This is a very interesting court decision, Walter, especially this part:
"La cour d'appel avait décidé que la loi du 30 juillet 1981 tendant à réprimer certains actes inspirés par le racisme ou la xénophobie ne limite pas de manière illégale la liberté de manifester ses opinions et le droit de s'assembler et de s'associer au bénéfice du droit à un traitement égal impliquant l'interdiction de discrimination."
So Belgians have the right to express their opinions, and the right to assemble, UNLESS their opinions and their assemblies might subsequently be construed as "racist or xenophobic"? This is prior restraint, illegal in the U.S.
As to the absurd laws prohibiting denial of past existence of concentration camps and the like: there are no laws preventing anybody from claiming the earth is flat, or that 2+2 equals 5, so any rational person examining the "holocaust-law" must necessarily wonder why, if it happened, a law should be needed to affirm that it did.
When Brigitte Bardot (a dedicated animal activist) said that Arabs treat animals terribly she was stating a sadly demonstrable fact. Why should she be found guilty of "speech inciting racial hatred" and have to pay a fine?
Here's what the editor of the Financial Times had to say about proposals to introduce similar laws in Britain:
"...Even while I write this the British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has been investigating whether "Holocaust denial" should be an offence under British law. If it ever were to become an offence, there would soon be plausible demands by all kinds of other groups to make denial of their sufferings an equal offence. Before long the virtues of free speech and unimpaired historical enquiry would be cast aside in favour of the bogus virtue of the self righteous, thus giving the philosophers of totalitarianism a posthumous victory."
How many more murders like that of Theo van Gogh do you think are needed before those idiotic laws are stricken from the books in Germany and the rest of Europe?