Two years after the jihadist murders at Charlie Hebdo's offices, Town Hall notes
how poorly developed "hate speech" laws in France are still devastating free speech, and even Charlie Hebdo's succumbed:
Saturday, January 7, marked two years since armed Islamic terrorists stormed the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and killed 11 people following the magazine’s feature of a drawing of the prophet Mohammed. Yet while the French people briefly rallied around the magazine with the slogan “Je Suis Charlie,” free speech remains under assault due to French hate speech laws.
In the aftermath of the attack, the PEN American Center, one of the world’s foremost free speech advocates, decided to award the French magazine its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award. However, dozens of writers who were supposed to attend the gala withdrew, stating that they felt Charlie Hebdo promoted “cultural intolerance.”
Those who wouldn't stand with them at the time only sent the message they saw nothing wrong with murder in the name of cartoons.
That line of thinking is ever-growing and dangerous, and it is strengthened by systemic failings in France that allow such attacks to take place. France’s laws regarding hate speech, namely Section 24 of the Press Law of 1881 on preventing speech that “incites discrimination hatred, or violence on the basis of one’s origin or membership (or non-membership) in an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group,” are incredibly restrictive and essentially embolden and justify the attackers.
In the wake of this terrorist attack, the French government, led by President Francois Hollande, spent £72 million on a three-year plan to slow hate speech and give more strength to the hate speech laws.
That means the terrorists won.
The motive of their attack was to silence the staff at Charlie Hebdo and others who would dare to depict the prophet Mohammed. Their attack got the government to strengthen hate crime laws and had a chilling effect on magazines, including Charlie Hebdo, many of whom have become increasingly reluctant to publish drawings of Mohammed.
It's truly sick. All Hollande and his ilk have done is spite the victims.
Candlelight vigils and moments of silence are all fine and dandy, but if the French government really wants to honor the victims of the attack, it’s time to do the right thing. Instead of wasting tax dollars, and condemning the idea that controversial speech is a natural right, the French government needs to repeal the laws that make these terrorists feel justified in the first place.
Just don't expect Hollande and company to do it. But the succeeding government will definitely have to repeal every restrictive law that only serves devastate the country and give jihadists advantages. Even Nicholas Sarkozy wasn't innocent of enabling this kind of legal atrocity to occur, and that's why his failure to be elected candidate for this year's French election was probably deserved.
Labels: dhimmitude, France, islam, jihad, political corruption, racism, terrorism