Shariah Marches on in Florida and New York

ken-russellAmerican Thinker, by Michael Epstein, October 25, 2016:

On Friday, October 21st, the Miami, FL, Commission; the Monroe County, NY, Legislature; the Rochester, NY, Board of Education; and the Rochester, NY, City Council announced proclamations condemning hate speech against Muslims.  These proclamations define neither hate speech nor the person or persons who will decide what constitutes hate speech.  Far from benign calls to let peaceful Muslims go about their lives and prayers in peace, these proclamations represent a step towards elevating Shariah (Islamic law) over the Frist Amendment.

Why do I make this claim?  Backtrack to 2012 and the aftermath of Benghazi, when President Obama told the UN, “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”  The subtext of this statement was lost amidst several nods by Obama to the First Amendment later in his speech.  The subtext was this: slander in Shariah is not telling lies that hurt someone’s reputation; rather, slander in Shariah is telling a truth or a lie which someone doesn’t want to be told.  Slander in Shariah is thus defined by what the potentially aggrieved party wants or doesn’t want to hear, not by evidence.

For evidence of this, see Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law.  On page 730 of the English translation of this law manual – – which has been endorsed by the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Al-Azhar University, the premier authority in Sunni Islam – – slander is defined as follows: “to mention anything concerning a person that he would dislike, whether about his body, religion, everyday life, self, disposition, property, son, father, wife, servant, turban, garment, gait, movements, smiling, dissoluteness, frowning, cheerfulness, or anything else connected with him.”

Also consider the authentic hadith (report on the words and/or behaviors of Muhammad, the founder of Islam) from Sunan Abu Dawud #4856: “The Prophet was asked: ‘Apostle of Allah!  What is slander?’  He replied: ‘It is saying something about your brother which he would dislike.’  He was asked again: ‘Tell me how the matter stands if what I say about my brother is true.’  He replied: ‘If what you say of him is true, you have slandered him, and if what you say of him is not true, you have reviled him.”

Why is this important?

Let’s conduct a First Amendment test.  In the following lines, I am going to make several statements about Islam.  Making these statements without interference from the government is my First Amendment right.  Indeed, I have the right to make these statements without providing support for them, but I’m going to provide the support just the same – because my definition of slander is the definition used in the West, not the Shariah definition.  I will presume that the former still applies here in the US.  The test is this: will I be condemned?  Will the thought police show up at my door, as they’re already doing in other purportedly free countries like the UK and India under similar circumstances?

The potentially “slanderous” statements: Muhammad married a six-year old girl named Aisha and consummated the so-called marriage – meaning as far as I’m concerned that he raped her – when she was nine and he was 54.  There is ample documentation for this in Islamic sources.  Consider for instance this authentic hadith from Bukhari 7.62.88: “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old….”  There are no authoritative Muslim sources that dispute this.

Slander, continued: If it were a simple matter of anachronism, this wouldn’t be such a big deal.  That was a long time ago.  Lots of people did that, and so forth.  The problem is not that the founder of Islam was a pedophile and rapist 1,400 years ago.  The problem is that Muhammad’s example is normative for Muslims, today and forever.  To understand why Muhammad is normative for Muslims today, consider as one example Qur’an 33:21: “We have indeed in the apostle of God a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for anyone whose hope is in God and the Final Day, and who engages much in the praise of God” (translation by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, a Muslim).  To understand why this will be so forever, consider this: Muslims believe the Qur’an is a literal copy of a book residing with Allah in Paradise since the beginning of time, immutable.

I’ll offer just a bit more slander, as defined under Shariah: Pedophilia is rampant in the Muslim world, evidence of the immutability of Muhammad’s example.  This is why Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini lowered the marriageable age to nine when he took power in 1979 and called marriage to prepubescent girls a “divine blessing.”   This is why Iraqi ‘Justice’ Minister Hassan al-Shimmari proposed in 2014 to lower the marriageable age to nine.   This is why so many Afghani girls are married off and drop out of elementary school.  This is why Saudi cleric Salih bin Fawzan issued a fatwa in 2011 against having any age minimum for marriage, the only requirement being that girls “are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.”  This is why the former leader of the Orlando office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Ahmad Saleem, tried to have sex with a 12-year-old girl in 2015.

Although I have no proof, I suspect that Saleem’s colleagues in CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial a few years back, are behind the proclamation process in Miami and Western New York State.  It’s also a safe bet that more such proclamations will be forthcoming soon, courtesy of CAIR and clueless, complicit, and/or scared politicians.  Perhaps politicians are clueless because CAIR is hiding its attacks on the First Amendment with side-by-side condemnations of violence against peaceful, innocent Muslims, which violence no decent person would condone.

I suspect there’s a fair bit of fear as well.  According to the ABC report on Miami’s proclamation, Miami Commission Vice Chair Ken Russell said the proclamation is “not about courage as a politician, it’s simply heartfelt empathy for someone’s freedom to express their religion and not be persecuted for it.  And to recognize it as a religion of love.”  Russell and I agree on one thing: these resolutions are not about courage as a politician.

In the ABC Local 10 News report, another Florida CAIR official, Wilfredo Ruiz, said, “Resolutions like this really help foster a better environment, where the contributions of this [sic] many Muslims that have served and keep on serving our nation are protected, and we are embraced as another part of the American fabric.”  Memo to Ruiz: promoting Shariah above the Constitution is not a good way to get non-Muslim Americans to embrace Muslims as part of the American fabric.

I’ll wrap up with a question for the politicians who were lulled into issuing these proclamations: Do you condemn me for stating facts?  Do you condemn me for stating that I hate the fact that Islam promotes pedophilia?  I slandered the prophet of Islam, according to the definition of Shariah.  My respect is not for Shariah, but for the First Amendment.  Is yours?

Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism’

Zineb El Rhazoui feels she is carrying on the legacy of her dead Charlie Hebdo comrades.

Zineb El Rhazoui feels she is carrying on the legacy of her dead Charlie Hebdo comrades.

Undeterred by fatwas and death threats, the author has released an incendiary and thoughtful new book, bound to provoke debate

New York Times, by Emma-Kate Symons, October 18, 2016:
She leads a clandestine existence, on the move and under 24-hour guard as France’s most protected woman. Yet Zineb El Rhazoui, the Charlie Hebdo journalist who happened to be in Casablanca on January 7 last year, the day terrorists “avenging the Prophet” massacred nine people at the satirical magazine in Paris, believes she has a duty to defy Islamists desperate to silence her.

Shaken but undeterred by the fatwas and relentless, precise death threats issued via social media to “kill the bitch” since she helped produce the publication’s first survivors’ issue following the attack — and spoke about it in Arabic for the Arab press — the Moroccan-French writer refuses to assume an anonymous identity. Fleeing Paris or abandoning her human rights activism, and her unforgiving critiques of the religion she grew up with, are also out of the question.

“I don’t have the right to renounce my struggle, or to give up my freedom,” says the reporter and sociologist of religion in an interview with Women in the World, during a recent trip to New York, as part of French president Francois Hollande’s delegation when he received the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s World Statesman Award for 2016. “If the French state protects me it is not little individual me: What is being protected is my freedom to be irreverent, and freedom of expression, so I should exercise this even more because I enjoy this protection.”

“It’s totally crazy. I have done nothing against the law and have nothing to hide, yet I live with security while those who threaten us are free,” El Rhazoui declares with an air of shock and anger that underscores the arbitrariness and brutality visited on a 34-year-old woman condemned to living on the run and mostly in the shadows. “And if you call them by their names you are Islamophobic and racist. I am racist? I can teach them a few things about Arab culture. I can show them how to discover its richness and the diversity of their culture. I believe this culture deserves universality because you can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker.”

Resisting terror

Sweeping in to the offices of Women in the World in Manhattan, accompanied by bodyguards, the world-renowned journalist is living proof of her pledge to keep “living her life beyond its limits” as a key way of resisting terror. Elegant and beautiful, with her long, wavy hair flowing freely and in an impeccably tailored black dress, El Rhazoui is reminiscent of 1940s cinema’s cerebral heroines — her eloquence and composure only occasionally betraying the trauma of the past 20 months. Each time we speak about the aftermath of the massacre at her magazine and how she is coping personally her voice quavers, but when the subject comes back to her fight for reform in Islamic civilization she is fearless.

In this spirit, El Rhazoui, obliged to spend most of her time in hiding, like Salman Rushdie after his 1989 publication of The Satanic Verses, has taken the high-risk option of publishing an explosive new book about Islam.

Detruire Le Fascisme Islamique (Destroy Islamic Fascism), being released in France this week, takes the battle of ideas directly to the ideologically-driven zealots who inspired the assassins of her dear friend Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), late editor of Charlie Hebdo who preferred “to die standing than to live on my knees.”

Obtained exclusively by Women in the World, the book dedicated to “Muslim atheists” is an unapologetic strike against the strict application of Islam by imitating the first Salafists or “pious ancestors.” The Prophet Mohammed and his companions, whose violent exploits are contained in “bellicose texts from a barbaric 7th-century Bedouin tribal context,” exhibited codes of behavior El Rhazoui insists have no place in the modern world and can be directly connected to terrorism. “The most abject crimes of Islamic State are but a 21st-century remake of what the first Muslims accomplished under the guidance of the Prophet,” she writes, noting that sexual and domestic slavery, the massacre of non-Muslims (notably Jews), pedophilia, pillage, polygamy and summary executions were all adopted from pre-Islamic societies. The book is also the journalist’s way of carrying on the legacy of her dead comrades, who reveled in their right to mock established religion and fanatics everywhere — with Islam no exception to their traditional French anti-clerical ridicule — through satire and caricature.

Formerly the magazine’s religion writer, El Rhazoui is in the throes of joining the exodus of staff breaking from the magazine under its new management. Flush with cash from international donations, the fundamentally altered publication, she disappointedly explained, “will probably never again draw the Prophet” out of fear of more reprisals.

“[And] those who think that only a handful of madmen are capable of killing for a cartoon of Mohammed forget that everywhere that Islam reigns as the religion of the state, caricatures and cartoons in the press are repressed”.

Religion of peace and love?

“We need to admit that Islamism today is applied Islam,” El Rhazoui — who describes herself as an “atheist of Muslim culture” –writes, responding to politicians, religious figures, Islamophobia opponents and media commentators who claim after every jihadist attack that “real Islam” has nothing to do with such terror.

“When we apply Islam to the letter it gives Islamism, and when we apply Islamism to the letter it gives terrorism. So we need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace and love. What is a moderate Islamist? An Islamist who doesn’t kill?”

The essay-length book is in the grand French polemical tradition of Emile Zola whose J’accuse denounced the anti-Semitism of the French state and establishment during the Dreyfus Affair, on the eve of the 20th century. El Rhazoui, who holds Moroccan and French citizenship, takes aim at a very 21st-century phenomenon: what she abhors as the “intellectual fraud” of Islamophobia, which pretends to be about anti-racism but in her reckoning is used as a weapon to silence all critics of Islam and the ideas behind it as automatically hostile towards all Muslims. Epitomized by the French Collective Against Islamophobia (CCIF), this deliberate strategy vilifies as Islamophobic voices such as El Rhazoui’s who dare question the religion the CCIF and fellow travelers define only through the prism of their own fundamentalism.

The notion of Islamophobia doesn’t even exist in Muslim countries, the author points out, because outside the West, criticism of the religion or Mohammed is officially “categorized as blasphemy.”

“Unable to pass blasphemy laws in Europe, groups like the CCIF employ a dangerous “semantic confusion,” she said. On the CCIF site it is written “Islamophobia is not an opinion: it is an offense.”

“This is very dangerous because it has even entered the dictionary as hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Yet criticism of an idea, of Islam or of a religion cannot be characterized as an offense or a crime. I was born and lived under the Islam of Morocco and live in France and I have the right criticize religion and this dictatorship of Islamophobia that says I have no right to criticize! If we criticize Christianity it doesn’t mean we are Christianophobes or racist towards the ‘Christian race.’”

The widespread pressure to self-censor is severe, El Rhazoui says.

“You can no longer speak about Islam without saying it’s a religion of peace and love. But when you open any book in Islam what do you find? Violence, blood, oppression of women and hate for other religions.

“Of course you can find this in other religions, however we are talking about something written many centuries ago during a barbaric time for humanity. As long as we don’t talk about this, and keep repeating that Islam is a religion of peace and love, many people will continue to believe the Koran is a constitution, and that rather than being a book written 15 centuries ago reflecting a particular context, it is a legal constitution to apply today.”

Free Speech Champions Fight Back Against OSCE ‘Islamophobia’ Industry

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf

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

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

Center VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez

Center VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez

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

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

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

Center Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin

Center Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more coverage of this year’s OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, including photos and video, please see Gates of Vienna at https://gatesofvienna.net/

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

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You can also see all the videos here

European “Commission against Racism and Intolerance” Says British Press Must Do More to Suppress the News

sislam-will-dominate1-1

When the truth is deemed to be “anti-Muslim.”

CounterJihad, by Bruce Cornibe, October 6, 2016:

A new report from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) accuses the British press of not doing enough to hold down “anti-Muslim sentiment” in the country.  It seems that the press, whose job is ordinarily thought to report the news, has been given a new mandate to hide the news if it might be upsetting.

The ECRI finding might be surprising to many observers, as the British media really has been quite protective of Muslims by many standards. For example, there has a been a large problem in the UK for decades now with Muslim men (typically Pakistani) luring vulnerable white English girls into “grooming gangs,” essentially sexual slavery – yet many news outlets and government officials neglected to report on the prevalence of such crimes for fear of being labeled racist or Islamophobic. If they do report on such instances, then they tend to use vague terms like “Asians” rather than identifying terms.

Another example, is the occurrence of “honor” or “honour” crimes in the UK that are usually against women – one 2015 BBC article (attached here) reveals that 11,744 such cases happened between 2010-14.  Yet, in the same article one won’t find the mention of Islam, nor any discussion of the effects of its law and theology on the status of women.

Nevertheless, the British press apparently still isn’t doing enough to protect Muslims if the ECRI is to be believed.  Reviewing the recently published report. The report notes a case of supposed “inflammatory anti-Muslim” content in the British press, stating,

The Sun newspaper has also published inflammatory anti-Muslim headlines, such as its front page of 23 November 2015 which read “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis”, along with a picture of a masked terrorist wielding a knife.

Instead of being easily offended maybe it’s time to deal with some inconvenient truths.  Segments of the British Muslim community do support violence as well as the enforcement of Sharia’s tenets. This has been going on for years now. For example, in a 2006Telegraph article it notes how an ICM opinion poll exposed that twenty percent of British Muslims at the time had “sympathy with the ‘feelings and motives’ of the suicide bombers who” committed the London bombings in July of 2005. The report also insinuates that the media should shy away from discussing the Muslim background of a terrorist saying:

ECRI considers that, in light of the fact that Muslims are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of recent ISIS-related terrorist acts around the world, fuelling [sic] prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety. In this context, it draws attention to a recent study by Teeside University suggesting that where the media stress the Muslim background of perpetrators of terrorist acts, and devote significant coverage to it, the violent backlash against Muslims is likely to be greater than in cases where the perpetrators’ motivation is downplayed or rejected in favour of alternative explanations.

The backlash must be a terrible one indeed if it justifies an increased risk of victimization for the entire society.  That is the cost of removing information about perpetrators of crime from public knowledge, especially if — as here — there are demonstrable statistical connections between communities associated with higher risks of crime of certain sorts.  The ECRI is denying the public information it needs to make rational decisions, out of a fear that the public might make irrational ones instead.

The report also reveals a desire for a more regulated British media. As the Express points out the UK already has “an independent regulator for newspapers and magazines” called the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO).  The ECRI thinks that is not enough:

ECRI strongly recommends that the authorities find a way to establish an independent press regulator according to the recommendations set out in the Leveson Report. It recommends more rigorous training for journalists to ensure better compliance with ethical standards. It further recommends the authorities to sign and ratify the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime.

The talk of “ethical” duties is a technocratic way of avoiding grappling with the moral duties binding journalists.  It is a profession with a moral purpose related to a free society.  Is it the moral duty of the press to report the truth, or to hide it?  Is it to provide information for the judgment of a free society, or to guide a society away from dangerous ideas because that society can no longer be trusted to exercise judgment?

If the latter, the society is no longer free.  Why should the unfree worry about ethics?  You only ought to do something if you are free to do something else.  Shall the United Kingdom be a free society, trusted to exercise their own judgment?  Shall their journalists be trusted to speak the truth, and to regulate themselves?  If not, then there is no need for talk of ethics.  You might as well get on with giving orders about what we are to think, and how we are to behave.

FREE SPEECH CRACKDOWN: EU orders British press NOT to reveal when terrorists are Muslims

The ECRI suggested the British press should not report when terrorists are Muslims GETTY•TOM KNUTSON•FLICKR

The ECRI suggested the British press should not report when terrorists are Muslims GETTY•TOM KNUTSON•FLICKR

MEDDLING Brussels has said the British press should not report when terrorists are Muslims in a slew of demands to the Government to crack down on the media.

Express, by Kate Mansfield, Oct. 5, 2016:

A report from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) found there was an increase in hate speech and racist violence in the UK from 2009 to March 2016.

Blaming the press, ECRI Chair Christian Ahlund, said: “It is no coincidence that racist violence is on the rise in the UK at the same time as we see worrying examples of intolerance and hate speech in the newspapers, online and even among politicians.”

The report makes a whopping 23 recommendations to Theresa May’s Government for changes to criminal law, the freedom of the press, crime reporting and equality law.

And despite the report not analysing coverage of the , Mr Ahlund saw fit to comment on the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

In a sweeping statement, he said: “The Brexit referendum seems to have led to a further rise in ‘anti-foreigner’ sentiment, making it even more important that the British authorities take the steps outlined in our report as a matter of priority.”

The report lays into the British press and urges the government to “give more rigorous training” to reporters.

In the 83-page report, the Commission said: “ECRI considers that, in light of the fact that Muslims are increasingly under the spotlight as a result of recent around the world, fuelling prejudice against Muslims shows a reckless disregard, not only for the dignity of the great majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom, but also for their safety.

“In this context, it draws attention to a recent study by Teeside University suggesting that where the media stress the Muslim background of perpetrators of terrorist acts, and devote significant coverage to it, the violent backlash against Muslims is likely to be greater than in cases where the perpetrators’ motivation is downplayed or rejected in favour of alternative explanations.”

Despite the creation of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) in 2014 as an independent regulator for newspapers and magazines, the “ECRI strongly recommends that the authorities find a way to establish an independent press regulator according to the recommendations set out in the Leveson Report. It recommends more rigorous training for journalists to ensure better compliance with ethical standards.”

But as Britain prepares to leave the crumbling bloc, the Government waded in to defend freedom of expression.

In a written statement to the ECRI, the Government said: “The Government is committed to a free and open press and does not interfere with what the press does and does not publish, as long as the press abides by the law.”

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and racial discrimination.

The group writes reports on every member state every five years and says the documents are “analyses based on a great deal of information gathered from a wide variety of sources.

ECRI visited the UK in November 2015 as it gathered evidence for the report.

In a statement, ECRI said: “ECRI welcomed, among other things, the entry into force of the Equality Act 2010 and the generally strong legislation against racism and racial discrimination in the country, as well as the government’s new hate crime action plan and substantial efforts to promote LGBT rights in the UK which have led to a significant change in attitudes.

“At the same time, the commission noted considerable intolerant political discourse in the UK, particularly focusing on immigration. It said that hate speech continues to be a serious problem in tabloid newspapers, and that online hate speech targeting Muslims in particular has soared since 2013.”

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

emisco-isis

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

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

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

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

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

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Stephen Coughlin at OSCE today by Vlad Tepes

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

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

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

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

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

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Elisabeth Sabaditsch Wolff OSCE Human Dimension Implementation meeting Warsaw 2106

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Tundra Tabloids:

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

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Vlad Tepesblog:

Dave Petties OSCE presentation September 27 2016

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Vlad Tepesblog:

Stephen Coughlin OSCE Sept 27

ESW: We Need to Reclaim Our Right to Speak Freely

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

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

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

Stephen Coughlin: Yes, the Truth May Constitute Hate Speech

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terrorism’s Victims Include Freedom of Speech

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

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

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

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

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

It Would Be Difficult to Prosecute Choudary in America

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

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

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

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

Prisons Aren’t a Great Place for Islamists, Either

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also see:

The Coming Free Speech Apocalypse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hillary Clinton

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

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

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

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

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

Donald Trump

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

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

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

The American People

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

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

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

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

Fight for the Right to Speak Freely

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

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

Also see:

Erdogan-Gulen Power Struggle Divides European Turks

erdoganIPT News
August 8, 2016

On the night of July 15, members of the Turkish military stormed the state-run TRT news agency in Ankara and forced an anchorwoman to read a statement calling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “traitor.” Within moments, tanks began to drive menacingly through the streets of Ankara and Istanbul as military planes roared over Turkish skies. The Parliament was bombed. The fifth military coup in the history of modern Turkey had begun, taking even the most anti-government Turks by surprise.

But Erdogan regained complete control within hours, thanks to his fervent supporters who took to the streets in his defense. Throughout the night, pro- and anti-Erdogan military and civilians clashed across the country, leaving nearly 300 dead and 2,100 injured by morning.

The attempted coup and its aftermath, however, soon exploded into more than just a national crisis; it has had incendiary repercussions globally, particularly in the Turkish communities of Europe.

Erdogan declared a state of emergency July 16, and began cracking down on suspected members of the coup plot and their allies. By July 20, more than 45,000 people had been arrested, including 2,700 judges and 15,000 teachers. As Erdogan called for reinstating the death penalty, credible reports emerged of prisoners being tortured and raped.

In the meantime, tens of thousands of others have been fired from their jobs as the state takes over or shuts down nearly all the country’s media outlets – including three news agencies, 16 television channels, 45 newspapers and 15 magazines, Reuters reports. And on Monday, more than three weeks after the failed coup, Turkey recalled five senior diplomats from its embassy in The Hague.

All who have been sacked are accused of complicity in the coup, based on their (ostensible) ties to Fethullah Gulen, a powerful cleric now living in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania. Once one of Erdogan’s closest allies, Gulen has become his most despised enemy in recent years, thanks in large part to Gulen’s criticism of Erdogan during the 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations. Now Turkey’s president accuses Gulen of being behind the coup attempt, demands his extradition from the United States. Meantime, he continues his crackdown on the cleric’s followers.

But those followers are not just in Turkey, and neither are Tayyip Erdogan’s. Millions of European Turks – both immigrants and subsequent generations – ally themselves with the Gulenist movement, or Hizmet. While some call it a cult and claim it represents a zealous Islamic religious movement, others view it as a more moderate strain of Islam and praise Gulen for his interfaith initiatives, and for the hospitals, schools and universities he has founded internationally, including over 100 charter schools in the United States. But since the split between the two men, tensions have also emerged between pro-Gulen and pro-Erdogan groups that are far more virulent than the disputes between those who favor Hizmet and those who condemn it.

As a result, the clashes between the conflicting sides have spilled beyond the Turkish borders into Europe, and have now exploded since the coup. Often, they have been violent, with pro-Erdogan protesters hurling stones into the windows of Gulen organizations in Gelsenkirchen, Germany and Rotterdam, Holland, or calling to set fire to a building housing a Gulenist organization in Beringen, Belgium (“Burn them alive!” the protesters shouted.). Arsonists also attacked several Gulen buildings in the Netherlands.

In other instances, the attacks are quieter but more sinister: members of 70 different Gulen-affiliated groups in the Netherlands report receiving hate messages and death threats. People believed to support the movement – or who fail to support Erdogan – report being banned from mosques and refused entry to restaurants. Dutch children have told each other “I can’t talk to you anymore.” A number of Gulen followers have gone into hiding, fearing for their safety.

And in Germany, home to Europe’s largest Turkish community, estimated at nearly 3 million, some 30-40,000 Erdogan supporters marched through Cologne on July 31. And while the demonstrations went off without incident, they represent a chasm within the country – not just between Germans and Turks, but – as in the Netherlands – among the Turks themselves. Noted Deutsch-Welle‘s Gero Schliess in an editorial, “After the coup attempt in Turkey, divisions have emerged in this country that no one had seen for a long time – or hadn’t wanted to see. The failed coup and President Erdogan’s massive onslaught against civil rights have deeply divided the Turkish community in Germany. The split runs right through families and neighborhoods, regardless of social strata or profession.”

But at least as disturbing is the idea of 30-40,000 people marching in support of the man who has led the profoundly anti-democratic crackdown in Turkey. While it may be understandable to oppose a military coup, it is something else entirely to continue marching in support in light of the abuses that have followed. Moreover, according to Politico, the situation has also “reignited a decade-long debate in Germany about the Turkish state steering public opinion within the German-Turkish community through a web of lobbying groups, religious institutions, media outlets and public figures.”

Religious groups seem to be chief among those, such as the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, sponsored by the Turkish state. That Turkey is therefore subsidizing mosques in Germany demonstrates the strength not only of the country’s influence on the political visions of German Turks, but on their religious ideas as well. And in an increasingly Islamist Turkey, those ideas no longer reflect the secular, humanist values of Ataturk; rather, they are based on an increasingly strict vision of Sunni Islam in which the state and the mosque are one.

Other Turkish religious groups, including Milli Gorüs, an Islamist group headquartered in Cologne, are also believed to hold sway over European Turks, particularly in the Netherlands.

Behind them all, particularly in Belgium, is the Diyanet, the official Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs .

Ataturk created the Diyanet soon after the founding of the Turkish republic, to help ensure that imams preached moderate interpretations of Islam. They were critical to maintaining the separation between mosque and state. With the rise of Erdogan and his AK Party, however, it has served to do just the opposite: it now promotes Islamist views in Turkey and among the Turkish community abroad. As Istanbul-based journalist David Lepeska noted last year, the Diyanet‘s budget has quadrupled since 2006 to over $2 billion, with a 2015 budget allocation that was “40 percent more than the Ministry of the Interior’s and equal to those of the Foreign, Energy, and Culture and Tourism ministries combined.” In addition to presiding over Turkey’s own mosques, the directorate governs hundreds of mosques across Europe, has increased the number of religious classes in public schools, and, reports Lepeska, “runs a 24-hour television station, Diyanet television, available via satellite, cable, and YouTube, and manages a Facebook page (with nearly 230,000 fans), two Twitter accounts (more than 50,000 followers), and an Islamic lifestyle hotline.”

The result is a toxic mixture of religion and politics that could not be further from the secular ideals of the founder of modern Turkey. Add Erdogan’s and the AKP’s human rights abuses and dictatorial leanings to this and the cauldron boils hotter and more dangerous than ever. Whatever problems existed previously, the post-coup situation bears far too many parallels to the impulses and ideologies of radical Islamism: whoever does not support Erdogan becomes the enemy. And Erdogan, as the leader of Turkey, is the leader of the Diyanet.

The outcome is a kind of tribalism that already infects the rest of the Middle East: to be outside the Erdogan support core is to be outside the realm of the Diyanet – an apostate of sorts, threatened with death.

That this could become the future of Ataturk’s secular democratic republic is tragic. But there is also a very real possibility of the impulse spreading into Europe. Other events this year, such as the attacks on Dutch journalist Ebru Umar and German comedian Jan Bohmermann, both of whom criticized the Turkish president, demonstrate that many European Turks lean towards such a radicalized and tribalist vision. It is a vision Europe’s leaders would do well to extinguish while they still can.

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Also see:

Federal Government Authorizes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to Censor “Anti-Islam” Speech; Lawsuit Filed

3320334677Center for Security Policy, July 13, 2016:

Today, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment.

Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch.

As alleged in the lawsuit, Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims.

Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination.  However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.

As set forth in the lawsuit, Section 230 of the CDA immunizes businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube from civil liability for any action taken to “restrict access to or availability of material that” that they “consider to be obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.”

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, issued the following statement:

“Section 230 of the CDA confers broad powers of censorship upon Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube officials, who can silence constitutionally protected speech and engage in discriminatory business practices with impunity by virtue of this power conferred by the federal government in violation of the First Amendment.”

Muise went on to explain:

“Section 230 is a federal statute that alters the legal relations between our clients and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, resulting in the withdrawal from our clients of legal protections against private acts.  Consequently, per U.S. Supreme Court precedent, state action lies in our clients’ challenge under the First Amendment.”

David Yerushalmi, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel, added:

“Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have notoriously censored speech that they deem critical of Islam, thereby effectively enforcing blasphemy laws here in the United States with the assistance of the federal government.”

Yerushalmi concluded:

“It has been the top agenda item of Islamic supremacists to impose such standards on the West.  Its leading proponents are the Muslim Brotherhood’s network of Islamist activist groups in the West and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which co-sponsored, with support from Obama and then-Secretary of State Clinton, a U.N. resolution which called on all nations to ban speech that could promote mere hostility to Islam.  Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are falling in line, and we seek to stop this assault on our First Amendment freedoms.”

AFLC Co-Founders and Senior Counsel Robert J. Muise and David Yerushalmi, along with the plaintiffs in this case, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, will hold a Press Call from 2:00-2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.  To access this press conference call, dial (641) 715-3655 and enter code 111815.

Also see:

Muslim Nations Defend Palestinian Terror During UN Terrorism Review After U.S. Citizen Murdered Near Hebron

OIC-at-UN.sized-770x415xbPJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, JULY 3, 2016:

Thirteen-year-old Hillel Ariel, a U.S. citizen, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist last week while sleeping in her bed in her home near Hebron.

The day after her murder the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the group representing all 57 Muslim-majority nations, tried to insert justifications for Palestinian terror during a United Nations review of its counter-terrorism strategy.

Stephanie Granot of The Jewish Press reports:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), attempted to introduce language condoning terrorism under certain conditions into a draft of a UN Counter-Terrorism Resolution. The official document is expected to be finalized on Tuesday when the General Assembly concludes a bi-annual Review of its UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.The OIC, an organization of 57 member-states that considers itself “the collective voice of the Muslim world”, has Permanent Delegations to the United Nations as well as to the European Union. Several days prior to the start of the Review, OIC Representative Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi (Saudi Arabia) sought to insert the following clause to the draft of the resolution: “Terrorism in the name of self-determination and national liberation does not constitute terrorism.”

Shortly after Rep. Al-Mouallimi addressed the General Assembly, Israel’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador David Roet delivered an impassioned and powerful speech…

Subsequent to Ambassador Roet’s speech, some significant diplomatic maneuvering by the Israel’s Mission to the UN, and a steadfast refusal on Israel’s part to allow member-states to compromise draft language for the sake of a unanimous consensus, the clause was ultimately not included in the final draft of the review, entitled “The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review”.

As the article notes, the OIC, which is the second largest inter-governmental body in the world behind the United Nations, has a permanent delegation at the UN.

In May, just a month before the Orlando terror attack targeting a gay nightclub that killed 49, the OIC blocked LGBT groups from attending a UN conference on AIDS held days before the attack.

The defense of Palestinian terrorism is a recurring topic of the OIC.

In April 2002, in response to the 9/11 terror attacks, the OIC adopted a declaration on international terrorism. But during the debate the OIC could not agree on a definition of terrorism, but did reject “any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian and Lebanese resistance with terrorism.”

The OIC’s Islamic Fiqh Council published a January 2003 resolution explicitly endorsing Palestinian terror attacks, saying suicide attacks are a legitimate form of jihad:

3- The Islamic Fiqh Council asserts that jihad and martyr operations done to defend the Islamic creed, dignity, freedom and the sovereignty of states is not considered terrorism but a basic form of necessary defense for legitimate rights. Thus the oppressed peoples who are subjected to occupation have the right to seek their freedom via all means possible.4- The Islamic Fiqh Council stresses that martyr operations are a form of jihad, and carrying out those operations is a legitimate right that has nothing to do with terrorism or suicide. Those operations become obligatory when they become the only way to stop the aggression of the enemy, defeat it, and grievously damage its power.

5- It is not allowed to use terms such as “jihad”, “terrorism”, and “violence”, which have become frequently used by today’s mass media as scientific terms, to mean other connotations beyond their basic well known meanings.

In between its unashamed defense of terrorism, the OIC has taken up the cause of suppressing freedom of speech in the name of combating “Islamophobia.”

As I noted last year here at PJ Media, the OIC remarkably called for more free speech limits immediately following the terror attack on the Paris offices of French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. After reporting that, the OIC’s representative to the UN, Ufuk Gokcen, blocked me on Twitter.

I also reported exclusively that the OIC had funneled $325,000 to Georgetown University through the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) terror front group to push its “Islamophobia” agenda.

Through the OIC’s 2005 10-Year Plan of Action and supporting implementation plan, they stated their intent to push for the international criminalization of criticism of Islam.

Hillary Clinton enthusiastically backed the OIC’s push for criminalizing “Islamophobia,” with the U.S. co-sponsoring UNHRC Resolution 16/18 with Pakistan on behalf of the OIC which calls for free speech restrictions in the name of banning “defamation of religion.”

At a July 2011 meeting with the OIC in Istanbul, she reaffirmed her commitment to Resolution 16/18, vowingto use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

Clinton hosted the OIC in a three-day closed-door conference in Washington, D.C., in December 2011. The official OIC media center characterized the meetings with Clinton as an effort to enact its “defamation of religion” agenda spelled out in the OIC’s annual Islamophobia Observatory.

No word if now-Democratic Party presidential candidate Clinton endorses the attempts by the OIC to justify Palestinian terrorism.

The American Gulag

550px-censored_rubber_stampFront Page Magazine, by Phyllis Chesler, June 27, 2016:

For years, beginning in 2003, I have personally faced both censorship and demonization. When I began publishing pieces about anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and Islamic gender and religious apartheid at conservative sites, I was seen as having “gone over to the dark side,” as having joined the legion of enemies against all that was right and good.

My former easy and frequent access to left-liberal venues was over. I learned, early on, about the soft censorship of the Left, the American version of the Soviet Gulag. One could think, write, and even publish but it would be as if one had not spoken–although one would still be constantly attacked for where one published as much as for what one published.

Since then, Left censorship has only gotten worse. (There is also censorship on the Right–but not quite as much.)

A week ago, a colleague of mine was thrilled that a mainstream newspaper had reached out to him for a piece about the violent customs of many male Muslim immigrants to Europe. He discovered, to his shock, that his piece had been edited in a way that turned his argument upside down and ended up sounding like American Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s view, namely, that home-grown terrorists need “love and compassion,” not profiling or detention.

I told him: One more left-liberal newspaper has just bitten the Orwellian dust. He could expose this use of his reasoned view for propaganda purposes–or wear out his welcome at this distinguished venue.

“But,” I said, “on the other hand, what kind of welcome is it if they change your words and the main thrust of your argument?”

That same week, right after the Jihad massacre in Orlando, another colleague, long used to being published–and published frequently at gay websites–wrote about the male Muslim immigrant/refugee physical and sexual violence against girls and women (their own and infidel women); against homosexuals–and paradoxically, also against young boys. He counseled gays to understand that the issues of gun control and “hate,” while important, were also quite beside the point, that “homosexuality is a capital crime in Islam.”

His piece was rejected by every gay site he approached. One venue threatened him:  If he published his piece “anywhere,” that his work would no longer be welcome in their pages.

I welcomed him to the American Gulag.

He told me that he finally “had” to publish the piece at a conservative site.

Gently, I told him that what he wrote was the kind of piece that was long familiar only at conservative sites and that he should expect considerable flack for where he’s published as well as for what he’s published.

Another gay right activist told me that when he described Orlando as a Jihad attack, he was castigated as a “right-wing hater.” He, too, had to publish what he wanted to say at a conservative site.

I published two pieces about Orlando. I said similar kinds of things and I privately emailed both articles to about 30 gay activists whom I know.

The silence thereafter was, as they say, deafening. I was not attacked but I was given the Silent Treatment.

For a moment, I felt like gay activist Larry Kramer might have felt when, in the 1980s, he tried to persuade gay men to stop going to the baths and engaging in promiscuous sex, that their lust was literally killing them. Kramer was attacked as a spoilsport and as the homophobic enemy of the gay lifestyle. Alas, Kramer had been right and many gay male lives were lost to AIDS.

Thus, gay activists see their collective interests as best served by marching, lock-step, with politically correct politicians who view “mental illness,” “gun control,” and “American right-wing hatred of gays”–not Jihad–as the major problems. Such gay activists also prefer “Palestine” to Israel. It makes absolutely no difference that Israel does not murder its homosexual citizens and that in fact, Israel grants asylum to Muslim Arab men in flight from being torture-murdered by other Muslim Arab men.

A number of European activists have recently visited me.  They described what has been happening to women who undertake the journey from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey;  along the way, the girls and women are continually groped and sexually assaulted, even penetrated in every possible orifice, by gangs of male Muslim immigrants. If they want to live, their husbands and fathers can do nothing.

So much for Muslim immigrant women on the move.

And now, European women are being told to “dye their hair black,” stay home “after 8pm,” “always have a male escort at night;” a group of German nudists, whose tradition goes back 100 years, have just been told to “cover up” because refugees are being moved into the rural lake community.

Where will this all end? In Europe becoming a Muslim Caliphate dominated by Sharia law and by all its myriad misogynist interpretations? In Muslim immigrants assimilating to Western ways? In Europeans voluntarily converting to Arab and Muslim ways? In non-violent but parallel Muslim lives?

Bravo to England which has just taken its first, high risk steps to control its borders and its immigrant population.

All Your Social Media Belong to the EU

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Facebook, Google and Twitter sign up for propaganda and censorship.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, June 10, 2016:

For a decade, the top search result for “EU referendum” on Google was the political blog EU Referendum. Then it was abruptly displaced by solidly pro-EU media outlets. It appeared that someone at Google had decided that search traffic should be driven to pro-EU sites. Ingrid Carlqvist, a Swedish columnist who covers, among other things, migrant violence, at Gatestone, had her Facebook account deleted after posting a video detailing migrant rapes in Sweden.

These seemingly isolated incidents fit into a larger pattern as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter helped create and signed a “code of conduct” banning hate speech. Facebook had already become notorious for its political agenda while Twitter had created a Trust and Safety Council filled with extremist left-wing groups like Feminist Frequency to censor the politically incorrect.

Google has historically been a pro-free speech outlier. Its politics have never been ambiguous, but it has eschewed the overt censorship of some of its new partners working to keep the EU free of political dissent. But the code of conduct goes well beyond censorship. The companies will be working to strengthen their “ongoing partnerships with civil society organisations who will help flag content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct”. That amounts to empowering left-wing advocacy groups to dictate content removal to major companies. It means that not only Twitter, but Facebook, Google and Microsoft will get their own Trust and Safety Council. It may be called something else. It may not even have a name. But it will have power. That’s what this really means.

And it’s only a starting point in a larger propaganda initiative.

“The IT Companies and the European Commission, recognising the value of independent counter speech against hateful rhetoric and prejudice, aim to continue their work in identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives,” the press release reads.

Even more than the censorship, the counter-narratives push represents a troubling development.

Left-wing groups won’t just be embedded as censors, but major tech firms will be expected to promote their agendas. And the biggest resource that companies with massive social media platforms have at their disposal isn’t mere money. It’s the ability to decide what is trending and what isn’t.

If a story about Islamic terrorism trends, will Facebook or Twitter be expected to promote a counter-narrative from an Islamic group? How exactly is this any different than traditional propaganda?

“The IT Companies to intensify their work with CSOs to deliver best practice training on countering hateful rhetoric and prejudice and increase the scale of their proactive outreach to CSOs to help them deliver effective counter speech campaigns. The European Commission, in cooperation with Member States, to contribute to this endeavour by taking steps to map CSOs’ specific needs and demands in this respect,” the release tells us.

CSO stands for Civil Society Organization. It’s used more often now that NGO carries with it an air of contempt. That last sentence informs us that the CSOs will have “demands.” The European Commission will help leverage and assemble these demands. Meanwhile major tech firms will be working to aid these CSOs in pushing their agenda.

What will this look like? We got a preview of it with Facebook’s “Initiative for Civil Courage Online”. Facebook had been facing pressure from Germany’s Merkel who was worried over public outrage at crimes committed by her Muslim migrant arrivals. Censorship was obviously the order of the day.

The Initiative promoted Klick It Out which, in properly Orwellian fashion, urged people to “See It. Report It.” The “It” being “Social Media Discrimination.” And then users were expected to “Klick It Out”. It was a failure. But Facebook and friends are doubling down.

Tech companies love the idea of creating “counter-narratives” because it’s cheaper to throw some money at an NGO or CSO, or to boost their profile, than to invest still more money in censorship. It’s not because they have a bias for free speech, but because active censorship, even when outsourced to poorer countries, which it often is, demands more resources. Pushing an agenda is cheap.

And the goal of companies like Facebook is to increase usage, rather than reduce it, which is why COO Sheryl Sandberg championed “like attacks” in which users flood the pages of bigots with their own speech. But the code of conduct is a thorough rejection of any of that self-interested libertarianism. Censorship is packaged together with agenda pushing. There might be like attacks, but what the EU really wanted was deletion and promotion for the groups that its leaders support. And they got it.

Some fraction of these efforts may be directed at ISIS supporters, but there is no particular reason to be optimistic about that. By putting CSOs first, the message is that this isn’t about counter-terrorism, but about promoting one set of political agendas at the expense of another. Much like Twitter’s Trust and Safety Council, this is about selecting who should speak and who should be silenced.

Programs like these operate under the umbrella of fighting extremism. And extremism, unlike blowing up buses or beheading hostages, is in the eye of the beholder. And the beholder is a tech company standing on the left while looking to the right. The obsession with radicalization treats lawful speech as the precursor to violence. It also assumes that Muslim terrorism emerges from a cycle of extremism between Muslims and critics of Islam. Silence the critics and you stop the terrorism.

European governments, like those of Angela Merkel, are far less worried about Salafists than they are about domestic political dissent. When Merkel berated Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over insufficient censorship, it wasn’t because she objected to the pipeline that feeds Muslims from Germany into ISIS. Muslim terrorism is inconvenient, but political dissent is politically explosive. Social media comprise an alternative organizing force that counters the dominance of media narratives. That makes it a threat.

Attempts to silence more prominent voices like Richard North and Ingrid Carlqvist have run into a backlash, but it’s impossible to rally in support of each ordinary person who has their account shut down or their blog pushed down in the rankings for having politically incorrect views. Social media at their best bring people together. This initiative is about disrupting social organizations that are disapproved of.

It is about preserving the dominance of a government-media narrative while promoting astroturf organizations that try to appear independent, but really echo that very same narrative.

Private companies have the right to determine what content appears on their platforms. But Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter have become part of an alliance with governments and advocacy groups to maintain a particular narrative. They will not simply be removing hateful content. Instead they have undertaken to play a role in putting forward a particular set of ideas by particular governments.

That’s propaganda and it is the opposite of how the internet was meant to be used.

The deal puts a series of private organizations, backed by EU government power, in charge of determining the content of social media, both positive and negative. Social media were meant to be centered around the user. Instead this deal displaces the user and replaces him or her with the EU.

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