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

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

Free Speech Alert: Islam Rips Ever Deeper Into Europe

dont-speakBy :

As a wild beast would pull its prey closer to guard it from other predators, Islam is sinking its barbed paws ever deeper into the heart of the European Union (EU). Right under the radar of the EU, the European Parliament is considering a proposal that requires the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”

The proposal is called, “European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance”, and it intends to compel the governments of all 28 EU member states to create “special administrative units” to monitor individuals or groups expressing views that these self-styled sentinels of European multiculturalism assess to be “intolerant”… an unprecedented threat to free speech in Europe. European citizens are already habitually punished for expressing the “wrong” views, specifically concerning Islam.

Remember, it’s all those citizens “Suspected” of being “intolerant”…I guess it depends on who looks through Allah’s microscope…

For those of us who have our coffee every morning, this was predictable. First we had the establishing of an OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) office in Brussels in June 2013. This placed the influential 57 Muslim country bloc (actually, 56 sovereign states, plus the Palestinian Authority [given State status in the OIC]) at an in-your-face position to the European Parliament.

This is a doubling down of their efforts to control free speech in Europe…and the West. Something the OIC has been working arduously to accomplish at the UN. Since 1999 the OIC has attempted to have the issue of religious defamation included in UN Human Rights Council resolutions. And they’ve been making progress with elitists and fools (as if there’s a difference).

What the Sharia machine of the OIC fails to realize is…the Leftist World media/leaders, the little Islamic helper monkeys walking around with eyes wide shut…are not the only kafir out here. There is a growing number of infidels with eyes wide OPEN, who know what they’ve swept under their magic prayer rugs: Sharia Islamic Law forbids questions or criticism of Islam (including the Quran & Muhammed) of any kind. The idea of “questions or criticism” is intentionally vague and is subjective to the offended Mohammedan. It’s considered blasphemy whether it be committed by a Muslim OR non-Muslim. Sharia also calls for severe punishment, even death, for the offense.

Read more at Clash Daily

More Slaughter in Muslim Lands; Media, Governments Silent

Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2013

By Raymond Ibrahim:

811 (1)Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria another in Egypt.

On October 21 in Syria, the U.S.-supported Islamic rebels invaded and occupied the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the military.  During that week, “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” in the words of Orthodox Archbishop Alnemeh, took place.  Among other things, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; mass graves were discovered; all of Sadad’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found buried at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).

The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater,” which John McCain equated to a Christian saying “thank God”).  Another video, made after Sadad was liberated, shows more graphic atrocities.

The day before rebels invaded Sadad, on Sunday, October 20, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Warraq near Cairo, Egypt, was attacked during a wedding ceremony, leaving four dead and nearly two dozen wounded.  According to a report issued by forensics, two of those murdered were young girls, each named Mary:  12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who took five shots in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (“Masih” meaning “Christ”), who took a bullet in the back which burst from the front.

As happens frequently in Egypt and other Islamic nations, the security forces charged with protecting the church were seen leaving their posts immediately before the massacre began.  Similarly, in the words of Asia News, “Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous distress calls, police and ambulances only arrived on the scene two hours after the shooting.”

Both the massacres in Syria and Egypt received scant attention and even less condemnation by Western media and government.  Instead, people like Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security advisercondemned Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt as promoting “Islamophobic” bigotry.

Similarly, although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries—as this monthly series attests—with little condemnation or even acknowledgment by the U.S. government, when five Muslims were killed in western Burma,  the United States, according to Voice of America, formally condemned it, “urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there.”

The rest of October’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Read more at Gatestone Institute

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 

OIC Blames Free Speech for “Islamophobia” in West

by Soeren Kern:

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.

“The Istanbul Process started with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton…. We need to build on it.” — OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Isanoglu

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.”

In this context, the OIC’s annual Islamophobia report—an integral part of a sustained effort to prove the existence of a “culture of intolerance of Islam and Muslims” in the West—is in essence a lobbying tool to pressure Western governments to outlaw all forms of “Islamophobia,” a nebulous concept invented by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1990s.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

The OIC report comprises five main chapters and several annexes aimed at documenting “incidents of slandering and demeaning Muslims and their sacred symbols including attacks on mosques, verbal abuses and physical attacks against adherents of Islam, mainly due to their cultural traits.”

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.”

Chapter 1 of the report deals with “Islamophobia, Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims,” and purports to reveal the “unabated rise of Islamophobia in Western countries, thereby exacerbating tensions at all levels and constituting additional obstacles to the diversity and multicultural fabrics of the societies.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

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

Islamic Thugismo at Work

gBy David Solway:

Recently a close friend received a notice of libel for an article he had written detailing the unsavory ties between a notable Islamic organization and the Muslim Brotherhood. Although most of the evidence adduced in the piece was conclusive, there was a degree of reasonable interpretation based on a number of obscure passages on the organization’s website, which my friend did not hesitate to point out. Some of his language was perhaps intemperate, but not appreciably different from what has been posted and printed in innumerable blogs, websites and political volumes, certainly since 9/11. (See, for example, Miroslav Marinov’s devastating takedown of CAIR-CAN, rebadged as the National Council of Canadian Muslims, on Blog Wrath [1].) The article contained a minor glissando, in which the organization in question was conflated with another radical semblable, since the two groups had worked together on numerous occasions and shared the same notorious board member — a man who had declared his greatest hero to be Hassan al-Banna [2], the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, who regarded Hitler as a role model for Muslims. The acronymic error — one site’s alphabetical moniker mixed up with the other’s — was understandable in the circumstances and easily rectified.

Moreover the Islamic website my friend had consulted was under construction, doubtlessly in order for the organization to distance itself from its previous somewhat rancid embodiment. None of this prevented the offended group from retaining a prominent law firm to sue a private citizen of limited means on the shaky grounds of defamation. Within the terms of Canadian defamation law, which massively favor the complainant, a leftist judge would likely find my friend guilty — and leftist judges abound in the country, consciously or unconsciously working in tandem with disputatious Muslim councils and associations. These latter use the laws of our country to make non-Muslims less free, and leftist lawyers and judges enable them to do so. A decision [3] by Canada’s Supreme Court rendered on February 27, 2013, stated that in certain cases truth is no defense in the framework of causing offense to designated minority groups.

Thus, such brawny Muslim organizations and their minions, initiating predatory  defamation suits, are able to flaunt their thugismo with almost total impunity. The same applies to Muslims acting as individuals, whether lawyers, imams or students, amplifying the nuisance factor until it reaches untenable proportions. A human rights suit filed against publisher and journalist Ezra Levant by Calgary imam Syed Soharwardy for reprinting the Danish cartoons in his newspaper, The Western Standard, cost Levant 900 days of litigation, over $100,000 — and The Western Standard. This despite the fact that Soharwardy ultimately withdrew his complaint.

Similarly, a suit lodged by one Mohamed Elmasry, an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo and president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, against Canada’s largest weekly, MacLean’s magazine, for publishing a book excerpt by Mark Steyn about the Islamic threat to the West, led to the predictable result. The suit cost the magazine $2 million despite an eventual acquittal. Nonetheless, it was mission accomplished for the Islamic machine: MacLean’s now steers clear of sensitive Islamic subjects. (See Levant’s Shakedown [4] for an account of these travesties of justice.) Under the peculiar laws governing the status of Canada’s human rights commissions, neither of the plaintiffs had to cough up a cent, enjoying a free ride on the taxpayer’s dime.

Read more at PJ Media

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

Muslim Persecution of Christians: June, 2013

Christian-Persecutionby :

The degradation of Christian women living in the Islamic world continued in the month of June.  In Syria, after the al-Qaeda linked rebel group conquered Qusair, a city of the governate of Homs, 15-year-old Mariam was kidnapped, repeatedly gang raped according to a fatwa legitimizing the rape of non-Sunni women by any Muslim waging jihad against Syria’s government, and then executed.

According to Agenzia Fides, “The commander of the battalion ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ in Qusair took Mariam, married and raped her. Then he repudiated her. The next day the young woman was forced to marry another Islamic militant. He also raped her and then repudiated her. The same trend was repeated for 15 days, and Mariam was raped by 15 different men. This psychologically destabilized her and made her insane. Mariam became mentally unstable and was eventually killed.”

In Pakistan, Muslim men stormed the home of three Christian women, beat them, stripped them naked and tortured them, and then paraded them in the nude in a village in the Kasur district.  Days earlier, it seems the goats of the Christian family had accidentally trespassed onto Muslim land; Muslims sought to make an example of the Christian family, who, as third-class citizens, must know their place at all times.

The rest of June’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not according to severity:

Attacks on Christian Worship: Churches and Monasteries 

Iraq: During the middle of the night, armed gunmen attacked St. Mary’s Assyrian Catholic Church in Baghdad; they wounded two Christian guards, one seriously.  Later the same day, bombs were set off at two Christian-owned businesses, both near the church; they killed one Christian shop owner who was a parishioner at St. Mary’s.  Since the U.S. “liberation” of Iraq in 2003, 73 churches have been attacked or bombed, and more than half of the country’s Christian population has either fled or been killed.

Kenya: Motorbike assailants hurled an explosive device into the Earthquake Miracle Ministries Church in Mrima village church compound during the Sunday of June 9, injuring 15 people, including one pastor who had both his legs broken, another pastor who sustained serious injuries, and a 10-year-old child.  Said another church leader, “The Christians living around the scene of the incident are still in shock and are wondering as to the mission behind the attack, while several pastors looked demoralized.  But others said prayers will help them stand strong in sharing the Christian faith.”  Islamic extremists from Somalia’s jihadi organization Al Shabaab are suspected of this and other attacks on Christians in the coastal areas of Kenya.

NigeriaFour churches were burned in an attack committed by members of the jihadi group Boko Haram in Borno State in the Muslim-majority north of the country. According to Agenzia Fides, “A group of armed men with improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs attacked the Hwa’a, Kunde, Gathahure and Gjigga communities on Gwoza Hills, burning the 4 churches, raiding and looting cattle and grain reserves belonging to the population.”  Discussing the ongoing terrorism Christians in the north are exposed to, one pastor lamented, “There are Christian villages that have been completely wiped out by these Muslim terrorists…  Christian fellowship activities and evangelism outreaches are no longer possible….  For a number of years, the attacks on Christians in these three local government areas have caused the displacement of thousands of Christians there.  There is a very lamentable problem, as we are no longer able to worship God as Christians in this part of Nigeria.”

Syria: An Islamic jihadi rebel wearing a suicide belt reportedly detonated himself outside the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in an old Christian quarter in Damascus; the attack left four people dead and several injured.  Rebel sources confirmed the attack but said it was caused by a mortar bomb.  Around the same time, jihadi rebels massacred the Christian village of al-Duwair near Homs, while destroying its churches.  Also, according to Agenzia Fides, a Belgian Catholic priest, Fr. Daniel Maes, 74, of the religious Order of Canons Regular Premonstratensian, was last reported as being “in the sights of jihadi groups who intend to eliminate him and invade the monastery of San James mutilated in Qara,” which dates back to the fifth century. Earlier the priest had denounced the “ethnic cleansing” carried out on Christians in Qusair, after the town was taken by the rebels and jihadi groups: “The surrounding Christian villages were destroyed and all the faithful who were caught were killed, according to a logic of sectarian hatred…  For decades, Christians and Muslims lived in peace in Syria. If criminal gangs can roam and terrorize civilians, is this not against international laws? Who will protect the innocent and ensure the future of this country? …  Young people are disappointed, because foreign powers dictate their agenda. Moderate Muslims are worried, because Salafists and fundamentalists want to impose a totalitarian dictatorship of religious nature. The citizens are terrified because they are innocent victims of armed gangs.”

Read more

 

Muslim Persecution of Christians: May, 2013

images (89)By Raymond Ibrahim:

The month of May continued to prove that Nigeria is the most dangerous nation for Christians—where more Christians have been killed last year than all around the Muslim world combined.  In one instance, Boko Haram Muslim militants stormed the home of a Pentecostal pastor and secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and opened fire on him, instantly murdering him.

Separately, other Boko Haram gunmen killed 14 Christians, including the cousin and two nephews of the Rev. Moses Thliza, head of a Christian organization dedicated to preventing AIDS and caring for AIDS patients and orphans:  Said Thliza: “My cousin, Bulus [Paul] Buba, was dragged out at gunpoint from his house by the Boko Haram members. They collected his car keys, demanded money and asked him three times to renounce his Christian faith, and three times he declined to do so [prompting them to execute him]. The attackers met three guards on duty, killed two of them by cutting their necks with knives, and then proceeded to take the third guard, Amtagu Samiyu, at gunpoint to lead them to where the keys of the deputy governor’s house is.”

As for some Christians observing a wake two kilometers away, Boko Haram Muslims asked to know what was going on there, and when they learned that people were saying prayers for an elderly Christian woman who had died, they charged in and shot into the crowd. “The attackers went there and shot indiscriminately at the worshippers, killing eight Christians—two women and six elderly men,” said Thliza. “In all, we buried 14 Christians. Some were injured and taken to the hospital.”

Despite all this, when the Nigerian government tried militarily to confront and neutralize Boko Haram, the Obama administration criticized it, warning it not to violate the “human rights” of the Islamic terrorists.

Categorized by theme, the rest of May’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Church Attacks 

Bosnia: The Serbian Orthodox church of Saint Sava in Sarajevo, where Muslims make up approximately half of the population, was “desecrated” and six of its windows panes broken.  The unidentified vandals wrote “Allah” in dark paint twice on the church wall.  A month earlier, unidentified persons tried to set the church on fire.

Central African Republic: According to the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, since an Islamic rebel leader proclaimed himself president, the situation for Christians, has “deeply worsened.” The organization warns against “the evil intentions for the programmed and planned desecration and destruction of religious Christian buildings, and in particular the Catholic and Protestant churches….  All over the country the Catholic Church has paid a high price.” Several dioceses have been seriously damaged and plundered, and priests and nuns attacked (more information below, under “Dhimmitude.”)

EgyptTwo Coptic Christian churches were attacked, one in Alexandria, the other in Upper Egypt.  St. Mary in Alexandria was attacked by Molotov cocktails and bricks, causing the gate to burn and the stained glass windows to shatter.  One-thousand Christians tried to defend the church against 20,000 Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is Greater”]. One Copt was killed and several injured.  In the village of Menbal in Upper Egypt, after “Muslim youths” harassed Christian girls—including hurling bags of urine at them—and Coptic men came to their rescue, another Muslim mob stormed the village church of Prince Tadros el-Mashreki. They hurled stones and broke everything inside the church, including doors and windows. The mob then went along the streets looting and destroying all Coptic-owned businesses and pharmacies and torching cars. Any Copt met by the mob in the street was beaten.

Iran: Because it refused to stop using the national Persian language during its services—which makes the Gospel intelligible to all Iranian Muslims, some of whom converted—the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran was raided by security services during a prayer meeting; its pastor taken to an unknown location, and the church was searched and its books, documents and equipment seized.   Security agents posted a sign stating that the church was now closed. One local source said, “They constantly threaten the church leaders and their families with imprisonment, unexplained accidents, kidnapping and even with execution. We cannot go on like this.”  A number of its members have already been killed and its activities greatly restricted over the last few years.

Libya: The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Benghazi was bombed.  In the words of the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, “They put a bomb at the entrance of the corridor leading to the courtyard where there is the door of the church. The church, therefore, was not touched directly, but the attack is not a positive sign. The Church in Libya is suffering. In Benghazi the Coptic Church was hit, its chaplain was killed and now the Catholic Church.  As I reported on other occasions, in Cyrenaica different religious women’s institutes have been forced to close their doors, in Tobruk, Derna, Beida, Barce, as well as in Benghazi. The nuns who were forced to leave, served the population with generosity.”

Syria:  A violent explosion destroyed the church and convent of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars in Deir Ezzor. According to Fr. Haddad of the region, “It was the only church in Deir Ezzor [that] so far still remained almost untouched.” It is not clear how it was destroyed, but some say a car bomb was placed next to the church. Fr. Haddad lamented that, as in other regions, “there are no more Christians” left in Ezzor, due to “all this hate and desecration.”

Tanzania:  During a service to mark its official opening, a new church in a predominantly Christian suburb was bombed, killing at least five people and wounding some 60.  According to a local source, This was… a well-planned attack. Even before it, the threat was given and we still have many threats. Pray for us, and that God will overcome all these in Jesus’ name.” He added that, “radical camps in the country were teaching young Muslims that Christians must be killed or live as second-class citizens,” or dhimmis.  Among those arrested, four were Saudi Arabian nationals. The bombing follows the slaying of two church leaders in February, and the shooting in the face of a third on Christmas Day.  In October, several church buildings were torched and vandalized.

Read more about persecution for Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism, and Dhimmitude at Gatestone Institute

Christian Suffering Under Jihadi Extremism Muslim Persecution of Christians: April, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim:

“The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia has again declared that it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches in the region.'”

Before Egypt’s President Muhammad Morsi was ousted, April was one of the worst months for Christian Copts there. On April 5 near Cairo, when a longstanding feud between a Christian family and a Muslim family—based on male Muslims sexually harassing Christian girls—culminated in the violent deaths of six Christians, including two of the participants, a Christian and a Muslim, being set on fire, and local Muslims went on another “collective punishment” spree. It resulted in the injury of at least 20 other Copts, an Evangelical church being set on fire, and an attack on a Coptic church, Two days later, after Copts had mourned their dead in the St. Mark Cathedral—Coptic Christianity’s holiest site and home to the Coptic pope—Muslim mobs, who had waited outside, launched yet another attack—aided by state security forces. Eyewitnesses said as many as 40-50 tear gas canisters targeted the mourners, many of whom were women and children hiding in the cathedral. Two more Copts were killed and many dozens wounded as other officers stood by while the Muslim mob tried to destroy the cathedral.

 

Muslim “youth” climb to the roof of a building adjacent to St. Mark Cathedral to attack it. To the left, a man winds to hurl a projectile at it. And in the white circle to the right, high-ranking Egyptian officials and security stand by watching (easily recognizable by their hats and helmets). Source: RaymondIbrahim.com

On one Friday after prayers, the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque in Cairo was turned into a “torture chamber” for Egyptians, many of whom were Christians, protesting the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the victims, Amir Ayad, a Christian, said he was severely beaten before being left for dead at the side of the road. He suffered a fractured skull, a broken arm, bleeding in his right eye and pellet wounds. Coptic Christian children, mostly boys, weretargeted for kidnapping and held for ransom; one 6-year-old, after his family had paid the Muslim kidnapper, was killed. And a video appeared on Arabic-language websites showing a crowd of Muslims in Egypt assaulting and raping two Christian women on a crowded street and in broad daylight. Throughout, the women scream in terror as the men shout Islamic slogans such as “Allahu Akbar!” “["Allah is Greater!"] None of the many passersby intervenes in any way.

Also in April, during Easter week in Nigeria, Muslim herdsmen launched a series of raids on Christian villages, killing at least 80 Christians. Most of those slain were either children or the elderly. Over 200 Christian homes were destroyed, eight churches burned, and 4,500 Christians displaced. According to a pastor present at the time, “It was a helpless situation, as no Christians had any weapon to fight back. Women, children, and the elderly who were not able to escape were shot and killed. Luckily, all my children are in school, so this made it easier for our escape from the Muslim attackers. We sneaked away in the midst of the confusion and trekked for more than 20 kilometers [12 miles] to find a place to stay.”

Categorized by theme, the rest of April’s Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Church Attacks

Central African Republic: A number of church buildings were attacked and the homes of Christians looted in the aftermath of a bloody coup by Sharia-adherent Muslim rebels. During the chaos, as in a standard jihad, Christian property was targeted for plundering, while Muslim property was spared. The leader of the Muslim rebels, Michel Djotodia, “assumed the presidency from the ousted François Bozizé, becoming the predominantly Christian nation’s first Muslim president.” According to one Christian, “We are no longer at home. They pillage our goods which are then sold by the Muslims, who export them.

Indonesia: Local officials, at the behest of Islamist forces, demolished the Batak Protestant Church building in West Java and threatened to close others, causing hundreds of Christians to protest in the streets. Once again, as happens with increasing regularity in Indonesia, congregation members then held services in the street, near the site of the destroyed church. As the Morning Star News added: Indonesian officials routinely delay or deny church building permits… thus providing Islamic extremists a pretext for protests and attacks.” Newspapers covering the event posted photos of “church members in tears—singing hymns, crying and begging local officials not to demolish their facility. Hundreds of police and army officers guarded the area while Muslim militants, shouting Koranic verses, cheered the excavator.”

Saudi Arabia: Apparently once again “The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia—the top Islamic official in the country of Saudi Arabia—has [again] declared that it is ‘necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.” (First reported here over a year ago.)

Sudan: In the latest of a series of moves that have put pressure on Christians, a Muslim government minister announced that no new licenses will be granted for church buildings; he claimed that the existing churches are sufficient for the number of worshippers. Building churches has, in fact, been disallowed since South Sudan seceded in July 2011; the Islamist government of Khartoum responded by making the lives of Christians in Sudan even more difficult than usual. Days before this latest measure, the government deported a senior church leader and two expatriate missionaries who had been working with children in Khartoum. No reason was given. The government has also demolished countless church buildings on the pretext of paperwork irregularities.

Turkey: A 13th century church building, the Hagia Sophia of Trabizon (not to be confused with Constantinople’s famous Hagia Sophia) is set to become a mosque again.

After the Ottoman conquest it had been turned from a church into a mosque, but later, under Turkey’s secularist President, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and apparently due to its “great historical and cultural significance” for Christians, it had been turned into a museum. Local authorities decreed that its Christian frescoes must again be covered in preparation for its reopening as a mosque. [Update: As of July, the Hagia Sophia of Trabizon has become a functioning mosque.]

Continue reading at Gatestone Institute for accounts of Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism and Dhimmitude

The Istanbul Process Continues

oicclintonihsanoglu by :

Almost two years ago — exactly a week before Anders Behring Breivik’s massacre in Norway — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) launched what they called the “Istanbul Process”. Their initiative was a joint project of the OIC and the USA, and was intended to bring Western nations (especially the USA) into compliance with UN Resolution 16/18, which aims to “[combat] intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion and belief.” The eventual goal is that member states of the UN will be required to pass laws criminalizing such “stereotyping” and “discrimination” based on religious belief. I don’t have to tell you that the intended primary beneficiary of Resolution 16/18 is Islam, and that all the attempts to implement the resolution are being pushed by the OIC and its Muslim Brotherhood-influenced allies in the governments and NGOs of major Western nations.

Mrs. Clinton is gone from the scene now, felled by the Benghazi scandal, but the Istanbul Process soldiers on without her. The European Union has to a large extent already complied with the demands of Resolution 16/18, and that’s why it was such a pleasant surprise to hear about the recent vote by the European Parliament.

On Tuesday June 18 the Legal Project published the following report about a very welcome resolution on free speech passed by the EP:

EU Challenges the UN and OIC on Press Freedom
by Nathaniel Sugarman

The European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg passed two resolutions Thursday, each detailing a set of recommendations to protect the rights of journalists to speak and print freely.

“The EU, as a community of values, should aspire to lead in ensuring the free word, whether blogged or spoken, and information, whether researched or photographed, are protected. Journalists and a free, pluralist media, are essential for democracies and checks on power. Freedom of speech and freedom after speech are at the core of open and free societies,” said Marietje Schaake (ALDE, NL), rapporteur for press and media freedom in the world. The EP is the directly elected parliament of the European Union.

The first resolution (2011/2081(INI)), focusing on press freedom, “(r)ecognizes that governments have the primary responsibility for guaranteeing and protecting freedom of the press and media.” The resolution also “points out that governments also have the primary responsibility for hampering freedom of the press and media and, in the worst cases, are increasingly resorting to legal pressures in order to restrict that freedom, e.g. through the abuse of anti-terrorism or anti-extremism legislation and laws on national security, treason or subversion.” The EP endorses a “balance” between the concerns of national security and press freedom. The resolution goes further to deplore the fact that “journalists are frequently wounded or murdered or are being subjected to serious abuses throughout the world, often with impunity,” and stresses the “importance of combating impunity.”

The second resolution (2013/2082(INI)), centering on religious freedom, endorses the firm opposition of “any attempt to criminalise freedom of speech in relation to religious issues, such as blasphemy laws.” The EP predictably condemns “all forms of violence and discrimination,” but goes further to emphasize that “particular attention should be paid to the situation of those who change their religion or belief, as in practice they are subject in a number of countries to social pressure, intimidation or outright violence.”

Both moves by the EP stand in contrast to the more restrictive policies endorsed by the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC has endorsed “blasphemy laws” — the same type of law denounced by the EP in today’s resolution. Although now blasphemy laws are often euphemistically referred to as laws protecting the “defamation of religion,” the concept remains the same — laws that punish non-incitement speech about religion. The UN has worked with the OIC to help codify this type of speech restriction as international law.

[…]

Some have already opined that the European Parliament, although ideologically praiseworthy, lacks the will to implement these resolutions as law, which now only exist as recommendations. Whether or not resolutions 2081 and 2082 are eventually codified in any way, the EP’s actions remain significant in the face of UN and OIC pressure to promote a more restrictive international speech code.

What’s going oh here? Just a few days after this resolution was passed, Secretary General Ihsanoglu said the “Istanbul Process must also be seen as a poster child of OIC-US-EU cooperation.” So what happened to the third leg of the 16/18 triad? Did the EU secede from the Istanbul Process? Or was this just a last toothless gesture of European defiance against an illiberal regime that will criminalize all thoughtcrimes concerning Islam?

Events surrounding the Istanbul Process often seem to move in a mysterious synchrony with other relevant events. Sometimes its proponents seize on a serendipitous opportunity, as seems to be the case with the Breivik massacre — which occurred just a week after the launch of the Istanbul Process. Alternatively, certain eruptions of “Islamophobia” are carefully prepared in advance, at least partially, and then used as grist for the OIC’s mill at the right moment. An example of the latter is the notorious Mohammed movie, which was obviously pushed into the Arabic-language Internet just in time for the “Free the Blind Sheikh” demos in Cairo on September 11, 2012. Events in Benghazi put a spanner in the works of that project — there’s no telling how it would have turned out if Al Qaeda hadn’t departed from the prepared script in Libya.

In another amazing coincidence, the next round of the Istanbul Process began the day after the Legal Project published its report on the EP resolution: on June 19 the OIC convened its third meeting on “Religious Hatred” in Geneva.

The Malaysian Bernama news serviceannounced the three-day event [emphasis added]:

 

OIC To Host 3rd Meeting On “Religious Hatred” In Geneva

KUALA LUMPUR, June 18 (Bernama) — The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will host the third meeting of international experts on the implementation of the UN Human Rights Council resolution on combating intolerance and incitement to hatred on religious ground from June 19-21.

The meeting, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, is expected to focus on concrete steps in implementing some of the measures under the UN Resolution 16/18, which focuses on “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion and belief.”

The experts will discuss issues like ‘Speaking out against intolerance, includingadvocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence‘ and ‘Adopting measures to criminalise incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief as stated under the UN Resolution, the OIC said in a statement.

One other point for discussion is ‘Recognising that the open, constructive and respectful debate of ideas, as well as interfaith and intercultural dialogue at the local, national and international levels, can play a positive role in combating religious hatred, incitement and violence,’ it added.

OIC secretary-general, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who will be attending the three-day meeting, said that developing a better understanding among the international community on the issues and devising a suitable plan was significant.

The first meeting was held in Washington D.C. in December 2011 while the second one was held at Wilton Park in London a year later, the statement said.

The UN HRC Resolution 16/18 is within the framework of the Istanbul Process launched by the OIC secretary-general and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in July 2011.

Here is the official OIC press release saying more or less the same thing.

What is notable in these statements is the conflation of “incitement to imminent violence” with “intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatisation of, and discrimination… against persons based on religion and belief”. The stated intention of the OIC and Resolution 16/18 is to induce countries to “[adopt] measures to criminalise incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief.” But incitement to imminent violence is already outlawed as a criminal act throughout the West. The motive here is to first designate the criticism of Islam as “advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” and then equate that with incitement to imminent violence, as if Islam-critics were exactly the same as people who stand on an overturned car and urge their fellow rioters to “kill whitey” (or “greenie” or “sambo” or whatever the hated group might be).

Following this logic, through his exposure of Islamic doctrine, Dr. Bill Warner would become as culpable for Muslim violence as if he had shouted over a megaphone for believers to go out and slit infidel throats. In fact, he would be even more culpable, since Muslims — as has become obvious from the two-tier system of British “justice” — will never be held accountable for public calls to kill infidels.

Thus, what is billed as a nice fluffy opportunity for “interfaith and intercultural dialogue” becomes a mandate for the legal suppression of all information about Islam except that which Muslims themselves choose to release.

Read more at Gates of Veinna