Dr. Andrew Bostom has weighed in on the plight of Lars Hedegaard, the Danish historian and journalist who is being tried this month in Denmark on hate speech charges. Regular readers will remember that Mr. Hedegaard’s crime was to publicly discuss the high incidence of family rape among Muslims.
Below are some excerpts from what Dr. Bostom had to say at Pajamas Media:
Will Conservative Media Elites Defend Lars Hedegaard? (Including, “A Guide for the Islamically-Perplexed”)
by Andrew G. Bostom
Conservative Free Speech Diehards — or Blowhards?
This past Friday, 1/7/11, I received a plaintive appeal on behalf of my colleague, Danish journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society (IFPS). My response to the appeal is included at the end of this essay as a succinct guide to Islamically-perplexed, high-profile US conservative media elites who, till now, have entirely ignored the burgeoning crisis epitomized by Lars Hedegaard’s current plight. It is well past time for these self-anointed champions of free speech to weigh-in publicly and offer a robust defense of my colleague — and theirs — Lars Hedegaard.
Whom am I addressing in conservative media, specifically? All of the best-known and “highest-rated” (as they are constantly reminding us, at any rate) radio and television personalities — Mr. No Spin, “What say you?”; “Dittos” to you, Rush; Don’t continue to be a mute mime clown on this matter, Glenn; You’re not ringing in support of freedom of speech, Sean; and I’ll indeed bite you if you don’t open your loud, but highly intelligent mouth in support of Hedegaard, Mark.
As for the conservative, or “center-right” print/on-line media icons — the editorial boards of the National Review, Weekly Standard, and Wall Street Journal — your continued silence is craven and hypocritical, not golden.
Here is the crux of Mr. Hedegaard’s case, and some background. As the IFPS appeal notes,
Those who have been following the Danish cartoon crisis and several subsequent attempts by radical Muslims to kill and bomb Danes and Danish institutions may be excused for believing that Denmark is in the forefront of the battle for free speech. And indeed it used to be that way. No longer. For the past year the Danish public prosecutor has been waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices.
Just recently, December 3, 2010, following a Kafka-esque prosecution in Denmark, Member of Parliament (MP) Jesper Langballe was convicted and indeed confessed to the “crime” of so-called “hate speech” — or as the judge in the lower court of Randers characterized it: “racial discrimination” — for having called attention to honor killings in Muslim families.
Lars Hedegaard’s prosecution is next. He is slated to stand trial in the lower court of Frederiksberg on January 24, 2011. Mr. Hedegaard’s apparent “crime” was to draw attention to the extensive (and disproportionate) number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture. As the IFPS appeal further notes,
This well documented fact has brought him an indictment under the Danish penal code’s “racism” clause: Article 266b. Both MP Langballe and Lars Hedegaard have long ago emphasized that they did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes. This has made no impression on the public prosecutor.
Late September, 2010, Lars Hedegaard recalled that at the inaugural assembly of the Danish Free Press Society (the mother organization of the IFPS), in March, 2005, he observed then,
…present attempts to crush freedom of expression come from several actors: national governments, supranational organizations such as the EU(European Union) and the UN (United Nations), and, not least, Islam. And not only from so-called “Islamists” or “terrorists” or “Islamic radicals.” They are inherent in the very core of Mohammedan ideology.
Hedegaard’s September 2010 statement continued, laying out the IFPS’s — and his own — Weltanschauung, and real world activities, for which he is now, incredibly, being prosecuted…
For the rest of the story (plus the links), see the original post at Pajamas Media.
Photo © Snaphanen