Killing Free Speech

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, September 21, 2018:

  • The OIC’s media strategy encourages “accurate and factual portrayal of Islam. Emphasis should be directed at avoidance of any link or association of Islam with terrorism or the use of Islamophobic rhetoric… such as labeling criminal terrorists as ‘Islamic’ fascists, ‘Islamic’ extremists.”
  • That part of the strategy has already had much success across the Western world, where authorities and media do not want to label Muslim terrorists as Islamic, but routinely describe them as “mentally ill.”
  • The OICs highly ambitious plans to do away with freedom of speech go severely underreported in the West. Mainstream journalists do not appear to find it dangerous that their freedom of speech should be supervised by the OIC, while Western governments, far from offering any resistance, appear, perhaps for votes, to be cozily going along with everything.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is trying to curb your freedom of speech — yet again[1].

In June, the first “I 1st Islamic-European Forum for examining ways of cooperation to curb hate speech in the media,” initiated by the OIC, ironically but sadly took place at the Press Club Brussels Europe.

The director of the information department of the OIC, Maha Mustafa Aqeel, explained that the forum is part of the OIC’s media strategy[2] to counter “Islamophobia”:

“Our strategy focuses on interacting with the media, academics, and experts on various relevant topics, in addition to engaging with Western governments to raise awareness, support the efforts of Muslim civil society bodies in the West, and engage the latter in developing plans and programs to counter Islamophobia.”

Unlike almost all other intergovernmental organizations, the OIC wields both religious and political power. It describes itself as:

“…the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states spread over four continents. The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world… espousing all causes close to the hearts of over 1.5 billion Muslims of the world.”

According to the OIC’s Charter, one of the objectives of the organization is “To disseminate, promote and preserve the Islamic teachings and values based on moderation and tolerance, promote Islamic culture and safeguard Islamic heritage,”[3] as well as “To protect and defend the true image of Islam, to combat defamation of Islam and encourage dialogue among civilisations and religions.”[4]

At the 11th Session of The Islamic Summit Conference (Session of The Muslim Ummah in The 21St Century) in Dakar, Senegal (13-14 March 2008), the member states of the OIC decided to “renew our pledge to work harder to make sure that Islam’s true image is better projected the world over…”[5] and to “seek to combat an Islamophobia with designs to distort our religion”[6].

In 2008, the OIC published its 1st OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia. This document listed a number of interactions that OIC representatives had with Western audiences — including the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and academics and others at universities such as Georgetown and Oxford — and stated:

“The point that was underscored in all these interactions was that Islamophobia was gradually gaining inroads into the mind-set of the common people in Western societies, a fact that has created a negative and distorted perception of Islam. It was emphasized that Muslims and Western societies would have to address the issue with a sense of commitment to ending Islamophobia… Islamophobia poses a threat not only to Muslims but to the world at large.”[7]

Since that 1st OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia, the OIC opened its Permanent Observer Mission to the EU (in 2013) and also cooperates with the OSCE and the Council of Europe “to combat stereotypes and misunderstandings and foster tolerance.”[8] In December 2017, the OIC and the EU agreed on strengthening bilateral cooperation, when they held their second Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) at the OIC headquarters, during which both sides agreed on “strengthening bilateral cooperation through concrete actions”.

The OIC was concrete in its demands to the West. In a statement delivered at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the OIC Secretary General called for Europe to “Prosecute and punish for racial discrimination… through the framework of appropriate legislation” and also to “Strengthen existing legislation on discrimination and discriminatory and ‘unequal treatment’ adopted by EU council directives”[9].

Today, many Western European governments are prosecuting their own citizens for criticizing Islam or Muslims in, for example, SwedenGermany and the UK, although it is unclear, whether or how much of this development can be directly attributed to the OIC.

In Sweden, for instance, pensioners especially have been prosecuted for making critical comments about Islam on Facebook. A 71-year-old woman referred to so-called unaccompanied minors as “bearded children” and said — not inaccurately (here and here and here) — that some seem to be “engaged in rape and demolishing their [asylum] homes”. In February 2018, a Swedish court sentenced her to a fine for “incitement of hatred against an ethnic group”.

In Germany, a journalist, Michael Stürzenberger, was handed a six-month suspended jail sentence for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a senior Nazi official in Berlin in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph.

In addition to cultivating high-level contacts with Western actors, the OIC also is pursuing a comprehensive media strategy, agreed upon in Saudi Arabia in December 2016 and focused on the West.

This OIC media strategy claims as one of its goals:

“To increase the interaction with media outlets and professionals, while encouraging accurate and factual/portrayal of Islam. Emphasis should be directed at avoidance of any link or association of Islam with terrorism or the use of Islamophobic rhetoric in the war on terror, such as labeling criminal terrorists as ‘Islamic’ fascists, ‘Islamic’ extremists.”[10]

Part of that strategy has already had much success across the Western world, where authorities and media do not want to label Muslim terrorists as Islamic, but routinely describe them as “mentally ill.”

The OIC also notes that it would like media professionals and journalists “to develop, articulate and implement voluntary codes of conduct to counter Islamophobia”[11], while at the same time engaging Western governments “in creating awareness against the dangers of Islamophobia by addressing the responsibility of media on the issue”[12]. The OIC additionally states that it would like to train foreign journalists to “deal with the phenomenon of hatred and defamation of the Islamic religion”[13]— as exemplified by the recent European-Islamic Forum, where attendees were introduced to the OIC’s “Program for Training Media Professionals on Redressing Stereotypes about Islam”.

As maintained earlier here, European journalists — helped along by the EU — are already very adept at censoring themselves, which means that the OIC’s work is probably already more than half-done when it comes to Europe.

Finally, the OIC media strategy calls for fostering a “network of high profile western public figures supporting efforts to combat Islamophobia in politics, journalism and civil society” as well as teams of scholars academics, and celebrities, who will be the faces of the campaign.[14]

The IOC mentions the following, among others, as examples of mass media campaigns it aims to launch as part of its media strategy[15]:

  • Television and advertising campaigns “targeting public transport (bus and metro) famous newspapers and magazines for each country two times in one year”.
  • Arranging three talk shows per year in key TV channels in US and Europe about Islam with the participation of selected members from Muslim countries.
  • 10 lectures per year in each country (universities, unions and suggested important centers) “about Islamic role in building cultures and connect between religions”.
  • Visits to schools and universities by OIC “specialist teams”.
  • Hosting 100 “Western activists” from various fields in selected Muslim countries where they “can interact with intellectuals, politicians, media figures, and religious scholars”.
  • Produce one-hour documentary “examining the growth of Islamophobia in the West and its impact on Muslims around the world and interfaith relations” for broadcasting “on mainstream networks such as Britain’s BBC and Channel 4 or America’s PBS”.

The OIC is being assisted in all these efforts by “prestigious public relations companies such as UNITAS Communications which is based in London, UK and Golden Cap based in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”[16].

The OIC promises that it will also create a fund to support local anti-Islamophobia initiatives, and monitor media and place commentary and news stories in key Western publications.

It is important to note that in the years 1998-2011, the OIC sought to advance an agenda in the UN, banning “the defamation of religions”, but the OIC gave up on the ban after realizing that there was not sufficient support there for the proposal. “We could not convince them,” said Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish head of the IOC at the time. “The European countries don’t vote with us, the United States doesn’t vote with us.”

Instead of pursuing the ban on defamation of religions, the OIC shifted its focus to UN Resolution 16/18 [17] which calls upon states to take concrete steps to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, “foster religious freedom and pluralism,” and “counter religious profiling which is understood to be the invidious use of religion as a criterion in conducting questionings, searches and other law enforcement investigative procedures.”

Andrew C. McCarthy, a critic of Resolution 16/18, maintains that:

“Sharia forbids any speech — whether true or not — that casts Islam in an unfavorable light, dissents from settled Muslim doctrine, has the potential to sow discord within the ummah, or entices Muslims to renounce Islam or convert to other faiths. The idea is not merely to ban gratuitous ridicule — which, by the way, sensible people realize government should not do (and, under our Constitution, may not do) even if they themselves are repulsed by gratuitous ridicule. The objective is to ban all critical examination of Islam, period…” [Emphasis in original]

The OICs highly ambitious plans to do away with freedom of speech go severely underreported in the West. Mainstream Western journalists do not appear to find it dangerous that their freedom of speech should be supervised by the OIC, while Western governments, far from offering any resistance, appear, perhaps for votes, to be cozily going along with everything.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.


[1] See also “Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s ‘Islamophobia’ Campaign against Freedom” and “The OIC vs. Freedom of Expression”

[2] See also “The OIC/NGOs cooperation in combating Islamophobia” from the International Conference on Islamophobia, Istanbul 2007.

[3] OIC Charter Article 1(11)

[4] Ibid., Article 1 (12)

[5] 11th Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, Dakar Declaration, p 4

[6]Ibid., p 4

[7] 1st OIC observatory report on Islamophobia (May 2007 to May 2008) p 24 (section 4.5.)

[8] 1st OIC observatory report on Islamophobia (May 2007 to May 2008) p 30. (sections 4.5.7 and 4.5.8)

[9] Ibid., p 30 (Section 4.5.8)

[10] OIC Media Strategy in Countering Islamophobia and Its Implementation Mechanisms, p 2, (section I (2))

[11] Ibid., p 4, Section III (1)

[12] Ibid., p 4, Section III (3)

[13] Ibid., p 5, Section III (7)

[14] Ibid., pp 3-4, Section II(2) and (7)

[15] Ibid., pp 8-9, Section 7

[16] Ibid., p 6

[17] Resolution 16/18 on Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against, persons based on religion or belief. The resolution was passed in the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 with support from both OIC member countries and Western countries, including the United States.

Center Highlights Speech Restrictions At International Conference

Center for Security Policy, September 19, 2018:

The Center and its allies are participating in the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) 2018 in Warsaw, Poland.

The conference is supposed to be dedicated to a focus on Democracy & Human Rights within all of the 56 member states – official reps of each government plus a slew of Civil Society NGO reps.

The official theme for the plenary sessions held on September 17, 2018 was “Fundamental Freedoms” including freedom of expression and other core freedoms. The Center and its allies focused especially on the human right to free speech in their remarks.

The Center’s Executive VP Christopher Hull, VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez and Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin specifically condemned the OSCE ODIHR HDIM organizers for attempting to impose a Code of Conduct that in effect constituted prior restraint on free speech. They also made specific & repeated mention of “shariah” as antithetical to the human right to freedom of expression and speech.

Click here to watch their remarks on the Secure Freedom YouTube channel.

***

 

The Successful Subversion of the OSCE, Gates of Vienna, September 15, 2018:

For the past nine years the Counterjihad Collective has been participating in and reporting on the gradual Islamization of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It’s been a long, tedious, and exhausting process, but now the subversion of the OSCE is all but complete. For readers who are interested in the details, see the OSCE Archives.

As with other trans-national institutions, the Islamization of the OSCE was accomplished via an alliance between Muslims (in this case, primarily Turkey) and the progressive Left. This year, for the first time, the OSCE has officially established a framework to silence critics of Islam and sharia. For an organization that was founded to promote free speech, that’s quite an accomplishment.

I’ve already posted material from the 2018 ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) meeting of the OSCE in Warsaw, and will be posting more. For future reference, rather than repeatedly quoting it, here is the directive from OSCE headquarters mandating tolerance, inclusion, non-discrimination, etc blah yak. The relevant section is excerpted below, but the entire document may be downloaded (Word format) from the official OSCE website.

Under “§ 3. Other provisions”, the OSCE Code of Conduct states:

1. Participants shall refrain from presenting or shouting any slogans that might be:

a. provoking or urging to disturb order and safety,
b. likely to give rise to violence,
c. discriminating other persons on the basis of their race, color, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status (Maastricht 2003, Ljubljana 2005),
d. condoning terrorism or the use of violence.

ODIHR reserves the right to instruct HDIM moderators to interrupt any Participant who speaks in violation of these principles. In case of repeated non-compliance ODIHR reserves the right to void the Participant of the right to speak at the session, or as a last resort of the right to further participate at HDIM.

See also the op-ed about the OSCE by Chris Hull of the Center for Security Policy.

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

***

Transcript: (Thanks to Gates of Vienna)

How ironic that this organization is itself violating fundamental freedoms.

For instance, at a February meeting this year, a senior official claimed that civil society must adhere to OSCE commitments.[1]

But we are not required to abide by those commitments — you are.

The OSCE Code of Conduct for Staff/Mission Members says you, and I quote, “shall comply with the… commitments of the OSCE.”[2] And what commitments?

1. First, “respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience…or belief, for all without distinction as to…belief, political or other opinion.”[3]
2. Second, taking only “measures which do not endanger freedom of information and expression” in this space[4]; and
3. Third, that civil society members, “specifically those with relevant experience, are particularly encouraged to participate in the discussion of the selected topics and to provide their suggestions and recommendations.”[5]

But in spite of such requirements, ODIHR has now gone further.

For this meeting, you required us to acknowledge a new “Code of Conduct.” It says, “[p]articipants shall refrain from presenting…any slogans that might be provoking,… likely to give rise to violence, [or] discriminating [against] other persons on the basis of…religion or belief, political or other opinion.”

But that is what you are doing.

That’s why Secure Freedom joined 28 civil society representatives from 14 countries in speaking out against your repeated attempts to shut down our fundamental freedoms.[6]

That’s also why the U.S. Opening Statement objected “to content-based restrictions on the participation of civil society.”[7]

And yet last week, ODIHR used its power to interrupt Civitas Christiana Foundation for expressing concern about threats, repression and intolerance by those who hold radical views of sexuality.[8]

The truth? OSCE’s own Code of Conduct says:

1. “officials shall ensure that their own personal views and convictions, including their political and religious convictions do not adversely affect their official duties,” and
2. “officials shall respect the laws and regulations of the host country, as well as its local customs and traditions,” in this case those of Poland, whose laws, regulations, customs and traditions you’re violating.[9]

In fact, ODIHR is also refusing to respect the current governments of America, the V-4, Austria, and Italy, all of which are making hard choices on migration and terror to keep their people safer and their Fundamental Freedoms intact.

Without consensus of these countries, the policy should never have taken effect and should not be permitted going forward, as it violates civil society participants’ Fundamental Freedoms.

Secure Freedom recommends:

1. That ODIHR:
a. Permanently rescind content-based speech restrictions in the HDIM Code of Conduct;[10] and
b. Acknowledge that restrictions on fundamental freedoms violate the OSCE Code of Conduct for Staff/Missions; and
2. That America, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, Poland, Austria, and Italy speak out in favor of free speech and their own policies on terror and migration.

Notes:

1. According to meeting participants.
2. ”OSCE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR STAFF/MISSION MEMBERS: Appendix 1 to the OSCE Staff Regulations and Staff Rules,” Permanent Council Decision 550/Corr.1, 27 June 2003, available at https://www.osce.org/secretariat/31781?download=true, retrieved August 30, 2018.
3. See “13th OSCE Ministerial Council Ljubljana, 5 December 2005 (All day) — 6 December 2005 (All day),” available at https://www.osce.org/event/mc_2005, retrieved August 28, 2018.
4. See “13th OSCE Ministerial Council Ljubljana, 5 December 2005 (All day) — 6 December 2005 (All day),” available at https://www.osce.org/event/mc_2005, retrieved August 28, 2018.
5. Modalities for OSCE Meetings on Human Dimension Issues, 23 May 2002 (OSCE PC Dec.476, Section I paragraph 9), available at https://www.osce.org/pc/13198?download=true, retrieved August 28, 2018.
6. See Center for Security Policy, “LETTER RELEASE: Organizations express concerns about OSCE’s attempts to shut down free speech,” September 6, 2018, available at https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2018/09/06/letter-release-organizations-express-concerns-about-osces-attempts-to-shut-down-free-speech/, retrieved on September 16, 2018.
7. See United States Mission to the OSCE, “Opening Statement As prepared for delivery by Ambassador Michael Kozak, Head of Delegation to the 2018 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Warsaw,” September 10, 2018, https://www.osce.org/odihr/393305?download=true, retrieved September 16, 2018.
8. See “A couple of noteworthy OSCE interventions,” September 14, 2018, available at https://youtu.be/vW8g_Dmjd1U, retrieved September 17, 2018.
9. ”OSCE CODE OF CONDUCT FOR STAFF/MISSION MEMBERS: Appendix 1 to the OSCE Staff Regulations and Staff Rules,” Permanent Council Decision 550/Corr.1, 27 June 2003, available at https://www.osce.org/secretariat/31781?download=true, retrieved August 30, 2018.
10. See “CODE OF CONDUCT AT THE OSCE HUMAN DIMENSION IMPLEMENTATION MEETING (HDIM),” Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, https://meetings.odihr.pl/dl/2943/f85414/CODE_of_CONDUCT_HDIM-1.docx, retrieved August 30, 2018.

Did Marxists Invent the “War on Hate?”

A Cato Institute forum reveals the radical origins of the Left’s “War on Hate”

Capital Research, by Jacob Grandstaff, November 30, 2017:

Far-left fanatics on college campuses may claim to support new social theories in their pursuit of social justice, but they’re often chasing Marxism by another name.

On November 28, the Cato Institute hosted a policy forum in Washington, D.C., that drew a line connecting the communist Soviet Union with the modern Left’s doctrine of “intersectionality,” the social theory responsible for much of the fanaticism afflicting American college campuses.

The intersectionality theory holds that there are formal categories of hate—sex, race, class, etc.—and they overlap into institutionalized oppression.

The forum, entitled “Marxist Origins of Hate-Speech Legislation and Political Correctness,” featured the American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Christina Hoff Sommers and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Flemming Rose. Over the course of the forum, the scholars revealed how Western intellectuals rebranded Marxism as social egalitarianism, minimizing its economic elements, after the USSR lost moral credibility in the West at the beginning of the Cold War. But Marxists never relinquished their animosity toward the so-called “bourgeoisie.”

Sommers jokingly began her address by thanking the Cato Institute for providing a “safe space” for freedom of expression.

“When future historians look back and try to understand what the hell happened to American campuses in the second decade of the 21st century,” she said, “they are going to find the real culprit to be a theory; and it’s called intersectionality.”

The intersectionality theory dates back to the 1970s (though it wasn’t coined until 1989), and the beginnings of “privileges” in ethnicity and gender. For instance, theorists might argue that a white woman is privileged by her race, but disadvantaged by her gender. Minority women “would be in double jeopardy” – disadvantaged by both their race and gender.

Although the theory began with a focus on black women, the number of apparently “victimized” groups quickly multiplied. Sommers said she attended a feminist conference which divided the women based on their “grievances and healing needs.”

There were groups for black women, Asian women, Jewish women, fat women, gay women. None of the groups proved stable. People started quarreling, and so there was, like, a black lesbian group—the Jewish women started a fight—some wanted to celebrate their religion, others wanted to overcome it. There was just this continuous process of mitosis.

I eventually ended up bonding with a group of lesbian separatists.

“I wasn’t a smoker, but I needed a cigarette,” she said to audience laughter, “And they smoked!”

Sommers, who regards herself as a classical “equity feminist” contrasted her feminism, which grew out of the Enlightenment, to this new form of feminism, which she said “came straight out of Marxism via the Frankfurt School, via French philosophers, and maybe a little of the self-esteem movement.”

“If you’re committed to this theory, you’re not going to worry about niceties like free expression,” she added. “You’re on an urgent mission to dismantle a lethal system of oppression.”

Sommers also reminded the audience of a recent incident at Reed College, where a group of students protested and shut down a class because the lesbian professor’s teaching of the ancient Greek poet Sappho was insufficiently intersectional. She recounted another experience at Oberlin College, where “30 women and a therapy dog fled to a safe room” to escape her presence.

“I feel bad for that dog,” she added.

Sommers pointed out that the main difference between Bolsheviks and intersectionalists is that the latter don’t have the power to put people in prison. If they did, though, they would likely put her in prison, as well as many other dissenters.

Too many textbooks and professors indoctrinate students to believe that levels of oppression exist in society, based on marginalized identities. This leads to so-called “microaggressions,” supposed slights made by the upper echelons of the intersectionality food chain against those at the bottom to remind them of their inferior status. This creates an environment where all students, regardless of their gender or ethnicity, can now feel equally oppressed because the possibility of victimhood mitosis is endless.

Sommers marvels at how most students “don’t seem to flinch” when they hear professors damning the United States as an imperialist, oppressive power. “I might be paranoid,” she said, but she suspects students hear this theory in high school and become conditioned to believe this when they arrive at college. During the question and answer session, a mother from Alexandria, Virginia, confirmed that indoctrination does begin in high school, noting that her children’s school heavily emphasizes the theory of intersectionality – marketing it as a celebration of “diversity.”

Sommers said that defeating this Marxist-inspired theory will require liberals to combat it because most of the criticism so far has come from conservatives. “But there just aren’t that many conservative professors,” she lamented.

 Back (from) the USSR?

Cato Senior Fellow Flemming Rose drew a compelling comparison between the USSR’s crackdown on the dissension it called “hate speech” and “fake news,” and the modern trend in Western democracies to censor free speech online. He noted that “every liberal democracy, except [the] United States, has hate speech laws on the books, and the global trend is toward a tougher application of these laws.” He recounted how the basis for these hate speech laws’ spreading to Western democracies began with Stalin and the Soviet Union’s supporting them through the United Nations after World War II.

Rose pointed to Article 20, Paragraph 2 of the UN’s Covenant of Political and Civil Rights (1966). “The Soviet Union defeated the Western countries in the wording of Article 20, Paragraph 2,” he said, “and the repercussions of that defeat can still be felt in the West.” The fundamental disagreement between the democratic West and the communist East centered on how far the criminalization of speech should go. The U.S. and its allies supported language that mirrored the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment. In the end, however, the Soviets won, and the final draft’s language advocated the criminalization of any speech that constitutes “incitement to discrimination, hostility, or violence.” Rose noted that the Western democracies that have enacted Soviet-style hate speech legislation of their own, have done so since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Although their intentions may be more noble than the intentions of the Soviet Union, the European states that sixty years ago found hate speech laws dangerous and arbitrary have today become active proponents of such laws.

Addressing the crackdown on “fake news,” Rose pointed out that Vladimir Lenin began the censorship of media on his second day in power. Lenin’s justification? The press was owned by the wealthy class and their wealth allowed them to “poison people’s minds and sow confusion through slanderous distortion of facts.” Rose said that the Soviet experiment should give anyone “cause for pause” when it comes to using censorship to eliminate supposedly “fake news.” He pointed out that the Soviet penal code mandated sending violators of the media crackdown to labor camps.

Rose compared the Soviet crackdown with the modern sentiment of modern European Union leaders. Germany’s Minister of Justice, Heiko Maas, said in defense of his country’s crackdown on Facebook earlier this year that “defamation and malicious gossip are not covered under freedom of speech. . . . Anyone who tries to manipulate the political discussion needs to be aware of the consequences.” Italy’s antitrust chief Giovanni Pitruzzella said, “Post-truth in politics is one of the drivers of populism and it is one of the threats to our democracies.”

“Soviet censors would have applauded this kind of argumentation,” Rose said.

Rose credits utopianism for the push for hate speech laws, saying, “They believe if we eradicate hate, then eternal peace will arrive, and everything will be great.” Although hate is not a very constructive emotion, it sometimes “makes sense.” He noted that he recently learned that the emotions of hate and love are so close linked in the brain, that eradicating hate could also eradicate love.

One such organization that seeks to eliminate hate from society through suppressive, bullying tactics is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). CRC has closely covered SPLC’s recklessness in labeling right-of-center groups who do not conform to its views of social justice as ‘hate groups.’

“Conservative writers have observed that to be called a “racist” today is akin to the label “Communist” in the 1950s,” wrote CRC Senior Vice President Matthew Vadum. “Indeed, the SPLC’s tactics are hard to distinguish from those of the late Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was also a fan of guilt by association.”

While straining at gnats to find intersectional oppression in Western society, the SPLC attacked J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. On SPLC’s website Tolerance.org, Colleen O’Brien wrote in 2004,

In J.K. Rowling’s world, half-blood means ‘half magic.’ But the term—reflecting a dichotomy between magic/powerful and mundane/helpless—implies a hierarchy. This ‘magic’ hierarchy directly resembles racial hierarchies.

On Lord of the Rings, Andrea Lewis wrote,

Almost all of the heroes of the series are manly men who are whiter than white. They are frequently framed in halos of blinding bright light and exude a heavenly aura of all that is Eurocentric and good. Who but these courageous Anglo-Saxon souls can save Middle Earth from the dark and evil forces of the world?

Lewis contrasted this with the movie The Matrix, in which “(Lambert Wilson) with his French accent; the dread-locked, very British albino twins (Neil and Adrian Rayment); and the Oracle’s evil counterpart, the Architect (Helmut Bakaitis), a rather stuffy and pompous white guy with white beard and white suit who reeks of imperialism.” [Parentheses in original.]

Vadum noted that Lewis believes that “art should be a slave to politics.” “To my African American female eyes,” Lewis wrote, “the biggest difference between ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Matrix’ isn’t swords vs. automatic weapons, or low-tech vs. high-tech. It’s the patriarchy of the past versus the Rainbow Coalition of the future.”

But money, not theory, reigns supreme for the SPLC social justice warriors in their Montgomery, Alabama Poverty Palace.

The SPLC prides itself on using the law to fight hate groups. But CRC discovered that the organization’s 2015 salary expenditure outpaced its legal services 328 to 1. Its base salary for officers, directors, trustees, and key employees in 2015 was $140,000, in a state where the mean salary for religious and education directors, including private school principals, was $40,820 in 2015.

The SPLC takes advantage of people’s goodwill,” said Sommers – all to raise money.

“The SPLC even attacked my friend Ayaan Hirsi Ali as an extremist,” Sommers said, all because Ali sheds a light on violent Islamic extremism. (The Somali-born Ali is a noted critic of Islam, and a former member of the Dutch parliament living in the U.S.) In an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Why is the Southern Poverty Law Center Targeting Liberals,” Ali stated, “You will look in vain for the S.P.L.C.’s “Field Guide to Muslim Extremists.” No such list exists.”

CRC’s Chase Paulson has noted that the SPLC refuses to label Antifa, a movement that has had ties with Muslim extremists and communists, a hate group. SPLC president Richard Cohen instead called them “wrongheaded,” telling the Washington Examiner that “[t]here might be forms of hate out there that you may consider hateful, but it’s not the type of hate we follow.”

A glance at the SPLC’s website reveals why: the only type of hate that concerns the SPLC is the type that fits the theory of intersectionality.

Also see:

Facebook Lifts Frontpage Editor Jamie Glazov’s 9/11 Ban

Front Page Magazine, by Jamie Glazov, September 14, 2018:

[Editors’ note: To best understand why Facebook would ban Jamie Glazov on 9/11 in the first place, pre-order Jamie’s new book, Jihadist Psychopath: How He Is Charming, Seducing, and Devouring Us: HERE. The book illustrates how the Jihadist Psychopath has, with the help of the Left, successfully built his totalitarian plantation in the West — on which the political and cultural establishment is now enslaved and dutifully following his orders. Jamie outlines the frameworks of this tyrannical plantation and how those who are trapped on it, and yearn for freedom, can best escape.]

Frontpage editors are happy to announce our free speech victory: Facebook has lifted Frontpage editor Jamie Glazov’s 30-day ban on Facebook, apologizing and saying that the block was a “mistake”.

We have no doubt, of course, that no “mistake” had actually occurred in this matter and that the ban has only been lifted because of the publicity that we engaged in — and received.

While it is a positive development that Facebook has lifted the ban on Jamie (for now), this story is crucial to amplify now more than ever, seeing that Facebook, and all of leftist-run social media, is, at this moment, clearly accelerating its totalitarian attack on the free speech of conservatives.

A brief recap of Jamie’s story: on Sept. 11, the 17th Anniversary of the 9/11 terror strike, Facebook’s Unholy Alliance masters informed Jamie that he was suspended from Facebook for 30 days due to his posting of his article, 9 Steps to Successfully Counter Jihad, which Facebook informed him violated their “community standards.” This suggested, of course, that giving advice on how to prevent another 9/11, and all other Jihadist attacks against America, is now against Facebook’s ‘community standards’. (Read the whole story HERE.)

Frontpage and Jamie immediately publicized this tyrannical behavior of Facebook. Then, yesterday, on Sept. 13, Facebook notified Jamie that it had made a mistake and that it was lifting his block.

It goes without saying that this retraction and surrender by Facebook occurred only because of the wide publicity that Jamie’s banning had received. And we are immensely grateful for all the massive support that was given to us across the Internet, including especially from BreitbartPJMediaWorldNetDaily and Thomas Lifson at American Thinker. Leading brave conservative figures such as Michelle Malkin and Laura Loomer also stood up for Jamie, tweeting about his ban — and to them we send our heartfelt appreciation.

Jamie is, of course, no stranger to social media censorship — especially of the insane variety. The Counter Jihad Coalition’s (CJC) Facebook page, which Jamie helped run with CJC President Steve Amundson, was removed a few years ago with absolutely no explanation. The CJC is a human rights and pro-national security group that is dedicated to protecting America and the West from Jihad — and Muslim and non-Muslim people from Sharia oppression. The question remains: why would Facebook remove such a page, let alone in such a fascistic manner — and never explain why?

In April earlier this year, Jamie was suspended from Facebook for posting screenshots of a Muslim’s threat to him on the platform. Then, in May, his Twitter account was temporarily suspended and he was forced to delete tweets he posted which directly quoted Islamic religious texts. His account was suspended for violating Twitter’s rules relating to “hateful conduct.” It is “hateful conduct”, apparently, to reference what Islamic texts themselves say. Indeed, Frontpage’s editor had simply referred to Sahih Bukhari’s texts discussing Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha when she was six years old (7.62.88) and to Qur’anic Suras that mandate the Hijab for women (24:31; 33:59) and sanction sexual slavery (4:3; 33:50).

One thing we know for sure is that, despite this lifting of Jamie’s ban, Facebook and the leftist totalitarians in other social media venues and in the culture at large will continue their unrelenting effort to suffocate dissent and conservative voices. On Facebook, many brave conservative truth-tellers continue to be censored in myriad ways; these individuals include Anni CyrusBosch FawstinMark Lutchman and, of course, Diamond & Silk. The case of #WalkAway leader Brandon Straka is especially disturbing: he was recently banned by Facebook for thecrime of announcing that he would be interviewed by Alex Jones. Prager U has had its videos mysteriously disappear off of Facebook and then, only after vociferous protest, re-appear.

Facebook is, of course, just one terrain of this leftist brownshirt-style assault on free speech. Everyone knows by now, for instance, what has happened, in the most Orwellian sense, to Alex Jones and InfoWars on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Leading scholar of Islam and JihadWatch.org Director Robert Spencer, meanwhile, is not just a target at Facebook, where his referrals are down 90% from what they once were; he has been banned by Patreon at the behest of MasterCard — and MasterCard has yet to respond to his lawyer’s letter. GoFundMe has also banned Spencer because of a smear by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) hate machine.

Speaking of Mastercard, the David Horowitz Freedom Center just recently won a major battle with the credit card, defeating well-financed leftwing groups that are trying to run the Center out of business and suffocate free speech in America. The Freedom Center emerged victorious, but it is clear that leftist hate groups such as the SPLC and Color of Change.org are preparing new attacks against the Freedom Center and other conservative groups and individuals 24/7.

To be sure, the Left’s attacks on the David Horowitz Freedom Center continue unabated: just recently a hit piece in the Washington Post smeared a stand-up noble gentleman like Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Republican Ron DeSantis, libeling David Horowitz in the process. The article stated falsely and maliciously that Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend, that DeSantis had attended, was somehow “a racially charged event” — a vicious lie that Frontpage has exposed and for which the Washington Post is still to apologize and issue a retraction. (To learn why David Horowitz is one of the central targets of the Left, make sure to watch this video).

Thus, we clearly gauge that there is no disgusting and venomous level to which the Left will not stoop in its destructive agenda. Yes, Frontpage editor Jamie Glazov has had his ban lifted at Facebook, but this is clearly only a brief reprieve for him on that platform — and it is only, obviously, a very tiny space in the Stalinist Left’s war on America and on everything on which it stands.

At this dire moment, we all need to amplify our voices in defense of free speech. And we need to adamantly defend all the truth-tellers at the very moment they come under attack. We also need to contact our representatives and to call for a Congressional investigation into this pernicious assault by the fascist Left on our liberties.

The battle for America — and for the West — is on.

[Editors’ postscript: Please make sure to FOLLOW Jamie Glazov on Facebook as well as on Twitter (@JamieGlazov) to strengthen his social media strength in the face of the Left’s vicious war on free speech. Thank you!]

Twitter Viewpoint Discrimination

Securities Study Group, by Jim Hanson, August 28, 2018:

Twitter has been trying to make its platform a better place for users. But in doing so they have built some tools that are adversely affecting conservative users. This seems to be an unintended consequence of attempts to identify and punish bad behavior. But the rationale is less important than the outcome, which is viewpoint discrimination.

CEO Jack Dorsey has admitted they have a problem.

We need to constantly show that we are not adding our own bias, which I fully admit is more left-leaning,” he added. “And I think it’s important to articulate our own bias and to share it with people so that people understand us. But we need to remove our bias from how we act and our policies and our enforcement.”

Twitter must fix this and the following fact sheet outlines the problem, the damage it is doing, the necessary steps to rectify this and the potential problems for Twitter if the do not.

Twitter & Viewpoint Discrimination

Fact Sheet

Social media has become one of the most popular ways for people to communicate and stay informed. Twitter calls itself “a global platform for public self-expression and conversation in real time. Twitter allows people to consume, create, distribute and discover content and has democratized content creation and distribution.”

Twitter Basics

Tweets

A tweet is a message of 280 characters or less that may contain pictures or video.

Timeline

A user’s timeline is a ticker style collection of tweets from other people that is constantly updating.

Hashtags

#Hashtags allow users to collect and view all tweets that use the word(s) in the hashtag

Follow

Following other users puts their tweets into your timeline.

Mute and Block

Muting another user stops their tweets from showing in your timeline. Blocking another user means they can’t see your tweets or put any tweets in your timeline.

Trolls and Bots

Trolls are users who stir up controversy by mocking and attacking content & other users. Bots are accounts that automatically create tweets on certain topics.

Key Differentiator

Twitter allows direct access to prominent individuals and organizations in a very public way. Tweets adding a username like @realDonaldTrump are included in the timeline of that account and are visible to the people who follow it. This allow both praise and criticism to be delivered in a virtual public square. This has generated much good, and bad, debate and also the opportunity for harassment and abuse to occur.

Health of the Platform

The balance between free expression and direct moderation of commentary has been a difficult challenge for Twitter. The open and largely unregulated ability to speak to anyone on any topic, anonymously if desired, appeals greatly to may users. Others dislike the sometimes unruly and rude nature of some conversation.

Twitter has attempted to define rules for acceptable behavior and mechanisms to enforce this fairly. They have used a mix of algorithms and human oversight. The results have been mixed at best and neither those who favor free speech or more civility have been pleased. In addition, some of the methods used have created viewpoint discrimination which is unacceptable.

Twitter has developed multiple tools designed to create a better user experience. While the goal may have been to block spam, bots and abusive accounts, the result has been disproportionately felt by users with conservative political views. This has been called shadow banning and Twitter claims it does not do this purposely. But the effect of limiting the reach of conservative accounts is real, if not intentional.

Quality Filter Discrimination (QFD)

The main culprit is the Quality Filter which uses a number of metrics to determine if an account should be deemed low quality or a bad faith actor. When this rating occurs, the visibility of tweets from these accounts is severely limited. Some of the factors Twitter uses make sense:

  1. Specific account properties that indicate authenticity (e.g. whether you have a confirmed email address, how recently your account was created, whether you uploaded a profile image, etc.)

But some have had unintended consequences, including:

  1. What actions you take on Twitter(e.g. who you follow, retweet, etc.)
  2. How other accounts interact with you(e.g. who mutes, follows, retweets, blocks you, etc.)

The use of “who blocks you” as a metric has allowed liberal groups to institute a Hecklers Veto by attacking large numbers of conservative accounts with reports of violations or abuse and most damagingly by the use of mass block lists.

Block Lists

Twitter instituted the capability to use lists created by users to mass block large numbers of accounts in 2015. Groups on the political left have since  generated massive lists of conservative users. These lists have been used extensively to generate large numbers of bad quality marks against conservative accounts, most of which the user applying the block list has never even heard of. This phenomenon has been known for years and written about by liberal researchers including this paper from UC Berkeley.

Guilt by Association

Rating accounts based on their interests and connections creates viewpoint discrimination.

  • Using “who follows you”, “who you follow” and “who you retweet” creates a guilt by association.
  • It takes a small number of accounts with a low quality rating and extends that shadow to others who have interactions with them.
  • This generates a dynamic that constantly increases the number of affected accounts based simply on an affinity for conservative ideas.

Again, while the intent may have been to improve user experience, some of these metrics had an easily predictable outcome of disadvantaging right of center users. There is a well-documented tendency of left of center users to report and use blocking and reporting tools considerably more than the right, up to three times as much. This has created the situation now where Quality Filter Discrimination (QFD) is de facto viewpoint discrimination.

Damages

  • Twitter is not a paid service, but has become ubiquitous enough that a robust Twitter presence is a necessity for public organizations and individuals.
  • Accounts placed under a QFD ban have suffered a loss of visibility and have wasted time and resources applied to using Twitter as a means of promoting their ideas.
  • Republican politicians given QFD bans have been limited in the ability to reach their constituents unfairly advantaging their Democrat opponents.

In a Frankenstein’s Monster effect, the block list tool Twitter built to satisfy some user’s desires to insulate themselves from content they dislike, is now being used against Twitter itself. A user named Shannon Coulter @shannoncoulter has created a block list of all Fortune 500 corporations with a Twitter presence and is quite successfully calling for others to use it to pressure Twitter to ban Alex Jones.

Remedies

Instituting the following changes is a needed start to ending viewpoint discrimination:

  • Stop the use of blocks generated by block lists as a metric in the Quality Filter
  • Stop the use of abuse reports as a metric or account for the disparity in their use by partisans
  • Stop the use of guilt by association metrics in the Quality Filter
  • Turn off the QFD filter by default; allow users to manually activate customizable filters.
  • Add conservative voices to the Trust & Safety Council

Potential Consequences

Twitter is aware of QFD and can longer honestly claim it runs a content neutral platform. Statements by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey saying there is no shadow ban may be called into question based on these facts.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has called for Dorsey to testify to Congress about this issue and while conversations have begun, there are major questions about Twitter’s commitment to fix this.

Twitter opens itself to a number of detrimental actions if it fails to enact remedies to these problems.

  • As a publicly-traded company, Twitter could be subject to actions from its stockholders if it inaccurately characterizes the current state of viewpoint discrimination.
  • Government scrutiny could be applied by a number of agencies:
    • Federal Election Commission– By providing an advantage to one party in election communications, Twitter may have made an in-kind contribution. This could extend beyond individual races if the advantage is found to have been systemic in nature.
    • Securities and Exchange Commission– Public statements claiming a content neutral platform, while operating one that is biased in outcome, could be deemed violations.
    • Federal Trade Commission– Due to the monopoly-like nature of Twitter in the marketplace and the need for its services by almost all public entities, Twitter could face anti-trust scrutiny.
    • Federal Communications Commission– As a unique communications network, Twitter could be required to adhere to a renewed Fairness Doctrine to ensure discrimination against political views is avoided.

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CJR: I’ve been taking a break from counter jihad but this issue is so important I had to post it.

Also see:

The collusion between the financial services sector and the tech sector threatens to effectively wipe out freedom in America. But at the same time big monopolistic companies have effectively declared war on half the country. And I can’t think of anything more likely to shatter the GOP’s consensus on leaving big business alone than major corporations colluding against Republicans and conservatives.

We are living in truly revolutionary times. –  Daniel Greenfield

Liberals abandoning Democrat party through #WalkAway campaign

Life Site News, by Calvin Freiburger, July 9, 2018:

A social media campaign encouraging Democrats to leave their increasingly left-wing party is gaining notoriety – and followers.

The #WalkAway Campaign is the brainchild of “former liberal” and New York actor and hair stylist Brandon Straka. It bills itself as “dedicated to sharing the stories of people who can no longer accept the current ideology of liberalism and what the Democratic Party has become.”

“We want people on the right to use their voices and tell the world the truth about whom they are by making videos telling everyone what it means to be a conservative in America and what your values really are,” the campaign’s website says. “Tell minorities on the left, who have been told their whole lives that they are not welcome on the right because of the bigotry and hatred, that they are welcome. Tell them there is a seat at the table on the right for everybody.”

The campaign’s primary means of spreading this message is through written and video testimonials from former Democrats of various backgrounds explaining why they became Democrats and how they then came to reject the label.

That testimony ranges from stories about overcoming college indoctrination to being stereotyped as liberal for being a minority to women told they can’t think for themselves. Others simply recognized the Left’s increasing radicalization.

Among that radicalization in recent years has been the official Democrat platform removing its call to make abortion “rare” in 2012 and demanding the federal nullification of state pro-life laws in 2016; Democrat National Committee chair Tom Perez hailing self-proclaimed socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “the future of the party”; left-wing leaders like Rep. Maxine Waters openly advocating the harassment of Trump administration officials; boycott and intimidation campaignsover keeping men out of women’s restrooms; and attempts in numerous states to force private citizens to participate in same-sex ceremonies.

Straka, who is openly gay, launched the campaign with his own May 26 video testimony (full transcript here), explaining that he originally became a liberal out of opposition to hatred, discrimination, groupthink, censorship, and junk science, and that he walked away from liberalism when he came to believe liberalism embodied rather than opposed those ills.

“Liberalism has been co-opted and absorbed by the very characteristics it claims to fight against,” he said. “For years now, I’ve watched as people on the Left have become anesthetized to their own prejudices and bigotry, and the prejudices and bigotry of those around them who echo their values.”

“I have witnessed the irony of advocacy for gender equality morph into blatant hatred and intolerance of men and masculinity,” he continued. “I’ve seen the once-earnest fight for equality for the LGBT community mutate into an illogical demonization of heteronormativity, and the push to vilify and attack our conventional concepts of gender.”

At the time of this writing, Straka’s kickoff video has been viewed more than half a million times, his campaign’s official Facebook group has more than 73,000 members, and there is already reason to believe the movement may represent a deeper cultural shift.

Citing a Reuters/Ipsos poll from April, PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil notes that whites between the ages of 18 and 34 are equally likely to vote Democrat as they are Republican, a nine-percentage-point decline for Democrats from the 2016 election. Many observers have attributed Trump’s unprecedented victory that year in large part to moderate and formerly left-leaning voters alienated by far-left stances and tactics.

Straka elaborated on his efforts in an interview Tuesday with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. He said his homosexuality was the only reason he used to be a Democrat, and that he was still a liberal as recently as November 2016, when he cried in response to Hillary Clinton’s loss. But since then, watching the Left’s increasing intolerance toward dissent served as a “red-pill” experience.

On Thursday, Straka said that he entered a camera store to buy some equipment, and was denied service by one employee who recognized him from a TV appearance and didn’t want to facilitate a transaction for “alt-right” purposes.

“[Please] do not retaliate against this camera shop. All of the other employees could not have been nicer,” he said, noting that another employee completed the sale for him. “The reason I decided [to go] forward w/ the story is because I hope [to open] a conversation between me [and] gays on the left.”

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This is not a bot:

My WalkAway was in 2016. The ironic thing is that it wasn’t Trump that made me WalkAway. It was the Democrats themselves. I saw my own (liberal) friends become ugly and hateful. I saw disgusting personal attacks, elitism, arrogance, and rampant stereotyping. I saw them insulting any one they disagreed with as a racist, bigot, xenophobic… etc. I saw identity politics ruining people’s sense of individuality and cultural Marxism pitting people into the “oppressors vs. the oppressed.” It reminded of the early years of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, particularly Mao’s Red Guards. I saw the calls for censorship and the repeated attacks on free speech. I saw the lies. I saw the hypocrisy.

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Brandon Straka facebook live encouraging people to do video testimonials to prove  they are not bots:

Also see:

Webinar Podcast: Free Speech Infringements in Michigan

The United West, June 22, 2018:

Free Speech Infringements in Michigan:  Islamist Censorship – Its Roots, Purpose & Role in the 2018 Michigan Governor’s Race

Deborah Weiss, Esq., is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy where she specializes in free speech and terrorism-related issues. She is considered an expert on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, CAIR and Islamist censorship. She is the author of several books, including The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speechand her recently released book titled, Islamist Influence in Hollywood.