Finnish talk show host Ruben Stiller,
totally misses Jussi Halla-aho’s point
The Tundra Tabloids has been mulling over this story for a couple of days now, ever since Kumitonttu forwarded it to the TT’s email box. What is one to make of a person who is (a) a very intelligent human being, and (b) very aware of how the Finnish media distorts the news about Israel and (c) has been highly critical (some would say even hostile) of Islam in a number of statements.
But first let me give it some context.
No one knows better about the intolerant nature of Islam towards Jews (and others), then those of us who have been following the conflict between the Arabs and Israel for some time now. Way before 9/11 and the Mohamed cartoons hit the scene, Islam’s religious supremacism (read = intolerance of all others) and violent nature was a well known feature in the Arabs’ war against Israel. In other words, those of us who are well versed in the facts concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, should know better.
So why is it that this talk show host who is an unabashed supporter of Israel, can’t understand the excellent points Helsinki city councillor, Jussi Halla-aho was addressing in his now famous blog post, “A Couple of Baits for Mika Illman”?
In a column published in the Helsinki Jewish community’s paper, Hakehila, Mr.Stiller (whom I respect for his pro-Israel work) writes the following about the beleaguered city councilman, which shows that he either (a)missed his point altogether, or (b) understood the point but chose to present differently, or (c) is worried about Jews becoming a target for anti-Semitic attacks on the interenet, thus he conflates anti-Semitism with criticism of the idology of Islam.
Here is what Ruben Stiller wrote.
For some reason, a moment ago, a picture of Jussi Halla-aho twirled around in my mind. That’s what often happens to white people who want to be black. Jussi Halla-aho labeled Islam as a pedofile religion and received a conviction for disturbing religious worship. Now he’s being presented as a hero and as a martyr. This was to be expected, but I’m more amazed by the reactions of certain journalists.
Saska Saarikoski (HS journalist writing on the JH-A case) defended Halla-aho’s free speech in a sharp column in the Helsingin Sanomat. And the editor in chief, Janne Virkkunen, highlighted in his own column in the same edition, that the case didn’t belong in court.
Why doesn’t it?
If something similar was written about Jews, should we also just be contented with participating in a public debate? Are the representatives of a minority in such cases, to just pledge an allegiance in the name of freedom of speech without limitations, and be satisified with the unclear divisive conclusions in a public debate?
If our religion would have been written about in the same tone as Halla-aho wrote about Islam, we would have interpreted it as anti-Semitism. Thus, Halla-aho’s freedom of speech, in my opinion, is of lesser weight than the religious feelings of Muslims. What are the opinions of our congregation’s lawyers? Hakehila awaits your comments.
To set the record straight, Jussi Halla-aho gives the exact reason behind his blog post, in a YouTube video taken shortly after the reading of the district court’s verdict:
“I wanted to criticize with my writings, the practice, in which, along with multiculturalism has gained a foot hold in our society, which is that different ethnic groups have different rules. The law protects different ethnic groups with different force, and I think this is an unbearable situation in a society whose constitution states, that all human beings are equal under the law.”
The situation *is* indeed intolerable as Jussi Halla-aho states, in that the Finnish judicial system does not offer the same protection to ALL of it’s citizens. Some are more worthy than others. The Finnish state has now shown itself in the Halla-aho case to be more than willing to “be offended for others“, in that not even a charge had been filed against the city councilman by a representative from the Finnish Muslim community, and yet the state prosecutor’s office began an investigation all on its own.
This is indeed, an intolerable situation. We have now in Finland, an even more ambiguous situation, in which no one knows what’s exactly permissable to write in public, under Finnish law. But it does looks like if you want to write just about anything about the host society, that’s ok, but if you write anything regarding a minority that might or might not cause offense to them (or to the state), you then risk being hauled before the judge and forced to pay a fine.
But going back to what Ruben Stiller states about anti-Semitism and anti-Islam writings, this is another area where, IMHO, he gets it totally wrong.
Anti-Semitism is based on the irrational fear and loathing of the Jews, and any slanders, lies or libels resulting from that hatred towards a particular person, can be addressed by the court system, in that the person filing the charges, has to prove that the claims made were indeed false, and spread with malicious intent. Anti-Semitism is an evil that needs to be confronted wherever it rasies its head, but not through the court system, but in the public arena of debate, where such stupid thinking is raked over the coals and the person relegated to the fringes of society where he/she belongs.
What Ruben Stiller has done, is to buy into the whole agenda
of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, whose ten year agenda
is to secure a special place for Islam, which will shield it from all kinds of criticism and rebuke. Not only from the non-Muslim community, but from the Muslim community as well. Mr.Stiller has taken to pitching his tent with the world’s largest Islamic organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and all other religious life.
Islam is not here to co-exist with others, but to supplant them, to rid the Jews from their Judaism, and Christians from their Christianity Hindus from their Hindusim and so on. Once we allow for “religious sensibilities” to dictate what we can say or do, it’s the begining of the end for a free society, because you will always be placing your own right to free expression at the chopping block of another group’s sensibilities.
Everyone is offended over one thing or another. What about the majority of non-Muslim Finland, should we file suit against the Islamic community for spreading false statements that we are infidels, pagans and less worthy than that of a Muslim? Should we start taking all religious communities to task for what they say about the non-believer?
Stiller gets it all wrong, and badly. This is not about an ethnicity, race or a people, but about an ideology called Islam, that yes, supports the marriage of pre-pubescent girls to older men, and all because their prophet Mohamed is regarded as the supreme example of human character, and to act in the way of the prophet is deemed just and logical. That is what Jussi Halla-aho was driving at. KGS