Free Speech and Islam: Fired for Reporting the Truth

Simply tweeting video of a Muslim student characterizing his religion on an interfaith panel cost me my job.

National Review, By Andy Ngo — May 12, 2017:

Last month, I attended an interfaith panel discussion, “Unpacking Misconceptions,” at Portland State University, where I’m a political-science graduate student. I ended up being fired as the multimedia editor of our student newspaper, the Vanguard, for tweeting about what was said there.

Much of the discussion was uncontroversial. The students on the panel mainly shared complaints of what they perceived as misconceptions about their religions. A Hindu student lampooned author Reza Aslan for his depiction of Hinduism on CNN’s Believer, which showed a minority sect’s practice of eating human flesh. A Jewish student said most Jews don’t have payot, the side curls worn by some Orthodox Jewish men. An atheist student spoke on behalf of a secular-humanist worldview and challenged the audience to think about how we as a society can develop our own moral framework without religion.

At one point, a woman in the audience asked the Muslim student if a specific verse in the Koran actually permitted the killing of non-Muslims. “I can confidently tell you, when the Koran says an innocent life, it means an innocent life, regardless of the faith, the race, like, whatever you can think about as a characteristic,” he began.

At this point, I took out my mobile phone and began recording as he continued:

And some, this, that you’re referring to, killing non-Muslims, that [to be a non-believer] is only considered a crime when the country’s law, the country is based on Koranic law — that means there is no other law than the Koran. In that case, you’re given the liberty to leave the country, you can go in a different country, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. So you can go in a different country, but in a Muslim country, in a country based on the Koranic laws, disbelieving, or being an infidel, is not allowed so you will be given the choice [to leave].

Although I was not there officially as a reporter to cover the event, I shared a 40-second snippet of the video on my personal Twitter account, with a message that conveyed my understanding of the speaker’s meaning — namely, that non-Muslims would be killed or banished in a state governed by Koranic law:

At @Portland_State interfaith panel today, the Muslim student speaker said that apostates will be killed or banished in an Islamic state. pic.twitter.com/YpsVSB1w9P

— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) April 27, 2017

I later posted a longer version of the video in a follow-up tweet to provide more context:

.@Portland_State Here is full clip that I recorded. An audience member asked about Quran 5:51 & “infidels.” He summarizes Quran 5:32 just before video starts pic.twitter.com/7FMgsPbFR6

— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) April 27, 2017

This longer video includes a response by someone in the audience who disagreed with the speaker, saying it was “perfectly okay for non-Muslims to live in Muslim lands.” The audience member cited the existence of religious-minority communities in the Middle East as an example of Islamic tolerance.

Four days later, the editor-in-chief of my school newspaper called me into a meeting. The paper’s managing editor was also present. They asked me about a Breitbart piece describing the event. It was the first time I’d seen the piece, which included my tweets and a tweet from one of the panelists.

My editor, whom I deeply respected at the time, called me “predatory” and “reckless,” telling me I had put the life and well-being of the Muslim student and his family at risk. She said that my tweets implied the student advocated the killing of atheists. Another person in the meeting said I should have taken into account the plight of victimized groups in the “current political climate.” The editor claimed I had “violated the paper’s ethical standards” by not “minimizing harm” toward the speaker.

As far as I’m concerned, the job of any reporter is to report facts, and that’s what I was doing when I tweeted about the panel.

All these accusations were shocking to me. Moments after publishing the original video, I shared the tweet with the editor and a Vanguard reporter who was at the event. Neither of them expressed any outrage in response back then. The tweets apparently only became “predatory” and “reckless” when conservative sites picked up on them.

In my defense, I told the two editors that I had simply been relating the speaker’s words. While dozens of Muslim states do not consider apostasy or blasphemy a crime, 13 Muslim-majority countries punish these actions with death. The speaker was admitting as much, and as someone who has covered the persecution of atheists and apostates in Muslim countries, I considered that newsworthy.

Nevertheless, my editor turned to me and said, “We have to ask you to step aside.” She said I had “a history” of affiliation with conservative media, and argued that that history was toxic to the “reputation of the Vanguard.”

The Vanguard rejected my original idea for this piece when I pitched it to them, citing concerns that it would cause the unnamed Muslim panelist further distress. For my own part, I remain baffled by my former editors’ reasoning. As far as I’m concerned, the job of any reporter is to report facts, and that’s what I was doing when I tweeted about the panel. I find it distressing that I could be fired for continuing to uphold that mission when the facts in question are liable to make people uncomfortable, as facts often are. Much like the student I spoke to that evening at the panel, I was disinclined to sugarcoat the truth. I just couldn’t have imagined it would cost me so dearly.

— Andy Ngo is a graduate student in political science at Portland State University. He is the former multimedia editor of the Portland State Vanguard.

Progressives Do Not Want to Talk About Islam and Gays

If progressives perceive Muslims as the greater victim group now, then Muslim victimization trumps gay victimization.

By Dr. Michael Hurd, March 30, 2017:

Sigh. Here we go again.

Here’s the story:

ISIS have thrown a young man to his death from a rooftop and pelted him with rocks after discovering he was gay.

The man lies in the street having been thrown from the rooftop and locals launch rocks at him

The barbaric mob released pictures of the public execution in Mosul which was carried out in the name of Allah and Islam through Sharia Law.

A crowd of people had gathered to watch the youth take his final breath and throw stones at him, all because of his sexuality.

The victim was blindfolded and hurled off the roof, according to Iraqi News, before he was stoned to death in the street.

Twisted ISIS militants had even lined the streets with rocks ready for locals to pelt the man with them when he hit the ground as seen in a graphic set of pictures.

…The same sort of punishment was handed to another man in May last year in Syria and in 2015 the UN estimated 30 men had been thrown to their deaths by ISIS for being gay.

I’m posting the picture, not because I believe in gratuitous exploitation of violence, but because it’s reality. And Americans, particularly left-wingers and progressives, desperately need a dose of reality.

If I were naïve, I’d wonder at the contradiction between what used to be called “liberalism” (now it’s “progressivism” or leftism) and the complete silence over events like this.

If “gay rights” include the expression of outrage when the individual rights of gay men or women are violated in the name of a fanatical religion, not once but over and over again, then you would think events like this would stir at least something.

But it doesn’t. Crimes committed by Muslims against gays are largely (if not totally) ignored by the political left and the gay rights movement. Neither Madonna nor Meryl Streep will stand before mass audiences and sob over the brutal execution of gays by Muslims in Mosul, because this assaults their ideological narrative of political correctness. And that ideological narrative is what matters most to them, not the gays or others they claim to love. In fact, you’re labeled a hater and extremist if you even call attention to these events, much less state what ought to be the obvious: that these are the hate crimes to end all hate crimes.

I have come to understand something about the mentality of leftists and progressives. They love victims far more than they love rights. Gays and lesbians have come a long way in American and Western society; nobody can dispute this fact. But Muslims, in the progressive mindset, are now the greater potential victims. If Muslims are killing gays, while even “moderate” Muslims have nothing to say about it, then it does not matter. Because rights are not what matter; victimization does. If progressives perceive Muslims as the greater victim group now, then Muslim victimization trumps gay victimization. As sad and as sick as it sounds, this is, unfortunately, how progressive “logic” seems to work.

We can scream “fake news” every time something happens that doesn’t fit with our narrative. But events like these have been going on for decades or centuries. It doesn’t matter to me if Christians have done it too, or Jews, or anyone else, for that matter. I only know of one religion doing it in the early twenty-first century, particularly on the scale and brutality we now see it. If we’re to call out white supremacists and other hate groups for their irrationality, we have to call out Islam for the same.

Even the predictably leftist Washington Post finds the Islamic war against gays too much to handle, at times, which prompted it to run a story last summer entitled, “The Islamic State’s shocking war on gays.” Progressives usually support and like the Washington Post, but nevertheless greet such stories with nothing but killer silence. The same people who say it’s the equivalent of murder to vote for Donald Trump, or to fail at defending gay marriage, cannot even muster a peep about brutal execution of gays in places like Iran and Iraq, where Islam predominates.

I can only assume that “gay rights,” as perpetuated by Democrats and progressives, have little to do with either gays or rights. The only thing that seems to matter to these leftist movements any longer is political correctness. Political correctness, aside from a blind adherence to socialism, also means a complete unwillingness to criticize or even call attention to anything at all negative about the political and religious ideology of Islam.

As many of these same progressives will claim in other contexts, silence kills. And their silence is literally killing gay people not fortunate enough to live in the United States or what remains of Western civilization.

Follow Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael  Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest. Also follow Dr. Hurd on Twitter at @MichaelJHurd1

PC kills: Will the West ever wake up from delusional approach to jihad?

oneinchpunch | Shutterstock

Conservative Review, by Benjamin Weingarten, April 2, 2017:

A jihadist attacks individuals in the public square of a Western town.

The media refuses to provide a description of the attacker, reporting only the weapon he used.

A physical description of a man of African, South Asian, or Middle Eastern descent leaks out in the ensuing hours.

Law enforcement authorities deliver a press conference confirming the attacker’s Islamic name and stating that at this time, his motive is unclear.

Rumors on social media percolate about the man screaming “Allahu Akbar.”

Mainstream reporters ask local Muslim community leaders and neighbors about the attacker. They express universal shock, describing him as a decent man who might have been rough around the edges but never showed signs of being a terrorist. The man came from a middle-class family, liked playing video games with friends, and by all accounts lived a normal existence. Toward the end of the stories, those close to the attacker note that he had grown increasingly devout in recent years.

Bloggers begin to research and quickly find that the attacker was a member of a mosque led by an imam who had been recorded preaching hatred and violence toward the West. The attacker posted violent verses from the Quran and railed against the “Crusaders’” wars in the Levant on social media pages captured by screenshot before they were taken down. It emerges that he had spent months in the Middle East during recent years.

Several days later, law enforcement authorities report that the attacker in fact appears to have been a terrorist. But he had no direct ties to IS or Al-Qaeda, so there is no reason for alarm.

Politicians plead with the public that this man perverted one of the world’s great religions – Islam, “the religion of peace” – and that his acts were “non-Islamic.” They urge us all to come together in a shared belief in tolerance and diversity. Love trumps hate. Lone wolves are a fact of life, and their efforts only underscore the need for community engagement to “counter violent extremism.”

How many times are we in the West going to see the above script play out before something changes?

How long will we live a naïve fantasy in which we act as if all is well as the global jihadist movement metastasizes, bringing the violent murder of infidels to our shores?

If the murder of 3,000 innocents on American soil has not caused the West to openly and honestly examine who the enemy is and what animates him, and to develop a comprehensive strategy that mobilizes all of our resources and capabilities to defeat him, do we expect anything to change the next time we experience a mass attack?

Meanwhile, those who do understand the enemy are dismissed as cranks or called bigots. Those who assert that jihad is the motive – that violent subversion with the goal of world domination is justified by core Islamic texts, as the jihadists themselves clearly illustrate – are told to pipe down.

If you offend by speaking truth, you will cause violence. Shut up, and maybe you can keep your head.

Government service predicated on an understanding of the theopolitical Islamic supremacism that animates jihadists is simply out of the question. Heaven forbid that national security and foreign policy officials have any understanding of the Sharia law that both de facto and de jure governs the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

What will it take for the West to flip this script?

To date, murder, bloodshed, and fear abound. In spite of that fact, much of the West would rather cling to a narrative that makes it feel good about itself than recognize the reality of a global jihadist menace that threatens its very survival. This insane delusion will continue to have fatal consequences until we wake up.

Ben Weingarten is Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media LLC, a media consulting and publication services firm. A graduate of Columbia University, he regularly contributes to publications such as City Journal, The Federalist, Newsmax and PJ Media on national security/defense, economics and politics. 

Theresa May Calls London Terror Attack “Perversion of a Great Faith”

Answering Muslims, by David Wood, March 24, 2017:

On March 22, 2017, Muslim convert Khalid Masood launched a terrorist attack that began on Westminster Bridge and ended in Parliament Square. The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attack. In response, British Prime Minister Theresa May insisted that the London terror attack was a “perversion of a great faith.”

***

Gad Saad: Ideas that are grotesque, evil and diabolical should not be granted cover because they are found in a “holy book”

Also see:

Government Report: Islamists Building ‘Parallel Society’ in Sweden Aided By PC Culture of Silence

David Ramos/Getty

Breitbart, by Liam Deacon, March 4, 2017:

Aided by a politically correct culture of “tolerance”, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is secretly building a “parallel” society in Sweden by infiltrating organisations and political parties, a government report has concluded.

Surprisingly, the document takes aim at “political elites” for fostering a doctrine of multiculturalism and silence, which can help and facilitate the nefarious ends of anti-democratic organisation like the Brotherhood.

Somewhat predictably, however, the publication of such claims in Sweden – where open criticism of liberal, multicultural ideals is rare – has caused a row, with critics labelling the report “conspiratorial” and claiming it misrepresents Islam.

Published Friday, the document was commissioned by Sweden’s Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), part of the country’s Ministry of Defence, which is responsible for civil protection and public safety.

The paper’s authors claim the Brotherhood is working to increase the number of practicing Muslims in Sweden, encouraging tension with Secular society, and targeting political parties, NGOs, academic institutions and other civil society organisations.

They also slam the “established structure of values among the country’s political elite [which] places a high value on ‘acceptance’ and ‘tolerance’ of citizens who are in some sense different from the mainstream”.

In the report, the Islamism of the MB is described as a totalitarian political ideology born out of Islam, a religion. This can make it “difficult to oppose what on the surface appears to be (a vulnerable minority) religious rights”, it explains.

Critics, therefore, “run the risk of being called ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ and because of the situation in Swedish society such classifications endanger people’s careers”.

The press was quick to label these claims inflammatory, and 22 academics and “experts” in religion have published a blog post questioning the methodology of the research.

The academics – from many of Sweden’s leading universities – say it is “almost conspiratorial” to suggest criticism of Islamism is difficult in Sweden. They also insist the claim that the Brotherhood is building a parallel society is refuted in past research.

In response to the blog post, the department has refuted the criticism of their methodology, and the report’s editor, Magnus Norell, told public service broadcaster SVT:

“Had they smoked something before they read it? You just need to read the report. If someone doesn’t accept this, there’s not much I can do about it. It’s proven.”

Controversially in Sweden, the report also links Islamism and poor social integration to immigration.

“Islamists aim to build a parallel social structure competing with the rest of the Swedish society the values of its citizens. In this sense, MB’s activists pose a long-term challenge in terms of the country’s social cohesion”, it states.

Adding: “Migration from Africa and the Middle East is likely to continue in coming years, both in form of relatives and refugees…

“Given that MB’s goal is to increase the number of practising Muslims in Swedish or European territory, there is a great likelihood that a ‘tug of war’ will occur between the majority community and the Islamic community with the MB’s encouragement…”

The authors of the blog post objected to this claim. “The [report’s] authors seem to conclude that Swedish Islam is a homogeneous phenomenon and that Swedish Muslims are led by the Muslim Brotherhood…” they write.

“It is a conclusion that goes against the overall research, which rather points towards the Muslim community being diverse and there being competition between Muslim groups…”

Founded in 1826, the MB aims to create a global, Sunni Islamic Caliphate by organising Muslims politically. It is arguably the largest Islamist organisation in the world and has links to the Muslim Council of Britain and many other mainstream European Islamic institution.

The group has been accused of fostering links to militants and is considered a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Also see:

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Our Responsibility to Criticize Islam

The Flight into Egypt by Vittore Carpaccio, c. 1515 [National Gallery, Washington, DC]

The Flight into Egypt by Vittore Carpaccio, c. 1515 [National Gallery, Washington, DC]

The Catholic Thing, by William Kilpatrick, December 28, 2016:

A Commonplace has emerged among media and political elites that criticism of Islam or even of radical Islam will only serve to drive moderate Muslims into the radical camp.

That argument should be questioned because it can just as easily be that lack of criticism has led to the rebirth of militant Islam. Far from being critical of Islam, Western governments, media, academia, and even churches have bent over backward to claim that all the atrocities committed in the name of Islam have nothing to do with Islam. Indeed, the Western media have adopted a rigid system of self-censorship that keeps them from admitting that these atrocities are in fact committed in the name of Islam.

The latest example is the reporting on the assassination of a Russian ambassador by a Turkish policeman. Almost the first words out of the assassin’s mouth after the shooting were: “We are those who have given a pledge of allegiance to Muhammad that we will carry on jihad.” If you don’t remember him saying that, it’s because that part of the statement was omitted from almost all news and television reports. Apparently, our betters in the media were afraid that if we were aware of the man’s devotion to Muhammad, we might say something provocative that would turn untold numbers of peaceful Muslims into bomb-throwing jihadists.

Perhaps the prime example of the wages of silence is the current crisis in Europe. Islamic terrorists have declared war on Europe and the result has been a series of deadly attacks – at airports, subways, cafés, concert halls, and, most recently, Christmas markets. All this mayhem is the indirect result of ignorance about Islam – an ignorance that, in turn, is the result of an almost complete blackout of news unfavorable to Islam.

Anyone with a thorough understanding of Islamic culture and religion could have predicted that, even without the 2015-16 flood of Muslim migrants, the steady flow of Muslim immigrants over the years would create a combustible situation. The amazing thing is that the consequences of this massive migration were never discussed – except in glowing terms. Just about the only thing allowed to be said about the migrants was that they would solve labor shortages, refill welfare coffers, and bring cultural enrichment to Europe.

That was the official line. Anyone who deviated from it could expect censure, possible job loss, or even a criminal trial. Say something negative about Muslim immigration on your Facebook page and you would be visited by police. Say it in public and you would receive a court summons. It didn’t matter if you were a famous writer (Oriana Fallaci), the President of the Danish Free Press Society (Lars Hedegaard), or a popular member of the Dutch Parliament (Geert Wilders). If you couldn’t say something nice about Islam, then you shouldn’t say anything at all.

In the European case, the idea that criticizing Islam will create an army of radicals doesn’t hold up. Criticism of Islam is essentially a crime in many parts of Europe and has been for a long time. In Europe, few dared criticize Islam, but the radicals came anyway. More than anything else, it was silence that allowed Islamization and radicalization to spread through France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Practically no one spoke up about no-go-zones, sharia courts, polygamy, and forced marriages, refusal to integrate, crime waves, and the rape epidemic. Now that many are finally beginning to speak out, it may be too late to avoid capitulation (Sweden’s likely fate) or bloody conflict (more likely in France).

The very argument that criticism of Islam will drive moderates into the radical camp suggests that criticism is needed. If Islam is such a hair-trigger religion that the slightest offense might radicalize adherents, there is something radically wrong with the religion itself. We don’t worry that criticizing Catholicism is going to produce angry Catholic mobs rampaging through the streets. We don’t fear that one wrong word is going to cause a young Southern Baptist to strap on a suicide belt.

Islam invites criticism. Given its bloody past and present, it would be highly irresponsible not to subject it to a searching analysis and critique. Such a critique would not aim at alienating Muslims (although some will inevitably be alienated), but at alerting likely victims of jihad.

One of the basics that non-Muslims need to know is that Islam divides the world in two – the House of Islam, and the House of War (all non-Islamic societies). And every Muslim is expected to do his part to make the House of War submit to the House of Islam. Europeans are now experiencing a “don’t-know-what-hit-me” sense of bewilderment because they never learned this basic fact about Islam.

One reason for our reluctance to analyze and criticize Islam (an idea) is that such criticism seems tantamount to criticizing Muslims (a people). Unfortunately, even if that is not the intention, it is often the result. A person can’t separate himself entirely from his beliefs, and, consequently, we take criticism of our religion personally. That’s a good reason for presenting the critique as tactfully as possible. But it’s not a good reason for offering no critique at all.

If you can’t criticize a belief system because it would hurt the feelings of people who subscribe to that system, then we were wrong to criticize Nazism, Communism, and Japanese imperialism. Ordinarily, we refrain from criticizing other religions. Such a live-and-let-live approach is generally sensible, but when the other religion takes the attitude that you must either convert, submit, or die, then live-and-let-live is no longer an option. That is the position that we are in with regard to Islam. And it is suicidal to pretend that things are otherwise.

The Trump Administration Should Treat Islamists Like The Mafia

9541686914_d48e1acc23_o-1024x680The analogue is so close that, reading public statements from the early 1970s and replacing ‘Italian’ with ‘Muslim,’ you’d be hard-pressed to spot the incongruence.

The Federalist, by David Reaboi and Kyle Shideler, January 2, 2017:

Thousands attend their rallies, claiming widespread discrimination. They wrap themselves in displays of “interfaith” cooperation. National, state, and local officials pay them heed. Words that “offend” them are removed from movies, newscasts, and even official government reports. All the while, the men who lead this organization have appeared extensively on FBI wiretaps and are known to federal law enforcement to be involved in a national criminal conspiracy.

You could be forgiven for thinking this describes the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and its Muslim Brotherhood-linked leaders—a group the FBI, federal prosecutors and a federal judge have all affirmed supported the designated terrorist group, Hamas.

But no. The year is 1971, and the pressure group is the Italian American Civil Rights League (IACRL). Its founder, Joe Colombo, is known to federal law enforcement as the head of New York’s Colombo crime family, one of the infamous “Five Families” of the Cosa Nostra. Its most high-profile spokesman is his son, Anthony, who, for more than 30 years would deny the Mafia existed and rail against dark government conspiracies targeting Italian-Americans.

You Fight Crime, You Fight Italians?

It may seem like a punch line now but, in the 1970s, the effort by gangsters to don the mantle of activists and wrap themselves the flag of “civil rights” was taken semi-seriously. Many prominent Italian-American elites (prominenti in Italian) endorsed the call, throwing their influence behind the grievance-mongering. As scholar Joseph Sciorra of the Italian American Review describes,

A blurring occurred in which the mobbed-up League was conflated in the popular imagination with civic-minded spokespeople, thus diminishing the latter’s seemingly altruistic efforts (Kenna 2007, 193). But as historian Philip V. Cannistraro notes, “the prominenti’s constant preoccupation with the Mafia issue” (2005, 83), dating to the early 1930s when newspaper owner Generoso Pope launched an anti-defamation campaign against cinematic depictions of mafiosi, has historically been a self-serving agenda. ‘The dual focus of prominentismo has always been to promote the separate, self-aggrandizing interest of their own particular elite rather than the community as a whole, and to stress what Italian Americans are not’ (Cannistraro 2005, 84). It is no surprise, then, as Fred Gardaphé observes, that ‘more unified acts by Italian Americans have been launched against fictional portrayal of the mafia than ever were mounted against real mafiosi in the United States’ (2015, 365).

The obvious parallel is to the tens of thousands of Muslim-Americans CAIR enlists to bolster crowds condemning “Islamophobia” and any discussion of Islamic terrorism, but offer at best anemic support for pro forma denunciations of terrorism. As The Federalist’s Sean Davis has noted, the analogue between the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Italian American Civil Rights League is so close that, reading the latter’s public statements from the early 1970s and replacing “Italian” with “Muslim,” you’d be hard-pressed to spot the incongruence.

The way Sciorra described “the mobbed-up League” and its efforts could be an apt descriptor for CAIR, a group founded and run by ex-Islamic Association for Palestine staffers that has had more than one of its employees convicted of terror-related criminal activity. As Sciorra explained, while the crowd at the league’s rallies wore pins discussing their Italian pride, the leadership had more strategic concerns. They focused on attacking federal law enforcement and purposefully conflating all investigation of Mafia criminal activities with discrimination against the large Italian-American community.

The only way to end this perceived “discrimination,” the league insisted, was for the government and media to change its ways; not only must it stop using the word “Mafia,” it must deny that any such criminal conspiracy existed. And they did. The Department of Justice adhered to federal regulations, which prohibited use of the word. “There is nothing to be gained by using these terms,” U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell wrote, “except to give gratuitous offense” to “many good Americans of Italian-American descent.” The New York State Police had a similar rule. The word “Mafia” was deleted from the script of “The Godfather” at the behest of Colombo’s league.

Once, the Media Reported These Connections

Not everyone fell for it, including among the Italian-American community. New York state Sen. John Marchi warned that Italian-Americans had “been had” by their endorsement of Colombo’s Italian American Civil Rights League, only to be denounced as a “self-loathing Italian.” One wonders if Marchi didn’t feel then much the way Zhudi Jasser of American Islamic Forum for Democracy must feel now as he warns the American people about the machinations of Islamist groups, only to be denounced as an “Islamophobe” by known terror conspirators.

In the early 1970s, the media was a lot more skeptical of these obvious propaganda efforts, as well. At the end of a syndicated 1971 article about the League’s alliance with the Jewish Defense League, the Jewish Telegraph Agency slips in the following inconvenient information for context, complete with parentheses:

(Joseph Colombo, president of the League, faces a Federal hearing on April 21st on charges of conducting a gambling business. He has also just been convicted in the Manhattan State Court on a perjury charge and was recently arrested for allegedly receiving stolen goods from a robbery of the Long Island Jewelry Exchange in Mineola.)

The JTA obviously thought it was important to describe for its readers the provenance of the league’s complaint, as well as its unsavory record. Of course, one would wait in vain today for a mainstream media outlet to describe CAIR’s troublesome history with the same forthrightness.

In fact, despite U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Solis ruling that, “The government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR [and other Islamist groups] with Hamas,” none of the nearly 700 articles the New York Times has run about the group has mentioned it. Even more egregiously, the Times covered CAIR’s 2007 efforts to break free of its designation as an unindicted coconspirator in the largest terror finance trial in American history, yet neglected to cover the 2009 rejection of the Islamist group’s appeal.

What It Takes to Fight International Leagues of Terror

The parallels between the League’s censorship efforts in the ‘70s and CAIR’s efforts today aren’t lost on Rudy Giuliani, and for good reason. In 1983, when he was U.S. attorney, Giuliani launched his successful prosecutions against the New York crime families. One of his first acts was to violate the prior decade’s DOJ regulations and say the forbidden word “Mafia.” In a piece for the Wall Street Journal last year, Giuliani made an apt comparison between the battle for accurate vocabulary in both the fight with the mob and with Islamic terrorists.

I had a different view of using the term Mafia. It reflected the truth. The Mafia existed, and denying what people oppressed by those criminals knew to be true only gave the Mafia more power. This hesitancy to identify the enemy accurately and honestly—“Mafia” was how members described themselves and kept its identity Italian or Italian-American—created the impression that the government was incapable of combating them because it was unable even to describe the enemy correctly.

As Giuliani argued, the similarities go beyond mere forbidden words and get at the heart of what it takes to prevail against both the Cosa Nostra and Islamic jihadists. In a recent piece for the Claremont Review of Books, we argued for a new law enforcement approach to dealing with Islamist movements, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is the most consequential, that draws explicitly on efforts to defeat the Mafia:

Instead of approaching Brotherhood members and organizations as respected community leaders for outreach purposes either at home or abroad, the primary goal should be to acquire the intelligence needed to disrupt terror finance or prevent indoctrination. If necessary, officials can use the possibility of prosecution under the Muslim Brotherhood designation to secure cooperation, which would be similar to the way informants are treated when approaching other conspirators, such as crime organizations.

Since Giuliani crippled the New York mob in the 1980s, Colombo’s League and its campaign to ban the word “Mafia” seems more like a quaint throwback to the 1970s than a threat to the integrity of organized crime investigations. Perhaps the Trump administration will be able to accomplish the same for groups like CAIR, when the inappropriate deference, and White House meetings, become a thing of the past.

Of course, some of the league’s bitter holdouts will always remain. Anthony Colombo continues to write on his mob boss father, insisting the FBI had him killed to halt his civic accomplishments. Even more colorfully, Father Louis Gigante—brother to famed Genovese Mafia Boss Vincent “the Chin” Gigante and a well-known Bronx community organizer—holds up mobsters as exemplars for civic minded Americans, in just the way Islamist groups sing the praises of convicted terror financiers.

For most Americans of all ethnic groups, though, government efforts to act against the Mafia are considered appropriate rather than discriminatory. No serious person insists that admitting Mafiosi were largely Italian-Americans is the same as saying all Italian-Americans are mobsters. The same can and must be done for Islamic terrorism.

David Reaboi is a national security consultant and a Claremont fellow. Kyle Shideler is director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy.