LITIGATION JIHAD: GERMAN MAN THREATENED WITH 250 000 EURO FINE IF HE FURTHER CRITICIZES MUSLIM JOURNALIST……

Thou shalt not confront the supporters and poster-children of multiculturalism…….

silence free speech

Man Threatened With €250,000 Fine For Criticising Pro Migration Journalist 

According to German media an unnamed man has been told by a German court that if he continues to post on the Facebook wall or has any contact with pro-mass migration journalist Dunja Hayali he will be fined €250,000. The Hamburg regional court declined to tell media what comments the man made to provoke the state-enforced censorship, according to Web.De.

Ms. Hayali recently won a “Golden Camera” award for her reporting for German state TV channel ZDF, which recently launched an Arabic-language service as well as subtitling Chancellor Angela Merkel’s New Year’s address in the language.

In Ms. Hayali’s acceptance speech, she argued against “xenophobia” and “right wing” ideas, no doubt confirming her as a darling of the German media establishment. She reacted to her critics saying ,”If you make racist comments, then you are f*cking racist.”

Ms. Hayali is known as having an extremely pro-migrant stance. As the daughter of Iraqi migrants she is regarded by German media like Tagesspiel as “probably the most famous German TV face – with an immigrant background,” and she is described as an “ambassador” for the group “Show Your Face” who “fight against the right”.

“Show Your Face” is a group dedicated to outing opposition to the Merkel government and to what they perceive as “hatred” and xenophobia.

The organisation’s managing director Rebecca Weis argues that political persecution of their opposition is required to keep migrants safe from violence, by associating all critics of asylum with banned groups. Weis, in an interview with German media, said after a visit to Heidenau along with Ms. Hayali in August of last year, “We went to Heidenau to strengthen the youth. Many are very insecure and feel threatened – from the extreme right, not by the refugees.”

More here.

TWITTER PLACES ANTI-AMERICAN / ANTI-ISRAEL GATEKEEPING GROUP IN CHARGE…….

Just think of a Soviet or National Socialist in charge of a giant social media organization to determine what is safe and proper speech.

twitter 1984

TWITTER PUTS ANTI-AMERICAN, ANTI-ISRAEL GROUP IN CHARGE OF CENSORSHIP

Twitter has unveiled its creepily Orwellian “Trust and Safety Council” under the creepily Orwellian slogan, “When it comes to safety, everyone plays a role”. These groups will be helping set censorship policy for the site.

The Trust and Safety Council incorporates a laundry list of organizations, most obsessed with identity politics, bullying of hate speech, some of them more problematic than others. So while the Dangerous Speech Project suggests that countering speech is better than censorship, Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council also includes Feminist Frequency.

Stuart K. Hayashi had discussed the problems with Feminist Frequency earlier this year. Jonathan McIntosh, the man behind Feminist Frequency, is a radical leftist who has smeared American soldiers and attacked Israel and complained about people celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden. He attacked Charlie Hebdo after the massacre, ranting, “It’s telling that so many white folks are quick to jump to the defense of racist speech but can’t be bothered to fight institutional racism.”

Aside from McIntosh’s politics, it’s very problematic that a man who hates free speech this much will be helping set censorship policy for Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council.

More here.

FINLAND: FREE SPEECH UNDER ASSAULT AGAIN WITH INVESTIGATION OF ONLINE MAGAZINE FOR ”HATE SPEECH”……

I’m not a reader of the Finnish online magazine/news site MVLehti, anymore than I am of the National Enquirer. Their association with the Jew hating Magneettimedia website is chief reason for it. That said, if they break a valid story that the Finnish fake media fails to cover/holds back on, I’ll republish it.

YLE is the least trustworthy of any official media in Finland, they’re a propaganda arm of the ruling elite, gladly pushing whatever meme the politicos shove at it, as long as it conforms to their (quasi) marxist world views. Though they organized a speaking event for Denmark’s Flemming Rose, they held their collective fingers in their collective ears during the entire speech:

Many people today believe that, you know, words can be as violent and hurtful as deeds, and I agree that words can be hurtful, and words can incite from time to time, but if you look at history and the development of free speech, and the fight against censorship, the key distinction was the establishing of a distinction between words and deeds.

If you look at the key difference between free societies and un-free societies, it is exactly that free societies are characterized by clear distinction between words and deeds. It’s why dictatorships and un-free societies they erode that distinction.

In a dictatorship words are being perceived as if they were actions and therefore dissidents and critical voices are being silenced with reference to the fact that they are a threat to the peace of the public order, and so on and so forth. So by equating evil words and evil deeds we are in a way moving back to the time before the Middle Ages, in Europe where people were being burned at the stake for saying critical things about the Church, about God, about people of other faiths, and I don’t think that’s where we would like to go. I think that this is happening because it has become very popular to play the grievance card, that people think that they do have a right not to be offended. I will come back to that in a moment and explain why I think that is problematic, although I’m not in favor of going, you know, walking around and offending people all of the time. That’s not the point, it’s a matter of principle in a multicultural world.

My advice to YLE is to rebroadcast Flemming Rose’s speech in its entirety, to help re-educate people in their own organization, as well as post-enlightenment throwback deputy prosecutor, Jorma Kalske, the same buffoon who went after Finns politician Jussi Halla-aho for ”hate speech” and ”defamation of religion”. Quashing free speech is not the answer, more speech is.

Police to investigate anti-immigrant MV-Lehti website

Deputy Prosecutor General Jorma Kalske has referred an investigation request about the inflammatory anti-migrant website MV-Lehti to Helsinki police for further action. The investigation will determine whether or not the website is guilty of offences such as defamation.

MV -nettilehden etusivu.

Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The investigation request into MV-Lehti was made by a group of political and student youth organisations in an online statement. Deputy Prosecutor General Jorma Kalske has in turn passed on the request to the Helsinki police. Once police complete a preliminary investigation they will decide whether or not to refer the case for consideration of charges.

MV-Lehti has published incendiary, often erroneous and abusive articles over the last year, gaining a large following and contributing to a harsher atmosphere in Finnish public discourse.

The investigation request raises concerns that MV-Lehti may be guilty of offences such as slander. The youth organisations say that the website has permitted the publication of comments that are racist and that threaten individuals’ health and lives.

Hanna Huumonen, chair of the student arm of the Social Democratic Party SONK said she hopes that the case will set a precedent.

“We will most certainly see fraudulent media in the future as well. There must be tools to deal with their activities,” she added.

Earlier this month nine political youth organisations banded together to urge advertisers to boycott financial support for the website in the form of advertisements. They stressed that MV-Lehti and other similar sites published false news and incited hatred.

The groups represented all of the major political parties except for the Finns Party. Chair of the Finns Party youth wing, Sebastian Tynkkynen, told Yle that he ‘hated’ MV Lehti. However he said his organisation would not join the boycott in order to avoid drawing more attention to the website.

Yle

IRISH PASTOR CLEARED OF PROVOKING MUSLIMS IN ANTI-ISLAM SERMON……..

Islam 101 is a hell on earth ideology as well.

Besides, by what right does a person have not to be ‘provoked” or ”offended? If that’s the case, the entire ruling elite political class and a host of Leftist commentators should be brought to book for calling defenders of classical liberalism, ”fascists, racists and bigots”.

Pastor Cleared Over ‘Satanic Islam’ Sermon

Pastor James McConnell, 78, had described Islam as “satanic”, “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell”.

12:24, UK,Tuesday 05 January 2016

Pastor James McConnell court case

Pastor McConnell insisted he did not go into church to “provoke anyone”

A retired pastor has been found not guilty of making “grossly offensive remarks” about Islam during a sermon in Northern Ireland.

Pastor James McConnell, 78, from Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle in Belfast, had described Islam as “satanic”, “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell”.

Pastor James McConnell court case

Pastor McConnell outside the court last month

He was charged under the Communications Act (2003) because the sermon, which he preached in May 2014, was streamed online.

In a landmark case, he denied charges of making improper use of a public electronics communications network and of causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

During a three-day trial last month, Pastor McConnell told Belfast Magistrates Court he still believed what he had preached and did not go into church to “provoke anyone”.

He said: “I was attacking the theology of Islam. I was not attacking any individual Muslim.”

More here.

US: DOJ SAYS SHE’LL CRACK DOWN ON ANTI-MUSLIM RHETORIC……..

Now we know why Lynch was recommended by Obama.

Party-line 1st,2nd and 3rd, actually interested in protecting society, a distant last. If not for RINO senators voting for her, she would never have been confirmed as the DOJ.

ATTORNEY GENERAL TELLS MUSLIM PRO-TERRORISTS SHE WILL CRACK DOWN ON ANTI-MUSLIM RHETORIC

Obama’s Attorney General stands with advocates for terrorists in support of censoring criticism of Islam

While in San Bernardino children wept for fathers who would never come home after the latest Muslim terror attack, Attorney General Loretta Lynch put on some chic clothes to gab with Muslim Advocates, a Muslim group that had become notorious for its aggressive obstruction of Justice Department investigations into Muslim terrorism.

Muslim Advocates, headed by Farhana Khera, who peppered a smiling Lynch with questions about “anti-Muslim rhetoric”, had played a significant role in crippling DOJ investigations of Islamic terrorism by eliminating training materials about Islamic terrorism.

Khera had vocally opposed the sorts of sting operations that had succeeded in capturing a number of ISIS terror plotters before they were able to act. A similar sting might have stopped the San Bernardino massacre. She had opposed the FBI recruiting informants and supported Muslim leaders linked to terrorism. She had even defended terror charities like the Holy Land Foundation.

And she and another Muslim Advocates figure had urged Muslims not to provide information to the FBI. “Any information you provide to the FBI can be used as the basis for further surveillance and investigation of your community,” a Muslim Advocates lawyer had said. “So you really don’t want to be putting yourself in a situation where you’re providing anybody with information about people in your community that the FBI is now gonna follow up and start investigating those people.”

But instead of showing respect to the American victims of terrorism, Attorney General Lynch went to a pro-terror group and promised to crack down on the real threat. Anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“Obviously the incidents in Paris were a tragedy,” Lynch conceded, but her focus was on Islamophobia.

More here.

FRENCH ANTI-SEMITE JAILED FOR 2 MOS FOR RACIST ANTISEMITIC PERFORMANCES…….

israel in EU dieuddone 2 mos in pris

I agree with Israeli professor Eugene Kontorovich………..

CITY COUNCIL GETS SCHOOLED IN ISLAM AT BOARD MEETING, LEADS SCHOOL BOARD TO REVERSE BAN ON DEPICTING MOHAMED……..

“SAY HELL NO TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD!”

H/T: VladMy error: The city council did not overturn the decision. That happened the next night at the school board meeting.

and they did the extraordinary work! In this video Chris is addressing the town council, asking them to petition the school board to do the Constitutionality right thing, and say Hell no to the Muslim Brotherhood. The school board acted on that info the next night. Chris spoke there too, but this was the homer.

LEFTIST FASCISM ON CAMPUS: MEDIA PROF ASKS “FOR MUSCLE” IN REMOVING STUDENT PHOTO JOURNALIST……..

These people are totally detached from reality, and want to force you into their fantasy land.

UNREAL: Mass Media Professor Demands “Some Muscle” To Remove Reporter From Mizzou Protest Camp

Katie Pavlich | Nov 10, 2015

[…]

Now, protestors on campus and campus faculty are taking the situation to a whole new extreme. When a reporter went into a protest “safe space” camp yesterday to ask some questions about their goals and motives, a Mizzou assistant media professor demanded that he leave. Her name is Melissa Click and according to her bio, she’s currently researching 50 Shades of Gray and the relationship Lady Gaga has with her fans on social media. When the reporter refused, she went around the camp asking for “some muscle” to remove him. Ironically, the reporter is a student reporter for the Mizzou student newspaper.

“You need to get out! You need to get out!” Click is seen yelling. “Hey! Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?! I need some muscle over here!”

“You need to back up if you’re the media! You need to back up! Respect the students! Back up! You need to go!”

More here.

NOTE: This is exactly what Flemming Rose was talking about in his response to my question in Helsinki in October 2015

NETHERLANDS: POLICE CONFISCATE MO-PICS FROM PEGIDA DEMONSTRATORS AT RALLY FOR BEING “OFFENSIVE”……

Axe that free speech Dutch!

Freespeechcriticismofreligion-vi

NOTE: So, in the spirit of reciprocity, every time a muslim opens a koran in public, the police should remove the book from the scene due to its offensive nature.

WATCH: POLICE CONFISCATE MOHAMMED CARTOONS AT DUTCH ANTI-ISLAM RALLY

Police seized “offensive” Mohammed cartoons during a demonstration by the Dutch branch of the Patriotic European Against the Islamisation of the West (PEGIDA) movement in the city of Utrecht this weekend.

The rally, which attracted around 150 supporters, criticised the “Islamisation” of the Netherlands, with demonstrators also expressing their support for the Freedom Party of Geert Wilders, a noted critic of Islamism.

DutchNews reports that police arrested 32 people at the demonstration for a variety of offences including failing to carry IDs, not following police orders and displaying “insulting banners”.

One such banner said the “Koran is poison”, while another claimed “Islamisation is EU-thanasia”.

Video footage emerged of police removing Mohammed cartoons, although their ultimate fate is unknown.

Utrecht City Council had banned the demonstrators from marching through the city so they gathered instead in a park on the outskirts of the city.

More here.

VIDEO OF FLEMMING ROSE’S SPEECH ON FREE SPEECH IN HELSINKI…….OCT. 2015

Thank you for this kind introduction.

It’s a pleasure to be here, especially in this wonderful building.

I will not talk about cartoons today. I will be happy to answer questions, of course, if you have any regarding the cartoons, but what I’m going to say of course is informed about my thinking about the cartoon crisis that took place almost ten years ago. What it means for our understanding in the approach to free speech in the world today.

I will talk about free speech in the globalized world. Let me start by saying that I believe that we find ourselves in a new situation when it comes to the global debate about freedom of speech, because the debate is being driven by two new factors that didn’t used to be part of the framework within which we talked about free speech.

The new factor is technology, the digital technology. That means what is being published in a small language, in a small country that very few people would read and have access to, is now being published immediately, everywhere, and people can not only read and access it, they may also react to it even five thousand kilometers away, as we experienced it during the cartoon crisis.

So technology is the one new factor that we have to deal with. The other new factor that isn’t that new but its scale is new, and that is migration. You experience it here in Finland, countries around the world are experiencing this factor, that means that never have so many people moved across borders in such mass numbers as they do today.

So every society in the world, or at least the vast majority of them, are getting more and more multicultural, more and more multi-ethnic and more and more multi-religious. The “new technology” means that when information travels, context disappears, and it creates enormous room for manipulation and misunderstanding.

Even cultures that were pretty close can experience this kind of misunderstanding, as we saw in the spring of 2015 Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, received a free speech award for their courage from American PEN, and it created a huge debate in the United States. In fact, in America people perceived Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons as racist, while in France many people saw them as targeting racism.

So in this new world of technology and migration the key question is: how do we safeguard, how do we protect the fundamental liberties like freedom of speech and freedom of religion in a digital and borderless world?

I will come back to my answer to this question in my final remarks, but let me at this point say that we need a common global standard for free speech and its limits, in order to be able to defend free speech across borders.

As long as we do have an international standard it is possible for international free speech organizations, free speech advocates to approach violations of free speech in other countries and to defend people who are being targeted for what they say.

We already have a pretty good infrastructure for a global public space; that is the internet and satellite TV. When it comes to the law, what is going on in our daily lives, in places around the world, I think we are moving in the other direction.

Instead of working out or approaching a common standard of free speech and limitations on speech, we are experiencing a more and more fragmented concept.

Why is that? Why is this taking place?

I think one key answer has to do with identity politics. Both on the level of government and on the level of different groups, religious, ethnic, so on and so forth, that want to protect their identity and themselves against criticism.

Instead of focusing on what unites us as human beings across borders and cultures, more and more people around the world tend to focus on what makes them different from one another and protect that identity against criticism and a free and open debate. The consequence of this development is that it’s cultures, ethnicities, nations and maybe even certain versions of history that get protection, not the individual, and the most important minority in any society is the individual.

Unfortunately this trend is going on all around the world today, and in fact, speech has never experienced so much regulation as it does now in the beginning of the 21st century.

When did this trend start? why did we end up in this situation?

You may be surprised but in fact it all started in Western Europe, the birthplace of the Enlightenment and the doctrine of religious toleration.

And how did it start?

It started in the 1990s, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with laws criminalizing Holocaust denial, and these laws are driven by what I would call a benign utopia, Europe’s dream of a world without hate. But as we know from history, when it comes to utopia, the first victim is always freedom. Every time we try to create it, a more perfect world.

In fact, these laws criminalizing denial of the Holocaust, they were passed with the best of possible intentions in order to protect the victims of the genocide of European Jewry during the Second World War.

In 2008 the European Union demanded that all member states pass these laws criminalizing the denial of the Holocaust or downplaying the importance of the Holocaust. Today these laws are the books in 13 member states in the European Union, and just two weeks ago the EU commission in charge of this field once again called on all European Union member states to pass these laws.

These laws are based on a specific reading of the events that led up to the Holocaust and triggered the Holocaust. It is basically saying that evil words will lead to evil deeds. That if you do not criminalize racist speech or incitement you will sooner or later have racist violence.

And if you allow people to deny crime against humanity, you may run the risk that it will repeat itself, it will happen again.

I think that is a problematic reading of the events leading up to the Holocaust, even though I acknowledge and I believe that there is a relationship between words and deeds, and anti-Semitic speech, anti-Semitic propaganda played on a visible role in the events leading up to the Holocaust.

But, in fact in Weimar Germany in the ’20s and ’30s you did have hate speech laws protecting Jews against anti-Semitic speech. If you take Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Adolf Hitler, he was taken to court many times by the Vice Police Director of Berlin, Bernhard Weiss, who was Jewish, and Goebbels basically lost all the cases.

And if you take, Julius Streicher, the editor and chief of Der Stürmer, the anti-Semitic magazine that was being published in the ’20s and ’30s, Julius Streicher went to jail twice for anti-Semitic speech. His magazine over the course of ten years was confiscated or taken to court 36 times. So there were laws on the books protecting Jews against verbal attacks, but they didn’t work.

And these laws criminalizing Holocaust denial, they are now being copied and have inspired other kinds of laws in other parts of the world where they do not have the same good intentions.

If you take Eastern Europe, in Eastern Europe the crimes of Communism seem far more present than the Holocaust, so Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and other Eastern European countries, they have passed laws criminalizing denial of the crimes of communism.

If you take the Ukraine, this Spring, passed four new laws, two of them criminalizing insult to the freedom fighters of Ukraine during the 20th century, which in fact also implies two groups that took part in the Holocaust. So when Western historians write critically about these two groups they may risk being arrested when they travel to Kiev.

The most far-reaching law in this respect was passed in Russia last year, and it is interesting that it was passed with the same reference to the Nuremberg trial after the Second World War as all the other anti-Holocaust denial laws in Europe. The Russian law basically says that it is a criminal offense to criticize the actions of the Soviet Union during the Second World War.

Which means that my good friend Antony Beevor, a British historian who wrote a very good book about the fall of Berlin in 1945 and about the crimes that Soviet Soldiers committed on their way to Berlin, he will not travel to Russia anymore because he may risk being arrested or getting into trouble.

You can get three years in prison for criticizing the policies of Stalin during the Second World War in Russia today. It is being done with the same logic as in Western Europe with Holocaust-denial laws. So I think that this is very problematic.

So what makes it difficult today to win the battle for free speech?

Of course there are many reasons, but today I will point to what I will say is the confusion and misunderstanding of fundamental concepts in a liberal democracy, and I will just name two.

The one is the relationship between tolerance and freedom.

Many people today believe that tolerance and freedom, that they are opposites, that there is a tension between tolerance and freedom and that we have to balance tolerance against freedom to make it possible to live together in peace. That is not the case if you look at it historically, after the wars of religion in Europe in the 16th and 17th century.

The states of Europe, the Protestants and the Catholics worked out a doctrine of religious tolerance that in fact grew out of the right to freedom of religion. The fact that Protestants had to accept that they would be living side-by-side with Catholics whom they despised and hated, and vice-versa.

So historically freedom and tolerance are two sides of the same coin, and the bigger the tension between these two concepts, the more a threat to the foundation of liberal democracies. So I have to, we have to reeducate ourselves about the close relationship between freedom and tolerance. There can be no freedom in society without society being able to tolerate opinions that the majority don’t like.

And freedom doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t imply a wide understanding of tolerance of opinions that we may despise and dislike. So the relationship between tolerance and freedom is one key concept that we have to reeducate ourselves about.

The other misunderstanding I believe, is about the relationship between words and deeds.

Many people today believe that, you know, words can be as violent and hurtful as deeds, and I agree that words can be hurtful, and words can incite from time to time, but if you look at history and the development of free speech, and the fight against censorship, the key distinction was the establishing of a distinction between words and deeds.

If you look at the key difference between free societies and un-free societies, it is exactly that free societies are characterized by clear distinction between words and deeds. It’s why dictatorships and un-free societies they erode that distinction.

In a dictatorship words are being perceived as if they were actions and therefore dissidents and critical voices are being silenced with reference to the fact that they are a threat to the peace of the public order, and so on and so forth. So by equating evil words and evil deeds we are in a way moving back to the time before the Middle Ages, in Europe where people were being burned at the stake for saying critical things about the Church, about God, about people of other faiths, and I don’t think that’s where we would like to go. I think that this is happening because it has become very popular to play the grievance card, that people think that they do have a right not to be offended. I will come back to that in a moment and explain why I think that is problematic, although I’m not in favor of going, you know, walking around and offending people all of the time. That’s not the point, it’s a matter of principle in a multicultural world.

So, what’s to be done, how do we move forward in this new globalized world, where technology and migration makes the world smaller and smaller?

I think basically there are two ways to go. One way is to say “if you respect my taboos, I respect yours”. If it’s a criminal offense to deny the Holocaust, it should also be a criminal offense to deny the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide and other kinds, other genocides throughout history. If we want to be consistent. If it’s a criminal offense to ridicule the prophet Mohamed, then it also should be a criminal offense to ridicule Jesus Christ or Buddha or Hindu gods and Moses and so on and so forth.

And if we want to be consistent in a secular democracy we will also have to protect non-religious ideas against ridicule and criticism, which would imply that this would also be a criminal offense to insult Karl Marx or Adam Smith or other philosophers and thinkers to whom groups of people do adhere.

As you can hopefully see from where the direction I’m moving towards, this will in the end lead to a tyranny of silence. It will lead to a situation if you have a right to criminalize things that you find offensive, then in the end, nobody will be able to say anything without somebody out there being offended, and having the right to shut you up.

I don’t think that is the right way to go, even though it may sound polite and nice on the surface, “If you respect my taboos, I respect yours”. The other way to go is to ask ourselves what are the minimal limitations that we need on speech in order to be able to live together, in peace in a global world?

I believe that the key limitation on speech should be incitement to violence.

No one should be allowed to call for the killing of Muslims or violence against Jews, or against those with red hair or soccer fans or whatever it is. That should be a criminal offense, and that should be the key limitation on speech.

Apart from that I would also be willing to support a narrow understanding of libel laws. I would also support a right to protection of privacy, but apart from that I think people should be allowed to say almost whatever they want. But this is counter-intuitive to the way many of us have been brought up, and the way we interact with one another in daily life.

This is what I had said before, that many people do believe that they have the right not to be offended, but I think that in a democracy, we have many rights. We have a right to freedom of expression, to freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement. We have a right to vote for different parties and candidates in elections.

But I think the only right we should not have in a democracy, is the right not to be offended. That is the right, that is the price we have to pay for enjoying all the benefits and good things of a democracy.

Unfortunately today, many politicians think that the best way to save the social peace is by putting new limitations on speech. Especially during the current situation in Europe, my concern is that politicians will react to this growing influx of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, and will be putting new limitations on speech.

But in fact, I find it logical, if you welcome a more diverse society, in terms of culture, ethnicity and religion, the logical consequence of that is that, there will also be more diversity of speech. Then when we become more different, we will also express ourselves in different ways, and because we believe in different things and we hold different values, there will be clashes of different opinions, of faiths and approaches to life in the public domain.

We should not be afraid of that, I think, but it’s not easy, I know. It’s going to be difficult and therefore I will end my remarks by a modest proposal.

Usually when a public servant, when they offend clients, their bosses sometimes send them to sensitivity training so they can learn to talk in a polite way. That may be good, but I think maybe more of us should also be sent to “insensitivity training” in the sense that we need to grow thicker skins in order to be able to live together in peace in a more diverse world and society.

Thank you.

My comment and question to Flemming Rose.

FRENCH COURT RULES ILLEGAL TO CALL FOR BOYCOTT OF ISRAELI PRODUCTS…….

US free speech laws would never allow for such a thing, nor should it.

Instead, making it illegal (by law) against the actual BDS singling out the Jewish state for “special attention” is the way to go. You’re free to voice your offensive opinions, but not free to financially hurt companies doing legitimate business with a fellow democracy.

Pro-Palestinian activists

French court outlaws calls to boycott Israeli products

A global campaign to boycott Israeli products has been judged to be illegal and antisemitic by France’s supreme court .

The ruling by the Cour de Cassation was welcomed by Jewish groups, but denounced by pro-Palestinian activists as an attack on free speech.

Lawyers said that France was the only democratic country to have outlawed Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), a worldwide movement that is also active in the UK, which urges consumers to avoid Israeli goods. Its aim is to press Israel into ending the “occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967”.

More here. (behind paywall)

 NOTE: Anti-speech laws are notoriously dangerous for the vitality of the free society in the long run.

 

US: UNIVERISTY OF MISSOURI SCHOOL OF LAW STUDENT GOVERNMENT TRIES TO BAN MEAN SPEECH ON INTERNET…….

This is exactly what Jyllands-Posten’s Flemming Rose spoke about in his response to my question during the Q&A after his speech in Helsinki.

Law School Student Government Tries To Ban Being Mean On The Internet

The University of Missouri (MU) School of Law’s student government has released a new social media policy that can only be described as Orwellian in scope, threatening students with punishment if they’re mean on social media, and ordering them to report their friends … or else.

The policy, created by MU School of Law’s Student Bar Association, claims the right to dictate how students talk about essentially anything:

Before you post content to any social-media outlet affiliated, or reasonably possible to be associated with; yourself, the School of Law, the student organizations here at the school, the Missouri Bar Association, the American Bar Association, or any other legal association, and the University of Missouri, please take a moment to review our official guidelines.

If you are a member of the University of Missouri School of Law – Student Bar Association (i.e. a person enrolled in classes at the University of Missouri School of Law), then these rules apply to you.

And what do the rules say? In essence, they bar MU students from ever being not nice on the Web.

Read more: H/T: Weasel Zippers

ATHEIST PROFESSOR ADMITS ISLAM GETS FREE PASS FROM CRITICISM DUE TO FEAR OF VIOLENCE…….

This is not the first time outright fear of Islamic reprisal has been admitted as a prime motivating factor for not criticizing Islamic themes, symbols and the ideology itself. Award winning documentary film maker Martin Himel experienced exactly that during the filming of Massacring Truth. I received permission from Himel to upload that portion to Youtube:

Atheist On Why He Doesn’t Criticize Islam: ‘Straight Up Fear’

“I would never write the same kind of stuff that I do about certain religions as I would about Islam.”

During a panel discussion on religious liberty last week at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., prominent atheist professor Phil Zuckerman declared what we’ve all known but that many still refuse to admit: it’s acceptable to criticize Christians but not Muslims because Christians won’t violently retaliate, reports CNS News.

Also on the panel was Kirsten Powers, a Democratic pundit and recent convert to Catholicism, who questioned why the left targets Christians who oppose same-sex marriage but take a hands-off stance toward Muslims for the same belief. She cited Steven Crowder’s hidden video recordings made earlier this year in which Muslim bakers in Michigan refused his request to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding:

“If these had been Christian bakeries, it would have been on the front page of the New York Times, so I’m wondering why we’re able to have this amicable, disagreement with Muslims for having this view. Why are we not able to do that with Christians?

Zuckerman, a professor of secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, responded:

“I absolutely agree that it is okay for those on the left to critique, mock, deride Christianity, but Islam gets a free pass, which is so strange, because if you care about women’s rights, if you care about human rights, if you care about gay rights, then really Islam is much more problematic – sorry to paint Islam with a huge brush – and much more devastating.

“As an atheist – where on planet Earth is the death penalty meted out to atheists? It’s only in, I think, 24 Muslim countries.

“Where have human rights flourished the most? In Christian nations.

“I see Christianity as a great friend of secular culture. I see Islam as much more of a threat, much more debilitating. I’m not talking about Muslim individuals that I happen to sit next to on an airplane or are my neighbors. I’m talking about doctrines and those that have the power to enforce those doctrines in the form of Sharia law.

“I would never write the same kind of stuff that I do about certain religions – Judaism, Christianity, LDS, whatever – as I would about Islam – just straight up fear.

“I know what keeps me from critiquing Islam on my blog is just fear. I’ve got three kids, so I know I can say anything about Christianity or Mormonism, and I’m not living in fear, which is a testament to Christianity and Mormonism, and that’s wonderful. Thank you.”

More here. H/T: Always Watching

UK: HAMMER MEETS ANVIL, UK TO GIVE TAXMAN AND COUNCILS POWER TO LOOK AT YOUR INTERNET HISTORY…….

Du mußt Amboß oder Hammer sein (“You must be Anvil or Hammer“)

H/T: Vlad

Councils and taxman to be given power to view your internet history

Dozens of public bodies will be able to search people’s internet activity for the purposes of ‘detecting or preventing crime’

MPs have called for an overhaul of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act

The investigatory powers bill, which will give authorities an array of new powers, will be published this week Photo: Getty Images

Councils, the taxman and dozens of other public bodies will be able to search the internet and social media activity of everyone in Britain, The Telegraph can disclose.

Technology firms will be required to keep records of the websites and apps which people have used and details of when they accessed them for 12 months under new powers unveiled this week.

The new powers, contained in legislation which is published on Wednesday, will primarily be used by police and the security services in pursuit of suspected terrorists and serious criminals.

They will not be allowed to see which pages people have viewed or their searches while on the websites and apps, or the content of any messages, without a warrant.

However, The Telegraph understands that a total of 38 bodies will also be entitled to access the records for the purpose of “detecting or preventing crime”.

More here.

SERIAL ANTISEMITE JUHA KÄRKKÄINEN GETS AWAY WITH SLANDER BY SAME PROSECUTOR WHO CONVICTED JUSSI HALLA-AHO WHO DID NO SUCH THING…….

Freedom of speech is a two-way street.

While I find the anti-Jewish conspiracy theories of Kärkkäinen to be both repugnant and childish, my views are guided by the understanding of the 1st. amendment of the US constitution, where such speech, as long as it does not incite to violence, is protected speech.

The problem with ruling in the Finnish context however, is that they (antisemites who by definition have an irrational fear of Jews) get to promote those views according to the same prosecutor who convicted MEP Jussi Halla-aho (PS) of incitement of an ethnic group (Muslims).

NOTE: It’s all the more imperative that we, who base our criticism of Islam and muslim leaders upon bona fide facts (truth), should have the right to post our views as well.

Magnet Media Holocaust- and immigration article passed through the sieve of freedom of expression

magnetti
Magnetic published in the media in a free-April holokausti- and immigration thing do not meet the constituent elements, the line Deputy Prosecutor General of the offense. (PHOTO: Marjo Sormunen)

Published:

Material published in the free MagnettiMedia paper published in April on the Holocaust and immigration did not meet the elements of a criminal offense, says the Deputy Prosecutor General.
The article was investigated on suspicion of agitation of an ethnic group. The investigation was done at the request of an individual.
The Holocaust article presented various Jewish groups as using the Holocaust to achieve economic and political goals. In addition, the story alleged Jewish terrorist organizations committing violence towards those questioning the Holocaust.
The police has already held a preliminary investigation, that the writing could be regarded as falling within the scope of freedom of expression, because it focused on certain bodies and not on Jews in general.

Deputy Prosecutor General Jorma Kalske also noted that, for example, that groups with political objectives can not be regarded as being objects of incitement, although their members are recognized with a particular religion.

“The vulgar but not criminal”

Another article criticized mainly the Finnish Red Cross, the media and the police. The article according to a police estimate, was vigorously against continued illegal immigration, and was even tasteless. It did not, however, according to Kalske show clear abusive or defamatory generalizations against all immigrants.

ANTI-FREE SPEECH FORCES IN STALINIST ACADEMIA BAN ROBINSON FROM UNIVERSITY…….

Da Left has as much intellectual finesse as a jackboot crushing a dissident’s neck.

isoviha3

EXCLUSIVE: TOMMY ROBINSON BANNED FROM SPEAKING ABOUT FREE SPEECH AT UNIVERSITY

Tommy Robinson, the ex-leader of the English Defence League (EDL), has been barred from speaking at Durham University. Mr Robinson was planning to talk about free speech and “political policing,” which he alleges has now been used to silence him.

On the 15th of this month, Napat Rungsrithananon, President of the Durham Union Society messaged Mr Robinson to say:

“It is with deep regret that the Standing Committee – the executive body of the Durham Union Society – have voted to withdraw an invitation to you in light of the speech you gave at Holland.”

Also, on the 27th of August, they e-mailed Mr Robinson asking him to “quiet down” about the talk, with Rungsrithananon claiming: “Things are getting difficult on our side” because they were “deal[ing] with security issues which could potentially get out of hand if the event is publicized.”

In 2014 Yusuf Chambers, a senior member of the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), spoke at Durham University. He has condoned brutal punishments, including execution for sex outside of marriage, and claimed homosexuality “is bad for you”, saying: “there’s a question mark about why you should be doing this”.

More here. H/T: Buck

FLEMMING ROSE AT HELSINKI UNIVERSITY: ” WE NEED INSENSITIVITY TRAINING TO GROW THICKER SKINS”…….

Special appreciation to Baron Bodissey at Gates of Vienna for the editing the transcript.

Great Hall at Helsinki University

Oct 20 The state broadcaster YLE is hosting a Free Speech series. This week it was Flemming Rose

YLE’s program this weekFull video.

20151020_101339 (1)

Thank you for this kind introduction.

It’s a pleasure to be here, especially in this wonderful building.

I will not talk about cartoons today. I will be happy to answer questions, of course, if you have any regarding the cartoons, but what I’m going to say of course is informed about my thinking about the cartoon crisis that took place almost ten years ago. What it means for our understanding in the approach to free speech in the world today.

I will talk about free speech in the globalized world. Let me start by saying that I believe that we find ourselves in a new situation when it comes to the global debate about freedom of speech, because the debate is being driven by two new factors that didn’t used to be part of the framework within which we talked about free speech.

The new factor is technology, the digital technology. That means what is being published in a small language, in a small country that very few people would read and have access to, is now being published immediately, everywhere, and people can not only read and access it, they may also react to it even five thousand kilometers away, as we experienced it during the cartoon crisis.

So technology is the one new factor that we have to deal with. The other new factor that isn’t that new but its scale is new, and that is migration. You experience it here in Finland, countries around the world are experiencing this factor, that means that never have so many people moved across borders in such mass numbers as they do today.

So every society in the world, or at least the vast majority of them, are getting more and more multicultural, more and more multi-ethnic and more and more multi-religious. The “new technology” means that when information travels, context disappears, and it creates enormous room for manipulation and misunderstanding.

Even cultures that were pretty close can experience this kind of misunderstanding, as we saw in the spring of 2015 Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, received a free speech award for their courage from American PEN, and it created a huge debate in the United States. In fact, in America people perceived Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons as racist, while in France many people saw them as targeting racism.

So in this new world of technology and migration the key question is: how do we safeguard, how do we protect the fundamental liberties like freedom of speech and freedom of religion in a digital and borderless world?

I will come back to my answer to this question in my final remarks, but let me at this point say that we need a common global standard for free speech and its limits, in order to be able to defend free speech across borders.

As long as we do have an international standard it is possible for international free speech organizations, free speech advocates to approach violations of free speech in other countries and to defend people who are being targeted for what they say.

We already have a pretty good infrastructure for a global public space; that is the internet and satellite TV. When it comes to the law, what is going on in our daily lives, in places around the world, I think we are moving in the other direction.

Instead of working out or approaching a common standard of free speech and limitations on speech, we are experiencing a more and more fragmented concept.

Why is that? Why is this taking place?

I think one key answer has to do with identity politics. Both on the level of government and on the level of different groups, religious, ethnic, so on and so forth, that want to protect their identity and themselves against criticism.

Instead of focusing on what unites us as human beings across borders and cultures, more and more people around the world tend to focus on what makes them different from one another and protect that identity against criticism and a free and open debate. The consequence of this development is that it’s cultures, ethnicities, nations and maybe even certain versions of history that get protection, not the individual, and the most important minority in any society is the individual.

Unfortunately this trend is going on all around the world today, and in fact, speech has never experienced so much regulation as it does now in the beginning of the 21st century.

When did this trend start? why did we end up in this situation?

You may be surprised but in fact it all started in Western Europe, the birthplace of the Enlightenment and the doctrine of religious toleration.

And how did it start?

It started in the 1990s, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with laws criminalizing Holocaust denial, and these laws are driven by what I would call a benign utopia, Europe’s dream of a world without hate. But as we know from history, when it comes to utopia, the first victim is always freedom. Every time we try to create it, a more perfect world.

In fact, these laws criminalizing denial of the Holocaust, they were passed with the best of possible intentions in order to protect the victims of the genocide of European Jewry during the Second World War.

In 2008 the European Union demanded that all member states pass these laws criminalizing the denial of the Holocaust or downplaying the importance of the Holocaust. Today these laws are the books in 13 member states in the European Union, and just two weeks ago the EU commission in charge of this field once again called on all European Union member states to pass these laws.

These laws are based on a specific reading of the events that led up to the Holocaust and triggered the Holocaust. It is basically saying that evil words will lead to evil deeds. That if you do not criminalize racist speech or incitement you will sooner or later have racist violence.

And if you allow people to deny crime against humanity, you may run the risk that it will repeat itself, it will happen again.

I think that is a problematic reading of the events leading up to the Holocaust, even though I acknowledge and I believe that there is a relationship between words and deeds, and anti-Semitic speech, anti-Semitic propaganda played on a visible role in the events leading up to the Holocaust.

But, in fact in Weimar Germany in the ’20s and ’30s you did have hate speech laws protecting Jews against anti-Semitic speech. If you take Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Adolf Hitler, he was taken to court many times by the Vice Police Director of Berlin, Bernhard Weiss, who was Jewish, and Goebbels basically lost all the cases.

And if you take, Julius Streicher, the editor and chief of Der Stürmer, the anti-Semitic magazine that was being published in the ’20s and ’30s, Julius Streicher went to jail twice for anti-Semitic speech. His magazine over the course of ten years was confiscated or taken to court 36 times. So there were laws on the books protecting Jews against verbal attacks, but they didn’t work.

And these laws criminalizing Holocaust denial, they are now being copied and have inspired other kinds of laws in other parts of the world where they do not have the same good intentions.

If you take Eastern Europe, in Eastern Europe the crimes of Communism seem far more present than the Holocaust, so Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and other Eastern European countries, they have passed laws criminalizing denial of the crimes of communism.

If you take the Ukraine, this Spring, passed four new laws, two of them criminalizing insult to the freedom fighters of Ukraine during the 20th century, which in fact also implies two groups that took part in the Holocaust. So when Western historians write critically about these two groups they may risk being arrested when they travel to Kiev.

Continue Reading →

FINLAND: FLEMMING ROSE SPEAKS ON FREE SPEECH AT HELSINKI UNIVERSITY……..

Spoiler: I was able to ask the 2nd question to Mr. Rose about the need for a 1st amendment for Europe to safe guard free speech.

20151020_101339 (1)

NOTE: Go to the 12 minute mark for Flemming Rose’s speech. My comment/question begins shortly after the first question by  a Muslim upset by Jyllands-Posten’s publishing of the mohamed toons.

Thank you for this kind introduction.

It’s a pleasure to be here, especially in this wonderful building.

Turban boom!I will not talk about cartoons today. I will be happy to answer questions, of course, if you have any regarding the cartoons, but what I’m going to say of course is informed about my thinking about the cartoon crisis that took place almost ten years ago. What it means for our understanding in the approach to free speech in the world today.

I will talk about free speech in the globalized world. Let me start by saying that I believe that we find ourselves in a new situation when it comes to the global debate about freedom of speech, because the debate is being driven by two new factors that didn’t used to be part of the framework within which we talked about free speech.

The new factor is technology, the digital technology. That means what is being published in a small language, in a small country that very few people would read and have access to, is now being published immediately, everywhere, and people can not only read and access it, they may also react to it even five thousand kilometers away, as we experienced it during the cartoon crisis.

So technology is the one new factor that we have to deal with. The other new factor that isn’t that new but its scale is new, and that is migration. You experience it here in Finland, countries around the world are experiencing this factor, that means that never have so many people moved across borders in such mass numbers as they do today.

So every society in the world, or at least the vast majority of them, are getting more and more multicultural, more and more multi-ethnic and more and more multi-religious. The “new technology” means that when information travels, context disappears, and it creates enormous room for manipulation and misunderstanding.

Even cultures that were pretty close can experience this kind of misunderstanding, as we saw in the spring of 2015 Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical magazine, received a free speech award for their courage from American PEN, and it created a huge debate in the United States. In fact, in America people perceived Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons as racist, while in France many people saw them as targeting racism.

So in this new world of technology and migration the key question is: how do we safeguard, how do we protect the fundamental liberties like freedom of speech and freedom of religion in a digital and borderless world?

I will come back to my answer to this question in my final remarks, but let me at this point say that we need a common global standard for free speech and its limits, in order to be able to defend free speech across borders.

As long as we do have an international standard it is possible for international free speech organizations, free speech advocates to approach violations of free speech in other countries and to defend people who are being targeted for what they say.

We already have a pretty good infrastructure for a global public space; that is the internet and satellite TV. When it comes to the law, what is going on in our daily lives, in places around the world, I think we are moving in the other direction.

Instead of working out or approaching a common standard of free speech and limitations on speech, we are experiencing a more and more fragmented concept.

Why is that? Why is this taking place?

I think one key answer has to do with identity politics. Both on the level of government and on the level of different groups, religious, ethnic, so on and so forth, that want to protect their identity and themselves against criticism.

Instead of focusing on what unites us as human beings across borders and cultures, more and more people around the world tend to focus on what makes them different from one another and protect that identity against criticism and a free and open debate. The consequence of this development is that it’s cultures, ethnicities, nations and maybe even certain versions of history that get protection, not the individual, and the most important minority in any society is the individual.

Unfortunately this trend is going on all around the world today, and in fact, speech has never experienced so much regulation as it does now in the beginning of the 21st century.

When did this trend start? why did we end up in this situation?

You may be surprised but in fact it all started in Western Europe, the birthplace of the Enlightenment and the doctrine of religious toleration.

And how did it start?

It started in the 1990s, right after the fall of the Berlin Wall, with laws criminalizing Holocaust denial, and these laws are driven by what I would call a benign utopia, Europe’s dream of a world without hate. But as we know from history, when it comes to utopia, the first victim is always freedom. Every time we try to create it, a more perfect world.

In fact, these laws criminalizing denial of the Holocaust, they were passed with the best of possible intentions in order to protect the victims of the genocide of European Jewry during the Second World War.

In 2008 the European Union demanded that all member states pass these laws criminalizing the denial of the Holocaust or downplaying the importance of the Holocaust. Today these laws are the books in 13 member states in the European Union, and just two weeks ago the EU commission in charge of this field once again called on all European Union member states to pass these laws.

These laws are based on a specific reading of the events that led up to the Holocaust and triggered the Holocaust. It is basically saying that evil words will lead to evil deeds. That if you do not criminalize racist speech or incitement you will sooner or later have racist violence.

And if you allow people to deny crime against humanity, you may run the risk that it will repeat itself, it will happen again.

I think that is a problematic reading of the events leading up to the Holocaust, even though I acknowledge and I believe that there is a relationship between words and deeds, and anti-Semitic speech, anti-Semitic propaganda played on a visible role in the events leading up to the Holocaust.

But, in fact in Weimar Germany in the ‘20s and ‘30s you did have hate speech laws protecting Jews against anti-Semitic speech. If you take Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Adolf Hitler, he was taken to court many times by the Vice Police Director of Berlin, Bernhard Weiss, who was Jewish, and Goebbels basically lost all the cases.

And if you take, Julius Streicher, the editor and chief of Der Stürmer, the anti-Semitic magazine that was being published in the ‘20s and ‘30s, Julius Streicher went to jail twice for anti-Semitic speech. His magazine over the course of ten years was confiscated or taken to court 36 times. So there were laws on the books protecting Jews against verbal attacks, but they didn’t work.

And these laws criminalizing Holocaust denial, they are now being copied and have inspired other kinds of laws in other parts of the world where they do not have the same good intentions.

If you take Eastern Europe, in Eastern Europe the crimes of Communism seem far more present than the Holocaust, so Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and other Eastern European countries, they have passed laws criminalizing denial of the crimes of communism.

If you take the Ukraine, this Spring, passed four new laws, two of them criminalizing insult to the freedom fighters of Ukraine during the 20th century, which in fact also implies two groups that took part in the Holocaust. So when Western historians write critically about these two groups they may risk being arrested when they travel to Kiev.

The most far-reaching law in this respect was passed in Russia last year, and it is interesting that it was passed with the same reference to the Nuremberg trial after the Second World War as all the other anti-Holocaust denial laws in Europe. The Russian law basically says that it is a criminal offense to criticize the actions of the Soviet Union during the Second World War.

Which means that my good friend Antony Beevor, a British historian who wrote a very good book about the fall of Berlin in 1945 and about the crimes that Soviet Soldiers committed on their way to Berlin, he will not travel to Russia anymore because he may risk being arrested or getting into trouble.

You can get three years in prison for criticizing the policies of Stalin during the Second World War in Russia today. It is being done with the same logic as in Western Europe with Holocaust-denial laws. So I think that this is very problematic.

So what makes it difficult today to win the battle for free speech?

Of course there are many reasons, but today I will point to what I will say is the confusion and misunderstanding of fundamental concepts in a liberal democracy, and I will just name two.

The one is the relationship between tolerance and freedom.

Many people today believe that tolerance and freedom, that they are opposites, that there is a tension between tolerance and freedom and that we have to balance tolerance against freedom to make it possible to live together in peace. That is not the case if you look at it historically, after the wars of religion in Europe in the 16th and 17th century.

The states of Europe, the Protestants and the Catholics worked out a doctrine of religious tolerance that in fact grew out of the right to freedom of religion. The fact that Protestants had to accept that they would be living side-by-side with Catholics whom they despised and hated, and vice-versa.

So historically freedom and tolerance are two sides of the same coin, and the bigger the tension between these two concepts, the more a threat to the foundation of liberal democracies. So I have to, we have to reeducate ourselves about the close relationship between freedom and tolerance. There can be no freedom in society without society being able to tolerate opinions that the majority don’t like.

And freedom doesn’t make sense if it doesn’t imply a wide understanding of tolerance of opinions that we may despise and dislike. So the relationship between tolerance and freedom is one key concept that we have to reeducate ourselves about.

The other misunderstanding I believe, is about the relationship between words and deeds.

Many people today believe that, you know, words can be as violent and hurtful as deeds, and I agree that words can be hurtful, and words can incite from time to time, but if you look at history and the development of free speech, and the fight against censorship, the key distinction was the establishing of a distinction between words and deeds.

If you look at the key difference between free societies and un-free societies, it is exactly that free societies are characterized by clear distinction between words and deeds. It’s why dictatorships and un-free societies they erode that distinction.

In a dictatorship words are being perceived as if they were actions and therefore dissidents and critical voices are being silenced with reference to the fact that they are a threat to the peace of the public order, and so on and so forth. So by equating evil words and evil deeds we are in a way moving back to the time before the Middle Ages, in Europe where people were being burned at the stake for saying critical things about the Church, about God, about people of other faiths, and I don’t think that’s where we would like to go. I think that this is happening because it has become very popular to play the grievance card, that people think that they do have a right not to be offended. I will come back to that in a moment and explain why I think that is problematic, although I’m not in favor of going, you know, walking around and offending people all of the time. That’s not the point, it’s a matter of principle in a multicultural world.

So, what’s to be done, how do we move forward in this new globalized world, where technology and migration makes the world smaller and smaller?

I think basically there are two ways to go. One way is to say “if you respect my taboos, I respect yours”. If it’s a criminal offense to deny the Holocaust, it should also be a criminal offense to deny the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide and other kinds, other genocides throughout history. If we want to be consistent. If it’s a criminal offense to ridicule the prophet Mohamed, then it also should be a criminal offense to ridicule Jesus Christ or Buddha or Hindu gods and Moses and so on and so forth.

And if we want to be consistent in a secular democracy we will also have to protect non-religious ideas against ridicule and criticism, which would imply that this would also be a criminal offense to insult Karl Marx or Adam Smith or other philosophers and thinkers to whom groups of people do adhere.

As you can hopefully see from where the direction I’m moving towards, this will in the end lead to a tyranny of silence. It will lead to a situation if you have a right to criminalize things that you find offensive, then in the end, nobody will be able to say anything without somebody out there being offended, and having the right to shut you up.

I don’t think that is the right way to go, even though it may sound polite and nice on the surface, “If you respect my taboos, I respect yours”. The other way to go is to ask ourselves what are the minimal limitations that we need on speech in order to be able to live together, in peace in a global world?

I believe that the key limitation on speech should be incitement to violence.

No one should be allowed to call for the killing of Muslims or violence against Jews, or against those with red hair or soccer fans or whatever it is. That should be a criminal offense, and that should be the key limitation on speech.

Apart from that I would also be willing to support a narrow understanding of libel laws. I would also support a right to protection of privacy, but apart from that I think people should be allowed to say almost whatever they want. But this is counter-intuitive to the way many of us have been brought up, and the way we interact with one another in daily life.

This is what I had said before, that many people do believe that they have the right not to be offended, but I think that in a democracy, we have many rights. We have a right to freedom of expression, to freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of movement. We have a right to vote for different parties and candidates in elections.

But I think the only right we should not have in a democracy, is the right not to be offended. That is the right, that is the price we have to pay for enjoying all the benefits and good things of a democracy.

Unfortunately today, many politicians think that the best way to save the social peace is by putting new limitations on speech. Especially during the current situation in Europe, my concern is that politicians will react to this growing influx of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, and will be putting new limitations on speech.

But in fact, I find it logical, if you welcome a more diverse society, in terms of culture, ethnicity and religion, the logical consequence of that is that, there will also be more diversity of speech. Then when we become more different, we will also express ourselves in different ways, and because we believe in different things and we hold different values, there will be clashes of different opinions, of faiths and approaches to life in the public domain.

We should not be afraid of that, I think, but it’s not easy, I know. It’s going to be difficult and therefore I will end my remarks by a modest proposal.

Usually when a public servant, when they offend clients, their bosses sometimes send them to sensitivity training so they can learn to talk in a polite way. That may be good, but I think maybe more of us should also be sent to “insensitivity training” in the sense that we need to grow thicker skins in order to be able to live together in peace in a more diverse world and society.

Thank you.

ANTI-FREE SPEECH WATCHDOG CLAIMS RISE IN COMPLAINTS BY WHINERS IN MIGRANT DEBATE…….

No freedom or right not to be offended.

free_speech_hammer

It simply doesn’t exist, though a state might (and does) say otherwise. Freedom of speech is right not inferred by men, it existed before they were ever born.

Migrant debate sparks increase in free speech complaints

Finland’s free speech watchdog, the Council for Mass Media, has received a more complaints concerning breaches of good professional practice or freedom of speech so far this year than in all of 2014 combined. Some of the complaints are about the restriction of free speech in chat and comment forums. The Council’s media researcher Nenne Hallman says moves to restrict news commentary only serve to increase incidents of hate speech.

Kuvakaappaus Maikkarin keskustelupalstalta.

Domestic broadcaster MTV was one of those that shut down its comment sections last month due to a flood of abusive and racist postings. Image: MTV / Yle

People filing complaints demand freedom of expression in online comment fields.

Freedom of expression is guaranteed in the Finnish Constitution and includes the right to express, disseminate and receive information, opinions and other communications without prior prevention.

However, according to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, freedom of speech can be limited to prevent disorder or crime or protect the rights and reputations of others.

The Finnish press currently enjoys extensive freedom. In 2015, Reporters Without Borders listed Finland at the top of their annual Press Freedom Index for the fifth year in a row. The country has no system of pre-emptive censoring in place, but unlawful topics can be addressed after the fact.

The 14-member Council for Mass Media is a self-regulating committee established in 1968 by Finnish publishers and journalists to interpret good professional practice and defend the freedom of speech and publication.

Moderate rise this year

News coverage and online discussions linked to migration and asylum seekers has generated an uptick in the amount of complaints to the Council. By mid-October, 347 complaints had been registered in 2015, already more than the total number of complaints in 2014. How many of the complaints are linked to the European migrant crisis is still unclear.

Council Secretary Nenne Hallman says it is apparent from the stream of complaints that not everyone is familiar with the law concerning freedom of speech in Finland.

“Some people filing complaints think that the media systematically omit certain types of opinions, when in fact it is the opinion pieces that violate the freedom of expression statutes that are not published,” says Hallman.

Hallman says that some of the complaints may also originate in so-called troll factories, where hundreds of bloggers are paid to flood forums and social networks with political propaganda. Some Finnish media outlets have recently decided to limit or halt online commentary related to immigration issues.

Three types of complaints

The Council for Mass Media has mostly received three kinds of complaints related to migrant issues.

The first demands justice for alleged breaches of freedom of expression. The second accuse journalists or online discussion forums of offending human dignity with their content. The third kind of complaint is filed over language used to refer to asylum seekers in various forums.

The last case examined by the Council took place in August, after a complaint about an advertisement that asked “Why are Somalis rapists?” for MTV3 TV programme Enbuske & Linnanahde Crew on the online Katsomo service. The investigation resulted in a reprimand for violating good journalistic practice.

The Council’s rulings do not have any judicial authority. Member media organisations that receive reprimands are obliged to publish or broadcast them in their own media.

Yle