Pages: 1 2
But perhaps this is to do with the notion that one must not insult minorities whereas minorities are free to insult majorities? If that is the explanation of why I am in court today, it is a peculiar one. In 2002, the imam I have already mentioned explained to his flock that all Muslims in the world – 1,6 billion or whatever the number is – constitute one people, one umma. The same thing is emphasized by the Islamic Conference Organization, OIC, encompassing 57 member countries. In other words, the five million non-Muslim Danes are a microscopic minority but nevertheless a minority whose members stand to be punished if they make statements on cultural norms in the umma.
What does the public prosecutor hope to accomplish by my conviction? He may drag me in front of a court. He may portray me as a racist, a right-wing extremist and a non-human. He may do the same to hundreds and thousands of others who insist on their right of free speech to describe Islam and Muslim culture just like we would deal with any other phenomenon in a free society.
But what will he have gained? Does the public prosecutor believe that people will start talking about Islam and Muslim culture with greater respect and reverence? Perhaps in public because people fear fines and jail. But what will people say to each other when they think that the thought police are not listening?
And what does the public prosecutor imagine people will think of a religion, a political ideology and a culture that need the protection of legislators, police, the public prosecutor and the courts because they cannot defend themselves in a free and open debate?
In 1644, when the English parliament considered the institution of religious censorship, that Christian defender of free speech John Milton wrote: “There is yet behind of what I purpos’d to lay open, the incredible losse, and detriment that this plot of licencing puts us to, more then if som enemy at sea should stop up all our hav’ns and ports, and creeks, it hinders and retards the importation of our richest Marchandize, Truth.”
“There be who perpetually complain of schisms and sects, and make it such a calamity that any man dissents from their maxims. ‘Tis their own pride and ignorance which causes the disturbing, who neither will hear with meeknes, nor can convince, yet all must be suppresst which is not found in their Syntagma.”
Milton concluded with this exhortation:
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
In conclusion permit me to mention the true victims in this case. The public prosecutor has not considered the 20,000 women in the Muslim world who every year fall victim to so-called honor killings, or the 50,000 Muslim girls in Germany who the federal police consider threatened with genital mutilation, nor the hundreds of thousands of little girls in Muslim majority societies who have been sold into marriage with much older men and who must therefore live a life of constant rape, while Islamic scholars preach that this is in complete accordance with religious orthodoxy.
I hope that the judge as opposed to the public prosecutor will consider the fate of these unfortunate human beings. Likewise I hope that the judge will realize the absurdity of prosecuting me for statements made within the confines of my own four walls. For ten months the prosecutor has been aware of the conditions under which I spoke. That has not affected him in the slightest. I hope it will affect the judge.
Pages: 1 2