Monday, June 21, 2010

Two More "Hate Speech" Cases Rearing Their Ugly Heads In Europe

Jesper Langballe (Denmark) and Bruce Bawer (Norway) have now entered the ranks of Europe's growing population of coal-mine dwelling small passarine birds of the genus Serinus in the finch family. That is to say, their right to freedom of speech is being attacked because they have chosen to exercise that right to criticize religious beliefs and practices they disagree with.

Langballe is a leading member of one of the parties making up the current governing coalition in Denmark. Last week the Danish parliament voted to strip Langballe of his immunity, as a member of Parliament, from being prosecuted for the crime of having written an editorial criticizing Islam for it's poor record with respect to women's rights.

Bawer is an American born writer, poet and literary critic who has lived in Oslo for over a decade. Last week Bawer announced that he had recently discovered that the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion had commissioned a report that specifically attacks Bawer for promoting "Islamophobia."

Langballe and Bawer are in good, or at least very interesting, company, including:

Geert Wilders (Netherlands)
Rokku Abdilla and Anthony Neilson (Malta)
Javier Krahe (Spain)
Oriana Fallaci (France and Italy)
Dorota Nieznalska, Jerzy Urban, Adam Darski, and Dorota Rabczewska (Poland)

It should be noted that the cases in Malta, Spain and Poland involve individuals who criticized, or were accused of "insulting" or "offending", the Roman Catholic Church, not Islam.

And there are also at least two notable cases in the European Diaspora as well: those of Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant in Canada, and Danny Nalliah in Australia.

To put things into properly ironic context, just one month ago, on May 20, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling upon the nation of Pakistan:
to carry out a “thoroughgoing review” of its blasphemy laws because they were “open to misuse.” It also condemned the “contradiction” between the Pakistani government’s commitment to religious freedom and its “leading role” in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in seeking the UN’s condemnation of “defamation of religion.”
[from: Blasphemy laws - European Parliament asked to be consistent about blasphemy article at Reporters Without Borders website]