Some 144 Turkish mosques in the Netherlands are demanding that Twitter bar any tweets from conservative politician Geert Wilders due to what they alleged are hateful and disparaging comments. As many on this blog know, I hold to a robust view of free speech protections. I tend to oppose censorship through both governmental and private means. This is no exception. It has nothing to do with Wilders’ views. I remain committed to the view that the best way of dealing with bad speech is good speech — not the censorship or criminalization of case.
The Turkish Islamic Cultural Federation (TICF) is seeking the “permanent ban of the Twitter of Mr. Geert Wilders… due to continuous publications on his Twitter account of messages, images and other content which is a display of hateful conduct.”
One of the postings that most outraged the group was a tweet last year where Wilders called Prophet Mohammed a “pedophile, mass murderer, terrorist and madman.” I have previously maintained that such criticism of a religion falls within heart of free speech protections, including the recent decision by the European Court for Human Rights upholding the conviction of an Austrian woman for raising the same issue.
We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Much of this trend is tied to the expansion of hate speech and non-discrimination laws. These prosecutions are part of a new and dangerous attack on free speech. We previously discussed the rise of anti-blasphemy laws around the world, including the increase in prosecutions in the West and the support of the Obama Administration for the prosecution of some anti-religious speech under the controversial Brandenburg standard. The effort by Muslim countries to establish an international blasphemy standard ran into opposition in the West so a new effort to launched to use hate crimes and discrimination law to achieve the purpose.
Europe is plunging headlong into speech criminalization and regulation. This is an effort to expand such speech controls through private companies like Twitter. It would put companies in the position of choosing between speech in barring or allowing speaker based on the content of their postings. If free speech is to survive in the West, the public will have to fight for protections in both the governmental and private arenas.
16 thoughts on “Mosques Demand Twitter Bar Any Tweets By Geert Wilders”
There is going to have be a reckoning soon of the great divide of free speech presumptions and expectations, between the American style of what free speech is, and what is (has) becoming the European limitations of ‘free speech’.
This divide already exists for countries like China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and provisions are in place that censor the internet to those respective citizens’ information feeds.
But it has been traditionally presumed that most of Europe has had a similar base line standard of free speech as America has had, and legal/administrative provisions have not been set up to mop-up or sanitize regular speakers and other entities’ speech that exist on the internet — the reason being that it was presumed that European countries on the whole had similar legal boundaries for speech flowing to their citizens, and in-line with American standards.
However, this is increasingly being proved to not be the case, with both speakers and content providers/platforms being fined or jailed for speech that wouldn’t earn a wink in America.
So, it is high time that this fundamentally different legal environment concerning speech, between American style free speech, and European style ‘free speech’ is addressed in formally legal ways, much like it is done with China, et al.
You don’t see China, Iran or North Korea suing internet platforms or non-nationals for speech they consider illegal within their borders. And that is because it is understood that they have radically different conceptions of what speech is considered to be free, and such suits are not entertained in any legitimate viewpoint.
With the radicalization of European free speech jurisprudence, a similar approach is going to have to be made as well.
They simply are not us, when it comes to free speech.
Tent heads need to be barred from our borders.
Demonstrating the manifest original intent, the American Founders thrice iterated in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795 and 1802 that
citizens were to be “…free white person(s)…”
“…in the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must
have an injurious tendency” per Alexander Hamilton.
There are uncomplicated solutions:
1. In every occidental country, the ratio of temporary residents to the native born should be fixed. Temporary residency visas issued each year would be determined by this formula: (v x k) – d – r where ‘v’ is the mean number of verified departures by temporary residents assessed over the previous six years, ‘k’ is fudge factor, ‘d’ is the mean annual number of visas issued to diplomatic personnel, quasi-diplomatic personnel and their dependents assessed over the last six years, ‘r’ is the mean annual number of visas issued refugees and their dependents over the last six years. The residue would be for educational visas issued to teachers, students, and their dependents. The government would hold tri-quarterly multiple-price auctions and schools wishing to hire or recruit from abroad would bid for them. Unused time on such visas could then be auctioned by the institution on a secondary-market exchange. Refugee admissions would be strictly retail (unless there’s a civil war in Belgium or Germany). A country with the Netherlands’ population might permit somewhere between 30,000 and 200,000 temporary residents at one time.
2. Limit the annual issuance of settlers visas to 0.125% of the extant population, adjustable upward if the country is suffering fertility deficits. For a country with the Netherlands’ population, that would be 21,000 visas a year without fertility problems. Given the current fertility issues in that country, about 43,000 visas a year might be optimal.
3. Require the following for those who wish to join the queue for a settler’s visa: that they pass a physical, that they pass a quick-and-dirty background check, and that they pass a written and oral proficiency test in the host country language. If the aspirant gets married while in the queue, the spouse is added to the visa, but their position in the queue is adjusted rearward. If they have children, same procedure. At such time as their position in the queue renders their date of entry imminent, consular authorities conduct another background investigation which may or may not lead to a postponement of their entry if a member of the family has committed a crime in the intervening years. If there is no issue there, they’d be cleared for entry once every member of the family over 14 had passed a language proficiency test if they hadn’t done so in the previous four years.
4. Applications for visas from citizens of problem countries (who would number about 25 at this time) would only be accepted from families with children or from older married couples of some duration. A dispensation might be offered if you could demonstrate you were from a cultural minority in said country.
5. New entrants to a country garner a share of common provision in increments. First one benefit, then another, then another. Only after twelve years of living and working would they have the same portfolio as a native.
6. The same applies to a franchise to sit for examinations for civil service positions and occupational licenses, with the provisio that certain permits and positions are reserved only to citizens.
7. Naturalization would be offered only to those who had spent the majority of their life in the country. The children of settlers would be known as ‘denizens’ and have privileges and immunities equivalent to settlers with the qualification that they could not be stripped of their right of domicile.
8. Free association would prevail between landlord and tenant, employer and employee, and vendor and customer. The only parties compelled by law to provide services would be natural monopolies and certain oligopoloistic common carriers. The superintendants of Turkish mosques will have a more tractable attitude toward the host country, because they’ll be penalized every day of the week for a bad one, and won’t be able to call in public interest lawyers and judges to impose their will on others.
More pleas to Twitter to pander to unWesternized Muslims. Coming to a US theater near you – and I don’t mean a cinema.
No. You don’t mean a cinema. You Mean an enema.
PROFESSOR TURLEY SAYS:
“Europe is plunging headlong into speech criminalization and regulation”.
Here the professor is probably right; Europe may be slipping into speech regulation. But I wonder if Europe is dealing with certain realities that aren’t entirely present in the United States. Perhaps if we had coffee with a Dutch Prosecutor, he or she might tells us things pertinent to this subject.
Public discourse engaged in and advanced by people like Peter Shill manufactures strata of value in re cultural products and the people who purvey them:
1. The assignors
2. The ‘marginalized’, who are in turn organized into substrata. Currently, subsets of the population of sexual deviants are on top.
3. Ordinary people.
The position of the first of these is implicit. The rules of the game are protean, continually altered by the assignors in defining in-groups and out-groups. Non-exotic working class people have been a consistent outgroup for more than 50 years.
This scamming around tends to stoke latent narcissism among ‘the marginalized’. When populations of Arab and Near Eastern Muslims reach a critical mass in an occidental country, you should not at this late date be surprised when they prove to be incubators of extraordinary effrontery. In the United States, this sort of thing is most intense among the domestic black population, wherein you have the notion abroad that police officers and others are getting above their station when they sanction blacks for violations of law and custom.
There are uncomplicated solutions to these problem, but people like Peter Shill will never assent to their implementation.
Peter Shill’s part of a political tribe for whom high school never ends. They own this situation. Of course, they’ll own up to none of it.
Tabby, when the issue is socialism and why it works in Scandinavia but won’t necessarily work the same here in the U.S., commenters like you are likely to stress the different realities on the ground between here and Scandinavia. My comment above is basically the same line of reasoning.
But your head is so oriented to the Culture Wars that you PRESUME I’m taking some Rachael Maddow-like position with regards to Muslim immigrants in Europe. That is not the case. As someone who worked with cops for many years, I realize that every jurisdiction presents different needs for police and courts.
Your response is non sequitur and stupid.
Thankfully, the telephone came into being over a hundred years ago and not today. If it had, we can surely expect the phone company being badgered to close the account of every telephone line subscriber who said anything someone objected to.
The demands of the mosques can be ignored by the public. It is when this is coopted by government that it becomes oppressive.
“The influx of foreigners must, therefore, tend to produce a heterogeneous compound; to change and corrupt the national spirit; to complicate and confound public opinion; to introduce foreign propensities. In the composition of society, the harmony of the ingredients is all-important, and whatever tends to a discordant intermixture must have an injurious tendency.”
– Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton was unconvinced that diversity was a strength. The safety of a republic, according to him, depended “essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment, on a uniformity of principles and habits, on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice, and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.”
Geert is historically correct. This is not hate speech, so they are just trying to suppress the truth.
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