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Criticizing Islam and Mohammed Is a Crime in Finland:

From Helsingin Sanomat:

Jussi Halla-aho, an independent member of the Helsinki City Council elected to the council on the True Finns ticket, ... [was] convicted ... of violating the sanctity of religion ... [and] fined ... EUR 330.

Soon after the sentence was passed, Halla-aho ... repeated the view that got him fined. "In my opinion Islam really is a religion that sanctifies paedophilia, and the Prophet Muhammad is a paedophile", Halla-aho wrote. He wrote similar ideas in his blog in June last year. He said that he reached his conclusion as the result of a logical chain of thought, noting that the Prophet had a spouse who was underage.

In the view of the court Halla-aho's arguments were not sincere, even though they appeared logical. The court also stated that logic has no significance when religious questions are involved. According to the court, Halla-aho had no intention of holding a proper discussion on negative aspects of the Islamic faith, but to desecrate the sacred values of the religion under the guise of freedom of speech. According to the court, the statement has a tendency to feed religious intolerance.

Halla-aho was also charged over another statement he made in the same blog article, according to which robbing passers-by and scrounging on taxpayers' money might be a genetic characteristic of Somalis. In the view of Deputy Prosecutor-General Jorma Kalske, this constituted incitement against an ethnic group, but the court acquitted Halla-aho on the charge. The court found that Halla-aho was simply trying to use satire to criticise authorities for not reacting to a newspaper editorial, which suggested that killing people was a "national, and possibly downright genetic special characteristic" of the Finnish people. The court concluded that Halla-aho was seeking to indicate that immigrants can enjoy better protection from officials than the native population....

Halla-aho says he plans to appeal; the prosecution says it's considering appealing as well. This site claims to reprint an English translation of the post based on which Halla-aho was convicted; this site, which appears to be Halla-Aho's, is said to contain the Finnish original; what is said to be an interview an English translation of an interview with Halla-aho is here.

If anyone can point me to an English translation of the court's opinion, I'd be very much obliged; likewise, if any Finnish speakers can confirm the accuracy of the relevant parts of the translation, or provide their own, that would be excellent. Many thanks to Religion Clause for the pointer. No word on whether the councilman's supporters chanted "Halla-aho Akbar" in his defense.

UPDATE: Just to make it clear, I strongly oppose laws suppressing such speech, for the reasons that I've discussed often and at length in other contexts (such as my commentary on the Mohammed cartoons, and on calls for an emerging international law norm of suppressing anti-religious speech). They would surely be unconstitutional in the U.S., and I think that other democracies shouldn't enact them, either.

John Burgess (mail) (www):
Sure sounds as thought the court believes in punishing thought crimes. Did Finland's experience in WWII and under Soviet domination teach it nothing?
9.10.2009 12:30pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Well at least no censorship envy there!
9.10.2009 12:34pm
Tim Nuccio (mail) (www):
You mean Europe doesn't have more freedom than the United States? Who knew?!?!
9.10.2009 12:38pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Tony Alamo needs to move to Finland.

Nick
9.10.2009 12:40pm
egd:
As compared to the relevant law in Netherlands, is this a law that's sure to reduce ethnic and religious tensions?

Interestingly, how do Muslim groups feel about this? Does the Arab European League consider this an "act of civil disobedience" that shouldn't be punished?
9.10.2009 12:49pm
Richard Gould-Saltman (mail):
Any Finnish attorneys out there? Any fundamentalist Muslim clerics publishing anything in Finland? Is someone reviewing their remarks for statements with a "tendency to feed religious intolerance"?

Just askin'.
9.10.2009 1:10pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@egd: To clarify, under current case law, this would be protected speech in Dutch law. Quite likely, it would be under ECHR case law, too, meaning that this conviction would be unlawful.
9.10.2009 1:17pm
anon e moose:
John Burgess,

I'm not fan of these sorts of laws, but this is not a 'thought crime.' It still has an act requirement.

Still, Finland is going to have a tough time punishing people for offending religions.
9.10.2009 1:28pm
krs:
The court also stated that logic has no significance when religious questions are involved.

Interesting...
9.10.2009 1:31pm
Dave N (mail):
Thank goodness for the First Amendment here.
9.10.2009 1:50pm
Black Bellamy:
Yeah, and thank goodness for "hate crime" legislation that makes the First Amendment so much stronger.

...errr wait
9.10.2009 1:59pm
Lyle (mail):
What's the world coming to. If the prophet Mohammed were alive today in any give U.S. state he be prosecuted for statutory rape, and could be called a pedophile.

So the prophet Mohammed was a pedophile I guess. Some one come and arrest me now.
9.10.2009 2:06pm
martinned (mail) (www):

So the prophet Mohammed was a pedophile I guess. Some one come and arrest me now.

Extradition law requires that the extradition offence be a crime in both the sending and the receiving state, not to mention that it recognises a public policy exception. Good for you, since you may very well have committed a crime in Finland by posting this comment. (Come to think of it, I be in more trouble still, reposting it now. Maybe those European Arrest Warrants weren't such a good idea. And what about EV, moderating this thread? Panic!!!!)
9.10.2009 2:11pm
Ex parte McCardle:
This is definitely tangential to the purpose of the discussion, but I clicked on Jussi Halla-aho's website EV linked to and although I can't read a word of it I have to say: is there any language that looks cooler on the page than Finnish?
9.10.2009 2:17pm
Ex parte McCardle:
A random paragraph:

Korostan, että toisin kuin sanomalehti Kalevan pääkirjoitustoimittaja, minä en esittänyt omaa, törkeää väitettäni mielipiteenä vaan käytin sitä kaksinaismoralismin pilkkaamiseen ja arvosteluun. Asiallisesti ottaen, ja evoluution mekanismit huomioiden, ajatus siitä, että verovaroilla loisiminen tai humalassa tappaminen voisivat olla jonkin populaation geneettisiä erityispiirteitä, on mieletön.
9.10.2009 2:19pm
glangston (mail):
krs:
The court also stated that logic has no significance when religious questions are involved.

Interesting...



Except when it does.

I would think that was a giant step into a large puddle of mud.
9.10.2009 2:29pm
Oren:

Thank goodness for the First Amendment here.

I'll bet you 2:1 that the ECHR reverses.
9.10.2009 2:36pm
egd:
martinned:

@egd: To clarify, under current case law, this would be protected speech in Dutch law. Quite likely, it would be under ECHR case law, too, meaning that this conviction would be unlawful.

Well, I don't know European law very well, but based on EV's previous post this sounds like it would be unlawful in the Netherlands.

Dutch officials seemed to distinguish between the Muhammad cartoons and the Jewish cartoon by taking the position that the Jewish cartoon is against a group of people while the Muhammad cartoons are a problem because they violate a religious tenet (portraying the Prophet).

In this case, the language "Islam promotes paedophilia" seems to indict a group of people, and therefore would fall under the law.

Although I'm sure EV has his reasons for not linking these stories together, he seemed a bit more defensive of an anti-Jewish cartoon than he is of anti-Muslim statements.

Not that I'm accusing the eponymous conspirator of shenanigans, this post seems more along the lines of a RFI than dealing with the substantive issue.
9.10.2009 2:48pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Egd: Sorry I initially didn't chain the two posts together; I've just done so. As to the merits, I suppose the decision struck me as so clearly bad that it didn't require much more commentary, especially for those readers who are familiar with my long-expressed views on the subject. But on reflection, I've decided to add something making that clear (though without much of a substantive explanation, which would be duplicative of what I've already often said before).
9.10.2009 2:53pm
AJK:


I'll bet you 2:1 that the ECHR reverses.


So in other words, after enormous personal stress and (in all likelihood) expense, you think there's a 67% chance that Halla-aho might end up where he started? I'll continue to thank goodness for the First Amendment.
9.10.2009 3:02pm
non-native speaker:
We should thank goodness, not only for the First Amendment, but for having courts that get all First Amendment cases always right, so that nobody needs to appeal them to the Supreme Court to have his free speech rights recognized. Finnish are unfortunate not to have so good courts.
9.10.2009 3:37pm
John (mail):
"...under the guise of free speech..."

Yes, "guise." A crafty use of free speech indeed!
9.10.2009 4:08pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Martinned

Quite likely, it would be under ECHR case law, too, meaning that this conviction would be unlawful.


Based on the Leroy case, and given that the fine was an order of magnitude less in this case, I would expect this to be sustained because, as you say, member states are given benefit of the doubt.
9.10.2009 4:29pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Oren:


I'll bet you 2:1 that the ECHR reverses.


You're on.
9.10.2009 4:31pm
Cornellian (mail):
Finnish is an awfully strange looking language.
9.10.2009 4:33pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Cornellian:

Not as strange-looking as Chinese ;-)
9.10.2009 5:17pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@einhverfr: The Leroy case has no direct bearing on this case, since there is no incitement here. As for the concept of "margin of appreciation", that certainly has limits. Given that the law in this area is a bit blurry (Many European countries have issues with immigration and integration, and deal with them in many different ways. Add to that the fact that ECHR case law concerns many different legal systems, and is reasoned more tersely than US case law, and you can see why it can be difficult to piece together what the correct reading of precedent is.) Given that the law in this area is a bit blurry, I'd say that 2:1 odds in favour of reversal sounds about right.

Of course, before anyone can go to Strasbourg, they have to exhaust national remedies first. (Yet another reason why EU law has more bite. In EU law, all courts, from the lowest to the highest, can ask a prejudicial question in Luxembourg.)
9.10.2009 5:40pm
Mike McDougal:

logic has no significance when religious questions are involved

Lulz-worthy on many levels.
9.10.2009 5:41pm
yankev (mail):
Does Finland still ban the slaughter and importation of kosher beef? I guess it's okay to say that Judaism is cruel to animals and force Jews to choose between giving up meat or giving up their religion. But it's not okay to say anything about Islam that might hurt someone's feelings.
9.10.2009 6:11pm
yankev (mail):

is there any language that looks cooler on the page than Finnish?
I always thought Arabic does, though I can't read a letter of it, let alone a word.
9.10.2009 6:13pm
martinned (mail) (www):

Does Finland still ban the slaughter and importation of kosher beef? I guess it's okay to say that Judaism is cruel to animals and force Jews to choose between giving up meat or giving up their religion. But it's not okay to say anything about Islam that might hurt someone's feelings.

What else would you have them do: Enact laws that forbid cruelty to animals, but not cruelty to people?
9.10.2009 6:15pm
teqjack (mail):
Does Finland still ban the slaughter and importation of kosher beef?


If they do, it must also cover halal - the same practices, but overseen by Imams rather than Rabbis, yes? So Muslims are also forbidden meat or compelled to circumscribe religious ideals?
9.10.2009 6:47pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Yankev:

Kosher meat seems legal to import into Finland, despite animal rights activist attempts to ban it.

I am supportive of pagan groups bringing back animal sacrifice in Scandinavia, but this faces an uphill battle too :-( (Note that these are cases too where the animal would be eaten.)
9.10.2009 6:47pm
Oren:

So in other words, after enormous personal stress and (in all likelihood) expense, you think there's a 67% chance that Halla-aho might end up where he started?

And a binding precedent would be set for the future, ensuring that no one else would go through such stress. Note that in the US, many individuals had to go through the same ordeal in order to get the 1A caselaw to where it is today.


Does Finland still ban the slaughter and importation of kosher beef? I guess it's okay to say that Judaism is cruel to animals and force Jews to choose between giving up meat or giving up their religion. But it's not okay to say anything about Islam that might hurt someone's feelings.

Secular purpose much?

[ This came up in the Sunstein thread too -- I'm not very pro-animal-rights but it seems to be quite clearly a matter within the competence of the legislature to enact. ]
9.10.2009 7:01pm
SuperSkeptic:
I'm not as confident as many of your are in our courts ability to protect speech. I've read some of their opinions. Maybe he would've been fine here because we try not to suppress speech on a religious basis, but god help him if he said something like "all blacks are pedophiles" - or worse yet, if he had said to a cop "all cops are pedophiles." He'd be Chaplinsky'd in a second....(and maybe even tasered for good measure)
9.10.2009 7:30pm
Oren:
Chaplinksy is, in fact, still good law.
9.10.2009 9:56pm
http://volokh.com/?exclude=davidb :

The court also stated that logic has no significance when religious questions are involved.

No kidding.
9.10.2009 10:07pm
Cornellian (mail):

Not as strange-looking as Chinese ;-)


I don't count the pictograph languages because they don't even look like languages, they look more like some sort of intricate piece of artwork.
9.10.2009 10:51pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):


I don't count the pictograph languages because they don't even look like languages, they look more like some sort of intricate piece of artwork.


Then how about sanscrit?
9.10.2009 11:05pm
Jomppa:
"Interestingly, how do Muslim groups feel about this? Does the Arab European League consider this an "act of civil disobedience" that shouldn't be punished?"

This was not about muslims or arabs but about the finnish politics. I dont know if the muslims or arabs know this, and have not seen their comments anywhere.

They were after the party, not Jussi Halla-aho. They do not really care about the arabs or the religion. It is a small party with no influence, but the bigger ones like to show who is boss.
Corruption is really high in Finland.
The translation seems correct to me.
Probably you (the site) would get comments from Jussi Halla-aho himself if you asked.
The courts make decisions based on what they are kindly asked to decide, they do not care about laws, apparently Jussi Halla-aho has just found this out.

"Quite likely, it would be under ECHR case law, too, meaning that this conviction would be unlawful. "

Yes but the judges there are as corrupted as elsewhere, they always have a judge from the country which is accused of something present, and countries do not send honest guys there. The other judges there do not know the law of the country in question, so decision is made by the judge from the country which was accused - and they rarely take cases to their review, despite huge amounts sent there every year as people are mistreated in the courts all the time.
Law does not matter to those in power.
9.11.2009 2:35am
Jomppa:
"If they do, it must also cover halal - the same practices, but overseen by Imams rather than Rabbis, yes? So Muslims are also forbidden meat or compelled to circumscribe religious ideals?"
http://www.halalliha.fi/
At least they sell it.

Oh, from my previous post I forgot to include the reasons behind why the big parties do not like true finns, they used to be called smp, suomen maaseudun puolue "party of the finnish countryside" and were, for a while, known for opposing corruption. Still lots do not like them for that so the journalists who usually are for the bigger parties, have given them extremely negative press for years.
http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suomen_Maaseudun_Puolue
Another reason, which might be more important, is that the true finns is the only party opposed to forced swedish, which is similar to the forced russian in east europe before the fall of the communism.
More about that from: (use google translate)
http://keskustelut.a-lehdet.fi/apu/topic_show.pl?tid=656
9.11.2009 3:00am
Pertsa:
In Finland, section 10 of chapter 17 of the penal code relate to blasphemy.[10][11] Unsuccessful attempts were made to rescind the section in 1914, 1917, 1965, 1970, and 1998.[12]

In 1969, Finland prosecuted Harro Koskinen for publishing a picture of his painting called Pig Messiah, which featured a crucified pig. For violating the sensibilities of a religion, Koskinen had to pay a fine.[13][14]

In 2008, the issue of religious sensibilities arose again. On 30 May 2008, Tampere District Court sentenced Seppo Lehto to two years and four months imprisonment for offences which involve hate speech and blasphemy. The court found Lehto guilty of: defamation, incitement of an ethnic group, and violating the sensibilities of a religion. The judgment said that Lehto had violated the sensibilities of Islam because he had disseminated, with insulting intentions, material which openly blasphemes and desecrates that which Muslims deem holy.[14] Outraged at the punishment of Lehto, Jussi Halla-aho, a Helsinki councilman, posted to the Internet in 2008 some controversial remarks about Islam and about Somalis. Those remarks induced the Helsinki District Court to order Halla-aho to trial.[15]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blasphemy_law#Finland


An unofficial translation of the Penal Code of Finland
(there is no official translation)
http://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/1889/en18890039.pdf

Section 10 - Breach of the sanctity of religion (563/1998)
A person who
(1) publicly blasphemes against God or, for the purpose of offending, publicly
defames or desecrates what is otherwise held to be sacred by a church or
religious community, as referred to in the Act on the Freedom of Religion
(267/1998), or
(2) by making noise, acting threateningly or otherwise, disturbs worship,
ecclesiastical proceedings, other similar religious proceedings or a funeral,
shall be sentenced for a breach of the sanctity of religion to a fine or to
imprisonment for at most six months.
9.11.2009 3:50am
brdo (mail):
Here's the ECHR equivalent of our first amendment:

Article 10 – Freedom of expression
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
9.11.2009 3:58am
FinLAD:
In an interview with Halla-aho, he stated that if he was to go and state the obvious 'look, muslims do have separate rules here, they are treated not as equal, but more equal' there would have been 'no there isn't' response. He wanted to prove it, and so he did.

Christianity is blasted and scorned in all possible verbal ways over here and ALL the cases that goes to the court are dismissed. Last blasphemy trial was over 40 years ago, until now.

Make no mistake. Finland is not the only country that has officialy 'abit more equal' approach considering muslims.

(Can you imagine Marilyn Manson scorn islam the way he does with christianity? Yep, I didn't think so either.)
9.11.2009 4:25am
Marionettes:
It is not only muslims who have separate rules. The rules the muslims have, do not really matter to the whole.
Other groups have hugely separate rules, the language apartheid is well and alive and getting worse all the time. The Swedes control the marionettes who rule in most of the parties.

Were someone to wish to know more about the country, read the comments (all, not just from the link) from the Washington Post Finland diary, it would take a really long time to read through but eventually it would become clear to avoid the country.
Finland Diary


Wikipedia:
Finland:
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
- Total $273.980 billion[2]
- Per capita $51,989[2]
USA:
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
- Total $14.264 trillion[4] (1st)
- Per capita $46,859[4] (17th)

Despite the higher nominal GDP the Finns have about 1/4 of the living standard of the americans.
The money goes somewhere else, not to the regular families who typically live in what is called "neukkukuutio" (Russian cube, which refers to the concrete apartment houses which are very common in Finland, Finns have less living space for a person than any other country in northern Europe, less than in Britain, Germany etc.) and has one old car.

Here is a list of the bread lines. People go queue for food in them. Compare that to the population, 5.3 million people in Finland, is that not quite a lot?
9.11.2009 4:44am
Pertsa:

Finland is regarded as one of the least corrupt countries in the world. But international comparisons do not tell the whole story, the national daily Helsingin Sanomat reports.

“’Old boy networks, party funding and other elite connections are so systemic here that one does not even need to actually bribe anyone,’ says researcher Paavo Isaksson.

For example, the indexes of Transparency International, the global civil society organisation that combats bribery, do not recognise the corruption within the structures of Finnish society.

People do not bribe each other in Finland. Only about 15 cases of bribery are reported to the police annually. Routine domestic corruption is much more than the typical cliché of a bank note surreptitiously handed over in an envelope to an official.


link
9.11.2009 5:01am
martinned (mail) (www):
@Pertsa: So the fact that people in Finland don't bribe each other is somehow evidence that they are hopelessly corrupt?
9.11.2009 7:02am
Pertsa:
9.11.2009 7:17am
martinned (mail) (www):
@Pertsa: Using the word corruption to describe a situation where no one is getting bribed is misleading, at best.

In fact, I'd suggest the only reason why Paavo Isaksson and his friends care about this "hidden corruption" is because there is no real corruption to worry about.
9.11.2009 7:31am
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Oren:

Regarding bans on kosher meat.... I suppose it depends on who the legislature is.

I don't think one could enact such a ban in this country, for example, or even create a de facto ban by defunding USDA inspections (similar to the horsemeat "ban").

The fundamental question is how pluralist Finnish society should be. That is for them to decide. I think Spain is still recovering from their decision in 1492....
9.11.2009 11:20am
karhuherra:
http://volokh.com/posts/1252599821.shtml#644539

animal has to be pre-stunned
The Kosher Shop
9.11.2009 1:30pm
epeeist:
Re corruption ( martinned and Pertsa ) unless you think the only corruption involves money, it makes total sense that nepotism or other forms of favouritism can be considered corruption. If e.g. the civil service hires unqualified people because of who they know, that's corruption in my book even though no money changes hands. If contracts go not to the lowest/best bidder (recognizing the lowest bid may not be the "best") but to the person related to the important people or of a particular ethnic group or whatever, that's corruption in my view. Etc.

As for pedophilia, I totally agree one should be free to express opinions like this, whether true or not being irrelevant. That said, and while I disagree strongly with moral relativism, what a particular society accepted or had as legal or normal is still worth considering. How old was Jefferson's "mistress" (in quotes because as a slave there wasn't exactly choice)? Horrible behaviour by him, I can still think him a good person in other respects who nonetheless was evil in some ways but behaved in a manner that was ignored but accepted at that time and place.

I suspect that across cultures of the time of Mohammed, a lot of overyoung marriage (not to mention sex without marriage) occurred, in Europe also, and all should be tarred with the same brush. It is still legal in some U.S. states for a female to marry as young as 12. Jerry Lee Lewis married his 13-year-old cousin. I think that's atrocious, but it is indicative of the historical non-Muslim position that a female could marry as young as 12 and a male at 14 (if I recall correctly). For that matter, how often are historical figures like Alexander the Great, Caesar, etc. described as pedophiles even though by today's standards they are? They're not because unless some horrible group like nambla is trying to make a ridiculous argument, their behaviour was common enough at the time to not be worthy of comment.
9.11.2009 1:40pm
FinLAD:
On the corruption. Gee please.

Nowhere in the west no one, I repeat, no one, has access to politics in higher level, without accepting and doing 'favours'. It is only a matter of degree and to whom the favours goes to. In worst cases these goes to organised crime - mafia. Only then this is officialy considered as corruption. Where money and politics meet, transactions do happen. This is unavoidable.

It would be easiest to just accept that there is no such thing as equality amongst anyone. Men, forexample, are not equal with each other in group of five.

Court system could be a place where people gets the same, but only and if, there is checks and balances in place.

This only venue, where people could get at least a feeling of equality has been teared down in Finland.

Simple cause&effect logic dictates, that this justice system up here is ad hoc nonsense and as such - irrelevant. Lines are drawn here.
9.11.2009 2:09pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
epeeist:

That said, and while I disagree strongly with moral relativism, what a particular society accepted or had as legal or normal is still worth considering. How old was Jefferson's "mistress" (in quotes because as a slave there wasn't exactly choice)? Horrible behaviour by him, I can still think him a good person in other respects who nonetheless was evil in some ways but behaved in a manner that was ignored but accepted at that time and place.

I suspect that across cultures of the time of Mohammed, a lot of overyoung marriage (not to mention sex without marriage) occurred, in Europe also, and all should be tarred with the same brush. It is still legal in some U.S. states for a female to marry as young as 12.


Well, there are two untenable positions relating to how we address this sort of question.

The first is the idea that some folks have that all cultures should be judged solely by our standards because we know better.

The second is that we can't just anybody across cultural and time barriers because we aren't in a position to understand their side.

I reject both those views, BTW. I think that it is patently insane to accept our cultural prejudices of today as universal moral guidance and it leads to all manner of ethics-by-special-pleading. At the same time, after careful review we CAN arrive at ideas relating to how our ancestors MAY have gotten some things wrong. Sexuality though, as it is caught up in many irrational taboos in all cultures, is an especially difficult case.

When we look back at older marriage laws they tend to have ages of consent much younger than today. In general, when we look at these, they tend, usually, to be tied to the older of two ages in question: the onset of puberty and the finalization of minimal education required to fulfil obligations regarding raising a family. The idea (born out even in current society) is that having kids adds responsibilities and cuts down on educational opportunities (whether this is learning all of your mother's cooking recipes, how to keep house, manage servants, etc. or whether it is formal schooling, the considerations are the same). Interestingly enough, this line is STILL the basic line in US law-- marital consent at 18 (coinciding with finishing High School) and sexual consent perhaps starting as many as 2 years earlier.

I haven't had a clear chance to look at Islamic history in this topic, so I reserve the right to make a judgement after doing so. However I don't think one can just look at kids today and assume that they are like kids 1300 years ago.
9.11.2009 2:26pm
Oren:


I don't think one could enact such a ban in this country, for example, or even create a de facto ban by defunding USDA inspections (similar to the horsemeat "ban").

No, we could not ban kosher meat, either the slaughter or importation.

We could pass neutral laws of general applicability that forbids slaughtering a conscious animal. States could exempt kosher/halal slaughter from those laws, but they are not required to do so. [Employment Division of OR v. Smith]

[ This analysis is limited to the Federal 1A. State Constitutions or Federal Statute might get in the way.]
9.11.2009 5:45pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Oren:

That would depend on whether religious practices regarding slaughter of meat would be a hybrid right not covered under Smith. It also could not cover facilities engaged in wholely intrastrate commerce regarding kosher meat as this is outside current areas of federal regulation regarding meat sales (thus is differentiable from Raische since it would involve a new expansion into intrastate commerce).
9.12.2009 1:09am
Oren:
einhverfr, I was think of a State law, insofar as it is not preempted by a Federal one. For example, California passed (by initiative, of course) a fairly comprehensive bill aimed at improving the conditions of farm animals.

I don't buy your 'hybrid right' argument either. What is the other right that is implicated? Lochner?
9.12.2009 1:21pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Oren:

California though couldn't ban import of kosher meat from, say, Nebraska.
9.12.2009 3:12pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
(I also doubt that the Texas and Illinois horsemeat bans would prevent individuals from importing horsemeat from Canada, which the USDA makes fairly easy to do.)
9.12.2009 3:13pm
cossu (mail):

likewise, if any Finnish speakers can confirm the accuracy of the relevant parts of the translation, or provide their own, that would be excellent.



It seems to be correct and accurate translation, every detail is translated precisely as it was written in Finnish text.
9.12.2009 4:22pm
Oren:
einhverfr, quit quibbling!
9.12.2009 5:26pm
Have just read a lot of...:
Have just glanced through a lot of Halla-aho's writings, in my opinion he seems to be more liberal in immigration than the officials in USA, Canada or Australia, saying he is not against those who come to work.

All of the following are my opinions only, having glanced through his writings for about three hours in total:

He wishes to change the current immigration policies of allowing certain people who come without passports to stay in the country.

He is using a lot of statistics to make his point of certain people being a threat to some other people; I cannot tell if the statistics are correct or not but generally I do not much trust statistics. He does not seem to have said it is about genetics in his blogs.

These certain people, seem to include such who have first paid a lot to be smuggled to Europe. Again I wish to point out that these are not his words and am making it short here since he has written a lot in his blogs.

The following is not from his blogs, but from what I have understood the matter is like from elsewhere, not the local newsmedia as they are very restricted in what they say:
After they have come to the country, they have no passport and claim to need political protection or asylym or whatever the correct words could be. Then they are taken to centers where the cost for keeping one for a year can be as high as 58000 euros. These centers are often in small communities where the local people are not always happy to welcome them. The centers are kept by people who probably profit when they keep them. After a while they are either deported or given houses to live in elsewhere. The lines for housing can be long for poor people who cannot afford private housing but the immigrants do not have to wait in the line.
This might easily be told by "the BNP song" although it tells of another country where they do not give much money to the new arrivals. In Finland they do. They can for example get free holidays to the country where they came from. Where they were persecuted.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2673439558173708760#

Again, none of this was from Jussi Halla-aho, his opinions are not those of the song from what I could tell from his blogs the link is there only to explain the situation.
9.13.2009 3:50am
Have just read a lot of...:
With my limited reading of Halla-aho's writings:

I would estimate or guess that Halla-aho is not against the religion of the muslims in his writings, but rather using the religion as a tool in a predominantly christian country to oppose the immigration of people who he would not wish to immigrate.

As the majority of people have another religion he is repeatedly pointing out the religion of some of the arrivals in order to get the readers support for the cause of not allowing some people into the country.

Therefore his writings as a whole would not be so much against the religion but against those certain people who have not found their place in the countries where they came from or who are seeking a higher standard of living.

The blog entry the conviction was based on was only pointing out the obvious. It is strange indeed that it could be found criminal for pointing out the obvious.
The local newsmedia is against the Finnish, especially the Finnish men. He is selling t-shirts with the words "vhm" - for white heterosexual male. Seems to me that he only wants people to think it would be ok to be a white male.

As the white heterosexual males are a minority who are often the last in line in several matters, he is more defending the said minority than anything else.
9.13.2009 4:21am

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