Bawer: Will the Norwegians Arrest Me?

June 16th, 2010 at 5:26 pm | 5 Comments |

| Print

Bruce Bawer, a noted writer and critic of Islam in Europe, has come under scrutiny from the Norwegian government for his writing, raising questions about the acceptance of free speech in Norway:

And that’s it. To sum up, two members of the NBCC think I’m a racist; I hold certain views about Islam; and I’ve deplored the fact that Geert Wilders is on trial for holding essentially the same views. These offenses on my part are sufficient, apparently, to qualify me officially as (to borrow the title of a play by Norway’s greatest playwright) an Enemy of the People.

Controversy is one thing. I’ve been a professional writer for three decades, and have long since become accustomed to controversy — accustomed to being criticized severely, to seeing my words misquoted and my views misrepresented, to being attacked in print and to answering back.  But this is something entirely different. We’re talking about the government of a supposedly free country stepping in, tapping me on the shoulder, and telling me: You’re not supposed to say that. It’s a chilling development, and the more I think of it the more chilling it feels.

The question is: what comes next? I’ve now been singled out, in a report commissioned and funded by the government of the country in which I live, as a perpetrator of Islamophobia. The items about me appear under the heading “Prohibit and Eliminate All Forms of Racial Discrimination and To Ensure All Equality before the Law.”  Exactly how does the Ministry of Children, Equality, and Social Inclusion propose to “eliminate” the supposed “racial discrimination” on my part?  Will I be arrested and prosecuted under the Discrimination Law of 2005?  Am I about to join the company of those who have been hauled into court for daring to speak the truth about Islam, Muhammed, and the Koran? What say you, Herr Lysbakken?

Click here to read more.

Recent Posts by FrumForum Editors



5 Comments so far ↓

  • msmilack

    How do you feel about the laws against holocaust deniers?

  • Rob_654

    I’ve never heard of you so can’t really say what you write or don’t write about.

    But I think that people should be free to write whatever they want – but that doesn’t mean that they should be free from blow-back regarding what they right.

    If someone wants to write something – but then can’t take the heat of the blow-back to what they write – then I would suggest a profession change.

    By the way – do you plan on going to Norway? I suppose if you don’t like their laws its probably best not to go.

    And the previous question is a valid one: Where do you stand on the subject of Holocaust deniers?

    Is it ok for Germany and other countries to go after people who publicly deny the Holocaust?

    Wiki notes the following:
    Holocaust denial is explicitly or implicitly illegal in 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands,Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland. The European Union’s Framework decision on Racism and Xenophobia states that denying or grossly trivialising “crimes of genocide” should be made “punishable in all EU Member States”.[154]

    Do you avoid those countries for their lack of “Freedom of Speech”?

  • Western1

    Islam is not a race. Islam is a religion. As for Islamophobia, that’s only common sense at work. Anyone not afraid of this horrible creed just doesn’t understand the nature of it.

    I keep seeing that phony claim of racism every time anyone speaks out against Islam, because the West and particularly the United States has a lot of guilt over past racism and the Islamists exploit that.

    I repeat. Islam is not a race. It is a death and misery worshiping religion. Negro is a race, Caucasian is a race, Islam is a religion. Two totally, absolutely unconnected, entirely different things. Everybody got it now?

  • easton

    Bruce Bawer, if you don’t like the laws there, don’t live in Norway. Yeesh, get a grip. You do understand unless you are Norwegian you have no right to live in Norway, and that if you do choose to live in Norway you choose to tacitly accept the laws upon which they govern their country (unless you are a diplomat). Look, I disagree with this kind of political correctness, and where I live I am allowed to state it as loud as I want to without fear of any repercussion, I could also, per the posters above, deny the holocaust as much as I like.

    But you are a guest in Norway. A GUEST, and as a guest you are duty bound to obey their laws, and if you find the laws against what you believe, then leave and criticize those laws as loud as you want.
    Or you can do whatever it takes to become a Norwegian citizen, if you even have that option, and then work to change the laws as a citizen.

    Different countries have different laws, and there is no absolute right to free speech anywhere.
    It would appear you are choosing to continue to live in Norway because the other freedoms and benefits you have outweigh whatever this risk is. Norway is far more tolerant of homosexuality than the states, and I take it you are legally married to a man there, something that you can’t be in most states. And if you feel this risk is to great, then go back to your own home country, where you can criticize Norway all you like without having the risk of seeming like a rude a-hole.

  • easton

    western, of for heaven’s sake. Who is saying Islam is a race? No one who has any brains claims being opposed to the religion of Islam is racist. It becomes racist when people look at Arabs as being suspect terrorists because many Arabs are Islamic. And it is not the opposition to Islam that is the problem, it is the nature of opposition to Islam that can become a problem, when it goes beyond simple disagreement to outright hatred and bigotry of all Muslims as being suspect terrorists.

    Now you might be a racist (if you want to consider being Arabic a race) if you hate all Arabs. I have no way of knowing this. It seems very likely though that you are a bigot. Oh, hell, actually, you are a bigot. Islam is not a death and misery worshiping religion. Really, this is simple stupidity.

    You got that now?