Sounding the Alarm on Silent Jihad

By Andrew E. Harrod:

“There is broad bipartisan agreement that America is at risk,” declared former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra via video at the March 6, 2014, National Security Action Summit (NSAC).  The “silent jihad” of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliated groups described by Hoekstra at National Harbor’s Westin Hotel across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, should alarm all Americans.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

In comparison to the “violent jihad” of groups like Al Qaeda, the MB “strategy is very, very different,” Hoekstra explained during the panel “The Muslim Brotherhood, the ‘Civilization Jihad’ and Its Enablers.”  MB groups “are going to use our laws, our customs…our freedom of speech, the values we profess…to become a cancer” in the United States.  MB supporters would seek “initially a tolerance of sharia law” that “begins the process of establishing of Islamism,” a process evident in certain European neighborhoods where sharia has become “de facto law.”  “Never forget the phrase:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Hoekstra added when discussing cooperation across intra-Muslim sectarian divides such as between a Sunni Al Qaeda and a Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.  “They ultimately share the same objective:  the destruction of the West.”

MB “Islamic supremacism” or Islamism “is not a fringe ideology” but is actually the “dynamic element of Islam” today, former first World Trade Center (WTC) bombing prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observed in his video address.  Contrary to the “very Politically Correct interpretation of Islam” encountered among policymakers by McCarthy, Islamism is “not a hijacking of a doctrine” but rather Islam’s “most unalloyed form.”  Suffering numerous maladies, the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman prosecuted by McCarthy could only lead the 1993 WTC terrorists because “he was a master of sharia doctrine.”  Without understanding “sharia supremacism” as a “very active ideology” according to polls of Muslims worldwide, “we will never be able to protect ourselves.”

“You don’t know jack,” sharia expert Stephen Coughlin agreed on the panel, without understanding this MB “metanarrative.”  “It runs deep…the threat,” Coughlin noted concerning terms taken “verbatim” from the 7thcentury Pact of Umar recently imposed by Syrian jihadist groups upon Christians.  Yet Coughlin worried that the “enemy knows us better than us” in an America whose political and religious leaders often no longer properly understand their constitution and Judeo-Christian faith, respectively.

Subverting rule of law through “narrative control” is central to Islamist groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international grouping of 57 (including “Palestine”) mostly majority-Muslim states.  “If you do not control the narrative, no matter what position you take, you will lose.”  In particular, “he who controls the First Amendment…controls the Constitution,” Coughlin warned in discussing the OIC’s 2005 Ten-Year Strategic Action Plan with its call for “Combating Islamophobia” via censorship.  The OIC would seek to interpret the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’ Article 20 ban on incitement as prohibiting speech to which recipients react violently.  This is the “battered wife syndrome” of “if you say that, I am going to have to beat you up”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Benghazi Panel to Boehner: Time for a Bipartisan Commission

jw010814a (1)Breitbart, by :

The National Security Action Conference hosted by Breitbart News across the street from CPAC featured a panel on the Benghazi scandal Thursday. There was a consistent message at the panel: We haven’t heard the complete truth about what happened in Benghazi and it’s time for Speaker Boehner to authorize a bipartisan commission to investigate.

Featured speakers at the pane included Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin (now Executive Vice President at the Family Research Council), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch and Charles Woods, father Tyrone Woods. Lt. The event was hosted by Frank Gaffney.

Gen. Boykin opened the panel by recalling his own service. “I was the commander of Delta Force,” he said, “when we fought the battle called Black Hawk down.” He pointed out that he focus of that fight was an attempt to recover two fallen soldiers whose bodies could not be left behind even if that meant taking additional casualties. “A basic ethos of America has been violated” in Benghazi Boykin said, adding “You don’t leave Americans behind.”

Because he believes the decisions made after the attack began are fundamentally in conflict with this “basic ethos,” Boykin promised he would continue to press the issue. He believes the next step is for Speaker Boehner to “call together a bipartisan commission that will get to the truth.”

Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch followed Gen. Boykin at the podium. He highlighted his organization’s role in releasing documents including the first photos of the scene of the attack. He went on to criticize former CIA acting Director Michael Morrell saying there was evidence Morrell “deliberately” made “misleading statements” to Congress.

Farrell believes there is a specific reason Speaker Boehner has so far refused to appoint a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack. He suggested Boehner had knowledge of weapons transfers out of Libya which he does not want revealed. Like Lt. Gen Boykin, Farrell promised his organization was “going to pursue this until we finally get answers.”

Last to the podium was Charles Woods father of Tyrone Woods, the Navy Seal who was working with the CIA in Benghazi. “There were four American heroes killed in Benghazi” Woods said before pausing, clearly overcome by a wave of emotion, “One of those heroes was my son.” Woods also directed his comments toward Speaker Boehner who he said “is the only person that is standing in the way of that select committee being formed.” Woods then made the appeal personal saying “As a family member, I would strongly encourage Speaker Boehner” to call for the committee.

Woods was also critical of General Carter Ham, recounting how Gen. Ham’s story seemed to change between the time he spoke to Rep. Chaffetz in Libya and more recently when he testified behind closed doors to members of Congress. Woods closed the story by saying “I believe it was Mark Twain who said ‘If you’re going to be a good liar you have to have a good memory.’”

There was a brief Q&A during which Gen. Boykin stated that the people who he believes attacked our compound in Benghazi are “the people we gave weapons to when we went to war” in Libya. Chris Farrell followed up by saying he believes the CIA was not only gathering up dangerous surface-to-air missiles but also sending them to rebels in Syria. Some of the Syrian rebels have been classified as extremists. One town in northern Syria was recently taken over by a group who instituted a “dhimmi” tax on Christians. (For more background on the shipment of arms into and out of Libya see this previous piece.) Farrell believes the administration’s behavior after the attack make sense if one considers the headline which could be written based on our actual mission in Benghazi, “Obama Administration Arms Al Qaeda.”

Iran’s Outlaws of Love

vdBy Deborah Weiss:

Valentine’s Day is with us once again.

This special day of affection originally had Christian roots — honoring a Christian martyr named St. Valentine. But over time, this link has become increasingly fragmented. Valentine’s Day is now considered a secular holiday, celebrated throughout much of the world.  It is a day associated with romantic love, and a time to express it through the exchange of red roses, heart shaped candy, and mushy greeting cards.

Not so in the Islamic world, however, where the holiday’s long-forgotten Christian roots are often used as a justification to ban the holiday. Indeed, every year Islamic countries around the world either totally or partially ban aspects of Valentine’s Day, which they view as un-Islamic and as an invasion by Western culture.

The holiday didn’t used to be celebrated in Islamic countries, but it has gained increasing popularity over the last ten years, especially among young people who are both exposed to Western culture via the Internet and too young to remember the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Iran, in particular, is one of the Muslim nations that forcefully cracks down on those who celebrate Valentine’s Day. While the actual celebration of Valentine’s Day is not officially illegal in Iran as it is in Saudi Arabia, Iranian hardliners have certainly gone out of their way to make it difficult for Iranian citizens to express their romantic feelings out in the open in general and on Valentine’s in particular. Of course, Iran’s Valentine’s Day-related bans are cloaked in the language of morality, but the crackdowns are just one additional way for the authoritarian regime to demonstrate its power over the citizens and suppress behavior that the Free World would consider normal.

It is interesting to note that the Iranian regime has been rather unsuccessful in its quest to suppress Valentine’s celebrations amongst its people.

In large measure, those Iranians who insist on celebrating this day of love constitute the same population as those who protested in the Green Movement in 2009.  After President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared a win in the presidential election and announced his intent to serve a second term in what many perceived as a rigged election, Iranians, many of whom were under the age of thirty, took to the streets to demonstrate.  Their cries for freedom went largely ignored by those around the world who watched in silence, including the United States.  Thousands were jailed, scores were murdered, and many were tortured in prison.  In the end, the revolution failed, and Iran’s highly educated, western-oriented youth remain in the shackles of Islamic authoritarianism.

Read more at Front Page

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a contributing author to the book “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network”; and is the primary writer and researcher for “CAIR: its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation”.  She is a regular contributor to FrontPage magazine and The Washington Times.  A partial listing of her work can be found at http://www.vigilancenow.org.

ACT! for America Campaign to Defend Free Speech gearing up for September events

freedom of speech day

ACT! chapters are gearing up nationwide to host events aimed at increasing awareness of  the growing threat to our freedom of speech.

HOST AN EVENT IN YOUR COMMUNITY

From ACT! for America:

It began decades ago as a few lonely voices around the world. A few Muslim leaders clamoring for restrictions on speech that “insults,” “defames,” “offends” or “denigrates” Islam and Muhammad.

The worldwide riots by Muslims in response to the Danish cartoons escalated this demand for restrictions on free speech. Numerous European countries now have “hate speech” laws that restrict speech that Muslims find offensive.

Lars Hedegard, Geert Wilders, and ACT! for America chapter leader Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff have been victims of these laws.

But too many Americans say “this could never happen here.” Really?

What about all the “speech codes” on college campuses that restrict speech for reasons such as “speech that causes offense”? We ignore the rising tide demanding restrictions on free speech at our own peril.

“Americans United to Defend Free Speech” is ACT! for America’s response to this threat. Below is just a small sampling of the growing worldwide effort to restrict speech deemed “offensive” to Islam. (Google searches turn up hundreds of examples.)

EXAMPLES OF ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH

UN RESOLUTION 16/18 & THE ISTANBUL PROCESS.

Our very own State Department worked with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to pass UN Resolution 16/18. The resolution contains the very “hate speech” language that has led to the criminalization of certain speech in many European countries. The OIC’s true intentions for UN Resolution 16/18 were made clear in a February 18, 2013 article in the Saudi Gazette, “OIC gears up to get denigration of religions criminalized.”

Here’s a quote from that article:
Getting the go-ahead from the Cairo Islamic Summit, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been actively trying to get the denigration of religions recognized as a criminal offense, according to a top official.

“Next session of the Istanbul Process on Islamophobia will be held in the first half of this year, and the session will squarely focus on the issue of criminalizing denigration of religions,” said Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, director of cultural affairs at the OIC general secretariat and spokesman for the OIC secretary general.

ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE CANADIAN JOURNALISTS

In 2008, journalist Ezra Levant was hauled before a Canadian human rights commission because he published the Danish cartoons. Author Mark Steyn endured a similar fate.

US MUSLIM LEADERS PROMOTING LEGISLATION BANNING FREE SPEECH

In 2012, the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City launched an online petition calling for legislation that “outlaws any action that may insult one’s religion.” Muslim leaders in New Jersey joined this effort.

U.S. EMBASSY IN CAIRO

Remember the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s immediate response to the riots on September 11, 2012 outside its compound? “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

AFTERMATH OF THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 RIOTS

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 riots, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen spoke out: “Insults against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are not acceptable,” said Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. “We will not allow anyone to do this by word or by deed.” “There should be limits for the freedom of expression,” added Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi, “especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures.” Saudi Arabia went even further and advocated an international censorship body to crush blasphemy on the Internet.

CAIR MISSOURI SUPPORTS PROSECUTING FREE SPEECH

Early this year, the director of the Missouri affiliate of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) posted on his blog that Muslim activists should “Report anti Islamic and anti Muslim content on the internet to appropriate authorities to take action to remove it and go after those who post it online and prosecute and take actions according to the Shariah ruling.”

UN SECRETARY GENERAL SUPPORTS RESTRICTING FREE SPEECH

In the aftermath of the YouTube video controversy in the fall of 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the chorus of those supporting restrictions on speech, saying that speech that “humiliates others’ beliefs…cannot be protected.”

“COMMON DECENCY” IS DEFINED BY SHARIA LAW

In an October 8, 2009 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt wrote: We [the Dar al Iftaa, Egypt’s supreme body for Islamic legal edicts over which Gomaa presides] upheld the right of freedom of conscience and of free of expression within the bounds of common decency. As Gomaa made clear in the op-ed, “common decency” is defined by sharia law.

“MUSLIM FAMILY DAY” AT THE SIX FLAGS

In 2007 Joe Kaufman was sued by several Dallas–area Muslim organizations in response to an article he wrote about “Muslim Family Day” at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. After two years of legal battles the suit was dismissed.

Read more at ACT! for America’s Free Speech Day page


In this national webcast on March 14, 2013, ACT! for America documents the growing worldwide clamor for suppression of speech perceived as “offensive” to Islam, and what ACT! for America is doing to combat this increasingly serious threat to the First Amendment:

Part One with Brigitte Gabriel and Guy Rodgers:

Part Two with Deborah Weiss:

Part Three with Guy Rodgers:

‘Defamation of Religion’ Rule Applies to Islam Only

Deborah Weiss

Deborah Weiss

by: Ryan Mauro

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is an expert on the defamation of religions U.N. resolutions set forth by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.  She is a frequent contributor to FrontPage Magazine and The Washington Times, and is co-author of the book, Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace.” A partial listing of her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org

The following is RadicalIslam.org National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro’s interview with Deborah Weiss:

Ryan Mauro: What is the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and what is its end goal?

Deborah Weiss: The OIC is the largest Islamic organization in the world, claiming to represent 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide.  It’s comprised of 56 UN Member States plus the Palestinian Authority.  They tend to vote together as a block in the UN and are arguably the most powerful voting block in the UN as a whole.  They are certainly the most powerful voting bloc in the UN’s Human Rights Council.

Though the OIC holds itself out as a “moderate” organization, it is clear from its own documents and its concepts that it is anything but moderate.  Its long term goal is the worldwide implementation of Sharia law and the supremacy of an Islamic State.

In its immediate activities, it is working to solidify the relationships among Muslim majority countries, to unify the Muslim voice, to support the so-called “Palestinian struggle” and to restrict all speech that is critical of anything related to Muslims or Islam including Islamic terrorism and Islamic persecution of religious minorities.

Mauro:  Tell us about the OIC’s concept of “Combating Defamation of Religions” and its impact.

Deborah Weiss:  “Combating Defamation of Religions” is a concept which gives an idea or religion, in this case Islam, protection from criticism, as opposed to what we have in the American legal system which only gives defamation protections to people.

Additionally, the OIC’s definition of defamation includes anything that sheds a negative light on Islam or Muslims, even if it’s true and even if it’s opinion.  In fact, it goes even further and condemns any free expression that would violate Islamic blasphemy laws even when, and perhaps especially when, expressed by non-Muslims.  So it’s the OIC’s attempt to pressure non-Muslims to comply with Islamic blasphemy codes.  Its target is the West and failure to comply with its demands is deemed “Islamophobic” even when no actual bigotry or prejudice is present.

The impact of putting the concept of combating defamation of religions into effect has numerous consequences and implications.

First, though it’s called “combating defamation of religions,” the OIC interprets and applies it to Islam only without any reciprocity for other religions.  In fact, the concept of protecting Islam from “defamation” is used in many OIC countries to persecute religious minorities.  The concept gives credence to Islamic blasphemy laws, which not only operate to suppress freedom of religion, but also violate human rights.  For example, in Pakistan, Ahmadiyya Muslims believe in a prophet after Mohammad. They generally have a peaceful, egalitarian interpretation of Islam.  Yet, they are considered heretics, and it is not only illegal for them to practice their faith, but it is criminal.  Merely sending out a wedding invitation with an accurate quote from the Koran can land an Ahmadiyya Muslim in jail.

Last, but not least, the implementation of the concept of combating defamation of religions has serious consequences for freedom of speech.  This is the main concern from a Western, and specifically American perspective.  The OIC as well as other Islamist organizations continue to work hard to stifle free speech.  They are constantly placing pressure on Western governments and societies to refrain from saying or dong anything that violates Islamic blasphemy codes, even though they don’t word it this way.

For example, the OIC encourages “hate-speech” laws in Europe that make it illegal to speak negatively about Islam.  And in America, though the government has thus far declined to make such speech illegal, it is enacting policies that discourage such speech even when it’s critical in protecting US national security.

Though not necessarily a direct result of the OIC’s UN resolutions, the implementation of the concept of combating defamation of religions has resulted in America’s recent cleansing of all national security training material for the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the National Counterterrorism Training Center.  National security and intelligence professionals will still learn about terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, but will be deprived of teachings regarding the underlying[Islamist] ideology, disconnecting the motivation from the terrorist behavior.  This ties one hand behind America’s back in fighting the War on Terror and is very dangerous.

Read more at Radical Islam

Also see “Making Islamic sense of free speech” by Harris Zafar, National Spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, which was published in the Washington Post recently. Can you spot the taqiyya?

 

Video: Free Speech vs. Anti Blasphemy: The Frontline Battle of 2012

The David Horowitz Freedom Center held its 17th Restoration Weekend November 15 – 18, 2012 at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. Here is the panel discussion on Free Speech vs. Anti Blasphemy:

 

Robert Spencer:

 

Pamela Geller:

 

Deborah Weiss:

 

Brooke Goldstein:

 

Question and Answer:

Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network

By Deborah Weiss in Frontpage:

FrontPage’s Interview’s guest today is Deborah Weiss, an attorney, freelance writer and public speaker.  A 9/11 survivor of WTC attacks in NYC, she formerly worked for the Committee on House Oversight in Congress and the Office of the Corporation Counsel under Giuliani.  She is currently President of Vigilance, Inc., and is an expert in OIC UN resolutions.  She has written a chapter in the  new book, Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace. She can be reached at Deborah.Weiss@vigilancenow.org.

FP: Welcome Deborah.  Glad you could join FPM today.

Weiss: Thank you for inviting me.

FP: Let’s begin with you telling us a about Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network.

Weiss: Thanks, Jamie.

As you know, Western petro-dollars have made Saudi Arabia a rich country. The Saudis use the money in part to export a radical Islamist ideology into the West. The ideology is antithetical to the Western values of freedom, equality and human rights.

The book was put together and edited by Sarah Stern, President of Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET).  It has chapters by various experts and well-known authors, including James Woolsey, Steve Emerson, Daniel Pipes, Rachel Ehrenfeld and others.  Your readers are probably familiar with many of the authors.

For decades now, the West and America in particular, has been pretending that Saudi Arabia is our ally. This book lifts the veil off that myth by demonstrating the various ways that Saudi ideology has infiltrated America and the West, posing a threat to our freedom and way of life. It includes chapters on Saudi penetration into American NGO’s, American so-called “mainstream Muslim” organizations, the American school curriculum, finances, and more. The point is to illustrate the negative impact our addiction to oil will ultimately have on our society. It’s really about the stealth jihad.

FP: How did you got involved in the book?

Weiss: I am a 9/11 survivor from NYC, and have been working on the issues of non-violent radical Islam for years, as you know, Jamie.  Every year, there is an event on Capitol Hill, timed to coincide around the time of 9/11, that showcases speakers and experts on the topic of Saudi infiltration.  I was one of the speakers the last two years.  So when Sarah asked me if I’d be willing to contribute a chapter on the same subject, of course I said yes.

FP: What is your chapter about?

Weiss: My chapter is titled, “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Defamation of Religions, and Islamophobia.”  The OIC is the largest Islamic organization in the world, comprised of 56 member states plus the Palestinian authority.  Its members tend to vote together as a bloc in the UN, so they hold quite a lot of power and sway.  Yet, most people have never heard of them.

They are an Islamist organization, which seeks to make Islam a victorious political power and to deny freedom to anyone who doesn’t want to live under Sharia law, including Muslims who don’t want to live under Sharia law.  One of its main goals is to eventually internationally criminalize free speech on any Islam-related topic, including Islamic theocracies, Muslims, Islamic terrorism, Islamic human rights violations, and Sharia law.  I know it sounds crazy, but partly because the public is not paying attention to this issue, and partly because the OIC’s strategy is to achieve its goal in small increments, it is actually making significant inroads.  The OIC has successfully targeted various UN bodies with resolutions on this issue, called “Defamation of Religions” and it has targeted several EU Parliaments as well.  The language is presented in a watered down form, so instead of asking for speech to be criminalized, the OIC will ask for states “to take effective action” or “condemn” the speech or discourage the speech.  It has also presented Muslims as the victims of so-called “Islamophobia” in order to win more support for their cause.

FP: What exactly is the Defamation of Religions?

Weiss: Well, in America we have the concept of defamation of individuals or groups.  Generally, defamation in the U.S. has to be a false statement and with negligent or reckless disregard of the truth, depending on whether you’re defaming a public figure or a private citizen.  And it has to be a statement that is likely to result in either a pecuniary harm or harm to that person’s reputation.  In America, truth is a complete defense.  And I might add that in our system, defamation only applies to statements of fact.  The First Amendment gives us protection to express any opinion we desire, no matter how negative it might be.

Defamation of Religions by contrast, gives protection to an idea, in this case a religion, as opposed to protecting a person or group.  Also, it constitutes protection from criticism, even if the statement is true.  And to boot, the way it is applied in countries that implement it, and the way the OIC interprets it, it is really only applied to Islam.  In fact, the original title was called Defamation of Islam, but in order to get more support for it, the OIC changed the title.  Still, Islam is the only religion mentioned in the text, and in practice it is only Islam that is afforded protection from criticism.  Believe me, the OIC is totally fine with Defamation of Judaism and Defamation of Christianity.  Additionally, the Muslim countries that have these types of laws usually impose a harsh criminal penalty for its violation, rather than a civil penalty.  People who “defame Islam” are often jailed, flogged, sometimes even executed.

FP: Implementing Defamation of Religions laws obviously harms people.

Weiss: Yes, Jamie, it does.  What’s ironic about it is that the OIC wants to make “Defamation of Religions” a human right.  But in reality, it constitutes the very opposite of a human right.  In countries that have this law, there are gross human rights violations.  Not only are the penalties very harsh, but it also has the effect of oppressing those with minority religions.  For example, if you are Christian and you say, “I believe Jesus is the Son of G-d”, that is not only blasphemy, but could be considered Defamation of Religions.  Saying this could have dire consequences.  This law even hurts Muslims who have a minority interpretation of Islam that differs from the official interpretation of the government.  For example, in Pakistan it is illegal to be an Ahmadiyya Muslim.  Ahamadiyyas are peaceful, loving, egalitarian-minded Muslims.  But because they believe in a Prophet after Mohammad (named Ahmad), the Pakistani government considers them heretics and openly practicing their faith is a crime.

FP: Defamation of Religions is clearly harmful to religious freedom and human rights.  What are some other negative implications?

Weiss: The ramifications also include the hampering of national security and terrorism prevention efforts.  If you know anything about war, the threat doctrine dictates that the first rule of war is that you must know your enemy and be able to name it by name.  Unfortunately, to the degree that the West censors discussion of Islam and Islamic terrorism, it hamstrings the ability of intelligence professionals to come up with strategies to defeat the problem.

FP:Here in America, we are still allowed to discuss these things, right?

Weiss: So far, America is the last bastion of freedom in terms of free speech. Unlike Europe, we do not have hate speech laws – yet.  However, we have moved from self-censorship to having our government and other institutions issue restrictive guidelines on speech.  For example, DHS, the State Department and the NCTC have all issued memos to their professional employees discouraging them from using words such as Islamic terrorism.  The National Security Strategy Memo, which guides our whole US national security policy, also has had all references to Islamic terrorism deleted.  There have been various other measures taken, especially in this administration, to cleanse all official and unofficial policy from discussion, mention, or even acknowledgement of Islamic terrorism.

FP: Why would our government do this?

Weiss: That’s a good question, Jamie.  But first let me tell you why the OIC countries want this.  The OIC countries want this because in their interpretation of Islam, it is considered blasphemy to say anything negative about Islam.  They want to impose this rule on everyone else.  Many of the Muslim majority countries have blasphemy laws in one form or another, even if it’s informal.  The OIC has a big push to gradually move the West in this direction.  Part of it is due to their ideological belief system.  The other part of it is that they really have a political agenda.  To the degree that they can obfuscate, confuse, or prevent us from knowing what they are doing, that gives them the upper hand in winning the war.

We are not really in a War on Terror; terrorism is a tactic.  We are in a war against – not all Islam – but certainly radical Islam, and nobody wants to acknowledge that.  The OIC doesn’t want to acknowledge that because going back to the threat doctrine, if we don’t know our enemy, it gives them an edge.  Our government doesn’t want to acknowledge it for other reasons.  One is political correctness.  Two is if one has a political ideology but cloaks it in the language of religion, nobody wants to sound like they are criticizing a religion.  Plus we have freedom of religion in America.  Third, I hate to say it, but in this administration, I also think Obama is politically sympathetic to the OIC.  If you recall during his speech in CAIRO, he said that it was his job as President to combat negative stereotypes of Islam wherever he finds them.  Notice he said Islam, not Muslims.  Anyway, I don’t remember learning in law school that this was one of the President’s functions.  Maybe I was absent that day, but it’s certainly not in the enumerated powers.  There are other reasons we don’t discuss this as well.

It poses a big problem because intelligence professionals are now being told to focus on terrorist behavior and disregard the underlying ideology that motivates it.  If we are going to win the WOT, it is the ideology that needs to be addressed, not just the terrorism.  Terrorism is just a symptom.  Additionally, those who adhere to this radical ideology are not always terrorists.  Many have a non-violent strategy to undermine our freedoms from within.  As I said, it’s a stealth jihad and it’s not being adequately addressed.

FP: Where is the West on the issue of stifling free speech on Islam-related topics?

Weiss: Well, Europe has been much more Islamized than America.  Additionally, many of the EU countries have hate speech laws of one sort or another.  Canada has Human Rights Commissions that regularly fine people for defaming Islam even if they didn’t defame a person.  If a Muslim or Muslim group files a complaint and it is found that they said something that is “likely to cause hatred” against that group, they will most likely be fined.  That is true even if there is no intent to cause hatred, and no result of hatred.  Not to mention that hatred is an emotion, so we’re not limiting this to the prevention of violence or legal discrimination.

In other countries, one can also get fined for negative speech on Islam or Muslims.  Also as you know, recently in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders was actually criminally prosecuted for expressing his views on Islam.  He was acquitted, but the mere prosecution has a chilling effect on free speech.  And that is in a country where there’s only about 5% Muslims.  The whole thing is rather scary.

FP: What is the status of the Defamation of Religions resolutions now?

Weiss: It has been passed in numerous UN bodies year after year starting in 1999.  This year, 2011, is the first time that the OIC did not introduce that resolution.

FP: Why not?

Weiss: It has gotten declining support in the last few years.  So this year Secretary Hillary Clinton contacted the OIC and the EU to join together with the US and draft a resolution that would hopefully address the West’s concerns about free speech, while still addressing the OIC’s concerns about alleged Islamophobia.

FP: Tell us about the new resolution.

Weiss: The new resolution is titled, Resolution 16/18 to Combat Intolerance based on Religion or Belief.  It passed in March of this year and the State Department is touting it as a big success.  The State Department is under the impression that the resolution will move from protecting ideas from defamation to protecting individuals.  But the OIC has made it very clear in other documents and statements that it has not dropped its goal of achieving the concept of Defamation of Religions.

FP: So the State Department is wrong about this resolution?

Weiss: Well, the whole issue comes down to how the words in the resolution are interpreted and implemented.  On its face it seems that the State Department is interpreting the resolution one way, while the OIC is interpreting it another.  The new resolution certainly omits the word “defamation” but instead, it replaces it with European hate-speech type language.  There is no question that the language embodied in the new resolution can still be manipulated to achieve a Defamation of Religions concept.  And that is exactly how the OIC intends to interpret it.

FP: But UN resolutions aren’t binding, so is there still cause for concern?

Weiss: Unfortunately, there is Jamie.  First, if the resolutions keep passing and EU parliament implement similar language, eventually it can be considered “customary international law” and the US would be pressured to adhere to it.  Second, the State Department has called a series of meetings with the OIC in order to move this last resolution to implementation.  The first meeting is in December.

FP: What do you think will take place at the meeting?

Weiss: The OIC will use this as an opportunity to pressure Western governments to regulate speech on Islam-related topics.  We’ll have to see exactly how this plays out.  Secretary Clinton and the Obama administration have already shown a willingness to “shame” people who talk about these topics in a critical manner.  Merely having this meeting with the OIC gives the OIC legitimacy and is cause for concern. As I explain in my chapter, America’s values and the OIC’s values are not in sync.  It is futile to try to work with the OIC to show “respect” because the OIC’s definition of respect is that we should just shut if we’re saying anything it doesn’t like, and instead submit to its religiously-based speech codes.

Contrary to the popular belief that restricting our free speech on Islam will show “sensitivity” and win over the affection of Islamic countries, in reality, it will hamper our ability to protect our freedom and national security.  It is a slippery slope and it is vital that we remain vigilant in order to keep America free.  I hope people will buy the book.  Becoming informed is the first step.

FP: Deborah Weiss, thank you for joining us.