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  #1  
Old 05-25-2005, 05:34 PM
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Post Freedom of speech vs hate crime: Which is it?

washingtonpost.com
Fallaci charged in Italy with defaming Islam

By Crispian Balmer
Reuters
Wednesday, May 25, 2005; 8:13 AM

ROME (Reuters) - A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book.

The decision angered Italy's justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work "La Forza della Ragione" (The Force of Reason).

Fallaci lives in New York and has regularly provoked the wrath of Muslims with her outspoken criticism of Islam following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities.

In "La Forza della Ragione," Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith "sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom."

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech.

But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted.

Grasso's ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci's words were "without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith."

MUSLIMS HAIL DECISION

Adel Smith, a high-profile Muslim activist who brought the original law suit, hailed the decision.

"It is the first time a judge has ordered a trial for defamation of the Islamic faith," he told reporters. "But this isn't just about defamation. We would also like (the court) to recognize that this is an incitement to religious hatred."

Justice Minister Roberto Castelli, who has a prickly relationship with the Italian judiciary, said the ruling represented an attack on freedom of expression.

"In Europe we are seeing the birth of a movement that is looking to silence those who don't follow a single mindset, within which it is forbidden to speak ill of Islam, of homosexuals or of the children of homosexuals," Castelli was quoted as saying in an interview with Radio Padania.

"In Fallaci's book there is very strong criticism but not defamation," Italian news agency ANSA quoted him as saying.

There was no immediate comment from Fallaci who is in her 70s and suffers from cancer.

Just weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, Fallaci published "La Rabbia e l'Orgoglio" ("The Rage and the Pride"), in which she said the West was superior to Islamic society and complained that Muslim immigrants had "multiplied like rats."

The book sold more than one million copies in Italy and at least 500,000 elsewhere in Europe.

Fallaci received numerous death threats following its launch and "La Forza della Ragione" was billed as her response to the outpouring of anger.

No date was set for the opening of the defamation trial.

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  #2  
Old 05-25-2005, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
washingtonpost.com
Fallaci charged in Italy with defaming Islam...

Grasso's ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci's words were "without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith."
...
Sure would like to see those 18 sentences.
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  #3  
Old 05-25-2005, 06:06 PM
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Its only the Christian bashing left that seems to care about offending Muslims that have not demounced terrorism and support of it publicly.
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Old 05-25-2005, 06:09 PM
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Italy and France have rather unique laws against inciting racial or religious prejudice. Here in the US it's a little different, we just ban books from countries which we have "economic sanctions" against. Here's the irony, we effectively censor the writings of authors or scholars who are sometimes risking their lives by putting to paper, what is happening in their countries, under the guise of promoting democracy. What wonderful times we live in.
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Old 05-25-2005, 06:51 PM
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I believe it could potentially rise to the level of hate crime here in the US if the publication contained a call to action, in which the primary goal of that action was to inflict hurtful intimidation upon, or violence against a group or groups of individuals. Fancy up your rhetoric in euphemisms, and you're free to peddle the hate here all you want--see Christian Right.
  #6  
Old 05-25-2005, 07:11 PM
MedMech
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We have this (OO)

On the right side.
  #7  
Old 05-25-2005, 07:42 PM
laurencekarl
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I don't think that you can libel or slander someone but it is pretty loosely enforced. I think "Hate Crimes" are just another form of fascism.

I think the following by the founder of my school expresses my sentiment exactly:

"We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." --Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, 1820
  #8  
Old 05-25-2005, 07:43 PM
laurencekarl
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MedMech you are an ASS I was at work and I suddenly have a zillion pop ups of dubious origins.
  #9  
Old 05-25-2005, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
Italy and France have rather unique laws against inciting racial or religious prejudice. Here in the US it's a little different, we just ban books from countries which we have "economic sanctions" against. Here's the irony, we effectively censor the writings of authors or scholars who are sometimes risking their lives by putting to paper, what is happening in their countries, under the guise of promoting democracy. What wonderful times we live in.
I didn't know we banned books. Are they banned by title or author?
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  #10  
Old 05-25-2005, 08:40 PM
MedMech
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Originally Posted by Botnst
I didn't know we banned books. Are they banned by title or author?
I think the Dewey Decimal System takes care of that.

The Cat In The Hat is currently "Banned" Zeitgiest is "Banned" but there still here ain't they.

Note:

"Ain't" was intentional figure it out.
  #11  
Old 05-25-2005, 08:44 PM
MedMech
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The 10 commandments seems to be banned as well, by right wingers of course.
  #12  
Old 05-25-2005, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedMech
The 10 commandments seems to be banned as well, by right wingers of course.
No big deal there. Folks haven't considered them more than "10 Helpful Suggestions" in several generations.
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  #13  
Old 05-25-2005, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurencekarl
I don't think that you can libel or slander someone but it is pretty loosely enforced. I think "Hate Crimes" are just another form of fascism.

I think the following by the founder of my school expresses my sentiment exactly:

"We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." --Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, 1820
Soscialists and communists (Kalifornia Liberals) practice hate crimes against the right all the time.....they are hardly fascist.
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  #14  
Old 05-25-2005, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Botnst
I didn't know we banned books. Are they banned by title or author?
They are banned if the publishers are in those countries that are not on the U.S. Christmas card list. So if a book was from a publisher in Cuba, Iran, Iraq (formerly), Libya or Sudan, it could not be brought into the U.S., including medical or technical journals. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control is the agency that oversees the ban.
  #15  
Old 05-25-2005, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTI
They are banned if the publishers are in those countries that are not on the U.S. Christmas card list. So if a book was from a publisher in Cuba, Iran, Iraq (formerly), Libya or Sudan, it could not be brought into the U.S., including medical or technical journals. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control is the agency that oversees the ban.
So it's an embargo against the publisher, not censorship of the writer? The author could still get published in the USA?

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