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.

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

3320334677Center for Security Policy, July 13, 2016:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Muise went on to explain:

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

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

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

Yerushalmi concluded:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephanie Granot of The Jewish Press reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 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.

***

Also see:

European Union Declares War on Internet Free Speech

This week, the EU, in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, unveiled a "code of conduct" to combat the spread of "illegal hate speech" online in Europe. The next day, Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone's Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed — called "Sweden's Migrant Rape Epidemic."

This week, the EU, in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe. The next day, Facebook suspended the account of Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone’s Swedish expert, after she posted a Gatestone video to her Facebook feed — called “Sweden’s Migrant Rape Epidemic.”

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, June 3, 2016:

  • Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the European Union’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the EU itself.
  • Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours — as “Orwellian.”
  • “By deciding that ‘xenophobic’ comment in reaction to the crisis is also ‘racist,’ Facebook has made the view of the majority of the European people… into ‘racist’ views, and so is condemning the majority of Europeans as ‘racist.'” — Douglas Murray.
  • In January 2013, Facebook suspended the account of Khaled Abu Toameh after he wrote about corruption in the Palestinian Authority. The account was reopened 24 hours later, but with the two posts deleted and no explanation.

The European Union (EU), in partnership with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft, has unveiled a “code of conduct” to combat the spread of “illegal hate speech” online in Europe.

Proponents of the initiative argue that in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, a crackdown on “hate speech” is necessary to counter jihadist propaganda online.

Opponents counter that the initiative amounts to an assault on free speech in Europe. They say that the EU’s definition of “hate speech” and “incitement to violence” is so vague that it could include virtually anything deemed politically incorrect by European authorities, including criticism of mass migration, Islam or even the European Union itself.

Some Members of the European Parliament have characterized the EU’s code of online conduct — which requires “offensive” material to be removed from the Internet within 24 hours, and replaced with “counter-narratives” — as “Orwellian.”

Read more

Bigot, Racist, Hater, Islamophobe

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Political Islam, by Bill Warner, May 25, 2016:

When my talk was announced recently, the “virtuous” progressives call a critic a bigot. They did not produce a single fact, but said that a leftist group claimed that I was one of the chief Muslim bashers. Which is very odd since I don’t talk about Muslims, just Mohammed and Allah. I am an opponent of political Islam, not Muslims.

They charge me with presenting a “slanted” view of Islam, which is true. Three different views of Islam are demonstrated by the reaction to the day that Mohammed beheaded 800 Jews. Muslims see it as a day of victory; apologists see it as just another historic event. My view is that of a Kafir – beheading the Jews because they said that Mohammed was not a prophet – was an evil act. If you speak about Islamic political doctrine the apologists say you are a bigot.

A clergyman weighed in to say that I do not appreciate the vibrancy of Muslim culture. He is right. I only care about political Islam. I would hope that he would care about the brutality of Islam about Christians in Africa and the Middle East, but he is silent about that evil.

A community college president said that I should be forbidden to speak. This is symptomatic about schools becoming centers of ideology, not fact-based reasoning.

Why all of the insults? It is the only weapon of the ignorant.

University Spikes Lecture Due to ‘Hateful’ Chalk Messages Criticizing Terrorists

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Breitbart, by John Hayward, April 21, 2016:

It’s yet another story of politically-correct lunacy involving a university losing its collective cookies over chalk writings, but this time the “hateful” speech isn’t Donald Trump’s name.

It’s the question: “Why do terrorists hate America?”

That message, repeated in chalk advertisements and flyers, is the reason Wingate University in North Carolina cited when revoking the funding for a lecture by Nonie Darwish, a former Muslim of Egyptian descent. She is the author of several books, including Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad For America, Israel, and the War on Terror, and most recently The Devil We Don’t Know: The Dark Side of Revolutions in the Middle East.

An administrator for Wingate University emailed Young Americans for Freedom, organizers of the event, to say that chalk advertisements for the lecture were of “extreme concern.”

“Concerns have also come to my attention regarding ‘flyers’ that have been posted around campus and although I have not seen them personally, this in conjunction with the concern of a number of individuals that have reached out to me is yet again concerning,” the administrator added.

Evidently not a matter of concern was the administrator’s admission that she hadn’t even seen the concerning messages that made her concerned enough to pull the plug on the concerning lecture this uncertain number of unnamed individuals expressed their concerns about.

The flyers and chalk drawings in question included the title of Darwish’s lecture: “Why Terrorists Hate America and the West.”

“We do not promote and/or associate hate with a Faith Lyceum event,” the administrator declared — an interesting standard, given that the Lyceum program compares itself to Aristotle’s lectures, boasts of airing “big ideas,” and claims to be a program “designed to expose students to ideas and opportunities they don’t have in the classroom.”

“I am requesting that you immediately remove all flyers that promote this event as a Lyceum and would ask that you remove all chalk advertisements as well,” the administrator told the YAF. “With this no longer being a Lyceum, I also am no longer able to fund this event and ask that you please plan accordingly.”

The Wingate YAF denounced the administrator’s decision as “cowardly” and “stepped in to pay the additional cost in order to ensure that students at Wingate University will have the opportunity to hear Nonie Darwish speak.”

“There are constant attempts to silence us by many Islamic organizations. We are the No. 1 target of jihadists and ISIS sympathizers who are now in all fifty states,” Darwish told Fox News just a few weeks ago, when discussing the fatwa (Islamic religious edict) that has been issued for her death.

She said “we” because the Fox report discussed five other women sentenced to death by Islamist edicts. One of them, cartoonist Molly Norris, was literally erased from society by a tidal wave of death threats, and a fatwa from Al-Qaeda guru Anwar al-Awlaki, because she drew unpublished images of Mohammed that were leaked onto the Internet. “There is no more Molly,” her erstwhile publisher Seattle Weekly wrote, by way of bidding her farewell when she went into hiding.

Apparently the jihad sympathizers Darwish spoke of are active at Wingate University, and their “concerns” are taken very seriously by the administration.

Turkey: Erdogan’s Thin-Skinned Government

Gatestone Institute, by Robbie Travers, April 20, 2016:

  • Is there any other person you trust to decide which ideas and speech you are entitled to hear — or which are too dangerous for you to hear?
  • The thin-skinned government of Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has in the past two years opened at least 1,845 cases over insults to the president.
  • Turkey’s World Press Freedom Index ranking has plummeted to 149 out of 180, below Zimbabwe (131) and Burundi (145).
  • Despite the ruling of Turkey’s judicial system that Erdogan could not eliminate access to Twitter, he nevertheless continues to advance his agenda of censorship. He pledges to “eradicate Twitter” which, according to him, encourages “blasphemy and criticism of the Turkish government.”

Is there any other person you trust to decide which ideas and speech you are entitled to hear — or which are too dangerous for you to hear?

Is there any other person you think should have the ability to decide what criticism of the Government is respectful enough?

Would you cede your autonomy to decide what you to hear to a Government? Probably not.

The Turkish government does not agree. Evidently Turkey’s AKP Government in Ankara believes it is fit to be this authority, and not just domestically. Its urge to censor negative press seems to be going global.

The Government of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara recently summoned the German ambassador to demand the deletion of a satirical music video which highlighted his government’s aggression against the Kurdish people, his brutal repression of protestors, and his weak position on equal rights for women. Turkey also insisted that a German comedian be prosecuted under an obscure German law for insulting the leader of a foreign country.

Turkey seems to be spending more time policing the image of Erdogan abroad than the serious security situation it is facing.

Turkey’s latest authoritarian crackdown on the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following the country’s path towards an increasingly Islamist, authoritarian government.

Erdogan’s renowned thin-skinned government has, in the past two years, opened at least 1,845 cases over insults to the president, such as, for instance, comparing the president to Gollum fromLord of the Rings.

Last year, Dr. Bilgin Ciftci of Turkey posted photos on Twitter juxtaposing President Erdogan with the fictional character Gollum. Ciftci was immediately fired from the hospital where he worked. Then he was brought to court for insulting Erdogan, an offense punishable by up to four years in prison.

In March, a court placed the newspaper Zaman in the control of state administrators, with no clear reason given, arguably breaching Article Three of the European Convention of Human Rights:

“2. Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

“(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;”

Zaman has apparently never received information of the charges against it, or the reason for the court order placing its activities and infrastructure under state control — moves breaching further sections of Article 3, which specify the right to be able to “construct a defence”. Without knowing what charges it faces, Zaman is unable to do that.

In addition, Turkey’s World Press Freedom Index ranking has plummeted to 149 out of 180: below Zimbabwe (131) and Burundi (145).

Turkey also continues to imprison possibly the highest number of journalists of any nation — according the Committee to Protect Journalists, the assessed number is 14 out of 199, worldwide. Other sources claim the number is closer to 30, and still others suggest that Turkey has had the greatest number of incarcerated journalists globally.

Whatever the true number, it is shameful that a NATO member, pledged to uphold the values of democracy as a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), ranks among some of the worst abusers of press freedom, including Iran, China and Saudi Arabia.

The Turkish government led by Erdogan seems to be undergoing a public transformation into an increasingly totalitarian state. Turkey has been abandoning the pro-Western principles of Kemalism and pivoting, with a more oppressive and expansionist outlook, toward Ottoman Islam.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was willing and overtly “proud’ to show solidarity with the massacred Charlie Hebdo satirists in Paris by joining the Marche Republicaine against those who would attack freedom of speech. At home, however, Davutoglu pursues a domestic agenda that not only infringes upon media freedom, but also on the freedoms of individual citizens in fundamental breaches of ECHR legislation. Davutoglu, for example, has suggested women being equal to men causes suicides.

Turkey has also attempted, during Erdogan’s period of governance, to ban both Twitter — for “incit[ing] political dissent” — and YouTube — for “promot[ing] the act of religious defamation (article 216).” Erdogan blocked Twitter during responses to terror attacks and public protests, and attempted to quell any protest against his government.

Under the pretense of “counter terrorism,” Erdogan has repeatedly been attempting to strangle the channels of discussion and the organizing of protests.

In any state claiming that protests are linked to terrorism and blasphemy is unjustifiable. These are classic intimidatory tactics. They illustrate why the West must begin to criticize Erdogan’s regime to a greater extent on its infringement on freedom of speech, rather than to make deals with it.

Had Charlie Hebdo been a Turkish publication, its material would most likely have been branded illegal or brought under state control: it would likely no longer exist.

Despite the ruling by Turkey’s judiciary that Erdogan could not eliminate access to Twitter, he nevertheless continues to advance his agenda of censorship.

This position Erdogan holds, of branding opposition to his regime as blasphemy, creates a religious divide between those who are “pure” and those who are “dangerous.” Further, as mentioned, the notion that an idea is too politically toxic to be discussed contravenes the principles of free speech and freedom of expression that Turkey pledged as a signatory to the European Convention of Human Rights.

Turkey’s lurch to establish its government as some form of unassailable authority beyond questioning again breaches the ECHR, this time Article 9:

“1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. “

Turkey is also likely to fall afoul of Article 10 of the ECHR:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.”

Turkey’s blocking of social media, which targets communication with the outside world, also clearly infringes on the “regardless of frontiers” stipulation.

And finally, Turkey’s actions are also clearly in breach of Article 11

“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”

The European Union and the liberal democracies have remained silent on Turkey’s aggressive campaign against civil liberties. But it is time to stop betraying Turkish liberals, democrats and Kurdish people facing persecution for their views — before it comes “soon to a theater near you.”

Countries in the West sometimes seem to fantasize that Turkey, with half of Istanbul in Europe, can therefore can modernized, be become progressive and work with the West.

They distance themselves and turn a blind eye to the Turkish government’s assaults on human rights. Before Turkey is capitulated to even further, or again considered for membership in the European Union, shining a serious light on the country seems long overdue.

Robbie Travers, a political commentator and consultant, is Executive Director of Agora, former media manager at the Human Security Centre, and a law student at the University of Edinburgh.

***

John Oliver – Insulting Erdogan

Also see:

Video: Robert Spencer on how Islam killed free speech in 30 years

Published on Apr 18, 2016 by Vlad Tepes

This is a presentation by Robert Spencer given to an invite-only group in Montreal on April 14 2016. He spoke mainly on how Islam and Islamic organizations plan to, and systematically do attack, freedom of speech world wide.

Video: Robert Spencer explains the “Islamophobia” scam

olJihad  Watch, by Robert Spencer, April 11, 2016:

Here is the first part of my new video series, The Basics of Islam, an introduction to many of the most important aspects of the struggle against the global jihad. This one is about “Islamophobia” and the Islamic jihad against the freedom of speech.

Germany Raids Homes of Immigration Critics

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Police admit that there was no evidence of any crime beyond expressing outlawed opinions.

By Counter Jihad, April 11, 2016:

German police ransacked the homes of ten people in Berlin’s suburbs last week.  Families in Spandau, Tempelhof, Marzahn, Hellersdorf ,and Pankow were raided by police units because someone living in those homes had expressed outlawed opinions on the internet.  Specifically, the ten were united by having been outspoken critics of Germany’s policy of accepting mass migration from the Islamic world.

The raids should be no surprise given that the Germans looked to a former Stasi official as who leads an anti-Nazi NGO as a partner for the official internet censorship unit.  Police spokesman Stefan Redlich admitted that while many of the men had anti-migrant opinions, “the men do not know each other according to previous findings,” and police had no evidence of any conspiracy to commit crimes.  The sole offense, for which nine were arrested and booked, was expressing officially-disapproved views towards Muslims.

According to Breitbart news:

In some of the homes searched police were forced to admit they hadn’t found anything at all, but Redlich justified the raids saying they were maybe, “people who just once expressed their hate-opinion.”  One of the raids in particular was prompted by a Facebook comment…

Police announced that the raids show Germans that they are not as safe online as they might think.

A useful lesson, no doubt, although ideally the dangers are not supposed to be from the police.  This is what you can expect when the police are trained by organizations founded by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Germany has a long history of being less friendly to free speech than many places in the West.  However, in the wake of the Cologne attacks the German authorities have seemed far more inclined to crack down on criticism of government policy than on migrants who engage in rape.  The German government’s Interior Ministry reached down to local police to make them strike the use of the word “rape” from their police reports, and has arrested only thirty people in connection with more than a thousand rapes and sexual assaults on that occasion alone.

Meanwhile, the mass immigration has increased crime at a rate far beyond what the German police can handle.  The sexual assaults, which Germany has proven totally incapable of either controlling or prosecuting, represent less than one percent of the increase in crime in just one year.

The censorship threats are not limited to Germany, either.  Scottish police posted a warning aimed at internet users, suggesting that they use the internet “safely” or else they “might receive a visit from us.”  The British police’s submission to Muslim Brotherhood doctrine was enforced by Prime Minister Tony Blair as part of his attempt to curry favor with the Muslim community.  It impeded the investigation of a child-rape ring in Rotherham, England.  It appears that the lesson has not been learned by police even yet.