EU Proposal to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens

by Soeren Kern:

“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant” — European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance, Article 4

“The supra-national surveillance that it would imply would certainly be a dark day for European democracy.” — European Dignity Watch

While European leaders are busy expressing public indignation over reports of American espionage operations in the European Union, the European Parliament is quietly considering a proposal that calls for the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”

Critics say the measure — which seeks to force the national governments of all 28 EU member states to establish “special administrative units” to monitor any individual or group expressing views that the self-appointed guardians of European multiculturalism deem to be “intolerant” — represents an unparalleled threat to free speech in a Europe where citizens are already regularly punished for expressing the “wrong” opinions, especially about Islam.

The proposed European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance was recently presented to members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the only directly-elected body of the European Union.

The policy proposal was drafted by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a non-governmental organization established in Paris in 2008 by the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor.

 

Lars Hedegaard was acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court in 2012 on charges of “hate speech” for critical comments he made about Islam.

The ECTR — which describes itself as a “tolerance watchdog” that “prepares practical recommendations to governments and international organizations on improving interreligious and interethnic relations on the continent” — includes on its board more than a dozen prominent European politicians, including former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar.

The ECTR first presented its proposal for a Europe-wide Law on Tolerance to the European Parliament in November 2008 as part of the European Week of Tolerance that marked the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, a night of anti-Semitic violence that began the Jewish Holocaust in Germany.

After five years of lobbying in Europe’s halls of power, the ECTR proposal appears to be making headway, as evidenced by the European Parliament’s recent decision to give the group a prominent 45-minute time slot to present its proposal to the Civil Liberties committee on September 17.

Also known as the “Model Statute for Tolerance,” the ECTR’s proposal was presented as part of the EU’s ongoing work towards a new “Equal Treatment Directive” (ETD) that would vastly expand the scope of discrimination to all sectors of life in both the public and private spheres.

Critics of the ETD, currently being negotiated within the Council of the European Union, say the directive seeks to establish an ill-conceived concept of “equal treatment” as a horizontal principle governing the relationships between all and everyone, thus interfering with the right of self-determination of all citizens.

According to European Dignity Watch, a civil rights watchdog based in Brussels,

The principles of freedom of contract and the freedom to live according to one’s personal moral views are in danger of being superseded by a newly developed concept of ‘equality.’ It would undermine freedom and self-determination for all Europeans and subject the private life of citizens to legal uncertainty and the control of bureaucrats. It is about governmental control of social behavior of citizens. These tendencies begin to give the impression of long-passed totalitarian ideas and constitute an unprecedented attack on citizens’ rights.

When viewed in the broader context of the ETD, the ECTR document is so audacious in scope, while at the same time so vague in defining its terminology, that critics say the proposal, if implemented, would open a Pandora’s Box of abuse, thereby effectively shutting down the right to free speech in Europe.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

EUROPE’S MELTDOWN: A CAUTIONARY TALE

sweden_riot_AFPby PAMELA GELLER:

Muslims rioted in Sweden for a week, burning cars and attacking police. This is just the latest in an unremitting Islamic campaign, a continent-wide jihad initiative leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a glimpse into the present and future of Europe, due to its disastrous and suicidal immigration policies, and a cautionary tale for America.

And it isn’t just in Sweden. It’s in France as well, where there have been periodic Muslim riots, featuring the same car-burnings, screams of “Allahu akbar,” and attacks on police. All over the continent, we see the effects of Muslim immigration in Europe. When a Muslim tried to assassinate free-speech activist Lars Hedegaard in Denmark, the New York Timessmeared Hedegaard and prised Muslims.

Last year, Belgium was shaken by a Ramadan crime wave, with threats of jihad grenade attacks on public buildings. A devout Muslim called for the murder of members of a pro-freedom political party in Germany. Other Muslim thugs “patrolled” the streets of London, harassing those they believed do not conform to Islamic law. There are evenSharia zones enforced in the U.K. Gay man are targeted by Muslims who threaten them to “get out of here, you bloody fag.” In Italy recently, a jihadist was arrested in Rome and there were police raids in Milan, Palermo, Cagliari, Cuneo, and Salerno. But Muslims nonetheless are violently rioting and attacking non-Muslims in that country. In Spain, a jihadi plotted to poison the tourist water supplyA jihadi trio was arrested “in possession of explosives and poison.”

And because of this mass Muslim immigration, the Islamic antisemitism has increasingly rendered Europe hostile to Jews. Norway’s Jewish population is almost nonexistent,French Jews are fleeing in droves, and a Jewish school in Belgium has been forced to shut down. In Sweden, Muslims shot rockets and hurled pipe bombs at Jews and attacked Jews at a peaceful pro-Israel rally. In Germany, Muslims rioted, chanting “Jews out, Germans out, allahu akbar, f**k off Jews, kick the Jews out, burn the Jew.” A Hezbollah courier was found guilty of playing a role in a Cyprus jihad terror plotHezbollah was also behind the bombing of a bus full of Jewish tourists in Bulgaria. In Italy, a Muslim was jailed for a Milan synagogue bomb plotThere are now sweeping “no-go areas” for Jews in Europe.

Think it can’t happen here? At a Los Angeles rally, Muslims chanted “Long live Hitler” and “Put Jews in ovens.”

The mainstream media, true to form, seldom identifies the perpetrators. Instead, in a characteristic move they blamed the Swedish riots on the right and attribute it all to poverty, saying: “Some seven years of centre-right rule, however, have chipped away at benefits.”

Read more at Breitbart

Through A Projector Lense Clearly

images (38)By Andrew Bostom:

Andrew Harrod has revealed the sad reality which marred an otherwise remarkable event at The Heritage Foundation,  “Silent Conquest: The End of Freedom of Expression in the West”: the Muhammad images under discussion were blurred out, effectively kowtowing to the very Islamic “blasphemy” law being decried.

One day later (Wednesday, March 20, 2013), I participated in a stirring event with my colleagues and friends, Rabbi John Hausman, Lars Hedegaard, Robert Spencer, and Tiffany Gabbay. The video of that forum and discussion, can be seen here.

Our event also included specific shots from “Silent Conquest” with the unblurred images of Lars Vilks’ cartoon , and the more renowned Jyllands-Posten Danish cartoons.

That video snippet is embedded, below:

 

 

 

 

The Media’s Character Assassination of Lars Hedegaard

pic_giant_030613_SM_hedegaard-450x328By :

It’s starting to look like the Book of Job. For years, he’s been demonized in his nation’s media for criticizing Islam. In 2011 and 2012, he was put on trial – not one, twice, but three times – for violating a Danish law that makes it a crime to insult or denigrate a religion. Last month, a guy came to his door dressed as a mailman and tried to kill him; his survival seems nothing short of a miracle.

You might think that in the wake of this assassination attempt, Lars Hedegaard would get some respect – or at least solidarity – from the Danish media. But you could only think that if you were unaware of the aftermath of the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, whose bodies weren’t even cold when Dutch journalists set about smearing them even more enthusiastically than they had before, essentially blaming them for their own deaths. Many of Lars’s fellow Danes, to be sure, did rally round him after his close call. But in large part, the Danish media’s reaction was depressingly predictable. As I noted just last week, a couple of morally challenged employees of the newspaper Ekstra Bladet actually tried to follow a moving van to Lars’s new home, apparently so they could print the address; fortunately, the police foiled their effort.

Alas, that wasn’t the end of it. On Sunday, Deadline, a program on the state-owned TV channel DR2, aired a half-hour taped interview with Lars by reporter Martin Krasnik. Krasnik’s introduction, tacked onto the beginning of the show later, was not promising. In a manifest attempt to paint Lars as an extremist, Krasnik mentioned Lars’s hosting of Geert Wilders at the Free Press Society and Anders Behring Breivik’s citation of Lars in his “manifesto.”

Read more at Front Page

See also:

In Defence of Lars Hedegaard (counterjihadreport.com)

Shariah’s Assault on Free Speech: Warriors Who Refuse to be Silenced

CSP-hedegaard-web

The Center for Security Policy is pleased to broadcast Shariah’s Assault on Free Speech: Warriors Who Refuse to be Silenced, a program of the Irwin M. and H. Ethel Hausman Memorial Free Speech Speakers’ Series in Stoughton, Massachusetts on Wednesday, March 20, 2013. The event will begin at 7:00PM.

To attend in person, please purchase tickets and RSVP.

Also being made available live on youtube for free:

About the Speakers

12Lars Hedegaard is a portrait of courage, tenacity, and wit, under even the most trying circumstances.  Hedegaard is President of the Danish Free Press Society, a historian and a journalist. He is also the survivor of a recent assassination attempt on his life last month in his home in Denmark.
Lars Hedegaard in the Wall Street Journal Lars Hedegaard and the Enemies of Truthfulness

16 Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of twelve books, including two New York Times bestsellers, The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). His latest book is Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins (ISI).

19Tiffany Gabbay serves as Assistant Editor and Foreign Affairs Editor for TheBlaze and has been a writer for over a decade. Her passion for politics and expertise in Middle East affairs was fostered at an early age by her father, a successful entrepreneur and Israeli war hero. Previously, Tiffany worked as a journalist on Capitol Hill where she interviewed some of the Beltway’s biggest names including Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Dick Durbin and many others.  She is a graduate of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C. and studied communications at the London Institute – University of the Arts, London.

21Andrew G. Bostom (MD, MS) is an author and Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School. He is also well known for his writings on Islam as the author ofThe Legacy of Jihad (2005), and editor of 2008 anthology of primary sources and secondary studies on the theme of Muslim antisemitism,The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History. In October 2012 Bostom published his third compendium Sharia versus Freedom: The Legacy of Islamic Totalitarianism (Prometheus Books).

Michael Graham is a talk radio host, writer, and conservative political commentator. The author of four books, including the first major publisher book on the Tea Party movement-”THAT’S NO ANGRY MOB, THAT’S MY MOM!” (Regnery, 2010)-Michael is also a columnist for the Boston Herald.

‘A Stew of Anti-Muslim Bile and Conspiracy-Laden Forecasts’

Picture-10-450x295 (1)By :

At 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 5, Lars Hedegaard answered his door bell to an apparent mailman. Instead of receiving a package, however, the 70-year-old Danish historian and journalist found himself face to face with a would-be assassin about one third his age. The assailant shot him once, narrowly missing his head. The gun locked, Hedegaard wrestled with him, and the young man fled.

Given Hedegaard’s criticism of Islam and his even being taken to court on criminal charges of “hate speech,” the attack reverberated in Denmark and beyond. The Associated Pressreported this incident, which was featured prominently in the British press, including the Guardian, the Daily Mail, and the Spectator, as well as in Canada’s National Post. The Wall Street Journal published an article by him about his experience.

When the New York Times belatedly bestirred itself on Feb. 28 to inform its readership about the assassination attempt, it did not so much report the event itself but an alleged Muslim support for Hedegaard to express himself. As implied by the title of Andrew Higgins’ article, “Danish Opponent of Islam Is Attacked, and Muslims Defend His Right to Speak,” he mainly celebrates Danish Islam: “Muslim groups in the country, which were often criticized during the cartoon furor for not speaking out against violence and even deliberately fanning the flames, raised their voices to condemn the attack on Mr. Hedegaard and support his right to express his views, no matter how odious [emphasis added].” This theme pervades the piece; for example, Karen Haekkerup, the minister of social affairs and integration, is quoted pleased that “the Muslim community is now active in the debate.”

(For a close dissection of this agitprop, see Diana West’s evisceration; and see Andrew Bostom’s analysis for a comparison of Higgins to Walter Duranty, the NYT reporter who whitewashed Stalin’s crimes.)

Secondarily Higgins delegitimizes Hedegaard, my topic here. In addition to the snarky “no matter how odious” reference, Higgins dismisses Hedegaard’s “opinions” as “a stew of anti-Muslim bile and conspiracy-laden forecasts of a coming civil war” and claims the Dane has “fanned wild conspiracy theories and sometimes veered into calumny.”

These characterizations of Hedegaard’s work are a vicious travesty. A few specifics:

1. What Higgins airily dismisses as Hedegaard’s “opinions” is in fact a substantial oeuvre in several academic books and articles laden with facts and references dealing with Islamic ideology, Muslim history, and Muslim immigration to Denmark. Those books include:

I krigens hus: Islams kolonisering af Vesten [In the House of War: Islam’s colonization of the West] (with Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen). Aarhus, Hovedland, 2003

1400 års krigen: Islams strategi, EU og frihedens endeligt [The 1400 Year War: Islam’s strategy, the EU and the demise of freedom] (with Mogens Camre). Odense, Trykkefrihedsselskabets Bibliotek, 2009

Muhammeds piger: Vold, mord og voldtægter i Islams Hus. [Muhammad’s girls: Violence, murder and rape in the House of Islam] Odense, Trykkefrihedsselskabets Bibliotek, 2011

Hedegaard’s major articles include:

“Den 11. september som historie” [September 11 as history] in Helle Merete Brix and Torben Hansen (eds.), Islam i Vesten: På Koranens vej? Copenhagen, Tiderne Skifter, 2002.

“The Growth of Islam in Denmark and the Future of Secularism” in Kurt Almqvist (ed.), The Secular State and Islam in Europe. Stockholm, Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation, 2007

“Free Speech: Its Benefits and Limitations” in Süheyla Kirca and LuEtt Hanson (eds.), Freedom and Prejudice: Approaches to Media and Culture. Istanbul, Bahcesehir University Press, 2008

“De cartoon-jihad en de opkomst van parallelle samenlevingen” [The cartoon jihad and the emergence of parallel societies] in Hans Jansen and Bert Snel (eds.), Eindstrijd: De finale clash tussen het liberale Westen en een traditionele islam. Amsterdam, Uitgiverij Van Praag, 2009

To the best of my knowledge, no one has claimed these writings contain sloppy scholarship or wrong references. As Hedegaard puts it, “I am a university-trained historian and take my craft seriously.” The real criticism of Hedegaard is not about his scholarship – but that he raises difficult and even unpleasant questions.

Read more at Front Page

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum.

Spot the ‘Xenophobic Butcher’

Andrew Higgins

Andrew Higgins

By Andrew G. Bostom:

In my earlier blog about NY Times agitprop journalist Andrew Higgins, who calumniated a real journalist and historian, Lars Hedegaard, I mentioned Higgins’ warped hagiography of The Danish Muslim Society, and its two recent leaders, whose role in fomenting the cartoon riot carnage — 200 dead and over 800 wounded — Higgins failed to discuss.

Higgins also singled out for praise Minhaj ul Quran International, which he characterized as “the Danish offshoot of a controversial group in Pakistan that has taken a hard line at home against blasphemy.” Diana West, citing a 2006 article “Free Speech in Denmark“,  which was co-authored by Lars Hedegaard, notes that Minhaj ul Quran’s leader, Tahir ul-Qadri wrote these words, consistent with the Sharia, on the universal application of Islamic “blasphemy” law:

The act of contempt of the finality of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a crime which can not be tolerated whether its commission is direct or indirect, intentional or un-intentional. The crime is so sanguine that even his repentance can not exempt him from the penalty of death.

Although ul-Qadri, of Pakistani descent, tried to deny his own words, in a failed effort at sacralized Islamic dissimulation, or “taqiyya,” watch the video, below, which captures his proud championing of Pakistan’s blasphemy law and its lethal consequences for non-Muslims, in particular.

 

These liberty-crushing, murder-inciting remarks of ul-Qadri were apparently of no concern to Mr. Higgins. But Higgins did find time to label Anders Gravers (using, perhaps, a deliberately vicious pun on his trade), “a xenophobic butcher from the north,” because Gravers opposes the aggressive efforts of Denmark’s Muslims to Islamize Danish society.  Compare Gravers’ peaceful exercise of free speech,  voicing his strong opposition to Sharia encroachment in his native Denmark, to ul-Qadri’s unabashed call for the murder of non-Muslim “blasphemers”-and then lying about that heinous record of support for the application of Islamic blasphemy law.

Who is the “xenophobic butcher” again, Mr. Higgins?

Islamist Assassinations in the West

by Daniel Pipes
Gatestone Institute
February 25, 2013

Terrorism broadly takes two forms: against random individuals who happen to be at a market place or on a bus at the wrong time; or against specific individuals because of who they are. The latter in turn divides into two: against broad categories of people (the military, Jews, people who wear eyeglasses) and against specific public figures, either individuals or institutions. In effect, these last are assassinations (defined by Merriam-Webster as “to murder (a usually prominent person) by sudden or secret attack often for political reasons”).

Horrific as the first two genres are, assassinations are the most terrifying and effective. Whereas the first two can happen to anyone and have the effect of creating a universal but vague dread, the third focuses on a small pool of targets and sends a specific signal to others not to follow in their footsteps. In general, therefore, assassinations inspire the most consequential fear, intimidate the most, and have the greatest consequences.

Actual public Western victims of Islamist violence have included:

  • 1980: Ali Akbar Tabataba’i, Iranian dissident, in the United States*
  • 1980: Faisal Zagallai, Libyan dissident, in the United States
  • 1990: Rashad Khalifa, Egyptian religious innovator, in the United States*
  • 1990: Meir Kahane, Israel politician of American origins, in the United States*
  • 1991: Hitoshi Igarashi, Japanese translator of The Satanic Verses*
  • 1991: Ettore Capriolo, Italian translator of The Satanic Verses
  • 1993: William Nygaard, Norwegian publisher of The Satanic Verses
  • 2004: Theo van Gogh, Dutch artist*
  • 2010: Kurt Westergaard, Danish cartoonist
  • 2010: Lars Vilks, Swedish artist
  • 2010: Jyllands-Posten, Danish newspaper
  • 2012: Charlie Hebdo, French satiric magazine
  • 2013: Lars Hedegaard, Danish historian and political analyst

Notes: * indicates a fatality. Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi, head of the Libyan government, was an Islamist in 1980. I do not list here victims of Muslim but non-Islamist assassinations, such as Malcolm X in 1965 or the attempt on the pope in 1981. For the record, a Palestinian Christian killed Robert Kennedy in 1968.

Statistical comments:

(1) Other than one isolated attack in 2004, this listing of 13 inexplicably divides into two distinct periods, seven in 1980-93 and five in 2010-13.

(2) Listed by their identity, the victims include 8 connected to culture and the arts, 3 political figures, 1 religious one, and 1 analyst. Of the eight cultural attacks, 4 involved cartoons, 3 Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, and one a movie, Submission.

(3) Geographically, 8 took place in Europe, 4 in the United States, and one in Japan. Of the European cases, three took place in tiny Denmark. Britain and Germany are conspicuously missing from this list. Oddly, the 4 American instances took place in either 1980 or 1990.

(4) State involvement can be discerned only in the first 3 cases (Iranian, Libyan, and Saudi, respectively).

(5) In terms of deadliness, 5 attacks led to a fatality, 8 did not.

Lars Hedegaard presented Daniel Pipes with the Danish Free Press Society award in March 2007.

 

And a personal note by way of conclusion: the Feb. 5 attack on Hedegaard – a friend and colleague at the Middle East Forum – inspired me to compile this listing in the hopes that aggregating these loathsome crimes will help wake more Westerners to the danger within.

Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org) is president of the Middle East Forum.

How Sickening Will Sweden Get?

by Douglas Murray:

Their gamble is that if we give the Organization of Islamic Cooperation just a little something — just a “harmless” little law — then we might all just be able to get along. But for every inch of encouragement the free nations of the world give the OIC, the more Reza Jabbaris we sacrifice — and a million more free-thinking souls.

How to deal with one madman is tricky enough, but how do you rectify things if the whole world has gone mad? Take Sweden and its apparent determination to deport Reza Jabbari back to his native Iran, most likely to be killed for having converted from Islam to Christianity.

First, there is the growing phenomenon of individuals being targeted for retribution if they have been seen to “insult” Islam. In particular there is the terrible recent case of Lars Hedegaard, who was targeted by an assassin at his home in Denmark earlier this month. The larger tapestry that hangs behind incidents such as the attempted assassination of Lars Hedegaard, Kurt Westergaard and others, however, is not just the attempt to silence a few brave voices, but the attempt to silence an entire planet. I refer of course to the attempt to criminalize – around the world – any speech which is deemed to be offensive to Islam.

This process is not only ongoing among the 57 Islamic countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), but is being considered – rather than laughed out of the room – by, among other countries, the United States of America.

For more than a decade the OIC, originating from Pakistan, has been attempting to bring in legislation via the UN to criminalize “Defamation of Religions.” Last December Hillary Clinton made a speech at the Istanbul Process’s meeting (in London, shamefully) on “Combating intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.”

Here is the first paragraph:

Well, good afternoon, everyone, and I want to thank you all for participating in this conference where we are working together to protect two fundamental freedoms – the right to practice one’s religion freely and the right to express one’s opinion without fear.

Right there is the problem. Because her two “fundamental freedoms” might be a square peg or a round peg. But there is absolutely no way that either will ever fit into an OIC-shaped hole. Of course the OIC will continue to talk in generalities. So let us talk specifics. While the OIC pretends to worried about its feelings, let us consider a real-life, concrete, current example.

Reza Jabbari is an Iranian by birth. He is also a convert to Christianity. He is currently seeking asylum in Sweden. Why would this possibly be necessary? Surely if the OIC are being honest, Mr. Jabbari is merely someone with a different opinion from the people who run the country of his birth? And surely if the Iranians are worried about “offense” to religion, they would be standing up to ensure that Mr. Jabbari does not have his Christian faith insulted by the claims of Muslims that he is forever Muslim because he happened to have been born into a Muslim family.

Alas, the realities of the OIC are otherwise. As are those of the Swedish authorities, who appear to be doing everything they can to ensure that Mr. Jabbari is returned to Iran, where he is likely to be imprisoned, sentenced to death, or both. I suppose the Swedes reason that do not have room for him, even with all those empty homes the Jews left behind when they fled Malmo.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

Lars Hedegaard and the Enemies of Truthfulness

Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. ..Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter? Milton

lars

by Andrew Bostom:

Last week I noted how Michael Coren of Canada’s Sun TV was far bolder than any of his US television network colleagues in dealing with Islam’s threat to Western free speech, epitomized by Coren’s interview of Danish journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard, who survived an assassination attempt by a likely Muslim assailant, still at large. No such interview with public airing on television was conducted by any major US television network—ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN—not even the self-proclaimed “alternative” to “stultifying political correctness,”  and “champion” of free speech, The Blaze TV.

Emphasizing, yet again, the ongoing, complete dereliction of duty of not only the mainstream legacy media, but so-called conservative outlets such as Fox News and The Blaze, Michael Coren opened his follow-up interview  of Lars Hedegaard, yesterday (2/15/13), with this observation:

You [Hedegaard] should be on every single TV show. This should have been [on] the front page of every newspaper in the civilized world.

To add insult to bitter irony, as described in this news item Friday (2/15/13)from Dispatch International, which Lars Hedegaard continues to edit while in protective seclusion, and reiterated during Coren’s latest interview, Hedegaard has been compelled to sue several Swedish media (including Aftonbladet, Svenska Dagbladet, Sveriges Television, Sydsvenskan and Helsingborgs Dagblad) for libel. The libel charge was filed with Allmänhetens Pressombudsman, (the Press Ombudsman) as well as the Chancellor of Justice.

Read more

Also see:

 

 

In Defence of Lars Hedegaard

imagesCARSLEUK

For background on the assassination attempt see my previous post – Another Attempt to Murder Free Speech in Denmark

Chris Knowles of the International Civil Liberties Alliance:

The following is our response to an article on The Copenhagen Post website entitled Hedegaard lashes out following failed assassination attempt.

My organisation the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA) awarded Mr Hedegaard our Defender of Freedom Award last year in the European Parliament.

Unlike many newspapers, he is willing to stand up and speak truth to power.  Newspapers tend to no longer do their job of informing the public and challenging the powerful.  Instead they provide a skewed ideologically driven picture of the world.  Rather than report the facts they choose to demonise individuals like Mr Hedegaard and in doing so deliberately put them in danger.

Lars Hedegaard has shown willingness even to put his life on the line in the cause of freedom.  How many newspaper editors can say the same thing?

ICLA supports Mr Hedegaard’s call to remove the blasphemy clause.  Indeed we call for the abolition of all blasphemy laws worldwide.  This includes laws that are effectively blasphemy laws that are dressed in the clothes of secularism.  For instance the United Kingdom abolished its blasphemy law but incorporated similar restrictions in other laws.  It is the freedom to talk freely about all philosophies that needs to be protected by law.  Blasphemy laws stifle freedom of speech and prevent the progressive development of our society.

Lars, we salute your bravery and your continuing commitment to freedom.

Chris Knowles

International Civil Liberties Alliance

Lars Hedegaard speaks with Michael Coren about surviving an assassination attempt:

Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist and the great Dane Lars Hedegaard of the Free Press Society join Michael Coren to discuss their new enterprise, Dispatch International:

Support Freedom of Speech

Subscribe to Dispatch International

Why Dispatch International?

The mainstream media has deteriorated to a point where it constitutes a threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The fourth estate was supposed to act as corrective to the legislative, judicial and administrative powers but has in fact become a part of the ruling elite. It no longer considers it its duty to criticise or expose.

One survey after another shows that the vast majority of Western journalists suffer from groupthink. They do not inform the public about what is happening in the real world but want to educate and mould the citizens to conform to their own preconceived ideas of what ought to be.

Vast swathes of reality are brushed under the carpet because the mainstream media considers them antithetical to the multiculturalist, cultural relativist, “green” and anti-Judean-Christian ideologies they strive to impose on the public.

This cannot be allowed to stand. The time has come to publish a real newspaper.

On 30 August we will issue a test issue of Dispatch International. It will appear as a print paper in Danish and Swedish with e-versions in Danish, Swedish, English and German.

More languages will be added as the need arises.

If the test issue is all well received as we antitipate, we will commence regular, weekly publication on Thursday, January 3, 2013.

In the meantime, click onto our website: http://www.Dispatch-International.com.

Chief editors are Ingrid Carlqvist, former news editor of the Swedish daily Kvällsposten, and Lars Hedegaard, former editor-in-chief of the Copenhagen daily Information. Ingrid is Chair of the Swedish Free Press Society and Lars of the Danish Free Press Society.

Together with Canadian free speech activist and board member of the Canadian Free Press Society Bjorn Larsen we have set up a company that is protected from any attempt at a hostile take-over.

We can neither be bought, nor will we be dependent on public subsidies or advertising income.

Dispatch International is your paper. We have no other purpose than to keep you informed of all the news that is fit to print – but rarely is.

Let us make this a success.

All best

Ingrid Carlqvist

Lars Hedegaard

Bjorn Larsen

Another Attempt to Murder Free Speech in Denmark

larsalainby Soeren Kern:

“I live in a government safe house. I wear a bulletproof jacket. I have not walked the streets … in more than seven years. [I am] imprisoned in my own country for the mere fact that I have spoken out against the enemies of the West.” — Geert Wilders, MP, Netherlands

Lars Hedegaard, a well-known seventy-year-old free speech activist and critic of Islam, narrowly escaped a murder attempt on February 5 outside his home in Copenhagen, Denmark.

An unidentified assailant wielding a handgun fired a shot at Hedegaard, but fled on foot after the bullet missed its intended victim and the gun subsequently jammed.

According to Danish media, the gunman, in a postal service uniform, rang the doorbell of Hedegaard’s apartment building on the pretext of delivering a package. When Hedegaard opened the front door, the man pulled out a gun and fired a shot, narrowly missing Hedegaard’s head.

Danish police say they are searching for the suspect, whom they describe as “a man of a different ethnic background than Danish.” He is believed to be in his 20s and has a “Middle Eastern appearance.” Speculation is that the assailant is a Muslim because of critical statements that Hedegaard has made regarding Islam.

Hedegaard is the president of the Danish Free Press Society, a watchdog group that often warns that free speech is under threat from radical Islam. Hedegaard also co-edits a weekly online newspaper called Dispatch International, which covers stories in Danish, English and Swedish about a variety of topics, including content that is critical of radical Islam.

Hedegaard’s partner, Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist, says the attack was a brazen attempt to silence a courageous free-speech warrior, one who has not been afraid to challenge official myths about the impact of multiculturalism and Muslim mass immigration on European society.

As if to prove Carlqvist’s point, Danish officialdom has uniformly linked the attack on Hedegaard with the exercise of free speech in the country.

Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, a Social Democrat, said: “An attack on Lars Hedegaard is a heinous act which I condemn in the strongest terms. It is even worse if the attack is rooted in an attempt to prevent Lars Hedegaard to use his freedom of expression.”

Former Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, who leads the center-right Liberal Party, said the attack was a “cowardly and cruel act.” He added: “If this action is rooted in preventing Lars Hedegaard from using his freedom of speech, we are witnessing an attack on all Danes.”

The former leader of the conservative Danish People’s Party, Pia Kjærsgaard, who has long warned about the negative effects of multiculturalism and runaway immigration, said it is “un-Danish” if people cannot give their opinions without risking their lives. She added: “It is incomprehensible and shocking if the motive is political. If this is the case, it shows that it is dangerous to make use of our constitutional freedom of expression.

The leader of the left wing Socialist People’s Party, Annette Vilhelmsen, called the incident “totally unacceptable.” She said: “I probably do not agree with Lars Hedegaard on very much. But in Denmark we have freedom of speech. Political assassinations affect not just real people, they hit our democracy and our freedom of thinking.”

Hedegaard has been at the vanguard of a decade-long effort to fight back against restrictions to free speech in Europe, especially speech that is critical of Islam.

In April 2012, Hedegaard was acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court on charges of “hate speech” for comments he made about Islam.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.

For complete coverage of the attempted assassination of Lars Hedegaard go to Gates of Vienna and International Civil Liberties Alliance

Free Speech Found Guilty by Europe

By Soeren Kern:

The ruling showed that while Judaism and Christianity can be disparaged with impunity, speaking the truth about Islam is subject to swift and hefty legal penalties. The Supreme Court stressed that the substance of the charges — public criticism of Islam – is still a crime punishable by imprisonment. Under Danish law, it is immaterial whether a statement is true or false. All that is needed for a conviction is for someone to feel offended.

Lars Hedegaard, the president of the Danish Free Press Society, has been acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court on charges of “hate speech” for critical comments he made about Islam.

The verdict, however represents only a partial victory for free speech in a Europe that is being stifled by politically correct restrictions on free speech, particularly on issues related to Islam.

Although Hedegaard was acquitted, it was on a legal technicality; in its ruling, the Supreme Court stressed that the substance of the charges against Hedegaard — public criticism of Islam, — is still a crime punishable by imprisonment.

Hedegaard’s legal problems began in December 2009, when he said in a taped interview that there was a high incidence of child rape and domestic violence in areas dominated by Muslim culture. Although Hedegaard insisted that he did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes, Denmark’s thought police were incensed at such effrontery:

the Danish public prosecutor’s office declared that Hedegaard was guilty of violating Article 266b of the Danish penal code, a catch-all provision that Danish elites use to enforce politically correct speech codes.

The infamous Article 266b 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 color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation is liable to a fine or incarceration for up to two years.”

In January 2011, a Danish lower court acquitted Hedegaard of any wrongdoing. But public prosecutors appealed that verdict and in May 2011, a Danish superior court found Hedegaard guilty of hate speech in accordance with Article 266b because he “ought to have known” that his statements regarding family rape in Muslim families were intended for public dissemination.

On April 20, 2012, the Danish Supreme Court decided that the prosecution had failed to prove that Hedegaard was aware that his statements would be published. Although Hedegaard was thus acquitted, the court also made a special point of ruling that the substance of his statements, namely the public criticism of Islam, is a violation of Article 266b.

As a result, although Hedegaard has been cleared of wrongdoing, the Supreme Court has affirmed the legal restrictions on free speech in Denmark.

Hedegaard’s case is similar to recent or current ones in Austria, Finland, France, Italy and the Netherlands and exemplifies the growing use of lawfare: the malicious use of European courts to silence public discussion about the growing problem of Muslim immigration.

Read the rest at Gatestone Institute