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Does Europe Have Free Speech?

A controversy has arisen over our president’s having retweeted three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First, an organization that protests Islamization of the UK. However, Islamists, leftists and assorted “dhimwits” call her organization extremist and racist.

This is a tactic used across Europe to marginalize and silence groups and individuals who criticize Islam or criticize the über-immigration policies of the EU, which have rendered countries like Germany, France, Sweden, Holland and the UK unsafe—particularly for women. The links contain a long list of horrors unleashed in Europe.

European governments and media would prefer not to alarm the public about the cherished immigration policies, or they might have to cease stuffing their countries with people from nations where hands are severed for stealing, gays are hurled from roofs and women are considered ripe for rape if they go about with their tresses showing.

But that’s not all they do to tamp down undesirable commentary—and this may come as a shock to Americans who live under the First Amendment, so you should read on while sitting down. In Europe, those who speak against Islam, or the massive Muslim immigration policies that have devastated Europe, can be arrested and tried for committing a crime.

Abigail R. Esman writes for John Bolton’s Gatestone Institute that: “In Germany, ‘incitement of popular hatred’ is punishable by five years in prison…. And earlier this year [2014], Swedish Democratic Party member Michael Hess was fined SK32,000 (about $5000) for “insulting Muslims” when he asserted that rape is “deeply ingrained in Islamic culture.”

Sweden should know because it’s been dubbed “The Rape Capital of the West.”

This punishment for speaking the politically incorrect truth is inexplicable since, as Judith Bergman, writing for Gatestone Institute points out:

Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

In its case law, the European Court of Human Rights has stated that Article 10

“…protects not only the information or ideas that are regarded as inoffensive but also those that offend, shock or disturb; such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance, and broadmindedness without which there is no democratic society. Opinions expressed in strong or exaggerated language are also protected.”

There are reasonable exceptions concerning things like national security, prevention of disorder or crime, and the like. So—like Americans—they are not free to reveal classified info or incite riots. But evidently, Islam is another exception; read on.

Given that Europeans have this stated protection, it’s mystifying that Geert Wilders could have been charged with hate speech for having said at a 2014 rally:

“Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?” After the crowd responded “fewer” Wilders said, “We’re going to organize that.” He repeated that statement in a subsequent interview, where he said, “The fewer Moroccans, the better.”—From Gatestone.

His statement was made “against the backdrop of considerable problems with Moroccans in the Netherlands,” wrote Ms. Bergman, “According to Dutch journalist Timon Dias: ‘Statistics show that 65% of all Moroccan youths have been arrested by police, and that one third of that group have been arrested more than five times.’”

It’s equally mystifying that Jayda Fransen has been “charged with using ‘threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour,’ over speeches she made in Belfast at ‘Northern Ireland Against Terrorism’ rally in August,” reported by the Independent UK. 

Perhaps you’d like to know what Ms. Fransen actually said in Belfast, to be arrested and so charged. “Let’s go to the videotape,” as Warner Wolf used to say. Here it is from her Twitter feed:

You will note that she essentially says violence and terrorism are not the exceptions in Islam; they’re the rule. Certainly, many experts agree with her. For but two examples, see Robert Spencer here, Clare Lopez here:

Is Islam inherently violent? The website ironically named The Religion of Peace has dedicated itself to cataloging terror attacks since 9/11. It lists a host of such attacks in non-Muslim countries—America, Europe, Russia here. Moreover, it reveals there have been “more than 31,154 deadly terror attacks since 9/11.” This demonstrates that many of these attacks have been against fellow Muslims, like the recent one in Egypt where over 300 people were slaughtered while praying in a mosque, because their sect, Sufism is non-violent. But that was ISIS, you may say.

Alright. What does the average Muslim think about ISIS? It seems they agree with Jayda too. A 2015 survey by Al Jazeera.net conducted in Arabic yielded alarming results:

“Respondents overwhelmingly support the Islamic State terrorist group, with 81% voting ‘YES’ on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in the region.”

“The poll, which asked in Arabic, ‘Do you support the organizing victories of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)?’ has generated over 38,000 responses thus far, with only 19% of respondents voting ‘NO’ to supporting ISIS.”

A 2014 poll of Saudis concluded that 92% believe “Islamic State conforms to the values of Islam and Islamic law.” [Emphasis added.] Translation of original site is here. Online polls are not scientifically conducted, but these results indicate that far more than a minority of Muslims agree with ISIS values and methods.

Jayda Fransen has thanked President Trump and appealed to him for help, reported the Independent, saying he’d “shed light” on her “plight here in Britain, in that I am facing prison for giving a speech in which I criticized Islam.”

She added: “This is evidence that Britain has become Sharia compliant and our establishment has now instituted legislation that constitutes blasphemy laws here in the UK.”

All Americans should take heed of her plight, because the same forces are at work here, to silence critics of Islam.

 

About the Author

Bob Bennett
Bob Bennett
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox News. He has traveled widely and written for the NY Post, the Jewish Press, and other publications. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York’s 50,000-watt station, WOR-AM and the Sky Angel Network. He now writes for the Independent Sentinel, Instigator News and Red State Diaries.

 

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