Lars Hedegaard Found Guilty of 'Racism'

Lars Hedegaard Found Guilty of 'Racism'


Lars Hedegaard, Islamic expert and president of the International Free Press Society, was found guilty of racism today by Denmark’s Eastern High Court. He was fined about $1,000. He will appeal.

The charges stemmed from what Hedegaard says were factual statements made about the higher-than-average incidence of family rape in the Muslim world.

But under Denmark's racism law, Article 266b, it doesn't matter if what you said was true. It only matters that a group was insulted. § 266b of the Danish penal code:

"Whoever publicly or with the intent of public dissemination issues a pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin colour, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation is liable to a fine or incarceration for up to two years.” (Thanks to Henrik Raeder Clausen)

Lars Hedegaard had this response to the verdict: "The real losers today are freedom of speech and Muslim women. How can we speak up for them if we risk getting a state sanctioned label of racism?"
Hedegaard will appeal the verdict. More details in English here.
Here is a Danish news story. And here is my story from last week that mentions the case.

This is one of a handful of free speech cases involving unflattering statements about Islam that are underway in Europe and the Middle East.

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