Guilty: Islamo-Realism as Hate Speech in Denmark

American Thinker, December 12, 2010

When it comes to criticism of Islam, Europe’s ruling political class now goes beyond what Orwell wrote about the vilification of the Soviet system. Regarding Leftist attitudes toward those deemed “rabidly anti-Communist,” Orwell had observed the following:

The upshot is that if from time to time you express a mild distaste for slave-labor camps or one-candidate elections, you are either insane or actuated by the worst motives. In the same way when Henry Wallace is asked by a newspaper interviewer why he issues falsified versions of his speeches to the press, he replies: “So you must be one of those people who are clamoring for war with Russia.” There is the milder kind of ridicule that consists in pretending that reasoned opinion is indistinguishable from an absurd out-of-date prejudice. If you do not like Communism you are a Red-baiter.

My colleague, the journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard, President of The Free Press Society in Denmark, forwarded some introductory remarks, followed by Danish MP Jesper Langballe’s “guilty” plea for “hate speech”–more aptly Islamo-realistic speech–after Langballe was denied the right to prove his case.

Lars Hedegaard, it should be noted, is also facing criminal trial followed by a libel suit for remarks he made in December 2009. His criminal trial takes place in Frederiksberg Court on January 24, 2011.

Translation: Sappho.dk–the web magazine of the Danish Free Press Society

§ 266b of the Danish penal code states,

“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.”

And here is what Jesper Langballe wrote that merited prosecution under the Danish penal code:

“Of course Lars Hedegaard should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make due with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them.”

[Lars Hedegaard’s introductory remarks]

On December 3, 2010 the municipal court in Randers, Denmark found the Danish Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe (Danish People’s Party) guilty of hate speech under Article 266b of the Danish penal code. In accordance with Danish legal precedent he was denied the opportunity to prove his allegation that honour killings and sexual abuse take place in Muslim families. Under Danish jurisprudence it is immaterial whether a statement is true or untrue. All that is needed for a conviction is that somebody feels offended. “With this article in the penal code,” commented Mr. Langballe, “I must be assumed convicted in advance. I have no intention of participateing in this circus. Therefore I confess.”

{snip}

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