The Egyptian Sandmonkey has posted one more blog entry, clarifying his original goodbye message and offering an idea on what people can do to help fight for freedom of speech in the Middle East. Please read his message here.
But there is another battle about to be engaged a bit closer to home. One of our own at ThinkerToThinker blogs has been told by his local police that he is under investigation for “hate speech”, because he has ”merely… pointed out that Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc.” Mikko Ellila has received a letter from the municipal police stating that they want to interrogate him over what he writes in his blog, because it may violate the anti-incitement law.
I cannot report first-hand what his blog has to say, because he writes in Finnish. But if you want to read what Mikko wrote to Prodos about this, please go here. Be forewarned: Prodos reprints his reply to Mikko in full, including the F-word.
Another blog following Mikko’s story is Gates of Vienna.
I am naturally wanting to be careful in Mikko’s case, since I cannot read Finnish and don’t yet have a translation of the articles in question. But given what Prodos and I have seen of anti-vilification type laws so far, it’s very likely that Mikkois not a hate-monger.We have seen that the new thought police of the Free World don’tlimit themselves to prosecuting advocacy of violence and persecution.
It’s possible that the Finnish police will deem Mikko not a hate-monger, and the case will come to nothing. But what one authority will consider to be merely honest and critical speech (or blogging) another may perceive as hate speech simply because it COULD lead some perverse reader to hate, even if the writer’s intention is not to incite persecution. Even if the writer makes it clear that it is certainof the religion’s central tenents he considers bad, but that not all people of that religion accept the bad tenents, the writer (or speaker) can be in for a long harrowing legal case.
We know that because here in Australia we have the case of Pastors Danny Scot and Danny Nalliah, who were first found guilty of hate speech and then, on appeal, were found to have been wrongly interpreted. Their case has now been sent back to the tribunal to be re-tried, taking into account the findings of the appeal.
The laws against “hate speech”seem to be interpreted very broadly, and the net can sweep up those who are honestly, without malice or desire to persecute, trying to shake up the politically correctcomplaisance in regard to Islam. We should not have to live in fear that by stating our honest views on the subject and engaging in free, open, public debate, we may be hauled before a tribunal and have to spend who knows how much of our time, energy, money and nerves having to try to prove to some thick-headed politically correct panel that we have a right to state our beliefs about Islam and engage in debate. We see that the two Dannys have had legal costs through the roof, and they have had to spend heaps of time – their case has been tried, re-tried, and now is going to be tried again. They have been vilified – made to look in the press as though they are hateful, mean-spirited bigots, which all my first-hand evidence of Danny Nalliah says is not true. (I’ve never met Danny Scot.) But the anti-vilification laws do not protect the person accused of vilifying a religion from being vilified.
So the best way to make sure that you don’t run afoul of this kind of law is to not say or write anything critical of a religion, particularly if that religion has some really scary problems, and criticizing it honestly requires tromping hard on eggshells.