May 26, 2005

Free speech down the tubes in Europe

Paul Cella notes this alarming news story about Oriana Fallaci, who was the greatest interviewer in the world back in the 1970s. She would bully and seduce (I don't know how literally) male newsmakers like Henry Kissinger into telling her amazing secrets in an attempt to impress her.

“Fallaci charged in Italy with defaming Islam.”

ROME (Reuters) - A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book.

The decision angered Italy's justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work “La Forza della Ragione” (The Force of Reason).

It's highly reminiscent of my blog item from last year:

French Court Declares Voltaire Obsolete:

"Former French actress Brigitte Bardot was fined 5,000 euros (6,000 dollars) by a Paris court for writing a book in which she declared disgust with her country's tolerance of Islam."

Whatever happened to: "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? Oh, well, I guess Diversity Sensitivity is more important than freedom of speech.

Seriously, diversity, in practice, is the enemy of free speech.

A reader writes:

The Italians obviously are amateurs. They should take a lesson from Belgium, where the courts last year shut down *an entire political party.* The offending political organization was Vlaams Blok, which violated Belgian standards of decency by opposing immigration.

When opinion polls revealed that Vlaams Blok had become the most popular political party in Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium), the courts decided to put a stop to its activities by declaring the party to be racist. Reportedly, the political establishment in Brussels felt "uncomfortable" with the Vlaams Blok message. Reason enough to shut them down, don’t you think?

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