Pamela Geller and the hijacking of America

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American Thinker, By Larissa Scott, May23, 2015:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I couldn’t help thinking, I could have been a passenger on one of those planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Today the feeling is back, as if we are all passengers on a hijacked plane the size of America, heading towards an imminent crash. The question is, knowing what we know now, what are we going to do about it?

Shortly before American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower, an Egyptian-born jihadi, Mohammed Atta, addressed the passengers over the intercom:

“Just stay quiet, and you’ll be okay.  We are returning to the airport… Nobody move.  Everything will be okay.  If you try to make any move, you’ll endanger yourself and the airplane.  Just stay quiet… Nobody move, please…  Don’t try to make any stupid moves.”

Twenty minutes later they died a horrible death, accompanied by hundreds of people inside the North Tower. Had the passengers known the real plan, they might have attempted to take matters into their own hands and possibly avert a bigger disaster. But they likely believed Mohammed Atta, especially since no hijacker had deliberately crashed a plane before.  Many were probably thinking, Let the government sort it out, that’s whom the terrorists always blackmail. We just need to stay quiet and make no stupid moves. Of course we’ll be okay.

Tactical deception, especially when lying to non-Muslims, is legally sanctioned under Sharia, which is a mainstream, universal Islamic law.  In Sunni Islam, such practice is referred to as mudarat, or taquiyya.

Fast-forward fourteen years to Garland, TX.  Jihadists drove a thousand miles to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws. The cop who shot them to death likely prevented a gruesome massacre. We are now being told that this would not have happened and everything would have been okay if Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer had stayed quiet and didn’t make any stupid moves, such as, organizing the exhibition of Mohammed cartoons.

This is exactly the behavior of passengers on a hijacked plane. We hope that everything will be okay as long as we remain quiet and make no stupid moves. We willingly trust the voices on TV and hope the government will sort it out. We want to believe that every act of Islamic terrorism is an isolated incident, that they only target the government, and that the 58% of Muslim-Americans in a 2012 survey who think that that critics of Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges, with 12% of them favoring the death penalty for blasphemy, are not part of a bigger phenomenon. Just stay quiet and nothing bad will happen. After all, no terrorist has ever hijacked and crashed an entire nation before.

Alas, nations have been consistently hijacked and crashed throughout history. This has always been executed according to the same blueprint, which originated in the 7th century Islamic conquests and is known to Islamic jurists as the Pact of Umar.

While the ‘s precise origins are a matter of legend, its conditions, based on Muhammad’s treatment of conquered people, have gained a canonical status in Islamic jurisprudence with regard to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, otherwise known as dhimmis, and as such became a subset of Sharia law.

Given that Sharia by definition cannot be altered any more than one can alter the Koran or the Sunna, and even talking about reforming Sharia is considered blasphemous, its medieval rulings about what dhimmis are allowed or not allowed to do, are still in effect today. According to a recent Pew survey, the majority of Muslims worldwide want Sharia to be the law of the land everywhere; that includes the Conditions of Umar, even if those who practice them may not necessarily refer to them by that name.

Settling in non-Muslim countries, Muslim minorities traditionally bring with them Sharia law, which prescribes them to punish dhimmis who overstep certain boundaries regardless of what the local law says, because the “God-given” Sharia law will always be superior to the “man-made law” of the dhimmis.

Under the many Conditions of Omar, dhimmis aren’t allowed to criticize anything that has to do with Islam, including the very conditions of subjugation under which they live. Dhimmis are supposed to remain ignorant about Islamic teachings and can only refer to Islam in positive terms. Mocking, insulting, cursing, or even upsetting Muslims in any way, testifying against a Muslim in court, or raising a hand against a Muslim, even in self-defense, is forbidden.

Criticism of a Muslim person by a dhimmi — even if it’s based on undeniable facts, constitutes “slander” and is punishable by death. In contrast with the Western definition of slander — false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation — Sharia defines slander as any statement a Muslim would dislike, regardless if its degree of accuracy. This works in conjunction with another Sharia ruling, which gives all Muslims an open license to murder the offender wherever they find him. That doesn’t mean all Muslims will do it, but if someone volunteers to do the killing, he will not be punished under Sharia. In modern times, this means an open season of vigilante street justice on any critic of Islam anywhere on the planet.

Suddenly, the medieval choices jihadis place before their victims are all over today’s news coverage, just as they were originally set out in the Koran:  convert to Islam, submit to the Muslim rule and pay a non-Muslim religious tax called jizya, or die by the sword. Those who submit, as we’ve seen in the territories conquered by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, are doomed to a life of humiliation, subjugation, discrimination, and confiscatory taxation.

Dhimmi translates as “protected person,” which is similar in meaning to protection racket: what a nice dhimmi community you have here, shame if anything were to happen to it. You are protected from violence as long as you obey the conditions and pay the protection money. But if any of the dhimmis act up or “made a stupid move,” his or her action puts the entire dhimmi community in jeopardy of jihadi retaliation, where anyone is fair game for collective punishment.

Western nations with a significant share of Muslim immigrants are now learning to live in a state of permanent vulnerability and fear that one of them might upset a Muslim and thus provoke rioting or jihad slaughter. As a result, Western dhimmis are learning to police each other and make sure no one in their community makes any “stupid moves.”

Pamela Geller just did that. Her exhibition of Mohammed cartoons has crossed the line of permissible dhimmi behavior, and for that she has become a target of criticism by the American media, including some conservative commentators. Among the many stated reasons why Pamela should have “just stayed quiet,” the main argument remains unstated: she made a stupid move and now we’re all in danger of retaliation.

The real questions the media should be asking is, if we aren’t already living under the Conditions of Umar, what would we do differently if we did?

When Muslims Assassinate

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Political Islam, By Bill Warner:

When Muslims assassinate Kafirs who offend Islam, they are following Mohammed’s perfect example.  Any Muslim is permitted to carry out the death sentence, vigilante justice. This is why there was an attempted assassination at Pam Geller’s Garland, TX event.

But what is the perfect Sunna on assassinations? There are five examples of Mohammed ordering people to be murdered because of what they said about him. There was a Jewish poet, an Arab poetess, dancing girls who sang satirical songs, a tribal chief who was planning to fight Mohammed and another Jew who offended Mohammed.

So the next time a Kafir who offends Islam is killed, it is because of Mohammed’s standing orders.

Fox News Lets Sharia (Donald) Trump Freedom of Expression

My Winning Mohammad Contest Drawing

By Andrew Bostom, May 14, 2015:

Last week Fox News’s Sean Hannity was uniquely supportive of journalist/activist Pamela Geller, hosting her on his show 5 nights in a row (including one evening with guest host, Eric Bolling). Ms. Geller remains underISIS death threat for conducting a thoughtful Garland, Texas event upholding freedom of expression in defiance of Islamic Sharia totalitarianism, enforced by would be mass murderous jihadist attackers, who were fortunately slain by an intrepid policeman. (The Garland event can be viewed in full here; and its 30 minute highlights, here). Earlier this week, Hannity courteously provided Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, featured at the Garland free speech conference, aforum to explain his views.

Sadly, Hannity’s humane behavior was the exception at Fox News, and he was apparently forced to abide Fox News’s Sharia-complaint ban on actually showing the Garland conference’s liberty-affirming symbol—courageous ex-Muslim artist Bosch Fawstin’s brilliant drawing (shown above), which garnered first prize at the exhibit. Megyn Kelly, who conspicuously distanced herself from the conference organizers, also towed the Sharia-complaint line. Despite Kelly’s “passionate” rhetorical endorsement of free expression, she never displayed Fawstin’s drawing, emblematic of the craven hypocrisy decried in Robert Tracinski’s cogently entitled analysis, “Mohammed Cartoons: If You’re Not Publishing, You’re Pretending.” Jeanine Pirro stepped all over her Saturday evening (5/9/15) monologue warning of the threat of Sharia supremacism by concluding that the Garland event was a “dumb move,” segueing into an utterly uninformed, rather hostile interview of Geller, and kowtowing to Fox’s interdiction on display of the Fawstin drawing.

Worse still were Fox News’s “sorry seven” (a composite of hosts/guests), whose sniping, ignorant, and cowardly commentary was summarized in a series of extracts by Brendan James. The Fox News statements of Donald Trump best illustrate this toxic genre of sheer idiocy and cowardice—the latter made all the more despicable by the phony bravado with which it was conveyed.

I watched Pam Prior [sic], and it looks like she’s just taunting everybody. What is she doing? Drawing Muhammad and it looks like she’s taunting people…what are they doing drawing Muhammad? Isn’t there something else they can draw? They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas and on Muhammad? You know, I’m one that believes in free speech, probably more than she does. What’s the purpose of this? She’s taunting them…I don’t know, maybe she likes risk. What the hell is she doing?

Overall, Fox News’s coverage of the Garland free speech conference was appalling—it amounted to journalistic dereliction of duty, indeed malpractice, for willful sins of commission and omission. I have elaborated on this depressing phenomenon at these blogs (here; here; and here), and yesterday (5/13/15) in an interview with Tom Trento, who attended and scrupulously recorded the entire Garland event. Please watch our interview embedded below, starting at 13:40.

See more videos with Tom Trento here: theunitedwest

SNL Sketch Effectively Mocks Fear of Drawing Mohammed

draw mohammedCSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 11, 2015:

Last Saturday, Saturday Night Live (SNL) did a skit that addressed the controversy stemming from the Garland, Texas “draw Mohammed” contest.
The sketch was a gameshow based on the game Pictionary in which one contestant is instructed to draw something and his teammate tries to guess what the drawing is.  Two contestants were so afraid when asked to draw “The Prophet Mohammed” that they left the paper blank.  Another teammate ultimately guesses what the drawing was supposed to be based on their fear of drawing it.

SNL deserves credit for taking on how the global Jihad movement is trying to use violence to curtail free speech.  This sketch broke with the mainstream media’s focus on attacking Pamela Geller, the sponsor of the “draw Mohammed” contest, for holding an event it claims was too provocative and “hate speech.”  By running a sketch in which the characters feared for their lives if they drew Mohammed, SNL portrayed what this controversy is really about and a side of it that some Americans probably had not heard about.

Although it conveyed an important message, the SNL sketch was cautious.  Clearly the show’s producers and actors were afraid to draw Mohammed and found a way to satirize this story without doing so.  While this is a shortcoming, the sketch effectively depicted the threat to free speech by the global Jihad movement and may help encourage more discussion about this threat.

Imam Anjem Choudary Tells Hannity That Pamela Geller Should Die

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Truth Revolt, by Caleb Howe, May 7, 2015:

On Fox News last night, Sean Hannity hosted what basically amounted to a verbal holy war between Islamic Imam Anjem Choudary and Pamela Geller. Choudary repeatedly stated that Geller knew the “consequences” for her actions, and that the consequences for her actions are death. He says that she isn’t even good enough to be called a pig. He said America was the real murderer, that all will come under sharia law, that any who insult the prophet should receive “capital punishment.”

This is a good time to remind our readers that people who talk about sharia in America are called conspiracy theorists, that Pamela Geller, who has been marked for death by Islam over cartoons, is the one being called “hateful” by our media, and that the official position of Smart People is that only a tiny few Muslims are terrorists and murderers.

As far as we know, Anjem Choudary isn’t a terrorist. Using the standard the media and the President use, he would not be counted in the “less than one percent” of Muslims who commit acts of terror or join ISIS or kidnap girls in Africa. Yet here he is on a major news outlet telling the world, as he often does, that he believes the exact same thing as the terrorists.

Nobody is a terrorist until they are. But it is clear that support for the murder of cartoonists extends beyond just the murderers themselves. Believing that those who insult Mohammed should be put to death does not mean you are in some exclusive terrorist-only club, or that you are a member of ISIS. It is not uncommon. It is a widely shared conviction. And what’s more, it’s put into practice by people who aren’t counted in that “one percent” we’re supposed to find insignificant.

Also see:

Videos! Media firestorm over Geller and Spencer’s tactics in the fight to protect free speech

freedom_of_speechI like Phyllis Chesler’s even handed assessment of this debate –

Many elitists and scholars favor  “nuance;” “sensitivity;” “anti-racism,” “inter-faith dialogue.” But they should favor freedom more and double standards less. Westerners have absolutely no trouble criticizing Christianity and Judaism. Why so much angst about criticizing one religion only: Islam?  If what Geller, Spencer, and Wilders have just done advances the cause of freedom of speech, we may not all have to follow their tactics, but we should at least acknowledge that we support their goals.

If not, what exactly are our alternatives?

There are so many videos coming out that I decided to post them all here. I’ll be adding more as they become available. If you see any good ones, please post them in a comment.

Update, May 6: 16 videos and counting! Some very good discussions going on. Say what you will about Geller – she has jump started the mainstream media into covering the threat to free speech! The people who attended the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest did so voluntarily with knowledge of the risk. And AFDI paid for their own security. I myself would not have used such a tactic but Freedom of Speech is an idea worth dying for. This is an opening to educate the public on just how close we are to losing it. It is interesting that Geller in the past has come out against Quran burning as being unnecessarily provocative and has said that book burning is not the answer…more speech is the answer. Going forward, I think it will be hard for her to pull off another event like this due to the cost and finding a willing venue. Spencer said it cost about 50 thousand dollars in all.

Update, May 10: Pamela has been pointing out something completely missing in the Garland jihad attack coverage –

If we had a responsible media, they would report more of the positive developments in light of the terror attack. The jihadists were the end of the line. By drawing them out, we exposed their network. We were able to expose the network without getting anyone killed. The FBI are now going after the sources. They are gleaning intel from their computers as we speak. We smoked out a terror structure.

The FBI has put more American terror suspects under constant surveillance following the deadly attack. Every city across US had “subjects of concern.” The military is taking the threat seriously enough to raise the threat level to one of the highest levels it has reached since 911.

Islam and Free Speech: Missing the Point in Garland

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The purpose of the free-speech event was to highlight the threat posed by Islamic supremacists.

National Review, by ANDREW C. MCCARTHY May 4, 2015:

‘Even free-speech enthusiasts are repulsed by obnoxious expression.” That acknowledgment prefaces the main argument I’ve made in Islam and Free Speech, a just-released pamphlet in the Broadside series from Encounter Books. Alas, in view of last night’s deadly events at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, the argument is more timely than I’d hoped.

In Garland, two jihadists opened fire on a free-speech event that was certain to be offensive to many Muslims. The gunmen wounded a security guard before being killed when police returned fire. The jihadists are reported to be roommates who resided in Phoenix. As this is written, only one of them has been identified: Elton Simpson. The wounded security guard, Bruce Joiner, was treated and released. Joiner works for the Garland Independent School District, which owns the Culwell Center.

Simpson was apparently what my friend, terrorism analyst Patrick Poole, describes as a “known wolf.” That’s a radical Muslim whom the Obama administration and the media are wont to dismiss as an anonymous, unconnected loner but who, in fact, has previously drawn the attention of national-security agents over suspected jihadist ties.

Simpson previously attempted to travel to Africa, apparently to join al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda franchise. He was reportedly convicted of lying to FBI agents, though a judge found the evidence insufficient to prove he was trying to join the terror group. The al-Shabaab connection seems salient now: Police are investigating tweets about the Garland event prior to the violence, allegedly posted by a young al-Shabaab jihadist who is said to be an American citizen.

The Garland free-speech event was a contest, sponsored by Pamela Geller’s New York–based American Freedom Defense Initiative. Participants were invited to draw cartoons of Islam’s prophet, in homage to the Charlie Hebdo artists killed by jihadists in France. Besides Ms. Geller, the featured speaker at the event was Geert Wilders, the Dutch parliamentarian whose life has been threatened for years for speaking openly about the scriptural moorings of Islamic terrorism. Al-Qaeda has publicly called for Wilders to be killed, and a notorious Australian imam called on Muslims to behead him because anyone who “mocks, laughs [at], or degrades Islam” must be killed by “chopping off his head.”

In Garland, activists opposed to the violence endorsed by Islamic doctrine and to the repression inherent in sharia law were invited to draw caricatures of Mohammed, with a $10,000 prize awarded to the “best” one. The contest was sure to yield images offensive to Muslims just as transgressive artist Andres Serrano had to know the public exhibition of his Piss Christ photograph would offend Christians.

Yet, as I argue in Islam and Free Speech, it will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures, or the rioting after a Danish newspaper’s publication of anti-Islam cartoons was caused by the newspaper. The violence is caused by Islamic supremacist ideology and its law that incites Muslims to kill those they judge to have disparaged Islam.

It will not do to blame the messenger for the violence. The shooting last night was not caused by the free-speech event any more than the Charlie Hebdo murders were caused by derogatory caricatures.

Christians were offended by Piss Christ, but they did not respond by killing the “artist” or blowing up the exhibiting museum. If any had, they would have been universally condemned for both violating society’s laws and betraying Christian tenets. In such a case, we would have blamed the killers, not the provocative art. There can be no right against being provoked in a free society; we rely on the vigorous exchange of ideas to arrive at sensible policy. And the greater the threat to liberty, the more necessary it is to provoke. 

The threat to liberty in this instance is sharia blasphemy law. A bloc of Muslim-majority countries, with the assistance of the Obama administration (led by the U.S. State Department, particularly under Hillary Clinton), is trying to use international law to impose Islam’s repressive law to make it illegal to subject Islam to negative criticism. No sensible person favors obnoxious expression or gratuitous insult. But as I contend in the pamphlet, there is a big difference between saying “I object to this illustration of insensitivity and bad taste” and saying “I believe that what repulses me should be against the law.”

Ms. Geller’s detractors are predictably out in droves today, prattling about how the violence would not have happened were it not for the offensive display. No one would feel deprived by the lack of sheer insult, they say, so wouldn’t it be better to compromise free-expression principles in exchange for achieving peaceful social harmony? But that line of thinking puts violent extortionists in charge of what we get to speak about — an arrangement no free society can tolerate.

It is very unfortunate that this debate is so often triggered by forms of expression that non-jihadists will find insulting and therefore that even anti-jihadists will find uncomfortable to defend. This grossly understates the stakes involved. This is about much more than cartoons. As I outline in Islam and Free Speech, classical sharia forbids most artistic representations of animate life, not just expressions that are obviously sacrilegious. More significantly, it deems as blasphemous not just expressions that insult the prophet and Islam itself but also

critical examinations of Islam . . . especially if they reach negative conclusions or encourage unbelief[;] proselytism of religions other than Islam, particularly if it involves encouraging Muslims to abandon Islam[; and any] speech or expression [that] could sow discord among Muslims or within an Islamic community. And truth is not a defense.

It is not the purpose of Pam Geller, Geert Wilders, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, and other activists to insult Muslims. Their mission is to awaken us to the challenge of Islamic supremacists — not just the violent jihadists but also the powerful Islamist forces behind the jihad. Islamists are attempting to coerce us into abandoning our commitment to free expression. They are pressuring us to accommodate their totalitarian system rather than accepting assimilation into our liberty culture.

You may not like the provocateurs’ methods. Personally, I am not a fan of gratuitous insult, which can antagonize pro-Western Muslims we want on our side. But let’s not make too much of that. Muslims who really are pro-Western already know, as Americans overwhelmingly know, that being offended is a small price to pay to live in a free society. We can bristle at an offense and still grasp that we do not want the offense criminalized.

It would be easy, in our preening gentility, to look down our noses at a Mohammed cartoon contest. But we’d better understand the scope of the threat the contest was meant to raise our attention to — a threat triggered by ideology, not cartoons. There is in our midst an Islamist movement that wants to suppress not only insults to Islam but all critical examination of Islam. That movement is delighted to leverage the atmosphere of intimidation created by violent jihadists, and it counts the current United States government among its allies.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Garland Shooting: The Jihad Against Free Speech Comes to Texas

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Breitbart, by Phyllis Chesler, May 4, 2015:

We are living in infamous times. Reality outpaces fiction, and the worst case scenarios keep unfolding in our daily headlines.

Critics of torturers and mass murderers are demonized as “extremists” and “provocateurs.” Israel is accused of human rights atrocities it has never committed by those very entities who themselves actually commit such atrocities; anyone who points this out is deemed an “extreme conservative” and a “racist.” Anti-infidel hate speech—as long as it is directed against America and Israel—is seen as protected by the First Amendment and by the doctrine of Free Speech; exposing the diabolical Big Lies is considered politically incorrect “racist” hate speech which has no place in the Western media, on campus, at the UN, or in any international human rights organization.

Either the West fights back or it surrenders to these Orwellian rules. Many Western intellectuals prefer scapegoating Israel and surrendering quietly to these diabolical Islamist rules rather than risk their reputations and their lives.

Some of us fight back. We do so in different ways. Some of us use only our pens. Others launch demonstrations and lawsuits. Some do both—and some push the envelope, looking for certain trouble, welcoming it, in order to provide an object lesson to those who will not see the Jihad that is upon us, the Jihad that only Israel once faced, the Jihad that is destroying the Middle East and the Muslim world.

Now jihad just took place in Garland, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, in the United States of America.

Enter Pamela Geller, the blogger-activist and founder of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Robert Spencer, the best-selling author and founder of JihadWatch, and Dutch Parliamentarian and filmmaker Geert Wilders—all long-time freedom fighters against radical, terrorist Islamism. These three have just joined the august ranks of the publisher of the original Mohammed cartoons and the International and Danish Free Press Societies, not only in terms of their having all been awarded pariah status as “Islamophobes” and “racists,” but now in terms of having “provoked” criminal gunfire.

The British and American media has identified a suspected former terrorist Elton Simpson as one of the two gunmen who shot an officer protecting the AFDI’s Mohammed Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest award ceremony yesterday. Both gunmen were shot dead and an officer was wounded. The gunmen lived in Phoenix, Arizona and was on an FBI “No-fly” list.

Shortly before the attempted attack, an account believed (though not confirmed) to belong to Simpson tweeted “May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” Another tweet, registered toAbuHussainAlBritani reads: “When will the kuffar understand and stop insulting the prophet s.a.w? learn from history & save your people! #Paris #Denmark#Texas.”

According to the Daily Mail, followers of ISIS had been “calling for an attack online for more than a week after learning about the cartoon contest.”

This event was a “defiant gesture” in support of Free Speech in the wake of the January massacre of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists—and, I would add, in the wake of the cowardice of those PEN authors who are protesting the Freedom of Expression Courage award being given to a surviving Charlie Hebdo editor and a cartoonist.

Geller wrote on her website, “This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?”

Free speech and, in America, the First Amendment, were crafted to protect all free speech, including that which some people find offensive or even scurrilous. We are not all meant to like or agree with it. This concept is the fruit of centuries of Western-style evolution, something that Islam has never enjoyed.

In Islam, “blasphemy” as well as “apostasy” are viewed as capital offenses. In 1988, when Salman Rushdie published a novel that the Ayatollah Khomeini profoundly disagreed with, the Ayatollah did not write an opposing novel or critique. In 1989, he issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death and the Iranian government backed this fatwa through 2005. Rushdie lived in hiding and with police protection. One of Rushdie’s translators was murdered, bookstores were firebombed, publishers threatened.

Publishers as well as authors began to self-censor.

In 2004, Dutch filmmaker, Theo Von Gogh was butchered by Moroccan-Dutch jihadist, Mohamed Bouyeri, who did not like Von Gogh’s (and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s) filmed critique of Islam’s treatment of women.

In 2005, Flemming Rose published the original Mohammed cartoons in Jyllens-Posten, the Danish newspaper. These cartoons were relatively tame. Jihadists secretly added some more malicious cartoons to the mix—and sent it around the globe via the internet. Violent and highly choreographed riots ensued around the world. Gunmen in Gaza invaded the EU’s offices there demanding an apology.

Between 2005-2013, protests spread across the Middle East. Infidel Embassies were attacked. Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons and reaped a whirlwind of lawsuits and attacks.

In 2008, the Danish police arrested several suspects who were plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard, the original Mohammed cartoonist.

In 2009, Yale University Press published a book about the cartoon controversy by Jytte Klausen. However, without telling the author, the Press removed the actual cartoons from her book.

In 2010, a Somali Muslim with an ax and a knife entered Westergaard’s house; luckily, Westergaard fought him off.

In 2010, American cartoonist Molly Norris proposed an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” She published her own rather harmless and funny cartoon. Norris has had to live in hiding ever since. In hiding. In America.

In 2011, Charlie Hebdo’s offices were burned down in an arson attack the day after they published an issue with the prophet Mohammed as the Editor-in-Chief.

In early 2015, Jihadists massacred 12 Charlie Hebdo writers in Paris; for good measure, they murdered five Jews later the same day.

Also in 2015, in Copenhagen, a gunmen opened fire at a debate on Islam and Free Speech. One documentary filmmaker, Finn Noergaard, was shot and three police officers were injured. The shooter, Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein, got away and soon after murdered a security guard at a synagogue; he was then killed.

Now, Jihadists have attacked Free Speech in America. Whether or not people find Geller, Spencer and Wilders “extremely provocative troublemakers” both they and We the People are absolutely entitled under our laws to exercise our First Amendment rights. About anything.

We cannot yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Some believe that Geller et al are doing just that, causing trouble when trouble can be avoided if one only follows Islamist guidelines.

Many elitists and scholars favor  “nuance;” “sensitivity;” “anti-racism,” “inter-faith dialogue.” But they should favor freedom more and double standards less. Westerners have absolutely no trouble criticizing Christianity and Judaism. Why so much angst about criticizing one religion only: Islam?  If what Geller, Spencer, and Wilders have just done advances the cause of freedom of speech, we may not all have to follow their tactics, but we should at least acknowledge that we support their goals.

If not, what exactly are our alternatives?

*****

Let the conversation begin:

Watch VIDEO: CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Cross-Examines Defendant Pamela Geller

Garland Police Stop “Known Wolf” Jihadists but Free Speech Threat Remains

6850320CSP, by Kyle Shideler, May 4, 2015:

Sunday night, May 3rd, outside the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Texas, two would-be jihadists attempted to launch an attack against a free speech event being held by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Thanks to the swift response by local security and GPD, the two suspects were killed, while an officer was wounded, but soon released from the hospital.

One of the suspects was identified as Elton Simpson, an Arizona man convicted in 2011 for lying to federal agents regarding his attempt to travel to Somalia to join a terror group. On a twitter page reportedly connected to Simpson, the author swears an oath of allegiance to Islamic State leader AbuBakr Al-Baghdadi just moments prior to the attack taking place, with the hashtag #Texasattack. An investigation is currently underway to determine who the second suspect was, identified in Simpsons’ twitter page only as “the bro with me.”

There is no doubt that many in the media will attempt to paint the responsibility for this attack on the hosts of the event, for having the temerity to hold an art exhibit featuring a number of drawings (both contemporary and historical) of Islam’s prophet Mohammad. But an examination of Simpsons’ earlier trial documents make clear Simpson was committed jihadist. From the Court quoting transcripts from the audio recordings submitted by the FBI:

In that recording, Mr. Simpson told Mr. Deng that Allah loves an individual who is “out there fighting [non-Muslims]” and making difficult sacrifices such as living in caves, sleeping on rocks rather than sleeping in comfortable beds and with his wife, children and nice cars. Mr. Simpson said that the reward is high because “If you get shot, or you get killed, it’s [heaven] straight away.” Mr. Simpson then said:

“[Heaven] that’s what we here for…so why not take that route?”

Simpson went on to describe the importance of Shariah law, and the willingness to fight to establish it:

They’re trying to make them live by man-made laws, not by Allah’s laws. That’s why they get fought. You try to make us become slaves to man? No we slave to Allah, we going to fight you to the death.”

As we have noted previously, Shariah blasphemy laws call for death for perceived insults to either Allah or Mohammed, and multiple Muslim-majority countries maintain the death penalty for blasphemy, and in many others extrajudicial killings are routine. The attempted attack on the Curtis Culwell Center should likewise be viewed as an attempt to enforce a foreign system of law against the constitution, through violence. It is not an irrational act by those “angered” or offended by a display, but one attack in a campaign targeting America’s system of governance.

Such attacks do not occur in isolation, but are part of a larger political effort to impose Shariah over American law. This is done first by equating the act of speech with the violence directed against the speakers. As we noted at the time of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris:

The Organization of the Islamic Cooperation has led the charge to see the criminalization of defamation of religion (interpreted by the OIC to mean Islam only) enforced by governments. Unfortunately the U.S. State Department has cooperated with implementing these efforts under the “Istanbul Process” for the past several years. Wickham’s claim that because violence against the speaker will inevitably result, the publication of images of Mohammad are not protected speech is the exact line of thinking represented by the Istanbul Process’s“test of consequences” concept and shows how successful the OIC’s effort to peddle this narrative has been.

This same line was adopted by the Islamist organizers of the “Stand With the Prophet” Rally, also held in Garland, Texas. From a Free Beacon article covering the event:

“Frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet?” the event materials ask. “Fuming over extremists like ISIS who give a bad name to Islam? Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet? Or the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’?”

“When real events warrant, like the Danish Cartoon controversy, Sharia ban, Quran burning, Boko Haram kidnappings. [Islamic State] brutality, etc., we articulate fresh talking points and content quickly, and in a timely manner, working with professionals to disseminate it through community spokespersons and our allies,” organizers state on their website.

The publication of cartoons and other acts of free speech are being directly equated here with kidnapping, brutality and terrorism as part of an intentional effort to permit the banning of free speech that offends Islam. It’s the same logic that led Congressmen Andre Carson and Keith Ellison to demand Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders be barred from the country. Wilders attended and spoke at the Garland event.

Sadly this rhetoric has clearly caught on, and was on hand following the Garland shooting as journalists, bloggers and “Countering Violent Extremism” analysts lumped the AFDI and those who attempted to murder them together as “extremists.”

We should all be thankful that swift action by the Garland police put down a violent threat to free speech and the Constitution on Sunday.  But we should all respond equally swiftly to the political threat to free speech by loudly and unapologetically insisting that the Constitution trumps Sharia law, and free speech trumps  “so-called” blasphemy.

And there’s nothing extremist about that.

Video: Robert Spencer on Hillary Clinton’s War On Free Speech

11436The following is the video of Robert Spencer’s recent talk at the Freedom Center’s Wednesday Morning Club on April 14, 2015.

He discussed “Hillary Clinton’s War On Free Speech”:

Just Who Has to Adjust in the Name of Tolerance?

by Phyllis Chesler
Special to IPT News
February 19, 2015

971Brookings Institution Center for Middle East Policy Fellow Shadi Hamid recently criticized the West as “illiberal” for refusing to accept the fact that Muslims, both in the West and globally, aredifferent from Westerners.

It was an unusual argument, one for which The Atlantic devoted 3,400 words.

Although President Obama insists that the “fight against terrorism is not a religious war,” Hamid seems to disagree with him.

According to a variety of polls, Hamid is right. For example, while a 2009 Gallup poll shows European Muslims overwhelmingly reject violence, they are far more religious than those who live in secular Europe (France, England, and Germany), and are more strongly opposed to homosexuality than are secular Europeans. In addition, young, second or third generation European Muslim men favor veiling for women, polygamy, the execution of apostates, and favor prohibiting Muslim women from marrying non-Muslim men.

Muslims are more likely to view “blasphemy as unacceptable,” Hamid wrote. He described Muslims as “deeply conservative” and, to varying extents, wanting “the application of Islamic law.”

The liberal West believes in criticizing everything, especially religion, beginning with Judaism and Christianity. Extending this right-to-criticize, satirize, or examine Islam has led to major Muslim meltdowns.

Creative and scholarly exposures of Islam’s history and practices amount to shaming and therefore are impermissible, especially when infidels are doing the exposing.Lawsuits, assassination attempts, lynch mobs, and political murders have been the radical Muslim response to books, films, lectures, and cartoons that detail Islamic gender and religious apartheid.

Documentation of normalized daughter-and wife-beating, child marriage, forced veiling, forced marriage of adults, polygamy, pedophilia, FGM, and honor killing has led to cries of “Islamophobia” and “blasphemy.”

In a recent conversation, Israeli Arabist and counter-terrorism expert, Mordechai Kedar said: “Why would anyone get so outraged by a cartoon unless they believe that the cartoon is telling the truth? They are angry because it is the truth.”

According to a 2006 Pew poll, 79 percent of French Muslims blamed the 2005 cartoon controversy on Western nations’ “disrespect for the Islamic religion.” The general population blamed “Muslims’ intolerance.”

This is completely foreign to the West’s post-Enlightenment culture. Many Muslims are very clear on this point.

Hamid writes that French Muslims are “more likely to believe that attacks on the Prophet Mohammed and the Quran should be criminalized as hate speech and incitement, much like denial of the Holocaust is.”

This is a shocking but familiar false equation. Jew-haters and Islamists minimize, disbelieve, but deeply envy the Jews as victims of the Holocaust. But they covet the reverence for sacred victim status that they believe Jews have—ostensibly via trickery. Islamists invented the false allegation of “Islamophobia,” positioned the Palestinians as the “new Jews,” and appointed the Jewish Israelis as the “new Nazis.”

Unfortunately, many Europeans signed onto this lethal narrative in the hope that doing so would appease their hostile, unassimilated Muslim citizens. Also, latent European anti-Semitism happily found a new outlet in anti-Zionism, which is the new anti-Semitism.

Are Muslims being falsely accused and even persecuted? Can one even ask this question in an era when Muslim-on-Muslim, Muslim-on-infidel, and Muslim male-on-female barbarism is borderless, boundary-less, and beyond surreal?

Nevertheless, the false concept of Islamophobia – often defensively raised when the discussion focuses on radical Islamic ideology – has become equal to real concepts such as homophobia, sexism, and anti-Semitism. Despite FBI verification that hate crimes against Jews are far greater than those against Muslims, Muslims continue to insist that they are being racially and religiously targeted.

Islamophobia is worse than anti-Semitism, according to Hatem Bazien, the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine and the director of Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender, in a 2011 report co-sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Bazian concluded that, on a scale from 1 (best situation for Muslims) to 10 (worst possible situation for Muslims), “Islamophobia” in America stands at 6.4. One does not know how to greet such brazen foolishness.

Globally, Islamists demand that the West, which has separated religion and state brilliantly, accept and accommodate an aggressive and entitled theocratic state—not only abroad but in its midst.

In Hamid’s view, real “moral courage” in France would consist of a “major political party” calling for “a rethinking of laïcité [secularism], and for the broadening, rather than the narrowing, [of] French national identity.”

Challenging the “tolerant” West to accommodate an intolerant Islam is the tried-and-true Islamist method of hoisting the West by its own petard. Sophisticated Islamists are trying to use post-Enlightenment laws to achieve the right to practice pre-medieval and barbaric customs. Western political leaders and the intelligentsia are flirting with cultural suicide and siding with barbarism over civilization.

Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and the author of 15 books, including The New Anti-Semitism and An American Bride in Kabul. She is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum, writes regularly for Israel National News and Breitbart, and is the author of three pioneering studies about honor killings.

Under Sharia Speech Law that Europe Has and Obama Wants, Truth Is No Defense

Obama-muslim2National Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, Feb. 16, 2015:

Roger Kimball highlights a Gatestone Institute report by the editors of Dispatch International about the explosion of rape in Sweden. As the country’s make-up has dramatically changed due to mass immigration, particularly from Muslim countries in the Middle East and northern and eastern Africa, the number of rapes reported to police has increased by an astonishing 1,472 percent — from 421 in 1975 to 6,620 last year.

Roger observes:

Note that conspicuous by its absence is any mention of who it is who is committing the rapes. Gatestone quotes Michael Hess, a local politician from the Sweden Democrat Party: “When will you journalists realize that it is deeply rooted in Islam’s culture to rape and brutalize women who refuse to comply with Islamic teachings. There is a strong connection between rapes in Sweden and the number of immigrants from MENA-countries [Middle East and North Africa].”

For that bit of plain speaking, Hess was handed a fine and a suspended jail sentence by a Swedish court.  Was what he said untrue?  Truth was not something the court cared about: “The Court [Tingsrätten] notes that the question of whether or not Michael Hess’s pronouncement is true, or appeared to be true to Michael Hess, has no bearing on the case. Michael Hess’s statement must be judged based on its timing and context.”

Now, as I’ve related here a number of times, President Obama, with energetic assistance from Hillary Clinton, has been trying to saddle the United States withsharia blasphemy standards since taking office in 2009. Strategically, the administration pushes for these speech restrictions, which violate the First Amendment, in the context of violence committed after the publication of words, exhibitions or artistic representations that are unquestionably insulting toward Islam. In actuality, there is more insult to Islam in the administration’s intimation that barbaric Muslim reactions to merely obnoxious speech are to be expected. But I want to focus, once again, on free expression.

We need to understand that, contrary to Obama administration suggestions, what is at stake is not just speech that almost all of us would agree is in bad taste and that would not be missed if it were barred. What is at stake is the ability to tell the truth. What is at stake is the ability of a free society to engage in robust discussion in order to develop public policy, particularly security and crime-prevention.

As I wrote here after jihadists carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre:

The Islamist–progressive alliance I explored in The Grand Jihad would have you believe that accommodating sharia blasphemy rules would result in only a narrow limitation on free expression crudely obnoxious toward Islam, the sort of thing few of us would lament — e.g., expression analogous to the nauseating Piss Christ. This, however, is simply false.

Sharia forbids any speech — whether true or not — that casts Islam in an unfavorable light, dissents from settled Muslim doctrine, has the potential to sow discord within the ummah, or entices Muslims to renounce Islam or convert to other faiths. The idea is not merely to ban gratuitous ridicule — which, by the way, sensible people realize government should not do (and, under our Constitution, may not do) even if they themselves are repulsed by gratuitous ridicule. The objective is to ban all critical examination of Islam, period – even though Islamic supremacism, a mainstream interpretation of Islam, happens to be a top national-security threat that we sorely need to examine if we want to understand and defeat our enemies.

The Swedish prosecution of Michael Hess that Roger and the Gatestone report discuss usefully highlights this problem. Hess did not gratuitously insult Islam or Muslims. He addressed the cause of a surge in rape, a phenomenon that profoundly affects public safety in Sweden and that (as noted by those of us who have discussed the nexus between rape and jihad) is promoted by a scripturally-based interpretation of Islam. Yet the court silenced him, not because what he said was false or slanderous, but because saying it might promote hostility toward Islam.

This is exactly what President Obama and Mrs. Clinton have tried to do, particularly in their collusion with Islamist governments in U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which aims to prohibit any speech that casts Islam in an unfavorable light (under the guise of “inciting hostility” to religion).

As we saw again this weekend, this time in Copenhagen, Europe is now living with the consequences of welcoming massive immigration from sharia cultures, tolerating the demands of Islamic leaders that Muslims resist assimilation, passively watching the inexorable rise of radical Islam, and cracking down only on Europeans and others who dare to raise questions about the wisdom of it all.

Don’t think it can’t happen here.

The Morning After

by Mark Steyn
February 15, 2015

Filmmaker Finn Nørgaard: He went to a debate on freedom of expression, and Islam's contribution to the debate was to kill him.

Filmmaker Finn Nørgaard: He went to a debate on freedom of expression, and Islam’s contribution to the debate was to kill him.

The dead of Valentine’s Day in Copenhagen have now been named:

Dan Uzan was a 37-year-old Jew – sorry, I mean “member of the random community” – and he died outside the synagogue serving as a “security guard” for a Bat Mitzvah.

That’s part of the problem – long before anybody starts killing the security guards. In Europe in the 21st century, a young girl’s Bat Mitzvah can only take place behind a security perimeter. What a sewer the EU elites have made of their Eutopia. The state church – the Church of Denmark – does not require security guards, nor elsewhere on the Continent do Catholic churches. But Jewish religious and social life in Copenhagen and across Europe is now possible only behind a barrier of security. Laura Rosen Cohen has a useful round-up of those foot-of-page-17 news stories that chart, remorselessly, the social disintegration of Denmark – from the security perimeter, to the advice to Jews not to wear identifying marks of their faith when they leave the house, to the exclusion of Jewish children from public schools.

As to the “randomness” of the attack, there are only a few thousand Jews remaining in Denmark, and therefore not a lot of Bat Mitzvahs. I am disinclined to believe the killer just got lucky. As with the attack on the free-speech event, he knew exactly where he was going.

As Laura says, “What starts with Jews never ends with Jews.” Many Europeans dislike Jews, and many others are indifferent to their fate. But it helps to keep a sense of self-interest about these things: The man who killed that Jew wants to kill you, too.

The first victim yesterday was Finn Nørgaard, a 55-year-old film maker attending the conference on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression”. Mr Nørgaard directed the 2004 documentary Boomerang Boy, produced the 2008 film Lê Lê, and occasionally appeared in front of the camera, too. It will be interesting to see whether the self-pampering A-listers of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists will managee to squeeze in a mention of him at this month’s Oscars during the teary montage of deceased artists. A decade ago the Academy couldn’t find room, amidst George Clooney et al congratulating themselves on their “courage” for making the umpteenth dreary film on McCarthyism, to namecheck Theo van Gogh, who was pumped full of bullets, semi-decapitated and had a gloating note from his killer pinned through his chest by a dagger – all because he made a film. Messrs van Gogh and Nørgaard weren’t blacklisted, they weren’t reduced to working under a pseudonym or (horrors!) in television. They died for their art. George Clooney was happy enough to latch on to the #JeSuisCharlie shtick at the Golden Globes. If he means it, he’ll ensure poor Finn Nørgaard gets a nod in among the orgy of backslapping at the end of this month.

Mr Nørgaard’s film Lê Lê is the tale of four siblings who fled Vietnam and wound up running one of the most successful restaurant businesses in Scandinavia. One assumes that’s the sort of thing David Cameron had in mind when he issued the following response to the slaughter in Copenhagen:

Denmark and Britain are both successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracies and we must never allow those values to be damaged by acts of violence like this.

That’s the usual Cameronian bollocks. As recently as the late Eighties, over 90 per cent of Danes were (albeit highly residual) members of the Church of Denmark, so it wasn’t that “multi-faith”. In reality, for almost their entire history, both Denmark and Britain were mostly ethnically homogeneous societies that admitted small numbers of immigrants who generally assimiliated and sometimes, as in Lê Lê, distinguished themselves. And then, a generation or so back, the Cameronian elites in Britain and on the Continent committed themselves to a process of mass, transformative immigration on a scale unknown to any society in human history outside of conquest. “Multiculturalism” is a Trojan horse Europe gave itself in an act of moral vanity, and waiting inside was Islam.

Mr Cameron now insists that the lesson of yesterday’s attack is that “we must never allow” what he dignifies as his “values” to be “damaged” by such “acts of violence”. His counterpart in Copenhagen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the tasty Danish pastry he and Obama spent Mandela’s funeral doing selfies with, professed herself mystified by the slaughter:

We don’t know the motive for the attacks but we know that there are forces that want to harm Denmark, that want to crush our freedom of expression, our belief in liberty.

Hmm. “Forces that want to harm Denmark”, huh? Any chance of pinning it down a little? It’s not much of a “freedom of expression” or a “belief in liberty” that can’t even talk honestly about its enemies, is it?

I would like to ask Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt what’s their happy ending here? What’s their roadmap for fewer “acts of violence” in the years ahead? Or are they riding on a wing and a prayer that they can manage the situation and hold it down to what cynical British civil servants used to call during the Irish “Troubles” “an acceptable level of violence”? In Pakistan and Nigeria, the citizenry are expected to live with the reality that every so often Boko Haram will kick open the door of the schoolhouse and kidnap your daughters for sex-slavery or the Taliban will gun down your kids and behead their teacher in front of the class. And it’s all entirely “random”, as President Obama would say, so you just have to put up with it once in a while, and it’s tough if it’s your kid, but that’s just the way it is. If we’re being honest here, isn’t that all Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt are offering their citizens? Spasms of violence as a routine feature of life, but don’t worry, we’ll do our best to contain it – and you can help mitigate it by not going to “controversial” art events, or synagogues, or gay bars, or…

I said above that waiting inside multiculturalism’s Trojan horse was Islam. Not “Islamism”, or “radical Islam”, or “extremist Islam”, or “violent extremism” or “extremist radicalism” or “radicalist violentism” or anything else: just Islam. As I wrote yesterday:

This is usually the point at which we’re expected to do the not-all-Muslims-want-to-shoot-you-dead shtick. And that’s true. But Islam itself has no feeling whatsoever for the spirit of free speech.

The more Islamic a society gets, the less free speech it has – the less intellectual inquiry, artistic achievement, contrarian spirit. Most western Muslims are not willing themselves to open fire on synagogues or Lars Vilks, but they help maintain the shriveled definition of acceptable expression that helps license the fanatics of Copenhagen and Paris. Muslims in Europe, North America and Australia will pay lip service to “free speech”, and then promptly re-define it as excluding speech that “blasphemes” or “insults” their faith – which is to say them. Which is to say the great vulgar, brawling, free-for-all of free societies does not apply to them. So, when, say, France’s Muslim population reaches 20 per cent, you will need to have the support of three-quarters of the remaining 80 per cent to maintain even a bare popular majority in favor of free speech.

Is that likely? Or will there be more and more non-Muslims like the wretched quisling Welsh bishop, the Right Reverend Gregory Cameron, frantically arguing that if you hadn’t been so “offensive” you wouldn’t have caught their eye? Islam and free speech are, as His Miserable Grace implicitly recognizes, incompatible. And ultimately, therefore, you have to choose between liberty and mass Muslim immigration.

The reaction of David Cameron and Helle Thorning-Schmidt suggests they have made their choice. I think, somewhere deep down, they know it’s a recipe for slow societal suicide. And I wonder if, even deeper down, they also know that it won’t be that slow.

~For my immediate reaction to the attack on the Lars Vilks event, see here.

~For my immediate reaction to the attack on the synagogue, see here.

One Dead at Danish Free Speech Event in Assassination Attempt on Swedish Artist

Policemen secure the area around a buildCSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 14, 2015:

Police in Copenhagen are currently searching for two gunmen who opened fire with automatic weapons on a cafe in the Danish capital, killing one and wounding several including police. At the time of the event, Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist best known for his cartoon of Mohammad as a “roundabout dog” (an iconic Swedish image), was in attendance.

larsvilks-226x300Vilks, who police believe was the target of the attack, has previously survived prior plots on his life including an attempted arson, and a plot involving American Islamic convert Collen Rose (aka “Jihad Jane”). The French ambassador to Denmark was also in attendance, and security was tight with multiple armed policeman providing security.

The topic of the presentation was on free speech, and the BBC noted the principal question focused on, “whether artists could “dare” to be blasphemous in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks by Islamist gunmen in Paris last month.”

With suspects not yet in custody (as of this writing), it’s too early to speculate whether the attackers will be linked to a jihadist organization such as Islamic State or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (as the Charlie Hebdo attackers were), or if they will turn out to be “Known Wolves“, already on the radar screens of European intelligence.

But it is worth noting that the recent publication of the Islamic State’s “Dabiq” magazine Issue 7 focused extensively on the Charlie Hebdo attack and issued numerous and specific threats against supposed blasphemers, including U.S. citizens, and U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials should take seriously threats made against Americans for having violated sharia “blasphemy” laws. Like the Charlie Hebdo attack, today’s incident appears to be less about terrorism, than sharia enforcement. As a result, the response must include not only the full force of Western law enforcement capability targeting the individual terrorists, and their networks, but also a reiteration, by politicians and society more generally, of full throat-ed support for Western principles of free speech and a refusal to submit to the imposition of blasphemy laws, whether through violence, through international forums such as the Istanbul Process, or out of self-censorship.

Update:

Islam: Banned for Blasphemy?

By Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 12, 2015:

Soon after Muslim gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo offices, which published satirical  caricatures of Muslim prophet Muhammad, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—the “collective voice of the Muslim world” and second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations—is again renewing calls for the United Nations to criminalize “blasphemy” against Islam, or what it more ecumenically calls, the “defamation of religions.”

Yet the OIC seems to miss one grand irony: if international laws would ban cartoons, books, and films on the basis that they defame Islam, they would also, by logical extension, have to ban the entire religion of Islam itself—the only religion whose core texts actively and unequivocally defame other religions, including by name.

To understand this, consider what “defamation” means. Typical dictionary-definitions include “to blacken another’s reputation” and “false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel.” In Muslim usage, defamation simply means anything that insults or offends Islamic sensibilities.

However, to gain traction among the international community, the OIC cynically maintains that such laws should protect all religions from defamation, not just Islam (even as Muslim governments ban churches, destroy crucifixes, and burn Bibles). Disingenuous or not, the OIC’s wording suggests that any expression that “slanders” the religious sentiments of others should be banned.

What, then, do we do with Islam’s core religious texts—beginning with the Koran itself— which slanders, denigrates and blackens the reputation of other religions? Consider Christianity alone: Koran 5:73 declares that “Infidels are they who say God is one of three,” a reference to the Christian Trinity; Koran 5:72 says “Infidels are they who say God is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary”; and Koran 9:30 complains that “the Christians say the Christ is the son of God … may God’s curse be upon them!”

Considering that the word “infidel” (kafir) is one of Islam’s most derogatory terms, what if a Christian book or Western cartoon appeared declaring that “Infidels are they who say Muhammad is the prophet of God—may God’s curse be upon them”? If Muslims would consider that a great defamation against Islam—and they would, with the attendant rioting, murders, etc.—then by the same standard it must be admitted that the Koran defames Christians and Christianity.

Indeed, it is precisely because of this that some Russian districts are banning key Islamic scriptures—including Sahih Bukhari, which is seen as second in authority after the Koran itself. According to Apastovsk district RT prosecutors, Sahih Bukhari has been targeted because it promotes “exclusivity of one of the world’s religions,” namely Islam, or, in the words of Ruslan Galliev,  senior assistant to the prosecutor of Tatarstan, it promotes “a militant Islam” which “arouses ethnic, religious enmity.”

Similarly, consider how the Christian Cross, venerated among millions, is depicted—is defamed—in Islam: according to canonical hadiths, when he returns, Jesus (“Prophet Isa”) will destroy all crosses; and Muhammad, who never allowed the cross in his presence, once ordered someone wearing a cross to “throw away this piece of idol from yourself.”  Unsurprisingly, the cross is banned and often destroyed whenever visible in many Muslim countries.

What if Christian books or Western movies declared that the sacred things of Islam—say the Black Stone in Mecca’s Ka’ba—are “idolatry” and that Muhammad himself will return and destroy them? If Muslims would consider that defamation against Islam—and they would, with all the attendant rioting, murders, etc.—then by the same standard it must be admitted that Islamic teaching defames the Christian Cross.

Here is a particularly odious form of defamation against Christian sentiment, especially to the millions of Catholic and Orthodox Christians. According to Islam’s most authoritative Koranic exegetes, including the revered Ibn Kathir, Muhammad is in paradise married to and copulating with the Virgin Mary.

What if a Christian book or Western movie portrayed, say, Muhammad’s “favorite” wife, Aisha—the “Mother of Believers”—as being married to and having sex with a false prophet in heaven? If Muslims would consider that a great defamation against Islam—and they would, with all the attendant rioting, murders, etc.—then by the same standard it must be admitted that Islam’s most authoritative Koranic exegetes defame the Virgin Mary.

Nor is such defamation of Christianity limited to Islam’s core scriptures; modern day Muslim scholars and sheikhs agree that it is permissible to defame and mock Christianity. “Islam Web,” which is owned by the government of Qatar, even issued a fatwa that legitimizes insulting Christianity.  (The Qatari website also issued a fatwa in 2006 permitting burning people alive—only to take it down after the Islamic State used the fatwa’s same arguments to legitimize burning a Jordanian captive pilot.)

The grandest irony of all is that the “defamation” that Muslims complain about—and that prompts great violence and bloodshed around the world—revolves around things like cartoons and movies, which are made by individuals who represent only themselves; on the other hand, Islam itself, through its holiest and most authoritative texts, denigrates and condemns—in a word, defames—all other religions, not to mention calls for violence against them (e.g., Koran 9:29).

It is this issue, Islam’s perceived “divine” right to defame and destroy, that the international community should be addressing—not silly cartoons and films.