Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Europe's auto-immune disease

An article by Melanie Phillips just published.

In decadent Europe, freedom of speech is dying. Loudly trumpeted as a ‘human right’ for any attacks on America, Israel, Christians or on the core values of the west, it is swiftly transformed into ‘hate speech’ and the shutters are slammed down on the speaker whenever Islam is in the frame.

Lars Hedegaard is President of the Danish Free Press Society, which is devoted to defending freedom of expression -- particularly against the threat from radical Islam to extinguish it on the spurious grounds of‘Islamophobia’. With no sense of irony, Denmark is trying its damnedest to shut Hedegaard up on precisely those grounds.

This witch-hunt has now reached its third round. In January 2011, Hedegaard was tried and aquitted for racism and hate speech over remarks he made two years previously concerning sexual abuse within Muslim communities. After his acquittal was appealed, however, he was retried and convicted. I wrote about all this, and the way in which both the acquittal and the subsequent conviction turned on what were essentially technicalities, on my previous blog here.


Europe is clearly suffering the political equivalent of auto-immune disease -- destroying its own defences while embracing those who repudiate life, liberty and reason itself.

Read it all. It will ruin your day.


  1. Actually, I think we, and America and Britain are much worse than in Europe.

    The corrosion of free speech, and therefore, the ability and freedom to think, has been going on for decades, drip drip, drip drip. (There are big reasons why speech is the most important difference between humans and every other animal.)

    The thing with Europe is that they are conflicted - mostly they are not censored in the way that happens here - the example you've given is unusual. A lot of Europe is very anti-Islam, and some have implemented legislation, which is widely criticized as racist, or otherwise bigoted in some manner. They don't cower or back down to the PC brigade though; they can see the insidious decline, and want to stop it. They are often quite principled, unlike our politicians.

    So yes, this example is appalling, but it's an aberration.

    People in Europe have and continue to lose their lives for defying orders to be *tolerant*, politically correct and generally unthinking and untruthful. Not so here, not the US, not Britain. (Remember famous Brits scurrying for cover like cowards when Rushdie's life was at stake? Yep.)

    1. Interestng comment Caz; and yes you are quite right we have to take some care while looking at something on the other side of the world through inch thick spectacles.

      I remember the Rushdie mass freak out well. Some of the stuff I could not believe I was hearing. People were demanding that he foot the bill for the 24 hour security the UK government felt itself obliged to provide. He wrote the book, they said, he gets the royalties, he should pay.

      As if it was only his life under threat. As if it was just lives being threatened.

  2. Today, Jeff Kennett went ballistic (as he is wont to do) about the provision of prayer rooms at AFL gathering places. His outburst was wildly supported by pretty much every AFL devotee. No one will ever be charged with, or even accused of, hate speech or inciting hate toward a group.

    No siree, we DO, astonishingly, still hold quite dear our freedom to say whatever shit we want, in private and public. If anything, despite a range of laws now in place, Australians show some signs of being mightily pissed off with being censored. I believe this is healthy, and necessary. It doesn't often happen (especially on the interwebs, which is the host to every feral person and every feral thought), but I'll take whatever signs I can get when it comes to punitive controls on our paltry little freedoms.

    Hitch, bless him - wherever he may be - was one of Rushdie's only friends who did NOT behave like a vile coward. And yes, the outrage at the cost of protecting a life, and the outrage as the years went on - omg, how LONG to we have to protect that man?! - ignoring entirely that Rushdie was a prisoner of a death sentence, he was the one whose life was suspended and invaded ... char-rist - the whole thing was an outrage, but not in the way the media and the public presented. They had it SO wrong. Rushdie was the canary in the mine: no one took it seriously until some planes crashed in America, years later.

    To be followed pretty quickly by relativism and complacency.

    Canaries everywhere, but we're not supposed to say so.