Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Don’t Overlook This! 6/3/08

These are stories in the news that have much more significance than they’ve received. These stories should have been the leading news items of their day. Their significance extends beyond just a particular area and beyond just a particular news cycle.

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Brigitte Bardot Convicted in Speech Case

The former movie actress was convicted for writing an open letter to the President of France regarding immigration policies. Her major concern has been Muslim practices regarding ritual killing of animals. (She has been an animal rights activist for decades.) Her secondary concern has been the changing culture in the wake of large scale immigration from mainly Muslim countries.

Bardot was known for her steamy performances in the 60’s and 70’s. Her views and her writings reflect the attitudes of that era. Since the Danish cartoon controversy highlighted the changing and diminishing freedom of speech rights, many artists and writers have scaled back their views of artistic freedoms, especially as regards Muslims.

This has not held true for anti-Christian speech. The movie “The Da Vinci Code” offended many (if not most) Christians but nobody was ever prosecuted in the West for it. The movie and the book it was based on went much farther in criticizing Christianity than Bardot did in criticizing Islam.

This is the latest in a trend of attacks on freedom of speech in the western world involving Muslims. In Canada, Mark Steyn and Macleans Magazine is being prosecuted for publishing excerpts from his book regarding the effects on Muslim emigration on Western societies. Like Bardot’s case, the writings would not have been objectionable (legally) a decade ago.

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Here is the Bardot story from the AP. And here is the Steyn story on Wikipedia.

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Why This Is Significant:

This marks a trend in the lowering of free speech rights in order to accommodate Muslim concerns. There has been a steady stream of news stories in recent years about a tightening legal climate on writers, artists and others.

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Related Story
In Britain today, two Christian missionaries have been warned not to proselytize in a Muslim neighborhood. The police told the Christians that trying to convert Muslims to Christians is now a hate crime. They also told the Christians that if they came back they would be beaten although they did not specify who would do the beating, the Muslim residents or the police.

The interesting part of this story is the muted reaction of the British government to the police action. Their public attitude towards this story is consistent with their past public statements on these kinds of incidents.

Much of Britain is now considered “no go” areas for anybody but Muslims. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury has called for replacing British law with Muslim law in Muslim areas of Britain.

The story can be found here. There is a backlash as reported here.