Free Speech Champions Fight Back Against OSCE ‘Islamophobia’ Industry

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf

Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolf

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

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

Center VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez

Center VP for Research and Analysis Clare Lopez

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

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

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

Center Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin

Center Senior Fellow Stephen Coughlin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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You can also see all the videos here

Hillary Clinton is a great defender of religious freedom … for Islamic Supremacists

STR | AP Photo

STR | AP Photo

Apparently for Hillary Clinton, religious liberty means freedom for Islamic supremacists to spread their rule while subjugating the infidel.

Conservative Review, by Benjamin Weingarten, Aug. 13, 2016:

Did you know that Hillary Clinton is a staunch advocate for religious liberty?

She says so herself in an op-ed in Utah’s Deseret News:

I’ve been fighting to defend religious freedom for years. As secretary of state, I made it a cornerstone of our foreign policy to protect the rights of religious minorities around the world — from Coptic Christians in Egypt to Buddhists in Tibet

We stood up for these oppressed communities because Americans know that democracy ceases to exist when a leader or ruling faction can impose a particular faith on everyone else.

Clinton’s claim of support for Coptic Christians in Egypt here is particularly rich — did she protect the Copts from Islamic-based persecution before or after supporting the ouster of Hosni Mubarak and replacement by jihadi-supporting Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi?

Indeed, the results of the Obama administration foreign policy overseen by then-Secretary of State Clinton can only be characterized as a complete and utter failure when it comes to defending religious freedom with respect to the Islamic world.

From Iran to Iraq to Egypt to Libya to Syria — in every instance under the Obama administration — we have seen Islamic supremacists, regardless of whether they were Sunni or Shia, emboldened and empowered, leaving minorities from Kurds to Yazidis to Copts disenfranchised and facing violence. The Jewish State of Israel — the minority state in the Middle East — is left facing threats now from not just from Hamas and Iran-backed Hezbollah, but ISIS and a greatly strengthened Iran itself.

Secretary Clinton says democracy will not exist when one faction can impose its faith on all, but the Islamic supremacist groups that took power under her watch and/or were armed by the U.S. government — often displacing relatively secular authoritarians — subscribe to a Sharia law that requires religious minorities to convert to Islam, live as third-class citizens, or face the sword.

Clinton’s record on religious liberty, when it comes to the Middle East, can be best represented by 21 Egyptian Christians in orange jump suits kneeling on the shores of Libya with knives to their throat wielded by their ISIS captors.

Meanwhile, freedom of speech is a prerequisite to freedom of religion. Here, Mrs. Clinton’s record is even more woeful, as she has gone out of her way to seek to criminalize speech deemed critical of Islam.

Set aside for a second Clinton’s outrageous promise to bring justice to the families of those slain in Benghazi by arresting a filmmaker who made a video about Muhammad that the Obama administration knew from Day One had nothing to do with the jihadist savagery of September 11, 2012.

Secretary Clinton championed U.N. Human Rights Commission Resolution 16/18, which was backed by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). As I have noted elsewhere, Resolution 16/18

calls for “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.”

Retired Maj. Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon’s [former] leading adviser on Islamic law as it relates to national security, makes a compelling case in his book “Catastrophic Failure” that the resolution is actually a Shariah-based Trojan Horse meant to stifle all criticism of Islam.

Coughlin writes that the Islamic Conference, through the resolution, seeks to criminalize incitement to violence by imposing a “legal standard designed to facilitate the “shut up before I hit you again” standard associated with the battered wife syndrome.”

He convincingly argues that the Islamic Conference desires that

…[T]he United Nations, the European Union, the United States and all other non-Muslim countries pass laws criminalizing Islamophobia. This is a direct extraterritorial demand that non-Muslim jurisdictions submit to Islamic law and implement shariah-based punishment over time. In other words, the OIC is set on making it an enforceable crime for non-Muslim people anywhere in the world—including the United States—to say anything about Islam that Islam does not permit.

For the cherry on top, while supporting Islamic supremacist movements in the Middle East, and seeking to muzzle Americans when it comes to criticism of Islamic supremacist ideology, Secretary Clinton argues that resettling Syrian refugees in America further represents her devotion to religious liberty.

She writes:

Instead of giving into demagoguery, [Utah] Gov. Gary Herbert is setting a compassionate example and welcoming Syrian refugees fleeing religious persecution and terrorism. Once they’ve gone through a rigorous screening process, he is opening your state’s doors to some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

This policy might be good and well save for the fact that ISIS has told us they intend to infiltrate such refugee populations, and use our compassion and belief in religious liberty against us to carry out such a Trojan Horse operation; and of course, Clinton-enabling FBI Director James Comey himself has said we cannot sufficiently vet such refugees.

Again, the Islamic supremacists whether violent or peaceful that are likely to embed themselves among such refugee populations do not share Mrs. Clinton’s supposed belief in religious liberty, but rather seek to force all non-Muslims submit to their theo-political Islamic supremacist ideology. This is the antithesis of the democracy that Hillary Clinton purports to champion.

Apparently for Hillary Clinton, religious liberty means freedom for Islamic supremacists to spread their rule while subjugating the infidel.

And don’t even get her started on abortion.

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. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter. 

Also see:

US Criminalizing Free Speech?

Gatestone Institute, by Judith Bergman, January 5, 2016:

  • Is this House Resolution a prelude? Has Attorney General Lynch seen the potential for someone lifting her “mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric”? And what is “anti-Muslim rhetoric” exactly? Criticizing Islam? Debating Mohammed? Discussing whether ISIS is a true manifestation of Islam? Who decides the definition of “hate speech” against Muslims?
  • Of all 1,149 anti-religious hate crimes reported in the United States in 2014, only 16.1% were directed against Muslims, according to the FBI. By contrast, over half of all anti-religious hate crimes were directed against Jews – 56.8%.
  • Why this lopsided, discriminatory House Resolution in favor of a religious group that statistically needs it the least?
  • Are the Attorney General and the eighty-two House Democrats out to destroy the First Amendment and introduce censorship? A House Resolution could be reintroduced later as binding legislation.

Eighty-two leading Democrats have cosponsored a House Resolution (H.Res. 569) “Condemning violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States”.

The Resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Democrat Donald S. Beyer (Virginia) on December 17, 2015 — a mere 15 days after Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook gunned down 14 innocent Americans and wounded 23 in an ISIS-inspired terror attack at a Christmas party in San Bernardino, California.

The House Resolution states, “the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes and rhetoric have faced physical, verbal, and emotional abuse because they were Muslim or believed to be Muslim,” and the House of Representatives “expresses its condolences for the victims of anti-Muslim hate crimes.”

What victims? Of all 1,149 anti-religious hate crimes reported in the United States in 2014, only 16.1% were directed against Muslims, according to the FBI. By contrast, over half of all anti-religious hate crimes were directed against Jews – 56.8%. The fewest, 8.6% of anti-religious hate crimes, were directed against Christians (Protestants and Catholics).

The Resolution goes on to denounce “…in the strongest terms the increase of hate speech, intimidation, violence, vandalism, arson, and other hate crimes targeted against mosques, Muslims, or those perceived to be Muslim.”

The House Resolution singles out Muslims in the United States as an especially vulnerable religious group that needs special protection to the extent that the Resolution “urges local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes.”

The reason for the introduction of this House Resolution at this point in time makes more sense if seen in conjunction with statements made by Attorney General Loretta Lynch on December 3, at a dinner celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Muslim Advocates — an organization that, according to its own website, has “powerful connections in Congress and the White House” and ensures that, “the concerns of American Muslims are heard by leaders at the highest levels of government.” Muslim Advocates goes on to say, “As a watchdog of justice, we use the courts to bring to task those who threaten the rights of American Muslims.”

At the dinner, Attorney General Lynch stated that she is concerned about an

“incredibly disturbing rise of anti-Muslim rhetoric… The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence. Now obviously, this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric — or, as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be Muslims but perceived to be Muslims, and they will suffer just as much — when we see that we will take action.”

Is this House Resolution a prelude to the Attorney General taking that action? Has she seen the potential for someone lifting her “mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric”? And what is “anti-Muslim rhetoric” exactly? Criticizing Islam? Debating Mohammed? Discussing whether ISIS is a true manifestation of Islam? Who decides the definition of what is considered hate speech against Muslims?

Are the Attorney General and the eighty-two House Democrats out to destroy the First Amendment and introduce censorship?

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch (left) said on December 3, “[W]hen we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric… when we see that we will take action.”

A House Resolution could be reintroduced later as binding legislation. Americans should be deeply concerned about this. The part of the House Resolution that should most concern Americans is the urging of “local and Federal law enforcement authorities to work to prevent hate crimes; and to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those perpetrators of hate crimes.”

What is a hate crime in this context? The law already prohibits violence and threats of violence, and law enforcement authorities are supposed to prosecute those — intimidation, destruction, damage, vandalism, simple and aggravated assault. However, as this resolution includes “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric” in its title, Americans should worry that it is those that the House Resolution is really alluding to, when it urges law enforcement authorities to prevent and prosecute hate crimes.

Why would the House of Representatives find it necessary to make such redundant statements, if not in order to redefine the concept of a hate crime?

Notably, no similar House Resolution has appeared condemning the much higher percentage of hate crimes against Jews — over three times as many as against Muslims. As long as the House is going down the road of condemning hate crimes, why does it not even mention once the much more widespread hate crimes that American Jews are experiencing? Why does it not mention the hate crimes against Christians, which after all are only 7.5% percent fewer than those against Muslims? Why this lopsided, discriminatory House Resolution in favor of a religious group that statistically needs it the least?

The House Resolution is unsettlingly similar to the UN Human Rights Commission’s Resolution 16/18, which is an attempt to establish Islamic “blasphemy laws,” making criticism of religion a criminal offense. The UNHRC Resolution would apply internationally (non-binding as of yet, except, presumably, for the countries that want it to be binding), and infractions would be punishable by law. In some Islamic countries, at the moment, the punishment is death — a sentence often handed down in trials that use questionable jurisprudence. Last year alone, a Saudi court sentenced a blogger, Raif Badawi to 1,000 lashes (“lashed very severely,” the court order read) and ten years in jail. Outside of any courts, in 2015 alone, in Bangladesh, four secular bloggers on four separate occasions were hacked to death by people who apparently did not agree with what they said.

The UNHRC Resolution, originally known as “Defamation of Islam,” was changed in later versions — it would seem for broader marketability — to “Defamation of Religions.”

Long sought by the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation, UNHRC Resolution 16/18 was co-sponsored by the United States, along with Pakistan. During a series of closed-door meetings over at least three years, it was spearheaded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“At the invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” begins the document of the US Mission in Geneva, “representatives of 26 governments and four international organizations met in Washington, D.C. on December 12-14, 2011 to discuss the implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18 on ‘Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief.'”

UNHRC Resolution 16/18, also known as the “Istanbul Process” (where the original meeting on the topic took place), is an Orwellian document that claims to protect freedom of religion, while attempting to criminalize internationally anything that might be considered “incitement to violence.” The late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat used to tell his people, “I don’t have to tell you what to do. You know what to do.” Each word could be in Pat the Bunny. Would Arafat’s statement be considered incitement to violence?

UNHRC Resolution 16/18 was passed on March 24, 2011, without a vote.

According to the journalist Abigail Esman, writing in Forbes:

Resolution 16/18 seeks to limit speech that is viewed as “discriminatory” or which involves the “defamation of religion” – specifically that which can be viewed as “incitement to imminent violence… [T]his latest version, which includes the “incitement to imminent violence” phrase – that is, which criminalizes speech which incites violence against others on the basis of religion, race, or national origin – has succeeded in winning US approval – despite the fact that it (indirectly) places limitations as well on speech considered “blasphemous.”

In answer to a reproof — from the U.S Department of State, no less — Esman wrote, “By agreeing to criminalize ‘incitement to violence’ and to use all means at its disposal to prevent and to punish such actions, the US has – however unwittingly – enabled the OIC to use the measure against us – and other members of the free world.”

Many extremist Muslims, however, seem to have no problem criticizing other religions, as well as other Muslims. Some “criticize” Christians, as we have witnessed, by slitting their throats, or by burning or drowning them alive. Many extremist Muslims also seem to have no problem criticizing Jews – starting with calling them descendants of apes and pigs (Surah 5. Al-Maida, Ayah 60). Some Muslims write that all Jews should be killed:

the Islamic Resistance Movement aspires to the realisation of Allah’s promise, no matter how long that should take. The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (evidently a certain kind of tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews.” (related by al-Bukhari and Moslem).

One therefore cannot help wondering — and one should wonder – to what extent H.Res. 569 is the “nose of the camel under the tent.”

As of now, H.Res. 569 has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. Americans had better hope that the House Committee will see it for what it is: An attempt to destroy the First Amendment, shield Islam from criticism, and bring “Death to Free Speech.”

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Largest Islamic Body in the World Calls For More Anti-Free Speech Laws In Wake of Charlie Hebdo Attack

oic-erasing-freedom-of-speech-edited (1)PJ Media, By Patrick Poole, On January 12, 2015:

Last week’s terror attack targeting French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s office in Paris has sparked a global conversation about the nature of free speech, with the “Je Suis Charlie” hashtag in support of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff going viral and becoming the most used hashtag in the history of Twitter.

But this afternoon, the UN representative for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ufuk Gokcen was expressing another view with respect to free speech.

The OIC is comprised of the 57 Muslim-majority nations and the Palestinian Authority. They are the largest bloc at the UN, and when they meet on the head-of-state level, they literally speak for the Muslim world.

So it is noteworthy that after the Charlie Hebdo attack, Gokcen was tweeting out calling for more speech codes and ‘defamation’ laws that would limit the very type of speech that Charlie Hebdo engaged in:

oic3

The timing of Gokcen’s call could be more perfect.

Today, University of Tennessee law professor Robert Blitt (a colleague of our own Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds) had an oped published in USA Today calling out the OIC for its retrograde views on free speech and how they fuel Islamic extremism:

The OIC, whose member states range from moderate U.S. allies such as Jordan to adversaries such as Iran, describes itself as the world’s largest international body after the United Nations. For more than a decade, “the collective voice of the Muslim world” has spread the belief that any insult directed against the Muslim faith or its prophet demands absolute suppression. Quashing “defamation of Islam” is enshrined asa chief objective in the organization’s charter.

With countless internal resolutions, relentless lobbying of the international community and block voting on resolutions advocating a prohibition on defamation of religion at the U.N., the OIC continuously pushes to silence criticism of Islam.

Translated into practice inside Islamic nations and increasingly elsewhere, this toxic vision breeds contempt for freedom of religion and expression, justifies the killing of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and casts a pall of self-censorship over academia and the arts.

By building the expectation that dissent or insult merits suppression, groups such as the OIC and the Arab League have emboldened extremists to take protection of Islam to the next level. With the most authoritative Muslim voices prepared to denounce violence but not to combat the idea that Islam should be immune from criticism, a meaningful response to counteract the resulting violence continues to be glaringly absent.

An OIC statement released after a 2011 Charlie Hebdo issue “guest-edited” by the prophet Mohammed typifies this troubling position: “Publication of the insulting cartoon … was an outrageous act of incitement and hatred and abuse of freedom of expression. … The publishers and editors of the Charlie Hebdo magazine must assume full responsibility for their … incitement of religious intolerance.”

As Professor Blitt notes in his oped, the OIC has been the international driving force behind the passage of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, which was co-sponsored by Pakistan and the United States and passed in December 2011.

When passed, Resolution 16/18 was billed by the Obama administration as an improvement over previous “defamation of religion” resolutions. But the effort immediately came under fire by religious liberties and free speech experts:

In the view of veteran international religious liberty analyst and advocate Elizabeth Kendal resolution 16/18, “far from being a breakthrough for free speech … is actually more dangerous than” the religious defamation resolutions.

“Indeed, the strategic shift from defamation to incitement actually advances the OIC’s primary goal: the criminalization of criticism of Islam,” she wrote.

The OIC’s push to criminalize ‘defamation of Islam’ goes back to the OIC’s 10 Year Plan of Action adopted in 2005. Under the section “Countering Islamophobia” (VII), the plan says:

3. Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.

In their published implementation plan for their 10 Year Plan of Action, they are more clear that combating ‘defamation of religion’ is not what they were after, but criminalizing ‘Islamophobia’:

OIC-implemenation-Islamophobia2

Which is effectively what they’ve accomplished with the generous assistance of the Obama administration. Just two months before the passage of Resolution 16/18, senior Justice Department officials were meeting with US Islamic groups discussing that very thing.

In fact, in my annual “National Security ‘Not Top 10′ of 2011″ (no. 7) here at PJ Media I noted the active cooperation of Hillary Clinton and the State Department in working with the OIC as part of their “Istanbul Process” to that end.

And in November 2012 when I reported here that US Embassy in Saudi Arabia Consul Anne Casper was going to be addressing the OIC’s symposium on “defamation of Islam”, the OIC quickly scrubbed any reference to her appearance.

My colleague Stephen Coughlin has posted a video lecture outlining how the OIC’s efforts with respect to Resolution 16/18 are really rooted in Islamic law’s codes prohibiting blasphemy:

It’s hardly surprising that even after the Charlie Hebdo attack the OIC is not content to abandon their decade-long effort to criminalize “Islamophobia.” But what the OIC might find is how, much as Professor Britt has warned in his oped today, by doing so they are pushing the global Islamic community further away from the rest of the world.

The Future Belongs to Charlie Hebdo

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CSP, by Kyle Shideler, Jan. 7, 2015:

“The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” were the words of President Barack Obama, before the United Nations. And for twelve people at the office of satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, massacred by gunmen today in Paris, there will indeed be no future.

The two gunmen reportedly forced their way into the magazine offices, yelling “allahu akbar” (God is Greater),and opened fire. There are reports coming in that the gunmen instructed survivors, “You say to the media that it was al-Qaeda in Yemen.” If this is true, it would be a realization of a threat made against the newspaper’s editor by a 2013 edition of the AQAP produced “Inspire Magazine.”

PARIS-wanted_poste_3157269cEach gunmen wore a black ski mask, and were armed with kalashnikov rifles. A video shot by a nearby bystander shows  two gunmen emerge from the building and engaged a French police officer with more gunfire. After the policeman fell, a gunmen executed him with an additional round at close range, before the two attackers fled in a stolen vehicle.

The same White House which is now condemning the attack, had previously gone out of its way to condemn the cartoons published by the magazine back in 2012:

“We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this,” [Then White House Spokesman Jay] Carney told reporters during a midday press briefing at the White House. “We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential be be inflammatory,” Carney said in a prepared statement. Putting satirical cartoons on the same level as terrorist murder is exactly the problem.

Unfortunately, this is not merely a matter of spinelessness, but spinelessness as official policy.

The Obama administration has been deeply involved in pursuing an agenda, promoted by the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which equates speech which offends with direct incitement to murder. That effort, known as Resolution 16/18, after the joint U.S.-Egyptian resolution which introduced it, or the “Istanbul Process,” by the series of  high-level meetings held between the State Department and OIC members, is explicitly intended by Islamic states to prohibit what they describe as “defamation of religion” including insulting Islam’s prophet.

White House officials were already uttering the standard reassurances that despite the clear effort by the gunmen to enforce Sharia strictures on Blasphemy, this attack may not be terrorism, and of course, taking the submissive posture that Islam is an inherently and indisputably a peaceful religion (which is not the same thing as recognizing that many individual Muslims are themselves peaceful people.)

The attack on Charlie Hebdo is only one front in the war on free expression perpetuated in the name of enforcing Sharia blasphemy laws. The staff of Charlie Hebdo are martyrs to free speech, but they are not alone. Over 35 Christians in Pakistan were lynched last year over the mere rumor of possible blasphemy, including a couple which was burned alive. In 2012, a Saudi blogger tweeted a comments questioning his own commitment to belief in Mohammed’s prophethood. Death threats followed. He fled to Malaysia, but was deported under an Interpol Red notice to Saudi Arabia, where he faced execution for blasphemy (he was eventually freed after almost two years in prison.)

But it is not only in the Middle East. In The United Kingdom, an 85-year old woman was charged by police after yelling outside a Chatham-area mosque,  expressing anger regarding the brutal massacre of British Army Drummer Lee Rigby.  Here in the United States, Terry Jones (whose face adorns the Al Qaeda hit list), was directly castigated by President Obama and General David Petraeus in an attempt to prevent the Pastor from conducting a public burning of the koran in an act of protest (a perhaps distasteful but legally permissible act of free expression.) In 2012, following the attack on the Benghazi consulate where four Americans were killed, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told one victim’s father that the maker of a film mocking Mohammed would be jailed as a result. As indeed, it turned out that the man, Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, was indeed jailed. Molly Norris, a cartoonist was forced into hiding, after she  attempted to establish “Every One Draw Mohammed Day” in defense of the creators of the TV Show South Park being censored for attempting to do so. In 2010, Christians were arrested in Dearborn, Michigan for “breach of peace” during a peaceful attempt to preach to Muslims at an Arab Festival. (They were eventually released and the city apologized following a lawsuit.) And there remains, of course, the infamous, Danish Cartoons, whose authors have repeatedly and continuously faced assaults and threats ever since.

Whichever jihadist group was responsible for the attack of Charlie Hebdo bears the ultimate responsibility. But there is a culpability also for those who have hinted that violence and threats of violence will encourage us to abandon our commitment to free expression, or established a policy which says that the West is amendable to surrendering cherished freedom rather than risk “offense.” That culpability remains until political and media leaders can say unapologetically, “The Future belongs to Charlie Hebdo.”

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Also see:

A Survivor of 9/11 Speaks: An Interview with Deborah Weiss, Esq.

world trade  center 9-11-01 (3)By Jerry Gordon:

The jihad attack that took the lives of 2,996 Americans and foreigners on 9/11 was perpetrated by 19 middle class Egyptians, Saudis and Yemenis. This dastardly act by Al Qaeda (AQ) Islamic terrorists destroyed an iconic landmark of American International economic prowess, the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Another plane took out one side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and another crashed into a rural area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The last recorded voice heard from Flight 93 was “allahu akbar” – their god Allah was “the greatest.” This was the first act of Islamic terrorism perpetrated from afar on America.  9/11 was called the “Pearl Harbor of the 21st Century.”

9/11 was followed over the past 13 years by other AQ- inspired acts of jihad terrorism in the US, two of which killed American service personnel in Little Rock and Fort Hood. Dozens of AQ-inspired attempts were foiled in Detroit, Times Square and other locations across the country. As of early 2014, 6,802 American service personnel and an estimated 6,800 contractors died in both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts fighting AQ and Taliban jihadists.

The West and the world were unprepared when 9/11 occurred, although many warnings had been given.

The 9/11 warnings still have not been heeded. On August 19, 2014, the Islamic State (IS), formerly ISIS, released a “Message to America” – a video of the gruesome barbaric beheading of intrepid American photo journalist Jim Foley of Rochester, New Hampshire. He was captured in November 2012 by radical elements of the Free Syrian Army who contributed their captive to the extremist Salafist jihadi group, ISIS. ISIS is rumored to hold several other Americans captive, among them, journalist Steven Joel Sotloff was featured in the same video.

IS threatens the Levant from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, the West and even the US. The 13th commemoration of 9/11 finds us no safer, perhaps unprepared to deal with this supremacist jihadist threat.

Deborah Weiss 2On the occasion of this 13th Commemoration of 9/11, we interviewed a survivor of that attack in lower Manhattan; Deborah Weiss, Esq. Ms. Weiss heads Vigilancenow.org.  She formerly worked for the Committee on House Oversight in Congress; the Forbes for President Campaign in 1995-96; and served as an attorney in New York under the Giuliani administration. Her articles have also been published in FrontPage Magazine, American Thinker, American Security Council Foundation, the Weekly Standard, Washington Times, and National Review Online. She is a contributor to Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamist Terrorist Network (Sarah Stern, editor) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). She is the principal researcher and writer of Council on American-Islamic Relations: Its Use of Language and Intimidation.

Watch this You Tube video of Deborah Weiss presenting at the Westminster Institute in August 2013:

 

Jerry Gordon:  Deborah Weiss, thank you for consenting to this interview.

Deborah Weiss:  Thank you for inviting me.

Gordon:  You are a 9/11 Survivor. Where were you when the terrorist attack occurred?

Weiss:  I was running late for work or I would have been inside the WTC. Instead, because it was Election Day for the mayoral primary, I was still in my apartment at Gateway Plaza, the closest residence to the WTC. I was getting ready for work and all of a sudden, I heard a really loud noise, like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It sounded like my upstairs neighbor’s furniture was falling down. I also heard people screaming outside, but I’m not a morning person and NYC can be noisy, so at first, I didn’t bother to look out the window. I turned on the radio and found out that a plane had hit the WTC, so I turned on the TV. A little while later, I heard another noise, even louder than the first one. I knew then that the first plane wasn’t an accident, but that these were terrorist attacks. The lights in my apartment flickered and then went out. The building started to shake and I fell to the floor. I knew I had to get out of there and it was pretty scary. I made the decision to take my cat. So I went inside the closet to get her box and when I came out, I couldn’t see anything outside my window except pitch black. I had a huge window facing away from the WTC. I remember it was a beautiful sunny Tuesday morning. Just a bit earlier I had looked out and saw the sun and the leaves of a tree pressing against my window. The window was very wide and covered the whole side of my living room. Yet, after I got up, I couldn’t see one ray of light. Part of what makes it so scary when you’re in the midst of it is you don’t know what’s happening. People in other parts of the world know more of what is going on than you do. I thought we were getting bombed. All you really know in that situation is someone is trying to kill everyone around you and something really, really bad is happening and that you might not get out alive.

I dug my nails into my cat, threw her into her box and ran down the stairs. In the lobby, a lot of people were entering our building from the WTC side. They were covered in white with red eyes. Smoke started coming in and it became increasingly difficult to breathe. Along with some others, I entered a back apartment on the ground level and sat down on the floor. I remember one woman there with tears in her eyes holding her newborn twins, one in each arm. We couldn’t exit the back door of the building because it was locked. Finally, they unlocked it and a lot of people fled. I had learned that all the dust I saw was from the collapse of the first tower. Because there was no plan and nowhere to run, a few of us decided to stay put. Then, all of a sudden, a police officer came to the apartment and started screaming hysterically for us all to leave NOW! I ran out the door and knew immediately that we were at war. Everything was covered in white: the trees, the streets and the benches. I ran along the water. Looking backwards, I saw the remaining tower burning and tilting in my direction. Suddenly, a Coast Guard rescue ferry appeared and approximately 15 of us jumped on. Moments later, when we were a yard or two out, the second building collapsed. We all said a prayer for those who had just died. We were taken to a triage center in NJ, where we sat all day listening to radio updates. All the phones were out because the transmitters were in the WTC. So it was awhile before you could reach anyone by phone. Once you could, all the hotels were quickly filled up.

Read more at New English Review

Islam: Is Integration Working? Part II of III

Gatestone Institute, by Denis MacEoin, June 18, 2014:

Some motives of the members of the British Law Society might stem from a desire to appease the Muslim community, rather than insisting on the basic democratic dictum that the law is indifferent to wealth, poverty, skin color, political belief or religious allegiance.

What seems unpardonable is that our Western governments and institutions, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are reinforcing these abuses.

Pressure to incorporate Shari’a law into broader legal systems is spreading beyond the UK.

Another apparent obstacle to integration seems to be the simple act, within circumscribed communities, of questioning. Questioning — as well as free speech and free thought — often seems to appear disrespectful and discouraged. A new effort to criminalize free speech internationally has in the past few years been promoted by, of all countries, the United States — led by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in three closed-door conferences between 2010 and 2012. Clinton not only dusted off — but co-sponsored and actively promoted — the all-but-dead Pakistani resolution from the United Nations Human Rights Council, Resolution 16/18, misleadingly named “Defamation of Religion.” The resolution is, bluntly, an attempt legally to internationalize Islam’s repressive “blasphemy laws.” Anyone who might wish to question or discuss Islam can be accused of “blasphemy” and possibly sentenced to death. Since the beginning of Islam, anyone who might take steps to leave Islam can be accused of “apostasy,” and sentenced to death. As Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi said at the end of January 2013, “If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment [death], Islam wouldn’t exist today.”

What seems unpardonable is that it is our Western governments and institutions that are reinforcing these abuses.

 

Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

Moreover, in March 2014, the British Law Society set out guidelines for solicitors (roughly, U.S. lawyers) to help draw up “Shari’a compliant” wills, in defiance of the fact that Islamic rules on inheritance are deeply discriminatory. Muslim women will not be given an equal share of an inheritance. Non-Muslims, illegitimate children, divorced spouses, people who have not had Muslim marriages, and anyone outside the kinship-based set of recognized heirs, may not inherit. The ruling tells solicitors (and from them, the courts) to make exclusions from an 1837 law, which allows gifts to pass to the offspring of an heir who has died. This has been done to provide Muslims with separate laws that do not apply to other British citizens. These separate laws also relegate British law to an inferior position in such matters. The ruling has been done knowingly and for poorly thought-out motives by people who should know better. Some motives might stem from a desire to appease the Muslim community, giving them rights that others do not have, rather than insisting on the basic democratic dictum that the law is indifferent to wealth, poverty, skin color, political belief or religious allegiance.

If this ruling is followed by others affecting marriage, divorce, the custody of children and much else, Britain will become a two-tier society in which Muslim men may marry four wives, keep concubines or, for the Shi’a, contract temporary (mut’a) marriages, while non-Muslim polygamists will be sent to jail. Needless to say, protests are already underway.

Pressure to incorporate shari’a law into broader legal systems is spreading beyond the UK.

In the U.S., in 2011, President Obama appointed Professor Azizah al-Hibri to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Hibri, a professor at Richmond University, has a record of involvement in matters concerning the rights of Muslim women and human rights in Islam. But she is on record as saying that Islamic Law “is deeper and better than Western codes of law,” that the Qur’an inspired Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers, and that the Saudi criminal justice system is more moral than the American one because it accepts blood money from murderers.

Hibri has also argued that Islam is fully compatible with women’s rights, human rights, and democracy, something many in the West would strongly contest. Moreover, to appoint an Islamist to a post as commissioner on a body dedicated to religious freedom, a body that spends much of its time protesting the treatment of religious minorities in Muslim countries seems at the very least indecent. The very idea of religious freedom does not exist in the Qur’an, the hadith literature, or in any book of Islamic law. It is not enough to cite the famous line from the Qur’an 2:256, “la ikraha fi’l-din” [there is no compulsion in religion]. It has to be modified by the laws that enforce belief by threatening death to apostates, or by the conditions imposed on Jews, Christians, Hindus, pagans and other non-Muslims. They are given a choice to convert, die, or live as dhimmis: lower-class, “tolerated” persons, who pay a tribute, or tax, called a jizya, or “reward,” for not being killed. The Qur’an itself is explicit: “Fight those who believe not in Allah… [even] people of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).