Free Speech Has Died in Europe

Prof. Phyllis Chesler – Arutz Sheva

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.

True, the Church tortured and burned many geniuses as heretics; Dutch Jews excommunicated Spinoza; wars for religious supremacy raged for hundreds of years. Still, concepts such as free speech and individual human rights over and above the divine rights of Kings gradually ruled the European zeitgeist. Americans and other former colonists romanticized Europe as “the” place for artists, free thinkers, and free spirits.

Despite fairly rigid class systems, and the continued existence of symbolic (but well paid) monarchies, European countries are known for providing educational, social, and health care services for all—a reality which, given immigration, and native concepts of a short work week followed by an early, long retirement, may potentially bankrupt them all.

Nevertheless, Europe has been in the forefront of both free speech and libertinism. For example, Denmark legalized gay marriage in 1989; Holland and Germany followed suit in 2001. In 1999, Denmark decided that prostitutes could ply their trade as individuals, but outlawed both pimps and brothels. In 2000, Holland legalized brothels. From 1999 on, buying—but not selling sex—has been illegal in Sweden. In 2009, Norway and Iceland passed similar legislation. Austria, a decadent country, led the pack; since 1986, prostituted Austrian women have been obliged to pay taxes on their income.

One often assumes that freedom of thought and speech must co-exist with such misogynist libertinism. One would be wrong. In 2004, in Holland, journalist and filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was butchered and Ayaan Hirsi Ali was sent into hiding and then exile; in 2009, politician Geert Wilders was also put on trial for trying to tell the truth about Islamic gender and religious apartheid and jihad. Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is currently on trial in Austria for talking off the record to a journalist about her own experiences while living in the Islamic world.

Please note: Islamists did not launch their legal prosecution. Their own countrymen, in the language of “political correctness” and in the guise of opposing “hate speech” did so.

In 2010, the American author, Bruce Bawer and his Norwegian colleagues were accused of “racism” and “Islamophobia” by Norwegian leftists and Islamists who tried to have their excellent online website Human Rights Service defunded. This site publishes work about Islam and women’s rights. One leftist minister actually reported them to the United Nations for “Islamophobia.” Hege Storhaug and Rita Karlsen, who run the website, have just informed me that they do not believe this minister will succeed in having them declared “racists” or in de-funding their work.

And now, free speech is under full-scale attack in Denmark.

The Danes have, perhaps, been traumatized by what happened in 2005, when Islamists slipped three more offensive cartoons into Kurt Westergaard’s Danish cartoon mix, and then used their own cartoons to justify riots against Westergaard and other infidels. Global publishers became frightened and refused to reprint the less offensive cartoons. Even Yale University Press, which published a book about the cartoons, pulled the actual cartoons from their edition, without telling the author.

To this day, more than six years later, Westergaard still lives in hiding with an armed guard. In 2010, Lars Wilks, the Swedish artist, was nearly murdered by a would-be Muslim assassin.

And now we have the Danish criminal prosecution of two Danish heroes: Lars Hedegaard and Jesper Langballe, a member of the Danish Parliament. Both men are accused of committing “hate speech.” What speech did Langballe utter?
He exposed honor killings among Muslims and was actually convicted for doing so.

According to Ahmed Mohamud, the Vice President of The Danish Free Press Society, and Katrine Winkel Holm, Chief Editor of Sappho, the Society’s magazine.

In the past year, the Danish public prosecutor has been waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices. On December 3, 2010, Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe was convicted of ‘hate speech’ – or as the judge in the lower court of Randers put it: ‘racial discrimination’ – for having called attention to honour killings in Muslim families.

And what exactly is Lars Hedegaard’s crime?

His crime has been to point to the great number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture. This well documented fact has brought him an indictment under the Danish penal code’s ‘racism’ clause…

According to Mohamud and Winkel Holm, both MP Langballe and Lars Hedegaard have long ago “emphasised that they did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes. This has made no impression on the public prosecutor. We fear that the public prosecutor intends to stifle open debate on Islam and Muslim culture. And we fear that he is doing so with the tacit approval of the governing parties, which first signalled their intention to remove the racism clause from the penal code but have recently recanted.”

If the government succeeds in silencing Langballe and Hedegaard, who will have the courage to continue to speak out?

If free speech and truth speech become criminal offenses in Denmark, what will happen to freedom in other European countries? Such state censorship and criminal prosecution characterize nearly every Muslim country. Now Europe is rapidly becoming the very country—“Eurabia”—first predicted by Bat Ye’or in 2005. From the British Isles to the south of Italy, from France to Scandinavia, more and more Muslim women (including European converts) are wearing face veils and burqas, marrying their first cousins or polygamous men in arranged marriages, remaining at home as domestic servants, having triple or even quadruple the number of children that their non-Muslim counterparts have. Most happily live on the European dole.

Muslim girls and women are being savagely honor murdered in Europe if they dare resist this larger Islamist goal of colonizing Europe. Thus far, America and Israel may be the last countries standing against just such Arabization and fundamentalist Islamification.

I have published academic studies about honor killings and have written many articles about individual cases. I testify in court cases for potential Muslim honor killing victims who are seeking asylum in America. Will I, too, someday be tried as a “racist”? Will such asylum seekers be tried as criminals for exposing the horrendous violence that they have escaped in the hope that the West will be a sanctuary for them?

Can what is happening in Denmark, Holland, and Austria ever happen in America?

I strongly urge the Danish prosecutors to set aside Jesper Langballe’s conviction and to drop all charges against him and against my colleague Lars Hedegaard. If they fail to do so, they are personally responsible for sending their country and culture back to the Middle Ages, Islamist style.

January 14, 2011 | 10 Comments »

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10 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. All of the comments are very interesting, but few address Chesler’s concerns about freedom of speech in Europe. The loss of freedoms dictated by eurocrats in Brussels and various PC governments in Eurabia, threaten Western culture. If Israel gives in, as it well might under UN pressure and the Arab leaning Supreme Court, then one bastion of freedom will have fallen. If the USA does not actively resist islamofascists, its liberties will also be undermined. All freedom loving people need to protest against the aggressive racists who seek to subdue us by making us defend ourselves against the very offenses that they practise against us.

    Chesler is very good in her analysis. Three recent points she should also have made: the Austrian accused by a mohammedan for making fun of Islam by yodelling and fined €800; the Spanish teacher on trial for offending a mohammedan mamzer by talking of the climate in Spain good for curing ham; the recent article by Robert Fisk – that long time enemy of Israel – in which he detailed the various forms of bestiality to women, which passes for honour in mohammedan realms.

    As regards Kahane, the Israeli justice system was anything but! The more so when you hear not a peep when Israel bashing Arabs attack Israel or Israelis, especially when their MKs make racist comments and their status is protected. Does anyone recall anything in the Bible calling for honesty in judges?

  2. When “things” get bad enough, they will get better. The problem is how many people will have to sputter out or die before “things” get better?

  3. There aren’t very many places that have truly free speech. I’m sure Israel is way ahead of much of Europe, and even the U.S., on this score.

    Here in the U.S., for example, since at least 2007, you would have to look long and hard in order to find ANY national-level media venue, print or broadcast (besides talk radio), that will report on Israel in a favorable light. The best you can get is an occasional sympathetic editorial or op-ed in the Wall Street Journal or from some opinion commentator on FOX (e.g., Glenn Beck), but even in these last holdouts for ANY pro-Israel sentiments, the “straight news” reporting on Israel might as well be coming straight from Al Jazeera.

    As a private citizen, of course one can still write letters to the editor (I do this all the time, and at least get published locally), but most people won’t bother to do this, and even if they do, in the larger national publications, good luck getting printed…especially if you don’t have a Jewish sounding name (i.e., outlets like the NYT or the WSJ, when they do print pro-Israel letters to the editor, almost ALWAYS print those from people with Jewish sounding names, so that the public will dismiss such letters as being from people with an ‘obvious agenda’; I know, ‘cuz I’ve tried countless times to get letters in these venues but alas, I don’t have a Jewish sounding name).

    From all the big newspapers, newsmagazines, and networks, whether it is ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN (they are REALLY bad), straight news (vs. opinion) on FOX and the WSJ, the NYT, the LA Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, Time Magazine, Newsweek, PBS, NPR, the line is the same: bad, bad, intransigent, trigger-happy, Israeli bully versus the poor, noble, oppressed Palestinians who just want a place to call home <sniff sniff, sob sob>.

    Even the pro-Israel commentators on FOX rarely mention Israel at all, even when news events beg them to. Back in October, when Bibi offered to re-instate the freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, this should have been very big news…but went barely reported on at all. This provided an EXCELLENT opportunity for conservative commentators like Hannity to expose the bankrupt hypocrisy that passes for Obama’s Middle East policy, but they said NOTHING, as if it didn’t happen. It is as if even those who might be sympathetic to Israel, like Beck, O’Reilly, and Hannity, are under orders from their bosses to the effect that, “If you don’t have anything bad to say about Israel, don’t say anything at all.”

    One notable exception to this tiresomely uniform anti-Israel media drumbeat here was reportage on Israeli aid to Haiti in the wake of their earthquake. To me, that was the exception that proved the rule, and honestly, how the heck could they put a bad “spin” on that? If there was a way, I’m sure they would have found it.

    What drives this virtually unanimous anti-Israel slant? I too have long thought that petrodollar prostitution had a lot to do with it, and I still do. After all, the Saudis alone spend two billion a year just in the U.S. on PR of various kinds, and that greases a lot of palms. The media sure can’t be bashing Israel because it helps ratings or circulation; the least Israel-hostile media outlets (FOX and WSJ) are also the most successful. CNN, about the worst on Israel, is in the gutter in terms of ratings.

    But there are two other factors.

    There are a lot of Obama-style liberals in the media who’ve been sold hook, line and sinker on the liberal paradigm on this and many other issues. As far left as Obama might appear to many, he’s just your run-of-the-mill product of so-called “elite” academia today…the same “resume builder” qualification that got many journalists “top jobs” today. In other words, they believe this crap (stuffed into their heads courtesy petrodollars funneled into universities), and they’ll do it for free. These are pro-Palestinian, Islamist apologist “sluts” versus the “whores” who do it for money.

    Then there is fear. A lot of people are really afraid that if they back Israel against the Palestinians, they’ll be targeted by Islamists. I doubt that this would happen in most cases – especially here in the U.S., though in Europe this is probably a more realistic fear – but people are intimidated.

    Bottom line: If the author is writing “R.I.P.” with respect to freedom of speech in Europe, all this observer can say is we here in the U.S. aren’t very far behind. If people don’t start fighting back soon in a large and organized grass roots fashion – which I believe we still have time to do here – it will probably be too late before very long.

  4. B’H
    If Meir Kahane had to give up his citizenship then, in the interests of solidly backing his electorate and country, what about the Arab Kenesset Member who does not take the oath of allegiance to Israel? To me, the latter is more worrying both for the country and the people he allegedly is representing. He should be made to give up his seat and re-elections held and the future representative must take an oath of allegiance to the State of Israel.
    The push to delitigimise the state of Israel is being vigorously aided by its leftist constituients. Sadly.

  5. Rav Kahane was dumb to have trusted the government of Israel

    According to local conspiracy theories it was the Israel security services that got him in the end. Like Rabin later.

    I booked him to speak at our local JCC but one of the board members killed it.

    Funny since his daughter made the 10 most wanted FBI list.

    Read all about it here

  6. Sure, Mer.

    But Rav Kahane was dumb to have trusted the government of Israel, and despite his greatness, too stupid to see they were blindsiding him so that he would neither be able to run for the Knesset or freely travel to and from the USA, where his financial backers lived. And without some kind of protection, he was just a man waiting for some Arab to walk into one of his rented halls in a hotel and shoot him dead in the middle of one of his speeches.

    He was a guest in my home here in Wisconsin exactly two weeks before the Arab in New York murdered him. I could clearly see he was getting tired of the endless struggles just to maintain his freedom to talk and organize. I still miss him.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI

  7. ABSOLUTELY he should have given up his U.S. citizenship ESPECIALLY if your in politics. The citizens HAVE A RIGHT to KNOW you are 100 per cent backing the country.

  8. How incredible! The Danes, Dutch and Austrians are throwing their wits and their freedoms into a black hole! Is it the “Left” combining with the Muslims that’s taking these native peoples Islamic
    into captivity?

  9. So exactly how much free speech do you have in Israel? I still remember the dirty tricks the bosses of your country pulled on Rav Meir Kahane back about 21 years ago, when the polls showed he would triple the number of votes for the Kach Party in the coming Knesset election. First, they declared he could not run again for his seat in the Knesset until and unless he gave up his US citizenship. Then after he was dumb enough to do just that, they told him he was a racist, and made that ineligible for Knesset candidates. Some of us have long memories, and neither forgive nor forget. So much for “democracy”; then and now.

    Arnold Harris
    Mount Horeb WI