Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

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IpseDixit

Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-03, 23:15

Just because she said muslim street prayers in Paris remind her of the nazi occupation... are they serious? Where is Europe heading to? I'm shocked... what's next? Thoughtcrime?

And btw, since when is islam a race?

Your views on that?

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-03, 23:39

IpseDixit wrote:Your views on that?
Ridiculous. Since when is hating someone a crime? If it is, I should be given the maximum sentence with no chance of parole.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby JackFrost » 2013-07-04, 1:17

I'm all for persecution against hate speech.

But really, over that? All she did was violating the Godwin's Law. Not like I'd expect her to know better.

And there is no way in hell I'm calling her "Madame". Because fuck her.
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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-04, 3:20

I'm all for persecution against hate speech.
What is "hate speech"? How do we define it? Why prosecute say, neo-Nazis, but not her? Isn't that rather arbitrary?

I've had this argument before here, notably with meidei, and I made my viewpoint clear. Unless she's inciting others to violence, I can't agree with prosecuting individuals for expressing opinions that I happen to find abhorrent. I'm sure they find mine abhorrent too.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby JackFrost » 2013-07-04, 4:07

mōdgethanc wrote:Unless she's inciting others to violence, I can't agree with prosecuting individuals for expressing opinions that I happen to find abhorrent. I'm sure they find mine abhorrent too.

Well, no disagreement with you really. I did say, "Godwin's law", which means she's symbolically a loser of the debate. That's all.
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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-04, 4:21

So you don't view this as hate speech? I'm not sure if I do either. It's more dumb than hateful.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby JackFrost » 2013-07-04, 4:29

Hateful, yes, but no one was inspired by it and went to attack people. Her comment is just plain stupid and rather mean and the state is just overreacting.
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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby Saim » 2013-07-04, 8:32

IpseDixit wrote:And btw, since when is islam a race?


There are no human races. "Racism" is discrimination or bigotry against particular ethnic groups.

Furthermore, if racists had a rational and informed knowledge of real human diversity, then they wouldn't be racists. Even assuming (wrongly) that races aren't just defined culturally and Muslims can't possibly be a race, you could still be an anti-Muslim racist.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-07-04, 8:33

It's stupid though that at first she couldn't be indicted, so I'm glad that she can be now.
It's a really unthoughtful comparision to make, I get why people feel upset by it and I think it's hate speech too, but hate speech isn't automatically a hate crime.
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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 8:56

Saim wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:And btw, since when is islam a race?


There are no human races. "Racism" is discrimination or bigotry against particular ethnic groups.


I never use the word race in Italian for that reason, but I've always heard lots of English speaking people use it carelessly.

Anyway

Wikipedia wrote:Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby Saim » 2013-07-04, 9:25

IpseDixit wrote:I never use the word race in Italian for that reason, but I've always heard lots of English speaking people use it carelessly.

Neither do I. :y: Americans especially seem to be really hung up on the idea of "race". In fact, the US Census actually asks individuals what their "race" is, which for me is stupid and redundant given that there are already "ancestry", "religion" and "language spoken at home" questions, which are much better indicators of belonging to a particular ethnic or national group.

Really, why is it useful for the US government to lump together a first-generation Jamaican immigrant, a child of Yoruba speakers, and a member of the native "black" ethnocultural group ("African Americans") into the same category? How does it help analysis? What real conclusions on the socioeconomic status of these disparate groups can you reliably draw when they're all counted together as "blacks"? Not to mention them trying to force Mexicans and Arabs in as "whites" for allegedly "objective/scientific" reasons, when most Americans don't see them as whites...

Wikipedia wrote:Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior


That's probably the main definition, but certainly not the only one in common use. A lot of the time it ends up being a synonym of "xenophobia", in my experience.

In this case, although from the facts I've seen so far I'm not in favour of her getting prosecuted for "incitement to racial hatred", I think hatred against Muslims could fall under that category. Then again, maybe the law should just use the word "ethnic" from the get-go to be less ambiguous (or only prosecute incitement to violence, as the liberal argument goes), so I definitely see where you're coming from.

My only worry is that this same argument is used by real anti-Islamic xenophobes, who do have bigoted views against specific ethnic groups who happen to be associated with Islam. Yes, "Islam is not a race", but these people (including Le Pen) are still racists in at least the colloquial sense.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 9:46

I, too, understand your point of view but here it is not about common sense... it is about a French court indicting a person for something. Therefore they, at least, could have been a bit more accurate in choosing the terminology.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-07-04, 17:41

Saim wrote:Neither do I. :y: Americans especially seem to be really hung up on the idea of "race". In fact, the US Census actually asks individuals what their "race" is, which for me is stupid and redundant given that there are already "ancestry", "religion" and "language spoken at home" questions, which are much better indicators of belonging to a particular ethnic or national group.

Really, why is it useful for the US government to lump together a first-generation Jamaican immigrant, a child of Yoruba speakers, and a member of the native "black" ethnocultural group ("African Americans") into the same category? How does it help analysis? What real conclusions on the socioeconomic status of these disparate groups can you reliably draw when they're all counted together as "blacks"? Not to mention them trying to force Mexicans and Arabs in as "whites" for allegedly "objective/scientific" reasons, when most Americans don't see them as whites...

Wikipedia wrote:Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior


That's probably the main definition, but certainly not the only one in common use. A lot of the time it ends up being a synonym of "xenophobia", in my experience.

In this case, although from the facts I've seen so far I'm not in favour of her getting prosecuted for "incitement to racial hatred", I think hatred against Muslims could fall under that category. Then again, maybe the law should just use the word "ethnic" from the get-go to be less ambiguous (or only prosecute incitement to violence, as the liberal argument goes), so I definitely see where you're coming from.

My only worry is that this same argument is used by real anti-Islamic xenophobes, who do have bigoted views against specific ethnic groups who happen to be associated with Islam. Yes, "Islam is not a race", but these people (including Le Pen) are still racists in at least the colloquial sense.
And while all this is very stupid (requiring people to state their race on the census form, I mean) because races are a biological fantasy, and while I'm sure le Pen is beyond any doubt a racist in the sense of being a xenophobe, I'm sure you know as well as I do that Islam is a religion, not an ethnicity. It's not even both, like Judaism is - it's never been tied closely to ethnicity except maybe in its early days when the first generation of converts were nearly all Arab. I realize this is nitpicking since le Pen's comments about Muslims were, in all likelihood, coded references to Arab immigrants, but I don't believe "Muslim" qualifies as an ethnicity in of itself when we have European, African, and Asian Muslims from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby Marah » 2013-07-04, 17:56

We banned the word "race" from the French legislation by the way.
Par exemple, l'enfant croit au Père Noël. L'adulte non. L'adulte ne croit pas au Père Noël. Il vote.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby IpseDixit » 2013-07-04, 18:20

Marah wrote:We banned the word "race" from the French legislation by the way.


As any other liberal democracy I suppose...

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby johnklepac » 2013-07-04, 21:56

mōdgethanc wrote:I've had this argument before here, notably with meidei, and I made my viewpoint clear. Unless she's inciting others to violence, I can't agree with prosecuting individuals for expressing opinions that I happen to find abhorrent. I'm sure they find mine abhorrent too.

This.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby Saim » 2013-07-05, 8:57

mōdgethanc wrote:And while all this is very stupid (requiring people to state their race on the census form, I mean) because races are a biological fantasy, and while I'm sure le Pen is beyond any doubt a racist in the sense of being a xenophobe, I'm sure you know as well as I do that Islam is a religion, not an ethnicity. It's not even both, like Judaism is - it's never been tied closely to ethnicity except maybe in its early days when the first generation of converts were nearly all Arab. I realize this is nitpicking since le Pen's comments about Muslims were, in all likelihood, coded references to Arab immigrants, but I don't believe "Muslim" qualifies as an ethnicity in of itself when we have European, African, and Asian Muslims from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds.


What I'm trying to suggest is that Muslims is an ethnic group imagined by Westerners who buy into this whole clash of civilizations or Eurabia thing. They feel like there's this threatening foreign civilization whose members are out to destroy Western society. To me this is ethnocultural hatred, even though Muslims don't really exist as an ethnic group. Note that Muslims as a community do often begin to distinguish themselves "ethnically" when they feel threatened by other religious groups, look at the former Yugoslavia and the Indian subcontinent for example, and I think in the West "Muslim" immigrant groups could almost be seen similarly.

In any case, I still don't see why "Muslims" as an ethnic group (in particular social contexts) is any less meaningless or arbitrary than the categories "Asian" or "black". I've read xenophobic comments on the internet, and in my experience they are quite capable of writing things like this:

Muslims are terrorists, but those blacks are worse, those monkeys.

Can you honestly say the kind of bigotry exhibited towards Muslims and blacks is fundamentally different in comments of this sort? Is "Africans" even a sensible ethnic category?

Let's make it clear, I'm not disputing whether Muslims are an ethnic group. I'm just saying that there is a Western ideology or sentiment (let's call it Islamophobia) that links anti-immigrant sentiment (targeting those immigrant groups that happen to be Muslim) to a simplistic and jingoistic understanding of international politics ("Israel is a civilized country fighting against barbarian Muslims, just like us") and a literal reading of the Quran ("look at what the Quran says, Muslims are dangerous!"). It's more than just making the equation Arabs = Muslims = immigrants, it goes beyond that.

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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby JackFrost » 2013-07-05, 17:09

IpseDixit wrote:
Marah wrote:We banned the word "race" from the French legislation by the way.

As any other liberal democracy I suppose...

The US isn't alone to do it though.

Furthermore, it is still useful to know where the minorities are for proper allotment of resources and watch out for discriminatory practices (the civil right laws, multilingual services, equal employment opportunities, etc. wouldn't be too useful without such data). Same to protect linguistic minorities in Canada, which is why I find it very annoying that the French and others even forbid counting other language speakers. It's a dick move for someone who speaks Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Sorbian, etc. because we don't really have a very accurate figure on them besides "about 200,000".
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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby Car » 2013-07-09, 7:53

JackFrost wrote:Same to protect linguistic minorities in Canada, which is why I find it very annoying that the French and others even forbid counting other language speakers. It's a dick move for someone who speaks Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Sorbian, etc. because we don't really have a very accurate figure on them besides "about 200,000".


It's not forbidden, we just could hardly count anything in the last census because of data privacy concerns and it took forever to even have a new census for the same reason. German speakers aren't counted either.
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Re: Madam Le Pen indicted for "incitement to racial hatred"

Postby JackFrost » 2013-07-09, 16:35

Privacy concerns? But why? They're just raw numbers...
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