I've learned from this whole experience, that things aren't always what they appear to be, on the surface. Information spreads across the blogosphere with such lightning fast rapidity, that much is often lost in the translation. Literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, with the obvious 'language barrier' problem, relevant information doesn't always get processed accurately, so we sweep to action or judgement without knowing the full story. Though, in this case, action was warranted, regardless of the truth of the situation.
It turns out that Mikko Ellilä was not summoned to the authorities for his criticism of Islamism (which we all had assumed was the case) but rather for an article (kindly translated into English by Aapo Puhakka), entitled "Society consists of People" . I find the content quite racist, in spite of Mikko's attempts at defending his discourse in an email to Gates of Vienna:
"In Nazi Germany, the first thing that Hitler did when he was given dictatorial powers in March 1933 was to ban all newspapers critical towards Nazism. [Mikko] Puumalainen [the Finnish Ombudsman for Minorities] wants to do the exact same thing. He explicitly says that my blog should not be allowed to exist because I am saying that African immigrants commit more crimes than the Finns do. This is a fact that I have demonstrated by quoting crime statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, but in the opinion of Mikko “Big Brother” Puumalainen, even facts can be “hate speech”."
And although I disagree, wholeheartedly, with his treatise, I want to make it perfectly clear, that in no way should it be considered a hate crime. There is no incitement to violence, nor is he telling people to discriminate against blacks or other ethnic minorities and, therefore, I defend his right to publish it. It's a slippery slope from considering this a crime of "Ethnic Agitation" to similarly considering any criticism of Islam the same thing.
What I find contemptible, is the free 'get out of jail' card the Islamists always receive for their 'hate speech' activity, which is plentiful and frequent. Muslims do it all the time, calling Christians and Jews "Apes and Pigs", and they DO happen to incite violence against non-Muslims. Imams from London to New York are constantly promoting hatred towards infidels and encouraging Islamic jihad, and are they ever prosecuted for hate speech crimes? No. They're allowed to stand there with placards calling for all westerners to be beheaded for insulting Islam, and then allowed to walk away, to protest another day and plan some other 9/11, 7/7 or 3/11. Then you have the Saudi published textbooks that are used in Muslim schools, here in the U.S., teaching kids not to befriend Christians and Jews, because they are enemies of Islam, and "many of the textbooks...... contain passages promoting hatred of non-Muslims. For example, the eleventh-grade text says one sign of the Day of Judgment will be when Muslims fight and kill Jews, who will hide behind trees that say: "Oh Muslim, oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him." And according to one report : "some Saudi government-funded textbooks used in North American Islamic schools have been found to encourage incitement to violence again non-Muslims." And is there anything being done to stop this? Not that I know of.
The point is, as long as one is not inciting people to violence, or to kill others, or to take over the world, people should be allowed to say whatever they please, regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees, approves or disapproves of what is being said. That should be left to the realm of an individual's conscience.
Freedom of Speech is a gift and a right. Let's keep it that way.
As a side note: If you tell people you hate, say Barry Manilow, then it's just an 'opinion'. If you tell people to go out and kill him, then that's 'hate speech'.