Islamists Put America On Trial While Shutting Down Free Speech

lawfare projectBreitbart, by :

Human Rights attorney and the director of the Lawfare Project, Brooke Goldstein, asserts that anyone who is brave enough to speak openly about terrorism and its connection to Islam may find themselves on the “receiving end of a frivolous and malicious lawsuit designed to silence and punish them.”

Goldstein claims over the last 15 years, Islamic groups like the Arab league and the OIC attempt to punish any type of speech they consider offensive to Islam. Moreover, she told Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon and the host of Breitbart News Sunday  that such groups pair lawsuits with acts of violence and are becoming more aggressive about invoking fatwas, as they did to the Danish cartoonist. Goldstein, also pointed out that  violence and fatwas ensued across the Muslim world when the state department decided to blame a so called anti-Islam YouTube film for the attack on Benghazi.

The human rights and free speech advocate posits that the lawsuits and violence precipitates an inherent self censorship. Altogether these three free speech denying modalities comprise a phenomenon which Goldstein calls “Islamist Lawfare, which is the use of the law as a weapon of war to silence and punish free speech about these issues of public dissonance.”

Bannon asked Goldstein if she thought there was an over-hyping by the Conservative Right of Islamist overreach in America, or is there a real problem as in the UK, where Sharia Law is now becoming codified into English Common law. Goldstein replied that “I wish it was just hype. But what we can measure now, because this has been a strategy that has been pursued, is the effects of the lawfare.”

Goldstein cited one example where Islamist lawfare was carried out and resulted in a major act of terror on American soil. She referred to a community center and mosque called the Islamic Society of Boston, that in 2005 was being investigated for receiving Saudi funding and was breeding Wasabi Islamic radicalism. The mosque turned around and sued at least 17 media defendants tying up the courts in a two year process stymieing police and discouraging further investigations.

The mosque was able to continue its teachings and sponsorship of radical ideology. Unfortunately, several years later, the mosque  produced the two Tsarnaev brothers, responsible for the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013, which killed three people including an eight year old boy and wounded many others.

Goldstein expressed her outrage that we have a policy in the government now where the words Islam and Jihad are being redacted from counter terrorism training manuals. She further points out that we have FBI officials and counter intelligence experts “that have been fired because they are Islamaphobic. We have Fort Hood which is reclassified as work place violence, not Islamist terrorism.”

Goldstein concludes that we have an uber PCness  in America that brands people, even if it’s a Muslim criticizing his own religion, as being an Islamaphobe.

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Recommended reading:

The Watchman Show: Camp Jihad and Unraveling the Middle East

By Erick Stakelbek:

On this week’s episode of The Watchman, we’re joined by Brooke Goldstein, director of the Lawfare Project and the Children’s Rights Institute, to discuss the growing movement against free speech in the West and how the United Nations is helping indoctrinate Palestinian schoolchildren in anti-Semitic hate.

Plus, Middle East and intelligence expert Avi Melamed gives his insider take on the latest developments in the world’s most volatile region.

“Islamic extremists” put a price on your head? That means you can’t give a speech in this American government building

Washington Post, BY EUGENE VOLOKH:

The discussion of the American flag case reminded me of a much less noticed decision from a few weeks ago, Agema v. City of Allegan (W.D. Mich. Jan. 22, 2014).

David Agema (a Michigan state representative) and some other people organized a Jan. 26, 2012 event that included as a speaker Kamal Saleem. Saleem runs Koome Ministries, which aims to teach about what it sees as “radical Islam’s true agenda.” Plaintiffs say Saleem “has a unique perspective on the internal threat to America posed by Sharia law and radical Muslims as he was once a Muslim involved in terrorist activities who has since transformed himself and converted to Christianity.”

76326277_640To hold this event, plaintiffs rented a room at Alleghan High School for $90. They also asked the local police department to provide two officers as security. Then,

Shortly before the event was to take place, a woman approached the police officers at Allegan High School and “stated that Kamal Saleem had a $25 million dollar bounty on his head.” An Allegan police officer talked with Jones, Saleem’s bodyguard, who did not deny that a bounty existed. “Jones further stated that there had been death threats directed toward Kamal Saleem from Islamic extremists in the past.”

While the event was still in progress, Chief Hoyer ordered Plaintiffs to shut down the event. Other events were occurring simultaneously in other locations within the Allegan High School building while Saleem was speaking.

Plaintiffs argued that “comply[ing] with the demands of hecklers based on the viewpoint of the speaker and the content of the speech” unconstitutionally allows “the heckler’s veto” to trump the “Constitutional freedoms of Plaintiffs.” (“Hecklers” is used here broadly to refer not just to the person in the audience who shouts out immediate threats, but to anyone who threatens to attack a speaker.)

But the court concluded that the stopping of the event was constitutional. The high school classroom, the court concluded, wasn’t a “traditional public forum,” such as a street or a sidewalk, or a place that “the government has intentionally designated a place … as a public forum.” Rather, it was a “nonpublic forum” — government property that hasn’t been deliberately opened for speech:

Here, there are no allegations that the school was open for use by the general public; rather, permission to rent the school was secured from the building principal, and there is no allegation that permission was granted as a matter of course to all who sought it. “This type of selective access does not transform government property into a public forum.”

The First Amendment rule in nonpublic forums is that speech restrictions are constitutional if they are “reasonable and [are] not an effort to suppress expression merely because public officials oppose the speaker’s view.” And, the court said, this restriction was reasonable:

Plaintiffs allege in their First Amended Complaint that the January 26, 2012 event was stopped due to “death threats” from “Islamic extremists” while other events were occurring at the high school …. [Whether or not] public officials mistakenly assessed the credibility of the risk or the imminence of danger, Plaintiffs’ allegations, taken together, do not support the conclusion that the decision to stop the event was nonetheless unreasonable. “[T]he government does not need to wait ‘until havoc is wreaked to restrict access to a nonpublic forum.’”

Now I sympathize with the high school principal, who is trying to prevent harm to the people visiting his school. And while the Supreme Court has held that the government generally may not suppress speech on sidewalks or parks in order to prevent attacks on the speaker, it’s possible that these cases don’t apply when it comes to speech in a “nonpublic forum,” such as a government building. (But see Robb v. Hungerbeeler (8th Cir. 2004) and Chicago Acorn v. Metropolitan Pier and Exposition (7th Cir. 1998), which suggest that the cases do indeed apply even to nonpublic forums.)

Nonetheless, consider what incentives this sort of decision creates. If you don’t like a speaker, make death threats against him. Then, if you can somehow let American government officials know about those threats, the officials will kick the speaker out of the places that it rented to him for his speech. (Nor is the principle in the case limited to high school buildings — school wasn’t in session, and the government could raise a similar security objection for any government building where other people are present, or perhaps even a building whether this is the only event taking place.)

U.S. Court Orders Google to Remove Anti-Islam Video

InnocenceClarion Project: In a 2-1 vote, a U.S. Court of Appeals struck down a lower court’s decision and told Google, Inc. it must take down the “Innocence of Muslims” video from its website “YouTube.”

Google will take the case to a higher court. “We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it,” the internet giant said in a statement.

The company was taken to court by Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actresses that appeared in the film. Garcia requested that the video be taken down after seeing that it included a clip she had made for a completely different film. The clip was partially dubbed and had Garcia asking, “Is your Mohammed a child molester?”

The video (which was billed as a trailer to an upcoming film) generated an onslaught of anti-America protests across the Muslim world in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The Obama administration originally tried to blame the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi by Islamists on the video, although it was later proven that the attack was premeditated.

Although Google blocked the video in Egypt and Libya as well as a number of other countries, it refused to remove the video in the U.S. despite pressure from the White House.

Google argued to the court that Garcia only appeared in the video for five seconds. Although Google acknowledged that she had a potential a case against the director, they argued that posting the video did not violate copyright laws. Further, Google argued that removal of the video would be a violation of free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. In addition, Google argued that the video had become an important part of public debate and hence, should not be removed.

“Our laws permit even the vilest criticisms of governments, political leaders, and religious figures as legitimate exercises in free speech,”Google wrote.

The judge, Alex Kozinski, ruled that the video must be taken down since it was likely that Garcia would win her copyright claims. Without an injunction to remove the video, the judge said that Garcia faced irreparable harm, especially since she had already faced “serious threats against her life.

“It’s disappointing, though perhaps not surprising, that Garcia needed to sue in order to protect herself and her rights,” the judge wrote.

Free Speech Alert: Islam Rips Ever Deeper Into Europe

dont-speakBy :

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Clash Daily

What Will It Take?

oBy David Solway:

Let me begin with a categorical statement that, given current events and recent political history, can be easily defended: Barack Hussein Obama is a willful, indoctrinated child of the Left with strong Islamic sympathies who is not fit to govern. Indeed, he would not be fit to govern Lower Slobovia [1], let alone the United States of America. Obama is a historic disaster of the first magnitude and, if not restrained, he will see to the irrevocable decline of the country which foolishly elected him, leaving the world on the brink of a conflict — or in the midst of one — whose repercussions cannot be underestimated.

Accompanying the undeniable havoc and damage that Obama is wreaking on his country and equally on its allies — Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Poland, Czech Republic, Israel, and possibly Taiwan — is the sense of helplessness that overcomes one when writing or speaking about a rogue president and his destructive administration. I feel this personally, having done my utmost in books, articles and lectures, from 2008 to the present, to warn whomever might read or listen that Obama represented a greater threat to the U.S. and the oddly named “free world” than any of our most dedicated and belligerent enemies. Even prior to his nomination as the Democratic candidate for the presidency, my distrust of this man was proprioceptive. And after his Missouri address, I wondered why anyone would want to “fundamentally transform” a country which, for all its flaws, perched atop the pinnacle of success in comparison to any other country.

Everything Obama has done since then has only served to confirm what was originally a deep suspicion and soon grew to become a complete certainty. Dozens of meticulously researched books have been published to the same effect. And yet very few people seemed to be paying attention. No less disconcerting, those who argue that to criticize Obama is a sign of deep-dyed racism are, of course, relying on slander and misappropriation of language to protect their chosen standard bearer and his Marxist/progressivist/utopian project.

What will it take to convince the ersatz aristocracy of frivolous intellectuals and brainless celebrities, partisan journalists, editors and academics, and an indifferent or deluded laity that they are heading for a crisis that will change our lives immeasurably for the worse? The evidence is beyond dispute.

America is drowning in a state of unredeemable debt — $17 trillion in actual debt and, according to economic historian Niall Ferguson, in the vicinity of $200 trillion in unfunded liabilities [2], while one in five households [3] depends on food stamps. At the same time, it is printing money like there’s no tomorrow — and there may not be — while subsidizing green energy fiascos at enormous cost to the taxpayer ($90 billion [4] in wasted stimulus funds, and counting). It finds itself in the throes of a metastasizing race war, caused in no small degree by the president’s rhetoric and behavior and fomented by his attorney general. It is a country increasingly governed by executive fiat and by an administration rocked by a near-endless gyre of political and ideological scandals. It is a country whose federal government opposes voter ID, opening the door to electoral corruption. It is a country that spies [5] on its own citizens, software corporations and web search engines, tries avowed terrorists in civilian courts, allows its ambassador and his entourage to be killed, without reprisal, and suffers its higher echelons to be riddled with Muslim Brotherhood operatives, giving the impression of a College of mujtahids. They are the advance cohort. “Today,” writes Larry Kelley in his sobering book Lessons from Fallen Civilizations [6], “millions of militant Muslims awake every morning plotting the destruction of the US. Many are among us.” And there will be more, if these [7] reports [8] of fast-tracking the citizenship applications of large numbers of Muslim immigrants are reliable, as they appear to be.

It is a country whose president purges its military — 197 senior officers, including nine commanding generals [9] — as did Turkey’s autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan to ensure the continuity of his regime. It is a country that refuses to defend its borders, even suing to keep them as porous as possible. It is a country shifting precipitously to the Left, now mired in the exorbitant socialist travesty of Obamacare built on an ascending pyramid of lies and false enrollment numbers [10] — or in the words of L.A. County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Frey at his Patterico blog [11], “they’re not just lying about politics now. They’re lying about data. They’re lying about everything. All the time. Constantly. It’s what you have to do to prop up an unsustainable government. … You lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie and lie.”

It is a country whose domestic agenda is predicated on the Marxist principle of redistributive economics that amounts to stealing from the productive class to maintain an ever-growing parasitical constituency. It is a country at war with honest science, transmuting NASA into a program for Muslim outreach [12] and buying into the Gore/Hansen/Mann-inflated, IPCC climate scam. It is a country that is retreating on every front and that has lost the Middle East [13] as well as the respect of its adversaries[14]. It is a country that betrays its allies and endangers the world in the process, as in the phony, eagerly sought agreement that allows a self-described genocidal and nuclearizing Iran to keep spinning its centrifuges while profiting from relaxed sanctions. It is a country whose administration has sold its loyal partner, Israel, down the Jordan River.

“The United States is no longer a rational nation,” mourns [15] James Lewis. “Under Obama we are burning our traditional allies, and since weakness brings aggression, Iran is now empowered, China is grabbing ocean territory for shale deposits, and the worst offenders against women’s rights are now elected to the UN Human Rights Commission.” It is hard to contend with his summation.

All this proceeds under the direction of a president who has sealed his vital documents so that very little of crucial importance is known about him.

Read more at PJ Media

Islam: Silencing Its Critics with Violence

Under-Sharia-those-who-insult-Muhammad-or-300x225By Rachel Molschky:

Few dare to criticize the “religion of peace” for fear of a violent retaliation. Ironic? Not really, considering the fact that violence pervades the very essence of this “peaceful” religion. Case in point, the recent case in France of Abdelhakim Dekhar, who stands accused of four recent attacks, one being a shooting at a Paris newspaper office where he shot an assistant photographer. As usual, the mainstream media ignores the Muslim name and suggests the motive is “hazy.” However, Dekhar had written a letter complaining of “media manipulation,” that “evil” capitalism, and was angry about Syria among other things. These are all typical Muslim grievances.

The Islamic response to criticism is death. When there is no self-defense, and armed with no logical explanation in order to combat the critics, the only way out is violence. That’s why whenever there are “peaceful” protests, the placards Muslims proudly hold high call for our beheadings. If you’ve never witnessed this firsthand, there are countless photos to prove it. Men, women and children all parade around with signs calling for our savage murders. Why? Because we dared to criticize.

619545-childsign-225x300Yet criticism brings about change, which is how we progress as a society. Sometimes we progress a little too far and make excessive changes, but certainly some reform is a good thing. For example, some critics of Judaism will say that the punishment of stoning exists in the Torah. Gary T. Panell of Bible Christian discusses capital punishment in the Bible and offers his interpretation regarding the use of rocks to administer it: “As harsh as it may seem, using stones to kill someone, there was a practical side to it. Wherever you were, there would always be plenty of rocks.”

Guess there are a lot of rocks in the Muslim world.

No matter how you want to interpret those verses, the fact remains, Jews no longer “stone” people, which makes such criticism positively senseless. Furthermore, different denominations of the religion have come about as civilization has progressed, and people disagree over the meaning of this or that as well as the application of it in our lives today.

The same is true of Christianity. Martin Luther brought about the Protestant Reformation, and even the Catholic Church itself has made tremendous changes throughout the years and is not the same as it once was. There will always be critics of those changes. Sometimes the modifications may be a step in the wrong direction, but overall the Judaism and Christianity of today cannot be compared to the barbaric stonings and beheadings which not only exist in Islam today but are an intrinsic part of it.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

EU Unveils Crackdown on Free Speech

1370580514-450x300By Bruce Bawer:

The first thing I ever wrote about Islam was an essay for Partisan Review entitled “Tolerating Intolerance,” which was published a few months after 9/11. My argument, in brief, was that Islam is not just a religion but an ideology that teaches an extreme and violent intolerance – and that Europeans had a right to protect the freedom of their societies by implementing well-informed immigration and integration policies. Now the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), founded in 2008 and consisting largely of former European presidents or prime ministers, has issued a report whose thrust is – and I quote – that there’s “no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” But the
argument of the report – which was presented to the European Parliament in late September and takes the form of a “Model Statute for Tolerance” that the ECTR hopes to see enacted by all EU member states, is light-years away from the one I made all those years ago in Partisan Review. The ECTR’s concern is not with addressing the importation into Europe of Islamic intolerance but, rather, with addressing the purported intolerance of Europeans toward (among other things) imported Islam.

If you want an idea of where the ECTR is coming from, check out a recent article, “Divided We Fall: Intolerance in Europe Puts Rights at Risk,” by Benjamin Ward of Human Rights Watch. Here’s how Ward starts out:

An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighbourhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders of Turkish immigrants in Germany. An ideologue driven by hatred of “multiculturalism” kills 67 mostly young people on a Norwegian Island….It may be comforting to see these incidents as isolated, disconnected or driven by local events. But the truth is more discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe.

Never mind intolerance by Muslims. Even to speak of that intolerance is to be, well, intolerant. Ward slams Silvio Berlusconi for suggesting in 2010 that reducing immigration into Italy would lower crime rates, and vilifies Angela Merkel for saying that Germans “feel tied to Christian values” and that immigrants “who don’t accept them don’t have a place here.” Ward’s picture of a continent where the principal threats to life and liberty are nativist bigots who torment innocent gypsies and slaughter peaceable Muslims is a fantasy. But Ward’s not alone in promulgating it. On the contrary, this funhouse-mirror picture underlies every current attempt by the EU and its affiliates to shut down free speech, including, as Soeren Kern reports, “the EU’s ongoing work towards a new ‘Equal Treatment Directive,’” which is the malignant framework within which the ECTR’s report was presented.

“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” The sentence is immediately succeeded, in the ECTR’s “Model Statute,” by the following statement: “This is especially important as far as freedom of expression is concerned: that freedom must not be abused to defame other groups.” The report goes on to prescribe comprehensive guidelines for the surveillance, monitoring, prosecution, and punishment of such “abuses” of “freedom of expression.” As European Dignity Watch, a Brussels-based NGO, puts it in a blistering commentary, the ECTR’s “understanding of tolerance” is “highly problematic,” with the term itself being defined “vaguely” (as “respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group”) and employed in a way that is riddled with “double standards.” Nor could the ECTR’s recommended edicts be much more sweeping: it proposes that speech be subjected to controls of a sort unheard of in the modern West, that groups be placed above individuals, that European law recognize the concept of “group libel” and punish it as a crime, that the burden of proof be reversed in cases of allegedly “intolerant” speech about groups, that certain “vulnerable and disadvantaged groups” be given “special protection” (“some animals,” wrote Orwell, “are more equal than others”), that juveniles found guilty of speech crimes against groups “be required to undergo a rehabilitation program designed to instill in them a culture of tolerance” (re-education camps, anyone?), that schools and the media be pressured to indoctrinate “tolerance” (as defined, needless to say, by the ECTR), and that an elaborate enforcement and judiciary apparatus in the form of National Tolerance Monitoring Commissions and “special administrative unit[s]” subordinate to European nations’ respective Ministries of Justice.

Read more at Front Page

 

EU Proposal to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens

by Soeren Kern:

“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant” — European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance, Article 4

“The supra-national surveillance that it would imply would certainly be a dark day for European democracy.” — European Dignity Watch

While European leaders are busy expressing public indignation over reports of American espionage operations in the European Union, the European Parliament is quietly considering a proposal that calls for the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”

Critics say the measure — which seeks to force the national governments of all 28 EU member states to establish “special administrative units” to monitor any individual or group expressing views that the self-appointed guardians of European multiculturalism deem to be “intolerant” — represents an unparalleled threat to free speech in a Europe where citizens are already regularly punished for expressing the “wrong” opinions, especially about Islam.

The proposed European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance was recently presented to members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the only directly-elected body of the European Union.

The policy proposal was drafted by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a non-governmental organization established in Paris in 2008 by the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor.

 

Lars Hedegaard was acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court in 2012 on charges of “hate speech” for critical comments he made about Islam.

The ECTR — which describes itself as a “tolerance watchdog” that “prepares practical recommendations to governments and international organizations on improving interreligious and interethnic relations on the continent” — includes on its board more than a dozen prominent European politicians, including former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar.

The ECTR first presented its proposal for a Europe-wide Law on Tolerance to the European Parliament in November 2008 as part of the European Week of Tolerance that marked the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, a night of anti-Semitic violence that began the Jewish Holocaust in Germany.

After five years of lobbying in Europe’s halls of power, the ECTR proposal appears to be making headway, as evidenced by the European Parliament’s recent decision to give the group a prominent 45-minute time slot to present its proposal to the Civil Liberties committee on September 17.

Also known as the “Model Statute for Tolerance,” the ECTR’s proposal was presented as part of the EU’s ongoing work towards a new “Equal Treatment Directive” (ETD) that would vastly expand the scope of discrimination to all sectors of life in both the public and private spheres.

Critics of the ETD, currently being negotiated within the Council of the European Union, say the directive seeks to establish an ill-conceived concept of “equal treatment” as a horizontal principle governing the relationships between all and everyone, thus interfering with the right of self-determination of all citizens.

According to European Dignity Watch, a civil rights watchdog based in Brussels,

The principles of freedom of contract and the freedom to live according to one’s personal moral views are in danger of being superseded by a newly developed concept of ‘equality.’ It would undermine freedom and self-determination for all Europeans and subject the private life of citizens to legal uncertainty and the control of bureaucrats. It is about governmental control of social behavior of citizens. These tendencies begin to give the impression of long-passed totalitarian ideas and constitute an unprecedented attack on citizens’ rights.

When viewed in the broader context of the ETD, the ECTR document is so audacious in scope, while at the same time so vague in defining its terminology, that critics say the proposal, if implemented, would open a Pandora’s Box of abuse, thereby effectively shutting down the right to free speech in Europe.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Geneva Conference Moves Toward Criminalizing “Islamophobia”

oic_summit_cairo_02_06_2013-450x346By Deborah Weiss:

In its quest to criminalize speech that’s critical of all Islam-related topics, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)* endorsed the formation of a new Advisory Media Committee to address “Islamophobia.”

This past September, the OIC held “The First International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media.”  The conference endorsed numerous recommendations which arose from prior workshops on Islamophobia from media, legal and political perspectives.  A main conclusion was the consensus to institutionalize the conference and create an Advisory Media Committee to meet under the newly established OIC Media Forum based in Istanbul Turkey.

Supposedly, the purpose of the conference was to support an OIC campaign to “correct the image of Islam and Muslims in Europe and North America.”  By this, it means to whitewash the intolerant, violent and discriminatory aspects of Islam and Islamists.  The OIC has launched a campaign to provide disinformation to the public, delinking all Islam from these undesirable traits and attacks all who insist on these truths, as bigots, racists and Islamophobes.

The OIC is a 57 member organization consisting of Muslim countries whose long term goal is the worldwide implementation of Sharia law and seemingly the ultimate establishment of a Caliphate.  Its members tend to vote together as a block in the UN, so it is extremely powerful, despite the fact that few people have heard of it.

Its present goal is the international criminalization of all speech that “defames” Islam, which the OIC defines as anything that sheds a negative light on Islam or Muslims, even when it’s true.

Its target is the West and one of its tactics is to accuse those who criticize Islam or its various interpretations as “Islamophobic.”  It is attempting to pass the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy codes in the West, using accusations of bigotry to silence anyone who speaks the truth about Islamic terrorism or Islamic persecution of religious minorities.

The OIC uses international bodies such as the UN and international “consensus building” as a platform to achieve its goals.  Certainly, if the OIC straightforwardly informed America and Europe of its aspirations to silence speech, it would gain no strides.  Therefore, it uses bureaucratic, unaccountable entities such as the UN as a means to make inroads, using watered down language and words that sound palatable to the West in order to deceive the public about its underlying goals.

Unfortunately, the OIC has been fairly successful in passing UN resolutions that if implemented, would have the effect of stifling speech that “defames religions.”  Of course, the OIC is only concerned with the defamation of Islam.  Indeed, OIC countries all have some sort of Islamic blasphemy laws which prohibit such defamation.  To be certain, these laws are regularly used to criminally punish those who speak critically of Islam.  These laws are also used to justify persecution of religious minorities.  For example, in many OIC countries, openly practicing a version of Islam not sanctioned by the government can land one in jail for blasphemy.  The OIC has no reciprocity in refraining from “defamation” of Judaism, Christianity, or other religions.

Read more at Front Page

South African Radio Station Fined For Unflattering Mention Of Islam

microphone_matthew_keefe_flickr

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

by ANDREW E. HARROD:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more at Breitbart

Freedom to Criticize

6a00d8341c60bf53ef017ee97d48af970d-600wiby Samuel Westrop:

Hate preachers are allowed to address audiences with no complaint, but critics of these hate preachers are silenced.

Last month, a scholar and critic of Islam, Robert Spencer, was barred entry to the UK, while one of the objects of Spencer’s disapproval, Muhamed Al-Arifi, was admitted to Britain with no objection at all from the British government.

Spencer’s comments about Islamic extremism were apparently considered too incendiary; Arifi, however, describes the killing of “infidels” as a “great honour” and advocates the murder of Jews. On IQRA TV, he states that:

What was taken by force will be restored only by force, as conveyed by the Prophet Muhammad, who said: “You will fight the Jews.” He did not say: You will conduct negotiations, they will make concessions, and then you will make concessions, and then we will reach a compromise and divide Jerusalem… By God, Jerusalem will not be divided. He said in the hadith: “You will fight the Jews and kill them.” It was the Prophet Muhammad who said this, not me.

Spencer has never advocated killing anybody; and, incidentally, in British law, supporting the murder of others is a crime.

It seems that increasingly, especially when it comes to Islamism, there are those in the West who work to silence the critic rather than the criminal, and often more attention is paid to the critics of extremists than to the extremists themselves. It is true that our enemy’s enemy is not necessarily our friend, but we need not apply such double standards in our response.

Opponents of free speech, such as Matthew Collins — spokesman for the “anti-fascist” group, Hope Not Hate, which lobbied for Spencer’s exclusion – claims that, “[Voltaire] never had the benefit of going to the gates of Auschwitz and seeing where unfettered free speech ends up.”

The West’s submission to Islamist thugs has largely been inversely proportional to the West’s commitment to free expression and honest discussion of its disputed limitations. Writers such as Nick Cohen and Kenan Malik regularly make this point. Cohen describes the censorship imposed — in an effort to appease the Islamist-led rioters — by Western governments around Salmon Rushdie’s novel, The Satanic Verses, as the “Dreyfus Affair” of our age.

There evolved, soon, another sort of censorship: the suppression of one person’s criticism, supposedly to defend another person’s right to free speech.

The London School of Economics’ Student Union, for example, is happy to approve anti-Semitic and pro-terror speakers. In response, however, to a student society publishing a satirical cartoon that mocked religious extremism, the Union in 2012 tabled a motion that proclaimed blasphemy a form of racism. Ironically, the motion concluded: “There is a special need in a Students’ Union to balance freedom of speech.” What “balance”? While hate preachers are allowed to address students with no complaint, critics of these hate preachers are silenced?

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Please contribute to the legal fund to overturn the unjust ban on Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer entering the UK here.

And sign the petition asking that the ban be overturned here.

First Amendment v. Sharia: Sixth Circuit Asked to Overturn Federal Court Decision that Condoned “Benghazi-like” Attack on Christians

-1408495185AFLC:

Cincinnati, Ohio (July 8, 2013) — The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), a national nonprofit Judeo-Christian law firm, filed its opening brief on Friday in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, asking the court to overturn a lower court’s dismissal of a civil rights lawsuit brought by several Christian evangelists who were violently attacked by a hostile mob of Muslims while preaching at an Arab festival last year in Dearborn, Michigan, which has the largest Muslim population in the United States.  Video of the Muslim assault went viral on YouTube.

AFLC had filed the lawsuit in September 2012 on behalf of the Christians against Wayne County, the Wayne County Sheriff, and two Wayne County Deputy Chiefs for not only refusing to protect the Christians from the attack but also for threatening to arrest the Christians for disorderly conduct if they did not halt their speech activity and immediately leave the festival area.

This past May, Federal Judge Patrick J. Duggan, sitting in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, granted Wayne County’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed the lawsuit.  In his ruling, Judge Duggan stated that “the actual demonstration of violence here provided the requisite justification for [the Wayne County sheriffs’] intervention, even if the officials acted as they did because of the effect the speech had on the crowd.”

In its opening brief in the Sixth Circuit, AFLC argues that “liberty is at an end if a police officer may without warrant arrest, not the person threatening violence, but those who are its likely victims merely because the person arrested is engaging in conduct which, though peaceful and legally and constitutionally protected, is deemed offensive and provocative . . . .  Indeed, the district court’s decision compels private citizens who engage in . . . constitutionally protected conduct to surrender their fundamental right to freedom of speech to mob rule because violence now serves as a lawful justification for the government to suppress a speaker’s unpopular message.  As a result, the district court’s decision rewards and thus encourages violence as a legitimate means of suppressing unpopular speech—an outcome squarely at odds with the First Amendment.”

Robert Muise, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “The district court’s ruling is an unprecedented blow to the First Amendment.  Indeed, the fact that the court’s decision rewards and thus encourages violence as a legitimate means of suppressing unpopular speech jeopardizes the constitutional safeguards that our Founding Fathers fought so hard to establish.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented, “In light of the ongoing Muslim violence around the world, particularly against Christians in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere, this ruling effectively empowers Muslims in America to engage in violence to silence Christian speech that they deem offensive.  And pursuant to this ruling, it is perfectly justified for law enforcement officials to respond to such violence by arresting the Christian speakers for engaging in disorderly conduct instead of apprehending the violent Muslims.  The ramifications of this ruling are ominous, which is why the appellate court must overturn it.”