Incitement to ethnic or racial hatred
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Incitement to racial or ethnic hatred is a crime under the laws of several countries.
Under the law of the United Kingdom, "incitement to racial hatred" was established as an offence by the provisions of §§ 17-29 of the Public Order Act 1986. It was first established as a criminal offence in the Race Relations Act 1976. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 made publication of material that incited racial hatred an arrestable offence.
This offence refers to:
- deliberately provoking hatred of a racial group
- distributing racist material to the public
- making inflammatory public speeches
- creating racist websites on the Internet
- inciting inflammatory rumours about an individual or an ethnic group, for the purpose of spreading racial discontent.
Laws against incitement to hatred against religions were later established under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. However this legislation is not present in Scotland.
In Australia, the Racial Hatred Act 1995 amends the Racial Discrimination Act 1975, inserting Part IIA - Offensive Behaviour Because of Race, Colour, National or Ethnic Origin. It does not, however, address the issue of incitement to racial hatred. The Australian state of Victoria has addressed the question, however, with its enactment of the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act 2001.
Section 10 - Ethnic agitation (511/2011)
A person who makes available to the public or otherwise spreads among the public or keeps available for the public information, an expression of opinion or another message where a certain group is threatened, defamed or insulted on the basis of its race, skin colour, birth status, national or ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability or a comparable basis, shall be sentenced for ethnic agitation to a fine or to imprisonment for at most two years.
Section 10(a) – Aggravated ethnic agitation (511/2011)
If the ethnic agitation involves incitement or enticement (1) to genocide or the preparation of genocide, a crime against humanity, an aggravated crime against humanity, a war crime, an aggravated war crime, murder, or manslaughter committed for terrorist intent, or (2) to serious violence other than what is referred to in paragraph 1 so that the act clearly endangers public order and safety, and the ethnic agitation also when assessed as a whole is aggravated, the offender shall be sentenced for aggravated ethnic agitation to imprisonment for at least four months and at most four years.
Section 24 of the Press Law of 1881 criminalizes incitement to racial discrimination, hatred, or violence on the basis of one's origin or membership in an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group. A criminal code provision deems it an offense to engage in similar conduct via private communication.
In 2002, four Muslim organizations filed a complaint against Michel Houellebecq for stating that Islam was "stupid" and "dangerous" in an interview. The court found that Houellebecq was not immune from the charge on the grounds of literary immunity or freedom of speech, but acquitted him on the grounds that he criticized Islam rather than individual Muslims. In 2005, politician Jean Marie Le Pen was convicted of inciting racial hatred, for comments made to Le Monde in 2003 about the consequences of Muslim immigration in France. Similar complaints were brought in 2015 after he compared Muslim street prayers to the Nazi occupation of France in 2010, but he was acquitted. In 2008, actress and animal-rights campaigner Brigitte Bardot was convicted on charges of inciting racial hatred for her criticism concerning the ritual slaughter of sheep during the feast of Eid al-Adha in a letter to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. Bardot had been convicted of inciting racial hatred on four other occasions over the previous 11 years for criticizing Muslim immigration.
- Criminal Code of Finland (1889/39 and 2011/511) chapter 11, section 10: Kiihottaminen kansanryhmää vastaan, unofficial English translation
- Loi du 29 juillet 1881 sur la liberté de la presse
- Loi n° 90-615 du 13 juillet 1990 tendant à réprimer tout acte raciste, antisémite ou xénophobe
- Michael Curtis, Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East
- "French writer who called Islam 'stupid' cleared by judges". 23 October 2002.
- Webster, Paul (17 September 2002). "Calling Islam stupid lands author in court" – via The Guardian.
- "Jean-Marie Le Pen condamné pour incitation à la haine raciale". 24 February 2005 – via Le Monde.
- "WORLD - France".
- "Le Pen convicted of inciting racial hatred". 11 May 2006.
- "Marine Le Pen cleared of inciting hatred". 15 December 2015.
- Crumley, Bruce (15 April 2008). "Is Brigitte Bardot Bashing Islam?" – via content.time.com.
- Editorial, Reuters. "Ex-film star Bardot gets fifth racism conviction".
- the feast of Eid al-Adha
- Poirier, Agnès (20 September 2014). "Brigitte Bardot at 80: still outrageous, outspoken and controversial" – via The Guardian.