Kansas City Mosque That Wanted To Ban Free Speech Will Hold Funeral For Texas Jihadist Shooter Nadir Soofi

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack May 3, 2015

Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi
Perpetrators of Garland, Texas attack
May 3, 2015

PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, May 6, 2015:

A Kansas City mosque that petitioned Barack Obama to ban free speech defaming Islam in 2012 will hold the funeral for one of the two jihadists killed in a shootout Sunday outside a Dallas-area convention center that was hosting a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest.

The Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City (ISGKC) will hold a funeral on Thursday for Nadir Soofi, according to KCTV5:

The funeral for one of the people suspected in a chilling attack outside a Texas art contest will be held in the metro.

While Nadir Soofi never lived in the metro his father lives in an Overland Park neighborhood near 158th Place with his wife, Nadir’s stepmother. A woman who came to the door at the home told KCTV5 that the family didn’t want to talk about what happened to Soofi.

Police say the 34-year-old and 30-year-old Elton Simpson opened fire at a Dallas area conference center on Sunday. An art exhibit and contest depicting the Prophet Mohammad was being held there.

They wounded a security guard before police shot back, killing both.

While not mentioned in the article’s text, the KCTV5 video report specifically states that Soofi’s funeral service will be at ISGKC.

As I reported here at PJ Media back in September 2012, following the waves of international protest of the “Innocence of Muslims” video ISGKC launched an online petition calling for Barack Obama to sponsor a bill to limit the free speech of American citizens from insulting religion (namely, Islam).

The petition, which was signed by the ISGKC executive board and posted on the mosque’s website, received 348 signatures.

One of the mosque board members defended the petition in an interview with the local media following our PJ Media report:

“Insulting somebody else or putting somebody down can insight violence and lead to people losing their lives. We’re trying not to give these people a chance to misbehave,” said Mohammed Kohia, who started the petition along with the executive board of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City.

But as a local ACLU attorney explained:

“Somebody’s speech is no excuse for violence, that’s right,” he said, “but you can’t punish the speaker for the violence practiced by others. While I understand why they’re upset, their preposition is clearly unconstitutional.”

As I noted at the time, the position of ISGKC was particularly peculiar given that the mosque had hosted internationally-renowned Islamic hate speaker Khalid Yasin, whose controversial statements include calling for the death penalty for gays and describing the beliefs of Christians and Jews as “filth”.

An Australian news channel exposed Yasin’s extremist views back in 2005:

So with Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson’s attempts to silence speakers at Sunday’s event in Texas, perhaps Soofi’s funeral at ISGKC is appropriate.

UPDATE: In the “you can’t make this up” category, Kyle Shideler notes that Nadir Soofi “liked” Khalid Yasin on his Facebook page:

poole shideler tweets

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Outlawing ‘Islamophobia’ Would Be Folly, Mr. Miliband

pic_giant_042815_SM_Ed-MilibandNational Review, by CHARLES C. W. COOKE April 28, 2015:

A few years back, when the American response to the horrors of September 11 reached its muscular zenith, dissenters from the cause liked to issue a pithy cri de coeur. “You can fight a nation or a person,” they would say with palpable indignation, “but you can’t declare war on an abstract noun.” The “War on Terror,” they would conclude, is little more than a marketing exercise for a preexisting disposition.

At the root of this objection was the fear that governments that cannot easily define what they are fighting will eventually come to be at war with everyone and everything. What, after all, constitutes “terror” — an inherently subjective term? How, pray, can we know when it has been truly vanquished? And which borders — physical, philosophical, and political — must we respect in the course of combat? These, I’d venture, were fair questions. “The essence of tyranny is not iron law,” Christopher Hitchens observed. “It is capricious law.” Now, as in the time of King John, free people should demand some ground rules.

This debate came rushing back to mind this week after it was revealed that a would-be prime minister of Great Britain, the Labour party’s Edward Miliband, had promised London’s Muslim Times that he would seek to outlaw and to punish “Islamophobia” if he were elected to high office. “Although Islamophobia already falls under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006#….#” The Independent recorded on Saturday, “Mr Miliband’s proposal would allow authorities to hand down tougher sentences for similar crimes.” Evidently, those sentences would be harsh. At present, Britons who violate the Racial and Religious Hatred Act are at risk of “up to seven years imprisonment” — not, you will note, because they have actually hurt anybody, but rather because they have uttered strings of opinion-laden words that the incumbent government happens to disfavor. This, alas, is apparently not good enough for the Labour party. Under a Miliband administration, The Independent confirmed, Britons who caustically knocked Islam would be guilty of an “aggravated crime.” “We are going to make sure it is marked on people’s records with the police,” Miliband submitted, “to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime.”

The presumption that the state has a role to play in the policing of the human soul is an utterly terrifying one, running contrary as it does to all the beautiful suppositions that served as scaffolding to the Enlightenment. If Ed Miliband believes that his fellow countrymen are intolerant rubes, he of course has every right to lobby them to change direction. That he has promised to marshal the police in disapprobation is something altogether different.

The presumption that the state has a role to play in the policing of the human soul is an utterly terrifying one.

Why? Well, because underpinning the notion of free and untrammeled debate is the humble acknowledgement that the state cannot — and should not — decide what is true and what is false. Naturally, governments may have strong opinions on a corporate level. Individually their members may, too. But, whatever they might come to believe, those governments may not contrive to ossify or establish as legally impregnable a sole definition of reality. This, I’m afraid, is what Miliband is effectively proposing. Seemingly, he has contrived a two-step process for censorship: First, submit that criticism of Islam is beyond the pale (that’s the “phobia” stuff, for phobias are irrational, remember); second, because that criticism therefore has no value, move to prohibit it.

In attempting to discern a limiting principle, critics will likely pretend that this approach constitutes a radical departure from British norms and should therefore be resisted on principle. Much as I might like to pretend that this were the case, it represents no such thing. Despite its proud history as a cradle of individual liberty, Britain today boasts some of the most capricious, the most vague, and the most far-reaching censorship laws in the developed world. As of 2015, the execrable Public Order Act of 1986 had been used to harass two-bit singers, radical members of themedia, drunken students, preaching pastors, proselytizing Muslims, leafleting atheists, ignorant soccer fans, and pretty much anybody else who stepped out line. During this year’s election, moreover, aspiring members of parliament used it to shut down criticism from their potential constituents. Can we really be so surprised that the appalling Ed Miliband has jumped on the appalling British Milibandwagon?

Pushing back against Milband’s proposal, a few critics have noted acidly that the elite class’s obsessive focus on “Islamophobia” is peculiar given that the most frequent victims of racially motivated crimes in the United Kingdom are in fact Jewish. Well intentioned as that critique is, however, I’d venture that it represents entirely the wrong way of looking at the question. No matter what the numbers say, nobody who lives in a free country should be immune from harsh and even hateful oppobrium — not Christians, not Muslims, not atheists, not blacks, not whites, not anybody. Frankly, it is not the role of the British authorities to police the verbal output of the people they serve, until and unless that output is explicitly and deliberately brigaded to an illegal action. If they are to be at liberty, men may freely exhibit irrationality, fear, animadversion, disdain, acrimony, bitterness, revulsion, and pique — and they may do so without their emotions or their expressions being compared by the law to battery. If Ed Miliband hopes to make physical assaults even more illegal, he has my blessing. Until then, he must stay the hell away, lest he spur a recrudescence of precisely the sort of illiberalism he purportedly intends to banish.

Writing yesterday in The Spectator, Douglas Murray struck a great blow for common sense when he noted that if Miliband were to get his unlovely way, almost everybody could find himself in the crosshairs:

If Ed Miliband were to become Prime Minister and were to decide to make what people call “Islamophobia” illegal then I’m very happy to test the law straight away. Indeed I will immediately put on a gathering of academics, writers, Quranic-scholars and philosophers — Muslim and non-Muslim — to discuss Islam. It is possible that some of those gathered may disagree with the foundational claims of Islam. I, for instance, may repeat my belief — not being a Muslim — that it is highly unlikely that the Quran was “dictated” by God. This is not only my belief. It is also the belief of Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, Christians (some Anglican priests excepted), atheists and ex-Muslims, to name only a few minority groups.

Murray’s point strikes at the beating heart of the matter. In Britain, in Australia, in France, and beyond, limitations on free expression are typically justified with mawkish appeals to “multiculturalism,” to “diversity,” and to the maintenance of the allegedly exquisite feelings of the supposedly out-of-touch. And yet, as Murray subtly implies, this is rather to put arse over elbow, for rather than creating an intractable problem, freedom of speech actually is at its most useful when the culture it serves is lacking in homogeneity. Were all Britons to adopt an ovine pose and to agree that the Church of England is the correct religion and that its central claims are unquestionably true, there would be little need at all for the protections of free expression. While reasonable in and of itself, “Oh, I like the Queen, too!” is clearly not the sort of opinion that requires the passage of strictures guarding against the intrusion of the state. When a country hosts a broad array of opinions, however — and when it is home to people whose deep-seated beliefs directly contradict the deep-seated beliefs of others — a legal framework that can accommodate sharp and pronounced dissension is absolutely vital.

In Britain at present, almost all speech that is critical of Islam is reflexively deemed to be “Islamophobic” — this, regardless of intent, regardless of context, regardless of caveat or commonition. In consequence, if the British government were indeed to crack down more robustly in this area, it would not really be defending the “rights” of a minority group against the pitchfork-wielding mob, but effectively privileging one clique over another. How, one wonders, would it decide what was beyond the pale and what was legitimate? How would it conclude whether the Islamic religion or Mr. Douglas Murray were the victim? How would it distinguish between the imprecations of the imam and the critiques of the atheist? Might it not be possible, perhaps, that this is little more than a recipe for the sort of whimsy of which there is too much in British life; and, further, that this is the sort of thinking that has led to situation in which, a few days before a close general election, one of the men who would instruct the bayonets has ended up tendering special legal protections to a crucial, and increasingly cunning, electoral bloc . . . ?

— Charles C. W. Cooke is a staff writer at National Review.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roger observes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t think it can’t happen here.

Watch and Share – Your Freedom of Speech is Under Attack

Brooke Goldstein at Lawfare Project has produced a very powerful video to raise awareness on the Islamic threat to free speech.

 

You can download the book, “Lawfare – the War Against Free Speech – A First Amendment Guide for Reporting in an Age of Islamist Warfare” by Brooke Goldstein and Aaron Eitan Meyer for free at http://www.thelawfareproject.org/

OIC Secretary General Warns Chicago Audience Not to Criticize Islam

sheik

Picture taken at the Chicago Club (81 East Van Buren Street, Chicago, Illinois 60605) where the Chicago Council on Global Affairs regularly holds events

Center For Security Policy:

Just a week after the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the new Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Amin Madani, addressed a select audience at an American Islamic College (AIC)-sponsored event at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. In a carefully-crafted message delivered on 17 September 2014, in which the OIC Secretary General was to discuss contemporary challenges facing the Muslim world, he charged that “Americans are not terribly famous for caring about the rest of the world.” Echoing lines promoted by the U.S. administration, Madani also declared that the Islamic State (IS) has no nexus with Islam and issued a warning to those critical of Islam. He also characterized Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza as illegal.

The AIC, known for its religious interfaith dialogue program in Chicago involving leadership figures from the Muslim Brotherhood, was established in 1981 as the only Islamic institution in the U.S. authorized to grant university degrees. Likewise, its relationship with the OIC is not a new one. In an earlier chapter of their collaborative relationship, the OIC and AIC co-sponsored a conference focused on “The Role of the OIC and the Scope for Its Relations with American Muslims” in September 2010. The following year in September 2011, the AIC and OIC joint conference Islam and Muslims in America included Obama administration appointee Rashad Hussain, the U.S. Special Envoy to the OIC. The evening before Madani’s 17 September speech, the program featured his keynote address for the AIC’s 2nd Annual Convocation Ceremony.

Prior to Madani becoming the OIC’s 10th Secretary General in January 2014, the OIC held The First International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media in September 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland to press for the criminalization of freedom of expression by individuals speaking about Islam in ways deemed ‘offensive’ and to control media content. When Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met with Madani, he, too, reiterated the OIC’s ‘Islamophobia’ conference theme as shown in his 5 February 2014 message to Twitter followers:

handshake

The OIC is an inter-governmental organization of 56 Islamic states (plus the Palestinian Authority) that represents the head of state leadership of the Muslim world and takes and implements decisions on behalf of the ummah. One of the OIC’s top agenda items is the Istanbul Process, its vehicle for pursuing insinuation of Islamic Law on slander into the U.S. and other Western legal codes. The Obama administration, including the Department of State, has eagerly promoted the Istanbul Process, as when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her speech to OIC on 15 September 2011. A year later, in his annual address to the United Nations on 25 September 2012 in New York City, President Obama left no doubts about his own position on the Islamic law on slander, when he told the UN General Assembly that “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

As Madani warned his Chicago audience about speaking against Islam, he was only reminding them of the OIC’s 10 year strategic plan, established in 2005 in part to advocate for an anti-blasphemy law regarding Islam. About freedom of expression, Madani made clear that, for Muslims, Islam is off-limits, saying that it “should not reach religious tales…we think freedom of expression ends there.” Attempting to draw an analogy about the discussion of sensitive subjects in American society and “insulting” or “contextualizing” a religious faith such as Islam, Madani continued “You have to give the same privilege and rights to others. There are certain limits to which the freedom of speech can reach where social values of one society should be considered as human values” and that insisting on free speech about such things is a “breach of human rights.” Although left unspoken by Madani, his reference to “human rights” clearly was meant to evoke for his Muslim audience specifically and only those rights permitted under shariah (Islamic Law).

Of course, the OIC authored the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which states, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah,” and “The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”

The OIC’s Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, which explicitly rejects the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights, nevertheless was presented to and accepted by the UN General Assembly in 1993. Rather, as stated in the OIC’s charter, its member Muslim states intend “to be guided by the noble Islamic values of unity and fraternity, and affirming the essentiality of promoting and consolidating the unity and solidarity among the Member States in securing their common interests at the international arena.” 

Turning next to the recent Israeli action in Gaza, Madani addressed the audience of around ninety people at the Chicago event, attacking Israel’s inherent right to protect itself from terrorism and an existential threat. Less than two months before the Madani event, Chicago witnessed vicious antisemitic demonstrations led by HAMAS and Muslim Brotherhood supporters. Madani claimed that “President Abbas has compromised on everything he can compromise on. And all he is asking now is for a peace negotiation to start with defining what borders the Israelis want for their country.” Madani displayed frustration that the Israeli-Palestinian issue “will not find a fair hearing within the political process” in this country. This issue, as well, is firmly-grounded in the OIC’s charter, which states its objective“….to establish a sovereign state for the Palestinian people with Al-Quds Al-Sharif [Jerusalem] as its capital, and to safeguard its historic and Islamic character, and the holy places therein….”

The OIC Secretary General also decried what he termed “extreme pressure from the American foreign policy establishment” placed on the sixteen member countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council to not form a special session led by the OIC to investigate purported Israeli war crimes. Agitated by this matter he concluded, “The only country that voted against that was the United States of America.” In July 2014, Madani had Tweeted his disapproval of the American position on Twitter.

tweet (1)

While both the OIC and Secretary General Madani declare that Boko Haram and the Islamic State “…have no relationship with Islam,” the reality is that non-Muslims in Iraq and Syria are being slaughtered by Muslims who declare their authority derives from Islamic doctrine. The Islamic State is committed to the complete subjugation or annihilation of the Christian and other former ethnic majority people of the Middle East and eradication of their ancient historical roots in the region. Islamic State jihadis systematically are marking Christian homes with the Arabic letter “N”, which is shorthand for “Nasrani,” meaning Nazarene or Christian. The infamous triple choice of Islam – convert, pay the jizya, or die – derives directly from Qur’anic verse 9:29, and intends ultimately to make the Middle East birthplace of Christianity “Christian-rein” as, with the exception of a vibrant Israel, it virtually already is for Jews. The savage Qur’anic punishments laid out in verse 5:32-33 await all those who refuse to be dhimmis.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the home country of OIC Secretary General Madani, is ranked as one of the top ten countries in the world regarding the most extreme persecution of Christians. The government of Saudi Arabia has banned all churches, synagogues, and temples. Not only does the government deny recognition or protection of any religion other than Sunni Islam, it prohibits the open practice of any other religion. Apostasy is punishable by death, as per shariah.

This is the ideology and world view welcomed with open doors by American Islamic College (AIC), the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and the American citizens who attended their event.

A Survivor of 9/11 Speaks: An Interview with Deborah Weiss, Esq.

world trade  center 9-11-01 (3)By Jerry Gordon:

The jihad attack that took the lives of 2,996 Americans and foreigners on 9/11 was perpetrated by 19 middle class Egyptians, Saudis and Yemenis. This dastardly act by Al Qaeda (AQ) Islamic terrorists destroyed an iconic landmark of American International economic prowess, the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Another plane took out one side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and another crashed into a rural area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The last recorded voice heard from Flight 93 was “allahu akbar” – their god Allah was “the greatest.” This was the first act of Islamic terrorism perpetrated from afar on America.  9/11 was called the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century.”

9/11 was followed over the past 13 years by other AQ- inspired acts of jihad terrorism in the US, two of which killed American service personnel in Little Rock and Fort Hood. Dozens of AQ-inspired attempts were foiled in Detroit, Times Square and other locations across the country. As of early 2014, 6,802 American service personnel and an estimated 6,800 contractors died in both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts fighting AQ and Taliban jihadists.

The West and the world were unprepared when 9/11 occurred, although many warnings had been given.

The 9/11 warnings still have not been heeded. On August 19, 2014, the Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIS, released a “Message to America” – a video of the gruesome barbaric beheading of intrepid American photo journalist Jim Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire. He was captured in November 2012 by radical elements of the Free Syrian Army who contributed their captive to the extremist Salafist jihadi group, ISIS. ISIS is rumored to hold several other Americans captive, among them, journalist Steven Joel Sotloff was featured in the same video.

IS threatens the Levant from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, the West and even the US. The 13th commemoration of 9/11 finds us no safer, perhaps unprepared to deal with this supremacist jihadist threat.

Deborah Weiss 2On the occasion of this 13th Commemoration of 9/11, we interviewed a survivor of that attack in lower Manhattan; Deborah Weiss, Esq. Ms. Weiss heads Vigilancenow.org.  She formerly worked for the Committee on House Oversight in Congress; the Forbes for President Campaign in 1995-96; and served as an attorney in New York under the Giuliani administration. Her articles have also been published in FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker, American Security Council Foundation, the Weekly Standard, Washington Times, and National Review Online. She is a contributor to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamist Terrorist Network (Sarah Stern, editor) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). She is the principal researcher and writer of Council on American-Islamic Relations: Its Use of Language and Intimidation.

Watch this You Tube video of Deborah Weiss presenting at the Westminster Institute in August 2013:

 

Jerry Gordon:  Deborah Weiss, thank you for consenting to this interview.

Deborah Weiss:  Thank you for inviting me.

Gordon:  You are a 9/11 Survivor. Where were you when the terrorist attack occurred?

Weiss:  I was running late for work or I would have been inside the WTC. Instead, because it was Election Day for the mayoral primary, I was still in my apartment at Gateway Plaza, the closest residence to the WTC. I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden, I heard a really loud noise, like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It sounded like my upstairs neighbor’s furniture was falling down. I also heard people screaming outside, but I’m not a morning person and NYC can be noisy, so at first, I didn’t bother to look out the window. I turned on the radio and found out that a plane had hit the WTC, so I turned on the TV. A little while later, I heard another noise, even louder than the first one. I knew then that the first plane wasn’t an accident, but that these were terrorist attacks. The lights in my apartment flickered and then went out. The building started to shake and I fell to the floor. I knew I had to get out of there and it was pretty scary. I made the decision to take my cat. So I went inside the closet to get her box and when I came out, I couldn’t see anything outside my window except pitch black. I had a huge window facing away from the WTC. I remember it was a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning. Just a bit earlier I had looked out and saw the sun and the leaves of a tree pressing against my window. The window was very wide and covered the whole side of my living room. Yet, after I got up, I couldn’t see one ray of light. Part of what makes it so scary when you’re in the midst of it is you don’t know what’s happening. People in other parts of the world know more of what is going on than you do. I thought we were getting bombed. All you really know in that situation is someone is trying to kill everyone around you and something really, really bad is happening and that you might not get out alive.

I dug my nails into my cat, threw her into her box and ran down the stairs. In the lobby, a lot of people were entering our building from the WTC side. They were covered in white with red eyes. Smoke started coming in and it became increasingly difficult to breathe. Along with some others, I entered a back apartment on the ground level and sat down on the floor. I remember one woman there with tears in her eyes holding her newborn twins, one in each arm. We couldn’t exit the back door of the building because it was locked. Finally, they unlocked it and a lot of people fled. I had learned that all the dust I saw was from the collapse of the first tower. Because there was no plan and nowhere to run, a few of us decided to stay put. Then, all of a sudden, a police officer came to the apartment and started screaming hysterically for us all to leave NOW! I ran out the door and knew immediately that we were at war. Everything was covered in white: the trees, the streets and the benches. I ran along the water. Looking backwards, I saw the remaining tower burning and tilting in my direction. Suddenly, a Coast Guard rescue ferry appeared and approximately 15 of us jumped on. Moments later, when we were a yard or two out, the second building collapsed. We all said a prayer for those who had just died. We were taken to a triage center in NJ, where we sat all day listening to radio updates. All the phones were out because the transmitters were in the WTC. So it was awhile before you could reach anyone by phone. Once you could, all the hotels were quickly filled up.

Read more at New English Review

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.

Hate Speech Laws Revisited

Via Gates of Vienna:

Dave Petteys is a member of the Colorado chapter of ACT! For America. He is one of the hard-working members of the anti-sharia group that made such a difference at the OSCE conferences in Warsaw in 2012 and 2013. Below is his take on the continuing controversy over “hate speech” laws.

burningjanhusHate Speech Laws Revisited

by David Petteys

ACT! For America, 5280 Coalition

Hate speech laws originated during debates in the United Nations immediately after World War Two. At the time, it was the Soviet Bloc versus Western Europe and the United States. The Soviets wanted “hate speech laws” to suppress the criticism of their totalitarian system as well as the calls for greater democracy. Their excuse was: “We cannot allow fascists to speak lest it lead to violence “. The same language is being used today.

Although the Communist totalitarian governments have disappeared, (at least we used to think so), the legacy of the notion that it is up to government to regulate speech remains.

Initially, “Hate Speech” laws addressed anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. But now the reach of these laws has steadily expanded to include any issue, provided its supporters have the political clout to influence legislatures.

Global warming advocates, homosexuals and Muslims are all demanding laws to protect them from “insult” and criticism. Priests and pastors have been arrested and prosecuted for preaching Christian doctrine that” hurts the feelings” of homosexuals[1]. Global warming skeptics are silenced.[2]

The Muslims are a particular case in point. They know they can’t confront our First Amendment directly. So what they are doing is drilling down into the definitions of words inside the laws: specifically, the definition of “incitement”.

Traditionally “incitement” resided in the content of speech or writing. The Muslims are working to refocus “incitement” from content to consequence. If I were a Ku Klux Klan leader addressing my followers, and I advocated that they march to another section of town and burn down houses, that would comprise speech with content that directly advocated violence.

But the Muslim strategy is more insidious.

Let us now move to the definition of “Hate Speech” in Forums such as “The Rabat Plan of Action”[3] (RPA). This was a document produced at a workshop put on by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) that met in Rabat, Morocco in October of 2012. The UN appears to have convened the Conference at the behest of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), mindful of its funding and its large voting bloc of 56 states plus the Palestinian Authority.

The subtitle of the document (“Conclusions and recommendations emanating from the four regional expert workshops organised by OHCHR, in 2011, and adopted by experts in Rabat, Morocco on 5 October 2012”) refers to the plan as adopted by “experts” without any disclosure of who these “experts” are. Within this document there is a six part “threshold test” to give “guidance” to law enforcement. The final test is “Likelihood, including imminence”. To quote:

“The action advocated through incitement speech does not have to be committed for that speech to amount to a crime. Nevertheless some degree of risk of resulting harm must be identified.”[4]

Thus, speech that “might” hurt someone’s feelings, or “might” lead to “discrimination or intolerance” becomes a criminal offense! Yet the argument that such speech “might lead to violence” has not been substantiated.[5]

Next, the Muslims claim the right to violence against anyone who “insults” the Prophet or Islam:

“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter.”[6]

Therefore, Muslims hold that any speech that they deem an “insult” is illegal “hate speech” because it would trigger the violence that they themselves threaten and guarantee! It makes no difference that we have the constitutional right to say what we want to say, including criticism of Islam.

Islam is mostly a political movement, and not separate from religion, as the Muslims themselves assert. Yet they hold:

  • That since it is a “religion” it is beyond criticism and off the table. Any criticism is “insulting Islam”
  • And we guarantee any such criticism will trigger violence. Therefore, under the guidelines of the RPA the “likelihood and imminence of harm” renders the speech illegal!

This neatly finesses the First Amendment. Sadly, Western authorities are buying into this! It codifies into law the “battered wife syndrome” with its “blame the victim” premise.

Read more at Gates of Vienna

Obama’s ‘Blame the Video’ Fraud Started in Cairo, Not Benghazi

pic_giant__050114_ABy Andrew C. McCarthy:

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly (see here and here), the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

Mr. Carney was grilled about just-released e-mails that corroborate what many of us have been arguing all along: “Blame the Video” was an Obama-administration–crafted lie, through and through. It was intended, in the stretch run of the 2012 campaign, to obscure the facts that (a) the president’s foreign policy of empowering Islamic supremacists contributed directly and materially to the Benghazi massacre; (b) the president’s reckless stationing of American government personnel in Benghazi and his shocking failure to provide sufficient protection for them were driven by a political-campaign imperative to portray the Obama Libya policy as a success — and, again, they invited the jihadist violence that killed our ambassador and three other Americans; and (c) far from being “decimated,” as the president repeatedly claimed during the campaign (and continued to claim even after the September 11 violence in Egypt and Libya), al-Qaeda and its allied jihadists remained a driving force of anti-American violence in Muslim countries — indeed, they had been strengthened by the president’s pro-Islamist policies.

The explosive e-mails that have surfaced thanks to the perseverance of Judicial Watch make explicit what has long been obvious: Susan Rice, the president’s confidant and ambassador to the U.N., was strategically chosen to peddle the administration’s “Blame the Video” fairy tale to the American people in appearances on five different national television broadcasts the Sunday after the massacre. She was coached about what to say by other members of the president’s inner circle.

Read more at National Review Online

Also see:

Al Qaeda-linked jihadists helped incite 9/11 Cairo protest by Thomas Joscelyn

********

Walid Shoebat has done a lot of research into the Innocence of Muslims video and he says there is reason to believe that the “Innocence of Muslims” video was a hoax designed to spark the huge outpouring of Muslim rage that it did.

Orchestrated Muslim “Days of Rage” are a well known Muslim Brotherhood tactic.

See Shoebat’s recent articles:

The Real Agenda Behind Susan Rice Being Told To Lie

Carney Blamed Benghazi On Video Hours Before ‘Smoking Gun’ Email

New Evidence Links U.S. Federal Government To FILMMAKER Behind Benghazi Fiasco (Shocking)

So whose idea was it to use the video in the first place? Was it John Brennan?

From the Citizens Commission on Benghazi Interim Report:

The CCB conducted an extensive research effort into the elements and sequence of the
administration’s two-week campaign to falsely claim that a protest had preceded the
attack on our Benghazi mission, and their efforts to blame a YouTube video for the
attack. The White House campaign appears to have been well-coordinated with U.S.
Muslim Brotherhood organizations as well as Islamic state members of the Organization
of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), who all joined in condemnation of the video, and, even
more troubling, issued calls for restrictions on Americans’ free speech rights.

From that report’s Additional Documents:

Anatomy of the Cover-Up

§ “Innocence of Muslims” was a 14-minute video trailer about the life of
Muhammad posted to YouTube on 2 Jul 2012 by “Sam Bacile.”

§ In the aftermath of the 11 September 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in
Benghazi, Libya, the U.S. administration ignored facts in evidence indicating that
it was an al-Qa’eda-linked terrorist attack not preceded by any demonstration or
protest and publicly blamed the video instead.

§ The coordinated nature of the international campaign by U.S. Muslim
Brotherhood groups and member states of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) presents the impression that condemnation of the film was
used to further an agenda supportive of the OIC/Muslim Brotherhood objective to
criminalize criticism of Islam and curtail American Constitutional free speech
rights.

Go to the report for a detailed timeline in support of these assertions.

The Real Agenda Behind the Push for “Islamophobia”

by Raheel Raza:

Islamists have been successful in building the Islamophobia industry: it diverts attention from activities they would probably prefer not be noticed, such as promoting sharia law in the West, stealth jihad, and a push to implement a global Islamic caliphate, among many others.

What is ironic and hypocritical about the Islamophobia hype from members of the OIC is their double-standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities.

Islamophobia has almost become a fad for a certain group of academics and Muslims across North America. 2013 was a bumper year for Islamophobia conferences in America and abroad.

  • “Islam, Political Islam, and Islamophobia: an International Conference” was held at Indiana University, Bloomington on March 29-30, 2013.
  • Islam, Politics and Islamophobia,” an international conference of the Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair, took place at the Indiana Memorial Union Faculty.
  • International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media“, hosted in Istanbul, was organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and under the auspices of Mr. Bulent Arinc, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, and took place in September, 2013. The website starts off by stating “Islamophobia, which is a term used to express the groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims, has swept the world, becoming detrimental to international peace especially in recent years.”
  • The IWIC’s 2013 conference on “Women in Islam,” in Atlanta, Georgia from November 22 to 24, used the theme, “Eradicating Islamophobia.”

One would think that four conferences in one year would be enough for the International group of speakers to discuss, debate and hash out that, in their view, there is an epidemic of Muslim-bashing taking place in North America.

However it seems that these are not enough to complete the agenda of the Islamists. Therefore this year the University of California, Berkeley is hosting its fifth annual International conference on the study of Islamophobia, from April 14 to 19, 2014.

It is frightening to realize that this is their fifth such conference; the website states, “the obsessive pre-occupation of everything related to Islam and Muslims, congressional and parliamentary hearings criminalizing Muslims and violations of their civil liberties and rights, domestic and international surveillance programs exclusively on Muslims and Arabs, extra-judicial use of force on Muslims and Arabs, interventions, military campaigns, and policies rationalizing its exercise, are, in essence, what we see and bear witness in the Muslim world. These are the direct effects of latent Islamophobia.”

University of California, Berkeley is home to Professor Hatem Bazian, who directs the school’s “Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project,” and teaches a course titled, “Asian American Studies 132AC: Islamophobia.”

Seriously? A course on Islamophobia? Recently, Professor Bazian told 100 students in his class to tweet about Islamophobia — all being done to promote an agenda of “victimhood.”

 

UC-Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian speaks on “Promoting Islamophobia” at the Occupy AIPAC Summit in 2012. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Obviously the Islamophobia conferences, the courses and the tweeting professor must find support for their self-serving propaganda somewhere. Part of this support comes from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international organization consisting of 57 Arab and Muslim member states, including the entity of the Palestinian Authority. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.” The term “Muslim world” is offensive: no one speaks for all Muslims, and for the OIC to consider itself the “voice of the Muslim world” is dictatorial in the extreme.

No surprise, then, that on their website they have an Islamophobia Observatory, where they mention their support of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, adopted in 2011, on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief”.

What is ironic and hypocritical about all the Islamophobia hype by members of the OIC is their double standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities, and are routinely ignored under UNHRC Resolution 16/18.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Also see:

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

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Islamophobia” Campaign against Freedom

Dr. Mark Durie

Dr. Mark Durie

By Andrew E. Harrod:

The “quite formidable” Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “has really escaped the notice of a lot of foreign policy observers,” religious freedom scholar Nina Shea noted at a January 17, 2014, Hudson Institute panel.  To correct this deficiency, Shea moderated an important presentation on the OIC’s stealth jihad against freedom by her “old friend” Mark Durie, an Anglican theologian and human rights activist.

As Durie’s PowerPoint presentation available online noted, the 1969-founded OIC headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, contains 57 mostly Muslim-majority states (including “Palestine”).  The second largest international organization after the United Nations (UN), the OIC is a “major global voting block” at the UN and unique in being the “only such organization devoted to advancing a religion.”  The OIC is “largely funded by Saudi Arabia,” Shea noted, having contributed $30 million to the 2008 budget, far greater than the next largest contribution of $3 million from Kuwait.

Ominously, the OIC has been “lobbying assiduously” since about 2000 against “Islamophobia,” Shea observed.  “Islamophobia” was analogous to “homophobia,” Durie’s PowerPoint elaborated, an analogy previously noted by Islamic sharia law expert Stephen Coughlin and analyzed by this author.  A “[n]arrow reading” of this “deep-seated and irrational fear about Islam or Muslims” would encompass only prejudices such as the “xenophobic aversion to Muslims” of some.

A “[b]road reading” by the OIC and others, though, condemns “all expressions of opposition to or disapproval of Islam” as “irrational and manifestations of prejudice.”  “Islamophobia is a deliberate scheme to distort the teachings and principles of peace and moderation engrained in Islam,” the PowerPoint quoted from the OIC’s 2013 Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia.  “9/11 came as a long awaited opportunity,” the report specifies, “for the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim elements in the West to set in motion their well orchestrated plan to slander Islam and target Muslims by equating terror with Islam and Muslims.”  Such bigots were “just hanging out” and waiting for Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks, Durie mocked.

The OIC and its recently retired Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu assume that the “Islamic religion is under attack,” thereby posing an “atmosphere of threat to the world,” Durie stated.  Yet American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hate crime statistics in Durie’s PowerPoint belie this Islamic victimhood, with attacks upon Jews far outstripping those on Muslims in 2012 (674 to 130).  Western states in the past have also often aided their Muslim minorities and Muslim countries, such as when the British government donated land for the United Kingdom’s first mosque, London Central Mosque.

The “Islamophobia” campaign, moreover, manifests the distorted subordination of human rights to Islamic sharia law present throughout the OIC’s 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.  Therein rights such as free speech may not contradict the Koranic phrase “what is good” according to Islam.  Similar distorted sectarianism is evident in the juxtaposition of OIC documents on “Combating Islamophobia” internationally and OIC-supported UN resolutions such as 16/18 in the Human Rights Council advocating religious equality.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Also see: Video: Mark Durie on the OIC and Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia (counterjihadreport.com)

Video: Mark Durie on the OIC and Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia

oic conferenceHudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom:

(Very good Q&A begins at 34:00)

“Islamophobia” is a widely used yet vague and controversial term referring to anti-Muslim bigotry. In recent years, identifying, monitoring, reporting on, and working to ban Islamophobia worldwide has been a major focus of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The OIC is an international body of 56 member states that is based in Saudi Arabia and active within the United Nations. While the United States has formally recognized its work in the past – US ambassadors have observed its sessions and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired some of its meetings – American awareness of the organization remains scant.

In 2007, the OIC began issuing regular “observatory” reports on Islamophobia, and since 2009 has published monthly bulletins that cite primarily Western examples of Islamophobia.

Is Islamophobia a serious problem, or is the term itself an ideological cudgel designed to incite fear and criminalize dissent? Dr. Mark Durie discussed these and other basic questions related to the OIC’s efforts to ban Islamophobia. Click here for his PowerPoint.

Mark Durie is an Anglican pastor, theologian, author, and human rights activist. A fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, he is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at the Melbourne School of Theology, and the Director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Nina Shea moderated this discussion.

For more videos of Mark Durie go here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56A31DB2DE8D692D and http://vimeo.com/search?q=mark+durie

Danish Muslim Apostate Faces Hate Speech Charges

Yahya_HAssan_788776y-450x338Front Page, January 2, 2014, By Andrew Harrod:

“Muslims love to take advantage of” free speech, Danish-Palestinian poet Yahya Hassan says, “and as soon as there is someone else saying something critical against them, they want to restrict it.”  In an action previously indicated by this writer, Hassan is now personally facing this double standard in Danish “hate speech” charges for his anti-Islam comments.

Following Danish-Iranian artist Firoozeh Bazrafkan’s conviction under Danish Penal Code Section 266b (in Danish here) for condemning Islam as misogynist, a local Muslim Aarhus politician demanded a similar prosecution of Hassan.  His poetry “says that everybody in the ghettos like Vollsmose and Gellerup steal, don’t pay taxes and cheat themselves to pensions,” the Somali-Dane Mohamed Suleban stated after reporting Hassan to the police on November 27. “Those are highly generalizing statements and they offend me and many other people.”  Authorities are currently considering Section 266b charges for, according to one English translation, any public “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.”

The 18-year-old Hassan’s eponymous debut book contains about 150 poems, “many of which are severely critical of the religious environment he grew up in” according to Wall Street Journal reporters Clemens Bomsdorf and Ellen Emmerentze Jervell.  Written in all capital letters, Hassan’s poems treat “issues like the Holocaust, anti-Semitism, child abuse, and the interplay between violence and religion” with “[p]rofanity and vivid analogies.”  Yahya Hassan has sold 80,000 copies following an October 17 release in the comparatively small Danish market and is expected to exceed 100,000 copies by Christmas.  Hassan’s publisher Gyldendal reports that Danish poetry books are fortunate to sell 500 copies.  A recent book forum honored Hassan as the debut author of the year and an English translation of his poetry is underway.

Hassan first became prominent with an October 5 Danish newspaper interview entitled “I F**king Hate My Parents’ Generation.”  In it he blamed poor Muslim parenting for the juvenile delinquency and social maladjustment experienced by many Danish Muslim youth such as Hassan himself.  With more than 85,000 social media shares, the interview became the most shared Politiken article of the year.

Days thereafter Hassan recited from his “LANGDIGT” or “LONG POEM” before his book’s release on the Danish news program Deadline.  Extract:  “between the Friday prayers and the Ramadans/you want to carry a knife in your pocket/you want to go and ask people if they have a problem/although the only problem is you.”  Such verses brought Hassan more death threats than any other previous Deadline guest.  Hassan has subsequently reported 27 Facebook threats against him, of which the police investigated six as serious and pressed charges in one case of a 15-year old boy.  A subsequent assault against Hassan occurred on November 18 in Copenhagen Central Station by a 24-year old Palestinian-Danish Muslim who had previously received a seven-year terrorism sentence.

Hassan now wears a bulletproof vest and receives protection from Denmark’s domestic intelligence agency PET at speaking engagements.  A November 26 reading by Hassan from his book in a school in the Danish town of Odense, moreover, required an estimated one million kroner in security costs, more than the amount spent on a high-risk soccer game.  Several hundred policemen had observed the school for two days before the event occurred with road checkpoints, a bomb sweep, and a five kilometer no-fly zone around the school.

Police safety concerns had forced the cancellation of an earlier, sold-out reading at a public library in Odense’s troubled district of Vollsmose.  Along with Hassan, Culture Minister Marianne Jelved and several other Danish politicians criticized the Vollmose cancellation as “completely unacceptable.”  Jelved demanded that police in Vollmose “make the necessary precautions” in order “to hold on to what democracy is, or otherwise we reduce it day by day.”

Yet Suleban’s charges might succeed in silencing Hassan where violence has failed.  Jacob Mchangama, legal affairs director at Denmark’s liberal think-tank Cepos, sees a “strong case” against Hassan, particularly given a “range of similar preceding cases” like Bazrafkan’s.  Hassan’s media attention and public popularity, though, might make conviction difficult, as “his poems are important social commentary.”  Hassan’s acquittal “for making statements similar to what other people have been convicted for,” Mchangama nonetheless observed, “will expose a random legislation where no-one can be sure of what is legal to say.”

Calling for Section 266b’s abolition, Mchangama further questions the law’s “arbitrary limits.” What “is sufficiently degrading” and why should, for example, homosexuals receive protection, but not disabled people.  Mchangama also sees no “good science” correlating speech laws with “less hate crimes.”  Other commentators, moreover, have argued that speech trials simply bring more attention to the offending statements.

Hassan’s case presents speech codes functioning not just as a de facto blasphemy, but also as a de facto apostasy law protecting Islam.  How, after all, can an atheist like Hassan, who says that there is “something wrong with Islam,” decide upon his religious views without rigorous testing of all faiths?  For that matter, how could anyone answer Hassan’s call for a “reformation” in an Islam that “refuses to renew itself” without similar scrutiny?  Such questions aside, Hassan remains committed to his criticisms, stating that he does not “care about getting convicted of racism.” Muslims threatening violence can likewise “all come and get me if they want.  I don’t give a s**t about these morons.”  “I know these people,” Hassan adds, “They can’t handle criticism…they’re not interested in dialogue.”

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

Andrew E. Harrod is a freelance researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. You may follow Harrod on twitter at @AEHarrod.