Multiculturalism, Islam, and Censorship (was: Why Lars Hedegaard Is Being Tried)
January 22, 2011 by Paul McKeever
Lars Hedegaard is an author and founder of the Free Press Society in Denmark. Commencing January 24, 2011, he will be tried under Denmark’s law against the expression of “hate speech” for having stated that Muslim families “…rape their own children” and for thereby expressing contempt for a group defined by its faith (note: contrary to ignorant opinion, “Muslim” is a reference to ones religious beliefs, not to ones genetic make-up). Hedegaard has since explained that he did not intend to imply that all Muslim families engage in such conduct. Indeed, Hedegaard and all but the most ignorant of individuals take it as a given that rape does not happen in all Muslim families. And, clearly, neither Hedegaard nor any except the most unjust in society think it right morally to condemn a family for a crime that none of its members have committed. Yet, as insulting and offensive as Hedegaard’s statement was to people who did not give Hedegaard the benefit of the doubt, the fact of the matter is that Hedegaard’s punishment is not truly sought because he expressed a falsehood, offended Muslims, or turned some people against Muslims. His punishment is sought because he dared to think and judge for himself. By doing so, he – wittingly or unwittingly – attacked the foundations of collectivism.
In the ideal collectivist society, all of the wealth created by individuals is the property of all individuals considered collectively. Only the collective is said to be deserving of wealth. However, there is no such thing as a collective entity of which human individuals are but a part: in practice, “collective” is merely another way of saying “government”. Collectivists are simply individuals who want government to take wealth – by force or threat of force – from those who have created it, and to give it to those who did not. The collectivist wants something for nothing – he wants the unearned – and he is willing to embrace any rationalization that will result in him receiving the unearned from his government.
Moral codes explain the consequences of ones decisions and actions; they explain what one has earned (be it a gain or a loss) as a result of ones decisions and conduct; what one deserves. But a collectivist does not want his decisions, indecision, actions or omissions to have any consequences: he does not want the wealth he obtains to be based upon what he has earned or upon what he, personally, deserves. Accordingly, collectivists are opponents of all moral codes; they are opponents of morality itself.
In practice, collectivists seek to destroy morality by arguing that no moral code has any better claim to being true than does any other moral code; that, therefore, each person’s choice of morality is entirely subjective. To justify their moral subjectivism, collectivists argue that human beings are incapable of certainty about anything: nobody can know what is in accord with the facts of reality, so no moral code can be proven to be the one proper to humans living on this earth. “Anything is possible”, they argue “so nobody can say that one moral code is right or better than another moral code”.
By asserting that morality is wholly subjective, collectivists oppose the notion that it is possible to know who is deserving of material wealth. If most people in society believe that nobody can be known to be more deserving than anyone else, the way is paved for the collectivist to assert that, therefore, everyone – whether or not he has created wealth – is equally deserving of wealth.
Unfortunately for the collectivist, it is difficult for most people to watch a man build a bird house for his child and then claim that he is no more deserving of it than anyone else. Therefore, to justify taking wealth from those who create it, the collectivist needs the general public to believe that, if a person has more than an equal share of the wealth, he has obtained it by wrongful, unjust means…even when, in fact, there has been no injustice.
One of the main ways in which the collectivist creates the false impression of wrongful gain is to exploit the nature of the non-chosen qualities of individuals: the things over which one has no power of choice, such as ones own genetic make-up and place of birth. Ethics deals only with the chosen: the things over which one has the power to make choices. Ethics tells a person what decisions one should make and which decisions one should not make. Ethics does not deal with the non-chosen. For example, it does not not tell you that you ought to have a genetic code other than the one you have because even were it to do so, you would be incapable of changing the fact that you have the code you have. And, because non-chosen factors cannot be judged good or evil, better or worse, ones non-chosen qualities have no bearing upon the question of what one deserves.
Hence the collectivist’s obsession with the non-chosen qualities of human beings. In particular, many collectivists – notably, the “multiculturalists” – deem humanity to be split into collectives defined by such non-chosen factors as race, sex, and place of birth. Having deemed individuals to be members of those collectives, the collectivist argues that, because no such collective can be judged better or worse, no such collective is deserving of any more material wealth than any other such collective. And, if one of those collectives has more wealth, it has more than it deserves.
How did it get more than it deserves? The collectivist’s response is that if there is a disparity of wealth among groups of people distinguished by non-chosen factors, that disparity is the result of injustice of one sort or another. Typically, the injustices are said to have taken the form of racism, sexism, xenophobia, or other isms based upon the non-chosen qualities of people. The collectivist sums up all such alleged discrimination in one word: intolerance. And, by attacking such intolerance, the collectivist attempts to obtain for collectivism an unearned reputation of tolerance (unearned, because the collectivist has no tolerance for morality, but instead actively seeks to destroy it).
Of course, it is absolute nonsense that everyone who has more material wealth got it by engaging in discrimination against people according to non-chosen factors. So, lacking evidence that every wealthier individual is a racist, sexist, or what have you, the collectivist argues that the discrimination is systemic: that society in general is, to one extent or another, racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc.; that society as a whole is intolerant.
Having so condemned society, the collectivist champions laws to make society less intolerant. Enter laws against “hate speech”. Laws against “hate speech” are laws pursuant to which one is punished for saying or writing something that is an explicit or implicit statement that people having some non-chosen quality – like their genetic make up or place of birth – are somehow not as good as others (which, as a matter of ethics, necessarily implies: not as deserving as others).
On their face, they are laws against what most people would agree is immoral and unjust: judging a person undeserving or inferior because of his non-chosen qualities. But punishing such injustice is not the real goal of hate speech laws. Combatting racism, sexism, and xenophobia is the cover story. The real goal of hate speech laws is to punish the expression that someone or some group of people is better than someone else or some other group of people. Hate speech laws aim to discourage the belief that it is possible for one person to be more deserving than another. They aim to discourage the belief that there is such a thing as an objective, true code of moral conduct.
That conclusion might at first blush appear arbitrary and unwarranted, but consider two additional facts. First, consider that, in many if not all such codes, truth is not a defence. No matter how much evidence Hedegaard might tender to support an allegation about sexual abuse in Muslim families, all of it would be irrelevant. Truth is not a defence to a hate speech charge because the truth, according to the collectivists, cannot be known; no person can be certain of anything, no matter how much evidence is tendered.
Second, hate speech codes also tend to include a very special instance of the chosen qualities of a person: ones faith. One can choose to have faith, or not to have it, and one can choose what to believe on faith (i.e., one can choose one religion over another). Why, then, do the collectivists include faith along with non-chosen qualities like genetic makeup and place of birth?
The answer is that beliefs founded on faith are, by definition, beliefs that one cannot prove, with physical evidence, to be true. Faith-based beliefs, therefore, are the best evidence the collectivists have for claiming that one cannot be certain of anything. From the collectivists’ perspective, to condemn beliefs founded on faith is to condemn the notion that one cannot be certain of anything, and to have contempt for those who hold beliefs founded only on faith is to have contempt for collectivism and its rejection of the ability to know and judge.
Consider, as one relevant example, Allah’s statement in the Qu’ran that a man’s testimony is worth that of two women. Consider the implications of that law of evidence for a situation like, say, rape. It is not unreasonable to assume that, in a great many situations in which a man rapes a woman, he and she are the only witnesses to the crime. Result: case dismissed, because it’s his word against hers, and his word is worth two of hers. We see the government of Denmark recoil in horror that Lars Hedegaard would express concern, or disgust about the rate of sexual abuse within families, but who among us thinks it right not to condemn a faith-based law of evidence that, in effect, excuses the raping of a woman? Who in their right mind does not hold that sexist and clearly dangerous bit of faith-based law in utter contempt? Who, by expressing such contempt, does not unavoidably express contempt for every person who holds and reveres such a sexist and dangerous bit of faith-based evidence law?
A Muslim is, by definition, a person who submits wholly and without exception to the will of Allah. To be a Muslim is to believe what the Qu’ran says, and to obey it. To be a Muslim, one must accept and agree that a man’s testimony is worth the testimony of two women. Disagree, and one becomes a hypocrite, an unbeliever, impure, a fire dweller, or any of range of other contemptuous things stated in the Qu’ran. Thus, to express contempt for such a disgusting faith-based law is to express contempt for those who think the law right, just, and holy: it is to express contempt for true, pure, believing, obedient, holier-than-thou Muslims. However, it is also to express contempt for anyone who thinks it proper to punish someone for expressing contempt for such a law, or for those who revere such a law. In other words, to express contempt about a sexist faith-based law is to express contempt for the collectivists and their hate speech law. It is to express contempt for everyone who condemns as “intolerance” or “xenophobia” the expression of concern or disgust for a dangerous, unjust, sexist, faith-based law of evidence, or for those who revere such law.
Lars Hedegaard is not being tried for hurting the feelings of Muslim families. He is being tried for publicly rejecting moral relativism and radical skepticism. He is being tried for holding the collectivists, and their attack on reason and morality, in contempt. By punishing Hedegaard for daring to claim that he is capable of knowing something; by punishing him for expressing moral condemnation; the collectivists hope to discourage all others from thinking themselves capable and worthy of knowing and judging for themselves. Hedegaard, and all others so immorally punished by collectivist hate speech laws around the globe, are a threat not chiefly to Muslim families, but to the collectivist’s continued claim to the unearned.
The irony, however, is that the collectivists never anticipated Islam when developing their strategy for the looting of the productive. Fighting the belief that an individual is capable of knowing and judging, collectivists have attempted to have individuals trust in the allegations made by government, and to surrender to the will of the government: they have propped up the government as though it were a supernatural, all-knowing, all-powerful god to be obeyed without question. Now that the collectivists have managed to render so many of the governed brainless and obedient, the brainless and obedient are fully ready to accept the Qu’ran as the source of their beliefs (according to the collectivists, they can be certain of nothing, so how could anyone be certain that anything in the Qu’ran is wrong?), and Allah as the all powerful governor to be obeyed (one dictator is as good as the next, so long as he’s the all-provider, right?). But, rest assured, with an Islamic government in place, there will be no tolerance for expressed uncertainty about the will of Allah, or for moral subjectivism; there will be no respect for the equality of the sexes, for polytheists, atheists, gays, lesbians, or bi-sexuals; Jews will have the status given to them many times in the Qu’ran: they will be treated as monkeys and swine; there will not only be inequality of income, but there will be slavery, with Allah’s blessing. And the collectivist who expects his own conduct to have no bearing on what share of the wealth he receives from an Islamic government will suddenly find that he has created the very antithesis of the consequence-free sort of lifestyle he lied and cheated to create: a society in which, finally, by the moral code of Allah, the collectivist gets only what he deserves.
When the collectivist does get what he deserves, let the rational, moral victims of collectivism be the first to exclaim “Allah be praised”! In the meantime, let all who value reason, morality and the freedom of the individual stand by Lars Hedegaard in defence of free speech.
Paul McKeever is leader of the Freedom Party in Canada.