The Disease Of ‘Hate’ Crimes Legislation

By Harmony Grant
11-24-8

 
Increasingly, “hate speech” and “hate crimes” make headlines in world media. These are two labels Jefferson and Madison wouldn’t have even known. Our Founding Fathers laid a framework for free speech and freest possible action. Crime was defined as rights-violating action committed by one individual against another-not politically incorrect speech or beliefs about a community. That simple, individual rights-based idea of justice is disappearing fast.
 
Close to 70 percent of Americans favor an expanded federal hate crimes law, which would stiffen penalties for real crimes if those crimes are committed because of a politically incorrect “bias.” There are national laws against hate speech in the UK, Germany, France, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, Iceland, Sweden, South Africa, Switzerland and more. These speech and thought crime laws empower government to prosecute citizens for expressing unapproved political or religious beliefs, according to conscience.
 
“Anti-hate” speech laws are primarily the creation of activist Jews-and that’s the problem. Christian patriots, afraid to offend “God’s chosen people,” have been largely silent about this insidious and powerful threat to freedom. Today, Muslims are more likely than Jews to be blamed for assaults on free speech.
 
AJC Passes the Buck
 
 
Last month the American Jewish Congress launched a coalition to defend free speech from the assault allegedly launched by Muslim nations. The AJC claims Muslim “anti-blasphemy” laws are the real threat to free speech in Western nations. Conservative media like Human Events and Fox News have also turned on their sirens about this alleged threat. Meanwhile, the real source of speech laws-Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League-goes uncritiqued.
 
AJC co-executive director Marc Stern even wrote an op-ed for the Jewish Telegraph Agency to wring his hands over the assault on freedom. The headline commands, “Don’t defend religion by silencing free speech.” What a good thought. If only Stern directed a little righteous wrath at his co-religionists. The article aims only at Muslim antagonists, who want a UN resolution banning defamation of religion.
 
Stern warns, “By making such ‘defamation of religion’ a crime under international law, nations would be able to seek extradition and trial abroad of persons who make statements critical or offensive to one or all faiths anywhere in the world.” How right he is. Of course he fails to mention that Jewish activists have already succeeded in doing this very thing. Stern says a Muslim group is seeking to extradite the Danish cartoonist to stand trial in Jordan for defaming Mohammed. He makes no mention of Jewish attempts to extradite Holocaust scholar Dr. Frederick Toben to Germany to stand trial for “online anti-Semitism.”
 
“Of course, offensive things about specific religions are said,” remarks Stern. “Some of these are gratuitously offensive-even demonstrably false-and many are simply rudeIt is a mistake to impose civility by force of law, and to confuse sensitivity with criminality.” Thank you, Mr. Stern. Please tell the ADL.
 
You might also send the free speech memo to the prosecutors hauling up David Ahenakew for his second hate crimes trial.
 
Second Hate Trial for 75-year-old Former Politician
 
“What does it take to get a conviction for wilfully promoting hatred in Canada?” Steven Slimovitch, B’nai Brith Canada’s national legal counsel, whined to Canadian news. In 2002, Ahenakew called Jews a “disease.” It was clearly an unkind statement, but worse has been said of Christians and other religious people. Ahenakew also expressed support for Nazi genocide and was fined $1,000. In 2006, that conviction was overturned. Now, after a six-year legal battle, Ahenakew is being forced back into court.
 
His beliefs are unquestionably offensive and also wrong. But I’m also offended by militant atheists like Christopher Hitchens, author of God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, who said, “It’s a shame that there is no hell for [Rev. Jerry] Falwell to go to.” I’m offended by ADL head Abe Foxman blaming the New Testament for centuries of anti-Semitic persecution. I consider a lot of beliefs and speech offensive and wrong, and so do you (no matter how tolerant you flatter yourself to be). Humans have been offending each other since God created us. It’s a real problem when people abuse their government power to silence those who offend them. (Particularly since the powerful are most offended by speech that points out their abuses.)
 
Canadians are realizing this too late.
 
Canadians Hate their Hate Laws
 
 
An independent review by a Canadian law professor adds another voice to the clamor calling for repeal of Sec. 13, the internet hate speech provision of the Canadian Human Rights Act. The federal law makes it illegal to say anything “likely to expose an identifiable group to hatred or contempt.” Problems with this should be immediately obvious.
 
The law is increasingly controversial since it’s been used to harass mainstream, public voices such as conservative writer and Islam critic Mark Steyn. Law professor Richard Moon’s independent review of Sec. 13 won’t do anything to quiet the controversy. “Censorship of expression that stereotypes or defames the members of an identifiable group is not a practical option and so we must, as a community, develop other ways to respond to this expression,” says Moon. The Canadian National Post says “Section 13 has become a flashpoint for controversy, and Prof. Moon’s recommendation to repeal it is sure to invigorate a debate about human rights law and free speech that has moved from the fringe to mainstream in the last year.” 
 
Let’s hope that debate blows south of the Canadian border. With a new, pro-hate law President heading to the White House and pro-hate law Democrats dominating Congress, we need every American voice raised to save freedom of speech from the power-hungry thought police.
 
David Ahenakew is wrong: Jews are not a disease. But freedom-devouring hate crime and speech laws, which activist Jews have created, are a disease. These laws are a spiritual, intellectual, and legal cancer that is metastasizing around the world. They will kill freedom here — if we don’t speak out.
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