In France, Free-Speech Is On Trial

Authored by Robbie Travers via The Gatestone Institute,

"Free speech can't just apply to those you agree with," the editor of Spiked Online, Brendan O'Neill, once said. Politically correct speech does not need protecting. The United States' First Amendment exists precisely to protect the minority from the majority and to protect unpopular opinions from those who would silence them.

On March 2, French prosecutors decided that Marine Le Pen should be prosecuted  for drawing attention on Twitter to the atrocities committed by Islamic State. They apparently decided that Le Pen's message, even if factually correct, should not be heard.

Le Pen's "crime," the prosecutors allege, is that in a series of tweets, she posted disturbing images of victims of Islamic State, thereby exposing the crimes against humanity that group have been committing in the Levant.

Presumably, these were potential dangers about which she thought the public should be aware. They included the beheading of the British journalist, James Foley, who was repeatedly beatenstarved, and waterboarded before his throat was slit.

Other tweets documented a Jordanian fighter pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, in a cage, being burned alive, and a tank crushing a Syrian army soldier. These crimes, however, are those of Islamic State, not Marine Le Pen.

Her most objectionable crime, apparently, was to have distributed a picture of Foley's decapitated corpse with the tweet, "Daesh is THIS!"

It would be hard to disagree. Even Islamic State does not deny that these events took place. On, the contrary, it broadcast them globally. Le Pen was merely informing people, in the most striking way she could, that Islamic State is a murderous organisation that continues to slaughter innocents. She is issuing a warning.

Marine Le Pen did not suggest that all Muslims are terrorists. She did not suggest that anyone should use violence against Muslims. She did not even suggest that French people should take action against Islam.

She did not stage or misrepresent the facts. She did not share material that was doctored or false. Someone might suggest that perhaps she was attacking Islam or Muslim attitudes by distributing pictures of its activities. Even so, why should that be grounds for silencing her, prosecuting her, for stripping her of immunity, conceivably imprisoning her for three years and fining her €75,000?

Marine Le Pen. (Photo by Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Why should Le Pen -- or anyone -- not be able to criticise or inform the public about Islamic extremism -- or anything for that matter? One would think it especially important for a politician, who is responsible for the welfare of the public, to advise it of potential threats. What, for instance, if people had not been allowed to warn people about Communism? How convenient for Communists that would have been!

In addition, what are people to do who may not have the resources to fight the bottomless war chests of the French Government? How are they ever to speak out without fear of legal retribution? Or is the real, secret, goal of the state to have no one who disagrees with it speak out?

One might object to publishing a picture of a decapitated body on the grounds of good taste, or that it would be painful for Foley's family to see. But should that be the reason for someone to face an exorbitant fine, crushing court costs, and a possible jail term? Le Pen was merely highlighting the crimes of a terrorist organisation that has already attacked France, and murdered hundreds on French streets.

Imprisoning politicians is, of course, a tidy way for a state to silence those who disagree with it. The former USSR under the KGB, and Germany's STASI, doubtless assumed it was simply a professional perk. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in fact, just guaranteed that in upcoming elections, his leading challenger, Alexey Navalney, will be unable to run. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey seems to find arresting anyone who disagrees with him a favourite pastime, with more than 113,000 – including possibly 150 journalists. Is this the model Western democracies would like?

Le Pen's message was clear: Islamic State's practices and the ideology of extremist Muslims must not come to Europe.

Unfortunately, they already have. Since the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in January 2015, the Islamic State and its affiliates have murdered more than 247 individuals. For how long can France afford to keep its head in the sand?

Le Pen, in what increasingly looks like an empty attempt to silence her, appears to be trapped in a politically motivated prosecution. The charge states that Le Pen is allegedly guilty of: "Violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity."

Regardless of your stance on the politics of Marine Le Pen, to say that she is aiming to "incite terrorism" has no basis. On the contrary, Le Pen has been virtually the only politician in France consistently raising difficult questions on how to fight terrorism. She has suggested that France must reinstate border checks to "counter terrorism." She has repeatedly said that politicians who do not stand their ground in seeing Islamism with clear eyes are failing to stand up for their country. She notes, "I'm on the ground to meet the French people to draw their attention to important subjects, including Islamist terrorism to which the least we can say Mr Macron is weak on."

As to the second element of the charge against her, if the actions of Islamic State are indecent, evil or pornographic, this does not mean that alerting people to them is -- any more than 18th century drawings informing people about the mass beheadings during the French Revolution, or Hitler's atrocities during the Second World War. Not to inform the public about them could justifiably be viewed a dereliction of duty and reckless endangerment.

As to the claim that Le Pen's tweets "harm human dignity," they do not; Islamic State does. It is important for Europeans to know about these Islamic-inspired atrocities before they start "coming soon to a theatre near you", as they have already been doing.

Tellingly, the prosecution of Le Pen has come at a time when the establishment has seen the public increasingly support politicians who question the taboo subject of mass migration and its threat to Europe -- opinions that until now have been considered dangerous and "racist". One can see the electoral successes of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Austria; Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party in the Netherlands; the AfD party in Germany and the Five Star Movement in Italy. Incumbent politicians must be terrified.

In this new trend of censorship by prosecution – as in the similar political trials of Geert Wilders, or the increasingly severe government censorship in Germany -- mainstream politicians appear desperate to hold onto their jobs.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for instance, this week finally had to accept  that "there are no-go zones in Germany". For years, politicians scorned the idea that such areas exist. Counterterrorism experts, however, such as Steven Emersonand policy analysts such as Soeren Kern, as well as many others, have been warning the public about them since 2015.

In Paris, alone, there are many no-go-zones, complete with an app on how to avoid them, despite the denial of its Mayor. Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille, Grenoble, Avignon also face similar social problems.

Marine Le Pen should not be prosecuted for alerting the French citizens to the dangers of an organisation that still threatens to invade their capital and murdertheir children.

France may lock up Le Pen for warning Europe about Islamism, but all that would accomplish is to imprison someone for telling the truth, and to endanger the public even further.

If the opposition wish to defeat Le Pen, they are free to argue against her policies.

Otherwise one can only conclude that their objections are nothing more than playing politics.

Comments

house biscuit purplewarrior Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:30 Permalink

Fishy, fishy, fishy, fish. It’s all fishy. 

First, I don’t believe in ISIS; I do believe in CIA

Next, I believe many (or all) of these ‘atrocities’ are hoaxed 

I don’t consider Islam the primary problem; I consider the love of power the problem

Finally, Le Pen should be viewed with extreme suspicion for the simple fact she comes from an entrenched political family

Its always the same with most of you. Like drunks in the peanut gallery, you perversely enjoy the theater with no real desire to look behind the stage

 

In reply to by purplewarrior

DownWithYogaPants kralizec Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:16 Permalink

It's looking more and more like the whole world would have been better off if Germany had won WW2.  

I also see why there have been so many lies about Hitler.  Our leaders pretend to be better then he.  I don't believe anything they say any more.

I have to thing this is what a country looks like with a more advanced case of private central bankers disease.

In reply to by kralizec

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In reply to by Stuck on Zero

RabbitOne Adolph.H. Thu, 03/22/2018 - 08:08 Permalink

France is the father of Communism. The French Revolution is where Communism was born. They hunted the wealth of the rich, beheaded them, and they even seized all the property of the Catholic Church. Socialists always claim they are doing this to right all wrongs created by the rich, but in truth, they live in hate of anyone who possesses more than they do.

In reply to by Adolph.H.

Lordflin house biscuit Thu, 03/22/2018 - 07:26 Permalink

Well, fortunately we have people such as yourself to explain all of these complex issues to us, else whatever would we do?

Islam is the religion of choice for the so called global elite (for us, not them... personally they seem more into such entities as Lucifer and Isis). At its heart it is a worship of the state... as a consequence it is a perfect choice. 

In reply to by house biscuit

Luc X. Ifer Lordflin Thu, 03/22/2018 - 10:00 Permalink

You got it. Religion was dying in the west due to people becoming more educated and exercised in critical thinking - and that's not good for the aristocracy and their servant camarilla, the state bureaucrats. The now awaken population had to be forcefully and fast converted and replaced with other more obedient one, there is nothing beating Islam when about enabling theocracy, just look at the shithole named the muslim world.

In reply to by Lordflin

RabbitOne Troy Ounce Thu, 03/22/2018 - 07:43 Permalink

The group that is trying to eliminate free speech is the Soros Communist United Movement (SCUM). You will find that liberal SCUM are everywhere trying to eliminate freedom. They are being driven to do these horrible deeds by those preaching on their soap boxes or soap SCUM. We are all hoping and praying Mr Clean(Trump) can get rid of this SCUM.

In reply to by Troy Ounce

Fireman InsaneOrangeClown Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:30 Permalink

Foppish Manny Macron the boy wonder and Big Mama STASI "Erika" in her Berlin bat cave are under the delusion that they can spawn together the Fifth Reich where France loots German pensioners for the losses of French banksters in Southern Urupp and Die Fuehrerin can lord over the entire assemblage of Europeon peasantry for her Soros slash chosenite handlers. It is going to be a major source of delight to watch the entire abomination of Natostan explode in their faces and with it the end of the Pedophile Politburo in EUSSR sink hole Brussels. The masses have got it figured and Marine Le Pen will only profit from this cheap Vichy NAZI side show.

"Count" Richard Coudenhove Kalergi’s Plan outlined by Gerd Honsik “Kalergi proclaims the abolition of the right of self-determination, ... the elimination of nations by means of ethnic separatist movements or mass allogeneic (genetically dissimilar) immigration to create a multiethnic flock without quality, easily controllable by the ruling class. Kalergi characterized the multiethnic flock as cruel and unfaithful but maintained the elite must deliberately create them in order to achieve their own superiority: ‘Then the elite will first eliminate democracy – the rule of the people. Next, the elite will eliminate the people via miscegenation, thereby replacing the ruling white race with an easily controllable mestizo race. By abolishing the principle of equality of all before the law, avoiding and punishing any criticism of minorities, and protecting minorities with special laws, the masses will be suppressed.’'

"Count" Richard Coudenhove von Kalergi's genocidal screed "Practical Idealism" 1923 in PDF format (link below) is the original Austrian NAZI and his vile tome makes Onkel Adolf's "Mein Kampf" look like a bedtime story. This mutt laid the foundations for the abomination known as the EUSSR with its capital in the sewer Brussels, seat of the totalitarian Pedophile Politburo that runs the EUSSR for the banksters and satanists.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/vcpu7j7hakukmde/Coudenhove-Kalergi-Practic...

In reply to by InsaneOrangeClown

Bemused Observer Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:22 Permalink

Go ahead, lock her up. It will cement her future political career. Because while she sits in her cell, any further Islamic terrorism (and let's face it, there WILL be more..) will suffuse her with the 'martyr's glow' that often leads to triumphant releases from prison, followed soon after by surprising electoral victories.

Basically, any time a jihadi so much as farts, there will be a Frenchman telling his friends, "See? Le Pen was right all along..."

If I were her, I'd write a manifesto while I was in there too. Just to further unsettle the snowflakes.

chippers Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:30 Permalink

This same insane bullshite is happening everywhere...the leftists that come up with this shite need to start being gunned down in the streets.

nmewn chippers Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:05 Permalink

Under the guise of exhibiting their own personal liberty and freedom, the left has always sought to take those very things away from everyone else.

I have seen it coming for decades, from the skool system indoctrination kamps to PC speech to lawsuits over friggin wedding cakes to petty little accusations of microaggressions.

When the left is not engaged in sticking its nose into someones business it's trying to shut people up or ban everything from sugar, salt, meat, gunz & speech.

In reply to by chippers

stilletto2 nmewn Thu, 03/22/2018 - 07:34 Permalink

The Fascist French state has over-reached itself. Marine will use this court case to appeal to the people and expose the dictatorship of the thought-police. If she wins (as she should) she will be a heroine of France in defying the illiberals. If she loses, she will be a heroine and martyr of France (St Marine of Arc) in battling against the illiberal State. Go Marine, a lady fighting for freedom, truth and liberty.

In reply to by nmewn

To Hell In A H… Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:40 Permalink

It's been coming a long time and the French State set the presidents against the Burrs(what the French call those from the MENA) and most recently, with a half French/Half African called Dieudonné and the Quenelle, because they joked, or spoke out against the Jews. 

The french right should have been up in arms over these cases, but their own bigotry(outside a few notables) made them keep silent on this freedom of speech clampdown, without realizing it was always ultimately aimed at them.

It's why I laughed when imbeciles on ZH, cry and demanded groups like BLM be labelled a terrorist organisation, or arrested for what they said, because the freedom of speech clampdowns coming are designed for us(white nationalists, or right leaning views). 

Dieudonne was effectively barred from performing in France and persona non-grata on French TV. His friend a famous footballer called Nicolas Anelka was fined and banned for doing the Quenelle gesture, because the powerful French Jews(second only to AIPAC and the American Jews) went ballistic. They called it an inverted Nazi salute, with no basis and had the French establishment invoking the gas chambers and we must save the Jews type rhetoric. The French effectively outlawed Jewish jokes in comedy and the establishment never resisted this move.

But alas, as I always say, if you want to get a law passed easily and set easy precedents, prosecute a black, or an Arab and it will get into law. They did and look at the powers the state state has now? Marie Le-Pen said nothing anybody could view offensive, but the precedent has been set. The French right cannot come out and use Dieudonne as a case of egregious state over reach and abuse. Where were they when he was getting fucked by the French state for doing the Quenelle? SILENT!

 

 

veritas semper… To Hell In A H… Thu, 03/22/2018 - 16:59 Permalink

Absolutely true. The same for the French writer Alain Soral.

Fined because he did a La Quenelle at the Chosen Memorial. I think they fined him 300,000 Euros.

La Quenelle is the French equivalent of FU  and the Chosen made a big Shoah from it.

But I can tell you there is big resistance in the French population toward the ruling class/ chosen. The Gaulois spirit is not dead. There were meany street protests in France ,and many people arrested /beaten .

And their true intellectual class is resisting and they are very educated and intelligent ,if you listen to their debates (something we do not have in US) ,you realize this.

France will have a revolution .I'm sure. Together with Italy,where the people are equally pissed.

Macron had only 16% of the popular vote (more than 1/2 did not vote )

In reply to by To Hell In A H…

To Hell In A H… kellys_eye Thu, 03/22/2018 - 08:13 Permalink

What the alt-right Youtubers say about Muzzies and blacks is all fine and dandy, because none of them and I mean from Molyneux, to Lauren Southern, to Pettibone, to Saul Joseph Watsonstein, none of these controlled fake alt-right bastards touch anything Jewish. 

Muzzies, Niggers, Sharia law, immigration, Islamic extremism, SJW, BLM, Political Correctness and free speech is their remit.  Jews and Israel? No fucking way. These cunts run a mile and I mean a fucking mile. If you listen to their podcasts and video's over the past 2 years, you could be forgiven to thinking Jews and Israel exist. 

These fuckers are the ultimate controlled opposition whores, because these so-called free-speecher's self-censor when it comes to the ultimate power. They are fucking roaches, especially Lauren Southern. Intellectually dishonest mother fuckers on a variety of issues, the lot of them. Jews, Zionism, money, economic crimes and wars don't get a fucking mention.

The Wests' attacks on Russia, or Syria? The NGO's behind the immigration push into Europe? They all suffer from amnesia. Have you had a good analysis of the video's by Saul Joseph Watsonstein? Muslims, Immigration, BLM, SJW, Political Correctness and free speech ad-nauseam. He doesn't stray off it. Jews, Capitol Hill, AIPAC, war and Israel? The cunt doesn't mention it. Saul Joseph Watsonstein was missing when Dieudonne was getting savaged for doing the Quenelle, because it was against the wishes of his masters.

In reply to by kellys_eye

Stu Elsample Thu, 03/22/2018 - 06:11 Permalink

THIS is why the naive buffoons of most of Europe have been disarmed by the NWO crazed leftists.

Regardless, the French peon citizens have been chicken shit cowards for many decades. The current batch of traitors in power allowing Muslim invaders to take over is no different than Hitler taking over France (with the help of French traitors). But this time around i don't see any French 'Freedom Fighters' standing up to resist.