Netherlands: Geert Wilders acquitted but the plaintiffs won’t stop

Geert Wilders

Image via Wikipedia

A Dutch court on Thursday acquitted populist politician Geert Wilders of charges of inciting hatred against Muslims, in a case that tested freedom of speech in the traditionally liberal country.

The court case has attracted attention, not just because of Geert Wilders’ controversial comments about Islam — which he compared to Nazism — but also because of the increasing influence of his political party, which supports the minority Dutch government on economic and other issues.

Found here.

Wilders had stressed that his statement was a criticism of the Islamic faith, not of any individuals. He greeted the court verdict with satisfaction, telling supporters that he was relieved to know that public criticism of Islam remains legal in the Netherlands. The court’s decision, he said, was “a victory for freedom of expression.”

But the plaintiffs won’t stop here:

While even the public defender’s office has previously requested he be cleared of all charges, the plaintiffs in the case are now considering bringing the issue to the UN and European courts.

Internet: Iranian women’s rights website wins RSF online freedom award

Logo of the Reporters Without Borders.
Image via Wikipedia

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Google honoured the online journalists of the women’s rights website we-change on 12 March with the first “Netizen Prize”, a new annual award for those who defend freedom of expression online. RSF’s report on “Internet Enemies” was released on the same day.

via Global Voices Online » Iranian women’s rights website wins RSF online freedom award.

They are one of the supporters of the 1 Million vote campaign as says the video posted.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Google denounces censorship in Spain

Google China Office
Image by bfishadow via Flickr

Before the US Senate, Google executives have complained about blog censroship in Spain. Nicole Wong, the company’s lawyer, explained that is has been one of the countries with other democracies such as Pakistan or China, who have censored blogs on its platform.

Spain is included in this list for preventing two blogs from being published. Both blogs were published with Google’s Blogspot platform and both of them were asking for a cava and other catalan products’ boycott back in 2007.

What is remarkable is that both of those bloggers were blogging freely, while there are other platforms such as Omnium Cultural, who are receiving public money to support boycotts towards other products coming from other regions outside Catalonia.

Wong added that Google considers it’s necessary that the Governments “work harder to reduce censorship in Internet and to support freedom of expression in the net”.

Prominent Spanish blogger Prevost has noted something of interest:

From this blog, I have been supporting socialist blogs who could have been silenced by (center-right) PP. Since 2004, I have not seen once, only one post from Spanish left defending right-wing bloggers against censorship when they have been accused by the Totalitarian hand.

I’m not surprised by this. Not the least. Zapatero has insisted on his talante for years. Despite the number of times, he mentioned that word, he never said it was good talante.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

US: Yale University publishes press release on the Danish cartoons**

It also contains (via Europe-Islam) the statements of some of the experts who advised not to publish the Danish cartoons. It ends with a contradiction:

The University has no speech code, and the response to “hate speech” on campus has always been the assertion that the appropriate response to hate speech is not suppression but more speech, leading to a full airing of views.

So, why in this case they actually didn’t air the cartoons?

The decision rested solely on the experts’ assessments that there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims.

But didn’t they tell us that “response to hate speech is not supression but more speech”? They don’t make any kind of reflection on why in this case it is different or why they aren’t publishing other great paintings which also depict Mohammed and have nothing to do with the Danish cartoons. Continue reading

Venezuela: Chávez crashes dissidents

From Diario de America (T&P Translation):

The Govt and its allies are trying to legalise violent acts like today’s savagery, August 13th, against the opposition’s peaceful march and other recent similar deeds, with the only goal of controlling Venezuelans. I know that calling Venezuelan Govt a tyranny will be considered as imaginative or even fictitious. But reality is clear in this respect.

Criminalising opinion

We can mention, on one hand, the “MSM Crimes Act“, which Chávez’s regime is trying to impose on us. Its purpose is not only to imprison or punish journalists and media executives for their way of reporting the news. No, it’s purpose, much more sinister, is to imprison any Venezuelan for expressing his own free opinions.

Their real goal is to spark dread among the population, accusing cinically the independent MSM of “attacking Venezuelans’ mental health”.

In any case, what’s more enraging is the way Chávez expresses himself lately, shouting that FARC are not terrorists or giving violent speeches, insulting or swearing at his supposed “ennemies” (“pitiyankees”, “we are going to pulverize them”, “just give them gas of the best sort”, “rubbish yankees”,…). 

The kingdom of no punishment for his followers

“If you see her, don’t hesitate to shoot”. Those words, with Chávez, are pure routine. My particular experience allows me to say it clearly. Of course, this can’t be shocking at all if we consider that his strategy is precisely built on hate, on pulverising his opposition. The fortune of thinking differently is the root of this new danger that creepingly, menaces millions of Venezuelans*.

*(More information in the Spanish blog Elentir here,  which shows the threatening menaces against me in the forum of a pro-Chávez site, with total impunity. Among other things, you can see screen captures of those menaces. That is, the kingdom of no punishment against his followers). [T&P NOTE: The blog post about those menaces in T&P can be found here].

Just consider another truly grave deed happened on Aug 13th: the savage behaviour of the police and Chávez’s armed gangs, against the students’ march formed by deans of university, professors, journalists, parents, just to deliver a document to the National Assembly, in which they rejected the project of a new education Law, Communist-style. Law which was passed against the majority of the Venezuelans. Several people were hurt after the brutal beatings.

One of the journalists is treated after the demonstration (Miguel Gutierrez/Ultimas Noticias/AP)

One of the journalists is treated after the demonstration (Miguel Gutierrez/Ultimas Noticias/AP)

On the other hand, some days ago, it was also notorious the attack of a group of armed men riding motorcicles, friends of Chávez, on Globovisión TV Channel, attack that could have caused a massacre. The regime is speaking night and day of the arrest of this attack’s authors, whose leader is the so-called  “revolutionary colleague” Lina Ron. But of course, everyone knows that this is just a distraction and that soon they will be free again.

Massive shut of MSM

Moreover, this Castro-Chávez revolution of  “Fatherland or death” wants to accelerate the imposition of  the ruling way of thinking. That’s the cause of the shut down of  34 radio stations and one TV channel. Around 200 are also threatened.

As a conclusion, in this terror escalation, the reason of everything is the regime’s urgent need of  legalising adoctrination, repression and punishment on dissidents. Or, to say it plainly, to make everything they want without any Law to stop them from it.

Original article written by Martha Colmenares, libertarian blogger who has recently received death threats from Chávez’s entourage. She writes at her blog (Spanish).

US: Yale Press Bans Images of Muhammad in New Book

Cartoons of Mohammed. Jyllands-Posten

Cartoons of Mohammed. Jyllands-Posten


Muhammad in Hell - Dante's Inferno

Muhammad in Hell - Dante's Inferno

Yale University and Yale University Press consulted two dozen authorities, including diplomats and experts on Islam and counterterrorism, and the recommendation was unanimous: The book,“The Cartoons That Shook the World,” should not include the 12 Danish drawings that originally appeared in September 2005. What’s more, they suggested that the Yale press also refrain from publishing any other illustrations of the prophet that were to be included, specifically, a drawing for a children’s book; an Ottoman print; and a sketch by the 19th-century artist Gustave Doré of Muhammad being tormented in Hell, an episode from Dante’s “Inferno” that has been depicted by Botticelli, Blake, Rodin and Dalí.  

Jytte Klausen, the author of the book

Jytte Klausen, the author of the book

The book’s author, Jytte Klausen, a Danish-born professor of politics at Brandeis University, in Waltham, Mass., reluctantly accepted Yale University Press’s decision not to publish the cartoons. But she was disturbed by the withdrawal of the other representations of Muhammad. All of those images are widely available, Ms. Klausen said by telephone, adding that “Muslim friends, leaders and activists thought that the incident was misunderstood, so the cartoons needed to be reprinted so we could have a discussion about it.” 

via Twitter.

Misunderstood? Really? No, it was used by the Muslim world to pass a non-binding UN resolution on defamation of religions. And to ask for a binding one.

You can also read this from Robert Kimball at PJM.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Web: Turkish hacker assaults Dutch webs with messages against Wilders*

Un pirata informático asalta páginas web con mensajes contra Geert Wilders – Crónica internacional – Internacional – Canal Noticias – Interbusca

A Turkish hacker assaulted dozens of Dutch webpages with slogans in favour of Islam and images of anti-Islamic rightwing politician Geert Wilders “photoshopped” so he would appear as a monkey.

(…) The web hacker, who goes by the name of “aLpTurkTegin”, wrote in several pages “Our war will continue against those who are against the true religion, Islam“. In other wabpages, the hacker put a logo in which he/she called himself “Turkish Defacer”. Wilders’ images are not always the same, but in general his mouth or nose appear changed by those of a monkey.

According to the webpage Zone-H, that acts against hackers, aLpTurkTegin, had altered at least 147 webs in 7 days, most of them with slogans against Wilders. “It’s just foolish“, Wilders said in a phone interview on Sunday. “But what can I do?“.

Original article by Reuters here:

“It’s not against me now, it’s against hundreds of Dutch websites which have nothing to do with me,” he said.

Surely this Turkish hacker doesn’t like the results of the European elections in the Netherlands.

*From Daily Times:

Wilders particularly opposes the influence of Islam on European culture and Turkish membership of the European Union. His views have led to a ban on his entry to Great Britain and calls for prosecution in the Netherlands. He sleeps in many places and travels with bodyguards. Yet the latest Maurice de Hond poll, released on Sunday, showed his party would take 31 seats in parliament in next year’s election, just one seat away from a tie for first.

Tags Technorati: , , , , ,

US: Joe Kaufman’s free speech granted against Islamic groups

Islamic Groups Lose Appeal To Silence Journalist – The Philadelphia Bulletin Archives

Seven Islamic organizations lost an appeal of a free speech ruling in the Texas Second Court of Appeals late last week, as the court upheld the rights of an internet journalist that pointed out ties of some American Islamic groups to terrorist groups.

Joe Kaufman was sued for libel by the Islamic Society of Arlington, Texas, Islamic Center of Irving, DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc., Dar Elsalam Islamic Center, Al Hedayah Islamic Center, Islamic Association of Tarrant County, and Muslim American Society of Dallas. At issue was Mr. Kaufman’s September 28, 2007 article in which he covered the ties of the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Islamic Association of Northern Texas (IANT) to the radical terrorist group Hamas. Neither ICNA nor IANT were plaintiffs in the suit. None of the seven plaintiffs were mentioned in the article.

The court issued a two page opinion upholding the dismissal of the libel suit, and upholding his rights as a journalist to appeal the lower court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the libel claim before a time-consuming and expensive trial. Usually, a defendant is required to wait until after a trial to appeal an unfavorable court ruling.

Really good news, specially after this other one.

Tags Technorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Malaysia: 'Religious department to act against any blogger who insults Islam'

PUTRAJAYA: The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will take stern action against bloggers who insult Islam, including non-Muslims.

Its director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz said the department could act against irresponsible bloggers, regardless of their religious background.

“Right now, the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission are still trying to trace the blogger said to have insulted Prophet Muhammad.

“We will come in once the culprit is found,” he said.

Wan Mohamad also said there were bound to be “extremists” among religious followers or leaders in view of the country’s multi-ethnicity.

How sweet!!