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UN Human Rights Chief: 'Legal Obligation to Stop Hate Speech'

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declared last week that the nations of the world “have a legal obligation to stop hate speech and hate crimes.” This comes just as Muslim countries are planning to demand that the UN explore “legal options” to stamp out “blasphemy” on social media.

And so the jihad against the freedom of speech is looking to heat up considerably in the near future.

Al Hussein lamented:

[A]cross the world, the politics of division and the rhetoric of intolerance are targeting racial, ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities, and migrants and refugees.

Channeling Hunter S. Thompson, he added:

Words of fear and loathing can, and do, have real consequences.

To forestall those consequences, he demands governments must take action:

States have no excuse for allowing racism and xenophobia to fester, much less flourish. They have the legal obligation to prohibit and eliminate racial discrimination, to guarantee the right of everyone, no matter their race, color, national or ethnic origin, to equality before the law.

Al Hussein insisted that criminalizing “hate speech” was not an assault on the freedom of speech:

It is not an attack on free speech or the silencing of controversial ideas or criticism, but a recognition that the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities.

His denial is hollow. What he is describing is precisely an attack on free speech and the silencing of controversial ideas or criticism. Al Hussein is likely well aware of that fact.

This has been a years-long chess game: first came the charge -- ridiculous on its face but relentlessly and indefatigably repeated -- that to speak honestly about how jihad terrorists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims constituted “hate.” Then came the likewise specious charge that “hate speech” was not “free speech,” and was capable of being identified by neutral, impartial observers, and that it did not deserve the protection that various governments gave to the freedom of speech.

None of that is true. In reality, hate speech is a subjective judgment based on the political perspectives of the one doing the evaluating.

Freedom of speech protections were first instituted in order to ensure that speech that was hated by the party in power could still be aired. The freedom of speech is our fundamental bulwark against tyranny, and prevents tyrants from declaring opposition to their will to be “hate speech” and thereby outlawing it.

But I never was any good at chess, and now Facebook and Twitter have blocked 90% of their daily referrals from Jihad Watch, my news and commentary site tracking jihad activity in all its forms, and both domestically and internationally. The site is also blocked by many Internet service providers in the UK and Europe.