Can It Happen Here? Sweden`s “Hate Speech” Laws Hateful—And Unequally Enforced

[Recently
by Jared Taylor:


The New York Times
Says Japan Needs Immigrants. The Japanese
Politely Disagree
]

[See also:
Today`s Letter:

A Swedish
Reader Says Sweden`s Pat Buchanan is…A Turkish
Immigrant!
]

Sweden`s anti-hate speech laws have
run amok, leading to a very worrying series of
convictions—and non-convictions. More categories of
people are entering the ranks of the

“protected classes”
—and recent cases have made
it clear that these laws will not be enforced
even-handedly.

No prize for guessing who is

protected
and

who is not.

Only one recent atrocity has made
the slightest ripple in the United States: the case of
Ake Green, pastor of a Pentecostal church in the east
coast town of Borghol. He was convicted in July of
"hate speech"
against

homosexuals
. His views were strongly and publicly
expressed—in a sermon. He preached that
homosexuality is

"abnormal, a horrible cancerous tumor in the body of
society,"
and he supported this view with Bible
verses.

Pastor Green was charged with "inciting
hatred,
"
and went on trial in June. He received
a sentence of one month, though he is still free pending
appeal.

Public prosecutor Kjell Yngvesson
explained the conviction:

"One
may have whatever

religion
one wishes, but
[the sermon] is an
attack on all fronts against homosexuals. Collecting
Bible
[verses] on this topic as he does makes
this hate speech." [
No
Free Speech in Preaching
, Christianity Today,
August 9, 2004]

Sweden`s "hate speech" laws
were

modified in 2002
to include, for the first time,
criminal sanctions against anyone who denounces
homosexuals. The law

explicitly included sermons
as speech subject to
prosecution. Ministers from denominations in Sweden and
abroad wrote in

opposition to the new law,
but were ignored.

Now that collecting Bible verses
can officially be hate speech, can we

expect
the Bible itself to be banned?

Needless to say, Swedish laws
prohibiting "hate speech" against racial
minorities have been vigorously enforced. There have,
for example, been a number of

gang-rapes of Swedish women by Muslim immigrants.

But Swedes must be careful what they say about them. On
May 25, neo-Nazi

Bjorn Bjorkqvist
was convicted and sentenced to two
months in prison for writing, "I don`t think I am
alone in feeling sick when reading about how Swedish
girls are raped by immigrant hordes." [
"Jag
tror inte jag är ensam om att må dåligt när jag läser om
hur svenska tjejer har våldtagits av invandrarhorder"
]

In another

recent case
, a man living in the Bunkeflo
neighborhood of Malmo sent an e-mail message to public
officials saying he believed most Arabs were criminals,
and that he opposed subsidies for them to move into his
neighborhood. "Bunkeflo," he wrote, "was one
of the last few refuges in Malmo where you could go out
and not see

Arabs loitering
all around you."

This man managed to avoid
prison—but had to pay a fine of 10 percent of his
pre-tax income. Given

Sweden`s high taxation rate
, this represented a
figure of close to 20 percent of his actual income.

But the most spectacular case so
far—and one completely ignored by American media—is that
of Swedish feminist

Joanna Rytel
. [Send her



mail
.]

Earlier this year, she wrote an
article called "I Will Never Give Birth to a White
Man,"
for a major Swedish daily, Aftonbladet.
[Jag
tänker aldrig föda en vit man,
April 11, 2004]

Rytel explained why she hates white
men—they are selfish, exploitative, vain, and
sex-crazed—and just to make things clear, she added,
"no white men, please… I just puke on them, thank you
very much."
["Dom
spyr jag bara på, tack.
"]

She wrote that other than the
women`s restroom, she can find peace only in the
segregated women`s prayer room in the

mosque
in

central Stockholm:
"At least Muslim men don`t
mind that women have their own community in peace and
quiet."
She added that she might let a white man
follow her home, but only because "I can have someone
to talk with all night long about my hatred towards
white men."

Members of the Swedish National
Socialist Front—an admittedly neo-Nazi group—called
the article
to the attention of the Stockholm
authorities. But they refused to indict Miss Rytel. In a
letter dated April 19, prosecutor Göran Lambertz

explained why:

"The
purpose behind the law against incitement of ethnic
hatred was to ensure legal protection for minority
groups of different compositions and followers of
different religions. Cases where people express
themselves in a critical or derogatory way about men of
ethnic Swedish background were not intended to be
included in this law. Because of that, the content in
this article cannot be considered incitement of ethnic
hatred." [VDARE.COM NOTE:

Compare U.S.
Civil Rights Commissioner Mary Frances Berry`s


statement
that "Civil
rights laws were not passed to protect the rights of
white men and do not apply to them."
]

So now it`s official: Swedes can go
to jail if they say

rude things
about the foreigners whom they have
generously allowed into their country. But foreigners
and anyone else may say whatever they like about Swedes.

In the U.S., we are not in the same
boat as Sweden—yet. We do not yet have laws that
penalize expression of certain opinions.

But we are unmistakably headed in
that direction. The federal government and several
states have passed

"bias crime"
laws that increase penalties if a
crime was motivated, even in part, by racism, hatred of
homosexuals, bias against the handicapped, etc.

This is a first step towards laws
that ban certain kinds of speech itself, because it
means that certain thoughts and utterances—not acts—make
some crimes more serious than others.

Minority groups are pushing for
laws like those in Sweden (and

many other European countries
). So far, American
legislators have resisted these pressures, but probably
only because they fear such laws would be struck down on
First Amendment grounds. The general tenor of elite
opinion in this country about "hate speech" laws
is clear from the almost complete silence about events
in Sweden, and about European speech codes in general.

For example, there was

tremendous criticism of the French
because of their
unwillingness to go along with our invasion of Iraq. But
did anyone taking cheap shots at the French ever point
out that they don`t even have free speech?

Even people who were straining for
any reason at all to hate the French, didn`t consider
their

draconian laws
against the expression of

certain points
of view even worth mentioning.

There is every reason to think our
rulers would be happy if they had the legal means to
shut down

VDARE.com
, and other web sites and
publications they find inconvenient.

For now, the

Constitution
prevents this. But given the

creativity of the Supreme Court
, and the utter
indifference of our elites to "thought crime"
laws overseas, even the Constitution may some day fail
to protect us.


Jared Taylor (email
him) is editor of


American Renaissance
. He would like to thank an
anonymous Swedish collaborator for help in researching
this article.