He discussed “Hillary Clinton’s War On Free Speech”:
April 17, 2015
Attention parents of college students across America. Apparently, your children may not be safe.
This isn’t a warning about real physical dangers on campus, from sexual assault to random shootings. Rather, some advocacy groups say college students are at risk – maybe you’d better sit down for this – of being exposed to ideas and opinions they may not like.
It’s getting so bad that this week, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) New York chapter demanded that Brooklyn College “take measures to ensure the safety of Muslim and Arab-American students” because of an upcoming speech by a harsh critic of Islam.
Pamela Geller, who has posted bus ads comparing Islamic terrorists to savages, is a polarizing figure. But her speech will be just that – a speech at a college campus. Not too long ago, such places encouraged students to “think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.”
Now, they are increasingly being called on to sanitize debate to protect the delicate sensitivities of young adult minds.
Rather than encourage students to either skip the event entirely, or to attend and challenge Geller with questions, CAIR opted to scare students, and by extension, their parents, by darkly hinting the talk would lead to violence.
It is baseless. Yet, this is no isolated incident.
In Time magazine, journalist Asra Nomani described efforts to stop her from speaking last week at Duke University. She planned to “argue for a progressive, feminist interpretation of Islam in the world,” but that apparently was unacceptable to some on the prestigious college campus. The university initially cancelled the speech, she wrote, “after the president of the Duke chapter of the Muslim Students Association sent an email to Muslim students about my ‘views’ and me, alleging that I have a nefarious ‘alliance’ with ‘Islamophobic speakers.'”
We don’t like her. We don’t like people who might agree with her, the MSA, a group created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, said. Ban her. Thankfully, Duke reversed its decision and promised it is “strongly committed to free expression and open discussion of controversial issues.” But the message to young Muslims was clear. Her words and ideas about modernizing her faith are a threat. Stay away.
Worse yet, the fuel for the students’ protest came from a Duke professor, Omid Safi, a leader of the University’s Islamic Center, who previously accused Nomani, a Muslim, of “enabling Islamophobia,” a contrived term used by radical Islamist groups, as Nomaninoted in a January Washington Post column, to intimidate people out of discussing or criticizing radical Islam.
Only nine people attended Nomani’s talk, a third of them were her immediate family members.
Writing more in disappointment than anger, Nomani said the incident exposes the need to have “a broader debate over how too many Muslims are responding to critical conversations on Islam with snubs, boycotts, and calls for censorship, exploiting feelings of conflict avoidance and political correctness to stifle debate. As a journalist for 30 years, I believe we must stand up for America’s principles of free speech and have critical conversations, especially if they make people feel uncomfortable.”
That’s not likely to happen anytime soon.
As Nomani wondered whether she would get to speak at Duke University, separate campaigns sought to cancel on-campus screenings of the film “American Sniper” atMichigan and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Michigan initially scrubbed the screening of the film profiling U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle. But the university reversed itself in the face of a mounting campus backlash that grew national. The film will be re-scheduled to include a panel discussion.
“The urge to excise any sort of negative energy, thought, or feeling in and out of classrooms on campuses is widely and appallingly documented,” wrote Nick Gillespie, editor of the Libertarian-minded Reason website, before Michigan rescheduled the film. “But this latest petty capitulation on the part of feckless administrators to student demands for the ideological bubble-wrapping of education makes some of us remember when college was supposed to be a place to have conversations not stop them before they begin.”
These are all relatively small events – a speech in a campus hall, a film screening – that students can choose to attend or skip depending on their interests. There is no need for a heckler’s veto deciding for others what is an acceptable topic or who represents an acceptable speaker.
But student groups, often led by campus MSA chapters, take it upon themselves to decide what views others should be allowed to hear. In 2011, 10 people tied to the school’s Muslim Student Union (MSU) were convicted on two misdemeanor charges after orchestrating a plan to shut down a University of California, Irvine speech by then-Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren.
Emails obtained by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and later admitted into evidence during the trial, show the MSU designed a “game plan” to shout down Oren’s speech.
“[O]ur goal should be that he knows that he cant (sic) just go to a campus and say whatever he wants,” one of the emails said. Members were advised to “push the envelope,” in order to “realize our role as the MSU of UCIrvine.”
The same student group at the same campus has repeatedly sponsored hate speech in outdoor centers of campus. Six months after the “Irvine 11″ (one student was not brought to trial) were found guilty, the MSU presented a speech by Imam Abdul Malik Ali. In previous UC, Irvine speeches, Malik Ali said he supported Hamas, Hizballah and jihad and called Barack Obama a “deception” because several of his top advisers were Jews.
In 2012, he derided what he saw as an American imperialism that is driven by racist power brokers and “Zionists.”
It’s a horrendous double standard.
The same groups trying to silence speeches by people they don’t like engage in aggressive, in-your-face demonstrations in the heart of many college campuses, making it impossible for people to choose whether they want to hear the message.
At the University of California, Berkeley, students were confronted by fake “checkpoints” during an annual “Israeli Apartheid Week” of protests. The checkpoints featured students carrying fake guns who hollered “Are you Jewish?” as they passed. One student was assaulted.
But when Berkeley invited atheist comedian/talk show host Bill Maher to speak at its winter commencement in December, more than 6,000 people signed petitions urging the invitation be rescinded. Again, the exposure to ideas they may not like was seen as a threat by some student activists.
“As the Student Regent for the University of California, I cannot stand for any action that makes our students feel unsafe, wrote Sahar Pirzada on the petition page. “Bill Maher should not be honored for his bigotry and sexism by being invited to be a speaker on our campus.”
“In a time where climate is a priority for all on campus, we cannot invite an individual who himself perpetuates a dangerous learning environment,” wrote Sadia Saifuddin. “Bill Maher’s public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities. Too many students are marginalized by his remarks and if the University were to bring this individual as a commencement speaker they would not be supporting these historically marginalized communities.”
Dangerous rhetoric that will make students feel unsafe. Maher did speak. Plenty of people likely disagreed with some of his message, which focused on climate change and defended liberalism. No injuries were reported.
Berkeley deserves credit for sticking with its choice. Brandeis University, named for a Supreme Court justice who defended free speech, withdrew a similar invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Here is what her protesters feared hearing.
For the sake of argument, let’s assume every horrible thing critics say about speakers like Nomani, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maher and others are absolutely right.
They have their own constituencies. They’re not going anywhere. How does it serve young people to shelter them from life’s realities – one of which is that people out there will not always, or even often, agree with you – at the very place that is supposed to prepare them for life? The better lesson would be one that protects and defends a founding American principle – the right and value of free speech.
UTT, by John Guandolo, April 16, 2015:
In a number of interviews and presentations recently, Understanding the Threat (UTT) has received questions about how our enemy uses the label of “Islamophobe” to silence and threaten those who speak honestly and factually about the threat of the Islamic Movement here and abroad.
In a brief attempt to review, we will simply look at three key pieces of information: the Islamic Law of Slander, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Cairo Declaration, and the OIC’s 10 Year Programme of Action.
In Sharia (Islamic Law), “Slander” is defined as to say anything about a Muslim or Islam he would dislike. (Umdat al Salik, Holding One’s Tongue). Veracity of the statement is irrelevant. Therefore, to factually explain to people that Sharia obliges Muslims to wage jihad (warfare against non-Muslims) until the entire world is under the rule of Sharia, can be considered “Slander” because the Muslim community does not want non-Muslims to know this right now. You will know everything you need to know about Sharia when you are under the weight of it.
Slander is a capital crime in Islamic Law.
The OIC is the largest international body in the world, second only to the UN, and is made up of all 57 Islamic States on the planet. Yes, 57 states.
In 1990, during the OIC’s Extraordinary Session, the Heads of State and Kings of every Muslim nation on earth approved the Cairo Declaration. This document states that the entire Muslim world agrees with the International Declaration of Human Rights, insofar as it does not contradict Sharia. To quote Articles 24 and 25: “ARTICLE 24 – All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah. ARTICLE 25 – The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.”
In other words, the Muslim world does not adhere to the rest of the world’s understanding of “Human Rights.” In 1993, the OIC served the Cairo Declaration to the UN, thus putting the world on notice that beheading Christians, killing homosexuals, and subjugating women, were all in accordance with Islamic “Human Rights.”
In 2005, the OIC published their “Ten Year Programme of Action” in which they make “Combatting Islamophobia” a main focus of their plan. It specifically highlighs the need to “combat defamation” of religion (read: “Islam”). The Programme states: “Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.” Punishments for speech the Muslim world doesn’t “like.” Here they are tying “Islamophobia” to the Islamic Law of Slander and demonstrating their desire to punish violators.
At the international level this is a gross assault on our rule of law, the foundational principles of Western civilization, and basis decency. Nothing surprising here from a global Movement which beheads 8 year olds and puts their heads on spikes to line the roads, sets fire to people, and calls for the death of all Jews so they can go to Paradise.
Also see CJR’s page on the Threat to Free Speech
March 14, 2015:
Somali-born free speech and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali gave the keynote address at a sold-out event in Boston Wednesday that centered on rising anti-Semitism on college campuses in North America.
Hirsi Ali’s address, and a panel featuring a rabbi and three student activists, followed the premiere of a new Jerusalem U film titled Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus, which can be viewed in its entirety online. The film demonstrates how anti-Israel activities on college and university campuses are being organized to alienate and intimidate those who support Israel, and how reasonable criticism of Israel “crosses the line” into anti-Semitism.
As a press release about the Boston event notes, Hirsi Ali said the film demonstrates how students are being “misled.” Denouncing “virulent anti-Semitism” on college campuses, she asserted, “The least we can do is boycott, divest, and sanction campuses that compromise academic freedom.”
Excerpts of Hirsi Ali’s address are as follows:
It is appalling that only seventy years from the Holocaust, crowds in Europe chant, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” It is even more appalling that 10,000 soldiers in Paris are needed to protect Jewish sites. That is the continent that promised never again. The men and women who were in the concentration camps, who are tattooed, some are still here. And it is happening again.
Watching Crossing the Line 2: the New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus was like having a bucket of ice water being poured over my head. I saw the film last week. And I watched it again last night. And I couldn’t sleep. The more we pretend that this is happening somewhere far away, the more hopeless and helpless we feel. But this is not happening far away. This is happening on American campuses, British campuses, Canadian campuses. The filmmakers who made this film made it because it is important that we listen to this message while it is at a smaller stage.
I have a different acronym for BDS. They call themselves Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. I call them Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage. Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage the only society that is free in the Middle East. BDS. On campus, if you care about issues like justice and injustice, we really need to show it. You need to do it. Where is the BDS movement against the Islamic State? Where on campuses is the BDS movement against Saudi Arabia? The Iranian regime, who for decades have promised to wipe Israel off the map, who are developing a bomb. And there’s no BDS movement against them on campus. Why? Last year in Nigeria, 200 girls were kidnapped. They were sold into slavery. There was no BDS movement against Boko Haram.
“Anti-Israel activities on campus cause students today to feel embarrassed to be pro-Israel, or could even lead them to hold negative opinions about Israel” said Amy Holtz, president of Jerusalem U, in a statement in the press release. “Raising awareness of this growing problem is crucial. We made this film in order to give students the knowledge to differentiate between education and intimidation, debate and hate. They must be able to identify when it is ‘Crossing the Line.’”
The Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is Hamas on Campus. An organization dedicated to wiping Israel off the map.
- UCLA Jews: Stop Fighting and Start Winning (frontpagemag.com)
Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, March 12, 2015:
Ace lawyer David Yerushalmi’s parting words below are worth setting in stone: “A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose. Act accordingly.”
At AFDI, we are not just raising awarness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat with our campaigns; we’re also setting legal precedents that have implications that can’t be understated: for decades, the left has been chipping away at our First Amendment rights. Without most Americans realizing, they’ve placed almost as many hedges and restrictions around the First Amendment as they have the Second.
This has to stop. The freedom of speech is the cornerstone of any free society. Without it, a tyrant can do whatever he wants and those who oppose him won’t be able to speak out. That’s just what all too many of our “leaders” want today: to be able to do their evil deeds without a murmer of dissent from the public.
At AFDI, we are standing up and saying no. We are defending not just our own rights, but those of every American. In city after city, we are rolling back rules and regulations that for too long have allowed only one point of view to have a public hearing.
Enough is enough. If we don’t stand now for freedom, it could be lost to us forever. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to the great cause of the defense of freedom. So do we.
“Federal Judge Orders SEPTA to Display ‘Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred’ Advertisement,” American Freedom Law Center, March 12, 2015:
Late yesterday, a federal judge sitting in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted the American Freedom Law Center’s (AFLC) motion for a preliminary injunction, holding that the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s (SEPTA) refusal to run a “Stop the Islamic Jew-Hatred” advertisement on its advertising space violated the First Amendment. As part of his ruling, the judge ordered SEPTA to run the ad. (Read the judge’s Memorandum Opinion here).
The motion was filed on behalf of the advertisement’s sponsors, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and its co-founders, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and is part of a civil rights lawsuit filed against SEPTA last year.
In May of 2014, AFDI submitted the below advertisement for display on SEPTA’s advertising space:
SEPTA rejected the ad, claiming that it “tends to disparage or ridicule any person or group of persons on the basis of race, religious belief, age, sex, alienage, national origin, sickness or disability.”
In its court filings, AFLC argued that SEPTA’s speech restriction is content- and viewpoint-based in violation of the First Amendment. The federal judge agreed with AFLC on all of the issues presented, holding “that SEPTA’s anti-disparagement standard violates the First Amendment,” and stating further that he was “compelled to [reach this conclusion] under established First Amendment precedent.”
Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented,
“AFLC has made it clear in lawsuits across the country that government censorship of speech will not stand in the face of serious judicial scrutiny. Indeed, it is refreshing, but unfortunately rare these days, to have a case before a judge who is ‘compelled’ by the law and not by his only personal biases or political agenda when deciding important constitutional issues.”
David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, added,
“Across the country, we have successfully litigated cases where government transit authorities permit the Muslim Brotherhood-Hamas front groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations to run ads misleading the public about Jihad and Islamic Jew hatred. When our clients run ads exposing this Jew hatred, all of a sudden the transit authorities are worried about the ‘tone’ of the conversation and attempt to shut it down. A word of advice to government bureaucrats doing the Muslim Brotherhood’s bidding: we will sue you and you will lose. Act accordingly.”
8 Mar 2015:
George Igler, the director of the Discourse Institute, a think-tank which monitors the suppression of freedom of speech and offers support and protection to those who are persecuted for voicing controversial opinions in Europe was interviewed by American television network CBN for a new feature series called Warnings. Focussing on the expert analysis of world leading thinkers on subjects posing challenges to the Christian West, Igler was asked to speak on the topics that, in the words of CBN senior reporter Dale Hurd: “you should be hearing from the “mainstream media” but aren’t because of its bowing and bondage to political correctness and, in some cases, cultural Marxism.
“These will be, in many cases, dark visions of the future, because Europe, if it doesn’t wake up, faces a dark future”.
Speaking on the duplicity of the European political class, Igler said the spectre of resurgent Fascism and the “far right” had been used as a smoke screen to distract people, remarking: “it’s not thanks to Philip Dewinter and Vlaams Belang [A Belgian political party that would oblige migrants to adopt local customs and culture] that the Jewish population of Antwerp is currently under guard from Belgian paratroopers, it’s the fact that Belgium has a huge Muslim population. Brussels has a 26-percent Muslim population.
“There are a lot of particularly left wing political analysts who made a lot of money in a anti-radicalisation industry saying the real thing to fear was the growth of the far-right”.
Igler later speaks of literalistic interpretations of the Koran which are becoming more common in Britain, and dominate the thinking of the Islamic State: “If you believe in the five words in Chapter (2:191) that Idolatry is worse than carnage… then you are not an equal and relevant part of Western society, you are in fact a colonist. You are someone who has exactly the same opinions and intentions towards 21st century Europe, that Europeans had towards the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries.
“This is a reality that we are forced to live with. Somewhere, at some decision making process it has been decided up on high that my continent, and the rights and freedoms that uniquely evolved here over 3,000 years are somehow at the stage in which Islam should be allowed to moderate”.
- “Britain Is the Enemy of Islam” One Month of Islam in Britain: January 2015 (gatestoneinstitute.org)
Breitbart, by John Hayward, March 4, 2015:
The Tampa Tribune brings us the amazing and outrageous story of local helicopter mechanic Ryan Pate, who worked as a contractor for a company called Global Aerospace Logistics, headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. Pat was arrested in the UAE for an offending Facebook post.
According to Pate, he began suffering back problems and, with a recommendation from his doctors in the United States, wanted to leave the company’s employ. This turned into an ugly dispute in which he was summoned to the UAE for further medical testing, and his pay was frozen. Angered by these developments, Pate vented on his Facebook page – something that has become a remarkably common end to jobs around the world. Pate was arrested and thrown in jail by Abu Dhabi police when he arrived in the United Arab Emirates, charged with violating their speech codes by making “cyber slander against Islam, cyber slander against the UAE, cyber slander against his employer and cyber slander against management.”
He spent ten days in the Emirates slammer – following a booking procedure that involved making him sign Arabic paperwork he couldn’t read, and some rather suspicious “confusion about his nationality” on the part of the police – before the U.S. Embassy tracked him down and got him out on bail. He is scheduled to stand trial on March 17, facing up to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine, even though the “slander against Islam” and “slander against the UAE” charges were dropped. He has already incurred hefty legal fees, leading his fiancee Jillian Cardoza to set up a GoFundMe account to ask for help. The couple’s savings have already been wiped out.
A bit of reading between the lines is necessary to glean exactly what Pate said on Facebook that raised the ire of his UAE employers and their government, but evidently he said some “disparaging racial remarks” about “filthy Arabs” and was highly critical of Global Aerospace Logistics, warning readers of his Facebook page not to work for them. Pate says he got a break on the charges of insulting the United Arab Emirates because they decided his insulting remarks were a “generalization” against Arabs and not a direct slam on the UAE.
“I fully understand the laws of the UAE regarding social media and respect the sovereignty of your kingdom to defend and uphold its laws,” Jolly wrote in a letter to the Attorney General in Abu Dhabi. “However, the Facebook messages that were posted by Mr. Pate were written while he was residing in the United States. Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, Mr. Pate is protected under U.S. law to freely express his opinion regardless of the content. As such it is deeply troubling that Mr. Pate now faces judicial proceedings over an action that was done legally in his home country.”
Jolly asked for clemency and permission for Pate to return to the United States. He has also written to Secretary of State John Kerry to ask for the State Department’s assistance.
Pate is still in the Emirates at the time of this writing.
This story is about an American citizen typing up something offensive in the United States, and getting sandbagged by foreign speech enforcers. As Cardoza pointed out, he was not even aware of the Orwellian speech codes he was violating – he was lured into the clutches of the enforcers by traveling to their considerably less free home turf. Cardoza said that her first priority was to keep her fiancee out of jail, but added her secondary goal was “for people to understand the laws over there. I never heard of anything like this before. Even the U.S. Embassy was confused.”
Nobody should be confused about freedom of speech and America’s unwavering commitment to it – not here, and not in any benighted corner of the unfree world. Employers are certainly entitled to sever their relationships with employees who insult them or damage their operations; legal redress is available for libelous statements and breaches of contract. What Ryan Pate is dealing with is absurd. Speech control is a contagious virus, and if we keep offering such laws respect they do not deserve, we’re likely to catch it.
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 UAE (state.gov)
- The Counter Jihad Report’s Threat to Free Speech page
by IPT News • Feb 26, 2015
Avijit Roy, 42, was a naturalized American living in Georgia. He was a frequent critic of radical Islamic doctrine. At least two attackers descended on Roy and his wife, blogger Rafida Ahmed Bonna, near Dhaka University. She was hospitalized with several stab wounds and a severed finger.
No arrests have been made and no suspects identified. But police reportedly found two machetes and a finger at the scene. The couple was in Dhaka to attend an annual national book fair where two of Roy’s works were being promoted.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism profiled Roy last year after death threats against him and a top Bangladeshi bookseller prompted the company to stop selling Roy’s books. He said he felt safe in America, but took the death threats seriously. “Who knows, some miscreants might take him up and act on it.”
The threats came from Islamist Farabi Shafiur Rahman, allegedly a member of the radical Jamaat e Islami, who issued them publicly but remained free.
Rahman noted on Facebook that “Avijit Roy lives in America and so, it is not possible to kill him right now. But he will be murdered when he comes back.” The threat apparently proved all too real Thursday night.
The threat also targeted the bookseller Rokomari.com, invoking the name of blogger Rajib Haidar, who also was hacked to death by Islamists in February 2013. Haidar, known as Thaba Baba, advocated for war crimes tribunals for alleged leaders of the 1971 killings of intellectuals and leaders after Bangladesh’s war of independence against Pakistan. Rokomari stopped selling Roy’s books in response.
In an article last fall, Roy described how his book The Virus of Faith, was well received and became a best-seller at last year’s book fair. But the book also “hit the cranial nerve of fundamentalists,” he wrote. “The death threats started flowing to my inbox on a regular basis. I suddenly found myself to be a target of militant Islamists and terrorists.”
In the essay, Roy discussed the problem of Islamist violence, but struck a defiant tone.
“Well, I am still alive despite Farabi [Rahman]-threats– writing a blog remembering the Blasphemy day,” he wrote. “My books are also going well; at least this is what I hear from my publishers. Apparently, readers did not need Rokomari to get my books … There is nothing much to complain about life right now. But that is not the point I would like to make here.”
Roy died for having ideas that radical Islamists considered blasphemous. He joins martyrs for free expression, like those at Charlie Hebdo who were slaughtered in Paris last month.
National 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.
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.
Breitbart, by BOB PRICE, Feb. 15, 2015:
Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders will deliver the keynote address at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest being held on May 3rd, in Garland, Texas. The Art Exhibit is being put on by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). It will be put on at the same facility in Garland as the Honor the Prophet Conference that was held by a pro-Islamic group in January.
Wilders earned international recognition in the free speech movement when he was brought up on charges for speaking out against Islam at a March, 2014, rally where he promised to reduce the number of Moroccans living in the Netherlands. “The public prosecutor in The Hague is to prosecute Geert Wilders on charges of insulting a group of people based on race and incitement to discrimination and hatred,” prosecutors said in a statement, according to an article by Sam Webb on the DailyMail.
“Politicians may go far in their statements, that’s part of freedom of expression, but this freedom is limited by the prohibition of discrimination,” prosecutors stated.
Time Magazine called Wilders “The ‘Prophet’ Who Hates Muhammad.” Winston Ross wrote, ”Wilders may look just as cartoonish as The Donald. But unlike Trump, he’s a legitimate force in politics. For nearly a decade, he’s served as the leader of Holland’s anti-Islamic political party, and he regularly uses his platform to denounce not only violent jihadists but all of Islam.”
Breitbart Texas previously reported the announcement of the art exhibit. Geller’s event comes on the wake of the Islamic terrorist attack on the French magazine Charlie Hebdo in January. Following the attack, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) scheduled the “Stand with the Prophet” conference at the public school district’s conference center. Geller, the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), scheduled a protest outside the event that was attended by approximately 2,000 people.
“Enough is enough,” she explained in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “They’re just cartoons. We’re holding this exhibit and cartoon contest to show how insane the world has become — with people in the free world tiptoeing in terror around supremacist thugs who actually commit murder over cartoons. If we can’t stand up for the freedom of speech, we will lose it — and with it, free society.”
In addition to the art and cartoons featuring The Prophet Muhammad, the exhibit will also have presentations from other free speech advocates.
“Of course, this event will require massive security,” she assured potential attendees. “But this exhibit has to be staged. If we don’t show the jihadis that they will not frighten us into silence, the jihad against freedom will only grow more virulent.”
The art exhibit and contest will culminate with the award of a $10,000 prize for the best artwork or cartoon. Geller also announced on Sunday that there will also be a $2,500 People’s Choice Award. People wanting to submit artwork or cartoons for consideration may do so by sending an email to MuhammasArtExpo@gmail.com.
The Expo will be held at Garland Independent School District’s Curtis Culwell Center on May 3rd, from 5 to 7 p.m. Central Time.
Bob Price is a senior political writer for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.
- VIDEO: “Draw Muhammad, win $10,000″ (pamelageller.com)
by Mark Steyn
February 15, 2015
The dead of Valentine’s Day in Copenhagen have now been named:
Dan Uzan was a 37-year-old Jew – sorry, I mean “member of the random community” – and he died outside the synagogue serving as a “security guard” for a Bat Mitzvah.
That’s part of the problem – long before anybody starts killing the security guards. In Europe in the 21st century, a young girl’s Bat Mitzvah can only take place behind a security perimeter. What a sewer the EU elites have made of their Eutopia. The state church – the Church of Denmark – does not require security guards, nor elsewhere on the Continent do Catholic churches. But Jewish religious and social life in Copenhagen and across Europe is now possible only behind a barrier of security. Laura Rosen Cohen has a useful round-up of those foot-of-page-17 news stories that chart, remorselessly, the social disintegration of Denmark – from the security perimeter, to the advice to Jews not to wear identifying marks of their faith when they leave the house, to the exclusion of Jewish children from public schools.
As to the “randomness” of the attack, there are only a few thousand Jews remaining in Denmark, and therefore not a lot of Bat Mitzvahs. I am disinclined to believe the killer just got lucky. As with the attack on the free-speech event, he knew exactly where he was going.
As Laura says, “What starts with Jews never ends with Jews.” Many Europeans dislike Jews, and many others are indifferent to their fate. But it helps to keep a sense of self-interest about these things: The man who killed that Jew wants to kill you, too.
The first victim yesterday was Finn Nørgaard, a 55-year-old film maker attending the conference on “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression”. Mr Nørgaard directed the 2004 documentary Boomerang Boy, produced the 2008 film Lê Lê, and occasionally appeared in front of the camera, too. It will be interesting to see whether the self-pampering A-listers of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scientists will managee to squeeze in a mention of him at this month’s Oscars during the teary montage of deceased artists. A decade ago the Academy couldn’t find room, amidst George Clooney et al congratulating themselves on their “courage” for making the umpteenth dreary film on McCarthyism, to namecheck Theo van Gogh, who was pumped full of bullets, semi-decapitated and had a gloating note from his killer pinned through his chest by a dagger – all because he made a film. Messrs van Gogh and Nørgaard weren’t blacklisted, they weren’t reduced to working under a pseudonym or (horrors!) in television. They died for their art. George Clooney was happy enough to latch on to the #JeSuisCharlie shtick at the Golden Globes. If he means it, he’ll ensure poor Finn Nørgaard gets a nod in among the orgy of backslapping at the end of this month.
Mr Nørgaard’s film Lê Lê is the tale of four siblings who fled Vietnam and wound up running one of the most successful restaurant businesses in Scandinavia. One assumes that’s the sort of thing David Cameron had in mind when he issued the following response to the slaughter in Copenhagen:
Denmark and Britain are both successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracies and we must never allow those values to be damaged by acts of violence like this.
That’s the usual Cameronian bollocks. As recently as the late Eighties, over 90 per cent of Danes were (albeit highly residual) members of the Church of Denmark, so it wasn’t that “multi-faith”. In reality, for almost their entire history, both Denmark and Britain were mostly ethnically homogeneous societies that admitted small numbers of immigrants who generally assimiliated and sometimes, as in Lê Lê, distinguished themselves. And then, a generation or so back, the Cameronian elites in Britain and on the Continent committed themselves to a process of mass, transformative immigration on a scale unknown to any society in human history outside of conquest. “Multiculturalism” is a Trojan horse Europe gave itself in an act of moral vanity, and waiting inside was Islam.
Mr Cameron now insists that the lesson of yesterday’s attack is that “we must never allow” what he dignifies as his “values” to be “damaged” by such “acts of violence”. His counterpart in Copenhagen, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the tasty Danish pastry he and Obama spent Mandela’s funeral doing selfies with, professed herself mystified by the slaughter:
We don’t know the motive for the attacks but we know that there are forces that want to harm Denmark, that want to crush our freedom of expression, our belief in liberty.
Hmm. “Forces that want to harm Denmark”, huh? Any chance of pinning it down a little? It’s not much of a “freedom of expression” or a “belief in liberty” that can’t even talk honestly about its enemies, is it?
I would like to ask Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt what’s their happy ending here? What’s their roadmap for fewer “acts of violence” in the years ahead? Or are they riding on a wing and a prayer that they can manage the situation and hold it down to what cynical British civil servants used to call during the Irish “Troubles” “an acceptable level of violence”? In Pakistan and Nigeria, the citizenry are expected to live with the reality that every so often Boko Haram will kick open the door of the schoolhouse and kidnap your daughters for sex-slavery or the Taliban will gun down your kids and behead their teacher in front of the class. And it’s all entirely “random”, as President Obama would say, so you just have to put up with it once in a while, and it’s tough if it’s your kid, but that’s just the way it is. If we’re being honest here, isn’t that all Mr Cameron and Miss Thorning-Schmidt are offering their citizens? Spasms of violence as a routine feature of life, but don’t worry, we’ll do our best to contain it – and you can help mitigate it by not going to “controversial” art events, or synagogues, or gay bars, or…
I said above that waiting inside multiculturalism’s Trojan horse was Islam. Not “Islamism”, or “radical Islam”, or “extremist Islam”, or “violent extremism” or “extremist radicalism” or “radicalist violentism” or anything else: just Islam. As I wrote yesterday:
This is usually the point at which we’re expected to do the not-all-Muslims-want-to-shoot-you-dead shtick. And that’s true. But Islam itself has no feeling whatsoever for the spirit of free speech.
The more Islamic a society gets, the less free speech it has – the less intellectual inquiry, artistic achievement, contrarian spirit. Most western Muslims are not willing themselves to open fire on synagogues or Lars Vilks, but they help maintain the shriveled definition of acceptable expression that helps license the fanatics of Copenhagen and Paris. Muslims in Europe, North America and Australia will pay lip service to “free speech”, and then promptly re-define it as excluding speech that “blasphemes” or “insults” their faith – which is to say them. Which is to say the great vulgar, brawling, free-for-all of free societies does not apply to them. So, when, say, France’s Muslim population reaches 20 per cent, you will need to have the support of three-quarters of the remaining 80 per cent to maintain even a bare popular majority in favor of free speech.
Is that likely? Or will there be more and more non-Muslims like the wretched quisling Welsh bishop, the Right Reverend Gregory Cameron, frantically arguing that if you hadn’t been so “offensive” you wouldn’t have caught their eye? Islam and free speech are, as His Miserable Grace implicitly recognizes, incompatible. And ultimately, therefore, you have to choose between liberty and mass Muslim immigration.
The reaction of David Cameron and Helle Thorning-Schmidt suggests they have made their choice. I think, somewhere deep down, they know it’s a recipe for slow societal suicide. And I wonder if, even deeper down, they also know that it won’t be that slow.
~For my immediate reaction to the attack on the Lars Vilks event, see here.
~For my immediate reaction to the attack on the synagogue, see here.
CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Feb. 14, 2015:
Police in Copenhagen are currently searching for two gunmen who opened fire with automatic weapons on a cafe in the Danish capital, killing one and wounding several including police. At the time of the event, Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist best known for his cartoon of Mohammad as a “roundabout dog” (an iconic Swedish image), was in attendance.
Vilks, who police believe was the target of the attack, has previously survived prior plots on his life including an attempted arson, and a plot involving American Islamic convert Collen Rose (aka “Jihad Jane”). The French ambassador to Denmark was also in attendance, and security was tight with multiple armed policeman providing security.
The topic of the presentation was on free speech, and the BBC noted the principal question focused on, “whether artists could “dare” to be blasphemous in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks by Islamist gunmen in Paris last month.”
With suspects not yet in custody (as of this writing), it’s too early to speculate whether the attackers will be linked to a jihadist organization such as Islamic State or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (as the Charlie Hebdo attackers were), or if they will turn out to be “Known Wolves“, already on the radar screens of European intelligence.
But it is worth noting that the recent publication of the Islamic State’s “Dabiq” magazine Issue 7 focused extensively on the Charlie Hebdo attack and issued numerous and specific threats against supposed blasphemers, including U.S. citizens, and U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials should take seriously threats made against Americans for having violated sharia “blasphemy” laws. Like the Charlie Hebdo attack, today’s incident appears to be less about terrorism, than sharia enforcement. As a result, the response must include not only the full force of Western law enforcement capability targeting the individual terrorists, and their networks, but also a reiteration, by politicians and society more generally, of full throat-ed support for Western principles of free speech and a refusal to submit to the imposition of blasphemy laws, whether through violence, through international forums such as the Istanbul Process, or out of self-censorship.
- Copenhagen shootings suspect was ‘known to police’ (theguardian.com)
by Mark Steyn • Feb 10, 2015
Early on Tuesday, apropos their exclusive tongue-bath of the President, one of the Obama pajama boys over at Vox.com Tweeted :
11K words from Obama on his worldview and all DC can talk about is an obviously accidental micro-gaffe. This is why everyone hates DC press.
The “obviously accidental micro-gaffe” was the President’s off-the-cuff observations about the alleged “over-playing” of terrorism when it’s just a low-level law-enforcement question about how to deal with “a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris”.
Well, we can all say carelessly formulated things when we’re off the prompter, particularly when lulled by a sycophantic interviewer. So I suppose it was just about possible that this was indeed “an obviously accidental micro-gaffe” by Obama. Except that, as The Washington Free Beacon pointed out, the Government of the United States spent much of the day insisting that the President meant every word he said. From Josh Earnest’s White House press conference:
JIM ACOSTA: Just to be clear though, that shooting at that deli in Paris was not random, correct? Did the president misspeak there?
JOSH EARNEST: Jim, I believe the point the president was trying to make was that these individuals were not specifically targeted. They were random people that happened to randomly be in the deli and were shot…
JON KARL: This was an attack in a kosher deli. Does the president have any doubt those terrorists attacked that deli because there would be Jews in that deli?
EARNEST: Jon, it is clear from the terrorists, from some of the writings they put out afterwards, what their motivation was. The adverb that the president chose was used to indicate that the individuals who were killed in that terrible tragic incident were killed, not because of who they were, but because of where they randomly happened to be.
KARL: They weren’t killed because they were in a Jewish deli, though? A kosher deli?
EARNEST: These individuals were not targeted by name. This is the point.
KARL: Not by name but religion, were they not?
EARNEST: Well, Jon, there were people other than just Jews who were in that deli.
Etc. On that last point – that not everybody in the grocery store (not a “deli”) was Jewish – Scaramouche says she’s not even sure if that’s true. Indeed. Bank robbers rob banks because that’s where the money is. In Europe, Islamic supremacists shoot up kosher markets, synagogues, Jewish museums and Jewish schools because that’s where the Jews are. Yet over at the State Department Jen Psaki went further:
“Does the administration really believe that the victims of this attack were not singled out because they were of a particular faith?” asks AP reporter Matt Lee.
“Well, as you know, I believe if I remember the victims specifically, they were not all victims of one background or one nationality,” Psaki said.
“Does the administration believe this was an anti-Jewish or an attack on a Jewish community in Paris?” Lee pressed.
“I don’t think we’re going to speak on behalf of French authorities,” Psaki responded.
Well, President Hollande was happy to state the obvious and call it “a terrifying act of anti-Semitism” over a month ago, but apparently that’s not good enough for the US State Department. As for Ms Psaki’s assertion that “they were not all victims of one background”, Philippe Braham, Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, and François-Michel Saada were all Jews, and they died because they were Jews – as their killer cheerfully boasted.
For over a decade, I have been writing about the metastasizing Jew-hate in Europe, and I have noted, aside from the physical attacks, the casual acceptance of anti-Jewish slurs at the highest levels in Continental society. But I find, say, the Holocaust gags favored by Gretta Duiseberg, the wife of the then head of the European Central Bank, far less disturbing than the absurd pretzel-twist logic deployed by the Obama Administration to deny reality. It is creepy and profoundly unsettling. Like Simon Peter denying the condemned King of the Jews, the most powerful government in the western world thrice denied those four dead Jews in that Paris supermarket.
Here is a typical day in 21st-century Europe:
German court rules firebombing of synagogue is a “protest”.
Belgian teacher tells Jewish student: ‘we should put you all on freight wagons’.
European Jewish population continues to plummet.
British Vicar blames JOOOOOOOS for 9/11…
Anti-Jewish attacks in UK at highest levels ever recorded…
Teacher quits French school citing antisemitism.
Jewish social life in Europe now takes place behind razor-wire and security guards, and newspapers placidly report polls showing that 58 per cent of British Jews believe Jews have no future in Europe. It is utterly disgraceful that the government of one of the few western nations relatively untouched by the new mass Jew-hate should devote so much energy to insisting that there’s nothing to see here.
But lies beget lies. The Obama Administration insists that the Islamic State is not Islamic, Islamic terrorism is nothing to do with Islam, there’s no Islam to see here, no way, no how. You can’t hold the line at one lie, and tell the truth on everything else. The lie on Islam infects everything else. If they’re just “violent extremists” in general, they have to be violent and extremist in general – or “randomly”, as the President would say.
I’m a free-speech absolutist and therefore have a high tolerance for “hate”. But that’s why free speech is important – so one can address these subjects honestly. Islam is an incubator of Jew-hate. It’s unfortunate, but it is a fact. For example, Jordan is a “moderate” Muslim country. What does “moderate” actually mean in this context? Well, it means the Hashemites send their princes to Sandhurst and marry them off to hotties. But other than that? Ninety-seven per cent of Jordanians have an “unfavorable” opinion of Jews.
Jordan has just dispatched its troops to its eastern border with Iraq (my own experiences at that Trebil border crossing are recounted in The [Un]documented Mark Steyn). Don’t get me wrong: In a showdown between Jordan and ISIS, the former are the good guys, and I’m rooting for them. But we shouldn’t be under any illusions about the uglier aspects of Muslim society.
And yet “the leader of the free world” is doubling down on his illusions: Guys called Cohen get killed in kosher grocery stores, but it’s purely “random”. As much as the Italian revolutionary Carlo Pisocane a century-and-a-half ago, Islamic imperialists believe that “ideas spring from deeds”. Obama is just about willing to acknowledge the deed, but denies the animating ideas no matter how obviously they spring. And until we confront the ideas we are doomed to lose.
When the President lectures us, with his usual condescension, about not getting on our “high horse”, he gives the pronounced impression, as a sophisticated thinker with the highest horse in town, that when it comes to a choice between civilization and barbarism he’s happy to affect a studied neutrality. But those are real dead Jews on the floor of Hyper-Cacher, and, when the head of the global superpower dishonors them in death, and sends out his subordinates to underline the point, that is not a small matter.
~A postscript: We have been here before, of course. Ed Driscoll excerpts this choice news item from The New York Times in 1922, “New Popular Idol Rises In Bavaria“:
But several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers.
Thank goodness for that.
by Mark Steyn
Steyn on Britain
February 9, 2015
Professor Jonathan Turley of George Washington University is nobody’s idea of a right-winger. He voted for Obama, and supports almost all of his policy goals (if not his extra-constitutional methods). But, unlike most of the left, he’s still prepared to defend free speech against what he calls Charlie’s False Friends:
For civil libertarians, it is clear that when leaders insist that they “Stand with Charlie” it does not mean actually standing with free speech. To the contrary, the greatest threat facing free speech today is found in Western governments, which have increasingly criminalized and prosecuted speech, particularly anti-religious speech. Once the defining right of Western Civilization, free speech is dying in the West and few world leaders truly mourn its passing.
Around the world, speech is under attack under an array of hate speech and anti-discrimination laws… The result is a growing, if not insatiable, appetite for speech regulation that only increases after violent responses to controversial publications.
The most recent tragedy in France follows an all too familiar pattern from publication to prosecution. Consider what happened in 2005 with the publication of the Danish cartoons and the global riots leading to the murder of non-Muslims and burning of churches and homes. The West rallied around the right of free speech, but then quietly ramped up prosecutions of speech. It happened again in 2012 when a low-budget trailer of a low-grade movie was put on YouTube. The “Innocence of Muslims” trailer was deemed insulting to Mohammad and Islam and led to another global spasm of murder and arson by irate Muslims. Again, Western leaders professed support for free speech while cracking down further on anti-religious speech. Even in the United States, President Obama insisted that the filmmaker Nakoula Basseley Nakoula had every right to make the film. However, the next image that the world saw after that speech was filmmaker being thrown into a police car in handcuffs for technical violations of a probation on unrelated charges…
Professor Turley then lists a round-up of state assaults on freedom of expression from around the so-called free world, including my own difficulties in Canada. I doubt Turley agrees with a single one of these hatespeechers (including me) on the merits, but he recognizes that the point of free speech is for the speech you hate. If you don’t believe in free speech for those you hate, you don’t believe in free speech at all. And then he adds:
These cases represent more than a lack of support for free speech. They represent a comprehensive assault on free speech. Indeed, one of the world leaders proudly proclaiming support for free speech in Paris has banned the publication of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan called the use of the prophet’s image on the magazine an act of “sedition and provocation.”
Well, Turkey is hardly anyone’s idea of a crucible of liberty. But what are we to make of England, mother of the free? The other day Wiltshire Police went to a local newsagent and demanded that, in the interests of “community cohesion”, he hand over the names of every customer who bought a copy of Charlie Hebdo:
Mrs Keat, a self-confessed news junkie, ordered the magazine from a local newsagent in Corsham, Wiltshire, a week after the 7 January attacks in Paris. Two days after she bought her magazine, she learned that an officer had been back to ask for the names of the buyers.
The names and addresses of the buyers were added to an intelligence note and fed into a police crime and intelligence system, police confirmed. The force deleted the note after details of the visit came to light in a letter that Mrs Keat wrote to The Guardian and warned of the potential ramifications after seeing an advert for Je Suis Charlie badges…
What really is the difference between Charlie Hebdo‘s killers and Wiltshire Police? The anti-Charlie crowd made it clear years ago that they knew where the offending cartoonists were and one day they would get them. The Wiltshire Police are not so subtly telling Charlie‘s English readers that they know where you are – just in case one day they need to get you:
“Wiltshire Police would like to apologise to the members of public who may be affected by this. Information relating to this specific incident has been permanently and securely disposed of,” it said… “Wiltshire Police are confident that the police officer’s intention was purely around enhancing public safety and ensuring that the newsagent was advised appropriately.”
You can get away with anything when you smother it in blather about “enhancing” public safety and “advising appropriately”. But the fact remains that, a few days after the hideous opportunist Cameron was marching under the #JeSuisCharlie banner in Paris, his coppers were ordering newsagents to cough up the names of anyone who bought the magazine. This is Mother England in 2015: You can still read samizdat literature, but your name will be entered in a state database.
Equally disturbing was a recent English court judgment re the Home Office ban denying Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller entry into the United Kingdom. Their Lordships’ appalling decision essentially extends the heckler’s veto to Her Britannic Majesty’s immigration policy:
A British Court of Appeal handed down its judgment dismissing our appeal challenging our ban from entering the United Kingdom. The key element of its decision is its emphasis on the fact that “this was a public order case where the police had advised that significant public disorder and serious violence might ensue from the proposed visit.” In writing that judgment, Lord Justice Tomlinson (with whom Lord Justice Patten and Lord Justice Floyd agree) has only made it clear that the British government has decided to set aside established law and the freedom of speech in order to appease violent Muslims.
No serious person thinks Spencer and Geller are any threat to “public order”. They speak without incident all over not only the United States but also the Dominion of Canada, and without unduly stressing the Queen’s Peace. So, if they can’t speak without incident in the United Kingdom, that is a reflection not on them but on Britain. What Lord Justice Tomlinson means by the prospect of “serious violence” is that, if you’re booked to give a speech in Oxford and some Islamic grievance-mongers threaten to go bananas over it, your speech has to be forbidden in deference to the crazies. The decision thus incentivizes those who threaten violence. As Laura Rosen Cohen likes to say, “security concerns” are the new “shut up”.
And, if you think David Cameron’s ministry has grown far too comfortable with using state power to restrain the opinions of a free party, wait till the other fellows take over:
The shadow home secretary, Yvette Cooper, will on Monday unveil a strategy to tackle the UK’s soaring rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia and abuse of people with disabilities. The package includes making homophobic and disability hate crimes an aggravated criminal offence, ensuring that police treat such offences in the same way as racist hate crimes.
Cooper will outline changes to the criminal records framework whereby such offences will be clearly marked on the criminal records of perpetrators. Currently, records checks do not highlight homophobia, disability or transgender identity as a motivating factor in a conviction, and do not automatically appear in police data used for vetting applicants in sensitive vocations, such as those working with vulnerable people, including the disabled.
Labour’s move comes as a new breakdown of police figures reveals an escalation in hate crimes since 2012, with a steep rise in abuse reported by the transgender community alongside the well-documented rises in antisemitism and Islamophobia.
As that grab-bag suggests, right now the leftie sexual identity groups are happy to make common cause with the Islamocrazies because they’re both about shutting people up. For example, the feminist comedienne Kate Smurthwaite is already in Britain so, unlike Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, she can’t be turned back at Heathrow. But she apparently holds insufficiently “respectful” attitudes to “sex workers”, so she had her speech at Goldsmiths College canceled because of – what else? – “security concerns“. The topic of her talk was, of course, free speech.
Professor Jonathan Turley says:
Western leaders have increasingly spoken out against the dangers of free speech. For politicians, free speech is an abstraction, the consequences of free speech tend to be more tangible in the form of riots and murders.
You don’t have to be a politician to think “free speech is an abstraction”. Robert Spencer might want to give speeches about Islam, and Mrs Keat might want to read Charlie Hebdo, but most people don’t want to give any speeches at all and are content to read Hello! or People or whatever’s filling the rack where Charlie Hebdo used to be. In some ways, it’s the easiest right to surrender, particularly to regimes that smother the expansion of state regulatory power in soothing twaddle about “enhancing public safety” to protect “vulnerable people”.
Speaking of “vulnerable people”, how about this headline from The Daily Mirror?
Child sex abuse gangs could have assaulted ONE MILLION youngsters in the UK
That’s according to Rotherham Labour MP Sarah Champion. Who knows if it’s true? On the one hand, Britain is so alert to “paedos” that, if some cheesy old Radio One disc-jockey is alleged to have grabbed the passing breast of a 15-year-old teenybopper on “Top Of The Pops” in 1973, he’ll be dragged through the courts and publicly ruined. But vast, systemic, industrial-scale 21st-century paedophilia by Muslim grooming gangs aided and abetted by law enforcement and local government will be ignored and hushed up – essentially in the interests of (what was that expression again?) “community cohesion”. It turns out free speech isn’t that “abstract”. When you so hedge in free expression with political correctness, you make it impossible even to raise certain subjects, and thereby facilitate real, non-abstract evil. The loss of free speech brings other losses, too.
Yet, looking at the ease with which governments of some of the oldest, freest societies on earth are shackling and restraining the right to speak, to read, to think, the obvious question to ask is what rights will they go after next? After all, if 300 years of free speech can be rolled back in the interest of “enhancing public safety”, why not property rights, due process, freedom of association, freedom of religion or even (gasp!) sexual liberty? Why think that statist restraints on core liberties will confine themselves to just one right?
~Mark’s book on this subject, Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech And The Twilight Of The West, has never been more timely. Personally autographed copies are exclusively available from the SteynOnline bookstore, and, for instant gratification, non-autographed eBook editions are available from Amazon.com and other outlets.
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
February 9, 2015
Less than a month after the Charlie Hebdo murders and the slaughter of four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris, Islamic State (IS, or ISIS) has sent a warning now to Belgium: “This,” they wrote in a letter to Het Laatste News (HLN), “is only the beginning.”
The letter, received by HLN’s editors on Feb. 4, referred also to a series of attacks in France that pre-dated the Paris massacres: “What happened in France will happen, too, in Belgium,” the typewritten letter stated in perfect French, “and from Belgium, IS will conquer all of Europe.”
According to HLN, counterterrorism officials are taking the letter seriously and believe it is the legitimate work of an IS jihadist. More, they claim that the writer is aware of current events in Belgium, down to small details. (The full text of the letter has not been released.)
The same day, news arrived in the Netherlands that Dutch jihadist Abu Hanief had just blown himself up in Fallujah – the fourth Dutch Muslim to commit a suicide bombing in Syria or Iraq. Hanief, 32, had been among the leaders of pro-IS demonstrations last summer in the Hague in which demonstrators called for the death of Jews. Though he was arrested on charges of hate speech after the protest, he was soon released; and evidently, despite government efforts to confiscate or cancel the passports of Dutch Muslims suspected of planning to join the Syrian jihad, he shortly thereafter slipped out undetected.
This is Europe now, poised at a moment when, while anti-Semitism is at record highs in France and the UK, Muslim groups call for “anti-Islamophobia” policies and boycotts against Israel; when officials in Wolfsburg, Germany, are investigating an alleged jihadist cell with ties to IS and as many as 50 members, most of them living in Germany; when Belgian police have arrested 15 people in the town of Verviers (population 56,000) and several others throughout the country, all since the Paris terrorist attacks that ran from Jan. 7-Jan. 9.
And no wonder, as some so-called “mainstream” Muslims now refuse to distance themselves from the acts of Muslim terrorists – including the atrocities committed by the Islamic State: Noted Shabir Burhani, a religious Muslim in his 20s and a student at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, “We have to accept Islam in its entirety, not try to adjust it to the times. Sharia is part of it, as are jihad and the Islamic state.” But Burhani, who previously served as spokesman for the now-defunct Sharia4Holland, does not view ISIS as the ideal, he told Dutch daily Trouw. It’s not the murders themselves he rejects, he said, but “the way IS does it, and shows it off to the world can be counterproductive. Does that really benefit Islam?”
He is not the only one: at a Jan. 16 forum held in Amsterdam Muslim groups presented a manifesto against Islamophobia. Coming just days after the slaughter of four Jews in Paris and six months after the execution of four others in Brussels, the document begins by describing anti-Semitism in the Netherlands – where in August, Hanief led hundreds in a chant of “Kill Jews” – as “mild,” while “Islamophobia is anything but.”
And what are some of the symptoms of this “Islamophobia?”
Some are legitimate concerns: Muslim youth face job discrimination. Families receive hate letters from neighbors.
People demand that Muslims in the Netherlands distance themselves from Islamic terrorism.
Apparently this, as Burhani states, is anti-Islam.
Now, France debates the future of its cherished secularism and the future feasibility of a secular state in a democracy in which millions of religious Muslims, whose religion contradicts secular ideals, make their home. Many seem to feel that democracy demands allowing the religious to practice their beliefs – all beliefs, in all religions, as their faith requires. Secularism, they seem to suggest, is itself “Islamophobic.”
But if some believers demand the conquest of their faith over others, even by the sword, what then? If Burhani is right, and the jihadists of IS are merely practicing their religion, can a democratic society rightly shut them out?
It can. And it must. Secularism, after all, does not demand the faithful forfeit their belief within the private sphere. And neither does democracy. We must not allow radical and jihadist Muslims to conquer our bright democratic vision by blindly destroying it ourselves.