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Author Topic: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!)  (Read 81250 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #100 on: July 31, 2007, 12:53:31 AM »

Some fascinating details about the arresting officer

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=26463_The_Koran_Complaint&only
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buzwardo
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« Reply #101 on: August 01, 2007, 09:42:48 PM »

Take a Chill Pill - the Oxford English Dictionary Adds 2,700 Entries!

    NEW YORK, July 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New words enter the English
language every day, and dictionary publishers are constantly struggling to
keep up. The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary Online
(http://www.oed.com) update the internet version of their 20-volume lexicon
every three months. This week 'chill pill,' 'argh,' 'bikini wax,' and
'problemo' are among the almost 2,700 new words that were added to the OED.
    "The revised range of the OED contains 2,693 entries, bringing the
total number of main entries to 260,154," notes John Simpson,
Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford English Dictionary. "They are illustrated by
2,827,811 quotations and represent 697,324 different meanings."
    Some of the other new and revised entries to the OED include:

    Brooklynite
    sleeper cell
    glitch
    high-maintenance
    low-maintenance
    prime directive
    Islamofascism
    scratch and sniff
    focus group
    prissy
    primal scream
    that's not my problem
    comeback kid
    Hollywood ending
    "The English language changes and evolves all the time and the Oxford
English Dictionary has to keep up," according to the OED's Editor at Large,
Jesse Sheidlower. "Our editors are currently going through the entire
alphabet bit by bit, writing new entries and revising existing ones in
order to stay current. It's a massive job and will take years, if not
decades, to complete- at which point we'll start over again."
    A complete list of the new words and their definitions in the OED is
available online at http://www.oed.com/help/updates/prima-proteose.html.


SOURCE Oxford University Press

http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=ind_focus.story&STORY=/www/story/07-03-2007/0004619634&EDATE=TUE+Jul+03+2007,+05:20+AM
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #102 on: August 02, 2007, 06:52:08 AM »

The timing of the entry of "Islamofascism" could not have been better for me.  On the DBMAAssn forum someone was taking me to task for my use of the term so in addition to the article on this term which I posted earlier in this thread it was quite perfect for me to quote the OED smiley
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G M
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« Reply #103 on: August 02, 2007, 11:14:17 PM »

Crafty,

I wonder how detatched from reality one has to be to question the word "islamofascism". rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #104 on: August 03, 2007, 08:22:54 AM »

It is a mystery to me too.
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #105 on: August 03, 2007, 08:25:45 AM »

GM, Speaking in terms of reality. Care to name a Islamofascist that we are actually fighting? Or.......are you would you just say that any Islamist that opposes us Is automaticly A Islamofascist.

Heres the short list of the definition given on who or what a Islamo is :
Quote
In my analysis, as originally put in print directly after the horror of September 11, 2001, Islamofascism refers to use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology. This radical phenomenon is embodied among Sunni Muslims today by such fundamentalists as the Saudi-financed Wahhabis, the Pakistani jihadists known as Jama'atis, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In the ranks of Shia Muslims, it is exemplified by Hezbollah in Lebanon and the clique around President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.
Of the list above which ones are we currently and directly engaging in combat.....
For clarification purposes there wasn't so much a question of "Islamofascism" more a question of how do you identify them among the 100's of millions of Muslims.....Or do we just "kill them all and let god sort em out"

Would you say that Sadaam Husien was a Islamo?
Can an Iraqi fight Americans in his back yard simply because he dosen't want a Occupying force in his home, without being a Islamo?
Seems we did something similar here a couple of hundred plus years ago with the British.......
Anyway......Just bringing thesse things up for clarification and to keep it real.
In case you didn't pick up on this.......I'am the one that was detached from reality undecided
Looking forward to your response to my post. wink
                                                                     TG
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Howling Dog
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #106 on: August 03, 2007, 09:11:34 AM »

Woof Tom:

When it comes to politics, I am no "GM"  cheesy

1) "Would you just say that any Islamist that opposes us Is automaticly A Islamofascist?"

I certainly would NOT say that any Muslim that opposes us is a Islamofascist, but note that the term "Islamist" is used by many to mean something quite similar to the intended meaning of IF.

2)  SH, to the extent that anything can be attributed to him, was a Baathist-- a thoroughly secular ideology

3) "Can an Iraqi fight Americans in his back yard simply because he dosen't want a Occupying force in his home, without being a Islamo?"

Sure-- and the motivation can be mixed in with his being a Sunni Baathist fearful of losing the position he held under SH.  And, having experienced AQ and the other IFs, he now increasingly is working WITH the US to get rid of the fcukers.  Again, I encourage you to read Michael Yon's reports-- see the thread on this forum dedicated to him.

4) "Of the list above which ones are we currently and directly engaging in combat?"

a) In Iraq:  Saudi financed Wahhabis/Al Qaeda.  General Petraeus said recently that “al-Qa’ida is carrying out the bulk of the sensational attacks, the suicide car-bomb attacks, suicide-vest attacks, and so forth... and all of the individuals in the intelligence community, General [Stanley] McChrystal, the head of our Joint Special Operations Command, all of us feel that the central front of al-Qa’ida’s terror war is focused on Iraq.”
b) In Iraq:  Iranian backed forces-- I would define the Iranian govt. as IF
c) In Afg/Pak:  AQ
d) In Afg/Pak:  the Taliban

There are others, but this list will suffice for the purposes here.

I'm not familiar with the Jama'atis.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood does not meet the criterion of resorting to violence, but it most certainly seeks a theocratic state and Sharia-- which, in that government is force, it seeks to acquire force legally.  In the American context I would define any group seeking a theocratic state and Sharia as seditious.

5) "Care to name a Islamofascist that we are actually fighting?"    Well, I'm not sure we have the name of the late, unlamented Zarqawi's replacement, but he would be a pretty good example.   

As we both know well, there are many players in Iraq-- but the IFs most certainly are some of them.  The AQ have sedulously worked in the most despicable manner to create a religious civil war-- similary the IF Iranian government.  But for their efforts, IMHO the situation in Iraq would be quite different.

6) "For clarification purposes there wasn't so much a question of "Islamofascism" more a question of how do you identify them among the 100's of millions of Muslims.....Or do we just "kill them all and let god sort em out"

For clarification purposes, it is a mystery to me that you would associate me with a "Kill them all and let God sort 'em out" mindset. 

The difficulties of identification of IFs when the IFs are hiding are considerable, especially in that a goodly percentage of the Muslim population seems unwilling to point them out.  Whether this is due to sympathy or intimidation can be very hard to discern.  When they are shouting "Allahu Akbar" while decapitating civilian hostages it would be easier-- but for the masks they always seem to be wearing.  When they are blowing up innocent people in market places in the name of Allah, it would be easier-- but for the fact that they are vaporized.

Have I answered your questions?

Marc

« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 10:48:30 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #107 on: August 03, 2007, 10:12:55 AM »

GM, Speaking in terms of reality. Care to name a Islamofascist that we are actually fighting? Or.......are you would you just say that any Islamist that opposes us Is automaticly A Islamofascist.

**Al Qaeda leaps to mind, Al qaeda in Iraq, the Taliban as well. We've been targeted by Hezbollah many times but seem not to have inflicted much back on them**

Heres the short list of the definition given on who or what a Islamo is :
Quote
In my analysis, as originally put in print directly after the horror of September 11, 2001, Islamofascism refers to use of the faith of Islam as a cover for totalitarian ideology. This radical phenomenon is embodied among Sunni Muslims today by such fundamentalists as the Saudi-financed Wahhabis, the Pakistani jihadists known as Jama'atis, and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In the ranks of Shia Muslims, it is exemplified by Hezbollah in Lebanon and the clique around President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.
Of the list above which ones are we currently and directly engaging in combat.....
For clarification purposes there wasn't so much a question of "Islamofascism" more a question of how do you identify them among the 100's of millions of Muslims.....Or do we just "kill them all and let god sort em out"

Would you say that Sadaam Husien was a Islamo?

**No, the Baathists were/are closer to plain old school fascism. This doesn't mean they can't/won't work with the jihadists though. Saddam would play the islam card when it suited him.**

Can an Iraqi fight Americans in his back yard simply because he dosen't want a Occupying force in his home, without being a Islamo?
**Yes.**

Seems we did something similar here a couple of hundred plus years ago with the British.......

**Really? I missed that part of American history where we were under a brutal totalitarian government until the Brits overthrew the totalitarian leader, tried to build schools and infastructure to make us a free and independant nation with civil rights and the rule of law, so we suicide bombed the Brits in return.**

Anyway......Just bringing thesse things up for clarification and to keep it real.
In case you didn't pick up on this.......I'am the one that was detached from reality undecided
Looking forward to your response to my post. wink
                                                                     TG

No idea it was you, Tom. grin
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #108 on: August 03, 2007, 10:33:02 AM »

Woof, There again, I take this back to a war agianst individuals or peoples? There maybe Saudi Islamo fas. operating in Iraq, but in the mean time were selling arms to the Saudis.......I saw a political cartoon the other day that IMPLIED we give arms to the Saudis they give them to their Jihadists and eventually they get used on us in Iraq.
(anyone here claim Saudi Arabia to be a friend) rolleyes
Iran sends fighters and arms into Iraq to fight us.....and now we are negotiating with them for Iraq. (whatever) tongue
I have no problem with A'Q OR the Taliban seems we would have been better suited to fight them in Afghanastan then spread the war across Iraq as well. undecided
My point again is we fight a selective war and use terminology to suit our needs.......
Some would also insiuate that we need to "reform Islam" Which is in my opinon the crux of the war for some here on this forum.....of course I don't expect anyone to come right out and say it, any more than I expect the U.S. Gov. to get serious about the "global war on terror" or the "war on Islamofascists" or whatever or who ever we are at war against.
To me in a lot of ways its out right laughable.
Has anyone noticed that little problem with the 13(still alive) Korean hostages....where? Oh yea that would be Afghanastan not Pakastan they are being held to my knowledge in Afghanastan...nice.....bang up job. undecided
                                                 TG
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Howling Dog
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #109 on: August 03, 2007, 10:43:23 AM »

Gents:

With this forum, I like to keep a fairly tight leash on thread coherency. Lets take a look at the title of the this thread.  The question of whether IF is a sound term readily falls within this heading, but we are starting to drift into a shapeless mishmash of subjects here.  By all means please continue the conversation, but please move the question(s) presented to the relevant
thread(s).

Marc
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buzwardo
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« Reply #110 on: August 05, 2007, 10:18:32 AM »

The vanishing jihad exposés


MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist

How will we lose the war against "radical Islam"?

Well, it won't be in a tank battle. Or in the Sunni Triangle or the caves of Bora Bora. It won't be because terrorists fly three jets into the Oval Office, Buckingham Palace and the Basilica of St Peter's on the same Tuesday morning.

The war will be lost incrementally because we are unable to reverse the ongoing radicalization of Muslim populations in South Asia, Indonesia, the Balkans, Western Europe and, yes, North America. And who's behind that radicalization? Who funds the mosques and Islamic centers that in the past 30 years have set up shop on just about every Main Street around the planet?

For the answer, let us turn to a fascinating book called "Alms for Jihad: Charity And Terrorism in the Islamic World," by J. Millard Burr, a former USAID relief coordinator, and the scholar Robert O Collins. Can't find it in your local Barnes & Noble? Never mind, let's go to Amazon. Everything's available there. And sure enough, you'll come through to the "Alms for Jihad" page and find a smattering of approving reviews from respectably torpid publications: "The most comprehensive look at the web of Islamic charities that have financed conflicts all around the world," according to Canada's Globe And Mail, which is like the New York Times but without the jokes.
Unfortunately, if you then try to buy "Alms for Jihad," you discover that the book is "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." Hang on, it was only published last year. At Amazon, items are either shipped within 24 hours or, if a little more specialized, within four to six weeks, but not many books from 2006 are entirely unavailable with no restock in sight.

Well, let us cross the ocean, thousands of miles from the Amazon warehouse, to the High Court in London. Last week, the Cambridge University Press agreed to recall all unsold copies of "Alms for Jihad" and pulp them. In addition, it has asked hundreds of libraries around the world to remove the volume from their shelves. This highly unusual action was accompanied by a letter to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, in care of his English lawyers, explaining their reasons:

"Throughout the book there are serious and defamatory allegations about yourself and your family, alleging support for terrorism through your businesses, family and charities, and directly.

"As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your family, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false."

Who is Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz? Well, he's a very wealthy and influential Saudi. Big deal, you say. Is there any other kind? Yes, but even by the standards of very wealthy and influential Saudis, this guy is plugged in: He was the personal banker to the Saudi royal family and head of the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, until he sold it to the Saudi government. He has a swanky pad in London and an Irish passport and multiple U.S. business connections, including to Thomas Kean, the chairman of the 9/11 Commission.

I'm not saying the 9/11 Commission is a Saudi shell operation, merely making the observation that, whenever you come across a big-shot Saudi, it's considerably less than six degrees of separation between him and the most respectable pillars of the American establishment.

As to whether allegations about support for terrorism by the sheikh and his "family, businesses and charities" are "entirely and manifestly false," the Cambridge University Press is going way further than the United States or most foreign governments would. Of his bank's funding of terrorism, Sheikh Mahfouz's lawyer has said: "Like upper management at any other major banking institution, Khalid Bin Mahfouz was not, of course, aware of every wire transfer moving through the bank. Had he known of any transfers that were going to fund al-Qaida or terrorism, he would not have permitted them." Sounds reasonable enough. Except that in this instance the Mahfouz bank was wiring money to the principal Mahfouz charity, the Muwafaq (or "Blessed Relief") Foundation, which in turn transferred them to Osama bin Laden.

In October 2001, the Treasury Department named Muwafaq as "an al-Qaida front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen" and its chairman as a "specially designated global terrorist." As the Treasury concluded, "Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to bin Laden through Blessed Relief."
Indeed, this "charity" seems to have no other purpose than to fund jihad. It seeds Islamism wherever it operates. In Chechnya, it helped transform a reasonably conventional nationalist struggle into an outpost of the jihad. In the Balkans, it played a key role in replacing a traditionally moderate Islam with a form of Mitteleuropean Wahhabism. Pick a Muwafaq branch office almost anywhere on the planet and you get an interesting glimpse of the typical Saudi charity worker. The former head of its mission in Zagreb, Croatia, for example, is a guy called Ayadi Chafiq bin Muhammad. Well, he's called that most of the time. But he has at least four aliases and residences in at least three nations (Germany, Austria and Belgium). He was named as a bin Laden financier by the U.S. government and disappeared from the United Kingdom shortly after 9/11.

So why would the Cambridge University Press, one of the most respected publishers on the planet, absolve Khalid bin Mahfouz, his family, his businesses and his charities to a degree that neither (to pluck at random) the U.S., French, Albanian, Swiss and Pakistani governments would be prepared to do?

Because English libel law overwhelmingly favors the plaintiff. And like many other big-shot Saudis, Sheikh Mahfouz has become very adept at using foreign courts to silence American authors – in effect, using distant jurisdictions to nullify the First Amendment. He may be a wronged man, but his use of what the British call "libel chill" is designed not to vindicate his good name but to shut down the discussion, which is why Cambridge University Press made no serious attempt to mount a defense. He's one of the richest men on the planet, and they're an academic publisher with very small profit margins. But, even if you've got a bestseller, your pockets are unlikely to be deep enough: "House Of Saud, House Of Bush" did boffo biz with the anti-Bush crowd in America, but there's no British edition – because Sheikh Mahfouz had indicated he was prepared to spend what it takes to challenge it in court, and Random House decided it wasn't worth it.

We've gotten used to one-way multiculturalism: The world accepts that you can't open an Episcopal or Congregational church in Jeddah or Riyadh, but every week the Saudis can open radical mosques and madrassahs and pro-Saudi think-tanks in London and Toronto and Dearborn, Mich., and Falls Church, Va. And their global reach extends a little further day by day, inch by inch, in the lengthening shadows, as the lights go out one by one around the world.

Suppose you've got a manuscript about the Saudis. Where are you going to shop it? Think Cambridge University Press will be publishing anything anytime soon?

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/mark-steyn-jihad-1797347-exposs-column
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #111 on: August 05, 2007, 11:32:46 AM »

Not maybe for the Saber ratellers, but another very good example of how we are fighting a selective was on "radical Islam" and another good example of how we are not serious about fighting it or wining it........but yeeee haaaa there cowboy!!, lets kill us some of them Iraqi's undecided
                       TG
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Howling Dog
buzwardo
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« Reply #112 on: August 05, 2007, 11:47:49 AM »

Quote
Insert Quote
Not maybe for the Saber ratellers, but another very good example of how we are fighting a selective was on "radical Islam" and another good example of how we are not serious about fighting it or wining it........but yeeee haaaa there cowboy!!, lets kill us some of them Iraqi's

Not sure you're responding to the piece I posted, but if so I don't think your pronoun use is appropriate. The "we" in this case involves British libel laws, Sunni v. Shia realpolitic, religious freedom in the US, and so on. Kind of a large porridge to be caputured by the term "we," yet when some of us try to break the issue down into its constituent units by using terms like "Islamofascist," objections arise. Sounds to me like you want some sort of unitary tactic that offends no one while applying our cultural standards to an enemy who has no use for them in a time of war. Can't get there from here as I see it, which may be the point: time to curl up in Fortress America, eh?
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #113 on: August 05, 2007, 12:26:12 PM »

Buzzwardo, I was responding to your posted piece. Either curl up in fortress America or start telling the truth....and making it apply to all regardless of who or whom we may offend.....or expose.
Onley then will real changes be made.......My bet says it aint gonna happen.
Just trying to keep it real.....or at least start to keep it real grin
                                                                              TG
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Howling Dog
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #114 on: August 05, 2007, 04:09:49 PM »

Tom: 

The logic of you post #111 eludes me, both as a response in the context of this thread to what Buz posted or in general.  As best as I can tell, as has been explained in this thread and on this forum with what I perceive to be reasonable clarity NO ONE is calling for killing anyone because they are Iraqi.

Marc
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #115 on: August 05, 2007, 05:31:50 PM »

Guro Crafty, Please allow me to clarify my post. By telling the truth...I meant that we pretend to be fighting this war against AQ and all others, but yet we fail to mention that we allow financiers of our enemys walk about freely and live among us and even allow them to threaten our publishers with suits for attempting to tell the truth and what this war is really all about.
Hope that clarifys that part...
As for the killing of Iraqis part.......We also try to hide behind this charade that ALL who oppose us or are at war with us are AQ IN Iraq........
When the truth is there are many factions we are fighting in Iraq and some maybe  fighting us for no other reason then the veiw us as unwanted occupiers in  Soverign country. It si much easier to kill these low leve types than go after the real enemy that hides behind banks and status....thats really what makes this war on terror such a joke. Remember we are selling arms to the Saudis.
I made several posts that went unresponded to like our wanting to put a up a permenate military theresince we  no longer have one in Saudi Arabia......Do you suppose the Iraqi people or American people will tolerate that?
Or is that reality to far down the line to be a consideration at this time?
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Howling Dog
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #116 on: August 06, 2007, 12:57:29 AM »

Tom:   Lets post your question/answer in a thread relevant to its content.  This thread is about Islamic Fascism vs. Free Speech.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #117 on: August 27, 2007, 09:57:10 PM »

The Right to Assembly
By DANIEL SCHWAMMENTHAL
August 27, 2007

Brussels

"I'm a free thinker," says Freddy Thielemans. Really? Many critics now doubt it after the socialist mayor of Brussels banned a demonstration under the slogan of "Stop the Islamization of Europe" (SIOE).

The rally was scheduled for Sept. 11, and the organizers from Germany, Britain and Denmark had planned to bring about 20,000 people from all over Europe to protest not just Islamist terrorism but what they call the "creeping" introduction of Shariah law in their societies. The march would have ended in front of the European Parliament with a minute of silence for the victims of the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S. The organizers now hope that Belgium's administrative court will overrule the mayor's decision tomorrow and allow the rally to proceed as planned.

In the meantime, the ugly word of censorship has been making the rounds. The suspicion gained even more currency when, around the time of his Aug. 9 decision to ban the anti-Islamization protest, Mr. Thielemans authorized an anti-American demonstration slated for Sept. 9. "United for Truth," a loose group of anticapitalists and conspiracy theorists, suggests that the Bush administration was behind the 9/11 attacks and demands an end to "state terrorism."

Even so, Mr. Thielemans rejects any questioning of his democratic credentials. The demonstrators' ideology had nothing to do with his decisions, he says. It was all a matter of public security. While there are no indications that the "United for Truth" rally could turn violent, he adds, the same could not be said about SIOE. The police have warned of "a very strong possibility that there will be a breach of peace" at the SIOE march, he told me in his office Friday.

As the mayor of not just Belgium's but Europe's capital, shouldn't he rather err on the side of political freedom? Not in this instance, Mr. Thielemans shoots back. "I won't have Brussels regarded as the capital of racism, that's what I think for sure." Apparently, anti-Americanism doesn't qualify as racism. At any rate, the mayor's characterization of the SIOE protesters seemed to contradict his previous statement that political disagreements had nothing to do with his decision to ban the protest. Pressed on that point, he acknowledged that he has little sympathy for the group but reiterated that his decision was purely based on security reasons. He also qualified his racism charge, admitting that he didn't know enough about the people organizing SIOE.

"But when they consider a community as a whole as a danger, that is disturbing," he said. "I don't mean they intentionally wanted to be racist but it turns into racism in my eyes....The oversimplification of ideas is always a risk."

True, the organizers paint with a broad brush and often care little for nuances. "We have a difficulty with the concept of 'moderate' Islam because the Muslim world is moving toward what the media call 'radical' Islam," Stephen Gash, one of the British organizers, told me over the phone. No doubt their message can be provocative or even extreme, especially when it includes calls for a halt to Muslim immigration.

Yet you don't have to sympathize with the speakers to believe in free speech. Beyond that, banning the protest partly out of fear of violent reactions from Muslims would seem to bolster the protesters' point. If Muslim radicals decide the level of debate about Islam in Europe, doesn't it show that "Islamization," the erosion of traditional European liberties, is a reality? Mr. Thielemans did not address that irony. He said instead that he's not only worried about Muslims reacting violently to a SIOE march. "A number of democrats announced that they'd react too," he said, along with "NGOs that are in favor of peace and integration." It's difficult to see how people who threaten to disrupt a demonstration can be called "democrats" or "in favor of peace." Pressed on the point that the organizers should not be limited in their democratic rights due to what their opponents might do, Mr. Thielemans eventually agreed. In fact, if the counterprotesters were his only worry, he said, he'd probably let the demonstration go ahead. What really concerns him, the mayor said, is the possibility of violent racists infiltrating the protest, mingling among peaceful demonstrators and provoking and attacking foreigners. The mayor says that police have discovered extremist Web sites calling on their followers to join the protest and cause trouble.

Unfortunately, many demonstrations contain the possibility of turning violent and some in the end do so. It is the job of the police to nip such violence in the bud and arrest troublemakers. The pre-emptive strike of banning the entire protest seems justified only if the threat to public safety is significant.

How significant is the threat in this case? The mayor didn't elaborate. He couldn't even say how many potentially violent racist protesters were expected. "That's hard to say. And on top of it you are sometimes astonished -- even people you would never expect can react strangely," he said. "A part of the analysis always remains in the dark."

During our interview at least, not much of this analysis ever came to light. The mayor pointed to a "recent" demonstration in the U.K. where, he said, racist protesters attacked nonwhite bystanders: "The phenomenon would be similar to what happened in London. I don't remember the date but the police absolutely referred to it. It was very violent."

When that particular demonstration took place and what exactly happened remains a mystery. Oddly, Mayor Thielemans didn't know the specifics of an event that apparently was important in his decision to limit civil liberties in his town. His spokesman promised to provide details later about this London protest but never delivered. Whatever happened, it can hardly have been a major race riot. That's not the sort of thing that goes unnoticed in Europe these days.

Of course, the mayor is responsible for public security. If a controversial demonstration that he approved a permit for were to turn violent, he would be held responsible.

Yet freedom of speech, particularly controversial speech, is also a treasured good in a democracy. In this instance, moreover, any immediate threat to public security perhaps should be weighed against a potential long-term threat to peace. Among other things, banning the SIOE demonstration will embolden Muslim radicals by suggesting that violence, or the fear of it, is the way to manipulate freedom lovers. Arguably, a ban may also undermine faith among ordinary people that their concerns about radical Islam can be voiced, and addressed, in a democratic fashion. Perhaps the court will consider this at tomorrow's hearing.

Mr. Schwammenthal edits the State of the Union column.
WSJ
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #118 on: August 28, 2007, 11:09:39 PM »

In Defense of the Constitution

News & Analysis
015/07  August 28, 2007


CAIR: Media Cowers in Face of Islamist Threat
   

On August 24th, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), issued a "News Release" trumpeting the role CAIR played in getting the Christian TV program "Live Prayer with Bill Keller" off the air in Tampa, Florida. 

http://www.cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2929&theType=NR

While this is not a free speech issue, (TV stations are free to carry programs as they wish), it is troubling that a national broadcaster would terminate a program based on the demands of an Islamist hate group.especially an Islamic hate group that was not only founded by Islamic terrorists, but now stands as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terrorism case.

http://www.nysun.com/article/55778

In view of the fact that CAIR was founded by Islamist terrorists, is here to overthrow constitutional government, actively works to impose Sharia (Islamic law), and other odious aspects of CAIR's perverted brand of "Islam", and one can't help but wonder, "What was CBS thinking?"  CBS is in the business to make money; the Bill Keller program paid for its air time; in normal times, this would be considered good business.except for the antics of the unindicted co-conspirator, CAIR.

But these are not normal times.

Islam have become the latest "victim" in the American public arena, thanks to groups like CAIR; groups that purport to support "equal rights", but in reality demand "Special Rights".for Muslims only.

Rights not available to non-Muslims.

That's right.  If you are not a Muslim in America , you can be insulted; your faith (or lack of faith) can be made fun of, the way you dress, your voice, your choice of living arrangements.are all fair game.

The odious activities of CAIR have even influenced decisions regarding publication of cartoons.and we don't mean the Danish Cartoons.  The popular "Opus" cartoon strip has been pulled from the August 26th and September 2nd editions of many North American newspapers.  Why?  Could it possibly be the subject matter?  Readers may view the August 26th strip and reach their own conclusion:

http://www.salon.com/comics/opus/2007/08/26/opus/index.html
http://www.berkeleybreathed.com/pages/index.asp

This is an alarming trend.  While there is no evidence that CAIR had anything to do with the Opus cartoon strip being pulled, it would seem to fit well with CAIR's agenda to define Islam in America .to define what can be said.or not said.
 
Censorship.

By a group that tarnishes the meaning of the words "Islamic civil rights group".

It should be noted that when Anti-CAIR attorney Reed Rubinstein asked a reporter from a renowned Washington DC newspaper why they won't report on the obvious connections CAIR has to terrorism, he was told that the newspaper would never print or follow up on information uncovered in the CAIR v Anti-CAIR Lawsuit "because Muslims are an oppressed minority in this country."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utJs2WoDlYI

This is extremely dangerous, especially since America has a long tradition of inquiry; no subject has been taboo, no course of inquiry subject to censorship in search of the truth on important matters of public interest. This is as it should be.   

Until now. 

Whenever there is an article that questions Islam, a commentary that correctly points out problems with Islam in North America, or even dares to raise the issue of Islamic terrorism, CAIR is in the forefront demanding that Islam be described in only the most innocent of terms. 

CAIR, once again, is clearly demonstrating what is in store for North America should CAIR's perverted brand of Islam become dominant.

CAIR has, since its founding, told us exactly what is in store for us should its dream of imposing Wahabbi Islam on North America come to fruition.  Our "mainstream press" has refused to even make inquiry into any aspect of CAIR's activities on behalf of radical Islam; is it any wonder that most North Americans are woefully ignorant of the threat?

The mainstream press has abdicated its role in society.  Is it any wonder that many people now turn to alternative sources for their news?

Come what may, North Americans will never be able to claim we weren't warned.



Andrew Whitehead
Director
Anti-CAIR
ajwhitehead@anti-cair-net.org
www.anti-cair-net.org
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« Reply #119 on: August 30, 2007, 02:34:11 PM »

PAKISTAN, SWEDEN: The Pakistani Foreign Ministry condemned a cartoon sketch of the Prophet Mohammed published by the Swedish daily Nerikes Allehanda in the past week, describing it as offensive and blasphemous. The deputy head of the Swedish mission to Tehran was summoned to the ministry and a strong protest was lodged with her, the ministry said. Cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in Danish newspapers in early 2006 sparked deadly protests across the Muslim world.

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« Reply #120 on: September 03, 2007, 05:16:45 PM »

“Out Of Context,” Or, How To Argue With A Muslim

by Ibn Warraq (Sept. 2007)
 
It is quite common to hear two arguments from Muslims and apologists of Islam, the language argument, and that old standby of crooked, lying politicians, “you have quoted out of context.”

Let us look at the language argument first. You are asked aggressively, ‘do you know Arabic?’ Then you are told triumphantly, ‘You have to read it in the original Arabic to understand it fully’. Christians, even Western freethinkers and atheists are usually reduced to sullen silence with these Muslim tactics; they indeed become rather coy and self-defensive when it comes to criticism of Islam; they feebly complain “who am I to criticise Islam? I do not know any Arabic.” And yet freethinkers are quite happy to criticise Christianity. How many Western freethinkers and atheists know Hebrew? How many even know what the language of Esra chapter 4 verses 6-8 is? Or in what language the New Testament was written?

Of course, Muslims are also free in their criticism of the Bible and Christianity without knowing a word of Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek.

You do not need to know Arabic to criticise Islam or the Koran. Dr. Paul Kurtz, founder of the Center for Inquiry, and Prometheus Books, does not know Arabic but he did a great job on Islam in his book The Transcendental Temptation [1]. You only need a critical sense, critical thought and skepticism. Second, there are translations of the Koran by Muslims themselves, so Muslims cannot claim that there has been deliberate tampering of the text by infidel translators. Third, the majority of Muslims are not Arabs, and are not Arabic speakers. So a majority of Muslims also have to rely on translations. Finally, the language of the Koran is some form of Classical Arabic [2] which is substantially different from the spoken Arabic of today, so even Muslim Arabs have to rely on translations to understand their holy text. Arabic is a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Aramaic, and is no easier but also no more difficult to translate than any other language. Of course, there are all sorts of difficulties with the language of the Koran, but these difficulties have been recognized by Muslim scholars themselves. The Koran is indeed a rather opaque text but it is opaque to everyone. Even Muslim scholars do not understand a fifth of it.

Let us now turn to “you have quoted out of context”. This could mean two things: first, the historical context to which the various verses refer, or second, the textual context, the actual place in a particular chapter that the verse quoted comes from. The historical context argument is not available, in fact, to Muslims, since the Koran is the eternal word of God and true and valid for always. Thus for Muslims themselves there is no historical context. Of course, non-Muslims can legitimately and do avail themselves of the historical or cultural context to argue, for instance, that Islamic culture as a whole is anti-woman. Muslims did contradict themselves when they introduced the notion of abrogation, when a historically earlier verse was cancelled by a later one. This idea of abrogation was concocted to deal with the many contradictions in the Koran. What is more, it certainly backfires for those liberal Muslims who wish to give a moderate interpretation to the Koran since all the verses advocating tolerance (there are some but not many) have been abrogated by the later verses of the sword.

Out of Context Argument Used Against Muslims Themselves:

Now for the textual context. First, of course, this argument could be turned against Muslims themselves. When they produce a verse preaching tolerance, we could also say  that they have quoted out of context, or more pertinently, first, that such a verse has been cancelled by a more belligerent and intolerant one, and second, that in the overall context of the Koran and the whole theological construct that we call Islam ( i.e. in  the widest possible context), the tolerant verses are anomalous, or have no meaning, since Muslim theologians ignored them completely in developing Islamic Law, or that, finally, the verses do not say what they seem to say.

For instance, after September 11, 2001, many Muslims and apologists of Islam glibly came out with the following Koranic quote to show that Islam and the Koran disapproved of violence and killing: Sura V.32 : “Whoever killed a human being shall be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind”.

Unfortunately, these wonderful sounding words are being quoted out of context. Here is the entire quote: V.32 :

    “That was why We laid it down for the Israelites that whoever killed a human being , except as a punishment for murder or other villainy in the land , shall be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind; and that whoever saved a human life shall be regarded as though he had saved all mankind.
    “Our apostles brought them veritable proofs: yet it was not long before many of them committed great evils in the land.
    “Those that make war against God and His apostle and spread disorder shall be put to death or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off on alternate sides, or be banished from the country.”

The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews. Behave or else is the message. Far from abjuring violence, these verses aggressively point out that anyone opposing the Prophet will be killed, crucified, mutilated and banished!

Behind the textual context argument is thus the legitimate suspicion that by quoting only a short passage from the Koran I have somehow distorted its real meaning. I have, so the accusation goes, lifted the offending quote from the chapter in which it was embedded, and hence, somehow altered its true sense. What does “context” mean here? Do I have to quote the sentence before the offending passage, and the sentence after? Perhaps two sentences before and after? The whole chapter? Ultimately, of course, the entire Koran is the context.

The context, far from helping Muslims get out of difficulties only makes the barbaric principle apparent in the offending quote more obvious, as we have seen from Sura V.32  just cited. Let us take some other examples. Does the Koran say that men have the right to physically beat their wives or not? I say yes and quote the following verses to prove my point:

Sura IV.34 : "As for those [women] from whom you fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge [or beat] them.”

This translation comes from a Muslim. Have I somehow distorted the meaning of these lines? Let us have a wider textual context:

Sura IV.34  : “Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. God is high, supreme.”

If anything, the wider textual context makes things worse for those apologists of Islam who wish to minimize the mysogyny of the Koran. The oppression of women has divine sanction; women must obey God and their men, who have divine authorisation to scourge them. One Muslim translator, Yusuf Ali, clearly disturbed by this verse adds the word “lightly”  in brackets after “beat” even though there is no “lightly” in the original Arabic. An objective reading of the entire Koran (that is the total context) makes grim reading as far as the position of women is concerned.

Finally, of course, many of the verses that we shall quote later advocating killing of unbelievers were taken by Muslims themselves to develop the theory of Jihad. Muslim scholars themselves referred to Sura VIII.67, VIII.39, and Sura II.216 to justify Holy War. Again the context makes it clear that it is the battle field that is being referred to, and not some absurd moral struggle; these early Muslims were warriors after booty, land and women not some existential heroes from the pages of Albert Camus or Jean-Paul Sartre.

Let us take another example: Sura IX.

Here I have tried to use where possible translations by Muslims or Arabophone scholars, to avoid the accusation of using infidel translations. However, many Muslim translators have a tendency to soften down the harshness of the original Arabic, particularly in translating the Arabic word jahada, e.g.  Sura IX verse 73.  Maulana Muhammad Ali, of the Ahmadiyyah sect, translates this passage as:

Sura IX.73 : “O Prophet, strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be firm against them. And their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.”
In a footnote of an apologetic nature, Muhammad Ali rules out the meaning “fighting” for jahada.

However the Iraqi scholar Dawood in his Penguin translation renders this passage as:

Sura IX.73  “ Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal rigorously with them. Hell shall be their home: an evil fate.”

How do we settle the meaning of this verse? The whole context of Sura IX. indeed makes it clear that “make war” in the literal and not some metaphorical sense is meant.

Let us take another verse from this Sura:

Sura IX.5  “Then, when the sacred months have passed away, kill the idolaters wherever you find them…” These words are usually cited to show what fate awaits idolaters.

Well, what of the context? The words immediately after these just quoted say, “and seize them, besiege them and lie in ambush everywhere for them.”  Ah, you might say, you have deliberately left out the words that come after those. Let us quote them then, "If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way. God is forgiving and merciful”. Surely these are words of tolerance, you plead. Hardly, they are saying, only if they become Muslims then they will be left in peace. In fact the whole sura which has 129 verses (approximately 14 pages in the Penguin translation by Dawood), in other words the whole context, is totally intolerant, and is indeed, the source of many totalitarian Islamic laws and principles, such as the concepts of Jihad and dhimmitude, the latter proclaiming the inferior status of Christians and Jews in an Islamic state. All our quotes from the Arabic sources in Part One also, of course, provide the historical context of raids, massacres, booty, and assassinations, which make it crystal clear that real bloody fighting is being advocated.

First the idolaters, how can you trust them?  Most of them are evil doers (IX. 8); fight them (IX. 12, 14); they must not visit mosques (IX. 18); they are unclean (IX. 28); you may fight the idolaters even during the sacred months (IX. 36). “It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin after it has become clear they are people of hell-fire” ( IX. 113).  So much for forgiveness! Even your parents are to be shunned if they do not embrace Islam: IX.23 "O you who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you takes them for friends, such are wrong-doers.” In other words if you are friendly with your parents who are not Muslims you are being immoral.

The theory of Jihad is derived from verses 5 and 6 already quoted but also from the following verses:

IX. 38-39: Believers, why is it that when it is said to you: ‘March in the cause of God’, you linger slothfully in the land? Are you content with this life in preference to the life to come? Few indeed are the blessings of this life, compared to those of the life to come.
       If you do not fight, He will punish you sternly, and replace you by other men.
IX. 41: Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of God, with your wealth and with your persons.
 IX. 73: Prophet, make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal harshly with them.

The word that I have translated as fight is jahid. Some translators translate it as go forth or strive. Dawood translates it as fight, as does Penrice in his Dictionary and Glossary of the Koran, where it is defined as: To strive, contend with, fight –especially against the enemies of Islam. While Hans Wehr in his celebrated Arabic dictionary translates it as “endeavour, strive; to fight;  to wage holy war against the infidels”.[3]

As for the intolerance against Jews and Christians, and their inferior status as dhimmis we have IX verses 29 –35:

“Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.
      “ The Jews say Ezra is the son of God, while the Christians say the Messiah is the son of God. Such are their assertions, by which they imitate the infidels of old. God confound them! How perverse they are!
    “They make of their clerics and their monks, and of the Messiah, the son of Mary, Lords besides God; though they were ordered to serve one God only. There is no god but Him. Exalted be He above those whom they deify besides Him!….
     “It is He who has sent forth His apostle with guidance and the true Faith to make it triumphant over all religions, however much the idolaters may dislike it
   “O you who believe! Lo! many of the Jewish rabbis and the Christian monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly and debar men from the way of  Allah; They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings of painful doom …”

The moral of all the above is clear: Islam is the only true religion, Jews and Christians are devious, and  money-grubbing, who are not to be trusted, and even have to pay a tax in the most humiliating way. I do not think I need quote any more from Sura IX, although it goes on in this vein verse after verse.
   

[1] P.Kurtz , The Transcendental Temptation , Prometheus Books , Amherst ,1986
[2] There seems to be some controversy as to  what the language of the Koran really is , see my introduction to  What the Koran Really Says ., Prometheus Books , Amherst , 2002.
[3] Hans Wehr , A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic , Lebanon , Reprinted , 1980 , p.142

http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm/frm/10467/sec_id/10467
« Last Edit: September 03, 2007, 05:27:08 PM by buzwardo » Logged
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« Reply #121 on: September 04, 2007, 09:33:27 AM »

'The Trial' in Brussels
September 4, 2007
Belgian justice brings to mind a certain novel by Kafka. Last month the mayor of Brussels banned a demonstration planned for September 11 under the slogan of "Stop the Islamization of Europe." An administrative court upheld that decision last week. So much for free speech and freedom of assembly in Europe's capital.

The organizers from Germany, Britain and Denmark had expected about 20,000 people from all over the Continent to protest what they called the "creeping" introduction of Shariah law into their societies. The rally was supposed to end with a minute of silence for the victims of the terror attacks on the U.S. six years ago.

True, the organizers' goal of "preventing Islam becoming a dominant political force in Europe" and their claims that Islam is incompatible with democracy are provocative. But the question is not whether one agrees with the message but whether the message is within the bounds of protected speech, which it clearly is.

Mayor Freddy Thielemans, while making no secret of his dislike for the organizers' political views, says his decision was based entirely on security concerns. The police, he says, had warned him of a possible breach of peace.

But Mr. Thielemans isn't worried that the organizers or their followers would turn violent. Instead, he fears that some Muslims and, in his words, "democrats" and "peace activists" might stage counterprotests on that symbolic day and perhaps clash with any racists who might infiltrate the demonstration. In other words, the mayor decided to ban an otherwise legitimate rally for fear of possible violence by people who are not linked to the demonstrators.

On their Web site, the rally organizers reject any association with racists and violent groups and called on the police to take care of potential troublemakers. It is the police's job, after all, to maintain law and order, which includes the right to peaceful demonstrations. Otherwise, extremists, be they skinheads, radical Muslims or "peace activists," could prevent any demonstration they disagreed with by the simple expedient of announcing they planned to show up.

Late Wednesday the administrative court in Brussels refused to overrule the mayor. It said the plaintiffs had failed to show "irreparable damage," such as those that result from contractual obligations. The court also suggested the demonstration could perhaps be held another day -- a rather speculative remedy as the mayor has not said he would allow such a rally on a different date. Besides, the organizers chose September 11 for its historic significance.

The judges overlooked that if law-abiding citizens are not allowed to express their opinions on any given day, it causes irreparable damage to the plaintiffs' rights and Belgium's democracy. Perhaps the civil court to which the organizers have appealed will give more weight to these arguments at tomorrow's hearing.
WSJ
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« Reply #122 on: September 08, 2007, 09:48:23 AM »

Muslim ambassadors: 'Sweden needs to change its laws' Muslim ambassadors: 'Sweden needs to change its laws'
Published: 6th September 2007 17:19 CET


Ambassadors from Muslim countries have indicated that they intend to present the Swedish prime minister with a list of demands when they meet for talks on Friday.

Fredrik Reinfeldt invited the ambassadors from 20 Muslim countries to government offices on Friday following a wave of protests from Muslim countries after the publication of a caricature of Muhammad in local newspaper Nerikes Allehanda.


Reinfeldt's press secretary Oscar Hållén was unable to say which countries had confirmed their attendance.

Egyptian ambassador Mohamed Sotouhi told news agency TT that he and a group of fellow ambassadors had agreed on a list of measures Sweden needed to take if it was to secure a long-term solution to the Muhammad cartoon controversy.

According to Sotouhi, "comprehensive measures" were required if Sweden was to prevent some "amateur artist" from reawakening tensions every other month.

"We want to see action, not just nice words. We have to push for a change in the law," he said.

"Muslims need legal protection against the desecration of the Prophet Muhammad, maybe something similar to the protection enjoyed by Jews and homosexuals."

While praising the "very constructive steps" taken by Fredrik Reinfeldt, the Egyptian ambassador said that Sweden had much work left to do.

"In the long term the school curriculum has to convince pupils that if they want to express their opinion they should do so in such a way that it doesn't cause offence or hurt. This should also be part of journalism training," said Sotouhi.

"A permanent parliamentary committee also needs to be established to tackle islamophobia," he added.

The ambassador urged Reinfeldt to strive towards "reaching a balance between freedom of speech and taking responsibility to avoid offending Muslims or other religious groups in this society".

"Everybody will compare his wisdom with the situation in Denmark, whose prime minister treated the problem with a sort of arrogance, or at least delayed taking action to prevent the problem from escalating," he said.

Sotouhi described Sweden as a sophisticated country containing talented and creative diplomats.

"They know that proactive measures are necessary and we are ready to cooperate with them," he said.

Algeria's ambassador to Sweden, Merzak Bedjaoui, said the meeting "was an excellent initiative taken in a spirit of appeasement."

"At our level, we are trying to work hand in hand with Swedish authorities to try to create a real bridge between our communities," he said.

"When we speak of a dialogue between civilisations, it can't just be a catchy slogan. I think that the publication of this kind of caricature doesn't help at all," he said.

Earlier in the day the Oscar Hållén said that the meeting would form "part of our dialogue with these countries."

"We want to emphasize the fact that Muslims and Christians live side by side in Sweden in a spirit of mutual respect," he said.

Hållén further added that the government intended to reiterate its earler defence of Swedish laws surrounding freedom of expression.

http://www.wnd.com/redir/r.asp?http.../8412/20070906/
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« Reply #123 on: September 14, 2007, 01:11:13 PM »

http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=101170&d=14&m=9&y=2007

 
Sweden Did Not Apologize on Behalf of Paper: Envoy
Siraj Wahab, Arab News
 
JEDDAH, 14 September 2007 — Sweden yesterday denied that its ambassador to Saudi Arabia apologized to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) for the publication of a caricature of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a Swedish newspaper.

According to a statement released to the media on Wednesday by the Jeddah-based organization, it was stated that the Swedish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Jan Thesleff, met OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on Tuesday in Jeddah and “offered his deepest apologies for the controversy created by the publishing of the hurtful depiction.”

The Swedish Foreign Ministry, however, immediately denied that the ambassador had made any apology, saying he had only expressed regret.

“The ambassador repeated his regret at the controversy created by the publication, but not for the publication itself,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Anna Bjorkander was quoted as saying by The Local newspaper of Sweden.

Bjorkander described the OIC’s interpretation of the meeting as a “misunderstanding.”

She told the Swedish newspaper that Thesleff was dissatisfied that the OIC had said he had apologized, but did not plan to demand that the organization change its statement. “He said he is not satisfied with the use of the word ‘apologize,’” Bjorkander said.

The publication of the caricature in the Swedish newspaper, Nerikes Allehanda, on Aug. 18 sparked anger in the Muslim world, with Egypt, Pakistan and Iran lodging formal protests with the Swedish government.

During his meeting with the Swedish ambassador, the OIC chief had conveyed his “concerns that this kind of irresponsible and provocative incitement in the name of defending freedom of expression was leading the international community toward more confrontation and division.”

Ihsanoglu strongly condemned the newspaper for publishing the blasphemous caricature saying it was an irresponsible and despicable act with malicious and provocative intentions in the name of freedom of expression.

“The caricature was intended solely to insult and arouse the sentiments of Muslims of the world,” he said.

“The international community was well aware of the serious impact of such publications that were globally felt during the controversy created by the publication of similar cartoons in a Danish newspaper last year,” he said.

The Swedish ambassador informed Ihsanoglu that his government had taken careful and serious note of his statement and acted in a proactive manner at an early stage. “Sweden feels that the best possible action to resolve the crisis is to choose the path of dialogue,” he said and pointed out that Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt had taken immediate steps by offering his personal regrets to the Muslim community in Sweden.

“Sweden is a country where people of different faiths can live together side by side,” the Swedish prime minister said in his statement late last month. “The foundation of this, our social model, is mutual respect and understanding, but also a desire for joint repudiation of offensive acts as well as acts of violence or aggression.”

While expressing regret, the Swedish prime minister pointed out that Sweden’s social model is based on the premise that politicians must not pass judgment on freedom of the press and expression.

Ihsanoglu welcomed the prime minister’s statement. However, he felt, there was a need for a legal mechanism for stopping the recurrence of such extreme provocation.

He said by intentionally offending the sentiments of 1.3 billion Muslims, these caricaturists were leading the international community toward more confrontation and division and providing extremist and deviant ideologies with valuable ammunition.
 
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« Reply #124 on: September 15, 2007, 09:30:38 AM »

Al Qaeda Offers Bounty for Murder of Swedish Cartoonist
Saturday , September 15, 2007



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CAIRO, Egypt —

The leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq offered money for the murder of a Swedish cartoonist and his editor who recently produced images deemed insulting to Islam, according to a statement carried by Islamist Web sites Saturday.

In a half hour audio file entitled "They plotted yet God too was plotting," Abu Omar al-Baghdadi also named the other insurgent groups in Iraq that Al Qaeda was fighting and promised new attacks, particularly against the minority Yazidi sect.

"We are calling for the assassination of cartoonist Lars Vilks who dared insult our Prophet, peace be upon him, and we announce a reward during this generous month of Ramadan of $100,000 for the one who kills this criminal," the transcript on the Web site said.

The Al Qaeda leader upped the reward for Vilks' death to $150,000 if he was "slaughtered like a lamb" and offered $50,000 for the killing of the editor of Nerikes Allehanda, the Swedish paper that printed Vilks' cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad with a dog's body on Aug. 19.

Vilks said from Sweden he believed the matter of his cartoons had been blown out of proportion.

"We have a real problem here," Vilks told The Associated Press by telephone. "We can only hope that Muslims in Europe and in the Western world choose to distance themselves from this and support the idea of freedom of expression."

Ulf Johansson, editor in chief of Nerikes Allehanda, said he took the bounty "more seriously" than other threats he had received. "This is more explicit. It's not every day somebody puts a price on your head."

Johansson said he had contacted the police and that they had already started work on the threat.

Aside from a few scattered protests and condemnations by Muslim countries, the reaction to the cartoon has been muted, in contrast to last year's fiery protests that erupted in several Muslim countries after a Danish newspaper published 12 cartoons of Muhammad that were reprinted in a range of Western media.

In an attempt to defuse the tensions caused by the cartoon in both Sweden and abroad, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt last week invited 22 Sweden-based ambassadors from Muslim countries to talk about the sketch.

Reinfeldt expressed regret at the hurt it may have caused, but said that according to Swedish law it is not up to politicians to punish the free press.

Al-Baghdadi added in his message that if the "crusader state of Sweden" didn't apologize, his organization would also attack major companies.

"We know how to force you to retreat and apologize and if you don't, wait for us to strike the economy of your giant companies including Ericsson, Scania, Volvo, Ikea, and Electrolux," he said.

No photo has ever appeared of al-Baghdadi, whom the U.S. describes as a fictitious character used to give an Iraqi face to an organization dominated by foreigners.

The U.S. has said that under interrogation, a top Al-Qaeda member revealed that al-Baghdadi's speeches are read by an actor.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq in the past has carried out operations in Jordan and may have links to militant groups in Lebanon, but is not known to have any kind of presence in Europe.
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« Reply #125 on: September 21, 2007, 09:34:24 AM »

September 21, 2007

"Muhammad cat" cartoonist gets one month in jail; magazine banned

"Unfortunately, Muslims in the West must live with the local laws on freedom of expression." But for how long?
An update on this story. "Bangladesh detains cartoonist for offending Islam," from IslamOnline (thanks to Paul):
A Bangladeshi cartoonist has been detained for drawing a caricature offensive to Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Bangladesh witnessed mass protests after the publication of an anti-Islamic caricature by cartoonist Arifur Rahman.
The offensive cartoon, published in the 431st issue of Alpin, a weekly supplement of Bangladesh daily Prothom Alo, led to a one-month jail sentence to Rahman after the Bangladeshi Home Affairs Minister ruled that his drawings hurt Muslims’ feelings.

Islam was introduced to Bangladesh in the twelfth century by Sufi missionaries, and subsequent Muslim conquests helped spread the noble faith. Even though religion is practiced in a moderate manner in Bangladesh, the government bans any insult to Islam.

According to the BBC, the cartoon featured a conversation between a cleric and a child and ended with a joke about Prophet Mohammed's (PBUH) name.

The head of clerics of Dhaka’s main mosques filed complaints against the cartoonist who was arrested from his residence last Tuesday and handed over to the Tejgaon police station.
Rahman violated Section 54 code of criminal procedure and under such emergency laws; the government has the authority to detain people without charge if they are deemed to threaten national security.

Meanwhile, Prothom Alo published an apology on its front page for the “unfortunate publication”, withdrew the copies of that issue from the market and fired the cartoonist.
However, many in Bangladesh did not view such measures as enough and demanded that the newspaper be shut down....
Muslims might be a little relieved that those who offend their religion get punished in some countries as this is not the first time that involves the publication of anti-Islamic cartoons....

Western media often claims that such offensive cartoons shouldn’t anger Muslims and that their publication do not violate the laws of “freedom of expression“.

Unfortunately, Muslims in the West must live with the local laws on freedom of expression, Ibrahim el-Zayat, of the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe, told the BBC....

"Magazine banned for 'Mohammad cat' cartoon," from Reuters (thanks to JE):
BANGLADESH has suspended publication of a magazine after a cartoon it published this week triggered protests by Muslims who said it was offensive to the devout.

The suspension of publication of the Alpin, the weekly satire magazine of leading Bengali daily Prothom Alo, was ordered as some Muslim groups called for a street protest after Friday noon prayers, and a march towards the Prophom Alo office.
The daily has apologised for the cartoon in which a small boy referred to his cat as "Mohammad cat".

The protesters said it was a deliberate attempt by the cartoonist to ridicule Islam's Prophet Mohammad....
Police said that to avert any violence over the cartoon they would strictly enforce emergency laws banning protests and rallies.

"We shall impose a tight watch around Dhaka's Baitul Mokarram mosque from where the protesters would likely start their march," said a police officer.

Police have also deployed outside the daily's office.
Prothom Alo published a third apology toay and appealed to all to take the printing of the cartoon as a mistake.

On Wednesday police broke up a street march by hundreds of Islamists in Dhaka, demanding "death to the Prothom Alo editor" and "hang the cartoonist".

A government statement on Thursday said: "The magazine in its 431st issue has hurt the sentiment of devoted Muslims" and risked upsetting law and order....

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« Reply #126 on: November 03, 2007, 09:18:59 PM »

The Al Qaeda Reader: A Review

By Gary H. Johnson, Jr.
A review of
The Al Qaeda Reader
Raymond Ibrahim, Editor/translator.
$15.95, 282 pp.

Recently, Raymond Ibrahim edited and translated into English a decade's worth of public releases by al Qaeda's leadership.  Published by Broadway Books, with partial proceeds donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ibrahim's The Al Qaeda Reader is not only a timely fountainhead for the United States citizenry's understanding of our Jihadi enemies, it is also a necessary release for all Muslims living under secular governments to grapple with in the coming years.

The text focuses on the prepared statements of both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leading authority figures of the Al Qaeda forces, which coordinated and carried out the devastating attacks of 9/11/2001.   Since Muhammad's definition of war is "deceit", and al Qaeda has declared war against America, we can only assume that these al Qaeda releases hold a two-fold purpose:  to provide sound, doctrinal justification for terrorism; and to gather popular support for their cause. 

Raymond Ibrahim tackles these angles admirably well by splitting the releases into the broader sections:  Theology and Propaganda.  This revealing text brings forth the Doctrines of Loyalty and Enmity, Jahaliyya, Taqiyya, in jihadi context for the Western witness.  It also sheds light on the source blood of the modern Islamist mentality in terms of ibn Taymiyya as well as the pivotal battle of Taif eight years after Muhammad's celebrated Hegira to Medina.

Part 1, Theology, begins with a thesis entitled, "Moderate Islam is a Prostration to the West".   What is obvious from this essay is that Osama bin Laden feels betrayed by the Muslim Intellectuals (particularly of Saudi Arabia) who would seek to stamp out extremism by helping President Bush in his "Crusade" against Islam.  Bush's actual statement was made on September 16th, 2001: "This Crusade, this war on terror, is going to take a while."  Regardless of President Bush's intent, the slip was made, and Osama bin Laden berates these "Moderate Muslims" for not including into their dialogue, with the Western Crusaders, three central elements of the Islamic Faith:  the doctrine of Loyalty and Enmity; the necessity of jihad; and the bounds of Sharia.

Osama bin Laden chides the moderates for seeking the UN's concept of equality, freedom, and justice, which differ from the Islamic Notions, of the same, in the sunna tradition.  This train of thought rolls like a juggernaut into its culmination on page 43 when Osama places down the cornerstone of Al Qaeda, the Koranic ayat (sign/verse) 60:4, in which Allah via his Messenger, Muhammad, summarizes the Muslim-Infidel relation as plainly exampled by Abraham, when he states
"We disown you and that which you worship besides Allah.  We renounce you. Enmity and hate shall forever reign between us--till you believe in Allah alone."
Bin Laden lays the brick with ease, stating,
"Battle, animosity, and hatred - directed from the Muslim to the infidel - is the foundation of our religion.  And we consider this a justice and kindness to them."  [emphasis added]
Osama is vexed by the pesky Moderates, since they don't uphold Islam while dealing with the West.  After all, he notes that,
"Muslims are obligated to raid the lands of the infidels, occupy them, and exchange their systems of governance for an Islamic system, barring any practice that contradicts the sharia..."
It is as if bin Laden is saying, if only these moderates had simply invited the West to submit to Islam; but, instead, by cooperating with the West, they have become apostates, denying the ultimate truth of Islam its rightful place above the Infidel, who has only three options when confronted with the Islamic faith: conversion to Islam, paying the Jizya tax, or death.

Part 1 continues with a Treatise by Ayman al-Zawahiri entitled "Loyalty and Enmity", in which he expounds upon Osama bin Laden's efforts.  The controversial topic of Taqiyya is broached in which it is permissible for Muslims to associate with infidels to dissemble rather than befriend.  Taqiyya basically states that if forced to deal with infidels, lie and smile, remain secure in faith, knowing you are not helping the enemy.  Loyalty comes first, for all Muslims must heed ibn Taymiyya when he states,
"...he is obligated to befriend a believer - even if he is oppressive and violent toward you, while he must be hostile to the infidel - even if he is liberal and kind to you." 
Al-Zawahiri confirms that all Muslims are ordered to wage jihad against infidels, apostates, and hypocrites by the consensus of the ulema (jurists of accepted hadith).

It is in this vein that ibn Taymiyyah's power is demonstrated in the line of Islamic jurists, for repulsing an invading force is second only to faith in Allah as a duty to Islam.  Ibn Kathir then shows his value by verifying that unquestioning obedience to the will of the ulema is the right path of submission to Allah, while doubt and refusal to adhere is caused by fear.

But by far the most striking feature of this lengthy treatise comes when he notes those leaders that Al Qaeda has targeted, "that clique of rulers who, while domineering over the lands of Islam, oppose sharia."  Al-Zawahiri proceeds to enumerate the Arabian Peninsula, Gulf Emirates, Egypt, and Jordan as the secular clique of governments that aid the Crusader armies against the Mujahidin. 

He goes on to state that anyone who joins the UN is not a true Muslim, calling them Henchmen of the Crusaders.  He takes aim at the cowards who oppose sharia out of fear that the Crusaders will hurt them.  And al-Zawahiri then pounds on the Northern Alliance Muslims who are aiding the American cause in Afghanistan.  This juristic wrangling is the establishment of a purge to come.  One can only wonder what type of purge is in store for these apostates should Al Qaeda win or become desperate.  And if you doubt the purge to come, consider that the Tawhid (Oneness) of God, demands Submission to Allah and Fear of Allah, alone; yet, in this treatise's conclusion, al-Zawahiri states,
"We warn our umma against falling to defeatism and ignoring the dangers that oppressively lie atop our chests.  Behold! the Crusader-Jewish military machine...  It gears its aggression against us through a network of submissive rulers."
What happens to apostates again?

Part 1 culminates with two shorter treatises by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the first of which is entitled "Sharia and Democracy" and is simply an extract from his 1991 release, Bitter Harvest: The Muslim Brotherhood in Sixty Years.  The importance of this section is in the simplicity with which democracy is labeled as the defining difference between Muslims and infidels, namely, Muslims submit to God, while infidels submit to men.  Al-Zawahiri takes the consensus view of seven different jurists of the ulema, the source of Sharia Law, to explain why democratic government, created by the whims of men and nations is "a motley set of contrived rules".

Not only that, democracy is a primitive form of religion in comparison to faithful submission to Allah's Sharia.  As proof for this rationale, Zawahiri examines Seven Islamic Jurist opinions, including those of the sheik of Islam, Ibn Taymiyya, and the father of radical Islam, Sayyid Qutb, all of which consider the rules of men to be a jahiliyya initiative, which is an attempt to bring mankind back to the time of man's law, before the Divine Koran was delivered, before the time of Muhammad, when true Sovereignty was ordained to Allah, by Allah himself.

This section is a revealing legalist perspective on why democracy is idolatry, the earmark of infidelity, and punishable by death.  But, the most startling outburst in this treatise comes as a response to the "equality" to be had under democratic institutions, raging that there isn't anything more blasphemous than a society that does not limit apostasy (with death), abolishes jihad against infidelity, abolishes the protection tax and second-class dhimmi status of infidels, and (to top it off) abolishes man's dominion over women.  But in order to understand the impact of these ruminations on the Islamic community, one must trace back to Sayyid Qutb, who provides the just definition of democracy as a religion.  Without this linchpin, the argument just sounds like raving lunacy and an attack on reason.

The Second of the minor treatises, "Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents" is actually al-Zawahiri's master stroke of blending ulema doctrines in order to justify his chief weapon of deception in his war on America:  the suicide bomber.  For thirty odd pages, he examines suicide and "proves" that the intent of the suicide determines whether it is a sin or an act of martyrdom.  But by far the most striking element in this treatise is the examination of accidental killing of innocents or fellow Muslims, which culminates in Ibn Tamiyya's statement,
"Based on the consensus of the ulema, those Muslims who are accidentally killed are martyrs; and the obligatory jihad should never be abandoned because it creates martyrs."
This is the logic that America needs to understand.  America must come to grips with the fact that the jihad is obligatory to the Islamic faithful.  Thus, with a sweep of historic citations, Ayman al-Zawahiri, utilizes the sheik of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, whom all Muslims adhere or respect, to define defensive jihad as second only to faith in Islam, and at the same time justifies suicide bombing in the measure of antiquity... via ijma, or parallels, to Muhammad's battle of Ta'if.

Part 2, Propaganda, is a hodgepodge of shorter releases, aimed at specific groups, and documented in order to seek popular support for methods and aims as well as provide the righteous sword of reciprocity for all to see.   Strangely, in "Why are We Fighting You", Osama bin Laden begins listing reasons for Al Qaeda's war with the West, and ironically claims that the clique of secular Islamic governments give true Muslims "...a taste of humiliation, placing us in a large prison of fear and submission."

In "Your Fate is in Your Hands Alone," Osama bin Laden tells the touching story of tragedy in the 1982 occupation of Lebanon by Israel, with American support, which filled his heart with nebulous ideas concerning occupation and repelling the oppressor regimes of Islam, and lo! a freedom fighter was born.   But it is not until bin Laden offers a truce to America that we see plain the intentions of al Qaeda for the long run, when he states,
"You have occupied our lands, transgressed against our manhood and dignity, spilled our blood, plundered our wealth, destroyed our homes, dislocated us, and played with our security -- and we will give you the same treatment."
Words like these seem to give weight to President Bush's notion that if we tuck tail and run in Iraq (a process called redeployment in some circles), the terrorists will follow us home, especially when you take into account a previous promise of bin Laden:
"...this has not been because of a failure to break through your security measures.  The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your own homes once they are readied."
Bin Laden hints at possible future targets in his "To the Muslims of Iraq", when he defines the countries most in need of liberation:  Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.   But as far as recent news is concerned, the five releases under the theme heading, "The Youth of Islam" basically state that men over 25 are busy building families, and those under 15 are still dependent on parents, while those Muslims between 15 and 25 are strongly urged to join ranks with Al Qaeda.  This call virtually  demands that "profiling" be implemented in all transit areas on men between 15 and 25, especially since the 2007 July Pew Report of Islam in America notes that "26 percent of Muslims [in America] age 18 to 29 believe that suicide bombing can be justified" (Newsweek Special Report, July 30, p. 31).  To attempt to view the issue in any other way is suicide by denial.

The purpose of revolutionary propaganda is to gather popular support, to justify the righteousness of the cause, to generate outrage and fervor in its proponents, and to demonstrate why victory is inevitable for the righteous few.  Part 2 of Ibrahim's text, Propaganda, demonstrates these purposes well; however, it is the Soviet paradigm of victory which is the least convincing.  The key element in this battle according to both Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri is Patience.  The element is woven through every treatise and release. It is the belief that like Soviet Russia while fighting with Afghanistan, America will, through its "War on Terror" grow politically fractured, will eventually go bankrupt and will split apart, by the grace of Allah. 

It would be hubris to say that America can't go the way of the dodo. Yet, while the opinions in this country are divided almost 50-50 on every issue, it is this freedom to have a polarity of opinion that differentiates America from both the communism of Stalin and Khrushchev and the rigid, puritanical Islam of al Qaeda.  And, in the end, the resilience of capitalism's inequalities compared with the desperate equality of communism promises only the inevitability of exhaustion for al Qaeda, hence its call for Muslim youth to dedicate their lives to Jihad.

In full, Raymond Ibrahim's text The Al Qaeda Reader provides the world of English-speakers many lessons that we may choose to learn or dismiss.  Chief among these lessons is that in Islam there is no separation between Mosque and State.  For years, since the fall of the Twin Towers, moderate Muslims have claimed their religion had been hijacked by fundamentalists, literalists, radicals, and extremists; and, now the West has been apprised of the twisted view of two of these hijackers.

Is this message of hate the literalist perspective of Islam laid bare for the world to see?  And if it is, what does it teach the World of English-speakers about the Koran's content, intent, and merit?  The fact is, all Muslims believe the Koran to be the literal, uncorrupted word of Allah, written in the celestial language of Arabic.  Moving past the arrogance necessary to declare to the world that any language is that of God, what does this text teach us about the original words of the Islamic God?  Has the God of Islam, Allah, demanded His followers to wage jihad on all infidels in a quest to force the entire planet to convert, pay alms, or die?  And if the Koran is the literal, uncorrupted, Word and Warning of Allah; then, why would we, infidels, ever consider "Peaceful" a religion which promises our demise as sovereign states in one form or another, following obligatory genocidal purges, inquisitions, enslavements, indoctrination, trials of apostasy, and the death of the very idea of American Freedom, and the death of every value held as heroic in the West?  For the West's concepts of equality, justice and freedom do not hold parallel with the Koran's or Sharia's view of the same.

In full, Raymond Ibrahim's release The Al Qaeda Reader is a necessary addition to the scholarship of jihad.  The text begs the question: does the doctrine proclaimed by al Qaeda's leadership, now widely known among the world's Muslims,  guarantee a state of perpetual war against the whole of humanity?  And if so, what is the process of eradication of these elements from the Ulema consensus in order to defuse this ticking bomb of world-wide genocide?

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/the_al_qaeda_reader_a_review.html at November 03, 2007 - 10:04:23 PM EDT
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« Reply #127 on: November 04, 2007, 01:46:19 PM »

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« Reply #128 on: November 12, 2007, 09:06:57 AM »

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=58595

LAW OF THE LAND
Students who 'desecrated' terrorist flags vindicated
Judge cancels university policies protecting Hezbollah, Hamas banners

Posted: November 9, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


College Republican member argues with Palestinian supporter at Oct. 17 anti-terrorism rally at San Francisco State University (Photo: Golden Gate Xpress)
In a decision hailed as a victory for free speech, a federal judge ordered San Francisco State University and the California State University system to stop enforcing speech codes used to prosecute students for the "desecration" of flags used by terrorist groups.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Wayne Brazil issued a preliminary injunction to bar the schools from enforcing several policies challenged in a lawsuit. One required students to act in accordance with SFSU "goals, principles, and policies" and another, a CSU system-wide policy, called for students "to be civil to one another."

"This decision is a vital step in the fight against unconstitutional campus speech codes," said Greg Lukianoff, president of the non-profit advocacy group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE. "The court's decision frees hundreds of thousands of students throughout the CSU system from unlawful restrictions on their expression."

The judge, who described himself at the hearing as a "friend of the First Amendment," also limited the CSU system's ability to enforce a policy prohibiting "intimidation" and "harassment," holding that the policy could only be applied to conduct that "reasonably is concluded to threaten or endanger the health or safety of any other person."

The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund defended the SFSU College Republicans and two of the group's members in cooperation with FIRE.


San Francisco State University

As WND reported in March, the university decided – after months of pressure – not to punish College Republicans who had been accused of desecrating the name of Allah by stepping on makeshift Hezbollah and Hamas flags at an anti-terrorism rally.

The trouble began at an Oct. 17, 2006, anti-terrorism rally in which the students stepped on butcher paper painted to resemble the flags of the Middle East terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah. The College Republicans say they simply copied the script from an image on the Internet and didn't know it bore the name of Allah in Arabic script.

A student who is not a member of the club had filed a complaint with university officials after the protest.

The student claimed that the Republican students engaged in "acts of incivility" and "intimidation" and created a "hostile environment" by publicly walking over the terrorist flags.

"I believe that the complaint is [about] the desecration of Allah," a university official told the San Francisco Chronicle.

SFSU President Robert A. Corrigan eventually wrote that the Student Organization Hearing Panel "unanimously concluded that the College Republicans organization had not violated the Student Code of Conduct and that there were no grounds to support the student complaint lodged against them."

But FIRE contended the speech codes led to a "burdensome, unnecessary investigation and five months of ridicule and harassment for these students," even though they did nothing but exercise their constitutional rights.

The ADF lawsuit asked the court to strike down the ill-defined speech code policies of SFSU and the entire California State University system at issue in the investigation.

ADF attorney David Hacker said Judge Brazil's decision this week "sends a clear message to administrators in California and nationwide that they are not above the Constitution."

The San Francisco State and California State University system case is the latest victory in FIRE's Speech Codes Litigation Project, which seeks to "dismantle unconstitutional speech codes on public university campuses." Other schools wher the group has seen success are Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, Texas Tech University, the State University of New York at Brockport and California's Citrus College.

"FIRE's Speech Codes Litigation Project has ended virtually every code it has challenged," Lukianoff said. "At public universities, these vague and overbroad speech codes are unconstitutional, period. Courts have held this again and again, yet somehow the scandal of campus speech codes continues."
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« Reply #129 on: November 12, 2007, 04:47:20 PM »

This piece from the NY Times raises some points worth considering-- others are , , , very NY Times.

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By ROGER COHEN
Published: November 12, 2007
In the gym at the NATO base in Kabul, U.S. soldiers hit the treadmills every morning and gaze at TV screens broadcasting Al Jazeera’s English news channel. When Osama bin Laden makes news, as he did recently with a statement about Iraq, America’s finest work out beneath the solemn gaze of their most wanted enemy.

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 This sounds like a scene from Donald Rumsfeld’s private hell. The former secretary of defense dismissed Al Jazeera as a “mouthpiece of Al Qaeda.” He once called the network, which is based in and owned by Qatar, “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable.”

In an indication of what the Bush administration thinks of Al Jazeera journalism (and habeas corpus), it has locked up one of the network’s cameramen, Sami al-Hajj, in Guantánamo Bay for more than five years without charging him.

The choice of viewing at the NATO gym is a lot wiser than Rumsfeld’s choice of words or the terrible treatment of Hajj. America, and not just its front-line soldiers, needs to watch Al Jazeera to understand how the world has changed. Any other course amounts to self-destructive blindness.

The first change that must be grasped is America’s diminished ability to influence people. Global access to information now amounts to an immense à la carte menu. Networks escape control. To hundreds of millions of people accessing information for the first time, from central China to Kenya’s Rift Valley, the United States can easily look exclusive and less relevant to their future.

The second essential change is the erosion of American power. Samantha Power, the author and Harvard professor, calls this “the core fact of recent years.”

America’s hard power — its military — is compromised by intractable counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Its economy is strained; witness the ever feebler dollar. Its soft power — the resonance of the American idea — has been hurt by a loss of legitimacy (Hajj languishing) and by incompetence (Iraq).

The third essential change is the solidification of anti-Americanism as a political idea. Jihadist Islamism is the most violent expression of this, but its agents benefit from swimming in a sea of less murderous resentments.

In response to all this, America can say to heck with an ungrateful world. It can mutter about third, even fourth, world wars. Therein lies a downward spiral. Or it can try to grasp the new, multinetworked world as it is.

To this world Al Jazeera English offers a useful primer. The network can be tendentious — bin Laden’s face up there for several minutes — in stomach-turning ways. But, over all, its striving for balanced reporting from a distinct perspective seems genuine.

A year after its launch, it reaches 100 million households worldwide. Its focus is on “reporting from the political south to the political north,” as Nigel Parsons, its managing director, put it. The world it presents, more from the impact than the launch point of U.S. missiles, is one that must be understood.

Yet, the network has been sidelined in the United States. Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, told me: “There’s definitely an attitude here that these guys are the enemy. But in the Mideast, Asia and Europe they have a credibility the U.S. desperately needs.”

Moran met recently with Al Jazeera English executives seeking to extend the service’s Lilliputian reach here. Right now, you can watch it in Toledo, Ohio, through Buckeye Cablesystem, which reaches 147,000 homes.

Or, if you’re in Burlington, Vt., a municipal cable service offers the network to about 1,000 homes. Washington Cable, in the capital, reaches half that. Better options are YouTube or GlobeCast satellite distribution.

These are slim pickings. Al Jazeera English is far more accessible in Israel. Allan Block, the chairman of Block Communications, which owns Buckeye, told me: “It’s a good channel. Sir David Frost and David Marash are not terrorists. The attempt to blackball it is neo-McCarthyism.”

Block, like other cable providers, got protest letters from Accuracy in Media, a conservative watchdog. Cliff Kincaid, its editor, cites the case of Tayseer Allouni, a former Afghanistan correspondent jailed in Spain for Al Qaeda links. This is evidence, he suggests, that “cable providers shouldn’t give them access.”

Most cable companies have bowed to the pressure while denying politics influenced their decisions. “It just comes down to channel capacity and other programming options,” Jenni Moyer, a Comcast spokeswoman, told me.

Nonsense, says Representative Moran, blaming “political winds plus a risk-averse corporate structure.”

These political winds hurt America. Counterinsurgency has been called armed social science. To win, you must understand the world you’re in.

Comparative courses in how Al Jazeera, CNN, the BBC and U.S. networks portray the Iraq war and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be taught in all U.S. high schools and colleges. Al Jazeera English should be widely available.



You are invited to comment at my blog: www.iht.com/passages.
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« Reply #130 on: November 26, 2007, 06:07:21 PM »

British Teacher Faces 40 Lashes for Naming Class Teddy Bear 'Muhammad'
Monday, November 26, 2007



A British primary school teacher arrested in Sudan faces up to 40 lashes for blasphemy after letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, was arrested at at Khartoum's Unity High School yesterday, and accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam.

Her colleagues said that they feared for her safety after reports that groups of young men had gathered outside the Khartoum police station where she was taken and were shouting death threats.

The Unity school is a Christian-run but multi-racial and co-educational private school that is popular with Sudanese professionals and expatriate workers.

Bishop Ezekiel Kondo, chairman of the school council, told The Times that the school was in dispute with authorities over taxes, and suggested that Gibbons, who arrived in Khartoum in August, may have been caught up in that.

"The thing may be very simple but there are people who are trying to make it bigger. It's a kind of blackmail," he said.

Teachers at the school, in central Khartoum, a mile from the Nile River, said that Gibbons had made an innocent mistake by letting her pupils choose their favorite name for the toy as part of a school project.


Robert Boulos, the Unity director, said Gibbons was following a British National Curriculum course designed to teach young pupils about animals and their habitats. This year’s animal was the bear.

In September, she asked a girl to bring in her teddy bear to help the class focus and then asked the children to name the toy.

“They came up with eight names including Abdullah, Hassan and Muhammad. Then she explained what it meant to vote and asked them to choose the name,” Boulos said.

Twenty out of the 23 children chose Muhammad. Each child was allowed to take the bear home for weekends and asked to keep a diary about what they did with the toy. Each entry was collected in a book with a picture of the bear on the cover, next to the message "My name is Muhammad."

Boulos said that the bear itself was not marked or labeled with the name in any way, adding that Sudanese police had now seized the book and asked to interview the 7-year-old girl who brought in the bear.

He said that he had decided to close down the school until January for fear of reprisals in Sudan’s predominantly Muslim capital.

“This is a very sensitive issue. We are very worried about her safety,” he said. “This was a completely innocent mistake. Ms. Gibbons would have never wanted to insult Islam.”

The British Embassy in Khartoum said that it was still unclear whether Gibbons had been charged formally. “We are following it up with the authorities and trying to meet her in person,” it said.

Under Sudan's Sharia law, blasphemy could attract a large fine, 40 lashes or a jail term of up to six months.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,312895,00.html
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« Reply #131 on: November 29, 2007, 05:40:08 PM »



Cabinet warns Wilders on anti-Koran film

Wednesday 28 November 2007
The cabinet is concerned about a ‘provocative’ film about the Koran by anti-immigration party PVV leader Geert Wilders which he expects to be shown on tv at the end of January.
The justice, foreign and home affairs ministers, who are worried about a backlash from Islamic countries, have warned Wilders about the risks of screening such a film.
Justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin stressed that while Wilders is free to express his views about the Koran, he also has a responsibility towards society in general. ‘Think about the what the repercussions could be,’ he said.
If the film is hard-hitting, it could evoke hard-hitting reactions against himself and others,’ says the minister. Those who want a free debate must show respect for all religions and for things that are sacrosanct for others, he said.
Wilders says it is not the aim of his film to insult people but if they are insulted, that is ‘a pity but not my problem’. He says he wants Muslims to realise that the Koran is a ‘terrible and fascist’ book which inspires people to commit ‘terrible’ deeds.
He repeated his belief that the Koran, like Hitler’s Mein Kampf, should be banned in the Netherlands.
Abdelmajid Khairoun, chairman of the Dutch umbrella organisation of Muslim organisations, said Wilders’ film would damage not only Muslims but the Netherlands in general. In addition it could lead to a boycott of Dutch products similar to the anti-Danish reaction which followed the controversy about cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed two years ago.

© DutchNews.nl
===================

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http://www.aftenposten.no/english/lo...cle2126760.ece

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Thursday that Krekar, the former head of Islamic guerrilla group Ansar al Islam, told a Kurdish web site that he's sure the Norwegian authorities will never deport him, because that would spark "reaction" against Norway from his Islamic supporters.
Krekar told web site Awane that the "reaction" would come from his relatives, from an armed group, and also from those who follow his religious teachings and sympathize with him.
The groups, he said, "probably are from Somalia or Morocco." He refused to specify what type of "reaction" he expected.
Krekar's remarks are being widely interpreted as new threats against Norway, and that, predictably enough, has sparked more anger among Norwegians who can't understand why Krekar remains in the country.
The official version is that Krekar faces a death sentence if sent back to his native Iraq. Norway won't deport anyone if their lives would officially be in danger, and no other country has volunteered to take over responsibility for Krekar.
The mullah originally came to Norway as a refugee, later won permission to have his family join him, and since has lived largely off Norwegian welfare. He first got in trouble with Norwegian authorities when it became known that he had repeatedly violated the terms of his asylum by traveling voluntarily back to northern Iraq, to lead the guerrilla group. US authorities have long considered Krekar a terrorist suspect.
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« Reply #132 on: December 20, 2007, 09:43:43 AM »


Muslims call ham sandwich hate crime

 
Sher Zieve
April 24, 2007


As they are "highly offensive" to Muslims, it appears that our politically correct leftist-run middle school system will soon no longer allow any pork products on school property. At Lewiston, ME Middle School, placing pork in the mere presence of Muslims is currently being called a hate crime. Note: Jews also believe pork is unclean but, there has never been any effort by the public school system to remove pork, in order to honor their religious beliefs. That is reserved solely for Muslims. For that matter, celebrations of Christian holidays are being summarily removed from the public school system, while Muslim holidays are commemorated — and Muslim foot washing basins and prayer rooms are being built. All manner of Islamic demands, no matter what the complaint, are being met and Islam is quickly and clearly being established as the "superior" religion in the USA — now in the public school systems and, no doubt, soon in the entire country.

The latest incident of "Muslim outrage" involves a middle-school student purportedly placing a ham sandwich wrapped in a baggie on a lunch table where Somali Muslim students sit. One 14 year-old unnamed Somali student is reported to have said: "At the school the next day, I didn't feel safe. I felt like everybody was against me. Before I felt like I fit in, and everything was normal." The ham-placing "offending student" has been suspended, the Maine middle school is calling the placing of the ham sandwich a "hate crime" and the local police are investigating the child. More charges against the child may be forthcoming. School Superintendent Leon Levesque said: "The school incident is being treated seriously as a hate incident!" Then, in the true and remarkable spirit of the Kumbaya-for-Islam set, Levesque added: "We've got some work to do to turn this around and bring the school community back together again." Note: Again, 'presenting pork' is only an offense and "hate crime" if it involves Muslims.

Even the Portland, ME based Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence has become involved. Its Executive Director Stephen Wessler immediately went off the deep end and commented: "It's extraordinarily hurtful and degrading to Muslims, whose religion prohibits them from being around ham. It's important to respond swiftly." Huh? Respond swiftly to an evil ham sandwich? Wessler then added warningly: "Incidents like this that involve degrading language or conduct are often said by the perpetrator as a joke. I know that conduct is never static. It's part of a process of escalation!" Is Wessler actually saying: "Today it's a ham sandwich, tomorrow it's the world!"? What has happened to the alleged minds of our supposedly educated adults, when a non-threatening childish prank is raised to the level of a hate crime? Oh — I forgot. To Muslims we are now being led to believe that everything is potentially threatening. However, real threats from real Islamic terrorists are increasingly discounted by our PC society. 9/11 is a fading memory in all too many minds and Islamic Imams can not only threaten passengers on planes but, then turn around and sue said passengers for complaining about them!

Now, not only do we have Congressional leaders working to appease each and every aspect of Islam that has vowed to destroy us but, we have the US public school system bowing to all complaints — or even potential complaints — from Muslim students and their parents. Of course, any and all complaints from Christian and Jewish students are ignored. Special privileges are progressively being given to Muslims and even facilities are being built, with tax payer dollars, for them on US campuses. No such privileges or construction projects are being afforded to or for any other religious group. And too many are continuing to remain silent. In this case, as in others, silence equates to acceptance. Islam is taking over the USA from both without and within — apparently with the consent of the new 'silent majority.' It's a tragedy that SCOTUS did not include mosques in its ruling on the separation of church and state. It has not only come back to haunt and bite us but, will soon render we-the-people and our country as only so much dust in the wind. If we do not now speak up loudly at these injustices and inequities, soon we won't be allowed to speak at all.

http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=58204

http://proteinwisdom.com/index.php?/weblog/entry/22914/#260316

http://www.aim.org/guest_column/5317_0_6_0_C/

http://www.aina.org/news/20070418103800.htm

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/challenges.php?id=903490

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Separation_of_church_and_state


Sher Zieve is an author, political commentator, and staff writer for The New Media Alliance (www.thenma.org). Zieve's op-ed columns are widely carried by multiple internet journals and sites, and she also writes hard news. Her columns have also appeared in The Oregon Herald, Dallas Times, Boston Star, Massachusetts Sun, Sacramento Sun, in international news publications, and on multiple university websites. Ms. Zieve is currently working on her first political book: "The Liberal's Guide To Conservatives."
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« Reply #133 on: December 20, 2007, 09:57:01 AM »

Stand By Steyn
by Robert Spencer

Posted: 12/19/2007


The Canadian Human Rights Commission and the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal have begun proceedings against Mark Steyn, author of America Alone. They are responding to complaints from the Canadian Islamic Congress about an excerpt from the book that was published in the Canadian journal Maclean’s. “The article,” the CIC claims, “subjects Canadian Muslims to hatred and contempt,” and was “flagrantly Islamophobic.”

To be sure, the article was pretty strong stuff. Here’s a bit of it: “There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe -- without swords, without guns, without conquests. The fifty million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.” Even worse, it goes on to say: “Just look at the development within Europe, where the number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes. Every Western woman in the EU is producing an average of 1.4 children. Every Muslim woman in the same countries is producing 3.5 children.”

“A Muslim continent”! “The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes”! No wonder the CIC was upset. And not just the CIC: writer Jim Henley, whose articles have appeared in The New Republic and The American Spectator Online, quoted the “mosquitoes” line and called Steyn a “racist.” There were just two problems: The “Muslim continent” statement is not only factual, it’s stated in words no one can characterize as inflammatory. (Also, it’s been said by Libya’s strongman Muammar Qaddafi). Second, “The number of Muslims is expanding like mosquitoes” was not Steyn’s phrase. He was quoting Mullah Krekar, a jihadist who currently resides in Norway, although officials have been trying for years to get him out of the country..

And that sums up the problem with the Canadian human rights commissions’ action against Steyn: he was simply reporting on contemporary European reality. It was not Mark Steyn, but Algerian leader Houari Boumédienne who said at the United Nations in 1974: “One day, millions of men will leave the Southern Hemisphere to go to the Northern Hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory.” Those who want to silence Steyn want to suppress facts and limit free speech.

It was not Steyn who said that “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor,” and that “the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.” That was Al-Jazeera’s Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, who is widely hailed as a moderate reformer in the West. Did Steyn say that Muslims “will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it”? Nope. That one comes from a Saudi Sheikh, Muhammad bin Abd Al-Rahman Al-‘Arifi, imam of the mosque of King Fahd Defense Academy.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is putting itself in the peculiar position of penalizing those non-Muslims who report on such statements, as if it is somehow an act encouraging “hatred and contempt” to reveal the unpleasant reality that comprises mainstream Islamic rhetoric today. There is no indication that the CHRC has done a thing to investigate the possibility that some Muslims in Canada might hold the views of Mullah Krekar, Qaddafi, Boumédienne, Qaradhawi and Sheikh Muhammad. When the CIC’s President Mohamed Elmasry said in 2004 that all Israelis over age eighteen were legitimate targets, the CHRC took no action. But Elmasry, you see, is part of a protected victim class.

Actions like the one against Steyn threaten the foundation of free society. Once you declare one group off-limits for critical examination, once you declare that these people -- whoever they may be -- must at all costs not be offended, then you have destroyed one of the essential elements of free speech and political debate. In a free society, people with differing opinions live together in harmony, agreeing not to force their neighbor to be silent if his opinions offend them. If offensive speech had been prohibited in the 1770s, there would be no United States of America, and that is one of the reasons for the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Of course, Canada is a different case -- but wherever offensive speech is prohibited, the tyrant’s power is solidified. That is no less so in this case, although the tyrant in question is of a different kind.

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=24033&s=rcme
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« Reply #134 on: December 28, 2007, 05:21:34 PM »

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Islam vs. Free Speech

by Jed Babbin

Posted: 12/28/2007


Under assault by Muslims and multiculturalists, free speech and freedom of the press are dead in Britain. The same sorts of people who killed them in Britain are killing them in Canada. They and their allies are using the British and Canadian courts and tribunals to bury our First Amendment rights in America.

Muslims -- individually and in pressure groups -- are using British libel laws and Canadian “human rights” laws to limit what is said about Islam, terrorists and the people in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere who are funding groups such as al-Queda. The cases of Rachel Ehrenfeld and Mark Steyn prove the point.

Dr. Ehrenfeld is a scholar and author of the book, “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed, and How to Stop it.” In that book, Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz -- a Saudi who is former head of the Saudi National Commercial Bank -- and some of his family are described as having funded terrorism directly and indirectly.

Ehrenfeld is American, her book was written and published in America and she has no business or other ties to Britain. Under American law, the Brit courts would have no jurisdiction over her. But about two-dozen copies of her book were sold there through the internet. Bin Mahfouz sued her for libel in the Brit courts where the burden of proof is the opposite of what it is in US courts: the author has to prove that what is written is true, rather than the supposedly defamed person proving it is false.

Think about that for a moment. Under the US Constitution political writing -- free speech -- is almost unlimited. To gain a libel judgment a politician -- or someone suspected of terrorist ties -- would have to prove that the story or book was false. If that person were a public figure such as Mahfouz, in order to get a libel judgment he’d not only have to prove that what was written was false, he’d also have to prove it was published maliciously.

Those American laws and standards of proof protect political speech. The First Amendment is intended to protect political speech that people find objectionable. In the landmark 1969 case of Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court overturned an Ohio statute which would have outlawed hate speech by the Ku Klux Klan. That’s why Mahfouz sued in Britain, not here.

Ehrenfeld refused to fight the case, saying the Brit courts have no jurisdiction over her. Mahfouz got a default judgment against her for ₤10,000 (for himself, and in equal amounts for his sons). The judgment also requires that there be no further “defamatory” statements published in England and Wales.

In a letter published in the Spectator on November 21, bin Mahfouz’s lawyers gloated over their victory against Ehrenfeld: “Rather than check her facts, defend her statements in open court, or acknowledge her mistakes, Ehrenfeld hides behind a claim to free speech. Thank goodness, the legal lights remain on in Britain to expose such harmful journalism.”

“Harmful journalism” is what tyrants and despots call free speech, especially political speech that condemns their affronts to freedom. The “legal lights” Mahfouz’s lawyers see is the bonfire they made of the Magna Carta. Thanks to Mahfouz and his ilk, the light of free speech is extinguished in Britain. Consider the fate of the book, “Alms for Jihad.”

In 2006 Cambridge University press published “Alms for Jihad.” It’s a highly detailed and apparently well-researched book that documents Saudi funding of terrorist groups (as well as other funding and the network of Islamic “charities” that contribute to terrorism). “Alms for Jihad” -- like Ehrenfeld’s book -- documents bin Mahfouz’s funding ties to terrorism, including to Usama bin Laden. But “Alms”-- in settlement of a libel suit by bin Mahfouz in the Brit courts -- was withdrawn from stores and libraries and unsold copies destroyed. The Saudi book burners won.

Mahfouz’s case against Ehrenfeld has already done enormous harm in the US. Ehrenfeld told me she’s unable to get book publishers to contract for another book. She said all of the major US publishing houses have turned down a book on the Muslim Brotherhood -- thought to have substantial terrorist ties -- and the Saudis’ involvement in funding it.

If what Ehrenfeld writes about the Brotherhood offends Mahfouz or someone else whose ties to terrorism ought to be exposed, sales could be banned not only in Britain but in the entire European Union and the publisher -- and the author -- made liable for damages. Mahfouz -- using British courts that have no jurisdiction over American authors -- has apparently precluded Ehrenfeld from writing another book. Steyn’s case is another instance of Muslims trying to silence “harmful journalism.”

Mark Steyn’s superb book, “America Alone”, makes two important points: first, that the Muslim baby boom around the world will likely result in Christian nations becoming Muslim by weight of demographics; and second that Islam is a political system, not just a religion:

So it’s not merely that there’s a global jihad lurking within this religion, but that the religion itself is a political project and, in fact, an imperial project in a way that modern Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are not. Furthermore, this particular religion is historically a somewhat bloodthirsty faith in which whatever’s your bag violence-wise can almost certainly be justified.

Steyn’s stance -- written by him and paralleled by other writers in the Canadian magazine, “Macleans” -- is the subject of a complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission brought by three Muslim law students in Canada, with the apparent support of the Canadian Islamic Conference. That group is similar to the CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The Canadian Human Rights Commission is a multiculti kangaroo court. The complaint against Macleans will be adjudicated next year, and findings entered against the magazine. (Steyn told me that the CHRC has granted 100% of the petitions brought to it so far.) What then?

Fines and other sanctions will be entered against Macleans along with probable injunctions against further “harmful journalism” that offends Muslims. A case may be brought against Steyn himself later. Which means that he could be subjected to fines or other penalties in Canada for exercising his First Amendment rights in the US. And -- because American publishers look to Canada for about 10% of their sales -- Steyn may, like Ehrenfeld, find publishers unwilling to publish his work.

What has happened to Ehrenfeld and may happen to Steyn is in contravention of their First Amendment rights. No American court would or could do that. No foreign court or commission should be able to. US courts, and each of us who believes in free speech, must stand with both authors. US courts should make it clear that foreign libel judgments or “human rights” decisions that conflict with our First Amendment cannot be enforced.

Each and every presidential candidate should speak -- loudly and clearly -- against this encroachment of foreign law on the First Amendment. Anyone who doesn’t stand forthrightly against these foreign infringements on Americans’ Constitutional rights should receive neither our confidence nor our votes.

What Muslims such as Mahfouz and those complaining against Steyn are doing to destroy free speech overseas has been commenced here by groups such as CAIR. A few weeks ago, CAIR announced its media guide, which is purportedly corrects “misperceptions” about Islam and “…educate(s) the media and disabuse(s) journalists of misinformation.” But the other aspect -- which I and others suspect -- is that it’s not so much a guide as a set of rules against “harmful journalism.” And those who write about terrorism, Saudi Arabia and Islam will be accused of intolerance and racism should they violate them.

We don’t yet know what the CAIR guide says. I requested a copy of it from CAIR by e-mail, as they specified. I have neither received a copy nor received any response. I suspect CAIR wants to hide it from people who would scrutinize it. Having to operate under our Constitution, they will take a more indirect path than Mahfouz and the Canadian law students to preclude what they believe is “harmful journalism.”



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Babbin is the editor of Human Events. He served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in President George H.W. Bush's administration. He is the author of "In the Words of our Enemies"(Regnery,2007) and (with Edward Timperlake) of "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States" (Regnery, 2006) and "Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think" (Regnery, 2004). E-mail him at jbabbin@eaglepub.com.
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« Reply #135 on: December 29, 2007, 01:29:15 PM »

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/ViewPrint.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200712/INT20071220a.html


Islamic Bloc Scores 'Defamation of Religions' Resolution at UN
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
December 20, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - Alongside a resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly this week calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, the world body passed a raft of other human rights-related motions. One of them, introduced by Islamic nations, focuses on combating the "defamation of religions."

Resolutions on the human rights situation in North Korea and Iran also passed, although dozens of countries -- including human rights violators Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe -- voted against the motions.

An annual resolution on "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" also passed by an overwhelming margin, with only the United States, Israel, and three small Pacific island nations voting "no." There were four abstentions.

The motion on defamation of religions has been a priority for the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) since 9/11. It took on new impetus following a Danish newspaper's publication in 2005 of cartoons satirizing Mohammed.

Introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, it passed on Tuesday by a 108-51 margin, with 25 abstentions. As with many of the other votes, the U.S. lined up with democracies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere against developing nations, including repressive regimes.

Although the resolution refers to defamation of "religions," Islam is the only religion named in the text, which also takes a swipe at counter-terrorism security measures.

It expresses alarm about "discrimination" and "laws that stigmatize groups of people belonging to certain religions and faiths under a variety of pretexts relating to security and illegal immigration."

Muslim minorities are subjected to "ethnic and religious profiling ... in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001," it says.

The resolution decries "the negative projection of Islam in the media" and voices "deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism."

OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu earlier this month addressed an international conference on "Islamophobia," held in Turkey, and told the gathering that freedom of expression was being used as a cover in the West to promote anti-Islam sentiment.

The OIC soon will release its first-ever annual report on "Islamophobia."

'Flawed and divisive'

On a number of the General Assembly resolutions passed Tuesday, the U.S. stood in the minority, including one dealing with practices that contribute to "fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," and another on a report on preparations by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council for a major conference on racism, scheduled for 2009.

The international conference is intended to review progress achieved on a program of action adopted at an earlier racism conference, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

The Durban event was marred by controversy, with attempts spearheaded by Arab and Muslim states to equate Zionism with racism. The U.S. government sent a low-level delegation and then recalled it midway in protest against the attacks on Israel.

On Tuesday, only the U.S., Israel and the Marshall Islands voted against the resolution on preparations for the Durban review conference.

In an earlier explanation of vote, American envoy Grover Joseph Rees told member-states that although the U.S. supported the stated objectives of Durban gathering, "the outcomes of the conference were deeply flawed and divisive."

"The resolution now before us endorses that flawed outcome and is therefore itself seriously problematic," he said.

Rees said the Human Rights Council should be concentrating on the role for which it was created - "addressing human rights situations around the world, particularly emerging situations."

At the same time, countries should be focusing on implementing existing commitments, rather than on following-up "a flawed instrument" or creating of new ones.

Specifically, he said, states should be ratify and effectively implement the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Countries that have not ratified the 1965 treaty include Burma, North Korea, Malaysia, Angola, Singapore and a number of small Pacific island nations.
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« Reply #136 on: February 12, 2008, 11:20:41 AM »

By JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Feb 12, 7:49 AM ET
 


COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested three people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago.

Two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin were arrested in pre-dawn raids in western Denmark, the police intelligence agency said.  The Dane was suspected of violating Danish terror laws but likely would be released after questioning as the investigation continues, said Jakob Scharf, the head of the PET intelligence service. The two Tunisians would be expelled from Denmark, he said.

The agency did it mention which cartoonist was targeted. However, according to Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the drawings on Sept. 30, 2005, the suspects were planning to kill its cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.

"There were very concrete murder plans against Kurt Westergaard," said Carsten Juste, the paper's editor-in-chief.

The cartoons were later reprinted by a range of Western publications, and they sparked deadly protests in parts of the Muslim world.  Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

Westergaard, 73, and his wife Gitte, 66, had been living under police protection, Jyllands-Posten reported.

"Of course I fear for my life when the police intelligence service say that some people have concrete plans to kill me. But I have turned fear into anger and resentment," Westergaard said in a statement published on Jyllands-Posten's Web site.

PET, the police intelligence service, called the action "preventive," saying it decided to strike "at an early phase to stop the planning and the carrying out of the murder."

In the uproar that followed the publishing of the cartoons, Danes watched in disbelief as angry mobs burned the Danish flag and attacked the country's embassies in Muslim countries including Syria, Iran and Lebanon.  Jyllands-Posten was evacuated several times because of threats and posted security guards at its office outside Aarhus and in Copenhagen.  The paper initially refused to apologize for the cartoons, which it said were published in reaction to a perceived self-censorship among artists dealing with Islamic issues, but later said it regretted that the cartoons had offended Muslims.

The Danish government also expressed regrets to Muslims, but noted that it could not interfere with the freedom of the press. 

Kasem Ahmad, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based Islamic Faith Community, a network of Muslim groups that spearheaded protests against the cartoons in Denmark, said he hoped Tuesday's arrests would not rekindle the uproar.

"We urge Muslims to take it calmly," he told the TV2 News network.

The rage over the caricatures resonated beyond Denmark. In Germany, two men were accused of planting bombs aboard a pair of German commuter trains in 2006 that failed to explode.  One of the men, Youssef Mohammed el-Hajdib, a Lebanese citizen, is on trial in Duesseldorf. The second man, Jihad Hamad, was convicted in December in Lebanon and sentenced to 12 years in prison. El-Hajdib told the court last week that Hamad planned the attacks as revenge after some German newspapers reprinted the Muhammad caricatures.

Hamad, however, testified at his trial in Lebanon that el-Hajdib was the initiator of the failed plot. He said el-Hajdib brainwashed him and exposed him to extremist videos and propaganda.
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« Reply #137 on: February 13, 2008, 09:20:30 AM »



Danish newspapers have reprinted one of several caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad which sparked violent protests across the Muslim world two years ago.

They say they wanted to show their commitment to freedom of speech after an alleged plot to kill one of the cartoonists behind the drawings.

Three suspects were held in Denmark on Tuesday "to prevent a murder linked to terrorism", officials said.

The cartoons were originally published by Jyllands-Posten in September 2005.

Danish embassies were attacked around the world and dozens died in riots that followed.

'Defiant'

Jyllands-Posten and several other leading newspapers - including Politiken and Berlingske Tidende - reprinted the caricature in their Wednesday editions.



I have turned fear into anger and resentment
Kurt Westergaard
Cartoonist

The cartoon depicts Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse.

"We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case, and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper will always defend," Berlingske Tidende said.

One Danish tabloid published all 12 drawings, the Associated Press news agency reported.

On Tuesday, the head of the Danish Security and Intelligence Service (Pet), Jakob Sharf, said its operatives had carried out pre-dawn raids in the Aarhus region.

The three suspects - two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan origin - had been detained "after lengthy surveillance", he added.

The Danish citizen will be released pending further investigation, while the Tunisians will be held until they are expelled from the country.

The Pet did not identify the target of the alleged plot, but the online edition of Jyllands-Posten said its cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, was the focus.

The newspaper, based in Aarhus, said Mr Westergaard, 73, and his 66-year-old wife, Gitte, had been under police protection for the past three months.

In a statement on Jyllands-Posten's website, Mr Westergaard said: "Of course I fear for my life when the police intelligence service say that some people have concrete plans to kill me.

"But I have turned fear into anger and resentment."

The editor of Jyllands-Posten, Carsten Juste, said he and his staff had been "deeply shaken" by the news.

"We'd become more or less used to death threats and bomb threats since the cartoons, but it's the first time that we've heard about actual murder plans - that's new," he said.

Muslim anger

The BBC's Thomas Buch-Andersen in Copenhagen says the arrests have stunned people in Denmark, where the furore over the cartoons was thought to have passed.

Mr Westergaard was one of 12 artists behind the drawings but he was responsible for what was considered the most controversial of the pictures.

The cartoons were later reprinted by more than 50 newspapers, triggering a wave of protests in parts of the Muslim world.

The demonstrations culminated a year ago with the torching of Danish diplomatic offices in Damascus and Beirut and dozens of deaths in Nigeria, Libya and Pakistan.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...pe/7242258.stm

Published: 2008/02/13 10:20:06 GMT
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« Reply #138 on: February 20, 2008, 06:08:55 AM »

This article appeared in the Observer on Sunday February 17 2008 on p40 of the World news section. It was last updated at 00:06 on February 17 2008.


Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, is refusing to remove medieval artistic depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, despite being flooded with complaints from Muslims demanding the images be deleted.
More than 180,000 worldwide have joined an online protest claiming the images, shown on European-language pages and taken from Persian and Ottoman miniatures dating from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, are offensive to Islam, which prohibits any representation of Muhammad. But the defiant editors of the encyclopaedia insist they will not bow to pressure and say anyone objecting to the controversial images can simply adjust their computers so they do not have to look at them.
The images at the centre of the protest appear on most of the European versions of the web encyclopaedia, though not on Arabic sites. On two of the images, Muhammad's face is veiled, a practice followed in Islamic art since the 16th century. But on two others, one from 1315, which is the earliest surviving depiction of the prophet, and the other from the 15th century, his face is shown. Some protesters are claiming the pictures have been posted simply to 'bait' and 'insult' Muslims and argue the least Wikipedia can do is blur or blank out the faces.
Such has been the adverse reaction, Wikipedia has been forced to set up a separate page on its site explaining why it refuses to bow to pressure and has also had to set up measures to block people from 'editing' the pages themselves.
In a robust statement on the site, its editors state: 'Wikipedia recognises that there are cultural traditions among some Muslim groups that prohibit depictions of Muhammad and other prophets and that some Muslims are offended when those traditions are violated. However, the prohibitions are not universal among Muslim communities, particularly with the Shia who, while prohibiting the images, are less strict about it.
'Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with the goal of representing all topics from a neutral point of view, Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group.
'So long as they are relevant to the article and do not violate any of Wikipedia's existing policies, nor the law of the US state of Florida where Wikipedia's servers are hosted, no content or images will be removed because people find them objectionable or offensive.'
The traditional reason given for the Islamic prohibition on images of prophets it to prevent them from becoming objects of worship in a form of idolatry. But, say the editors, the images used were examples of how Muhammad has been depicted by various Islamic sects through history and not in a religious context.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology...ia.islam/print
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« Reply #139 on: February 20, 2008, 03:45:07 PM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080220/..._cartoons_dc_1


Quote:
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his predecessor's line on cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday, saying free speech should respect religious sensitivities.

"The Secretary-General strongly believes that freedom of expression should be exercised responsibly and in a way that respects all religious beliefs," his spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters.

The cartoon issue has returned to prominence after Denmark's five major daily newspapers last week republished one of 12 drawings of the Prophet that angered Muslims around the world in 2006.

They did so as a protest against a plot to murder one of the cartoonists who originally published the drawings in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Most Muslims consider depictions of the Prophet offensive.

In a statement two years ago at the height of the cartoon uproar, the spokesman for then secretary-general Kofi Annan said Annan "believes that the freedom of the press should always be exercised in a way that fully respects the religious beliefs and tenets of all religions."

In the last few days, Danish lawmakers have canceled a trip to Iran, the Egyptian government has protested to the Danish ambassador in Cairo and Indonesian Muslims have demonstrated outside the Danish Embassy in Jakarta over the cartoons.
 
=======================

NO, RELGION MUST RESPECT FREE SPEECH angry angry angry
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« Reply #140 on: March 03, 2008, 05:36:29 PM »

Sorry, no URL for this yet.
====================

Fitzgerald: The Great Undoing

The Dutch government was today examining the legality of banning a film attacking Islam amid fears that it would fan sentiment against the Netherlands in Muslim countries. The Telegraaf newspaper reported that the coalition government was divided on the film, with the Christian Democrats leaning towards a ban but Labour favouring freedom of expression and calling on Muslim countries to prevent violence against the Netherlands. -- from this article


Fitzgerald: The Great Undoing

The Dutch government was today examining the legality of banning a film attacking Islam amid fears that it would fan sentiment against the Netherlands in Muslim countries. The Telegraaf newspaper reported that the coalition government was divided on the film, with the Christian Democrats leaning towards a ban but Labour favouring freedom of expression and calling on Muslim countries to prevent violence against the Netherlands. -- from this article


If the Netherlands bans the Geert Wilders film on the Qur’an, it will be one of the most important acts in the history of free speech. It will constitute an act of Great Undoing, in response to threats from maddened primitives, of the most important political right acquired, over time, by individuals in the Western world -- a right that, without which, all other rights are essentially meaningless.
This has to be understood. If the Netherlands, and if the countries of NATO (who are now involved), cannot permit, and will by fiat end, freedom of speech when it comes to perfectly legitimate criticism of Islam, then the civilization of the West will have suffered an immense blow. Not everyone will mind, or even notice. Some will tell themselves that this "right-wing" politician Wilders was looking to stir up trouble by criticising Islam. And if he was? Isn't it better that the "trouble" be stirred up now, while the West can still defend itself, especially within its own lands, but can do so only if it recognizes the meaning, and the menace of Islam and Jihad?
And others will say something like "oh, but there will be greater danger to Dutch troops" in Afghanistan. And still others will add, "yes, and even to the troops from the other NATO lands." And perhaps that is true. However, if it is true, perhaps it is NATO forces that should rethink their "mission" in Afghanistan, and what is achievable there. Perhaps NATO should rethink whether "helping" people who would eagerly kill them because of the refusal of the Western world to abandon freedom of speech in the case of a fifteen-minute film in the Netherlands, is really the wisest course of action. Perhaps NATO should consider what that tells us about the nature of the people in Afghanistan, or in any other Muslim state or society, whom we complacently or desperately assume are not our sworn enemies, are not hostile to the non-Muslims of the world. (For yes, that hostility can exist side-by-side with a desire to get from the West all the benefits that West clearly offers, including every sort of aid. It can even be present among people who decide to move to and settle within that same West. That is, even those who leave the misrule of Islam can continue to harbor that hostility to non-Muslims. Unlike refugees from the Nazis or the Communists or other examples of misrule, all too many of these immigrants bring with them, in their mental baggage, the very thing, Islam, whose effects, especially those of political despotism and economic paralysis, are what caused them to leave such hell-holes as, say, Somalia, or Pakistan, or the Maghreb, in the first place.
This suppression, by the Western world, of free speech, will have grave and long-lasting consequences. For if this movie is suppressed, one assumes that all other such movies will be suppressed. And the demands, by Muslims inside and outside of Europe for still more to be censored, including the written word, will only increase, with that well-known triumphalism that feeds each new demand, as Muslims demand more and more concessions to ensure that they will never feel offended, neither within their own lands, nor within the historic heart of the free and advanced West. For if they are offended, the consequences will be greater than what the West wishes to pay. It need not be soldiers in Afghanistan. It could be, say, a threat to blow up one of the Oxford colleges, or the Louvre, or the Alte Pinakothek, or the Uffizi or the Vatican. Oh, it could be any number of things. Do what we want, submit to our Diktat....or else!
The stand has to be taken now. Not later. Later will be too late.

Dutch government may ban Wilders' Qur'an film


Dhimmitude and fear. "Dutch government could ban anti-Islam film," from the Guardian (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Dutch government was today examining the legality of banning a film attacking Islam amid fears that it would fan sentiment against the Netherlands in Muslim countries. The Telegraaf newspaper reported that the coalition government was divided on the film, with the Christian Democrats leaning towards a ban but Labour favouring freedom of expression and calling on Muslim countries to prevent violence against the Netherlands.


Labour seems to have retained a modicum of sanity.
The 15-minute film, called Fitna - an Arabic term used in the Qur'an and sometimes translated as "strife" - was made by Geert Wilders, a rightwing politician who leads the nine-member PVV (Freedom) party. Wilders has argued that there is no such thing as moderate Islam, and has called for a ban of the Qur'an, which he compares to Hitler's Mein Kampf.
"The core of the problem is fascistic Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and Muhammad as it is set out in the Islamic Mein Kampf: the Koran," he wrote in a comment piece for the Volksrant newspaper last year....


And the core of the problem is whether anything he says gives anyone else a license to destroy and kill, and whether Western governments should abet that mindset.
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« Reply #141 on: March 20, 2008, 10:15:19 AM »

AARHUS, Denmark — “I think this is safe house No. 5,” Kurt Westergaard said the other day, and it was clear that he genuinely had lost track.

 
Last month the Danish police arrested two Tunisians and a Dane of Moroccan descent on charges of plotting to kill Mr. Westergaard, one of the 12 cartoonists whose pictures of Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten sparked protests, some of them violent, by Muslims around the world in 2006 and put bounties on the heads of Mr. Westergaard and his editor, Flemming Rose. Mr. Westergaard (he drew Muhammad with a bomb in his turban) has been in hiding ever since.

Americans, for whom the presidential election seems to have become a delirious, unending sport, preoccupying their attention, turn out not to be the only ones who preferred to forget about the cartoons. So had many Danes and fellow Europeans. They were shocked by the arrests.

In the days shortly after, 17 Danish newspapers, having declined to publish the offending cartoons two years ago, declared solidarity with Mr. Westergaard and printed them. This, naturally, provoked a fresh round of protests from Gaza to Indonesia.

In Egypt the speaker of the Parliament claimed Danes had violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which seemed a little rich coming just a few weeks after the European Parliament, which itself complained about the cartoons’ re-publication, condemned Egypt for the sorry state of its human rights.

Meanwhile demands in Afghanistan for the instant withdrawal of Danish troops under NATO’s command and the severing of all diplomatic ties with Denmark caused Denmark’s foreign minister, Per Stig Moeller, to reply that it was becoming difficult for him “to put Danish soldiers’ lives in danger” to support a country “where one is at risk to be condemned to death for values that we believe to be an inseparable part of democracy and the modern world.”

And then, while it still seemed just a Danish problem, trouble spread. A gallery in Berlin was shut because an exhibition of satirical art by a Danish group called Surrend, which has previously produced works mocking neo-Nazis, caused several angry Muslim visitors to threaten violence unless a poster depicting the Kaaba, the shrine in Mecca’s Grand Mosque, was removed.

Two years earlier, in the wake of the original cartoon imbroglio, a Berlin opera company canceled performances of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” when police warned the company that a scene with the severed head of Muhammad, among other religious figures, posed “incalculable risk” to the performers and audience. Cries of self-censorship erupted across Europe.

This time around Germany’s interior minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, a politician who has been conspicuous in working to improve relations with Muslims in Germany, was reported to have urged other newspapers in Europe to reprint the cartoons, a remark he strongly denied making, which made no difference to the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan.

“The German minister is required to immediately withdraw his statement,” Al-Watan demanded. Racism, not freedom of speech, was obviously behind Germany policy, the newspaper added. After all, Germans aren’t free to “discuss the Jewish Holocaust.”

And everybody knew what that meant.

Now many Europeans seem fed up. Over dinner in Copenhagen recently, Mr. Rose, who has made something of a second career out of the cartoon fallout, said it all came late but was inevitable.

“At the time, in 2006, there were good journalistic reasons for other newspapers to publish the cartoons because few people had seen them then, so they were news,” he said. “Now the journalistic justification is almost nonexistent because everyone knows what they look like, so it’s more about solidarity than about news.”

Unlike Mr. Westergaard, Mr. Rose doesn’t live in safe houses, although he long ago removed his name from the local telephone directory and has learned that a different Flemming Rose (there are apparently several in Denmark) decided to change his name.

“It was not about mocking a minority but a religious figure, the Prophet, so it was blasphemy, not racism,” Mr. Rose said of the cartoons. “The idea of challenging religious authority led to liberal democracy, whereas the singling out of minorities, as minorities, led to Nazism and the persecution of the bourgeoisie in Russia. So this distinction is crucial to understand.”

========



Page 2 of 2)



Years spent as a student and a newspaper correspondent in the Soviet Union shaped Mr. Rose’s philosophy. There he saw how “the concept of universal values was crucial to the dissident culture, and I saw what censorship meant,” he said. “I saw that values were not relative between Western society and the Soviets.”

Flemming Rose, Kurt Westergaard's editor. Recently, 17 papers reprinted the cartoons.

 
The Soviets, he noted, had a law in their penal code outlawing defamation of the Soviet way of life. Blasphemy laws in Muslim countries today “have the same purpose of silencing dissident voices,” he said. “Free speech does not extend to libel, invasion of privacy and incitement to violence.” But “a distinction must be made between words and deeds,” he insisted. “Images are open to interpretation, they’re different from words.”

Mr. Westergaard put it differently: “Cartoons always concentrate and simplify an idea and allow a quick impression that arouses some strong feeling.”

He recalled a cartoon he did years ago to complement an article defending Palestinians against Israelis, “not because this was my belief but because my job was to illustrate the views in this article, and I showed a Palestinian wearing a yellow star with ‘Arab’ on it.” He continued: “Many people called to protest. One man said I had abused a Jewish symbol. We talked for a long time and finally accepted each other’ s viewpoint.” It was the talking, he said, that mattered.

Did he go too far that time?

“Looking back,” he said, “perhaps I should have made a cartoon that did not use the yellow star.”

But then why Muhammad and not a star?

“Because millions of Jews died in camps wearing that star.”

Which is obviously the wrong answer for those who have put a price on his head. “I have always been an atheist, and I dare say these events have only intensified my atheism,” he said. “But the same clash would eventually have occurred over some book or a play. It was waiting to happen.”

He brought a cartoon that he had recently revised. In it Jesus, wearing a suit and tie, strides from the cross on which a sign hangs: “Service hours, Sunday, 10-11, 2-3.” Mr. Westergaard recently added an imam watching Jesus walk away.

He agreed to meet at Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper, from which he’s now semi-retired. Tall, broad-shouldered, with a salt-and-pepper beard, at 72 he’s like a Scandinavian sailor out of central casting but dressed, as usual, in fire-engine red pants, a patterned red scarf and a Sgt. Pepper black coat — clearly an act of sartorial defiance. When asked about Mr. Westergaard’s general approach to the last two years, Mr. Rose, with awe, said, “Calm.”

As it happens, most of the dozen cartoonists are older and, like Mr. Westergaard, closer to the generational ethos of 1968 than to the cultural relativism of later generations. A Social Democrat, Mr. Westergaard ran a school for severely disabled children before he became a cartoonist. He likes to point out that Himmerland, the region of Denmark where he was born, was home to a race of warriors: “There were also Danes among the Crusaders.”

He knows it’s a loaded reference. “Is this another Crusade now, or what is it?” he asked.

Then he answered himself: “In Denmark there is a culture of radicalism, a skepticism toward authority and religion. It’s part of our national character.” Years of relativism, during which Danes felt they “had no right to ask anyone else to live like us,” ended with the cartoons, he said. But he’s less sure than Mr. Rose about the degree of progress, conceding that recent gains by Denmark’s anti-immigrant party “are an unfortunate setback due to all this.”

Now he’s accustomed to being (and maybe, who is to say, even slightly enjoys his status as) an accidental celebrity with a soapbox. “Disagreement is an essential part of democracy,” he said. “I want to explain my sense of this clash between two cultures because I have grandchildren who will grow up in this multicultural society. The Danes are tolerant people. They don’t deserve to be treated like racists.”

He added: “This will go on for the rest of my lifetime, I am sure. I will never get out of this. But I feel more anger than fear. I’m angry because my life is threatened, and I know I have done nothing wrong, just done my job.”

“Anger,” he said, smiling, “is the best therapy.”
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« Reply #142 on: March 26, 2008, 10:16:39 AM »

Islam and Free Speech
By PETER HOEKSTRA
March 26, 2008; Page A15
WSJ

The Netherlands is bracing for a new round of violence at home and against its embassies in the Middle East. The storm would be caused by "Fitna," a short film that is scheduled to be released this week. The film, which reportedly includes images of a Quran being burned, was produced by Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament and leader of the Freedom Party. Mr. Wilders has called for banning the Quran -- which he has compared to Hitler's "Mein Kampf" -- from the Netherlands.

After concern about the film led Mr. Wilders's Internet service provider to take down his Web site, Mr. Wilders issued a statement this week that he will personally distribute DVDs "On the Dam" if he has to. That may not be necessary, as the Czech National Party has reportedly agreed to host the video on its Web site.

 
Marked for death: Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Reasonable men in free societies regard Geert Wilders's anti-Muslim rhetoric, and films like "Fitna," as disrespectful of the religious sensitivities of members of the Islamic faith. But free societies also hold freedom of speech to be a fundamental human right. We don't silence, jail or kill people with whom we disagree just because their ideas are offensive or disturbing. We believe that when such ideas are openly debated, they sink of their own weight and attract few followers.

Our country allows fringe groups like the American Nazi Party to demonstrate, as long as they are peaceful. Americans are permitted to burn the national flag. In 1989, when so-called artist Andres Serrano displayed his work "Piss Christ" -- a photo of a crucifix immersed in a bottle of urine -- Americans protested peacefully and moved to cut off the federal funding that supported Mr. Serrano. There were no bombings of museums. No one was killed over this work that was deeply offensive to Christians.

Criticism of Islam, however, has led to violence and murder world-wide. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa calling for Muslims to kill Salman Rushdie over his 1988 book, "The Satanic Verses." Although Mr. Rushdie has survived, two people associated with the book were stabbed, one fatally. The 2005 Danish editorial cartoons lampooning the prophet Muhammad led to numerous deaths. Dutch director Theodoor van Gogh was killed in 2004, several months after he made the film "Submission," which described violence against women in Islamic societies. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former Dutch member of parliament who wrote the script for "Submission," received death threats over the film and fled the country for the United States.

The violence Dutch officials are anticipating now is part of a broad and determined effort by the radical jihadist movement to reject the basic values of modern civilization and replace them with an extreme form of Shariah. Shariah, the legal code of Islam, governed the Muslim world in medieval times and is used to varying degrees in many nations today, especially in Saudi Arabia.

Radical jihadists are prepared to use violence against individuals to stop them from exercising their free speech rights. In some countries, converting a Muslim to another faith is a crime punishable by death. While Muslim clerics are free to preach and proselytize in the West, some Muslim nations severely restrict or forbid other faiths to do so. In addition, moderate Muslims around the world have been deemed apostates and enemies by radical jihadists.

Radical jihadists believe representative government is un-Islamic, and urge Muslims who live in democracies not to exercise their right to vote. The reason is not hard to understand: When given a choice, most Muslims reject the extreme approach to Islam. This was recently demonstrated in Iraq's Anbar Province, which went from an al-Qaeda stronghold to an area supporting the U.S.-led coalition. This happened because the populace came to intensely dislike the fanatical ways of the radicals, which included cutting off fingers of anyone caught smoking a cigarette, 4 p.m. curfews, beatings and beheadings. There also were forced marriages between foreign-born al Qaeda fighters and local Sunni women.

There may be a direct relationship between the radical jihadists' opposition to democracy and their systematic abuse of women. Women have virtually no rights in this radical world: They must conceal themselves, cannot hold jobs, and have been subjected to honor killings. Would most women in Muslim countries vote for a candidate for public office who supported such oppressive rules?

Not all of these radicals are using violence to supplant democratic society with an extreme form of Shariah. Some in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark are attempting to create parallel Islamic societies with separate courts for Muslims. According to recent press reports, British officials are investigating the cases of 30 British Muslim school-age girls who "disappeared" for probable forced marriages.

While efforts to create parallel Islamic societies have been mostly peaceful, they may actually be a jihadist "waiting game," based on the assumption that the Islamic populations of many European states will become the majority over the next 25-50 years due to higher Muslim birth rates and immigration.

What is particularly disturbing about these assaults against modern society is how the West has reacted with appeasement, willful ignorance, and a lack of journalistic criticism. Last year PBS tried to suppress "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," a hard-hitting documentary that contained criticism of radical jihadists. Fortunately, Fox News agreed to air the film.

Even if the new Wilders film proves newsworthy, it is likely that few members of the Western media will air it, perhaps because they have been intimidated by radical jihadist threats. The only major U.S. newspaper to reprint any of the controversial 2005 Danish cartoons was Denver's Rocky Mountain News. You can be sure that if these cartoons had mocked Christianity or Judaism, major American newspapers would not have hesitated to print them.

European officials have been similarly cautious. A German court ruled last year that a German Muslim man had the right to beat his wife, as this was permitted under Shariah. Britain's Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, stated last month that the implementation of some measure of Shariah in Britain was "unavoidable" and British Muslims should have the choice to use Shariah in marital and financial matters.

I do not defend the right of Geert Wilders to air his film because I agree with it. I expect I will not. (I have not yet seen the film). I defend the right of Mr. Wilders and the media to air this film because free speech is a fundamental right that is the foundation of modern society. Western governments and media outlets cannot allow themselves to be bullied into giving up this precious right due to threats of violence. We must not fool ourselves into believing that we can appease the radical jihadist movement by allowing them to set up parallel societies and separate legal systems, or by granting them special protection from criticism.

A central premise of the American experiment are these words from the Declaration of Independence: "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." There are similar statements in the U.S. Constitution, British Common Law, the Napoleonic Code and the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, hundreds of millions in the U.S. and around the world enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and many other rights.

These liberties have been won through centuries of debate, conflict and bloodshed. Radical jihadists want to sacrifice all we have learned by returning to a primitive and intolerant world. While modern society invites such radicals to peacefully exercise their faith, we cannot and will not sacrifice our fundamental freedoms.

Mr. Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands, is ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

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« Reply #143 on: March 30, 2008, 01:40:24 PM »

Score one for Islamo-fascism:
======================


Breaking news: “FITNA” video removed following serious threats to hosting company staff

We learn this evening that Internet hosting operation, LiveLeak, have been forced to remove Dutch MP Geert Wilders “FITNA” video, following very serious threats to its staff. At the present time it is not known who is behind the threats or the nature of the threats. However, the cowardly ritualistic murder of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh, by an Islamic fanatic, does mean that all such threats have to be taken very seriously.

Unfortunately for those who would try to stifle our western democracy through naked fascism and criminality, many thousands of copies of the controversial video have been downloaded and it can only be a matter of time before they start appearing in “cyberspace”!

The fact that this has happened only goes to underline one of the themes of “FITNA” - that western democracy and freedom of speech are under attack by the enemies of freedom! Appeasement cannot be an option!

An explanatory message posted on the LiveLeak site reads:-

“Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

"This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.  Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.  We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.”

See the LiveLeak announcement here .

http://www.bnp.org.uk/2008/03/28/breaking-news-fitna-video-removed-following-serious-threats-to-hosting-company-staff/
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« Reply #144 on: March 30, 2008, 01:45:25 PM »

One man with the courage to speak up:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=30a_1204991129
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« Reply #145 on: April 15, 2008, 04:51:51 PM »


http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSL1584799120080415?feedType=RSS&feedName=entert ainmentNews&rpc=22&sp=true

Brigitte Bardot on trial for Muslim slur

PARIS (Reuters) - French former film star Brigitte Bardot went on trial on Tuesday for insulting Muslims, the fifth time she has faced the charge of "inciting racial hatred" over her controversial remarks about Islam and its followers.
Prosecutors asked that the Paris court hand the 73-year-old former sex symbol a two-month suspended prison sentence and fine her 15,000 euros ($23,760) for saying the Muslim community was "destroying our country and imposing its acts".
Since retiring from the film industry in the 1970s, Bardot has become a prominent animal rights activist but she has also courted controversy by denouncing Muslim traditions and immigration from predominantly Muslim countries.
She has been fined four times for inciting racial hatred since 1997, at first 1,500 euros and most recently 5,000.
Prosecutor Anne de Fontette told the court she was seeking a tougher sentence than usual, adding: "I am a little tired of prosecuting Mrs Bardot."
Bardot did not attend the trial because she said she was physically unable to. The verdict is expected in several weeks.
French anti-racist groups complained last year about comments Bardot made about the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha in a letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy that was later published by her foundation.
Muslims traditionally mark Eid al-Adha by slaughtering a sheep or another animal to commemorate the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son on God's orders.
France is home to 5 million Muslims, Europe's largest Muslim community, making up 8 percent of France's population.
"I am fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its acts," the star of 'And God created woman' and 'Contempt' said.
Bardot has previously said France is being invaded by sheep-slaughtering Muslims and published a book attacking gays, immigrants and the unemployed, in which she also lamented the "Islamisation of France".
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« Reply #146 on: April 23, 2008, 11:05:11 AM »


http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/020442.php
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« Reply #147 on: May 01, 2008, 09:27:53 PM »

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/terrorism.php?id=1387239

Welcome to ‘Lawfare’ - A New Type of Jihad
Brooke Goldstein
 

The Islamist movement has two wings – one violent and one lawful, which can operate apart but often reinforce each other. While the violent arm attempts to silence speech by burning cars when cartoons of Mohammed are published in Denmark, the lawful arm is skillfully maneuvering within Western legal systems, both here and abroad.

Islamists with financial means have launched a “legal Jihad,” filing frivolous and malicious lawsuits with the aim of abolishing public discourse critical of Islam and with the goal of establishing principles of Sharia law (strict Islamic law dating back to the 9th Century) as the governing political and legal authority in the West.

Islamist Lawfare is often predatory, filed without a serious expectation of winning, and undertaken as a means to intimidate, demoralize and bankrupt defendants. The lawsuits range in their claims from defamation to workplace harassment and they have resulted in books being pulped and meritorious articles going unpublished.

Forum shopping, whereby Plaintiffs bring actions in jurisdictions most likely to rule in their favor, has enabled a wave of “libel tourism.” At the time of her death in 2006, noted Italian author Orianna Fallaci was being sued in France, Italy, Switzerland and other jurisdictions by groups dedicated to preventing the dissemination of her work.

Libel Tourism has also resulted in foreign judgments against American authors mandating the regulation of their speech and behavior. The litany of American anti-Islamist researchers, authors, activists, publishers, congressman, newspapers, television news stations, think tanks, NGOs, reporters, student journals and others targeted for censorship is long and merits brief mentioning here.

One of the earliest cases in the US dates back to 1937, where in Birmington, Alabama, an Arab Sheik sued the Birmington Post for libel over an article entitled “Arabian Sheik Asks Friend Here to Buy him an American Girl for Harem.”  The Post reported that Sheik Fareed Iman, “who is 29 years old and fears he may reach 30 before he obtains a chief-wife for his four-wife harem, is ready to purchase a suitable girl from her parents. The lucky girl”, the article continued, “will benefit from the traditional Arabian protective treatment of women but she can’t be seen by those who are not members of the household.” 

The article read more like a parody of a personal ad in the dating section of a magazine and listed a telephone number should anyone reading be interested. Nevertheless, the Alabama court of appeals refused to dismiss the suit and judged the article libelous per se, or defamatory on its face, and remanded it for jury trial, where eventually the Plaintiff lost for his failure to state a cause of action.

Within the last ten years, however, we have seen a steady increase in cases pursued by Islamic organizations and Muslim individuals attempting to use Western courts to stop the flow of certain information.  They are achieving a degree of success in Europe because the judicial systems in England, France and elsewhere don’t afford their citizens, or American citizens for that matter, the same free speech protections granted in America under the U.S. Constitution. The cumulative effect of the suits abroad, and of the suits here at home even if they are not successful, and the looming threat of future suits is creating a detrimental chilling effect on dialogue concerning important matters of public concern because, naturally, people want to avoid costly litigation.

I want to mention briefly a few cases that have occurred here within the last ten years against American anti-Islamist authors and activists. It is imperative that our judicial system continue to enforce the authors’ and activists’ rights to free speech and free assembly against all parties attempting to stifle them here and abroad. 

In 1998, America Online (AOL) permitted chat rooms in which voluntary participants could post comments and talk to one another about issues involving the Koran and tenants of Islam. One Muslim visitor to the chat room named Saad Noah considered posts by other visitors blasphemous and defamatory against Islam.  Noah then sued AOL for libel, attempting a class action on behalf of all Muslim chat room participants and claiming that AOL wrongfully refused to prevent participants from posting anti-Islamic comments. The court properly dismissed the case against AOL, for failure to state a cause of action.

In 2003 the Council on American Islamic Relations (i.e., CAIR) sued U.S. Congressman Cass Ballenger after an interview with the Congressman was published in the Charlotte Observer wherein Ballenger exclaimed how living in Washington across the street from CAIR headquarters no longer appealed to him because CAIR was, “a fundraising arm for Hezbollah,” and that the Congressman had reported such to the FBI and the CIA.  Fortunately, the judge ruled that Ballenger’s statements were made in the scope of his public duties and were therefore protected speech in the interest of public concern. 

The following year, CAIR sued Andrew Whitehead, an American activist and blogger, for $1.3 million for maintaining the website Anti-CAIR.net.org, on which Whitehead lists CAIR as an Islamist organization with ties to terrorist groups. Ironically, after CAIR refused Whitehead’s discovery requests, seemingly afraid of what internal documents the legal process it had initiated would reveal, CAIR withdrew its claims against Whitehead, the two parties came to a settlement – the terms of which have not been publicly disclosed – and the case was dismissed by the court with prejudice. Whitehead’s Anti-CAIR website, however, is still up and running along with the articles that were at issue.

Last year, When Joe Kaufman, an American activist and chairman of Americans Against Hate, traveled to Texas to lead a peaceful ten-person protest against the Islamic Circle of North America outside an event the group was sponsoring at a Six Flags theme park, he was served with a temporary restraining order and sued for defamation and harassment.  What is particularly troubling about Kaufman’s case is that the suit was filed against him, not by ICNA, but by seven Dallas area plaintiffs who had never previously been mentioned by Kaufman, nor had they been present at the theme park. This suit currently is being litigated.

Another case that is ongoing is that of Bruce Tefft. Tefft is a former CIA official and worked as a counter-terrorism consultant for the NYPD. After sending out emails to a voluntary list of police officer recipients in which he cut and pasted articles about terrorism – complemented with Tefft’s own commentary – Tefft, along with the NYPD, was sued by a Muslim John Doe Police Officer alleging workplace harassment. 

Often the mere threat of suit is enough to intimidate publishers into silence, regardless of the merit of their author’s works.  In 2007, when wealthy Saudi Arabian businessman, Khalid bin Mahfouz, threatened to sue Cambridge University Press for publishing the book Alms for Jihad, by American authors Robert Collins and J Millard Burr, Cambridge Press immediately capitulated, offered a public apology to Mahfouz, took the book out of print and ordered the destruction of all unsold copies and the removal of the book from the shelves of libraries – a directive certain libraries refused to follow. 

Sometimes defendants targeted are able to take advantage of Anti-SLAPP statutes.  Anti-SLAPP statutes have been enacted in several, but not all, states and are aimed at preventing such lawsuits designed to hinder legitimate public participation.

In the book Hamas, author Matthew Levitt describes KinderUSA as a charitable front for terror financing. When Levitt, along with Yale Press who published his book, were sued by KinderUSA, he instituted a counter-claim against the plaintiff based on California’s Anti-SLAPP statute.  Shortly afterwards, KinderUSA dropped their lawsuit claiming it found the suit too costly to pursue.   

Most disturbing, parties sued for reporting on U.S. government investigations into terrorist activities, or for formally appealing government authorities to conduct investigations, include The New York Times which, in 2001, reported on the US Government investigation of the Global Relief Foundation; The Wall Street Journal which, in 2002, reported on the monitoring of the Saudi bank accounts; and ADL which, in 2002, called for the investigation of a public school superintendent, Khadja Ghafur, based on indications that schools under his supervision were teaching religion.

Legal Jihad is gaining momentum with a ripple effect, and we must expect that Islamists will engage in future legal efforts along these lines. Indeed, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) have both stated publicly that they are considering filing defamation lawsuits against their critics. The Muslim World League has called for the establishment of a commission to take legal action against those who abuse Islam and its prophet Mohammed. During the recent two-day summit in Dakar, taking legal action against those who defame Islam was a key issue debated at length by Muslim leaders.

For its part, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has announced an ambitious fundraising goal of $1 million, in part to “defend against defamatory attacks on Muslims and Islam.” One of its staffers, Rabiah Ahmed, has stated that lawsuits are increasingly an ‘instrument’ for it to use.”  Moreover, CAIR’s chairman, Parvez Ahmed, has stated that “People who make statements connecting CAIR to terrorism should understand the legal consequences of their attempted slander and defamation.”

This is not a Left or Right issue.

The Islamist Lawfare challenge presents a direct and real threat to our constitutional rights and national security. Left unabated, this phenomenon has the potential to seriously hinder public debate on the threat of radical Islam. The United States was founded on the premise of freedom of worship, but also on the principle that one should have the freedom to criticize religion.

Should the voices of concerned Americans be intimidated into silence, a real possibility exists that the criticism of radical Islam will be stifled, and Sharia law will begin to creep into our system as we are seeing it do in the financial markets with Sharia banking.

Daniel Pipes, who founded and heads the Middle East Forum, recognized the seriousness of this threat and last spring established the Legal Project (LP) to counter it. The LP has been working to recruit and establish a network of attorneys who are willing to work as pro bono counsel for the defendants in these cases; it has also embarked on fundraising efforts to assist with the cost of litigation and is working to raise public awareness of this phenomenon. Moreover, the LP is capable of positioning itself on the offensive and has recently succeeded in causing The Muslim Weekly publication, a UK-based lslamist magazine, to issue an apology and retraction of an article in which one Tariq Ramadan made false and defamatory statements about Dr. Pipes. 

Those parties who recklessly and wrongfully defame our counter-terrorism researchers should beware.

#  #

FamilySecurityMatters.org  Contributing Editor Brooke Goldstein, a practicing attorney, is the Director of The Legal Project at the Middle East Forum, Director of the Children's Rights Institute, an Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute and the 2007 recipient of the E. Nathaniel Gates Award for Outstanding Public Advocacy.  Goldstein has been invited to the White House and State Department to brief government officials on issues of counter-terrorism and has appeared on Fox News, CNN and in other media as an expert commentator.

If you are a reporter or producer who is interested in receiving more information about this writer or this article, please email your request to pr@familysecuritymatters.org.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #148 on: June 04, 2008, 06:18:36 PM »

VANCOUVER -In the subterranean bowels of a provincial courthouse, a bizarre and frightening spectacle starts to unfold. At issue are the pointed musings of Mark Steyn, a journalist and author living in the United States. A lengthy excerpt from his controversial book, America Alone, was published two years ago in Toronto-based Maclean's magazine, a weekly publication owned by Toronto-based Roger's Publishing Ltd.
The book excerpt ran as a cover story, entitled "Why the Future Belongs to Islam," and argued that Western democracy is threatened by the spread of Islam. In response, a human rights complaint was made here, in British Columbia, by an electrical engineer living in Waterloo, Ont.
That's the bizarre part, or one slice of it. None of the main players starring in this quasi-judicial drama actually live or work in B. C. Not Mr. Steyn, not the editors responsible for Maclean's, and not Mohamed Elmasry, a Muslim who launched a complaint to the B. C. Human Rights Tribunal on behalf of all Muslims in this province.
Neither Mr. Steyn, nor his editors, nor Mr. Elmasry were in sight when the tribunal panel began the week-long hearing yesterday. Mr. Steyn will not testify, say lawyers for Maclean's. Nor will Mr. Elmasry, the aggrieved. So why bring the complaint forward here? Because Mr. Elmasry can. This thanks to provincial human rights legislation of a breadth and elasticity not known in other parts of Canada.
Mr. Elmasry, the president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, and a highly controversial figure himself -- especially among Jewish groups -- claims the Steyn excerpt denigrated and vilified Canadian Muslims and promoted hatred of an identifiable group.
He is not obliged to demonstrate what harm occurred to whom, or to what degree. Maclean's magazine and Mr. Steyn could still be found to have violated B. C.'s Human Rights Code. No proof of damage is required.
Meanwhile, if found to have violated the code, Maclean's faces sanctions, including payment to the complainant "an amount that the member or panel considers appropriate to compensate that person for injury to dignity, feelings and self respect or to any of them."...
Packing the small gallery behind them were Mark Steyn supporters, Internet bloggers, and others opposed to limits placed on free speech.
Mr. Joseph opened with a blistering attack. The Steyn excerpt that Maclean's published in October, 2006, presented Muslims as "a violent people" who hold traditional Canadian values "in contempt," he alleged. Their religion was portrayed as "inhuman" and "violent." Even the cover image that Maclean's chose to run with the Steyn excerpt was hauled before the inquiry. The image of two Muslim women, along with the magazine's cover line, "could have been the picture of a horror cult movie," declared Mr. Joseph.
He soon swerved off topic, referring to inflammatory passages from Mr. Steyn's book that did not appear in Maclean's. He mentioned "20 other articles" that ran in Maclean's, beginning in January, 2005; these were also unkind to Muslims, he alleged, even if they were not part of his client's complaint. Mr. Joseph even slammed Maclean's for publishing letters from readers praising the magazine and Mr. Steyn.

Full article here.
http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/...3fda2ca5dd&p=1
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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,363182,00.html


A Danish cartoonist and ten newspaper editors have reportedly been summoned by Jordan's public prosecutor on charges of "blasphemy" for reprinting cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
According to the Copenhagen Post, prosecutor Hassan Abdullat has subpoenaed the 11 Danes for drawing and reprinting cartoons they say offend Islam, charging them with "threatening the national peace."
Under Jordanian law, reproducing images of the Prophet Muhammad inside — or even outside the country — is illegal under the Jordanian Justice Act, the newspaper wrote.
A lawyer representing "The Prophet Unites Us," a Jordanian group angling for the prosecution, said that if the Danish journalists did not appear in Jordan for legal proceedings, the next step would be to inform Interpol and seek their arrest.
But the Danish foreign ministry said that the journalists would not be forcibly deported, as the printing of the controversial cartoons is not a punishable offense in Denmark.
Jordanian courts have not issued an indictment, but lawyers are hoping the case will help establish an international law against slandering religion, according to Danish reports.

Abdullat has summoned Kurt Westergaard, a cartoonist facing death threats for his depiction of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban in the shape of a bomb.
Abdullat also subpoenaed the editors of ten newspapers that reprinted the infamous cartoon in March, the paper reported.
The summons came just one day after the Danish embassy in Pakistan was destroyed in a bombing that killed 6, apparently a reprisal for the reprinting of the cartoons.
__________________

Brigitte Bardot fined £12,000 for racial hatred after claiming Muslims are destroying France

Last updated at 5:55 PM on 03rd June 2008

French film star Brigitte Bardot was today convicted of provoking discrimination and racial hatred for writing that Muslims are destroying France.

A Paris court also handed down a €15,000 ($11,920) fine against the former screen siren turned animal rights campaigner.

A leading French anti-racism group known as MRAP filed a lawsuit last year over a letter Bardot, 73, sent to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

The remarks by the star, who helped popularise the bikini during her heyday in the 1950s, were published in her foundation's quarterly journal.

In the December 2006 letter to Mr Sarkozy, now the president, Bardot said France is "tired of being led by the nose by this population that is destroying us, destroying our country by imposing its acts."

The actress, who is most famous for her sex kitten role in And God Created Woman, was referring to the Muslim feast of Eid el-Kebir, celebrated by slaughtering sheep.

Bardot's lawyer, Francois-Xavier Kelidjian, said he would talk to her about the possibility of an appeal.

"She is tired of this type of proceedings," he said.

"She has the impression that people want to silence her. She will not be silenced in her defense of animal rights."

The court also ordered Bardot to pay €1,000 (£795) in damages to MRAP, as well as one symbolic euro to two other anti-racism groups.

French anti-racism laws prevent inciting hatred and discrimination on racial or religious or racial grounds.

Bardot had been convicted four times previously for inciting racial hatred.

She was first fined in 1997 for her comments published in Le Figaro newspaper.

A year later she was convicted for making a statement about the growing number of mosques in France "while our church bells fall silent".

In 1998 she was convicted for making a statement about the growing number of mosques in France.

In a book she wrote in 1999, called "Le Carre de Pluton" (Pluto's Square), she again criticised Muslim sheep slaughter and was fined 30,000 francs £3,000).

In a 2001 article named, Open Letter to My Lost France, she lamented: "...my country, France, my homeland, my land is again invaded by an overpopulation of foreigners, especially Muslims."

In her 2003 book, A Scream in the Silence, she warned of the “Islamicisation of France”, and said of Muslim immigration: “Over the last twenty years, we have given in to a subterranean, dangerous, and uncontrolled infiltration, which not only resists adjusting to our laws and customs but which will, as the years pass, attempt to impose its own."

She was fined €5,000 (then worth £2,900)

Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...ng-France.html

« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 06:32:30 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #149 on: June 04, 2008, 08:42:30 PM »

Here's more on the Steyn trial of my previous post:

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/...f-461ff39cb6cd

The show trial begins

David Warren
The Ottawa Citizen


Wednesday, June 04, 2008


The writings of Canada's most talented journalist, Mark Steyn, went on trial in Vancouver on Monday, in a case designed to challenge freedom of the press. It is a show trial, under the arbitrary powers given to Canada's obscene "human rights" commissions, by Section 13 of our Human Rights Act.

I wrote "obscene" advisedly. A respondent who comes before Canada's "human rights" tribunals has none of the defences formerly guaranteed in common law. The truth is no defence, reasonable intention is no defence, nor material harmlessness, there are no rules of evidence, no precedents, nor case law of any kind. The commissars running the tribunals need have no legal training, exhibit none, and owe their appointments to networking among leftwing activists.

I wrote "show trial" advisedly, for there has been a 100 per cent conviction rate in cases brought to "human rights" tribunals under Section 13.

Take this in:

A group of Islamist fanatics, claiming to speak for every Muslim in Canada, charged Maclean's magazine with "spreading hatred against Muslims" for having printed a lucid and reasonable (if controversial) excerpt from Steyn's bestselling book, America Alone. This is a news story that should be on the front page of every newspaper in Canada, every day until it is resolved.

Everything about this case stinks to high heaven. It was brought before three different "human rights" tribunals simultaneously. The British Columbian venue was openly "jurisdiction shopped" because the province's human rights tribunals have an especially egregious record for ignoring respondents' most basic Charter rights. The charges were brought more than a year after the article appeared. There was an open attempt at extortion, when representatives of the complainant called a press conference in which an offer was made to retract the charges for unspecified considerations.

The case is the more ludicrous because the allegations brought are semi-literate (for instance, Steyn's quotations of lunatic Islamist imams are confused with Steyn's own assertions). The remedies sought keep changing; the arguments keep changing; the explanation of why the complainant has brought the case and what he hopes to gain from it has kept changing. And now the show trial has begun, the prosecution is presenting a parade of entirely irrelevant testimony. (Has Steyn properly understood the Koran? Etc.)

A farce, but a farce that has huge consequences for Canada: for by such methods free speech and free press are being snuffed out. The Left may think they have found the ideal method to silence anyone who challenges their insane, "politically correct" ideas, but have instead created a monster that can as easily eat them next.

This is a disaster also for Canada's Muslims, for the views of fanatical Islamists are being presented as representative of all. No single person has done so much to advance contempt for Islam in this country as Mohamed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, the complainant in this case, whose public assertions include, for example, the view every adult Israeli citizen is a valid target for Palestinian hitmen.

The bland acceptance of this man, by mainstream Canadian media, as the definitive spokesman for Muslim interests in Canada, cannot be blamed on the Muslim community. Innumerable Muslims have disavowed him, and yet are entirely ignored. Indeed: Mark Steyn has been among the few journalists distinguishing between camps. He would be: for he has plenty of Muslim supporters.

There is some good news. It appears the Harper government has finally been goaded into calling a public inquiry into proceedings of at least the federal "human rights" commission. Some good may come from public confirmation of the outrageous, often sick behaviour of its members and hangers-on, which Canada's leading bloggers have been documenting.

But the problem is at once more urgent and much broader than any carefully-focused inquiry can present. For what radical activists have achieved through "human rights" commissions is now endemic, in all kinds of "star chamber" and "kangaroo court" operations, in everything from the tax system to provisions of family law.

Another crucial point:

While media attention to Mark Steyn's show trial is inadequate, it is nevertheless the best publicized case ever to come before our "human rights" bureaucracies. Most of the victims of these neo-Maoist tribunals have been "little people," with nothing like the resources Maclean's magazine has put in play to defend itself and Steyn, and no media reporting whatever. They have been persecuted, stripped of their livelihoods and savings, demonized among their neighbours, made to endure humiliating "re-education" programs - without lawyers, without assistance of any kind -- all for exercising rights that any Canadian would have taken for granted a mere generation ago.

I want justice for Mark Steyn. But I also want justice for all these little people, who have been crushed under the jackboot of "political correction."

David Warren's column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008
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