The Supreme Court did, in Beauharnais v. Illinois (1952), uphold a “group libel” law that outlawed statements that expose racial or religious groups to contempt or hatred, unless the speaker could show that the statements were true, and were said with “good motives” and for “justifiable ends.” But this too was treated by the Court as just a special case of a broader First Amendment exception — the one for libel generally. And Beauharnais is widely understood to no longer be good law, given the Court’s restrictions on the libel exception. ….
Beauharnais is a terrible law. Its definition of "good motives" and "justifiable ends" is incredibly vague. People could use Beauharnais as a precedent to outlaw any criticism of religion, including your criticism of Islam.
You've frequently written that Islam is a terrible religion, a cult of death, a political program from hegemony, bigoted, etc. By and large I agree (although this true at its fullest for the Wahabi/Salafi schools, less so for other schools of though within Islam).
According to an interpretation of Beauharnais your statements about Islam could be seen as "exposing a religious group to contempt and hatred". Since you're also advocating banning Islam and expelling Muslims, few judges would argue that you had "good motives" for "justifiable ends" (since your motives and ends go against the First Amendment).
If Beauharnais was applied consistently you'd be in jail.
on hate speech certainly seems to be equivalent to the Beauharnais position:
In Germany, Volksverhetzung ("incitement of popular hatred") is a punishable offense under Section 130 of the Strafgesetzbuch (Germany's criminal code) and can lead to up to five years imprisonment. Section 130 makes it a crime to publicly incite hatred against parts of the population or to call for violent or arbitrary measures against them or to insult, maliciously slur or defame them in a manner violating their (constitutionally protected) human dignity. Thus for instance it is illegal to publicly call certain ethnic groups "maggots" or "freeloaders". Volksverhetzung is punishable in Germany even if committed abroad and even if committed by non-German citizens, if only the incitement of hatred takes effect within German territory, e.g., the seditious sentiment was expressed in German writ or speech and made accessible in Germany (German criminal code's Principle of Ubiquity, Section 9 §1 Alt. 3 and 4 of the Strafgesetzbuch).
Diddly squat to do with long-dead individual persons, but a lot to do with the specific harms such speech has on living groups
of people. Seems a pretty credible principle to me, one entirely applicable to the Quran, and a precedent that other Western countries would do well to emulate.
Do you see the Germans apply their hate speech laws to the Quran? Have you asked yourself why they don't? (Hint: it may have something to do with freedom of religion).
The German law is terrible. Again, if you wrote what you wrote in this forum in Germany you could be arrested.
Kirbmarc wrote:The Quran is a hateful, vile book. This doesn't mean that it should be made illegal, no more than the Bible or Dianetics or Mao's Red Book or other hateful, vile books.
Given that opinion – which I of course fully endorse, although I expect there are a few reasonable nuggets in amongst the horse shit – I’m surprised that you would apparently condone or support the immigration of Muslims. An ounce of prevention and all that.
There are nuggets in the horse shit (far and few between, but they are there). The same thing is true for the Bible.
The thing about condoning or supporting immigration of Muslims is that like it or not immigration of Muslims has been a fact for years. We already have significant Muslim communities in the "West". Also the appeal of the "West" in the eyes of many Muslim isn't likely to go away any time soon.
People really want to immigrate to the West. They travel through deserts and seas, often in extremely harsh conditions, to get here. Their motivation is pretty strong, so I don't think that simply closing borders to anyone would stop them or deter them. Someone who has risked death by dehydration or drowning isn't going to be stopped by some walls.
The only ways to completely halt immigration in a significant fashion are incredibly unethical and fall short of genocide. Leaving people to die in the desert or the sea is also incredibly unethical.
But even leaving ethics aside, if you oppose immigration with violence or harsh rejection you're going to create an environment which fosters more violence. If your navy guns down the boats of the immigrants or simply lets them drown instead of rescuing them, the relatives of those dead immigrants and people who feel affinity with them are going to become hostile to your country, and (for example) support terrorist groups which are going to kill your citizens.
With that said a completely "open doors" policy is also full of risks and just isn't viable.
So what is the right choice?
As far as I can tell (and I'm aware that what I'm saying has its limits) the solution isn't the prevent immigration but to carefully control it.
Institute avenues for legal immigration tied to job opportunities (i.e. you can come if you've found a job in the country, for a period which depends on a variety of reasons) and for refugees (through careful vetting and evaluating individual histories and conditions, not on a "everyone from Country X is a refugee" basis). Rescue illegal immigrants and grant them the respect of their basic human rights, but also make sure that they're brought back to their country of origin (they can reapply for legal immigration in the future, but they have to understand how to do it through proper channels).
Once immigrants and refugees are in the country, make sure they understand that their rights imply responsibilities: expel people who violate your county's laws, expect them to accept the laws of your country (one law for the land, no room for their :oops: religious/cultural laws), monitor the activity of places of cult (read their statements, control the flow of their fundings, make sure that they're not encouraging people to break the laws), teach the language of the land and promote secularism and liberal values (women's rights, LGBT rights) in all immigrant communities and tie the renewal of permit to stay to a basic degree of knowledge of the language of the land and to having a clean record, make sure that renovation of the permit to with no excuses for "cultural" reasons, disestablish and firmly refuse the establishment of publicly funded religious schools, and closely monitor the activity of private religious schools, integrate the children of immigrants into your culture by teaching them the values of secularism, liberalism and democracy in the public schools (which they must attend, just like the children of the native population)...the list goes on.
In short immigrants and refugees need to understand that they're guests. They're welcome when they have a job, try to learn the language of the land, respect the laws and principles of the land and are open to the idea of control of fundings and the messages they spread. Otherwise they've outstayed their welcome.
Countries also need to pay no attention to the Regressive Left and the SJWs who say that monitoring places of cult and schools is racist, or that evaluating the age of a "teenage" refugee through scientifically reliable methods (and not by taking their words at face value) is "discrimination", that criticizing and mocking Islam is "racist" etc. These loons must be treated as the loons they are: mocked, exposed, and ostracized by non-loony people (this is what we do here).
Also Islam apologists (Reza Aslan and others) should be challenged, criticized, and mocked with no limits of "religious defamation" (see why it's important NOT to have "religious defamation" laws, Steers? The Muslim apologists, among others, are sure as hell going to exploit them).
This is a job for secularist groups. Atheist/skeptic groups should be criticizing, satirizing and mocking Islam, pointing out the bad behavior of Muslims, rejecting any excuse, supporting secular liberal democracies and the integration of Muslims into Western culture. Instead we had an invasion of SJWs who spend their time discussing whether the Charlie Hebdo cartoons were racist instead of talking about the authoritarianism in Islam and of Muslim apologists. We had people who think that Islamisn't a threat "compared to homegrown theocrats".
Of course problems are still going to occur even if do everything I wrote. That's when you need the police to intervene, and to do it quickly and smartly. In Cologne, for example, the police had water cannons and other means of crowd control: they used them against the Pegida protesters in the next days. A large crowd of rowdy people near a station doesn't go unnoticed to the cameras or the citizens. At the first warning sign that a threatening situation was about to happen the police should have been dispatched, armed with those water cannons and other means of crowd dispersal, ready to intervene. I bet that the crowd would have either behaved better or it would have broken down.
What would have been even better was if the police understood that New Year's Eve is usually an occasion for mayhem, and so police officers should have been on duty (it sucks to work on a holiday, but it's your job), places where people are likely to form crowds should have been monitored by constant police presence, with the option of calling for backup quickly if the crowd seems to get bigger and rowdier. Crowd control means should have been at disposal of police.
Nothing of this sort was done. Instead not only did the police ignore any warning signs, they basically stood by for four hours while the crimes were already been committed. It's useful to ask ourselves why, and it's likely that at least some reasons for this failure (other than possible lack of personnel on a holiday) were due to a desire of the authorities in Cologne not to appear as racists for monitoring or acting against (with the due amount of force) crowds of "brown people".
When the police fails to react, it's a major disgrace which shouldn't be swept under the carpet, but should be exposed immediately. Those responsible (the chief of local police, the mayor) have to resign immediately, no matter how good their excuses: if you're the boss you're always responsible when something goes wrong. If they don't want to resign their bosses should have forced them to do so.
Victims should have been listened to, perpetrators should have been arrested and expelled, and the local communities from where the perpetrators come from should be monitored. Some good questions that the German secret service should have asked are what did the imams say about the event? Did they blame the victims? If so, what are their names, and where do they come from? Who donated money to their mosque? Are their phones under control? Do they have a history of excusing bad behavior? If they're not citizens, when are their permits of stay going to be renewed, and should we renew them? If they're citizens, have they spent some time abroad? Where? Do their friends and acquaintances include people known for ties to Islamist organizations?
For example a Sami Abu-Yusuf, not coincidentally a Salafist imam, blamed the victims. He should immediately become a subject of a police/secret service investigation if he hasn't been already: the fundings of his mosque should be monitored, his cell phone ad other means of communication should be under control (I bet that there are interesting things to find out) and if there's a pattern of bad behavior on his part he and others involved in his mosqueshould have the permits of stay revoked, or they should be arrested.
Who’s “we”? My comment was entirely general except for the specific qualification of the Captain, although I did have various “usual suspects” and topics in mind, not all of which are related to Islam. However, while I don’t have any specific bill-of-particulars in hand, I kind of get the impression that your reluctance to address the question of whether the hate speech of the Quran should be construed as libelous certainly looks like it’s shading in that direction.That the US doesn’t currently define it as such seems rather secondary to the question of whether or not it should be. As I pointed out, laws change all the time – the question is whether the changes suggested hold water or not.
I have addressed it. I think that hate speech laws in general are too vague, too prone to abuse (including abuse from Muslim apologists who would like to put people like you in jail) and too confusing to be of any help.
"Hate speech" is a confused concept: is arguing (like you have done) that Islam is so bad that it should be banned and Muslims expelled (except those who reject the core message of Islam) "hate speech" or "group libel" because it's likely to incite contempt, hatred and discrimination against a religious group (Muslims)? If this isn't the case, then why is the Quran to be considered "hate speech" or "group libel"?
What is the threshold for "hate speech"? This isn't clear and can never be clear, because all negative judgments of value about groups can be argued to be "hate speech". Unlike libel of specific person, which include some precise statement, "group libel" is by its nature vague and inconsistent. Saying "Mr. Cheat is a known and convicted criminal" is a precise statement. If Mr. Cheat hasn't been convicted of any crimes, that's a false statement, and one likely to constitute libel if published.
"Group libel", by its nature, isn't a precise definition. Is saying "Muslims are terrorists" "group libel"? What about "Islam is a hate group"? If not, why not? (You've supported the second sentence - written by Scented Nectar - here
"Group libel" ends up only restricting the possibility of criticism for everyone. Unless you're going to apply some kind of special pleading to Islam, there's no way you can justify banning Islam because it's "group libel" without also justifying banning your ideas, too.