STOCKHOLM — Conservatives are feeling the heavy hand of censorship in the United States and across Western Europe. Their social media accounts are being banned, blocked and canceled on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, often over criticism of Islam or immigration.
Popular British anti-Islamization activist Tommy Robinson had his Twitter account suspended last week after he tweeted that Islam promotes killing.
A German activist received a six-month suspended jail sentence for calling Islam a fascist ideology.
A 65-year-old Swedish woman faced charges for saying immigration from the third world will lead to low IQs. She was cleared only because authorities couldn't prove it was her.
Public Enemy No. 1: 'Hate Speech'
Two weeks ago three conservative activists were refused entry into Britain because British Border Police said, "likely to incite tensions between local communities in the United Kingdom." One was interrogated as a terrorist and was asked if she were a "Christian extremist."
This is the same Border Force that allowed more than 400 former ISIS fighters to return to Britain for "reintegration."
Authorities in Britain now seem more interested in fighting hate speech on the internet than fighting crime and are warning social media users that their comments are being monitored.
Sweden 'Moving Toward Authoritarianism'
But Sweden is taking the most aggressive approach against free speech with a proposed new law that would make it a serious offense to publish material that would embarrass the Swedish government internationally. Another law would make it harder to show that immigrants are responsible for most violent crime.
Crime is now so bad in some parts of Sweden there has been talk of calling out the army to help the police.
But the new law would ban public use of government data that could be used to identify the ethnic origins of criminals.
"We are moving toward authoritarianism," warns Swedish blogger Johan Westerholm.
Westerholm runs a website critical of uncontrolled immigration in Sweden. He's not sure how much longer before his website is shut down.
"I will not be able to report the issues I'm reporting today. I will not be able to report on migration. If I report in a way that puts Sweden in a bad standing or bad position regarding other countries, even if what I am reporting is true, is relevant and is fact-based, that might be a criminal act, I might have to go to prison for life, for that kind of reporting."
If You Can't Fix Immigration Problems, Blame the Critics…and Call Them Names
"We call the critics [of Sweden's immigration policy] foul names and say the problem is racism, says Iranian-born Swedish lawmaker Hanif Bali, who takes heavy criticism for his opposition to Sweden's immigration policy, even though he himself is an immigrant."
"I'm not only called 'racist;' I'm also called 'Uncle Tom;' I'm also called 'house nigger.' I've been compared with Doctor Mengele. And it’s not from average people. This is from well-established opinion journalists and politicians."
The Swedish media helped pioneer what is now called 'doxing' – exposing the identities and addresses of people who express politically incorrect opinions online. CBN News showed a video from 4 years ago showing a Swedish journalist going to the home of a man who posted in a right-wing forum and then publishing the video nationally. The man reportedly lost his job.
One Swedish organization, Näthatsgranskaren, whose name means 'internet hate surveyor' hunts down politically incorrect speech and reports people to the police. It has received funding from the Swedish government.
But Sweden's worsening crackdown on free speech will do nothing to fix any of the real problems that have created the speech in the first place. It's as if the government thinks if it can just stop people from talking negatively about the problems, the problems will go away.
"There is not a single study about how immigration has causally affect crime in Sweden. That's absurd, I would argue, says Swedish economist Tino Sanandagi. "The government even in the last 12 years has stopped publishing the statistics so nobody knows really what percentage of total crime last year was committed by immigrants. The numbers are collected, but not used."
Sweden's New 'McCarthyism'
And Westerholm compares planned new laws to a new McCarthyism that will hunt down and silence criticism of immigration: "The government, through more repressive and restrictive media legislation, would be able to shut independent media voices down."
Swedes will proudly tell you that their law protecting freedom of speech is older than the United States. But freedom of speech is being crushed in Sweden and across the Western world in the name of political correctness.
And it doesn't matter if what is being crushed is the truth.