Now Western media face wrath of Islamic blasphemy laws

WND, by Leo Hohmann, August 1, 2017:

A group of international Islamist organizations led by the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, recently held a two-day conference on countering “Islamophobia” in which it recommends imposing Islamic blasphemy laws on the media worldwide.

Under Islamic law, it is considered a serious offense to criticize Allah, Muhammad or Islam. In countries like Pakistan, a Muslim can take a non-Muslim to court and claim he was “offended” by something that was said, resulting in a trial and jail time, even death, for the non-Muslim.

Christians in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Sudan and other Muslim-dominated countries with significant Christian minorities have been the targets of brutal persecution, with the blasphemy laws often serving as the catalyst for their incarceration. Christians have been jailed, stoned, beheaded, and even had acid thrown in their faces for violating the blasphemy laws.

But the OIC, which consists of 57 Muslim-majority countries and boasts the largest voting bloc at the United Nations, is not satisfied with its own people living under threat of arrest for offending Islam by something that is said, written or posted on the Internet.

The July 15-16 symposium, held at London’s Central Mosque Trust and Islamic Cultural Center, was attended by lawyers, media leaders, politicians, academics from European universities and diplomats from various embassies. It was titled: “Mechanisms to challenge Islamophobia legally and through the media.”

Organizers spoke of the need for a new media strategy, citing there is usually a surge in “hate crimes” against Muslims following terrorist acts perpetrated by Muslims, such as the London Bridge attack and Manchester concert attack earlier this year.

But, as noted by the Barnabas Aid Fund, a group that advocates for persecuted Christians, the conference organizers’ reference to “Islamophobia” should not be confused with actual crimes of violence against Muslim people.

One of the three central themes of the conference was the legal status of “defamation of religion.” This is a term the OIC has previously used as part of its decade-long campaign to make criticism of Islam a criminal offense – even in Western democracies where free speech is a staunch tradition.

In fact, the section on “Islamophobia” in the OIC’s “10-year strategic action plan” published in 2005 only uses the word in this sense and makes no reference to countering hatred of Muslims as people.

So, when the London conference organizers spoke of looking at  countering Islamophobia from a “legal perspective,” this should be taken as a serious threat. In fact, only last December the OIC met in Saudi Arabia and launched a new media strategy, part of which aimed “to tackle Islamophobic discourse in the U.S., U.K., and European media.”

“Barnabas Aid strongly condemns all forms of anti-Muslim hatred,” the Christian-aid agency said in a statement Monday. “However, we also condemn the attempt to use the suffering that has resulted from recent terrorist attacks to advocate the introduction of what is, in effect, a backdoor Islamic blasphemy law.”

As Barnabas Aid has previously reported, there are attempts being made by Pakistan, and 27 other governments who are OIC members, to introduce global Islamic blasphemy laws. In fact, as Barnabas Aid points out, the Palestinian Authority recently enacted just such a law.

“These actions represent a serious threat not only to Christians in the world’s 57 Muslim-majority countries, but also to Christians in the West, particularly those who have fled persecution in Islamic countries and found sanctuary in Western countries,” Barnabas Aid stated.

It is particularly disturbing that the proposals from the Pakistan government seek to criminalize social media posts critical of Islam that are uploaded in Western countries.

So, although Dr. Mahjoub Bensaid of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization spoke at the conference of “the real and true image of Islam as a religion of peace which advocates tolerance,” what he appears to have meant is that non-Muslims should “tolerate” the introduction of an Islamic blasphemy law that prohibit any criticism of Islam by the media, and anyone who does not tolerate the blasphemy laws is labeled “Islamophobic.”

Philip Haney, co-author of the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing: A Homeland Security Officer Exposes the Government’s Submission to Jihad,” says the OIC’s recent “recommendation” should not be viewed in a vacuum but as the latest in a series of moves by the international community aimed at criminalizing all criticism of Islam, which is being positioned as the global elites’ most favored religion. The end result will be the implementation of Islamic blasphemy laws worldwide.

Here is the timeline for the international effort to criminalize anti-Islam speech in accordance with Shariah law:

  • First came the OIC 10-year strategic plan (2005)
  • The United Nations Human Rights Council passed Resolution 16/18 (March 2011), with the help of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The resolution’s stated goal is “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.” It calls on all member states to consider adopting laws to criminalize incitement to imminent violence based on religion or belief. Other recommendations include creating government programs to promote inter-religious tolerance and dialogue, training government employees to be sensitive toward people’s religious sensitivities, which sounds reasonable were it not for the fact that Islam is by far the most sensitive of all the world’s faiths to criticism in the public square.
  • In July 2011, the OIC launched the Istanbul Process in cooperation with the U.S., led by Secretary of State Clinton to come up with a plan to help nations implement U.N. Res. 16/18 into law.
  • November 2011, under the leadership of former National Security Council chair John Brennan, the U.S. scrubs all references deemed offensive to Islam from its FBI counter-terrorism training manuals.
  • In December 2015, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in the wake of a terrorist attack in San Bernardino in which two Muslims killed 14 Americans, threatened to arrest and prosecute any American who posted comments that “edged toward violence” against the Muslim community.
  • Governments of Germany, U.K. and Canada have all passed or tried to pass laws over the last two years criminalizing speech deemed offensive to Islam.
  • In December 2016 the OIC issues its “Media strategy in countering Islamophobia and its implementation mechanisms” with special focus on media in the U.S., U.K. and Europe.
  • In January 2017, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres stated at a joint news conference with the Saudi foreign minister that “Islamophobia and Islamophobic comments…in some parts of the world” are the “fuel” that ignites global Islamic terrorism.
  • In April 2017, the U.S. Senate passed Resolution 118, co-sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., and Susan Collin, R-Maine, which critics say lays the foundation for future banning of anti- Islam commentary as “hate speech.”
  • In July 2017 the Palestinian Authority adopts so-called Abbas Blasphemy Law. This law applies to all social media postings. Anyone “sharing” or even “liking” a Facebook post that the PA disapproves of will be arrested and jailed.
  • In July 2017 a court in New Jersey bars anyone speaking at a public hearing regarding a mosque project from mentioning “Islam” or “Muslims.”

“The OIC has put a lot of effort into criminalizing speech critical of Islam, along with solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” Haney said. “Those two issues have been at the top of their agenda for the last 10 years, and I’d say they’ve made plenty of progress.”

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Did Facebook Just Agree to Enforce Blasphemy Laws?

(Photo; Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Meira Svirsky, July 13, 2017

Doublespeak is language that deliberately distorts or even reverses the meaning of words. For example, when critics of radical Islam expose this extremism for what is it, Islamists and their “progressive” enablers call them “Islamophobes;” when those who call themselves “social justice warriors” campaigning for tolerance exhibit just the opposite (i.e., intolerance) by shutting down any conversation with which they don’t agree; when others force their religious beliefs (i.e., blasphemy laws) upon others in the name of freedom of religion (as in Canada’s new motion against criticism of Islam); or when perpetrators of crimes frame themselves as victims.

Doublespeak often leads to doublethink, as George Orwell writes in his seminal novel Nineteen Eight-Four: “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.” In the novel, people explicitly learn doublethink due to peer pressure and a desire to fit in or gain status with in the “Party.”

With these definitions in mind, Clarion Project launches a week-long expose of some of the worst offenders:

A high-level Facebook executive met with the interior minister in Pakistan last week to discuss Pakistan’s demand that the social media platform remove what the Islamist country deems “blasphemous content.”

The fact the meeting took place at all speaks volumes about Facebook’s intent.

First, the tete-a-tete, the first-ever discussion on the issue between a senior Facebook exec and the Pakistani government, comes on the heels of the decision by a Pakistani “counter-terrorism” court to sentence a 30-year-old man to death for making “blasphemous” comments on Facebook.

Such an outrageous verdict should have caused any company serious about human rights to refuse to engage with such a regime. Even the fact that there exists such a law such a law that violates the basic — and what should be universal — right to freedom of speech should be reason to protest.

Yet apparently, business is business for Facebook.

Facebook has 33-million users in Pakistan. So not only did Facebook engage with the Pakistani government, they made assurances to the sharia-compliant country that they were committed to keeping their platform “safe” by “promoting values” that are in congruence with their “community standards.”

Facebook also committed to removing explicit, hateful and provocative posts that incite violence and terrorism.

In Pakistan, that means blasphemous content (as per Pakistan’s definition of blasphemy). Because in Pakistan, just the mere mention of blasphemy can incite mob violence and extra-judicial lynchings.

Pakistan is active in pursing internet service providers to convince them to make any criticism of Islam forbidden. In March, it convened a meeting of Muslim countries to discuss how they can shut down freedom of expression on social media with regards to blasphemous (read: anti-Islam) content.

As to how the meeting went with Facebook, Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, “We appreciate the understanding shown by the Facebook administration and the cooperation being extended to us on these issues.”

So, when Facebook – which has a history of taking down material critical of Islamists — says to Pakistan it will remove “hateful and provocative” material, it is most likely doublespeak for “We will comply with Islam’s blasphemy laws.”

Unfortunately, compliance with – and even enforcement of—Islamist blasphemy laws has become an all-too-common fixture in the West.

In some cases, the West has simply bowed to Islamists under the threat of violence. After the Danish cartoon riots which spread across the globe and the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Western publications have demurred from publishing most any material deemed offensive to Islam.

Yet other examples are more insidious. Canada just passed a motion “condemning all forms of Islamophobia.” The motion, hailed as a “first-step” by its supporters, is dangerously close to and may even make illegal any criticism of Islam.

Europe, which has no bill of rights guaranteeing the freedoms enshrined in America’s constitution, has traditionally balanced freedom of expression with social concerns. In recent years, that balance has become defined through the relativistic morality of each country’s political climate, with freedom of speech in a serious decline due to pressure from Islamists and their “progressive” supporters.

If we intend to hold on to the freedoms we now take for granted in the U.S., pressure should be put on Facebook as well as any other company which exhibits compliance with sharia blasphemy laws. Otherwise, we will sadly see our rights slipping away as is the situation in Europe today.

Indonesia: Jakarta’s Christian governor guilty in “blasphemy” trial, gets two years prison

Jihad Watch, by Robert Spencer, May 9, 2017:

Ahok committed the cardinal sin of being a Christian in a position of authority. Islamic law forbids non-Muslims to hold authority over Muslims. That Ahok was governor of Jakarta made something like this show trial inevitable. That Islamic supremacists got him on blasphemy, and had to get him in the first place for the crime of being a Christian in authority, is an indication of how far Indonesia has moved from its supposedly “moderate” character.

“Jakarta governor Ahok found guilty in landmark Indonesian blasphemy trial,” by Ben Westcott, CNN, May 9, 2017:

(CNN)Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, has been sentenced to two years in prison, after being found guilty of blasphemy in a trial seen as a test of Indonesia’s religious tolerance.

In April, prosecutors had called for the blasphemy counts to be dropped in exchange for a lesser charge of “spreading hate,” but the judges appear to have ignored that recommendation.

The controversial Chinese Christian politician was put on trial in December over accusations that he insulted Islam while campaigning for re-election. He repeatedly denied the charges.

Ahok was detained immediately after the verdict and taken to the Cipinang detention center in East Jakarta, local media reported. He said he would immediately appeal the court’s decision.

The Jakarta governor sparked controversy in late 2016 after quoting a verse from the Quran to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for a non-Muslim politician.

Almost no one who has been charged under the blasphemy law has ever escaped conviction, associate professor of Indonesian politics at the Australian National University Greg Fealy told CNN.

“The blasphemy law has really been a blight on the rule of law and democracy in Indonesia for decades,” he said, adding that “the fact that Ahok was charged at all was really a product of massive street demonstrations that frightened the government into acting.”

Growing conservatism

…While Indonesia has built a reputation as a tolerant, diverse nation, experts say Ahok’s conviction is the latest example of the country’s growing conservatism.

Recent years have seen large anti-LGBT protests in Jakarta in early 2016, a push to criminalize homosexual sex and passionate reactions to allegations of blasphemy.

An estimated 200,000 people converged on the center of the Indonesian capital to demand the arrest of its minority-Christian governor on November 4.

Since an edited video of Ahok’s remarks was released, hundreds of thousands of Muslim Indonesians have protested against him on the streets of Jakarta, with many calling for his jailing or even execution.
Roads near the Agriculture Ministry where the verdict was due to be delivered were closed from Monday evening in preparation, local media reported….

Pakistani student accused of blasphemy beaten to death on campus

Mashal Khan (FB)

Reuters, by Jibran Ahmed, April 13, 2017:

A mob beat a Pakistani student to death at his university campus on Thursday after he was accused of sharing blasphemous content on social media, university and police officials said.

A group of about 10 students shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack on fellow student Mashal Khan, who was stripped naked and beaten with planks until his skull caved in as other students looked on, video obtained by Reuters showed.

Blasphemy is a highly sensitive topic in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where insulting the Prophet Mohammed is a capital crime that has dozens languishing on death row and where even an accusation can lead to violence.

In recent months, Pakistan’s government has been vocal about the issue, with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issuing an order last month for removal of blasphemous content online and saying anyone who posted such content should face “strict punishment under the law”.

Ten students have been arrested after Thursday’s attack the grounds of a university in the northern city of Mardan, local police chief Mohammad Alam Shinwari said.

“After severe torture that led his death, the charged students then wanted to burn his body,” said Shinwari.

At least 65 people have been murdered over blasphemy allegations since 1990, according to figures from a Center for Research and Security Studies report and local media.

It was unclear exactly what online posting had prompted the blasphemy accusation against Khan, who was studying journalism.

One of Khan’s teachers recalled that he was a passionate and critical student.

“He was brilliant ‎and inquisitive, always complaining about the political system of the country, but I never heard him saying anything controversial against the religion,” said the teacher.

In 2011, a bodyguard assassinated Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer after the governor called for reforming blasphemy laws.

Taseer’s killer, executed last year, has been hailed by religious hard-liners as a martyr to Islam and a shrine has been erected at his grave.

Recently, fighting blasphemy has also become a rallying cry for the government.

Pakistani online activists believe blasphemy-related crack downs on social media are veiled attempts by the country’s powerful military to limit dissent on human rights violations.

In January, five online activists went missing and were publicly accused of blasphemy while they were absent. Four of them have reappeared and at least one has said he was abducted and interrogated by Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.

The military has denied any part in the activists’ disappearances.

***

Facebook Enforces Sharia Blasphemy Laws

Published on Mar 31, 2017 by Acts17Apologetics

http://www.answeringmuslims.com
Pakistani officials are working with Facebook to purge the social network of content deemed “blasphemous” against Muhammad and the Quran. Further, Pakistan is demanding that Facebook help track down blasphemers for extradition and trial. Is Facebook becoming Sharia compliant?

Here are links to the articles quoted in the video:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1323131/fac…
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-39…
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/16/pakist…

Will the Media Ever Talk About Muslims’ ‘Christianophobia’?

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CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, Aug. 16, 2016:

It’s nearly impossible to hear an Islamist group like the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) speak for an extended period of time without uttering the term ‘Islamophobia’ – a term they invented that ultimately seeks to silence criticism of Islamism.

The Islamists have a key de facto alliance with much of the media and political left (who despise the political goals of the Christian right) and help the Islamist cause by underreporting if not covering at all stories of Muslim persecution of other religious groups such as Christians.

In fact, after watching much of the media one typically gets the impression that Muslims are being persecuted by non-Muslims a lot more than vice versa.

For instance, despite not yet knowing the motive behind the recent slaughter of two Muslims named Maulama Akonjee and Thara Uddin in Queens, New York, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio was quick to insinuate ‘Islamophobia’ by saying “we do know that our Muslim communities are in the perpetual crosshairs of bigotry[,]” thus spreading the Muslim victimhood narrative.

Furthermore, stressing alleged Muslim persecution by non-Muslims deceptively helps switch the cause and effect relationship that happens in the process of Islamic radicalization. For example, instead of Muslim radicalization taking place because of the prevalence of radical Islamic ideologies that are tolerated within the Islamic community, radicalization occurs because of the alleged persecution of Muslims by those outside the community spurred by an irrational hatred of Muslims or ‘Islamophobia.’ Efforts to push this false narrative help to conceal the actual bigotry toward Christians within the Muslim community. This type of ‘Christianophobia’ is apparent throughout the Islamic world. Let’s take a look at some of this Christian persecution in the West.

A Christian pastor named Mahin Mousapour reveals just how disrespected Christians are treated by Muslims living in migrant housing. Mousapour gives a glimpse into this contempt by stating:

“Toys of Christian children are being destroyed, Christian asylum seekers are told not only to wash their dishes after eating but also that they must clean the entire kitchen as it would otherwise be ‘unclean’. Many Muslim asylum seekers call all Christians unclean. Church services are held in secret, bibles and crucifixes have to be hidden[.]”

We have already seen from an Open Doors survey how 75% of Christian refugees in Germany living in “temporary accommodations” admitted to being persecuted repeatedly. There’s also persecution that ends in death such as in 2015 when a boat loaded with Muslim migrants sailing from Libya to Italy had twelve Christians thrown overboard, murdering them. One couldn’t imagine the outrage if it were Christians systematically murdering Muslims.

Muslim persecution against Christians is also occurring in the U.S. At St. Andrew Orthodox Church in Riverside, California a car pulled up and blasted “Allahu Akbar!” through a bullhorn several times, terrorizing the attendees. Fox News gives a list of some other incidents of threats against Christians and their houses of worship:

In February, Khial Abu-Rayyan, 21, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., was arrested after he told an undercover FBI agent he was preparing to “shoot up” a major church near his home on behalf of ISIS. A month earlier, the Rev. Roger Spradlin of Valley Baptist Church – one of the biggest congregations in Bakersfield, Calif. – told attendees that they had received a threat written in Arabic.

“Undercover officers were then placed during worship services,” Valley Baptist spokesman Dave Kalahar said. “The FBI continues to investigate along with the local task force.”

Last September, an Islamic man clad in combat gear was charged with making a terrorist threat after entering Corinth Missionary Baptist Church, in Bullard, Tex., and claiming that God had instructed him to kill Christians and “other infidels.” A year earlier, police were called to Saint Bartholomew’s Catholic Church in Columbus, Ind., after the house of worship was vandalized with the word “Infidels!” along with a Koranic verse sanctioning death for nonbelievers. Similar graffiti was found that same night at nearby Lakeview Church of Christ and East Columbus Christian Church.

Why would Muslims commit such evils acts against Christians? While the different cases each have their own particularities and nuances, one cannot deny the Islamic supremacism in Islam that causes some Muslims to view and treat non-Muslims with derision. It’s no surprise that this supremacism is inherent in the Quran, some passages include:

Indeed, they who disbelieved among the People of the Scripture and the polytheists will be in the fire of Hell, abiding eternally therein. Those are the worst of creatures. –Quran 98:6

Indeed, the worst of living creatures in the sight of Allah are those who have disbelieved… –Quran 8:55

O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case? –Quran 4:144

O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous. –Quran 9:123

As revealed one doesn’t have to discuss ISIS or Boko Haram to see that Christians are facing persecution by Muslims in the West. Some churches are taking the initiative to either hire security or increase it, especially with the revelation of an ISIS hit list that allegedly has 15,000 U.S. Christians on it. Yet, one will not typically find stories like these at least not in any great detail in much of a media that seeks to protect the reputation of the Muslim community.

How much longer will the political left and liberal media continue to help Islamists like CAIR, who sympathize with jihadists, by pushing their duplicitous ‘Islamophobia’ narrative, while largely ignoring the persecution of Christians by Muslims? We will find out.

“Fireman Sam” Cartoon Character Steps on a Page from the Qur’an, Outrage Ensues

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Outraged Tweeters ask, “Why are there Quran pages on the floor & flying over the place?”

CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, July 28, 2016:

Don’t dishonor Islam or you will be punished – that is a resounding message emanating from the Islamic world. For example, In Islam, when one ‘desecrates’ the Quran it is a form of blasphemy that can carry a death sentence according to Sharia law. Punishment for insulting Islam or its Prophet can be inferred from the following Islamic passages, including:

And who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah or says, “It has been inspired to me,” while nothing has been inspired to him, and one who says, “I will reveal [something] like what Allah revealed.” And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the overwhelming pangs of death while the angels extend their hands, [saying], “Discharge your souls! Today you will be awarded the punishment of [extreme] humiliation for what you used to say against Allah other than the truth and [that] you were, toward His verses, being arrogant.” –Quran 6:93

Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment. –Quran 33:57

Narrated ‘Ali: The Prophet said, “Do not tell a lie against me for whoever tells a lie against me (intentionally) then he will surely enter the Hell-fire.” –Sahih Bukhari 1.3.106

As well as other verses such as Sahih Bukhari 1.4.241,Sahih Bukhari 5.59.369, etc.

We have seen this played out as individuals have been slaughtered or had near death experiences for allegedly insulting Islam such as producing film and artworkdeemed offensive by some Muslims as well as many others acts. So, taking this Muslim hypersensitivity toward offensive behavior into account, one can expect the most ridiculous accusations of blasphemy from the Islamic world. Let’s take a look at a recent example involving a children’s cartoon that reveals de-facto blasphemy laws in the West.

The U.K. children’s show named Fireman Sam is facing Muslim backlash after it was discovered that an episode called Troubled Waters which originally aired back in October of 2014, has a character slipping on some pages of the Quran. One of the sheets of paper that shoots in the air when shown in slow motion supposedly reveals a Quranic page “dealing with punishments for non-believers[,]” says London’s Evening Standard. The Evening Standard captured some of the outrage on social media:

Miqdaad Versi, from the Muslim Council of Britain, tweeted: “Have no idea what went through the producers’ minds when they thought this was a good idea #baffled.”

Twitter user BirdsOfJannah wrote: “Islamophobia in @FiremanSamUK? Why are there Quran pages on the floor & flying over the place?”

Another wrote: “Children’s program Fireman Sam stepping on the Quran. SHAME on this program for promoting hatred against Muslims!”

Muslim Reformer and Counterjihad.com Shireen Qudosi points out how the Quran is essentially being idolized by some Muslims, tweeting:

Of course, caving into pressure from de-facto blasphemy laws (ex. Muslim anger and fear of reprisal) the company responsible for the show issued an apology, said they are going to eliminate that particular episode from circulation, promised they are cutting ties with the animation studio involved in the incident, etc.

All of this for a cartoon character accidently stepping on the Quran? People in the West cannot keep conceding to this Sharia mindset that says any perceived negative thoughts or actions against Islam cannot be tolerated, whether intentional or not. Western freedoms are receding while Sharia is advancing.