We will win the battle against hate speech and intolerance

by , under Enrique

Much is at stake as Finland and Europe speeds into the depths of the new century. One of the greatest  threats to our way of life and society today is hate speech and far-right ideology. Our resolve to identify and challenge these menaces is crucial during these times.

Even if the media, politicians and public opinion have preferred to remain largely silent in the face of these threats, it is an encouraging sign that our reaction as a society to such hazards is an ever-growing reaction.

Source: P.a.p.-Blog. Human Rights Etc.

One is off track if he or she believes that hate speech and intolerance only have an impact on immigrants and minorities. It would be naive to believe that the rise of an anti-immigration party like the Perussuomalaiset (PS) hasn’t impacted our country.

The shadow of the PS is clearly evident in our country: in the government’s EU and immigration policy we well as in our attitudes.

A debate taking place on social media about male circumcision is a case in point. Who else but the anti-Islam hardliners of the PS would be behind a bill to criminalize circumcision of under-fifteen-year-old male minors.

Like most arguments by a party that is openly anti-Islam, they are nothing more than red herrings and slippery slopes towards more radical measures like prohibiting Muslim women from wearing Islamic veils.

Every time a party takes steps to undermine minority rights, cultural diversity and our right to make lifestyle choices, we are eroding our civil liberties.

It is one good reason why we should challenge hate speech and intolerance.

 

  1. Jssk

    Bigger threat is the ones that use freedom of speech itself as an argument to infringe freedom of speech. This includes everyone, not just far right. But i have seen such acts more from the “multiculturist” camp.

    Take for example the strictening of the hate speech laws and the widening of the concept of hate speech to “protect freedom of speech”. its a double bladed sword.

    I dont see what is the problem with the ban on wearing full veils (niqab, burka) in public. The law of Belgium clearly states that its prohibited to wear clothing that obscures one’s identity in public. They cant wear balaclavas in public either.

    • JusticeDemon

      Jssk

      Bigger threat is the ones that use freedom of speech itself as an argument to infringe freedom of speech. This includes everyone, not just far right. But i have seen such acts more from the “multiculturist” camp.

      This is too vague and self-contradictory to make any real sense. There is also no such thing as a “multiculturist”. That’s a term you made up. Perhaps if you give an example of these “acts” that scandalise you so much…

      Take for example the strictening of the hate speech laws and the widening of the concept of hate speech to “protect freedom of speech”. its a double bladed sword.

      We have discussed this before. You are not free to shout “bomb” in an airport, and your alleged “freedom to say whatever you feel like saying” will not save you from prison if you exercise it by making false reports to the emergency services. Nor is it any defence in civil law when you claim that your freedom of expression gives you the right to make false promises in a contract. Similarly you can expect to see the inside of a prison if you think that you are free to say whatever you like when called to give evidence in a court of law. Freedom of speech will similarly not protect you if you publish unfounded claims that the Minister of Defence is selling military secrets to a foreign power.

      Speech and other forms of expression are fettered in very many ways. The laws against individual and collective defamation are simply another extension of this, and it betrays your true agenda that you are only scandalised by the ban on collective defamation because it causes legal exposure for you personally. We have not seen you arguing here that your neighbour should be free to tell the world that you expose yourself to small children in public parks. Why is that?

      I dont see what is the problem with the ban on wearing full veils (niqab, burka) in public. The law of Belgium clearly states that its prohibited to wear clothing that obscures one’s identity in public. They cant wear balaclavas in public either.

      Motorcyclists, facial reconstruction surgery patients, incognito celebrities, sufferers from ichthyosis and other disfiguring illnesses, skiers and people who wear ostentatious sunglasses. Why are there exceptions for all of these?

      How come Belgian riot police get to be anonymous?

      Belgian riot police

    • Mark

      Jssk

      You work very hard to position yourself as someone ‘on the fence’, taking a broad and balanced view. But the funny thing is that each time you come down off the fence, you seem to accidentaly fall on the side of the majority and invalidate the arguments for the minority. Now why is that?

      Bigger threat is the ones that use freedom of speech itself as an argument to infringe freedom of speech.

      Freedom of speech is ‘infringed’ in many ways already. You seem to present it as an indivisible given, a first and inviolable principle. That is a poor starting point to enter this debate. The question is always one of weighing up the interests of one group against another, and preserving ‘necessary’ freedoms.

      It’s clearly a necessary freedom to be able to criticise Islam, criticise religion and to challenge religious intolerance. The reasons are obvious. But they are not the reasons that people are drawing cartoons or making vile videos, i.e. to make money and to push a Far Right agenda that vilifies Muslims in much the same way they once vilified Jews.

      I think there is a discussion to be had about how much the state should protect religious sensitivities before it stops being strictly secular. The key job of government is to secure social cohesion and the dignity of all groups equally. Personally, I don’t see why non-Muslims feel the need to desecrate the sacred symbols of Muslims, just to prove that they are considered sacred and that people are offended. But it’s much worse than that. Politically, those who want to line Islam up against the West exploit these provocations. This leads to violence, though usually on a very small scale, which further fuels the arguments of those in the West that want to line the West up against Islam. The only people who seem to come out of this situation with any kind of profit are the extremists on both sides. So why feed that?

      I dont see what is the problem with the ban on wearing full veils (niqab, burka) in public. The law of Belgium clearly states that its prohibited to wear clothing that obscures one’s identity in public.

      Ironic that you suggest you stand for free speech and then you fail to even begin to see the argument for something that is a fundamental freedom, to wear whatever you want. Since when did the State have a given right to identify citizens at all times in public? That sounds very fascist to me, 1984 even. And when you weigh the threat against the ‘loss of freedom’, it’s hard to justify. You don’t strike me as consistent in defending ‘free speech’. Why is it that each time you do, you defend the Far Right? An accident?

  2. Joonas

    Hmm, I have little bit mixed feelings about burka and wearing it in public. Personally I would always like to see the face of the person I’m talking with, but it’s just my opinion. And yes, talking on phone or chatting online is different than chatting face-to-face.

    However, if the person is wearing burka for her own will and nobody is forcing her to wear it, I don’t see any problems with it. People are wearing whatever they want on their freetime. Some people like to dress as a goth, some people are wearing socks with sandals etc. Hell, you can ever wear a paper bag if it doesn’t harm anyone. But if the workplace has a dress code, religion/ethnicity shouldn’t be a “barrier” for following this code – all employees has to wear matching clothing, if the company requires that.

    • JusticeDemon

      Face hidden in public, hanging around small children, and who knows what kind of fearsome weaponry might be hidden in that sack?

      hiding the face

      Face hidden in public with explicit project of extorting favours under threat?

      Shady characters

      To paraphrase Ahti Tolvanen’s observation in Strange Days, a stranger wearing full hijab might be led to think that this is a perfectly unexceptional mode of dress, at least at certain times of year. When the police cart her away she will have learned a valuable lesson in how laws bend with social custom, but seldom in her direction.

  3. Mark

    Joonas

    However, if the person is wearing burka for her own will and nobody is forcing her to wear it, I don’t see any problems with it.

    Even if a woman is being pressured to wear a Bhurka, the answer is not to criminalise her or penalise her in any way. Banning the Bhurka is not a solution to oppression of women, but what it might do is make it impossible for some women to go out in public at all, either because they don’t want to or because they feel obliged not to.

    That people so quicly and happily defend the freedom for whatever hate-filled or vile thought to find its way into ‘speech’, they nevertheless are easily offended by a simple piece of cloth hanging over a person’s face. The irony here is that no-one is even trying to insult anybody.

  4. honrigue

    The largest threat to our way of life and society is in my opinion the Islamification of Europe. Right now, Muslims represent about 5% of all Europeans. The projected figure for 2030 is something like 10%. How many decades from that to majority and a theocratic Islamic society? Do you wish for your grandchildren to live in a society where e.g. gays are executed publicly and women have basically no rights?

    • JusticeDemon

      Why is Finland not already overrun with Laestadians then? They had a much greater proportional start and a much higher birth rate sustained over a very much longer period.

      What really irks you is not their religion, but their colour and consequent visibility. Laestadians have been raising very large families and living their lives according to a highly conservative religious code for more than 150 years. Where is your outrage?

      Your ridiculous and unverifiable Eurabia hypothesis is simply a scare story fuelled by obviously racist sentiment. Let’s find some way to stir up fear against people who look a bit different and have an unusual lifestyle that causes us moral embarrassment. All part of a fascist project that is far more dangerous than any dubious demographic trend, because a significant minority of well-meaning but not very bright people can be duped into voting for evil and manipulative political gangsters, as in the 1930s.

    • Mark

      honrigue

      The largest threat to our way of life and society is in my opinion the Islamification of Europe.

      And what about the Europeanisation of Islam? Changes go both ways. I guess you don’t realise that Muslim kids play on PlayStations, use phones, go to school, and look for work in much the same way as all kids do. The real question is what barriers of discrimination or poverty are going to stand in their way?

      Do you wish for your grandchildren to live in a society where e.g. gays are executed publicly and women have basically no rights?

      Hey, by then PS will have shipped all gay people to the Åland Islands and all women will be back at home chained to the kitchen sink and looking after the kids.

      Seriously, you should wake the fuck up and realise that the EU’s 13 million Muslims are mostly secular and it’s not going to change anytime soon.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –The largest threat to our way of life and society is in my opinion the Islamification of Europe. Right now, Muslims represent about 5% of all Europeans. The projected figure for 2030 is something like 10%.

      The same arguments have been used by other groups to instill fear. Did you know that Finns believed in the 1880s that Jews would overtake Finland because of high birth rates.

      The two biggest flaws in your comment is that (1) you cannot predict the future with a pocket calculator and (2) you assume that cultures remain unchanged. You are stating that Muslims are the same as they were thousands of years ago and will continue to be that way in the future. Sorry, but that’s a mistake.

      The Eurabia argument is a red herring that disguises racism and intolerance.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Thank you Mark for a very good blog entry on the threat of the “Finnish Taliban.”

      -It’s ironic because, out of fear of this imagined ‘Finnish Taliban’, we are in danger of letting into power the neo-Nazis.

      This is exactly the point in my opinion. These types of red herrings put out by Counterjihadist, populist radical right groups attempt to water down our civil rights to justify their xenophobia or Islamophobia. Plans to criminalize circumcision is an excellent example. The people who want to criminalize this practice don’t really care about the child but how to make life as difficult as possible for Jews and Muslims.

  5. honrigue

    Why is Finland not already overrun with Laestadians then? They had a much greater proportional start and a much higher birth rate sustained over a very much longer period.

    Up until the 1950’s, birth rate was very high among the non-Laestadians as well. Since then, their share has roughly doubled from 2 to 4%.

    What really irks you is not their religion, but their colour and consequent visibility. Laestadians have been raising very large families and living their lives according to a highly conservative religious code for more than 150 years. Where is your outrage?

    I don’t fancy my grandchildren living in a fundamentalist Laestadian society either. However, as far as I know, Laestadians don’t publicly execute e.g. homosexuals or people who commit adultery. Further still, although the status of women is relatively bad in Laestadian societies, it’s still centuries ahead of the status of women in Islamic societies.

    Your ridiculous and unverifiable Eurabia hypothesis is simply a scare story fuelled by obviously racist sentiment. Let’s find some way to stir up fear against people who look a bit different and have an unusual lifestyle that causes us moral embarrassment. All part of a fascist project that is far more dangerous than any dubious demographic trend, because a significant minority of well-meaning but not very bright people can be duped into voting for evil and manipulative political gangsters, as in the 1930s.

    You’re denying that the Muslim population of Europe is increasing at a very rapid pace?

    I leave you with the following: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-19/episode-1

    The scariest part is that it’s not just an isolated incident, e.g. not many weeks ago Mullah Krekar was jailed in Norway. Fun fact, he also visited Finland.

    • JusticeDemon

      honrigue

      Up until the 1950′s, birth rate was very high among the non-Laestadians as well. Since then, their share has roughly doubled from 2 to 4%.

      Then why aren’t you and your homma cronies outraged at this demographic threat? Surely it can’t have anything to do with the fact that you can’t pick out the Laestadians on the street by the colour of their skin when you’ve had a skinful on a Saturday night and would like to give a kicking to someone simply because they are not like you?

      I don’t fancy my grandchildren living in a fundamentalist Laestadian society either. However, as far as I know, Laestadians don’t publicly execute e.g. homosexuals or people who commit adultery. Further still, although the status of women is relatively bad in Laestadian societies, it’s still centuries ahead of the status of women in Islamic societies.

      I don’t much like the idea that my kids will have to deal with racist and fascist thugs who view human diversity as a cause for fear mongering.

      There are more than 1.5 billion people who are at least nominally Moslem, and you are trying to paint them all as religious zealots and wingnuts purely in order to sow discord for political ends. If you care so much about the situation of women, then why are you not outraged at Estonia, which has a lower proportion of women Members of Parliament than Moslem Indonesia? Is it because you consider Indonesia somehow unrepresentative of the Moslem world because it has only 200 million people? How come you are scandalised at the state of women’s rights in Moslem Pakistan, but not in the United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, Estonia, France and Ireland, all of which have a lower level of parliamentary representation by women?

      Your fear of the political power of conservative religious populations in relation to persecution of homosexuals would be more fairly directed at the USA, Russia and Finland right now. The contrast is with Catholic Spain, which legalised gay marriage in the middle of the last decade. Finland is the backwater on these issues, and where do your hommaforum buddies stand on this question? I don’t see any great crusade for gay rights coming from that direction.

      Perhaps Finnish males should be characterised by focusing on the Kotka kidnapper who has been in the news recently. Isn’t this clear evidence that Finnish males are a danger to small children? Shouldn’t we all be afraid of Finnish males and keep them well away from our children?

      You’re denying that the Muslim population of Europe is increasing at a very rapid pace?

      Yes. The birth rate among people of recent Turkish immigrant descent in Germany is now even lower than the very low national average. All indications are that the birth rates of immigrant communities generally tend towards the national average within a couple of generations at most. There is also a powerful drift towards secularism in immigrant communities that are allowed to thrive and integrate. This drift also explains why we are not all Laestadians in Finland.

      The main cause of radicalisation in immigrant communities is social exclusion due to precisely the kind of cynical and racist fear mongering that you and your obnoxious gangster cronies practice.

      How come the best example of Islamic radicalism that you can find is a UK Channel 4 documentary from five years ago? Speaking of Norway, didn’t they just recently complete a legal process concerning one of your friends who was equally convinced of an alleged Islamic takeover of Europe? Exactly how do your views differ from those of the mass child killer that they just sent down? Of course you prefer to write about someone else who was locked up in Norway for making death threats in the name of a sick ideology. This was obviously a much more serious offence than actually killing 77 people in the name of a sick ideology: your ideology.

  6. eyeopener

    Go to a football game and observe: THE HOOLIGAN BURKA!! Could we please stop this non-sense discussion.

    Doesnot make any sense. Learn from own history and current practices about covering heads, faces etc all over the world including Finland.

    This -in my humble opinion- is a “nuts” discussion.

  7. PS voter

    There is opposition against medically unnecessary genital surgeries also among humanists, not just among Perussuomalaiset. And there was recent news (maybe on Haaretz), that nowadays even in Israel, about third of the population was critical of circumcisions. In many countries, medical associations oppose unnecessary circumcision as well. The idea of bodily integrity of a child, is not idea that just Perussuomalaiset supports.

    • Mark

      PS Voter

      The idea of bodily integrity of a child, is not idea that just Perussuomalaiset supports.

      Name me one other issue related to child rights about which PS is vocal?

  8. JusticeDemon

    At the risk of a gentle ad hominem, please tell us which political party is most likely to seek to outlaw anal intercourse, allegedly because of the associated health risks.

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