A political leader is Spain is under criminal investigation for saying “Islamist.”
Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the Gatestone Institute, highlighted the case against Javier Ortega Smith.
The second-ranking leader of the political party Vox, he was the target of an investigation by authorities in Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain.
The prosecution was based on a complaint from a Muslim group and “appears aimed at silencing critical discussion of Islam ahead of national elections on April 28,” Kern wrote.
“More broadly, however, the case poses a potentially immeasurable threat to the exercise of free speech in Spain.”
The group Muslims Against Islamophobia complained that Smith, in a rally months ago, said Europe’s common enemy is an “Islamist invasion.”
“Spain is facing threats from internal and external enemies. The internal enemies are perfectly identifiable: the [Catalan] separatists, the friends of [Basque] terrorists, those who want to tear our nation apart,” he said in his speech.
“The external enemies want to tell us how to run our country. … Angela Merkel and her fellow travelers, George Soros, the immigration mafias, believe that they can tell us who can and cannot enter our country. They demand that our boats pluck so-called castaways out of the sea, transfer them to our ports and shower them with money. Who do they think we are? We say enough is enough.
“We will unite our voice with those of millions of Europeans who also are standing up. Those voices are saying, long live Germany, long live Switzerland, long live France, long live Great Britain. These Europeans understand the need to respect national sovereignty and national identity. They have no intention of being diluted into the magma of European multiculturalism.
“Together we will be stronger against the common enemy that has a very clear name. I will not stop saying it. Our common enemy, the enemy of Europe, the enemy of freedom, the enemy of progress, the enemy of democracy, the enemy of the family, the enemy of life, the enemy of the future is called the Islamist invasion.”
Kern said Ibrahim Miguel Angel Perez, the Muslim group’s founder, complained that the statements are untrue and encourage “the creation of an atmosphere of fear and rejection toward Muslim communities.”
“Prosecutors must now determine whether Ortega Smith is guilty of a hate crime as described in Article 510.1 of the Criminal Code, which establishes prison sentences of between one to four years for those found guilty of ‘publicly fomenting, promoting or inciting, directly or indirectly, hate, hostility, discrimination or violence against a group […] for racist, anti-Semitic or other motives associated with ideology, religion or beliefs,'” Kern wrote.
Smith, Kern said, confirmed he’d be happy to “explain to prosecutors what the ‘Islamist invasion’ means, namely ‘the attempt to end freedoms, to end respect for family, life, women and democracy.’ If the prosecutor determines that there is some alleged crime, ‘there will be no problem to explain that Europe and Spain are facing an attempted Islamist invasion because of the Europeans themselves and their erroneous policies regarding national borders and their control.'”
Vox party leaders previously have warned against “creeping Islamization,” Kern said.
Several years ago, Vox President Santiago Abascal said: “The Spanish state is allowing the Muslim community to preach in schools and propose Mohammed as a role model. … This law, according to experts, has been drafted in its entirety by the heads of the Muslim community in Spain, with little review by the competent ministry. The law surprises by its markedly confessional character in each of its articles, and it develops a proselytizing vocation, covering with tolerance the most controversial aspects of a strict theocratic system. The controversial preaching of the imams in our mosques, often bordering on the criminal, is well known. And we all know about the lack of freedom, if not direct persecution, suffered by women and Christians in Islamic countries, while here they enjoy the generosity characteristic of freedom, democracy and reciprocity, of course, all of which they systematically deny.”