The Tyranny of Silence

theFrontpage, by Deborah Weiss and Andrew Harrod, November 20, 2014:

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.

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This article was commissioned by The Legal Project, an activity of The Middle East Forum.

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 Lesson on Free Speech and Sharia in Knoxville

lk-450x137by Andrew Harrod:

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

‘Freedom X’ Takes on CAIR

fg-450x314by Arnold Ahlert:

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

Hamas Again Tries to Silence the Truth – This Time in Kansas

 

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

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Paul Weston arrested for quoting Winston Churchill

Gates of Vienna:

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.

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VIDEO: PAUL WESTON COULD FACE 2 YEARS IN JAIL FOR QUOTING CHURCHILL

CAIR Pressures Another College

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.”

Muslim advocacy group calls for investigation by Oberlin College into lecturer’s ‘bigotry’

From: ChronicleOnline
By: Chelsea Miller, April 11, 2014

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.”

Full Article: http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2014/04/11/muslim-advocacy-group-calls-investigation-oberlin-college-professors-bigotry/

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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.

Related:

Here’s What I Would Have Said at Brandeis

A9WSJ, 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.

CAIR-MI Fails to Silence TMLC President

Thomas Moore Law Center:

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.

RT Speaking Captioned(1)

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.”

Video: Sharia and the Threat to American Freedom

American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) Co-Founders and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise gave a presentation in Cincinnati to a standing-room-only crowd entitled, “Sharia: Threat to American Freedom.”  Yerushalmi explains sharia as “the enemy threat doctrine”. A highlight of Muise’s presentation is his discussion of American Freedom Defense Initiative’s freedom of speech cases. Watch this very informative video.

PAT CONDELL: One thing Muslims do better than all the politically correct leftists in the world

Bare Naked Islam:

Unknown8The slow destruction of free speech, the one human right for which millions of Christians and Jews have died. Only now, hardly anyone will speak up for it, let alone fight for it, preferring to obey someone else’s idea of what is politically correct speech. The very core of a free society is rotting under the threat of Muslim cultural terrorism that can get you killed for saying something that offends someone. Shame on you, yes, all of you, who are constantly censoring yourselves, allowing our most cherished human right to be stolen right out from under us, as we twist ourselves into knots, trying not to offend the very people who are using our rights to silence us.

Will the infamous 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals make First Amendment exception for Islamists by forcing Google to remove Muhammad movie?

W2Florida Family Association:

Click here to send your email asking 43 appellate court judges to affirm First Amendment over Islamist exception.

By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Google on February 26, 2014 to remove the controversial movie“Innocence of Muslims” from Youtube.com. This movie that sparked protests across the Muslim world “depicts Muhammad as a feckless philanderer who approved of child sexual abuse, among other overtly insulting claims that have caused outrage.   In a 13 minute 51 second trailer, the Islamic prophet is made to look like a murderer and adulterer as well” according to TheBlaze.com

Cindy Lee Garcia filed a law suit against Google on October 17, 2012 seeking a restraining order that would require Youtube.com to remove“Innocence of Muslims”  from their web service.  Garcia claimed that she had a copyright for a five second video that was incorporated into the film and that she had not given permission for its use in the movie.  She also claimed that she would suffer irreparable harm if the movie were not removed from access on the World Wide Web.

Michael W. Fitzgerald, District Judge, United States District Court for the Central District of California issued an order on November 30, 2012 DENYING Garcia’s petition to the court (in part) because: 

  • Garcia failed to “establish that she is likely to succeed on the merits, that she is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in her favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.’” 
  • The Film was posted for public viewing on YouTube on July 2, 2012 – five months ago.  Given this five-month delay, Garcia has not demonstrated that the requested preliminary relief would prevent any alleged harm.
  • As was the case in Aalmuhammed v. Lee , 202 F.3d 1227 (9th Cir. 2000), the Film “is a copyrightable work, and it is undisputed that the movie was intended by everyone involved with it to be a unitary whole.”  Id. at 1231. Additionally, a copyright in a work “vests initially in the author or authors of the work. The authors of a joint work are coowners of copyright in the work.” 17 U.S.C. § 201(a). 
  • Garcia does not argue that she is the sole author of the Film, nor does she argue that the Film was a joint work of which she was a co-author. According to the United States Supreme Court, the “author” is the “person to whom the work owes its origin and who superintended the whole work.” Aalmuhammed, 202 F.3d at 1233 (citing Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony, 111 U.S. 53, 61, 4 S. Ct. 279, 28 L. Ed. 349 (1884)). By Garcia’s own allegations and argument, she does not meet this standard with respect to the Film. Furthermore, Garcia concedes that she does not have joint authorship over the Film or joint ownership of the copyright in the Film. (See Reply at 12 n.11).

Plaintiff Garcia appealed District Judge Fitzgerald’s ruling to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.  By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the appellate court reversed the lower court ruling.  The panel ruled that Garcia did have a copyright claim to her five second segment, could suffer irreparable harm and ordered Google to remove the video from Youtube.com.  Chief Judge Alex Kozinski said Garcia was likely to prevail on her copyright claim, and having already faced “serious threats against her life,” faced irreparable harm absent an injunction.

In a statement, Google said:  “We strongly disagree with this ruling and will fight it.”  The film has now become an important part of public debate, Google argued, and should not be taken down.  “Our laws permit even the vilest criticisms of governments, political leaders, and religious figures as legitimate exercises in free speech,” Google said.  Google’s statement indicates that they believe that the motivation behind the appellate panel ruling has more to do with the negative portrayal of Muhammad than it does with the Chief Judge’s newly created doctrine regarding partial copy right.  The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruling in Garcia vs Google appears to be more about appeasing Islamists than it does about defending the fullness of the First Amendment, following the rules of judicial construction and respecting established legal precedent.

A sua sponte request filed on March 6, 2014 indicates that the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will RECONSIDER the appeal En Bancbefore the full appellate court.  The parties to the litigation were instructed to file their briefs with the court by 5:00 PM Pacific time, Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

Now the full 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals will reconsider the appeal from the district court as well as their panel’s troubled ruling.  They need to know that American’s treasure their First Amendment and do not want special exceptions for Islamists.

Florida Family Association has prepared an email for you to send to the forty three 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals justices urging them to affirm the First Amendment rights that all Americans cherish by reversing the panel’s troubled ruling and affirming the district court’s decision.  Florida Family Association is taking a position in this case based upon judicial principle and without regard to the parties involved or content of the movie.

To send your email, please click the following link, enter your name and email address then click the “Send Your Message” button. You may also edit the subject or message text if you wish.  

Please click here to send your email to forty three 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals judges.

Go to Florida Family Association for the judge’s individual contact information

Appeal to Ninth Circuit Filed after Federal Court in Seattle Upholds Censorship of Anti-Terrorism Advertisement

censoredThe American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed its opening brief on Friday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, appealing a lower federal court ruling that denied AFLC’s motion for a preliminary injunction.  AFLC’s motion requested that the court order the King County, Washington, transit authority to display an anti-terrorism bus advertisement that it had refused to display.

The proposed advertisement, which was submitted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and its executive directors, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, included pictures, names, and a similar message from an earlier anti-terrorism advertisement sponsored by the U.S. State Department, which was accepted for display on King County buses.  The State Department advertisement depicted the “Faces of Global Terrorism” in an effort to “stop a terrorist” and “save lives.”  In addition, the advertisement offered an “up to $25 million reward” for helping to capture one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists.

Moreover, in the State Department advertisement, thirty out of the thirty-two listed terrorists had Muslim names or are wanted for terrorism related to organizations conducting terrorist acts in the name of Islam.  After complaints from a Washington State politician and two Muslim-American advocacy groups that claimed the list of wanted global terrorists appeared to include only Muslim terrorists, the federal government terminated its “Faces of Global Terrorism” advertisement campaign.

In response to the government’s decision to remove its advertisement, AFDI created its own, similar advertisement to replace it.  Despite originally accepting the government’s advertisement, King County rejected AFDI’s ad, claiming that it was offensive to Muslims.

On January 27, 2014, David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, presented oral argument before Federal Judge Richard A. Jones, sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. [See video of oral argument here.]  Yerushalmi argued that King County’s refusal to run the advertisement was an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech and therefore the court should order the agency to display the advertisement immediately.

Nevertheless, Judge Jones ruled that King County’s decision to reject the advertisement was “reasonable,” specifically noting that displaying pictures of Muslim and Arab terrorists and labeling them jihadis is offensive to Muslims.

David Yerushalmi, AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel, commented: “We are confident that the Ninth Circuit will reverse this decision.  The trial court sacrificed Free Speech for political correctness.”

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise commented: “Simply put, the government’s position is inconsistent with reality – namely, sharia-adherent jihadists pose a significant threat to our national security.  This case is a classic articulation of political correctness as a form of tyranny, which violates our fundamental right to freedom speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

 

Also see:

GOVERNMENT BANS CALLING TERRORISTS ‘JIHADIS’ (wnd.com)

Egyptian ‘Jon Stewart’ Targeted Again

Bassem_YoussefBy Rachel Molschky:

Bassem Youssef is an Egyptian satirist with a television program which mocks the current political situation in Egypt and is extremely controversial. Somewhat similar to Jon Stewart’s style on The Daily Show, Youssef risks taking jabs at dangerous people and has paid greatly for it. His program has been taken off the air, he’s been arrested, and now someone has jammed the satellite signal in order to block his show.

The Associated Press reports that the network’s satellite carrier found small satellite transmitters as the root of the problem, and Spokesman Mazen Hayek said there was no way of knowing who was responsible.

“It is a form of terrorism,” Hayek told the Associated Press.

Youssef’s show is called “El-Bernameg” or “The Program” in Arabic and has poked fun at the Muslim Brotherhood, the local media and the Egyptian Army. He was arrested for criticizing Islam and then President Mohamed Morsi and is said to have cracked jokes throughout his five-hour interrogation.

On Twitter, he quipped about officers and prosecutors asking to take pictures with him (“maybe this is why they ordered my arrest?”), their lack of hospitality (“Nobody even brought us a glass of water”), and their lack of preparedness (“Now they are looking for a laptop with a . . . program to play the [offending] episodes but they can’t find one”). A judge eventually asked him to remove any tweets he made during questioning. He was later released.

No one escapes Youssef’s satire, as he teases both sides of the political spectrum, but all in good fun. More recently, he laughed about the Egyptian Army’s claim to have found a cure for AIDS and Hepatitis without scientific proof to back it up.

In the West, we are accustomed to such programs where politicians know they are subject to scrutiny and the resulting parodies and jokes on television. This is a freedom we take for granted. In countries where Islam is dominant, however, “democracy” means something different.

Even here, it is not acceptable to criticize Islam, and people who speak the truth about the violent religion are put on trial for hate speech (or authorities scrounge up some other charges), or face other consequences. Most people are too afraid to say a word against Islam or even joke about it, so while other religions can be and are scrutinized, Islam gets a free ride.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky with video

Google ordered to scrub film blamed for Benghazi attack

googlelogoa_a_l_copyWND, by PAMELA GELLER:

As the Constitutional Convention was ending in 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got: a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Apparently, we can’t.

Last Wednesday, a U.S. appeals court ordered Google to remove “Innocence of Muslims,” the Muhammad video that Obama blamed for the Benghazi jihad attacks, from YouTube.

Freedom of speech in the age of jihad. Freedom of speech – another relic of the enlightened era before we entered this dark and sinister age.

Reuters reported that “by a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Google’s assertion that the removal of the film ‘Innocence of Muslims’ amounted to a prior restraint of speech that violated the U.S. Constitution.” The cowards on the Ninth Circuit took us down to the level of the brute in a 2-1 vote.

The Ninth Circuit kicks America in the teeth. Again. The ruling was an affront to every freedom-loving American. How do liberal hypocrites look at themselves in the mirror? This ruling is wrong at the most basic level. This is a First Amendment case. And I thank Google for fighting it so vigorously. (Believe me, I despise so much of Google’s business practices, but this is a whole other thing.)

Cindy Lee Garcia, the clueless clown who sued Google to take down the Muhammad film trailer, is probably clucking and preening and patting herself on the back. But she knows not what she did. She’s another leftist lapdog furthering Islamic supremacism and Shariah law.

But the Ninth Circuit knows full well what it has done. The mother of all freedoms has been abridged so as not to offend savages. That’s where we are in America 2014, with the full support and approval of the president of the United States.

The Ninth Circuit’s ruling was a craven capitulation to the dictates of the Shariah, based on technical copyright law. Imagine if every actor and actress sued to remove a film in which the producer changed the story or their lines were dubbed. We’d have very little cinema (with the garbage Hollywood produces these days, not an altogether bad thing). Did Cindy Lee Garcia sign a release, or did she not? And if she didn’t, why not just blur out her craggy face and give us all a break?

Garcia should be suing the filmmaker, not Google. She is in the film for all of five seconds. He redubbed her. So what? If it were anything else, would she have subjugated herself in the service of such oppressors? Did she sign a contract explicitly laying out what exactly the film was and/or would be used for?

Google said, rightly: “The panel has adopted a novel interpretation of copyright law that will invite uncertainty and chaos for the entertainment industry, documentary filmmakers, amateur content creators, and for online hosting services like YouTube, allowing bit players in movies, videos, and other media to control how and when creative works are publicly displayed.”

But when it comes to appeasing enraged Muslims, it doesn’t matter what destruction these dhimmis cause.

When the morally superior Judge Alex “Cow” Kozinski isn’t taking a wrecking ball to our freedoms by ordering Google to take down videos, he’s posting photos of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal on his website.

The dhimmi judge who ordered Google to take down the YouTube video that set off our now constant companion – the hair-trigger violence of the Muslim world – is a pervert who won’t offend Muslims, but thinks nothing of degrading women and sharing his predilection for bestiality. Selective censorship.

First, the filmmaker was jailed (the only person jailed for Benghazi) for the expression of his ideas. Now Google is forced to submit to the Shariah – in America. RIP.

I pray Google takes this all the way, all the way to the Supreme Court. For the nation, for our freedoms, and against the tyranny of savages.

Pamela Geller is the publisher of AtlasShrugs.com and the author of the WND Books title “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.”

Britain: Islamists Create Climate of Fear to Curb Free Speech

by Soeren Kern:

“My intention was to carve out a space to be heard without constantly fearing the blasphemy charge, on pain of death.” — Maajid Nawaz, Liberal Democratic Party candidate for Britain’s Parliament.

“The media’s vaunted concern for minority welfare is at direct odds with its indifference to the minority within Islam that is trying to reform its orthodoxy’s disgraceful attitude to blasphemy—a minority that is gravely endangered and in need of friends.” — Abhishek Phadnis, free speech activist, London School of Economics.

Muslim fundamentalists in London have threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted an innocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account.

The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, add to a growing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe. (Efforts to silence non-Muslims are well documented.)

Nawaz—a former member of the Islamist revolutionary group Hizb ut-Tahrir and co-founder of the Quilliam Foundation, a London-based counter-extremism think-tank—on January 12 posted on Twitter a cartoon of Mohammed and Jesus greeting one another (“Hey” and “How ya doin’?”) with the caption: “This Jesus & Mo @JandMo cartoon is not offensive&I’m sure God is greater than to feel threatened by it الله أكبر منه”.

Nawaz’s tweet followed a BBC Big Questions program in which the “Jesus and Mo” cartoons, which have been around since 2005, were discussed and Nawaz was included as a studio guest.

Nawaz, who is also author of the book “Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism,” said he posted the image to trigger a debate among Muslims about what should and should not be acceptable within Islam.

Not in the mood for debate, furious Muslims responded by bullying and issuing threats of violence—including beheading—and also launched a petition (it quickly garnered more than 20,000 signatures) to have Nawaz deselected as a candidate for parliament.

Labour Party Councilor Yaqub Hanif of Luton, a town situated 50 km (30 miles) north of London and known as the Islamic extremist capital of Britain, said the depictions of Mohammed were “totally unacceptable” to Muslims and called on Nawaz to step down.

“It’s appalling that this guy is a parliamentary candidate because this behavior is not conducive to being an MP,” Hanif said in an interview with the International Business Times. “If you want to be an MP then you must respect all faiths. He’s not doing that.”

counter-petition has now been set up (it has only 8,000 signatures) calling on the Liberal Democrats to give Nawaz their full support. The petition states:

“Islamists and political opponents have mounted a campaign against Maajid Nawaz, resulting in numerous threats to his life. We note that this campaign, rather than being based on legitimate concerns of Muslims, is a political campaign which is being spear-headed by a group of Muslim reactionaries with a track record of promoting extremism. They are seeking to use Muslim communities in order to whip up hatred against a liberal and secular Muslims. We are concerned that this campaign will also be used by anti-Muslim extremists as evidence of Muslim intolerance and incompatibility with liberal values which could, in turn, fuel anti-Muslim bigotry.”

The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, has expressed his support for Nawaz. “We simply cannot tolerate anyone in a free country—where we have to protect free speech, even if that free speech might cause offense to others—being subject to death threats and them and their family being put under extraordinary pressure to recant what they said,” Clegg said.

Muslims eventually retaliated by rescinding the Quilliam Foundation’s nomination for the annual British Muslim Awards, held in Manchester on January 30. Quilliam had been listed in the “Spirit of Britain” award category, but a statement on the awards’ Facebook page reads: “In light of recent activity, the British Muslim Awards, after careful consideration, have come to the decision that it can no longer promote the Quilliam Foundation as a finalist, and thus its nomination has been removed with immediate effect.”

More worrisome for the principle of free speech is that British mainstream media have censored reporting of the Jesus & Mo cartoon controversy.

For example, Channel 4 News blacked out a cartoon image of the Prophet Mohammed during a news broadcast on January 28 in order not to cause offense to Muslim viewers. In an open letter to the editor of Channel 4, the National Secular Society wrote that by “making this decision you have effectively taken a side in a debate where a Muslim man has suffered violent death threats after he explicitly said he did not find the cartoons offensive. You have taken the side of the reactionaries—the side of people who bully and violently threaten Muslims, such as Mr. Nawaz, online.”

“By redacting the picture of ‘Mo,’ you have contributed to a climate of censorship brought on by the unreasonable and reactionary views of some religious extremists. Rather than defending free expression, one of the most precious pillars of our liberal democratic society, you have chosen instead to listen to extremists and patronize British Muslims by assuming they will take offense at an irreverent and satirical cartoon. By taking the decision you did, not only did you betray the fundamental journalistic principle of free speech, but you have become complicit in a trend that seeks to insidiously stereotype all Muslim people as reacting in one uniform way (generally presented as overly sensitive and potentially violent).”

 

 

Channel 4 News blacked out a cartoon image of the Prophet Mohammed during a news broadcast on January 28.

In an article entitled, “Why I’m speaking up for Islam against the loudmouths who have hijacked it” (published by The Guardian newspaper on January 28), Nawaz defended his decision to tweet the image of Jesus and Mo.

“My intention was to carve out a space to be heard without constantly fearing the blasphemy charge, on pain of death,” Nawaz wrote. “Modern Islamist attempts to impose theocratic orthodoxy on us will be resisted.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute