Share |

Sunday 15 July 2012

The Brussels Process: for free speech and civil liberties

As a rule of thumb, anything political with "Brussels" in the title sets alarm bells ringing, and in the culinary world, mention of the word "Brussels" together with "sprouts" can cause near panic in some for entirely different reasons. However, on this occasion, something positive took place in Brussels this week which brought together a group of like-minded people from across Europe, and some from beyond, to initiate what they term the "Brussels Process", which is defined on the Gates of Vienna blog as "a continuing series of events that will strengthen free speech and civil liberties in the West, and provide an alternative to the notorious “Istanbul Process”." The occasion for its launch was provided by the International Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights, initiated by the International Civil Liberties Alliance and hosted at the EU Parliament with the co-sponsorship of two MEPs: Philip Claeys (Vlaams Belang, Belgium) and Magdi Allam (UDC, Italy). The ICLA press release states:

On 9 July, the International Civil Liberties Alliance presented an International Human Rights and Freedom of Speech Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels. Over 100 people from numerous, countries, cultures, and backgrounds took part in this milestone event at which Lars Hedegaard of the Danish Free Press Society received the “Defender of Freedom” award.

The conference was organised in response to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)’s Istanbul Process, which seeks to institute a global blasphemy law that would ban freedom of expression under sharia doctrine worldwide. Many governments are actively aiding the Istanbul Process, rather than opposing it as they should to preserve the liberties of their citizens. The European Union’s offer to host the next meeting of the OIC’s Istanbul Process shows that organization’s willingness to impose severe restrictions on traditional rights and freedoms of citizens within the European Union. The principal purpose of the International Human Rights and Freedom of Speech Conference was to encourage an open and fact-based public debate on these issues, and to provide policy guidance for political leaders, especially those who themselves are raising the alarm over the OIC’s totalitarian sharia doctrines against free expression, civil liberties, women’s rights, homosexual rights and religious freedom.
 The OIC Logo
 The launch of such an initiative can only be applauded, and the list of speakers was impressive. As the Gates of Vienna blog has provided extensive coverage of the content of the speeches, as well as videos and commentary, you should visit that site for further detail. The video below (hat tip to Vlad Tepes), although produced prior to the launch of the Brussels Process, is well worth watching, for in this the speaker outlines the structure, goals and values of the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation), which underscores why the objectives of the Brussels Process are so important. Although this video was produced by the American 'Center for Security Policy' which has its own agenda, its content is sound.


Below is the full list of speakers at theInternational Conference for Free Speech and Human Rights:
  • Mark Steyn (Canada), commenter and author of “America Alone” & “After America”
  • Lars Hedegaard (Denmark), book author and President of the International Free Press Society
  • Prof. Hans Jansen (Netherlands), retired Professor of Modern Islamic Thought at the University of Utrecht
  • Mgr Ch.-C. Boniface, dit Pére Samuel (France), Bishop, Syrian-Catholic Church
  • Nidra Poller (France), book author and commenter on challenges from Islam
  • Alexandre del Valle, author, co-founder of the “Geopolitical observatory of the Mediterranean Sea”
  • Sabatina James (Germany), apostate from Islam and author of three books
  • Sam van Rooy (Belgium), editor of two books with essays on the dangers of Islam and of the crisis of the European Union
  • Pierre Cassen, editor-in chief of “Riposte Laïque”, author
  • Tommy Robinson (UK), joint vice-chairman of the British Freedom Party
  • Ingrid Carlqvist (Sweden), President of the Swedish Free Press Society
  • Magdi Allam (Italy), MEP, apostate from Islam, convert to Catholicism
  • Gavin Boby (UK), Law and Freedom Foundation
  • George Igler (UK), Discourse
  • Jean Maher, (Egypt) president of l’Organisation franco-égyptienne pour les Droits de l’homme
  • Conny Axel Meier German publicist, Chairman of Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (BPE)
  • Christian Jung, (Germany) writer and editor for blu-News
  • Ned May, a freelance writer, editor, and computer programmer living in Central Virginia
  • Alain Wagner (France), leader of the Stop Sharia campaign
  • Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff (Austria), lecturer on Islamic politics and victim of sharia-compliant “hate speech” laws
  • Philip Claeys, (Belgium) MEP


  1. The meeting in Brussels is welcome.I’m heartened by this and other attempts to defend hard won freedoms. Those groups and online sites like this are important and much needed. They turn a spotlight on threats and dangers and provide a glimmer of hope with their attempts to combat them, as governments and mainstream media turn a blind eye to reality.

    Perhaps I should turn a blind eye, its less troubling, especially after enjoying a short break from the daily news updates casually detailing the latest terror threats and physical or cultural attacks, the sneering insults and arrogant demands from people with no sense of kinship or shared values. People with little respect for this country or its culture, and filled with a desire to replace it with imported alien cultures and values.

    The short respite from a sense of alienation was welcome, an alienation partly due to the actions of those who may share a common heritage with me, but are content to see the land of their ancestors irrevocably changed by an alien population or imported alien cultures Now I’m back home I’m tempted to leave again, but why should I retreat against a tidal wave of alien cultures and values? Where would I go, and where would my children and grandchildren go?

    I watch as government and media deliberately excuse and whitewash the constant attacks on my culture, values, and physical safety. I watch as they minimise the intention and purpose behind each attack, as they portray each one as an isolated incident of extremism, or isolated cultural misunderstanding, or isolated unrepresentative example of fundamentalism. Nothing to worry about, just a few crackpots, move along, nothing to see here.

    The sense of alienation grows as my intelligence is insulted each day as this pantomime endlessly repeats itself. It grows as I watch those who speak out being demonised as bigots or far right extremists. It grows as my cultural values of equality and democracy are dismissed as no more valid or worthy than any other cultural values, including those based on backward superstitious beliefs and a culture of inequality and discrimination.

    Those individuals who are courageous enough to make a stand have my gratitude and admiration.

    1. The clash between what we are told, and what we experience, is quite jarring. For us, one of the problems is that having opened our eyes, ears and minds to what is going on, we are unable to shut them up again. Having recognised the media mirage for what it is, we are not able to perceive it anew as ‘reality’, as perhaps we may once have done.

      There is nowhere for us to go. We have to stay, and to withstand whatever is thrown at us, no matter how hurtful, how malicious and how false it may be. The currency of our public language, thanks to its ongoing politicisation, is becoming as debased and as unsound as the money created out of thin air by our central banks. However, how long can such falsehoods endure?

      It has struck me in recent years, not only how much the official language of the public sphere has become politicised, but also the extent to which alien words and terms of phrase proliferate amongst ordinary people; elements of language that I have never previously encountered, and which generally serve to lessen rather to enrich our vocabulary and thinking. The primary root cause, I have concluded, must be television; particularly, formulaic ‘drama’ such as soap operas, and ‘reality’ programming, which appear to thrive upon a constant output of misery and social dysfunctionality. Watching little of such television myself, this seems to be the most straightforward explanation.

  2. Impressive list of speakers. Where was Paul Weston?

  3. DP111 said

    Good article by GoV’s Baron.

    So far the Counter-Jihad movement is essentially a defensive strategy. Even the name "CounterJihad" is defensive, i.e., defence against Jihad. However, the problem we have is not Jihad as understood, but a far more insidious threat.

    Great all the same.

    Sooner or later, a more vigorous, humanism and enlightenment orientated offensive strategy will be required. It will have to be so good, beautiful, true and just, that opposing it will appear insane.

    1. The struggle must be ideological and political. Essentially it comes down to a battle of ideas and a testing of wills. This, naturally, needs to be accompanied by a robust approach to intelligence gathering and policing, not by military conflict, unless that is, we ourselves - that is we here in the UK - come under direct attack by another state.

  4. While television has an impact I would emphasise the power of propaganda and enforcement to impact language behaviour and debate. Perhaps you mean it in a more general sense, and I’m curious which alien words and terms you refer to, but looking at issues such as nationality culture and values, a verbal discussion is a different proposition to an online exchange.

    People online have greater control and are less fearful that a badly expressed or misrepresented comment may find them subjected to adverse consequences. They have the luxury of choosing their words, being nuanced in their opinions, explaining their stance to establish that their views are not motivated by illogical racist or prejudiced reasoning. Having said that there are some zealots who will seek to level that criticism anyway.

    The factors I’d point to would include political aspects including a covert agenda of high immigration engineered without the consent of the people and subsequent steps taken to squash opposition, with legitimate protests being ignored leading to apathy, or prosecuted as hate crimes leading to a climate of fear.

    Add the policy of multiculturalism which also depicts criticism as bigotry or racism with people subjected to manufactured hate charges or politically correct condemnation, and the effect of measures to enforce conformity through political, legal or social pressures have the desired effect of intimidating and silencing dissent. This limits the free exchange of views, rather similar to a Sharia compliant society where dissent from authorised opinion is not tolerated.

    When laws and public condemnation which should rightly be directed towards undemocratic racist bigots, are misused and turned against the reasonable non racist democratic patriot, you create a divided society. A society populated by self centred egotistical individuals solely concerned with themselves, politically correct zombies incapable of independent thought, resentful groups who may develop extremist prejudices, and a browbeaten alienated majority, brutalised or educated into a state of apathy and learned helplessness, fearful to express anything beyond the politically correct acceptable view of the moment.

    1. Dinan, I concur with what you write. It is ultimately a question of 'elite' (for which read oligarchic) political intent and propaganda, which is transmitted to the population via a variety of channels, of which television is only one, albeit the most powerful. BBC programming in particular is notable for its incorporation of the dominant PC multicultural ideology not only in an overt fashion, but also as woven into the fabric of its dramas through the nature of the characters portrayed, their actions and their moral qualities or lack thereof. There is also the question of the themes that are selected for storylines, the editorial angle placed upon them, and those themes that are ignored or purposefully distorted.

      As for my reference to alien linguistic usage, I believe that the idiom in question can be broadly subsumed under the headings of 'street' or 'urban', for which read, uneducated black or Jafaican. This represents a failure of both the education system, born of a desire not to 'stigmatise' ethnic minority groups for not being able to speak English, and of our politicians. The attendant diversity-compliance legislation, as well as the natural multiculturalist bent of the BBC, have thus resulted in the enthusiasm of the latter for the promotion and dissemination of this conceptually impoverished mode of speech, thereby lending it an unwarranted legitimacy in the wider public arena. Intrinsic to this mentality, is the idea that all that is black is essentially ‘cool’, whereas, naturally, the converse of this proposition is also implied.

  5. Yes,the long term effects are harmful as alien words and values dilute our culture and values. It results in a dumbing down effect with people unable to express or properly articulate opiniona or emotion which leads to a sense of frustration, and affects their ability to channel or control their emotions.

    I wasn’t paying attention to the TV when a program came on, an American Jeremy Kyle type show and the striking thing was the similarity with the English version. The same inarticulate slang and head tossing, finger pointing, facial contortions that passed for communication, with the grunts and bellows of indignation that substituted for expressions of emotion.

    The same inarticulate folk either side of the Atlantic would probably understand each other, as they communicate verbally on a similar basic level and largely rely on nonverbal gestures and the occasional bellow and grunt to get their point across. On the rare occasion an emotion was put into words, it was usually some selfish annoyance at not getting their own way, with hardly any empathy shown for others. As a taste of things to come, those on the American version are far worse in terms of their inability to express themselves or keep control of their emotions.

    These programs make a fortune pretending to offer advice to the semi articulate when all that’s probably needed is to tell people to improve their language skills to properly express their views and emotions, and most of their personal problems would disappear!

    Well, perhaps I over simplify but on any level instilling acceptable values and standards of behavior requires appropriate use of language rather than the gangsta slang and inarticulate mumbles that would have Shakespeare turning in his grave.


Comments that call for or threaten violence will not be published. Anyone is entitled to criticise the arguments presented here, or to highlight what they believe to be factual error(s); ad hominem attacks do not constitute comment or debate. Although at times others' points of view may be exasperating, please attempt to be civil in your responses. If you wish to communicate with me confidentially, please preface your comment with "Not for publication". This is why all comments are moderated.