Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Thursday, February 5, 2015.
Recorded at Center for Security Policy’s National Security Group Lunch on Capitol Hill on Thursday, February 5, 2015.
PJ Media, By David Solway On February 1, 2015
My friend Barbara Kay recently published a moving column mourning the twelve people killed at Charlie Hebdo. “Historically,” she writes, “the Islamist terror attack on Charlie Hebdo — I already think of it as 1/07 — will be seen as more devastating than 9/11.” The reason is that “those 12 people represented an institution that cannot be replaced with bricks and mortar. Those twelve iconoclasts were not collateral damage. They were the very spirit of freedom of speech, the pillar of democracy and free peoples everywhere. Spirits are not so easily rebuilt.”
It is a stirring piece expressing an unimpeachable sentiment. But the assault on Charlie Hebdo by no means marked a turning point, as she appeared to suggest. Far from a unique event, the Muslim campaign against free speech has been going on for many years now. Freedom, the right to dissent, the satirical genre — all have been dying for some time.
The Danish cartoons marked an identical watershed. The assassination of Dutch provocateur and filmmaker Theo Van Gogh marked an identical watershed, as did the death threats against his collaborator and Danish parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had his satirical drawings removed at a Tallerud art exhibition and who has an ISIS bounty on his head and is living under police protection, marks an identical watershed. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the killing of his Japanese translator marked the same watershed. Geert Wilders living under police protection marks the same watershed. Though later acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court, Lars Hedegaard’s remarks about the lethal dysfunction of many Muslim families, which led to his conviction for hate speech under the Article 266b of the Danish penal code and a subsequent assassination attempt, marks the same watershed. TheSouth Park controversy over the appearance of Mohammed dressed as a giant teddy bear marked the same watershed — the producers instantly caved following a threat issued on the Revolution Muslim website. Molly Norris, of “Let’s all Draw Mohammed” fame, still in hiding, marks the same watershed, as does the imprisonment of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula for producing a low-rent, little-watched video trailer, Innocence of Muslims, ridiculing Mohammed. Yale University Press refusing to print the Danish cartoons in a book dedicated to the subject marks the same watershed. The list goes on.
It’s been a long time since most ordinary or even celebrated people would dare to represent Mohammed or say anything mocking or even critical about the religion of hate. Our pusillanimous leaders and members of the intelligentsia buckled under to Islamic triumphalism some years back and evince a growing tendency to Sharia-compliance. If, after the Danish cartoon controversy, every single intellectual or public figure of any note had posted the cartoons, we would be in a different place today. But instead they joined in the chorus about responsibility and not unnecessarily offending pious people.
My own country, Canada, is traveling the same route to cultural perdition. Anti-Islamic firebrand Eric Brazeau, just sentenced to a year and a half in jail for reading out the Koran on a subway train, marks the same watershed. And the much maligned Ezra Levant, one of the few courageous journalists who actually printed the Danish cartoons as legitimate news depicting what the violence was all about, was sued by an offended imam, lost his magazine The Western Standard, found himself over $100,000 poorer, and is once again fighting in court. Few of us can approximate to his moral stature and his willingness to put himself on the line for an essential cause.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of journalists around the world wearing Je Suis Charlie banners don’t have the cojones to show what Stephane Charbonnier and his colleagues died for. And how many of our news outlets have actually reported the whole story, cartoons and all? The failure to defend our freedoms began ages ago when almost no one had the clarity of vision and the moral courage — certainly not our journalists, our politicos, our academics, our intellectuals, our entertainers — to man the barricades and fight against those who would deprive us of our rights. In fact, many of these pundits and news outlets saw fit to blame the victims for provoking the jihadists. This isn’t just a paradox; it’s bad faith, cowardice, hypocrisy and a form of cultural treason of the highest magnitude.
We are told ad nauseam that the terrorist atrocities we are witnessing on an almost daily basis have nothing to do with Islam — this despite the 25,000-plus Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks since the slaughter of 9/11. As for the bloodbath atCharlie Hebdo, the disavowals quickly set in. French president Francois Hollande lost no time flogging the tired mantra,assuring us with a straight face that the Charlie Hebdo perpetrators were “fanatics who have nothing to do with Islam.”Assem Shalaby, president of the Arab Publishers Association, has condemned “this vicious attack that contravenes the principles of Islam and the message of its prophet” — which it manifestly does not, as anyone even passably familiar with Islamic scripture, jurisprudence and orthodox commentary is immediately aware. Clearly, Josh Earnest, President Obama’s press secretary, is not, deponing on CNN that the Paris murders violate “the tenets of an otherwise peaceful religion” — unless, of course, like his master, he is lying through his teeth. At the same time, to cite Honest Reporting, “Conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites claim Israel is responsible for the Charlie Hebdo terror attack. The International Business Timessupplies the oxygen” — as does CNN and, of course, the ever dependable Ron Paul. True to form, plying a double disclaimer, the BBC described the event as “an apparent Islamist attack.” A win-win for Islam.
Indeed, the expression of official horror over the Paris tragedy and the discharge of mass sympathy for its victims were only convenient forms of evasive self-flattery in the absence of both foresight and political action that might have prevented this atrocity, as well as so many others. How much more bracing and honest the response of Israeli author Bat Zion Susskind-Sacks, who writes of the Paris Unity March (“this dog and pony show”) attended by international criminals and jihad sponsors like Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas: “NO, I am NOT Charlie! I am the four Jews who died in the hostage situation in Paris on Friday; I am the four praying Rabbis who were slaughtered in their Synagogue in Nof Yofeh in Yerushalayim last November; I am the little baby who was killed at the stop of the Light rail, when a terrorist drove his car directly and purposely into the crowd waiting for the tram to arrive; I am the 3 Yeshiva students who were kidnapped and slaughtered in cold blood by Hamas Islamist Jihadists in Judea last Summer.” Her point is unexceptionable. I have not seen anyone marching in Paris wearing an apron reading Je Suis Hyper Cacher.
Freedom of expression is on life support and the powers that be are ready to pull the plug. The moral qualities of honesty and courage — honor as traditionally understood — now languish atavistically in the cultural and political wasteland of the West. The dark continent of Europe, the Commonwealth nations, and America seem prepared to extinguish themselves as they promote the erosion of values that once sustained them — in iconic terms, the triumph of a fatuous grotesquery like Michael Moore over manly duty represented by Chris Kyle. We live in an “official” culture in which cowards call heroes cowards and alien prophets are welcomed as benefactors. The only ray of optimism in this desolate landscape emanates from the small but illustrious band of truth-tellers still active among us. It’s not much, but it’s all we have.
NER, by Jerry Gordon, Jan. 21, 2015:
Last weekend, 9/11 survivor and human rights lawyer, Deborah Weiss, Esq. was on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeannine discussing “Freedom of Speech under Attack.” This discussion occurred in the wake of the murderous jihadist attacks in Paris on the French satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher kosher super market in which 17 died; cartoonists, journalists, shoppers and workers, five of them Jews. Ms. Weiss drew attention to media and government self-censorship and the redaction of national law enforcement and homeland security training materials preventing identification of Islamist terrorist threat doctrine based on sacralized Islamic texts. She also exposed the prominent role of the Saudi-backed Organization of Islamic Cooperation seeking to enforce blasphemy codes under Sharia in Western governments including the US. Weiss is in the midst of preparing a monograph about the OIC UN resolutions to stifle all criticism of Islam-related subjects. We interviewed Ms. Weiss about her compelling experience as a survivor of 9/11, who became an advocate for free speech, opposing acquiescence to Islamic blasphemy codes under Sharia law. See New English Review: A Survivor of 9/11 Speaks: An Interview with Deborah Weiss, Esq. (September 2014). Thursday January 22, 2014, Weiss will be interviewed on the nationally syndicated radio program, “Line of Fire” at 3:05PM EST. You may listen live, here.
Watch this You Tube video clip of Weiss on FoxNews’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine”:
On January 7, 2015, two Muslim terrorists stormed the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. After killing numerous people, the jihadists yelled “Allahu akbar!” and “We have avenged the Prophet.” Politicians, the media, and numerous Muslim organizations united in claiming that the attack had nothing to do with Islam. But is this correct? In this video, David Wood shows that Muhammad orders his followers to kill those who insult Islam
CSP, by Frank Gaffney, Jan. 9, 2015:
In the aftermath of the murderous attack on the staff of Charlie Hebdo, the iconically irreverent French satirical journal, there is a widespread – and welcome – appreciation that the Islamic supremacist perpetrators sought not only to silence cartoonists who had lampooned Mohammed. They wanted to ensure that no one else violates the prohibitions on “blasphemy” imposed by the shariah doctrine that animates them.
In other words, the liquidation of twelve of the magazine’s cartoonists and staff – and a police officer (a Muslim, as it turns out) assigned to protect them after an earlier 2011 firebombing of its offices – was an act of jihad. Not “workplace violence.” Not antisceptic “terrorism” or the even more opaque “violent extremism.”
It was an act of violence prescribed by shariah to punish what that code deems to be a capital offence: giving offense to Muslims by caricaturing, or even just portraying pictorially, the founder of their faith, Mohammed. Unfortunately, acknowledging this reality is a practice that continues to be eschewed by governments on both sides of the Atlantic and by many in the media – even as they decry the attacks.
Therefore, it would be clarifying if, as those who profess solidarity with the fallen and their commitment to freedom of expression by declaring “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) would also acknowledge the impetus behind the perpetrators: “Je suis jihad.”
Such a step could begin a long-overdue correction in both official circles and the Fourth Estate. Both have actually encouraged the jihadists by past failures to acknowledge the reality of jihad and shariah, and by serial accommodations made to their practitioners.
One of the most high-profile and egregious examples of this phenomenon was President Obama’s infamous statement before the United Nations General Assembly in September 2012 – two weeks after he first, and fraudulently, blamed the attack on U.S. missions in Benghazi, Libya on a online video that had offended Muslims: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
This outrageous submission of the constitutional freedom of speech to shariah not only tracked with the sorts of statements one might have heard from global jihadists like al Qaeda’s Osama bin Laden, the Taliban’s Mullah Omar or the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was of a piece with an agenda the Obama administration had been pursuing since its inception: finding ways to satisfy the demands of another, less well known, but exceedingly dangerous jihadist group – the supranational Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
As documented in a superb film on the subject entitled Silent Conquest: The End of Freedom of Expression in the West (spoiler alert: I appear in this documentary, as do most of the preeminent international champions of freedom of expression), starting in March 2009, Team Obama began cooperating with the OIC in its efforts to use the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to impose what amounted to shariah blasphemy laws worldwide. This collaboration ultimately gave rise to UNHRC Resolution 16/18 entitled, “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to violence, and Violence against Persons based on Religion or Belief,” which was adopted with U.S. support in March 2011. Despite its pretense of protecting persons of any religion or belief, the motivation behind and purpose of Res. 16/18 was to give Islamic supremacists a new, international legal basis for trying to impose restrictions on expression they would find offensive.
Resolution 16/18 is, in other words, a form of what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad” – a stealthy, subversive means of accomplishing the same goals as the violent jihadists worldwide: the West’s submission, and that of the rest of the world, to shariah and a caliph to rule according to it.
It fell to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to try to accommodate the Islamic supremacists’ demands. She launched something called the “Istanbul Process” which brought the United States, the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation together to find ways of giving force to Res. 16/18. On July 15, 2011, after paying lip service to the fact that, “for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy,” Mrs. Clinton announced:
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.
The Charlie Hebdo attack is a particularly vivid reminder of what comes of such appeasement and how it encourages jihadists – pursuant to their shariah ideology – to redouble their efforts, not just through stealth but through violence, to achieve our absolute submission. If are to have any hope of preventing more such incidents in the future, let alone far worse at the hands of shariah’s adherents, we must acknowledge the true nature of these enemies and adopt a comprehensive and effective counter-ideological strategy for defeating them.
National Review Online, by Fred Fleitz, Jan. 8, 2015:
Some media outlets in the United States and Europe today honored the Charlie Hebdo journalists killed or injured by radical-Islamist gunmen yesterday by publishing some of theCharlie Hebdo cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed that led to this vicious attack.
National Review Online, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post, the Weekly Standard, Bloomberg, the Huffington Post, the Daily Beast, Getty, and some other U.S. media outlets ran one or more of the cartoons today.
In the U.K., the Guardian, the BBC, and the Times of London ran the cartoons. TheFinancial Times ran them on its website. Spain’s El Pais and Germany’s Berliner Zeitungalso ran them.
Noticeably absent from this list are the New York Times, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and the Associated Press. These U.S. media outlets chose to self-censor their coverage of theCharlie Hebdo killings by not running the controversial cartoons of Mohammed because of intimidation by radical Islamists.
The New York Times said its decision not to run the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is because “Under Times standards, we do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities. After careful consideration, Times editors decided that describing the cartoons in question would give readers sufficient information to understand today’s story.”
Give me a break. The New York Times never hesitates to run material offensive to Christians. Moreover, as a former intelligence officer, I find it hypocritical that the Timeseagerly runs stories revealing classified material causing serious harm to U.S. national security in the name of freedom of the press but refuses to run Charlie Hebdo cartoons that go to the heart of this freedom.
When asked about his decision to run cartoons satirizing Islamists in light of death threats,Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier — who was killed in the attack yesterday — said, “I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.” National Review and some other media outlets stood with Charbonnier’s deep commitment to the freedom of the press today by running Charlie Hebdo cartoons. By choosing not to run them, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and the Associated Press are appeasing radical Islamists and telling the world that their decisions to run material that may offend certain groups is driven by political correctness and not principle.
Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, is a senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy.
After the horrific massacre Wednesday at the French weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, perhaps the West will finally put away its legion of useless tropes trying to deny the relationship between violence and radical Islam.
This was not an attack by a mentally deranged, lone-wolf gunman. This was not an “un-Islamic” attack by a bunch of thugs—the perpetrators could be heard shouting that they were avenging the Prophet Muhammad. Nor was it spontaneous. It was planned to inflict maximum damage, during a staff meeting, with automatic weapons and a getaway plan. It was designed to sow terror, and in that it has worked.
The West is duly terrified. But it should not be surprised.
If there is a lesson to be drawn from such a grisly episode, it is that what we believe about Islam truly doesn’t matter. This type of violence, jihad, is what they, the Islamists, believe.
There are numerous calls to violent jihad in the Quran. But the Quran is hardly alone. In too much of Islam, jihad is a thoroughly modern concept. The 20th-century jihad “bible,” and an animating work for many Islamist groups today, is “The Quranic Concept of War,” a book written in the mid-1970s by Pakistani Gen. S.K. Malik. He argues that because God, Allah, himself authored every word of the Quran, the rules of war contained in the Quran are of a higher caliber than the rules developed by mere mortals.
In Malik’s analysis of Quranic strategy, the human soul—and not any physical battlefield—is the center of conflict. The key to victory, taught by Allah through the military campaigns of the Prophet Muhammad, is to strike at the soul of your enemy. And the best way to strike at your enemy’s soul is through terror. Terror, Malik writes, is “the point where the means and the end meet.” Terror, he adds, “is not a means of imposing decision upon the enemy; it is the decision we wish to impose.”
Those responsible for the slaughter in Paris, just like the man who killed the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, are seeking to impose terror. And every time we give in to their vision of justified religious violence, we are giving them exactly what they want.
In Islam, it is a grave sin to visually depict or in any way slander the Prophet Muhammad. Muslims are free to believe this, but why should such a prohibition be forced on nonbelievers? In the U.S., Mormons didn’t seek to impose the death penalty on those who wrote and produced “The Book of Mormon,” a satirical Broadway sendup of their faith. Islam, with 1,400 years of history and some 1.6 billion adherents, should be able to withstand a few cartoons by a French satirical magazine. But of course deadly responses to cartoons depicting Muhammad are nothing new in the age of jihad.
Moreover, despite what the Quran may teach, not all sins can be considered equal. The West must insist that Muslims, particularly members of the Muslim diaspora, answer this question: What is more offensive to a believer—the murder, torture, enslavement and acts of war and terrorism being committed today in the name of Muhammad, or the production of drawings and films and books designed to mock the extremists and their vision of what Muhammad represents?
To answer the late Gen. Malik, our soul in the West lies in our belief in freedom of conscience and freedom of expression. The freedom to express our concerns, the freedom to worship who we want, or not to worship at all—such freedoms are the soul of our civilization. And that is precisely where the Islamists have attacked us. Again.
How we respond to this attack is of great consequence. If we take the position that we are dealing with a handful of murderous thugs with no connection to what they so vocally claim, then we are not answering them. We have to acknowledge that today’s Islamists are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in the foundational texts of Islam. We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.
This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement. We appease the Muslim heads of government who lobby us to censor our press, our universities, our history books, our school curricula. They appeal and we oblige. We appease leaders of Muslim organizations in our societies. They ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us that theirs is a religion of peace, and we oblige.
What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets.
There can only be one answer to this hideous act of jihad against the staff of Charlie Hebdo. It is the obligation of the Western media and Western leaders, religious and lay, to protect the most basic rights of freedom of expression, whether in satire on any other form. The West must not appease, it must not be silenced. We must send a united message to the terrorists: Your violence cannot destroy our soul.
Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of “Infidel” (2007). Her latest book, “Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation,” will be published in April by HarperCollins.
Even amidst death threats and Islamist violence, Flemming Rose remains a staunch advocate for freedom of speech. In a Europe with ever-increasing speech restrictions, he argues for the equivalent of a global First Amendment.
On October 13, 2014, both the Cato Institute and the Newseum in Washington, DC, hosted Rose, author of the recently published book, The Tyranny of Silence. Rose and his paper maintain high security generally. But surprisingly, the only apparent security at these two events consisted of security guards from institutions holding them. Cato had approximately 75 people in attendance, including a young man from FIRE. The Newseum had a smaller audience, consisting of about 35 people, most of whom were older and likely Newseum members, as only members were sent prior notification. Both audiences were attentive, responsive and had numerous questions for the editor during Q&A. Additionally, both events were taped for online viewing.
Rose is an editor of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, notorious for its 2005 publication of twelve cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. Considered blasphemous, the drawings provided Islamists with an excuse to riot across the Muslim world and destroy Danish embassies, killing approximately 200 people.
Preceding these events, Danish author Kåre Bluitgen, wrote a children’s book on Islam’ s Prophet and wanted to include illustrations. Bluitgen sought to commission several illustrators for the Mohammad images. Two declined and one agreed on the condition of anonymity. The illustrators cited safety concerns stemming from death threats to Salmon Rushdie in the United Kingdom and the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, both of whom allegedly “blasphemed” Islam. Questions arose as to whether fear caused the illustrators to engage in self-censorship concerning Islam, and whether individuals in the media should cater to a small minority that reacts violently to discussion deemed offensive.
Jyllands-Posten asked members of the illustrator’s union to draw Mohammad as they saw him. The newspaper accepted submissions for seven to ten days. It subsequently published twelve illustrations along with an article addressing free speech and self-censorship. “No one could have anticipated” what would follow, Rose explained. The cartoons were the purported cause of violence that erupted throughout the Middle East, making Rose and his newspaper the center of a media storm. All context was lost.
Rose had sought a debate about ideas and a civil way to maintain a dialogue. Yet jihadists threatened to bomb the Jyllands-Posten’s offices and murder the cartoonists, forcing several of them into hiding. Both Rose and Jyllands-Posten have had to maintain heavy security ever since.
Several Muslim organizations filed a complaint against Jyllands-Posten accusing it of violating the Danish Criminal Code. The statute prohibits public ridicule of religious dogma or public statements that cause a group to feel “threatened, scorned or degraded” due to race or religion. However, using a narrow legal interpretation of the statute, the Danish government decided not to pursue the case, stating that it did not meet the necessary pre-requisites for prosecution.
Rose stated that self-censorship in Europe has worsened since the Jyllands-Posten’s publication of the cartoons. Rose was confronted with numerous anti-free speech arguments. “Isn’t it hurting the religious feelings of people with deeply held beliefs?” “Isn’t it a smart business decision not to use language in newspapers that might offend readers?” “Isn’t is just good manners not to insult someone’s beliefs?” (paraphrasing) But Rose, without missing a beat, had an articulate and persuasive answer for each point. He insisted that the omission of language regarding Islam did not constitute simply a business decision, as all readers occasionally face offense. Nor did it stem from good manners, as the motivation was not to be polite. Rather, it was self-censorship based on fear and intimidation.
Rose ardently advocated for the equivalent of a worldwide First Amendment, arguing for a free marketplace of ideas including religious doctrine. “Religious feelings cannot demand special treatment” he proclaimed, noting that people might have other deeply held beliefs where they could claim equivalent offense.
European laws balance freedom of expression against other rights such as the right to privacy and the right not to be offended. Therefore, European countries have various laws prohibiting hate speech, religious denigration, and racism. However, “almost absolute” freedom of speech, with exceptions for incitement to violence and defamation of individuals, “makes America unique.” Free speech is “not a balancing test” against the so-called right not to be offended. Offensive speech is constitutionally protected if it’s true or mere opinion.
Rose aptly noted that hate speech restrictions have not reduced violence. Indeed, riots have always erupted in countries where hate speech, blasphemy laws and other speech restrictions exist, but have been violated. Proponents of hate speech laws claim that hate speech leads to violent acts, but there is no evidence to support their claims. In countries where freedom flourishes, offensive expression incites minimal violence.
Rose also noted a seeming paradox: where immigration rises causing an increase in diversity of race and religion, there’s a decrease in the diversity of ideas allowed expression.
When asked if he thought there is a proper role for government censorship, Rose answered with a resounding “no!” Rose noted that while Kurt Westergaard, cartoonist of Mohammad with a bomb in his turban, became victim of an assassination attempt, some believe he deserved his fate. And, the Netherlands’ Minister of Justice professed, “if we had hate speech laws, then Van Gogh would be alive today.” Rose thinks both of these positions are outrageous because they condemn speech while justifying the violence in response to it.
Rose explained that many people fail to distinguish between words and deeds. And, “America is becoming more isolated” as tyrannical countries tighten speech restrictions. While American laws allow freedom, increasingly the citizens are plagued with peer pressure and political correctness, pushing for self-censorship.
Yet, “the right not to be offended” is the only right Rose believes individuals should not have in a democracy. Freedom should be paramount.
Refusing to be silent in the face of Islamist intimidation, Rose exercises that freedom courageously and without qualms.
Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a contributing author to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Network and the author of Council on American-Islamic Relations: its use of Lawfare and Intimidation. Her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org
Andrew Harrod, JD, PhD is an independent researcher and writes for FrontPage Magazine and numerous other publications. He is also a fellow at The Lawfare Project and can be followed on Twitter at @AEHarrod.
A recent legal victory by Freedom X upheld the right of private citizens to discuss openly sharia law at a Knoxville, Tennessee, high school. “This is a victory for free speech,” Freedom X’s President William J. Becker rightly explained, in yet another instructive example of Islamists seeking to subvert the United States Constitution’s First Amendment.
A local Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America began the case by arranging an April 24 evening town hall at Farragut High School (FHS). The event featured Dr. Bill French, Center for the Study of Political Islam founder under the pen name Warner, and Matt Bonner, regional director of the Crescent Project, a Christian evangelization ministry for Muslims. They intended to address the encroachment in America of sharia, vaguely described in one online report as “Islamic laws governing worship and lifestyle.” Becker correctly clarifies that “Sharia is incompatible with our constitutional and legal protections” in numerous ways.
Both local and national Muslims groups, however, greeted the event with harsh opposition. Abdel Rahman Murphy, a Muslim chaplain at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, emailed then FHS principal Mike F. Reynolds on April 8 requesting the event’s cancellation. The town hall flyer had “kind of an aggressive tone,” Murphy argued to reporters. “Feel free hosting” the event “anywhere else by renting out a banquet hall,” Murphy added, “but to host it at a public place…is not comfortable for the rest of us.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a radical faux civil rights group and an unindicted terrorism financing coconspirator, also objected. An April 11 CAIR news release publicized a letter by CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper to FHS the previous day that “vilifies…French, Bonner and ACT! for America” with a “false attribution” of “anti-Muslim hate” refuted by Becker’s complaint. “We support the First Amendment right to free speech—even…hate speech used by these speakers,” Hooper argued. The “need for a safe and inclusive learning environment,” though, makes a “school…not the proper setting.”
Principal Reynolds’ April 10 letter to Knox County Schools Superintendent James P. McIntyre, Jr. shared Hooper’s sentiments. “Groups promoting hate rather than tolerance” would have the event “serve as a public forum for harassment and bullying practices that contradict the open-minded, academic discussion we seek to…foster at” FHS, Murphy wrote. The event would generate “little positive press or educational benefit,” yet “polarize our community” when “deemed ours by association.” Concerns of “potential backlash” and “future security threats” from “retaliation of opposing groups” existed. These “expressed concerns…about…disruption” from an event unsuitable for “a safe, healthy and comfortable learning environment” caused McIntyre to rescind ACT!’s invitation in an April 11 letter to its Knoxville chapter leaders.
A Knoxville school official was “happy to announce” ACT!’s uninviting. Hooper boasted of the school’s decision, arguing that “this event in a public school would send an implicit message of endorsement for the bigoted views of the speakers.” Knoxville schools must “remain a safe place for all students,” concurred Remziya Suleyman from the Tennessee-based Muslim organization, American Center for Outreach.
The Knoxville ACT! chapter’s president John Peach held the event in a church, not seeking other public venues for fear of another cancellation. “Sharia is not well-understood and we wanted to inform the public” as “concerned Americans,” Peach said. An “American…should” not “be afraid to speak out on public matters in a public forum.”
Peach noted that Muslim groups such as the Saudi-backed Muslim Students Association, meanwhile, could openly operate unopposed at the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus. “If it’s right for Muslims to host events in tax-funded public facilities, then what is wrong with a group of citizens wanting the same,” he asked. “This is a great example of what Sharia Law is doing to America.”
Read more at Frontpage
A lawsuit has been filed in Tennessee by Freedom X, a nonprofit law firm that specializes in First Amendment issues. ACT! for America Knoxville vs. Knox County Schools alleges that Knox County School officials and Superintendent Jim McIntyre canceled an April after-hours presentation at Farragut High School that was to center around Sharia Law and its increasing acceptance in the United States due to complaints from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). “Public officials, and that includes public school officials, violate the free speech clause of the First Amendment whenever they censor speech merely because it offends someone,” said William J. Becker, Jr., Freedom X’s president and general counsel. “Unfortunately, we are seeing this trend grow as Muslim activists play the victim card.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of John Peach, director of the Knoxville chapter of ACT! for America, a group founded by Lebanese immigrant Brigitte Gabriel. Act! for America describes itself as a “non-partisan, non-sectarian organization whose mission is to give Americans concerned about national security and terrorism a powerful, organized, informed and mobilized voice.”
Apparently giving Americans that voice doesn’t sit well with CAIR. Prior to the event, CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper sent a letter to Farragut High School Principal Michael Reynolds insisting that the scheduled speakers— Dr. Bill French, aka Bill Warner, an expert on Islam and the Koran, and Matt Bonner, Knoxville chapter director of the Crescent Project, a Christian group that engages in Muslim evangelization—were “bigots.” Hooper further claimed that the event itself
will be viewed as having the endorsement of school officials and has the potential to promote bullying and to create a hostile learning environment for Muslim students. It may also serve to create a negative impression of Islam and Muslims in the minds of students of all faiths.
Hooper then claimed he supported the First Amendment right to free speech,
even the kind of hate speech used by these speakers—but believe, because of the need for a safe and inclusive learning environment, that a school is not the proper setting for such an event. I therefore respectfully request that you review district policies to determine whether you (sic) high school is an appropriate venue for a potentially hate-filled program.
After receiving Hooper’s letter, a school official told CAIR that “Farragut High School does not support this event, nor do we share the presenters’ views.” Soon after, the invitation was rescinded.
Knox County Superintendent Jim McIntyre explained the decision. “The primary purpose of our school facilities is to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable learning environment for our students,“ he said in a statement. “When other uses of the facility begin to impinge on or interfere with the administration’s ability to provide a suitable education atmosphere, it is necessary for us to reconsider that use.”
Act! For America noted the hypocrisy:
Why is it that Muslims engage in teaching about how good Islam is for Tennessee at the Cedar Bluff Library – a public building – but feel ‘uncomfortable’ when ACT! For America plans an event to show the opposite viewpoint at a public building?
That CAIR has any political traction whatsoever is a testament to what Freedom X describes as “creeping Sharia.” In a June 2009 ruling arising from the 2008 trial of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), during which five HLF official were convicted of 108 counts of abetting terrorist organizations, Judge Jorge Solis revealed that CAIR had ties to Hamas. “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, NAIT, with NAIT, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and with Hamas,” it stated. Solis agreed with CAIR that his ruling should have remained sealed based on Fifth Amendment protections, but he refused to remove references to CAIR from the trial record. “CAIR’s status as a co-conspirator is a matter of public record,” he explained.
In an unfortunate twist in the story, the Internet media group PRWeb, an organization that boasts of having a network of 30,000 journalists and the ability to get stories featured on “major local and national news sites,” has attempted to suppress this information about CAIR. When Becker sought to get the story of Freedom X’s lawsuit disseminated to a wider audience, and included the published references of CAIR’s ties to Hamas in his press release, PRWeb refused to run it.
Read more at Front Page
UTT, by John Guandolo:
After initially publishing a one-sided article giving Hamas (dba CAIR) spokesman Ibrahim Hooper a great deal of latitude, Wichita Eagle reporter Tim Potter last night spoke with Understanding the Threat (UTT) and made an attempt to even the playing field. Hooper and Hamas (dba CAIR) are trying to shut down a 2-day “Understanding the Threat” (UTT) training program for law enforcement in Kansas next week because it factually lays out the evidence revealing CAIR was created to be a node for Hamas in the United States.
Hamas (dba CAIR) recently and unsuccessfully tried to shut down a 3-day UTT program in Culpeper, Virginia, several weeks ago but the local Sheriff there wouldn’t bend.
The current article still describes Hamas front group CAIR as a “major national Muslim organization,” and includes quotes from a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadi organization the Muslim Students Association (MSA) – the very first national Islamic organization in America which the U.S. government identifies as a Muslim Brotherhood entity.
True to their Kansas backbone – and not deterred by a flea like Ibrahim Hooper or Hamas front CAIR – Kansas law enforcement officials are standing firm and plan to move forward with next week’s training.
What is noticeably missing in Mr. Potter’s article is any mention that evidence in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in U.S. history (US v Holy Land Foundation (“HLF”), Dallas, 2008) revealed CAIR was created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas and is hostile to the United States. CAIR is listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial and the Department of Justice lists them as members of the U.S. Palestine Committee in America, which is Hamas.
When CAIR asked the U.S. Court to remove it from the “Unindicted Co-Conspirator List” the federal judge, Jorge Solis, wrote in his unsealed ruling, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”) and with Hamas.” This matter was sent to the appellate court which ruled unanimously to keep CAIR on the unindicted co-conspirator list because of the overwhelming evidence against them.
In this case, the government provided a massive amount of documentary and testimonial evidence linking CAIR to the Hamas conspiracy for which HLF and its leaders where convicted and given lengthy jail sentences.
Also missing from the Wichita Eagle article is the fact that the FBI cut off all ties with CAIR because of the HLF evidence linking them to Hamas.
So why is the Wichita Eagle and Tim Potter offering them a platform to attack UTT and the upcoming training program?
The President of UTT is John Guandolo, a decorated Marine Corps Infantry and Reconnaissance officer and combat veteran, who, as an FBI Special Agent, created the first training program in the government detailing the Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamic Movement, Sharia (Islamic Law), and strategies to deal with the enemy front groups like CAIR. Mr. Guandolo was awarded the “Defender of the Homeland” Award by Senators Jon Kyl and Joseph Lieberman for his efforts in 2007. Mr. Guandolo has briefed dozens of U.S. Congressmen, four-star generals and admirals, former Directors of Intelligence agencies, former National Security Advisors, and many state legislators, police chiefs, and sheriffs across the country bringing this information to them which they all agree is critical for state and local officials to know in order to protect their communities.
No mention of any of this in Tim Potter’s article.
This incident highlights the failure of the media, at the local and national level, to speak truth into a significant jihadi threat to our nation. Hamas (dba CAIR) has been responsible along with other jihadi organizations like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the Muslim American Society (MAS), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) for silencing fact/evidence based training across our government with the willful assistance of cowardly leaders. All they need to say is “we are offended” and American leaders at the federal level take a knee.
In order to continue to turn the tide, I encourage readers to do a few things:
1. If you understand this threat and can articulate it, spend time with local reporters in your area to share the information with them. Educate them, don’t berate them. Give them a chance to learn.
2. Contact FBI Headquarters and ask them why a Hamas entity (CAIR) with whom they have broken all ties remains unindicted. 202-324-3000.
3. Contact the Attorney General’s Public Comment Line and ask why Hamas front CAIR remains unindicted. 202-353-1515.
It is time to purge terrorist organizations like CAIR and their leaders from our society. It can begin by holding people and organizations in our communities accountable so, at a minimum, they will stop supporting Jihadis.
Also go to The Investigative Project’s Action Page to see what else you can do
Paul Weston, the chairman of LibertyGB, was arrested today in Winchester for publicly quoting Winston Churchill’s famous description of Mohammedanism.
Below is Enza Ferreri’s report on the incident.
Winchester: Churchill Quotation Gets Liberty GB Leader Paul Weston Arrested
by Enza Ferreri
Today Paul Weston, chairman of the party Liberty GB and candidate in the 22 May European Elections in the South East, has been arrested in Winchester.
At around 2pm Mr Weston was standing on the steps of Winchester Guildhall, addressing the passers-by in the street with a megaphone. He quoted the following excerpt about Islam from the book The River War by Winston Churchill:
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property — either as a child, a wife, or a concubine — must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith.”
Reportedly a woman came out of the Guildhall and asked Mr Weston if he had the authorisation to make this speech. When he answered that he didn’t, she told him “It’s disgusting!” and then called the police.
Six or seven officers arrived. They talked with the people standing nearby, asking questions about what had happened. The police had a long discussion with Mr Weston, lasting about 40 minutes.
At about 3pm he was arrested. They searched him, put him in a police van and took him away.
Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born London writer and the Press Officer for Liberty GB. She blogs at www.enzaferreri.blogspot.co.uk. For her previous articles and translations, see the Enza Ferreri Archives.
For links to Paul Weston’s essays, see the Paul Weston Archives.
CAIR has spoken out against numerous sections of the book, including portions that allegedly read, “Islam is an ideology of control, not for human and brotherly love,” and “Muslims would try to force their values and traditions on others callously. They would force their neighbors to cover their heads; otherwise they taunt them for not being modest; Muslim teachers would try to make their Christian students pray according to their Islamic religion.”
By: Chelsea Miller,
OBERLIN — The Cleveland chapter of the Council on America-Islamic Relations is asking Oberlin College to investigate a lecturer in the Arabic Language Department whom they say openly promotes “anti-Muslim bigotry and crude stereotypes of Muslims in his writings on campus.”
CAIR-Cleveland said lecturer Samir Amin Abdellatif is the publisher of a 290-page tract that “vilifies” Islam and Muslims. The organization said Abdellatif’s publication, entitled “The Unknown History of Islam,” promotes xenophobic views about Muslim immigration to the West, as well as supports “outlandish conspiracy theories.”
CAIR-Cleveland has requested that the college investigate Abdellatif’s teachings through a letter sent to Oberlin College President Marvin Krislov on March 11. In the letter, Shearson wrote, “We believe the reputation of Oberlin College is tarnished and students are done a disservice by having an Arabic language instructor who openly promotes anti-Muslim bigotry and who condones crude and ugly caricatures of Muslims.”
COMMENT/ANALYSIS: As is often the case, CAIR continues to attack and attempt to silence critics of Islam. The irony being that they are protesting a book that ” would try to force their values and traditions on others” … what CAIR regularly does as demonstrated with this incident. It should be noted that the person that called CAIR on this matter is listed in the below article – accused of harrassment of another professor.
WSJ, April 10, 2014, By AYAAN HIRSI ALI:
On Tuesday, after protests by students, faculty and outside groups, Brandeis University revoked its invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at its commencement ceremonies in May. The protesters accused Ms. Hirsi Ali, an advocate for the rights of women and girls, of being “Islamophobic.” Here is an abridged version of the remarks she planned to deliver.
One year ago, the city and suburbs of Boston were still in mourning. Families who only weeks earlier had children and siblings to hug were left with only photographs and memories. Still others were hovering over bedsides, watching as young men, women, and children endured painful surgeries and permanent disfiguration. All because two brothers, radicalized by jihadist websites, decided to place homemade bombs in backpacks near the finish line of one of the most prominent events in American sports, the Boston Marathon.
All of you in the Class of 2014 will never forget that day and the days that followed. You will never forget when you heard the news, where you were, or what you were doing. And when you return here, 10, 15 or 25 years from now, you will be reminded of it. The bombs exploded just 10 miles from this campus.
I read an article recently that said many adults don’t remember much from before the age of 8. That means some of your earliest childhood memories may well be of that September morning simply known as “9/11.”
You deserve better memories than 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombing. And you are not the only ones. In Syria, at least 120,000 people have been killed, not simply in battle, but in wholesale massacres, in a civil war that is increasingly waged across a sectarian divide. Violence is escalating in Iraq, in Lebanon, in Libya, in Egypt. And far more than was the case when you were born, organized violence in the world today is disproportionately concentrated in the Muslim world.
Another striking feature of the countries I have just named, and of the Middle East generally, is that violence against women is also increasing. In Saudi Arabia, there has been a noticeable rise in the practice of female genital mutilation. In Egypt, 99% of women report being sexually harassed and up to 80 sexual assaults occur in a single day.
Especially troubling is the way the status of women as second-class citizens is being cemented in legislation. In Iraq, a law is being proposed that lowers to 9 the legal age at which a girl can be forced into marriage. That same law would give a husband the right to deny his wife permission to leave the house.
Sadly, the list could go on. I hope I speak for many when I say that this is not the world that my generation meant to bequeath yours. When you were born, the West was jubilant, having defeated Soviet communism. An international coalition had forced Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. The next mission for American armed forces would be famine relief in my homeland of Somalia. There was no Department of Homeland Security, and few Americans talked about terrorism.
Two decades ago, not even the bleakest pessimist would have anticipated all that has gone wrong in the part of world where I grew up. After so many victories for feminism in the West, no one would have predicted that women’s basic human rights would actually be reduced in so many countries as the 20th century gave way to the 21st.
Today, however, I am going to predict a better future, because I believe that the pendulum has swung almost as far as it possibly can in the wrong direction.
When I see millions of women in Afghanistan defying threats from the Taliban and lining up to vote; when I see women in Saudi Arabia defying an absurd ban on female driving; and when I see Tunisian women celebrating the conviction of a group of policemen for a heinous gang rape, I feel more optimistic than I did a few years ago. The misnamed Arab Spring has been a revolution full of disappointments. But I believe it has created an opportunity for traditional forms of authority—including patriarchal authority—to be challenged, and even for the religious justifications for the oppression of women to be questioned.
Yet for that opportunity to be fulfilled, we in the West must provide the right kind of encouragement. Just as the city of Boston was once the cradle of a new ideal of liberty, we need to return to our roots by becoming once again a beacon of free thought and civility for the 21st century. When there is injustice, we need to speak out, not simply with condemnation, but with concrete actions.
One of the best places to do that is in our institutions of higher learning. We need to make our universities temples not of dogmatic orthodoxy, but of truly critical thinking, where all ideas are welcome and where civil debate is encouraged. I’m used to being shouted down on campuses, so I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today. I do not expect all of you to agree with me, but I very much appreciate your willingness to listen.
I stand before you as someone who is fighting for women’s and girls’ basic rights globally. And I stand before you as someone who is not afraid to ask difficult questions about the role of religion in that fight.
The connection between violence, particularly violence against women, and Islam is too clear to be ignored. We do no favors to students, faculty, nonbelievers and people of faith when we shut our eyes to this link, when we excuse rather than reflect.
So I ask: Is the concept of holy war compatible with our ideal of religious toleration? Is it blasphemy—punishable by death—to question the applicability of certain seventh-century doctrines to our own era? Both Christianity and Judaism have had their eras of reform. I would argue that the time has come for a Muslim Reformation.
Is such an argument inadmissible? It surely should not be at a university that was founded in the wake of the Holocaust, at a time when many American universities still imposed quotas on Jews.
The motto of Brandeis University is “Truth even unto its innermost parts.” That is my motto too. For it is only through truth, unsparing truth, that your generation can hope to do better than mine in the struggle for peace, freedom and equality of the sexes.
Ms. Hirsi Ali is the author of “Nomad: My Journey from Islam to America” (Free Press, 2010). She is a fellow at the Belfer Center of Harvard’s Kennedy School and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) attempted to silence a speech by Richard Thompson to the Greater Oakland Republican Club on the internal threat posed to America by Radical Islam by using their customary name-calling intimidation tactics, which have proven successful in the past. This time their tactics did not work.
Thompson, the President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, was invited to speak on Tuesday, April 1st. On Monday, however, CAIR-MI launched a press release demanding that the Republican Club disinvite Thompson, labeling him a “notorious Islamophobe” with a “long track record of fear-mongering.” The Club refused to cave-in to the ploy and the speech went on as planned in a packed room.
Thompson, responding to the Club’s decision not to cave-in to CAIR, commented, “I applaud the Greater Oakland Republican Club for its steadfast defense of the constitutional right to free speech. Sadly, too many groups and individuals lack the moral courage to say “No” to CAIR. And as long as their bullying tactics work on some weak-kneed Americans, they will continue their efforts to restrict free speech.”
Thompson began his speech by informing the audience that they have witnessed first-hand the operation of Sharia law—silencing the free speech right of anyone who dares criticize Islam. Thompson went on to describe CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial where the supposed charity and five of its organizers were found guilty by a federal jury of illegally funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Thompson also pointed to the stated plans of one of CAIR’s founders, Omar Ahmad, that Islam is in America to become dominant and the highest authority.
Thompson also quoted a statement from the FBI’s former chief of counterterrorism, “CAIR, its leaders and its activities effectively give aid to international terrorist groups.”
The University of Michigan is the most recent entity to capitulate to CAIR’s campaign to silence any criticism of Islam. As a result of CAIR’s intimidation tactics, the University cancelled screenings of “Honor Diaries,” a film which details the truth about the brutal violence against women in Muslim countries.
According to Megyn Kelly on the Kelly File, (a great video to watch) numerous screenings of the film have been cancelled due to demands from CAIR including a screening at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor originally scheduled for April 3, 2014.
CAIR and CAIR-MI often demand the cancellation of events they deem “Islamophobic;” a term meant to intimidate and force event organizers into cancellations.
Clearly, the reason for CAIR’s personal attacks on Thompson stem from the fact that as a public interest law firm, TMLC, has led the fight against the threat of Radical Islam and the Stealth Jihad in the courts.
Brooke Goldstein, a human rights attorney, in response to CAIR’s involvement in shutting down the “Honor Diaries” film said, “CAIR operates as the Islamic speech police. It goes around bullying and intimidating anyone who is brave enough to speak publically about the threat of Islam and Islamist terrorism and violence in the Muslim world.”
Goldstein continued, “CAIR has a systematic campaign to go around and target anybody who speaks publically about the threat of militant Islam as Islamophobic.”