Somewhat surprisingly, Finnish parliamentarian Jussi Halla-aho’s case, which progressed to the Finnish supreme court, has turned out even worse than it did in the lower courts. Previously he was convicted only for “disturbing the peace of religion” (“uskonrauhan rikkominen”, essentially a blasphemy law), but now the supreme court has also found him guilty for incitement to hatred against an ethnic or racial group (essentially hate speech).
Finland doesn’t have the best record in the world for civil liberties anyway, but this is nevertheless a considerable setback. For Finnish readers I’ve mirrored the original blog post here (the author has already been forced to redact parts, and this new decision demands him to make further cuts). A slightly subpar English translation may be found here.
I want to point out once again that one of the laws he was convicted under, the religious peace one, contains the phrase “who mocks God”. Finland is an EU country with an actively used blasphemy law.
Posted by – December 18, 2007
Espoolaismies saa syytteen kiihottamisesta kansanryhmää vastaan internetissä. Miehen ylläpitämillä internetsivuilla kuvattiin Afrikasta ja Aasiasta tulevia maahanmuuttajia ja pakolaisia vaarallisiksi, väkivaltaisiksi ja muiden kustannuksella eläviksi loisiksi.
(translation: An Espoo man is facing charges of inciting against an ethnic group (basically hate speech) on the Internet. His website described immigrants arriving from Africa and Asia as dangerous and violent drains on society.)
Dear readers: which of the following things do you think it should be illegal to say? And which would be disgusting to say?
1) I wish we didn’t get much immigration.
2) Let’s cause there not to be much immigration.
3) People in group X are on average more intelligent than other people on average.
4) People in group X are on average less intelligent than other people on average.
5) Most members of group X are generally unpleasant/undesirable.
6) I hate members of group X.
7) I wish someone would start killing members of group X.
8) I will pay you money if you kill a member of group X.
If you can be bothered, think of different kind of groups of people. Specifically a group like black people, a group like Australian people and a group like people who play bridge.