It is ironic, but perhaps not unforseeable, that societies which are increasingly obsessed with “feelings,” both as an inviolable matter of respect and as a motivation to act or believe, have at the same time become increasingly brutish and crass. Perhaps it is because everything is a bigger deal and in need of a reaction. It is fashionable to be “traumatized” by this or that and wear it as a badge of honor, at once puffing oneself up with pride for the arduous climb to the summit of the mountain one has made out of a molehill, and demanding “respect” and restitution for the trouble.
Combining that complex with a supremacist political agenda creates an explosive mix.
The other major consideration here is that Turkey’s entrance into the EU has not been relegated to its proper place, in a priority spot in the “round file.” This is how Turkey is behaving even without full membership in the EU. If it joins the EU, it will continue to attempt to make the EU’s protections a suicide pact toward its own purposes.
There are more red flags than a May Day parade, but will the EU heed them? “Turkish court accepts online blasphemy case, ECtHR ruling precedent,” from Today’s Zaman, December 27:
A Turkish court has accepted an indictment filed against a man who allegedly insulted Islamic values online by a prosecutor who cited an earlier ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
The lawsuit was filed against A.M.S. over his remarks allegedly insulting Islamic beliefs on EkÅŸi SÃ¶zlÃ¼k (Sour Times), a website on which contributors share their comments on various issues and incidents in Turkey. In the indictment she prepared over a criminal complaint filed against A.M.S. by an individual, Ä°stanbul prosecutor Nurten AltÄ±nok referred to a 1994 decision of the ECtHR in the Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria case. The case concerns an application by the Austria-based Otto-Preminger-Institut at the European court over the ban of a movie by the Austrian government in 1985, on the grounds that it insulted the Christian religion.
The applicant claimed a violation of their freedom of speech under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which provides the right to freedom of expression. The court, however, found no violation of the convention and said the interference with the applicant association’s freedom of expression was prescribed by law but the seizure and forfeiture of the film were aimed at “the protection of the rights of others” — namely, the right to respect for one’s religious feelings, and at ensuring religious peace. The court assessed the conflicting interests of the exercise of two fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the convention and concluded that the Austrian authorities did not overstep their margin of appreciation.
Prosecutor AltÄ±nok, who says the suspect went beyond the limits of freedom of speech by ridiculing Muslim prayer rituals and the Islamic belief that the universe was created by God, seeks up to one-and-a-half years in jail for A.M.S., who said in his testimony that he did not intend to commit a crime nor to target a group or individual with his comments.