Facebook’s War on Freedom of Speech

Gatestone Institute, by Douglas Murray, February 5, 2016:

  • Facebook is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might decide is racist — along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is “racist.”
  • The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week came reports of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on social media.
  • In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations and only violence is left.
  • The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true “initiative for civil courage” would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.

It was only a few weeks ago that Facebook was forced to back down when caught permitting anti-Israel postings, but censoring equivalent anti-Palestinian postings.

Now one of the most sinister stories of the past year was hardly even reported. In September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook at a UN development summit in New York. As they sat down, Chancellor Merkel’s microphone, still on, recorded Merkel asking Zuckerberg what could be done to stop anti-immigration postings being written on Facebook. She asked if it was something he was working on, and he assured her it was.

At the time, perhaps the most revealing aspect of this exchange was that the German Chancellor — at the very moment that her country was going through one of the most significant events in its post-war history — should have been spending any time worrying about how to stop public dislike of her policies being vented on social media. But now it appears that the discussion yielded consequential results.

Last month, Facebook launched what it called an “Initiative for civil courage online,” the aim of which, it claims, is to remove “hate speech” from Facebook — specifically by removing comments that “promote xenophobia.” Facebook is working with a unit of the publisher Bertelsmann, which aims to identify and then erase “racist” posts from the site. The work is intended particularly to focus on Facebook users in Germany. At the launch of the new initiative, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, explained that, “Hate speech has no place in our society — not even on the internet.” She went to say that, “Facebook is not a place for the dissemination of hate speech or incitement to violence.” Of course, Facebook can do what it likes on its own website. What is troubling is what this organization of effort and muddled thinking reveals about what is going on in Europe.

The mass movement of millions of people — from across Africa, the Middle East and further afield — into Europe has happened in record time and is a huge event in its history. As events in Paris,Cologne and Sweden have shown, it is also by no means a series of events only with positive connotations.

As well as being fearful of the security implications of allowing in millions of people whose identities, beliefs and intentions are unknown and — in such large numbers — unknowable, many Europeans are deeply concerned that this movement heralds an irreversible alteration in the fabric of their society. Many Europeans do not want to become a melting pot for the Middle East and Africa, but want to retain something of their own identities and traditions. Apparently, it is not just a minority who feel concern about this. Poll after poll shows a significant majority of the public in each and every European country opposed to immigration at anything like the current rate.

The sinister thing about what Facebook is doing is that it is now removing speech that presumably almost everybody might consider racist — along with speech that only someone at Facebook decides is “racist.”

And it just so happens to turn out that, lo and behold, this idea of “racist” speech appears to include anything critical of the EU’s current catastrophic immigration policy.

By deciding that “xenophobic” comment in reaction to the crisis is also “racist,” Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people (who, it must be stressed, are opposed to Chancellor Merkel’s policies) into “racist” views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as “racist.” This is a policy that will do its part in pushing Europe into a disastrous future.

Because even if some of the speech Facebook is so scared of is in some way “xenophobic,” there are deep questions as to why such speech should be banned. In lieu of violence, speech is one of the best ways for people to vent their feelings and frustrations. Remove the right to speak about your frustrations, and only violence is left. Weimar Germany — to give just one example — was replete with hate-speech laws intended to limit speech the state did not like. These laws did nothing whatsoever to limit the rise of extremism; it only made martyrs out of those it pursued, and persuaded an even larger number of people that the time for talking was over.

The sinister reality of a society in which the expression of majority opinion is being turned into a crime has already been seen across Europe. Just last week, reports from the Netherlands told of Dutch citizens being visited by the police and warned about posting anti-mass-immigration sentiments on Twitter and other social media.

In this toxic mix, Facebook has now — knowingly or unknowingly — played its part. The lid is being put on the pressure cooker at precisely the moment that the heat is being turned up. A true “initiative for civil courage” would explain to both Merkel and Zuckerberg that their policy can have only one possible result.

Douglas Murray, a British writer, journalist and commentator, is based in London, England.

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WATCH Pamela Geller on Tomi Lahren’s premiere show: Islam, jihad, islamofauxbia, migrant crisis

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Atlas Shrugs, by Pamela Geller, Feb. 1, 2016:

I was Tomi Lahren’s first guest on the premiere of her show on The Blaze TV. We discuss a wide range of jihad related subjects – the migrant crisis, the myth of islamophobia, President Obama, the GOP debate’s Nabeela Noor, mosque closures and more.

MIGRANT CRISIS: Immigration jihad. This is a Hijra, emigration for the sake of Allah, to conquer and Islamize the new land – evidence is the warning from Isis and the fact that most migrants are young Muslim men – if they were really refugees they wouldn’t have left their families in a war zone

In Cologne they were acting according to Islamic law regarding treatment of Infidel women

MOSQUES: Mosques must be monitored – 4 separate studies since 1998 show that 80% of US mosques teach hatred of unbelievers and the need to replace constitution with sharia. The San Bernardinon amd Garland jihadis and others have been active in their mosques – what is taught there. Trumps proposal makes sense – no one who has called him a bigot has offered any way to distinguish jihadis from peaceful migrants

ISLAMOFAUXBIA: Islamophobia is a propaganda term designed to intimidate people into being afraid to oppose jihad terror. It is a thought crushing devise –a tactic of Islamic supremacists to label any opposition to jihad terror and sharia oppression bigotry – it is not bigotry to stand for freedom and individual rights.

FREE SPEECH: It is more threatened than anyone realizes – the attacks on me after Garland show that people don’t understand the principle that is at stake – if we limit speech we invite tyranny.

Democrats Castigate “Anti-Muslim” Speech in Proposed Legislation

clinton-oicFrontpage, by Deborah Weiss, Jan. 26, 2016:

As ISIS rises, Democrat politicians forge down a slippery slope to destroy America’s First Amendment and prohibit all discussion of Islamic terrorism.

After the San Bernadino ISIS-inspired terrorist attack, which left 14 dead and 22 others injured, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, America’s top law enforcement attorney, explained that her biggest fear was not more ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks, but “the rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric.”

She threatened to prosecute anti-Muslim rhetoric “edging toward violence” and proclaimed that the Department of Justice has already been investigating those whose language is characterized in this manner. “Edging toward violence” is, of course, not the constitutional standard for illegal speech in the land of the free. The correct legal standard set forth in “Brandenburg vs Ohio” by the Supreme Court is “incitement to violence.” The content of language has to explicitly encourage the violence with imminent lawless action the likely result.  No doubt that Lynch’s “edging toward violence” standard will not be equally applied to the Muslims preaching “death to America” in American mosques.

Jeh Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, echoed Lynch’s sentiment and argued that Americans cannot “drive [Muslims] into hiding” – as if anybody were actually doing that. Unfortunately, James Comey, Director of the FBI, who is usually strong on law enforcement, told the Muslim community, “if someone is terrorizing you based on your religion, let us know,” – conflating the mass murder of terrorist attacks with harsh words that might hurt someone’s feelings.

In the administration’s pattern of overt sympathy to the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, it is telling that the Attorney General’s position was announced at a conference by a group named “Muslim Advocates for Peace and Justice,” as “peace and justice” is the official motto of the Muslim Brotherhood.  Notably, American Advocates for Peace and Justice boast of its “strategic lawsuits” against the FBI, CIA, and NSA programs – apparently one of its main goals is to hamper law enforcement and national security efforts.

Let’s not forget either only recently in Tennessee the Attorney General Killian threatened that anti-Muslim speech “violates civil rights,” implying the threat of civil prosecutions for so-called “hate speech.”

All such rhetoric is mirrored if not directed by the White House as in a televised speech delivered in the wake of the California massacre, President Obama lectured Americans, scolding that, above all else, we should curb our rhetoric and refuse to define the war as America vs Islam “because that’s what ISIL wants.”

Now in the aftermath of a wave of Islamic terrorist attacks throughout Europe and America, Democrats in Congress have proposed a bill titled, “HR 569: Condemning violence, bigotry and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.” This bill contains nothing but inaccurate assertions, anti-freedom proposals and a complete rejection of America’s founding principles.

First, the bill asserts that “victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric face verbal, physical and emotional abuse.” It singles out Muslims despite the fact that FBI statistics demonstrate that hate crimes against Muslims are low compared to other groups – even with inflated reports by CAIR.

Yet, after a wave of Islamic terrorist attacks throughout the West, the bill’s supporters show no concern for the victims of Islamic terrorist attacks. Instead, they sympathize with the Muslim community, thus turning perpetrators into victims in a tactic known as “reverse victimization.”

Second, the bill conflates speech and actions, an important distinction both legally and factually.

The bill asserts that “hate speech” based on faith is in “contravention to the founding principles” of religious freedom. Suddenly the Democrats care about what America’s Founding Fathers believed! Unfortunately, they don’t seem to understand that our Founding Fathers also believed in freedom of speech.  This assertion demonstrates a severe lack of understanding of the First Amendment – a real problem when we are talking about elected officials sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The bill also fails to acknowledge that Islam in  is not just a religion but a political ideology as well, with totalitarian aspects that are inherently anti-Constitutional. Enemy threat doctrine asserts that in order to win a war you have to know your enemy and name it by name. By refusing to identify the ideological threat motivating Islamic terrorism, elected politicians who co-sponsored this bill would have America on a suicide course – something certainly in “contravention” to the Constitution.

Repeatedly, the bill professes that America welcomes all faiths, beliefs and cultures. Against the backdrop of political correctness and multiculturalism emerges the false idea that all values and beliefs are equal.  Yet, it is plain to see that Nazism, Communism and Islamism are NOT equal to the Judeo-Christian values of liberty, equality and human rights.

The bill argues that anti-Muslim speech plays into the “false narrative spread by terrorist groups of Western hatred of Islam…” and causes a violent reaction. This argument is not only faulty; it is dangerous!  It plays into the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s notion that “hate” speech CAUSES terrorism. Terrorism is used to restrict speech on one hand and while on the other free speech is protrayed as the origin of terrorism. If the public is convinced that so-called “Islamophobia” causes terrorism, rather than the other way around, Westerners will ultimately conform to Islamic blasphemy restrictions.

However, Islamic terrorism pre-dates “Islamophobia.” Further, Islamic terrorism has ideological roots. Blaming terrorism on geo-political grievances or any other behavior by “infidels” is simply the present hook jihadists hang their hats on. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Until the West becomes part of an Islamic Caliphate and infidels subdue themselves into submission to Islam, jihadists will not be happy. Besides, America is supposed to be a nation of Judeo-Christian values including that of personal responsibility. This notion that it is OUR fault that someone else commits violence shifts the responsibility from the terrorists to those who make mere comments that the terrorists dislike.

Further, when Islamic terrorists groups say they are theologically inspired, this is not propaganda. It’s true. It’s the stealth groups, like CAIR, who claim there is no theological motivation, that are spewing forth disinformation.

Next, the resolution declares the Muslim civil rights need to be protected. But abridging Americans’ First Amendment right to freedom of speech does not constitute a “civil rights protection.” Perhaps federal agencies designed to protect the security of Americans should focus on national security rather than restricting “rhetoric.” Just a thought!

Finally, the bill “affirms the inalienable right of every citizen to live without fear. …” This is conjured up, as no such right exists. But if Democrats want people to live fear-free, they should address the very real threat of Islamic terrorism and stop worrying about people’s concocted constitutional right to be free from hurt feelings.

The Judeo-Christian values of freedom, equality and human rights, serve as the foundational underpinnings of the U.S. Constitution. It is these values from which freedom flourishes and what sets America apart from the tyrannical regimes of other countries, including Islamic theocracies. Other countries, lacking these values, institutionalize the oppression of women, children, and religious minorities. Our values make America exceptional and cause us to be the envy of the world.

Yet, it is these same values that are eschewed by the far left, and increasingly by mainstream Democrat politicians, as evidenced by Democrat support of this bill. As of this writing, the bill is co-sponsored by 115 Democrats in the House (out of 188 Democrat total) and no Republicans.

There is no constitutional right to be free from offense. Yet, Democrat politicians ranging from Attorney General Loretta Lynch to the Philadelphia Mayor want the public to refrain, not just from gratuitous offense, but from truthful comments about the roots of Islamic terrorism.

Though H.R. 569 has no mandate to make legal restrictions on speech, it creates an environment that makes hate speech laws easier to pass down the road. The threats of prosecution, the constant chastisement from political officials, voted in to uphold the Constitution but who are instead doing everything possible to violate its spirit, are sliding the United States down a slope toward legal incursions to freedom of speech. Because free speech is the basis from which political dissent, religious freedom, and other freedoms flow, speech restrictions are not just unconstitutional, they constitute an existential threat.

Once we start down this road, it will not be only gratuitous “insult” that is prohibited. Outlawed will be dissent on refugee and national security policy, as well as truthful comments about Islamic terrorism, Islamic persecution of religious minorities or human rights violations committed in the name of Islam. But facts are stubborn things. And only the truth shall make us free. Tell everyone you know about the anti-Constitutional politicians who are supporting this bill.

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to Frontpage Magazine.  She is also a contributing author to the book, “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network”, the main researcher and writer for “Council on American-Islamic Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation” and the author of “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech.”  Her work can be found atwww.vigilancenow.org.

US Criminalizing Free Speech?

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, January 5, 2016:

  • Is this House Resolution a prelude? Has Attorney General Lynch seen the potential for someone lifting her “mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric”? And what is “anti-Muslim rhetoric” exactly? Criticizing Islam? Debating Mohammed? Discussing whether ISIS is a true manifestation of Islam? Who decides the definition of “hate speech” against Muslims?
  • Of all 1,149 anti-religious hate crimes reported in the United States in 2014, only 16.1% were directed against Muslims, according to the FBI. By contrast, over half of all anti-religious hate crimes were directed against Jews – 56.8%.
  • Why this lopsided, discriminatory House Resolution in favor of a religious group that statistically needs it the least?
  • Are the Attorney General and the eighty-two House Democrats out to destroy the First Amendment and introduce censorship? A House Resolution could be reintroduced later as binding legislation.

Eighty-two leading Democrats have cosponsored a House Resolution (H.Res. 569) “Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States”.

The Resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Democrat Donald S. Beyer (Virginia) on December 17, 2015 — a mere 15 days after Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook gunned down 14 innocent Americans and wounded 23 in an ISIS-inspired terror attack at a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California.

The House Resolution states, “the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim,” and the House of Representatives “expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes.”

What victims? Of all 1,149 anti-religious hate crimes reported in the United States in 2014, only 16.1% were directed against Muslims, according to the FBI. By contrast, over half of all anti-religious hate crimes were directed against Jews – 56.8%. The fewest, 8.6% of anti-religious hate crimes, were directed against Christians (Protestants and Catholics).

The Resolution goes on to denounce “…in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim.”

The House Resolution singles out Muslims in the United States as an especially vulnerable religious group that needs special protection to the extent that the Resolution “urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes.”

The reason for the introduction of this House Resolution at this point in time makes more sense if seen in conjunction with statements made by Attorney General Loretta Lynch on December 3, at a dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Muslim Advocates — an organization that, according to its own website, has “powerful connections in Congress and the White House” and ensures that, “the concerns of American Muslims are heard by leaders at the highest levels of government.” Muslim Advocates goes on to say, “As a watchdog of justice, we use the courts to bring to task those who threaten the rights of American Muslims.”

At the dinner, Attorney General Lynch stated that she is concerned about an

“incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric… The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence. Now obviously, this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric — or, as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be Muslims but perceived to be Muslims, and they will suffer just as much — when we see that we will take action.”

Is this House Resolution a prelude to the Attorney General taking that action? Has she seen the potential for someone lifting her “mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric”? And what is “anti-Muslim rhetoric” exactly? Criticizing Islam? Debating Mohammed? Discussing whether ISIS is a true manifestation of Islam? Who decides the definition of what is considered hate speech against Muslims?

Are the Attorney General and the eighty-two House Democrats out to destroy the First Amendment and introduce censorship?

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (left) said on December 3, “[W]hen we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric… when we see that we will take action.”

A House Resolution could be reintroduced later as binding legislation. Americans should be deeply concerned about this. The part of the House Resolution that should most concern Americans is the urging of “local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes.”

What is a hate crime in this context? The law already prohibits violence and threats of violence, and law enforcement authorities are supposed to prosecute those — intimidation, destruction, damage, vandalism, simple and aggravated assault. However, as this resolution includes “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric” in its title, Americans should worry that it is those that the House Resolution is really alluding to, when it urges law enforcement authorities to prevent and prosecute hate crimes.

Why would the House of Representatives find it necessary to make such redundant statements, if not in order to redefine the concept of a hate crime?

Notably, no similar House Resolution has appeared condemning the much higher percentage of hate crimes against Jews — over three times as many as against Muslims. As long as the House is going down the road of condemning hate crimes, why does it not even mention once the much more widespread hate crimes that American Jews are experiencing? Why does it not mention the hate crimes against Christians, which after all are only 7.5% percent fewer than those against Muslims? Why this lopsided, discriminatory House Resolution in favor of a religious group that statistically needs it the least?

The House Resolution is unsettlingly similar to the UN Human Rights Commission’s Resolution 16/18, which is an attempt to establish Islamic “blasphemy laws,” making criticism of religion a criminal offense. The UNHRC Resolution would apply internationally (non-binding as of yet, except, presumably, for the countries that want it to be binding), and infractions would be punishable by law. In some Islamic countries, at the moment, the punishment is death — a sentence often handed down in trials that use questionable jurisprudence. Last year alone, a Saudi court sentenced a blogger, Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes (“lashed very severely,” the court order read) and ten years in jail. Outside of any courts, in 2015 alone, in Bangladesh, four secular bloggers on four separate occasions were hacked to death by people who apparently did not agree with what they said.

The UNHRC Resolution, originally known as “Defamation of Islam,” was changed in later versions — it would seem for broader marketability — to “Defamation of Religions.”

Long sought by the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, UNHRC Resolution 16/18 was co-sponsored by the United States, along with Pakistan. During a series of closed-door meetings over at least three years, it was spearheaded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“At the invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” begins the document of the US Mission in Geneva, “representatives of 26 governments and four international organizations met in Washington, D.C. on December 12-14, 2011 to discuss the implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18 on ‘Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief.'”

UNHRC Resolution 16/18, also known as the “Istanbul Process” (where the original meeting on the topic took place), is an Orwellian document that claims to protect freedom of religion, while attempting to criminalize internationally anything that might be considered “incitement to violence.” The late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat used to tell his people, “I don’t have to tell you what to do. You know what to do.” Each word could be in Pat the Bunny. Would Arafat’s statement be considered incitement to violence?

UNHRC Resolution 16/18 was passed on March 24, 2011, without a vote.

According to the journalist Abigail Esman, writing in Forbes:

Resolution 16/18 seeks to limit speech that is viewed as “discriminatory” or which involves the “defamation of religion” – specifically that which can be viewed as “incitement to imminent violence… [T]his latest version, which includes the “incitement to imminent violence” phrase – that is, which criminalizes speech which incites violence against others on the basis of religion, race, or national origin – has succeeded in winning US approval – despite the fact that it (indirectly) places limitations as well on speech considered “blasphemous.”

In answer to a reproof — from the U.S Department of State, no less — Esman wrote, “By agreeing to criminalize ‘incitement to violence’ and to use all means at its disposal to prevent and to punish such actions, the US has – however unwittingly – enabled the OIC to use the measure against us – and other members of the free world.”

Many extremist Muslims, however, seem to have no problem criticizing other religions, as well as other Muslims. Some “criticize” Christians, as we have witnessed, by slitting their throats, or by burning or drowning them alive. Many extremist Muslims also seem to have no problem criticizing Jews – starting with calling them descendants of apes and pigs (Surah 5. Al-Maida, Ayah 60). Some Muslims write that all Jews should be killed:

the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

One therefore cannot help wondering — and one should wonder – to what extent H.Res. 569 is the “nose of the camel under the tent.”

As of now, H.Res. 569 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Americans had better hope that the House Committee will see it for what it is: An attempt to destroy the First Amendment, shield Islam from criticism, and bring “Death to Free Speech.”

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Gaffney: Shariah-Compliant Twitter

Arabic-Twitter-Getty-640x480Breitbart, by Frank  Gaffney, Jan. 3, 2016:

Twitter seems to think 2016 is 1984. It has welcomed in the New Year with a change in the rules governing all of its accounts that is reminiscent of Orwellian thought-control. Or at least that practiced by another, non-fictional totalitarian system: the Islamic supremacist program known as shariah.

Shariah’s adherents demand that no offense be given to them, their religion, deity or prophet. Now, all other things being equal, they are close to ensuring that none will be forthcoming in 140 characters.

If successful, contemporary Islamists will have achieved a major step towards a goal they have been pursuing through other means for nearly two decades: the worldwide prohibition of “defamation of religions” – read, Islam. In particular, since 2005, their proto-Caliphate – the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – has been working through the United Nations on a ten-year plan to impose this restraint concerning freedom of expression on the rest of us.

In 2011, with the active support of the Obama administration, this gambit produced UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. It basically gives the imprimatur of international law to Shariah’s demand that speech, books, videos and now Tweets that “defame” Muslims or their faith be prohibited.

In July of that year, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton implicated herself personally in this affront to our First Amendment guarantee of free expression. She launched with the OIC and the European Union the so-called “Istanbul Process,” a tripartite effort to accommodate the Islamic supremacists’ demands that Western nations conform to Resolution 16/18 by adopting domestic strictures against offense-giving to Muslims. 

On that occasion, Mrs. Clinton famously declared her willingness “to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.” The message could not have been more clear to jihadists around the world: The United States was submitting to shariah blasphemy norms.

According to shariah, the proper response is to redouble the effort to make the infidel “feel subdued.” That means, worse behavior from the Islamists, not better.

Now, it seems that one of the greatest enablers of the global jihad, Saudi billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal, is seeing his substantial stake in Twitter stock translate into another breakthrough for Islamic supremacy: The suppression of Tweets that, according to the company’s new rule, involve “hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.”

To be sure Twitter is a private sector enterprise. It is, therefore, free to deny its services to those whose content it finds objectionable. At least, as long as it doesn’t try to deny service to approved “haters” like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). This organization has deviated wildly from its early history as an effective advocate for civil liberties. Today, its invective-laced advocacy against individuals or organization who are supposed to enjoy “protected status” under our Constitution, namely that of citizens free to express themselves, can only be described as hate speech. Yet, the SPLC is embraced and even cited by the Obama administration and others among the leftists and Islamists who make up the “Red-Green axis” now feverishly working to silence any who they, as Hillary Clinton put it, “abhor.” (For more on this unlikely alliance, see Jim Simpson’s The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America.)

What is particularly concerning is that the new Twitter rule sounds a lot like what is coming out of the Obama administration these days. See, for example, the Justice Department’s “Guidance for Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Regarding the Use Of Race, Ethnicity, Gender, National Origin, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Or Gender Identity.”

Speaking of the Justice Department, Americans who are inclined not to worry about losing the ability to Tweet their concerns about jihadism, shariah and anything else that might offend Muslims should bear in mind that Attorney General Loretta Lynch has put us all on notice that considerably worse may be in store for our First Amendment rights. Last month she told a Muslim Brotherhood-tied organization, Muslim Advocates: “Now, obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone…lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric…When we see that, we will take action.”

With Hillary Clinton’s prominent role in promoting restriction of free expression, and what appears to be accelerating momentum in the direction of ensuring conformity with shariah blasphemy restrictions, this would seem to be a good time for Republican presidential candidates – and the rest of us – to be expressing our adamant objections. If Twitter gets away with keeping us from doing it in 140 characters, we better make sure we do it otherwise, while we still can.

Islam v. Free Speech: Twitter Surrenders

twitter 1National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Jan. 4, 2016:

My weekend column profiled Bosch Fawstin, the intrepid cartoonist who won last spring’s “Draw Muhammad” contest that was attacked by two ISIS-inspired jihadists in Garland, Texas. (The terrorists were killed in a shootout with police.) Fawstin compellingly argues that the best way to fight a repulsive conquest ideology such as Islamic supremacism is to expose it. That means an unstinting reliance on our constitutional right to free expression.

Apparently, Twitter has opted to join the campaign to crack down on free expression. And one is left to wonder whether the big Saudi bucks that have come its way are a factor in Twitter’s decision-making.

As I recount in the column, the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists has long been the imposition of sharia blasphemy standards on the West. This campaign is not waged exclusively or even primarily by violent jihadists. Instead, its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (a 57-government bloc of, mainly, majority-Muslim countries).

The West should be fighting these anti-Western Islamic supremacists in defense of our core principles. Instead, the Obama administration — particularly the president and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton — has colluded with them. So have other left-leaning governments and institutions that are naturally hostile to free speech and open debate. One prominent result, which I discussed in the column as well as in Islam and Free Speech, is U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. This blatantly unconstitutional provision, co-sponsored by Obama, Clinton, and OIC members, calls on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam. Essentially, this is a codification of sharia, which prohibits all expression that subjects Islam to critical examination.

RELATED Just Asking About Islam and Terrorism

Twitter has announced new regulations on content communicated via its social-networking service. They are prohibitions on speech similar in effect to Resolution 16/18. As usual, this is shrewdly done under the guise of suppressing “hate” speech. In fact, the regulations cast a much wider net that potentially calls for the suppression of political and educational speech.

Twitter’s policy, called “Hate content, sensitive topics, and violence,” is here. The policy states that it applies to “Twitter Ads,” but goes on to explain that these “paid advertising products” include all “Tweets,” as well as “trends and accounts.”

The policy is then spelled out in question-and-answer form. Here is the relevant part (the italics are mine):

What’s the policy?

Twitter prohibits the promotion of hate content, sensitive topics, and violence globally.

ACM: Note from the get-go: We are not just talking about the incitement of violence here. Twitter is laying the groundwork to regulate discussions of any topics it deems “sensitive.”

What products or services are subject to this policy?

This policy applies, but is not limited, to:

Hate speech or advocacy against an individual, organization or protected group based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, disability, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or other protected status.

ACM: Note that this prohibition expressly goes beyond “hate speech” (which itself is an absurdly subjective term), additionally banning “advocacy against” people or groups based on, among other things, “religion” (as well as “other protected status” — who knows what that means?).

In essence, it is not different from Resolution 16/18’s prohibition of speech that could “incite” mere “hostility” to religion — i.e., anything that could cast Islam in a bad light, regardless of whether it is truthful. If they try to tell you this is just about banning insulting cartoons and patently derogatory statements, don’t buy it. This is about permitting only speech that conforms to the government’s official, smiley-face version of Islam.

Twitter’s list of speech categories to which its suppression policy applies continues:

Violence or threats of violence against people or animals

Glorification of self-harm or related content

Organizations or individuals associated with promoting hate, criminal, or terrorist-related content

ACM: Again, note that Twitter distinguishes “hate” from “terrorist-related content” and seeks to ban both. Remember, it is not just terrorists who engage in “terrorist-related” speech; it is also those of us who write about terrorism and what motivates terrorism. As announced, the policy makes no distinction between ISIS and, say, your humble correspondent.

Before concluding with a ban on “Offensive, vulgar, abusive or obscene content,” the policy also bans “Inflammatory content which is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction or cause harm.” This prohibition continues a dangerous trend: codification of the “heckler’s veto” or the law of the jungle. To the contrary, the First Amendment emphatically rejects the notion that speech obviously not intended to incite violence (indeed, often intended to expose savagery) should be banned simply because uncivilized people might react to it with violence, threats, and other perilous, intimidating behavior.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Extremism Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Twitter elaborates that its suppression policy does not apply to “News and information that calls attention to hate, sensitive topics, or violence, but does not advocate for it.” So does that exemption include commentary on “news and information”? Apparently not. In the next sentence, Twitter provides a separate exemption for “commentary” that is much more narrow: The prohibition does not apply to “commentary about products, services, companies, or brands, including potentially negative commentary.”

The patent implication is that if “commentary” “calls attention to hate, sensitive topics, or violence,” Twitter reserves the right to ban it even if the commentary “does not advocate” hatred, violence, or other offenses to someone’s delicate sensibilities.

Is it a coincidence that Twitter is pushing the anti-speech agenda in the same direction as the OIC? Consider this: One of the prime movers in the campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy standards and other aspects of sharia law on the West is Saudi Arabia. In 2011, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — a prominent member of the Saudi royal family with a prodigious record of buying up and influencing Western media and educational institutions — ponied up $300 million to purchase Twitter stock. By the end of 2015, bin Talal had doubled his investment in Twitter: His stake now has a market value of approximately $1 billion, good enough for a 5 percent share.

The sharia justice system that bin Talal’s family enforces is currently drawing attention due to its mass executions, which include putting to death a prominent Shiite activist, drawing the wrath of rival Iran (another prominent OIC country that imposes sharia law and executes dissenters). For present purposes, though, our focus is blasphemy. The Saudis strictly enforce sharia blasphemy strictures that the OIC — wittingly aided by Obama and Clinton — would thrust on the rest of the world. It is a commonplace for Saudi blasphemy prosecutions to be based on social-media postings on Twitter, Facebook, and the like.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth — the Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

By spreading his fortune around, tens of millions at a clip, Prince bin Talal attracts many admirers in the Western commentariat. He is thus depicted as the tolerant, progressive face of Saudi moderation. The image masks the ugly reality of the royal family and its sharia enforcement. For a more realistic take, and to grasp the perilous specter of Islamic-supremacist influence over Western free-speech standards, here is something worth perusing: last year’s Saudi court ruling that upheld the blasphemy conviction of human-rights activist Raif Badawi. He was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment and a thousand lashes for writing such social-media posts as: “The combination of the sword and the Quran are more dangerous than a nuclear bomb.”

After explaining that “liberalism is parting away from religion according to the Western definition of it,” the court held that Badawi had shown

disparagement of the one who made the Quran and the Sunnah as a guiding light and a law that equates the ruler and the ruled. And based on these thoughts that spread doubt in the fundamentals of the religion and its values, [Badawi] violate[d] the five essentials which sharia came to protect, and spread sedition and conflict among the people in society.

Hence, according to Act 23 of the basic law of governance, which says: “the government protects the Islamic doctrine, applies the laws of the Sharia, and promotes virtue and prevents vice”; and according to Act 11 of the same law, “the Saudi people live based on the tenacity of its individuals to the rope of Allah, and cooperate on righteousness, piety and interdependence among each other, and never be separated” . . .

The statements he confessed to writing . . . contain overall the perverted liberal thought and a call to embrace it and to reject the way of people of goodness and righteousness. It is a call to liberation from the duties of religion and its values, and to disrespect its [tenets].

The convict’s acts are condemned and considered a crime according to sharia and according to our government [law] combatting cybercrime, which says, “any person who commits the following cybercrimes is to be sentenced to serve a maximum of 5 years in prison [and fined:]. . . . Forming whatever affects public order and religious values, and public manners and the privacy of personal life via composing, sending or publishing the compromising material on the cyber web or any other electronic device.”

Yes, what could be better for Twitter than Saudi money and all the progressive enlightenment that comes with it?

We must hasten to add that Twitter is a private service. It is not bound by the First Amendment. Unlike the government, it is permitted to suppress speech disseminated through its own system. But that system has millions of users (including me, and most National Review writers). The new Twitter policy is clearly an effort to shape the public’s understanding of what is and is not tolerable speech. The question is: Is Twitter influential enough to have that effect . . . or will its obnoxious policy prompt protests by users that induce Twitter to rethink its course?

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

Why ‘Draw Mohammed’? The Artist Explains

Fawstin2National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 2, 2016:

Mohammed cartoons don’t inspire Islamic violence. Islamic violence inspires Mohammed cartoons.” That is what Bosch Fawstin tells me. And he knows whereof he speaks.

Fawstin is the award-winning cartoonist thrust into international notoriety in May when he won a “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, Texas — a contest that became the first terrorist target of the Islamic State on American soil.

The event was intended to be less a competition than a celebration of free-expression principles. Because those principles undergird Western civilization, they have become the prime target of Islamic supremacists. And when we talk about Islamic supremacists, we are not talking only about violent jihadists, such as the two ISIS-inspired terrorists who were killed in a firefight with police while attempting a mass murder of Fawstin and his fellow contestants.

There are also the “moderates” who specialize in exploiting the atmosphere of intimidation created by jihadist organizations: the Muslim Brotherhood’s international web of Islamic activist groups and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the 57-government bloc that claims to represent Muslim interests globally.

The methods of the “moderates” might differ from those of ISIS and al-Qaeda — and given the extensive promotion of jihadist violence by the Brotherhood and several OIC member states, we say “might” with tongue firmly in cheek. The “moderate” goal, however, is the same: the imposition of sharia, which is Islam’s societal framework and legal code. As Fawstin explains it: “Devout Muslims want their laws to be our laws. In essence, they want us to be de facto Muslims.”

RELATED: Just Asking about Islam and Terrorism

In that vein, priority No. 1 has been pressuring the United States and its Western allies to stifle free expression, to supplant our free marketplace of ideas with Islam’s repressive blasphemy standards. This imperative has received a major boost from the Obama administration: from the president, who is sworn to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment, and also from his former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who would like to be the next to make a mockery of that solemn oath. Colluding with the Brotherhood and the OIC, Obama and Clinton sponsored United Nations Human Rights Resolution 16-18: a blatantly unconstitutional provision that calls on all member states to ban speech that could “incite” not just violence but “hostility” to Islam.

This goes to the heart of why the Garland event has been widely misunderstood. With Obama and Clinton working with anti-American Islamists to attack free speech, it is no surprise that the administration’s slavish media are portraying Islam’s critics as wild-eyed bigots, and their “Draw Muhammad” contest as an exercise in gratuitous insult — the kind of expression that even free-speech advocates often shy from defending.

RELATED: Dispelling the ‘Few Extremists’ Myth: The Muslim World Is Overcome with Hate

The narrative betrays ignorance of Islam’s blasphemy proscriptions. Insulting speech barely scratches the surface of all that is forbidden. Classical sharia prohibits all artistic expression that depicts animate life — deeming it an offensive imitation of Allah’s creative act. Far beyond insult, moreover, sharia forbids speech that subjects Islam to any objective examination that could result in negative criticism. Also forbidden are words that imply unbelief; that could be taken to rebuke Allah or Mohammed (even if gently or in jest); or that appear to deny a principle established by authoritative sharia scholarship. Islamic supremacists would apply prohibitions to non-Muslims as well as Muslims, because they believe that Allah has commanded them to impose sharia on the unwilling. And as for Muslims, speech that announces or implies apostasy is punishable by death.

This is what drives Fawstin’s work. “I draw Mohammed,” he says, “because the enemy tells me I can’t.” In Garland, that meant not just a rendering, but a rendering of the act of rendering. Describing his winning cartoon, he explains: “I draw myself drawing Mohammed, and Mohammed with his sword in hand, yells at me, ‘You Can’t Draw Me!’ to which I reply (in a word balloon), ‘That’s why I draw you.’”

The idea was to underscore the free-speech purpose of the contest. The imposition of Islamic law “includes banning much of our music, art, and literature,” Fawstin observes. “Look at how ISIS has been destroying antiquities, for example.” The way to fight back, he believes, is with open and unwavering dedication to free expression:

The way I see it, if drawing Mohammad can get you killed, then he should be drawn again and again and again and again, until drawing him loses all power. And, within reason, doing something that an enemy doesn’t want you to do is reason enough to do it, on sheer principle.

Unlike many Americans, particularly in Washington, who believe in fighting fire with accommodation, Fawstin grasps that steely resolve is the only way to face down this enemy. Perhaps it has something to do with being raised in the Bronx — as a Muslim. His Albanian family was what would today be called “moderate Muslims,” although they identified themselves simply as Muslims, Fawstin recounts. Interestingly, this echoes Turkey’s Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who rejects the notion of “moderate Muslims” —  he maintains that “Islam is Islam, and that’s it.”

Growing up, Fawstin increasingly sensed incongruity: His family was “moderate” in their adherence to Islam, rarely going to mosque and selectively following sharia strictures; yet the Jew-hatred and misogyny that are hallmarks of Islamic supremacism ran rampant among his “moderate” relatives. As he recalls:

I phased out of Islam in my mid teens when I began to think about morality in a serious way, when I saw the contrast between Islamic values and American values, and when I was beginning to really recognize what was good and true in the world.

For Fawstin, the 9/11 attacks were a call to arms — in the “pen is mightier than the sword” sense. He had “fallen in love with superhero comic books” during childhood and was already embarked on a career as a cartoonist. His rage over the atrocity merged with his professional passion to forge a determination to respond in a comic-book and graphic-novel form.

The semi-biographical result is The Infidel, Featuring Pigman, a comic book that is part of a graphic novel. The plot revolves around twin brothers who react to 9/11 in opposite ways: One dives deeper into his Islamic roots; the other, a Muslim apostate, creates “an ex-Muslim counter-jihad superhero comic book.” It is a story within a story: As the superhero, Pigman, battles his jihadist nemesis, the conflict between the twins escalates.

RELATED: Yes, Islamic Extremism Is Islamic, But That’s Just the Beginning of the Debate

Naturally, I ask Fawstin, “Why Pigman?” The idea, he quips, is to exploit the enemy’s “pigotry.” It is a concept quite at odds with Western governments’ “outreach” style of counterterrorism. Rather than attempting to placate jihadists, Fawstin prefers to study their ideology, find out what they fear and loathe, and use it against them. He recalled from his Muslim childhood the strictures against eating pork or “coming into contact with pig, in any way,” along with the fact that being called a “pig” was considered the worse of insults. Thus he decided that pigskin leather was the perfect costume for his protagonist, who is moved to combat after witnessing the 9/11 attacks from New York’s Ground Zero.

Fawstin would not have created the cartoon series or drawn Mohammed at Garland had it not been for 9/11. Contrary to the blame-America-first storyline, it was the jihad that provoked his determined response, not the other way around. And it is the threats he’s received because of his work that inspire him to persevere.

The enemy is no match for America on the military battlefield. Nor can they compete in the battle of ideas, where their tactic is suppression precisely because their repugnant ideas cannot bear examination. As terrorists, their only power lies in paralyzing us, instilling in us a fear to defend our principles, like free speech. Obama and Clinton loudly signal a readiness to surrender those principles, theorizing that the enemy will be appeased. Bosch Fawstin defiantly lives those principles, reckoning that if we all did, the enemy would not stand a chance.

I like his plan better.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

SDSU: Muslim Student Association demands “zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech”

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, Dec. 28, 2015:

Here again we see how Leftist and Islamic supremacist groups use the term “Islamophobia” for both attacks on innocent civilians, which have no justification under any circumstances, and for honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite hatred and violence. These groups use the former to quash the latter, which will have the effect of allowing the jihad to advance unimpeded and unopposed.

Is that what the MSA wants? Probably, since it is a Muslim Brotherhood organization. According toDiscover the Networks, “The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada, or MSA (also known as MSA National), was established mainly by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in January 1963 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nyack College theologian Larry A. Poston writes that “many of the founding members of this agency [MSA] were members of, or had connections to,” the Muslim Brotherhood or Jamaat-i-Islami. The three most significant founders of MSA were Hisham al Talib, Jamal Barzinji, and Ahmed Totanji, and all of whom were MB leaders of Iraqi descent. Other noteworthy individuals who served as early co-founders of MSA were Mahboob Khan and Malika Khan.”

Meanwhile, our nation’s universities are increasingly becoming thuggish centers of Leftist indoctrination where opposing views are forcibly silenced. This holds true across the country, from ostensibly Catholic entities such as Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire to secular ones such as San Diego State University.

MSA-SDSU

“Muslim Student Association demands all ‘Islamophobic speech’ be punished,” by Alec Dent,College Fix, December 28, 2015:

The Muslim Student Association at San Diego State University is demanding that administrators combat Islamophobia by developing a “zero tolerance policy explicitly for Islamophobic speech and actions.”

The demands, modeled after similar ones issued by black student associations at campuses across the nation, were lodged after a female Muslim student was allegedly attacked by a white man in a campus parking lot on the afternoon of Nov. 19, about a week after the Paris terrorist attacks, which killed 130 people.

At SDSU, despite reports that several witnesses stood by and did nothing as the attacker grabbed the woman’s hijab, as well as a police sketch of the alleged attacker, a police investigation could not identify a suspect, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Meanwhile, the female student who said she was attacked has not been identified. But she told Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations-San Diego, that her attacker grabber her from “behind,” called her a terrorist, “choked her with the hajib” and told her to “get out of this country,” the Union Tribune reports.

Several comments on the article expressed incredulity over the attack, questioning whether it is a hate-crime hoax.

Yet less than a week after the alleged hate crime, SDSU’s Muslim Student Association held a protest against Islamophobia on campus that attracted hundreds of students.

Yasser Kaziha, a member of the Muslim Student Association, said that he personally knew the victim of the attack, and “when the attack on our Muslim sister happened here at SDSU, she felt alone after bystanders and witnesses who watched the attack did nothing,” he told the Union Tribune.

At the rally, the Muslim Student Association issued its list of demands, which members claim will help prevent future acts of bigotry against the Muslim community.

They demanded that the university adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward “Islamophobic speech,” mandatory bystander training, develop more courses on Islam, and increase funding for The Center for Intercultural Relations. Moreover, they demanded that “the SDSU administration address, alleviate, and eliminate systems of oppression that disproportionately target students of color, womyn, and all marginalized students on campus.”

Beth Chee, a representative for the university, told The College Fix in an email that the university has not issued a formal response to the demands, but members of the administration have reviewed the list and are currently “meeting internally and with the students to discuss their concerns.”…

#ExMuslimBecause Trend Stands Up To Extremists

1317by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
December 18, 2015

Is this the real Arab Spring?
Shortly after the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, Maryam Namazie, director of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain(CEMB), created the hashtag “#ExMuslimBecause” on Twitter. The result was a firestorm, through which tens of thousands of ex-Muslims across the world declared their apostasy, many gathering courage from the brave and often poignant words of others.

But just as quickly as their courage spread, the words of these former Muslims were soundly condemned by many others who remain within the faith.  Tweeted someone calling himself @hammamovic, whose avatar shows a clean-shaven young man in a black T-shirt, “I’m Muslim, I’m not a terrorist, but you, the #exmuslims who left Islam, must be killed. You make Terrorism.”

His words speak directly to the impetus behind Namazie’s movement, and behind the founding of the CEMB, which, according to its website, was formed “in order to break the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam.”  That taboo is as powerful as it is perverse: For Muslims, leaving the faith is punishable by death.

Yet apparently, that risk of death is one many are prepared to take in order to continue with life on their own terms. And the number of such courageous ex-Muslims seems to be more than anyone anticipated. “By early Friday morning,” reported Ali A. Rizvi, an #exMuslim himself who wrote about the phenomenon for the Huffington Post, “#ExMuslimBecause was the UK’s top trending hashtag. We heard from secret LGBT Saudis; women who had been forced into marriages; closeted atheists in Egypt and Pakistan tweeting under pseudonyms young women disowned by their families in the US; and more.”

Among them were “@Yas” from Canada, who wrote: “#ExMuslimBecause my own mother told me I should be killed because I didn’t believe the same things she did”; “@SamSedaei, who tweeted: “#ExMuslimBecause I was told I was a Muslim. But then I learned that religion is not a gene and being born to believers doesn’t make you one”; and Rizvi himself, who posted, “#ExMuslimBecause No REAL God should need protection from bloggers and no REAL prophet should need protection from cartoons.” Other notable posts include @LibMuslim’s “#ExMuslimBecause misogyny, homophobia, stoning ppl to death and killing apostates don’t suddenly become ‘respectable’ when put in a holy book” and Heina Dababhoy‘s “#ExMuslimBecause I got tired of suppressing my compassion twds LGBT+ people in the name of a deity claiming to be most compassionate.” For her part, Maryam Namazie, who has been busy adding to the conversation, also observed, “#ExMuslimBecause my being unveiled is NOT the cause of earthquakes or other calamities.”

But many Western Muslims who share their views have refused to take part, insisting that one can be Muslim and still support liberal ideals. “I do think that a lot of the questions that are coming out of the #ExMuslimBecause are issues that Muslims need to take on – such as gender equality and gay rights,” says Ayesha Akhtar, a Bangladeshi-American artist and activist living in New York.  The phenomenon is “complicated,” she says, but adds, “I think that this hashtag and all the tweets, posts, stories that come out of it deserve a round of applause, especially from Muslims, who want religious freedom to dress and live according to their faith – because the right to religious freedom must correspond with the right to be free from any religious affiliation. In a truly liberal, tolerant society, one cannot be one without the other.”

Ibn Warraq, a particularly outspoken Muslim apostate and the author of Why I Am Not A Muslim, agrees, though he is skeptical that one can remain Muslim and still hold such secular, humanist viewpoints. The hashtag, he says, “will help those who think along similar lines. It will give them moral support, reassure them that they are not completely depraved, mad, or evil. They are not alone.”

In other words, while it may seem like a mere Twitter trend, it’s a trend that potentially has very real political punch. True, 25 years after the Salman Rushdie affair, Warraq observed via e-mail, “it is still impossible to avow one’s atheism in public. All the atheists in the Islamic world keep their atheism online. But I think that is beginning to change.”

This is of greater importance in the Muslim world than in the West where, for people like Akhtar, it is possible to consider oneself a practicing Muslim while maintaining Western ideas.  That ability, in fact, is allowing many Western Muslims to start trying to change the narrative – one that, until now, has largely been led by conservative Islamic organizations such as the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and by Muslim fundamentalists. Earlier this month, M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder of the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, established the Muslim Reform Movement in concert with 13 other practicing Muslims, including activist Asra Nomani and Farahnaz Ispahani, a former member of the Pakistani Parliament. The group published a nine-point “declaration,” confirming their shared belief in free speech, freedom of religion, equal rights and condemning violent jihad.

But such secular, contemporary viewpoints – let alone outright apostasy – would be impossible in an Islamic country, notes Warraq, who is also the founder of the Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (an organization that ironically bears the acronym ISIS). While it works in the West, ultimately, he says, “There is no Islam a la carte.”

Yet even for Muslims in the West, there are risks. Some are excommunicated from their families. Others are attacked by Muslims in their communities, either physically, verbally, or emotionally. When Namazie spoke at Goldsmiths, University of London on Nov. 30 at the invitation of its Atheist, Secularist, and Humanist Society, for instance, the school’s Islamic Society (ISOC) repeatedly disrupted. Making matters worse, Goldsmiths’ LGBT and feminist societies  defended the Islamic Society’s actions.

Never mind that the ISOC supports the wearing of burqas and other garments that many claim oppress women. Never mind that Namazie, a woman, was bullied by (mostly male) Muslims in the audience. Never mind that the Islamic Society itself has invited speakers who defend jihadists, including Zara Faris, who frequently refers to events like 9/11 as “So-called ‘Muslim’ terrorist attacks.'” Never mind its support for the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel. Never mind that the Society accused Namazie of depriving its members their right to free speech in their efforts to protest against her, but failed to see an assault on free speech in their own efforts to silence her.

Ironically, it is exactly Namazie’s movement, says Warraq, that puts the lie to the concept of “Islamophobia” in the first place. “The unwritten subtext of such a charge is, of course, that the person so accused is ignorant, racist, and bigoted,” he wrote in an e-mail. “But the existence of millions of Middle Easterners, and South Asians, who are now atheists refutes the claim that all those critical of Islam must be racists. Islam, in any case, is not a race. Second, the young Egyptians, Saudis, Iraqis and others who have firmly rejected Islam, have had experience of Islam from the inside; many of them have studied Islam to a very advanced level, and hence cannot be guilty of ignorance. And yes, they did read the Koran in the original Arabic.  They know the social consequences of imposing Islam on the general populace: lack of freedom, those freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, and which we in the West take so much for granted. The charge of Islamophobia is an effective way of curtailing all rational discussions of Islam.”

Goldsmiths notwithstanding, the response to #ExMuslimBecause suggests that Warraq may be right. If so, this would be an important step in the fight against Islamic extremism, because only if we can talk about the subject openly and frankly, debating the issue from all angles with the freedom that Western, enlightened culture holds as its core value, can we ever defeat those who would take that freedom from us.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Americans killed by Islamic jihad and Loretta Lynch says her main concern is possible backlash against Muslims?

LLBy Justin O. Smith, Dec. 5, 2015:

One more horrific and heinous Islamic terror attack, in a long list of many others, was perpetrated against America by Chicago born Syed Farook and Pakistan born Tashfeen Malik, on December 2nd 2015 at approximately 11:00 am PT. They opened fire on a Christmas party inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, CA using modified variants of .223 AR-15s, and eighty-five rounds later, fourteen decent Americans __ mothers, fathers, sons and daughters __ lay murdered, with 21 more wounded, as many others placed desperate cellphone calls for help and thought these were their last moments of life.

The discovery of three bombs in the IRC, that failed to explode, slowed the search for the terrorists, who were initially thought to still be in the building. Five hours later, the terrorists were found and killed near their home in Redlands in a firefight, as they fired 76 rounds and the police responded with 380 rounds; in the aftermath, 2500 more rounds of ammunition and twelve more bombs wired for remote detonation, in a manner similar to the Boston bombs, were found in their home.

FBI reports reveal that Malik had passed Homeland Security screening, and she had returned with Farook from his second trip to Saudi Arabia on a K-1 “fiancee” visa and a Pakistan passport. Farook had also made a trip to Pakistan, and he had been in contact with Muslims abroad who are persons of interest to U.S. authorities; he was also in touch with islamofascists in the Los Angeles area.

Imagine the sinking feeling felt by authorities, when they discovered that Malik had pledged her allegiance to the Islamic State and Abu Bakr al Baghdadi on Face Book, as the attack was ongoing. This made many security analysts suggest since, that she was Farook’s trainer, and she had planned from the start to meet someone online, who was willing to bring her to America, for the sole purpose of harming America.

Any logical thinking person didn’t need to hear FBI Director James Comey call this “an act of Islamic-inspired terrorism”, once news reports indicated multiple shooters were in the facility. How many cases has anyone ever witnessed of a disgruntled employee recruiting another person to help them attack a business?

On December 4th, the FBI Director announced on C-SPAN that none of Farook’s contacts “were of such significance that it raised the level of alert at the FBI.” Really? This should keep people awake at night.

Although the FBI refused to name Muzzamil Siddiqi, as one of the islamofascist “jihadists” in contact with Farook, for the New York Times’ December 3rd story, anyone following the terrorist networks knew Farook and Malik were Islamic terrorists immediately, when Hussam Ayloush, executive director for CAIR-Los Angeles, and Farhan Khan, Farook’s brother-in-law, made a disingenuous televised statement. They condemned the attack and offered “heartfelt condolences to the families and the loved ones of all those killed or injured.” Standing there beside both men and also offering empty words was Muzzamil Siddiqi, who is a known active supporter of Islamic terror in America and abroad.

Siddiqi is the director of the Islamic Society of Orange County and a former president of the Islamic Society of North America, a Muslim Brotherhood organization. He is also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing plot, and he released the Muslim Brotherhood memo, ‘Civilization – Jihadist Process’, to followers in May 1991, that calls for the destruction of Western civilization from within and “sabotaging its miserable house.” One of Siddiqi’s close associates was Sheik Omar Rahman, the Blind Sheik, who planned the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and, one should also note that Adam Gadhan, former spokesman for Al qaeda and fellow terrorist, is a product of the ISOC.

Siddiqi wrote in the ‘Pakistan Link’ on October 18th 1996: “We must not forget that Allah’s rules have to be established in all lands, and all our efforts should lead to that direction.”

Adding insult to injury on December 3rd, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Reverend Welton Gaddy delivered a load of manure in their unbelievably insensitive, disgusting and despicable statements at the Muslim Advocates Annual Dinner, in the wake of the murders of fourteen Americans by Islamic terrorists. Their main concerns were focused on any possible “backlash” from the San Bernadino attack against Muslims and Muslims being “free in America”, when they should have been asking these Muslims what, if anything, they proposed to do in an effort to stop future terror attacks that emanate from the ranks of their damnable brethren __ these Sons and Daughters of Mohammed.

Why was Loretta Lynch appeasing this group of Muslims, instead of demanding they take all measures to stop the ever increasing Islamic terror attacks in America?

Why did Rev. Gaddy exclaim, “If Muslims aren’t free in America, no one is”, when fourteen Americans just had their freedom __ their rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” __ taken from them?

Muslims are free in America. They just aren’t free to wantonly murder their way across America. Their rights in America end, when they act against the U.S. Constitution and their actions violate the rights of others, endangering and ending the lives of U.S. citizens.

This administration and future administrations must target Muslim communities with deep surveillance, and don’t tell America how offensive and “islamophobic” this will seem to Muslims. The cold hard reality is that Baptists, Catholics and Jews aren’t gunning down people and blowing them up, and frankly, I find Americans killed at the hands of Islamic terrorists offensive.

Maybe it’s time U.S. Muslims felt the consequences __ backlash __ from their failure or unwillingness to cut out the violent heart of the Islamic ideology. Let’s advocate the deportation of all non-citizen Muslims and refuse to allow any Muslim into America: This will not stop all acts of terror, since Muslim citizens are acting against the nation too, but perhaps it is a start for now.

I am sick of seeing Our Beloved America attacked repeatedly by these islamofascists, with barely a cough coming from the Oval Office. Obama and Attorney General Lynch aren’t protecting us from “enemies foreign and domestic” effectively and forcefully, doing just the bare minimum. Their continued denial of an Islamic terrorism problem in America is only emboldening Muslims, who hate us, and laying the groundwork for a certain devastating and massive terrorist attack, especially in light of recent successes by the Islamic State. Consequently, whether or not our communities exhibit San Bernadino’s same level of training and professionalism, all Americans must help their community stay vigilant and prepare to defend themselves or die, in the face of the next deliberate terrorist attack on our homefront, even if it entails carrying one’s personal weapon daily.

***

Also see:

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Dec. 5, 2015 (The Blaze) Former Congressman Unleashes on Attorney General in Rant Against Islam: ‘Go Ahead and Prosecute Me. I Dare You.’

A former U.S. congressman urged Attorney General Loretta Lynch to arrest him after she warned on Thursday that her office would take a more aggressive approach to those spewing anti-Muslim rhetoric.

“I think Islam has a real freaking problem, alright?” Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh said in a video posted to his Facebook page. “There is a cancer in Islam, and if they’re not going to learn to assimilate, I don’t want them in this country.”

“You got a problem, Loretta Lynch, with me saying that? Then throw me in jail,” Walsh, a conservative talk show host, argued. “I think Islam is evil. I think Islam has a huge problem. I think most Muslims around the world are not compatible with American values. I don’t want them here.”

Walsh continued to slam Lynch in his video for the comments she made at Muslim Advocate’s 10th anniversary dinner one day after law enforcement officials say two people opened fire at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, leaving 14 people dead and more than one dozen injured. According to reports, the wife pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on her Facebook page just moments before the attack.

“When we talk about the First Amendment we [must] make it clear that actions predicated on violent talk are not American. They are not who we are, they are not what we do, and they will be prosecuted,” Lynch said at the banquet. “My message not just to the Muslim community but to all Americans is: we cannot give in to the fear that these backlashes are really based on.”

Walsh, who now hosts his own radio program, served in Congress from 2011 to 2013.

In text that included some stronger language accompanying his video, which has been viewed more than 110,000 times as of Saturday morning, Walsh continued to argue that “most Muslims around the world are terrorists, support terrorism and/or support Sharia Law.”

“Any Muslim that is a terrorist or supports terrorism should be killed,” Walsh wrote. “If ‘Moderate’ Muslims don’t speak out against terrorism, they are our enemy and we should call them out and kick them out of this country.”

“Is that ‘anti-Muslim rhetoric’ that ‘edges toward violence,’” he continued. “Go ahead and prosecute me. I dare you.”

Killing Over Cartoons Is Totally Rational, Says John Kerry

2015-11-17T141640Z_1_LYNXNPEBAG0S2_RTROPTP_3_FRANCE-SHOOTIN-KERRYTown Hall, by Adam Turner,  Nov 23, 2015:

“There’s something different about what happened [in the November 13, 2015 Paris terror attacks] from [the January 7, 2015 terror attack targeting the French magazine] Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of – not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, November 17, 2015

Secretary of State John Kerry opened his mouth again, and as usual, inserted his foot (with a Kinsley gaffe).

But we should be thankful that Secretary Kerry is his usual foolish, undisciplined, and talkative self. Because it, once again, exposes what Kerry, and his boss, President Obama, really think about the right to free speech in the United States, if that speech focuses on Islam, Islamism, radical Islam, and related topics, including terrorism, terror fundraising, sharia, female genital mutilation in the Muslim world, and other issues relating to Islam. (Islam et al.)

Simply put, they do not like it.

Without a doubt, we know this to be true. Let’s not forget, President Obama hasdemanded, from the podium of the United Nations itself, that “(t)he future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” President Obama’s words (probably) inspired Secretary Kerry’s predecessor, Obama first term Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – who is also the likely 2016 Democratic nominee for U.S. President – to illustrate the methods the Administration planned to follow:

So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing anti-discrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.

From this statement, it is clear that the Obama Administration is willing to utilize two of the three prongs of the strategy often used by opponents of free speech regarding Islam et al. The tripartite strategy to punish and silence all speech opponents disapprove of includes: 1) violence, or the threat of violence; 2) lawfare; and/or 3) political correctness pressure, e.g., smearing reputations by alleging “racism,” “Islamophobia,” or other epithets. In this situation, lawfare is specifically defined as malicious lawsuits, or other legal actions, in American courts, designed to punish and silence those who engage in public discourse about Islam et al, which are often predatory, filed without a serious expectation of winning, and undertaken as a means to intimidate, demoralize, and bankrupt defendants.

Obviously, violence is not a strategy that any U.S. Administration would follow. However, as shown by the Terry Jones affair (see below), this does not mean that the Obama Administration is unwilling to cite the threat of violence as a reason to object to the free speech of Americans regarding Islam et al.

Over the past seven years, the Obama Administration has followed through with its rhetoric by engaging in a number of disturbing anti-free speech actions:

· In 2011, at a summit meeting between Secretary of State Clinton and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General, the U.S. committed to the “Istanbul Process” to implement the United Nations resolution 16/18, which calls for the domestic and international criminalization of language that defames religions, most especially Islam. The OIC is a bloc of 56 Muslim countries plus “Palestine.” The Administration has participated in subsequent meetings of the Istanbul Process, but little information has been released about these meetings.

· The Obama Administration named an Islamist, Salam al-Marayati, its official representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) premier conference on human rights. At the OSCE, Al-Marayati took part in the “intense lobbying campaign by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries that are aggressively pressuring Western countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam.”

· A U.S. Attorney appointed by President Obama, Bill Killian, of the Eastern District of Tennessee, has been quoted by the Tullahoma News suggesting that some inflammatory material on Islam might run afoul of federal civil rights laws. This is not legally correct, but seems to reflect Secretary Clinton’s earlier statement.

· The Obama Administration was responsible for the imprisonment of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the American Coptic filmmaker who was responsible for the film clip that President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and others initially and incorrectly blamed for inciting the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Nakoula was prosecuted and imprisoned by the federal authorities under suspicious circumstances that should lead an objective observer to believe that he was being punished for producing his anti-Islam clip.

· Also in response to Nakoula film clip, Obama administration officials admitted that they “asked YouTube to review the video and determine whether it violates the site’s terms of service.”

· The most comprehensive campaign against such speech was waged by the Obama Administration against a little known American gadfly named Terry Jones. Jones has burned, or threatened to burn, a Koran, numerous times. His threats prompted President Obama, then Secretary of State Clinton, then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and then General David Petraeus, among others, to all plead with him to cease and desist. Jones has also been plagued by legal punishments and restrictions, although these are largely as a result of the actions of local, and not federal, authorities.

For the next year and a half, we can expect this Administration to continue its campaign against such free speech. Unfortunately, by a margin of 41% to 37%, Americans support criminalizing “hate speech,” and even more disturbingly, in the subset of Democrats, a 51% majority approve of criminalizing “hate speech,” with only 26% opposed. So President Obama, Secretary Kerry, and Hillary Clinton well represent their political party.

It used to be that all Americans were united in the belief that speech was sacred, and that religion – any religion – should not be able to restrict the speech rights of Americans. No longer. John Kerry’s statement clearly demonstrates that many Americans, including the Administration he represents, believe differently now. This is not good news. How long will the other half of America be willing to stand up for their right to free speech?

It is hard to defend your speech rights, when you know that others are willing to sue, pressure, or even kill you for doing so. Not everyone is a Molly Norris.

Adam Turner serves as general counsel to the Endowment for Middle East Truth. He is a former counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where he focused on national security.

The Façade in CAIR’s Paris Attacks Condemnation

cair-terror-shadowIPT News
November 16, 2015

Leaders at the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemn Friday’s coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris that left an estimated 130 people dead. They really, really condemn it.

But if the discussion turns to the terrorists’ religious motivations, they’ll condemn that, too. Beginning with social media posts and a news conference with leaders of other Muslim organizations Saturday, CAIR is waging a campaign to stifle any reference to the Islamist ideology that drove the Islamic State attack on Paris.

If defeating ISIS requires a war of ideas among Muslims to determine how literally to apply the Quran, CAIR wants no part.

“Let’s not legitimize ISIS and help them in their propaganda by calling them the Islamic State,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad told reporters.” They’re not Islamic. They’re not state. They’re anti-Islamic. Let’s not call them jihadis. They have nothing to do with jihad. Jihad is a legitimate self-defense in Islam. Let’s not give them this legitimizing title. They are brutal killers. They have no legitimacy.

“And I urge media, politicians, analysts to be very careful with the choice of their words. ISIS is appealing to the marginalized, disenfranchised and alienated young people in the Middle East and in the West. Let’s not help ISIS recruit more disenfranchised and alienated young people.”

It’s an argument directly contradicted by ISIS itself and one being mocked both by Islamic radicals and by secular advocates of religious freedom.

In a statement claiming credit for Friday’s slaughter re-posted at the Long War Journal, ISIS described the attacks as “a blessed battle whose causes of success were enabled by Allah” to strike “the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe — Paris.”

“This group of believers were youth who divorced the worldly life and advanced towards their enemy hoping to be killed for Allah’s sake, doing so in support of His religion,” the ISIS statement said. “…The targets included the Bataclan theatre for exhibitions, where hundreds of pagans gathered for a concert of prostitution and vice.”

CAIR, meanwhile, created a Twitter hashtag, “TerrorismHasNoReligion,” and sent the director of its Florida chapters, Hassan Shibly, onto the radio, where he essentially blamed the victims. It isn’t religion that drove the attacks, he said. Rather, it is the consequence of “failing foreign policy” by Western nations including France and the United States.

1266In a four-minute segment, Shibly made seven references to foreign policy, describing it as “bad” and “horrific.” Fix the foreign policy, he said, and the terrorism will end. The problem is, “We cannot have a real conversation about terrorism these days.”

Terrorists, he told host Dean Obeidallah, “are not motivated by religion. They’re motivated by politics, by fighting for power and their own political agenda and they use religion to galvanize support. But ultimately, it isn’t about the religion. An absence of religion but still with the same political issues, you would still have the same problems. So it’s about politics, not religion.”

This is an argument wholly divorced from any facts about the Paris attacks or about ISIS’s ideology. We have cited numerous examples in which Islamist terrorists clearly describe their actions as religiously-inspired. And now, ISIS and its supporters provide fresh examples contradicting CAIR’s very premise.

In a sickly sarcastic essay, “Sorry Paris,” Salafi-jihadist ideologue Hussain bin Mahmud ridicules “our respectable and venerable ‘scholars’ who opened their mouth faster than the speed of light to condemn those criminal events.”

Mahmud’s beefs are about a perceived Western disrespect for Islam:

Sorry Paris, we have forgotten your enmity towards our religion, your insults towards our Lord and His messenger peace be upon him, your efforts to change our cultures in our countries, and suppressing Islam from the hearts of the young people in the East and the West.. Sorry Paris.

On the other side of the spectrum, Iraqi-born secularist Faisal Saeed Al Mutar likens arguments like CAIR’s to a Monty Python sketch depicting an Islamist terrorist arguing with an apologist:

“We did this because our holy texts exhort us to do it.”

“No you didn’t.”

“Wait, what? Yes we did…”

“No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons.”

“WHAT!? Did you even read our official statement? We give explicit Quranic justification. This is jihad, a holy crusade against pagans, blasphemers, and disbelievers.”

Read the entire script here.

In its statement claiming credit for the Paris attacks, ISIS refers to its grievances with the “crusader” nations, but makes a point of emphasizing religion. Those countries “will continue to be at the top of the target list for the Islamic State and that the scent of death will not leave their nostrils as long as they partake in the crusader campaign, as long as they dare to curse our Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), and as long as they boast about their war against Islam in France and their strikes against Muslims in the lands of the Caliphate with their jets, which were of no avail to them in the filthy streets and alleys of Paris.”

It starts with a Surah in which Allah “cast terror into their hearts so they destroyed their houses by their own hands and the hands of the believers.”

Never mind that, CAIR says. It insists religion should not be part of the conversation.

But despite the protestations, acknowledging the words and ideals that fuel terrorists in no way indicts the belief of the world’s billion Muslims or the ideals of any broad spectrum of American Muslims. That is a false argument intended to shut down the debate before it starts.

During his interview, Shibly and Obeidallah mocked the argument that terrorists hate us for our culture, for our freedom. As the ISIS statement shows, it views Paris as “the capital of prostitution and vice, the lead carrier of the cross in Europe.”

According to Shibly, that really means they hate French and American foreign policy.

“There’s hundreds of other countries in the world that have the freedoms we have but that don’t have the problems we have,” he said. “We do need to start asking ourselves how is our failed foreign policy leading to the troubles that we are seeing today while recognizing that the actions of terrorists is never justifiable.”

In a speech last July, British Prime Minister David Cameron rejected the notion that discussions about Islamic theology fueling terrorism be avoided.

It doesn’t work, Cameron said, in part “because these extremists are self-identifying as Muslims. The fact is from Woolwich to Tunisia, from Ottawa to Bali, these murderers all spout the same twisted narrative, one that claims to be based on a particular faith.”

Minimizing debate is counter-productive, he added, because there are voices advocating reform who challenge “the fusing of religion and politics, the voices that want to challenge the scriptural basis which extremists claim to be acting on…the voices that are crucial in providing an alternative worldview that could stop a teenager’s slide along the spectrum of extremism.”

These voices lack the profile and money the terrorists have at their disposal.

Perhaps Shibly and his colleagues at CAIR are targeting the wrong audience. Rather than tell non-Muslims to ignore the statements issued by Islamist terrorists, CAIR might provide a better public service by loudly and clearly speaking to the terrorists themselves. If the terrorists are wrong theologically, who better than the most visible Muslim advocacy group in the country to set them straight?

Instead, CAIR has chosen the same template over and over again. Like “Fight Club,” the first rule of radical Islam is you do not talk about radical Islam.

How France Became an Inviting Target of the Jihad

paratk2

PJ Media, by Andrew C. McCarthy, Nov. 14, 2015:

Earlier this year, following the Charlie Hebdo massacre and related terrorist attacks in and around Paris, I wrote Islam and Free Speech, a Broadside” that is part of the series published by Encounter Books. The following is an excerpt.

How did we get to this historical anomaly in France where, as the estimable scholar Daniel Pipes observes, “a majority population accepts the customs and even the criminality of a poorer and weaker community”? It is the result of a conquest ideology taking the measure of a civilization that no longer values its heritage, no longer regards itself as worthy of defense.

France’s population of 66 million is now approximately 10 percent Islamic. Estimates are sketchy because, in a vestige of its vanishing secularist tradition, France does not collect census data about religious affiliation. Still, between 6 and 7 million Muslims are reasonably believed to be resident in the country (Pew put the total at 4.7 million back in 2010 – other analysts peg it higher today). To many in France, the number seems higher, due to both the outsize influence of Islamist activists on the political class and the dense Muslim communities in and around Paris – approximating 15 percent of the local population. An online poll conducted by Ipsos Mosi in 2014 found that the average French citizenbelieves Muslims make up about a third of the country’s population.

As night follows day, when Muslim populations surge, so does support for jihadism and the sharia supremacist ideology that catalyzes it. The reason is plain to see, even if Western elites remain willfully blind to it: For a not insignificant percentage of the growing Muslim millions in Europe, infiltration – by both mass immigration and the establishment of swelling Islamic enclaves – is a purposeful strategy of conquest, sometimes referred to as “voluntary apartheid.”

One of its leading advocates is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. A Qatar-based Egyptian octogenarian, Qaradawi is a Muslim Brotherhood icon. He is a copiously published scholar graduated from Cairo’s al-Azhar University, the seat of Sunni Islamic learning for over a millennium, and thus oversees both the International Union of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Thanks to his pioneering of the highly trafficked IslamOnline website and, especially, to his hugely popular al-Jazeera television program, Sharia and Life, he has become the world’s most influential sharia jurist.

Qaradawi is the sharia backbone of the violent jihad to exterminate Israel – a tiny country surrounded by hundreds of millions of hostile Muslims. The sheikh also vows that Islam will “conquer” both Europe and America, but acknowledges that this conquest will require a strategy more suited to a determined minority that knows it cannot win by force of arms. The key, he asserts, is dawa, the Muslim equivalent of proselytism. In radical Islam, it is hyper-aggressive, pushing on every cultural cylinder, pressuring every institution, and exploiting the atmosphere of intimidation created by jihadist terror to blur the lines between legal advocacy and extortion.

In France, dawa presses against laïcité, the credo of secularism through the strict separation of religion and the state. Qaradawi is quite clear that “secularism can never enjoy a general acceptance in an Islamic society.” He is equally adamant that Muslims, who are bound to live in accordance with the strictures of sharia, must reject a secular framework because “acceptance of secularism means abandonment of sharia, a denial of the divine guidance and a rejection of Allah’s injunctions.” Thus, he elaborates, “The call for secularism among Muslims is atheism and a rejection of Islam. Its acceptance as a basis for rule in place of sharia is downright apostasy.”

This nexus between free speech and Western democracy is worth pausing over. Notice that, in focusing on the incompatibility between Islamic law and democracy’s secular, pluralist underpinnings, Qaradawi draws the inevitable conclusion that democracy equals apostasy. The term apostasy is not invoked idly in radical Islam. As explained in Reliance of the Traveller, a classic sharia manual endorsed by al-Azhar scholars, the renunciation of Islam is a death penalty offense.

Free speech does not exist in a vacuum. It is the plinth of freedom’s fortress. It is the ineliminable imperative if there is to be the robust exchange of knowledge and ideas, the rule of reason, freedom of conscience, equality before the law, property rights, and equality of opportunity. That is why it must be extinguished if there is to be what Qaradawi calls a “place of religion” – meaning his religion. For all its arrogance and triumphalist claims, radical Islam must suppress speech because it cannot compete in a free market of conscience.

To sustain their movement, therefore, Islamist leaders must separate Muslims from secular society. In the West, this means forming Islamic enclaves in which sharia gradually takes root as the de facto and, eventually, the de jure law – enabling Muslims to resist the challenge of critical thinking under the guise avoiding the near occasion of apostasy. Over time, dominion is established over swaths of not only physical territory but legal privilege. Qaradawi puts the matter succinctly:

Were we to convince Western leaders and decision-makers of our right to live according to our faith — ideologically, legislatively, and ethically — without imposing our views or inflicting harm upon them, we would have traversed an immense barrier in our quest for an Islamic state.

The key to the conquest strategy is to coerce the West into accepting a Muslim right to resist assimilation, to regard sharia as superseding Western law and custom when the two conflict. For precisely this reason, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – a bloc of 56 Muslim countries (plus the Palestinian Authority) – has decreed that “Muslims should not be marginalized or attempted to be assimilated, but should be accommodated.” Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Islamist president of Turkey who has systematically dismantled that country’s secular, pro-Western system, similarly pronounces that pressuring Muslims to assimilate in the West “is a crime against humanity.”

Free expression is the gateway to assimilation. Consequently, radical Islam cannot tolerate it.

As a result, France is now rife with Zones Urbaines Sensibiles – “sensitive urban areas.” The government officially lists some 751 of them: Islamic enclaves in the banlieues, often referred to as “no go zones” because the indigenous populations discourage the presence of non-Muslims who do not conform to Islamic standards of dress and social interaction, and of public officials – police, fire-fighters, emergency medical teams, and building inspectors – who are seen as symbols of the state’s effort to exercise sovereignty in areas Muslims seek to possess adversely.

Some of these zones inevitably evolve into hotbeds of jihadist activity. As the Gatestone Institute’s Soeren Kern notes, there has been no shortage of Internet traffic suggesting, for example, “the killing of France’s ambassadors, just as the manly Libyan fighters killed the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi.” In a low-intensity jihadist thrum stretching back several years, the torching of automobiles has become a commonplace – as many as 40,000 cars burned annually. Perhaps most alarmingly, over a thousand French Muslims, more than from any other Western country, are estimated to have traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS – meaning many will return to the country as trained, battle-hardened jihadists. Beyond the direct ISIS participants, moreover, the Washington Post has reported that a recent poll found 16 percent of French citizens expressing some degree of support for ISIS – an organization whose rule over the vast territory it has seized is best known for decapitations, rapine, the execution of homosexuals, mass graves, and the enslavement of non-Muslim communities.

Once one grasps the voluntary apartheid strategy, it becomes obvious why radical Islam’s inroads in France, and elsewhere in Europe, seamlessly translate into demands for the enforcement of sharia’s curbs on speech and artistic expression. What is not so obvious is just how profound a challenge to the West this constitutes.

Stephen Coughlin, author of Catastrophic Failure, analyzes how interfaith dialogues blind Americans of sharia danger

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E-BOOK RELEASE: “Bridge-Building” to Nowhere

Center for Security Policy, Nov. 13, 2015:

STEPHEN COUGHLIN, Author of “Catastrophic Failure: The Blindfolding of America in the Face of Jihad”:

  • How the Muslim Brotherhood hides behind inter-faith dialogues
  • Implications of the Countering Violent Extremism movement
  • Muslim Brotherhood’s hand in developing the CVE narrative
  • Whitewashing in US hate speech laws
  • How designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization changes the CVE narrative
  • Civilization jihad and death by one’s own hand
  • Supporting Egyptian leader el-Sisi against radical Islam

podcast 2

 

Victory for Freedom of Speech

AFLC_FreeSpeechVic_Banner-3Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, Oct. 30, 2015:

On Wednesday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals completely reversed a lower court’s decision and ruled in favor of Evangelical Christians who were arrested for disturbing the peace at the 2012 Arab Festival in Dearborn, Michigan.  The Christians had bottles, eggs, and other items hurled at them by Muslims for publicly preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  A short video of this episode can be found here.

During this festival, a group of Muslims approached the Christians and asked to hear about the Gospel. The Christians obliged and began sharing about the Bible, Jesus, and their faith.  Other Muslims became angry and assaulted the Christians for their speech.  The police ended up arresting the Christians, not the Muslims.

The case, Bible Believers v. Wayne County, was brought by the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) on behalf of the Christians.

On August 27, 2014, a divided, three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit dismissed the civil rights lawsuit, finding the violent response of the Muslim hecklers justified the Wayne County sheriffs’ order to the Christians they would be arrested for disorderly conduct if they did not leave the festival area.

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of the Christians on every issue, completely reversing the lower court opinion, and directing the court to enter judgment in the Christians’ favor.

In its decision, the Sixth Circuit ruled the County and the two Deputy Chief defendants were liable for violating the Christians’ First Amendment rights to free speech and the free exercise of religion, and for depriving the Christians of the equal protection of the law. The court ruled the individual defendants did not enjoy qualified immunity, and the County was liable as a municipality for the constitutional violations.

In its opinion, the Sixth Circuit stated, in part:

“In a balance between two important interests—free speech on one hand, and the state’s power to maintain the peace on the other—the scale is heavily weighted in favor of the First Amendment. . . . Maintenance of the peace should not be achieved at the expense of the free speech. The freedom to espouse sincerely held religious, political, or philosophical beliefs, especially in the face of hostile opposition, is too important to our democratic institution for it to be abridged simply due to the hostility of reactionary listeners who may be offended by a speaker’s message. If the mere possibility of violence were allowed to dictate whether our views, when spoken aloud, are safeguarded by the Constitution, surely the myriad views that animate our discourse would be reduced to the standardization of ideas by the dominant political or community groups. Democracy cannot survive such a deplorable result.

“When a peaceful speaker, whose message is constitutionally protected, is confronted by a hostile crowd, the state may not silence the speaker as an expedient alternative to containing or snuffing out the lawless behavior of the rioting individuals. Nor can an officer sit idly on the sidelines—watching as the crowd imposes, through violence, a tyrannical majoritarian rule—only later to claim that the speaker’s removal was necessary for his or her own protection.”

In short, this was a complete victory for the Constitution and for all freedom-loving Americans who enjoy the protections of the First Amendment.

The AFLC is first and foremost a public interest litigation firm, which aggressively seeks to advance and defend America’s Judeo-Christian heritage in courts all across our Nation.  The AFLC’s mission is to fight for faith and freedom through litigation, education, and public policy programs.

A short video detailing AFLC’s mission and accomplishments can be seen here.

AFLC is comprised of attorney Robert Muise, a combat veteran Marine Officer and expert in Constitutional law, and attorney David Yerushalmi, one of the nation’s most knowledgeable attorneys on national security, Constitutional law, as well as Sharia (Islamic Law).

AFLC states on their website:  “The strength of our Nation lies in its commitment to a Judeo-Christian heritage and moral foundation and to an enduring faith and trust in God and His Providence. AFLC seeks a return to America’s founding commitment to receive God’s continued blessing to preserve the soul of this great Nation.”

This ruling demonstrates there are still bastions of sanity in the American judicial system where liberty under law still reigns in America, and where judges committed to justice win over the progressives trying to destroy our nation.

Let us celebrate this significant victory today and raise a glass to the courage of the Americans who withstood the attack, the AFLC for its work to defend our liberties, and the Court for doing what it should always do – rule judiciously.