Sunday, 20 February 2011


In Austria, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff was convicted and fined for "denigrating religious teachings" for pointing out that the con-man Mohammed liked little girls. The judge admitted that Mohammed had demonstrated sexual interest in little girls by raping little Aisha when she was 6 (or 9, by some accounts) but claimed that because he was still "married" to Aisha when she was 18, he was therefore clearly interested in sexually mature women, too, so it was wrong to call him a paedophile. An utterly preposterous argument, particularly in light of the fact that Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff had never actually used the word paedophile.

In France, journalist Eric Zemmour was convicted of incitement to racial discrimination for having observed that "the majority of drug dealers are blacks and Arabs." He was fined and given a suspended prison sentence. Predictably, the French communist party and the assorted leftists and ideologues who filed complaint against him rejoiced at the verdict. Some other politicians expressed unease however. 58 deputies of Sarkozy's party, the UMP, signed a statement calling for a change in the law to protect freedom of expression.

It is illegal in France to collect statistics on racial and religious minorities. A few years ago, however, one intrepid researcher concluded, on the basis of names and dietary preferences, that a majority of the criminals in French prisons were Muslims. As in most of the heresy trials underway around Europe, in this case the truth was no defence.

In Britain, ex-magician Paul Daniels has run into controversy for insisting that there is nothing wrong with the word "Paki", comparing it to "Brit" and "British". This happens to be a particular bugbear of mine. Of course there is nothing wrong with the word "Paki". It is a perfectly natural abbreviation of the long and awkward to pronounce "Pakistani". But the British left waged a successful propaganda campaign, partly financed with taxpayer money, to convince people that this diminutive form was somehow offensive. Now you can be convicted in Britain merely for using the word Paki. For example, a few years ago a football supporter was convicted of an offence for chanting "You're just a town full of Pakis" at the opposing supporters when his team were playing Oldham Athletic. On the Daily Telegraph website, any comment featuring the word Paki will be quickly removed.

Meanwhile, Pakistanis themselves are happy to use this diminutive form, as demonstrated here and here. If you ever watch C-Span, you will see Americans using the abbreviations Pak or Paki without inhibition when talking about Pakistani foreign policy. But here in Britain, to do so is a criminal offence.

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