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).

 

Criticizing Islam Becomes “Incitement to Imminent Violence”

998_largeby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
June 11, 2014

You could say it is a new form of Islamic honor crime: the silencing of those who dare besmirch the honor of Islam or its prophet, except the suppression now doesn’t come from Muslims only. These days, it’s the work of secular groups and governments: theaters in Germany, prominent publishers in England and the USA, of public prosecutors in the Netherlands, and most recently, of the Spanish Supreme court.

On May 30, that court ruled that Pakistani refugee Imran Firasat be stripped of his refugee status and deported. A Pakistani Muslim apostate, Firasat for years received death threats for marrying a non-Muslim, and for his outspoken criticism of Islam. In 2006, he received amnesty in Spain, a country where he was guaranteed the glorious freedoms unavailable to him in his homeland – freedoms enshrined in the foundations of any Western democracy: of religion, of opinion, and of speech.

But evidently he was not.

In 2012, Firasat produced a film critical of Islam in which he included footage of the attacks of 9/11, along with subsequent Islamic terrorist attacks in London and Madrid. According to a report from Gatestone Institute, “Shortly after Firasat’s film was released, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo and Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz initiated a process to review his refugee status.”

The reason? Garcia-Margallo had determined that Firasat’s film created a security risk from Muslims who might be angered by its content. (That those Muslims themselves posed a risk seems not to have entered the discussion.)

The Supreme Court’s decision, which affirms the ruling of a lower court, reflects the growing influence of an anti-blasphemy measure introduced to the United Nations in 2011 by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), comprised of the 56 Islamic states. That measure, Resolution 16/18, aims to limit – even criminalize – speech that can be understood as “discriminatory – which, as I wrote at the time, “involves the ‘defamation of religion’ – specifically that which can be viewed as ‘incitement to imminent violence.'”

But nearly anything can be called “incitement to imminent violence,” just as a woman walking the street without covering herself ankle to brow in a niqab could be called an “incitement to imminent rape.” Who decides what “incitement” and “imminent” are? Should we now arrest all non-veiled women in the West? Has Spain become another Sharia state? Has UN Resolution 16/18 marked the end of freedom as we know it in the West?

In fact, as the Heritage Foundation recently reported, “throughout Europe, in Canada, and even in the United States, judicial systems in countries with large Muslim minorities are under pressure to adopt Sharia free speech restrictions. As a result, in many places, including Denmark, it is now a crime to say anything negative about Islam or the prophet Mohammed, regardless of whether such statements are factually true or not. The concept that even offensive speech is protected—so fundamental to the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment—is collapsing.”

Such attacks on democratic values – and their success in destroying them – are what have many experts, human rights groups, and politicians concerned about multiculturalism in the West. The idealized model – in which multiple cultures coexist peacefully within the same society – simply doesn’t work; the conflicts of values are too extreme.

True, it would be easy enough to wave off such incidents of censorship if they were limited to a mere one or two: but they aren’t. In 2010, for instance, Comedy Centralpulled a “South Park” episode satirizing the violent reactions to depictions of the prophet Mohammad after a New York-based Islamic group, Revolution Muslim, threatened the show’s writers with death.

Four years prior, the Berlin-based Deutsche Oper cancelled its run of Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” in which the severed heads of Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed are placed on chairs onstage. Explaining their decision, the organizers of the opera, which was first performed in 1781, cited warnings from the police that “the publicity surrounding the play would severely heighten the security risk.” (Neither Buddhist nor Christian groups, it should be noted, expressed any discomfort with the production.)

And there are others: the extended criminal case against Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders for his statements against Islam and his film “Fitna,” which, like Firasat’s, focused on a recent history of Islamic terrorism and various calls for violence written in the Quran; or (also in the Netherlands) the arrest, at the demand of a radical imam, of pseudonymous cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot for sketches deemed “insulting” to Muslims.

America has hardly been immune: in 2008, Random House publishers cancelled publication of The Jewel of Medina, described as “a fictional account of the life of Mohammed’s wife, Aisha.” A year later, Yale University Press deleted images from a book about the so-called “Danish Cartoons” – a series of cartoons that ran in Denmark’s Jyllands Post in 2005, citing fears of “insulting Muslims” and – there it is again – a risk to national security.

And earlier this month, the New York Times demanded that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) revise an ad slated to run on the Gray Lady’s web site, claiming that there had been numerous complaints about a previously approved, full-page version of the ad in the print edition of the paper. Explained the IPT at the time, “The NYT ordered us to insert the word ‘radical’ before the term ‘Islamist groups,’ so that it read, ‘Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty, and free speech.'”

That change was not as minor as it might at first seem, argued IPT Executive Director Steven Emerson in an editorial for the IPT website. It suggested that Islamist groups who are not radicalized – like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) – are not dangerous. And yet it is precisely these organizations worldwide which often exert the kind of pressure that results in censorship of speech, in the subjugation of the arts, in the compromise of truth.

Fortunately, America’s capitulation to pressure on this issue has been limited to the private sector. But Firasat’s story should be taken as a warning, as much for the U.S. as for Europe, of the damage Resolution 16/18 and similar efforts are having on our culture – and on our future.

One week after the Spanish court robbed Firasat of his democratic rights in a democratic country, President Barack Obama stood on the beaches of Normandy and spoke to those gathered to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On that day, he said, the world marked the moment of “commitment” to liberty and freedom; and since then, “From Western Europe to East; from South America to Southeast Asia; seventy years of democratic movements spread. Nations that once knew only the blinders of fear began to taste the blessings of freedom.

That would not have happened without the men who were willing to lay down their lives for people they’d never met, and ideals they couldn’t live without.”

Those ideals still remain our ideals. We still cannot live without them. We cannot give up the fight.

Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.

Sounding the Alarm on Silent Jihad

By Andrew E. Harrod:

“There is broad bipartisan agreement that America is at risk,” declared former House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Pete Hoekstra via video at the March 6, 2014, National Security Action Summit (NSAC).  The “silent jihad” of Muslim Brotherhood (MB) affiliated groups described by Hoekstra at National Harbor’s Westin Hotel across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, should alarm all Americans.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

Congressman Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence

In comparison to the “violent jihad” of groups like Al Qaeda, the MB “strategy is very, very different,” Hoekstra explained during the panel “The Muslim Brotherhood, the ‘Civilization Jihad’ and Its Enablers.”  MB groups “are going to use our laws, our customs…our freedom of speech, the values we profess…to become a cancer” in the United States.  MB supporters would seek “initially a tolerance of sharia law” that “begins the process of establishing of Islamism,” a process evident in certain European neighborhoods where sharia has become “de facto law.”  “Never forget the phrase:  The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Hoekstra added when discussing cooperation across intra-Muslim sectarian divides such as between a Sunni Al Qaeda and a Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.  “They ultimately share the same objective:  the destruction of the West.”

MB “Islamic supremacism” or Islamism “is not a fringe ideology” but is actually the “dynamic element of Islam” today, former first World Trade Center (WTC) bombing prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observed in his video address.  Contrary to the “very Politically Correct interpretation of Islam” encountered among policymakers by McCarthy, Islamism is “not a hijacking of a doctrine” but rather Islam’s “most unalloyed form.”  Suffering numerous maladies, the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman prosecuted by McCarthy could only lead the 1993 WTC terrorists because “he was a master of sharia doctrine.”  Without understanding “sharia supremacism” as a “very active ideology” according to polls of Muslims worldwide, “we will never be able to protect ourselves.”

“You don’t know jack,” sharia expert Stephen Coughlin agreed on the panel, without understanding this MB “metanarrative.”  “It runs deep…the threat,” Coughlin noted concerning terms taken “verbatim” from the 7thcentury Pact of Umar recently imposed by Syrian jihadist groups upon Christians.  Yet Coughlin worried that the “enemy knows us better than us” in an America whose political and religious leaders often no longer properly understand their constitution and Judeo-Christian faith, respectively.

Subverting rule of law through “narrative control” is central to Islamist groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international grouping of 57 (including “Palestine”) mostly majority-Muslim states.  “If you do not control the narrative, no matter what position you take, you will lose.”  In particular, “he who controls the First Amendment…controls the Constitution,” Coughlin warned in discussing the OIC’s 2005 Ten-Year Strategic Action Plan with its call for “Combating Islamophobia” via censorship.  The OIC would seek to interpret the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights’ Article 20 ban on incitement as prohibiting speech to which recipients react violently.  This is the “battered wife syndrome” of “if you say that, I am going to have to beat you up”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

The Real Agenda Behind the Push for “Islamophobia”

by Raheel Raza:

Islamists have been successful in building the Islamophobia industry: it diverts attention from activities they would probably prefer not be noticed, such as promoting sharia law in the West, stealth jihad, and a push to implement a global Islamic caliphate, among many others.

What is ironic and hypocritical about the Islamophobia hype from members of the OIC is their double-standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities.

Islamophobia has almost become a fad for a certain group of academics and Muslims across North America. 2013 was a bumper year for Islamophobia conferences in America and abroad.

  • “Islam, Political Islam, and Islamophobia: an International Conference” was held at Indiana University, Bloomington on March 29-30, 2013.
  • Islam, Politics and Islamophobia,” an international conference of the Ottoman and Modern Turkish Studies Chair, took place at the Indiana Memorial Union Faculty.
  • International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media“, hosted in Istanbul, was organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and under the auspices of Mr. Bulent Arinc, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, and took place in September, 2013. The website starts off by stating “Islamophobia, which is a term used to express the groundless fear and intolerance of Islam and Muslims, has swept the world, becoming detrimental to international peace especially in recent years.”
  • The IWIC’s 2013 conference on “Women in Islam,” in Atlanta, Georgia from November 22 to 24, used the theme, “Eradicating Islamophobia.”

One would think that four conferences in one year would be enough for the International group of speakers to discuss, debate and hash out that, in their view, there is an epidemic of Muslim-bashing taking place in North America.

However it seems that these are not enough to complete the agenda of the Islamists. Therefore this year the University of California, Berkeley is hosting its fifth annual International conference on the study of Islamophobia, from April 14 to 19, 2014.

It is frightening to realize that this is their fifth such conference; the website states, “the obsessive pre-occupation of everything related to Islam and Muslims, congressional and parliamentary hearings criminalizing Muslims and violations of their civil liberties and rights, domestic and international surveillance programs exclusively on Muslims and Arabs, extra-judicial use of force on Muslims and Arabs, interventions, military campaigns, and policies rationalizing its exercise, are, in essence, what we see and bear witness in the Muslim world. These are the direct effects of latent Islamophobia.”

University of California, Berkeley is home to Professor Hatem Bazian, who directs the school’s “Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project,” and teaches a course titled, “Asian American Studies 132AC: Islamophobia.”

Seriously? A course on Islamophobia? Recently, Professor Bazian told 100 students in his class to tweet about Islamophobia — all being done to promote an agenda of “victimhood.”

 

UC-Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian speaks on “Promoting Islamophobia” at the Occupy AIPAC Summit in 2012. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

Obviously the Islamophobia conferences, the courses and the tweeting professor must find support for their self-serving propaganda somewhere. Part of this support comes from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), an international organization consisting of 57 Arab and Muslim member states, including the entity of the Palestinian Authority. The organization states that it is “the collective voice of the Muslim world” and works to “safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony.” The term “Muslim world” is offensive: no one speaks for all Muslims, and for the OIC to consider itself the “voice of the Muslim world” is dictatorial in the extreme.

No surprise, then, that on their website they have an Islamophobia Observatory, where they mention their support of Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, adopted in 2011, on “Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief”.

What is ironic and hypocritical about all the Islamophobia hype by members of the OIC is their double standards when it comes to minorities in their own lands. Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran are among OIC members that have appalling human rights violations against minorities, and are routinely ignored under UNHRC Resolution 16/18.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Also see:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Islamophobia” Campaign against Freedom

Dr. Mark Durie

Dr. Mark Durie

By Andrew E. Harrod:

The “quite formidable” Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “has really escaped the notice of a lot of foreign policy observers,” religious freedom scholar Nina Shea noted at a January 17, 2014, Hudson Institute panel.  To correct this deficiency, Shea moderated an important presentation on the OIC’s stealth jihad against freedom by her “old friend” Mark Durie, an Anglican theologian and human rights activist.

As Durie’s PowerPoint presentation available online noted, the 1969-founded OIC headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, contains 57 mostly Muslim-majority states (including “Palestine”).  The second largest international organization after the United Nations (UN), the OIC is a “major global voting block” at the UN and unique in being the “only such organization devoted to advancing a religion.”  The OIC is “largely funded by Saudi Arabia,” Shea noted, having contributed $30 million to the 2008 budget, far greater than the next largest contribution of $3 million from Kuwait.

Ominously, the OIC has been “lobbying assiduously” since about 2000 against “Islamophobia,” Shea observed.  “Islamophobia” was analogous to “homophobia,” Durie’s PowerPoint elaborated, an analogy previously noted by Islamic sharia law expert Stephen Coughlin and analyzed by this author.  A “[n]arrow reading” of this “deep-seated and irrational fear about Islam or Muslims” would encompass only prejudices such as the “xenophobic aversion to Muslims” of some.

A “[b]road reading” by the OIC and others, though, condemns “all expressions of opposition to or disapproval of Islam” as “irrational and manifestations of prejudice.”  “Islamophobia is a deliberate scheme to distort the teachings and principles of peace and moderation engrained in Islam,” the PowerPoint quoted from the OIC’s 2013 Sixth OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia.  “9/11 came as a long awaited opportunity,” the report specifies, “for the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim elements in the West to set in motion their well orchestrated plan to slander Islam and target Muslims by equating terror with Islam and Muslims.”  Such bigots were “just hanging out” and waiting for Al Qaeda’s September 11, 2001, attacks, Durie mocked.

The OIC and its recently retired Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu assume that the “Islamic religion is under attack,” thereby posing an “atmosphere of threat to the world,” Durie stated.  Yet American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hate crime statistics in Durie’s PowerPoint belie this Islamic victimhood, with attacks upon Jews far outstripping those on Muslims in 2012 (674 to 130).  Western states in the past have also often aided their Muslim minorities and Muslim countries, such as when the British government donated land for the United Kingdom’s first mosque, London Central Mosque.

The “Islamophobia” campaign, moreover, manifests the distorted subordination of human rights to Islamic sharia law present throughout the OIC’s 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam.  Therein rights such as free speech may not contradict the Koranic phrase “what is good” according to Islam.  Similar distorted sectarianism is evident in the juxtaposition of OIC documents on “Combating Islamophobia” internationally and OIC-supported UN resolutions such as 16/18 in the Human Rights Council advocating religious equality.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Also see: Video: Mark Durie on the OIC and Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia (counterjihadreport.com)

Video: Mark Durie on the OIC and Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia

oic conferenceHudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom:

(Very good Q&A begins at 34:00)

“Islamophobia” is a widely used yet vague and controversial term referring to anti-Muslim bigotry. In recent years, identifying, monitoring, reporting on, and working to ban Islamophobia worldwide has been a major focus of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The OIC is an international body of 56 member states that is based in Saudi Arabia and active within the United Nations. While the United States has formally recognized its work in the past – US ambassadors have observed its sessions and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired some of its meetings – American awareness of the organization remains scant.

In 2007, the OIC began issuing regular “observatory” reports on Islamophobia, and since 2009 has published monthly bulletins that cite primarily Western examples of Islamophobia.

Is Islamophobia a serious problem, or is the term itself an ideological cudgel designed to incite fear and criminalize dissent? Dr. Mark Durie discussed these and other basic questions related to the OIC’s efforts to ban Islamophobia. Click here for his PowerPoint.

Mark Durie is an Anglican pastor, theologian, author, and human rights activist. A fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, he is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at the Melbourne School of Theology, and the Director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Nina Shea moderated this discussion.

For more videos of Mark Durie go here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL56A31DB2DE8D692D and http://vimeo.com/search?q=mark+durie

Chilling Effect for Me, But Not for Thee

yhFront Page, by :

“I don’t apply the same standards” as in the United States, the Muslim Harvard Law School professor Intisar A. Rabb stated at a November 21, 2013, Georgetown University conference with respect to “hate speech” restrictions and Islam abroad.  In connection with her concern about an American Muslim’s terrorism conviction “chilling speech,” Rabb’s acceptance of “just a different legal regime” abroad revealed troubling double standards towards Islam.

Raab addressed the final panel of “Muslim-Christian Relations in the 21st Century:  Challenges & Opportunities,” a controversial conference (see herehere, and here) marking the 20th anniversary of Georgetown’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU).  Rabb opposed a recent appeals court conviction affirmation for Tarek Mehanna, as elaborated in an amici curia brief in Mehanna’s appeal.  Therein Rabb and others warned of a “serious chilling effect” on speech from convicting Mehanna for translating the book 39 Ways to Serve and Participate in Jihad for the website at-Tibyan.

The federal government considered the book, website, and Mehanna’s “disfavored political and religious beliefs” all supportive of Al Qaeda.  The appellate opinion noted that Mehanna had a First Amendment right to praise Al Qaeda, but Al-Qaeda-coordinated advocacy was terrorism support.  “Under the Government’s theory,” amici curia warned, “translating an al-Qa’ida text is lawful, as is espousing beliefs…supporting al-Qa’ida,” but together these “legal acts gives rise to criminal liability,” a particular concern for scholars researching terrorism.

Rabb at Georgetown therefore demanded that action beyond speech underlie any terrorism support conviction.  Yet, unmentioned by Rabb, Mehanna had traveled in 2004 to Yemen, irrespective of any translation work charge.  The appeals court rejected his “rose-colored glasses” presentation as a “devoted scholar…protected by the First Amendment” and found a jury conclusion “virtually unarguable” that Mehanna “went abroad to enlist in…terrorist training.”

Legal issues aside, amici curiae did not consider Mehanna’s reading and website choices objectionable.   At-Tibyan, for example, “primarily” concerned “Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi…a theologian and a jurist” who “endorses rebellion against…illegitimate Muslim regimes.”  Among “innumerable mainstream theological texts,”39 Ways also involved “basic…Sunni jurisprudence,” namely the “individual duty (fard ‘ayn) incumbent on all Muslims” to “contribute to wars of self-defense.”  “All collections of the words and deeds of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad (hadith) and all Islamic law books” endorsed this “standard position in all Sunni legal schools.”

The amici curiae cited a 2003 fatwa from “mainstream Muftis” at OnIslam, “[o]ne of the most popular websites in the English-speaking world devoted to Islam.”  The muftis considered whether for Muslims it is “necessary to fight alongside Afghans” or otherwise resist American-led forces in Afghanistan.  Citing Quran verses legitimating fighting against non-Muslims, the muftis answered that the “Muslim Ummah (nation) is considered one body, which if a single organ aches all the other organs will share the feelings of agony.”

Robert Spencer of the website Jihadwatch could not have explained such doctrines of jihad in a more troubling manner.  Questions in the brief about targeting civilians aside, the cited Islamic doctrine justified the killing of military personnel “attacking” Muslim nations, cold comfort to, among others, beheaded British soldier Lee Rigby or the 13 Americans of the Fort Hood shooting.  Rabb’s brief could only confirm the criticisms of Islam by individuals like Spencer or Holland’s Geert Wilders and incite Terry Jones to burn another Quran.

Unlike Rabb, though, Spencer has faced exclusion from the United Kingdom and Wilders criminal prosecution in Holland for their comments on Islam, while destroying a Quran is prohibited hate speech in countries like Belgium.  Such domestic legal actions accord with the longstanding international agenda of majority-Muslim nations in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to prohibit criticizing Islam.  This agenda has culminated in the March 24, 2011,United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 with troubling implications for free speech even after Western-induced modifications.

In this context, Rabb’s invocation of the proverbial “chilling effect” on free speech prompted my question about criticizing Islam.  Rabb’s “each regime is different” response allowed for “dignity laws” as a “prerogative” for other democracies dealing with anti-Islam speech grouped by her with Nazism.  Muslim-majority countries also had such laws, Rabb indicated, a worrying statement in light of Islamic blasphemy laws.

Critical issues involving Islam, however, were not absent from the conference.  George Soros-financed leftist evangelical Richard Cizek, for example, recalled during a panel how a fellow evangelical had once told him that “insults in Lynchburg produce riots in Lahore.”  Convicted terrorism financier Sami Al-Arian, meanwhile, discussed with me in the audience viewing the conference’s morning segment before going home to comply with his house arrest.

“Islamophobia” critic Nathan Lean was also in the audience.  Called a “stalker” by Spencer, Lean has repeatedly tweeted an article supposedly containing Spencer’s address and wife’s picture, a “clear attempt to intimidate me.”  Addressed by me on this matter, Lean curtly replied that it is “not appropriate” to discuss Spencer at a Christian-Muslim understanding conference and walked away.

Thus Lean, Rabb, and others, concerned about fundamentally necessary anti-terrorism laws infringing intellectual inquiry in the United States, exhibited little principled concern about uninhibited discussion of Islam.  Yet as the conference and Mehanna’s conviction show, the needs of security and liberty demand robust debate precisely with respect to Islam.

This article was sponsored by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

West must stop appeasing efforts to ban criticism of Islam

Istanbul. Great city. But no "process" please...

Istanbul. Great city. But no “process” please…

By Michael Curtis:

It is no accident that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” It is also no accident that there is no such absolute provision in the Arab and Islamic world.

On the contrary, for at least fifteen years a concerted effort has been made by Islamic organizations, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to prevent or limit criticism of Islam and the Prophet.

This effort of the OIC has led to calls for controls of free speech in democratic countries as well as implementation of repression in its own member states. Although this OIC objective and its consequences have become familiar, it is puzzling that the Obama Administration, and Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, did not resist it but rather seemed to compromise with it.

It should have been obvious that major international organs have been manipulated by the OIC to suppress speech. Each year from 1999 until 2010, one of the countries of the 57 member-state OIC, often Pakistan, has proposed resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outlawing “defamation of religions.”

Rather than protection of religions in general, the intent of all the resolutions that have been passed is to declare criticism of Islam illegal and therefore punishable. More recently, OIC-inspired resolutions have condemned and called for penalization of what they term “Islamophobia.”

However, the number of states approving such resolutions has been declining. The OIC is aware of the fact that democratic countries have become alert to the fact that infringements of free speech result from any implementation of supposed “defamation” resolutions.

In 2011 the OIC, attempting to overcome criticism of its tactics, no longer used the concept of “defamation of religions.” It modified its extremist rhetoric, but not its objective.

On March 24, 2011 at the UNHRC, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18. The Resolution was worded and then revised to make it more acceptable to the U.S. It avoided “defamation” and instead called for “fighting against intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against individuals because of their religion or belief.” It seemingly appeared to be concerned with individuals, rather than a religion. The OIC tactic was successful. The Resolution, which is nonbinding, was adopted by consensus.

What is important was the next step, the creation of “The Istanbul Process” at a meeting in Istanbul in July 2011 initiated by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, with the assistance of Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, European Union (EU) Foreign Representative.

Read more at The Commentator

ACT! for America Campaign to Defend Free Speech gearing up for September events

freedom of speech day

ACT! chapters are gearing up nationwide to host events aimed at increasing awareness of  the growing threat to our freedom of speech.

HOST AN EVENT IN YOUR COMMUNITY

From ACT! for America:

It began decades ago as a few lonely voices around the world. A few Muslim leaders clamoring for restrictions on speech that “insults,” “defames,” “offends” or “denigrates” Islam and Muhammad.

The worldwide riots by Muslims in response to the Danish cartoons escalated this demand for restrictions on free speech. Numerous European countries now have “hate speech” laws that restrict speech that Muslims find offensive.

Lars Hedegard, Geert Wilders, and ACT! for America chapter leader Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff have been victims of these laws.

But too many Americans say “this could never happen here.” Really?

What about all the “speech codes” on college campuses that restrict speech for reasons such as “speech that causes offense”? We ignore the rising tide demanding restrictions on free speech at our own peril.

“Americans United to Defend Free Speech” is ACT! for America’s response to this threat. Below is just a small sampling of the growing worldwide effort to restrict speech deemed “offensive” to Islam. (Google searches turn up hundreds of examples.)

EXAMPLES OF ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH

UN RESOLUTION 16/18 & THE ISTANBUL PROCESS.

Our very own State Department worked with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to pass UN Resolution 16/18. The resolution contains the very “hate speech” language that has led to the criminalization of certain speech in many European countries. The OIC’s true intentions for UN Resolution 16/18 were made clear in a February 18, 2013 article in the Saudi Gazette, “OIC gears up to get denigration of religions criminalized.”

Here’s a quote from that article:
Getting the go-ahead from the Cairo Islamic Summit, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been actively trying to get the denigration of religions recognized as a criminal offense, according to a top official.

“Next session of the Istanbul Process on Islamophobia will be held in the first half of this year, and the session will squarely focus on the issue of criminalizing denigration of religions,” said Rizwan Saeed Sheikh, director of cultural affairs at the OIC general secretariat and spokesman for the OIC secretary general.

ATTEMPTS TO SILENCE CANADIAN JOURNALISTS

In 2008, journalist Ezra Levant was hauled before a Canadian human rights commission because he published the Danish cartoons. Author Mark Steyn endured a similar fate.

US MUSLIM LEADERS PROMOTING LEGISLATION BANNING FREE SPEECH

In 2012, the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City launched an online petition calling for legislation that “outlaws any action that may insult one’s religion.” Muslim leaders in New Jersey joined this effort.

U.S. EMBASSY IN CAIRO

Remember the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s immediate response to the riots on September 11, 2012 outside its compound? “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

AFTERMATH OF THE SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 RIOTS

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2012 riots, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Yemen spoke out: “Insults against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are not acceptable,” said Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. “We will not allow anyone to do this by word or by deed.” “There should be limits for the freedom of expression,” added Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi, “especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures.” Saudi Arabia went even further and advocated an international censorship body to crush blasphemy on the Internet.

CAIR MISSOURI SUPPORTS PROSECUTING FREE SPEECH

Early this year, the director of the Missouri affiliate of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) posted on his blog that Muslim activists should “Report anti Islamic and anti Muslim content on the internet to appropriate authorities to take action to remove it and go after those who post it online and prosecute and take actions according to the Shariah ruling.”

UN SECRETARY GENERAL SUPPORTS RESTRICTING FREE SPEECH

In the aftermath of the YouTube video controversy in the fall of 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the chorus of those supporting restrictions on speech, saying that speech that “humiliates others’ beliefs…cannot be protected.”

“COMMON DECENCY” IS DEFINED BY SHARIA LAW

In an October 8, 2009 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the grand mufti of Egypt wrote: We [the Dar al Iftaa, Egypt’s supreme body for Islamic legal edicts over which Gomaa presides] upheld the right of freedom of conscience and of free of expression within the bounds of common decency. As Gomaa made clear in the op-ed, “common decency” is defined by sharia law.

“MUSLIM FAMILY DAY” AT THE SIX FLAGS

In 2007 Joe Kaufman was sued by several Dallas–area Muslim organizations in response to an article he wrote about “Muslim Family Day” at the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park. After two years of legal battles the suit was dismissed.

Read more at ACT! for America’s Free Speech Day page


In this national webcast on March 14, 2013, ACT! for America documents the growing worldwide clamor for suppression of speech perceived as “offensive” to Islam, and what ACT! for America is doing to combat this increasingly serious threat to the First Amendment:

Part One with Brigitte Gabriel and Guy Rodgers:

Part Two with Deborah Weiss:

Part Three with Guy Rodgers: