- The Washington Times - Friday, December 26, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Last week, the European Parliament, meeting in Strassbourg, France, gave its Sakharov Prize honoring free speech to Chinese freedom campaigner Hu Jia. Bravo. The same day, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament cancelled a screening of the Dutch film “Fitna” on the grounds that criticizing Osama bin Laden and other terrorists is tantamount to “racism” against Muslims (never mind that the film is not a hate product and that Islam is a religion, not a race). Boo, hiss.

Gerard Batten, a British member of the European Parliament, hit it on the head in stating, “The banning of this film is a direct attack on free speech. A parliament that constantly talks of freedom, democracy and tolerance has shown once again that these are empty words when it does not agree with what is being said.” Obviously the European Left has become increasingly dependent on Muslim votes and is caving into the demands of a radical Muslim minority. “Fitna” (Arabic for upheaval) has caused upheaval for many months, with everyone from the Grand Mufti of Syria warning the European Parliament about film-related “riots, bloodshed and violence” to the Dutch prime minister warning the film’s creator, Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders, that he would be responsible for any violence. Instead of condemning the violence that the film exposes, they and others have condemned the movie for exposing violence.

The European Parliament, multiculturalists and PC fanatics in Europe are acting more in line with Islamic censorship decrees than with Western tradition of free speech. The European Parliament seems to endorse it in China, but not in its very own meeting halls.

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