From the Danish Free Press Society:
Free speech is under attack in Denmark. Please help us preserve it.
Those who have been following the Danish cartoon crisis and several subsequent attempts by radical Muslims to kill and bomb Danes and Danish institutions may be excused for believing that Denmark is in the forefront of the battle for free speech. And indeed it used to be that way.
No longer. For the past year the Danish public prosecutor has been waging a lawfare offensive against outspoken critics of Islam and Muslim practices.
On December 3, 2010, Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe was convicted of “hate speech” – or as the judge in the lower court of Randers put it: “racial discrimination” – for having called attention to honour killings in Muslim families.
Next in line is Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society, who will stand trial in the lower court of Frederiksberg on January 24, 2011.
His crime has been to point to the great number of family rapes in areas dominated by Muslim culture. This well documented fact has brought him an indictment under the Danish penal code’s “racism” clause: Article 266b.
Both MP Langballe and Lars Hedegaard have long ago emphasised that they did not intend to accuse all Muslims or even the majority of Muslims of such crimes. This has made no impression on the public prosecutor.
We fear that the public prosecutor intends to stifle open debate on Islam and Muslim culture. And we fear that he is doing so with the tacit approval of the governing parties, which first signalled their intention to remove the racism clause from the penal code but have recently recanted.
If the authorities succeed in silencing such critics as Jesper Langballe and Lars Hedegaard, who will dare speak out?
We must put a stop to these attempts to undermine free speech if we wish to preserve Denmark as a free country. And where Denmark – that former beacon of free speech – goes, the rest of the West may follow
You can help us.
Please send a few words to email@example.com in defence of Lars Hedegaard’s freedom of expression. We will then publish them in The Free Press Magazine, Sappho.dk.
Please do what you can to spread the word about the trial of Lars Hedegaard.
Vice President, The Danish Free Press Society
Katrine Winkel Holm
Chief Editor, Sappho.dk
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