ESW: We Need to Reclaim Our Right to Speak Freely

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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:

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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

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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.

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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.

Also see:

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.

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London’s Muslim Mayor Introduces the Thought Police

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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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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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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?