As broadcast by Prodos, Finnish authorities have summoned Mikko Ellila to an interrogation over the content of his blog. They suspect him of having committed a thought crime.

Ellila reports that the police have targeted him because of what they call “…the anti-Muslim, pro-Israeli, pro-European, pro-American posts in [his] blog…[he is] suspected of ‘hate speech‘ merely because [he has] pointed out that Islam is a fascist ideology that advocates killing Jews, atheists, homosexuals etc.”

This case demonstrates that in so called “hate speech” laws that the hatred originates from the advocates of such laws against free speech. As Ayn Rand has observed “…evil ideas are dangerous only by default of men advocating better ideas.” [1]

As advertised, these laws are to restrict false and potentially dangerous speech such as anti-Semitism by neo-Nazis. However, the recourse to such laws, instead of verbal refutation, indicts the advocates of such restrictions and the legislators who authorize such a gross violation of the right to free speech. Note, as they expropriate the government’s monopoly on force in this area and advocate the violation of individual rights by government in general, they in fact share fundamental premises with the ‘haters’ these laws supposedly target, thus they are unable to advocate better ideas but only different versions of the same bad ideas.

In contrast, without recourse to force, Ellila actually attempted to refute a dangerous anti-life ideology (Islam) by advocating better ideas. While Ellila correctly identifies that Islam advocates the killing of Jews, atheists, homosexuals, etc., he is being prosecuted for publicly distributing statements or information that threatens or abuses some national, racial, ethnic or religious group or group of people. [2] Ironically, he is to be persecuted for peacefully and reasonably identifying those who violate that same law with impunity.

Several individuals have noted that this intimidation by Finnish police is unlikely to result in a conviction. Ellila has been defiant so he is unlikely to stop. The host of the blog, with its server located in the US (a free speech zone), has colorfully stated that he will not cave to a request to quash this content. In the end, this amounts to Muslims co-opting local officials to intimidate their critics through non-objective law, such as ’hate crime’ statutes. However, not for the purpose of protecting individual rights, but to wield force against non-believers.

As a matter of correct governmental policy, Muslims enjoy a freedom of belief immune from governmental restraint so long as they do not act to violate the rights of others. In the realm of public discourse, Islam has no and should have no protection from reasonable analysis and criticism by private individuals. Muslims appeal to ’hate speech’ laws because they know that their ideology is unable to hold up against reasonable scrutiny.

This persecution of Ellila demonstrates that this police action is unjust, that all ’hate speech’ laws and regulations should be repealed, and that more reasonable criticism of Islam by private individuals in the public square is needed.

Update 5/6/2007: Prodos has posted an update on the specific charges against Mikko Elilla as well as a translation of his offending post.

Elilla, without having received specifics of the charges against him from police officials, completely mischaracterized what he had written. Having read a translation of the cited post, it racism makes me ill. While it may be a youthful indiscretion, the ideas are evil. His analysis focuses on a non-essential attribute to analyze a serious public policy issue.

On a personal level, he has wrongly insulted my friends, my family, my children, and others that I love. If this was a mistake, Elilla owes not only a retraction but a contrite apology for this words. If he stands by his words, I condemn him as morally corrupt just as I do W.E.B. DuBois, and for the same reason.

However, the Finnish government is still wrong to prosecute him in violation of his right to free speech. My earlier point holds true that because of the collectivism advocated by the Finnish government and leading political parties they are not capable of reasonably refuting collectivist arguments like Elilla’s or those by Muslims.

Elilla’s evil words should be dealt with by reasoned arguments by reasonable individuals in a forum free from coercion. Elilla should have the opportunity to consider such arguments and perhaps he if so chooses correct his ill-formed opinion. I would hope that all the bloggers who have taken the time to defend Elilla’s right to free speech could take some time to condemn what he said as well.

While Prodos has pledged to protect Elilla’s speech from official sanction my pulling down his blog, I think that it would be reasonable for Prodos to do so of his own accord as the collectivism articulated by Elilla violates the spirit of the Bernstein Declaration.

[1] A. Rand, The Objectivist Calendar, June 1978.
[2] Language of law based on translation by Vasarahammer via Gates of Vienna.

Extra Points

Baron Bodissey at Gates of Viennalists recommended next steps and contact information for the Finnish government if you would like to express yourself on this issue.

If you refuse to submit to Islam, get the T-shirt.

Image Source: SpreadShirt.com

Report This Post