Danish government is prosecuting individuals for “hate speech”

A “terrible turn of events in Denmark,” writes Diana West. For years that country “has bravely spearheaded the West’s fights to save free speech, now and seemingly in perpetuity under assault from both the Marxian Left and the press of sharia (Islamic law).” But now the Danish government appears to have switched sides. Instead of repealing its hate speech laws, it is prosecuting people under them merely for criticizing Muslim honor killings and “honor rapes” (that last one is my coinage). Last year Danish MP Jesper Langballe was convicted of “hate speech”—“racial discrimination”—for having discussed the honor killings in Muslim families. (Here is his ironic “confession.”) And this month Lars Hedegaard, the president of the International Free Press Society, will face trial for talking about the common incidence of within-family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture.

Here is Danish law Article 266b under which Hedegaard is being prosecuted and Langballe was convicted:

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.

Under this “law,” the truth of an assertion is no defense against the charge of denigration. Thus Langballe was not allowed at his trial to bring forward evidence of honor killings. We can expect the same will happen with Hedegaard.

In fact, the hate speech laws are a perfect expression of Auster’s First Law of Majority-Minority Relations in Liberal Society. Here is a cumulative formulation of the law:

The more troublesome, unassimilable, or dangerous a designated minority or non-Western group actually is, the more favorably it is treated. This undeserved favorable treatment of a troublesome or misbehaving group can take numerous forms, including celebrating the group, giving the group greater rights and privileges, covering up the group’s crimes and dysfunctions, attacking the group’s critics as racists, and blaming the group’s bad behavior on white racism.

And here is the formulation of the First Law that is most relevant in the present instance:

The worse a designated minority or non-Western group behaves, the more racist it becomes to speak the truth about the group’s behavior.

Thus if it is the case that Muslims seek to spread sharia law and subdue all non-Muslim societies, that is bad, therefore to say that Muslims seek to spread sharia law and subdue all non-Muslim societies is racist and hateful. If it is the case that Muslims commonly commit “honor killings” against their female relatives, that seems worse, therefore to say that Muslims commit honor killings is even more racist and hateful. And if it is the case that Muslims sometimes commit “family rape,” that is even more disturbing, and so to say that Muslims commit family rape is even more racist and hateful. The more violent and threatening Muslims actually are, the more hateful is it for Westerners to speak the truth about them, and the greater the punishment such Westerners must receive.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 10, 2011 10:05 AM | Send

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