“The Darkest Corners Of Our World”?—Bush Can Start With Europe`s Hate Crime Crackdown

[VDARE.COM note: Paul Belien here discusses
the “hate crime” convictions of Brigitte Bardot,
Pastor Ake Greene, and the Vlaams Blok. We checked to
see how the
New York Times
, belwether and proxy
for the U.S. Establishment Media, reported these
stories. Bardot`s trial, extensively


covered
in VDARE.com, was mentioned in
New York
Times
only in a tiny note in the


Arts Section
and then in a


wire service story.
Ake Green`s ordeal was not
mentioned at all until David D. Kirkpatrick wrote this
pro-Kerry article during the Presidential election
campaign:

Republicans
Admit Mailing Campaign Literature Saying Liberals Will
Ban the Bible
.”

No
news when Sweden puts a man in jail for


preaching the Gospel
—only when Republicans say it`s
wrong! And the

Times
had one tiny little story on a


European democracy
banning a political party:




Court Upholds Racist Ruling Against Far-Right Party


 (November 10, 2004).

Before that, the Vlaams Blok hadn`t been mentioned since
2002.]

[Recently by Paul Belien:


A Belgian Academic in America: American Citizenship=
"Show Me The Money"?
]


“…one day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the
darkest corners of our world.”

President
George W. Bush,

Second Inaugural Address
, January 20, 2005

Muslim fundamentalists and radical gays—they seem to be
enemies, but they agree on at least one thing: the need
for

hate crime
repression bills.

Proposals to introduce such a bill in America, similar to
the ones existing in

France
,

Sweden
, Belgium and

other places,
 suggest that Americans, too, will soon
have to watch what they say. There`s a lesson to be
learned in Europe.

What do a former French sex symbol, a Swedish Pentecostal
pastor and Belgium`s largest political party have in
common? They were all convicted last year on the basis
of hate crime legislation.

The case followed a complaint by an organization that,
in an apt example of liberal new-speak, calls itself
the 

Mouvement contre le Racisme et pour l`Amitié entre les
Peuples

 [“Movement Against Racism and for Friendship Between
Peoples”
].

Bardot was a repeat offender, the judge pointed out. She
had already been convicted earlier for criticizing the
way in which Muslims slaughter sheep.

Moreover, the French media noted, Bardot had also made
unfriendly remarks about gays—proving that she did not
just "hate" Muslims but every type of
"diversity."

Despite Bardot`s celebrity status, her conviction
received little international attention.

Greene had ended his sermon with the words,


"What these people who live under the

slavery of sexual immorality

need, is an abundance of grace. We cannot condemn these
people. Jesus never belittled anyone. He offered them
grace."

Nevertheless the court ruled that his words incited to
hatred and held that "the right of gays to be
protected from such language outweighs the right to make
homophobic statements in the name of religion."
By
calling gays sinners, Green had, as the French court
would say, "depicted them in a negative light."

The pastor`s conviction prompted just one international
political reaction. Vladimir Palko, the Interior
Minister of Slovakia,

protested

to the Swedish ambassador in

Slovakia
. "In Europe people are starting to be
jailed for saying what they think,"
Palko said. It
reminded him of the dictatorship the Slovaks had been
living under until 1989.

According to Palko, a devout Catholic, what had happened in
Sweden was an example of how "a left-wing liberal
ideology was trying to introduce tyranny."

Palko was at once decried by "moderate" Slovak
politicians and the media. They said Palko was a
narrow-minded bigot, whose words were "damaging to
Slovakia"
and made Slovaks look "like total
idiots."

A few months later, the rest of Europe`s liberals made
clear

what they think

of the likes of Vladimir Palko when they vetoed the
appointment of the Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione
as the

European Union
`s Commissioner for Freedom, Security
and Justice. On October 5, during a hearing in the
European Parliament, the Commissioner designate had
outraged the Euro-parliamentarians by saying that, as a

Catholic
, he considered gay activities "sinful,"
although he added that this would not affect his
political decisions: "One has to make a distinction
between morality and law. I may think of homosexuality
as a sin but that has no effect unless I say it is a
crime."

In Sweden, however, Ake Green had found that, though
homosexuality may not be a crime, expressing the opinion
that it is a sin definitely is a crime.

Buttiglione`s remarks were sufficient for the European
Parliament to refuse to accept him as Commissioner.
However, the real reason why Buttiglione was vetoed as
Europe`s Justice czar may also have been his proposal to
establish

reception centres

for

asylum seekers

and economic immigrants outside Europe, rather than to
allow them to enter Europe illegally.

  • On
    November 9, 2004, there was the

    conviction in Brussels of the Vlaams Blok
    (VB),
    Belgium`s biggest political party, by the country`s
    Supreme Court. Apart from advocating the secession of
    Flanders, Belgium`s Dutch-speaking northern half, the VB
    is the only party the country that is openly critical of
    immigration and defends traditional Christian values.
    That means it is both "Islamophobe" and
    "homophobe."
    The VB was brought to court by the
    government agency, the Centre for Equal Opportunities
    and the Fight against Racism.

According
to the Belgian Supreme Court, the VB was a racist
organisation because it had published certain texts with


"an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred"

against foreigners. Even a text by a

Turkish-born
VB member about the

treatment of women

in
fundamentalist families (such as the one she came from)
"depict[ed] the image [of Muslim
immigrants] as unethical and

barbarian
."

To make
their point clear, the judges added that the text
"was not necessarily untrue,"
but the criminal
offence was that it had depicted the foreigners in a
negative light.

As a result of the VB conviction, the party was forced to
disband. It has meanwhile reestablished itself under a
new name, the Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest).
However, in early January 2005 the Belgian Senate
started procedures to

rob the new VB
of its

finances
.

It is remarkable that neither in the case of Brigitte
Bardot`s conviction, nor in that of pastor Green`s or
Belgium`s most popular party, American politicians
have voiced concern about what is going on in Europe. No
American conservative had the courage of Vladimir Palko.
Perhaps the Bush administration thinks it wise to keep
its distance from the likes of an old starlet, a
fundamentalist preacher and the


Flemish secessionists
.

The great American 20th century journalist

H.L. Mencken
pointed out, however, that it is not
necessary to agree with the opinions of those whose
freedom of opinion one defends.

On the contrary. "The trouble with fighting for human
freedom,"
Mencken said, "is that one spends most
of one`s time defending scoundrels. For it is against
scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and
oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to
be stopped at all."

This is Mencken`s law. It is the argument to be used
against any kind of hate crime bill.

The fact that such legislation is pushed by

Muslims
and radical

gay activists
alike, points to the single issue that
unites them: their

anti-Christian

zealotry.

Which makes it all the more puzzling that the

administration

of a born-again Christian such as

George W. Bush
seems to be blind to the demise of
democracy that we are currently witnessing in Europe—and
which may soon happen in the U.S, too.

No doubt Bush will raise Mencken`s wise words when he visits
Europe next month.


Paul Belien [email
him] is a Flemish historian and journalist. His wife,


Alexandra Colen
,
is a member of the Belgian House of Representatives for
the former Vlaams Blok.