Europe: When Free Speech Died
The stifling of dissenting voices in the EU.
The British people fed-up with Brussels dictates voted on June 23, to exit the European Union. Boris Johnson, former Mayor of London and a leading voice for Brexit, argued (Economist June18-24 issue) that “Napoleon, Hitler, and other various people tried this out (forcefully unifying Europe-JP), and it ended tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods.” One of those coercive methods has been to limit, if not forbid, anti-immigration speech.
The elitist of the European Union (EU) have seen a rise in nativist protest movements throughout the European continent. The voiceless people of the states of the European Union have been forced to adopt multiculturalism and political correctness as their new civil religion, and their dissenting voices are now being squashed by a series of measures that amount to the curtailment of free speech.
Earlier this month, the European Commission, a powerful and unelected European Union’s executive branch, announced plans to combat “illegal online hate speech.” The same European Commission unveiled a code of conduct that will ensure that online platforms do not offer opportunities for “illegal online hate speech to spread virally.” Unsurprisingly, it is the European Commission that will determine what constitutes “illegal online hate speech” and not the people’s elected representatives in the individual European countries that make up the European Union (EU).
A press release headline issued by the European Commission (EC) in Brussels on May 31, 2016, read “The European Commission and IT companies announce Code of Conduct on illegal online hate speech.” The EC explanatory paragraphs read: “In order to prevent the spread of illegal hate speech, it is essential to ensure that relevant national laws transposing the Council Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia are fully enforced by Member States in the online as well as the offline environment. While the effective application of provisions criminalizing hate speech is dependent on a robust system of enforcement of criminal law sanctions against the individual perpetrators of hate speech, this work must be complemented with actions geared at ensuring that illegal hate speech online is expeditiously reviewed by online intermediaries and social media platforms, upon receipt of a valid notification, in an appropriate time-frame. To be considered valid in this respect, a notification should not be insufficiently precise or inadequately substantiated.”
These provisions of the EC against hate speech have done little to prevent the rise of anti-Semitism in the EU countries, nor has it criminalized the anti-Semitic nature of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement, which singles out the Jewish state. It does, however, seek to stifle the anti-immigrant movement, which is trying to alert Europeans of the coming Islamization of Europe. In addition, the EC decision will adversely impact on the civil liberties of over 500 million Europeans.
The net impact of recent “speech” laws enacted by western governments has been magnified by even greater forms of private censorship on (predominantly Muslim) anti-immigrants. For example, most news organizations have stopped showing images of Mohammad, although no such self-censorship has been made regarding caricatures of other religious figures. In September, 2012, French actress and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was fined several times for comments she made about how Muslims are undermining French culture. In Britain, a 15-year old girl was arrested for “burning a Koran at school and posting footage on Facebook.”
The Wall Street Journal reported on September 14, 2015 that, “Facebook Inc. said that it would work with the German government Justice Ministry to fight xenophobic and racist messages on the social network’s platform, bending to German government pressure to clamp down on hate messages against migrants online.” While (Muslim) anti-immigrant expression is verboten in Germany, anti-Jewish hate is excused. A German judge convicted two German-Palestinian men of attempted arson against a synagogue in the city of Wuppertal, along with a juvenile accomplice. In his ruling however, the judge declared that the crime was motivated by the desire to “bring attention to the Gaza conflict” and not by anti-Semitism, which was the obvious case. For the German judiciary, it seems, protesting against the Islamization of Europe in general, and of Germany in particular, is a hate speech, if not a hate crime. Yet, arson against a synagogue is not…this perversion of logic has become widespread throughout the EU states.
While Germany is on its way to commit demographic and cultural suicide with the admission of millions of poor and uneducated Middle Eastern and African migrants, Sweden is already lost. The people of Sweden are allowing its radical leftist governing parties and its equally pandering press to expedite the process. The Gatestone Institute reported (December 22, 2014) that before the scheduled March, 2015 elections, the current Social-Democrat and Greens party had enacted “a measure far less publicized, and would come into effect that Christmas (2014). The new measure is designed to make it easier to prosecute those who offend immigrants, immigration policies, LGBT people and politicians online.” According to Gatestone “even immigrants themselves do not seem to be allowed to challenge immigration policy or immigrant culture. Last year a Somali-born female journalist, critical of immigrant culture, was intimidated to such an extent by the Swedish journalistic establishment that she decided Mogadishu (Somalia) was a safer place for her than Sweden.”
Only in Sweden does the government take out loans to make welfare payments to migrant Muslim gang-rapists. Also in Sweden “the fear of being labeled ‘politically incorrect’ keeps Sweden’s main political parties from engaging in an honest debate about integration.” And, while the government and its compliant leftist press blew out of proportion an attack on migrants, it had been silent on the rapes by mainly Arab and African Muslim migrants on Swedish women. The U.K. Daily Mail reported (March 4th, 2016) that “What is worrying is that if the Stockholm Station story has been blown out of proportion, it could have artificially fueled pro-migrant sentiment and made ordinary Swedes less ready to voice their worries about mass migration. Fears of a cover-up have been fueled by an investigation published by a flourishing online Swedish news outlet Nyherer Idag, showing that Swedish authorities hid from the public sexual assaults by immigrant gangs on scores of teenage girls at a popular Stockholm music festival booth last year and in 2014.”
Needless to say that in Belgium, France, The Netherlands, and in the rest of the EU states, anti-immigrant voices are stifled by archaic laws that are undemocratic to say the least. The West has traded Christianity and pride in its civilizational accomplishment for the falsehood of multiculturalism. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet dissident, author and Nobel Laureate summed it up as early as 1978, when he was given the Harvard University Laureate Award. Solzhenitsyn used the occasion to give a politically incorrect speech, which President Carter and the mainstream press criticized. Nevertheless, Solzhenitsyn spoke truth to the western powers.
Solzhenitsyn didn’t mince words while he told America and the West that they were spiritually bankrupt. The West, he said, abandoned its moral and civil courage. “The Western system in its present state of spiritual exhaustion does not look attractive.” Had Solzhenitsyn lived today, he would also witness how freedom of speech is dying in Europe.