Only last week, I observed that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guaranteed greater liberty than the laws of the European Union. For skeptics, two examples in two days illustrate Europe's clear democracy gap:
- Islam Online spotted this gem:
Brussels mayor Freddy Thielemans has banned a planned protest against the so-called "Islamization of Europe" on September 11, the 6th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States.British writer Paul Weston is outraged over at Gates of Vienna:
"The danger to public order is too high," to allow the Brussels protest to go ahead, said the mayor's spokesman Nicolas Dassonville, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP) late on Thursday, August 9.
[N]ow it is out in the open. A peaceful democratic protest, organised by people with no trace of historically violent behaviour, is banned because the Mayor of Brussels, a Mr Freddy Thielemans, believes he cannot guarantee the safety of the public, and perhaps more pertinently, does not wish to upset the delicate sensibilities of Brussels’s large resident Muslim community. . .Countering the (wait for it) socialist Thielemans, the Stop the Islamization of Europe (SIOE) blog created an on-line protest petition.
But now the face of Europe’s totalitarian New Order has exposed itself in all of its slippery, devious, treacherous, lying, naked ambition. If they are prepared to deny free speech and freedom to demonstrate, then what else will they deny us?
As is often the case in history, world-changing events spring from nowhere. If the mayor of Brussels had given his approval to the 11th September demonstration, it is likely that a few thousand would have turned up, waved a few flags and gone home again. The media would have ignored it and the EU would continue on its merry way to full totalitarian rule.
But now the gloves are off. By showing his totalitarian hand before the EU has total power, mayor Thielemans has allowed us a vision of our future, and that vision is of jackboots, flags, gulags, servitude, secret police, religious police, and "mental institutions" for those not toeing the political/religious line.
Governmental suppression of speech for fear of violent audience reactions is called a "heckler's veto." In America, the First Amendment prohibits such a sham, see Cantwell v. Connecticut, 310 U.S. 296, 308-10 (1940):
[A] state may not unduly suppress free communication of views, religious or other, under the guise of conserving desirable conditions. Here we have a situation analogous to a conviction under a statute sweeping in a great variety of conduct under a general and indefinite characterization, and leaving to the executive and judicial branches too wide a discretion in its application.Advantage: America.
Having these considerations in mind, we note that Jesse Cantwell, on April 26, 1938, was upon a public street, where he had a right to be, and where he had a right peacefully to impart his views to others. There is no showing that his deportment was noisy, truculent, overbearing or offensive. He requested of two pedestrians permission to play to them a phonograph record. The permission was granted. It is not claimed that he intended to insult or affront the hearers by playing the record. It is plain that he wished only to interest them in his propaganda. The sound of the phonograph is not shown to have disturbed residents of the street, to have drawn a crowd, or to have impeded traffic. Thus far he had invaded no right or interest of the public or of the men accosted.
The record played by Cantwell embodies a general attack on all organized religious systems as instruments of Satan and injurious to man; it then singles out the Roman Catholic Church for strictures couched in terms which naturally would offend not only persons of that persuasion, but all others who respect the honestly held religious faith of their fellows. The hearers were in fact highly offended. One of them said he felt like hitting Cantwell and the other that he was tempted to throw Cantwell off the street. . .
Cantwell's conduct, in the view of the court below, considered apart from the effect of his communication upon his hearers, did not amount to a breach of the peace. . . We find in the instant case no assault or threatening of bodily harm, no truculent bearing, no intentional discourtesy, no personal abuse. On the contrary, we find only an effort to persuade a willing listener to buy a book or to contribute money in the interest of what Cantwell, however misguided others may think him, conceived to be true religion.
In the realm of religious faith, and in that of political belief, sharp differences arise. In both fields the tenets of one man may seem the rankest error to his neighbor. To persuade others to his own point of view, the pleader, as we know, at times, resorts to exaggeration, to vilification of men who have been, or are, prominent in church or state, and even to false statement. But the people of this nation have ordained in the light of history, that, in spite of the probability of excesses and abuses, these liberties are, in the long view, essential to enlightened opinion and right conduct on the part of the citizens of a democracy.
The essential characteristic of these liberties is, that under their shield many types of life, character, opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed.
- Islam in Europe reports:
Apparently, if you're a Moroccan in Italy you don't have the same rights as ethnic Italians.Across the Atlantic, she would get justice, as reiterated in Graham v. Richardson, 403 U.S. 365, 371 (1971):
The Italian supreme court recently rejected an appeal by the prosecution in the case of a Moroccan girl who had been beaten by her family, her parents and her brother. The appeal was rejected on the grounds that it was for her own good and for her non-conformity with their culture, she had gone out with a friend and her life style was not accepted by her parents.
The Fourteenth Amendment provides, "[N]or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." It has long been settled, and it is not disputed here, that the term "person" in this context encompasses lawfully admitted resident aliens as well as citizens of the United States and entitles both citizens and aliens to the equal protection of the laws of the State in which they reside.Advantage: ditto.
According to a Gates of Vienna reader, of the eighteen Brussels city council members affiliated with the ruling Socialist Party, "no fewer than ten have obvious Muslim names. . .Thielemans is just a buffoonish front man. Muslims now control the key city at the heart of the European Union."