Free Speech – Except About Illegal Immigration

Police Line Do Not CrossA number of incidents in Europe and the United States suggest that free speech is an important value only until someone uses speech to criticize illegal immigration. Authorities across Europe and even in the U.S. are either prosecuting or threatening prosecution of people who are critical of government policy regarding refugees or illegal immigration.

Consider the following:

A Greek Orthodox Bishop faces prosecution for discussing illegal immigration during a sermon, according to a disturbing report from the Gatestone Institute.

“The coalition government of Alexis Tsipras (SYRIZA) and Panos Kammenos (Independent Greeks) asked the district attorney to prosecute the Bishop of Chios Island, Markos Vasilakis, because he dared to say, during a sermon, that the thousands of people who recently arrived from Turkey on the island of Chios are illegal migrants, and not Syrian refugees.”

A British man was arrested for Tweeting about a conversation he had with a Muslim woman about terrorism.

A man in the UK has been arrested on charges of inciting racial hatred on social media, after he tweeted about asking a Muslim woman to “explain” the terror attacks in Brussels. As The Guardian reports, London’s Metropolitan Police on Wednesday arrested a 46-year-old man believed to be Matthew Doyle, a partner at a London PR agency.

German police raided numerous homes earlier this year in response to online “hate” postings.

German police in a coordinated effort conducted a series of raids targeting hate speech online. Federal police (BKA) performed operations in 14 of Germany’s 16 states, reportedly investigating roughly 60 suspects. No arrests were made but computer equipment, cameras and smartphones were seized in the first-ever mass raids targeting online hate speech.

Dutch police threatened one man for posting a Tweet that said:

“The college of Sliedrecht has a proposal to receive 250 refugees in the coming 2 years. What a bad plan! #letusresist”

And in the United States, a firestorm of media interest about the rape of an underage girl by refugees led to a remarkable statement by a U.S. attorney who threatened to prosecute people writing about the case:

United States Attorney Wendy J. Olson put out a press release warning, “the spread of false information or inflammatory or threatening statements about the perpetrators or the crime itself reduces public safety and may violate federal law. We have seen time and again that the spread of falsehoods about refugees divides our communities. I urge all citizens and residents to allow Mr. Loebs and Chief Kingsbury and their teams to do their jobs.”

Across the Western world it seems to be a safe conclusion that free speech is an important value to governments as long as it is not used to criticize illegal immigration or refugee policy.

avatar About Karl Filippini

Karl joined FAIR in 1998. He maintains and evaluates FAIR's website and manages E-Mail traffic. Karl offers a mixture of technical and issue related knowledge. As technology changes Karl helps FAIR remain ahead of the curve.

Comments

  1. avatar capoprimo says:

    Speak you mind at your peril. Some Universities are limiting free speech to specific areas, others are limiting speech to only when “necessary,” speech derogatory of candidates or the President could potentially land you in jail. So I wonder, just how free is our speech?

    • avatar Cici says:

      Probably millions of college students are afraid to speak candidly about illegal immigration. I’ve heard how some teachers punish students who are no “politically correct” by giving them lower grades. Students probably realize that the teacher would deny it, and it would be almost impossible to prove, so THEY KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT.

      Plus, what happens to so many American college grads today
      ? They’re deeply in debt, with few, if any, job prospects as they have to compete with immigrants. The one thing that Marco Rubio said with which I agree is that we need more welders than philosophers.

  2. The World Governments Becoming Alike?

    All greedy and uncaring to the sovereign citizens.

  3. avatar Kyle says:

    Not knowing the particulars, Attorney Olsen may be walking to fine a line, as are many appointed during this asinine and corrupt administration.

  4. avatar Leland says:

    No surprise that the U.S. Attorney was appointed in 2010 by this administration. Just elect Hillary and we get more of the same. And who decides what are “inflammatory” statements? I would suspect that for many people any criticism, true or not, would qualify for such status. If you happened to read sites like HuffPo when that guy put out that internet movie about Mohammed, there were a lot of people saying I believe in free speech, but… Many wanted to put him in jail because he supposedly “encouraged violence” in Muslim countries. Sorry, if you can’t take criticism without reacting violently, then you are the problem.

    I was watching the press conference with Trump and the president of Mexico, who was saying Mexicans in the US “respect the law”. Really? Other than crossing the border illegally, overstaying visas, stealing SS numbers, and collecting benefits they aren’t entitled to? Try any of that in Mexico. The fact is that Mexico is a corrupt country run by drug cartels. He was complaining about US weapons coming into Mexico. So stop complaining about a wall that will eliminate much of that, along with the drugs that are flowing into this country and are the cause of a huge heroin epidemic here.

    About three months ago an international group investigating the disappearance of 43 Mexican college students a couple years ago announced that they were leaving the country because of government stonewalling, failure to produce witnesses, and orchestrated media attacks on the members of the group.

    As far as NAFTA, we were assured it would benefit us. But a small trade surplus with Mexico pre treaty has grown into huge deficits every year and the loss of many jobs. Just like we were told the Korea free trade deal in 2012, which Hillary promoted, would help us. Instead our deficits with them have mushroomed.

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