I am posting (below) a letter from the Danish Free Press Society, the parent organization of the International Free Press Society, of which I am vice president. It is of urgent importance. It tells of the terrible turn of events in Denmark, which for years now has bravely spearheaded the West's fights to save free speech, now and seemingly in perpetuity under assault from both the Marxian Left and the press of sharia (Islamic law) -- and with zero support from diplomatic, governmental, or professional institutions in the United States, home and caretaker of the First Amendment. This appalling lack of support, which translates into a lack of courage and vision, is the main reason the assault of free speech continues to be successful. But et tu, Denmark?
There have been signs: for example, former Prime MInister Anders Fogh Rasmussen's gratuitous slap at Pastor Terry Jones' stated intention to burn Korans to mark the jihad attacks of 9/11 in September of this year; and the Danish paper Politiken's February 2010 apology for reprinting Kurt Westergaard's Mohammed cartoon, which Westergaard, wonderful man, one month past the nearest-missassassination attempt yet that sent him and his five-year-old granddaughter into his "safe" room (a reinforced bathroom with an alarm button), declared the newspaper's apology a "setback for free speech."
And so it was. But such events are more than "setbacks." They fit into a terrible and even totalitarian climate of assault in which the Danish government, via its public prosecutor, as the letter states, is "waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices."
Last month, Danish MP Jesper Langballe was convicted of "hate speech" -- "racial discrimination," for having highlighted the pattern of "honor killings" in Muslim families. (Here is his "confession.") Now in the crosshairs is my very dear friend and colleague, Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and the International Free Press Society. (A historian as well as a journalist and author, Lars took me on a special tour of Copenhagen, which I wrote about here.) On January 24 he goes on trial. His crime? Discussing the high incidence of family rape within Islamic cultures, which the prosecutor is attempting to outlaw as "racism."
In fact, the Danish prosecutor is attempting to enforce Islamic "blasphemy" laws, which outlaw all criticism of Islam.
Jesper Langballe and now Lars Hedegaard have been targeted because they are Danes of courage and principle who refuse to lie down and shut up and let the "multicultural" Big Lies wash in and inundate their mental and moral capacities to that endpoint of totalitarian triumph where citizens become subjects, minions who no longer articulate or even recognize truth and morality. In a world where mandarins of Left and mullahs of sharia so conspire, we risk a kind of double-dhimmification in acquiesence, rendering civilization incapable of self-defense.
Please read the Danish Free Press Soctety's letter and realize it is in fact an SOS. Save Our Speech. If you are so moved, there is an email address below to which you may address comments in support of Lars Hedegaard's freedom of speech, which will be reprinted in the DFPS newsletter.
From the Danish Free Press Society:
Free speech is under attack in Denmark. Please help us preserve it.
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.
On December 3, 2010, Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe was convicted of "hate speech" – or as the judge in the lower court of Randers put it: "racial discrimination" – for having called attention to honour killings in Muslim families.
Next in line is Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society, who will stand trial in the lower court of Frederiksberg on January 24, 2011.
His crime has been to point to the great number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture. 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 emphasised 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.
We fear that the public prosecutor intends to stifle open debate on Islam and Muslim culture. And we fear that he is doing so with the tacit approval of the governing parties, which first signalled their intention to remove the racism clause from the penal code but have recently recanted.
If the authorities succeed in silencing such critics as Jesper Langballe and Lars Hedegaard, who will dare speak out?
We must put a stop to these attempts to undermine free speech if we wish to preserve Denmark as a free country. And where Denmark – that former beacon of free speech – goes, the rest of the West may follow
You can help us.
Please send a few words to firstname.lastname@example.org in defence of Lars Hedegaard's freedom of expression. We will then publish them in The Free Press Magazine, Sappho.dk.
Please do what you can to spread the word about the trial of Lars Hedegaard.
Vice President, The Danish Free Press Society