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December 16, 2015

French Officials Probing Marine Le Pen for "Hate Speech" and Incitement Against Muslims for Tweeting Pictures of ISIS' Bloody Executions

See if this sounds at all familiar.

On a French show (not sure if it's radio or tv), an Islamic "expert" opined that the growth of ISIS and the growth of the Front National resembled each other.

I take it he meant more than that; I take it was implying, as Obama does, that the FN is "Just What ISIS Wants (TM)."

In response to this, Marine Le Pen took umbrage, and began posting pictures of ISIS' horrific executions to demonstrate that that group was in fact quite different from FN. Those pictures are plenty horrific; the least horrific (party because it's the most familiar) is this horrifying picture of ISIS burning a man alive inside a cage. Content warning if you scroll through the others; there's one decapitation picture that's just hideous.

So, someone of the left accused someone of the right (well, whatever FN is) of being a terrorist; the attacked person responded and said "No, this is what terrorism is."

So what do you think happened next?

If you guessed "Well of course the French Minister of the Interior must have opened hate-crime/incitement case against Marine Le Pen," you've been paying attention, or else you just read the headline.

But whichever way you got there: well played.

France's interior minister asked judicial police on Wednesday to look into tweets by far-right leader Marine Le Pen of gruesome photos of executions by the Islamic State group - her response to a broadcast journalist broadly comparing her party to the organization.

Le Pen tweeted the photos after Jean-Jacques Bourdin, known for his brash style, said on BFM TV that her National Front party and IS both focus on identity, so share a "community of spirit."

"Daesh is THIS!" Le Pen said in angry tweets showing executions, using the Arabic acronym for the group. But her effort to make a distinction between her anti-immigration party and the Islamic State group appears to have backfired.

Oh, AP, I think you're wishcasting -- I don't think we're done with the "backfiring" yet.


Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, asked about the tweets in parliament, told lawmakers he has taken the case to a section of the judicial police that deals with illicit content on the Internet so it can look into the matter "as it does each time these photos are diffused."

"They are propaganda photos of Daesh," Cazeneuve said. He called them "abject, an abomination and a veritable insult to all victims of terrorism."

France does have restrictive speech laws which probably forbid such pictures -- but I have to imagine they forbid them when they are posted with the intent to propagandize for ISIS, which Le Pen was plainly not doing. Quite the opposite.

Marine Le Pen baited Cazeneuve.

"What is it I risk by showing the reality of what ISIS is, for showing up the people who use ISIS as a comparison to the Front National?" she said.

Before adding: "Mister Cazenueve is going to put me into handcuffs for having condemned the fact that some are permitted to make a parallel [to] this criminal organization?"

"But as usual, people prefer to condemn those who condemn [terrorism] than those who commit [terrorism]," Marine Le Pen concluded.

By the way, it's a big buzz-meme in France to not conflate Islam itself with the actions of terrorists, not to "amalgamate" them, as they say. "Amalgamation" is decried more frequently than "Islamophobie," I think.*

But it turns out it's okay to amalgamate other people with terrorists.

By the way, a French court just, and I mean just, acquitted Le Pen of a "hate speech" charge dating from 2010. They cleared her yesterday.

Ms. Le Pen, now the president of the National Front party, was on trial for comparing Muslims praying in the street to the German occupation of France during World War II at a rally in Lyon, comments that prompted anti-racism and Muslim-rights groups to file complaints.

Don't take any of this as an endorsement of Le Pen-- I don't think I would endorse her if I knew more about French politics and, furthermore, I don't even like commenting on foreign politics because I know what Complete and Total Jackasses foreigners sound like commenting on ours. Every idiot just immediately assumes that "this party is the same as the party I support at home, and this other party is therefore the enemy," etc. And it's not that simple. (It's partly that simple, but not entirely that simple.)

For example: Like UKIP, FN flavors its anti-immigration policies with generous helpings of support for the socialist welfare state.

But I'm definitely seeing huge parallels here to the project we have in the United States to make all criticism of of any Muslim forbidden blasphemy.

* Actually I think I prefer this scolding -- do not "amalgamate" all Muslims with terrorists -- to the scolding against "Islamophobia," whatever the hell that is. If there must be a scolding, I like the former one better. It makes sense, at least.

The French might have adopted that scolding because Manuel Valls, the Socialist prime minister, has actually declared there's no such thing as "Islamophobia."

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:35 PM

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