Journalist in France Convicted for Anti-Muslim Hate Speech

-By Selwyn Duke

We’ve heard a lot about Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian whose warnings about Muslim influence in his nation place him in the crosshairs of the powers-that-be. But while the tow-headed modern-day Templar has thus far dodged the hangman on Truth-speech charges, another intrepid defender of Western civilization has not been so lucky. And we haven’t heard much about him.

He is French journalist Eric Zemmour, and he was just convicted this week of “inciting racism.” Writes The New American’s R. Cort Kirkwood:

Zemmour’s “controversial” remarks included his observation that most drug dealers in France were black or Arab, and that employers “have the right” to deny employment to those two groups of people.

Zemmour’s criminal speech occurred on a popular talk show during a discussion of why French police seem to stop minorities more than whites. Said Zemmour: “But why are they stopped 17 times? Why? Because most dealers are blacks and Arabs. That’s a fact.”

So Zemmour wound up in the French dock, and must now pay $14,000 to five groups that sued him for racism.

According to the New York Times, the French court said Zemmour had “gone beyond the permitted bounds of the right to freedom of speech,” and that “… Zemmour had a particular responsibility to respect those limits as a ‘professional of the media and of expression.'”

If Zemmour doesn’t behave like a “professional of the media,” it is only insofar as he is a patriot and French traditionalist. While he is the son of Jewish Berbers who immigrated to France from Algeria in the 1950s, he states unabashedly that he believes “France is civilization with a capital ‘C.’” Moreover, he not only supports the prohibition against wearing the full Islamic facial veil in public, he “advocates a return to authorizing only Christian first names for children born in France, a restriction lifted in 1993,” reports The New York Times. He also states that late French President Charles de Gaulle was correct when he said that mixing Muslims and Christians is like “blending oil and vinegar.”

Unfortunately, what also blends no better than oil and vinegar are secular Western governments and reality. After all, as the book How to Win Friends and Influence People may tell us, you may incite others any time you render opinion. As for the opinion known as commentary, it is mostly and necessarily social criticism, and all criticism could conceivably inspire someone to dislike, demean or even commit violence against its target. But do we say that Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and their millions of “anti-theist” acolytes should be punished for criticizing Christianity? And with all the violence of the 2010 campaign cycle, should we prohibit criticism of Republicans, Democrats and the Tea Party? I mean, we can go way beyond McCain-Feingold and just ban campaign commercials altogether; after all, if they don’t incite people, I don’t know what does. And would we have had the fire-bombing of fur stores, the torching of SUVs and the actions of the Unabomber had we not been accosted by environmentalist and animal-rights propaganda?

The truth is that all criticism evokes harsh feelings in some, yet no one advocates banning all criticism. Instead, governments may use “offensiveness” as a guide. This is completely subjective, however, as most everything offends someone and most everyone is offended by something. But we can’t ban everything, so the thought police use their own particular emotion-derived values set as a guide. It’s called political correctness, which is the suppression of Truth for the purposes of advancing lies. This is why I label so-called hate-speech legislation “Truth-speech laws.”

This brings us to the main point. Liberal icon Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “You’re entitled to your own opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.” But today’s liberals have turned this on its head. Under their regime, we are entitled to neither our own opinions nor any facts.

That is, if they’re politically incorrect.

This is why thought police in places such as Canada have said that the Truth is no defense against “hate speech” charges. Imagine that…the Truth will set you free – but not from the clutches of the Sultans of Sensitivity.

But the worst kind of insensitivity is numbness to Truth. The Truth is always a defense, as it originates with a source that transcends courts and human-rights tribunals. And this should make a person wonder, if an entity suppresses it, whose bidding is it really doing?

Ah, the irony. A government suppresses Truth on behalf of a group that sometimes may call that government as satanic. Well, I suppose everyone is right about something.
Selwyn Duke is a writer, columnist and public speaker whose work has been published widely online and in print, on both the local and national levels. He has been featured on the Rush Limbaugh Show and has been a regular guest on the award-winning Michael Savage Show. His work has appeared in Pat Buchanan’s magazine The American Conservative and he writes regularly for The New American and Christian Music Perspective. He can be contacted at

Copyright Publius Forum 2001