Specifically, Lars was convicted of “[issuing] a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.” That he committed this “crime” in the privacy of his own home during a Christmas Day luncheon conversation is an extra icicle on this completely chilling verdict.
Unbeknownst to Hedegaard and without his permission, his remarks, which concerned the incidence of family rape in Islam, were recorded and later uploaded to the Internet. This saved him from a guilty verdict in his first trial in a lower court because 266b also requires intent to make “pronouncements” public. But, as his Danish Free Press Society colleague, Katrine Winkel Holm writes in an email today, “The prosecutor appealed the verdict to the Eastern Regional Court, which today claimed that Hedegaard knew his statements would be published.”
Lars’ sentence — a fine of DKK 5,000 (approximately $1000) — is nothing next to the sharia-insired, state-ordained diminishment of free will in Denmark that it symbolizes.
Hedegaard says will appeal. “The real losers today are freedom of speech and Muslim women,” he states. “How can we speak up for them if we risk getting a state sanctioned label of racism?”
The powers that be don’t want us to. More indication that bin Laden’s death is more dog-and-pony show than earth-shaking event. The effort of Western countries to protect Islam and Muslims from all criticism continues apace, signalling just how deeply Islamic law now reaches into our most crucial institution: free speech.
UPDATE — Mark Steyn at the Corner:
The Muslim world is certainly “getting to Denmark”. It’s also getting to the Netherlands, to Austria, to France, and beyond. In Scandinavia and in other advanced western societies, the state grows ever bolder in constraining freedom of expression and other core western liberties. In the interests of enforcing the state religion of a hollow and delusional “multiculturalism”, core tenets of Fukuyama’s “rule of law” – including due process, the truth as defense, and equality before the law – are tossed aside in the multiculti version of heresy trials. As recent decisions in Michigan suggest, America is not immune to this trend.
In vain did Hedegaard explain the following day that obviously he had not meant by this that all Muslims engage in such practices, any more than saying ‘Americans make good films’ means that all Americans make good films; in vain did he adduce copious evidence of concern — including from Muslim victims themselves — about the amount of sexual and ‘honour’ violence, including rape and incest, within Muslim families.
None of this made any difference.
Hedegaard is about to be burned at the Danish legal stake for his heresy. And both he and Langballe also face further libel suits about such remarks.