Should you be allowed to say that Islam is evil?
Pastor Daniel Nalliah ran into this problem when he was found guilty of violating the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act during one of his sermons in 2002, though his appeal was upheld in 2006 and the matter is ongoing.
And now a Finnish blogger (Mikko Ellila — blog in Finnish), who uses the blog services of Australian libertarian-objectivist PRODOS has also come to the attention of the authorities. According to the PRODOS blog, the municipal police department are investigating Mikka for hate speech. The speech in question is apparently anti-Islamic, pro-Israel, pro-US and pro-western.
Mikka admits to saying that “Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc”. I think such a comment is silly, ignorant, misleading and offensive. But I also think that any advocacy of socialism also meets all of those criteria and I certainly don’t suggest that all socialist “thought crime” should be restricted.
Islam is just a religion… and like any religion it can be used or abused. Islamic socialism (sometimes called “islamic fascism”) is an evil idea, but it’s wrong to extend the judgement of that political philosophy with the broader philosophy of Islam. However, if you want to call Islam “evil” (or if you want to advocate communism, or deny the holocaust, or sing ABBA songs etc) then that is your right and the ALS throws it’s support behind PRODOS & Mikko in their battle for free speech.
UPDATE 5/5/07: Some kind soul has translatted the charges against Mikko and it appears the relevant post was not about Islam but about how blacks are supposedly less intellegent and more criminal than whites. This makes no difference to my original point. I still think his comment is silly & offensive… but I also still support his right to say it without having the government come knocking at his door.