Americans should pay close attention to this story, especially after Loretta Lynch announced the US Government will punish anyone for anti-Muslim speech.
Journalist and writer Éric Zemmour has once again been fined – this time 3,000 euros – for inciting to hate Muslims. Le Parisien reports:
Polemicist Eric Zemmour was sentenced on Thursday to a fine of 3,000 euros for provoking hatred towards Muslims, as a result of comments he made to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera in October 2014. In particular, he declared that the Muslims “have their civil code, it’s the Koran,” that they “live among themselves in the suburbs. The French are forced to leave.” The prosecution had asked for a fine of 10,000 euros.
“I believe we’re heading for chaos. This situation of a people in the people, of Muslims in the French people, will lead us to chaos and to civil war,” he added. “Millions of persons live here, in France, but refuse to live in the French manner.”
Éric Zemmour was at the time promoting his book Le Suicide français.
Note: First, the use of the term “polemicist” to describe Zemmour is a deliberate attempt by the media to emphasize his “warlike” nature and his refusal to debate. The word evokes hostility and single-mindedness. Second, Zemmour’s reference to a possible civil war preceded by fourteen months the statement by Manuel Valls, between the two rounds of the regional elections, that an FN victory would lead to civil war. No one prosecuted Valls. Third, there is an implication that Zemmour’s words were intended to provoke in order to sell more books, since he was on a book tour in Italy.
During the hearing in the Paris criminal court, the polemicist had maintained that he was speaking of “the Muslims in the suburbs who organize and who are planning to secede.” Prosecutor Annabelle Philippe deemed that his remarks that she regarded as “stigmatizing and without nuance”, were aimed at the “totality of the Muslim community.” The court agreed stating that at no point in the interview did he reduce his comments to “just a fraction” of Muslims. The whole of Zemmour’s remarks “rests on an eminently divisive assumption: that the Muslim community, in its essence and its culture, is in opposition to the French and to the French people,” said the judges.
“Claiming to relate an ineluctable evolution, Éric Zemmour proposes to his readers the only option capable, in his eyes, of avoiding civil war: an organized and forced departure from France of the entire Muslim community.” The court lambasted his “warlike and catastrophe-prone semantics” that denote “the conceptual passage from a probable reality to a solution at once credible and desirable.”
Note: So it is a crime in France to express a “credible” solution to a “probable” reality? It’s a crime to even envisage a chaotic situation caused by Islamic doctrine?
His lawyer Olivier Pardo, who plans to appeal, reacted: “The remarks made by Éric Zemmour before the November 13 attacks are today shared by a large part of those who voice their opinion. I cannot help but note the relentlessness to which he was subjected.”
The polemicist was also condemned to pay one or one thousand euros, depending on the case, in damages to the associations comprising the plaintiffs. To that will be added court costs, for a total of 13,003 euros.
Note: Criminal and civil trials are combined here. While we would have a separate civil suit, in France the damages are meted out in the criminal court.
The judges’ decision “again has recognized that Éric Zemmour is a propagator of hatred,” deemed Sabrina Goldman, attorney for LICRA (International League against Racism and Antisemitism). “His words are all the more dangerous because he presents himself as the apostle of truth; he claims to tell the truth when in fact he only expresses hatred,” she declared. The president of SOS Racism, Dominique Sopo, expressed satisfaction that the justice system had reminded us that “freedom of expression is not freedom to spread hatred”. He also said: “It makes you wonder again how he can hold such a position of authority in the media.” Via: LeParisian