Failed analysis offered as remedy to “failed ad”

Islamic-Jew-hatredJihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, May 26, 2015:

While Pamela Geller lives under armed guard over a live and imminent threat from the Islamic State, Daniel Pipes seizes the opportunity to…defend the freedom of speech and decry the threats against her? No. He chose instead to attack her ad criticizing Islamic anti-Semitism.

More below, and Pamela Geller has additional important information here.

“SEPTA ad campaign a spectacular failure,” by Daniel Pipes, Philadelphia Inquirer, May 26, 2015:

Did a controversial, austere, black-and-white advertisement that ran for one month on Philadelphia buses achieve its goal of winning sympathy for Jewish victims of Muslims?

The ad was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative and placed on buses operated by SEPTA, the regional-and state-run authority. The ad read: “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran. Two thirds of all U.S. aid goes to Islamic countries. Stop the hate. End all aid to Islamic countries. IslamicJewHatred.com.” A November 1941 photograph ran with the caption, “Adolf Hitler and his staunch ally, the leader of the Muslim world, Haj Amin al-Husseini.” SEPTA received $30,000 to run the 30-by-80-inch ad on 84 buses out of SEPTA’s 1,400 buses during April.

No, the ad failed to achieve its goal, and spectacularly so. Count the ways:

To begin with, the text is factually inaccurate. Husseini was never “leader of the Muslim world.” He was a British appointee in the Mandate for Palestine, where Muslims constituted less than 1 percent of the total world Muslim population.

The term “leader of the Muslim world” is a perfectly reasonable summation of Husseini’s power and influence. Yes, he was appointed Mufti of Jerusalem by the British. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the end of the caliphate, by virtue of his position alone as Mufti of the third holiest city in the Muslim world, Husseini had as good a claim as anyone to being the foremost authority in the Muslim world as anyone.

What’s more, the British appointment is not remotely the whole story of the Mufti’s influence. While he lived in Berlin from 1941 to 1945, he made broadcasts from Berlin in Arabic, appealing to the entire Arabic-speaking world to support the Nazis, and raised up a Muslim SS division in Bosnia, where no one seems to have rejected his authority on the basis that he was a British appointment for Jerusalem only.

Even as National Socialist Germany collapsed in defeat and ruin, he didn’t lose his influence. In 1946, the Arab League appointed al-Husseini not just a member, but the chairman, of the Arab Higher Committee. The Arab League was founded in Cairo in 1945 by Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Transjordan (Jordan from 1946) and Yemen (North Yemen, later combined Yemen). Are those countries not the heart of the Muslim world?

The Arab Higher Committee, with Husseini as its chairman, wielded so much influence that it was given the same diplomatic status as the Jewish agency for Palestine in the partition of Israel in 1948. The political committee of the general assembly of the United Nations, without a dissenting vote, decided to invite the Arab Higher Committee to testify before it on the issue of Israel and the Arab Muslims.

Second, Husseini’s meeting with Hitler did not represent a permanent or universal alliance between Muslims and Nazis; it was a one-time, opportunistic consultation between a fugitive Palestinian figure and his patron.

Pipes reveals that there is a bit more going on in this photo than a “one-time, opportunistic consultation” by noting in passing that Hitler was Husseini’s “patron.” (Incidentally, Pipes’ reference to Husseini as a “Palestinian,” however, is anachronistic, as the Muslim Arabs of Palestine were not referred to as “Palestinians” until the Soviets and Arafat invented the “Palestinian” nationality in the 1960s, so as to defuse Israel’s image as a tiny Jewish state arrayed against numerous surrounding huge Arab states: an even smaller people was invented, menaced by the mighty Israeli war machine.)

In any case, “Husseini’s meeting with Hitler did not represent a permanent or universal alliance between Muslims and Nazis,” but the meeting was far more than a “one-time, opportunistic consultation,” either. Husseini was important enough in Berlin to play a role in the Third Reich’s extermination of Jews. SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dieter Wisliceny, a close collaborator of Adolf Eichmann, testified that “the grand mufti, who had been in Berlin since 1938, played a role in the decision of the German government to exterminate the European Jews the importance of which must not be disregarded. He had repeatedly suggested to the various authorities with whom he had been in contact, above all before Hitler, Ribbentrop and Himmler, the extermination of European Jewry. He considers this as a comfortable solution of the Palestine problem. In his messages broadcast from Berlin, he surpassed us in anti-Jewish attacks. He was one of Eichmann’s best friends and has constantly been cited him to accelerate the extermination measures. I heard say that, accompanied by Eichmann, he has visited incognito the gas chamber in Auschwitz.”

The statement referred to in the affidavit was made by Eichmann in his office in Budapest on June 4, 1944; the confirmation by Wisliceny was given some days later, also in Budapest.

Further, according to testimony at the Nuremberg trials, “the mufti was a bitter arch enemy of the Jews and had always been the protagonist of the idea of their annihilation. This idea the mufti had always advanced in his conversations with Eichmann.”

Eichmann had before all this been in charge of efforts to deport the Jews from Europe. After the Mufti weighed in, the Nazi efforts shifted from deportation to extermination — confirming Wisliceny’s account.

Third, the ad’s demand makes no sense: How does ending $10 billion in U.S. military assistance to Afghanistan “stop the hate” against Jews? How does continuing it encourage “Islamic Jew-hatred”?

As Dr. Pipes well knows, anti-Semitism is rampant in the Islamic world, including in Afghanistan. The ad is calling for U.S. aid to Muslim countries to be contingent upon their efforts to end anti-Semitism — efforts which are non-existent at this point. U.S. aid continues to encourage “Islamic Jew-hatred” (Pipes’ sneer quotes betray his unwarranted skepticism regarding the concept) by doing nothing whatsoever to counter it.

But more important to the ad’s failure was the hostile response it provoked. Rather than win support for Jews as victims of Muslims, it instead rallied the Philadelphia establishment to support Muslims as victims of Jews. A Jewish Exponent headline summed up the reaction: “Contempt for SEPTA Bus Ads Brings Groups Together.” Mayor Nutter convened an outdoor meeting under the city’s famous LOVE sculpture that brought together activists, clergy, journalists, and intellectuals, where he denounced the “misguided and opportunistic political tactics” behind the bus ad….

Pipes goes on in this vein for several paragraphs, detailing the opposition to the ad from various Leftist multiculturalists. It is surprising that he accords such respect to this opposition, since those he invokes — the Philadelphia mayor, Leftist Jewish groups, a Roman Catholic archbishop — have never shown any awareness of the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat or of Islamic anti-Semitism, or any indication that they have any will at all to oppose them, even with the most watered-down and empty of gestures. Nor will he ever win their love except by engaging in empty, toothless gestures of his own. One would think that he would have been tipped off to how clueless and compromised SEPTA is by the fact that it, as he puts it, “sent a long valentine to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)” — but he seems to think this is more our fault than SEPTA’s.

If the first rule of advertising is to make sure to convey your message effectively, this inaccurate, strange, and aggressive bus advertisement must rank as an all-time disaster, damaging the cause it meant to serve while helping those it intended to harm. It’s like a Coke ad that sends customers flocking to Pepsi.

In reality, the ad seems to have very neatly smoked out those who are compromised and unwilling to state unpopular and unwelcome truths from those who are willing to grasp the nettle and stand for the truth no matter what may come from the cowards, trimmers, and collaborators of the world.

But as an alternative, Pipes offers his “militant Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution” mantra, which stands out now as one of the most spectacularly failed analyses in the entire sorry history of the “war on terror”:

How might have the ad been more effectively composed? Simple: by distinguishing between the religion of Islam and the totalitarian ideology of Islamism, as in, “Radical Islam is the problem, moderate Islam is the solution. Non-Muslims and patriotic Muslims must band together to fight ISIS, Boku [sic] Haram, CAIR, and ISNA. Islamist-Watch.org.” The picture might have featured novelist Salman Rushdie talking to television host Bill Maher, a liberal who criticizes radical Islam.

“Moderate Islam is the solution,” eh? Well, here we are almost fourteen years after 9/11, and where is it? There is Zuhdi Jasser, there is Tawfik Hamid, there is Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, there is a handful of others, but what they offer is a non-traditional Islam with no foundation in Islamic theology or history, and no significant backing among Muslims. There is no large-scale movement among Muslims to combat the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and other jihadis, much less CAIR and ISNA. There is no moderate Muslim organization with a large membership or influence among Muslims. I share Pipes’ hope that such an org eventually arises, but how long are we going to keep counting on it when it is so obviously not happening?

It’s a soothing solution for the ignorant and uninformed (such as Mayor Nutter, Catholic archbishops, liberal rabbis, etc.), but it is hardly a viable solution, and it is a manifestly failed analysis. Yes, Dr. Pipes, such an ad would have made everyone feel good. But it would have recruited absolutely no “new cadres for the battle against our common foe, the Islamists,” and would not have sparked the public debate that our ad sparked, that drew attention to numerous important issues, including the war against the freedom of speech, the nature of Islamic anti-Semitism, and more.

Failed analysis is not the solution; it’s the problem. Want proof? Run your ad, Dr. Pipes, and see what will happen: absolutely nothing.

Also see:

Pamela Geller and the hijacking of America

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American Thinker, By Larissa Scott, May23, 2015:

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I couldn’t help thinking, I could have been a passenger on one of those planes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Today the feeling is back, as if we are all passengers on a hijacked plane the size of America, heading towards an imminent crash. The question is, knowing what we know now, what are we going to do about it?

Shortly before American Airlines Flight 11 hit the North Tower, an Egyptian-born jihadi, Mohammed Atta, addressed the passengers over the intercom:

“Just stay quiet, and you’ll be okay.  We are returning to the airport… Nobody move.  Everything will be okay.  If you try to make any move, you’ll endanger yourself and the airplane.  Just stay quiet… Nobody move, please…  Don’t try to make any stupid moves.”

Twenty minutes later they died a horrible death, accompanied by hundreds of people inside the North Tower. Had the passengers known the real plan, they might have attempted to take matters into their own hands and possibly avert a bigger disaster. But they likely believed Mohammed Atta, especially since no hijacker had deliberately crashed a plane before.  Many were probably thinking, Let the government sort it out, that’s whom the terrorists always blackmail. We just need to stay quiet and make no stupid moves. Of course we’ll be okay.

Tactical deception, especially when lying to non-Muslims, is legally sanctioned under Sharia, which is a mainstream, universal Islamic law.  In Sunni Islam, such practice is referred to as mudarat, or taquiyya.

Fast-forward fourteen years to Garland, TX.  Jihadists drove a thousand miles to enforce Sharia blasphemy laws. The cop who shot them to death likely prevented a gruesome massacre. We are now being told that this would not have happened and everything would have been okay if Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer had stayed quiet and didn’t make any stupid moves, such as, organizing the exhibition of Mohammed cartoons.

This is exactly the behavior of passengers on a hijacked plane. We hope that everything will be okay as long as we remain quiet and make no stupid moves. We willingly trust the voices on TV and hope the government will sort it out. We want to believe that every act of Islamic terrorism is an isolated incident, that they only target the government, and that the 58% of Muslim-Americans in a 2012 survey who think that that critics of Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges, with 12% of them favoring the death penalty for blasphemy, are not part of a bigger phenomenon. Just stay quiet and nothing bad will happen. After all, no terrorist has ever hijacked and crashed an entire nation before.

Alas, nations have been consistently hijacked and crashed throughout history. This has always been executed according to the same blueprint, which originated in the 7th century Islamic conquests and is known to Islamic jurists as the Pact of Umar.

While the ‘s precise origins are a matter of legend, its conditions, based on Muhammad’s treatment of conquered people, have gained a canonical status in Islamic jurisprudence with regard to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, otherwise known as dhimmis, and as such became a subset of Sharia law.

Given that Sharia by definition cannot be altered any more than one can alter the Koran or the Sunna, and even talking about reforming Sharia is considered blasphemous, its medieval rulings about what dhimmis are allowed or not allowed to do, are still in effect today. According to a recent Pew survey, the majority of Muslims worldwide want Sharia to be the law of the land everywhere; that includes the Conditions of Umar, even if those who practice them may not necessarily refer to them by that name.

Settling in non-Muslim countries, Muslim minorities traditionally bring with them Sharia law, which prescribes them to punish dhimmis who overstep certain boundaries regardless of what the local law says, because the “God-given” Sharia law will always be superior to the “man-made law” of the dhimmis.

Under the many Conditions of Omar, dhimmis aren’t allowed to criticize anything that has to do with Islam, including the very conditions of subjugation under which they live. Dhimmis are supposed to remain ignorant about Islamic teachings and can only refer to Islam in positive terms. Mocking, insulting, cursing, or even upsetting Muslims in any way, testifying against a Muslim in court, or raising a hand against a Muslim, even in self-defense, is forbidden.

Criticism of a Muslim person by a dhimmi — even if it’s based on undeniable facts, constitutes “slander” and is punishable by death. In contrast with the Western definition of slander — false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation — Sharia defines slander as any statement a Muslim would dislike, regardless if its degree of accuracy. This works in conjunction with another Sharia ruling, which gives all Muslims an open license to murder the offender wherever they find him. That doesn’t mean all Muslims will do it, but if someone volunteers to do the killing, he will not be punished under Sharia. In modern times, this means an open season of vigilante street justice on any critic of Islam anywhere on the planet.

Suddenly, the medieval choices jihadis place before their victims are all over today’s news coverage, just as they were originally set out in the Koran:  convert to Islam, submit to the Muslim rule and pay a non-Muslim religious tax called jizya, or die by the sword. Those who submit, as we’ve seen in the territories conquered by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, are doomed to a life of humiliation, subjugation, discrimination, and confiscatory taxation.

Dhimmi translates as “protected person,” which is similar in meaning to protection racket: what a nice dhimmi community you have here, shame if anything were to happen to it. You are protected from violence as long as you obey the conditions and pay the protection money. But if any of the dhimmis act up or “made a stupid move,” his or her action puts the entire dhimmi community in jeopardy of jihadi retaliation, where anyone is fair game for collective punishment.

Western nations with a significant share of Muslim immigrants are now learning to live in a state of permanent vulnerability and fear that one of them might upset a Muslim and thus provoke rioting or jihad slaughter. As a result, Western dhimmis are learning to police each other and make sure no one in their community makes any “stupid moves.”

Pamela Geller just did that. Her exhibition of Mohammed cartoons has crossed the line of permissible dhimmi behavior, and for that she has become a target of criticism by the American media, including some conservative commentators. Among the many stated reasons why Pamela should have “just stayed quiet,” the main argument remains unstated: she made a stupid move and now we’re all in danger of retaliation.

The real questions the media should be asking is, if we aren’t already living under the Conditions of Umar, what would we do differently if we did?

Beheaded Christian Doesn’t Regret Faith

Political blogger Pamela Geller, American Freedom Defense Initiative's Houston-based founder, speaks at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, which is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, in Garland, Texas May 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Political blogger Pamela Geller, American Freedom Defense Initiative’s Houston-based founder, speaks at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, which is sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, in Garland, Texas May 3, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Stone

Daily Caller, by Pete Hoekstra, May 15, 2015:

Only among the U.S. media would such a headline make sense.

Radical Islamist terrorists armed with AK-47s attacked hundreds of people at an event in Garland, Texas that sponsored a Muhammad cartoon exhibit and contest. The Associated Press headline that ran on countless websites and newspapers across the country declared: “Activist: No regrets about cartoon contest ended by gunfire.”

What’s next? “No apologies from Jews for inciting Holocaust?” or “No remorse from child aboard bus when bomb exploded?” Since when did it become acceptable, no less headline news, to blame the victim?

Apparently it started when violent Islamists and their sympathizers declared anyone who disagrees with them as Islamophobes subject to death for violating Sharia law. It became much safer and more politically correct to accept their bullying rather than to challenge them.

Numerous moralizing lecturers in the fourth estate piled on free speech activist and writer Pamela Geller for exercising her First Amendment rights guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution by hosting the event in Texas.

The Washington Post ran with the headline “Event organizer offers no apology after thwarted attack in Texas.”

The New York Times editorialized that Geller “achieved her provocative goal in Garland — the event was attacked by two Muslims who were shot to death by a traffic officer before they killed anyone.”

Bill O’Reilly said on his Fox News Channel program: “Insulting the entire Muslim world is stupid.” He added that Geller hurts the cause of attracting the support of moderate Muslims in the war against jihadists in countries like Jordan and Egypt. Muslims in those countries are already fighting a life and death battle against ISIS and al Qaida, and let’s not be so vain to think that it’s because of whether or not they like us. They do it to stay alive and preserve their children’s future.

Do O’Reilly and writers at the AP, The Washington Post and The New York Times still think that appeasing fanatical jihadists will lessen their hatred of the West and stop them from murdering innocent men, women and children of different faiths?

Been there, done that. It didn’t work.

President Obama tried it in Cairo not too long after his inauguration in 2009. With the Muslim Brotherhood invited to sit in the front row, he told his audience that “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”

The administration then banned the use of such words as “Islamic terror” from the White House in a see no evil, hear no evil approach to the building threat.

The outcome? Islamist terrorists have since turned Libya into a chaotic lawless state, ISIS continues to control large swaths of Iraq and Syria, al Qaida owns the Arabian Peninsula, and individuals and groups worldwide – including within the United States – are pledging solidarity with ISIS.

It’s grand Theatre of the Absurd when elites target the First Amendment rights of fellow citizens as opposed to condemning a movement that sees mass murder as a rational response to objectionable caricatures.

Also see:

Fox News Lets Sharia (Donald) Trump Freedom of Expression

My Winning Mohammad Contest Drawing

By Andrew Bostom, May 14, 2015:

Last week Fox News’s Sean Hannity was uniquely supportive of journalist/activist Pamela Geller, hosting her on his show 5 nights in a row (including one evening with guest host, Eric Bolling). Ms. Geller remains underISIS death threat for conducting a thoughtful Garland, Texas event upholding freedom of expression in defiance of Islamic Sharia totalitarianism, enforced by would be mass murderous jihadist attackers, who were fortunately slain by an intrepid policeman. (The Garland event can be viewed in full here; and its 30 minute highlights, here). Earlier this week, Hannity courteously provided Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, featured at the Garland free speech conference, aforum to explain his views.

Sadly, Hannity’s humane behavior was the exception at Fox News, and he was apparently forced to abide Fox News’s Sharia-complaint ban on actually showing the Garland conference’s liberty-affirming symbol—courageous ex-Muslim artist Bosch Fawstin’s brilliant drawing (shown above), which garnered first prize at the exhibit. Megyn Kelly, who conspicuously distanced herself from the conference organizers, also towed the Sharia-complaint line. Despite Kelly’s “passionate” rhetorical endorsement of free expression, she never displayed Fawstin’s drawing, emblematic of the craven hypocrisy decried in Robert Tracinski’s cogently entitled analysis, “Mohammed Cartoons: If You’re Not Publishing, You’re Pretending.” Jeanine Pirro stepped all over her Saturday evening (5/9/15) monologue warning of the threat of Sharia supremacism by concluding that the Garland event was a “dumb move,” segueing into an utterly uninformed, rather hostile interview of Geller, and kowtowing to Fox’s interdiction on display of the Fawstin drawing.

Worse still were Fox News’s “sorry seven” (a composite of hosts/guests), whose sniping, ignorant, and cowardly commentary was summarized in a series of extracts by Brendan James. The Fox News statements of Donald Trump best illustrate this toxic genre of sheer idiocy and cowardice—the latter made all the more despicable by the phony bravado with which it was conveyed.

I watched Pam Prior [sic], and it looks like she’s just taunting everybody. What is she doing? Drawing Muhammad and it looks like she’s taunting people…what are they doing drawing Muhammad? Isn’t there something else they can draw? They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas and on Muhammad? You know, I’m one that believes in free speech, probably more than she does. What’s the purpose of this? She’s taunting them…I don’t know, maybe she likes risk. What the hell is she doing?

Overall, Fox News’s coverage of the Garland free speech conference was appalling—it amounted to journalistic dereliction of duty, indeed malpractice, for willful sins of commission and omission. I have elaborated on this depressing phenomenon at these blogs (here; here; and here), and yesterday (5/13/15) in an interview with Tom Trento, who attended and scrupulously recorded the entire Garland event. Please watch our interview embedded below, starting at 13:40.

See more videos with Tom Trento here: theunitedwest

VIDEO: Geert Wilders on Hannity

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By Pamela Geller, May 13, 2015:

Watch. this. now.

Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament, was the keynote speaker at our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest. He discussed with Sean Hannity his desire to plan to follow up on our event with a “Draw Muhammad” contest in the Dutch Parliament at The Hague.

Sean Hannity said last night that champions of free speech are refusing to back down after being accused of provoking radical Islamists to attack the Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas.

One of the speakers at that event, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, is planning to stage a Muhammad cartoon expo in the Dutch Parliament.

Hannity asked Wilders if he is anti-Islam

“Well, I’m certainly not anti-Muslim, but indeed I believe Islam is a threat to our civilization,” Wilders replied. “I believe that our country is based on values that are based on Christianity and Judaism, and that Islam is really a threat to our freedom.”

Wilders explained why people are offended by a Muhammad cartoon.

“For more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, Muhammad is a kind of role model, he’s an example,” he stated. “That’s why every time somebody depicts or mocks Muhammad, Muslims get angry.”

In responding to a question Hannity asked about Muhammad’s life, Wilders said that Muhammad was a “terrorist.”

“He’s certainly not a role model to so many Muslims,” Wilders said. “Muhammad, as a matter of fact, was a terrorist. He was a warmonger. He beheaded Jewish tribes … I believe that if Muhammad would be alive today, he would be tried and convicted of terrorism.”

Wilders remarked that people shouldn’t be intimidated by Muslims who are offended by the Muhammad cartoons.

“If our reaction is that we should not make more cartoons or not accept them, the terrorists will win,” Wilders said. “So we have to give them a signal that terrorism does not win. We will not be intimidated.”

He added that is the reason why he presented the idea of a Muhammad cartoon expo in the Dutch Parliament.

“I want the Dutch Parliament to expose exactly the same exhibit—not to provoke, but to show the terrorists that if you make an attack, we will give you 10 times more cartoons of Muhammad,” Wilders stated.

Watch more in the video above.

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Also see Pamela Geller’s archives: http://pamelageller.com/category/afdi/afdi-muhammad-art-exhibit-and-contest/

The lengths we will go to for free speech

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CSP, by Clare Lopez, May 11, 2015:

Beyond the sheer act of defiance in the face of tyranny that was the recent “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, TX, a deeper benefit is emerging: the swirl of controversy that erupted after two Muslim terrorists drove all the way to Texas from the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islamic Cultural Center of Phoenix, intending to commit mass murder, is forcing us to consider what exactly it means to ‘defend free speech.’ And what we want it to mean…or are ready to accept that it should mean. Most Americans have no trouble defending the First Amendment – in the abstract, anyway. But now that defending the right to defy Islamic blasphemy laws comes with specifics like an art contest, with actual drawings of Muhammad, and prize money offered by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), and event organizers like AFDI co-founders Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and death threats—now some aren’t quite so sure anymore that this is the kind of free speech or these exactly are the free speech champions they had in mind.

So, there are the artists and cartoonists who draw images of Muhammad: the Albanian-born ex-Muslim Bosch Fawstin (who won the AFDI contest), the Swedish artist, Lars Vilks, and the Danish cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard. And there is the Dutch political leader, Geert Wilders, who made a film that criticized shariah-sanctioned abuse of women. Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard is a free speech advocate who has been critical of Islam, too. These (and many more, including Americans who increasingly are labeled ‘Islamophobes’) are the champions of free speech who actually create the material shariah would label ‘blasphemous’ (essentially for daring simply to depict Muhammad in an image or criticize anything about Islam at all). Many have been targeted for death by the enforcers of shariah.

Then there is the Jyllands-Posten Danish newspaper that published Westergaard’s drawings and the satirical Parisian magazine, Charlie Hebdo, that generally takes swipes at everyone and everything, including Islam. These and a host of online sites (including this one) posted the articles and cartoons and images, thereby incurring the murderous wrath of shariah-adherent Muslims, whose doctrine and law explicitly enjoin them to attack such media and their staffs with intent to kill.

And finally, there are those like Pamela Geller who display and encourage and feature such material, whether in city bus ads, transit stations, or at the recent contest in Garland, TX.

The question that so many of the wobbly set now seem to be stumbling over is, At which point in the free speech process – creation, publication, or public promotion – does it become ‘provocation’ that ‘goes too far’? Does it ever? Is it even possible for speech to be ‘too free’—in America? Why is the abstract defense of free speech and the First Amendment so laudable, but when the abstract takes form in ways that boldly challenge Islam’s attempts to silence those who criticize, when the abstract is personified in a Fawstin, a Geller, Hedegaard, Vilks, Westergaard, or Wilders, then it’s called ‘incitement’ that ought to be toned down? If not their statements, then what would be an acceptable demonstration of defiance against Islam’s blasphemy codes? That is, if defiance itself isn’t just a bit too much these days…

The point is that unless we champion and defend the actual people who are the physical embodiment of those abstract principles we all claim to cherish, the principles won’t stand a chance.

My Winning Mohammad Contest DrawingBosch Fawstin’s winning drawing of Muhammad was neither crude, nor grotesque, nor tasteless. It was, in fact, the perfect depiction of the principle at the center of contention: the right to freedom of artistic expression. If the conquered civilizations of the Afghan Buddhists, Byzantium, Middle East Christianity and Judaism, Hindus, and Persians teach us anything, it must be that even the most determined defense over a span of centuries may not suffice to save a people targeted by Islam; anything less, never mind actual passivity in the face of jihad aggression, will lead inevitably to subjugation.

Some would say that Pamela Geller pushes the edges of the envelope. To the extent that this is true, it is because it is always out at the edges, at the frontiers, that the ghazi – the warriors of Islam – have probed and tested the defenses of their targets for any weakness. If no one confronts them at the frontier, they push onward, inward, to the soft centers of society. Those hardy defenders who hold firm out there on the frontiers stand between civilization and barbarism.

By all means, we need to have this discussion. Long overdue, actually. But let us understand that the debate is not about the principle of free speech, per se: we agree on that pretty unanimously. Rather, it’s about how far we are willing to go to support those who put that principle into action against an enemy that would shut it down completely if not stopped.

Also see:

SNL Sketch Effectively Mocks Fear of Drawing Mohammed

draw mohammedCSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 11, 2015:

Last Saturday, Saturday Night Live (SNL) did a skit that addressed the controversy stemming from the Garland, Texas “draw Mohammed” contest.
The sketch was a gameshow based on the game Pictionary in which one contestant is instructed to draw something and his teammate tries to guess what the drawing is.  Two contestants were so afraid when asked to draw “The Prophet Mohammed” that they left the paper blank.  Another teammate ultimately guesses what the drawing was supposed to be based on their fear of drawing it.

SNL deserves credit for taking on how the global Jihad movement is trying to use violence to curtail free speech.  This sketch broke with the mainstream media’s focus on attacking Pamela Geller, the sponsor of the “draw Mohammed” contest, for holding an event it claims was too provocative and “hate speech.”  By running a sketch in which the characters feared for their lives if they drew Mohammed, SNL portrayed what this controversy is really about and a side of it that some Americans probably had not heard about.

Although it conveyed an important message, the SNL sketch was cautious.  Clearly the show’s producers and actors were afraid to draw Mohammed and found a way to satirize this story without doing so.  While this is a shortcoming, the sketch effectively depicted the threat to free speech by the global Jihad movement and may help encourage more discussion about this threat.

The Failed Tactic of Flattering Islam Won’t Go Away

Palestinian_militant_with_rifle-450x338Frontpage, May 11, 2015 by Bruce Thornton:

The recent attack in Texas against a “draw Mohammed” event ended up with two dead jihadis and widespread criticism of event organizer Pamela Geller for “inciting” or “provoking” the assault on our First Amendment right to free speech. The hypocrisies and ignorance behind such criticism have been amply documented, including by some on the left. But there’s another argument against actions and events like Geller’s that needs dismantling. This is the received wisdom that we should avoid criticizing Islamic doctrine or Mohammed because it will alienate moderate Muslims who otherwise would help us against the so-called “extremist” jihadists.

Geraldo Rivera on Fox News invoked this rationale in his hysterical attack on Geller for “spewing her hatred and making us all look like the intolerant jerks they are saying we are in the Middle East and elsewhere.” In other words, most Muslims dislike the jihadis, who have “hijacked” and “distorted” their faith, and want to support our efforts against them. But they are put off by our “insults” of Mohammed and our “intolerance” of the wonderful “religion of peace,” all of which serve to “recruit” new jihadists. Even Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham skirted this notion, advising against making any image of Mohammed, and thus in effect ratifying the legitimacy of the shari’a law against any representation of Mohammed, good or bad.

Consistent with this notion that flattery and respect can change Muslim behavior, many in the foreign policy establishment, including conservatives, have for decades counseled flattering “outreach” to Muslims as a tactic in winning the “hearts and minds” of the supposed large majority of Muslims angry at the jihadists’ “distortions” of their faith. Even before 9/11, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, called Islam “a faith that honors consultation, cherishes peace, and has as one of its fundamental principles the inherent equality of all who embrace it.” Even after 9/11 confirmed Islam’s traditional theologized violence and intolerance, George Bush claimed in his first address after 9/11 that Islam’s “teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah.” In 2005, administration officials encouraged this tactic of false flattery as a way “to support the courageous Muslims who are speaking the truth about their proud religion and history, and seizing it back from those who would hijack it for evil ends.”

Of course Obama, who has serially groveled before Muslims and praised Islam, has continued this sorry practice. After his administration blamed the Benghazi murders on an obscure Internet video, he lectured that “the future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.” The 2 gunmen in Garland Texas obviously agreed.  His quondam Secretary of State and now presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on record extolling Islam’s “deepest yearning of all––to live in peace.” How is that going in Nigeria, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan? Worse of all, training materials used by our military and security services have excised any mention of jihad, which Western infidels have redefined as “a quest to find one’s faith in an external fight for justice,” as the New York Times put it in 2008. So Obama identifies the 13 slaughtered at Fort Hood to the traditional jihadist cry of “Allahu Akbar” as victims of “workplace violence.” Never mind the Koranic command to “slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush”––exactly what various jihadi outfits are doing today across the Middle East, and tried to do in Garland Texas.

Two decades of such flattery and admiration have failed to prevent nearly 26,000 violent jihadist attacks since 9/11, for they are based on Western bad ideas rather than on an accurate understanding of Islamic doctrine and the Muslim mentality. Behind our delusions is the peculiarly arrogant assumption that traditionalist Muslims––by which I mean those who take seriously the doctrines and precepts of their faith has practiced for 14 centuries––do not have their own motives and aims, but can only react to our bad behavior. Besotted by our own materialist superstitions and failure to take religion seriously, we reduce jihadist behavior to material and psychological causes: wounded self-esteem, resentment of “colonial” and “imperial” crimes, disrespect of Islam, or the lack of jobs, political freedom, or even sexual access to women.

Thus despite consistent polling data showing widespread Muslim support of illiberal shari’a law and its draconian penalties like death for blasphemy, we won’t accept that millions of Muslims actually believe what the Koran, Hadith, and 14 centuries of jurisprudence teach about the superiority of Islam and their right to use violence in order to bring the whole world under the sway of the superior social, economic, and political order that shari’a represents. In the guise of “respecting” Muslims, then, we patronize them as little more than children who can only “act out” violently in the face of injustice instead of “using their words.” Having reduced our own faith to holidays and comforting slogans, we simply can’t believe that Islam endorses violence and cruelty in the name of Allah, or that otherwise loving and kind people, as bin Laden was said to have been by all who knew him, can at the same time slaughter and brutalize innocents in pursuit of spiritual aims. No, either they are “crazy” or “evil,” or they are traumatized by our bad behavior.

This dubious pop-psychological assumption is usually accompanied by a catalogue of the historical crimes against Muslims perpetrated by the West, from the Crusades to the wars against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. These depredations, so the story goes, also fuel anger and resentment, and help to incentivize otherwise peaceful Muslims into turning jihadist. But this narrative is belied by the facts of history. For what history tells us is that the record of Muslim conquest, occupation, colonizing, slaving, raiding, and killing of Christians far surpasses the alleged crimes of the West against Islam. We recently marked the centenary of the Ottoman genocide against the Christian Armenians, Assyrians, and Chaldeans, a crime being duplicated today by ISIS in northern Iraq. Recently our historically challenged president whined about the Crusades and the Inquisition, with nary a word about the centuries of Muslim invasion, occupation, colonization, and brutal suppression in Christian Spain, Sicily, the Balkans, and Greece.

Or what about the 1066 pogrom in Granada, the alleged paradise of “pan-confessional humanism,” as an ignorant Wall Street Journal editorial claimed a few years back. Those tolerant, humanist Muslims slaughtered 5000 Jews, equaling the toll of dead during the whole existence of the Inquisition. But can anyone name one Muslim religious leader in the Middle East who has publicly and consistently apologized in Obama fashion for these 14 centuries of slaughter? Who has justified our defensive wars in the region as an understandable reaction to that history? Who has chastised Muslims for destroying and desecrating churches, and blamed them for inviting violent reactions? Muslim Turkey won’t even own up to its copiously documented slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians. If anyone has a historical grievance that justifies payback, it is Christians and Jews.

Finally, if Western insults and crimes against Muslims are really the reason jihadists want to kill us, why do they let Russia off the hook? No Christian power has killed more Muslims or occupied more Muslim lands than has Russia, from the siege of Izmail in 1790, when 40,000 Muslim men, women, and children were slaughtered, to the invasion of Afghanistan, which killed a million, to the brutal wars against Muslim Chechnyans, which killed at least 100,000. Or how about the 10 million Muslim Uighurs oppressed by China and forbidden to fully practice their faith?  Is Russia or China the “Great Satan”? Are they the constant targets of jihadist attack and thundering denunciations by the mullahs of Iran? Are “moderate” Muslims “alienated” by their behavior and rushing to join the jihad against them?

The obvious answer is no, for the simple reason that Russia and China are contemptuous of such juvenile psychological blackmail, pursue their national interests without regard for criticism by the “Muslim community,” and respond with brutal force to violent attacks. Meanwhile the U.S. has rescued millions of Muslims in the Balkans, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan from brutal dictators, ethnic cleansing, and psychotic autocrats, yet is deemed “Islamophobic” because we exercise our Constitutional rights in our own country. Worse yet, we grovel and apologize and demonize those like Pamela Geller who practice their right to free expression at a private function, and we vainly believe despite all evidence that if we just act nice to Muslims and join them in demonizing their critics, they’ll ignore their spiritual beliefs, the traditions of their faith, and the model of Mohammed and his credo to “fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah.”

To paraphrase Cicero and Orwell, there are some things so stupid that only rich, arrogant Westerners will believe them. If we let this president continue to predicate his dealings with Iran on this same delusional belief in the power of flattering engagement and “mutual respect,” we will soon find out the high cost of this stupidity.

“Stay Quiet and You’ll Be Okay”

My Winning Mohammad Contest DrawingBy Mark Steyn, May 9, 2015:

As we mentioned a week ago, I’m none too well at the moment, and it so happens my preferred position in which to write causes me severe pain – which is presumably some kind of not so subtle literary criticism from the Almighty. But I’m back, more or less, with lots to catch up on. There were two big elections in recent days, with dramatic results: in Alberta, the Tories were wiped out; in Scotland, the Labour Party was slaughtered; in England, the Liberals were crushed. Strange times.

I’ll have more to say about the elections in the days ahead, but for now let me offer a whole-hearted good riddance to Ed Miliband, the now departed Labour leader who, in a desperate last-minute pander, offered to “outlaw Islamophobia“. That was the British political establishment’s contribution to a rough couple of weeks for free speech, culminating in the attempted mass murder in Garland, Texas.

That’s what it was, by the way – although you might have difficulty telling that from the news coverage. The Washington Post offered the celebrated headline “Event Organizer Offers No Apology After Thwarted Attack In Texas“, while the Associated Press went with “Pamela Geller says she has no regrets about Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest that ended in 2 deaths“. The media “narrative” of the last week is that some Zionist temptress was walking down the street in Garland in a too short skirt and hoisted it to reveal her Mohammed thong – oops, my apologies, her Prophet Mohammed thong (PBUH) – and thereby inflamed two otherwise law-abiding ISIS supporters peacefully minding their own business.

It’ll be a long time before you see “Washington Post Offers No Apology for Attacking Target of Thwarted Attack” or “AP Says It Has No Regrets After Blaming The Victim”. The respectable class in the American media share the same goal as the Islamic fanatics: They want to silence Pam Geller. To be sure, they have a mild disagreement about the means to that end – although even then you get the feeling, as with Garry Trudeau and those dozens of PEN novelists’ reaction to Charlie Hebdo, that the “narrative” wouldn’t change very much if the jihad boys had got luckier and Pam, Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer and a dozen others were all piled up in the Garland morgue.

If the American press were not so lazy and parochial, they would understand that this was the third Islamic attack on free speech this year – first, Charlie Hebdo in Paris; second, the Lars Vilks event in Copenhagen; and now Texas. The difference in the corpse count is easily explained by a look at the video of the Paris gunmen, or the bullet holes they put in the police car. The French and Texan attackers supposedly had the same kind of weapons, although one should always treat American media reports with a high degree of skepticism when it comes to early identification of “assault weapons” and “AK47s”. Nonetheless, from this reconstruction, it seems clear that the key distinction between the two attacks is that in Paris they knew how to use their guns and in Garland they didn’t. So a very cool 60-year-old local cop with nothing but his service pistol advanced under fire and took down two guys whose heavier firepower managed only to put a bullet in an unarmed security guard’s foot.

The Charlie Hebdo killers had received effective training overseas – as thousands of ISIS recruits with western passports are getting right now. What if the Garland gunmen had been as good as the Paris gunmen? Surely that would be a more interesting question for the somnolent American media than whether some lippy Jewess was asking for it.

As for the free-speech issues, some of us have been around this question for a long time. I wrote a whole book about it:Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech And The Twilight Of The West – well worth a read, and I’m happy to autograph it for you. On page 123 I write about Jyllands Posten and the original Motoons:

The twelve cartoonists are now in hiding. According to the chairman of the Danish Liberal Party, a group of Muslim men showed up at a local school looking for the daughter of one of the artists.

When that racket starts, no cartoonist or publisher or editor should have to stand alone. The minute there were multimillion-dollar bounties on those cartoonists’ heads, The Times of London and Le Monde and The Washington Post and all the rest should have said, “This Thursday we’re all publishing the cartoons. If you want to put bounties on all our heads, you’d better have a great credit line at the Bank of Jihad. If you want to kill us, you’ll have to kill us all…”

But it didn’t happen.

The only two magazines to stand in solidarity with the Danish cartoonists and republish the Motoons were Charlie Hebdo in Paris and my own magazine in Canada, Ezra Levant’s Western Standard. Ezra wound up getting hauled up by some dimestore imam before the ignorant and thuggish Alberta “Human Rights” Commission whose leisurely money-no-object “investigation” consumed years of his life and all his savings. But he was more fortunate than our comrades at Charlie Hebdo: He’s still alive.

In Copenhagen, in Paris, in Garland, what’s more important than the cartoons and the attacks is the reaction of all the polite, respectable people in society, which for a decade now has told those who do not accept the messy, fractious liberties of free peoples that we don’t really believe in them, either, and we’re happy to give them up – quietly, furtively, incrementally, remorselessly – in hopes of a quiet life. Because a small Danish newspaper found itself abandoned and alone, Charlie Hebdojumped in to support them. Because the Charlie Hebdo artists and writers died abandoned and alone, Pamela Geller jumped in to support them. By refusing to share the risk, we are increasing the risk. It’s not Pamela Geller who emboldens Islamic fanatics, it’s all the nice types – the ones Salman Rushdie calls the But Brigade. You’ve heard them a zillion times this last week: “Of course, I’m personally, passionately, absolutely committed to free speech. But…”

And the minute you hear the “but”, none of the build-up to it matters. A couple of days before Garland, Canadian Liberal MP (and former Justice Minister) Irwin Cotler announced his plan to restore Section 13 – the “hate speech” law under whichMaclean’s and I were dragged before the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission and which, as a result of my case, was repealed by the Parliament of Canada. At the time Mr Cotler was fairly torn on the issue. We talked about it briefly at a free-speech event in Ottawa at which he chanced to be present, and he made vaguely supportive murmurings – as he did when we ran into each other a couple of years later in Boston. Mr Cotler is Jewish and, even as European “hate” laws prove utterly useless against the metastasizing open Jew-hate on the Continent, he thinks we should give ’em one more try. He’s more sophisticated than your average But boy, so he uses a three-syllable word:

“Freedom of expression is the lifeblood of democracy,” said Cotler, who was minister of justice under Paul Martin.

“However…”

Free speech is necessary to free society for all the stuff after the “but”, after the “however”. There’s no fine line between “free speech” and “hate speech”: Free speech is hate speech; it’s for the speech you hate – and for all your speech that the other guy hates. If you don’t have free speech, then you can’t have an honest discussion. All you can do is what those stunted moronic boobs in Paris and Copenhagen and Garland did: grab a gun and open fire. What Miliband and Cotler propose will, if enacted, reduce us all to the level of the inarticulate halfwits who think the only dispositive argument is “Allahu Akbar”.

Alas, we have raised a generation of But boys. Ever since those ridiculous Washington Post and AP headlines, I’ve been thinking about the fellows who write and sub-edit and headline and approve such things – and never see the problem with it. Why would they? If you’re under a certain age, you accept instinctively that free speech is subordinate to other considerations: If you’ve been raised in the “safe space” of American universities, you take it as read that on gays and climate change and transgendered bathrooms and all kinds of other issues it’s perfectly normal to eliminate free speech and demand only the party line. So what’s the big deal about letting Muslims cut themselves in on a little of that action?

Why would you expect people who see nothing wrong with destroying a mom’n’pop bakery over its antipathy to gay wedding cakes to have any philosophical commitment to diversity of opinion? And once you no longer have any philosophical commitment to it it’s easy to see it the way Miliband and Cotler do – as a rusty cog in the societal machinery that can be shaved and sliced millimeter by millimeter.

Do what the parochial hacks of the US media didn’t bother to do, and look at the winning entry in Pam Geller’s competition, which appears at the top of this page. It’s by Bosch Fawstin, an Eisner Award-winning cartoonist and an ex-Muslim of Albanian stock. Like many of the Danish and French cartoons, it’s less about Mohammed than about the prohibition against drawing Mohammed – and the willingness of a small number of Muslims to murder those who do, and a far larger number of Muslims both enthusiastic and quiescent to support those who kill. Mr Fawstin understands the remorseless logic of one-way multiculturalism – that it leads to the de facto universal acceptance of Islamic law. All that “Prophet Mohammed” stuff, now routine even on Fox News. He’s not my prophet, he’s just some dead bloke. But the formulation is now mysteriously standard in western media. Try it the other way round: “Isis News Network, from our Libyan correspondent: Warriors of the Caliphate today announced record attendance numbers for the mass beheading of followers of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…”

On Fox the other day, Bill O’Reilly was hopelessly confused about this issue. He seems to think that Pam Geller’s cartoon competitions will lessen the likelihood of moderate Muslims joining us in the fight against ISIS. Putting aside the fact that there is no fight against ISIS, and insofar as the many Muslim countries in the vast swollen non-existent “60-nation coalition” are going to rouse themselves to join the fight it will be because the Saudi and Jordanian monarchies and the Egyptian military understand it as an existential threat to them, put aside all that and understand that Islamic imperialism has a good-cop-bad-cop game – or hard jihad, soft jihad. The hard jihad is fought via bombings and beheadings and burnings over barren bits of desert and jungle and cave country in the Middle East, Africa and the Hindu Kush. The soft jihad is a suppler enemy fighting for rather more valuable real estate in Europe, Australia and North America, so it uses western shibboleths of “diversity” and “multiculturalism” to enfeeble those societies. And it does so very effectively – so that when a British soldier is hacked to death on a London street in broad daylight, you can’t really quite articulate what’s wrong with it; or that, upon the death of the ugly king of a state where Christianity is prohibited, the Christian ministers of Westminster Abbey mourn his passing; or that, when Australians are held siege in a Sydney coffee shop, the reflexive response of progressive persons is to launch a social-media campaign offering to battle Islamophobia by helping Muslims get to work; or that, when violent Muslims stage their first explicit anti-free-speech attack on American soil, everyone thinks the mouthy free-speech broad is the problem. This soft jihad goes on every day of the week, and Bill O’Reilly doesn’t even seem to be aware that it exists.

So on the one hand we have Pamela Geller. On the other we have Francine Prose, a former president of PEN and one of those dozens of novelists who’s boycotting the posthumous award to Charlie Hebdo. I’ve never read one of Ms Prose’s books, so this piece by her in The Guardian was my first exposure to her, er, prose:

The narrative of the Charlie Hebdo murders – white Europeans killed in their offices by Muslim extremists – is one that feeds neatly into the cultural prejudices that have allowed our government to make so many disastrous mistakes in the Middle East. And the idea that one is either “for us or against us” in such matters not only precludes rational and careful thinking, but also has a chilling effect on the exercise of our right to free expression and free speech that all of us – and all the people at PEN – are working so tirelessly to guarantee.

This is a writer? This dessicated language is how Ms Prose deploys the tools of her trade? It isn’t a “narrative”, it’s real life.That’s real blood of real writers all over the Charlie floor – and it’s not all “white European” blood, either: it includes people with names like “Mustapha Ourrad”, Charlie‘s copy editor. Surely he’s a fitting victim for Ms Prose as she goes around “working so tirelessly”? But no. The Prose “narrative” is too simple for complicating factors like blokes called Mustapha for whom the point of living in western societies is to live all the freedom of those societies.

If you make the concessions that Francine Prose and Michael Ondaatje are implicitly demanding, what kind of art remains? There was a big fuss a few weeks ago when Steve Emerson said on Fox News that Birmingham, England was a Muslim no-go zone, and the BBC gleefully mocked him because it’s only 28 per cent Muslim or whatever. That 28 per cent is pretty spectacular in just a couple of generations. How long before it’s 40 or 50 per cent? So, if, circa 2030, you’re a PEN member in Birmingham and you want to write a novel about your turf, it will necessarily involve a consideration of the relationship between an ever more Islamic city and what remains of its non-Islamic elements.

But Islam is telling you that subject’s closed off. Not long after 9/11, some theatre group in Cincinnati announced a play contrasting a Palestinian suicide bomber and the American Jewish girl she killed. Local Muslims complained, and so the production was immediately canceled – because all the arty types who say we need “artists” with the “courage” to “explore” “transgressive” “ideas” fold like a cheap Bedouin tent when it comes to Islam. The Muslim community complained not because the play was anti-Muslim: au contraire, it was almost laughably pro-Palestinian, and the playwright considered the suicide bomber a far more sensitive sympathetic character than her dead Jewish victim.

But that wasn’t the point: the Muslim leaders didn’t care whether the play was pro- or anti-Islam: for them, Islam is beyond discussion. End of subject. And so it was.

So what kind of novels will PEN members be able to write in such a world?

Can Islam be made to live with the norms of free societies in which it now nests? Can Islam learn – or be forced – to suck it up the way Mormons, Catholics, Jews and everyone else do? If not, free societies will no longer be free. Pam Geller understands that, and has come up with her response. By contrast, Ed Miliband, Irwin Cotler, Francine Prose, Garry Trudeau and the trendy hipster social-media But boys who just canceled Mr Fawstin’s Facebook account* are surrendering our civilization. They may be more sophisticated, more urbane, more amusing dinner-party guests …but in the end they are trading our liberties.

A final cartoon from Bosch Fawstin:

1281

“Stay quiet and you’ll be okay:” Those were Mohammed Atta’s words to his passengers on 9/11. And they’re what all the nice respectable types are telling us now.

[*His Facebook page is back now.]

Also see:

And more videos have been added to my collection including Jeannine Pirro’s 5/9 great open on free speech but disappointing disrespectful interview of Pamela Geller.

The Art of Politics

garland-shooting-450x338Frontpage, by Dawn Perlmutter, May 8, 2015:

The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Jihad Watch co-sponsored the ‘First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest’. The contest was a response to the Charlie Hebdo Massacre where jihadists murdered twelve people in the Paris offices of the satirical magazine. It was organized in the same spirit as the Je Suis Charliedemonstrations and artists from all over the world who drew cartoons in support of free speech and freedom of the press. Many of the political cartoons reacting to the massacre included cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Similar to many other art contests, entries were submitted online for cash prizes with the winning entries appearing on the sponsor’s websites. The exhibit was held on May 3rd at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, which was chosen because it was the site of the “Stand with the Prophet” conference that denounced ‘Islamophobia’ shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Co-sponsors Pamela Geller, president of AFDI, and Robert Spencer, Director of Jihad Watch, spent 10,000 dollars on extra security for the opening of the exhibition. During the event two gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi of Phoenix, wearing body armor and carrying assault rifles pulled up to the event in a car. They immediately got out and began shooting at a police car wounding a security guard. A traffic officer working after-hours as security for the event armed only with a service pistol shot and killed them – demonstrating the saying ‘Don’t mess with Texas’. Investigators searched the suspects’ vehicle for explosives and detonated the vehicle for precaution.

Elton Simpson linked himself to the Islamic State, aka ISIS, in a tweet posted just before the attack. The Islamic State subsequently took responsibility for the attack broadcasting on its Al Bayan radio station that “two soldiers of the caliphate” carried out Sunday’s attack and promised the group would deliver more attacks in the future. ISIS also threatened to kill Pamela Geller:

“The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter. ……We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.”

In the face of the Islamic State’s frightening death threats against Americans, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been vilified in the press instead of being hailed as brave defenders of freedom. The rhetoric is getting uglier every day. CNN’s Alisyn Camerota cited critics who said there was a “fine line between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews accused Geller of provoking the violence, “I think [Geller] caused this trouble, and whether this trouble came yesterday or it came two weeks from now, it’s gonna be in the air as long as you taunt.” Surprisingly Bill O’Reilly accused Pamela Geller of provoking the violence that occurred in Texas. His May 5th talking points commentary titled ‘Defeating the Jihad by Not Being Dumb’ referred to the American Freedom Defense Initiative as “the anti-Muslim group who ignited the situation”

In an interview with Megyn Kelly, O’Reilly said “So they wanted to defy the fear the jihadists have imposed on the world?” O’Reilly asked…..”But there’s always cause and effect,… this is what happens when you light the fuse — you get violence.” That is the same argument the left wing media used when they accused O’Reilly of inciting the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller. Obviously Bill O’Reilly has been drinking the left’s Kool-Aid. In addition to blaming the victims the media continues to pejoratively characterize the event as Anti-Muslim, controversial and provocative because depicting the Prophet Muhammad is considered blasphemous, irreverent and sacrilege. Although there is an abundance of sensitivity in not offending Muslims, there are no outcries when the sacred in Christianity is desecrated.

The few reporters that defended the event argued that art that offends Christians does not provoke the same outrage by the press or violence by worshippers. Piss Christ, the 1987 photograph by the American artist Andres Serrano depicting a crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s urine is often cited as the classic example of art that insults Christianity. It is both an actual and symbolic desecration of the sacred in Christianity. Adding insult to injury, it was the winner of a National Endowment for the Arts sponsored competition making it government sanctioned defilement.

Almost 30 years later desecrating a cross escalated from a photograph to performance protest artists mimicing shoving a crucifix into their anuses in the middle of Vatican square to simulate anal sex to protest the Popes religious morals. If you have not read about that protest art performance it is probably because CNN and MSNBC do not report when Christians are offended. Political correctness has created a cult of victimhood that has programmed the media to diminish Christian and anti-Semitic so called protest art while reporting any and all incidents of what Muslims find offensive.

There are many more examples of provocative, offensive and incendiary art and art exhibits that are not criticized because they support liberal agendas. Similar to the Muhammad Cartoon contest, many art exhibits are organized on line around a political theme. For example ‘Artists Against Police Violence’is a blog run by a small group of self-described artists-activists of color who are calling all artists across the U.S. and the world to rise up against anti-Black police violence. They have created an online space “featuring graphics and artwork to be used for communities against police murders of Black people”. Artists Against Police Violence state on their website:

“We strive to feature and generate a diverse collection of hi-res images to empower families, protests, social media, the streets and beyond. When the language that white supremacy and anti-Blackness have given us fails, we must rise with our broken tools and forge a new visual language toward accountability and justice….In light of the upcoming protests across the country, we are calling all artists across the US and the world to rise up against anti-Black police violence. ….With that in mind, we also acknowledge that the way police officers terrorize Black communities is not limited to extrajudicial killings, but include sexual violence, the violence of the medical establishment, and the violence of the prison industrial complex. …Police and prisons play essential roles in enacting, compounding, and colluding with the abuse, incarceration, and gender and sexual violence targeting Black women (trans women in particular)”

This online art exhibit is controversial and provocative. In fact it can be described as having the potential to incite protesters to commit violence against police who it claims murder and rape black people. The political message behind the Draw Muhammad Cartoon event was the protection of free speech. The political message of the Artists Against Police Violence exhibit is to empower people to rise up against alleged police violence for accountably and justice. While Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are labeled Islamophobes and anti-Muslim for organizing an art exhibit to protect free speech, political correctness prohibits anyone from labeling the artists-activists Against Police Violence as racists, black supremacists or as an anti-government hate organization. When the cause is liberal it is not inflammatory they are just artists.

The line between art and protest is often blurred in what is referred to as performance art, performance protests or guerrilla actions. It is perfectly acceptable to desecrate churches, Christian and Jewish religious objects, interrupt traffic, and spew hatred as long as it is in the name of feminism, anarchism, socialism or Islam.

An interesting example of liberal bias is the only group that was not targeted by Western media for insulting Islam. FEMEN, founded in 2008 in the Ukraine and currently based in Paris, is an international feminist protest organization that became known for organizing topless protests on women’s issues. Their mission is “fighting patriarchy in its three manifestations – sexual exploitation of women, dictatorship and religion” and resulted in protests against both Christian and Islamic religious institutions. The self-described “sextremists” have staged protests at the belfry of Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and at Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City.

Three topless FEMEN activists used a chainsaw to cut down a large wooden crucifix near Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev in support for the Russian group Pussy Riot. Topless Femen activists dressed as nuns to counter Catholics against same-sex marriage march in Paris. The topless activists wearing nuns habits had “In Gay We Trust” and Fuck G-d written on their bare chests. During a Pro-Life demonstration in Madrid, Spain FEMEN activists were holding crosses sprayed with red paint and had ‘abortion is sacred’ written on their naked chests. Three FEMEN activists went to Vatican square and wearing only black ankle boots, leather miniskirts, and flower garlands in their hair, dropped to all fours and began mimicking putting crucifixes in their anuses simulating anal sex. Written on their backs was ‘Keep it Inside’ indicating that the Popes activities should stay within the papal enclave in Rome. Where is the outrage? Blasphemy only makes the news when Muslims are offended. There are no limits to insulting Christianity.

FEMEN also staged a topless protest at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London to draw attention to what they call “bloody Islamist regimes” taking part in the Olympics. Two topless women were painted with the slogans “Olympic shame” and “No Sharia”. Imagine if Pamela Geller had done that instead of a cartoon contest. On April 4, 2013 FEMEN activists staged protests in various European cities in what they dubbed “International Topless Jihad Day” in support of a young Tunisian activist named Amina Tyler, 19, who received death threats for posting topless pictures online in which “F–k your morals” and “My body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone’s honor” were written in Arabic on her naked chest and stomach.

Women demonstrated in support of Tyler in several European countries outside Tunisian embassies and mosques including in front of the Ahmadiyya-Moschee in Berlin. They protested topless with writing across their chests with slogans such as “No Sharia” and “No Islamism” and held signs that read “Naked Freedom,” “No Masters No Slaves,” and “Free Amina.” They also burned the Salafist Black flag in front of the Great Mosque of Paris. There were a few accusations of Islamophobia to which Inna Shevchenko, leader of FEMEN France tweeted “I’m not an Islamophobe but a religiophobe.”

That is why FEMEN receives positive press from the Western liberal secular media. If you are hosting an online Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest fighting for free speech you are an Islamophobe. If you are a naked beautiful feminist burning the Black Salafist flag in front of the Grand Mosque of Paris fighting against patriarchy then you are a freedom fighter. These double standards are part of a brilliant strategy of symbolic warfare designed to silence free speech, incite protests, promote Muslim and black victimhood and suppress criticism of jihadists and anti-police groups.

Also see:

Brad Thor in Defense of Pamela Geller: Islam Needs More Direct Challenges, Not Less

The Blaze, by Brad Thor, May 8 2015:

One of the best articles I have ever read about how political correctness has completely caved to fundamentalist Islam is “Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks“ by Sam Harris. I was reminded of this article in the wake of all the criticism Pamela Geller, rather than the Muslim terrorists shot dead outside her event in Garland, Texas last Sunday, has received this week.

What I have found particularly galling is the torrent of “She has a right to free speech, but…” coming not just from the left, but also from the right.

Critics – including most of the media – claim that what Geller did was provocative. They never stop to note, as Harris put it, “The point is not (and will never be) that some free person spoke, or wrote, or illustrated in such a manner as to inflame the Muslim community. The point is that only [emphasis added] the Muslim community is combustible in this way.”

Photo: Shutterstock

Harris goes on to say, “Muslims appear to be far more concerned about perceived slights to their religion than about the atrocities committed daily in its name.”

This goes to the heart of  Geller’s event in Garland and what I see not as a provocation, but as a challenge.

Unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam has not undergone reformation. While the majority of Islam’s adherents operate beyond a seventh century interpretation of Muslim doctrine, millions do not.

It has long been my assertion, particularly in the absence of any Islamic reformation, that those who are “technically” perverting the Muslim faith are not the fundamentalists, but rather the moderates. This is a reality successfully leveraged by fundamentalists to both silence, and sadly, woo otherwise peaceful Muslims to their cause. Simply put, moderates don’t have a contextual leg to stand on when confronted by their fundamentalist co-religionists. This is why what Geller is doing is so important.

Non-Muslims cannot bring about the much-needed Islamic reformation, only moderate Muslims can do that. But they’re not out in the streets rallying and marching against the fundamentalists and jihad. Why not? Because they’re terrified – and rightly so.

Islamic fundamentalists murder people for being gay; they murder children for going to school; they murder men and women for having an affair; they murdered a filmmaker for exposing Muslim domestic violence; and they routinely murder people for leavingIslam. It is highly likely that they will attempt to murder anyone trying to reform Islam.

But despite a litany of barbarism, the West refuses to intellectually confront the ideology fueling Islamic supremacy and its attendant acts of horror. Worse still, the West has carved out a protected space in the public square that indemnifies the Islamic faith from having to answer for the barbarism committed daily in its name. We have been so hobbled by political correctness, that even face-to-face with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks we were more concerned with not offending peaceful Muslims than in calling out their passive complicity in their co-religionists’ actions. This must end.

It must end before there is another Garland, another Fort Hood, another July 7, 2005 or another Sept. 11, 2001. We must challenge the Islamic faith and Muslims worldwide to be worthy of their standing in the 21st century. If yours is truly a religion of peace, then prove it. Reform the Muslim faith so that those who would do violence in the name of Islam are the ones who no longer have any leg to stand on.

You – the world’s moderate Muslims – know who the fundamentalists are, where their mosques and madrassas are. Drive them from your midst. Refuse to fund their jihadism. Refuse to afford them a place at your table or any semblance of honor in your nations. It is a task only you are capable of. If you truly seek peace, only you can bring it about.

Now, will pointing this out pique moderate Muslims? Perhaps, but that can no longer be our primary concern. The inability of Islam to police its own is one of the gravest problems facing the world today. Change is hard, it can also be deadly for those committed to that change, but the time has long since passed for good Muslim men and women to stand up and say, “Not in my name. Not any longer.”

And it is only by publicly and unrelentingly challenging Islam that the door to reform will begin to open. But if Pamela Geller, a free woman in a free nation, cannot openly challenge Islam, how can we ever expect moderate Muslims in their countries to do so?

Brad Thor is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of “CODE OF CONDUCT.” Visit hiswebsite. Follow him on Twitter: @BradThor. And on Facebook.

Islamic Terror in an Age of Individual Jihad

20150504_texassuspectsshotmohammed.siFamily Security Matters, by Clare Lopez, May 7, 2015:

Anyone who thinks that what happened at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX on 3 May 2015, when two Muslim terrorists tried to attack a “Draw Muhammad” art contest, was an isolated incident, needs to think again. Although the two jihadist shooters, both affiliated with the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (a Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosque), were quickly shot dead by security at the site, it’s their modus operandi that we need to understand. This is what the future jihad in America is going to look like. It is called ‘individual jihad’ (fard ‘ayn) and it is not just doctrinally-authorized in Islam, but is aggressively being encouraged, even commanded, by the Islamic State (as the Caliphate) through its online magazine, ‘Dabiq,’ as well as a flurry of other statements and videos by both IS and al-Qa’eda.

As the Center’s Senior Fellow (and author of the newly-released “Catastrophic Failure”), Steve Coughlin, points out, 2015 is the final year of the “10 Year Programme of Action” for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The top action item for that decade has been criminalization of the criticism of Islam – that is, pushing for legal measures to bring U.S. and other Western societies into compliance with Islamic blasphemy and slander laws. Those laws impose the death penalty for anything considered ‘offensive’ to a Muslim. Some think that just avoiding anything that might remotely be thought ‘offensive’ to Muslims is the best way to deal with the situation. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly did all she could during her tenure to collaborate with the OIC through the Istanbul Process and UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. But it’s never enough and never going to be enough until all of humanity is subjugated to shariah; so now, in this final year of the ‘Programme,’ we are beginning to see the physical enforcement of those Islamic speech codes across the Western world, including in our own homeland. That enforcement increasingly is taking the form of individual acts of jihad terrorism.

Prior to 9/11, as al-Qa’eda took aim at ‘the far enemy,’ the key perpetrators-Usama bin Laden and other top leaders of AQ, Hizballah, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Taliban-met to plot, plan, and direct that attack. It was very much a top-directed operation. Today, the Global Islamic Movement is dispersed, institutionalized, and operationalized. Myriad jihad groups as well as unaffiliated individual jihadis seek to instill terror across the world, even as AQ and IS compete with Iran for leadership of the kinetic vanguard role. The OIC functions at the Islamic head-of-state institutional jihad level. And the Muslim Brotherhood provides the civilization jihad indoctrination, infiltration, and subversion operations within target governments and societies.

These three jihad levels – kinetic vanguard, Islamic institution, and civilization jihad – work in synergistic tandem to undermine the West, sap our will to resist, and play the siren song of submission as the easiest, most reasonable way out of this nightmare. Violent jihad attacks by Muslim terrorists against Western free speech targets have proliferated throughout the first half of 2015. In early January 2015, two Muslim gunmen murdered twelve staff members of the French satirical magazine, ‘Charlie Hebdo.’ Three police officers were executed as well and another four people were killed by a third jihadist shooter who targeted a Jewish deli market in Paris. Then, in February, a jihadist gunman attacked a Copenhagen event called “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression” where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks was speaking, killing one civilian and injuring two law enforcement officers (although Vilks himself escaped harm). And now they’ve taken aim at Pamela Geller, the courageous founder of Stop Islamization of America, also known as the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The body count is rising, but that’s not really the objective: free speech is. Free society and free-thinking individuals governed by consent of the governed under rule of man-made law are. Simply by existing, such individuals and such societies block the forces of jihad from achieving their obligatory shariah objective, which is the global imposition of shariah. Free speech is the most important, first line of defense against that onslaught because shariah cannot reign unchallenged as long as free people may speak their minds.

Taking shape, then, is a concerted jihad campaign to instill terror among those who dare to resist shariah. Especially via online messaging and social media, the Islamic State has been urging faithful Muslims to make the hijrah to Middle East battlefields but specifically encourages those who cannot or choose not to, to wage individual jihad in place, wherever they live. Thanks to misguided federal refugee resettlement policies that are channeling thousands of all-too-often poorly-vetted Muslim immigrants into the U.S., combined with official refusal to recognize Muslim Brotherhood operatives, groups, and Islamic Centers as the jihadist threat they actually are, there is a now a ready pool of indoctrinated jihad recruits living among us, whose numbers the FBI admits it has no way to manage or even monitor. From this pool in coming weeks and months will emerge the individual jihadis, converted, inspired, and trained by Brotherhood imams and mosques who will answer the IS call to jihad issued by recruiters lying in wait for them all over the Internet.

Understanding and confronting this dynamic that is taking direct aim at the American right to free speech is imperative for both the engaged citizen and an informed law enforcement community. It is the only way to stay free.

Media Hypocrisy over the “Draw Mohammed” Contest

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CSP, by Fred Fleitz, May 7, 2015:

Many media outlets have spent more time condemning Pamela Geller’s “draw Mohammed” contest as unnecessarily provocative and “hate speech” and little time condemning the jihadists who planned to massacre the attendees at the Texas event.

In the 1990s, the mainstream media led by the New York Times took a very different view toward supposed “art” that was offensive to Christians: a photograph of a crucifix submerged in a vat of urine and a painting of the Virgin Mary that was smeared with elephant dung and surrounded with pornographic images.

In October 1999, when then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani tried to pull funding from the Brooklyn Museum for displaying these works, the New York Times condemned him for engaging in politics and said museums are obliged to challenge the public.   A few days later, New York Times columnist Frank Rich compared Giuliani’s efforts to defund the museum to the Nazi’s 1937 “degenerate art” exposition of modern art.

While the Times championed these works of “art” offensive to Christians and published images of them, it declined to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoon lampooning Mohammed that led to the deadly Paris shootings last January.  The Times also has refused  to publish the winner of Geller’s “draw Mohammed” contest.

Americans can disagree over whether Geller’s event was unnecessarily provocative.  I did not agree with it and would not participate in such an event intended to offend Muslims just as I oppose events and artwork intended to offend Christians.   However, I don’t support violence against anti-Christian art and events since modern society’s response to offensive speech is peaceful protests, not violence.

I remember in 1992 when Sinéad O’Connor, an Irish rock singer, tore in half a photo of Pope John Paul II during a Saturday Night performance.  Due to angry phone calls and letters by viewers, she was never on the show again.  There are many American art museums that will never show the offensive anti-Christian works displayed by the Brooklyn Museum because they would cause reductions in funding from government and private contributors.

That’s how we deal with offensive speech in a free society.

The global jihad movement sees things differently.  It wants messages that it deems offensive to Islam exempted from free speech protections and to murder people who engage such speech.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali can attest that this goes far beyond “draw Mohammed” contests.  Hirsi Ali, a former member of the Dutch parliament, fled the Netherlands for the United States in 2007 because of death threats due to her involvement in a film titled Submission on the mistreatment of women in Islamic society.  The film’s director, Theo van Gogh, was murdered by jihadist terrorists on November 2, 2004.

There are many others who have been targeted for death because they wrote or drew something jihadists didn’t like.  Salman Rushdie, Lars Vilks, Geert Wilders and others are on ISIS and al Qaeda death lists  This week, ISIS added Pamela Geller to a death list.

The most famous quote on the defense of free speech (often mistakenly attributed to Voltaire but actually written by his biographer, Beatrice Evelyn Hall) is “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”   This is the standard the news media must use in the “draw Mohammed” story.  The press should be aggressively defending free speech rights today just it did in the 1990s when it defended anti-Christian art in New York.  The media cannot let jihadists get away with using violence to weaken our right to free speech and stop piling on Geller for exercising her free speech rights.

Also see:

Imam Anjem Choudary Tells Hannity That Pamela Geller Should Die

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Truth Revolt, by Caleb Howe, May 7, 2015:

On Fox News last night, Sean Hannity hosted what basically amounted to a verbal holy war between Islamic Imam Anjem Choudary and Pamela Geller. Choudary repeatedly stated that Geller knew the “consequences” for her actions, and that the consequences for her actions are death. He says that she isn’t even good enough to be called a pig. He said America was the real murderer, that all will come under sharia law, that any who insult the prophet should receive “capital punishment.”

This is a good time to remind our readers that people who talk about sharia in America are called conspiracy theorists, that Pamela Geller, who has been marked for death by Islam over cartoons, is the one being called “hateful” by our media, and that the official position of Smart People is that only a tiny few Muslims are terrorists and murderers.

As far as we know, Anjem Choudary isn’t a terrorist. Using the standard the media and the President use, he would not be counted in the “less than one percent” of Muslims who commit acts of terror or join ISIS or kidnap girls in Africa. Yet here he is on a major news outlet telling the world, as he often does, that he believes the exact same thing as the terrorists.

Nobody is a terrorist until they are. But it is clear that support for the murder of cartoonists extends beyond just the murderers themselves. Believing that those who insult Mohammed should be put to death does not mean you are in some exclusive terrorist-only club, or that you are a member of ISIS. It is not uncommon. It is a widely shared conviction. And what’s more, it’s put into practice by people who aren’t counted in that “one percent” we’re supposed to find insignificant.

Also see:

Pamela Geller, TIME Magazine: A Response to My Critics—This Is a War

Screen-Shot-2015-05-06-at-11.01.54-AMBy Pamela Geller, May 6, 2015:

The cartoon contest was needlessly provocative? No — murdering cartoonists is needlessly provocative.

It was the jihadis, not I, who made the cartoons a flash point. If we surrender on that point and stop drawing Muhammad, we’ve established a precedent of surrendering to violent Sharia enforcement, and once established, we will be made to reinforce it again and again.

Did anyone think these 2 gunmen would have lived quiet lives as peaceable and loyal Americans if we hadn’t held the contest? They would have waged jihad elsewhere, on a less protected target, and killed more people.

“Pamela Geller: A Response to My Critics—This Is a War,”  Time Magazine, May 6, 2015

NEW YORK - AUGUST 3:  Pamela Geller, author of the book The Post-American Presidency and a proponent of the proposed World Trade Center Islamic Center answers emails inside her home on August 3, 2010 in New York City. Mrs. Geller has spoke and written heavily against the center on her blog Atlas Shrugs. (Photo by Jason Andrew/Getty Images)

Some are saying I provoked this attack. But to kowtow to violent intimidation will only encourage more of it.

Sunday in Garland, Texas, a police officer was wounded in a battle that is part of a longstanding war: the war against the freedom of speech. Some people are blaming me for the Garland shooting — so I want to address that here

The shooting happened at my American Freedom Defense Initiative Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest, when two Islamic jihadists armed with rifles and explosives drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland and attempted to gain entry to our event, which was just ending. We were aware of the risk and spent thousands of dollars on security — and it paid off. The jihadis at our free speech event were not able to achieve their objective of replicating the massacre at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine last January — and to go it one better in carnage. They were not able to kill anyone. We provided enormous security, in concert with the superb Garland police department. The men who took the aspiring killers down may have saved hundreds of lives.

And make no mistake: If it weren’t for the free-speech conference, these jihadis would have struck somewhere else — a place where there was less security, like the Lindt cafe in Australia or the Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in Paris.

So, why are some people blaming me? They’re saying: “Well, she provoked them! She got what she deserved!” They don’t remember, or care to remember, that as the jihadis were killing the Muhammad cartoonists in Paris, their friend and accomplice was murdering Jews in a nearby kosher supermarket. Were the Jews asking for it? Did they “bait” the jihadis? Were they “provoking” them?

Are the Jews responsible for the Nazis? Are the Christians in the Middle East responsible for being persecuted by Muslims?

Drawing Muhammad offends Islamic jihadists? So does being Jewish. How much accommodation of any kind should we give to murderous savagery? To kowtow to violent intimidation will only encourage more of it.

This is a war.

Now, after the Charlie Hebdo attack, and after the Garland attack, what are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?

The attack in Garland showed that everything my colleagues and I have been warning about regarding the threat of jihad, and the ways in which it threatens our liberties, is true. Islamic law, Sharia, with its death penalty for blasphemy, today constitutes a unique threat to the freedom of speech and liberty in general.

Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced.

Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not stand for being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed, while everyone else lives in fear.

Islamic law as it’s interpreted by extremists forbids criticism of Islam, the Quran, and Muhammad. If they cannot be criticized in the United States, we are in effect accepting Islamic law as overriding the freedom of speech. This would establish Muslims as a protected class and prevent honest discussion of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence.

Some say that “hate speech” should be censored. But what constitutes “hate speech” is a subjective judgment that is unavoidably influenced by the political perspective of the one doing the judging.

Allowing this sort of censorship would mean nothing less civilizational suicide. Many in the media and academic elite assign no blame to an ideology that calls for death to blasphemers — i.e., those who criticize or offend Islam. Instead, they target and blame those who expose this fanaticism. If the cultural elites directed their barbs and attacks at the extremist doctrine of jihad, the world would be a vastly safer place.

You can try to avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. The shootings in Garland, Paris, and Copenhagen targeting defenders of free speech, and the raging jihad across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, are the disastrous consequences of avoiding reality.

I encourage all Americans to watch the videos of the Garland event and see what Islamic supremacists wish to silence: basic, elemental free speech arguments.

But we are unbowed. Even when the venue was in lockdown and hundreds of attendees were ushered down into the auditorium, the crowd was singing the Star Spangled Banner and G-d Bless America. In the face of fear, they were staunchly and uniquely American.

To learn who rules over you, simply find out whom you cannot criticize. If the international media had run the Danish cartoons back in 2005, none of this could have happened. The jihadis wouldn’t have been able to kill everyone. But by self-censoring, the media gave the jihadis the power they have today.

We must take back our freedom.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.

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