Hard on Haarder. Sense or censorship?
Posted by Exile on June 14, 2006
Bertel Haarder has filled the press today because of his declaration of self censorship in relation to islamic affairs. All the major papers have leading articles concerning this and although all do not agree with Haarder’s methodology, they do understand his fear. The ‘right wing’ paper, Berlingske Tidende, had this to say:
(My translation. Ed.)
Self censorship can be practised in many ways and for many reasons. In the social interaction between people we practise self censorship in the form of not (normally) insulting, offending or hurting each other. This is called good behaviour and is perfectly natural, just as we are wary of racism or other forms of denigration or the debasing of various groups in our society.
But this is not the self censorship that Bertel Haarder is practising. It is another, more serious form of censorship which comes from the fear of threat of violence. B.H. has openly said that he restricts himself because he will not have the stress of having bodyguards around himself or his family, as does Naser Khader.
It is easy to understand his fears. While there are people who are prepared to kill their own children because they choose to marry someone other than the one pointed out by the family, there are also madmen who are prepared to commit violent actions against politicians and their families.
The reality is, that we now have an imported “threat culture” in Denmark. It is also a reality, that we have bodyguards at Christiansborg (the seat of Parliament. Ed.) where our politicians meet, but it is also worthy of note, that when the prime minister was attacked with red paint, the thugs were not muslim or immigrants, but of Danish origin. Threats of violence to our families are unfortunately also being used by the most basic Danish criminal elements as a means to frighten witnesses and thereby destroying our sense of justice in Denmark.
But even though it is easy to understand Haarders fears, his reaction is disappointing. It is he who stood as an outstanding representant for the rights of freedom and for a sober but pointed form for debate. As minister for integration, he fearlessly took command of the necessary tightening of immigration laws.
Haarder’s deliberations have, not surprisingly, roused the Danish People’s party to suggest that if he can no longer say what he means, then the time has come for him to resign. This is a course of action he should not take. On the contrary, he should pull himself together and explain just what it is that he is hesitant to say. This, because the threat culture should not be allowed to spread or take root in Denmark. It is the worst form of poison for a democracy and must be fought by every legal means at our disposal, including the speedy ejection of non danish citizens who are convicted of violence or threats against our politicians and public debaters.
The right to freedom of speech bears no instigation to offend others. But the right to freedom of speech demands that you have the right to offend without being the target of threat or violence.
Which just about says what I said yesterday. That we must not tolerate this wearing down of our values. I am not one to repeat myself, but I can almost see my own words in the above leading article. “It is the worst form of poison for a democracy..”. It cheapens our democracy.
If our politicians won’t take control of it, then I can see the time coming where ordinary people will. Not by violent action, but by the simple closing out of the minority groups. They will not be heard. They will not be respected. They will finally not be considered in our decisions. I think the muslim community here should be very wary of their behaviour. If they continue to behave like animals, snarling and showing teeth at every move we make and everything we say, then they will be treated like animals. Put on a leash and tied to a post and allowed to move only in a very restricted space. And if they bite, then they will be put down.
Our laws demand that we do not threaten or violently injure or kill each other, and the good people of this country will eventually demand that these laws are enforced moreso than today, and that legal retribution must and will follow such actions. This, not just because of, but equally despite, the threats and the growing violence in our once so pleasant and tolerant society.