The new censorship: Prosecuting ‘Islamophobia’ threatens our liberty

The new censorship: Prosecuting ‘Islamophobia’ threatens our liberty, by Hal Colebatch.

At Wuppertal [in Germany] a few weeks ago a court discharged without penalty Arabs who had burnt down a synagogue. The court’s rationale for its decision was that the burning was a political protest over the Israeli occupation of the territories seized in the 1967 war, and was not motivated by anti-Semitism. Hitler is presumably laughing in Hell. If I were a German Jew I would, after that little episode, make sure my passport was up to date, and that I had money in a safe place overseas. …

The anti-Semitic, totalitarian venom can be addictive. Germany has now taken a big step towards criminalising criticism of Islam.

A new law introducing state censorship on German social media platforms came into effect on October 1. This law requires Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. to censor their users on behalf of the German state. They are obliged to delete or block any online ‘criminal offenses’ such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint – regardless of whether the substance of the complaint is accurate or not. …

In other words, employees of private media companies must now act as censors on behalf of the state. …

But the whole direction of the new censorship is not against Jews but against that phantom thing called ‘Islamophobia’ –- meaning any criticism of Islam however reasonable or justified.

Lawyer and columnist Judith Bergman writes: ‘This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine.’

A chilling example:

A court in Munich recently sentenced a journalist, Michael Stürzenberger, to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking hands with a swastika-bedecked Nazi official in Berlin in 1941.

The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of ‘inciting hatred towards Islam’ and ‘denigrating Islam’ by publishing the photograph. The court found Stürzenberger guilty of ‘disseminating the propaganda of anti-Constitutional organisations.’

hat-tip Stephen Neil