Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Accurate statements about Islam not permitted in Denmark
Danish law is obnoxious and makes a mockery of free speech. An Iranian refugee has deliberately defied it so the prosecutors had to act. They know that they are defending the indefensible, however, as they are asking only for a $500 fine
On Thursday December 13th 2012, Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan was in the court of Århus, Denmark, suspected for having violated Article 266b of the Danish penal code, which criminalizes derogative or threatening statements against a variety of minorities. This is a report from her day in court.
On one side stood this statement from Firoozeh, published on her blog in Jyllands-Posten on December 6th 2011:
"For I am also deeply convinced that Muslim men to a great extent and everywhere in the world rape, mistreat and kill their daughters. It is my opinion, being an Iranian-born Dane, that we are here facing a defective and inhuman culture – if this can be considered 'culture' at all. But one may say, according to my opinion, this is a defective and inhuman culture, whose manual the Quran is even more immoral, objectionable and insane than the manuals of the two other world religions combined."
In the other side of the courtroom was article 266b of the Danish penal code, represented by the public prosecutor PM:
"Any person who publicly or with the intention of dissemination to a wide circle of people makes a statement or imparts other information threatening, insulting or degrading a group of persons on account of their race, color, national or ethnic origin, belief or sexual orientation, shall be liable to a fine, simple detention or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years."
The defence referred to the fact that Firoozeh herself is a refugee from Iran. Her published statement did not have the intention to mock Muslims, but rather to create public debate about article 266b and its harmful implications against public debate of public issues.