ADF International


What 50th anniversary of death of Martin Luther King, Jr. says about extremism laws

50 years after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., new extremism laws are on the rise

VIENNA – On 4 April 2018, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“Nobody should be persecuted because of their conscience. In his famous letter from Birmingham jail in 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. reveals that he was labelled an extremist for peacefully campaigning for the civil rights of African Americans. He concluded that the question was not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be,” said ADF International Executive Director Paul Coleman.

“In the face of new ‘extremism laws’ being introduced in Europe, which aim at curbing our right to freedom of expression, we are confronted with the same question: will we stand up for hate or love? Martin Luther King, Jr. made his choice. For that, he was labelled an extremist. But today we commemorate him for choosing well. Following in his footsteps, we should not allow governments to shut down our right to freedom of expression by outlawing everything they do not like as ‘extremist’. Rather, we should not be afraid to become ‘extremists’ for love and justice.”

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