Swedish prosecutor Gisela Sjövall recently announced that she won’t be prosecuting a 23-year-old man who had posted the black ISIS flag on his Facebook page last June. The man is a Syrian now living in Laholm, a city on Sweden’s west coast. Ms. Sjövall ruled that the ISIS flag does not constitute hate speech and is therefore legal under Swedish law.
Sjövall stated that while the swastika had come to symbolize a hatred for Jews, the same could not yet be said of the ISIS flag, though she added, “That could change in ten years.” Under Swedish law, for an image or statement to represent “incitement to hatred,” it needs to threaten or disparage a specific group of persons in connection to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious belief or sexual orientation. Oh, come on. NAZI swastikas and flags of the Third Reich didn’t have text on them stating, “We hate Jews,” either. And radical Islamists have been killing Jews, among others, for far longer than the NAZIs did, yet the Swastika flag is verboten in Sweden, but ISIS’s is okay? Would Ms. Sjövall rule in favor of the Confederate flag?
“If there had been anything in the text with more specific formulations about certain groups, for example homosexuals, the ruling could have been different,” Sjövall remarked. “For me, there are no doubts about the decision not to prosecute.”
“Put simply, one can say that he is expressing contempt for “all others,” and not against a specific ethnic group,” Sjövall explained to SVT, a Swedish Public Television station.
So, in her own words, inciting hatred towards all other groups- everyone else- is not hate speech, but disparaging a smaller group is.
That’s funnier than any Ole’ and Lena joke. Welcome to ‘reason,’ 2016 style.
(Conservative talk show hosts have been banned from some European countries and even mild-mannered, intellectual Dennis Prager's "Prager University" videos have been banned from You-Tube...and the ISIS flag is okay on social media?)