Lars Hedegaard’s Response to Charges of Hate Speech

“The price that we all have to pay for this freedom is is that others have a right 
to criticize our politics, our religion and our culture.”

“Islam is not a race and therefore criticism of Islam cannot be racism.

Islam, which lurks behind this entire case, has been described from a variety of viewpoints. Some say that it is a religion, others that is an all-encompassing ideology that contains a religion, still others emphasise its cultural norms, its culturally transmitted customs and practices. Some even maintain that Islam is so multifaceted that it is impossible to describe it.

But regardless of one’s approach, it must be clear that Islam is not a hereditary human attribute.

If our Western freedom means anything at all, we must insist that every grown-up person is responsible for his or her beliefs, opinions, culture, habits and actions.

Editor’s note: On April 13, Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, appealed to Denmark’s Supreme Court overturn his conviction by Denmark’s Superior Court on May 3, 2011, after two years in lower courts, on charges of alleged Hate Speech. Under Denmark’s Article 266(b), it is immaterial if what one says is true; evidence to support of the truth is inadmissable. All that matters is if someone has said somethiing in public that might cause someone to “feel offended,” or if the prosecutor thinks someone might be justified in “feeling offended.”