Massive International Support for Lars Hedegaard
Massive international support for Lars Hedegaard
As it has become known that the Danish public prosecutor is actually going ahead with his trial of Free Press Society President Lars Hedegaard, protests against the trial have arrived in great numbers.
A common theme in many of these protests and declarations of support for Lars Hedegaard is an awareness that the trial does not only have significance for free speech in Denmark but will have repercussions throughout the West.
Below we reprint a selection of the mails that the Danish Free Press Society has been receiving over the past few days.
Geert Wilders: A courageous voice in defense of liberty
“Lars Hedegaard is a courageous voice in the defense of liberty, freedom of expression and the search for truth. He is a beacon of light, not only for the Danish people but for all of us.
The trial of Lars Hedegaard is yet another example of a disturbing trend in Europe, where the EU, nation states and public prosecutors are trying to silence those who point to the failure of multiculturalism and unrestricted immigration.
I am particularly saddened that Denmark, a country that used to be held in high esteem for its staunch defense of free speech, should now attempt to silence journalists.”
Geert Wilders, Chairman, Party for Freedom (PVV), Holland
Ibn Warraq: Lars Hedegaard has never revealed any trace of racism
“I have known Lars Hedegaard for over ten years, and in that period I have learnt to admire his courage, intelligence, and dedication to the principles that have made democracy possible, and have been responsible for the prosperity and stability and freedoms we all enjoy, irrespective of race, and religion, in the West. He has never ever revealed any kind of racism – in his writings, speech or behaviour. How could he? He counts amongst his close friends Pakistanis, Iranians, Bengalis, Indians and Jordanians and Jews.
It is a shame that he is being tried for exercising his fundamental human right of freedom of expression. I hope that the court will take into account the above facts before it condemns a great Danish hero.”
Ibn Warraq is the pen name of a Pakistani born scholar on Islam and Koranic studies. He is the author of several ground-breaking books, including Why I Am Not a Muslim , translated into Danish in 2004
Lord Pearson of Rannoch: Misguided and cowardly political prosecution
“It is deeply troubling that Lars Hedegaard should be the victim of this misguided and cowardly political prosecution.
Those who accuse Mr. Hedegaard of “racism” or “hate speech” fail to see a fundamental truth. This is that he, and others like him, is not the source of any hate which exists and may be stirred up. That hate is lodged wholly in the breast of the Islamists and is directed towards us and our Judeo-Christian culture. We do not hate them; we fear them. Mr. Hedegaard cannot be responsible for something beyond his control.
We need open debate about Islam, particularly with the vast majority of Muslims who are our friends and who do not share the views and aims of their violent co-religionists. Mr. Hedegaard should be congratulated for being brave enough to encourage such free speech, not prosecuted. To prosecute him is to appease the violent, and we all know where that leads.”
Malcolm Pearson, Lord Pearson of Rannoch is a member of the British House of Lords
Wafa Sultan: He only tells the truth
“It is with utter astonishment and great distress that I write in reaction to the Danish trial against Lars Hedegaard. …
Lars Hedegaard has been leading a movement against those Orwellian laws. He stands trial for ‘racism’ by the Danish public prosecutor because he tells the truth. He brings to the public’s attention the predicament relating to the prevalent Islamic ‘honor’ violence; including rape and sex abuse within Muslim families.
During my thirty-two years living in Syria I have witnessed firsthand, countless acts of vicious violence and cruelty. As a practicing physician in Syria I have seen and treated numerous abused women who were severely beaten and raped with the tacit approval of Sharia and family “honor”. Those victims I treated were of the same type of the honor violence victims which Mr. Hedegaard presently refers to and for which he is now being penalized by those who suppose to champion the same values we all hold dear in the West. …
[S]uppressing the freedom to expose atrocities and cruelty against Muslim women undermines their status as respected and valued citizens. Is that what government leaders seek to accomplish? Are Muslim women who suffer immensely under Sharia, including in the West, not worthy of government protection? …
I am alarmed at the coordinated effort by Islamists and their accomplices in the West to disrupt this basic right to freely express and expose what needs to be corrected. Any attempt to make criticism of Islam forbidden and punishable by law is intolerable and will be strongly resisted. …
I challenge anyone responsible for the trial against Lars Hedegaard to reconsider the horrific consequences of such preposterous allegation against him. Spirit of genuine inquiry, transparency and the fearless pursuit of truth, should be the dogma to follow for a better society in the free world. Let us not revert to Europe of the Middle Ages. Let freedom of speech prevail!”
Wafa Sultan, MD was born to Muslim parents in Syria and now resides in California. She is the author of the highly acclaimed book A God Who Hates.
Daniel Pipes: Hate speech laws corrode the values they purport to defend
“Prosecuting Langballe and Hedegaard is perverse for two reasons.
First, Danish law protects perpetrators, not victims. Article 266(b), which the two are charged with violating, omits women from the list of protected groups – and it was specifically women that the accused sought to defend by drawing attention to honor crimes and abuse. If this be the law, it is unjust.
Second, if Hedegaard and Langballe can be silenced, not just Muslim women have reason to fear. Free speech is the main defense against Islamist encroachment. Without open debate about this threat, its manifestations can be neither identified nor countered. Censoring speech for fear of offending Muslims undermines secularism, privileges Islam, and empowers Islamists. Hate speech laws are well intentioned but corrode the very values they purport to defend.”
Daniel Pipes, Ph.D. in medieval islamic history, Director of The Middle East Forum in Philadelphis, USA. He is the author of numerous books on mainly Islamic affairs and makes frequent contributions to the print press and TV
Bat Ye’or: We should all support Lars Hedegaard
“Lars Hedegaard is a courageous man, a towering figure in the fight against injustice, bigotry and criminal attacks targeting women and the weakest section of society. I have the greatest admiration for him and totally support his difficult struggle to preserve the fundamental and basic human rights, among which free speech is the most important.
Lars Hedegaard defends freedom of criticism because it is a testimony to human dignity against corruption and servility. Totalitarian regimes suppress it in order to enslave the mind of people. The lawfare offensive developing now throughout Europe against European free citizens intend to bury us in the darkness of a silent and self-destroying servitude. We should all support Lars Hedegaard.”
Bat Ye’or, egyptisk-født, britisk forfatter til bl.a. Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis(2005) og Islam and Dhimmitude: Where Civilizations Collide (2001).
Salim Mansur: The downward slide of a great civilization
“As a concerned Muslim I am more deeply troubled by the Danish public prosecutor out to undermine the principle of free speech, and weaken liberal democracy as a result, than anything Mr. Lars Hedegaard has said in public or published about Islam and Muslims. …
We are witnessing in Europe the downward slide of a great civilization … [which is] once again under systematic assault by a totalitarian enemy. … This new totalitarian enemy (Islamist) wears the garment of religion (Islam) and has, consequently, confounded the Danes, as it has Europeans in general.
I know from experience the cruel nature of those who promote Islamism. Across the Arab-Muslim world people are choking to death figuratively and literally for lack freedom, and because free speech is non-existent. …
I am appalled that the Danish public prosecutor, and by inference the Danish government and state, is aiding and abetting the Islamist agenda by prosecuting Mr. Lars Hedegaard, as it was done with the Danish MP Jesper Langballe in indicting and convicting him of “hate speech.” This abject grovelling before the proponents of Islamism, appeasing them by wrecking the principle of free speech that is at the heart of Europe’s enlightened history once besieged and for which Europe paid a very dear price, will be the cause of great injury and much woe for Danes and Denmark. …
Danes do not deserve their pride and reputation be soiled through appeasing Islamists.”
Salim Mansur, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, columnist for Sun newspapers in Canada
Rachel Ehrenfeld: Cave-in to a global propaganda offensive
“The politically correct sensitivity of the Danish public prosecutor that led to Mr. Hedegaard’s prosecution and persecution seems to follow the cowardly public apology issued by theDanish daily Politiken on February 2010, for reprinting the cartoons in 2008. The newspaper’s mea culpa was obtained as part of the settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing 94,923 of Muhammad’s descendants, who sued the paper for offending them.
Hedegaard’s legal troubles and Politiken’s cave-in are the casualties of the global propaganda offensive launched after 9/11, portraying the Muslims as victims of discrimination by Western societies.”
Rachel Ehrenfeld, Ph.D. is Director of the American Center for Democracy and an expert on terrorism including terror-financing and corruption -related topics. Among her books isFunding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It . As a result she was slammed with a libel suit in London, which in 2010 caused a unanimous American Congress to pass the so-called “Rachel’s law” that offers American writers protection against unfounded litigation abroad. Family Security Matters
Michael Coren: Time to stand up for genuine diversity
“The issue here is not whether I agree or disagree with Lars, but whether I defend the right of people in an allegedly open and democratic society to express their view. Tolerance of an opinion that makes us feel comfortable is easy and mere self-interest; tolerance of a view with which we vehemently disagree is the very foundation of freedom of speech. At such a time as this, it is vital to stand up for genuine diversity of expression.”
Michael Coren hosts and produces his own television show in Toronto, writes columns for several daily and weekly papers across Canada and is the author of twelve best-selling books.
Gregorious Nekschot: Heading for dictatorship
“Lars Hedegaard, the President of the International Free Press Society, will stand trial for telling the truth about Islamic gender apartheid. The trials against Lars Hedegaard and the Dutch politician Geert Wilders prove that Europe is heading to dictatorship. Prosecutors and judges increasingly refer to European anti-discrimination law. But, European law is imposed and not the result of any democratic process!
Under the pretext of fighting discrimination, censorship is being introduced. I support Democracy. I support Freedom of Speech. And therefore I support Lars Hedegaard.”
Gregorius Nekschot, cartoonist, Holland
Diana West: Targeted for courage and principle
“Jesper Langballe and now Lars Hedegaard have been targeted because they are Danes of courage and principle who refuse to lie down and shut up and let the “multicultural” Big Lies wash in and inundate their mental and moral capacities to that endpoint of totalitarian triumph where citizens become subjects, minions who no longer articulate or even recognize truth and morality. In a world where mandarins of the Left and mullahs of sharia so conspire, we risk a kind of double-dhimmification in acquiesence, rendering civilization incapable of self-defense.”
Diana West, Vice President of The International Free Press Society, is the author of the best-selling book, The Death of the Grown-Up. Her weekly syndicated column appears in many American newspapers including the Washington Times
Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi: Being “nice” will not save you
“My father, Siamak Pourzand, is a celebrated Iranian journalist and a political prisoner inside Iran. Since 2001, when he was 72, he has been tortured in the prisons in Iran just because he dared to speak out against a regime that has no intention of doing anything but bringing the world under it’s rule.
Every single one of you westerners who think that by being ‘nice’ and observing the demands of the Islamo-Imperialists and inquisionists, you are in for the nightmare surprise of a lifetime. ..IF you survive it even. If you think that these sociopaths are willing to do less to you than they do to their own people, well, then just wait.”
Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, New York, is an authority on Iranian affairs and a prominent blogger.
Roy Brown: Prosecution is criminal folly
“No doubt some people felt offended by the remarks made by Lars Heldegaard and Jesper Langballe and others may have felt that they were insensitive and should not have been made, but there is no right not to be offended in international law nor should there be in Danish law.
As I understand it these two gentlemen were both drawing attention to facts which should be of concern to Danish society, and doing so without inciting hatred or violence against anyone. If this is no longer to be permitted in Denmark, it is absolutely clear where it will end.
Please do whatever you can to expose the criminal folly of these prosecutions.”
Roy Brown, international representative of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), the immediate past-president of IHEU, and one of their representatives at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Ann Fishman: The ABC of the Hedegaard case
“When a man is punished by his government for mere words which express a point of view, this is called tyranny.
When that government is Denmark with its longstanding tradition of respect for freedom of expression, this is called tragedy.
When words result in punishment but the misdeeds they alleged result in immunity, this is called injustice.
When the citizens at large do not speak out, this is called complicity.
When the others think that the consequences will not accrue to them, this is called denial.”
A. Fishman, attorney, Florida, USA
Lawrence Auster: Bad behaviour guarantees favorable treatment
“The more troublesome, unassimilable, or dangerous a designated minority or non-Western group actually is, the more favorably it is treated. This undeserved favorable treatment of a troublesome or misbehaving group can take numerous forms, including celebrating the group, giving the group greater rights and privileges, covering up the group’s crimes and dysfunctions, attacking the group’s critics as racists, and blaming the group’s bad behavior on white racism. … The more violent and threatening Muslims actually are, the more hateful is it for Westerners to speak the truth about them, and the greater the punishment such Westerners must receive.”
Kathleen Manning: We need a wake-up call
“As a cultural anthropologist and an American who lived recently as an expat in a Muslim country for six years, I’ve seen much of government denial of free speech, and human rights in general. Those who hold different religious views are often threatened by police and regularly deal with death threats. … So goes a Muslim country, which is really not stunning. But as western Europe slides down the steep slope of pandering to those who promise violence if challenged, there needs to be a wake up call. Is Denmark willing to continue along this trajectory?”
Kathleen Manning, USA
Ophelia Benson: Appalling
“It’s appalling that Lars Hedegaard is being prosecuted for discussing a possible link between family rape and Islamic culture. It’s appalling that such urgent subjects can’t be discussed freely and thus honestly, but are instead confused with “racism” and prosecuted as a crime.”
Phyllis Chesler: Back to the Middle Ages
“I strongly urge the Danish prosecutors to set aside Jesper Langballe’s conviction and to drop all charges against him and against my colleague Lars Hedegaard. If they fail to do so, they are personally responsible for sending their country and culture back to the Middle Ages, Islamist style.”
Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at City University of New York. She is an author, psychotherapist and an expert courtroom witness. She has lived in Kabul, Afghanistan, and in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. She currently resides in Manhattan. Among her numerous books is the classic work, Women and Madness
Andrew Bostom: Complete capitulation to Sharia law
“The prosecution of Lars Hedegaard is a doubly obscene violation of the very foundations of Western freedom and the rule of law. By apparent illegal design, it a priori deliberately ignores the factual content of Mr. Hedegaard’s presentation – critical to his defense – while championing, exclusively, mendacious, bowdlerized portrayals of living Islamic doctrines – rooted in the Sharia, or Islamic “law” – and their historical consequences, past as prologue to the present.
Denying Mr. Hedegaard’s fundamental Western right to a full rational, evidence-based self-defense – including a critical examination of Islam – is nothing less than a complete capitulation to Islamic blasphemy law.”
Melanie Phillips: Europe’s freedom at the stake
“So much for the liberals’ fetish of free speech – so noisily defended whenever Christianity, America, Israel or the west are being demonised and libelled; so much for the feminists’ professed concern for the rights of women and the obscenity of rape and sexual abuse. Two men who actually stand up for these principles are being persecuted for doing so, while the so-called progressive world is either helping pile up the faggots for their fire or looking the other way.
Melanie Phillips, the British journalist, is the author of everal books including Londonistan. In 1996 she was awarded the Orwell Prize for journalism.
Henryk Broder: Something rotten in Denmark
“Nachdem in den letzten Dezembertagen ein islamistischer Anschlag auf das Gebäude von “Jyllands-Posten” im Zentrum von Kopenhagen vereitelt wurde, ist einigen Dänen bei dem Gedanken etwas unwohl zumute, dass eine islamistische Organisation, die offen zum Abschuss dänischer Soldaten aufruft, dies ausgerechnet unter dem Dach der “Royal Library” tun darf. …
So wird am 21. Januar in der “Royal Library” eine “Diskussion” stattfinden, wie man Afghanistan von der dänischen Besatzung befreien kann. Das Ergebnis ist so absehbar wie der Lauf einer Gewehrkugel. Drei Tage später, am 24. Januar, wird Lars Hedegaard vor Gericht stehen, weil er ein paar abfällige Bemerkungen über den Islam gemacht hat. Irgendetwas ist faul im Staate Dänemark.”
Daniel Huff: Punishing legitimate discourse
“Litigation has become a complementary and sometimes superior strategy for Islamic extremists who traditionally relied on physical violence alone to intimidate their opponents.
In Europe especially, their cause is aided by vague hate speech laws that make it all too easy to punish legitimate discourse on Islam. Last month, a Danish Member of Parliament pleaded guilty to violating hate speech laws with comments he made on Islam’s treatment of women. He had agreed to forgo parliamentary immunity in order to fight the charges on the merits only to discover that truth is no defense. On January 24 … International Free Press Society president Lars Hedegaard, will stand trial for similarly speaking his mind. He also faces a potentially costly libel suit. There were reports last summer that Denmark’s hate speech laws would be reformed to prevent abuse, but this has yet to happen.”
Alyssa Lappen: Absurd law
“The law [§ 266b] gives the prosecutor endless latitude to levy criminal charges over a wide range of easily misconstrued statements by or about – well, almost anyone. This absurdity of law in effect lets Denmark’s public prosecutor lavish his taxpayer-funded time on perusing news and other taped records of public figures for factual statements on Islam or predominantly Muslim behaviors; and that is how he seems to cast his own prejudiced net.
As if under Islamic libel law itself, Denmark may nowadays convict a defendant solely upon the personal offense taken or perceived in his or her statement. No actual crime need have occurred.”
Alyssa A. Lappen is an investigative journalist and a former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy . She is a former Associate Editor of Forbes .
[Under sharia, by contrast, libel constitutes any oral or written remark offensive to a complainant, regardless of its accuracy or intent. Slander “means to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him,” according to Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib (d. 1368). Ahmad Ibn Lulu Ibn Al-Naqib (d. 1368), Reliance of the Traveller: The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law Umdat , translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, 1991 and 1994, Amana Publications (revised ed., 1994), p. 730.]