The death of free speech

Paul Belien warns of impending doom:
If all goes as planned, the 27 member states of the European Union will soon have a common hate crime legislation, which will turn disapproval for Islamic practices or homosexual lifestyles into crimes. Europe’s Christian churches are trying to stop the plan of the European political establishment, but it is unclear whether they will be successful.
The legislation, in the form of the European Union’s Equal Treatment Directive seeks to criminalize 'harassment' based on discriminatory grounds. However, 'harassment' has been defined so broadly it includes the perception of creating an 'offensive environment'. Moreover, the burden of proof is on the accused. If accused of creating an 'offensive environment' it is up to him or her to prove such an 'offensive environment' was not created. Proving a negative, in short.

The broad definition of 'harassment' potentially include mere disapproval. Hence, the directive may force people and organizations to act against their beliefs. The Catholic church, in its orthodox views of the sanctity of marriage is in direct violation of the directive. Anyone expressing disapproval of the Muslim faith (such as this blog) would seem to be in danger of persecution by the EUnions 'agents of nice'. How's that for 'free and democratic'?

[INSTANT UPDATE] Jihad Watch sees the Eurabia conspiracy in action:
This would, of course, render us mute and hence defenseless in the face of the advancing jihad -- and that is just what it is designed to do.

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