After a one day trial in a Vienna court, British historian David Irving was given a three-year prison sentence for ‘the crime of Holocaust denial.” That denial came in two speeches he gave to Austrian neo-Nazis in 1989. (uk guardian, Feb. 21, 2006)
When the sentence was imposed, the Austrian prosecutor appealed because he thought “the ruling was too lenient in light of a possible sentence of up to ten years and Irving’s special importance to right wing radicals…”
That’s correct. What is considered, and guaranteed, free speech in America is a crime punishable by fines and prison time in the European Union. Most Europeans already had laws against racism and xenophobia. Now the EU has exercised its sovereignty and upgraded the “restricted speech policy” and all member nations of the union must work these laws against racism and xenophobia into their legal system.
On April 20, 2007, the Council of EU Justice Ministers in Luxembourg…”achieved political agreement on a Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia.” ‘In the future, there will be minimum harmonisation throughout Europe of the provisions on criminal liability for disseminating racist and xenophobic statements. Public incitement to violence and hatred, as well as the denial or gross trivialisation of genocide out of racist or xenophobic motives, will be sanctioned across Europe. With this, we are sending a clear signal against racism and intolerance.” Brigitte Zypries, Chair of the EU Council of Justice Ministers.
This is a description of speech (including on the internet) that will get you time in prison:
“Public approval, denial or gross trivialisation of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes will be criminalised if the crime is directed against a group of persons because of their race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin.”
“In implementing this provision of the Framework Decision, Member States are compelled to criminalise cases where public approval, denial or gross trivialisation simultaneously amounts to racist or xenophobic agitation.”
The Member States, however, are allowed a great deal of leeway:
“Member States are at liberty to go beyond this and criminalise the denial, approval or gross trivialisation of such facts even if, in a given case, the expression does not directly incite hatred and violence against the affected population group.”
Brigitte Bardot, a former French film star, has a history of disregarding curbs on her free speech. She was convicted for a fifth time (and fined) “over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers.” (June 3, 2008)
In this incident, Dec. 2006, she wrote a letter to ” then Interior Secretary Nicolas Sarkozy, which was later published on her website. Her statement was that she opposed “the slaughter of animals for the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha… [and] demanded that the animals be stunned before being killed.”
And she was “tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts.”
Note: Publishing her quotes on the internet is a criminal act in Europe. Now that the United States is integrating economically and politically with the EU, pressure will increase on the US side to abide by the same laws (harmonizing) against racism and xenophobia. Any move in that direction would be an attack on the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. See, Racism, Xenophobia and Incitement Online. (1A)
Bardot also authored a book, ‘A Cry in the Silence,’ criticizing a number of groups, especially Muslims. She wrote:
“I am against the Islamisation of France. For centuries our forefathers…our fathers gave their lives to chase all successive invaders from France.”
“For 20 years we have submitted to a dangerous and uncontrolled underground infiltration [that] tries to impose its (sharia) laws.” See, Bardot anti-Muslim comments draw fire.”
The examples of “hate speech” above don’t leave much room for freedom of expression. But I guess it all depends on who is exercising that freedom.
Consider what those peace loving Muslims are doing in the EU. This photo from Muslims in Britain demonstrating against non-Muslims might be pushing the envelope. Of course, I could be wrong. I don’t remember any Muslim being charged with hate speech.
Reading about those being charged with hate speech gives us a glimpse into this new global order in which our freedoms, including free speech, will not exist.
And George Bush is on record in support of a system that places restrictions on free speech. He attended a summit in Slovenia on June 10, 2008 with the President of the EU Council. The purpose was to strengthen the transatlantic economic partnership (U.S. integration with the EU) that he signed on April 30, 2007 in Washington. The leaders issued a joint declaration which included these items:
“We seek a world based on international law, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and strengthened by broad and sustainable market-based economic growth.”
“We are committed to support effective multilateralism, based on a stronger and more efficient United Nations. We will work to strengthen the United Nations so that it can better fulfill the goals and objectives set forth in its mandate…”
Speaking of human rights, international law and fulfilling the United Nations mandate, go to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, scroll down to and click on Article 19:
2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; (BUT)
3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:
1. For respect of the rights or reputations of others.
2. For the protection of national security or of public order…
Compare the above with U.S. Constitutional Protection:
“The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prevents the Congress, and by extension any public authority, from interfering in the context of communications that take place in a public forum. Racist and xenophobic propaganda are thus constitutionally protected in the U.S. as varieties of controversial political speech.” (1A)
Bush, of course, supports “a world based on international law.” That would include the international standards on racism and xenophobia:
“Many other democracies around the world (like Australia, Canada, India, etc.) share the European legal position on racism, xenophobia and incitement to violence. The latter is also consistent with the provisions of International Law.” (1A)
In keeping with his desire to be governed by International Law, Bush has made efforts to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty, which opponents argue would strip away our sovereignty.
He has also agreed with the “2004 ruling by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. The tribunal ordered the United States to give new hearings to 50 Mexicans on death row because police did not contact their consulate after their arrest.” However, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the international court had no authority over the states.
Note: The first of those 50 convicted Mexican killers was executed by lethal injection in Texas on August 5, 2008. This, despite George Bush’s objection in support of the International Court of Justice.
Remember, the President is in the process of integrating the U.S. with the European Union and with Canada (as part of the merger of North America). To do this we will harmonize our legal systems as the European Union is doing with its member nations. That means our Constitution will have to undergo changes. In addition to losing free speech, the Second Amendment is also at risk.