Should Anti-trust Laws Be Used to Break Up the Social Media Giants?

Front Page Magazine, by Robert Spencer, Sept. 1, 2017:

The secular Left and the proponents of Islamic blasphemy laws have a new issue on which they are making common cause: the quest to destroy the freedom of speech, the cornerstone of our democracy. After Charlottesville, the Left sees its chance to crush all dissent, and given its alliance with Islamic supremacists, this means the implementation in the West of prohibitions on criticism of Islam, including counterterror analysis of the motivating ideology of jihad terrorists. This anti-free speech initiative, if it succeeds, will destroy free society, which cannot exist if one is unable to speak out against the tyrant.

The Left is trying to use Charlottesville as its Reichstag Fire moment to try to crush all dissent. CNN gave the Southern Poverty Law Center’s spurious “hate group” list wide play, and an effort has begun to deny all platforms to those “hate groups,” without any regard for the fact that the SPLC includes legitimate organizations that dissent from the Leftist agenda (including the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Jihad Watch) on the list along with the KKK and neo-Nazis, in an attempt to defame and destroy the legitimate groups.

Spearheading anti-free speech efforts on the Islamic side is a little-known organization that comprises most of the Muslim governments around the world today: the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is made up of fifty-six member nations plus the Palestinian Authority and constitutes the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. The OIC has been working for years to try to compel the West to restrict the freedom of speech, and particularly the freedom to criticize Islam.

Essentially, they want to impose a key principle of Sharia — which forbids blasphemy against Allah, Muhammad, and Islam — on the entire non-Muslim world. They are advancing this initiative by trying to compel the West to criminalize “incitement to religious hatred,” which essentially means criticism of Islam; no international body has ever objected to criticism of Judaism, Christianity, or any other religion.

Aiding this OIC initiative has been the popularization of the term “Islamophobia.” Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former imam, writes that “this loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” Islamic groups tied to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, most notably the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), have for years been wielding this term like a club to smear anyone who speaks honestly about the jihad threat; by doing so, they have intimidated many into silence.

The SPLC has eagerly taken up this term as a key element of its censorship strategy, publishing lists of key “Islamophobes” (including David Horowitz and me) that have grown so absurd that they even include a reformist Muslim, Maajid Nawaz. Nawaz and his associates are themselves not above using similar tactics, but his presence on the SPLC’s list does highlight its absurdity.

The anti-free speech initiative is also proceeding even aside from the SPLC’s hate group list. Canadian psychologist and social critic Jordan Peterson recently had his Google account revoked, without explanation, and then restored without explanation. “Maybe it was just an error,” Peterson told Tucker Carlson, “but the fact that things have been happening in such a strange way politically brings up the specter of censorship.”

And Google has been engaging in censorship. The establishment media in the West completely ignored the story, but Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported several weeks ago that “Google’s first page results for searches of terms such as ‘jihad’, ‘shariah’ and ‘taqiyya’ now return mostly reputable explanations of the Islamic concepts. Taqiyya, which describes the circumstances under which a Muslim can conceal their belief in the face of persecution, is the sole term to feature a questionable website on the first page of results.”

“Reputable” according to whom? “Questionable” according to whom? Google is bowing to pressure from Muslims such as Texas imam Omar Suleiman, who is mentioned in the Anadolu story as the driving force behind this initiative, without considering whether those who are demanding that the search results be skewed in a particular direction might have an ulterior motive. Could it be that those who are pressuring Google want to conceal certain truths about Islam that they would prefer that non-Muslims not know?

This is a real possibility, but of course Google executives would have to study Islam themselves in order to determine whether or not these Muslims who are pressuring them are misleading them, and that’s not going to happen. Still, they could have done a bit more due diligence, and made some efforts to determine whether those being tarred as “hate groups” really deserved the label, whether the Southern Poverty Law Center was really a reliable and objective arbiter of which groups were and weren’t “hate groups,” and whether the information that Google was suppressing was really inaccurate. Instead, Google seems to have swallowed uncritically everything Omar Suleiman and the others said, and applied it as policy.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s Vice President Joel Kaplan traveled to Pakistan in July to assure the Pakistani government that it would remove “anti-Islam” material. That endeavor had already started before Kaplan’s trip. In mid-February, traffic to Jihad Watch from Facebook dropped suddenly by 90% and has never recovered. We do not post any hateful or provocative material and neither incite nor approve of violence, but Facebook is acting as judge, jury and executioner in all this. There is no appeal and no recourse.

A high-placed source in the tech industry told me: “Countries like Pakistan basically tell Facebook and Google that they either comply or the government will arrest all their employees in the country and make it illegal to use their produce. So, FB and Google are faced with either leaving the country or complying. Google famously refused to comply with the Chinese government’s censorship policies and withdrew from China at great cost to Google. Facebook is obviously less principled. By the way, this is a growing phenomenon with more and more countries moving to censor US tech companies (plus there’s been a recent vigorous campaign from the left demanding censorship in the US). They won’t cave to domestic pressures, because it makes no business sense. They will cave to foreign pressure in foreign countries, because it makes business sense.”

In his interview of Jordan Peterson, Carlson asked what governments should do with companies such as Google that are more powerful than the government itself. Peterson answered: “I’m not sure the government knows what to do.” Susan Benesch, director of the Dangerous Speech Project, said in July: “Facebook is regulating more human speech than any government does now or ever has.”

So what is to be done? In other industries the government has used anti-trust laws when free markets are threatened. Here the free marketplace of ideas is threatened. Should the anti-trust laws be invoked to break up Google and Facebook?

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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Video: Robert Spencer on the social media giants’ war on the freedom of speech

Also see:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Calls Out the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Blasphemy Enforcement

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Aug. 24, 2017:

And that’s exactly what it is.

There’s been a consistent pattern of groups fighting “Islamophobia” including ex-Muslims and even Muslim liberals on their hit list. There’s a limited amount of fuss when it happens. And then it dies down again. But the real story is why it happens. It happens because the act of policing “Islamophobia” is really about enforcing Islamist agendas and their codes.

And like their ISIS cousins, the top priority of Islamists is purging Muslims for heresy and blasphemy. When the Southern Povert Law Center got into the Islamophobia business, it began enforcing blasphemy.

Now Ayaan Hirsi Ali challenges the corporations, like Apple, and George Clooney, for enforcing SPLC’s Islamophobia policing and the wilful blind eye that the group turns toward Islamism.

I am a black woman, a feminist and a former Muslim who has consistently opposed political violence. The price for expressing my beliefs has been high: I must travel with armed security at all times. ..

Yet the S.P.L.C. has the audacity to label me an “extremist,” including my name in a “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists” that it published on its website last October.

In that guide, the S.P.L.C. claims that I am a “propagandist far outside the political mainstream” and warns journalists to avoid my “damaging misinformation.” These groundless smears are deeply offensive, as I have dedicated much of my adult life to calling out the true extremists: organizations such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Yet you will look in vain for the S.P.L.C.’s “Field Guide to Muslim Extremists.” No such list exists…

Like neo-Nazis, Islamic extremists despise liberalism. They deny the equality of the sexes, justify wife-beating and, in some cases, even the enslavement of female unbelievers. The Islamic State and groups like it regularly murder gay people in the most heinous ways. Islamic extremists are also virulently anti-Semitic, like the Nazis before them. And like today’s American Nazis, they brandish swastikas, chant slurs and peddle conspiracy theories.

The terrible consequences of Islamic extremism are on display on a weekly basis around the world. In the days after Charlottesville, five men in Barcelona used a van and knives to kill 14 and injure scores of innocent people. Another Islamic extremist went on a stabbing rampage in Finland. In wealthy societies like the United States, most plots to kill in the name of Islamist supremacy are foiled. But poorer societies in the developing world lack the means to do that, which is why the majority of victims of the extremists are in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria….

It is not surprising that, when I point out such facts, I am viciously attacked and threatened by those who are dedicated to Islamic extremism. But it has always struck me as odd that so many supposed liberals in the West take their side rather than mine, as happened three years ago, when Brandeis University rescinded their offer to me of an honorary degree. I would have expected a civil-rights organization supposedly committed to justice to speak out against those who would oppress women, gays and people of other faiths. But the S.P.L.C. has nothing to say about Islamic extremists; only about their opponents.

They are only “supposed liberals”. Actual liberals don’t support

1. Beating people they disagree with

2. Domestic coups

3. Islamic theocracy

Leftists these days do. The left has made its dirty deal with Islamists. And is incapable of intelligently defending it. And the SPLC, which is absurdly sloppy, is even less capable of doing so. It’s simply going to double down on the “protecting Muslims” meme. In this case, that means protecting them from an ex-Muslim black woman. And shouting that they oppose hate.

And the corporations will go on virtue signaling because until they get a different signal from the left, donating to the SPLC is the “right thing” to do. And no amount of facts or argument will change their mind.

But it’s all a reminder that the Southern Poverty Law Center is in bed with Islamists. It’s allied with Islamic Supremacists and their hatred for women, gays and all non-Muslims. And when corporations fund the SPLC, they’re funding the suppression of Muslim and ex-Muslim critics of Islamism.

Also see:

H.R. McMaster Endorsed Book That Advocates Quran-Kissing Apology Ceremonies

AP/Alex Brandon

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Aug. 20, 2017:

TEL AVIV — A book on terrorism endorsed and touted by H.R. McMaster, the embattled White House National Security Adviser, calls on the U.S. military to respond to any “desecrations” of the Quran by service members with an apology ceremony, and advocates kissing a new copy of the Quran before presenting the Islamic text to the local Muslim public.

The book’s author further demanded that any American soldier who “desecrates” the Quran be ejected from the foreign country of deployment, relieved of duty and turned over to a military judge for “punishment.”

“Desecration” of the Quran, according to the McMaster-endorsed book, includes such acts as “letting the Quran fall to the ground during a search, or more blatant instances.”

The book, reviewed in full by this reporter, was authored by U.S. military officer Youssef H. Aboul-Enein and is titled Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat.

McMaster provided a glowing blurb for the book jacket, referring to Aboul-Enein’s book as “an excellent starting point” for understanding terrorist ideology.

McMaster also promoted the book in ARMOR, the journal of the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, published at Fort Benning, Georgia, where McMaster served as commanding general at the Ft. Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence.

McMaster wrote in his blurb for the book: “Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

In the blurb, McMaster revealed his own views on terrorism, claiming that “terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.”

Aboul-Enein is listed as a senior adviser and analyst at the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism at the Defense Intelligence Agency, a position that he also held under the Obama administration. He is an officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps and Middle East Foreign Officer, and an adjunct military professor and chair of Islamic studies at the National Defense University.

Besides endorsing Militant Islamist Ideology, McMaster also wrote a forward for another Aboul-Enein book, this one titled Iraq in Turmoil: Historical Perspectives of Dr. Ali al-Wardi, From the Ottoman Empire to King Feisal.

Quran ‘Desecration’

In the book, Aboul-Enein warned that “incidents of desecrating the Quran, such as letting the Quran fall to the ground during a search, or more blatant instances, allow our adversary to capitalize on outrage and to score points in the arena of public opinion.”

Any such “desecration” of the Quran, the author wrote, “would be considered an offense not only by Militant Islamists but by Islamists and wider Muslim community as well.”

Aboul-Enein recommended that “desecrations” of the Quran should be “quickly acknowledged, with unconditional apologies and reassurances to the public that the accused do not represent the United States or its military, that they have been ejected from the country and referred to their service’s judge advocate general for punishment.”

Besides ejecting the service member from the country of deployment and turning the soldier over to a judge for “punishment,” Aboul-Enein pointed to a May 2008 incident in which a U.S. Army sniper reportedly used the Quran for target practice. He upheld the response by Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Hammond, commander of U.S. forces in Baghdad, as forming, in Aboul-Enein’s opinion, the minimal official U.S. military reaction to such desecrations.

The response included an “apology ceremony” at which a U.S. official kissed a copy of the Quran before presenting the text to the local community as a “humble gift.”

Aboul-Enein writes that Hammond took the following steps, “which in my opinion formed the basis by which American officials and Iraqi tribal leaders fighting al-Qaida can at least alleviate the emotionalism of such an event”:

  • Hammond held “an apology ceremony, not a press conference, and he issued this statement, flanked by Iraqi Sunni leaders of the Radwaniyah District, where the incident had happened: ‘I come before you here seeking your forgiveness, in the most humble manner I look in your eyes today, and I say please forgive me and my soldiers.’”
  • A U.S. official “kissed a new copy of the Quran and ceremoniously presented it to the tribal leaders.”
  • Hammond read the following letter from the shooter: “I sincerely hope that my actions have not diminished the partnership that our two nations have developed together. … My actions were shortsighted, very reckless and irresponsible, but in my heart [the actions] were not malicious.”
  • The offending sniper was “relieved of duty and reassigned.”
  • Hammond himself commented, “The actions of one soldier were nothing more than criminal behavior. … I’ve come to this land to protect you, to support you—not to harm you—and the behavior of this soldier was nothing short of wrong and unacceptable.”

The section on Quran “desecration” is not the only controversial part of the book. Breitbart News reported last week that Aboul-Enein’s book also calls Hamas an “Islamist political group” while failing to categorize the deadly organization as a terrorist group, and refers to al-Qaida attacks and anti-Israel terrorism as “resistance.”

The work frames jihad as a largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” such as waking up early in the morning to recite prayers. It argues that groups like al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations have hijacked the concept of jihad to wage war using such tactics as suicide bombings.

Hamas an ‘Islamist Political Group’

Throughout the McMaster-endorsed Militant Islamist Ideology book, Aboul-Enein struggles to properly categorize Hamas; but at no point does he call Gaza’s murderous Islamist rulers a terrorist organization.

Hamas is a terrorist group responsible for scores of deadly suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians. Hamas’s official charter calls for the obliteration of the Jewish state, and proclaims that there is “no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.” Hamas leaders routinely demand the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Yet Aboul-Enein struggles to properly classify Hamas. At one point, Aboul-Enein differentiates between “militant Islamists” and Hamas, grouping the latter among “Islamist political groups.”

In the book’s introduction, he writes:

Militant Islamists alienate not only the United States but even Islamist political groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. It is time for a more nuanced definition of the threat.

At another point, the author calls Hamas an “Islamist” group. He writes (page 131): “For instance, Zawahiri condemns Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas for participating in the electoral process.”

Despite its clear terrorist activities, Aboul-Enein suggests (page 2) that Hamas does not “fit into a neat category.” He asks an open question about whether Hamas “is an Islamist or Militant Islamist group,” but he does not provide an answer.

He writes (page 3):

There are also Islamists who do not fit into a neat category, such as the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. On one hand, Hamas provides social services, won 44 percent of the electorate in 2006, and is the government of the Palestinian territories. On the other hand, it has failed to compromise effectively with other Palestinian rejectionist and secular groups to form a governing coalition, and it has failed to provide social services for a wider Palestinian populace. In addition, it has conducted suicide operations directed against Israeli civilians – though it has not widened its campaign beyond targeting Israel. Further, al-Qaida senior leaders have viciously attacked Hamas for participating in electoral politics. The question for Americans is whether Hamas is an Islamist or Militant Islamist group.

Aboul-Enein fails to note that the U.S. government already answered that so-called question, designating Hamas as a foreign terrorist group.

In another section of the book, Aboul-Enein defines (page 193) Hamas as straddling “the Islamist and Militant Islamist divide, using its proficiency in suicide-bomber operations to strike at Israeli targets, yet it is currently in government.” He also writes (page 215) that Hamas “is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist militant organization and political party.”

Al-Qaida, Palestinian ‘Resistance’

In the book, Aboul-Enein refers to the deadly terrorism of al-Qaida in Iraq as “resistance.” Besides its worldwide mayhem, Al-Qaida has been responsible for countless terrorist attacks across Iraq that have targeted civilians, U.S. troops and Iraqi government institutions.

Aboul-Enein relates a struggle between the goals of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) and those of the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI) in terms of “resistance” locally versus a global fight against the West.

Aboul-Enein writes (page 101):

In post-Saddam Iraq, among the Sunni insurgency there are other stressors that undermine al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), such as the tensions between the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI) and al-Qaida in Iraq. The IAI struggles with AQI over the concept of this fight being for Iraq’s Sunnis and not a wider pan-Islamist struggle; the IAI has narrower objectives than AQI. It is a tension between Jihad as muqawama (resistance) and Jihad for a wider pan-Islamist objective.

He refers to support for “resistance” against the U.S. presence in Iraq. He does so when documenting the rise of Muslim Brotherhood political parties and public criticism of an al-Qaida hotel bombing in 2005 in Amman, Jordan.

He writes (page 46):

This has split the Muslim Brotherhood, as there is deep hostility toward the U.S. presence in Iraq, support for muqawama (resistance) and for the Muslim Brotherhood concept of wasatiyah (moderation), and recognition of the need for grassroots representation of the Ahl-al-Sunnah (formal term for Sunni Muslims).

Aboul-Enein also categorizes deadly terrorist raids on Jewish settlements in the 1930s as “resistance,” even though those operations targeted and killed civilians.

He states: (page 138)

No study of Militant Islamist ideologues and the cleavages between Militant Islamist and Islamist groups can be complete without delving into the life, actions, theories, and legacy of Abdullah Azzam. Militant Islamist operatives take the nom de guerre “Abu Azzam” in his honor. A witness to increased Jewish immigration into Palestine in World War II, Azzam was reared on the stories of resistance by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, which led guerrilla raids against the British and then Jewish settlers.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades is currently the namesake of Hamas’s so-called military wing. Aboul-Enein was referring to deadly attacks carried out by the original Brigade, founded around 1930 by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, a Syrian Muslim cleric who popularized the concept of jihad against Jews during the British civil administration of Palestine.

“Islamist” vs. “Militant Islamist”

The core of Aboul-Enein’s endeavor, and one that may help to elucidate McMaster’s views, is to differentiate between what he terms “Islamist” and “Militant Islamist,” and to show that “militant Islamists” present a distorted, dishonest view of Islam. The thesis might clarify McMaster’s aversion to using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

In seeking to differentiate between “Islam,” “Islamist,” and “Militant Islamist,” Aboul-Enein comes up with the following basic definitions:

  • Islam is “the religious faith of Muslims, involving (as defined in Merriam-Webster’s) belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as his prophet.”
  • He defines Islamist as “a group or individual advocating Islam as a political as well as a religious system. Chief Islamist objectives include implementing sharia (Islamic) law as the basis of all statutory issues and living as did the earliest adherents to Islam. Many Islamists also assert that implementation of sharia law requires the elimination of all non-Islamic influences in social, political, economic, and military spheres of life.”
  • Militant Islamists, Aboul-Enein claims, consist of a “group or individual advocating Islamist ideological goals, principally by violent means. Militant Islamists call for the strictest possible interpretation of both the Quran (Muslim book of divine revelation) and the hadith (the Prophet Muhammad’s actions and deeds). This narrow interpretation opposes the beliefs of Muslims and non-Muslims alike; Militant Islamists stand against Western democracies, Middle Eastern institutions of government, and Islamist political parties that participate nonviolently in elections.”

Defining Jihad

Aboul-Enein frames jihad as a largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” a term that has been hijacked by “militant Islamists” to wage extremist warfare.

Aboul-Enein posits, for example, that jihad “can be as simple as struggling to get up in the early morning to say your dawn prayers or struggling to learn and improve yourself spiritually or intellectually. It also can mean struggling in the path of God, which does not necessarily mean engaging in warfare but might be making time to teach Islam to children or providing financial support for an Islamic project.”

Jihad, in other words, is a struggle to fulfill one’s obligations to Allah, according to the author.

Islamists, he states, define jihad as a “means to expend every effort fighting against the disbelievers.” However, Aboul-Enein attempts to cloak this violent struggle in the shroud of morality.

He writes (page 34): “Islamists delineate who can fight and when; unlike Militant Islamists, they generally set rules and limits for engaging in fighting in the name of God. … It makes Jihad obligatory upon all Muslims only if the enemy has entered Muslim lands and if the imam calls for Jihad.”

Some Islamists, he relates, “prescribe a protocol of warfare in which a noble Muslim warrior should be free of arrogance and conceit,” and espouse “etiquette” such as “warnings not to kill noncombatant women and children.”

Aboul-Enein describes the seemingly legitimate, moderate jihad as different from the jihadist views advocated by “militant Islamists,” who “use women, children, and the mentally infirm as suicide bombers, who reduce Jihad to fighting or supporting the fighting through financial means, and who make Jihad incumbent upon all Muslims, with no distinction between communal and individual responsibility.”

Islam experts, meanwhile, have pointed out that mainstream Islamic scripture advocates a violent jihad to spread Islam worldwide.

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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.

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