“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.

Pakistani liberal to American panel “You are going to get me killed”

comic3Conference Examines Islamic Blasphemy Law Dangers

Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, Phd., June 3, 2016:

“You are going to get me killed…I have got my flight back home,” stated Pakistani religious freedom advocate Arafat Mazhar to an audience questioner at an April 20 Georgetown University conference recently made available online.  His jarring response emphasized that the conference’s examination of Islamic blasphemy norms in Pakistan and the world beyond was no mere academic matter but involves global, often lethal, threats to freedom of speech and religion.

Mazhar’s statement occurred during the conference’s afternoon panel in an exchange with an audience member from Afghanistan studying in America.  Mazhar emphasized that his organization Engage Pakistan currently only supports reforming the Islamic Republic of Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws with theological arguments such that these laws would not have a divine status.  Any abolition of these laws, a proposition that has had deadly consequences for Pakistan’s Punjab provincial governor Salman Taseer and Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti, would be a much longer term goal.

Just as illuminating and disturbing was Mazhar’s Afghan interlocutor who cited a 2015 Afghan incident in which a mob brutally killed a woman accused of burning a Quran.  “Had there been a good anti-blasphemy law” with codified standards, he suggested, “she would not have been killed that viciously.”  On the basis of such conjectured more humane executions he accordingly asked, “Is it a good idea to get rid of the anti-blasphemy law or is it good to have a good law?”

Mazhar responded that empirical evidence contradicted such arguments previously made in favor of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.  From Pakistan’s 1947 independence to the 1986 completion of these laws, Islamic blasphemy accusations caused only four extrajudicial killings, but after 1986 these killings increased by 2,500 percent.  His fellow panelist, University of Notre Dame professor Daniel Philpott, noted that Pew studies had found that blasphemy laws had a perverse “pedagogical effect” in inciting hostility towards the protected faith’s opponents real or imagined.

Ambassador Alberto Fernandez, a retired American career diplomat, concurred on the panel that blasphemy laws are “like handing a loaded gun” to people.  He cited a 2005 Sudan case where the government had dropped charges of insulting religion against a newspaper editor, but outraged mobs still demanded retribution.  Months later his beheaded corpse turned up after a kidnapping.

Former Pakistani parliamentarian and human rights advocate Farahnaz Ispahani likewise stated during the earlier lunch panel that blasphemy laws in her country “enabled a vigilante culture.”  Her fellow panelist, Mazhar’s Engage Pakistan colleague Ayesha Iftikhar, stated that there “you can become a hero just because you went after someone for blasphemy.”  Ispahani described how blasphemy laws abetted the “purification of Pakistan” such that only three percent of Pakistan’s population now belongs to non-Sunni Muslim religious minorities, down from 23 percent in 1947.

Ispahani noted that blasphemy’s culture of incitement extended to popular Pakistani television programs watched by millions nationwide.  Here Muslim clerics had called for the killing of Ahmadiyya, a small Muslim sect deemed heretical by all other Muslim denominations.  Her fellow panelist, Imam Mohamed Magid, and Asma Uddin, an American Muslim religious freedom advocate and lawyer who had appeared on the morning panel, had both referenced public order justifications for Islamic blasphemy laws.  Yet such considerations apparently only operated in one direction, Ispahani observed, protecting the sensibilities of Muslims for fear of their possible violent reactions while allowing these very same Muslims uninhibited hate.

Appearing with Uddin, Hudson Institute religious freedom expert Nina Shea analyzed Islamic blasphemy law threats to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.  “These blasphemy laws imprison Muslims in a suffocating chamber of blind dogmatism and conformity and extremists are given the last word” while Muslim dissidents and reformers face dangers including death.  “The West’s response has been less than inspiring, the West has tended to indulge these laws” by encompassing their content within hate speech laws, as five convictions in France of actress Brigette Bardot indicate.   In the United States, “Al Capone-like underlying issues” brought a year-long prison sentence to the filmmaker who violated his parole terms while producing Innocence of Muslims, an internet film that enraged Muslims worldwide.

Shea noted especially the previously obscure Florida pastor Terry Jones, who ultimately made good on his 2010 announcement to burn ceremoniously a Quran, thereby provoking Senator Lindsey Graham to propose speech restrictions.  “The United States did not handle that particularly well.  There was a parade of generals and government officials that went public and denounced him, begged him to stop,” Shea stated.  “This is extremely dangerous, because it raises expectations that the state, that is the American government, will regulate expression on behalf of religion, and in particular one religion.”

The controversial Magid, past president of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-linked Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), tried to present a benign understanding of his faith.  Like afternoon panelist Salam Al-Marayati, head of the equally MB-linked Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), Magid cited the oft-invokedQuran 2:256 (“no compulsion…in the religion”) and the Medina Charter.  Recently celebrated in theMarrakesh Declaration, an attempt to justify religious freedom on the basis of Islamic sources, this charter of Islam’s prophet Muhammad supposedly “created a pluralistic society” according to Magid.

Magid emphasized Islamic orthodoxy because the “word reform itself triggers negative thoughts in Muslims.”  The best approach for winning Muslim hearts and minds is therefore to “take it back to the Prophet.  Not reforming, reinforcing the original framework,” he stated, as the “message of Islam is spread through compassion.”  He argued that Muhammad did not use force when opponents hurled insults and trash at him or Muslims apostatized.

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The Death of Free Speech: The West Veils Itself

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, April 26, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bangladesh PM: Kill Those Who Slander the Prophet

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“If someone writes filthy things about my religion, why should we tolerate it? ”

BY CounterJihad · @CounterjihadUS | April 20, 2016

Committing the political sin of telling the truth about what she thinks, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina responded to the machete-murder of atheists in her country by shrugging it off.  At least seven outspoken atheists have been chopped to death in public with machetes, shot with pistols, hacked with cleavers, and otherwise brutally murdered..  Several were killed in public, in daylight hours, with police seeming reluctant to seek out the networks responsible.

Security services claim that it is homegrown extremists, not al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups.  However, few arrests have been made.  Meanwhile, a “kill list” of academics, atheists, and outspoken “free thinkers” has been circulated anonymously.

Bangladesh’s government has the duty to protect its citizens from violence, but when asked about the matter Sheikh Hasina showed little interest in making it a priority.  Indeed, she seems to feel that the murders are just and merited in some sense:

“Everyone has to hold their tongue, has to maintain a level of decency in what the write. If they write something provocative and something bad happens, the government will not take responsibility… If someone writes filthy things about my religion, why should we tolerate it?”

The premier also said, “Recently it has become a fashion to call someone a freethinker who says nasty things about religion. I do not see any free thinking here. All I see is filth.”

While she also went on to add that “the government will also not tolerate those who attempt to kill someone just because of what they said,” she made no promises to take specific action.  The government’s clear lack of interest in devoting resources to tracking down and destroying these networks sends a clear sign of encouragement, which her remarks only worsen.

Bangladesh is responding to challenges to Islam in a familiar way.  Tolerating or encouraging vigilante violence against outspoken writers has been characteristic of Iran’s approach to “blasphemy” since it declared a death sentence on Salman Rushdie in the 1980s.  But this is not limited to Islamic-majority nations.  Many murders of cartoonists, newspapermen and filmmakers have occurred in Europe in the name of silencing any “blasphemy” of Islam.  Even in the United States, there have been repeated acts of vigilante jihad aimed at forcing silence on critics of Islam.

Islamic governments like Bangladesh’s have even pushed for an international norm that would create an exception to the human right of freedom of speech when it comes to criticizing Islam.  Their efforts at the United Nations, especially as part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, are a threat to basic human liberties.  At this point, the members of the OIC clearly believe that they have successfully framed international law in such a way that it justifies their enforcement of anti-blasphemy laws. Unfortunately, increasingly Western governments seem inclined to go along with them.  We must stand together against these attempts to silence us.  Protecting our basic liberties is the reason that governments exist.  Any that surrender in this fight must be altered or replaced.

***

And now there is yet another deadly Machete attack:

Bangladeshi professor Rezaul Karim Siddiquee hacked to death, ISIS claim responsibility

download (4)A liberal university professor on way to work in northwestern Bangladesh was brutally hacked to death by machete-wielding ISIS militants near his home, the latest in a series of similar attacks on intellectuals and bloggers by the dreaded group in the Muslim-majority country. Rajshahi University professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, 58, was attacked by motorbike-borne assailants within 50 metres of his residence in Rajshahi city as the militants slit his throat using sharp weapons and left him to die, police said.

“The miscreants attacked him from behind with machetes as he walked to the university campus from his home around 7.30 AM,” local police station in-charge Shahdat Hossain told PTI over phone.

He said the Professor of English literature died on the spot following which the assailants fled the scene. The body was found lying face down in a pool of blood, and according to an eyewitness, she saw two persons leaving on a motorbike from the spot.

US-based private SITE Intelligence Group said the Islamic State has claimed the killing. “ISIS’ Amaq Agency reported the group’s responsibility for killing Rajshahi University professor Rezaul Karim for “calling to atheism” in Bangladesh,” it said in a tweet.

Earlier, Rajshahi’s police commissioner Mohammad Shamsuddin told reporters at the scene that the “technique of the murder suggested it could be an act of Islamist terrorists.”

The professor’s neck was hacked at least three times and was 70-80 per cent slit, he said, adding that the nature of the attack shows it was carried out by extremist groups.

An investigation into the killing is on.

Meanwhile, angry students and teachers of the university rallied in the campus demanding immediate arrest of culprits.

Siddiquee’s colleagues said he was involved in cultural activities in the campus and used to play flute and sitar.

“He was not known for affiliation for any political party… He had a progressive outlook that might have earned him the wrath of reactionary (Islamist) forces,” professor of mass communication department of the university Dulal Chandra Biswas told PTI over phone.

Biswas said he believed the Islamists murdered Siddiquee to prove their existence in view of a massive anti-militant security clampdown in the region.

Two years ago, another Rajshahi University teacher AKM Shafiul Islam was similarly murdered. Though his murder was initially claimed by radical group ‘Ansaral Islam’, police later ruled out that possibility, saying he was murdered due to personal rivalry.

But some years ago, two more professors of the state-run Rajshahi University had been killed. There have been systematic assaults in Bangladesh in recent months specially targeting minorities, secular bloggers, intellectuals and foreigners. Last year, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes, one inside his own home.

Bangladesh Secularists Continue to be Targeted by Islamists

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Center for Security Policy, by Kevin Samolsky, April 7, 2016:

On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, a Bangladeshi, secular blogger, Mohammed Nazim Uddin was murdered by Islamists for blog posts critical of militant Islam. Uddin was surrounded and hacked to death by men armed with machetes.

Bangladesh has been a dangerous place for those who speak out against Islamists. Since 2013, Islamists have repeatedly targeted secular bloggers, and several of these bloggers have applied for asylum in Western nations.

Bangladeshi bloggers to be killed by Islamists include:

  • Ahmed Rajib Haider hacked to death by men wielding machetes in February of 2013. Haider was a prominent anti-Islamist blogger in Bangladesh who often blogged under the name Thaba Baba.
  • Washiqur Rahman was also killed by men with machetes in March of 2015. Rahman, similar to Haider, wrote under the false name of Kucchit Hasher Channa, which means Ugly Ducking. He was known to have criticized what he described as irrational religious beliefs.
  • Avijit Roy was killed in February of 2015 for championing atheism and tolerance for homosexuality.
  • Islamists murdered Ananta Bijoy Das, a science and secularism blogger, in March of 2015.

Many of these bloggers were members of the Shahbag Movement. The movement is centered around the city of Shahbag, seeking to punish Islamist leaders convicted of war crimes during the bloody 1971 war for independence from Pakistan. The movement became more publicized after their protest against Abdul Quader Mollah, assistant secretary-general of Bangladesh’s Jamaat-e-Islami party. Between 100,000-500,000 gathered in the street calling for Mollah be put to death for the acts of violence he committed in the 1971 war of independence.

There has been a historical tension between Islamic politics and secularism in Bangladesh. Islam has been Bangladesh’s state religion since 1988, when former dictator H.M. Ershad made the change in order to win over popular support. The same year a petition was filed opposing the declaration, but never ruled upon.

In 2011, the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina began a push to reintroduce secularism in political affairs.  Bangladesh’s three-judge High Court panel recently ruled to formally reject the long dormant petition, a largely symbolic move supported by Bangladesh’s Islamist factions.

Bangladesh is the third largest Muslim country in the world, and is well accustomed to the presence of jihadist organizations. However, the nation has begun to see a rise in the presence of larger, better-known jihadist organizations like the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda (AQ).

Last September, IS made its presence in Bangladesh known when it killed Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella. IS followed up this attack by killing Italian missionary Piero Parolari last November. In 2014, AQ officially stated they had established a new branch called Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). AQIS has claimed responsibility for the killing of several bloggers within Bangladesh since its inception.

Late last year Singapore police arrested 27 Bangladesh jihadists who reportedly followed the teachings of former AQ member, Anwar al-Awlaki. The men mentioned they were encouraged to return to Bangladesh and wage a war against the government. The government’s increased push for a more secular government could lead others to turn jihadists.

While some jihadis look to quell opposition to Islam through force, other groups take a more political approach. Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), established in 1941, seeks to create an Islamic State governed by Sharia law. The group was formally banned by the Bangladesh government in 1971, but was re-activated after a coup in 1975. Since then the group has been able to acquire influence in parliament, and is known to aid terrorist activity.

As the struggle between secularists and Islamists in Bangladesh continues, the small South Asian country risks becoming a hot spot for jihadist organizations. An ex-Bangladesh army intelligence specialist warns that IS has its eye on Bangladesh, as about 30 Bangladeshis have gone to fight in Syria or Iraq.

***

Law Against Beating Wives Challenged by Sharia Council in Pakistan

Pakistani women

by CounterJihad, March 8, 2016:

March 8th is International Women’s Day.  On this occasion, we would like to draw attention to a story out of Pakistan, where legislators in the Punjab have tried to improve the status of women.  Taking note of the abusive nature of many traditional family arrangements there, the legislature passed a law that would establish a 24-hour hotline for women to call if they were abused by their husbands.  Those calling the hotline would be rescued and removed to government shelters without their husband’s permission.  Sometimes — but not always — the husband might even be forced to leave his own home for beating his wife.

Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology declared the law to be a violation of sharia.  They demanded that it be submitted to them for a formal review before it could be put into practice.  If lawmakers fail to do so, they threatened to issue a formal finding that the lawmakers were engaged in blasphemy — an offense punishable by death.

Even where the council does not formally rule that blasphemy has occurred, their informal charge that a political figure is blaspheming Islam is often enough.  The governor of Punjab was assassinated following such a confrontation with the council.

The danger is real enough that an earlier attempt to protect women from becoming child brides by raising the age of consent to 18 was abandoned after the council declared it to be blasphemy.

The Islamic Council says that the protections of sharia are enough for women in Pakistan.  Statistics show what those protections really mean:

In a report last month, the British Home Office noted Pakistan has been ranked as the “the third most dangerous place in the world for women,” referring to a 2011 Thomson-Reuters survey.

In 2014, more than 600 Pakistani women were killed in so-called “honor” killings, including 362 in Punjab province, the Home Office noted.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which supported the bill approved by the Punjab Assembly, has  estimated as many as 70 percent of Pakistani women are victims of domestic violence.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan are activists, of course, and one may question their statistics as it is in their political interest to inflate the figures.  However, a similar group of activists in the United States puts the number of women suffering from domestic violence at 1 in 3, or 33% — less than half the rate claimed by the group in Pakistan.  In part that is because the United States has clear laws opposing such violence.  The United States also has domestic violence shelters and a host of legal protections ensuring that women are free to leave an abusive relationship.

Groups aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic organizations are doing their best to seduce Western powers into accepting Islamic standards on blasphemy.  Western protections for women can only be undermined if they succeed.

Denmark Criminalizes Free Speech – Selectively

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, February 19, 2016:

  • According to the court decision, pointing out the totalitarian and cruel aspects of Islam itself is now a criminal offense, considered “insulting and demeaning” to Muslims in Denmark and therefore constituting “racism.” In effect, this means that the court is conflating what might possibly constitute blasphemy with racism.
  • Conversely, when a Danish imam called Jews “the offspring of apes and pigs,” he was officially reported to the police for breaching § 266b, but no legal charges were ever filed against him.
  • In Denmark, apparently, it is a crime to criticize Islam and “Islamists,” but calling Jews the “offspring of apes and pigs” and inciting their murder in a packed mosque (and calling non-Muslims in general “animals”) can be done with impunity.

Last week, a Danish district court ruled that what a Danish citizen had written on Facebook in November 2013 violated the Danish criminal code.

In response to a debate about the local activities of a radical Islamic organization, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which works for the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate, he wrote: “The ideology of Islam is as loathsome, disgusting, oppressive and as misanthropic as Nazism. The massive immigration of Islamists into Denmark is the most devastating thing to happen to Danish society in recent history.”

According to § 266b of Denmark’s criminal code, it is prohibited and punishable by fine or prison publicly to threaten, insult or demean a group of persons because of their race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual orientation.

The man was fined 1600 Danish kroner (approximately $240), which makes it unlikely that he will be allowed to appeal the sentence: the fine is so small that an appeal to the Higher Court requires special permission.

The Danish district court found that the man’s statements about Islam were “generalizing statements” that were “insulting and demeaning towards adherents of Islam.”

The district court reached this conclusion despite the defendant’s testimony, according to which he specifically wrote “the ideology of Islam” in order to make a distinction between the religion of Islam and the ideology of Islam. The defendant explained that, “‘Islamist’ is a normal term for extremist groups, who commit crimes against humanity and do the most terrible things, whereas Islam is a peaceful religion.”

The district court decided to disregard “the defendant’s explanation that a distinction should be made between the ideology of Islam and the religion of Islam”.

The court reasoned that

“the statements that the defendant has made should be seen in the societal and historical context of the fall of 2013, and in this context the court sees the statements about ‘the ideology of Islam’ as pertaining to Islam generally and not only the extreme part of Islam. In this regard, the court has furthermore emphasized that the quoted statements were written on 29 November 2013 at 17.13 and that at 17.27 on the same day — as pointed out by the defense — the defendant wrote in the same [Facebook] thread that “Islam wishes to abuse democracy in order to get rid of democracy.”

For the incredulous reader, it should be pointed out that the court presumably meant that in 2013, Islamism as an ideology had not manifested itself through terrorism in Denmark and Europe in the same way as it has today, a few years later. This is, of course, nonsense, as pointed out by the defendant’s lawyer, Karoly Nemeth: “I believe the court is expressing a lack of historical understanding. The ideology of Islam has existed for over 1,000 years,” he said.

According to this court decision, then, pointing out the totalitarian and cruel aspects of Islam itself is now a criminal offense, considered “insulting and demeaning” to Muslims in Denmark and therefore constituting “racism.” In effect, this means that the court is conflating what might possibly constitute blasphemy with racism. Despite this decision being wrong in every single aspect, the court did, however, get one thing right: It refused to distinguish between Islam as an ideology and Islam as religion. The prosecutor, Bente Schnack, said it did not make a difference whether the defendant spoke of the ideology or the religion of Islam. “It is pretty difficult to tell the difference,” she said.

While the court’s decision was widely criticized in Denmark, two leading professors of Danish criminal law agreed with it. One professor, Gorm Toftegaard Nielsen, said that, “§ 266b is about subjecting a group of people to hatred by threatening, insulting or demeaning them. When you group Islamists with Nazis, then it is not a compliment.”

The following question, of course, inevitably arises: Since when is public debate supposed to be restricted to complimenting each other?

The professor continued: “When he [the defendant] says ‘the massive immigration of Islamists,’ it can easily be interpreted as meaning that those people are as immoral as Nazis… It is not nice to compare those two groups. But that is what he does indirectly and that amounts to subjecting a group to hatred.”

What the Danish district court did was what the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation has long sought: the establishment of Islamic “blasphemy laws,” making criticism of a religion a criminal offence. The UN Human Rights Commission’s Resolution 16/18 does exactly that, although it is non-binding — except presumably for the countries that want it to be. Infractions, as in Denmark now, are punishable by law. The UNHRC Resolution, originally known as “Defamation of Islam,” was changed in later versions — it would seem for broader marketability — to “Defamation of Religions.”

Conversely, in October 2014, when Mohamed Al Khaled Samha, a Danish imam from the Odense mosque, called Jews “the offspring of apes and pigs,” he was officially reported to the police, and local Danish police began an investigation of the imam with a view to charging him for breaching § 266b, but as far as Gatestone Institute has been able to ascertain, no legal charges were ever filed against him. (Incidentally, this imam was among the group of imams who traveled to the Middle East presumably to stir up anti-Danish sentiment in the aftermath of Jyllands-Posten newspaper’s printing of the Mohammed cartoons). In his sermon, Samha also said, “”Palestine has been and will remain the land of Islam. It is the land of the great battle, in which the Muslims will fight the Jews, and the trees and the stones will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah! There is a Jew behind me. Come and kill him.'”

In July 2014 another Danish imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, from the Grimshøj mosque, prayed for the death of Jews at a sermon in a Berlin mosque. “Oh Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews. They are no challenge for you. Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them,” Ismail said. This, too, was officially reported to the Danish police, who never acted against that imam, either.

Instead, it was German authorities who criminally charged him. In December 2015, he wassentenced to a €10,000 fine for inciting hatred against Jews as well as non-Jewish groups in Germany. The Berlin court found that Ismail targeted “Jews with hatred, as well as all other non-Muslim groups living in Germany.”

The German court also said that the Lebanese-born cleric had shown deep contempt for the United States and Europe in his sermon, and that his assault on European civilization and Zionists had met the definition of incitement. The verdict said that Ismail considered Jews as “criminals who kill prophets and children, and Jews are worse than wild beasts in the world of the jungle,” and that “Allah should kill Jews.” Since Ismail had already been convicted in Germany, and a person cannot be punished twice for the same criminal act, the Danish police decided not to press charges.

In another, ironic, development regarding the use of § 266b of the Danish penal code, the state Prosecutor decided that Hajj Saeed, who incited against Jews in the Masjid Al-Faru mosque in Copenhagen, on February 13, 2015 — the very same sermon, in fact, that the terrorist Omar Abdel Hamid El-Husseini attended the day before he murdered Dan Uzan at the Copenhagen synagogue — will not be prosecuted for his statements. In his sermon, Saeed said that the Western “infidel” civilization has led non-Muslims “to an abyss of deprivation and corruption and has reduced them from being human to being at the level of animals”. He incited Muslims to wage war against Jews:

“Our prophet Muhammad had Jewish neighbors in Medina. Did he talk about closer ties, harmony and dialogue with them — in the same way as the UN and those who call for reconciliation between what is true and what is false? Or did he tell them to worship Allah? When they broke their promise and did not accept his calling, well, you know what he did to them… He declared war against the Jews.”

Danish police investigated the imam and recommended that the state prosecutor indict him under the same provision of the penal code, § 266b, for inciting hatred and threatening a particular group of people because of their ethnicity — in this instance because they were Jews. The state Prosecutor, for reasons that are unknown at this point, evidently thought otherwise.

Ironically, the mosque in question, Masjid Al-Faru, is connected with Hizb-ut-Tahrir; and the imam, Hajj Saeed, is considered to be one of the organization’s “rising stars” in Denmark.

In 2002, in fairness, the spokesman at the time for Hizb ut-Tahrir, Fadi Abdullatif, was sentenced for violating § 266b, when his organization handed out flyers against Jews with the words, “And kill them, wherever you may find them and banish them from where they banished you.”

Members of the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir demand a worldwide Islamic Caliphate during a demonstration in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2006. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Epo)

After the February 2015 terrorist attacks in Copenhagen against the synagogue, where Dan Uzan was murdered, and the Krudttønden café, where film director Finn Nørgaard was murdered, Hizb ut-Tahrir told Muslims not to condemn the terrorist attacks, but instead “put things in their right context.”

In Denmark, apparently, it is a crime to criticize Islam and “Islamists,” but calling Jews the “offspring of apes and pigs” and inciting their murder in a packed mosque (and calling non-Muslims in general “animals”) can be done with impunity.

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

The Most Inexcusable Crime in the Muslim World

Gatestone Institute, by Uzay Bulut, June 16, 2015:

  • Even visionary calls for Islamic reform by Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, were not publicly welcomed by a single Western leader.
  • An ideology that encourages its adherents to engage in deadly rioting, burn down embassies, and kill people over cartoons, but that shows no great signs of sorrow as little girls are sold and raped, most likely does not have much to contribute to advancing civilization.
  • An ideology that treats women as property, that murders or imprisons intellectuals and that sentences a blogger to 1000 lashes and ten years in jail — if he survives — has no right to blame troubles on the West or anyone else.
  • This view has nothing to do with the West or any kind of Western intervention.

Violence and intolerance envelop the Muslim world. People who commit barbaric acts — slaughtering Christians, Jews, Muslims and Hindus, almost anyone — say they are merely upholding Islamic sharia law against “blasphemy,” apostasy and “unbelievers.” These Islamic extremists daily take those laws in their own hands, murdering anyone who wants to think freely or differently. Every day, arrests, trials, floggings, torture and the murder of journalists, poets, students and human rights activists are a routine practice.

In 2013, a Pakistani Professor of English, Junaid Hafeez, was arrested and jailed on blasphemy charges after a student affiliated with the Jamaat-i-Islami party accused him of insulting Muhammad, the founder of Islam, on Facebook. His original lawyer, Chaudhry Mudassar, left the case in June 2013 after facing a multitude of death threats. His second lawyer, Rashid Rehman, was shot dead in his office in front of his colleagues on May 7, 2014. His current lawyer, Shahbaz Gurmani, has received death threats, including guns fired outside his house, and a letter from the Islamic State (ISIS), warning him against pursuing the case, and stating that he will be beheaded unless he stops.

Junaid Hafeez remains in jail.

On December 28, 2014 the Egyptian writer Fatima Naoot was brought to court for allegedly “insulting” Islam. Her “crime” was to write comments on her Facebook page criticizing the slaughter of animals during Eid al-Adha, the Muslim feast of sacrifice. “I will not be defeated even if I am imprisoned,” Naoot told Reuters. “The loser will be the cultural movement.”

Fatima Naoot is a columnist and poet with a critical mind. She has the courage to speak out against the injustices in her society — traits apparently too threatening for many Muslims.

Article 98(f) of the Egyptian Penal Code prohibits citizens from “ridiculing or insulting heavenly religions or inciting sectarian strife.”

But in Egypt, the law seems to function only against followers of religions other than Sunni Islam. According to the 2014 annual report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom,

“The bulk of the charges target Sunni Muslim entertainers, prominent personalities, and journalists. Yet the majority of those sentenced by a court to prison terms for blasphemy have been Christians, Shi’a Muslims, and atheists, mostly based on flawed trials. Some 40 percent of the defendants were Christians, a high percentage when compared to the approximately 10-15% Christian population.”

A Muslim cleric, Hussein Ya’qoub, said in 2009, “The Jews are the enemies of Muslims regardless of the occupation of Palestine. You must believe that we will fight, defeat and annihilate them until not a single Jew remains on the face of the earth.”

Another Muslim cleric, Sallah Sultan, said in a speech aired on Hamas TV in 2012, that people he meets everywhere “thirst for the blood of the Jews…. Israel used girls with AIDS to seduce young Egyptians and infect them,” he said, evidently without bothering to validate the story, which is just another example of fabricated Jew-hate.

Neither cleric has yet been brought to court for proudly calling for genocide, but Fatima Naoot is tried for criticizing the slaughter of animals during Eid al-Adha.

On August 30, 2014, an Iranian photographer, Soheil Arabi, 30, was sentenced by a criminal court in Tehran to death by hanging for “insulting the prophet of Islam” (Sabbo al-Nabbi) in Facebook postings. On November 24, 2014, Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentence.

Soheil Arabi (right) was last year sentenced to death by an Iranian court for “insulting the prophet of Islam” in Facebook postings.

In 2014, Raif Badawi, 31, a Saudi blogger and creator of a website intended to foster debate on religion and politics, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, 1000 lashes and 1 million Saudi riyals (about $267,000) for “adopting liberal thought” and “insulting Islam.” Badawi received the first 50 lashes of his sentence on January 9, 2015, outside a mosque after morning prayers, “surrounded by a cheering crowd who cried incessantly ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is greatest)” during the whipping.” The sentence was upheld last week by Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court; the only reprieve can come from King Salman.

In Islamic Sharia law, a free mind is the most inexcusable crime in the Muslim world. Being imprisoned, tortured or put to death for having one is also the reason there are centuries between Muslim countries and the West in the field of human liberation. To Euripides, “Not to speak one’s thought, this is slavery;” to many Muslim countries, free thought is death.

Those who have the courage to try to abolish this “slavery” in the Muslim world are forced to pay a huge price. The young Nobel Prize laureate, Malala Yousefzai, was shot in the head for demanding an education. Lawyers representing people trying to abolish this “slavery” or other allegations — even fraudulent ones — are killed.

You can blow up children at school; deliberately run over innocent people for the sake of jihad; slaughter people at prayer and then distribute sweets to celebrate your “victory;” devalue a woman’s worth in countless ways — by taking four wives, beating them, then with a word divorcing them — and you will be praised by many Muslims for being a “hero,” a “martyr” or a “true Muslim.”

This view has nothing to do with the West or any kind of Western intervention. It was not the Europeans, the United States or the State of Israel that spread these coercive sharia-based laws against blasphemy and apostasy among Muslims.

The Muslim regimes, which do not know even the definition of liberty — and their systematic criminalization of free speech; their suppression of inquiry and creativity; and their unending intertribal fights — are the reason their people have remained in the seventh century.

The rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria; the expanding reach of Iran into four more countries (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen) as the United States retreats from three (Libya, Yemen and Iraq), and the indifference of much of the Muslim world in the face of this new catastrophe, all indicate that there is not yet much hope for positive change in the Muslim world. Even visionary calls for Islamic reform by Egypt’s President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, were not publicly welcomed by a single Western leader.

Apart from the defenders of liberty such as Hafeez, Naoot, Arabi, and Badawi, the situation seems to be getting grimmer by the day. A pamphlet handed out by ISIS answers over 27 questions, including: “Can all unbelieving women be taken captive?” and, “Is it permissible to have intercourse with a female slave who has not reached puberty?”

The pamphlet also approves of enslavement, rape (including of prepubescent girls), beating to achieve gratification [darb al-tashaffi], and torture [darb al-ta’dheeb].

An ideology that encourages its adherents to engage in deadly rioting, burn down embassies, and kill people over cartoons, but that shows no great signs of sorrow as little girls are sold and raped, most likely does not have much to contribute to advancing civilization.

An ideology that treats women as property, that murders or imprisons intellectuals and that sentences a blogger to 1000 lashes and ten years in jail — if he survives — has no right to blame its troubles on the West or anyone else.

Uzay Bulut, born and raised a Muslim, is a Turkish journalist based in Ankara, Turkey.

Americans know better than politicians on the Islamist threat

1484545495Center for Security Policy, June 12, 2015:

Last month, Kellyanne Conway’s the Polling Company conducted a phone survey of 802 Americans to gauge their opinions on various topics related to shariah law, jihad, immigration, refugee resettlement, the nuclear deal with Iran, and free speech.

In the brief videos below, Kellyanne highlights the most striking results from the survey, which support the thesis that the political and media classes lag far behind the common sense of the American citizenry when it comes to the national security threats of our day.

Part 1: Americans Know Better on Shariah and the Iran Deal

  • More than half of Americans now know the term “shariah.” Is this a watershed?
  • Americans are deeply skeptical of any deal with Iran. Why have the media and administration told us otherwise?

Part 2: Americans Know Better on the 1st Amendment and Blasphemy

  • Nearly 2/3 of Americans believe the freedom to offend Muslims (or anyone) is guaranteed in the Constitution. How has this colored their reaction to the Mohammed cartoon violence in Frank, Denmark and Texas?

Part 3: Americans Know Better on Dangers of Refugee Resettlement

  • Americans want the U.S., not the U.N., to determine who qualifies for the refugee resettlement program.

A Former Muslim’s Grave Warning to America

hirsi_ali-492x486American Thinker, By Matthew Vadum, June 11, 2015:

Islam “has begotten a bloodthirsty ideology that is determined to destroy the principles of liberty and humanity and basic decency,” ex-Muslim and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali said June 3 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Hirsi Ali knows what she’s talking about.  Born in Mogadishu, Somalia, she was raised Muslim.  She spent her childhood and young adulthood in Africa and Saudi Arabia.  She fled as a refugee to the Netherlands in 1992, where she earned a political science degree and was elected to the Dutch House of Representatives.  After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Hirsi Ali renounced Islam.

Last week she accepted an award from the Milwaukee-based Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which prides itself on “strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles and values that sustain and nurture it.”

Some in the conservative movement refer to the annual Bradley Prizes event, which was emceed this year by commentator George Will, as the “conservative Oscars.”  The other recipients this year were James W. Ceaser, a political science professor at the University of Virginia; Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College; and retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, chairman of the Institute for the Study of War.

The late Christopher Hitchens called Hirsi Ali, whose former religion forced female circumcision on her, someone “of arresting and hypnotizing beauty,” and “a charismatic figure” who writes “with quite astonishing humor and restraint.”  In 2005, Time magazine named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

She famously said, “Islam is not a religion of peace.  It’s a political theory of conquest that seeks domination by any means it can.”

Her latest book, Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, was published in March by Harper.  (It was reviewed by Katherine Ernst in City Journal.)

“My argument is that it is foolish to insist, as our leaders habitually do, that the violent acts of radical Islamists can be divorced from the religious ideals that inspire them,” she writes in Heretic.  She continues:

Instead we must acknowledge that they are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in Islam itself, in the holy book of the Qur’an as well as the life and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad contained in the hadith.

Let me make my point in the simplest possible terms: Islam is not a religion of peace.

For expressing the idea that Islamic violence is rooted not in social, economic, or political conditions – or even in theological error – but rather in the foundational texts of Islam itself, I have been denounced as a bigot and an “Islamophobe.”  I have been silenced, shunned, and shamed.  In effect, I have been deemed to be a heretic, not just by Muslims – for whom I am already an apostate – but by some Western liberals as well, whose multicultural sensibilities are offended by such “insensitive” pronouncements … today, it seems, speaking the truth about Islam is a crime.  “Hate speech” is the modern term for heresy.  And in the present atmosphere, anything that makes Muslims feel uncomfortable is branded as “hate.”

In the book, Hirsi Ali writes that it is her goal “to make many people – not only Muslims but also Western apologists for Islam – uncomfortable” by “challenging centuries of religious orthodoxy with ideas and arguments that I am certain will be denounced as heretical.”

“My argument is for nothing less than a Muslim Reformation,” she writes.  “Without fundamental alterations to some of Islam’s core concepts, I believe, we shall not solve the burning and increasingly global problem of political violence carried out in the name of religion.”

In her remarks at the Kennedy Center, Hirsi Ali summarized what brought her to this point and what needs to be done.  With the exception of the opening pleasantries, here follows a transcript of this brave woman’s speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bradley Foundation is committed to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles, and values that sustain and nurture it.  It supports limited, competent government, a dynamic marketplace for economic, intellectual, and cultural activity and a vigorous defense at home and abroad of American ideas and institutions.

It may same strange to you that I, an immigrant black woman from a Muslim family, should identify so strongly with those goals.  Let me explain to you why I do.  There are three reasons.

First, it’s because my life’s journey which has taken me from Somalia to Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia to Kenya to the Netherlands and finally here, could not have been better designed to make me appreciate American principles and American institutions.

Second, I think I can justly say that I was among the first in my age group of millions of Muslims to admit that our faith, no longer mine, has begotten a bloodthirsty ideology that is determined to destroy the principles of liberty and humanity and basic decency.

Even after 9/11 there are still those who naively believe that it’s a threat only in countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  The reality as our general [i.e. Jack Keane] just laid out, is that it is now a global threat.  A recent report by the United Nations Security Council confirmed that more than 100 countries are now supplying recruits to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and the United States is one of them.

This year alone the number of U.S.-based individuals in Islamic terror-related cases has risen to 40.  What concerns me is not jihad, or it’s not only jihad.  It’s also the nonviolent activities from preaching to fundraising that are its essential seedbed.  Often those who engage in these activities are very skillful at representing themselves as moderates.

Let me quote you the words of Abdurahman Alamoudi, a founder of the American Muslim Council, who at one time was an Islamic advisor to President Clinton and a goodwill ambassador to the State Department, as well as being consulted by some eminent Republicans.

“We have a chance,” he declared to a Muslim audience, “to be the moral leadership of America.  It will happen, it will happen praise Allah the Exalted.  I have no doubt in my mind.  It depends on me and you, either we do it now or we do it after a hundred years, but this country will become a Muslim country.”

That is the authentic voice of a plot against America today.  I am glad to report that Alamoudi is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for financial and conspiracy offenses involving the Libyan government and the al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the then-crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

Third, and finally, I have come to see that there is a creative threat close to American institutions, the ones opposed by those within the West who appease the Islamic extremists.

Last September our president insisted the Islamic State is not Islamic.  Later that month he told the U.N. General Assembly that Islam teaches peace.  Phrases like “radical Islam” and “Islamic extremism” are no longer heard in the White House press conferences.

The approved term is “violent extremism.”  Ladies and gentlemen, if we don’t define the problem, if we can’t bring ourselves to define the problem, then how on earth can we ever hope to solve it?  [audience applauds]

The decision not to call violence committed in the name of Islam by its true name is a very strange one.  Imagine if Western leaders during the Cold War had gone around calling Communism an ideology of peace or condemning the Baader-Meinhof Gang for not being true Marxists.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is time to drop the euphemisms and verbal contortions.  As I argue in my most recent book, Heretic, a battle for the future of Islam is taking place between reformers and reactionaries, between dissidents and jihadists, with the majority of Muslims caught in the middle unsure which side to take.  The outcome matters, matters to Muslims but it matters to us and to global peace, and the United States needs to start helping the right side to win.

Sometimes people who want to smear me use the sham term, “Islamophobe,” which is designed to imply that those who scrutinize Islamic extremism are bigots.  Well, I may have a phobia, but it’s not directed against Muslims.  After all I used to be one.  My phobia is towards any ideology, whether it is Communism, Fascism, or Islamism, that threatens individual freedom and the institutions that protect those freedoms.

That is why I am so grateful and so proud to accept this honor from you tonight.

Thank you, very, very much.

Hirsi Ali’s personal story bears some resemblance to that of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.  Wilders is a member of the Dutch House of Representatives and leader of his country’s Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV), or in English, the Party for Freedom.

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AFDI Rolls Out New Free Speech Billboard Campaign Featuring Muhammad Cartoon

AFDI-billboard-640x480Breitbart, by Pamela Geller, June 8, 2015:

The human rights advocacy group the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) has announced a new billboard campaign to defend freedom of speech and stand up to violent intimidation.

AFDI President Pamela Geller said in a statement: “Because the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Sharia without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we are running a billboard ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.”

The new free speech campaign went up on 100 billboards today in St. Louis.

Geller explained: “Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder.”

“Speech that is offensive to some must not be curtailed, but protected (i.e., the Mohammed cartoons). Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced. If speech that offends a group is outlawed, that group has absolute power, and a free society is destroyed. A group that cannot be criticized cannot be opposed. It can work its will no matter what it is, and no one will be able to say anything to stop it.”

Geller added: “There is nothing about this cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire. If America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history.”

AFDI Vice President Robert Spencer stated: “Many people on both the Left and the Right are saying that we should do nothing to provoke Islamic fundamentalism. The immediate answer would seem to be that we should do nothing to provoke violent jihadis, that the prudent thing to do would be to avoid doing things that anger them. But if we did that, they would not they stop coming at us. Last September, an Islamic State spokesman boasted: ‘We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.’

In light of that, what is the point of asking whether or not we should provoke them? They’re already provoked. A more useful question now is whether it is really productive and helpful to signal to them that we will acquiesce to their threats of violence and change our behavior accordingly, or whether we will instead signal to them that their violent threats are not going to frighten us into submission.”

The ads have been submitted to run on billboards in the St. Louis area. The next city will be going up tomorrow.

AFDI stands for:

  • The freedom of speech – as opposed to Islamic prohibitions of “blasphemy” and “slander,” which are used effectively to quash honest discussion of jihad and Islamic supremacism;
  • The freedom of conscience – as opposed to the Islamic death penalty for apostasy;
  • The equality of rights of all people before the law – as opposed to Sharia’s institutionalized discrimination against women and non-Muslims.

Join the AFDI Facebook page here.

Mary, Muhammad, and Hypocritical Media Dhimmitude, From The New York Times, to Fox News

By Andrew Bostom, May 30, 2015:

Clay Waters of Newsbusters (h/t Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch) underscores the rank “free expression” hypocrisy, and sheer dhimmitude, of the New York Times, resplendent once again, in its Thursday, May 28, 2015 “Arts” section. A prominent photographic reproduction of the 1996 Ofili painting, “The Holy Virgin Mary”, which accompanied the story about its sale, included an accuratedescription of the painting’s contents. The Times report also made a rathercontemptuous assessment of then New York Mayor Giuliani’s reaction to Ofili’s deliberately insulting work, an unabashed “artistic” exercise in scatology and pornography.

The Australian collector David Walsh is selling Chris Ofili’s 1996 painting “The Holy Virgin Mary,” which caused a furor when it was shown at the Brooklyn Museum in October 1999 as part of Charles Saatchi’s touring “Sensation” exhibition of works by Young British Artists (YBAs). The eight-foot-high depiction of a black Virgin Mary, encrusted with a lump of elephant dung and collaged bottoms [i.e., naked buttocks] from pornographic magazines, outraged religious leaders and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who described Mr. Ofili’s painting and other works in the show as “sick stuff.” Mr. Giuliani’s attempts to close the exhibition by withholding public funds were rejected by a federal judge.

Yet the Times remains steadfast in its refusal to show any drawings of Muhammad, despite their obvious centrality to—wait for it—the news, given the very recent mass murderous Muslim reactions to the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in Paris, and the failed attempt at similar jihadist carnage in Garland, Texas. The latter occurred following an educational conference which displayed historical and contemporary Muhammad images, produced by Muslims and non-Muslims, alike, and also included a contextual discussion of Islamic “blasphemy law,”which is antithetical to free speech as enshrined in the first amendment to our U.S. Constitution.

It must be emphasized, however, that The New York Times’ acquiescent dhimmitude, vis-à-vis its self-imposed “ban” on displays of any images of Islam’s prophet Muhammad, is shared uniformly by all our major television media,notably Fox News (see here; here; here; here; and here). The abject dhimmitude of Fox News is particularly egregious given the network’s continuous preening verbal support for free speech, and its history of appropriately condemning the hypocrisy of displaying works like Ofili’s Virgin Mary, but not artistic images of Muhammad.

I have included both the Ofili painting, and. just below it, Muslim “apostate” artist Bosch Fawstin’s drawing of Muhammad—a pure free speech political cartoon, which garnered first prize at the Garland conference exhibition—for juxtaposition.

Any rational, honest, objective human being should discern—and acknowledge—the stark contrast between these images.

How profound is our media dhimmitude that even “alternative” Fox News, by its repeated actions— i.e. refusing to display Fawstin’s sober, thoughtful Muhammad drawing, not Fox’s empty “free speech support” rhetoric—has effectively conflated Ofili’s dung-clotted, pornographic buttocks-collaged Virgin Mary, an “artistic” exercise in gratuitous profanity, with a brave ex-Muslim’s plaintive, non-profane image extolling our bedrock liberty, freedom of expression?

Ofili-Mary-778x1024

My Winning Mohammad Contest Drawing

SHOCK VIDEO: Widespread Support for Sharia and Blasphemy Laws…in Minneapolis

252_large (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole On May 28, 2015:

Going back to 2007, I’ve reported on the growing problem of terror recruitment in the Twin Cities, particularly in the Somali community there.

In December 2007 I reported here at PJ Media on a well-attended terror fundraiser held in a prominent hotel in downtown Minneapolis that Homeland Security was warned about, but did nothing to prevent. Note that this was nearly a year before anyone else in the media was even paying attention to the recruitment of Somalis by foreign terrorist organizations.

Fast-forward to July 2009, and the media only then began reporting that the same meeting I had covered a year and a half before was the tipping point for terror recruitment in the Twin Cities. By that time, nearly two dozen young men had already been recruited and were fighting with Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

I have continued to report on that continued terror recruitment, including suicide bombers recruited from the streets of Minneapolis, and the extremist statements made by prominent Islamic leaders in the community.

More recently, I reported here on the failed jihadist deradicalization program set up by the chief federal judge of the District of Minnesota.

And in my article earlier this week on the rapidly escalating number of terror arrests in the U.S., I noted that many of the terror suspects nabbed by law enforcement this year for attempting to travel overseas to join ISIS have come out of Minneapolis.

Now comes documentary producer Ami Horowitz, who went to Minneapolis and conducted interviews with members of the Somali community there, finding widespread support for Islamic law over American law, as well as blasphemy laws limiting the First Amendment to punish depictions of Muhammad.

Back in November 2013, I appeared in an episode of The Blaze TV’s “For The Record” news magazine program talking about how court documents in many of these terror cases reveal the systematic recruitment inside the largest mosque in Minnesota, Masjid Abubakar As-Saddique.

In the following clip from that episode, “Minnesota Martyrs,” Abdirizak Bihi — whose nephew was recruited and killed fighting with Al-Shabaab, and I talk about the dozens of terror recruits tied to that mosque:

The problem of terror recruitment and promotion of widespread extremist ideologies in the Somali community is not an abstract concept for me, as my own hometown of Columbus, Ohio, has also seen a series of terror arrests over the years. Columbus has the second largest Somali population of any city in the country behind Minneapolis.

In November 2007, Columbus resident Nuradin Abdi pled guilty to his role in an Al-Qaeda terror cell in my city. According to court documents, Abdi and his associates discussed attacking an area shopping mall on “Black Friday,” the busiest shopping day of the year. Sentenced to 10 years in prison, Abdi was released in 2012 and deported back to Somalia.

Then in September 2010, I reported here on Dahir Gurey, another Columbus resident, who was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu fighting as a senior commander for Al-Shabaab. I noted that local authorities had been made aware of Gurey’s fundraising and recruiting for Al-Shabaab but declined to do anything about it because of his close ties to Islamic religious leaders who were favored by local political figures. Gurey was later featured in an Al-Shabaab propaganda recruitment video on three American recruits to the terror group called “The Path to Paradise.” Yet as I noted, the local media, namely the Columbus Dispatch, continued to downplay the terror recruitment problem in our city.

And just last month I reported on the case of Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, again from the Columbus area, who had traveled to Syria to fight with the Islamic State and had returned to conduct terror attacks in the homeland — the first known case of an ISIS terror recruit returning home with plans to engage in terror domestically. His brother was reportedly killed fighting with ISIS last June. Upon Mohamud’s return to Columbus last year, he began conducting weapons training classes at a local gun range with other prospective recruits, theWall Street Journal reported.

The widespread support for Islamic law highlighted in Horowitz’s video above shows the ideological breeding ground that these recruits are eventually drawn from.

With terror arrests this year alone approaching all-time highs and the growing acceptance of the worldview that radicalizes these individuals, it seems clear that the terror recruitment problem in Minneapolis, Columbus, and many other cities around the country will continue for the foreseeable future.

***

From Cultural Jihad:

COMMENT: The Somalis constitute a sizable ethnic group in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.   Some estimates are that 1 out of every 3 people with Somali ancestry in the U.S. live in Minnesota – a 2010 survey estimated the Somali community to be at 85,700 in the United States.  The largest growth influx  occurred as a result of refugee program efforts in response to the Somali civil war escalation in the 1990s.

The Minneapolis area has been experiencing a number of incidents involving ISIS recruitment.  A February 2015 NPR article notes:

In the discussions at the White House this week, one city has focused minds: Minneapolis-St Paul. It had been ground zero for terrorist recruiters in the past, and is fast becoming the center of ISIS’ recruitment effort in the United States.

See this post from the Refugee Resettlement Watch blog regarding April 2015 terror arrests in the area along with information on the US government contractors involved in the refugee resettlement program.

Here Are al-Qaeda’s Guidelines for Which ‘Blasphemers’ to Assassinate

aqiswarningPJ Media, By Bridget Johnson On May 28, 2015:

Two weeks after the latest murder of a blogger for professing disbelief in the Islamic prophet or simply promoting a secular society, al-Qaeda’s new chapter in southeast Asia has issued an update about who will be targeted next.

The bloggers hacked to death in brazen, public attacks thus far have all been in Bangladesh — one of the three victims in less than three months was an American citizen — but the English-language posting of the terrorists’ target list suggests that forthcoming attacks may not be limited in scope.

Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh considers itself a “brother” of al-Qaeda, as Ayman al-Zawahiri has united South Asia jihadist groups under al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent. The chapter was announced last September after what al-Zawahiri said was two years of set-up work with regional Islamist leaders, with a consultative council already operating for a year before the official announcement.

Their newest warning posted online vows to target:

  • “Those who are insulting our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Allah (S) and our religion Islam. We have no problem with the atheists bloggers, atheism or with other religions or belief but we will not tolerate insulting out Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We are targeting those who are insulting our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the name of atheism.”
  • “People who are not allowing to follow the rulings of shariah. He/She might be a teacher of a University, College or School. He/She might be a leader of a certain area or locality or a political party. He/She might be a Judge, Advocate, Engineer or Doctor etc.”
  • “Those who are presenting Islam wrongly in His/Her writings or talks and trying to keep Muslims far from the real teaching of Islam which is one of the main agendas of crusaders in the Muslim nations all over the world. He/She might be a well known writer. He/She might be a poet or free thinker or so called intellectuals. He/She might be an editor of a newspaper of magazine. He/She might be a actor, journalist, producer, director or actor etc.”
  • “Those who are opposing, lowing and presenting wrongly the rulings of shariah by his/her talks or writings using media or any other means of publications.”
  • “Those who are trying to destroy Muslim social values by introducing and spreading the nudity and zina [sex outside of marriage] among the Muslim youths.”
  • “Those who are tying to remove the shariah rulings from the existing Islamic systems, values, cultures and economics.”
  • “Those who are trying to stop the establishment of Islamic rulings (Shariah).”

The al-Qaeda chapter claims it won’t target any people just for not being Muslim, but declared open season on “those who are trying to insult our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Allah (S) and our religion by any means such as writings, talks or physical works.”

Ananta Bijoy Das, a science writer whose numerous books included one on evolution, was hacked to death by four men wielding machetes and cleavers May 12 as he went to work in the city of Sylhet.

AQIS issued a statement afterward announcing they were “delighted” to be responsible for “one Islamophobic atheist blogger sent to hell.” They accused Das of “taunts” to Islam.

Das knew his life was in danger, and tried to get a visa to go to Sweden for a press-freedom event. Swedish officials denied the request last month, afraid that the writer wouldn’t return to Bangladesh.

In February, Bangladeshi-American secularist blogger Avijit Roy was hacked to death on a Dhaka street. “The target was an American citizen.. 2 in 1. #America recently martyred 2 of our brothers in #Khurasan & #Shaam. #Revenge+#Punishment,” Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh tweeted afterward.

Roy was a dual U.S.-Bangladesh citizen who lived in Georgia and was in Bangladesh for a month. His wife, Rafida Ahmed Bonna, was with him at the time of the attack and was severely wounded, with one of her fingers severed by the pair of machete-wielding attackers.

His blog in the 90 percent Muslim country, mukto-mona.com, translates to “free thinking” and featured atheist, humanist and nationalist writers. He was also an author whose books included The Philosophy of Disbelief and The Virus of Faith — further stoking outrage of Islamists.

Das contributed to mukto-mona.com.

After Roy’s murder, secular blogger Washiqur Rahman wasn’t going to take it from the Islamists. He posted a Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoon and used the hashtag #IamAvijit. Rahman was hacked to death at the end of March.

Two suspects out of three attackers were seized at the scene of the crime: students at an Islamic school who said they were acting on orders to kill Rahman.

Al-Qaeda issued a video at the beginning of this month saying AQIS was behind those assassinations and more, including the February 2013 murder of secularist Bangladeshi blogger Rajib Haider.

“Praise be to Allah, these assassinations are part of a series of operations initiated by the different branches of al-Qaeda on the orders of our respected leader Sheikh Ayman al Zawahiri (may Allah protect him),” AQIS leader Asim Umar said. “It is equally part of our commitment to fulfill the oath of Sheikh Osama [bin Laden] (may Allah have mercy on him).”

The assassination campaign, Umar stressed, is teaching “a lesson to blasphemers in France, Denmark, Pakistan and now in Bangladesh.”

Though not specifically mentioned by the al-Qaeda directive, the message was released two days before Friday’s “Draw Muhammad” event outside of a Phoenix mosque.

Pamela Geller and the hijacking of America

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American Thinker, By Larissa Scott, May23, 2015:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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