Criticizing Islam Becomes “Incitement to Imminent Violence”

998_largeby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 11, 2014

You could say it is a new form of Islamic honor crime: the silencing of those who dare besmirch the honor of Islam or its prophet, except the suppression now doesn’t come from Muslims only. These days, it’s the work of secular groups and governments: theaters in Germany, prominent publishers in England and the USA, of public prosecutors in the Netherlands, and most recently, of the Spanish Supreme court.

On May 30, that court ruled that Pakistani refugee Imran Firasat be stripped of his refugee status and deported. A Pakistani Muslim apostate, Firasat for years received death threats for marrying a non-Muslim, and for his outspoken criticism of Islam. In 2006, he received amnesty in Spain, a country where he was guaranteed the glorious freedoms unavailable to him in his homeland – freedoms enshrined in the foundations of any Western democracy: of religion, of opinion, and of speech.

But evidently he was not.

In 2012, Firasat produced a film critical of Islam in which he included footage of the attacks of 9/11, along with subsequent Islamic terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. According to a report from Gatestone Institute, “Shortly after Firasat’s film was released, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo and Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz initiated a process to review his refugee status.”

The reason? Garcia-Margallo had determined that Firasat’s film created a security risk from Muslims who might be angered by its content. (That those Muslims themselves posed a risk seems not to have entered the discussion.)

The Supreme Court’s decision, which affirms the ruling of a lower court, reflects the growing influence of an anti-blasphemy measure introduced to the United Nations in 2011 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), comprised of the 56 Islamic states. That measure, Resolution 16/18, aims to limit – even criminalize – speech that can be understood as “discriminatory – which, as I wrote at the time, “involves the ‘defamation of religion’ – specifically that which can be viewed as ‘incitement to imminent violence.’”

But nearly anything can be called “incitement to imminent violence,” just as a woman walking the street without covering herself ankle to brow in a niqab could be called an “incitement to imminent rape.” Who decides what “incitement” and “imminent” are? Should we now arrest all non-veiled women in the West? Has Spain become another Sharia state? Has UN Resolution 16/18 marked the end of freedom as we know it in the West?

In fact, as the Heritage Foundation recently reported, “throughout Europe, in Canada, and even in the United States, judicial systems in countries with large Muslim minorities are under pressure to adopt Sharia free speech restrictions. As a result, in many places, including Denmark, it is now a crime to say anything negative about Islam or the prophet Mohammed, regardless of whether such statements are factually true or not. The concept that even offensive speech is protected—so fundamental to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment—is collapsing.”

Such attacks on democratic values – and their success in destroying them – are what have many experts, human rights groups, and politicians concerned about multiculturalism in the West. The idealized model – in which multiple cultures coexist peacefully within the same society – simply doesn’t work; the conflicts of values are too extreme.

True, it would be easy enough to wave off such incidents of censorship if they were limited to a mere one or two: but they aren’t. In 2010, for instance, Comedy Centralpulled a “South Park” episode satirizing the violent reactions to depictions of the prophet Mohammad after a New York-based Islamic group, Revolution Muslim, threatened the show’s writers with death.

Four years prior, the Berlin-based Deutsche Oper cancelled its run of Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” in which the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed are placed on chairs onstage. Explaining their decision, the organizers of the opera, which was first performed in 1781, cited warnings from the police that “the publicity surrounding the play would severely heighten the security risk.” (Neither Buddhist nor Christian groups, it should be noted, expressed any discomfort with the production.)

And there are others: the extended criminal case against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders for his statements against Islam and his film “Fitna,” which, like Firasat’s, focused on a recent history of Islamic terrorism and various calls for violence written in the Quran; or (also in the Netherlands) the arrest, at the demand of a radical imam, of pseudonymous cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot for sketches deemed “insulting” to Muslims.

America has hardly been immune: in 2008, Random House publishers cancelled publication of The Jewel of Medina, described as “a fictional account of the life of Mohammed’s wife, Aisha.” A year later, Yale University Press deleted images from a book about the so-called “Danish Cartoons” – a series of cartoons that ran in Denmark’s Jyllands Post in 2005, citing fears of “insulting Muslims” and – there it is again – a risk to national security.

And earlier this month, the New York Times demanded that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) revise an ad slated to run on the Gray Lady’s web site, claiming that there had been numerous complaints about a previously approved, full-page version of the ad in the print edition of the paper. Explained the IPT at the time, “The NYT ordered us to insert the word ‘radical’ before the term ‘Islamist groups,’ so that it read, ‘Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty, and free speech.’”

That change was not as minor as it might at first seem, argued IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson in an editorial for the IPT website. It suggested that Islamist groups who are not radicalized – like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – are not dangerous. And yet it is precisely these organizations worldwide which often exert the kind of pressure that results in censorship of speech, in the subjugation of the arts, in the compromise of truth.

Fortunately, America’s capitulation to pressure on this issue has been limited to the private sector. But Firasat’s story should be taken as a warning, as much for the U.S. as for Europe, of the damage Resolution 16/18 and similar efforts are having on our culture – and on our future.

One week after the Spanish court robbed Firasat of his democratic rights in a democratic country, President Barack Obama stood on the beaches of Normandy and spoke to those gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On that day, he said, the world marked the moment of “commitment” to liberty and freedom; and since then, “From Western Europe to East; from South America to Southeast Asia; seventy years of democratic movements spread. Nations that once knew only the blinders of fear began to taste the blessings of freedom.

That would not have happened without the men who were willing to lay down their lives for people they’d never met, and ideals they couldn’t live without.”

Those ideals still remain our ideals. We still cannot live without them. We cannot give up the fight.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Wave of Blasphemy Arrests, Riots Against Christians in Pakistan

police in PakistanBY RYAN MAURO:

Prosecutions based on blasphemy laws continue to skyrocket in Pakistan. Four evangelical Christians have just been arrested, shortly following the pressing of blasphemy charges against 86 lawyers. These incidents come after the May 7 murder of a defense attorney whose client was charged with blasphemy.

International Christian Concern reports that the four Christians, consisting of three women and a pastor, were arrested on May 18 after they distributed religious material at a railway station. A group of radical Muslims confronted them, at which point the police intervened and arrested the Christians and charged them with blasphemy.

An eyewitness says that hundreds of Islamists assembled after the Christians were taken away and “attacked” the local Christians in the city of Mirpus Kas. They also staged protests demanding their prosecution and that the police transfer custody to the “faithful” to be dealt with.

The complaint was filed by a leader of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat,another name for Sipah-e-Sahabah, which is formally banned in Pakistan. The group has carried out dozens of attacks on Shiites and is linked to Al Qaeda, but is still permitted to participate in elections and its leader even won a seat in parliament.

The charges stem from a protest by the lawyers against a senior police official named Umar Daraz earlier this month. The lawyers were upset because seven police officers were arrested for illegally arresting one of their colleagues and physically abusing him, but Daraz was left unscathed.

During the protest, the lawyers called Daraz a dog and referred to him by his first name, Umar. Again, a member of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, exploited Pakistan’s blasphemy law. He said that the lawyers defamed Islam by using Daraz’s first name because it is also the first name of the Second Caliph. As ridiculous as that is, charges were filed on May 13.

Read more at Clarion Project

The Hypocrisy of Anti-Blasphemy Laws

love_prophet-450x307By Rachel Molschky:

Saudi Arabia is calling for anti-blasphemy laws in Norway, where“too little has been done to counter criticism against the prophet” and Muslim citizens have been victims of “hate crimes,” according to the nation of Muhammad’s birthplace. It has asked for the UN to review the situation.

Without knowing the specifics of the “hate crime” charges, it is difficult to surmise, although if there were serious attacks occurring, the people involved would be crying bloody murder. Case in point: Central African Republic. As blogger Blazing Cat Fur put it, “Muslims Attack Christians, Christians Retaliate, Amnesty [International] Labels It Ethnic Cleansing of Muslims!” And if the “hate crimes” are anything like what Britain’s Tell MAMA was reporting, they could be nothing more than name calling on social media- and that goes both ways.

As for a country like Saudi Arabia calling for anti-blasphemy laws in Norway, the chutzpah is astounding. In Saudi Arabia, no other religion can publicly exist. If you are not Muslim, you’d better not live there, and even travelers must follow strict rules. They are not permitted to carry Bibles, crosses or any other religious paraphernalia. Jews and people with “Jewish-sounding” names are not allowed entry.

The demand for anti-blasphemy laws gains momentum whenever something is blown out of proportion in the Muslim community like the “Innocence of Muslims” film or the Muhammad cartoons. However, it is always up for debate, and Saudi Arabia is appealing to the world’s love of “human rights” in order to push the issue. The trouble is, Saudi Arabia and “human rights” do not belong in the same sentence.

Sharia law is the law in Saudi Arabia, so everyone must abide by Islamic law, and the crimes of adultery, homosexuality and apostasy will get you beheaded. Alcohol consumption will land you in prison or will get you flogged. Drug dealers will often get a death sentence. Thieves will typically get one hand and one foot chopped off. If a woman is raped and reports the rape, without four male witnesses, she may be convicted of adultery, which carries a death sentence. Women have also been convicted of sorcery, another crime in Saudi Arabia where “witches” are beheaded with a sword.

But of course, insulting Muhammad in Norway is a “human rights” violation.

Pew Research did a study on blasphemy laws for the year 2011. The results showed that in the parts of the world where there is a concentration of Muslim countries, there are anti-blasphemy laws:

“Anti-blasphemy laws are particularly common in the Middle East and North Africa; 13 of the 20 countries in that region (65%) make blasphemy a crime. In the Asia-Pacific region, nine of the 50 countries (18%) had anti-blasphemy laws in 2011, while in Europe such laws were found in eight out of 45 countries (18%). Just two of the 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa – Nigeria and Somalia – had such laws as of 2011.”

The study also found that apostasy was outlawed in 20 Muslim countries but nowhere else.

It is the hypocrisy of these laws that is worth noting. While it is blasphemy in Islam to insult Muhammad, and Muslims are adamant that the rest of the world respect their prophet, it is this very same prophet who called on his followers to massacre the unbelievers.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.” Qur’an 8:12

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

Egyptian ‘Jon Stewart’ Targeted Again

Bassem_YoussefBy Rachel Molschky:

Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian satirist with a television program which mocks the current political situation in Egypt and is extremely controversial. Somewhat similar to Jon Stewart’s style on The Daily Show, Youssef risks taking jabs at dangerous people and has paid greatly for it. His program has been taken off the air, he’s been arrested, and now someone has jammed the satellite signal in order to block his show.

The Associated Press reports that the network’s satellite carrier found small satellite transmitters as the root of the problem, and Spokesman Mazen Hayek said there was no way of knowing who was responsible.

“It is a form of terrorism,” Hayek told the Associated Press.

Youssef’s show is called “El-Bernameg” or “The Program” in Arabic and has poked fun at the Muslim Brotherhood, the local media and the Egyptian Army. He was arrested for criticizing Islam and then President Mohamed Morsi and is said to have cracked jokes throughout his five-hour interrogation.

On Twitter, he quipped about officers and prosecutors asking to take pictures with him (“maybe this is why they ordered my arrest?”), their lack of hospitality (“Nobody even brought us a glass of water”), and their lack of preparedness (“Now they are looking for a laptop with a . . . program to play the [offending] episodes but they can’t find one”). A judge eventually asked him to remove any tweets he made during questioning. He was later released.

No one escapes Youssef’s satire, as he teases both sides of the political spectrum, but all in good fun. More recently, he laughed about the Egyptian Army’s claim to have found a cure for AIDS and Hepatitis without scientific proof to back it up.

In the West, we are accustomed to such programs where politicians know they are subject to scrutiny and the resulting parodies and jokes on television. This is a freedom we take for granted. In countries where Islam is dominant, however, “democracy” means something different.

Even here, it is not acceptable to criticize Islam, and people who speak the truth about the violent religion are put on trial for hate speech (or authorities scrounge up some other charges), or face other consequences. Most people are too afraid to say a word against Islam or even joke about it, so while other religions can be and are scrutinized, Islam gets a free ride.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky with video

Britain: Islamists Create Climate of Fear to Curb Free Speech

by Soeren Kern:

“My intention was to carve out a space to be heard without constantly fearing the blasphemy charge, on pain of death.” — Maajid Nawaz, Liberal Democratic Party candidate for Britain’s Parliament.

“The media’s vaunted concern for minority welfare is at direct odds with its indifference to the minority within Islam that is trying to reform its orthodoxy’s disgraceful attitude to blasphemy—a minority that is gravely endangered and in need of friends.” — Abhishek Phadnis, free speech activist, London School of Economics.

Muslim fundamentalists in London have threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted an innocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account.

The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, add to a growing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe. (Efforts to silence non-Muslims are well documented.)

Nawaz—a former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a London-based counter-extremism think-tank—on January 12 posted on Twitter a cartoon of Mohammed and Jesus greeting one another (“Hey” and “How ya doin’?”) with the caption: “This Jesus & Mo @JandMo cartoon is not offensive&I’m sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it الله أكبر منه”.

Nawaz’s tweet followed a BBC Big Questions program in which the “Jesus and Mo” cartoons, which have been around since 2005, were discussed and Nawaz was included as a studio guest.

Nawaz, who is also author of the book “Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism,” said he posted the image to trigger a debate among Muslims about what should and should not be acceptable within Islam.

Not in the mood for debate, furious Muslims responded by bullying and issuing threats of violence—including beheading—and also launched a petition (it quickly garnered more than 20,000 signatures) to have Nawaz deselected as a candidate for parliament.

Labour Party Councilor Yaqub Hanif of Luton, a town situated 50 km (30 miles) north of London and known as the Islamic extremist capital of Britain, said the depictions of Mohammed were “totally unacceptable” to Muslims and called on Nawaz to step down.

“It’s appalling that this guy is a parliamentary candidate because this behavior is not conducive to being an MP,” Hanif said in an interview with the International Business Times. “If you want to be an MP then you must respect all faiths. He’s not doing that.”

counter-petition has now been set up (it has only 8,000 signatures) calling on the Liberal Democrats to give Nawaz their full support. The petition states:

“Islamists and political opponents have mounted a campaign against Maajid Nawaz, resulting in numerous threats to his life. We note that this campaign, rather than being based on legitimate concerns of Muslims, is a political campaign which is being spear-headed by a group of Muslim reactionaries with a track record of promoting extremism. They are seeking to use Muslim communities in order to whip up hatred against a liberal and secular Muslims. We are concerned that this campaign will also be used by anti-Muslim extremists as evidence of Muslim intolerance and incompatibility with liberal values which could, in turn, fuel anti-Muslim bigotry.”

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, has expressed his support for Nawaz. “We simply cannot tolerate anyone in a free country—where we have to protect free speech, even if that free speech might cause offense to others—being subject to death threats and them and their family being put under extraordinary pressure to recant what they said,” Clegg said.

Muslims eventually retaliated by rescinding the Quilliam Foundation’s nomination for the annual British Muslim Awards, held in Manchester on January 30. Quilliam had been listed in the “Spirit of Britain” award category, but a statement on the awards’ Facebook page reads: “In light of recent activity, the British Muslim Awards, after careful consideration, have come to the decision that it can no longer promote the Quilliam Foundation as a finalist, and thus its nomination has been removed with immediate effect.”

More worrisome for the principle of free speech is that British mainstream media have censored reporting of the Jesus & Mo cartoon controversy.

For example, Channel 4 News blacked out a cartoon image of the Prophet Mohammed during a news broadcast on January 28 in order not to cause offense to Muslim viewers. In an open letter to the editor of Channel 4, the National Secular Society wrote that by “making this decision you have effectively taken a side in a debate where a Muslim man has suffered violent death threats after he explicitly said he did not find the cartoons offensive. You have taken the side of the reactionaries—the side of people who bully and violently threaten Muslims, such as Mr. Nawaz, online.”

“By redacting the picture of ‘Mo,’ you have contributed to a climate of censorship brought on by the unreasonable and reactionary views of some religious extremists. Rather than defending free expression, one of the most precious pillars of our liberal democratic society, you have chosen instead to listen to extremists and patronize British Muslims by assuming they will take offense at an irreverent and satirical cartoon. By taking the decision you did, not only did you betray the fundamental journalistic principle of free speech, but you have become complicit in a trend that seeks to insidiously stereotype all Muslim people as reacting in one uniform way (generally presented as overly sensitive and potentially violent).”

 

 

Channel 4 News blacked out a cartoon image of the Prophet Mohammed during a news broadcast on January 28.

In an article entitled, “Why I’m speaking up for Islam against the loudmouths who have hijacked it” (published by The Guardian newspaper on January 28), Nawaz defended his decision to tweet the image of Jesus and Mo.

“My intention was to carve out a space to be heard without constantly fearing the blasphemy charge, on pain of death,” Nawaz wrote. “Modern Islamist attempts to impose theocratic orthodoxy on us will be resisted.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Five Reasons Why Islam is a Cult

death cultby Bob Smith:

1. A Muslim who quits Islam has to worry about being killed by another Muslim.

This is the first rule of Islam. This is why so few Muslims quit the faith. This simple fact — alone — makes Islam a cult. It is hard to understate the significance of this cold hard fact about Islam.

This practice is widely followed today throughout the Islamic world. The most frequently quoted Islamic theological source is Sahih Al-Bukhari Number 6922:

Allah’s apostle said, “if anyone changes his (Islamic) religion, then kill him.”

WikiIslam.net says the following: “the rejection of faith, is a serious offense in Islam. The punishment for apostasy as prescribed by Prophet Muhammad is death”.

Don’t let any Muslim try to deny this fact by quoting the Islamic phrase “there is no compulsion in religion”. All Muslims know the Islamic doctrine of “abrogation” negates this phrase. And Muslims only use this phrase when they are trying to deceive non-Muslims

In Afghanistan, NATO had to use a promise of asylum in Europe to get Said Musa out of prison for the crime of converting to Christianity.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI.org), in clip #3926, translated a broadcast from Al-Arabiya TV on June 14, 2013, which quotes Egyptian Islamist Abu Al-’Ela Abd Rabbo, one of the assassins of secularist Farag Foda in 1992:

Interviewer: What was the religious justification for the assassination of Farag Foda?

Abu Al-’Ela Abd Rabbo: The punishment for an apostate is death, even if he repents.

Need more proof? Simply Google “quit Islam” or, click the this link for an insightful discussion on the issue.

2. Muslims are encouraged to commit violence in the name of Islam.

Muslim theological documents — the Koran, Hadith, and Sunna — are filled with statements which encourage devout Muslims to commit violence in the name of Islam.

Here are just a few:

  • Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them(2:191)
  • Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood (9:123)
  • When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them (9:5)
  • Kill the Jews and the Christians if they do not convert to Islam or refuse to pay Jizya tax (9:29)
  • Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable (3:85)
  • The Jews and the Christians are perverts; fight them (9:30)
  • Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam (5:33)
  • The infidels are unclean; do not let them into a mosque (9:28)
  • Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies (22:19)
  • Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them (47:4)
  • The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them (8:65)
  • Muslims must not take the infidels as friends (3:28)
  • Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an (8:12)
  • Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels

In addition to the Muslim theological documents mentioned above, Islamic social norms encourage violence. It is widely noted that Friday is the most likely day when jihad attacks will occur within Muslim society. This is because the mullahs use their Friday pulpits to encourage their flock to commit violence in the name of Islam.

In Muslim societies, even the media become involved in the incitement to violence. MEMRI.org has translated thousands of articles from print and electronic media. These translated articles are filled with direct incitement to commit violence in the name of Islam.

Remarkably, some of the most glaring examples of incitement to violence come from new “converts” to Islam. Why would a new convert to Islam commit violence? The obvious answer is the “theological” incitement from their new religion — Islam’s core texts.

There is an unfortunate PC effort to deny, ignore and whitewash this Islam inspired violence. The amount of violence committed worldwide since 9/11 is simply too high to overlook.

The web site The Religion of Peace has been collecting, counting, and publishing a list of deadly Islamic terror attacks worldwide since 9/11/2001. As of January 1, 2014 the number was 22,178. Don’t let the PC crowd tell you it is just the same as the Christians, Buddhists, Hindus or the Jews — make them prove it. Only an intellectual buffoon would try to deny the relationship between Islam and violence.

3. Islam does not allow criticism or change.

Islam considers anyone who criticizes or tries to change Islam guilty of blasphemy. And blasphemy is an capital crime under Sharia law. As a result any Muslim who even critiques or attempts to change Islam has to worry about being murdered by some devout Muslim.

In Denmark in late 2013, an 18-year-old Muslim named Yahya Hassan received numerous death threats after reading one of his Islam-critical poems on TV.

It is bad enough that Muslims can’t criticize Islam, but this rule even applies to non-Muslims in non-Muslim societies. Just look at what happened to Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam. He made a short movie about women in Islam. As Van Gogh walked to work one morning, he was murdered by a devout Muslim named Mohammed Bouyeri. At his trial the murderer told the court Van Gogh had insulted Islam. “What moved me to do what I did was purely my faith,” Bouyeri went on. “I was motivated by the law that commands me to cut off the head of anyone who insults Allah and his prophet.”

The Comedy Central series “South Park” parodied Islam in a couple of 2010 episodes. What happened? According to the New York Times:

Mat Stone and Trey Parker the creators of South Park were threatened by the Islamic web site RevolutionMuslim.com. It warned Mat and Trey “what they are doing is stupid, and they will probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show. This is not a threat, but a warning of the reality of what will likely happen to them.”

In Seattle, the cartoonist Molly Norris thought she could counter Islamic reality. She declared May 20, 2010 “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day”. She published a cartoon with a number of household items (a spool of thread, a cup and saucer, a domino…) all claiming to be Mohammed. Within a week Norris had received numerous death threats. Eventually the Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki put a fatwa on Norris’ head. After talks with the FBI she ultimately had to implement her own “cartoonist protection program”. She has reportedly changed her name, left Seattle, and gone underground.

To make matters worse, Islam encourages devout believers to be “self-initiating” in the enforcement of Sharia law. This means any devout Muslim believer anywhere might commit violence in the blink of an eye, if he finds you doing something he considers offensive to Islam.

4. Muslim theology teaches hatred of non-Muslims.

This practice is widespread within Islamic society. It has been documented by numerous authors literally thousands of time. (See a long list of articles below.)

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI.org) has recorded and translated hundreds of television broadcasts in which Muslim religious leaders encourage hatred and violence against non-Muslims, and especially the Jews.

Here is a screen shot from one:

To make matters worse, this Islamic hate-theology is being taught right here in Western society right under the noses of politically correct governments.

In the United States, the Freedom House Center for Religious Freedom published in 2005 an investigative report titled “Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques”. This extensive analysis states: “The Saudi Arabian publications in this study, which espouse an ideology of hate and purport to be the authoritative interpretation of Islam, continue to be in plentiful supply at some of our nation’s main mosques and continue to be used as a principal educational resource on Islam for Muslims in America”. (Is there any wonder how the Boston Marathon bombers got their ideas?)

Read more at Gates of Vienna

Falsely Accused of Blasphemy, Source of Islamist Outrage: Just Another Pakistani Christian’s Story

Twenty-six year old Adnan Prince (Adnan Masih), falsely accused of blasphemy and imprisoned in Pakistan. (Photo credit: The Voice Society via World Watch Monitor)

Twenty-six year old Adnan Prince (Adnan Masih), falsely accused of blasphemy and imprisoned in Pakistan. (Photo credit: The Voice Society via World Watch Monitor)

by  (@Cuchulain09)

World Watch Monitor (WWM), a service that provides news on worldwide persecuted church, on December 16, 2013 reported on a visit with Pakistani Christian Adnan Prince (or Adnan Masih) at his jail cell in Lahore.

Prince, aged 26, was arrested under the dreaded charge of blasphemy, Pakistan Penal Code’s Section 295, parts A, B and C – for allegedly outraging religious feelings, defiling the Koran and defaming Mohammed. This easily-manipulated charge, under which so many Pakistani Christians (not to mention many Muslims) have suffered, carries a sentence of either life imprisonment or execution.

LeT flagWWM reported that the accusation came when Prince found a copy of a book written by Maulana Ameer Hamza, the leader of Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a political arm of the jihadi organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, which claimed responsibility for the Mumbai bombings, while he was filling in for his brother at the Diamond Glass shop in Lahore on October 7, 2013.

Prince, who has a Master’s degree in English literature and training from United Pentecostal seminary, began to read Hamza’s book entitled  I asked the Bible why the Qur’ans were set on fire (Urdu: Mein ney Bible sey poocha Qur’an kyun jaley), and take notes inside it.

Literature majors the world over will know the impulse to underline and take notes while reading a book. If, however, one is in Pakistan, and particularly if one is Christian, one should be very circumspect about writing in any book, let alone a book with the word Qur’an in the title.

Sure enough, a Muslim co-worker saw him, and, says WWM – using the phrase repeated o’er and o’er — “took offense.” The man, Abid Mehmood, reported Prince to the local police station for marking the book with “abusive words against the Prophet of Islam,” Prince recounted to WWM. Morning Star Newsanother Christian news service, reported that Mehmood also notified the JuD, who issued a fatwa against Prince.

The young Christian, who is married and the father of two little girls, told WWM that he had done nothing wrong. He explained, “I found the book quite erroneous, giving incorrect information about Christianity. So I wrote comments with Biblical references in several places, but no abusive language was used.”

Once the declaration of blasphemy has been made in Pakistan, no amount of factual evidence, rational thought, or logic ever seems to make a difference in how things play out. Prince fled for his life, but returned to Lahore on November 6, after police arrested his mother, brother, aunt, and uncle and warned they would not be released until he turned himself in.

Read more at Juicy Ecumenism

The OIC “Organizes” for Censorship

20131215_oic_logo_large

There is no mention in the report of the countless attacks on Christian churches or Jewish synagogues by Muslims. No mention in it of the countless physical attacks on Christians or Jews by Muslims. No mention of the murders committed by Muslims of non-Muslims. No mention of the countless rapes of non-Muslim women by Muslims in European countries. No mention of the nonstop, formulaic verbal abuse, libels, slanders, demonizations, and denigrations of Jews or Christians by Muslims in print or in person. No mention of the standard, stereotyping caricatures of Jews as drooling vampires by Muslims, or of the constant vilification of Jews as descendents of apes and pigs.

by EDWARD CLINE:

I begin this column with a quotation from Soren Kern’s Gatestone article of December 11th, “OIC Blames Free Speech for ‘Islamophobia’ in West“:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an influential bloc of 57 Muslim countries, has released the latest edition of its annual “Islamophobia” report.

The “Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia: October 2012-September 2013” is a 94-page document purporting to “offer a comprehensive picture of Islamophobia, as it exists mainly in contemporary Western societies.”

But the primary objective of the OIC-headquartered in Saudi Arabia and funded by dozens of Muslim countries that systematically persecute Christians and Jews-has long been to pressure Western countries into passing laws that would ban “negative stereotyping of Islam.”

I’ve written in the past about the OIC’s continuing campaign to insulate Islam from serious and satirical criticism herehere, and here in its call for international censorship. In this column I will discuss some angles Kern does not emphasize or discuss in his column.

The OIC report is unique in that it is illustrated and features photographs of individuals the OIC has found guilty of “Islamophobia,” images of “offensive” newspaper headlines and photographs, and even of “defamatory” FaceBook pages and “tweets” that identify the alleged criminals. These can be found between pages 10 to 83, which constitute the bulk of the report and represent a “catalogue of crimes.”

Kern writes, in reference to the OIC report:

But the common thread that binds the entire document together is the OIC’s repeated insistence that the main culprit responsible for “the institutionalization of Islamophobia” in Western countries is freedom of speech, which the OIC claims has “contributed enormously to snowball Islamophobia and manipulate the mindset of ordinary Western people to develop a ‘phobia’ of Islam and Muslims.”

According to the OIC, freedom of expression is shielding “the perpetrators of Islamophobia, who seek to propagate irrational fear and intolerance of Islam, [who] have time and again aroused unwarranted tension, suspicion and unrest in societies by slandering the Islamic faith through gross distortions and misrepresentations and by encroaching on and denigrating the religious sentiments of Muslims.”

“Freedom of expression” occurs six times in the document, while “freedom of speech” occurs only once. Not that it makes a difference which term the document employs. (Hillary Clinton would agree.)  The term “hate speech” occurs fifteen times, while “hate crime” was used thirty-five times, most frequently in the “catalogue of crimes.” The OIC demanded that Islam be “respected” seventeen times, and cited the importance of “interfaith dialogue” twenty-one times, even though such “dialogue” notoriously is set on Islamic terms and can go only one way, with concessions made by Christians and Jews, and none made by Muslims.

The term “toleration” and its variants, such as “intolerance,” occur fifty-seven times in the document. What this means in practice is that Western societies must “tolerate” the depredations of Islam and “accommodate” Muslims at the price of Western civil liberties, while any resistance or criticism of Islam’s ideology and practices, such as primitive Sharia law, can be designated as bigoted “intolerance.”

Islamophobia, as Kern points out, is a “nebulous term” invented for the purpose of defaming the knowledge and certainty that Islam is primarily a political nemesis of totalitarian character and that Islam does not tolerate dissension from its tenets or the existence of other creeds.

According Robert Spencer and David Horowitz’s 2011 publication, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future:

 …A front group – the International Institute for Islamic Thought – invented the term “Islamophobia.

Abdur-Rahman Muhammad is a former member of the International Institute for Islamic Thought.  He was present when the word “Islamophobia” was created, but now characterizes the concept of Islamophobia this way: “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliché conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its very origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them.

The term occurs in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” which details the means and ends of introducing Islam in the U.S. with the long-term end of colonizing it with immigrant Muslims and gradually and stealthily transforming it into an Islamic state. Kern quotes from the OIC report:

Islam and Muslims have increasingly been portrayed as representing violence and terror that seek to threaten and destroy the values of Western civilization and that the Muslim way of life is incompatible with Western values of human rights and fundamental freedoms. For Muslims, Islamophobia is a deliberate scheme to distort the teachings and principles of peace and moderation engrained in Islam. As part and result of this scheme, Muslims tend to be collectively accused for any violence that erupts in society and are seen as ipso facto potential suspects well ahead of any investigation. This negative stereotype causes Muslims to be subjected to indignity, racial discrimination and denial of basic human rights. (p. 11, OIC report)

Islam and Muslims are justifiably associated with violence and terror and as a threat to Western civilization. That is, after all, an article of faith expressed in the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum of 1991.

The Ikhwan [the Brothers] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

And over all other ideologies, beliefs, and principles. There will be no arguing the point. Kern goes on about how that “grand jihad” is being carried out by calling for restrictions on speech that castigate or criticize Islam, and quotes from the report:

The chapter further underscores that increased hate speech and discrimination against Muslims is a major factor behind the rise of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. In this context, acceptance of various forms of intolerance, including hate speech and the propagation of negative stereotypes against Islam and Muslims in some western countries contribute towards proliferation of intolerant societies. This process is further supported by three main manifestations, namely: the exploitation of freedom of expression and perpetuation of an ideological context advocating an inescapable conflict of civilizations; the right wing parties have politicized Islamophobia and instrumentalized fear in the context of growing socio-economic instability as well as the erosion of human rights in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism. (p. 7, OIC report)

The report claims that the news media is largely responsible for contributing to the alleged environment of fear and trepidation experienced by Muslims.

…the negative role played by major media outlets who not only propagate stereotypes and misperceptions about Islam, but also undermine and usually keep shadowed any meaningful instance of individuals or groups speaking out against intolerance, including advocacy of religious hatred and violence. This biased approach of the media has helped drawing an emphatically demonized, sometimes dehumanized, image of Muslims in the minds of a certain class of people which is predisposed to xenophobic feelings due to the increasingly dire economic situation, or the simply to the irrational fear of the other. (p. 15)

This is one of the most absurd claims of the report. The mainstream news media has not authored or perpetuated a “negative” stereotype of Islam and Muslims. Quite the contrary, it has instead largely white-washed Islam as a matter of editorial and journalistic policy, and denied that Islam has any causo-connection with Islamic terrorism, or has gone through evasive mental contortions to the same effect. If the news media has any “biased approach” to reporting news about Islam, it is in favor of Islam. One would need to search long and hard to find any major news media organization broadcasting any “negative” stereotypes or misperceptions about Islam.

Read more at Family Security Matters 

The Ongoing Erasure of Europe

20130721_IslamInEurope_LARGEby EDWARD CLINE:

In “The Regulator’s Cucumber Syndrome” I discussed how the EU is obsessed with controlling the European’s material existence. In this column the subject is how the EU is planning to control his spiritual existence.

The Gates of Vienna published a startling, translated column by German attorney Michael Schneider about an Organization of Islamic Conferences-approved (OIC) “framework” sponsored by the European Parliament, “which seems likely to be implemented across the EU. The proposed law would devise a draconian new form of politically correct ‘tolerance’ and impose it on European citizens and institutions by establishing bureaucratic bodies with the authority to enforce it.”

The irony in the title of the proposed legislation was obviously lost on its authors, “A European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance,” for it is nothing but a blueprint for imposing across-the-board “intolerance.”

Schneider opens his essay with:

Anyone who speaks and writes about the abrogation of freedom in Europe is accused of being a pathological conspiracy theorist. So it is advisable to be a little more specific, and name names.

The abrogation of freedom in Europe is not occurring naturally, but according to the planning of educated elites, who have been trained to replace civic freedoms – especially those of expression, of the press and of the airwaves – with ideological coercion, and thus smash civil society into microscopic shards, like valuable, defenseless porcelain.

Schneider writes that one of the chief culprits behind this legislation is a Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum, professor emeritus and one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute on foreign public law and international law in Heidelberg.

This honorable person is also in a dubious think tank, “The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation” about which one may find relevant information on the homepage of the president of “The European Jewish Congress” (EJC), Viacheslav Moshe Kantor. Among other things are those documents which describe the political intentions of the think tank.

The subject document closes with a reference to that think tank:

This text was prepared – under the aegis of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation – by a Group of Experts composed of Yoram Dinstein (Chair), Ugo Genesio, Rein Mȕllerson, Daniel Thȕrer and Rȕdiger Wolfrum.

The Three Expert Horsemen of the European Apocalypse? Surely. Throughout his essay, Schneider repeatedly refers to Wolfrum as “Wolfrum in Sheep’s Clothing.” And when you read the European Framework (in English) yourself, you will see that his sardonic contempt for the man is fully justified.

Of particular interest are paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) under Section 1: Definitions:

(a) “Group” means: a number of people joined by racial or cultural roots, ethnic origin or descent, religious affiliation or linquisitc links, gender identity or sexual orientation, or any other characteristics of a similar nature.

(c) “Hate crimes” means: any criminal act however defined, whether committed against persons or property, where the victims or targets are selected because of their real or perceived connection with – or support or membership of – a group as defined in paragraph (a).

(d) “Tolerance” means: respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group as defined in paragraph (a). The definition is without prejudice to the principle of coexistence of diverse groups within a single society.

Muslims, of course, would not be expected to abide by these rules. They can behead a British soldier in broad daylight in London and cite chapter and verse from the Koran, attack Jews in Malmo, rape as many Norwegian women as they like, and invade an auditorium and shout down any speaker who criticizes Islam, yet one may not take umbrage at their “religious affiliation” or ethnicity  without risking the charge of having committed a “hate crime” and being “intolerant.”

Muslims, however, can froth at the mouth in hatred and commit atrocious crimes, yet not be charged with “hate crimes.” They can publicly demonstrate carrying signs that read “Freedom of Speech Go to Hell,” “Islam Will Dominate,” and “Behead Those Who Insult Islam” with impunity, yet anyone who appeared in public carrying a sign that read “Sharia Go to Hell” or “Islam is Barbarism” would soon be handcuffed by the police and led away to be charged with a “hate crime” and with “inciting violence.”

Muslims are permitted to hate and express their intolerance. You, the non-Muslim, are not. “Respect, tolerate, and accept” the conundrum.

Schneider parses prominent sections of the European Framework law and explicates their meanings vis-à-vis EU-Speak. For example:

The basic consideration[s] of the document as read are attractive and allow no suspicion to arise – that is if you do not know what EU political-speak means – for instance, “human diversity” standing for the systematic destruction of the autochthonic population and its traditional canon of values. Whereas respect for human dignity is based on recognition of human diversity and the inherent right of every person to be different, etc. [Emphasis in bold is Schneider's]

All possible groups are supposed to be protected by this concept of tolerance – just not the majority population. With this policy, minorities are purposefully advanced at the cost of majority cohesion. This splits the society, thereby controlling it better and leading to the final goal. This becomes visible in the typical, EU-wide concept of the protected minority, which is inherently aimed at splitting the society - divide et impera:

In short – and because the chief beneficiary of this legislation will be Muslims – this means that the Muslim minority will be raised in status to that of the dominant Western culture. By effectively divorcing Muslims from secular Western society, and giving them a special, protected status, all the Dark Age practices inherent in Islam, including Sharia law, will be bestowed the same legal and moral status as the culture of the majority of non-Muslim Westerners.

However, the secular majority, in the name of “diversity,” may not impose its values and ethics on the Muslim “minority”  (that would be viewed as “oppression”), but the Muslim “minority” may chip away at the values and ethics of the majority in the name of “tolerance,” until they disappear like the Titanic and slip beneath the waves of history.

The goals of Islamic “cultural” jihad have been iterated repeatedly, among which are the dissolution of Western civilization. The Muslim Brotherhood‘s strategy is clearly stated in an American court document that outlines how Islam will conquer the U.S. (and presumably Canada). That strategy can be seen at work in Europe, as well.

“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”

Read more: Family Security Matters 

Many Things Rotten in Denmark

Firoozeh_Bazrafkan-450x300Front Page, November 13, 2013, By :

A Danish appeals court recently upheld the conviction under a Danish hate speech law of an Iranian-Danish woman for her remarks condemnatory of Islam.  Coming amidst the controversial statements by another Dane of Muslim background, this conviction raises troubling questions about who may say what about Islam.

The artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan ran afoul of Danish authorities with a blog entry printed in a December 2011 issue of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper of 2005 Danish Muhammad caricature notoriety.  Bazrafkan expressed being “very convinced that Muslim men around the world rape, abuse and kill their daughters.”  Such abuse resulted “according to my understanding as a Danish-Iranian” from a “defective and inhumane culture—if you can even call it a culture at all.”  Bazrafkan deemed Islam a “defective and inhumane religion whose textbook, the Koran, is more immoral, deplorable and crazy than manuals of the two other global religions combined.”

As explained in an interview, Bazrafkan had appropriated the text with light personal editing from the free speech activist Lars Kragh Andersen.   Bazrafkan acted in solidarity with Andersen after his conviction under Section 266b of the Danish Penal Code (in Danish here) for the same posting at the news website 180Grader.  As one English translation reads, Section 266b punishes any public “pronouncement or other communication by which a group of persons are threatened, insulted or denigrated due to their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, religion or sexual orientation.”

Bazrafkan’s motive was “to show Lars support because, as a Danish Iranian, I know what a big problem Islamic regimes are.”  “Islamic codes give men the rights to do whatever they want to women and children,” something called “disgusting” by Bazrafkan, and “also prevent people in Iran from discussing and saying what they want.”  Bazrafkan sought an “artistic manifesto to show that we cannot say what we want and we cannot criticize Islamic regimes.” Accordingly, Bazrafkan’s website includes a video showing a casually-clothed Bazrafkan jump roping on top of an Ayatollah Khomeini photo (other Bazrafkan criticisms of Islam and Iran are available here and here).

Denmark’s Western High Court on September 16, 2013, convicted her on prosecutorial appeal from successful district court defense.  From a panel of three judges and jurors each, five found Bazrafkan guilty of presenting “statements in which a group of people are mocked and degraded because of their belief.”  The reviewing court sentenced Bazrafkan to a 5,000 Kroner fine or five days in prison, a decision she intends to appeal to the Danish Supreme Court before going to prison in lieu of paying the fine.

Opposing the decision, Bazrafkan noted that she did not say that “ALL Muslim men committed horrible acts,” but merely offered a “critique of religion,” something Section 266b “shouldn’t be used to protect.” The Iranian-born former Muslim Bazrafkan had also previously criticized Judaism and Christianity, but was more concerned with her repressed relatives in Iran.  Bazrafkan claimed for people the right “to write whatever they want,” even “if it’s stupid or well formulated…so long as they don’t threaten other people.”  Police dismissed a person who threatened to dismember and feed to his dogs Bazrafkan, meanwhile, as unserious.

Bazrafkan’s intellectual arguments were unavailing in part because, as Jesper Langballe stated during his December 3, 2010, district court “confession,” Section 266b’s “sole criterion of culpability…is whether someone feels offended…not whether what I have said is true or false.”  Like Bazrafkan, the Danish parliamentarian Langballe suffered a conviction for condemning Islamic norms justifying abuses of women.  Indeed, Danish country reports to the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency (see here and here) describe Section 266b as applicable to anyone who “makes a statement or imparts other information” with the stipulated offensive nature.  Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard, meanwhile, narrowly escaped a Section 266b conviction in 2012 after the Danish Supreme Court determined that he had no intention of publicly disseminating his condemnation of Muslim male treatment of females.

Concurrent with Bazrafkan’s legal difficulties, Yahya Hassan, an 18-year-old Palestinian-Danish poet, has attributed high criminality rates among Danish youths with migrant Muslim backgrounds to poor Muslim parenting.  Hassan, who entered an institution at age 13 after several years of juvenile delinquency, complained of watching “our fathers passively rot on the couch with the remote in their hands, living off state benefits, accompanied by a disillusioned mother who never put her foot down.”  Muslim youth “who became criminals and bums…weren’t let down by the system, but by our parents.”  Although Hassan has not faced any Section 266b prosecutions, numerous graphic death threats have appeared at the Facebook page of a television show in which he appeared.

With European societies becoming increasingly heterogeneous, Islamic beliefs and behaviors criticized by Bazrafkan and Hassan demand discussion in an open forum free from legal retribution.  Serious policy issues concerning Islam in free societies will simply not disappear due to a politically correct mandated silence.  Laws like Section 266b are accordingly not just a threat to liberty, but to security as well.

This article was sponsored by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

 

West must stop appeasing efforts to ban criticism of Islam

Istanbul. Great city. But no "process" please...

Istanbul. Great city. But no “process” please…

By Michael Curtis:

It is no accident that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” It is also no accident that there is no such absolute provision in the Arab and Islamic world.

On the contrary, for at least fifteen years a concerted effort has been made by Islamic organizations, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to prevent or limit criticism of Islam and the Prophet.

This effort of the OIC has led to calls for controls of free speech in democratic countries as well as implementation of repression in its own member states. Although this OIC objective and its consequences have become familiar, it is puzzling that the Obama Administration, and Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, did not resist it but rather seemed to compromise with it.

It should have been obvious that major international organs have been manipulated by the OIC to suppress speech. Each year from 1999 until 2010, one of the countries of the 57 member-state OIC, often Pakistan, has proposed resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outlawing “defamation of religions.”

Rather than protection of religions in general, the intent of all the resolutions that have been passed is to declare criticism of Islam illegal and therefore punishable. More recently, OIC-inspired resolutions have condemned and called for penalization of what they term “Islamophobia.”

However, the number of states approving such resolutions has been declining. The OIC is aware of the fact that democratic countries have become alert to the fact that infringements of free speech result from any implementation of supposed “defamation” resolutions.

In 2011 the OIC, attempting to overcome criticism of its tactics, no longer used the concept of “defamation of religions.” It modified its extremist rhetoric, but not its objective.

On March 24, 2011 at the UNHRC, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18. The Resolution was worded and then revised to make it more acceptable to the U.S. It avoided “defamation” and instead called for “fighting against intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against individuals because of their religion or belief.” It seemingly appeared to be concerned with individuals, rather than a religion. The OIC tactic was successful. The Resolution, which is nonbinding, was adopted by consensus.

What is important was the next step, the creation of “The Istanbul Process” at a meeting in Istanbul in July 2011 initiated by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, with the assistance of Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, European Union (EU) Foreign Representative.

Read more at The Commentator

South African Radio Station Fined For Unflattering Mention Of Islam

microphone_matthew_keefe_flickr

Thus South African journalists mentioning in the future Islam and Muslims will have to consider not just professional censure, but also penalties if they indicate that Islamic belief is “more readily identifiable” with any harm.

by ANDREW E. HARROD:

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) fined in an August 29, 2013 judgment a South African radio broadcaster for making an “unjustifiable connection with Islam” during news reports.

This punitive second-guessing of journalistic conduct with respect to referencing background material such as a religion entails the most negative of consequences for a crucially important unhindered discussion of Islam.

BCCSA fined the public broadcaster SAfm R10,000 each for two violations of South Africa’sBroadcasting Code on May 24, 2013. The complainant, SAMNET (South African Muslim Network), charged in the first instance that a SAfm noon bulletin discussed “immigrants protesting in Switzerland about employment and other issues.” The clip stated that the “protesters were not linked to any religion even though some Muslims were present.” “By inference…members of other religious groups” unnamed were present. This “blatant prejudicial reporting…casts Muslims in a negative light.”

The second SAMNET accusation involved an afternoon news report of two men arrested for endangering a Pakistan-United Kingdom flight. Various news reports described “British nationals” involved in a “criminal offense” with no “terrorism angle.” Yet SAfm linked the flight with the May 22 London murder of British soldier Lee Rigby described by SAfm’s announcer as “perpetrated by two Islamic extremists.” SAMNET objected that no information tied the episode to terrorism or Islam, and thereby “adding to the already anger [sic] against Muslims…after the Boston and Woolwich incidents, SAFM news is perpetuating misconceptions and prejudice.”

SAfm responded to the first charge that the Switzerland clip came from the BBC already referencing Muslim protesters. Although SAfm has a policy “of not identifying anyone by race or religion unless it is critical to the story,” here this was “unfortunately…beyond our control.” SAfm, though, will “henceforth be carefully vetting any inputs from foreign news sources.”

With respect to the plane story also sourced from the BBC, SAfm observed that this “big scare…came shortly after” Rigby’s murder. SAfm cited “widespread reports on the two British nationals involved” in the killing referring “to their Muslim faith,” along with official British views of the “incident as an act of terrorism.” Yet SAfm conceded that a reference to “Islamic terrorists…might have been an unfair inference” and was an “unfortunate deviation” from a “policy of not making such references unless authoritatively confirmed.”

“It is of the utmost importance,” BCCSA concluded, “that the identification of a person on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, to name but four prominent instances, should not take place unless absolutely necessary.” SAfm allegedly violated this journalistic policy as there was “no evidence that religion had anything to do with the news items.”

People “have the Constitutional right to be informed truthfully” and not to “be discriminated against unfairly.” The assumption that “members of the Islamic faith are more readily identifiable with crime or, at least certain crimes, is, clearly, blatantly unfair.” BCCSA, though, refrained from condemning SAfm for “Islamophobia,” a form of “persistent fear…not justified” on the basis of these two incidents.

Read more at Breitbart

It’s Freedom of Speech Day!

fosACT! for America:

On September 25, 1789, Congress passed the Bill of Rights, anchored by the very important First Amendment. Today, our cherished right of freedom of speech is under assault. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) wants to criminalize speech that “denigrates” Islam. Muslim Brotherhood connected organizations and their politically correct enablers regularly engage in name calling and character assassination to silence those who dare speak out about the threat of radical Islam.

This is why, on September 25, 2013, 224 years after the passage of the Bill of Rights, patriots across America will host events and educate the public about how freedom of speech is under attack – and what we all can do to protect it.

Visit CJR’s page on The Threat to Free Speech for more.

A Muhammad Cartoon Rioter Repents

Ex-Danish Imam Ahmed Akkari at Danish Free Press Society Briefing

Ex-Danish Imam Ahmed Akkari at Danish Free Press Society Briefing

“there is not a single mosque or Muslim organization in Denmark that is not run by Islamists. As soon as you enter the house of the believers, you are met with Islamism whether you want it or not. As soon as you become a devoted Muslim, you are infected by extremism.”

By :

He was the main instigator of the wave of Danish Muslim mischief that arose in reaction to the 2005 Muhammad cartoons and that resulted in riots, embassy burnings, an international boycott of Danish products, and over a hundred deaths.

Now, he says, he’s changed his mind – not just about the Muhammad cartoons, but about Islam itself. And about Denmark, too, for which he now professes the deepest affection and gratitude. In an August 22 op-ed for the Danish newspaper Politiken, in a lecture given at the Free Press Society, and in dozens of TV, radio, and print interviews in recent days, Ahmed Akkari has described his ideological journey from passionate jihadist to lover of liberty.

Born in Lebanon in 1978, Akkari was taken by his parents at age six to Denmark, where they were given asylum. His parents picked Denmark, he says, precisely because few immigrants lived there at the time; they figured it was a  place where they could live a peaceful and assimilated life far from the turbulence of 1980s Lebanon.

Akkari attended regular Danish schools, where he learned about critical thinking, objective analysis, the scientific method. But then, at age sixteen, he started hanging around a local mosque and listening to “missionaries” who convinced him that they were “in possession of the truth and nothing but the truth.” Soon he was training to become an imam and learning to despise democracy and freedom of speech.

He found work as a teacher at a Muslim school. And then, in 2005 – the same year he was granted Danish citizenship – the newspaper Jyllands-Posten published the Muhammad cartoons. Akkari quickly became the public face and voice of the Muslim protests, stirring up rage among fellow believers not only in Denmark but around the world.

The cartoon riots peaked in 2006. After they died down, Akkari withdraw from public life for a while. He had time to think. And he began, he says, to see the importance of living in a society that makes room for “all lifestyles.”

Later that year, he settled temporarily in Lebanon. When Denmark evacuated Danish citizens from the country after a Hezbollah attack on Israel, Akkari was among them. “Despite the fact that I had done so much damage to Denmark, the country let me in again,” he recalls. “Nobody arrested me at the airport. I was not interrogated and nobody questioned my right to return.” (Mind-blowing, but that’s an article for another day.) This treatment, he says, made an impression on him, and helped lead him down the road to where he is today.

Then, in 2008, he took a teaching job in Greenland. “In the stillness of the polar nights,” writes Ingrid Carlqvist in Dispatch International, summarizing the story he told at the Free Press Society, “the thoughts came to Akkari. He started reading the world’s most important books.” He read world history and Enlightenment philosophers. “There was so much I didn’t know. I read about the freedom fighters who throughout history have tried to prevent religion from curtailing free thought and I realized that Denmark was in fact the oasis my parents had imagined.”

Indeed, Akkari claims that while in Greenland he “prayed to God never to send any Muslims” there because he “was so tired of corrupt imams spreading their totalitarian ideology that I was convinced they would not only melt the ice cap if they came there, but set it on fire.” Radio host Mads Holger and cultural critic Kasper Støvring, to whom Akkari recounted his Greenland sojourn on the air, describe his experience as “an existential crisis,” a “wandering in the desert,” a story “of almost biblical dimensions.”

Then, in 2011, during a visit to Lebanon, Akkari read a controversial book by one Hamid Nasr Abu Zeid that criticized Muslim “religious rhetoric.” Because of his book, Zeid had been declared an apostate and forced to divorce his wife. But Akkari liked what he read.

Eventually, after years of ideological doubt during which, he says, he would take “a step forward and then a step back,” Akkari arrived at a decision: he had changed his mind about Islam. And in late July, a reporter for the Danish newspaper BT persuaded him to go public with it. Since doing so, Akkari has been saying and writing the kinds of things that critics of Islam have been saying and writing for years – and that left-wing, cultural-elite commentators in Denmark and everywhere else have been consistently savaging as lies, lies, lies.

What distinguishes Akkari from some of us, however, is that he embraces – indeed, seems to cling to, as if to a life raft – the distinction, which some of us (myself included) find spurious, between “Islam” and “Islamism.” Islamism, he says, “the Quran and Muhammad’s life as the foundation for rituals, rules, and outlooks.” Islamists “assume that every word in the Koran is the law, and that every source provided by Muhammad is the basis for a law.” Islamists insist, moreover, “that they are in possession of the truth and nothing but the truth.”

To me, this sounds like Islam, pure and simple. If it’s Islamism, then what, in Akkari’s view, is Islam? The answer’s not clear. He does acknowledge that the majority of Muslims are, by his definition, Islamists: Islamist thought, as he puts it, “has infected most ordinary Muslims, who…can not imagine reading texts in other ways without feeling that they’re offending against God.” Yet he is – or wants to be seen as – one of that tiny minority of Muslims who assert that their faith, although rooted in a manual of hate and in the life story of a tyrannical, murderous pedophile, can somehow be turned into something entirely different from what it’s been since its inception.

Differentiating Islam from Islamism is obviously of vital importance to Akkari. Although many Danes, he says, “have interpreted my struggle against Islamism as an attack on Islam,” he insists that they “couldn’t be farther from the truth.” He makes a point of rejecting well-known Islam critics, such as Pia Kjærsgaard, founder of the Danish People’s Party, on the grounds that “Islam is not the real problem, but Islamism is.” For while Islamism, he argues, believes in “established truths” and “demands…a monopoly on the truth,” Islam “can be interpreted in many ways and is therefore compatible with democracy.” Islam, he claims, needs to be “released from the Islamists’ power.” He even envisions an Islam that “accepts…gays and atheists.” Well, I don’t get it (if you free Islam from what he calls Islamism, what’s left?), and I’m not betting on it, but – assuming he means it – good luck to him.

Read more at Front Page

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Sharia Comes to Great Britain

images (63)Answering Muslims:

Home Secretary Theresa May recently banned Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from the United Kingdom, claiming that their presence would not be “conducive to the public good.” May cited Spencer and Geller’s views on Sharia and Jihad as the reason for the ban. By banning people for criticizing Sharia and Jihad, Great Britain has just enforced Sharia blasphemy laws.

Whenever there is a public disagreement, it’s always good to observe which side is calling for open discussion, and which side is trying to shut it down. This is a good initial indicator of where the evidence lies.

 

Sign the petition to allow Robert and Pamela to visit the UK