet era is descending.' [Emphasis added]Douglas Murray here
For my own reasons I used to believe that the European version of somewhat limited freedom of speech was superior to the US version (which is practically unfettered)...ReplyDelete
I have since changed my mind for 2 reasons:
1) I'd rather know exactly what a hater believes as expressed by himself then to have to try and "decipher" certain codes...
2) When speech is limited by law to abstain from certain subjects it comes down to the judiciary (which, more often then not tend to be more "leftist") to define what's acceptable speech and what isn't...
So, while as the son of a Holocaust surviver I cringe whenever I encounter Holocaust denial, I'd rather have to deal with that then having to deal with judges who seem to think that "Islam" or "Moroccans" is a "race"...
The fact of the matter is that while people have been videoed calling explicitly for violence against Jews they have never been prosecuted despite such a call being illegal twice over in The Netherlands (calling for violence and targeting a specific "race") whereas Geert Wilders has now had to defend himself TWICE from accusations that are true only when based upon specific biased interpretations of speech which would be protected speech in the US...
I tend to agree, Shtrudel. It is instructive and even empowering Ito use a current buzzword that I usully avoid)to know what the other side is thinking. Here in Australia a piece of legislation known as 18C has been used to prosecute the conservative columnist Andrew Bolt, and while most Jewish communal bodies want to retain the legislation, many Jews (and others, of course) support its repeal.Delete
I hasten to add that Andrew Bolt is not an 'enemy' of Jews and Israel. On the contrary!Delete