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EU nations agree to new racism rules

Old 04-19-07, 12:07 PM
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EU nations agree to new racism rules

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070419/...e_eu/eu_racism


LUXEMBOURG -
European Union nations agreed Thursday on new rules to combat racism and hate crimes across the 27-nation bloc, including setting jail sentences against those who deny or trivialize the Holocaust.
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A compromise deal on the rules was reached by EU justice and interior ministers after nearly six years of negotiations, officials said.

The proposed rules, which still have to be vetted by national parliaments, calls for EU governments to impose up to three-year prison sentences for those convicted of denying genocide such as the mass killing of Jews during World War II and the massacre in Rwanda in the 1990s.

Getting a deal has been difficult amid vastly different legal and cultural traditions on how they combat racism and notably on whether all EU nations should impose criminal penalties against those denying the Holocaust or other genocides.

In a declaration, EU justice and interior ministers said the rules would aim to make a crime "incitement to hatred and violence and publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivializing crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes."

An effort by Baltic nations demanding major Stalinist atrocities should be included in the EU law was rejected, however.

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries, whose country holds the EU presidency, said a compromise had been reached on the basis that the EU would organize a public debate on the issue of genocide and other hate crimes currently not included in the draft rules on combating racism and xenophobia.

The genocide of Jews is the only genocide referred to within the new rules, which still needs the backing of national parliaments and the European Parliament, officials said.

EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini called the deal "a major achievement" however the compromise reached led to a drastic watering down of the original proposal drafted in 2001, to get agreement.

Diplomats said the EU-wide rules, which set only minimum standards on fighting racism and xenophobia, would only cover genocides recognized under statutes of the International Criminal Court.

Previous efforts to get a deal ended in failure. Several countries, including Britain, Italy and Denmark, were reluctant to sign up to the measures because they feared EU-wide laws could overstep the right to expression protected under their countries' laws.

The latest plan, however, was watered down, offering numerous opt-outs of certain aspects of the EU-wide rules.

The proposal calls on EU nations to punish those who publicly incite violence or hatred based on a person or group's race, color, religion, descent or ethnic origin.

More contentious aspects of the draft rules require member states to criminalize those "publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivializing ... crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes," as listed and defined by the International Criminal Court.

However, member states may opt out of the requirement to criminalize those who deny the Holocaust or other genocide if such rules do not exist under their national laws, according to the EU proposals.

Opt-outs also are foreseen for racist remarks based on religious grounds and on Nazi symbols, like the swastika.

Many EU nations already ban denials of the Holocaust, including Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Belgium.
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My concern with this, is if an ambitious politician or country decides to do a political hit and declare the US war in Iraq a crime against humanity, this law could be twisted to smother anyone disagreeing with that assessment.

A bit far-fetched, but given how recent attorneys in some countries have tried to sue/prosecute Rumsfeld for crimes against humanity, not too unbelievable.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:11 PM
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A sad day for free speech in Europe. They've decided that people have a right not to be offended. We're trending that way in this country as well but at least we don't put people in jail for voicing unpopular opinions.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:13 PM
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Very sad.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
A sad day for free speech in Europe.
I would have thought you'd be applauding this, given the reason for its introduction. You complain all the time about Muslim encroachment into western society, but then when lawmakers in Europe do something in reaction you complain about <i>that</i>. I'm thinking you simply just don't like Europe.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I would have thought you'd be applauding this, given the reason for its introduction. You complain all the time about Muslim encroachment into western society, but then when lawmakers in Europe do something in reaction you complain about <i>that</i>. I'm thinking you simply just don't like Europe.

I had that same thought. I figure that this will make it easier for more Muslims to be locked away.
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Old 04-19-07, 01:23 PM
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However, member states may opt out of the requirement to criminalize those who deny the Holocaust or other genocide if such rules do not exist under their national laws, according to the EU proposals.
That's good, at least.
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Old 04-19-07, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by darkessenz
The argument could be made that this law's rational would authorize other laws that would make it illegal to antagonize any racial group (including muslims) by making inflammatory statements about religion/culture. This BHK would not like (nor would I frankly).

I think this is a bad law, but I am probably biased because of my belief in rampant free speech

Exactly. More creeping totalitarian enforcement of political correctness. I've posted this before, but I thought Salmon Rushdie gave quite an eloquent argument here against a similar law that was being considered in the UK:

http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles...e.asp?ID=25464

The Will to Win

By Salman Rushdie
FrontPageMagazine.com | November 17, 2006


.....I just got here from London and I thought I’d bring you some news from London. There was a couple—a few months ago now the comedian Rowan Atkinson and I were involved in an unlikely alliance against the Blair government, which was trying at the time to introduce a law to make it—essentially to make it illegal to be rude about religion. And I remember Rowan and I were sitting in a room with a senior Cabinet Minister—not Cabinet, Government Minister, and Rowan said that, you know, he had recently in his comedy show had a sketch in which there was a piece of news footage of a large number of Muslims at prayer in Iran somewhere bowing down and he had said over this in voiceover, “And the search goes on for the Ayatollah’s contact lens.”

I said that I had once written a sentence in which I said it was hard to take seriously a religion whose believers spent so much time with their bottoms higher than their heads. We made these—we said, you know, would it be OK to go on saying this if your law gets passed or will we go to jail. Of course the Minister that she was convinced that we would not go to jail because, you know, there was no intention to criticize—to ban creativity and besides, you know, one of her colleagues would have the decision, the last word on this. We felt oddly diffident about trusting the Blair government in this matter. We said actually to have such a big issue as whether you could make jokes left in the charge of a politician just really seemed like the wrong way to go.

And in the end—it really went down to the wire in the House of Commons—there was a wonderful sort of, you know, serves you right about the fact that we won in the House of Commons by one vote, by one vote. And that evening Tony Blair went home early, so he actually lost his law because he went home early. And there’s a kind of beautyin that. So he wasn’t there to vote for his own bill.

And so we won. And one can only think, in the light of what has happened in the last months, how often that law would have been used and how often it would have been used in a sort of genuinely oppressive way. And maybe the search would not have gone on for the Ayatollah’s contact lens, which I’m not sure that he ever found actually, based on his general myopia.

Further news from London: there was a moment a few years ago when the Blair government decided that it needed to start funding Islamic schools. There was an argument here which is that for a long time the government, various governments in England, had either partly or I think never wholly but partly funded Catholic schools: one or two Church of England schools, one or two Jewish schools, and so why not Muslim schools was the argument. And, of course, it’s an undefeatable argument. I mean if you’re going to fund religious schools, why not fund more religious schools.

And the other argument, which is that maybe you should fund less religious schools, was one which Blair is not very sympathetic to, since the thing he really has in common with Bush is deep religious belief. And look what happened. There we are. Religion will break your heart.

Anyway, so the Labour government started funding a few Islamic schools and interestingly recently after this—this attempt to blow up planes was foiled by the British police, one of the places which they discovered was a major bomb factory was the basement of one of the Islamic schools that Mr. Blair’s government had started funding. You just kept wondering at what point the penny was going to start dropping. But no, this was not, of course, a reason for worrying about these schools at all.

Meanwhile, the BBC has been instructed we are told that the term “Islamic terrorist” can’t be used because it discriminates against Muslims. Never mind that all the terrorists who claim to be acting in the name of Islam tell us that it is Islam that is their motivation, the BBC can’t say that they’re Islamic terrorists because that’s now this new crime of what’s called “Islamophobia.” I mean I just have some problem with the word because it seems to me if you have a set of ideas which I don’t like, it’s perfectly OK for me to be phobic about them. There were plenty of people who seemed to have no problem being phobic about mine but, you know, “Salmanophobia” didn’t enter the language somehow.

I remember I got a T-shirt soon after the, how shall I put it, soon after the excrement hit the ventilation system.Somebody sent me in the mail a T-shirt on the front of which it said, “Blasphemy is a victimless crime.” I always, I thought there was a truth there. And I think, you know, Islamophobia is also a victimless crime because it must be in any free society OK to be as open as you want to be about your dislike of a set of ideas. I mean otherwise it becomes impossible to think. It becomes impossible to have any kind of interchange of thought in a society if you’re told that there are ideas which are off-limits. Nothing is off-limits.

If you take that further into discrimination against or prejudice towards individuals, that’s another matter. You obviously need to protect individuals against prejudice but you can’t ring fence their ideas, and that’s what seems to me why terms like that, you’re not allowed to say “Islamofascist” either because, of course, no Muslims are fascists, as we know. Even though there was a rather brilliant article recently by an Egyptian journalist in which he pointed out that what Muslims needed to take onboard is that while obviously not all Muslims were terrorists it also did seem to be the case at the moment all terrorists were Muslims. And how you couldn’t avoid that connection if you wanted to look at the world as it really is.
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Old 04-19-07, 07:04 PM
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The biggest problem is that it can probably mean whatever the people in charge want it to mean while they are in power.

But I am shocked to see something "Jew" friendly, but that probably was not the intent....it just happened to be a way to "fight terrorism."
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Old 04-19-07, 07:35 PM
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Wow, is that dumb.

I guess Fred Leuchter better stay in the U.S. from now on.
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Old 04-20-07, 12:30 AM
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I like it. It's better than how it's done here in America where you can only say bad things about whites,christians and not blacks or mexicans or musliums.
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Old 04-20-07, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I would have thought you'd be applauding this, given the reason for its introduction. You complain all the time about Muslim encroachment into western society, but then when lawmakers in Europe do something in reaction you complain about <i>that</i>. I'm thinking you simply just don't like Europe.
They're not doing this as a reaction to the Islamists. They're doing this so that it will be more difficult to criticize them. They've pretty much already surrendered. This is a symptom of it.
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Old 04-20-07, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
I like it. It's better than how it's done here in America where you can only say bad things about whites,christians and not blacks or mexicans or musliums.
People make racist remarks about Hispanics and Muslims on DVD Talk all the time.
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Old 04-20-07, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
I like it. It's better than how it's done here in America where you can only say bad things about whites,christians and not blacks or mexicans or musliums.
I agree. I've been itching to say some really mean things about black people and Mexicans lately, but I'm just not allowed anymore.
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Old 05-06-07, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
I would have thought you'd be applauding this, given the reason for its introduction. You complain all the time about Muslim encroachment into western society, but then when lawmakers in Europe do something in reaction you complain about <i>that</i>. I'm thinking you simply just don't like Europe.
He's a "conservative"..... I don't think he likes anybody other than himself.
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Old 05-06-07, 07:03 PM
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Old 05-06-07, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
People make racist remarks about Hispanics and Muslims on DVD Talk all the time.
Yeah, and they get banned or suspended. Big difference.

I could make jokes about dumb stupid white people all day and still be here.

(ok, some of you with special powers don't get smart and ban me.)

Point is, white folk don't really get "caught-up" in their heritage until we get unfairly criticized for being a Racial Monster. We really don't care if people say things that could be considered racist against us. They are words. Fucking words. They don't hurt me. They don't forge my destiny. And hell, some of the racial statements are damn funny.

But some minority groups are saying just the opposite and have a double-standard--the same double-standard minority groups say us white folk are uniquely predisposed to have.

If I had a dime for every time a non-white said something I heard in person or on television that could be considered racist and/or was, I'd have enough money to be the second man to go to the moon on a Russian spaceship--and still have enough spending money when I got back to buy a 720p projector and 150" screen.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 05-06-07 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 05-07-07, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei
Yeah, and they get banned or suspended. Big difference.

I could make jokes about dumb stupid white people all day and still be here.

(ok, some of you with special powers don't get smart and ban me.)

Point is, white folk don't really get "caught-up" in their heritage until we get unfairly criticized for being a Racial Monster. We really don't care if people say things that could be considered racist against us. They are words. Fucking words. They don't hurt me. They don't forge my destiny. And hell, some of the racial statements are damn funny.

But some minority groups are saying just the opposite and have a double-standard--the same double-standard minority groups say us white folk are uniquely predisposed to have.

If I had a dime for every time a non-white said something I heard in person or on television that could be considered racist and/or was, I'd have enough money to be the second man to go to the moon on a Russian spaceship--and still have enough spending money when I got back to buy a 720p projector and 150" screen.
Yeah, but you'd have a sore neck
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Old 05-07-07, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bhk
A sad day for free speech in Europe.
I don't remember free speech being a big priority at any time in Europe. Sillyness like this just reminds me that no matter how enlightened they think they are, they just don't get it.
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