Black metal musician and European traditionalist Varg Vikernes is under attack again by the French government after they couldn't tie him to terrorism charges last year.
Instead of charging him with an actual crime, they've pulled out the hate speech card and are accusing him of inciting animosity towards minority groups.
In a sane society, these charges would be deemed ridiculous and laughed out of court. Unfortunately, we live in an insane world and Varg now has to fight prison time for merely stating his views. In another sign that the government is simply persecuting him for voicing dangerous opinions, his original court date in October had to be postponed after Vikernes' lawyer only received the 1,000 page indictment right before the proceedings were set to begin.
If convicted, the man behind Burzum faces up to five years in jail and 45,000 euros in fines. Luckily his supporters have raised funds for his defense and his lawsuit against the French authorities for harassment.
The charges stem from alleged posts reportedly made by Vikernes that were deemed too offensive to Muslims and Jews and merit jail time and forced poverty. He was first arrested for terrorism charges last July after French police raided his residence and found legally acquired firearms. The charges had to be dropped due to the flimsy nature of the accusations.
The tribulations of Vikernes reveal how far authorities in Europe (and to a lesser extent in North America) will go to persecute people with Identitarian views. They see Vikernes, nationalists, and other traditionalists as a threat to their system and that is why they relentlessly pursue individuals with views similar to ours.
But in some ways being seen as a threat is better than being ignored. Varg is an incredibly popular artist relative to his past and views. He is seen as a musical innovator and a pioneer of a genre that has made in-roads to the mainstream. He is able to convey his views to an audience that would otherwise remain unexposed to them through his music.
This is why he is considered a threat and his presence in France remains a sorepoint for the reigning government.
Regardless of the outcome of his trial, Vikernes remains unbowed in his ideology and will continue to voice his concerns.
Here's to him beating the charges and continuing to make worthy music.