Witness for the Defense?

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In 2009, the Danish writer and historian Lars Hedegaard, who is the founder and president of the Danish Free Press Society, made remarks in his home about the treatment of women in Muslim communities.  His observations, while expressed in broad generalizations, were based in fact, although when they were made public and resulted in widespread criticism he apologized for the way he had expressed himself.  This was not good enough for the Danish courts.  He was charged with violating Denmark’s racism law, and went to trial in January 2011.  He was acquitted, but was tried again on the same charges three months later.  This time he was found guilty.  Last Friday Hedegaard initiated an appeal of his conviction before the Danish Supreme Court.

Not so many years ago, such a story would have been regarded as nothing less than sensational: a writer is put on trial in a Western country for making critical remarks about a certain religion’s ideology and practices.  The unsettling truth is that the more often the sensational happens, the less and less sensational it becomes.  In recent years, the Western world has grown used to seeing writers hauled before official tribunals – Mark Steyn in Canada, Oriana Fallaci in Italy, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria – invariably for criticizing Islam.  It doesn’t help that the mainstream media almost always report on these actions as if they were anything but sensational: they’re treated as ordinary, reasonable, and legitimate judicial proceedings.

In Norway, where I live, no writer has yet been put on trial for treading on Islam’s toes.  But we’ve come close.  When the editor of a small Christian newspaper reprinted the Danish Muhammed cartoons as part of a feature about the controversy, the Norwegian media establishment and top-level government leaders came down on him like a ton of bricks, demanding that he apologize for offending Muslims.  The editor, Vebjørn Selbekk, withstood the pressure for a while, then buckled.  By that point, several leading figures in Norway – from the prime minister on down – had gone on the record with demands that freedom of speech be tempered by, or balanced against, things like “common sense,” “respect,” and “sensitivity.” Many thoughtful Norwegians expressed deep concern: the Magazinet case, they worried, did not bode well for the future of free speech in Norway.

That was back in 2006.  Then, last summer, as the whole world knows, Norway was hit by an act of mass murder – not by a Muslim terrorist group, but by a single individual who is a self-described opponent of the Islamization of Europe.  The perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, set off a massive explosion at the main government office building in Oslo and then massacred dozens of teenagers at a Labor Party youth camp on a nearby island.  In the months since his arrest, the case has taken several turns.  First, he was studied by two psychiatrists who issued an official report concluding that he was not sane, and thus not accountable for his actions.  This created an uproar in Norway.

Perhaps the most lucid and succinct summary I’ve seen of the ensuing developments appeared this weekend in the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen.  Klaus Wivel began by noting two ways in which Norway singles itself out: first, in no nation in the world are more defendants declared insane; second, in Norway, as opposed to many other countries, if a defendant is declared insane, that’s it: he’s put into the care of mental-health authorities, and the legal and penal systems no longer have any say in his future.

In the case of Breivik, this well-established state of affairs outraged many Norwegians, who, understandably, wanted to see him put behind bars forever.  It also disappointed many on the Left, for whom the idea of Breivik as a madman was of no use at all; they wanted him put on trial, so that they could also try, as it were, their own enemies on the Right whose criticism of Islam, they insisted, had led to Breivik’s actions.  Breivik, for his part, also hated the diagnosis. “He claims to have rational arguments for his murder,” wrote Wivel.  “He wants to be declared guilty, not insane.”

Most important, as it turned out, the judges, too, were unhappy with the first psychiatric report.  So in December, in a remarkable deviation from standard practice, they asked for a whole new report by two different doctors.  Wivel quotes Norwegian journalist Jon Hustad, who wrote bluntly that “the judges gave in to political pressure.”  That second report, whose conclusions were made public last week, gave the Left, Breivik, and the judges exactly what they wanted: a declaration of sanity.  On, then, to the trial, which begins today.

But – and this brings us back to where we started, with the subject of writers about Islam being put on trial – the release of the new psychiatric report wasn’t the only big news in the Breivik case last week.  Among other developments, Breivik’s lawyers made public a list of the people whom they plan to call as “expert witnesses” for the defense.  The list is an interesting mix.  There are politicians from both the Labor and Progress parties.  There are psychiatrists.  And there are a couple of people, such as University of Oslo sociologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen, who have publicly taken on critics of Islam such as yours truly and sought to spread to them the blame for Breivik’s actions.

Even Norway’s most famous Muslim, the terrorist Mullah Krekar, is on the witness list.

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  • UCSPanther

    Brevik should be swinging at the end of a rope, for he has more than demonstrated that he is too dangerous to live.

    But knowing Norway, they'll let this creep live in an "Ultra-luxe" prison.

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLNn2YflwNs Roger

      The question is, will he demonstrate that islam and the liberal apologists he hates are too dangerous as well.

      That's the question they want to avoid. By shooting children he gave up his 'human' card in my opinion. Had he gone to sharia tribal areas and taken out terrorists, then he might have some moral ground to fight from.

  • Alvaro

    The political pressure in this case is enormous. Last friday, the Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg himself said that it would be "an advantage for the victims if Breivik is found sane".

    It is outrageous that even the PM himself is trying to influence a court of law. He knows this very well (having been a politician and not having had a real job all his life). and still he does it.

  • harrylies

    Dr. Frabkenstein, meet your monster.

  • BagLady

    Please, please Norway, do not give this monster the opportunity to spout his racist beliefs in front of the world. He seeks an audience to whom he can justify his madness, but without one he is likely to 'crack'. He has admitted to all the killings and that is all that counts, not his warped motives.

    Solitary confinement for the rest of his life without access to the internet should bring him down.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ JasonPappas

    Breivik is a revolutionary who sought to undermine the existing democratic order and establish, by force, his vision of a just order. It doesn’t matter what his vision is be it communism, fascism, racialism, or his own unique nationalism. His revolutionary means are not shared by others. There is no one to call to prove that Norway’s democracy is sick and needs to be replaced by revolutionary means. He’s alone in his revolutionary fantasy.

    Critics of Islam are first and foremost dedicated to the liberal order. This is why we are critical of Islam. Islam has no history of promoting and protecting individual rights. It has no respect for the liberal order. Calling Fjordman or anyone else makes no sense. They are not revolutionaries who reject the West’s fundamental values but writers who seek to wake-up their fellow citizens.

    • curmudgeon

      "his revolutionary means are not shared by others". that is where you are absolutely wrong. hes revolutionary means ARE shared by others, and those others are members of the religion of peace. brievik murdered children of norweigan anscestry who were aiding and abetting the islamification of norway. what would be the action of the taliban, or the iranian government, or the saudi government, if their countrymen were even suspected of aiding the christianization of their little hellholes? brievik was behaving like a good muslim, and he will pay for it. and those who so righteously punish him will bleat pitifully on the way to the gas chambers that the religion of peace is planning for them. brievik should be using muslims as his defense witnesses. they absolutely agree with his methods.

    • Alvaro

      It is a sad piece of irony that people who supported Hamas terrorism against Israel, fell victims of terrorism themselves.

  • Dispozadaburka

    Does "crazy" count?

    If reading about Islam caused his insanity,
    he would have attacked muslims.

    • Tomko

      Muslims ARE the problem but they didn't create the problem. It makes perfect sense to attack those who CREATED the problem, hense the bombing of the government building. In Breivik’s case the most heinous part of his actions was to attack the next generation of political youths that were being groomed to PERPETUATE the problem. If you are at war with an Ideology, which he clearly is, that may not be very popular with the masses but it certainly isn't crazy. Who is more of a threat to a society, the individual muslims or the useful idiots comprising the 5th column that intends on destroying the society from with-in in order to fulfill their selfish agenda.

      The progressives in the US have been acknowledged saying that 25 million people should be killed in order to further their agenda. An these are the same people Obama used to associate with. Now tell me, who is crazy?

    • Kevin Stroup

      Muslims are a sign and symptom of the deeper problem. The real problem is a Western Civilization that is slowly being slaughtered and will not even defend itself. How pathetic. Muslims are an easily defeated secondary threat, except for the fact in the West we have a 5th column that attacks us from within. Who is the 5th column? Socialist, anachist, multiculturalist, communist and other totalitarians. The 5th column and our own decadence is the real threat that will vanquish the West.

  • RobertPinkerton

    "… and Tore Tvedt of the neo-Nazi group Vigrid." That's a Torn Twit?

  • http://Baersart.com Jane Larson Baer

    so now no one in Norway can comment on the sexism of some Muslims? This will be very difficult because Norway has always been one of the least sexist places for any given era. In fact, 10 to 15 centuries ago, there were gullgubbene icons all over Norway that show a male/female couple different but equal. This basic relationship (perhaps from the farmstead lifestyle and cold winters where people had to learn to get along…but in any case…genderequality is a Norse tradition) will not last under a system in which the average citizen cannot comment on the relative gender inequality of many Muslims.

  • babyanng

    Age ain't nothing but a number for these loved-up A-Listers. My BF and I both think so! He is almost 10 years older than I. We met via ~~Agelessmeet .COM~~ a nice place for younger women and older men, or older women and younger men, to interact with each other! Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends :)

    • BS77

      babyanng….go somewhere else to post your nonsense/

    • "gunner"

      spam, it comes in a rectangular blue can, also in irrelevant postings online.

  • crackerjack

    Breivik will have his say. And what will he say? Exactly what Horowitz, Steyn, Spencer, Broder, Glazov, Pipes, Derschowitz, Glick,etc have been saying and preaching for years. – Leftist appeasers are betraying Western civilisation to Islam.

    They talk, he acted.

    • dave

      With that logic, every ideology should equally be discredited in the same way. Animal rights activists who blow up labs and want to kill scientists should therefore discredit the whole animal rights movement, muslims who kill millions in cold blood should discredit the whole of Islam etc. This case will not be treated in the same way, and will make it very hard to even speak about Islam, let alone criticize it.

      • curmudgeon

        and when you dare not even speak about an unspeakable evil that is conquering your homeland and reducing you and your descendants into slavery at the hands of an alien horde that hates everything about you, what options does that leave? cowardly submission to slavery and genocide, or war. if you know of some other option, i would like to know what it is. the best way to ensure that brievik is only the first patriot in the resistance movement against islamic slavery and genocide is to silence all those with the courage and wisdom to refuse to submit to evil. if you want war, silence the discourse, and handcuff the victims. they may resist.

      • Tomko

        In most European countries you CAN'T "speak about Islam, let alone criticize it." You will most likely be charged with hate crimes and end up in jail. When people watch their societies being destroyed by a foreign and unwelcome religious ideology but they are forbidden from speaking about it, exactly HOW are they supposed to express their displeasure? Do you believe that people are just going to sit back and bite the bullet, or are they going to take matters into their own hands and lock-&-load the bullet? Judging from historical accounts I would bet on the latter.

  • Jeff_Kuryk

    One way forensic counsellors can try to reinvigorate a political psychopath's soul is to pay them well to read, "Every Man Dies Alone" by Hans Fallada. Instruct them to identify each character as they appear in the novel and detail their eventual fate. They might also benefit from viewing "What is the Meaning of Life" on YouTube; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjIAQQUTCNQI

  • Davidka

    I am totally unfamiliar with Norwegian trial procedures. But an interesting question is what the prosecution will do. Will it try to tar critics of extremist Islam, as the defense will? Since Breivik certainly will be convicted— the fix has been in for a long time— the prosecution risks little by going along with the defense strategy.

    It would be wonderful if the experts on Islam would have an opportunity to speak their mind at the trial and expose their thoughts and evidence to a larger— indeed worldwide— audience, who could find those ideas meritorious or not. More likely they will be blocked from saying anything useful, by the defense, the prosecution and the judge.

    • trickyblain

      Would it have been "wonderful" if Nazis at Nuremburg were allowed to bring witnesses specializing in Eugenics?

      I too am unfamiliar with the legal system. But I'm sure there is an equivalent to objections such as beyond the scope, immaterial and irrelevant. Norwegian society is not on trial. Brevik is.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Alas, I think Breivik's motivations are much more sinister. On the hand, due to his narcissism (+ inferiority complex) he wants this moment to shine (hence his manifesto and the way he carries and portrays himself). That is, in his own twisted way, he wants to be the focal point, or epicentre of a 'new movement', his so-called Knight Templer order… On the other hand, he obviously doesn't believe in democracy or peaceful solutions, for he's a figure of strife and (self-)destruction, i.e. an exact mirror-image of the Islamists he supposedly fights. Therefore, he wants to implicate all reasonable constructive Islam-critics who combat Islam's most dangerous aspects with words and ideas. Because by silencing these critics on (mainly) the Right side (even though these days you're Right by default if you dare to criticize Islam) he leaves only one option open: violence (i.e. extreme right will take over). For by letting everything go to hell, he will effectively destroy all further communication between Left and Right, making his 'revolution' all the more likely (of course, with him as self-styled "martyr"). At the same time, this courtroom action will expose the Left's shared desire with Islam, to silence all critics (a desire they share, albeit for different reasons). Thereby 'proving' his central thesis, that the Left and Islam are supposedly in cahoots.

    • Tomko

      "Because by silencing these critics on (mainly) the Right side (even though these days you're Right by default if you dare to criticize Islam) he leaves only one option open: violence"

      The critics of Islam have ALREADY been silenced. Have you not read of the criminal cases brought forward or the web sites shut down because they were critical of Islam. Breivik is a symptom not the cause. If the political elite continues to stifle discourse, making it a crime to even discuss the problems associated forcing Islam on a society that doesn't want it, then Breivik will only be the first of many that will resort to violence to express themselves when all other venues have been shut.

    • Kevin Stroup

      Breivik's atrocities resulted from viewpoints like his being silenced already. He killed his fellow Norwegians because he felt they are traitors. The Muslims are only a threat because his fellow PC, MC Norwegians have allowed them to become so. The real problem is the Leftist that run the country. You want savage? You kill your enemies children and allow them to live so they can think about it, every single day, for the rest of their lives. Breivik knows how to hate. I cannot honestly feel sorry for the ruling class who lost their children. They are decadent and got what they deserve.

  • SassyFrasse

    In the meantime,

    – The Fort Hood Massacre, of November 16 2009, and the SELECTIVE WHEELS of the Obama's Justice Brothahs,….

    …….. refuse to bring JUSTICE for our American troops!

    Another OBAMA / HOLDER consession to Islam.

  • Western Spirit

    cowardly is right. people in the west wouldn't even stand up to political correctness. now islam is invading the west and the west is caving in. the west has lost its god and its way so is on the path to losing its freedom and all that entails, as well.

  • tagalog

    Common sense, respect, and sensitivity should of course be considered in speaking of anything. Obviously. However, speech engaged in foolishly or recklessly, without regard to such considerations, must never be restricted by law, except in the most extreme situations (such as defamation of character, harassment, or the like).

  • SassyFrasse

    The Marxist media grievance theater is never really about the specific case,….

    Ain't dat correct. Mr. Holder?.

  • Ghostwriter

    It's a shame Norway doesn't have a death penalty. To me,Brevik deserves it or at the very least to spend the rest of his miserable life in prison.

    • Tomko

      Look at how many people proudly ware t-shirts with a picture of Che emblazoned on the front. The amount of people that Breivik killed is NOTHING compared to the number Che killed; yet he's considered a hero amongst left wing progressives. Chairman Mao killed millions yet he has faithful followers in the Obama administration. When someone kills for a cause or an ideology, who then determines whether they're a villain or a hero. If our society is ultimately consumed by Islam, future generations that become enslaved by it may have an entirely different attitude towards Breivik. Do you know of ANYONE that is fighting for the survival of our civilization?

      • Ghostwriter

        Look,Tomko. To me,nothing justifies what Anders Breivik did. Many Norwegians,including kids,were killed in his rampage. I don't consider what Che or Breivik did heroic. They're both lunatics who deserve condemnation. Remember 9/11? That was done by a bunch of fanatics who just wanted to kill people. That's what Breivik is. A bloodthirsty killer who killed people for his own warped reasons. I see nothing heroic in what this man did.

  • hsmndm

    EXCELLENT!! Where does chit meet chit? of course, in the chithouse.. free speech my azz.. you are responsible for what you say, you moron! responsible!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    So who would be the best Psychiatrist for the Prosecution, maybe Obama could spring
    Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan MD. (of Palestinian descent) from custody pending his trial for
    mass murder, killing 13 and wounding 29. These two aberrations have much in common
    and as Psychiatrist and subject a true understanding could be gotten for the inquiring
    mind. These two discussing the issue of Muslim colonization and Islamist jihad and how
    to bring light to the issues in a crazy way, murder most foul would make for the trial of
    the century if not millenium. I think I have heard the common diagnosis and cure,
    "BS!!!!………get a rope"………………William

  • kenaan

    Well,I hope Jews will can tolerate somr critics to their religion as long as they persist on accusing Islam with unfairness with Dhimmies (non -Muslims) -Jews look at the Talmud with great respect"The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart's blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs, or ceremonies we observe-whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or merely spasmodic sentimentalists-we follow the Talmud. It is our common law." – Herman Wouk, This is My God. , just read this script from Talmud : Schene luchoth haberuth, p 250b: "Although the non-Jew has the same body structure as the Jew, they compare with the Jew as a monkey to a human." ,and think about this :Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore Via 17."A Jew should and must make a false oath when the goyim asks if our books contain anything against them."

    • Paul137

      Drool much, kenaan?

  • M.J.

    BREIVIK…. is a result of MULTICULTURALISM….! Politicians have ignored hundreds of thousands of desperate people like Breivik FOR DECADES…! And if the politicians do not start to listen we will see more of these desperate people kill hundreds and thousands of people in Europe and Scandinavia…!

  • Nagesh

    Brevik is simply a symptom, or reflection, of the disease that is being perpetrated by most of our western elites (& marxists), along with the islamists. He is an expression of the outrage of people who recognize the threat of islam to our entire civilization and recognize that it is our own leaders who are enabling this to happen. When those who are trying to wake people up to the evil that is here (islam) are demonized, then the buildup of frustration will inevitably lead to violence. It is simple psychology. If truth is not allowed to be expressed and supported, then an explosion will happen. Western elites need to wake up before it is too late.

  • kenaan

    Well,I hope Jews can tolerate some critics to their religion as long as they persist on accusing Islam with unfairness with Dhimmies (non -Muslims) -Jews look at the Talmud with great respect"The Talmud is to this day the circulating heart's blood of the Jewish religion. Whatever laws, customs, or ceremonies we observe-whether we are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, or merely spasmodic sentimentalists-we follow the Talmud. It is our common law." – Herman Wouk, This is My God. , just read this script from Talmud : Schene luchoth haberuth, p 250b: "Although the non-Jew has the same body structure as the Jew, they compare with the Jew as a monkey to a human." ,and think about this :Szaaloth-Utszabot, The Book of Jore Via 17."A Jew should and must make a false oath when the goyim asks if our books contain anything against them.

  • towelhead

    Islam will bring rivers of blood into our cities. There will be no mercy – millions of Muslims will die, and Islam will die with them.
    Every country has heroes it deserves. I wish we had a non-violent hero who stopped the Muslim invasion of Europe before the civil war became inevitable, but now we are beyond the point of no return. Anders Breivik is our hero because no one else had the courage to fire the first shot. The sooner the civil war begins, the better are our odds of winning the war.

  • Awaken

    Brevik is a Satanic controled "agents provacatur" who with his leftist and anti-Christian allies is using this trial as a "witch hunt" to destroy the critics of islam and other pro-God forces! Please stop this before more innocent people suffer!