Europe: Illegal to Criticize Islam

by Judith Bergman
December 12, 2016

Several European governments have made it clear to their citizens that criticizing European migrant policies or migrants is criminally off-limits and may lead to arrest, prosecution and even convictions. Although these practices constitute police state behavior, European governments do not stop there. They go still farther, by ensuring that Islam in general is not criticized either.

Finland is the European country most recently to adopt the way that European authorities sanction those who criticize Islam. According to the Finnish news outlet YLE, the Pirkanmaa District Court found the Finns Party politician, Terhi Kiemunki, guilty of “slandering and insulting adherents of the Islamic faith” in a blog post of Uusi Suomi. In it, she claimed that all the terrorists in Europe are Muslims. The Court found that when Kiemunki wrote of a “repressive, intolerant and violent religion and culture,” she meant the Islamic faith.

During the trial, Kiemunki was asked why she did not make a distinction between Islam and radical Islam. She replied that she meant to refer to the spread of Islamic culture and religion, and that she “probably should have” spoken of radicalized elements of the religion instead of the faith as a whole. Kiemunki was fined 450 euros. Her lawyer has appealed the verdict.

Kiemunki issued a press release after the verdict, in which she said:

“I am still of the view that declaring statistical facts or even sharing an opinion is not a crime if someone doesn’t like it… I wrote that I don’t want our country to be overtaken by a culture and law based on a violent, intolerant and oppressive religion.”

According to YLE, she added that her essay did not generalize about Muslims, but pointed out that not all Muslims are terrorists. “In these times, specifically in the recent past and today, all of the perpetrators of terrorist acts have turned out to be Muslim,” she said.

In Finland, Terhi Kiemunki, a Finns Party politician, was found guilty by a court of “slandering and insulting adherents of the Islamic faith.” (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

So in Finland, since the court’s decision, citizens are now required to make a distinction, entirely fictitious, between “Islam” and “radical Islam,” or else they may find themselves prosecuted and fined for “slandering and insulting adherents of the Islamic faith.” As Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “These descriptions are very ugly, it is offensive and an insult to our religion. There is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam and that’s it.” There are extremist Muslims and non-extremist Muslims, but there is only one Islam.

It is a pity that Kiemunki did not present the court with quotes from the Quran, such as, “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…” (9:5), and “So fight them until there is no more fitna [strife] and all submit to the religion of Allah.” (8:39). Perhaps, then, the court could have at least tried to explain to the public in more concrete detail the differences between “Islam” and “radical Islam.”

In the Netherlands, a state-funded hotline, run by the anti-discrimination bureau MiND, said that it could not act on a complaint about death threats against homosexuals posted to an online forum, in which the Muslim poster called for homosexuals to be “burned, decapitated and slaughtered.” The reason why this anti-discrimination watchdog group could not act on the complaint was that, “The remarks must be seen in the context of religious beliefs in Islam, which juridically takes away the insulting character.” MiND concluded that the remarks were made in

“the context of a public debate about how to interpret the Quran… some Muslims understand from the Quran that gays should be killed… In the context of religious expression that exists in the Netherlands there is a large degree of freedom of expression. In addition, the expressions are used in the context of the public debate (how to interpret the Koran), which also removes the offending character.”

So, while Geert Wilders was prosecuted in the Netherlands for talking about “fewer Moroccans” during an election campaign, a state-funded watchdog group says that threatening homosexuals with burning, decapitation and slaughter is just fine, so long as it is Muslims who are making those threats, as the Quran tells them that such behavior is mandated. This might be one of the most astounding examples of voluntary submission to sharia law in the West thus far.

A spokesman for the MiND hotline later admitted that, after “further research” on the issue, it had concluded that the complaint had been “unjustly assessed” — after Dutch MPs called for the hotline to be stripped of public funding.

Read more here: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9525/europe-illegal-criticize-islam

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Gatestone Institute’s story.