Federal Government Authorizes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to Censor “Anti-Islam” Speech; Lawsuit Filed

3320334677Center for Security Policy, July 13, 2016:

Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.

Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch.

As alleged in the lawsuit, Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims.

Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination.  However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.

As set forth in the lawsuit, Section 230 of the CDA immunizes businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from civil liability for any action taken to “restrict access to or availability of material that” that they “consider to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:

“Section 230 of the CDA confers broad powers of censorship upon Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube officials, who can silence constitutionally protected speech and engage in discriminatory business practices with impunity by virtue of this power conferred by the federal government in violation of the First Amendment.”

Muise went on to explain:

“Section 230 is a federal statute that alters the legal relations between our clients and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, resulting in the withdrawal from our clients of legal protections against private acts.  Consequently, per U.S. Supreme Court precedent, state action lies in our clients’ challenge under the First Amendment.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added:

“Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have notoriously censored speech that they deem critical of Islam, thereby effectively enforcing blasphemy laws here in the United States with the assistance of the federal government.”

Yerushalmi concluded:

“It has been the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists to impose such standards on the West.  Its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which co-sponsored, with support from Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, a U.N. resolution which called on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are falling in line, and we seek to stop this assault on our First Amendment freedoms.”

AFLC Co-Founders and Senior Counsel Robert J. Muise and David Yerushalmi, along with the plaintiffs in this case, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, will hold a Press Call from 2:00-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.  To access this press conference call, dial (641) 715-3655 and enter code 111815.

Also see:

Muslim Nations Defend Palestinian Terror During UN Terrorism Review After U.S. Citizen Murdered Near Hebron

OIC-at-UN.sized-770x415xbPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, JULY 3, 2016:

Thirteen-year-old Hillel Ariel, a U.S. citizen, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist last week while sleeping in her bed in her home near Hebron.

The day after her murder the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the group representing all 57 Muslim-majority nations, tried to insert justifications for Palestinian terror during a United Nations review of its counter-terrorism strategy.

Stephanie Granot of The Jewish Press reports:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), attempted to introduce language condoning terrorism under certain conditions into a draft of a UN Counter-Terrorism Resolution. The official document is expected to be finalized on Tuesday when the General Assembly concludes a bi-annual Review of its UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.The OIC, an organization of 57 member-states that considers itself “the collective voice of the Muslim world”, has Permanent Delegations to the United Nations as well as to the European Union. Several days prior to the start of the Review, OIC Representative Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi (Saudi Arabia) sought to insert the following clause to the draft of the resolution: “Terrorism in the name of self-determination and national liberation does not constitute terrorism.”

Shortly after Rep. Al-Mouallimi addressed the General Assembly, Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador David Roet delivered an impassioned and powerful speech…

Subsequent to Ambassador Roet’s speech, some significant diplomatic maneuvering by the Israel’s Mission to the UN, and a steadfast refusal on Israel’s part to allow member-states to compromise draft language for the sake of a unanimous consensus, the clause was ultimately not included in the final draft of the review, entitled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review”.

As the article notes, the OIC, which is the second largest inter-governmental body in the world behind the United Nations, has a permanent delegation at the UN.

In May, just a month before the Orlando terror attack targeting a gay nightclub that killed 49, the OIC blocked LGBT groups from attending a UN conference on AIDS held days before the attack.

The defense of Palestinian terrorism is a recurring topic of the OIC.

In April 2002, in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, the OIC adopted a declaration on international terrorism. But during the debate the OIC could not agree on a definition of terrorism, but did reject “any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian and Lebanese resistance with terrorism.”

The OIC’s Islamic Fiqh Council published a January 2003 resolution explicitly endorsing Palestinian terror attacks, saying suicide attacks are a legitimate form of jihad:

3- The Islamic Fiqh Council asserts that jihad and martyr operations done to defend the Islamic creed, dignity, freedom and the sovereignty of states is not considered terrorism but a basic form of necessary defense for legitimate rights. Thus the oppressed peoples who are subjected to occupation have the right to seek their freedom via all means possible.4- The Islamic Fiqh Council stresses that martyr operations are a form of jihad, and carrying out those operations is a legitimate right that has nothing to do with terrorism or suicide. Those operations become obligatory when they become the only way to stop the aggression of the enemy, defeat it, and grievously damage its power.

5- It is not allowed to use terms such as “jihad”, “terrorism”, and “violence”, which have become frequently used by today’s mass media as scientific terms, to mean other connotations beyond their basic well known meanings.

In between its unashamed defense of terrorism, the OIC has taken up the cause of suppressing freedom of speech in the name of combating “Islamophobia.”

As I noted last year here at PJ Media, the OIC remarkably called for more free speech limits immediately following the terror attack on the Paris offices of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. After reporting that, the OIC’s representative to the UN, Ufuk Gokcen, blocked me on Twitter.

I also reported exclusively that the OIC had funneled $325,000 to Georgetown University through the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front group to push its “Islamophobia” agenda.

Through the OIC’s 2005 10-Year Plan of Action and supporting implementation plan, they stated their intent to push for the international criminalization of criticism of Islam.

Hillary Clinton enthusiastically backed the OIC’s push for criminalizing “Islamophobia,” with the U.S. co-sponsoring UNHRC Resolution 16/18 with Pakistan on behalf of the OIC which calls for free speech restrictions in the name of banning “defamation of religion.”

At a July 2011 meeting with the OIC in Istanbul, she reaffirmed her commitment to Resolution 16/18, vowingto use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

Clinton hosted the OIC in a three-day closed-door conference in Washington, D.C., in December 2011. The official OIC media center characterized the meetings with Clinton as an effort to enact its “defamation of religion” agenda spelled out in the OIC’s annual Islamophobia Observatory.

No word if now-Democratic Party presidential candidate Clinton endorses the attempts by the OIC to justify Palestinian terrorism.

The EU is Coming to Close Down Your Free Speech

1455Gatestone Institute, by Douglas Murray, June 11, 2016:

  • The German Chancellor was not interested in the reinforcement of Europe’s external borders, the re-erection of its internal borders, the institution of a workable asylum vetting system and the repatriation of people who had lied to gain entry into Europe. Instead, Chancellor Merkel wanted to know how Facebook’s founder could help her restrict the free speech of Europeans, on Facebook and on other social media.
  • Then, on May 31, the European Union announced a new online speech code to be enforced by four major tech companies, including Facebook and YouTube.
  • It was clear from the outset that Facebook has a definitional problem as well as a political bias in deciding on these targets. What is Facebook’s definition of ‘racism’? What is its definition of ‘xenophobia’? What, come to that, is its definition of ‘hate speech’?
  • Of course the EU is a government — and an unelected government at that — so its desire not just to avoid replying to its critics — but to criminalise their views and ban their contrary expressions — is as bad as the government of any country banning or criminalising the expression of opinion which is not adulatory of the government.
  • People must speak up — must speak up now, and must speak up fast — in support of freedom of speech before it is taken away from them. It is, sadly, not an overstatement to say that our entire future depends on it.

It is nine months since Angela Merkel and Mark Zuckerberg tried to solve Europe’s migrant crisis. Of course having caused the migrant crisis by announcing the doors of Europe as open to the entire third-world, Angela Merkel particularly would have been in a good position actually to try to solve this crisis.

But the German Chancellor was not interested in the reinforcement of Europe’s external borders, the re-erection of its internal borders, the institution of a workable asylum vetting system and the repatriation of people who had lied to gain entry into Europe. Instead, Chancellor Merkel was interested in Facebook.

When seated with Mark Zuckerberg, Frau Merkel wanted to know how the Facebook founder could help her restrict the free speech of Europeans, on Facebook and on other social media.Speaking to Zuckerberg at a UN summit last September (and not aware that the microphones were picking her up) she asked what could be done to restrict people writing things on Facebook which were critical of her migration policy. ‘Are you working on this?’ she asked him. ‘Yeah’, Zuckerberg replied.

In the months that followed, we learned that this was not idle chatter over lunch. In January of this year, Facebook launched its ‘Initiative for civil courage online’, committing a million Euros to fund non-governmental organisations in its work to counter ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’ posts online. It also promised to remove ‘hate speech’ and expressions of ‘xenophobia’ from the Facebook website.

It was clear from the outset that Facebook has a definitional problem as well as a political bias in deciding on these targets. What is Facebook’s definition of ‘racism’? What is its definition of ‘xenophobia’? What, come to that, is its definition of ‘hate speech’? As for the political bias, why had Facebook not previously considered how, for instance, to stifle expressions of open-borders sentiments on Facebook? There are many people in Europe who have argued that the world should have no borders and that Europe in particular should be able to be lived in by anyone who so wishes. Why have people expressing such views on Facebook (and there are many) not found their views censored and their posts removed? Are such views not ‘extreme’?

One problem with this whole area — and a problem which has clearly not occurred to Facebook — is that these are questions which do not even have the same answer from country to country. Any informed thinker on politics knows that there are laws that apply in some countries that do not — and often should not — apply in others. Contrary to the views of many transnational ‘progressives’, the world does not have one set of universal laws and certainly does not have universal customs. Hate-speech laws are to a very great extent an enforcement of the realm of customs.

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All Your Social Media Belong to the EU

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Facebook, Google and Twitter sign up for propaganda and censorship.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, June 10, 2016:

For a decade, the top search result for “EU referendum” on Google was the political blog EU Referendum. Then it was abruptly displaced by solidly pro-EU media outlets. It appeared that someone at Google had decided that search traffic should be driven to pro-EU sites. Ingrid Carlqvist, a Swedish columnist who covers, among other things, migrant violence, at Gatestone, had her Facebook account deleted after posting a video detailing migrant rapes in Sweden.

These seemingly isolated incidents fit into a larger pattern as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter helped create and signed a “code of conduct” banning hate speech. Facebook had already become notorious for its political agenda while Twitter had created a Trust and Safety Council filled with extremist left-wing groups like Feminist Frequency to censor the politically incorrect.

Google has historically been a pro-free speech outlier. Its politics have never been ambiguous, but it has eschewed the overt censorship of some of its new partners working to keep the EU free of political dissent. But the code of conduct goes well beyond censorship. The companies will be working to strengthen their “ongoing partnerships with civil society organisations who will help flag content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct”. That amounts to empowering left-wing advocacy groups to dictate content removal to major companies. It means that not only Twitter, but Facebook, Google and Microsoft will get their own Trust and Safety Council. It may be called something else. It may not even have a name. But it will have power. That’s what this really means.

And it’s only a starting point in a larger propaganda initiative.

“The IT Companies and the European Commission, recognising the value of independent counter speech against hateful rhetoric and prejudice, aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives,” the press release reads.

Even more than the censorship, the counter-narratives push represents a troubling development.

Left-wing groups won’t just be embedded as censors, but major tech firms will be expected to promote their agendas. And the biggest resource that companies with massive social media platforms have at their disposal isn’t mere money. It’s the ability to decide what is trending and what isn’t.

If a story about Islamic terrorism trends, will Facebook or Twitter be expected to promote a counter-narrative from an Islamic group? How exactly is this any different than traditional propaganda?

“The IT Companies to intensify their work with CSOs to deliver best practice training on countering hateful rhetoric and prejudice and increase the scale of their proactive outreach to CSOs to help them deliver effective counter speech campaigns. The European Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to contribute to this endeavour by taking steps to map CSOs’ specific needs and demands in this respect,” the release tells us.

CSO stands for Civil Society Organization. It’s used more often now that NGO carries with it an air of contempt. That last sentence informs us that the CSOs will have “demands.” The European Commission will help leverage and assemble these demands. Meanwhile major tech firms will be working to aid these CSOs in pushing their agenda.

What will this look like? We got a preview of it with Facebook’s “Initiative for Civil Courage Online”. Facebook had been facing pressure from Germany’s Merkel who was worried over public outrage at crimes committed by her Muslim migrant arrivals. Censorship was obviously the order of the day.

The Initiative promoted Klick It Out which, in properly Orwellian fashion, urged people to “See It. Report It.” The “It” being “Social Media Discrimination.” And then users were expected to “Klick It Out”. It was a failure. But Facebook and friends are doubling down.

Tech companies love the idea of creating “counter-narratives” because it’s cheaper to throw some money at an NGO or CSO, or to boost their profile, than to invest still more money in censorship. It’s not because they have a bias for free speech, but because active censorship, even when outsourced to poorer countries, which it often is, demands more resources. Pushing an agenda is cheap.

And the goal of companies like Facebook is to increase usage, rather than reduce it, which is why COO Sheryl Sandberg championed “like attacks” in which users flood the pages of bigots with their own speech. But the code of conduct is a thorough rejection of any of that self-interested libertarianism. Censorship is packaged together with agenda pushing. There might be like attacks, but what the EU really wanted was deletion and promotion for the groups that its leaders support. And they got it.

Some fraction of these efforts may be directed at ISIS supporters, but there is no particular reason to be optimistic about that. By putting CSOs first, the message is that this isn’t about counter-terrorism, but about promoting one set of political agendas at the expense of another. Much like Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, this is about selecting who should speak and who should be silenced.

Programs like these operate under the umbrella of fighting extremism. And extremism, unlike blowing up buses or beheading hostages, is in the eye of the beholder. And the beholder is a tech company standing on the left while looking to the right. The obsession with radicalization treats lawful speech as the precursor to violence. It also assumes that Muslim terrorism emerges from a cycle of extremism between Muslims and critics of Islam. Silence the critics and you stop the terrorism.

European governments, like those of Angela Merkel, are far less worried about Salafists than they are about domestic political dissent. When Merkel berated Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over insufficient censorship, it wasn’t because she objected to the pipeline that feeds Muslims from Germany into ISIS. Muslim terrorism is inconvenient, but political dissent is politically explosive. Social media comprise an alternative organizing force that counters the dominance of media narratives. That makes it a threat.

Attempts to silence more prominent voices like Richard North and Ingrid Carlqvist have run into a backlash, but it’s impossible to rally in support of each ordinary person who has their account shut down or their blog pushed down in the rankings for having politically incorrect views. Social media at their best bring people together. This initiative is about disrupting social organizations that are disapproved of.

It is about preserving the dominance of a government-media narrative while promoting astroturf organizations that try to appear independent, but really echo that very same narrative.

Private companies have the right to determine what content appears on their platforms. But Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have become part of an alliance with governments and advocacy groups to maintain a particular narrative. They will not simply be removing hateful content. Instead they have undertaken to play a role in putting forward a particular set of ideas by particular governments.

That’s propaganda and it is the opposite of how the internet was meant to be used.

The deal puts a series of private organizations, backed by EU government power, in charge of determining the content of social media, both positive and negative. Social media were meant to be centered around the user. Instead this deal displaces the user and replaces him or her with the EU.

***

Also see:

European Union Declares War on Internet Free Speech

This week, the EU, in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, unveiled a "code of conduct" to combat the spread of "illegal hate speech" online in Europe. The next day, Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone's Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed — called "Sweden's Migrant Rape Epidemic."

This week, the EU, in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe. The next day, Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone’s Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed — called “Sweden’s Migrant Rape Epidemic.”

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, June 3, 2016:

  • Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the European Union’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the EU itself.
  • Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours — as “Orwellian.”
  • “By deciding that ‘xenophobic’ comment in reaction to the crisis is also ‘racist,’ Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people… into ‘racist’ views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as ‘racist.'” — Douglas Murray.
  • In January 2013, Facebook suspended the account of Khaled Abu Toameh after he wrote about corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The account was reopened 24 hours later, but with the two posts deleted and no explanation.

The European Union (EU), in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, has unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe.

Proponents of the initiative argue that in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, a crackdown on “hate speech” is necessary to counter jihadist propaganda online.

Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the EU’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the European Union itself.

Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours, and replaced with “counter-narratives” — as “Orwellian.”

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Twitter and Facebook Vow to Eliminate ‘Hate Speech’

facebook_twitter_intergration

Henceforth only far-Left and pro-jihad views will be allowed.

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, June 1, 2016:

Could it soon be illegal to oppose jihad terror on the Internet?

AP reported that “the European Union reached an agreement Tuesday with some of the world’s biggest social media firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread of hate speech online.”

Not only Facebook and Twitter, but also YouTube and Microsoft, “have committed to ‘quickly and efficiently’ tackle illegal hate speech directed against anyone over issues of race, color, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin. The sites have often been used by terrorist organizations to relay messages and entice hatred against certain individuals or groups.”

Vera Jourova, whom AP identifies as “the EU commissioner responsible for justice, consumers and gender equality,” explained: “The internet is a place for free speech, not hate speech.” She added that the new rules would “ensure that public incitement to violence to hatred has ‘no place online.’” But incitement to violence isn’t all that the social media giants are planning to stamp out: Karen White, Twitter’s European head of public policy, declared: “We remain committed to letting the Tweets flow. However, there is a clear distinction between freedom of expression and conduct that incites violence and hate.”

The problem with both Jourova’s and White’s statements is that they assume that “hate speech” is an entity that can be identified objectively, when actually it is a subjective judgment based on one’s own political preconceptions. And given the years-long insistence from Leftists and Islamic supremacists that any honest discussion of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism constitutes “hate speech,” these new rules could mean the end of opposition to jihad terror on the Internet.

Consider, for example, what Twitter does not consider to be “hate speech.” A Muslim named Obaid Karki, @stsheetrock on Twitter, who runs a website headed “Obaid Karki St.Sheetrock’s Painfulpolitics Offensive Comedy Hepcat” and another called is called “Suicide Bombers Magazine” posted this on one of them last Sunday: “Robert Spencer mustn’t [be] featured but lynched from his scrotum along with Zionists scumbags, Pamela Geller, Pat Condell, Daniel Pipes, Debbie Schlussel and JIHADWATCH Jackass duo Baron Bodissey & Geert Wilders for inspiring Anders Behring Breivik to [kill] innocent students in 2011.”

Neither Bodissey or Wilders actually run Jihad Watch – I do — and I didn’t inspire Breivik to do anything, but what is interesting about Karki’s loony message is that he posted this call for me and others to be lynched on Twitter.

Twitter supposedly has a policy against death threats. “The Twitter Rules” say: “Violent threats (direct or indirect): You may not make threats of violence or promote violence, including threatening or promoting terrorism.” I therefore duly reported this one – but as of this writing, it has not been taken down (in fact, Karki posted it along with variants of it several times). I reported Karki’s tweet (which he republished on Twitter several times, and on Monday received this message from Twitter: “Thank you for letting us know about your issue. We’ve investigated the account and reported Tweets for violent threats and abusive behavior, and have found that it’s currently not violating the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules).”

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Also see:

Bigot, Racist, Hater, Islamophobe

oic-erasing-freedom-of-speech-edited-1

Political Islam, by Bill Warner, May 25, 2016:

When my talk was announced recently, the “virtuous” progressives call a critic a bigot. They did not produce a single fact, but said that a leftist group claimed that I was one of the chief Muslim bashers. Which is very odd since I don’t talk about Muslims, just Mohammed and Allah. I am an opponent of political Islam, not Muslims.

They charge me with presenting a “slanted” view of Islam, which is true. Three different views of Islam are demonstrated by the reaction to the day that Mohammed beheaded 800 Jews. Muslims see it as a day of victory; apologists see it as just another historic event. My view is that of a Kafir – beheading the Jews because they said that Mohammed was not a prophet – was an evil act. If you speak about Islamic political doctrine the apologists say you are a bigot.

A clergyman weighed in to say that I do not appreciate the vibrancy of Muslim culture. He is right. I only care about political Islam. I would hope that he would care about the brutality of Islam about Christians in Africa and the Middle East, but he is silent about that evil.

A community college president said that I should be forbidden to speak. This is symptomatic about schools becoming centers of ideology, not fact-based reasoning.

Why all of the insults? It is the only weapon of the ignorant.

The Narrative and what we are not allowed to say

Screen-Shot-2015-10-08-at-2.03.24-PM-1024x408About That New Speech Code for Lawyers – Andrew McCarthy wonders if lawyers will get to prove cases against jihadist terrorists anymore.

And Steve Coughlin explains how the CVE narrative prevents us from speaking the truth about jihad:

 

Is the world going in the direction of Orwell’s 1984?

What are you going to do about it?

ESW in Dallas: “Europe is Careening Over the Multicultural Cliff”

esw-dallas-201604Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey, April 28, 2016:

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff has just returned to Austria after an extended visit to the United States, where she was invited to speak by various anti-Islamization groups in different cities.

On April 21 Elisabeth spoke in Dallas, Texas at an event sponsored by the Dallas chapter of ACT! For America. She was introduced at the event by Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West. Below is the prepared text for her speech.

(L-R) Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Rabbi Jon Hausman, Dallas, April 21 2016

(L-R) Lt. Col. (ret.) Allen West, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Rabbi Jon Hausman, Dallas, April 21 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to speak to ACT! for America here in Dallas, Texas. These are perilous times we are living in. Advocates for freedom on both sides of the Atlantic need to stand together!

For the past nine months Austria and the rest of Western Europe have undergone a profound transformation, one that will inevitably change the face of Europe permanently. I refer, of course, to the migration crisis, which began in earnest last summer, and is continuing as I speak to you. As the weather warms up and spring gives way to summer, we may expect the crisis to intensify even further. More than a million immigrants arrived in Austria and Germany via the “Balkan route” last year, and at least as many are expected to come this year — probably significantly more.

These migrants are generally referred to by our political leaders and the media as “refugees”, but this is hardly the case. Not only are most of them from countries where there is no war to flee from, but they are also overwhelmingly young Muslim men, of fighting age. In other words, the current crisis is actually an instance of Islamic hijra, or migration into infidel lands to advance the cause of Islam. The hijra goes hand in hand with jihad — once enough Muslim migrants have settled in the target country, violentjihad can begin.

It should be quite clear by now that the jihad phase has already begun in Western Europe. The most recent instances were the massacres in Paris and Brussels, which were acts ofjihad carried out by Muslims. Some of the terrorists were in fact “refugees” who had pretended to be “Syrian” and came in with the migrant wave.

And all of them were fighting jihad in the way of Allah, as instructed by the Koran.

I could take up my entire time slot tonight talking about the European migration crisis, and never do more than scratch the surface. However, I’d like to discuss one aspect of the crisis that is very important: the manipulation by the mainstream media of the news about the migrants.

A single example from a beach in Turkey will help give you an idea of what is going on. The image that sparked Western interest in the crisis was the widely-publicized photograph of the dead toddler on the beach in Turkey. That photo is an example of media manipulation. Not about the fact of the baby’s death, but what was done with his little body once he was dead. There is now ample evidence that the body was moved and arranged in place so that the most heart-wrenching photo could be taken. Furthermore, the father of the child was not a poor helpless refugee trying to escape to freedom, but an accomplice of the people smugglers who piloted the boat, who irresponsibly brought his family with him.

For journalists working for Der Spiegel or Le Figaro or The Guardian or CNN, the media narrative is more important than the truth. And the media narrative was (and is) that poor innocent refugees are drowning because they are left to die by evil Europeans.

Those facts about the incident never made it into public consciousness. Not like the image of the pitiful corpse at the edge of the waves — that’s the kind of story that the Western media love to dish out, especially when it promotes the media narrative. It’s also the kind of story that Western audiences love to lap up — it’s what Gates of Vienna, the website I’m associated with, calls “Dead Baby Porn”.

Dead Baby Porn tugs the heartstrings of well-meaning Westerners. It reinforces all their presuppositions about current events. It gives them a vicarious frisson about the poor, suffering child. And, in their response, it makes them feel morally superior when they join the clamor to open their country’s borders to the unfortunate “refugees”.

The media feed the public a steady stream of photos and videos that feature pitiful migrant women and children. We see them looking through the razor wire towards “freedom”, weeping, cooking their food over a campfire, and being pushed back by border guards. Yet these images are so misleading that they constitute disinformation.

The ugly fact is that the overwhelming majority of the “refugees” are healthy young men who either have no wives and children, or left them behind to seize the opportunity forhijra into Europe. They come from Afghanistan, Morocco, Eritrea, and Pakistan, but they acquire forged or stolen Syrian passports so that they become “Syrian”, and thus qualify for VIP status in the flood of refugees.

isisrefugees

We are being deliberately manipulated. The Western public is being manipulated into supporting the migration of fighting-age Muslim men into Europe. They are being manipulated into joining the crowd of starry-eyed people holding up “Welcome Refugees” signs in European train stations. And they are being manipulated into paying for all of it through their donations to various NGOs whose mission is to aid the “refugees”.

Yet their donations do not cover the entire cost. It’s a very expensive proposition to send refugees from Anatolia to the Greek islands, and then through Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, and Austria to Germany. It’s not just the payment to the people-smugglers who take them across a few miles of the Aegean and dump them just off the beach on Lesbos, although that is expensive enough. From there they are carried by ferry to the mainland, housed, clothed, and fed. When they continue their journey, they ride on buses and trains almost the entire distance — they walk only a few hundred yards to cross each border, getting out of a bus in one country and boarding another one in the next.

This is yet another way in which you, the Western public, are being manipulated by the media. All those photos and videos of endless columns of refugees walking along dusty roads carrying their children and pathetic belongings — those are not representative of the migrants’ journey. A typical shot would show hundreds of young men sitting on buses with air conditioning and upholstered seats. But you don’t see many of those, do you?

Someone is paying the costs of all this. Public donations cover only a small portion of the billions of dollars paid out to transport migrants. The governments of the countries involved pay some of the cost. And the European Union pays some of it. And there are multiple indications that George Soros and his Open Society Foundations are bankrolling a lot of the process, including the printing of maps and helpful instructions for the “refugees” in multiple languages.

Make what you will of all of this. No matter what their motives are, the internationalists who push for global governance and a borderless world are expending vast amounts of money to fool the European public and move millions of Muslim immigrants into Western Europe. Europe will become more “diverse”, whether it likes it or not.

And if, as a consequence, terror attacks have to kill hundreds or thousands of people, and women have to be gang-raped, why, those are just unfortunate side-effects.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs, you know. Especially white European eggs.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The migrant crisis is just the beginning of what might be called the “kinetic phase” of the deconstruction of European nation-states. Last summer’s events were not a new crisis. They were simply a continuation of an ongoing long-term process.

The constant flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe has been going on for at least a decade. It picked up speed after the “Arab Spring” began in 2011, and especially after Moammar Qaddafi was murdered. Then the flow of migrants accelerated greatly last summer because President Erdogan of Turkey stopped interfering with the boats of the people-smugglers.

And now the European Union has paid an enormous amount of protection money to Mr. Erdogan in return for his promise to do what he used to do for free — stop the traffickers’ boats from crossing the Aegean to Greece.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the flow of migrants into Europe is an intentional process on the part of EU leaders. Many of them —especially German Chancellor Angela Merkel — are on record saying how important it is to invite all this “diversity” into Europe. The recent tsunami has obviously taken them by surprise, but it is exactly what they wanted — just not this fast.

They didn’t want the immigrants entering this quickly because the indigenous people of Europe might become alarmed by the influx and take action to throw their leaders out of office. This would not do. Those leaders want native Europeans to remain asleep so that the process of population replacement can be completed before they realize it.

No, it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. But now the European people are waking up, and change is in the air. It may be too little, too late — but awareness is finally dawning.

Population replacement is only one of the strategies employed by those who want to deconstruct the nation-states of Europe. In order to complete the process without a hitch, the native populace must be kept under control. Existing cultural institutions such as the Church and patriotic organizations must be discredited and weakened so that people are unable to form networks and organize against what is being done to them. Ideally, they would be unaware that such organizing is even possible. They must remain atomized, divided from one another, and under the full control of the state — the EU superstate, that is.

As the situation has worsened for the last decade or so, the European Union and its member states have cracked down on free speech. Bringing in so many migrants has accelerated the Islamization of Europe, which tends to be unpopular. Increased crime, more rape and harassment of women, the insistence that schools must serve halal foods and male students receiving permission to refrain from shaking their female teacher’s hand — these are all things that citizens dislike. But from the point of view of EU leaders, there is no going back — the migration must proceed; it’s a necessary part of the plan. Therefore, people must not be allowed to discuss these things nor urge their leaders to make changes. Instead, the criticism of Islam and Islamization must be forbidden. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the United Nations call it “defamation of religion”, and it has now been criminalized all across Europe. The EU is for all practical purposes enforcing sharia law on its indigenous residents.

Ten years ago, when I first began this work, the number of political prosecutions for “hate speech” in Europe was very small — the cases could be counted on the fingers of one hand. But that number has been increasing steadily ever since, and is now rising exponentially. There are now hundreds, perhaps thousands of cases every year in which people are prosecuted for racism, incitement, and discrimination simply for criticizing Islam or mass immigration. Unfortunately, many of those prosecuted are being convicted and fined. And, horribly enough, some are being sent to prison.

There are many, many cases of people being prosecuted for speaking the truth about Islam. Far too many for me to tell you about them all. I’ll discuss my own case in a few minutes, but first I’d like to say a few words about two friends of mine.

The first case is that of Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom — the PVV — the most popular political party in the Netherlands. If an election were held today, the PVV would win at least twice as many seats in parliament as any other party. After the current government falls, Geert may very well become the next prime minister.

Yet the government is prosecuting him for what he said about Moroccan immigrants. His first court appearance was last month, but the trial was postponed until next fall.

He is being charged with “discrimination” for asking his supporters at a rally whether they wanted “more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands”. The charges against him were brought after thousands of complaints had been filed with the police — on pre-printed forms that police themselves had handed out in Muslim neighborhoods, and that imams had distributed to their illiterate congregants, many of whom had no idea what they were signing.

In other words, Geert Wilders was set up. His outspoken opinions about Islam, immigration, and the EU are considered unacceptable by the Powers That Be, and he must be stopped at any cost and by any means. His trial is a travesty, a farrago of justice. To call it a “kangaroo court” would be an insult to the world’s marsupials. A more fitting term would be “show trial”, just like those ordered by Stalin in the 1930s against his political enemies.

This is not the first political trial that Geert Wilders has had to endure, nor is it the second. This is the third time that the Dutch state has prosecuted him for “hate speech”. The first ended in a mistrial due to prosecutorial misconduct. In the second he was acquitted. But the establishment will not be satisfied until it has convicted him and ended his political career, so it is putting him on trial again.

Another friend who is being persecuted by the state is Tommy Robinson, who was one of the founders of the English Defence League and was its leader for five years. Tommy has been brought to court by the British government numerous times. All of those prosecutions — the “hate speech” charges and all the others — were trumped-up affairs carried out for political purposes.

Tommy’s most recent conviction was for “mortgage fraud”, a minor crime for which no one else has done jail time. In fact, members of parliament have done exactly the same thing, but were never even charged. Tommy, on the other hand, was sentenced to eighteen months in prison.

While Tommy was inside, he was locked up with hardened Muslim criminals who wanted to kill him. He was repeatedly attacked and beaten up, and ended up in the prison hospital more than once.

On one occasion he was locked in a cell with several Muslim prisoners. Tommy had learned beforehand that one of them was planning to throw a mixture of boiling water and sugar in his face. This nasty brew is called “napalm” by the criminals who use it, and it can cause horrible burns, much worse than those caused by simple boiling water. Tommy acted pre-emptively and beat up the man who intended to throw it on him.

It is this incident for which he was recently charged. Thanks to the efforts of a group of women who through crowd-funding raised more than enough money, Tommy was for the first time able to retain a top-notch lawyer. He was acquitted and is now a free man.

The real issue behind all these arrests is that Tommy speaks the truth about the danger to the British people posed by Islam. But he is no longer being prosecuted for “hate speech” offenses — the state does not want the substance of what he says to aired in an open courtroom and discussed in the national media. Therefore other types of infractions must be found and other charges brought. The current case against him is simply the latest example of the repressive tactics being employed by the totalitarian British state.

So here’s the plan: Lock up the most charismatic leader the British Counterjihad has. Put him in with his most dangerous enemies — Muslim criminals who have promised to kill him. Make sure that the guards are absent or looking the other way when the trouble starts. Then, as far as the sharia-compliant British state is concerned, the problem has been solved.

The UK, like all the other enlightened governments of Western Europe, has abolished the death penalty. But there’s more than one way to kill a political nuisance — you don’t have to march him up the steps to the gibbet, put the noose around his neck, and open the trapdoor under him.

What is happening to Tommy Robinson is capital punishment by alternative means.

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You Need to Know About Tom Perez: Likely Hillary VP Opposes First Amendment

Tom-PerezPJ Media, by Robert Spencer, April 26, 2016:

Could the next president of the United States be neither Clinton, Trump, Cruz, or Kasich … but Thomas Perez?

It’s far more likely than you might think. Even before any candidate definitively secures either party’s presidential nomination, 2016 is looking more and more like 1912 all over again.

In that fateful year, Theodore Roosevelt — after four years of bored retirement — decided that he wanted to be president again. However, Roosevelt’s handpicked successor, William Howard Taft, refused to yield. Because of the split, even though the Democrats’ dour, arrogant Woodrow Wilson won fewer popular votes than perennial failed Democratic candidate William Jennings Bryan did in 1908, Wilson won.

Roosevelt and Taft divided what would have been a comfortable winning tally for the Republicans. Today, the #NeverTrump and #OnlyTrump forces seem determined to replay that scenario.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, it could well be 1944 all over again.

That year, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was virtually assured of victory over the strutting New York prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey. The real race was at the Democratic convention — for vice president. Everyone knew FDR was gravely ill, and that the vice presidential nominee would likely become president sometime before the 1948 election.

Sitting Vice President Henry Wallace was ultimately cast aside in favor of Harry Truman, largely because Democratic Party leaders were alarmed at the prospect of a Communist sympathizer like Wallace becoming president. (How times have changed, at least in that respect.)

Hillary Clinton is 68, and beset by a persistent cough that she has never adequately explained. According to Ed Klein, author of Unlikeable: The Problem with Hillary, she also suffers from “blinding headaches, exhaustion, insomnia, and a tremor in her hands.”

If Hillary goes unindicted (as seems likely, given that the Justice Department has been hiring based solely on left-leaning ideology) for her mishandling of classified material on her private email server, the deep split in the Republican Party makes it likely that she will be the next president.

Unless her health prevents her from remaining in office.

Given her apparent health issues (and the fact that her rival for the nomination, Bernie Sanders, is 74 years old), the Democrats’ choice for vice president could be their most important since 1944.

If Clinton became unable to serve prior the election, the obvious move for the Democrats would be to promote her vice presidential nominee to the presidential slot — and it will not be Bernie. Hillary has not yet announced her choice, but one name that has been bruited about for months as one of her most likely running mates is Tom Perez, the secretary of Labor.

The notion that Perez, or whomever the Democratic vice presidential nominee turns out to be, could become president of the United States on January 20, 2017 — or sometime thereafter — is not just a remote possibility.

Americans who value freedom should find the prospects of a Clinton and a Perez presidency equally chilling. Clinton and Perez have a shared distaste for freedom of speech: Hillary’s implicit but unmistakable opposition has been abundantly documented, whereas Perez’s distaste for the First Amendment seems even starker. In July 2012, Perez — then the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, was asked by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ):

Will you tell us here today that this administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?

Perez could have simply answered yes, and maybe even cited the First Amendment. Instead, Perez refused to answer the question directly. Franks persisted, ultimately asking it four times.

Perez at one point responded that it was a “hard question.” He simply refused to affirm that the Obama Justice Department would not attempt to criminalize criticism of Islam.

As it turned out, the DOJ didn’t need to — due to Hillary Clinton’s advice. Clinton called for Americans to embrace “old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

The mainstream media now marches in lockstep on this issue. Most Americans are too cowed to speak out against the advancing jihad and the accommodation of Sharia principles that are inimical to American freedoms, as they are afraid of being branded as “racists,” “bigots,” and “Islamophobes.” A Clinton-inspired culture of “peer pressure and shaming” is working beautifully to intimidate Americans. Many simply have adopted her values, now believing it’s morally unacceptable to oppose jihad terror and to speak honestly about its ideological wellsprings.

President Hillary Clinton — or President Thomas Perez — would only continue this trend, working to restrict the freedom of speech even further. Perhaps they would do away with their equivocating over the First Amendment and actually attempt to enshrine in law that disturbing yet increasingly popular slogan: “Hate speech is not free speech.”

The authority given the power to determine what constitutes hate speech would wield tyrannical control over the rest of us, able to work its will unopposed by criminalizing dissent.

The very real possibility that a new Democratic administration could enact hate speech laws that would effectively nullify the First Amendment, destroying the free society that the freedom of speech makes possible, makes the 2016 presidential election the most important of our age. And a terrible time for a split in the Republican ranks.

Also see:

The Death of Free Speech: The West Veils Itself

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, April 26, 2016

  • The West has capitulated on freedom of expression. Nobody in the West launched the motto “Je Suis Avijit Roy,” the name of the first of the several bloggers butchered, flogged or jailed last year for criticizing Islam.
  • Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, sided with the Turks. She condemned the German comedian’s poem, called it a “deliberate insult,” then approved the filing of criminal charges against him for insulting the Turkish president.
  • The West is veiling its freedom of speech in the confrontation with the Islamic world: this is the story of Salman Rushdie, of the Danish cartoons, of Theo van Gogh, of Charlie Hebdo.
  • Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, just released an interview with Italy’s largest newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, where he suggested a kind of grand bargain: We Iranians will discuss with you our human rights situation if you Europeans suppress freedom of expression on Islam.

Last week, Nazimuddin Samad sat at his computer at home and penned a few critical lines against the Islamist drift of his country, Bangladesh. The day after, Samad was approached by four men shouting “Allahu Akbar!” (“Allah is great!”) and hacked him to death with machetes.

These killings have become routine in Bangladesh, where many bloggers, journalists and publishers are being killed in broad daylight because of their criticism of Islam. There is a hit list with 84 names of “satanic bloggers.” A wave of terrorism against journalists reminiscent of that in Algeria, where 60 journalists were killed by Islamist armed groups between 1993 and 1997.

But these shocking killings have not been worth of a single line in Europe’s newspapers.

Is it because these bloggers are less famous than the cartoonists murdered at Charlie Hebdo? Is it because their stories did not come from the City of Light, Paris, but from one of the poorest and darkest cities in the world, Dhaka?

No, it is because the West has capitulated on freedom of expression. Nobody in the West launched the motto “Je Suis Avijit Roy,” the name of the first of these bloggers butchered last year.

From Bangladesh, we now receive photos of writers in pools of blood, laptops seized by police looking for “evidence” and keyboards burned by the Islamists. We receive images reminiscent of the riots in Bradford, England, over Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses in 1989, ten years after the Ayatollah Khomeini had revolutionized Iran into a stronghold of Islamic extremism.

Yet the stories of these bloggers from outside Europe remain shrouded by a ghastly transparency, as if their death has been only virtual, as if the internet had become their grave, as if these fallen bloggers did not deserve the virality of social networks.

There is also the case of Raif Badawi, in Saudi Arabia, sentenced to 1,000 lashes, ten years in jail and a fine of $270,000 for blogging thoughts such as , “My commitment is…to reject any repression in the name of religion…a goal that we will reach in a peaceful and law-abiding way.” The lashing order added that he should be “lashed very severely.” In addition to that, Badawi’s human rights lawyer, Walid Abu al-Khayr, was sentenced on July 6, 2014, to 10 years in prison. He was accused of: “inciting public opinion,” “disobedience in matters of the sovereign,” “lack of respect in dealings with the authorities,” “offense of the judicial system,” “inciting international organizations against the Saudi kingdom” and, finally, for having founded illegally, or without authorization, his association “Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.” He was also forbidden to travel for fifteen years after his release, and fined 200,000 riyals ($53,000) according to Abdullah al-Shihri of the Associated Press.

Also in Saudi Arabia, in a clear violation of international law, according to Amnesty International, on March 24, the journalist Alaa Brinji was sentenced to five years in prison, an eight year travel ban and a fine of $13,000 for a few tweets allegedly “insulting the rulers,” inciting public opinion,” and “accusing security officers of killing protestors in Awamiyya,” the kingdom’s eastern province where the oil fields and the Shiites are.

Unfortunately, Western governments never raise Badawi’s case when they visit Saudi Arabia’s rulers, and turn a blind eye to the way this country treats its own citizens.

Look also at what happened not in the poor and Islamic Bangladesh, but in the wealthy and secularized Germany, where a comedian named Jan Böhmermann mocked and insulted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a television show. The prosecutor of Mainz just opened a case against Böhmermann under paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code, which provides up to years of jail for insulting a foreign head of state. Chancellor Angela Merkel sided with the Turks. She condemned the comedian’s poem, called it a “deliberate insult,” then approved the prosecution against him.

Meanwhile, the German public television station, Zdf, removed the video from their website, and Böhmermann raised the white flag by suspending his show. The comedian, after Islamist death threats, got police protection.

The West is veiling its freedom of speech in the confrontation with the Islamic world: this is the story of Salman Rushdie, of the Danish cartoons, of Theo van Gogh, of Charlie Hebdo.

Theo van Gogh (left) was murdered by an Islamist because he made a film critical of Islam. Salman Rushdie (right) was lucky to stay alive, spending many years in hiding, under police protection, after Iran’s Supreme Leader ordered his murder because he considered Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses “blasphemous.”

A few weeks ago, at Rome’s Capitoline Museum, a famous repository of Western antiquities, the government of Italy called for “respect” for the sensibilities of Iran’s Rouhani and placed large boxes over nude sculptures.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammed Javad Zarif, just released an interview with Italy’s largest newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera, where he suggested a kind of grand bargain: We Iranians will discuss with you our human rights’ situation if you Europeans suppress freedom of expression on Islam: “Human rights are reason for concern for everyone,” Zarif said. “We are ready to dialogue. We shall make our observations on alienation of the Muslim communities in many European societies, or how freedom of expression is abused to desecrate the symbols of Islam.”

And that is exactly what is happening right now — of course with no mention of how freedom of speech or human rights are abused in “many Muslim societies.” Or how violent repression there “is abused to desecrate the symbols of the free world.”

The Iranian ayatollahs recently added to the bounty over the head of Salman Rushdie. And as it happened with Saudi Arabia’s or Bangladesh’s bloggers, nobody in Europe protested and Mrs. Merkel has been willing to abandon the German comedian to the authocratic Islamist Turks.

In Pakistan, a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, is now fighting for her life in prison, where, condemned to death for “blashemy,” she is waiting to know her own fate. European public opinion, which is always generous in rallying against “the persecution of minorities,” did not fill the streets and the squares to protest Asia Bibi’s imprisonment.

Further, for Europe’s journalists and writers, it has become increasingly difficult to find publishers. This is true of, for instance, Caroline Fourest, author of the French book “Eloge du blasphème.” “The treatment of her work by the publishing industry shows how much has been lost” wrote the British journalist, Nick Cohen. “No Anglo-Saxon publisher would touch it, and only fear can explain the rejection letters.”

“No American or British publisher has been willing to publish the book” Mrs. Fourest told this author. “‘There is no market for this book’, I was repeatedly told, to justify their desire not to touch something explosive. It was an important project which Salman Rushdie tried to sponsor with his own publishing houses. It is alarming because more and more I see that my colleagues behave as useful idiots.”

Europe is also suppressing freedom of expression for the very few moderate Islamic voices. On January 31, 2016, an Algerian writer named Kamel Daoud published an article in the French newspaper Le Monde on the events in Cologne. What Cologne showed, says Daoud, is how sex is “the greatest misery in the world of Allah.” A few days later, Le Monde ran a response by sociologists, historians and anthropologists who accused Daoud of of being an “Islamophobe,” Jeanne Favret-Saada, an orientalist at the Ecole pratique des hautes études, wrote that Daoud “spoke as the European far right.” Daoud has been defended only by a few other Arab writers exiled in Europe.

The affair is the mirror of Europe’s forsakening freedom of expression: a great Arab writer expresses precious truths and the mainstream European media and intellectualism, instead of protecting Daoud while Islamists threatened him with death, press the novelist to choose silence.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

University Spikes Lecture Due to ‘Hateful’ Chalk Messages Criticizing Terrorists

Nonie-Darwish-facebook-photo-640x480

Breitbart, by John Hayward, April 21, 2016:

It’s yet another story of politically-correct lunacy involving a university losing its collective cookies over chalk writings, but this time the “hateful” speech isn’t Donald Trump’s name.

It’s the question: “Why do terrorists hate America?”

That message, repeated in chalk advertisements and flyers, is the reason Wingate University in North Carolina cited when revoking the funding for a lecture by Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim of Egyptian descent. She is the author of several books, including Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad For America, Israel, and the War on Terror, and most recently The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East.

An administrator for Wingate University emailed Young Americans for Freedom, organizers of the event, to say that chalk advertisements for the lecture were of “extreme concern.”

“Concerns have also come to my attention regarding ‘flyers’ that have been posted around campus and although I have not seen them personally, this in conjunction with the concern of a number of individuals that have reached out to me is yet again concerning,” the administrator added.

Evidently not a matter of concern was the administrator’s admission that she hadn’t even seen the concerning messages that made her concerned enough to pull the plug on the concerning lecture this uncertain number of unnamed individuals expressed their concerns about.

The flyers and chalk drawings in question included the title of Darwish’s lecture: “Why Terrorists Hate America and the West.”

“We do not promote and/or associate hate with a Faith Lyceum event,” the administrator declared — an interesting standard, given that the Lyceum program compares itself to Aristotle’s lectures, boasts of airing “big ideas,” and claims to be a program “designed to expose students to ideas and opportunities they don’t have in the classroom.”

“I am requesting that you immediately remove all flyers that promote this event as a Lyceum and would ask that you remove all chalk advertisements as well,” the administrator told the YAF. “With this no longer being a Lyceum, I also am no longer able to fund this event and ask that you please plan accordingly.”

The Wingate YAF denounced the administrator’s decision as “cowardly” and “stepped in to pay the additional cost in order to ensure that students at Wingate University will have the opportunity to hear Nonie Darwish speak.”

“There are constant attempts to silence us by many Islamic organizations. We are the No. 1 target of jihadists and ISIS sympathizers who are now in all fifty states,” Darwish told Fox News just a few weeks ago, when discussing the fatwa (Islamic religious edict) that has been issued for her death.

She said “we” because the Fox report discussed five other women sentenced to death by Islamist edicts. One of them, cartoonist Molly Norris, was literally erased from society by a tidal wave of death threats, and a fatwa from Al-Qaeda guru Anwar al-Awlaki, because she drew unpublished images of Mohammed that were leaked onto the Internet. “There is no more Molly,” her erstwhile publisher Seattle Weekly wrote, by way of bidding her farewell when she went into hiding.

Apparently the jihad sympathizers Darwish spoke of are active at Wingate University, and their “concerns” are taken very seriously by the administration.

Turkey: Erdogan’s Thin-Skinned Government

Gatestone Institute, by Robbie Travers, April 20, 2016:

  • Is there any other person you trust to decide which ideas and speech you are entitled to hear — or which are too dangerous for you to hear?
  • The thin-skinned government of Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has in the past two years opened at least 1,845 cases over insults to the president.
  • Turkey’s World Press Freedom Index ranking has plummeted to 149 out of 180, below Zimbabwe (131) and Burundi (145).
  • Despite the ruling of Turkey’s judicial system that Erdogan could not eliminate access to Twitter, he nevertheless continues to advance his agenda of censorship. He pledges to “eradicate Twitter” which, according to him, encourages “blasphemy and criticism of the Turkish government.”

Is there any other person you trust to decide which ideas and speech you are entitled to hear — or which are too dangerous for you to hear?

Is there any other person you think should have the ability to decide what criticism of the Government is respectful enough?

Would you cede your autonomy to decide what you to hear to a Government? Probably not.

The Turkish government does not agree. Evidently Turkey’s AKP Government in Ankara believes it is fit to be this authority, and not just domestically. Its urge to censor negative press seems to be going global.

The Government of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara recently summoned the German ambassador to demand the deletion of a satirical music video which highlighted his government’s aggression against the Kurdish people, his brutal repression of protestors, and his weak position on equal rights for women. Turkey also insisted that a German comedian be prosecuted under an obscure German law for insulting the leader of a foreign country.

Turkey seems to be spending more time policing the image of Erdogan abroad than the serious security situation it is facing.

Turkey’s latest authoritarian crackdown on the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the country’s path towards an increasingly Islamist, authoritarian government.

Erdogan’s renowned thin-skinned government has, in the past two years, opened at least 1,845 cases over insults to the president, such as, for instance, comparing the president to Gollum fromLord of the Rings.

Last year, Dr. Bilgin Ciftci of Turkey posted photos on Twitter juxtaposing President Erdogan with the fictional character Gollum. Ciftci was immediately fired from the hospital where he worked. Then he was brought to court for insulting Erdogan, an offense punishable by up to four years in prison.

In March, a court placed the newspaper Zaman in the control of state administrators, with no clear reason given, arguably breaching Article Three of the European Convention of Human Rights:

“2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

“(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;”

Zaman has apparently never received information of the charges against it, or the reason for the court order placing its activities and infrastructure under state control — moves breaching further sections of Article 3, which specify the right to be able to “construct a defence”. Without knowing what charges it faces, Zaman is unable to do that.

In addition, Turkey’s World Press Freedom Index ranking has plummeted to 149 out of 180: below Zimbabwe (131) and Burundi (145).

Turkey also continues to imprison possibly the highest number of journalists of any nation — according the Committee to Protect Journalists, the assessed number is 14 out of 199, worldwide. Other sources claim the number is closer to 30, and still others suggest that Turkey has had the greatest number of incarcerated journalists globally.

Whatever the true number, it is shameful that a NATO member, pledged to uphold the values of democracy as a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), ranks among some of the worst abusers of press freedom, including Iran, China and Saudi Arabia.

The Turkish government led by Erdogan seems to be undergoing a public transformation into an increasingly totalitarian state. Turkey has been abandoning the pro-Western principles of Kemalism and pivoting, with a more oppressive and expansionist outlook, toward Ottoman Islam.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was willing and overtly “proud’ to show solidarity with the massacred Charlie Hebdo satirists in Paris by joining the Marche Republicaine against those who would attack freedom of speech. At home, however, Davutoglu pursues a domestic agenda that not only infringes upon media freedom, but also on the freedoms of individual citizens in fundamental breaches of ECHR legislation. Davutoglu, for example, has suggested women being equal to men causes suicides.

Turkey has also attempted, during Erdogan’s period of governance, to ban both Twitter — for “incit[ing] political dissent” — and YouTube — for “promot[ing] the act of religious defamation (article 216).” Erdogan blocked Twitter during responses to terror attacks and public protests, and attempted to quell any protest against his government.

Under the pretense of “counter terrorism,” Erdogan has repeatedly been attempting to strangle the channels of discussion and the organizing of protests.

In any state claiming that protests are linked to terrorism and blasphemy is unjustifiable. These are classic intimidatory tactics. They illustrate why the West must begin to criticize Erdogan’s regime to a greater extent on its infringement on freedom of speech, rather than to make deals with it.

Had Charlie Hebdo been a Turkish publication, its material would most likely have been branded illegal or brought under state control: it would likely no longer exist.

Despite the ruling by Turkey’s judiciary that Erdogan could not eliminate access to Twitter, he nevertheless continues to advance his agenda of censorship.

This position Erdogan holds, of branding opposition to his regime as blasphemy, creates a religious divide between those who are “pure” and those who are “dangerous.” Further, as mentioned, the notion that an idea is too politically toxic to be discussed contravenes the principles of free speech and freedom of expression that Turkey pledged as a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights.

Turkey’s lurch to establish its government as some form of unassailable authority beyond questioning again breaches the ECHR, this time Article 9:

“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. “

Turkey is also likely to fall afoul of Article 10 of the ECHR:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Turkey’s blocking of social media, which targets communication with the outside world, also clearly infringes on the “regardless of frontiers” stipulation.

And finally, Turkey’s actions are also clearly in breach of Article 11

“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”

The European Union and the liberal democracies have remained silent on Turkey’s aggressive campaign against civil liberties. But it is time to stop betraying Turkish liberals, democrats and Kurdish people facing persecution for their views — before it comes “soon to a theater near you.”

Countries in the West sometimes seem to fantasize that Turkey, with half of Istanbul in Europe, can therefore can modernized, be become progressive and work with the West.

They distance themselves and turn a blind eye to the Turkish government’s assaults on human rights. Before Turkey is capitulated to even further, or again considered for membership in the European Union, shining a serious light on the country seems long overdue.

Robbie Travers, a political commentator and consultant, is Executive Director of Agora, former media manager at the Human Security Centre, and a law student at the University of Edinburgh.

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John Oliver – Insulting Erdogan

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Video: Robert Spencer on how Islam killed free speech in 30 years

Published on Apr 18, 2016 by Vlad Tepes

This is a presentation by Robert Spencer given to an invite-only group in Montreal on April 14 2016. He spoke mainly on how Islam and Islamic organizations plan to, and systematically do attack, freedom of speech world wide.

Video: Robert Spencer explains the “Islamophobia” scam

olJihad  Watch, by Robert Spencer, April 11, 2016:

Here is the first part of my new video series, The Basics of Islam, an introduction to many of the most important aspects of the struggle against the global jihad. This one is about “Islamophobia” and the Islamic jihad against the freedom of speech.