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Religion News Service: A teenage blogger from Singapore has been found guilty of insulting Christians and of distributing an obscene image of the country’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
The Washington Post: I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech stop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment.
Reason: “Limitations are necessary in a democratic society for the protection of others. We in our legal system make use of such limitations, as compared to the United States,” said Brandstetter. “For us, hate speech is misusing freedom of speech, and therefore shouldn’t be permitted.”
The Verge: The French government announced today a plan to hold web companies accountable for any extremist messages they may host, Bloomberg reports. French president Francois Hollande wants to introduce a law that would make companies like Google and Facebook”accomplices” in crimes of hate speech if users post content the government deems extremist.
The Christian Institute: Free speech has to be for everyone if it is to mean anything, Nick Clegg has said, as he warned against “knee-jerk authoritarianism” in the wake of the terrorist attacks in France.
Public Discourse: In the wake of Islamist attacks, non-Muslims express concern and confusion not because they are indifferent, but because they are afraid. They want to understand. Muslims have an opportunity to embrace this opportunity for understanding.
The New York Times: The journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech. The administration would have cut financing and shut them down.
National Review: In the U.K., a British public-television broadcast was accused of “hate speech” and was subject to a police investigation for reporting on radical Muslim preachers. Also in Britain, a congregation of an old Christian church, now surrounded by a new Muslim neighborhood, was convicted on a public-order offense for singing hymns on Sunday morning; the conviction was overturned late on appeal with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom.
Newsbusters: Among those on the list were Independent candidate for governor of Massachusetts Pastor Scott Lively, Christian radio host and Townhall columnist Michael Brown, Liberty University Law School dean and talk radio host Mat Staver, Christian conservative blogger Matt Barber, National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, Concerned Women for America’s Janice Shaw Crouse, Benjamin Bull of the conservative Christian law group, the Alliance Defending Freedom and Jordan Sekulow of another conservative Christian litigation group, American Center for Law and Justice among many other smaller Christian and conservative groups and professors. – See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kristine-marsh/2014/09/22/gay-group-list-extremist-christians-leads-death-threats#sthash.eUpwPEdV.dpuf
Charisma News: As for the larger organizations, like the ADF (the Alliance Defending Freedom) and ACLJ (the American Center for Law and Justice), with budgets in the 10′s of millions of dollars, the quotes associated with them can in no way be construed as a “vicious brand of bigotry.” (For example, the ADF’s Benjamin Bull is excoriated for stating that “HUMAN RIGHTS HAVE FREQUENTLY BEEN A RALLYING CRY FOR PEOPLE INTENT ON IMPOSING THEIR WORLDVIEW ON OTHERS”; their emphasis).
Fox News: The federal government is spending nearly $1 million to create an online database that will track “misinformation” and hate speech on Twitter.
The Catholic World Report: “While human rights provisions are meant to limit the reach of the state and empower citizens, hate speech laws do just the opposite – and that is why they are a tool of totalitarianism and not free democracies,” Alliance Defending Freedom’s legal advocate Paul Coleman stated in a July 4 speech.
Religion Clause: “In Sangathan v. Union of India, (India Sup. Ct., March 12, 2014), a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court of India refused to issue specific orders for authorities to take action against hate speech by political and religious leaders.”
CNSNews: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) says listing the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a resource on its “Hate Crimes” website page and linking to the organization is “not an endorsement” of the group or its research materials on hate crimes.
Fox News: Several dozen U.S. Army active duty and reserve troops were told last week that the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because the group advocates for traditional family values.
AP: A Japanese court on Monday ordered a group of anti-Korean activists to pay a Korean school in Kyoto 12 million yen ($120,000) in compensation for disturbing classes and scaring children by holding “hate speech” rallies outside the school.
Eugene Volokh at Volokh Conspiracy: According to the Copenhagen Post (Sept. 18, 2013), Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan was convicted under “anti-racism legislation” for posting this blog entry on a newspaper Web site, quoting and endorsing an earlier statement by Lars Kragh Andersen . . .
Reason: The group, called IDAHO (the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia), wants Twitter to give French authorities information on the users who used the hashtag. The hope is that those who used the hashtag will be prosecuted for violating France’s hate speech laws.
BizPacReview: A Muslim activist group is trying to treat a University of Central Florida professor’s planned speech on “The Islamic Threat to America” like a threat to Muslims in America. And trying to stamp it out.
NY Times: The major credit card companies position themselves as being quite broad-minded: observing gay pride month, creating a Shariah-compliant credit card, celebrating diversity among employees. But the companies also do business with hate groups, including by processing donations to anti-gay and anti-Muslim organizations and to white supremacists. Should credit card companies stop processing payments to such extremist groups? Or in the interest of free speech, should these organizations continue to be allowed to receive donations via credit card?
Sam Nunberg at Washington Times: The Turkish criminal courts have increasingly been used to further Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist agenda through hate-speech prosecutions. The May 22 sentencing of Turkish-Armenian Sevan Nisanyan continues this disturbing trend of strangling political and social discourse.
CNSNews: “We are very disturbed that the Southern Poverty Law Center is now expanding its reckless attacks against the Catholic Church,” said Boykin. “The SPLC has made false and inaccurate claims against the Family Research Council for years. The SPLC should fact check their own statements before making reckless accusations.”
Ryan T. Anderson at Public Discourse: Some on the left are criticizing Senator Ted Cruz’s recent comments about how the drive to redefine marriage may threaten religious freedom — but a closer inspection of the issue reveals his worries were accurate, prescient, and maybe even too cautious.
Egypt Independent: North Cairo Court sentenced a controversial Salafi preacher to three years in prison on Monday. Ahmed Mohamed Abdallah, better known as Abu Islam, faces three years in prison and a LE10,000 fine for insulting Christianity.
Ryan T. Anderson at Kansas City Star: Obama is right, though. And so is Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in his dissenting opinion, writing: “I would not tar the political branches with bigotry.” Kennedy’s words highlight a larger cultural dynamic: The principal strategy of the forces that have worked for 20 years to redefine marriage to include same-sex unions has been cultural intimidation – bullying others by threatening the stigma of being “haters” and “bigots.”
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 72% of American Adults believe allowing free speech without government interference is better than letting the government decide what types of hate speech should be banned.
Reason.com: Via Instapundit andJudicial Watch comes this troubling article in Tennessee’s The Tullahoma News about an upcoming conference entitled “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society,” in which Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division, and Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, will warn citizens about the criminal dangers of Facebooking hate speech . . .
NewsMax: Internet postings that violate civil rights — such as insults and accusations against Muslims on Facebook — are subject to federal jurisdiction and possible prosecution, according to Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The New American: As for Eurasia, its Ministry of Truth’s latest handiwork is the arrest and punishment of an American street preacher who dared speak of sin in that land once known as Scotland. The victim is 47-year-old New Yorker Shawn Holes, who was on a U.K. tour when he was arrested in Glasgow after running afoul of U.K. hate-speech laws.
MBD.Scout.com on MSN: According to the Power Point presentation, obtained and posted online by legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, the Army Reserve in Pennsylvania considers evangelical Christians, Catholics, and Mormons as dangerous as the Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, and Hamas.
allAfrica.com: The Media Monitoring Committee together with the Communication Commission of Kenya are working to have a law that will require internet service providers to install ISP addresses to all computers to help in monitoring the origin of inappropriate messages.
Nathan Cherry at Engage Family Minute: The Alliance Defending Freedom records a small victory for free speech in light of this case as it appears at least one statute was struck down in Canada’s Human Rights Code. But it is indeed a small victory as the overall tenor of this case is foreboding at best. The takeaway from this is that events like this are happening right now in America. There is a concerted effort to not just limit free speech and religious freedoms, but to elevate the “rights” of minority groups like homosexuals and transgender people above all others. This is the ultimate end of “anti-bullying” laws that equate changeable aspects of a person, such as sexual orientation, with permanent aspects such as race or nationality.
Washington Post: Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that two anti-gay words commonly used in Mexico are hate speech and not protected as freedom of expression under the country’s constitution, allowing those offended by them to sue for moral damages.
Canadian Constitution Foundation: Last week, in an unanimous decision in the case of Saskatchewan (Human Rights Commission) v. Whatcott, the Supreme Court of Canada struck a blow against freedom of speech.
Charles C.W. Cooke at National Review: If the Canadian Supreme Court is happy to indulge the prosecution of those whose speech apparently “opposes the targeted group’s ability to find self-fulfillment,” then I wonder if it wouldn’t also be happy to bring back Spectral Evidence, which William Stoughton allowed into his courtroom with such famous success at the Salem Witch Trials.
LifeSiteNews: After this week’s Supreme Court ruling finding him guilty of “hate speech,” Canada’s most controversial Christian activist says he will continue publicly witnessing against homosexuality.
LifeSiteNews: Brazilian lawmakers are seeking pass a law prohibiting “homophobia,” which would potentially outlaw all criticism of homosexual behavior. The bill is part of the country’s criminal code reform currently being undertaken in the National Congress, according to members of Brazil’s newly-formed National Association of Evangelical Jurist (ANAJURE). (Piero Tozzi in the video)
Christian News Net: The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that Biblical speech opposing homosexual behavior, including in written form, is essentially a hate crime.
Religion Clause Blog: In Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission v. Whatcott, (Sup. Ct. Canada, Feb. 27, 2013), the Supreme Court of Canada, in a 116-page opinion, upheld the constitutionality of a key provision in theSaskatchewan Human Rights Code, Sec. 14.
LifeSiteNews: Canada’s top court has released an unanimous decision today that critics say has struck a monumental blow against freedom of speech, opinion, and religion across the country.
Canadian Supreme Court: Freedom Of Religion And The Right To Equality Must Co-exist | Christian Legal Fellowship
National Post: Canada’s controversial 20-year-old legal definition of hatred is set to be updated or even overturned on Wednesday, as the Supreme Court of Canada rules in the case of William Whatcott, a born-again anti-gay pamphleteer who ran afoul of Saskatchewan’s Human Rights Code.
Paul Coleman at the Christian Post: The British are free to insult each other once again! Amazing as it seems, for over 25 years the use of “insulting words or behaviour” has been a criminal offense in England and Wales. However, on Monday, January 14, the British government agreed to remove the word “insulting” from section 5 of the Public Order Act after a longstanding campaign by civil rights groups.
Catholic News Agency: The petition reveals an “underlying agenda,” which is not simply to prevent violent crimes, but to “stigmatize any disapproval of homosexuality at all and essentially to silence us,” said Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Paul Coleman has authored an important new book, released this week, about the criminalization of so-called “hate speech” in Europe and the widespread threat it poses to free speech everywhere.
A victory for free speech: Lords vote to axe law banning insults that had led to countless arrests of ordinary people
Daiy Mail: Free speech campaigners have hailed a vote by the House of Lords to scrap a draconian law that made it a crime simply to insult someone. The controversial legislation led to countless arrests of ordinary people for making jokes and expressing opinions about religion and sexuality.
Telegraph: The Daily Telegraph has used its editorial to urge the Government to drop a controversial law that criminalises “insulting” words or behaviour.
Christian Institute: The House of Lords will vote on Wednesday on reforming a controversial law that criminalises “insulting” words or behaviour, as pressure mounts on the Government to act.
Christian Concern: Attempts to silence the free speech rights of a Christian provincial member of parliament in South Africa have been condemned by the Christian Peoples Alliance (CPA), a Christian democratic political party in Britain.
Christian Concern: Two big British banks have threatened to withdraw support from an awards dinner featuring a derogatory “bigot award” for which several Christians have been nominated.
Edwin Meese and Jennifer Marshall at USA Today: Chick-fil-A controversy is only the most recent in a series of examples of intractable actions.
At the Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh offers more details about a video that has circulated on the Internet. See also this earlier Alliance Alert Post: Obama’s DOJ Can’t Say Criticizing Religion Will Remain Legal | Congressional Testimony Video
National Review has embedded the video. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez refuses to confirm that the DOJ will not take any action to outlaw criticism of any religion.
The Church Report: Pastor Terry Jones, who received global attention in 2010 when he threatened to burn a copy of the Koran, has been barred from entering Germany.
Boston Globe (AP): Federal authorities have identified a southern California man once convicted of financial crimes as the key figure behind the anti-Muslim film that ignited mob violence against U.S. embassies across the Mideast, a U.S. law enforcement official said Thursday.
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: That’s what MSBNC contributors Mike Barnicle and Donny Deutsch, the University of Pennsylvania’s Prof. Anthea Butler (Religious Studies), and of course the Egyptian government argue with regard to the movie that mocks Mohammed . . .
Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: From yesterday’s Opinion Juris post by Prof. Peter Spiro, one of the leading international law scholars in the country . . . As the regime of international human rights grows thick, however, that justification should no …
The Alliance Defending Freedom has posted a short and powerful video titled: Why Marriage Matters (3:25 mins).
Michael Brown at Townhall: Do you realize, Mr. Potok, that by placing mainstream, conservative Christian ministries like the American Family Association and the FRC side by side with legitimate hate groups that you call your whole work into question? Do you realize that millions of Americans, hearing about the SPLC for the first time in the wake of the FRC shooting, will now question the veracity of all your listings, thereby empowering genuine, dangerous hate groups?
Rich Lowry at National Review: What the SPLC is doing is profoundly illiberal. The whole idea of a “hate group” is an organization that is so irrational and beyond the pale that it has no legitimacy. The SPLC brags about shutting down such groups, and rightly so . . . Putting the Family Research Council in the same category is a statement that it isn’t worthy of a democratic society — that its views shouldn’t be debated so much as shunned and marginalized.
Christian Newswire: Bill Keller, the world’s leading Internet Evangelist and the founder of LivePrayer.com, with over 2.4 million subscribers worldwide reading the Daily Devotional he has written every morning for 13 years on the issues of the day from a Biblcial worldview, is planning to file a $100 million defamation lawsuit against the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling him and his ministry as a “hate group.”
CNSNews: The map and SPLC listing of “hate organizations” equates groups such as the Family Research Council, which promotes the traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality, with racist groups that violate Christian teaching on human dignity.
National Review: That the SPLC cannot distinguish between a traditional-family organization and the guys in the white sheets and swastika armbands says a great deal about that organization’s intellectual depth, which is measured in millimeters. Organized homosexuality’s relentless crusade to align itself with the civil-rights movement of the 1960s is on the face of it absurd — such insults as homosexuals have suffered in this country do not include chattel slavery — but the SPLC has been happy to play along, in the course of the past decade or so transforming itself from a watchdog on extremism to a peddler of liberal pieties.
AP on Boston Globe: Carroll Conley Jr. from the Christian Civic League says ‘‘senseless violence’’ will likely continue as gay marriage opponents are referred to as ‘‘hate groups or bigots.’’ The league is one of the groups fighting a proposal that would legalize gay marriage in Maine.
ABA Journal: Civil rights activist Morris Dees was awarded the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor, during a meeting of the ABA House of Delegates on Tuesday.
Hate Crimes vs. Hate Speech: What Universities Can Learn From The Attack On The Sikh Temple | Jordan Lorence
Jordan Lorence at the Speak Up Movement University Blog: Universities cannot justify unconstitutional “speech codes” by pointing to crimes like the recent murder of six Sikhs in Wisconsin by a white supremacist who entered their temple during a worship service and opened fire. University policies that ban “offensive” speech target expression protected by the First Amendment, which is far different than laws punishing criminals who harm others because of their race, religion, etc.
Legal Project (see the embedded CBN video): . . . the forces of Islamism that are working to silence critics of Islam-related topics —both in the United States and in Europe – and how they’ve set their sights on international restrictions through the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as well. Director Nunberg also highlighted the Obama Administration’s unfortunate decision to work with the OIC to promote United Nations resolutions that would restrict any “defamation” of Islam.
Herald Sun: The matters finally reached the Court of Appeal, where it was decided that bisexuals could claim vilification on homosexual grounds depending on the case. | Owen v Menzies & Ors; Bruce v Owen; Menzies v Owen  QCA 170
Christian Institute: Police in Lincolnshire have threatened to arrest an atheist who displayed a poster in a window saying, all “religions are fairy stories”. But The Christian Institute has joined with others in criticising the police’s actions as yet another example of misusing Section 5 of the Public Order Act.