In the continuing Islamization of the West, today, April 13, 2012, President of the Danish Free Press Society Lars Hedegaard will have his day in the Danish Supreme Court, to which has appealed his previous conviction for so-called hate speech.
Lars Hedegaard will be speaking at the September 11, 2012 SION Freedom Congress at UN Plaza. Make sure you are in New York on 911 at this historic event.
(PJM) Hedegaard was tried and acquitted for remarks he made during a 2009 interview concerning sexual abuse within Muslim communities. (In a related story, Danish MP Jesper Langballe “confessed,” pleading guilty to violating Article 266(b) for remarks he made in support of Hedegaard.) But, in a strange twist, Hedegaard’s acquittal was appealed. He was retried on April 26, 2011, and convicted on May 3.
Thrice put in jeopardy
When Hedegaard appealed his conviction to the Danish Supreme Court, the prosecutor cross-appealed, demanding an increase in the fine. In an interview with the Legal Project, Mr. Hedegaard provided some thoughts on the process:
You could say in our country — as opposed to yours — we have not double but triple jeopardy. If the prosecutor doesn’t have his way in lower court, he can appeal to Superior Court. And if he doesn’t get it there, he can appeal to the Supreme Court. So, you can certainly be dragged through a legal process lasting years and years in this country. That is the sad state of affairs.
And dragged through an endless process Hedegaard has been. The remarks on which his conviction rests were made over two years ago. Since then, he has endured two trials, and the appeal to the Supreme Court is number three. But the fact that Denmark’s high court has chosen to hear Hedegaard’s appeal is significant. As with the U.S. Supreme Court, review is at the discretion of the court.
In my case it is questionable what can be overturned by the Supreme Court. The very fact that they have even allowed my case to go in front of the Supreme Court is very strange and very rare. There is a special committee that grants you the right to appeal to the Supreme Court. You cannot just do it. You need a special commission to do that. The very fact that I have been given this right might indicate that the court has found some technical problems with my conviction.
Further, rumor has it that seven judges are set to participate, a suggestion that the court may consider its upcoming decision to be of precedential value.
Stifling the truth
In a defamation case in the United States, the truth of the statement at issue is a defense to the cause of action. Not so for prosecutions under Article 266(b); truth is not an available defense. In his first two trials, Hedegaard was not allowed to offer any evidence that what he said was actually true (though he was permitted to reference it in his closing remarks), nor will he be allowed to offer such evidence at the Supreme Court.
Here is an English translation of his final words to the Court:
Honourable Supreme Court,
My attorney has presented juridical arguments to the effect that I must be acquitted and I shall refrain from elaborating.
However, allow me to express my quiet bafflement that somebody can claim that it has been my intention to accuse every last Muslim father in the world of abusing his children – particularly in light of the fact that I have carefully explained that it was never my intention to disseminate such an absurd contention.
For precisely that reason, I would have welcomed an opportunity to review the statements I now stand accused of having uttered before they were placed on the Internet. If the interviewer had fulfilled this basic journalistic obligation, I would have demanded that my remarks be corrected so as to reflect my true opinions and the prosecutor could have saved the trouble of dragging me through the courts.
I am even more baffled at one of the claims about my person that has been circulated in connection with this case, namely that I am a racist. I have never been, I am not now and I shall never be a racist. On the contrary, all my life I have opposed racist attitudes, by which I mean hatred towards and denigrating speech about people due their descent, skin colour or other so-called racial characteristics – in other words, antipathy against or ill treatment of people due to circumstances over which they have no control.
Islam is not a race and therefore criticism of Islam cannot be racism.
Islam, which lurks behind this entire case, has been described from a variety of viewpoints. Some say that it is a religion, others that is an all-encompassing ideology that contains a religion, still others emphasise its cultural norms, its culturally transmitted customs and practices. Some even maintain that Islam is so multifaceted that it is impossible to describe it.
But regardless of one's approach, it must be clear that Islam is not a hereditary human attribute.
If our Western freedom means anything at all, we must insist that every grown-up person is responsible for his or her beliefs, opinions, culture, habits and actions.
We enjoy political freedom and we enjoy freedom of religion. This implies a largely unlimited right to disseminate one's political persuasion and religious beliefs. That is as it should be. But the price we all have to pay for this freedom is that others have a right to criticise our politics, our religion and our culture.
Islamic spokesmen have the freedom to advocate their concept of society, which implies the introduction of a theocracy governed by god-given laws, i.e. sharia, the abolition of man-made laws and by implication freedom of expression and democracy. They are free to think that women are inferior to men as concerns their rights and their pursuit of happiness. They are even entitled to disseminate such opinions.
I cannot recall a single instance in this country where an Islamic spokesman has been prosecuted for saying that, or course, sharia will become the law of the land once the demographic and political realities make it possible. This despite the fact that we have several examples of, e.g., imams who have openly declared that the imposition of theocracy is a religious duty incumbent on all believers.
In return, these theocrats and sharia-advocates must accept the right of those who believe in democracy, free institutions and human equality to criticise Islam and to oppose its dissemination and the atavistic cultural norms practiced by some Muslims.
It is this right – I would even say duty – to describe, criticise and oppose a totalitarian ideology that I have tried to exercise to the best of my ability.
My speech and my writings have had no other purpose than to alert my fellow citizens to the danger inherent in the Islamic concept of the state and the law.
I have made no secret of the fact that I consider this fight for our liberties to be the most important political struggle of our time.
I would not be able to live with my guilty conscience if – out of fear of public condemnation and ridicule – I refrained from telling the truth as I see it.
And regardless of the outcome of this trial, I intend to continue my struggle for free speech and against totalitarian concepts of any stripe.