This is the kind of absolute nonsense that the left would love to bring to our nation.
According to the European Court of Human Rights, it “goes beyond the permissible limits of objective debate” for an individual to defame the Islamic founder, the Prophet Muhammed. The high court upheld a lower court ruling that found such an action “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace.” Meaning, in other words, that it could lead to violent Islamists launching terror attacks against the European population.
The court was reviewing the conviction of an Austrian national known in legal records only as “Mrs. S.” In 2009, Mrs. S. held two seminars about Islam in which she defamed the Prophet Muhammed, claiming his marriage was a sham and that he was a pedophile. She was convicted in Vienna in 2011 for “disparaging religious doctrines” and forced to pay an approximate $500 fine.
In upholding the lower court rulings against Mrs. S., the ECHR this week “found in particular that the domestic courts comprehensively assessed the wider context of the applicant’s statements and carefully balanced her right to freedom of expression with the right of others to have their religious feelings protected, and served the legitimate aim of preserving religious peace in Austria.”
The. Right. To. Have. Their. Religious. Feelings. Protected.
Are you kidding?
While it’s unlikely that the left in the United States will soon be going out of its way to protect the religious feelings of Christians, they would love to bring home laws that prohibit the defaming of Muhammed or, for that matter, the defaming of Cecilia Richards, Maxine Waters, Linda Sarsour, Bernie Sanders, and any other treasured left-wing figure. After all, we have to protect everyone’s feelings, except those that belong to EVIL WHITE MEN.
Yes, we have the First Amendment to stand as a bulwark against these efforts, but don’t for a moment think that the Constitution is a bulletproof shield. Even as we speak, the Southern Poverty Law Center is putting extraordinary pressure on social media companies, imploring them to prohibit “hate speech” on their platforms.
“Online tools have been used to coordinate attacks, including violence against people of color, immigrants, religious minorities, LGBTQIA people, women and people with disabilities,” the SPLC writes.
To be clear, rhetoric used to “coordinate attacks” on anyone – not just the SPLC’s preferred minorities – is not protected by the First Amendment and should not be protected by Facebook. But the SPLC is not calling on these social media companies to police active calls to violence; they are calling for the removal of any and all speech they consider hateful. It should be noted that among the speech they consider hateful is any speech that criticizes Islam, any speech that condemns illegal immigration, and any speech that defends the sanctity of marriage.
This is how the slippery slope begins. This is how we wind up in a country where “religious feelings” are more important than freedom of expression.
This is how we end up living in a United States where political correctness is not just preferred, it’s enforced by law.