Thursday, May 16, 2013

A small victory for free speech in Spain

We can hurl any abuse at you but you must not criticize us -- that's the Muslim demand

On April 29, 2013, a Spanish court dismissed a hate speech charge filed against Imran Firasat. While this is an important victory for Freedom of Expression, Imran's case is far from over. He is still under the threat of having his refugee status revoked by the Spanish government for his critique of Islam. Should he be deported to Pakistan, Imran will face certain death for his conversion from Islam to Christianity.

European hate speech laws have become a tool for Islamists to silence discussion on any Islamic related topic deemed blasphemous or offensive against Islam or Muhammad. Typically a local Islamic community leader files a report with the police claiming that a specific action or statementwas "insulting." The police may then pass the report to the prosecutor under whose discretion criminal charges may be filed in court. Should the trial proceed, the defendant could face a fine or incarceration.

Imran's case was initiated when Helal Jamal Abboshi Khaledi, the General Security of the Union on Communities in Spain, filed his initial hate speech complaint on November 27, 2012 with the Spanish National Police. Under oath, Khaledi informed the police that "there is a person from Pakistan who is spreading propaganda against Islam and its Prophet," which could lead to "confrontation between Muslims and other religions."

Firasat faced charges over his work with "The Innocent Prophet" film, which was made with Pastor Terry Jones who supported the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" project.(Youtube)

The criminal case was dire for Imran. Under Subchapter 1 of the Spanish Criminal Code, ironically titled "On the Felonies Committed when Exercising the Fundamental Rights and Public Liberties Guaranteed by the Constitution," Article 510 states "(t)hose who provoke discrimination…shall be punished with a sentence of imprisonment from one to three years and a fine."

Judge Estaban's decision also has the potential to overturn the Spanish Interior Ministry's revocation of Imran's refugee status. Judge Estaban's decision stated that Imran is "not a national security risk" to Spain.



Anonymous said...

This special protection for religious "tolerance" is just a re-incarnation of the old blasphemy laws that gave religion a legal right to place itself beyond criticism, with real punishment for those who dare to criticize religion or even appear to do so; and has only just been abolished in some countries that immediately replace it with so-called "hate speech" laws. "Old medicine in new bottles"!

Anonymous said...

"So long as Islam is allowed to continue, the world will never again know peace..."

Anonymous said...

Ditto for the 'jews'