Free Speech Champions Fight Back Against OSCE ‘Islamophobia’ Industry

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf

Center for Security Policy, by Clare Lopez, October 13, 2016:

The ‘Islamophobia’ industry’s all-out assault on free speech was on full display at the recent annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) in Warsaw, Poland. The Center’s VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez and Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin attended the 26-27 September 2016 session, along with Debra Anderson, ACT! For America Chapter leader in Minnesota, Dave Petteys, ACT! Chapter leader from Colorado and key European colleagues Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf from Austria, Henrik Clausen from Denmark, and Alain Wagner from France.

Center VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez

Center VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is a 57-member regional security organization with representatives from North America, Europe and Asia. It describes itself as a ‘forum for political dialogue on a wide range of security issues’ whose approach encompasses ‘politico-military, economic and environmental, and human dimensions’. The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is an office within the OSCE that claims to be dedicated to democratic elections, respect for human rights, rule of law, tolerance, and non-discrimination.

Their stated overall objective is helping governments protect and promote human rights, fundamental freedoms and tolerance and non-discrimination, as well as to improve and strengthen democratic practices and institutions. Except that the actual theme of the two-day proceedings had a lot more to do with countering ‘hate crime,’ criminalizing ‘hate speech,’ and demonizing ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘Islamophobes’ than it did with genuinely championing the right to believe, live, and speak freely.

Of course, the campaign to shut down free speech when it’s about Islam is very much in line with the top agenda item of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation), which is to achieve the criminalization of criticism of Islam in national legal codes. Gagging criticism of Islam is also what the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 tries to do. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked hard to make that happen in the U.S. and around the world when she promoted the Istanbul Process. The idea is to use existing laws against ‘incitement to violence,’ but in a novel way that applies a so-called ‘test of consequences.’ That is, if someone, somewhere, sometime decides what somebody said somewhere, sometime is offensive and then launches a ‘Day of Rage,’ or goes on a lawless rampage destroying property, injuring or killing people, guess whose fault that would be? Under the ‘test of consequences’ speech code, that would be the speaker.

Center Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin

Center Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin

Notably, though, the Islamophobia crowd seemed to be very much on the defensive at this OSCE meeting. Their crouch-and-whine posture most likely had to do with the accelerating numbers of horrific Islamic terror attacks, whose trail of carnage and destruction is splashed across screens around the world for all to see. Along with those visuals comes increasing awareness on the part of more and more ordinary people that when they yell ‘Allahu Akbar,’ it doesn’t mean ‘Hail to the Redskins’: it means they are committing that attack in the name of Allah and Islam.

The ‘Islamophobia’ industry has neither the ability nor actual wish to stop jihad but it sure does wish so many were not putting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and Islamic terror together and then speaking out about it. The only recourse left to them is trying desperately to shut down free speech—including places like the U.S. where free speech is Constitutionally-protected. As CSP Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin puts it:

This is a direct extraterritorial demand that non-Muslim jurisdictions submit to Islamic law and implement shariah-based punishment over time. In other words, the OIC is set on making it an enforceable crime for non-Muslim people anywhere in the world—including the United States—to say anything about Islam that Islam does not permit.

In other words, what they’re trying to do is enforce shariah’s law on slander – on us, on everyone, whether Muslim or not.

That effort at the Warsaw OSCE meeting went at it by various means: there was a great deal of emphasis on equating Islamophobia with ‘racism’ (but a new kind – not based on skin color), ‘bigotry,’ and violation of ‘human rights.’ Pouty complaints were heard about ‘feeling discriminated against,’ ‘marginalized,’ and the object of ‘hard looks’ because of wearing a hijab. When legal eagle Steve Coughlin and Danish defender Henrik Clausen demanded a specific legal definition of the term ‘Islamophobia,’ they were assailed for…you guessed it, ‘Islamophobia’! Needless to say, there was no legal definition forthcoming (because ‘everybody knows what it means’).

‘Islamophobia’ hysteria reached peak during the OSCE’s second day plenary session, where the Turkish General Secretary of the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO), Bashy Qurayshi, came unglued with a plaintive wail that ‘Islamophobes’ who’d been permitted to infiltrate the OSCE were “lying, ranting and attempting to spread hatred at this conference.” He even threw in a reference to such ‘Islamophobes’ as ‘Nazis,’ at which point senior representatives at the OSCE head table actually broke into applause.

By way of counterpoint, however, it must be added that many delegates from Civil Society organizations throughout the OSCE membership area—including atheists, Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons—firmly pressed the case for free speech. We know that they took encouragement from our presence and outspokenness, even as we did from theirs.

The ‘Islamophobia’ crown went home from Warsaw in the sure knowledge that their attempts to silence free speech about Islam have stirred a gathering force of liberty’s champions who will not be silenced.

For more coverage of this year’s OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, including photos and video, please see Gates of Vienna at

Clare M. Lopez is the Vice President for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy


You can also see all the videos here

The Anti-Free Speech Mayor

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

City Journal, by Benjamin Weingarten, October 6, 2016:

New York mayor Bill de Blasio is focused like a laser on the important things: namely, ensuring that open and honest discussion about Islam is chilled. At the end of September, the de Blasio administration and the NYC Commission on Human Rights announced a campaign to combat “hateful speech [that] has made Muslim residents the target of misguided attacks and threats, especially in the aftermath of terrorist incidents.”

De Blasio’s office hasn’t quantified the scourge of hateful rhetoric toward Muslims in New York City, likely because it is unquantifiable. The best argument the mayor can make for his new initiative is that “reports of attacks and threats against Muslims have surged nationally,” this despite the FBI’s most recent hate-crime figures showing once again that a disproportionate percentage of all hate crimes were driven by anti-Jewish bias, by 57 percent to 16 percent versus anti-Islamic bias.

To make the claim that conditions are particularly hostile for Muslims in New York, the mayor offers that the Commission on Human Rights has “increased investigations into discrimination based on race, national origin, and religion in New York City by more than 60 percent over the last two years.” Presumably, the city would have shown a specific increase in actual bias crimes against New York Muslims if the data actually backed its narrative.

De Blasio’s new program explicitly calls for countering “negative rhetoric,” which means that it is speech that his office seeks to police. Nowhere does de Blasio explain where he gets the right as mayor to use taxpayer dollars to challenge speech he doesn’t like and that his office can’t even quantify. Further, how is it within the purview of an elected official to promote a particular religious group in the first place? The press-release language is drafted nicely to say that the mayor’s office is promoting “respect, understanding, and support” for the city’s Muslim communities, rather than Islam itself. But the mayor’s office is partnering with the Islamic Center at NYU on a new “cultural competency initiative” called “Understanding Islam.” The purpose? “[T]o help City employees and public and private employers citywide better understand the Islamic faith and to dispel common myths.” One can imagine the howls about separation of church and state that a city initiative to help employees better understand the Catholic or Jewish faiths would provoke.

Equally disturbing is de Blasio’s meeting of the minds with London mayor Sadiq Khan, who has ties to several Islamic supremacists, and has supported policies consistent with Sharia law. In mid-September, de Blasio and Khan spoke with Muslim leaders and community members about how New York and other cities “can better address Islamophobia and prevent hate crimes and other acts of discrimination.” Preventing crime is a laudable goal. Policing “Islamophobia,” however, means, in effect, enforcing Islamic law—with its radically different understanding of intellectual freedom—over and above our First Amendment rights.

There’s precedent for de Blasio’s actions. For over a decade, the 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) has been promoting a plan of actionfor “combating Islamophobia,” including “call[ing] upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.” In 2011, then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton gave the U.S. imprimatur to the OIC-drafted UN Human Rights Coalition (HRC) Resolution 16/18 consistent with this agenda, which calls for, “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.”

Wittingly or unwittingly, New York is enforcing a plan that conforms with the stated aims of the foremost supranational Islamic political body, consistent with Sharia speech-code standards and to the detriment of free-speech rights. Earlier this year, the NYPD purged valuable resources produced by its intelligence division that forthrightly described the Islamic supremacist ideology. Now, the de Blasio administration is committing to combat free speech, publicly support Islam, and educate New Yorkers on the religion’s purportedly true meaning. We’re in the best of hands.

Hillary Clinton officially on record as supporting the implementation of sharia over the Constitution

Understanding the Threat, by John  Guandolo, October 6, 2016:

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is the largest voting bloc in the United Nations (UN), and is comprised of all Islamic States on the planet – 56 states plus Palestine which they consider an equal.

57 states.  Ring any bells?

The OIC is considered the “Collective Voice of the Muslim World.”

In 1993, the OIC officially served the Cairo Declaration to the UN.  It was approved by the Heads of State and Kings of the Islamic nations in the world.

The Cairo Declaration begins with:

“Recognizing the importance of issuing a Document on Human Rights in Islam that will serve as a guide for Member states in all aspects of life.”

The Cairo Declaration ends with:

ARTICLE 24:  All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’ah.

ARTICLE 25:  The Islamic Shari’ah is the only source of reference for the explanation or clarification of any of the articles of this Declaration.

At the Head of State and King level, the entire Muslim world under the OIC legally told the world that “Human Rights” in the Muslim world is defined by sharia (Islamic law).  Meaning:  killing those who leave Islam, homosexuals, and those who fail to convert or submit to Islam is all a part of the Islamic understanding of “human rights.”

The OIC “Ten Year Programme of Action” (2005) calls for governments of the world to Combat Islamophobia, which is hammer to implement the Islamic law of Slander (“To say anything about a Muslim he would dislike”).  Slander in Islam is a capital crime.

Specifically, paragraph VII “Combating Islamophobia” sub paragraph (3) reads:

“Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.” (emphasis added)

UN Resolution 1618, approved in March 2011, is a non-binding resolution which calls on governments to outlaw all speech that “constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence” toward religion, on the rationale that such speech could provoke “religious hatred” in direct conflict with the U.S. Constitution and Federal Code.

Who advocated on behalf of the OIC for silencing “Islamophobia?”  Mrs. Clinton.

Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary General of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary General of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu

On July 15, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking to the OIC in Istanbul, Turkey stated:  “I want to applaud the Organization of Islamic Conference and the European Union for helping pass Resolution 1618 at the Human Rights Council…So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing anti-discrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

In December 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the “Istanbul Process” a major initiative and partnered with the OIC to directly support UN Resolution 1618.

Hillary Clinton is, therefore, officially on record as supporting the implementation of sharia (Islamic Law) over the Constitution and U.S. Federal Code, and silencing all those who speak up about the dangers of Islam and sharia.

EMISCO and the Ongoing Push Against “Islamophobia” by the OSCE


Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey Sept. 26, 2016:

The following report was written by the Counterjihad Collective after several members attended an EMISCO side event today at the OSCE/HDIM conference in Warsaw.

bulentsenayThe forum was structured so that the closing statements, given by Bülent Şenay, were delivered after the question-and-answer period to ensure a final word. The panel seemed defensive, with panel members making strident statements about various political parties, labeling them as “racist” and “Islamophobic”. Building on narratives emphasized in 2014, their efforts were aimed at escalating the Islamophobia rhetoric in the guise of racism and gender, with all of the women appearing in head coverings, amid a constant reference to the wearing of headscarves. Also of note was a peculiar omission: the materials associated with side event did not provide the names of the briefers.

Because EMISCO and the Turkish complement were force to acknowledge that the term “Islamophobia” lacks a definition, this question was presented again in this forum. The other question concerned the definition of “new form of racism not based on skin color” and “manifestations of racism” as well. The panel did not answer the question on racism. Quraishy answered that Islamophobia was not about reasonable disagreements. In his closing remarks, however, Bülent Şenay became visibly agitated, went off his prepared notes (he said) and forcefully declared that our asking the question was both Islamophobic and ridiculous because “we all know what it means” and hence “I won’t define it.” He went on to insist, however, that “we must define Islamophobia as a crime.” Of course, defining Islamophobia is an issue because criminalizing an activity that lacks a definition is a serious civil rights and verges on the criminalization of thought.

Professor Bülent Şenay speaks under color of some authority, which makes his observations something more than just the comments of a professor. The professor sits on the OSCE Human Rights Advisory Council, is a founding member of the Governing Board of EMISCO, and was the Diplomatic Counsel¬or for Religious and Cultural Affairs at the Turkish Embassy in The Hague from 2008 to 2012. In September 2013, Professor Şenay oversaw the drafting of a declaration that defined Islamophobia as “a groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims” that is “detrimental to international peace” such that there “should be recogni¬tion of Islamophobia as a hate crime and Islamophobic attitudes as human rights violations.” The declaration was written for the “International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media” in Istanbul, which was co-sponsored by Turkey’s Directorate General of Press and Information and the OIC. At the conference, Turkish President Erdoğan stated that “Islamophobia” is a “kind of racism” that is “a crime against humanity.” In 2014, Şenay felt comfortable chiding the Western audience by saying, “if I were to present a particular favor, this would be the title, ‘A New Cultural ISIS — International Strong Ignorance Syndrome’” as he presented his briefing with the title, “Is¬lamophobia in the 21st Century: International Strong IgnoranceSyndrome in Europe (ISIS).” In doing so, Şenay was suggesting that the extremism was in the reactions of the West, not in the acts of ISIS.


Stephen Coughlin at OSCE today by Vlad Tepes

Some may remember Stephen Coughlin’s intervention at a 2015 OSCE meeting where they openly admitted that hate speech should be a criminal matter and that the truth can indeed be hate speech.

Stephen went back to the OSCE “Human Development Implementation Meeting” today and spoke again to this committee, who seem bound and determined to use the language of cultural-Marxism to turn free societies into totalitarian Marxist and communist ones.


Clare Lopez on Islamic antisemitism at the OSCE – Turkish response follows by Vlad Tepes

This is Clare Lopez’s presentation at the OSCE, the European body that seeks to criminalize criticism of Islam as hate speech, today in Warsaw.

According to those watching the conference via live stream, this odd set of remarks by the Turkish delegate was a response to Clare’s presentation, as well as the rest of the interventions by Center for Security Policy personnel.


Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting Warsaw 2106


Tundra Tabloids:

At the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe in Warsaw Poland, Atheists Ireland spokesman denounces the term “Islamofauxbia” as a fraudulent term.


Vlad Tepesblog:

Dave Petties OSCE presentation September 27 2016


Vlad Tepesblog:

Stephen Coughlin OSCE Sept 27

Jordanian writer shot dead outside court after being charged with insulting Islam

Nahed Hattar was killed after being charged with offending Islam

Nahed Hattar was killed after being charged with offending Islam

Telegraph, by Sept. 25, 2016:

Aprominent Jordanian writer was shot dead by a suspected Islamist gunman on Sunday outside the courtroom where he was due to stand trial for offending Islam by sharing a cartoon on Facebook.

Nahed Hattar, a 56-year-old intellectual from Jordan’s Christian minority, was gunned down on the steps of a courthouse in Amman in what appeared to be a religiously motivated attack.

The gunman was arrested at the scene and a Jordanian security source identified him as Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old imam who was wearing traditional Islamic robes at the time of the shooting.

The alleged shooter recently returned from making the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia, the source said. The gunman is believed to have acted alone rather than as part of an organised group.

The high-profile murder is a fresh blow to Jordan’s image as a bastion of stability amid the sectarian violence that is wracking much of the Middle East and the latest in a long string of killings across the world linked to cartoons about Islam.

Mr Hattar was arrested in August for sharing a cartoon on his Facebook page which showed a jihadist smoking in bed with two women while Allah waits attentively at the window for him.

The jihadist orders Allah to fetch him some wine and take away the dirty plates while demanding the archangel Gabriel get him some cashew nuts.

Mr Hattar said the cartoon was intended to mock jihadists and their twisted interpretation of Islam but Jordan’s government charged him with insulting the faith and “provoking sectarian rifts”.

The writer rejected the charges and planned to fight the case. If convicted, he could have faced up to three years in prison.

“I am mocking the terrorists and their conception of hell and heaven,” Mr Hattar wrote shortly before his death. “I’m not insulting the supreme Allah, at all, on the contrary, I’m against the type of God that the terrorists worship.

Nahed Hattar was shot outside a courthouse and died in hospital in Amman CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RAAD ADAYLEH

Nahed Hattar was shot outside a courthouse and died in hospital in Amman CREDIT: AP PHOTO/RAAD ADAYLEH

Mr Hattar’s family immediately blamed Jordan’s government for failing to protect the writer, saying the decision to publicly charge him with offending Islam had made him a target for Muslim extremists.

“We hold the Ministry of Interior responsible,” said Jamal Attar, a cousin. “This is the first assassination in Jordan that targets a person over nothing but his opinion, for freedom of speech.”

Jordan’s government condemned his murder, calling it an “ugly crime” and promised “investigating the incident and holding the criminal accountable for his offense”.

Christians make up only around 4 per cent of Jordan’s 8 million residents but they live in relative affluence and usually in peace with country’ Muslim majority.

Nine seats in the 130-seat parliament are reserved for them and they hold prominent positions in the business sector and Jordan, a key Western ally, presents itself as a staunch defender of minority groups.

During his speech to the United Nations last week, Jordan’s King Abdullah said: “Every citizen is guaranteed the state’s protection for their lives, families, properties, honour, privacy, and freedom of religion and thought.”

But many diplomats and analysts worry that that the Jordanian government’s tolerant rhetoric is at odds with wide swathes of religious extremism in the country.

“Jordan’s leaders are reticent to acknowledge domestic radicalisation, including self-radicalisation,” the US State Department said in a report in June.

Around 2,000 Jordanians crossed the border to fight in Syria in 2015, according to the Soufan Group, making Jordan one of the largest per capita sources of foreign fighters.

Mr Hattar was a regular columnist for al-Akhbar, a pan-Arab newspaper based in Lebanon, where he wrote regularly against Islamic extremism.

The Left-wing writer was also a staunch supporter of the Assad regime in Syria. Most of the Jordanian public opposes the Assad regime and supports the opposition and armed rebel groups.   He was arrested several times in Jordan in the 1970s for his outspoken criticism of the Jordanian government.

On a Facebook group formed after his death, some people compared him to other recent artists and intellectuals who fell victim to violent extremism, for example the staff of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo who were killed by gunmen in January 2015.

Others spoke critically of the decision to bring charges against him in the first place.

“The Jordanian authorities who charged Nahed Hattar with ‘insulting Islam’ and the social media storm aroused by the cartoon he shared may not have murdered him but they provided his killers with the ideological ammo to shoot him,” wrote Khaled Diab, an Egyptian-Belgian writer.


Here is the offending cartoon:


Also see:

An Ongoing Affront to Freedom: UN Resolution 16/18 and the Assault on Free Speech

1618webThat Hillary Clinton would bill this resolution as an endorsement of America’s most treasured principles should be deeply alarming.

CounterJihad, Sept. 17, 2016:

Often the worst attacks on liberty are camouflaged with shining names.  United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18, among international governments’ worst assaults on the freedom of speech, was formally titled “Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief.”

Who could be against that?  Certainly not Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, who hosted the conference to help the UNHRC implement this resolution.  She said that the United States was hosting this conference because the resolution captured “our highest values… enshrined in our Constitution.”  In fact, what the Constitution protects is the freedom to criticize any idea – religious or otherwise.  In fact, the Constitution forbids laws that establish any religion as beyond criticism, or as being especially protected by law.

Of course it will be no surprise that the real authors of 16/18 were members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  Hillary Clinton was the Obama administration’s point-person in working with the OIC.  Of course it will come as no surprise that the real thrust of 16/18 is preventing criticism of Islam or Muhammad.  Obama himself said that the future must not belong to those “who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

In fact, 16/18’s original text simply said that it forbade “Defamation of Islam,” and made no mention of defending any other faith.  Following the adoption of the resolution by the High Commissioner of Human Rights, who expanded it to other faiths as well, there was an intense push by the OIC nations to include “Islamophobia” as especially forbidden.  The focus on Islam expanded throughout the period of the resolution’s negotiation.

The UN’s Secretary General went so far as to say that the freedom of speech and expression did not extend to “insulting others.”  He said this in 2012, after the high profile murders of cartoonists critical of Muhammed.   He later claimed that 16/18 limited freedom of speech, which he called a “twisted negative logic,” a logic belonging only to the West and hostile to Islam.

It is an open question whether UN Resolution 16/18 endorses anti-blasphemy laws, but the OIC nations clearly believe that it does.  The fact that Secretary Clinton would bill this resolution as an endorsement of America’s most treasured principles should be deeply alarming.


Mark Christian Moment: Hillary’s Islamization of America. Mark discussed Hillary’s Islamization of America, focusing on Huma Abedin, the Muslim Brotherhood and other threatening connections.

Also see:

London Builds Intelligence Unit to Target Cyber “Hate Speakers”


London’s first Muslim mayor seeks a well-funded “hub” to identify hate speakers for attention from their local police.

CounterJihad, Sept. 7, 2016:

The office of the Mayor of London has issued a grant for an online “hub” designed to identify so-called ‘hate speakers’ for police.  The grant promises to “improve the police response” as well as develop the “intelligence to facilitate counter measures that can reduce and prevent further criminal activity.”  British and European law do not contain the robust protections for freedom of speech that America’s First Amendment provides.

Saying anything that falls under the poorly-defined rubric of ‘hate speech’ is already criminal in London:  they just want to improve their capacity to send the police to your house.  The penalty can be six months in prison per offense.

Well, actually, they want to do a little more than that.  The grant also promises to “build community capacity to respond collectively to online hate.”  So it isn’t just a rule-of-law response that they are looking for here.  They want to organize online mobs to go after you for expressing disapproved thoughts.

Breitbart news points out that this is the brainchild of London’s first Muslim mayor.

The office of London’s first Muslim mayor has secured millions of pounds to fund a police “online hate crime hub” to work in “partnership with social media providers” to criminalise “trolls” who “target… individuals and communities.” … In May this year, the EU announced that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft had “committed” to working more closely with them and national governments and “their law enforcement agencies” to help “criminalise” perceived “illegal hate speech” online.

Naturally, the law will also be used to criminalize political opposition to the establishment — one of the first uses was to target what the UK Standard refers to as “Brexit hate crime.”  But it seems from the grant application that speech critical of Islam is the real target.  The announcement of the grant states that a recent report “identified 45% of anti-Muslim hate crime took place online, and the organisation is seeing up to 80% of its resources used in monitoring online hate and supporting the victims.”

The claim is that seeing online ‘hate crime’ results in “higher levels of depression, stress and anger,” and can cause changes in “which streets they walk down, how they answer the phone, reactions to strangers, and suspicion of co-workers.”  That last element sounds particularly ominous given Islamist workplace attacks such as the San Bernardino shooting.  The London police appear to be suggesting that seeing criticism of Islam on-line leads to murders of this sort.  Indeed, the criminalization of critical speech even seems to suggest that these psychological effects to some degree justify Islamist violence against society.

Breitbart points out that convictions under the law banning speech of this kind have increased ten-fold in the last decade.  They quote Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent.  [T]he police [are] becoming more and more involved in controlling our morality,” he told the BBC.  “[They are] almost playing the role of a moral police. And instead of dealing with real crime in the offline world, [the police] find its very convenient to ‘send the message’ in the online world because it’s a relatively easy thing to do.”

Doubtless it is a lot safer than targeting Islamist militants.  The only cost is a little liberty.  Well, maybe more than a little.

ESW: We Need to Reclaim Our Right to Speak Freely


Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey, Aug. 28, 2016:

A week ago today, on August 21, the American Freedom Alliance sponsored a conference in Los Angeles, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can they Coexist?” One of the featured speakers was Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

Many thanks to Henrik Clausen for recording, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Stephen Coughlin: Yes, the Truth May Constitute Hate Speech

truth-is-the-new-hate-speechGates of Vienna, by  Baron Bodissey, August 27, 2016:

On August 21, the American Freedom Alliance sponsored a conference in Los Angeles, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can they Coexist?” One of the speakers was Major (ret.) Stephen Coughlin, the author of Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.

Note: In his talk, Maj. Coughlin refers to OSCE events that he attended. The response by CSP and ICLA to the use of the term “Islamophobia” at OSCE is here. The video of his encounter with the globalist enforcers of the OSCE narrative is here.

Many thanks to Henrik Clausen for recording, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:


Here is a longer presentation given recently at an Act! For America event in San Antonio, TX :

Why It’s So Hard To Prosecute Islamists And Keep A Free Society


Anjem Choudary’s case exemplifies the difficulties we in the West face in dealing with homegrown Islamic radicalism.

The Federalist, by M. G. Oprea, Aug. 23, 2016:

The British Muslim “hate preacher” Anjem Choudary has finally been convicted after 20 years of preaching fundamentalist Islam aimed at radicalizing young Muslims and encouraging them to engage in terrorist activities. Last week, he, along with Mohammed Rahman, was found guilty of inviting support for ISIS in speeches and lessons posted online. Choudary’s case, and his long history of Salafist extremism, exemplifies the difficulties that we in the West face in dealing with homegrown Islamic radicalism.

Choudary, a British citizen born to Pakistani parents, has spent two decades working toward global Islamic domination. These are his words. He wants Islamic law to spread throughout the world, and told the Washington Post in 2014 “We believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam.” He has also said that “Britain belongs to Allah.”

Choudary founded multiple Islamist and Wahhabist organizations in England, all of which were eventually banned. He has connections with numerous other Salafist and Islamist groups and is a known leader of “dark networks” that stretch across Europe and seek to radicalize young Muslims. He has praised terrorists, including the 9/11 attackers, and proclaimed they are in paradise. He has been friendly with a top ISIS figure and executioner, who at the time was part of the terrorist group Sharia4Belgium, and is connected to more than 100 British terrorists, and many terror plots.

Terrorism’s Victims Include Freedom of Speech

But somehow Choudary has managed to skirt the law all these years. A lawyer until 2002, he knew how to step up to the line of criminality without crossing it. Although his influence on European Muslims is well-known and -documented, he managed to skate by on technicalities of the law, because he hadn’t engaged in terrorist activities himself, nor was it proven he had directly sent people to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS.

What finally allowed authorities to arrest him last year and convict him this month was an oath he signed to ISIS’ leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in conjunction with speeches posted online that called on Muslims to join ISIS. As a prohibited organization, membership in ISIS is considered a criminal offence. British authorities convicted him of “inviting support for a proscribed organization,” under Terrorism Act 2000.

Choudary’s case raises questions of how far freedom of speech extends, and what ought to be done with terrorists once convicted. Although freedom of speech in Britain is a long-established common law right, in recent years it has suffered many setbacks. A Reason magazine article from last year highlighted the policing and punishment of Twitter users and journalists, as well as advertisers (a notable case was an ad banned in London for supposedly body-shaming women by depicting a fit woman in a bikini).

But what about here in the United States? People often ask what we should be doing at home to protect our country from Islamist terrorism. While presidential candidate Donald Trump would point solely to immigration, this misses the glaring fact that many Islamist terrorists were born in America or came as young children. This list includes Omar Mateen (Orlando), Faisal Mohammed (University of California-Merced), the Tsarnaev brothers (Boston Marathon), Syed Farook (San Bernardino), Nadir Soofi (Garland, Texas), and Nidal Hassan (Fort Hood).

Terrorists like these are drawn to Salafist Islam either in their communities and mosques or on the Internet. It isn’t always clear what the authorities can legally do beyond monitoring radical clerics and mosques and looking for connections between radicalized individuals and groups. How far can they go in policing what Islamists are preaching?

It Would Be Difficult to Prosecute Choudary in America

Freedom of speech is perhaps the most crucial right in a free society. There’s a reason it was the first right enshrined in the Bill of Rights: it’s meant to protect citizens from government attempts to silence dissent and regulate ideas and messages. In America, a country with arguably the most robust free speech protections, there are only a few exceptions to this First Amendment right. These include speech others own, child pornography, commercial speech, obscenity, and fighting words. None of these, however, are applicable to combatting Islamists, who are essentially supporting terrorism without providing terrorists with direct material support like guns, bombs, or money.

The one type of unprotected speech that would be applicable in a case like Choudary’s is incitement to violence. Speech that advocates force is unprotected, but only if its intention is to produce “imminent lawless action” and is likely to succeed. This could potentially apply to the sermons of Salafist imams, which, if encouraging people to fight with ISIS, are promoting lawless action. However, proving that they’re likely to lead to imminent action is more difficult.

Expressing even the most reprehensible views is protected by the First Amendment, including having a Ku Klux Klan parade or arguing for the overthrow of the government. So an Islamist imam could preach beliefs whose natural conclusion might be violence, but so long as he isn’t calling on a crowd to go out right away and commit terrorism, his speech is protected. This is why we may not have been able to prosecute a man like Choudary here in America.

Another way unprotected free speech comes into play is “true threats.” This recently made news when a Missouri woman was arrested for retweeting Twitter posts calling for the murder of U.S. law enforcement officials. The tweet contained names, addresses and phone numbers. Federal prosecutors argue that her retweets are tantamount to active support of ISIS, and charged the woman with conspiracy and transmitting a threat across state lines. Her defense, based on First Amendment grounds, argues the charges are unconstitutionally vague, once again illustrating the tension between free speech and national security.

Prisons Aren’t a Great Place for Islamists, Either

Once a conviction is made, as with Choudary, the problems don’t end there. Choudary faces up to ten years in prison. But what will he do once behind bars? Prison systems have become notorious in Europe and America for breeding radical Muslims, so a man like Choudary poses a threat inside as well as outside of prison.

Islamists in prison are treated like “aristocracy,” according to an audit of French prisons. When Salah Abdeslam, one of the Paris attackers, was arrested and sent to the Fleury-Mérogis prison he was “welcomed as the messiah,” according to one guard there. That same audit also found jihadi inmates can easily communicate with the outside world, including Syria.

So officials face a difficult decision between keeping Islamists like Choudary in the general population, where they can influence and indoctrinate other men, or concentrating Choudary and others like him in cell blocks so they don’t have access to non-radicalized inmates. This, of course, has its own dangers, namely that these men may plan future attacks and terrorist operations together. The third option, total isolation, is widely unpopular in places like Britain and France, where it is, perhaps correctly, seen as inhumane and cruel.

Choudary’s stay in prison will last a maximum of ten years. Then what? Does he get out in a few years after having been active in prison, and go on as he did before? Perhaps this time he’ll be more careful so as not to get caught. Some countries are working on de-radicalization programs, but their success has been dubious.

Choudary’s case typifies the difficulties the Western world faces in combatting radicalization. As a country that is fundamentally based on concepts of liberty and freedom of speech and of association, our principles and constitutionally protected rights sometimes run up against threats to national security. This is the great challenge we will face in the fight against Islamist ideology and homegrown radicalization in the years ahead. For a sense of the challenges to come, we need only look to Europe, where that fight is well underway.

M. G. Oprea is a writer based in Austin, Texas. She holds a PhD in French linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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The Coming Free Speech Apocalypse

shutterstock_238626832The Federalist, by Daniel Payne, Aug. 22, 2016:

Americans generally do not appreciate the United States’ astonishing free speech regime, particularly compared to the historical bastions of political liberalism in Western Europe.

The French penal code criminalizes “defamation” of people based on “their membership or non-membership, real or supposed, of an ethnic group, nation, race or religion;” in Britain the police can investigate you for criticizing Muslims; in Ireland they have something called the “Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act,” which prohibits “inciting” “hatred” against anyone based on, among other factors, “membership [in] the travelling community” and “sexual orientation” (Ireland also forbids speech that “undermine[s] public order or morality or the authority of the State”). Even our neighbor to the north, Canada, forbids people from “incit[ing] hatred against any identifiable group.”

America is not like that: in the United States, you can incite hatred against a gay gypsy Muslim bureaucrat, even specifically becausehe is a gay gypsy Muslim bureaucrat, and you will not be thrown in jail. In America you can say just about any offensive thing imaginable, directed at just about any group or person imaginable, and you’ll be okay. Add to that the strong protections for political speech that statute and Supreme Court precedent have established, and America is almost unique among the nations of the world in terms of freedom of expression. We have it good.

But that might not always be the case. In fact in the very near future American free speech may be sharply curtailed. It is not a sure thing—Supreme Court precedent regarding the First Amendment is robust enough to present would-be censors with something of a challenge—but nevertheless there is a good chance that American enemies of American free speech will shortly mount a sustained and eventually successful effort to drastically reduce American speech freedoms.

Who are these enemies? There are three of them: Hillary Clinton (backed by a Democratic Party that is rabidly anti-free speech), Donald Trump (unchallenged by a weak and useless Republican Party), and, most tragically, the American people themselves.

Hillary Clinton

With the possible exceptions of John Adams and Woodrow Wilson, there might never be a president more hostile to freedom of speech than Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton has promised, if elected, to introduce a constitutional amendment within her first month in office that would effectively repeal the First Amendment by overturning the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v FEC decision from 2010.

Very simply, Citizens United ruled that Americans do not lose their freedom of speech rights when they band together in corporate form and under the auspices of labor unions and other types of organizations. Practically speaking, this was an uncontroversial and obvious affirmation of American First Amendment rights. But Hillary Clinton has set herself up against this ruling as if it were the Black Death, claiming her litmus test for nominating Supreme Court justices is if they will vote to overturn Citizens United and thus make it more difficult for Americans to speak freely and openly.

Clinton actually has a long history of anti-free speech positions, so in a sense this is unsurprising. But now she is poised to become president of the United States, and with that bully pulpit—and the power of the executive order—you can be sure her avaricious, relentless desire to curtail free speech will be a potent threat to our precious First Amendment freedoms.

You can be equally certain the Democratic Party will be happy to help her out. The Democratic platform not only calls for overturning Citizens United but also calls upon the Justice Department to “investigate allegations of corporate fraud” of fossil fuel companies “accused of misleading shareholders” on “the scientific reality of climate change.” This is a creative way of calling on government to prosecute skeptics of global warming hysteria.

In addition, the DNC calls upon Democrats to “condemn hate speech that creates a fertile climate for violence.” It is essentially guaranteed that, within a few years’ time, the “condemnation” of “hate speech” will progress to demands for an outright prohibition. Progressives in Europe have already done it; progressives in America are assuredly not far behind.

Donald Trump

You might think the Republican nominee for president would stand as a counterweight to the Democratic nominee’s censorious tendencies. You would be wrong. Trump himself has come out against super PACs, which are simply coalitions of American citizens who have banded together to voice their political opinions. Trump has also vowed to “open up” libel laws in order to silence his critics.

Lest you think this is an empty threat, it’s important to note Trump has already admitted to using libel laws to silence his critics. He also called for “closing [the] Internet up in some way” to combat terrorism, while dismissing those who would be concerned about freedom of speech as “foolish people.”

Would the GOP stand against Trump’s demonstrable hostility to the First Amendment? Not likely. Much of the Republican establishment has already proven itself reluctant to challenge Trump in any substantive way. Trump’s obvious antipathy to freedom of speech, coupled with his strongman ambitions and lack of resistance from an emasculated GOP, could pose a serious if not existential threat to American freedom of expression.

The American People

Surely, even if our corrupt and power-hungry elite ruling class opposes freedom of speech, the American people will resist any real efforts to curtail the First Amendment, right? Not so fast. There are genuinely distressing signs that the culture of American free speech is as endangered as the policy.

Some poll numbers suggest as much: two-thirds of Americans, for instance, think people who engage in “hate speech” are “more dangerous” than the people who would censor it. Among younger Americans—millennials—the polls indicate a staggering opposition to freedom of speech: out of 800 students polled at colleges across the country, more than a third believed the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” with a third also claiming the First Amendment is “outdated;” more than half believe colleges should have speech codes to police the speech of students and professors.

Forty percent of millennials, meanwhile, think government should be able to censor “offensive statements about minorities.” Indeed, millennials appear to be the most censorious generation alive. As older generations die off or become less politically active, we can assume that more and more anti-free speech millennials will make up a larger and larger share of the electorate.

All of which is to say: if we are worried about the anti-free speech ambitions of our two presidential candidates and the parties they represent, we should also be concerned about the American body politic, a substantial percentage of which is greatly inclined to censor “offensive” speech. A generation so inclined to muzzle its fellow Americans could pose an existential threat to the First Amendment.

Fight for the Right to Speak Freely

So how do First Amendment-loving Americans fight against this rising tide of illiberal anti-speech hostility? The solution is actually quite simple: we must take an absolutist zero-tolerance position regarding censorship and speech policing. In the same way that the National Rifle Association is relentless in fighting the curtailing of Second Amendment rights, Americans must relentlessly protect First Amendment rights.

Daniel Payne is a senior contributor at The Federalist. He currently runs the blog Trial of the Century, and lives in Virginia.

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Think Tank Report Merges Racism With Criticism of Islam To Achieve ‘Islamophobia Crisis’ Numbers

BBC-Demos-3-640x480Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, Aug. 19, 2016:

The BBC has seized upon a report by a left-wing think tank, which openly conflates criticism of Islam with racism, to claim “islamophobia” on social media has “peaked” and imply more censorship is needed.

Demos, whose Chief Executive is Claudia Wood, who joined the think tank from Tony Blair’s strategy unit, developed a method of supposedly automatically identifying Tweets that are “hateful, derogatory, and anti-Islamic”.

They claimed that over 5,000 “Islamophobic” tweets are sent every day and that the number “peaked” after a number of Islamist terror attacks rocked Europe this July.

“Over July, we identified 215,247 Tweets, sent in English and from around the world… On average, this is 289 per hour, or 6,943 per day”, the report claims.

“Islamophobic tweets ‘peaked in July’”, claimed a BBC article and extended segment on the BBC News Channel, after they were given “exclusive access” the report which they published alongside a series of emotive and subjective interviews with “offended” and aggrieved British Muslims.

These “possibly socially problematic and damaging” online utterances were said to “contain one of a number of specified keywords”.

However, the National Secular Society (NSS) labelled the report “an accidental case-study in why we should all stop using the meaningless and sinister word ‘Islamophobia’”, and identified some serious methodological flaws.

Benjamin Jones, the communications officer of the NSS, explained in a blog post:

“In their report Demos selects some tweets it included in the study, which they presumably think are good examples of their methodology in action. A tweet stating “Morocco deletes a whole section of the Koran from school curriculum as it’s full of jihad incitement and violence The Religion of peace” is treated the same way as a tweet saying “I fucking hate pakis” in their methodology.

“One of these tweets criticises an idea. The other is racist. One describes and mocks a belief system, the other (verbally) attacks people. Demos’ methodology treats both of these tweets in the same way.

“I have read (an English translation of) the Koran. Saying it contains violence (it does) is in no way comparable to using racist language.

“This is an appalling conflation, which creates a false moral equivalence between racism and criticising a set of ideas.

“Another tweet Demos offer as an example reads: “Priest killed in #Normandy today by a Radical Islamic Terrorist yet Hillary says that Islam is peaceful! 1274 attacks this year=peaceful? Ok.”

“Is asserting that Islam doesn’t seem to be conducive to peace really ‘Islamophobic’? The BBC apes Demos’ dangerous line, referring not to anti-Muslim, but explicitly to “anti-Islamic” tweets as ‘Islamophobic’.

“… Wanting to jail homosexuals might also be “socially problematic”, but pointing out that half of British Muslims do want to criminalise homosexuality and most think it is immoral would have me labelled an ‘Islamophobe’ under Demos’ methodology.”

The report’s authors claim that “we believe it is important that the principle of internet freedom should be maintained… However, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic and misogynistic abuse can curtail freedom…”

In the methodology section of their paper, they write that “An Islamophobic expression was defined as the illegitimate and prejudicial dislike of Muslims because of their faith”, but conceded that, “Islamophobia can take on a very large number of different forms, and its identification, especially within Twitter research, was often challenging.”

“Ultimately, this research comes down to the judgement of the researchers involved”, they add.


According to NSS, Demos clearly failed to successfully identify bigotry, and by conflating it with legitimate criticism Islam and Islamism, they and the BBC have damaged people’s ability to speak freely on the subject.

An example of this conflation came within the BBC’s own report, when a man interrupted one of the Muslim interviewees to say that “there is no sharia law here” and “we’re losing our freedom of speech”.

The man was immediately castigated by the Muslim interviewee, and the BBC ran a second article titled: “BBC Islamophobia discussion interrupted by Islamophobia”, implying that stating Sharia law isn’t part of UK law is itself Islamophobic.

Convictions for crimes under Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003, a law increasingly used to prosecute “internet trolls”, have increased ten-fold in a decade.

Earlier this week, the office of London’s first Muslim mayor announced they had secured millions of pounds to fund a police “online hate crime hub” to work in “partnership with social media providers” to criminalise “trolls” who “target… individuals and communities.”

And in May this year, the EU announced that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft had “committed” to working more closely with them and national governments and “their law enforcement agencies” to help “criminalise” perceived “illegal hate speech” online.

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Al Qaeda’s 20-year plan to violently impose Sharia on the West in stages is just entering Phase Six (2016-2020) of “Total Confrontation”. This timeline, hatched well before 1996, was known to the West for ten years.

The other death-to-the-West Islamic timeline implemented ten years ago by a highly powerful and influential organization — the world’s second largest intergovernmental organization (next to the United Nations) and largest Islamic organization — is also building momentum in a less violent but parallel way.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the largest voting bloc at the UN (comprising the world’s 57 Islamic states) proposed a Ten-Year Programme of Action (at a two-day summit in Mecca concluding on Dec.9th) to internationally criminalize any criticism of Islam or so-called Islamophobia, culminates this week (December 8th and 9th).

Criminalizing Islamophobia[1] was the OIC’s major initiative since 1999, at which time it began pushing for a blasphemy-against-Islam UN resolution. That resolution finally passed in 2011 as UN Resolution 16/18 — the underpadding of which is to establish a global Islamic hegemony or caliphate that subjugates the entire world to Sharia. UN Resolution 16/18 and the hate-speech laws that it gave rise to simply facilitate the Islamization of the West.

Both timelines are influencing, guiding, and mobilizing jihadists worldwide to launch attacks that are gaining momentum throughout the West. All-out war has begun with more and more Islamic terrorist attacks launching worldwide, including now in the U.S.

Anjem Choudary and the Criminalization of Dissent

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The most disturbing thing about a notorious British hate preacher is that his terrorism conviction is for something he said, not something he did.

H/T Bill Warner, who said on facebook, “I oppose the arrest of anyone for hate speech. I am for full-throated free speech.”

Foreign Policy, by Simon Cottee, Aug. 19, 2016:

There is something unsettling about the conviction of Anjem Choudary, and the chorus of approval that has followed it, from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

A disciple of the Islamist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, who fled Britain for Lebanon in 2005, the 49-year-old former lawyer was a founding member of al-Muhajiroun, a banned Islamist group that had once called for jihad against India, Russia, and Israel and defended the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Africa. For 20 years, Choudary had made a career out of Islamist activism, becoming a rent-a-quote radical the British media have been only too willing to enlist. He is a larger than life character, whose jihadi rhetoric and outlandish posturing make him the perfect scapegoat for assuaging fears over the real jihadis who remain hidden among us and seemingly come out of nowhere, making a mockery of our counterterrorism efforts. He is, in other words, a distraction, whose monstrous celebrity diverts us from the more unpalatable reality of the jihadi terrorism we face.

As far as we know, Choudary has not plotted to murder and maim innocent civilians; he has not tried to join the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, or any other provinces under the group’s control, preferring to stay put in godless Britain, under whose generous patronage he lives; and he has not given money to the Islamic State or solicited funds on its behalf. Choudary’s offense, rather, is to have pledged support for the group and encouraged others to do the same.

Choudary and his associate Mohammed Mizanur Rahman were convicted on July 28, but details of the trial, including the verdict, could not be reported until a few days ago, when the Metropolitan Police issued a statement announcing the convictions. According to the statement, Choudary and Rahman were found guilty of inviting support, between June 29, 2014, and March 6, 2015, “for a proscribed terrorist organisation, namely ISIL, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State, contrary to section 12 Terrorism Act 2000.” For this, they face up to 10 years in jail and will be sentenced on Sept. 6 at the Old Bailey.

The case seems to have hinged on the following evidence: On July 2, 2014, Choudary and Rahman met in a restaurant where they convened a Skype meeting with Mohammed Fachry, a convicted terrorist based in Indonesia. During this meeting, both men pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State and its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Fachry, with Choudary’s permission, then published this oath on an Indonesian website. “The oath of allegiance was a turning point for the police,” said Cmdr. Dean Haydon, head of the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command. “At last we had the evidence that they had stepped over the line and we could prove they supported ISIS.”

The police statement also notes that Choudary and Rahman “are believed to have been recruiters and radicalisers for over 20 years and have been closely associated with another proscribed organisation Al Muhajiroun [ALM].” Yet, strikingly, it does not cite or allude to any evidence supporting this claim.

Of course, there is no doubt that Choudary, over many years, disseminated speeches and wrote material that was hateful, especially toward moderate or nominal Muslims, whom he and his fellow activists in al-Muhajiroun regarded as apostates fit for slaughter. It is also clear, based on the police statement, that Choudary personally supports the Islamic State and tried to persuade others to follow him in such beliefs. But we have no evidence that Choudary went any further than that — say, by facilitating the journeys of men and women to Islamic State territory.

And despite his associations with convicted terrorists, like Michael Adebolajo, and Islamic State members, like Siddartha Dhar, we have no firm evidence that Choudary was the driving force behind their radicalization, or anyone else’s for that matter. Indeed, it is not even clear that such evidence could ever be available, given the impossibility of counterfactually demonstrating that the men supposedly radicalized by Choudary would not have undergone this transformative process had they not met him. Yet none of this has prevented the British media, which loves to hate Choudary, from portraying him as the Keyser Söze of the British Islamist scene, radicalizing hundreds of men, as though these poor souls had no agency in their own life stories but were “brainwashed” by Choudary’s awesome demagogic powers.

Choudary, as the British journalist Andrew Anthony observed in his illuminating profile of the cleric, no doubt has a certain charm and charisma. But it stretches credulity to believe that this man’s sermonizing made anyone do anything they didn’t already want to do, still less that they would risk everything because he told them to. It also dangerously mischaracterizes radicalization as a one-dimensional, low-budget, made-for-British-TV psychological drama of “shadowy,” “charismatic” recruiters manipulating “naïve” and “vulnerable” malcontents. Whereas the little we know about radicalization suggests the opposite: a convoluted and unscripted process where real people with limited knowledge, resources, and power collide and make extraordinary decisions.

But even if Choudary’s rhetorical powers were as formidable as his condemners suggest, this wouldn’t alter or minimize the wrongheadedness of convicting him under terrorism legislation, when the behavior for which he was convicted has little or nothing to do with terrorism, as standardly defined as, in the words of the philosopher C. A. J. Coady, “the organized use of violence to attack noncombatants or innocents (in a special sense) or their property for political purposes.” Choudary’s offense, rather, relates to a speech-act: namely, that of supporting the Islamic State and defending its legitimacy as a state. As a British citizen, this also makes Choudary a defector: someone who has gone over to the other side.

The deeper significance of Choudary’s conviction is that it inaugurates a new and disturbing phase in Britain’s pushback against “extremism”: the criminalization of radical dissent and defection. Before Choudary’s conviction, the drastic widening of the definition of terrorism to include speech-acts was an abstract worry here (the United States, for its part, began moving in this direction in 2013). But now it’s real.

The irony is that the thinking behind Choudary’s conviction is not altogether different from that of his own. According to Choudary’s worldview, a perfect Islamic society would violently punish those who rejected its foundational tenets. When asked on Fox News in 2015 about his attitudes toward apostates (i.e., those who have renounced the Islamic faith) Choudary was clear and categorical: They should be put to death. This is a view that finds support across the four major schools of Islamic law, and reflects a widely held belief among classical Islamic scholars that apostasy is as grave an offense as murder, since it threatens the very unity of the Muslim community — the ummah — from within.

As the Egyptian cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi put it: “Waging war against Allah and His Messenger by speaking openly against them is more dangerous to Islam than physically attacking its followers … moral mischief in the land is more hazardous than physical mischief.” Choudary is not facing the death penalty for his sundry speech crimes, but the impetus behind his conviction is informed more by concerns over his “moral mischief” than by any physical threat he poses. The same thinking and anxieties underlie Saudi Arabia’s decision, taken in 2014, to criminalize atheism as terrorism. But of course atheism is no more terrorism than is defection from Western values.

Choudary is a clown with odious views. But he should not be criminalized, still less branded as a terrorist, for espousing these views. Rather, he should be subjected to trenchant criticism and ridicule. In Choudary’s imagined utopia, it would be a capital offense to criticize Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. By criminalizing views that challenge its defining principles, liberal democracies risk replicating the unfreedom that Choudary so brashly and shamelessly stands for.

Also see:

London’s Muslim Mayor Introduces the Thought Police


Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, August 18, 2016:

London’s new Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, is allocating over two million dollars (£1,730,726) to an “online hate crime hub” enabling police to track and arrest “trolls” who “target…individuals and communities.” There can be no doubt, given the nature of the British political establishment today, which “trolls” these new Thought Police will be going after, and which “communities” will be protected from “hate speech.” “Islamophobia,” which David Horowitz and I termed “the thought crime of the totalitarian future,” is now going to bring down upon the hapless “trolls” the wrath of London’s Metropolitan police force — and this totalitarian new initiative shows yet again how easily the Leftist and Islamic supremacist agendas coincide and aid each other.

“The Metropolitan police service,” said a police spokesman, “is committed to working with our partners, including the mayor, to tackle all types of hate crime including offences committed online.” Given the fact that Khan, in a 2009 interview, dismissed moderate Muslims as “Uncle Toms” and has numerous questionable ties to Islamic supremacists, it is unlikely that he will be particularly concerned about “hate speech” by jihad preachers (several of whom were just recently welcomed into a Britain that has banned foes of jihad, including me).

And the “partners” of the London police are likely to include Tell Mama UK, which says on its website: “we work with Central Government to raise the issues of anti-Muslim hatred at a policy level and our work helps to shape and inform policy makers, whilst ensuring that an insight is brought into this area of work through the systematic recording and reporting of anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes.” Tell Mama UK has previously been caughtclassifying as “anti-Muslim hate incidents and crimes” speech on Facebook and Twitter that it disliked. Now it will have the help of the London police to do that.

“The purpose of this programme,” we’re told, “is to strengthen the police and community response to this growing crime type.” This “crime type” is only “growing” because Britain has discarded the principle of the freedom of speech, and is committing itself increasingly to the idea that “hate speech” is objectively identifiable, and should be restricted by government and law enforcement action. Section 127 of the Communications Act of 2003criminalizes “using [a] public electronic communications network in order to cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety,” and no groups are better at manifesting public annoyance than Islamic advocacy groups. A pastor in Northern Ireland, James McConnell, ran afoul of this law in 2014 when he dared to criticize Islam in a sermon; he was acquitted after an 18-month investigation and a trial, but the Metropolitan police will not want to be seen as wasting their new “hate speech” money; others will not be as fortunate as McConnell.

Behind the push for “hate speech” laws is, of course, the increasingly authoritarian Left. Increasingly unwilling (and doubtless unable) to engage its foes in rational discussion and debate, the Left is resorting more and more to the Alinskyite tactic of responding to conservatives only with ridicule and attempts to rule conservative views out of the realm of acceptable discourse. That coincides perfectly with the ongoing initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to intimidate the West into criminalizing criticism of Islam.

This is not the first time that a Sharia imperative and a Leftist one coincided during the relatively brief (so far) mayoral tenure of Sadiq Khan. The London Evening Standard reported on June 13 that “adverts which put Londoners under pressure over body image are to be banned from the Tube and bus network.” This was because “Sadiq Khan announced that Transport for London would no longer run ads which could cause body confidence issues, particularly among young people.”

Said Khan: “As the father of two teenage girls, I am extremely concerned about this kind of advertising which can demean people, particularly women, and make them ashamed of their bodies. Nobody should feel pressurised, while they travel on the Tube or bus, into unrealistic expectations surrounding their bodies and I want to send a clear message to the advertising industry about this.”

And so no more ads featuring women in bikinis on London buses. People often puzzle about how the hard Left and Islamic supremacists can make common cause, when they have such differing ideas of morality; Khan’s ad ban showed how. The Left’s concern with “body-shaming” and not putting people “under pressure over body image” meshed perfectly with the Sharia imperative to force women to cover themselves in order to remove occasions of temptation for men.

What next? Will London women be forced to cover everything except their face and hands (as per Muhammad’s command) so as not to put others “under pressure over body image”? And if they are, will anyone who dares to complain about what is happening to their green and pleasant land be locked up for “hate speech” by London’s new Thought Police?

Welcome to Sadiq Khan’s London. Shut up and put on your hijab.

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One cannot have discourse if there is no opportunity for opposition. We are now seeing European courts, the European Commission, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the UN Human Rights Council seek to silence those whose views they oppose.

It even turned out, at least in Germany last September, that “hate speech” apparently included posts criticizing mass migration. It would seem, therefore, that just about anything anyone finds inconvenient can be labelled as “racist” or “hate speech.”

Censoring, ironically, ultimately gives the public an extremely legitimate grievance, and could even set up the beginning of a justifiable rebellion.

There is currently a worrying trend. Facebook, evidently attempting to manipulate what news people receive, recently censored the Swedish commentator Ingrid Carlqvist by deleting her account, then censored Douglas Murray’s eloquent article about Facebook’s censorship of Carlqvist. Recently, the BBC stripped the name Ali from Munich’s mass-murderer so that he would not appear to be a Muslim.

Yet, a page called “Death to America & Israel“, which actively incites violence against Israel, is left uncensored. Facebook, it seems, agrees that calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state is acceptable, but criticism of Islam is not. While pages that praise murder, jihadis, and anti-Semitism remain, pages that warn the public of the violence that is now often perpetrated in the name of Islam, but that do not incite violence, are removed.

Even in the United States, there was a Resolution proposed in the House of Representatives, H. Res. 569, attempting to promote the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Defamation of Religion/anti-blasphemy laws, to criminalize any criticism of “religion” – but meaning Islam.

Yesterday, at an airport, an advertisement for Facebook read, “A place to debate.” Should it not instead have read, “A place to debate, but only if we agree with you”?

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.

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