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The New Totalitarians
by David Solway
This curious affinity of the political and intellectual left for a rejuvenated Islam is by no means as paradoxical as it may initially seem. Authoritarians tend to get along when they have a common enemy. Like to like. And the common enemy is a free and open society built on enlightenment canons and the sanctity of the individual. A graphic illustration of such demagogic tendencies, much in the news these days, comes from the European Union and its unelected, de facto politburo, whose "Council Framework Decision on Combating Racism and Xenophobia" of November 28, 2008 and recently passed into law allows for the extradition from one country to another of anyone deemed to have offended its prescriptions. It has also mandated a "European Gendarmerie Force" to carry out its decisions.
Thus halcyon Denmark's article 266b of its penal code allows for the incrimination of outspoken citizens like MP Jesper Langballe for vigorously protesting Muslim honor killings and family rapes. As journalist Lars Hedegaard comments, "Under Danish jurisprudence it is immaterial whether a statement is true or untrue. All that is needed for a conviction is that somebody feels offended." (Hedegaard as well is facing criminal prosecution for his remarks on honor killings.) Speaking truth must be censured in the faux Utopia in which giving offense is a cardinal sin. Canada, too, which seems to many a happy, analgesic country, has its Human Rights Commissions in which hearsay is admitted as evidence against anyone indicted under the nebulous rubric of "hate speech"—which in practice often means holding an honest discussion about worrisome social and political trends. The defendant, who is presumed guilty and must somehow prove his innocence, is severely restricted in summoning witnesses—as in pacific Holland, a fact to which Geert Wilders can attest—or in tabling supporting documentation. He must also defray his own legal expenses while the plaintiff—generally an offended imam or Muslim organization—is funded by the State (i.e., the taxpayer).
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