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Germany slips on its jack boots to keep in step with the USA
September 19, 2002 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Germany slips on its jack boots to keep in step with the USA In the wake of september 11th Most supposedly enlightened "western" countries have curtailed or outright forbidden free speech to groups suspected to be sympathetic to "terror". The question in my mind is how long until just being part of a political organization that opposes first use of violence and criticizes government policy (libertarians, Greens, CUSPA) will get you on the FBI "hit" list here at home?
posted by hoopyfrood (27 comments total)

 
you know, I hate how people will simply dismiss this post and similar posts. This is a very good question, one that has to be asked, and this topic is one that needs to be raised often. It feels like we are on a downward slope.
posted by Hall at 9:40 AM on September 19, 2002


It is also, if read literally, a loaded question that cannot be answered. That is why many people will dismiss this post.
posted by Fabulon7 at 9:53 AM on September 19, 2002


Isn't the Nazi party illegal in Germany? This seems like par for the course. It seems a bit of a rhetorical leap on your part to jump from a German policy to American.
posted by owillis at 9:58 AM on September 19, 2002


Germany has being doing this sort of thing for years, particularly with neo-Nazi groups, so it's a bit late to hold them up as an example of how western freedoms are suddenly eroding, not to mention ironic in light of your jackboots reference.
posted by MrBaliHai at 9:59 AM on September 19, 2002


Of course the Germans are particularly sensitive to far-right & anti-semitic groups for, possibly, obvious reasons...
posted by i_cola at 10:03 AM on September 19, 2002


Well, the Germans have banned scientologyTM, so maybe they're on to something the US is not.
posted by The Michael The at 10:06 AM on September 19, 2002


dopeyfrood: what are you on?
quote:"The group was banned also because of its anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric and for its efforts to build up its own taxation and legal systems. Germany has strict rules against the promotion of racial hatred....the Caliphate State organization run by Muhammed Metin Kaplan... was banned also because of its anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli rhetoric and for its efforts to build up its own taxation and legal systems. Germany has strict rules against the promotion of racial hatred.

Jackboots?

Kaplan is serving four years for incitement in the killing of a rival cleric in Berlin in 1997 - a "death sentence" that Schily has said demonstrates the danger it poses in Germany.

Kaplan is wanted in Turkey for high treason on charges he masterminded a failed 1998 attempt to crash a plane laden with explosives into the mausoleum of Turkey's [secular] founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Get real.
posted by dash_slot- at 10:08 AM on September 19, 2002


I am not so sure in 30-40 years we will be calling this time the "Bushism Years" or "Ashcroftism Years" [or other such witty name] a-la McCarthy. However, I am worried and dismayed by the slippery slope we are approaching via Florida, and Dept of Ed et al and the refusal of the mainstream to take notice, less become concerned/enraged/etc about the changes that BushCo are making. But [reiterating those above] making the jump from Germany to the US only serves to discredit the rest of us who are not in agreement with the current administration. You are building straw men so that those with the will can burn.
posted by plemeljr at 10:15 AM on September 19, 2002


Well as far as the nazi party being illegal that was more of a post WW-2 knee-jerk reaction (of course encouraged by the usa which was keeping "free" germany fed at the time)to distance the german public from it complicity in the holocaust. If you READ the article it was about outlawed ISLAMIC groups but germany usually tows the line with american policy even while it bitches about it. Fabulonz, You are correct! the way the post is worded pretty much shows that the author(lil ol' me) has his mind made up
posted by hoopyfrood at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2002


Germany has always been like this.

Where have you been?
posted by delmoi at 10:48 AM on September 19, 2002


I know that they mean in context, but what exactly are Jack Boots, and when did people start using them in this way?
posted by cell divide at 10:55 AM on September 19, 2002


dash slot...okay good leg work but do the sins of the leader make banning the whole organization ok? (in that case by by teamsters) as far as anti semitic hate rhetoric, in a free society even offensive or unpopular positions should have their say. Not to mention that is only one instance what about the other groups? Ever hear about the alien and sedition acts? sure their out of date but they have been resurrected many times usually in times of "war" . How long until dubbya decides that hes getting too much flack? he has already threatened people(albeit with loss of access and vague insinuation of libel) that criticize his inner circle.
posted by hoopyfrood at 10:58 AM on September 19, 2002


Muhammed Metin Kaplan

conflicted, much? haha.
posted by donkeyschlong at 11:05 AM on September 19, 2002


Jack boots.

Hoopy: What would you think if the German authorities did nothing, in this case? Shout Nazi (again)?

I call Godwin (or rather, you did in the post).
posted by dash_slot- at 11:15 AM on September 19, 2002


dash-- thanks. I had assumed there was some sort of historical context or something. Thanks.
posted by cell divide at 11:35 AM on September 19, 2002


I have an idea. Next time just make up a description of the article you're linking too. There's no reason it should bear any relation to the actual article. Really, Hoopy, I'm sure I'm just as concerned about the effects of terrorist legislation on civil liberties as you are, but tabloid sensationalism does nothing to advance that cause. The answer to the question in your mind can't be answered by any of us right now and certainly not on the basis of this article.

Germany has insisted on assurances he won't be executed as a condition for his extradition.

I don't recall the Nazis ever being delicate over the death penalty. Get a grip.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:44 AM on September 19, 2002


germany [sic] usually tows the line with american [sic] policy even while it bitches about it

Or is that 'has people with the temerity to hold a differing opinion to the US govt'? I'm never sure these days.
posted by i_cola at 12:09 PM on September 19, 2002


Heh, it's somewhat intellectually dishonest to claim that Germany is cracking down on free speech and now stepping in line with the US.

Liberty Wins -- So Far is an interesting article pointing out that following 9/11, several European states (including Germany) cracked down on civil liberties to an extent that's far greater than the US later did. And without any real opposition.

But that when the US later expanded some powers, it ran into the integral checks and balances and there's been a lot of outrage and opposition to it even within the government.
posted by wrffr at 12:38 PM on September 19, 2002


Wait a minute, the German gov't oppressing minority opinion? Naaah, that would never happen. When you use the tools of evil, doesn't that make you evil?
posted by blue_beetle at 2:07 PM on September 19, 2002


hoopyfrood, rhetorical, Godwin-invoking rhetorical questions aside, where is the evidence that Germany has banned these groups for simply holding unpopular views? Indeed, if you will

READ

the article, as dash-slot did, you find there are concrete reasons for classifying them as terrorist-related. Indeed, Germany has, the article notes, strict laws protecting religious groups.

Now, hoopy, are you the type of person who will bring facts to Metafilter and argue on the basis of those facts, or are you the type of person who brings a heated agenda to Metafilter and posts tangentially related articles with heavily slanted commentary in order to assuage and validate your own politics? You certainly seem to be the type of "person" who is "fond" of "scare" quotes. That alone marks you as someone to "avoid".
posted by dhartung at 2:40 PM on September 19, 2002


Wow, it's actually nice to see a political topic on which a goodly portion of the MeFi crowd from BOTH sides of the political fence seem to agree on. My hope for the human race just went up a notch!
posted by RevGreg at 2:59 PM on September 19, 2002


blue_beetle: Could you clarify your point? What exactly does the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum have to do with the current German government?

Again, as octobersurprise quoted above:
Germany has insisted on assurances he won't be executed as a condition for his extradition

Tools of evil?
posted by sklero at 3:12 PM on September 19, 2002


sklero:

blue_beetle: I'm afraid you are totally missing the point: are you, or your current government responsible for the genocides in the colonisation of the U.S.?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:24 PM on September 19, 2002


[just meant to give props, didn't quite work it v. well..]
posted by dash_slot- at 4:26 PM on September 19, 2002


dhartung: word.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:27 PM on September 19, 2002


germany [sic] usually tows the line with american [sic] policy even while it bitches about it

i_cola, as long as you are tossing in the condescending sics, you might as well throw one in for tows the line. It's toes the line, folks.
posted by quarantine at 5:25 PM on September 19, 2002


Oh yes I read the article dartung..." making use of anti-terror legislation passed after the Sept. 11 attacks to crush a network of Islamic groups the government considers a threat to domestic security and Germany's international relations. " Read the part about Germany's international relations, When are foreign relations problems supposed to factor in to arresting people or suppressing groups sympathetic to terror? what is terror? bad movies, unclean drinking water? unpopular or even repugnant but still legal groups? where does terror stop or start???
posted by hoopyfrood at 7:43 AM on September 20, 2002


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