Soros-Funded NGOs Demand Crackdown On Free Speech As Politicians Spread Hate Misinformation
Open Society Foundations-backed NGOs are pushing censorship agenda in Ireland and Scotland that includes police searches of homes, phones and computers.
By Ben Scallan
Hatred of racial, religious, and sexual minorities is rising dangerously in Ireland, say the country’s leaders. “Hate-based offenses have become increasingly common in recent years,” said Ireland’s Justice Minister, Helen McEntee, last June. Irish police, she said, have “reported a 29% increase in reported hate crimes in 2022 compared to the previous year.”
However, an increase in the reporting of hate offenses is different from an actual increase. For police to classify something as a hate offense, which is either a crime or “incident,” which is a hate act that is not criminalized, no actual proof or evidence is required beyond somebody simply calling it that. The police themselves admit that the threshold for perception required for this is "very low.”
In fact, you don't even have to be the victim of the alleged crime to report it. A random bystander who has nothing to do with the event can say, "I think it was based on prejudice," and it will be categorized as such. Someone could report what was an obvious joke between laughing friends as a “hate incident” to the police.
None of this is to say that Ireland is free from hatred. Certainly, throughout history, the Emerald Isle has had periods of animosity and strife. While it’s certainly true that there is a certain amount of bigotry in Ireland, that’s true of all societies.
But the increase in “hate-based offenses” is clearly from an increase in reporting, not actual hate crimes or “incidents.” Since 2019, the police and the government have openly urged people to come forward and report hate incidents. In 2021, the police said their goal was to “increase levels of reported hate crime.” The idea was that these hate crimes were already occurring, but nobody wanted to report them for some reason — though there is no evidence to support this claim.
And a large body of research finds that people around the world label more things as “harmful” or “hateful” today than they did in the past. Such seems to be the case in Ireland.
The government’s own data shows that Ireland is, ultimately, an unbelievably tolerant country. About 80% of the Irish surveyed recently say they are very comfortable living next door to people with different nationalities, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, disabilities, religious beliefs (and none), or marital statuses; 76% of people think the government should help asylum seekers (International Protection applicants); and 72% feel immigrants contribute a lot to Ireland.
As a mixed-race Irish journalist myself who has reported closely on this issue for the last year, I can assure you that there is no good evidence that hate crimes of any kind are increasing in my country, including against people of a migrant background, of which I am one.
Irish people, having lived through centuries of religious strife between Protestants and Catholics, know well what bigotry and ethnic malice can do to society; there is no appetite to return to that in any form. And it’s for good reason that so many foreign visitors tend to think of Ireland as a friendly nation. The country’s national slogan is “Céad Míle Fáilte,” which translates as “A Hundred Thousand Welcomes.”
All of this hype about hate is a pretext for the effort by Irish politicians to pass a strict new “hate speech” law, which would make it a criminal offense to possess allegedly “hateful material” — on paper or digitally — on your person or in your home.
If police raided your home in search of such content and seized your devices, the law would carry a potential penalty of a year in prison and a €5,000 fine if you refused to hand over your passwords to authorities.
In the words of government politicians themselves, the law is designed to “restrict freedom” and to “make it easier to secure prosecutions and convictions.” What’s more, the bill reverses the burden of proof under law — if accused of planning to distribute alleged “hate” material, the onus is on the accused person to prove their own innocence.
Ireland is not only a tolerant society, but it was even a victim of British colonialism and ethnic bias historically itself. A mere generation ago, Ireland endured dire living conditions and pervasive poverty. Rooted in historical struggles, the Irish people often empathize with the challenges faced by colonized populations and marginalized communities abroad.
All this, and yet only 14 TDs (members of the lower house of parliament) voted against it out of 160. The legislation goes to the upper house of parliament in October, which could pass it into law.
Why is that? Why is such a seemingly friendly nation undergoing such an unprecedented assault on its freedom? And what can be done about it?