‘One rule for the holocaust another for Islam’- Journalist

As protests rock the Muslim world, a French magazine has decided to publish cartoons insulting Islam, arguing freedom of speech. But critics now point to hypocrisy, with denying the holocaust being illegal in many European countries.

Journalist and writer Barry Lando explained to RT that he believes freedom of speech laws in Europe are used selectively and that the explosion of protest among Muslims is a symptom of 50 years of simmering anger at the West.

RT: Printing such provocative satire after massive deadly protests over a film mocking Islam film, is that some kind of desperate act for publicity?

Barry Lando: I suppose their motives are mixed, I’m sure publicity has something to do with it, definitely their circulation has gone up every time they’ve done it; so they risk firebombing but they’ve got a lot of money through doing it. But the French are no different to the newspapers in England or Europe who do the same thing.

As far as the question on limits on freedom of speech, not just in France but in Europe as a whole, looking at the laws across Europe, there are in-fact limits on freedom of speech and those laws link directly in Germany, Netherlands as well as France with any kind of publication or communication- and I’m quoting the German law now- “which would incite hatred against segments of the population or assault human dignity by insulting or maliciously aligning segments of the population”. In Germany you can be punished for 3-5 years for publishing such a thing.

Also you probably know that denying the holocaust is a crime in most European countries, not in the United Kingdom but certainly in France and Germany.

RT: Barry I want to draw your attention to something, the Prime Minster says that publication is an issue of freedom of expression, now just yesterday proactive pictures of British royalty were banned from the press, why weren’t they defended in the same way?

BL: I agree I think it’s hypocritical and it doesn’t really stand up to examination.

RT: Now you did mention freedom of speech and it certainly is an admirable concept and now France has shut down its embassies and schools abroad fearing a backlash against the cartoon

BL: Just let me finish if I could with what I was saying with the question of holocaust denial which is not permitted in Europe, I would argue that attacking the holocaust is very similar to attacking ones religion, as in the case of Judaism, so in-fact there are limits on it.

RT: Now the scope of the outrage throughout the Muslim world is huge, dozens of states are seeing both peaceful and violent protests now this can’t just be about a film or a cartoon- however mocking it may be?

BL: No of course, it’s just an excuse for the release of a lot of hatreds which have built up over decades, it’s the last drop in a cup of animosity against the United States and other countries which has been filling over the years, its goes back 50 years into the history of the United States and that part of the world, this is just an excuse if you will for some groups to make use of that hatred and set it aflame.