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Cyanide
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22 Jan 2009, 2:40 am

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7842344.stm

What do you guys make of this? Is this a sign of things to come in the United States?



Dussel
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22 Jan 2009, 3:15 am

You need to distinguish between the US-Concept of "Freedom of Speech" (Amendment 1 - "Congress shall make no law respecting an ... or abridging the freedom of speech, ...") and the European concept of the "Freedom of Expression".

After the World War II in Europe a concept of a "Militant Democracy" has been developed, that a democracy has the right and the obligation to use its control over the state to fight people, options and organization which are in denial of the basic principles of the democratic state. This concept is based on the experiences of the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) in Germany where the Nazi-Party used the freedom of the democratic constitution of 1919 to fight against the democratic republic.

This concept has been adopted by the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg in its interpretation of the European Convention of Human Rights, especially in its judgement regarding Article 10 of the convention.

Thus, they are no judgements of the Court in Luxembourg based of the EU-Charter of Fundamental Rights regarding the "Freedom of Expression", but it is to assume that the Court in Luxembourg will follow the line of the judges in Strasbourg, especially because the court in Strasbourg is in its interpretation of the charter highly influenced by the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe and the EU-Charter is mostly the brain child of Roman Herzog, how was Chair of the court in Karlsruhe and follows therefore the Art. 1-19 of the German Post-War-Constitution, and the Human Rights Charter of the National Assembly in Frankfurt of 1848.

This is also likely, that the Court in Luxemburg will first refer such issues to Strasbourg and will not established a concurrent interpretation, thus the judgements of both courts are supreme in all EU-states (above national courts).

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Legato
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22 Jan 2009, 3:41 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandenburg_v._Ohio

Freedom of Speech in the United States exists to protect unpopular speech from the government, and everyone knows this. Unpopular speech includes racism and hate speech. This cannot change without making an amendment to the Constitution.

An amendment to the United States Constitution must be ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect.

There is no way this could possibly happen. As I get older, I'm recognizing just how great the American government is, for all of its failures and downsides.

As far as the Dutch gov't... you guys are f*****g idiots and the whole world can see it.



Dussel
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22 Jan 2009, 3:59 am

Legato wrote:
As far as the Dutch gov't... you guys are f***ing idiots and the whole world can see it.


As I said, it is not just the Government of the Netherlands (and the Staten-Generaal, which makes the laws), but also policy in all others members of EU and the most other European states.



Dox47
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22 Jan 2009, 5:51 am

Dussel wrote:
Legato wrote:
As far as the Dutch gov't... you guys are f***ing idiots and the whole world can see it.


As I said, it is not just the Government of the Netherlands (and the Staten-Generaal, which makes the laws), but also policy in all others members of EU and the most other European states.


So, the EU are a buch of f*cking idiots, case closed. I didn't need anymore evidence of that, it's been pretty clear for a while now.


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ruveyn
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22 Jan 2009, 6:28 am

Cyanide wrote:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7842344.stm

What do you guys make of this? Is this a sign of things to come in the United States?


It makes me appreciate the First Amendment even more.

I can't understand this fully. A crazed Muslim kills Theo Van Gogh. Muslim threats have driven a female member of the Netherlands parlement underground. Muslims threaten to riot if you pull a hair out of their arses or insult the Prophet (Puss and Blisters Upon Him). I have hitherto believed that the Dutch are a sensible lot, but now I am having some second thoughts.

ruveyn



Orwell
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22 Jan 2009, 7:30 am

An utter load of BS. Such protections are not offered to Christians whose faith is insulted. Though I should also say that Mr. Wilder is as bad as his opponents- he demands freedom of speech for himself, but demands that the Koran be censored! What madness is this? Filthy hypocrite.

Dussel wrote:
After the World War II in Europe a concept of a "Militant Democracy" has been developed, that a democracy has the right and the obligation to use its control over the state to fight people, options and organization which are in denial of the basic principles of the democratic state.

But doing so is a denial of the basic principles of the democratic state. What happened to the Enlightenment Liberal ideals that were born in Europe? Have you all renounced freedom?


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TallyMan
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22 Jan 2009, 7:52 am

Speaking as an European I don't see the issue as black and white. I'll give two "different" replies:

1. In my opinion Europe has been too enthusiastic in welcoming Muslim immigrants. In some countries they now are more than a small minority. England in particular has been extreme in trying to be politically correct and trying not to offend Muslim sensibilities. There are often news articles where people go over the top - for example, everyone is familiar with the story of the three little pigs, the wolf, straw house etc. One school decided that references to pigs might offend Muslims so they changed the storyline to be about three little puppies. Recently council members have been asked not to eat or drink anything during official meetings during Ramadan (the Muslim fasting period) so as not to offend any Muslims on the council. Elements of Sharia law are now being routinely used in England instead of English law - its one law for Muslims and another law for everyone else. This situation is gradually building up to to become a time-bomb. It is only a matter of time before there are race riots on the streets. People need to be able to express their concerns over this worsening situation, hopefully before it is too late. Freedom of speech to disagree with Government policies is essential.

2. Hate speech. This is an entirely different matter. I strongly believe in freedom of speech but with that freedom there has to be responsibility. If people start going around with the sole intention of causing violence using that freedom then there is need for censure and this needs to be enshrined in law. It seems common sense to me that people should not be allowed to go around rabble rousing and saying things like "String up all niggers" or "Kill the Muslim scum" or "All gays should be shot". There are a lot of unhappy people who would lap this up and join the propaganda. Before you know it everything is the fault of the Jews and they are being herded by the million to the gas chambers. If you make the general public believe a minority is responsible for all the social and economic problems in your country there will be a repeat of such genocide. Some people are very eloquent with their hate speech and have compelling personalities - here lies the next Adolf Hitler or Stalin.


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0_equals_true
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22 Jan 2009, 9:07 am

The Dutch voted against the European constitution. Out of the four that decided to have a referendum only Spain and Luxemburg voted yes.

There is a lot of nonsense talked about like one has freedom speech the other has freedom of expression, and this would never happen in America, etc. The difference between the terms is semantic. Probably “expression” is a better choice of words because it refers to more than just speech. Both terms are used fairly interchangeably in Europe.

Neither of these concepts is infallible or definite, much like democracy itself. Ok you may not like this one particular ruling, but these sorts of cases can and does go on in US. Yes it is true that a number of countries in Europe such as Germany have holes in their freedom of expression because of their history, e.g. holocaust denying is a crime. This is by no means a Europe wide view, and it not enforced in many countries that apply the law. I don’t have to agree with it. I am still European.

It is funny that many of those that criticised Germany that last time they tried to extradite over this law won’t dare criticise Israel who have a similar law.

Israeli_Law wrote:
Prohibition of Denial of Holocaust 2. A person who, in writing or by word of mouth, publishes any statement denying or diminishing the proportions of acts committed in the period of the Nazi regime, which are crimes against the Jewish people or crimes against humanity, with intent to defend the perpetrators of those acts or to express sympathy or identification with them, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of five years.


http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Anti-Semitism ... 1986-.html

This is a lot more specific than some other countries with similar laws.

After a while any country is going to make laws based around hate speech and inciting violence. Of course we are talking much greyer areas than denying genocide. It is a notoriously tricky thing to rule on.

What is actually happening in Holland is there is a clash between nationalist and liberal thinkers. Holland is still quite a conservative and nationalist place, contrary to the stereotype, which does exist but mainly in Amsterdam.



Tim_Tex
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22 Jan 2009, 9:58 am

In some countries, Leviticus 18:22 violates hate-speech laws.



TallyMan
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22 Jan 2009, 10:05 am

Tim_Tex wrote:
In some countries, Leviticus 18:22 violates hate-speech laws.


Elaborate? I don't have a bible, but I do remember it being full or violence and wrath :lol:


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gina-ghettoprincess
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22 Jan 2009, 10:52 am

TallyMan wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
In some countries, Leviticus 18:22 violates hate-speech laws.


Elaborate? I don't have a bible, but I do remember it being full or violence and wrath :lol:


"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." It's homophobic.

It's sexist too cos it implies that women "don't count".


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ruveyn
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23 Jan 2009, 3:10 am

gina-ghettoprincess wrote:
TallyMan wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
In some countries, Leviticus 18:22 violates hate-speech laws.


Elaborate? I don't have a bible, but I do remember it being full or violence and wrath :lol:


"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." It's homophobic.

It's sexist too cos it implies that women "don't count".


That is true. But most people who read this do not go around stoning homosexuals to death.

ruveyn



monty
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23 Jan 2009, 9:48 am

Tim_Tex wrote:
In some countries, Leviticus 18:22 violates hate-speech laws.


Obviously, there is a lot of pro-biblical speech and behavior that should not be tolerated. If Child Protective Services was told that some guy named Abraham was preparing to sacrifice his son to God, they should take the kid and lock the guy up for being mentally unbalanced.

Likewise, the worldly powers that be should definitely scrutinize anyone who is too enthusiastic about Psalms 137:9, ("How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones Against the rock.").

Religion (of any stripe) is not an an acceptable excuse for bad behavior.



ruveyn
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23 Jan 2009, 9:50 am

monty wrote:
Tim_Tex wrote:
In some countries, Leviticus 18:22 violates hate-speech laws.


Obviously, there is a lot of pro-biblical speech and behavior that should not be tolerated. If Child Protective Services was told that some guy named Abraham was preparing to sacrifice his son to God, they should take the kid and lock the guy up for being mentally unbalanced.

Likewise, the worldly powers that be should definitely scrutinize anyone who is too enthusiastic about Psalms 137:9, ("How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones Against the rock.").

Religion (of any stripe) is not an an acceptable excuse for bad behavior.


Amen!

ruveyn



monty
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23 Jan 2009, 10:02 am

Also, it is strange to see people here pretending that freedom of speech is absolute in the US. You can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theater and start a stampede without legal reprecussions. You can't stand on a soapbox and incite a crowd to riot without risking arrest. You can't slander or libel individuals without being subject to lawsuit.

What seems to be different in the United States is that the idea that political free speech provides a blanket protection for racist hate speech and other nastiness. In the US, it is prohibited to tells lies about individuals, but telling lies about groups of people is a protected 'right'. Is that is needed for preserving other forms of free speech, or is it going too far?

If there are legal reprocussions for me making up lies against my neighbor, should I also be held liable for making up lies about the Jews, Muslims, the Blacks, Hispanics, or other minority groups? Or do we allow that in the name of freedom, and wait until the pogroms and lynchings start, and say that line of acceptable behavior allows the lies and villification, but not acting on it? Is there a clear distinction between hate speech and inciting others to violence? I don't believe that there is.