Denmark Free Speech


Andy Bostom writes on the recent Soviet style show trial, or “star chamber” trial of Danish MP Jesper Langablle, who waived his parliamentary immunity from prosecution right and allowed himself to be tried under the current Danish system of jurisprudence.  Here is Bostom’s excellent article in full, with the rest viewable under the fold. Worth reading. KGS

When it comes to criticism of Islam, and its votaries, Europe’s doctrinaire Left has engendered a ruling political class whose legally sanctioned excesses now go beyond what Orwell wrote about the (mere) vilification of critics of the Soviet system. Regarding Leftist attitudes towards 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is the milder kind of ridicule that consists in pretending that reasoned opinion is indistinguishable from an absurd out-of-date prejudice.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: – 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.”

Mr. Langballe was sentenced to a fine of DKK 5,000 (approximately $1000) or ten days in jail. Here is a translation of Jesper Langballe’s full confession in court.

[Jesper Langballe’s “guilty plea”]

Here at the start of my trial I wish to make a statement that will probably allow us to get home early. My message is that I confess. I plead guilty. And I wish to state my reasons.

I have already expressed my regret that the tone of the newspaper piece that has lead to me being charged was too rash and sarcastic. It did not do justice to the deeply serious issue I addressed, i.e. the terrible honour killings that take place in some Muslim families where a young girl is being murdered by her father or brother because she has fallen in love with the “wrong” man. In Denmark there is an average of approximately one honour killing per year. In Turkey there is an average of one a day according to the Turkish authorities’ statistics.

In addition I have spoken about fathers who look the other way while uncles or cousins rape their daughters. That is a well attested fact. Suffice it to refer to Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s descriptions and here in Denmark to Kristina Aamund’s touching book Mødom på mode (Virginity in vogue) about young people in Muslim families.

That was the factual basis for the passage in my comment in Berlingske Tidende (a Copenhagen daily, ed.). As I am not a lawyer, I had been looking forward to an opportunity to prove my words and thus to shed light over the substance of my remarks – the horrific honour killings. That was why I – as opposed to the rest of my parliamentary group – voted in favour of lifting my immunity as a parliamentarian in order that the trial might go forward.

I have since learned that according to current legal usage defendants in cases brought under Article 266b are denied the right to prove their case. With this article in the penal code I must be assumed convicted in advance. I have no intention to participate in this circus. Therefore I confess. This will also ensure agreement between the verdict I shall be handed in a few moments and the unbecoming article in the penal code according to which I am convicted.

In addition I am facing a libel suit for the statements I am tried for today. An in a libel suit I shall have the opportunity to prove my words. Article 266b’s sole criterion of culpability, however, is whether someone feels offended or insulted – not whether what I have said is true or false. This must be said to be in full accordance with the general “culture of offence” that has taken root and which is so magnificently supported by Article 266b. In certain circles is has almost become a hobby to feel offended – by caricatures in a newspaper, by criticism of religion etc. etc.

Let my finally address the accusation that I have generalized – to the effect that my remarks might be seen to encompass every Muslim. That is a meaningless interpretation. The mentioning of honour killings in my text refers to the passage that “there are Muslim fathers who …” And the words “there are” can never express a totality but must always mean a subset. Let us assume – as a counter test – that I had written the opposite: “There are no Muslim fathers [who kill their daughters].” Any reasonably knowledgeable person would recognize this as a flagrant untruth.

To sum up: In the clear light of hindsight I do not like the tone in that passage. The truth of it, however, I stand by completely. And frankly, personally I find the case itself – those gruesome murders of innocent young girls – a good deal more relevant that the question of my failing stylistic abilities.

11 Responses

  1. Can this law be continued indefinitely into the future? Can it co-exist along with the rising numbers of Muslim voters as their reproductive rate far exceeds that of non-Muslims? What will non-Muslims do in traditionally non-Muslim countries as they watch the rise and rise of political parties for Islam gaining and gaining in the polls? What will they do with this law?

    What effect on this law will Israel’s inevitable attack on Iran have? Nothing initially, I expect but, later on, as the jihadic response to Israel’s preemptive strike hits back throughout the world, how will this law fare then? Will it survive? What will the non-Muslims do with this law then, when the world is at war with Islam?

    Can anyone expect Israel to wait beyond the end of 2012 before attacking Iran? Will not an attack by Israel on Iran be understood throughout the Muslim world as being an attack on Islam? How will the non-Muslim people respond in turn?

    1. Your guess is as good as mine Anthropos. Lets work to inform people and help spread the word.

      1. KGS, what is your guess? Perhaps you could detail it for us. What information do we give people? What is the “word” we should help spread?

        I think that I would want to inform people not to do anything about Islam in their own non-Muslim country. I would like to advise them not to put their heads above any parapet on behalf of the anti-Islam position. Why not? Well, partly because others will do this anyhow and they are often in a higher profile position, such as Geert Wilders, but mainly because, in my opinion, Islam is a self-destructive entity.

        Why, then, risk yourself for something which will implode and destroy itself sooner or later? Iran is doing this by insisting on developing nuclear weapons which will bring down upon it the military might of Israel and, presumably, the US. After that, the non-Muslim response will follow from what Islam does, for example, if Iran explodes a nuclear weapon above Europe or the USA and destroys our computer systems, then it will be nuked into non-existence.

        So, why say anything? What worthwile word is their to spread?

        1. I disagree. Europe has thrown itself head first into the islamization of continent, if left alone, there will be nothing more left to do than to pack and move elsewhere. I can’t see any logic in sitting there watching it all happen. The word is, wizen up to the stealth jihad, and treat sharia as a calculated attack on our liberal society.

          1. KGS, it’s good to have an actual conversation; thanks for responding.

            You say: “…if left alone there’ll be nothing more left to do than to pack and move elsewhere…” Yet, the war that Israel must start simply to defend itself will not leave the problem of Islam alone. So, I am saying that if no individuals, including Geert Wilders, were to do anything (just speaking theoretically here), something would be done whether we like it or not. War would do something!

            So, that’s the logic behind doing nothing!

          2. Who knows, you may be right. I however can’t rest on my laurels and do nothing.

  2. If you don’t rest on your laurels and you do something, you might get into some sort of trouble like poor Jesper Langbelle.

    I think you ought to reason out, say on the back of an envelope, each time you think you might like to do something for the anti-Islam cause. Have two columns -pro and con – and put in on one side or the other the likelihood of achieving anything as well as the worthwhileness of what you hope to achieve.

    For if war comes before the Muslim cause has been able to do anything significant or permanent to us in Europe, what will Langbelle have achieved? No one will have gone to war because of what he did, and Islam will have been crushed by war with absolutely no reference to Langbelle and his article. He and his loved ones will have suffered pointlessly.

    1. Well all you need to do is to look back at the former Christian lands now Muslim, and ask yourself, what did sitting on their laurels achieve for them? I won’t go the way of the Dodo while sitting twirling my thumbs.

  3. KGS, I agree with you that looking back into history can be useful for understanding the present. However, it also has the potential to mislead us.

    I would argue that the former Christian lands now Muslim were not, at that time, facing a world war within, say, two years. For that reason alone, what they experienced in the past is too dissimilar to what we are experiencing today to allow us to make a comparison, at least, one which does not mislead us.

    Are you sure that those Christians, living in former Christian lands now Muslim, did sit on their laurels and that that was the reason why their Christian lands became Muslim? You may be right but I’m uncertain about this. Maybe they were over-run by hordes of Muslims and were simply outnumbered. Or maybe they were following Christ’s teaching of turning the other cheek and escaping into safer jurisdictions.

    My main point, however, is that the world of human beings has never, ever been faced with a nuclear world war. This is an unique phenomenon with the potential to reduce the global population markedly in a way never before achieved except perhaps at the time of Noah’s Flood. There is simply nothing in recorded history that can tell us what will happen when nuclear bombs are exploded in various places around the world together with man-made viruses released in city centres to kill as well.

    Faced with such human catastrophe, which will harm Islam more than Christianised civilization IMHO, there is no reasonable way of looking back into history to guide us in what we should or should not do at the present time.

    1. These former Christian lands succumbed to their own Islamization over time, in much the same way history is repeating itself now, here in Europe. Who’s to say that we would win the “world war” any more than we are winning the stealth jihad or Islamization? Nope, sitting idle is not an option.

  4. It’s true that the winning of the world war by one side as opposed to another is an assumption, a great big assumption. Let us assume that Islam does win it and the Christianized world is destroyed. What difference will your actions have made on behalf of the anti-Islam cause? None! And you and those you care for will have suffered before the war uselessly and pointlessly.

    My assumption that the Christianized West will win the world war is based partly on the internal contradictions and fightings within the Islamic world as well as the self-destructive tendency it possesses. When you couple this to the vastly superior military technology of the West, then it would be foolish, I think, to put any money down on Islam coming out victorious.

    True, there would be much loss of life and destruction on both sides but I don’t believe that it will be a pyrrhic victory for the West. I am confident that we will be able to pick ourselves up again, those of us who are left, and build a new civilization based on a new understanding of Christianity itself, particularly as Judaism will have vanished in the smoke of the destruction of Jerusalem.

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