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Author Topic: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!)  (Read 158365 times)
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #150 on: June 05, 2008, 05:31:44 PM »

June 05, 2008

The Guardian Position

Regular readers may remember the Danish journalist, Jakob Illeborg, and his rhetorical contortions. In February, following the republication of the Muhammad cartoons, while Muslim youths were burning down Danish schools on a nightly basis, Mr Illeborg went to enormous lengths to convince Guardian readers that,

The Danes could, with some justification, be seen as fire starters.

This claim is, it seems, based on a belief that to exercise and defend, even belatedly, the most basic values of a free society is actually to “rock the boat” and invite upon oneself a week of rioting, violence and murderous intimidation. When the 73-year-old cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was forced into hiding following a plot to murder him, several Danish papers republished Westergaard’s cartoon as both an affirmation of free speech and an expression of solidarity. This was, according to Illeborg,

A headstrong idealistic response.

Given Mr Illeborg’s articles appear on a website named Comment is Free, one might find this disapproval a tad peculiar. Though perhaps not quite as peculiar as his willingness to denounce as “headstrong” a perfectly legal activity, while carefully avoiding any such pejoratives when referring to those making death threats and setting fire to schools. Mr Illborg is, however, quite skilled at double standards and juggling contradiction, as demonstrated by his dual assertion that,

The fire starters are frustrated young Muslim men who claim that their action is sparked by the re-publication of one of the prophet cartoons –


although it probably has little to do with religion.

Illeborg’s most recent article, titled Denmark Loses Tolerance, once again demonstrates a craven doublethink that has come to define much of the Guardian’s commentary on the subject of Islam. In an attempt to illustrate “how far Denmark has moved from the liberal values it was once proud of,” Illeborg highlights, of all things, Monday’s suicide bomb attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad. Just pause for a moment. Think about that. A claim that Danes are “losing tolerance” is illustrated with an Islamist attack on a Danish embassy in which 6 people died and burned body parts were left strewn across the road.

Ever since the prophet cartoon crises of 2006 and 2008, Islamist extremists around the world have been threatening bloody revenge on Denmark.

Ah, bloody revenge. For a cartoon. Note that the intolerance which most troubles Mr Illeborg is that of “headstrong” Danes who wish to retain a freethinking culture, and not the rather more emphatic intolerance of men so vain they blow off people’s limbs and burn them to death. At this point one might reflect on how it is that some among us have come to accept the idea that an unflattering cartoon is a comprehensible “cause” of death threats and dismemberment. The cause is not, it seems, lunatic pride cultivated in the name of piety.

Monday's attack, is of course, indefensible,

Wait for it.


There we go.

it raises questions about the wisdom of the much-debated cartoons and Danish reactions to Muslim wrath. Not because anything about any cartoon - no matter how provocative - justifies such acts of violence, but because the cartoons ended up playing into the hands of extremists who could utilise it to “prove” how badly the west behaves towards Muslims.

Having previously made quite a few excuses for Islamic violence and its accommodation, Illeborg goes on to say,

Denmark has now become a target, and while [this] should in no way be excused, we ought to have known better.

The claim that “we ought to have known better” implies a great many things that Illeborg takes care not to state too clearly. Apparently, it’s okay to have certain rights provided we don’t actually use them or defend them against assault. Or, as Illeborg previously chose to word it, rather coyly:

Most of us agree that the Danish newspapers have the right to print the cartoons, but they don’t have an obligation to do so.

Likewise, in order to believe that publishing the cartoons constitutes being “headstrong” or “behaving badly” one would first have to forget the series of violent events that prompted them and on which they passed comment. Then one would have to imagine that backing down in the face of threats and intimidation will not invite more of the same. One would also have to believe that even the most ludicrous religious vanities, including fantasies of dominion, are deserving of respect. Not just tolerance, mind, but respect, which is not the same thing at all. And, by implication, one would have to believe that the taboos and ticks of Islam should, as a matter of courtesy, extend to non-Muslims, even those who find Muhammad an absurd and contemptible figure.

One might deduce from such thinking that the values of a free society - on which Mr Illeborg’s livelihood depends - are best defended by an unending accommodation of Islamic neurosis and supremacist posturing. Indeed, one might suppose that “liberal values” are actually best affirmed by their abandonment, and that being “tolerant” means touching one’s toes and hoping no one takes advantage. Behold The Guardian Position™, dutifully assumed: cowardice masked as compromise, tarted up in moral drag.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #151 on: June 07, 2008, 09:05:41 PM »

**Surrender your freedoms, and no one gets hurt.**

Pakistan to ask EU to amend laws on freedom of expression

By Tahir Niaz

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan will ask the European Union countries to amend laws regarding freedom of expression in order to prevent offensive incidents such as the printing of blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and the production of an anti-Islam film by a Dutch legislator, sources in the Interior Ministry told Daily Times on Saturday.

They said that a six-member high-level delegation comprising officials from the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Law would leave Islamabad on Sunday (today) for the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and explain to the EU leadership the backlash against the blasphemous campaign in the name of freedom of expression.

The delegation, headed by an additional secretary of the Interior Ministry, will meet the leaders of the EU countries in a bid to convince them that the recent attack on the Danish Embassy in Pakistan could be a reaction against the blasphemous campaign, sources said.

They said that the delegation would also tell the EU that if such acts against Islam are not controlled, more attacks on the EU diplomatic missions abroad could not be ruled out.

Sources said that the delegation would also hold discussions on inter-religious harmony during its meetings with the EU leaders.
Power User
Posts: 42548

« Reply #152 on: June 08, 2008, 12:28:37 AM »

Now THAT is some serious chutzpah.

Sadly I am predicting that the response given will be less than the correct answer of FCUK OFF. angry cry angry
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #153 on: June 08, 2008, 09:11:50 AM »

The euro-dhimmis can't wait to cower and appease in the name of tolerance and multiculturalism.
Power User
Posts: 42548

« Reply #154 on: June 19, 2008, 01:24:15 PM »

Sounds of Silence
June 19, 2008

Welcome to a world where criticism of militant Islam could land you in court or worse. In Vancouver, Canada's venerable Maclean's magazine awaits a hate-speech verdict from a human-rights tribunal for publishing a chapter from syndicated columnist Mark Steyn's best-selling book "America Alone." The accusers charge the author and publisher with "Islamophobia."

Last week, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), warned a gathering in Kuala Lumpur that "mere condemnation or distancing from the acts of the perpetrators of Islamophobia" would not suffice. He recommended that Western countries restrict freedom of expression and demanded that the media stop publishing "hate material" like the Danish cartoons. "It is now high time for concrete actions to stem the rot before it aggravates any further," he said.

Kabul speech: Afghans demonstrate against a Dutch Quran documentary and Danish cartoons that depicted the Prophet Muhammad. March 21, 2008.
Islamic countries already scored a victory on this front back in March. They pushed through a resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council urging a global ban on the public defamation of religion -- read Islam.

* * *
These are examples of a growing campaign to use judicial power to silence critics of militant Islam. In the U.N. Durban Review Conference, scheduled for April 20-24, 2009 in Geneva, it appears that the OIC and its cohorts have identified the perfect platform to further their agenda.

Recall the first Durban meeting, the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, which took place only days before 9/11. That gathering deteriorated into a hate-fest against Jews, America and Israel. Disgusted by the vile rhetoric and Stürmer-like caricatures of Jews on display, the U.S. and Israeli delegations walked out.

Hopes that the Durban II conference next year will be a more enlightened event have already been dashed by the fact that some of the worst human rights abusers are setting its agenda. At the urging of the OIC, Libya secured chairmanship of the preparatory committee. Iran and Pakistan each won a seat on the committee. And Egypt, another OIC member, has been representing the 53-nation African Group during floor debates.

And so instead of Durban II rectifying the sins of the past, this latest U.N. forum will seek to undermine free societies by invoking the specter of Islamophobia. The OIC is the U.N.'s most powerful voting bloc. As the democracies at the U.N. have repeatedly learned, the OIC, with 57 members the controlling group in the 130-member bloc of developing countries, can usually push through its agenda with little difficulty.

The likely outcome of Durban II will be to urge all U.N. member states to pass legislation restricting basic freedoms of speech and action -- all in the interest of preventing "Islamophobia." The discrimination or defamation of Muslims, or of any other group for that matter, is of course reprehensible. But "Islamophobia," as defined by Libya, Iran and the other Durban II organizers, covers any criticism of Islam, Muslims or their actions.

If the leaders of these countries have it their way, writing op-eds criticizing Islamic radicalism, or speaking out against Muslim terrorists or, of course, publishing cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, are soon to be considered criminal examples of racism.

During the most recent Durban II preparatory meetings in April and May, OIC members from Iran to Indonesia all insisted that freedom of expression is what causes Islamophobia. "The most disturbing phenomenon is the intellectual and ideological validation of Islamophobia," noted the Pakistani representative to the U.N., Marghoob Saleem Butt, on behalf of the OIC. "While it is expressed in the form of defamation of religion, it takes cover behind the freedom of expression and opinion." Voicing the demands of the Muslim bloc and its many authoritarian leaders, Mr. Butt requested that the Durban process "devise normative standards that provide adequate guarantees" against the intolerance of Muslims promoted by these freedoms.

Human rights advocates worried about this threat to civil liberties have been voicing their concerns with little success. Juliette De Rivero, for example, the Human Rights Watch advocacy director in Geneva, raised the alarm in late April: "Justified concerns about the complex relationship of racial and religious intolerance and hatred should not be the pretext to undermine key freedoms, including freedom of speech," she told the conference organizers in Geneva.

The danger of the Durban process is that it seeks to shape international and national laws. If the OIC succeeds, a broad definition of "Islamophobia" will be incorporated into Durban II's final outcome document. Thereafter, expect U.N. bodies, such as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, to call countries to task if they fail to implement these recommendations. Other organs of the international system will adopt and cite the Islamophobia definition as well, until it and its ill effects have migrated throughout the international system.

The Durban II recommendations, however, will not stop only at warping international standards on what constitutes Islamophobia -- the OIC aims to export its language into individual countries' domestic laws. The first point in a draft of the conference's final outcome document compels countries to pursue the "enactment of adequate legislation in line with [those] international standards." The same diplomatic draft paper identifies freedom of expression as a "main challenge and obstacle" to addressing contemporary forms of racism.

Only the European Union can now stop this insidious process. Canada has already announced that it will boycott the conference, and the U.S. has also indicated that it will not participate in Durban II unless satisfied that it will not be another fiasco. But only the threat of a European pullout would deal a true blow to the credibility of the proceedings and deny the partisans of "Islamophobia" the U.N. imprimatur they crave.

Next month, France ascends to the EU presidency. It will be up to Paris to lead the fight for Western freedoms and, for once, put Iran, Libya, and other authoritarian states on the defensive. Let's hope French President Nicolas Sarkozy understands what's at stake.

Mr. Dubowitz is executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #155 on: June 19, 2008, 07:15:48 PM »

Jihad Watch.
« Reply #156 on: June 19, 2008, 07:36:58 PM »

Related to problems with limiting free speech,,1992760,00.html

The German justice minister has proposed that all EU states should criminalise Holocaust denial and ban the public display of Nazi insignia, as Germany itself does. The EU's justice commissioner has apparently supported her. No reasonable person will doubt their good intentions, but this would be a big mistake. I hope and trust that other EU members will put a stop to this deeply unwise proposal, as they have to similar ones in the past.

Let me be clear about my starting-point. The Nazi Holocaust of the European Jews was unique. The main historical facts about it should be known by every contemporary European. Trying to ensure that nothing like that ever again happens here in Europe (or anywhere else in the world, insofar as that is in our power) should be one of the fundamental aims of the EU. As someone who came to European affairs through the study of Nazi Germany, I can say that this was a major reason for my personal commitment to what we call the European project.

That a measure is well-intended does not, however, make it wise. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And this proposal is very unwise. First of all, if passed, it would further curtail free expression - at a time when that is under threat from many quarters. Free expression is a unique and primary good in free societies; it's the oxygen that sustains other freedoms. You must therefore have very good reasons for restricting it by law.

The German justice minister, Brigitte Zypries, argues that she has such reasons. Recalling the way in which the anti-semitic words of Hitler and others paved the way for the horrors of Nazism, she says: "This historical experience puts Germany under a permanent obligation to combat systematically every form of racism, anti-semitism and xenophobia. And we should not wait until it comes to deeds. We must act already against the intellectual pathbreakers of the crime" (I translate from a speech posted on the German justice ministry's website). So this additional restriction on free expression - an EU-wide ban on Holocaust denial and Nazi insignia - is justified because it will make a significant difference to combating racism, anti-semitism and xenophobia today.

But what is the evidence for that? Nine EU member states currently have laws against Holocaust denial: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. That happens to be a list of countries with some of the strongest rightwing xenophobic parties in the EU, from France's National Front and the Vlaams Belang in Belgium to the NPD in Germany and the Greater Romania party. Self-evidently those parties don't exist as a result of Holocaust denial laws. Indeed, the existence of such parties is one of the reasons given for having the laws, but the laws have obviously not prevented their vigorous and dangerous growth. If anything, the bans and resulting court cases have given them a nimbus of persecution, that far-right populists love to exploit.

The same thing has happened with the imprisonment of David Irving in Austria. Six years ago Irving lost, in the British high court, a spectacular libel case that he had himself initiated against the American historian Deborah Lipstadt, who had described him as "one of the most prominent and dangerous Holocaust deniers". Mr Justice Gray concluded that Irving was "an active Holocaust denier". The last shreds of his reputation as a serious historian were torn apart - in a country that does not ban Holocaust denial. Now, having served time in Austria for statements he made there 16 years before, he can pose as a martyr for free speech and receives renewed publicity for his calumnies. At a press conference after his release, he reportedly endorsed the drunken anti-semitic comment of Mel Gibson that "the Jews" are responsible for all the wars in the world

Now suppose the ban on displaying Nazi insignia had already been in force EU-wide and the British courts had therefore been obliged to prosecute Prince Harry for (offensively and idiotically) sporting an Afrika Korps uniform and swastika armband at a friend's fancy dress party. What would that have done to combat Eurosceptic and xenophobic extremism in Britain? Nothing. Quite the reverse: it would have been worth thousands of votes to the British National party. And while we're on the subject of the swastika, Hindus across Europe are protesting against the proposed ban, on the grounds that for them the swastika is an ancient symbol of peace. Meanwhile, the German legal authorities have got themselves into a ridiculous tangle because a court in Stuttgart has convicted the manager of a mail-order company for selling T-shirts showing crossed-out and crushed swastikas. These might be anti-fascist T-shirts, you see, but they still showed swastikas and were therefore illegal. And so it goes on, and would go on even more if the whole EU adopted such measures.

The argument that these well-intentioned bans actually feed the flames they are meant to quench is, of course, ultimately unprovable, although circumstantial and anecdotal evidence points in that direction. But the burden of proof is on the proponents of the ban. In a free society, any restriction on free speech must have a compelling justification - and that is not available here.

Holocaust denial should be combated in our schools, our universities and our media, not in police stations and courts. It is, at most, a minor contributing factor to today's far-right racism and xenophobia, which now mainly targets Muslims, people of different skin colour, and migrants of all kinds. Nor will today's anti-semitism be countered most effectively by such bans; they may, at the margins, even stoke it up, feeding conspiracy theories about Jewish power and accusations of double-standards. Citizens of the Baltic states, who suffered so terribly under Stalin, will ask why only denial of the Holocaust should be criminalised and not denial of the gulag. Armenians will add: and why not the genocide that our ancestors experienced at the hands of the Turks? And Muslims: why not cartoons of Muhammad?

The approach advocated by the German justice minister also reeks of the nanny state. It speaks in the name of freedom but does not trust people to exercise freedom responsibly. Citizens are to be treated as children, guided and guarded at every turn. Indeed, the more I look at what Zypries does and says, the more she seems to me the personification of the contemporary European nanny state. It's no accident that she has also been closely involved in extending German law to allow more bugging of private homes. Vertrauen ist gut, Kontrolle ist besser (trust is good, control is better). Isn't that another mistake Germany made in the past?

Zypries is right: we must learn the lessons of history. But we must learn the right lessons of history, the ones relevant to a free, multicultural continent today. "Experience shows," writes the former attorney general of India, Soli Sorabjee, "that criminal laws prohibiting hate speech and expression will encourage intolerance, divisiveness and unreasonable interference with freedom of expression ... We need not more repressive laws but more free speech to combat bigotry and to promote tolerance." True for India and true for Europe.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #157 on: June 23, 2008, 09:29:31 AM »

Counterterrorism Blog

Jihad Against Freedom of Speech at the United Nations

By Jeffrey Imm

The United Nations' Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has no problem with its members suggesting that the 9/11 attacks were an "inside job" perpetrated by the United States on itself. The human rights of America's 9/11 victims are not a priority for UNHRC's Richard Falk, the special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, who engages in 9/11 conspiracy propaganda, while working for an organization headquartered in New York City funded by U.S. tax dollars. This is Richard Falk's protected freedom of speech.

Denying the role of Jihadists in the 9/11 attacks is apparently perfectly acceptable freedom of speech for the UNHRC, but criticizing Sharia law is another story.

On June 16, 2008, UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea announced that criticism of Sharia law will not be tolerated by the UNHRC, based on the complaints and pressure by Islamist delegates to the UNHRC. In effect, the Islamist nations represented at the UNHRC have effected a Jihad against freedom of speech at the United Nations when it comes to criticizing Sharia or Islamic supremacist (aka Islamist) theocratic ideologies that threaten the freedom and lives of innocents around the world. This again demonstrates the key imperative of control for Islamists - in this case in terms of controlling ideas, thoughts, and words of an international organization intended to promote human rights. Outgoing UNHRC Commissioner Louise Arbour subsequently raised concerns about debates on Sharia becoming "taboo" within the United Nations group, stating that it "should be, among other things, the guardian of freedom of expression."

The UNHRC ban on debate regarding Sharia came as a result of a three minute joint statement by the Association for World Education with the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) to the Human Rights Council on women's rights and the impact of Sharia law. These NGOs sought to address international issues of violence against women, specifically, the stoning of women, "honor killings" of women, and female genital mutilation, as a result of Sharia law.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the Arab Republic of Egypt vehemently criticized this attempted NGO message, interrupting it via "16 points of order", for an hour and twenty-five minutes per the IEHU. Jihad Watch provides a full transcript of the debate. The Egyptian UNHRC delegate claimed that silencing these NGOs was necessary to ensure "that Islam will not be crucified in this Council," but the fact is that Islamist forces seek to silence any debate on Sharia at all - anywhere, any time.
Ongoing Efforts to Silence Debate on Sharia

This is not the first time that efforts have been made by such pro-Islamist Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member nations to influence the United Nations. In my article "Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations," I addressed the efforts of OIC member nations to reword a UNHRC resolution on religious freedom so that it would not respect the right of individuals to change their religion, as this would be in conflict with Sharia law. The OIC continues global efforts to influence the United Nations and worldwide organization to silence any debate on Sharia by painting such debate as "Islamophobia."

In the war of ideas, the debate over Sharia's influence on Jihad (or "Islamist terrorism" per the 9/11 Commission Report), continues to remain under the radar for many analysts. Yet in the ongoing battles by the Taliban in Pakistan, a primary stated objective of the Taliban is enforcing Sharia law throughout the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a sentiment that nearly 75 percent of Pakistanis agree with. (I address this issue in my article "Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State.")

Two days after this silencing of debate on Sharia at the UNHRC, a man was sentenced to death for "blasphemy" in Pakistan by a Sharia court. This is the same Pakistan, whose government seeks to export the death penalty for "blasphemy" against Islam on a global basis, that now has successfully achieved the silencing of debate on Sharia in the United Nations. Moreover, when the Danish Embassy was attacked by terrorists in Pakistan recently, the Pakistan ambassador suggested that this was deserved due to the "blasphemous" cartoons published in Danish newspapers -- the Pakistan ambassador to Norway further stated to the press that "blasphemous" cartoons are "an act of terrorism."

The challenge of Sharia's impact on Jihad is so completely beyond the thought processes of counterterrorism analysts that Sharia is not even mentioned in the latest "terror lexicon" publications by the DHS and NCTC warning government officials not to use terms like "jihad," "Islamist," "caliphate," "mujahedeen." Yet Sharia is a fundamental component of what western political scientists call "Islamism" or "political Islam." The 9/11 Commission Report specifically states that "Islamist terrorism" is based on "Islamism."

Nevertheless, as the U.S. and the United Kingdom governments seek to end dialogue on jihad, Islamism, etc., the United Nations now seeks to end debate on Sharia. The war of ideas seems to be ending before it is even begun.

News media publications cannot be relied upon to address this vacuum in ideological debate either. Most refuse to address Islamic supremacist ideologies, including the impact of Sharia law on human rights and freedoms. The Wall Street Journal even employs specialists on Sharia law to help promote Sharia-based financial instruments.

Silence on Supremacist Ideologies Not Consistent With History or Democracy

The gross illogical nature of such an approach is seen by looking at another form of supremacist political ideology that the United States government, the United Nations, and other nations have aggressively debated and have enforced change in their governments and their people to remove.

If the issue was a racial supremacist ideology, would such objections exist?

Can one imagine the United Nations refusing to debate "white supremacism" due to fears of insulting "whites," or refusing to debate "apartheid"?

Can one imagine the U.S. government refusing to use terms such as "white supremacism" in dealing with fighting the Ku Klux Klan, or in refusing to consider the influences of white supremacist ideology when guaranteeing civil rights for all of its citizens, and in creating laws to effectively ban white supremacist influences in schools, businesses, and public places?

Most of all, in fighting white supremacist terror groups as the Ku Klux Klan, would the FBI have consulted "non-violent" white supremacists for ideological guidance? Would the FBI and the federal government have stated that it could not be involved in the "war of ideas" against white supremacism?

With the context of history, such questions are obviously absurd. That is precisely the point regarding the unwillingness to address the challenges of Islamic supremacist ideologies.

History shows that, in fact, none of this happened, and that the United Nations, the U.S government, and federal U.S. law enforcement all took action against such supremacist ideologies and publicly, aggressively, debated these in a war of ideas that would change the world and the nation. For the United States, the history of such federal action against such supremacist ideologies goes back nearly 140 years.

Therefore, such deliberate silence and denial regarding Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies is completely inconsistent with the history of such organizations and with America's democratic values. I will be addressing this in more detail in a future article to be entitled "Jihad and Supremacist Ideologies."

UNHRC president Doru Romulus Costea silenced debate on Sharia due to his fears of pursuing a "slippery slope" in such discussions.

Yet it is precisely such a "slippery slope" of denial on Islamic supremacist ideologies that the world is facing in the debate over Jihad, or in the words of Osama Bin Laden "the greater state of Islam from the ocean to the ocean, Allah permitting."

On a national and global level, the combination of denial and refusal to address the impact of Sharia and Islamic supremacist ideologies in providing an ideological basis for global Jihadist activity is truly a "slippery slope" for the safety of the entire world.

Sources and Related Documents:

June 19, 2008 - FOX News: Critics Demand Resignation of U.N. Official Who Wants Probe of 9/11 'Inside Job' Theories

June 19, 2008 - Pakistan Daily Times: Muslim countries win concession regarding religious debates

June 19, 2008 - JihadWatch: UN Human Rights Council: Any mention of the word "sharia" is now taboo

June 18, 2008 - AFP: UN Rts Head Concerned At Council "Taboos" After Sharia Row

June 18, 2008 - Reuters: UN's Arbour opposes "taboos" in human rights body

June 17, 2008 - International Humanist and Ethical Union: Human Rights Council President: "We are on a slippery slope"

June 18, 2008 - AP: Muslim man in Pakistan sentenced to death for blasphemy

February 29, 2008 - OIC Statement on Islamophobia

February 1, 2008 - Jihad, Islamism, and the United Nations - Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm

February 29, 2008 - Jihad, Islamism, and U.S. Envoy to OIC - Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm

November 14, 2007 - Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing - Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm

June 10, 2008 - Pakistan and the Growing Threat of a Sharia Mini-State - Counterterrorism Blog - by Jeffrey Imm

UN Watch Blog

UN Watch Home Page

By Jeffrey Imm on June 19, 2008 10:00 PM
Power User
Posts: 42548

« Reply #158 on: August 07, 2008, 08:45:52 AM »

You Still Can't Write
About Muhammad
August 6, 2008; Page A15

Starting in 2002, Spokane, Wash., journalist Sherry Jones toiled weekends on a racy historical novel about Aisha, the young wife of the prophet Muhammad. Ms. Jones learned Arabic, studied scholarly works about Aisha's life, and came to admire her protagonist as a woman of courage. When Random House bought her novel last year in a $100,000, two-book deal, she was ecstatic. This past spring, she began plans for an eight-city book tour after the Aug. 12 publication date of "The Jewel of Medina" -- a tale of lust, love and intrigue in the prophet's harem.

It's not going to happen: In May, Random House abruptly called off publication of the book. The series of events that torpedoed this novel are a window into how quickly fear stunts intelligent discourse about the Muslim world.

Random House feared the book would become a new "Satanic Verses," the Salman Rushdie novel of 1988 that led to death threats, riots and the murder of the book's Japanese translator, among other horrors. In an interview about Ms. Jones's novel, Thomas Perry, deputy publisher at Random House Publishing Group, said that it "disturbs us that we feel we cannot publish it right now." He said that after sending out advance copies of the novel, the company received "from credible and unrelated sources, cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."

After consulting security experts and Islam scholars, Mr. Perry said the company decided "to postpone publication for the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel."

This saga upsets me as a Muslim -- and as a writer who believes that fiction can bring Islamic history to life in a uniquely captivating and humanizing way. "I'm devastated," Ms. Jones told me after the book got spiked, adding, "I wanted to honor Aisha and all the wives of Muhammad by giving voice to them, remarkable women whose crucial roles in the shaping of Islam have so often been ignored -- silenced -- by historians." Last month, Ms. Jones signed a termination agreement with Random House, so her literary agent could shop the book to other publishers.

This time, the instigator of the trouble wasn't a radical Muslim cleric, but an American academic. In April, looking for endorsements, Random House sent galleys to writers and scholars, including Denise Spellberg, an associate professor of Islamic history at the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Jones put her on the list because she read Ms. Spellberg's book, "Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha Bint Abi Bakr."

But Ms. Spellberg wasn't a fan of Ms. Jones's book. On April 30, Shahed Amanullah, a guest lecturer in Ms. Spellberg's classes and the editor of a popular Muslim Web site, got a frantic call from her. "She was upset," Mr. Amanullah recalls. He says Ms. Spellberg told him the novel "made fun of Muslims and their history," and asked him to warn Muslims.

In an interview, Ms. Spellberg told me the novel is a "very ugly, stupid piece of work." The novel, for example, includes a scene on the night when Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha: "the pain of consummation soon melted away. Muhammad was so gentle. I hardly felt the scorpion's sting. To be in his arms, skin to skin, was the bliss I had longed for all my life." Says Ms. Spellberg: "I walked through a metal detector to see 'Last Temptation of Christ,'" the controversial 1980s film adaptation of a novel that depicted a relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. "I don't have a problem with historical fiction. I do have a problem with the deliberate misinterpretation of history. You can't play with a sacred history and turn it into soft core pornography."

After he got the call from Ms. Spellberg, Mr. Amanullah dashed off an email to a listserv of Middle East and Islamic studies graduate students, acknowledging he didn't "know anything about it [the book]," but telling them, "Just got a frantic call from a professor who got an advance copy of the forthcoming novel, 'Jewel of Medina' -- she said she found it incredibly offensive." He added a write-up about the book from the Publishers Marketplace, an industry publication.

The next day, a blogger known as Shahid Pradhan posted Mr. Amanullah's email on a Web site for Shiite Muslims -- "Hussaini Youth" -- under a headline, "upcoming book, 'Jewel of Medina': A new attempt to slander the Prophet of Islam." Two hours and 28 minutes after that, another person by the name of Ali Hemani proposed a seven-point strategy to ensure "the writer withdraws this book from the stores and apologise all the muslims across the world."

Meanwhile back in New York City, Jane Garrett, an editor at Random House's Knopf imprint, dispatched an email on May 1 to Knopf executives, telling them she got a phone call the evening before from Ms. Spellberg (who happens to be under contract with Knopf to write "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an.")

"She thinks there is a very real possibility of major danger for the building and staff and widespread violence," Ms. Garrett wrote. "Denise says it is 'a declaration of war . . . explosive stuff . . . a national security issue.' Thinks it will be far more controversial than the satanic verses and the Danish cartoons. Does not know if the author and Ballantine folks are clueless or calculating, but thinks the book should be withdrawn ASAP." ("The Jewel of Medina" was to be published by Random House's Ballantine Books.) That day, the email spread like wildfire through Random House, which also received a letter from Ms. Spellberg and her attorney, saying she would sue the publisher if her name was associated with the novel. On May 2, a Ballantine editor told Ms. Jones's agent the company decided to possibly postpone publication of the book.

On a May 21 conference call, Random House executive Elizabeth McGuire told the author and her agent that the publishing house had decided to indefinitely postpone publication of the novel for "fear of a possible terrorist threat from extremist Muslims" and concern for "the safety and security of the Random House building and employees."

All this saddens me. Literature moves civilizations forward, and Islam is no exception. There is in fact a tradition of historical fiction in Islam, including such works as "The Adventures of Amir Hamza," an epic on the life of Muhammad's uncle. Last year a 948-page English translation was published, ironically, by Random House. And, for all those who believe the life of the prophet Muhammad can't include stories of lust, anger and doubt, we need only read the Quran (18:110) where, it's said, God instructed Muhammad to tell others: "I am only a mortal like you."

Ms. Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, is the author of "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam" (HarperOne, 2006).
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« Reply #159 on: August 11, 2008, 08:30:56 PM »

CNN Avoids Mentioning Islam in Segment on 'Honor Killings'


CNN Avoids Mentioning Islam in Segment on 'Honor Killings'
By Mark Finkelstein (Bio | Archive)
August 11, 2008 - 15:12 ET

Quite a feat: CNN has pulled off the MSM equivalent of describing a spiral staircase without using one's hands. It has managed to produce a segment on "honor killings" and related violence in the UK . . . without using the word "Muslim" or "Islam." CNN Newsroom anchor Don Lemon introduced the segment this afternoon at 1:37 PM EDT.

DON LEMON: Women forced into marriages, or killed for having the wrong boyfriend. So-called "honor crimes" are often committed by fathers or brothers when daughters do something that supposedly brings shame on the family. It's on the rise in Britain, and authorities, they are very worried about it. Our Paula Newton reports.

View video here.

Honor crimes are "often committed" by father and brothers? And the crimes are "on the rise" in Britain? Now why would that be? Newton did little to elucidate. She told the story of Banaz Mahmod [seen here]: kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered at the order of her father, Mahmod Mahmod, for "bringing shame" on her family. Newton never mentioned that Mahmod was a Muslim, an Iraqi Kurd. According to Diana Nammi with the London-based Iranian and Kurdish Women's Rights Organization, "we're seeing an increase around the world, due in part to the rise in Islamic fundamentalism."

Instead of identifying the root of the problem, Newton said only that British authorities have instituted public awareness campaigns in "the few communities" where they've seen problems. She cited a figure of 17,000 honor crimes or forced marriages as possibly being only the tip of the iceberg in the UK. A British police official is then seen decrying the fact that "the perceived honor of the family is seen as more important than the life of a child." In which families? The policeman never said and CNN never explained.

The closest the segment came to revealing the truth of the matter was during an interview with a woman living in hiding for fear of her life for having converted to Christianity and refused an arranged marriage. She mentions that her family has justified killing her for her failure to obey Koran and Allah. And at another point in the segment, brief images of women in black burquas appear.

But the words "Muslim" or "Islam" are never heard during the segment. Newton again elliptically speaks only of "communities" where "young women still live in fear." Which communities might those be? CNN doesn't say.

The network deserves some credit, I suppose, for airing the subject at all. But CNN's failure to mention by name the religion that lies at the root of the problem constitutes a particularly craven political correctness.
« Reply #160 on: September 07, 2008, 10:55:01 AM »

If true, here's what a little magnanimity will get you. Riots and calls for wanton slaughter will doubtless ensue, and then Western apologists will doubtless leap to defense (/sarc).

Headline News
Sunday, September 07, 2008 Israel Today Staff

Muslims urinate on Torah scrolls in Hebron
Jewish worshippers returning to Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs after Muslims were given exclusive access to the holy site at the weekend reported that the cabinet containing their Torah scrolls had been urinated on.

One Jewish resident of Hebron told Israel National News that he and several other men had to move the cabinet to another part of the room because of the strong smell of urine in the area where it is usually positioned.

Additionally, green Hamas flags were found placed in the windows that mark the burial sites of Abraham, Isaac, Sara, Rebecca and Leah.

The Cave of the Patriarchs is split into Jewish and Muslim sections, as both groups revere Abraham.

Several times a year, the holy site is given over to one or the other group exclusively to mark special holy days. Muslims were given exclusive access to the Cave of the Patriarchs on Friday to mark their holy month of Ramadan.

Another Jewish resident of Hebron said that some damage to Jewish religious articles or the Jewish side of the site is found every time the Muslims take over.
« Reply #161 on: September 07, 2008, 11:08:15 AM »

2nd post:

by  Dr. Joel Kotek
Published June 2004
No. 21, 1 June 2004 / 12 Sivan 5764

We would also like to draw your attention to another article on anti-Semitic cartoons: Jew-Hatred in Contemporary Norwegian Caricatures by Erez Uriely

Major Anti-Semitic Motifs in Arab Cartoons
Interview with Joël Kotek

The main recurrent motif in Arab cartoons concerning Israel is "the devilish Jew." This image conveys the idea that Jews behave like Nazis, kill children and love blood. The similarity with themes promulgated by the Nazis is evident. Many Arab cartoons praise suicide bombing or call for murder. The collective image of the Jews thus projected lays the groundwork for a possible genocide.

A caricature may have as much influence on public opinion as an editorial.

Palestinian cartoonists often place emphasis on the anti-Semitic accusation of "ritual murder" of children. This is underscored by their claim that Israelis target Palestinian children. To dehumanize Jews, Arab cartoonists often depict them as malevolent creatures: spiders, vampires or octopuses.

Several Arab hate motifs also have permeated Western society as they resonate with the long-standing anti-Semitic prejudices of the Christian world.


Genocide's Groundwork
"The collective image of the Jews created by Arab cartoons lays the groundwork for a possibility of genocide. My collection of Arab caricatures demonstrates this. One can argue about whether these genocidal ideas are conscious or subconscious. My view is that they are still at the subconscious stage."

Dr. Joël Kotek, a political scientist at the Free University of Brussels, searched the Internet daily for anti-Semitic cartoons in the Arab media for over two and a half years and found about 2,000. Even an initial superficial analysis revealed that the cartoons not only targeted Israel, but were aimed at all Jews. His subsequent research resulted in a book co-authored with his brother Dan Kotek. Published in French, its title translates as In the name of anti-Semitism: The image of the Jews and Israel in the caricature since the second Intifada.1

In a world where image plays a central role, the cartoon, Kotek stresses, has become a popular and efficient means of communication. A caricature may have as much influence on public opinion as an editorial.

The visual impact of these drawings is further strengthened by the fact that many Arab cartoonists are quite gifted illustrators.

Kotek says: "The main recurrent theme in these cartoons is 'the devilish Jew.' By extension, this image suggests that the Jewish religion must be diabolic, and the entire Jewish people evil. I even found a Greek Orthodox cartoonist of Lebanese origin, who conveys the message that the Jewish religion has caused the State of Israel to be so 'evil.' The cartoons convey the idea that Jews behave like Nazis, leading readers to conclude that the only logical solution is their elimination. As the Arab world is becoming increasingly convinced of these ideas, they have no inhibitions showing them on a multitude of websites."

Ten Major Themes
Several hundred Arab cartoons from Kotek's collection are categorized according to ten anti-Semitic themes in his book: "The first theme is based on the oldest anti-Semitic motif, demonization of the Jew. In the Islamic world the Jew's status - like that of Christians - is that of a dhimmi, a second-class citizen.

"Israel, an entire state of these 'inferior creatures,' has won military victories against the Arab world. By their logic, this was only possible, they believe, because Jews are 'satanic beings.' In the cartoons I collected, the Jew is depicted as inhuman and an enemy of humanity. This dehumanization is necessary to justify the hoped for elimination.

"On 28 December 1999 - well before the second Palestinian uprising - Al-Hayat al-Jadida, the official Palestinian Authority journal, published a cartoon expressing this core idea. It depicted an old man in a djellaba, symbolizing the twentieth century, taking leave of a young man wearing a tee-shirt symbolizing the twenty-first century. In between them stood a small Jew with a Star of David on his breast, above which an arrow pointed to him saying, 'the illness of the century.'2

"A few months later on 22 March 2000, the same journal ran another cartoon showing a large Pope talking to a small Jew with the skin, feet, and tail of an animal, and a big hooked nose, wearing a kippa. The Pope exclaimed 'Peace on Earth' while the Satanic-looking Jew calls out 'Colonies on Earth.'"3

A second central theme in the cartoons Kotek has collected is the Jew as a murderer of God. "This is originally a Christian motif. Bernard Lewis has shown how this theme had been appropriated by the Islamic world. This representation serves in efforts to obtain the sympathy of some Christians by adapting one of their central myths.

"Lewis said that the first manifestations of anti-Semitism in the Middle East originated among Christian minorities there who were inspired by Europeans. These ideas initially had only a limited impact. The poison spread after 1933, when Nazi Germany promoted hatred of the Jews in the Arab world. Thereafter, the Palestinian conflict enabled the diffusion of an anti-Semitic interpretation of history.4

"In the Muslim worldview one cannot kill God, but can wound Him. Their discourse says that not only did the Jews betray Mohammed, but before that, they had turned Jesus - a prophet, according to Islam - into a martyr. In a dangerous mutation, Islamic anti-Semitism says, as if it were to the Christians, that the Jews treat Palestine as they treated Christ. In this way they transform the story's main characters: the Israelis have become the Romans and Jesus has become a Palestinian.

"Whenever there is a report from Bethlehem, the Israeli soldiers are depicted by Arab cartoonists as Romans, while Bethlehem is described as Christ's birthplace. In the Islamic world the motif of the Jews wounding the prophet is not ancient. Its inventors are Christian Arabs in the 1980s."

Israel as a Nazi State
"The third motif in these cartoons is Israel as a Nazi state. This is based on two contradictory allegations, which the Islamists try to reconcile. Their first claim is that the Shoah never happened. Their second contention is that if it did, it has caused more damage to the Palestinians because they believe they are being treated worse than the Nazis treated the Jews.

"Long before Sharon came to power, the theme of the Israeli as a Nazi was well-represented in the Arab caricature. According to it, all Zionists from Peres and Barak to Sharon are inspired by Nazi methods. The paradox is quite evident if one remembers the Arab sympathies for the Nazis during the Second World War. After the war many Arab intellectuals denied the crimes the Nazis committed during the Holocaust. These were rarely denounced.

"A cartoon in the Egyptian Al-Akhbar shows Barak dressed as a Nazi with a Hitler moustache, blood dripping from his hands.5 In another caricature in the Egyptian daily Al Goumhouriya from 1996, Hitler is shown wearing a swastika band on his arm, while telling Shimon Peres, wearing a Star of David band on his arm: 'I made a mistake by not understanding the importance of American support.'6

"A 1993 cartoon in the Syrian daily Teshreen shows one soldier with a Star of David on his helmet and another with a swastika on his helmet. The caption reads: 'The Security Council has studied the case of genocide of the Palestinians.' The long list is of Israeli crimes; the small list of Nazi crimes.7 In the Lebanese Daily Star in 2000, four consecutive drawings show how Sharon, with a Star of David on his lapel, becomes Hitler with a moustache, and on his lapel, a swastika. The cartoonist Jabra Stavro, born in Beirut, has won many prizes."8

Kotek says: "The fourth motif - zoomorphism - is a very common theme throughout the world. To abuse one's adversaries, one dehumanizes them by turning them into animals. In Nazi, Soviet and Romanian caricatures, the Jew is often depicted as a spider, perceived as an evil animal. Stavro in the Daily Star portrays Barak, with a Star of David on his breast, as a spider interrupting the peace process.9

"The two other predominant anti-Semitic zoomorphic motifs are the blood-thirsty vampire and the octopus. The vampire image is a classic theme used by anti-Semites. I have not found any other people besides the Jews represented as such. This genocide-preparing design originates in Christian imagination.

"Another caricature by Stavro in the Daily Star of 23 October 2000, depicted a spider with a Star of David on its body and the head of Ehud Barak in a web on which the word 'war' is written many times. A cartoon in the weekly La Revue du Liban shows an octopus with the Star of David on its body, its tentacles strangling Fatah, Jihad and Hamas. This is another cartoon by Stavro.10

"The Arab cartoonists often follow the Nazis as far as the bestial representation of the Jews is concerned. The messages transmitted are that the Jews are destructive, inhuman and evil. In 1934 a Nazi cartoonist drew an octopus with a Star of David whose tentacles covered the globe.11 A 2002 cartoon from Russia shows a Star of David with America throwing coins on it. The star then mutates into an octopus with rockets and planes in its tentacles.12

Snakes, Pigs and Cockroaches
"Occasionally, other animals are used to dehumanize the Jews. Emad Hajjaj, a well-known Ramallah-born cartoonist living in Jordan, designed a two-headed snake with Stars of David on its body, depicting the heads of Sharon and Barak.13 The cartoon's message is simple: these persons are two faces of the same monstrosity. It was published in the Jordanian daily Al Dustour.

"Sometimes one also finds pigs representing the Jew in contemporary Arab cartoons. This classic dehumanizing motif has its origins in the Middle Ages, though everybody knew that the pig was a forbidden animal to the Jews.

“This approach of zoomorphism exists in every culture and has cultural specifics. The snake is used by almost everybody. It appeared very often in French caricatures about the Germans before the Second World War and vice versa. The Hutus in Africa consider the Tutsis cockroaches.

"In the Israeli press one rarely finds cartoons depicting Arabs as animals. In such instances, they do not appear in mainstream papers but originate from extremist bodies such as the forbidden Kach movement or the Women in Green. These occasionally present Arafat as a pig or snake."14

"Masters of the world"

"The fifth anti-Semitic motif in Arab cartoons echoes the classic conspiracy theme, that 'the Jews control the world.' This explains Arab thought as to why they have not been able to win against these people. Before 1967, the classic theme - also in the Soviet world - was that the Israelis were the aircraft carrier of the United States in the Middle East.

"Today the opposite idea is depicted. Israel's opponents allege that the Jews dominate the United States. By implication, they also claim that the Jews are the 'masters of the world' - a classic conspiracy theme exploited by the Nazis. For the communists, the Jews were the bourgeoisie and the capitalists; for the Nazis they represented the essence of capitalism.

"Many Arabs wonder why the United States supports Israel rather than their own cause. They find this mysterious and have developed a simple response: The Jews dominate the world. As the Arab world is in a rather poor state, they claim that its masters, i.e., the Jews, are the cause of their problems. This motif is identical to that exemplified in the Russian Czarist falsification of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Thus, subconsciously, they want to get rid of these 'evil conspirators.' In the caricatures Israelis are rarely shown. When they are, they are often represented as ultra-orthodox Jews, which is another absurdity.

"The gifted American caricaturist of Algerian origin, Bendib, designed a monkey with a Star of David on its breast sitting on top of the globe on which small figures of the Pope and an Arab are drawn. The monkey says: 'Jerusalem: from New York City to Kuala Lumpur, undivided, eternal capital of Israel; everything else is negotiable.'15 In this cartoon the domination motif is thus combined with that of zoomorphism."

The Jew, a Corrupting Force
"The sixth recurring anti-Semitic motif is that of the Jew as a corrupting force. This is a derivative of the theme that Jews dominate the world with their money. Arab anti-Semites allege U.S. presidents are linked to Jewish banks and other Jewish money. What the Arabs forget in the caricatures is that George W. Bush was their candidate in the last American elections. Most Jews, who are liberals and thus Democrats, voted for Al Gore. Jews also supported Clinton. In the perception of the cartoonist, however, everything becomes possible.

"Bendib draws God holding a fat bag of dollars. On it the names of major Jewish organizations are written: 'ADL, AIPAC, ZOA.' God outstretches his hand to Bush, who slaughters a child on the altar of the Holyland Foundation for needy Muslim children. The caption reads: 'And the Almighty dollar [represented by God] said: "Sacrifice me, a Muslim son, or else." And George the W. said "You've got it Lord, if this improves my chances for a second term."'16

"A caricature in Teshreen shows bearded Jews with sidelocks and a bag stepping on Hitler to access an open safe filled with money on which is written: 'U.S.' The Holocaust is thus introduced as a motif of blackmail in order to extract money."17

Blood Libel Motif
"Yet another major theme in Arab cartoons is the bloodloving or blood-thirsty Jew. This originates in Christian anti-Semitism. The Christian anti-Semitic libel alleged the Jews needed Christian blood for their Passover service. Its claim is that the Jew is evil, as his religion forces him to drink blood. In today's Arab world this image of unbridled hatred has mutated into the alleged quest for Palestinian blood.

"There are so many of these cartoons that I could select only a few for my book. Blood-drinking Jews are frequently shown by Al Ahram, one of Egypt's leading dailies. On 21 April 2001, it printed a cartoon showing an Arab being put into a flatting mill by two soldiers wearing helmets with Stars of David. The Arab's blood pours out and two Jews with kippot and Stars of David on their shirts drink the blood laughingly.18

« Last Edit: September 07, 2008, 11:11:34 AM by Body-by-Guinness » Logged
« Reply #162 on: September 07, 2008, 11:09:56 AM »

"Another well-known Egyptian cartoon portrays Sharon with horns and blood dripping from his mouth.19 A Jordanian cartoonist Rasmy shows a plumber repairing a number of taps. From the American tap comes oil, from the Turkish, water and from the Israeli blood."20

Kotek says that to the best of his knowledge, the blood theme is anti-Semitic, and not a general racist theme. No other people has been accused of drinking blood. The origins of this myth are in twelfth century Christian England, where the blood libel was invented.

"The eighth recurring anti-Semitic theme in Arab cartoons is the most extreme. The concept that the Jews not only murder, but preferably target children, is what the cartoonists try to convey through their imagery. This depicts the Palestinians primarily as children or babies. Thus, Arab and Muslim propagandists turn Palestinian children into the paradigm of the victim, despite the fact that most of their dead are adults."

Kotek observes: "The Palestinians do live a tragedy on a daily basis and have had over the last decade about 5,000 dead. Many Israelis have also been killed. During the same period of time, two million Sudanese have died; three million Africans around the big lakes; 200,000 Bosnians; 150,000 Algerians and 100,000 Chechenians. The media, however, concentrate on the Palestinians.

"A Palestinian caricature shows the Statue of Liberty lifting with her right arm a Palestinian child dripping blood. In her left hand, she protectively holds Barak.21 A Kuwaiti cartoon shows an old Jew wearing a kippa and carrying a gun, shafting a child into a burning oven to bake matzot. The reference is both to the Shoah - which now the Palestinian child is portrayed as undergoing - and ritual crime.22

"The official website of the Palestinian Authority's press service carries a caricature of Sharon with a blood-covered axe slaughtering a baby, or fetus, against a background of a butcher's hooks with children hanging from them, next to a sign saying 'Palestinian blood.' A large sign on the counter says 'Sale.'23

"In the Qatari journal Al Watan, Sharon is shown drinking from a cup on which is written 'blood from Palestinian children.' On the bottom of the cup it says 'Made in the U.S.A.'24 In Al Hayat al-Jadida, Sharon offers the bleeding head of a young Palestinian on a plate to George Bush.25 The earlier-mentioned cartoons of the Jew as a blood-thirsty vampire thus combine two anti-Semitic themes in one design."

Arabs want Peace, Israel does not
"The ninth anti-Semitic motif used is that Israel is a 'perfidious' country which does not want peace. The theme of 'the perfidious Jew' is an ancient one in Islamic anti-Semitism. Mohammed is said to have tried to make peace with the Jews at times, but, they allege, he was systematically betrayed, and he murdered them.

"Rasmy shows a Palestinian throwing his weapons on the floor saying: 'I give up my weapon to convince you.' An Israeli soldier from behind the wall kills him saying, 'That's how I believe you.'26 In a Syrian cartoon, an Israeli offers a ball to Arafat holding a dove. On the top is written 'The Oslo Accords.' The ball explodes, killing the Arab. The Israeli walks away strangling the dove."27

Apologies for Suicide Bombers and Terrorism
"The tenth motif concerns apologies for suicide bombers. I collected many cartoons calling for outright murder. In the hundreds of designs I analyzed on this theme I did not find a single one depicting the Israeli as a civilian. He is always a soldier or an ultra-orthodox Jew. He has no father, mother or child.

"A Jordanian cartoon by Rasmy shows a Palestinian with his face covered and dynamite on his body, saying to a Russian Jewish immigrant shown as an ultra-orthodox Jew: 'Come into my arms.'28 Another one by Emad Hajjaj shows a Palestinian mother raising her arms, holding up her children who are depicted as suicide bombers."29

Kotek concludes that these caricatures often express a new type of anti-Semitism. "They are frequently 'calls for murder.' To the cartoonists, death seems the only worthy punishment that 'the Zionist enemy' merits. As Pierre-André Taguieff notes in his book on the new Judeophobia,30 this Islamic-Jihadic version is explicitly genocidal. It defines its battle as a total elimination of the absolute enemy."

The Fascination of a Child
When asked how he became so interested in cartoons, Kotek says that when he was nine years old - shortly before the Six Day War - a book published by an Israeli scholar on anti-Semitic caricatures already fascinated him. "Some books you read when you are young, can influence your entire life.

"Belgium has always focused a great deal on cartoonists and their iconography. Living there, one's mind is more open to this art form. I even wrote an article on Hergé, Belgium's most important cartoonist, who was an anti-Semite.

"I was thus predisposed toward the caricature. It is a simple and convincing tool to demonstrate quickly the extremely serious developments taking place in the Arab world. Their themes are used in the Western world as well. The similarity of these cartoons with those of the Nazis is evident, which has already been demonstrated in an earlier book by Arieh Stav."31

In order to obtain the copyright for the caricatures, Kotek wrote to many cartoonists in the Arab world. As Belgium has an anti-Israeli image, especially in view of the law suit brought against Sharon, many of those queried automatically assumed that he was anti-Israeli. Quite a few gave him permission to use their cartoons without payment.

A Peace Camp Rightist
"In Europe, being an anti-racist makes one automatically a leftist. When you fight anti-Semitism however, you are seen as a right-winger - a supporter of the Likud and of Sharon. This is untrue, as I am a conscious Jew who belongs to the peace camp. I see myself as a friend of Israel, yet critical of some of its policies. But once you become aware of the enormous Arab hate and demonization of Israel you have to defend Israel. I am horrified by the impact of anti-Zionism combined with the great ignorance I often find among people about Israel.

"The cartoons in my book - representative of a much larger collection - show how old Christian myths of the diabolic Jew are resuscitated in the Arab world. Palestinian cartoonists often lay the emphasis on ritual murder of children. They then try to give this tenability by claiming that Israelis target Palestinian children."

Kotek says that these allegations have also permeated Western society as they resonate with the long-standing prejudices of the Christian world. He follows the French and Belgian media closely. "It occurs regularly that when French or Belgian radio reports a Palestinian being killed, they also tell his age. This is the only conflict in the world in which the age of the victim is mentioned.

"In the collective sub-conscious of many Christians, and now Arabs, anti-Semitic myths cannot be eradicated. They present the Jews as 'the Eternal Jew,' a warmonger and a danger for the world. This is no longer just an Arab concept. Many recent polls in the European Union confirm how strong these prejudices have permeated this continent."

Interview by Manfred Gerstenfeld

*     *     *


1. Joël et Dan Kotek, Au nom de l'antisionisme: L'image des Juifs et d'Israël dans la caricature depuis la seconde Intifada (Brussels: Éditions Complexe, 2003). [French]
2. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, 28 December 1999, Kotek, op. cit., p. 53.
3. Al-Hayat al-Jadida, 22 March 2000, Kotek, op. cit., p. 52.
4. Bernard Lewis, "Islam: What Went Wrong?" in The Atlantic Monthly, January 2002.
5. Al Akhbar, 3 October 2000, Kotek, op. cit., p. 60.
6. Al Goumhouriya, 24 April 1996, Kotek, op. cit., p. 62.
7. Teshreen, 15 April 1993, Kotek, op. cit., p. 63.
8. Daily Star, 3 April 2002, Kotek, op. cit., p. 63.
9. Daily Star, 23 October 2000, Kotek, op. cit., p. 64.
10. La Revue du Liban, 8 December 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p. 65.
11. Kotek, op. cit., p. 158.
12. Ibid.
13. Al Dustour, 3 February 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p. 66.
14. Kotek, op. cit.., p. 152.
15., Kotek, op. cit., p. 69.
16. Kotek, op. cit.,p. 71.
17. Kotek, op. cit., p. 71
18. Al-Ahram, 21 April 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p. 76.
19. Al-Haqiqa, 5 May 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p. 79.
20., Kotek, op. cit., p. 77.
21. Omaya, 28 October 2000, Kotek, op. cit., p. 91.
22. Al-Rai Al-Ram, 5 April 1988, Kotek, op. cit., p. 83.
23. Official website of Palestinian Authority, Kotek, op. cit., p. 82.
24. Al-Watan, 24 July 2002, Kotek, op. cit., p. 80.
25. Al Hayat al-Jadida, 6 October 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p. 84.
26., 23 September, 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p. 94.
27. Al-Thawra, 1 October 1988, Kotek, op. cit., p. 94.
28., 7 March 2001, Kotek, op. cit., p.96.
29., 27 August 2004, Kotek, op. cit., p.95.
30. Pierre André Taguieff, La Nouvelle Judeophobie (Paris: Les Mille et une Nuits, 2002). [French]
31. Arieh Stav, Peace: The Arabian Caricature; A study of Anti- Semitic Imagery (Jerusalem: Gefen, 1999).
*     *     *

Dr. Joël Kotek was born in Gent in 1958. He studied history at the Free University of Brussels and has a doctorate in Political Science from the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Paris. He teaches Political Science at the Free University of Brussels, specializing in the subject of European Integration. He is also director of Training at the Center for Contemporary Jewish Documentation in Paris.

The cartoons in this interview have been taken from Dr. Kotek's book. Other cartoons with English explanations from this book can be found in the booklet, "Fighting Anti-Semitism," published jointly by the JCPA and the office of the Minister for Diaspora and Jerusalem Affairs, Natan Sharansky. A Hebrew version of this booklet can be seen at:

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« Reply #163 on: September 09, 2008, 09:53:27 PM »

Criminalizing Criticism of Islam
September 10, 2008

There are strange happenings in the world of international jurisprudence that do not bode well for the future of free speech. In an unprecedented case, a Jordanian court is prosecuting 12 Europeans in an extraterritorial attempt to silence the debate on radical Islam.

The prosecutor general in Amman charged the 12 with blasphemy, demeaning Islam and Muslim feelings, and slandering and insulting the prophet Muhammad in violation of the Jordanian Penal Code. The charges are especially unusual because the alleged violations were not committed on Jordanian soil.

Among the defendants is the Danish cartoonist whose alleged crime was to draw in 2005 one of the Muhammad illustrations that instigators then used to spark Muslim riots around the world. His co-defendants include 10 editors of Danish newspapers that published the images. The 12th accused man is Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who supposedly broke Jordanian law by releasing on the Web his recent film, "Fitna," which tries to examine how the Quran inspires Islamic terrorism.

Jordan's attempt at criminalizing free speech beyond its own borders wouldn't be so serious if it were an isolated case. Unfortunately, it is part of a larger campaign to use the law and international forums to intimidate critics of militant Islam. For instance, in December the United Nations General Assembly passed the Resolution on Combating Defamation of Religions; the only religion mentioned by name was Islam. While such resolutions aren't legally binding, national governments sometimes cite them as justification for legislation or other actions.

More worrying, the U.N. Human Rights Council in June said it would refrain from condemning human-rights abuses related to "a particular religion." The ban applies to all religions, but it was prompted by Muslim countries that complained about linking Islamic law, Shariah, to such outrages as female genital mutilation and death by stoning for adulterers. This kind of self-censorship could prove dangerous for people suffering abuse, and it follows the council's March decision to have its expert on free speech investigate individuals and the media for negative comments about Islam.

Given this trend, it's worth taking a closer look at the Jordanian case.

The prosecutor is relying on a 2006 amendment to the Jordanian Justice Act that casts a worryingly wide net for such prosecution. Passed in response to the Danish cartoons incident, the law allows the prosecution of individuals whose actions affect the Jordanian people by "electronic means," such as the Internet. The 2006 amendment, in theory, means anyone who publishes on the Internet could be subject to prosecution in Jordan. If the case against the 12 defendants is allowed to go forward, they will be the first but probably not the last Westerners to be hit by Jordan's law.

Amman has already requested that Interpol apprehend Mr. Wilders and the Danes and bring them to stand before its court for an act that is not a crime in their home countries. To the contrary. Dutch prosecutors said in July that although some of Mr. Wilders's statements may be offensive, they are protected under Dutch free-speech legislation. Likewise, Danish law protects the rights of the Danish cartoonists and newspapers to express their views.

Neither Denmark nor the Netherlands will turn over its citizens to Interpol, as the premise of Jordan's extradition request is an affront to the very principles that define democracies. It is thus unlikely that any Western country would do so, either. But there is no guarantee for the defendants' protection if they travel to countries that are more sympathetic to the Jordanian court.

Unless democratic countries stand up to this challenge to free speech, other nations may be emboldened to follow the Jordanian example. Kangaroo courts across the globe will be ready to charge free people with obscure violations of other societies' norms and customs, and send Interpol to bring them to stand trial in frivolous litigation.

A new form of forum shopping would soon take root. Activists would be able to choose countries whose laws and policies are informed by their religious values to prosecute critical voices in other countries. The case before the Jordanian court is not just about Mr. Wilders and the Danes. It is about the subjugation of Western standards of free speech to fear and coercion by foreign courts.

Ms. Samson, an attorney specializing in international and constitutional law, will join the Hudson Institute this fall.
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« Reply #164 on: September 28, 2008, 03:35:50 AM »

Three held as Mohammed book publisher set ablaze

Police arrested three men on Saturday in connection with a fire at the offices of the publisher of a book about the Prophet Mohammed and his child bride.

The men, aged 22, 30 and 40, were arrested in north London under anti-terrorism legislation after the fire on Saturday morning at Gibson Square's offices. Police were also searching four addresses in east London.
Britain's domestic Press Association news agency said some residents, whom it did not identify, reported that the incident may have involved a petrol bomb being pushed through the firm's letterbox.
Gibson Square is responsible for the publication of "The Jewel of Medina" -- a fictional account of the Prophet's relationship with his youngest bride Aisha -- by American author Sherry Jones.
Random House announced last month it had cancelled publication of the book in the United States because of fears of violence.
"The Jewel of Medina" was re-released in Serbia earlier this month after being withdrawn in August under pressure from Islamic leaders.
Martin Rynja, publishing director at Gibson Square, earlier this month defended the decision to publish the book, saying that in "an open society there has to be open access to literary works, regardless of fear."
"As an independent publishing company, we feel strongly that we should not be afraid of the consequences of debate," he added.
Gibson Square could not be immediately contacted for comment on Saturday's fire and subsequent arrests.
The firm is known for having published other controversial books such as "Blowing Up Russia" by former KGB agent turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko.
Litvinenko died in a London hospital in 2006 from radiation poisoning which it is thought he ingested through a cup of tea. Russia has refused to extradite lawmaker and ex-KGB agent Andrei Lugovoi to face charges in Britain.
« Reply #165 on: November 14, 2008, 03:02:21 PM »

Know Thy Enemy
Inside the Mind.

By Michael Ledeen

Laurent Murawiec’s The Mind of Jihad is, at last, a book on radical Islam that does it all. Unlike many engaged in the heated debate over the nature of our enemies, Murawiec does not believe that ancient texts tell us all we need to know. He insists that all ideas change over time, even those believed to have been dictated by God’s angel. He has therefore immersed himself not only in the sacred texts of Islam but also in the richly variegated speeches, writings, and actions of its most extremist practitioners: the jihadis waging war against us.

He candidly admits that it was not easy, that many of his initial ideas turned out to be wrong, and that his current understanding of “the mind of jihad” surprises him. This understanding holds that the current doctrine is far more than the resuscitation of medieval commandments, and in fact has a lot to do with modern European and Soviet totalitarianism.

As Murawiec tells us in fascinating detail, the jihadis have been willing to collaborate will all European totalitarian movement and regimes. And although we have heard quite a lot about their collaboration with the Fuhrer (in the person of Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem), there was a constant, intimate and extremely important alliance with the Soviet Union, which gave some of the key jihadis training in organization (and, most likely, intelligence as well).

He does go a bit far at times, though. “Most of the ugly repertoire of Modern Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism,” he writes, “came from the Soviet Union (with only the racial-biological component added by the Nazis.” That gives insufficient credit to the long tradition of Muslim anti-Semitism; they didn’t need Lenin and Stalin to teach them to hate Jews. But they did need Hitler and, more importantly, Himmler, to explain the most modern ways to hate, and then annihilate, the Jews. No surprise that the mufti quietly visited Auschwitz with his buddy Adolf Eichmann.

But perhaps the most valuable part of this invaluable book is the fascinating exposition of how Islamists, theoretically tied to a social and political doctrine that made it very difficult, if not impossible, to rebel against Islamic rulers, came to embrace a very leftist call for revolution. The key figure, according to Murawiec, is the Pakistani Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, a friend of Khomeini and of Sayyid Qutb (Osama bin Laden’s hero). Maududi, as Murawiec notes, is a throwback to the medieval European chiliasts, like Thomas Muntzer and the radical Anabaptists. And like the European millenarians, Maududi’s claims are universal: “Islam addresses its call for effecting (its) program of destruction and reconstruction, revolution and reform not to just one nation, but to all humanity.” This effectively transforms Islam from a religion into a political cause, a call to arms, “as if Lenin’s ‘The State and Revolution’ had become their bedtime reading.”

As a result of these European and Soviet influences, the jihadis are inspired by a real lust for blood, and are members of a cult of death. Murawiec has a wonderful eye and a fine nose for telling anecdotes, such as that of Jordanian Prime Minister Wasfi al-Tell’s assassination at the Sheraton hotel in Cairo in November 1971. One of the major figures in the repression of the PLO in Jordan, al-Tell had been the object of death threats following “Black September,” and Arafat’s vengeance was swift and brutal:

Five . . . shots, fired at point-blank range. . . . He staggered back against the shattered swing doors . . . and he fell dying among the shards of glass on the marble floor. As he lay there, one of his killers bent over and lapped the blood that poured from his wounds.

Murawiec calmly draws the proper conclusion: “Something out of the ordinary was occurring, not war in the accepted sense, not political conflict or even guerrilla warfare.”

The Mind of Jihad is a work of considerable elegance and culture; it probably could only have been written by a European who has become an American, as it combines the best of French appreciation for the details of jihadist ideology — and jihadism’s connection to European precursors — with a keen pragmatic eye for the terrible consequences of these ideas and passions. It’s a hell of a book, and it deserves a lot of attention.

— Michael Ledeen is Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

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« Reply #166 on: December 05, 2008, 05:49:23 PM »

New Danish Book Draws Jihadist Ire
IPT News
December 5, 2008
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It is an equation becoming all too familiar. A new book released in Europe contains essays critical of Islam and illustrations of the Prophet Mohammed. In response, some are calling for blood.

Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard's book Groft Sagt (Rough Talk), was released in Denmark Monday. It is a collection of about 100 of his favorite newspaper columns from a Copenhagen daily. Many of the columns are critical of Islam. In addition, the book features 26 new illustrations from Kurt Westergaard, whose drawings of the Prophet Mohammed in the newspaper Jyllands Posten in 2005 sparked a wave of violent protests.

An Israeli security center is sounding the alarm about calls for a violent backlash after noticing a series of incendiary posts on jihadist web sites. According to an International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) release, someone identifying himself as Abu Salem posted comments about Hedegaard's book on a website called Hanein, "a mouthpiece for Al-Qaeda and other jihad organizations":

"Abu Salem requests that all who love the Prophet Muhammad help spread the news of the upcoming publication and notify religious leaders of what ‘these pigs' are attempting to do. One forum visitor responded to the post, suggesting that Bin Laden attack Copenhagen, repeating the call: ‘Bin Laden, Copenhagen!' several times. Another forum visitor wrote: ‘Our blood... our souls... our children... our money... all that we have... the entire world… anything so that a single hair of your distinguished head [i.e. Muhammad] is not harmed.'"

In a separate post on another site, the ICT reports an internet user identified as Saqr Al-Islam Al-Maqdasi said a boycott of Danish goods would be an insufficient response. Instead:

"[…] by attacking Denmark everywhere so that it be known we are a nation sacrificing itself for Islam and its Prophet […] this cattle doesn't understand anything but the language of rage, and we will decapitate the heads and set fire to the ground underneath their feet. They do not understand anything but the language of blood and scattering of body parts. I ask that Allah make successful the way of the loyal Jihad warriors, in order to blow up and set fire to Denmark."

In an interview with the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Hedegaard said he has been in communication with Danish law enforcement but isn't letting the threatening response curtail his activities. His book is being used by jihadists looking for an excuse to justify their violence. "It is quite obvious that they think it is the right moment to strike a new offensive against Denmark and against free speech. It could be anything. This is planned. This is orchestrated."

In February, Danish police arrested three men suspected of planning to kill Westergaard, who had been forced into hiding after the 2005 publication of his Mohammed illustrations. Many Muslims consider any image of Mohammed to be blasphemous.

The response to perceived insults against Islam has grown increasingly violent.

In 2004, filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered on an Amsterdam street by a Dutch Moroccan angered by his film "Submission." The murderer stuck a note on van Gogh threatening Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who developed the idea for the film and wrote it. Since that time, Ms. Ali, formerly a Dutch MP, has had to live with constant protection, often a contentious issue in the Netherlands.

In September, the home of British publisher Martin Rynja was firebombed in advance of the publication of the novel "The Jewel of Medina," a fictional account of the life of Aisha, a child bride of the Prophet Mohammed.

These incidents make it more important to continue issuing work that may offend some people, Hedegaard said. "The point has to be made again and again. We live in a country with free speech. Unless we make this point again and again, every day, we don't have free speech."

Most of the columns in the book are not about Islam. Others deal with foreign policy, religion and "idiots that need to be taken down."

Hedegaard's newspaper, Berlinske Tidende, let him go earlier this year. His bosses told him he was getting boring and repetitive but he said he thinks they were bowing to pressure from his critics. As the new controversy brews, he said he feels he has strong public support, but felt Danish journalists and academics were either passive or hostile toward him.

Despite the controversy and the threats accompanying it, Hedegaard vowed to continue speaking his mind. Whether those threats should ever target him personally is not something he thinks about.

"I cannot live that way," he said. "I might as well be dead. It's like dying before you die... Death is when you are forced to shut up. I don't want them to shut me up before I die physically."
« Reply #167 on: December 06, 2008, 10:57:16 PM »

December 06, 2008, 0:00 a.m.

Rabbi Holtzberg was not murdered because of a territorial dispute over Kashmir or because of Bush’s foreign policy.

By Mark Steyn

Shortly after the London Tube bombings in 2005, a reader of Tim Blair, the Sydney Daily Telegraph’s columnar wag, sent him a note-perfect parody of a typical newspaper headline: “British Muslims Fear Repercussions Over Tomorrow’s Train Bombing.”

Indeed. And so it goes. This time round — Bombay — it was the Associated Press that filed a story about how Muslims “found themselves on the defensive once again about bloodshed linked to their religion.”

Oh, I don’t know about that. In fact, you’d be hard pressed from most news reports to figure out the bloodshed was “linked” to any religion, least of all one beginning with “I-“ and ending in “-slam.” In the three years since those British bombings, the media have more or less entirely abandoned the offending formulations — “Islamic terrorists,” “Muslim extremists” — and by the time of the assault on Bombay found it easier just to call the alleged perpetrators “militants” or “gunmen” or “teenage gunmen,” as in the opening line of this report in the Australian: “An Adelaide woman in India for her wedding is lucky to be alive after teenage gunmen ran amok…”

Kids today, eh? Always running amok in an aimless fashion.

The veteran British TV anchor Jon Snow, on the other hand, opted for the more cryptic locution “practitioners.” “Practitioners” of what, exactly?

Hard to say. And getting harder. Tom Gross produced a jaw-dropping round-up of Bombay media coverage: The discovery that, for the first time in an Indian terrorist atrocity, Jews had been attacked, tortured, and killed produced from the New York Times a serene befuddlement: “It is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

Hmm. Greater Bombay forms one of the world’s five biggest cities. It has a population of nearly 20 million. But only one Jewish center, located in a building that gives no external clue as to the bounty waiting therein. An “accidental hostage scene” that one of the “practitioners” just happened to stumble upon? “I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?”

Meanwhile, the New Age guru Deepak Chopra laid all the blame on American foreign policy for “going after the wrong people” and inflaming moderates, and “that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay.”

Really? The inflammation just “appears”? Like a bad pimple? The “fairer” we get to the, ah, inflamed militant practitioners, the unfairer we get to everyone else. At the Chabad House, the murdered Jews were described in almost all the Western media as “ultra-Orthodox,” “ultra-” in this instance being less a term of theological precision than a generalized code for “strange, weird people, nothing against them personally, but they probably shouldn’t have been over there in the first place.” Are they stranger or weirder than their killers? Two “inflamed moderates” entered the Chabad House, shouted “Allahu Akbar!,” tortured the Jews and murdered them, including the young Rabbi’s pregnant wife. Their two-year-old child escaped because of a quick-witted (non-Jewish) nanny who hid in a closet and then, risking being mown down by machine-gun fire, ran with him to safety.

The Times was being silly in suggesting this was just an “accidental” hostage opportunity — and not just because, when Muslim terrorists capture Jews, it’s not a hostage situation, it’s a mass murder-in-waiting. The sole surviving “militant” revealed that the Jewish center had been targeted a year in advance. The 28-year-old rabbi was Gavriel Holtzberg. His pregnant wife was Rivka Holtzberg. Their orphaned son is Moshe Holtzberg, and his brave nanny is Sandra Samuels. Remember their names, not because they’re any more important than the Indians, Britons, and Americans targeted in the attack on Bombay, but because they are an especially revealing glimpse into the pathologies of the perpetrators.

In a well-planned attack on iconic Bombay landmarks symbolizing great power and wealth, the “militants” nevertheless found time to divert 20 percent of their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the city’s poor in a nondescript building. If they were just “teenage gunmen” or “militants” in the cause of Kashmir, engaged in a more or less conventional territorial dispute with India, why kill the only rabbi in Bombay? Dennis Prager got to the absurdity of it when he invited his readers to imagine Basque separatists attacking Madrid: “Would the terrorists take time out to murder all those in the Madrid Chabad House? The idea is ludicrous.”

And yet we take it for granted that Pakistani “militants” in a long-running border dispute with India would take time out of their hectic schedule to kill Jews. In going to ever more baroque lengths to avoid saying “Islamic” or “Muslim” or “terrorist,” we have somehow managed to internalize the pathologies of these men.

We are enjoined to be “understanding,” and we’re doing our best. A Minnesotan suicide bomber (now there’s a phrase) originally from Somalia returned to the old country and blew up himself and 29 other people last October. His family prevailed upon your government to have his parts (or as many of them as could be sifted from the debris) returned to the United States at taxpayer expense and buried in Burnsville Cemetery. Well, hey, in the current climate, what’s the big deal about a federal bailout of jihad operational expenses? If that’s not “too big to fail,” what is?

Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that Muslims feel “vulnerable.” Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural confidence, as well they might: They’re the world’s fastest-growing population. A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia identifying them as infidels. If he’s feeling “vulnerable,” he’s doing a terrific job of covering it up.

We are told that the “vast majority” of the 1.6-1.8 billion Muslims (in Deepak Chopra’s estimate) are “moderate.” Maybe so, but they’re also quiet. And, as the AIDs activists used to say, “Silence=Acceptance.” It equals acceptance of the things done in the name of their faith. Rabbi Holtzberg was not murdered because of a territorial dispute over Kashmir or because of Bush’s foreign policy. He was murdered in the name of Islam — “Allahu Akbar.”

I wrote in my book, America Alone, that “reforming” Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there’ll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there’ll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that’s just business as usual. And, if it is somehow “understandable” that for the first time in history it’s no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline informs us, “worry about image.” Not enough.

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« Reply #168 on: January 21, 2009, 04:48:59 PM »

Dutch MP in freedom of speech trial for comparing Koran to Mein Kampf

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 6:11 PM on 21st January 2009

A Dutch politician who produced an anti-Islamic film and compared the Koran to Mein Kampf is to be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred, a court ruled today.

Geert Wilders, who leads the right-wing Freedom party, will be tried after judges reversed an earlier decision that insisted the MP had a right to voice his opinion.

Mr Wilders, who sparked outrage in March last year with his film Fitna, said the ruling was a ‘black day for myself and for freedom of speech’.

But the Amsterdam appeals court said: ‘In a democratic system, hate speech is considered so serious that it is in the general interest to draw a clear line.’

Its ruling now sets the stage for a high-profile trial likely to expose changing attitudes towards Islam in the Netherlands.

Attitudes in the traditionally tolerant society towards Islam hardened after the 2004 murder of the filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a radical Dutch Muslim.

Mr Wilders, whose party has nine MPs, has largely built his popularity on the fear and resentment among many voters towards immigrants.

His film interspersed images of the September 11 attacks with quotations from the Koran.

A year earlier Mr Wilders described the Muslim holy book a ‘fascist book’.

And he called for the Koran to be banned in ‘the same way we ban Mein Kampf’, in a letter published in the De Volkskrant newspaper.

In 2007, Wilders called for the Muslim holy book to banned and likened it Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

Today, the appeals court called Wilders’ film, newspaper articles and media interviews ‘one-sided generalisations which can amount to inciting hatred’.

It reversed a decision last year by the public prosecutor’s office, which said Wilders’ film and interviews were painful for Muslims but not criminal.

The court’s three judges said they had weighed Wilders’ anti-Islamic rhetoric against his right to free speech, and ruled he had gone beyond the normal leeway given to politicians.

While judges in the Netherlands are generally liberal, the court said it was making an exception in the case of Wilders’ comments about Islam.

‘The court considers appropriate criminal prosecution for insulting Muslim worshippers because of comparisons between Islam and Nazism made by Wilders,’ a summary of the court’s decision said.

It said the Wilders statements were ‘so insulting for Muslims that it is in the public interest to prosecute’.

Gerard Spong, a prominent lawyer who joined Muslim groups in pushing for Wilders’ prosecution, welcomed the decision.

‘This is a happy day for all followers of Islam who do not want to be tossed on the garbage dump of Nazism,’ Spong told reporters in Amsterdam.

Wilder has not yet been charged, and it is not clear what maximum penalty he could face if convicted.

‘I’ve had enough of Islam in the Netherlands; let not one more Muslim immigrate,’ he wrote in national newspaper De Volkskrant.

‘I’ve had enough of the Koran in the Netherlands: forbid that fascist book.’
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« Reply #169 on: January 28, 2009, 06:28:45 PM »
Muslims in the Lords

From the desk of Thomas Landen on Mon, 2009-01-26 11:16

The House of Lords is a venerable British institution, but what does one get if one accepts Muslims in? This:

A member of the Lords intended to invite her colleagues to a private meeting in a conference room in the House of Lords to meet the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an elected member of the Dutch parliament, to watch his controversial movie Fitna and discuss the movie and Mr. Wilders’ opinions with him.

Barely had the invitation been sent to all the members of the House when Lord Ahmed raised hell. He threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr. Wilders from entering the House and threatened to take the colleague who was organizing the event to court. The result is that the event, which should have taken place next Thursday was cancelled.

Lord Ahmed immediately went to the Pakistani press to boast about his achievement, which he calls “a victory for the Muslim community.”

A victory for the Muslim community, but a defeat for British democracy where topics to which Muslims object cannot even be debated. That, apparently, is what one gets when one accepts Muslims into the House of Lords.

Lord Ahmed is considered to be a “moderate” Muslim. The Pakistani born Nazir Ahmed became the United Kingdom’s first Muslim life peer in 1998. He is a member of the Labour Party and was appointed to the Lords by Tony Blair. Lord Ahmed took his oath on the Koran. He led one of the first delegations on behalf of the British Government on the Muslim pilgrimage of the Hajj, to Saudi Arabia. In February 2005, Lord Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for anti-Zionist author Israel Shamir. In 2007, he responded to the award of a knighthood to Salman Rushdie by stating that he was appalled, saying that Rushdie had “blood on his hands.”

Lord Ahmed was among the founders of The World Forum, an organization set up “to promote world peace in the aftermath of 9/11 with an effort to build bridges of understanding between The Muslim World and the West by reviving a tradition of Dialogue between people, cultures and civilizations based on tolerance.”

What does “dialogue” mean to those who make discussion about controversial issues impossible? Thank you, Mr. Blair, for bringing “diversity” to the House of Lords.
« Reply #170 on: February 06, 2009, 02:02:41 PM »

Compelling vid made by a Muslim physician condemning Islamic extremism:
« Reply #171 on: February 10, 2009, 10:19:50 AM »

This piece echos something I mull a lot: the human propensity to embrace simple fictions over complex truths.

Theodore Dalrymple
The Persistence of Ideology
Grand ideas still drive history.
Winter 2009

In 1960, the sociologist Daniel Bell published The End of Ideology, in which he argued that ideology—understood in the sense of a coherent, single-minded philosophical outlook or system of abstractions intended as much as a lever to change society as a description to explain it—was dead, at least in the West, and in the United States in particular. A combination of democracy and mass prosperity had “solved” the political question that had agitated humanity since the time of Plato. There were to be no more grand and transformative, if woefully erroneous, ideas; all that remained was public administration, with, at most, squabbles over small details of policy. The new version of the old saw, mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body, was a capitalist economy in a liberal democratic polity. That was the lesson of history.

In 1989, as the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were reforming—indeed collapsing—so rapidly that it became clear that Communism could not long survive anywhere in Europe, Francis Fukuyama went one step beyond Bell and wrote an essay for The National Interest titled “The End of History?” In this soon-to-be-famous article, later expanded into a book, Fukuyama suggested that the end of ideology that Bell saw in the West was now global. By “the end of history,” he did not mean the end of events, of course; one team or another would continue to win the Super Bowl, and there might yet be wars between national rivals. But broadly, history had given its lesson and mankind had taken it. Henceforth, those who resisted the march of liberal democracy were like the Luddites, those English workers at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution who smashed machines, blaming them for destroying the independent livelihoods of workers at home.

At the end of his essay, however, Fukuyama—more concerned to understand the world than to change it, by contrast with Marx—implicitly raised the question of the role of ideology in the world’s moral economy. With no ideological struggles to occupy their minds, what will intellectuals have to do or think about? Virtually by definition, they like to address themselves to large and general questions, not small and particular ones: as Isaiah Berlin would say, by temperament, they are hedgehogs, who know one large thing, not foxes, who know many small things. Fukuyama admitted that he would miss ideology, if only as something to oppose. “I have ambivalent feelings for the civilization that has been created in Europe since 1945, with its North Atlantic and Asian offshoots,” he wrote. “Perhaps this very prospect of centuries of boredom at the end of history will serve to get history started once again.”

As it turned out, of course, we did not have long (let alone centuries) to suffer existential boredom. Our dogmatic slumbers—to use Kant’s phrase for the philosophic state from which reading David Hume roused him—had barely begun when a group of young fanatics flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, thus demonstrating that pronouncements of the death of both ideology and history were somewhat premature.

In truth, we should have known it, or at least guessed it, without needing to be reminded. Fukuyama’s concluding sentences contain a hint of the psychological function that ideology plays. It is not just disgruntlement with the state of the world that stimulates the development and adoption of ideologies. After all, disgruntlement with society there has always been and always will be. Dissatisfaction is the permanent state of mankind, at least of civilized mankind. Not every dissatisfied man is an ideologist, however: for if he were, there would hardly be anyone who was not. Yet ideology, at least as a mass phenomenon, is a comparatively recent development in human history.

Who, then, are ideologists? They are people needy of purpose in life, not in a mundane sense (earning enough to eat or to pay the mortgage, for example) but in the sense of transcendence of the personal, of reassurance that there is something more to existence than existence itself. The desire for transcendence does not occur to many people struggling for a livelihood. Avoiding material failure gives quite sufficient meaning to their lives. By contrast, ideologists have few fears about finding their daily bread. Their difficulty with life is less concrete. Their security gives them the leisure, their education the need, and no doubt their temperament the inclination, to find something above and beyond the flux of daily life.

If this is true, then ideology should flourish where education is widespread, and especially where opportunities are limited for the educated to lose themselves in grand projects, or to take leadership roles to which they believe that their education entitles them. The attractions of ideology are not so much to be found in the state of the world—always lamentable, but sometimes improving, at least in certain respects—but in states of mind. And in many parts of the world, the number of educated people has risen far faster than the capacity of economies to reward them with positions they believe commensurate with their attainments. Even in the most advanced economies, one will always find unhappy educated people searching for the reason that they are not as important as they should be.

One of the first to notice the politicization of intellectuals was the French writer Julien Benda, whose 1927 La trahison des clercs—“the treason of the clerks,” with “clerk” understood in its medieval sense as an educated person distinct from the uneducated laity—gave a phrase to educated discourse. Today, people most frequently use the phrase to signify the allegiance that intellectuals gave to Communism, despite the evident fact that the establishment of Communist regimes led everywhere and always to a decrease in the kind of intellectual freedom and respect for individual rights that intellectuals claimed to defend.

Benda meant something much wider by it, though support for Communism would have come under his rubric: the increasing tendency of intellectuals to pursue lines of thought not for the sake of truth, or for guiding humanity sub specie aeternitatis, but for the sake of attaining power by adopting, justifying, and manipulating the current political passions of sections of humanity, whether national, racial, religious, or economic. The political passions that Benda most feared when he wrote his book were nationalism, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism, which then had plenty of intellectual apologists, and which indeed soon proved cataclysmic in their effects; but really he was defending the autonomy of intellectual and artistic life from political imperatives.

That ideological ways of thinking have survived the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union would not have surprised Benda. The collapse did severely reduce Marxism’s attractiveness, and despite decades of attempts by intellectuals to dissociate the doctrine’s supposed merits from the horrors of the Soviet system, it was only natural that many people believed that the death of Marxism meant the death of ideology itself. But as Benda might have predicted, what resulted instead was the balkanization of ideology—the emergence of a wider choice of ideologies for adoption by those so inclined.

The most obvious example of an ideology that came into prominence—or better, prominently into our consciousness—after Communism’s fall was Islamism. Because of its emphasis on returning to Islamic purity, and its apparent—indeed noisy—rejection of modernity, most people failed to notice how modern a phenomenon Islamism was, not just in time but in spirit. This is evident from reading just one of Islamism’s foundational texts: Sayyid Qutb’s Milestones, first published in 1964. The imprint of Marxism-Leninism is deep upon it, especially the Leninist component.

Qutb starts with cultural criticism that some might find eerily prescient. “The leadership of mankind by Western man is now on the decline, not because Western culture has become poor materially or because its economic and military power has become weak,” he writes. “The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values which enabled it to be the leader of mankind.” Since, according to Qutb, those “life-giving values” cannot come from the Eastern Bloc, he thinks (like Juan Domingo Perón, the Argentinean dictator, and Tony Blair, the former British prime minister) that a Third Way must exist: which, he says, can only be Islam.

Just as in Marx only the proletariat bears the whole of humanity’s interests, so in Qutb only Muslims (true ones, that is) do. Everyone else is a factionalist. In Qutb’s conception, the state withers away under Islam, just as it does—according to Marx—under Communism, once the true form is established. In Marx, the withering away comes about because there are no sectional material interests left that require a state to enforce them; in Qutb, there is no sectional interest left once true Islam is established because everyone obeys God’s law without the need for interpretation and therefore for interpreters. And when all obey God’s law, no conflict can arise because the law is perfect; therefore there is no need for a state apparatus.

One finds a unity of theory and praxis in both Qutb’s Islamism and Marxism-Leninism. “Philosophy and revolution are inseparable,” said Raya Dunayevskaya, once Trotsky’s secretary and a prominent American Marxist (insofar as such can be said to have existed). And here is Qutb: “Thus these two—preaching and the movement—united, confront ‘the human situation’ with all the necessary methods. For the achievement of freedom of man on earth—of all mankind throughout the earth—it is necessary that these methods should work side by side.”

Like Lenin, Qutb thought that violence would be necessary against the ruling class (of bourgeois in Lenin’s case, unbelievers in Qutb’s): “Those who have usurped the authority of God and are oppressing God’s creatures are not going to give up their power merely through preaching.” Again like Lenin, Qutb believed that until human authority disappeared, the leader’s authority must be complete. Referring to “the Arab” of the Meccan period—an age whose moral qualities he wants to restore—Qutb says: “He was to be trained to follow the discipline of a community which is under the direction of a leader, and to refer to this leader in every matter and to obey his injunctions, even though they might be against his habit or taste.” Not much there with which Lenin could have disagreed. The British Stalinist historian Eric Hobsbawm wrote of himself: “The Party had the first, or more precisely, the only real claim on our lives. . . . Whatever it had ordered, we would have obeyed.”

Qutb is as explicit as Lenin that his party should be a vanguard and not a mass party, for only a vanguard will prove sufficiently dedicated to bring about the revolution. And like Leninism, Qutb’s Islamism is dialectical:

[Islam] does not face practical problems with abstract theories, nor does it confront various stages with unchangeable means. Those who talk about Jihaad in Islam and quote Qur’anic verses do not take into account this aspect, nor do they understand the nature of the various stages through which the movement develops, or the relationship of the verses revealed at various occasions with each stage.

Compare this with Lenin’s Left-Wing Communism, an Infantile Disorder:

Right doctrinairism persisted in recognizing only the old forms, and became utterly bankrupt, for it did not notice the new content. Left doctrinairism persists in the unconditional repudiation of certain old forms, failing to see that the new content is forcing its way through all and sundry forms, that it is our duty as Communists to master all forms, to learn how, with the maximum rapidity, to supplement one form with another, to substitute one for another, and to adapt our tactics to any such change that does not come from our class or from our efforts.

There are many other parallels between Leninism and Qutb’s Islamism, among them the incompatibility of each with anything else, entailing a fight to the finish supposedly followed by permanent bliss for the whole of mankind; a tension between complete determinism (by history and by God, respectively) and the call to intense activism; and the view that only with the installation of their systems does Man become truly himself. For Qutb’s worldview, therefore, the term Islamo-Leninism would be a more accurate description than Islamofascism.

Qutb was a strange man: he never married, for example, because (so he claimed) he found no woman of sufficient purity for him. You wouldn’t need to be Freud to find the explanation suspect, or to find his reaction to Greeley, Colorado, in 1950, where he spent time on a scholarship—he saw it as a hotbed of unrestrained vice—somewhat hysterical, a cover for something seething deeply and disturbingly inside him. Devotion to an ideology can provide an answer of sorts to personal problems, and since personal problems are common, it isn’t surprising that a number of people choose ideology as the solution.

Ideological thinking is not confined to the Islamists in our midst. The need for a simplifying lens that can screen out the intractabilities of life, and of our own lives in particular, springs eternal; and with the demise of Marxism in the West, at least in its most economistic form, a variety of substitute ideologies have arisen from which the disgruntled may choose.

Most started life as legitimate complaints, but as political reforms dealt with reasonable demands, the demands transformed themselves into ideologies, thus illustrating a fact of human psychology: rage is not always proportionate to its occasion but can be a powerful reward in itself. Feminists continued to see every human problem as a manifestation of patriarchy, civil rights activists as a manifestation of racism, homosexual-rights activists as a manifestation of homophobia, anti-globalists as a manifestation of globalization, and radical libertarians as a manifestation of state regulation.

How delightful to have a key to all the miseries, both personal and societal, and to know personal happiness through the single-minded pursuit of an end for the whole of humanity! At all costs, one must keep at bay the realization that came early in life to John Stuart Mill, as he described it in his Autobiography. He asked himself:

“Suppose that all your objects in life were realized; that all the changes in institutions and opinions which you are looking forward to, could be effected at this very instant: would this be a great joy and happiness to you?” And an irrepressible self-consciousness distinctly answered, “No!” At this my heart sank within me: the whole foundation on which my life was constructed fell down. All my happiness was to have been found in the continual pursuit of this end. The end had ceased to charm, and how could there ever again be any interest in the means? I seemed to have nothing left to live for.

This is the question that all ideologists fear, and it explains why reform, far from delighting them, only increases their anxiety and rage. It also explains why traditional religious belief is not an ideology in the sense in which I am using the term, for unlike ideology, it explicitly recognizes the limitations of earthly existence, what we can expect of it, and what we can do by our own unaided efforts. Some ideologies have the flavor of religion; but the absolute certainty of, say, the Anabaptists of Münster, or of today’s Islamists, is ultimately irreligious, since they claimed or claim to know in the very last detail what God requires of us.

The most popular and widest-ranging ideology in the West today is environmentalism, replacing not only Marxism but all the nationalist and xenophobic ideologies that Benda accused intellectuals of espousing in the 1920s. Now, no one who has suffered respiratory difficulties because of smog, or seen the effects of unrestrained industrial pollution, can be indifferent to the environmental consequences of man’s activities; pure laissez-faire will not do. But it isn’t difficult to spot in environmentalists’ work something more than mere concern with a practical problem. Their writings often show themselves akin to the calls to repentance of seventeenth-century divines in the face of plague epidemics, but with the patina of rationality that every ideology needs to disguise its true source in existential angst.

For example, a recent column in the Guardian, by the environmental campaigner George Monbiot, carried the headline the planet is now so vandalised that only total energy renewal can save us. Monbiot, it is true, does not offer us heaven on earth if we follow his prescriptions; only the bare—and by no means certain, for “we might have left it too late”—avoidance of total biological annihilation. But behind Monbiot’s urgency, even hysteria, one senses a deep lust for power. He cannot really believe what he says, for starters. “Do we want to be remembered,” he asks rhetorically, “as the generation that saved the banks but let the biosphere collapse?” If it is really true that we must either have “total energy renewal” or die, however, we cannot be remembered as the generation that let the biosphere collapse, for if we let it collapse, ex hypothesi no one will be around to remember us. This reminds me of patients I used to see who would threaten suicide, in the clear expectation of a long life ahead, unless someone did what they wanted. And though Monbiot says that it is uncertain that anything we do now will make any difference, he nevertheless proposes that every human being on the earth follow his prescriptions.

The environmentalist ideology threatens to make serious inroads into the rule of law in Britain. This past September, six environmentalists were acquitted of having caused $50,000 worth of damage to a power station—not because they did not do it but because four witnesses, including a Greenlander, testified to the reality of global warming.

One recalls the disastrous 1878 jury acquittal in St. Petersburg of Vera Zasulich for the attempted assassination of General Trepov, on the grounds of the supposed purity of her motives. The acquittal destroyed all hope of establishing the rule of law in Russia and ushered in an age of terrorism that led directly to one of the greatest catastrophes in human history.

Theodore Dalrymple, a physician, is a contributing editor of City Journal and the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His new book is Not with a Bang but a Whimper.
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« Reply #172 on: February 13, 2009, 01:30:42 PM »

Geert Wilders is an unlikely free-speech symbol, as the Dutch lawmaker wants to ban the Quran. And Britain is an unlikely country to suppress free speech, but police yesterday detained Mr. Wilders at Heathrow Airport to stop him from speaking at the Mother of Parliaments.

Lord Malcolm Pearson had invited the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party -- who was indicted last month in his home country for "inciting hatred and discrimination" against Muslims -- to discuss his anti-Islam film "Fitna." The 15-minute video juxtaposes Quranic verses that call for jihad with clips of terror attacks.

But the British Home Office said his presence would pose a "serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society," arguing that his statements on Islam "would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the U.K." A Home Office spokesman further explained: "The government opposes extremism in all its forms."

In truth, the government is selective in opposing extremism, allowing last May, for example, Ibrahim Moussawi, a chief spokesman for the Iran-financed Islamist terror group Hezbollah, to enter the country and address meetings organized by the "Stop the War Coalition." In recent weeks, protesters against the Israeli Gaza offensive could freely express their support for Hamas, another Islamist terror group.

Barring Mr. Wilders from entering the country is not about opposing extremism but giving in to it. As insulting or offensive as Mr. Wilders's likening Islam to Nazism is, he doesn't call for violence, let alone terror. Nobody really thinks his presence will incite attacks on Muslims. Rather, the unspoken fear is that his visit will spark riots by Muslims.

Either the government is exaggerating the dangers, in which case his detention will only reinforce whatever prejudices people may have about Muslims. Or the threat analysis is correct and the free expression of Mr. Wilders's views really could have led to Muslim violence. In that case, the question is what sort of "community" would so easily turn violent, and where is the "harmony" that supposedly needs to be preserved?

Giving in to mob rule, real or imagined, is the abdication of democracy and the rule of law.

« Reply #173 on: February 21, 2009, 04:11:43 PM »

Interesting take on the Left's betrayal of Marxist ideals, amongst other things.

Once Again It’s the Economy, Stupid
By admin • on February 17, 2009

The Left is only too happy to suppress free speech. It doesn’t know what it’s getting itself into
By Lars Hedegaard

One thing in particular struck me last week when I was in London for the showing of Geert Wilders’ Fitna in the House of Lords. Well, apart from the fact that Mr. Wilders was banned from entering the country.

It was the press’ uniform designation of the Dutch politician as “right-wing” or even “extreme right-wing”.

What precisely has Geert Wilders done or said that makes him deserving of this epithet? For make no mistake: whereas “left-wing” is considered an accolade and smacks of loving kindness towards green forests, stray dogs in need of a warm place to sleep and undernourished children in Africa, “right-wing” denotes a misanthrope who hates all good people and will eat innocent babies for breakfast.

If one has committed the ultimate sin of criticizing religion, particularly if it is murderous and retrograde, there is no way to wash off the brand of Cain. Politically you may be a socialist, a liberal or a conservative. You may be a staunch supporter of the welfare state, socialized medicine, gay marriage, preferential treatment of women and 75 percent taxation of all private income. It won’t help you if you have distanced yourself from the teachings of the prophet.

This is curious. Irreverent criticism of religion used to be a specialty of the Left. Today such criticism proves that one is a semi-fascist to be shunned in polite company.

The forgotten prophet
There are still a few grizzled post-socialists around that will remember what their old prophet, Karl Marx, had to say about religion in the very first sentence of his Contribution to a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right from 1843: “… criticism of religion is the premise of all criticism”.

Criticism of religion is not only the starting point of all criticism. It is the prerequisite of any kind of criticism. In a society where religion cannot be criticized, everything becomes religion ¬¬– from the length of your beard to what hand to use when wiping your backside.

Where there is no criticism of religion, life and society in their entirety become religious and the littleest squeak against the existing order is eo ipso an act of blasphemy to be rooted out by cutting off the offender’s head.

The courage to blaspheme is consequently the sine qua non of civilization and of social, intellectual and scientific progress. It is also the premise of the separation between church and state, as Jesus Christ was well aware of.

But what passes for the Left these days has long since given up on socialism’s founding fathers – particularly when they were right – and is groveling at the feet of a bloodthirsty moon-god from far Araby.

We know what has happened. But how and why did it come about?

A new worldview
We know that the broad Left – which in Europe would include various shades of the hard, Communist or Marxist Left, the New Left, which has now transformed itself into tree huggers, and the traditional Social Democratic parties – has vacated its traditional ideological positions in order to preach ideologies that used to be hallmarks of the far right. Positions such as the need for censorship, kissing up to demands that “religions” (i.e. Islam) must not be criticized or ridiculed, the institution of ethnic or tribal special privileges and inequality before the law – depending on what ethnic, tribal or clan chief or holy man can ingratiate himself to the top of the totem pole as most aggrieved victim.

This new weltanschauung takes us back to a legal order – or rather lack of order – the like of which we haven’t seen in the civilized world since – when? The democratic revolutions of the 19th century, the French Revolution, the American Revolution, England’s Glorious Revolution, John Milton’s Areopagitica, Magna Carta?

Take your pick. Any one of the above is true.

The road chosen by the parties on the Left permits no return. Having alienated – not to say discarded – large chunks of their traditional working class voters, they are now increasingly dependent on the Muslim vote, which they hope will guarantee them a perpetual foothold at least in the major populations centers.

Goodbye to the welfare state
In the process the Left has also undermined its signal creation, the modern welfare state.

In a remarkable report from 2008, Denmark’s National Bank (the equivalent of the Bank of England or the Federal Reserve) writes:

“A major part of the immigration into Denmark over the past 15-20 years, particularly at the beginning of the period, has come from less developed countries and has consisted of people with a low participation in the labor market causing a relatively large drag on public welfare expenditures. This has lead to a deterioration of the public finances, i.e. it has aggravated the problem of sustainability.

If immigration is to support the financing of the public sector, it must be in the shape of so-called “super immigration”. This concept covers a person who does not immigrate until he has completed his education, who is immediately employable and has an employment frequency of 100 per cent, pays taxes like a Dane, does not bring along his family and leaves the country before he reaches pension age.”

A tall order indeed and one that has never been filled by the sort of immigrants Denmark has been attracting.

Yet the Left has no answer to offer except for more immigration and lamentations over the oppression of Muslims combined with a loving understanding of their need for “respect” and special treatment.

Of course, many – if not most – of the non-socialist parties have been equally eager to embrace mass immigration of non-integratable masses from the third world. But they haven’t really been that wedded to the cradle-to-grave welfare state – at least not in the beginning.

In fact, when we look at such countries as Germany, Holland, England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, it was private enterprise that started importing cheap and unskilled labor from the rural populations of Bangla Desh, Pakistan, Turkey, Morocco and other such places to fill the gaps along the assembly lines. At that time – in the late sixties and seventies – many spokesmen for the labor unions and the socialist parties were critical of this unwelcome competition that threatened to drive down wages and undermine hard-fought labor rights.
That was when the old industrial society was on its hind legs, soon to be replaced by the knowledge society, in which many of the new immigrants were simply unemployable. Yet they were allowed to stay on, bring in their large families and collect welfare.

The new proletariat
With the fundamental shift from industrial to knowledge society it also became clear that socialism in the shape of the nationalization of the means of production was no longer achievable. The traditional working class was disappearing and the downtrodden masses, which the Marxists had identified as the “revolutionary subject”, became too bourgeois for comfort. They left the socialist parties in droves and began voting for center-right parties that promised them a share of the wealth created by private enterprise. A house, a car, a color tv and such. In other words the kind of amenities that the leftist intelligentsia had come to consider as indispensable for its own lifestyle.

This presented the socialist ideologues with a major problem. From their reading of Lenin, Trotsky and Gramsci they knew that they were destined to remain the vanguard of the masses. The proletariat was unable to reach the required level of political consciousness without the constant goading of their far-sighted betters.

Socialism was no longer in the cards. Still the socialist intelligentsia was unwilling to let go of its claim to power. So it had to find a new revolutionary subject – a class of people that would never allow itself to be bought off by the allure of a bourgeois life but was guaranteed to remain at the edge of society.

And they found the Muslim immigrants. This socialist-Muslim nexus turned out to be a marriage made in heaven. The swelling ranks of the Muslim immigrants could deliver the votes to fill the void left by the disappearing native working classes, and the socialist parties could reciprocate by delivering welfare benefits, cultural concessions and free immigration to their to non-working Muslim charges.

The tiger’s tail
This well-functioning political arrangement, however, is on the verge of making the welfare state unsustainable. It is crumbling all over Europe, but there is no way back for the Left. There is no option but to cling ever tighter to the tiger’s tail. Otherwise the beast will turn around and bite them. We have already seen intifadas in England, France, Denmark and Norway. If the “youths” don’t have their way, they will burn the town down, smash up the cars and brutalize the indigenous population.

To keep this bizarre road show running, it has become necessary for the leftist rulers to crush free speech. However much they may privately deplore it, there is nothing else to do if they want to retain the Muslim vote that keeps them in power.

A poll conducted by the official Statistics Denmark and published on February 10, 2009, shows that 50 percent of the Muslim immigrants and their descendants want to make attacks on religion a criminal offense. 36 percent of the immigrants and 40 percent of their descendants disagree.

The corresponding figures for ethnic Danes are 79 percent against and only 15 percent in favor.

The next step ¬– a head-on attack on democracy itself – is in the works. Throughout Europe we are already seeing arrests and convictions of  “right-wing” agitators who refuse to laud the multicultural state as the epitome of social virtue.

Further down this slope there may be bans on political parties that threaten to rally significant numbers of the non-Muslim

The economy strikes back
There is, however, one fact of life that our power holders have left out of their political equation. That is – as Bill Clinton has so aptly expressed it – the economy, stupid.
In the near future the economy will strike back. Censorship and persecution of the unruly will not save the welfare state. How will the native populations react when they find out that their kids are not being educated, that they are not receiving adequate treatment in the hospitals, that their pensions and other welfare benefits are dwindling and that they cannot rely on the police to protect them? In a situation where they cannot themselves pay for such services because the state continues to suck up most of their income?

That is the question.
An equally intriguing question is how the captains of private enterprises and their investors will react when they realize that capitalism is incompatible with sharia law. Free enterprise cannot flourish in a society where there is no security of property rights and where there are no courts to enforce contracts.

And that is precisely the problem inherent in the likely spread of sharia courts and “sharia financing”.

If you are an infidel who happens to have done business with a true believer, the sharia court is duty bound to find against you because sharia law is based on the inequality of Muslims and non-Muslims. It is even worse if you happen to be an infidel businesswoman.

Perhaps it is time that the business community, which has so far preferred to stay aloof, starts paying attention to the real world.
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« Reply #174 on: March 15, 2009, 10:07:31 PM »

Minister beaten after clashing with Muslims on his TV show

By Jonathan Petre
Last updated at 4:39 PM on 15th March 2009

A Christian minister who has had heated arguments with Muslims on his TV Gospel show has been brutally attacked by three men who ripped off his cross and warned: ‘If you go back to the studio, we’ll break your legs.’

The Reverend Noble Samuel was driving to the studio when a car pulled over in front of him. A man got out and came over to ask him directions in Urdu.

Mr Samuel, based at Heston United Reformed Church, West London, said: ‘He put his hand into my window, which was half open, and grabbed my hair and opened the door.

 Frightened: TV minister Noble Samuel

He started slapping my face and punching my neck. He was trying to smash my head on the steering wheel.

Then he grabbed my cross and pulled it off and it fell on the floor. He was swearing. The other two men came from the car and took my laptop and Bible.’

The Metropolitan Police are treating it as a ‘faith hate’ assault and are hunting three Asian men.

In spite of the attack, Mr Samuel went ahead with his hour-long live Asian Gospel Show on the Venus satellite channel from studios in Wembley, North London. During the show the Muslim station owner Tahir Ali came on air to condemn the attack.

Pakistan-born Mr Samuel, 48, who was educated by Christian missionaries and moved to Britain 15 years ago, said that over the past few weeks he has received phone-in calls from people identifying themselves as Muslims who challenged his views.  ‘They were having an argument with me,’ he said. ‘They were very aggressive in saying they did not agree with me. I said those are your views and these are my views.’ 

He said that he, his wife Louisa, 48, and his son Naveed, 19, now fear for their safety, and police have given them panic alarms. ‘I am frightened and depressed,’ he said. ‘My show is not confrontational.’
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« Reply #175 on: May 04, 2009, 02:13:50 PM »


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« Reply #176 on: July 18, 2009, 12:16:05 PM »

Texas Appellate Court Deals Another Blow to Islamist Lawfare—Upholds Free Speech Rights of Internet Journalist; Islamic Groups Lose Appeal

ANN ARBOR, MI – On July 16, 2009, seven Texas-area Islamic organizations lost an appeal of the unanimous ruling of the Texas Second Court of Appeals at Forth Worth, which protected the free speech rights of internet journalists and at the same time dealt a blow to the legal jihad being waged by radical Muslim groups throughout the United States. The Islamic groups asked for a reconsideration of the appellate court’s recent decision through what is known as an en banc opinion (appeal to the whole court, not just a panel of the court). The Court ruling, in a per curiam (in the name of the whole court) two page opinion, upheld the dismissal of the libel lawsuit filed against internet reporter Joe Kaufman by the seven Islamic organizations.
The lawsuit against Kaufman was funded by the Muslim Legal Fund for America. The head of that organization, Khalil Meek, admitted on a Muslim talk radio show that lawsuits were being filed against Kaufman and others to set an example. Indeed, for the last several years, Muslim groups in the U.S. have engaged in the tactic of filing meritless lawsuits to silence any public discussion of Islamic terrorist threats. This tactic, referred to by some as Islamist Lawfare uses our laws and legal system to silence critics and promote Islamic rule in America.
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan provided the lead attorney to represent Kaufman, at no charge. The Law Center attorney, Brandon Bolling, was assisted by Texas attorney Thomas S. Brandon, Jr. who acted as local counsel, and Los Angeles, CA attorneys William Becker, Jr. and Manuel S. Klausner.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “It is gratifying to see our client’s First Amendment rights being upheld by this entire Texas Appeals Court. We do not yet know if these Islamic groups will try another appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, but this ruling is an indication of how strong this First Amendment case is.”
Kaufman, a full-time investigative reporter, has written extensively on Radical Islamic terrorism in America. He was sued because of his September 28, 2007 article titled “Fanatic Muslim Family Day” published by Front Page Magazine, a major online news website. Kaufman’s article exposed the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Islamic Association of Northern Texas (IANT) ties to the radical terrorist group Hamas.
Kaufman’s article called ICNA a radical Muslim organization that has ties to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to Kaufman, ICNA is an umbrella organization for South Asian-oriented mosques and Islamic centers in the United States created as an American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) of Pakistan.
Significantly, neither ICNA nor IANT, which were mentioned in Kaufman’s article, sued Kaufman. It is speculated that ICNA and IANT were afraid of being subjected to pretrial discovery. On the other hand, none of the seven plaintiffs that sued Kaufman were even mentioned in his article. The seven Islamic organizations that sued Kaufman are the Islamic Society of Arlington, Texas, Islamic Center of Irving, DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc., Dar Elsalam Islamic Center, Al Hedayah Islamic Center, Islamic Association of Tarrant County, and Muslim American Society of Dallas. All are affiliated with CAIR, one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the successful federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation.
In what should be welcome news to internet journalists, the Appellate Court specifically rejected the Plaintiffs’ contention that Kaufman is not a “media defendant.” The Court held that the Texas statute that gives procedural protections to traditional electronic and print media, including the right to a pretrial appeal, also covers internet journalists. Thus, the Texas Statue entitled Kaufman the right to appeal the lower court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the frivolous libel claim before a time-consuming and expensive trial. Most parties have to wait until after a trial before they can appeal an unfavorable lower court ruling.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at
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« Reply #177 on: July 28, 2009, 10:28:10 AM »

Brüno star Sacha Baron Cohen threatened by Gaza militant group over 'mocking' interview

By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 2:06 PM on 28th July 2009

Brüno star Sacha Baron Cohen has been threatened by a terrorist organisation that he ridiculed in the hit satire.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a coalition of Palestinian militias in the West Bank, released a statement saying it was 'very upset' at how it is portrayed in the film.

The group is responsible for dozens of suicide bombings and shootings and has been designated as a terrorist organisation by the European Union and United States.

'The movie was part of a conspiracy against the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades,' a spokesman told Jerusalem-based journalist Aaron Klein.

'We reserve the right to respond in the way we find suitable against this man.'

In the film, Baron Cohen's Austrian character, an outrageous gay fashionista, attempts to get himself kidnapped during a meeting with Ayman Abu Aita, who is identified in the film as the leader of the Martyrs' Brigades.

Brüno is shown telling Mr Abu Aita: 'I want to be famous. I want the best guys in the business to kidnap me. Al-Qaeda is so 2001.'

Before Mr Abu Aita can respond, Brüno suggests that he remove his moustache, explaining: 'Because your king Osama looks like a kind of dirty wizard or homeless Santa.'

A spokesman for 37-year-old Baron Cohen refused to comment on the threat.

Mr Klein, the WorldNet reporter who received the statement from the Martyrs' Brigades, said today: 'These are terrorists who are fundamentalist Islamists. They are against feminism, gay rights and abortion.

'Once I asked them what would they do if they found out one of their members was a homosexual. They said they would cut off his head.'

Mr Abu Aita himself has threatened to sue Baron Cohen. He claims he was tricked into appearing in the film and has insisted that he is no longer involved in the Martyrs' Brigades.

Baron Cohen is reported to have received death threats in America and Kazakhstan after his previous box office hit, Borat.
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« Reply #178 on: September 09, 2009, 04:19:39 PM »

Yale Removes Cartoons of Prophet Muhammad From Forthcoming Book, Citing Fears of Violence

Tuesday , September 08, 2009

Yale University wiped a forthcoming book clean of controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, fearing the images would cause another outbreak of violence.  Yale University Press, which the Ivy League school owns, removed the 12 caricatures from the book "The Cartoons That Shook the World" by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen — which is scheduled to be released next week.

A Danish newspaper originally published the cartoons, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban, in 2005. Other Western publications reprinted them. The following year, the cartoons triggered massive protests from Morocco to Indonesia. Rioters torched Danish and other Western diplomatic missions. Some Muslim countries boycotted Danish products.

Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

"There is a repeated pattern of violence when these cartoons have been republished,” University Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer told the Yale Daily News in August. "The homework for us here this summer was to ask people in positions who could give expert counsel whether there is still an appreciable chance of violence from publishing the cartoons.”

The university said it consulted counterterrorism officials, Muslim diplomats, the top Muslim official at the United Nations and other mostly unidentified experts in making its decision.

Those experts said they had "serious concerns about violence occurring following publication of either the cartoons or other images of the Prophet Muhammad in a book about the cartoons,” University President Richard Levin told key administrators in an Aug. 13 letter, according to the Yale paper.

Those consulted said republishing the images "ran a serious risk of instigating violence," a press spokesman told in August.

Click here for's previous coverage of the controversy.

The action taken by the New Haven, Conn., university regarding the book, which looks at how the illustrations caused outrage in the Muslim world, has drawn criticism from prominent Yale alumni and a national group of university professors.

"I think it's horrifying that the campus of Nathan Hale has become the first place where America surrenders to this kind of fear because of what extremists might possibly do," said Michael Steinberg, an attorney and Yale graduate.

Steinberg was among 25 alumni who signed a protest letter sent Friday to Yale Alumni Magazine that urged the university to restore the drawings to the book.

Other signers included John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, former Bush administration speechwriter David Frum and Seth Corey, a liberal doctor.

"I think it's intellectual cowardice," Bolton said Thursday. "I think it's very self defeating on Yale's part. To me it's just inexplicable."

Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, wrote in a recent letter that Yale's decision effectively means: "We do not negotiate with terrorists. We just accede to their anticipated demands."

In a statement explaining the decision, Yale University Press said it decided to exclude a Danish newspaper page of the cartoons and other depictions of Muhammad after asking the university for help on the issue.

"The decision rested solely on the experts' assessment that there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims," the statement said.

Republication of the cartoons has repeatedly resulted in violence around the world, leading to more than 200 deaths and hundreds of injuries, the statement said. It also noted that major newspapers in the United states and Britain have declined to print the cartoons.

"Yale and Yale University Press are deeply committed to freedom of speech and expression, so the issues raised here were difficult," the statement said. "The press would never have reached the decision it did on the grounds that some might be offended by portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad."

John Donatich, director of Yale University Press, said the critics are "grandstanding." He said it was not a case of censorship because the university did not suppress original content that was not available in other places.

"I would never have agreed to censor original content," Donatich said.

Klausen was surprised by the decision when she learned of it in July. She said scholarly reviewers and Yale's publication committee comprised of faculty recommended the cartoons be included.

"I'm extremely upset about that," Klausen said.

The experts Yale consulted did not read the manuscript, Klausen said, telling the school newspaper that their opinions were "terribly alarmist." She said she consulted Muslim leaders and did not believe including the cartoons in a scholarly debate would spark violence.

“I have a reputation as a fair and sympathetic observer,” Klausen told the Yale paper. “There’s absolutely nothing anti-Muslim about my book.”

Klausen said she reluctantly agreed to have the book published without the images because she did not believe any other university press would publish them, and she hopes Yale will include them in later editions.

She argues in the book that there is a misperception that Muslims spontaneously arose in anger over the cartoons when they really were symbols manipulated by those already involved in violence.

Donatich said there wasn't time for the experts to read the book, but they were told of the context. He said reviewers and the publications committee did not object, but were not asked about the security risk.

Many Muslim nations want to restrict speech to prevent insults to Islam they claim have proliferated since the terrorist attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, a world affairs columnist and CNN host who serves on Yale's governing board, said he told Yale that he believed publishing the images would have provoked violence.

"As a journalist and public commentator, I believe deeply in the First Amendment and academic freedom," Zakaria said. "But in this instance Yale Press was confronted with a clear threat of violence and loss of life."

Click here for more on this story from the Yale Daily News.,2933,547572,00.html
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« Reply #179 on: October 06, 2009, 09:24:24 AM »

You Can't Say That
At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.
by Anne Bayefsky
10/05/2009 12:00:00 AM

The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. The newly-minted American policy was rolled out at the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council, which ended in Geneva on Friday. American diplomats were there for the first time as full Council members and intent on making friends.

President Obama chose to join the Council despite the fact that the Organization of the Islamic Conference holds the balance of power and human rights abusers are among its lead actors, including China, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia. Islamic states quickly interpreted the president's penchant for "engagement" as meaning fundamental rights were now up for grabs. Few would have predicted, however, that the shift would begin with America's most treasured freedom.

For more than a decade, a UN resolution on the freedom of expression was shepherded through the Council, and the now defunct Commission on Human Rights which it replaced, by Canada. Over the years, Canada tried mightily to garner consensus on certain minimum standards, but the "reformed" Council changed the distribution of seats on the UN's lead human rights body. In 2008, against the backdrop of the publication of images of Mohammed in a Danish newspaper, Cuba and various Islamic countries destroyed the consensus and rammed through an amendment which introduced a limit on any speech they claimed was an "abuse . . . [that] constitutes an act of racial or religious discrimination."

The Obama administration decided that a revamped freedom of expression resolution, extracted from Canadian hands, would be an ideal emblem for its new engagement policy. So it cosponsored a resolution on the subject with none other than Egypt--a country characterized by an absence of freedom of expression.

Privately, other Western governments were taken aback and watched the weeks of negotiations with dismay as it became clear that American negotiators wanted consensus at all costs. In introducing the resolution on Thursday, October 1--adopted by consensus the following day--the ranking U.S. diplomat, Chargé d'Affaires Douglas Griffiths, crowed:

"The United States is very pleased to present this joint project with Egypt. This initiative is a manifestation of the Obama administration's commitment to multilateral engagement throughout the United Nations and of our genuine desire to seek and build cooperation based upon mutual interest and mutual respect in pursuit of our shared common principles of tolerance and the dignity of all human beings."

His Egyptian counterpart, Ambassador Hisham Badr, was equally pleased--for all the wrong reasons. He praised the development by telling the Council that "freedom of expression . . . has been sometimes misused," insisting on limits consistent with the "true nature of this right" and demanding that the "the media must . . . conduct . . . itself in a professional and ethical manner."

The new resolution, championed by the Obama administration, has a number of disturbing elements. It emphasizes that "the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities . . ." which include taking action against anything meeting the description of "negative racial and religious stereotyping." It also purports to "recognize . . . the moral and social responsibilities of the media" and supports "the media's elaboration of voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct" in relation to "combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance."

Pakistan's Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made it clear that they understand the resolution and its protection against religious stereotyping as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion. The idea of protecting the human rights "of religions" instead of individuals is a favorite of those countries that do not protect free speech and which use religion--as defined by government--to curtail it.

Even the normally feeble European Union tried to salvage the American capitulation by expressing the hope that the resolution might be read a different way. Speaking on behalf of the EU following the resolution's adoption, French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattéi declared that "human rights law does not, and should not, protect religions or belief systems, hence the language on stereotyping only applies to stereotyping of individuals . . . and not of ideologies, religions or abstract values. The EU rejects the concept of defamation of religions." The EU also distanced itself from the American compromise on the media, declaring that "the notion of a moral and social responsibility of the media" goes "well beyond" existing international law and "the EU cannot subscribe to this concept in such general terms."

In 1992 when the United States ratified the main international law treaty which addresses freedom of expression, the government carefully attached reservations to ensure that the treaty could not "restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States."

The Obama administration's debut at the Human Rights Council laid bare its very different priorities. Threatening freedom of expression is a price for engagement with the Islamic world that it is evidently prepared to pay.

Anne Bayefsky is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a professor at Touro College, and the editor of
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« Reply #180 on: October 17, 2009, 06:55:31 AM »

Professors have a professional interest in—indeed a professional duty to uphold—liberty of thought and discussion. But in recent years, precisely where they should be most engaged and outspoken they have been apathetic and inarticulate.

Consider Yale. On Oct. 1, the university hosted Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. His drawing of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban became the best known of 12 cartoons published by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005. That led to deadly protests throughout the Muslim world. On the same day, at an unrelated event, Yale hosted Brandeis Prof. Jytte Klausen. Her new book, "The Cartoons that Shook the World," was subject in August to a last minute prepublication decision by Yale President Richard Levin and Yale University Press to remove not only the 12 cartoons but also all representations of Muhammad, including respected works of art.

The Westergaard appearance inspired protests. Muslim students condemned Yale's invitation to the cartoonist as religiously and racially insensitive, compared him to Holocaust deniers and white supremacists, and declared his art and utterances hate speech rather than free speech.

Students will be students. It is to be hoped that those who opposed Mr. Westergaard's invitation will learn at Yale that the aim of liberal education is not to guard their sensitivities but to teach them to listen to diverse opinions and fortify them to respond with better arguments to those with whom they disagree.

Mr. Westergaard's appearance did prompt a small faculty-led panel discussion on Oct. 7. It dealt mainly with Muslim reaction to the cartoons, though Prof. Seyla Benhabib said that in Ms. Klausen's position she would have withdrawn the book. But generally the faculty has been unmoved by Yale's censorship of Ms. Klausen's book, which suggests that lessons in the fundamentals of liberty of thought and discussion may be lacking on campus.

To be sure, Yale's censorship—the right word because Yale suppressed content on moral and political grounds—raised difficult questions. Can't rights, including freedom of speech and press, be limited to accommodate other rights and goods? What if reprinting the cartoons and other depictions gave thugs and extremists a new opportunity to inflame passions and unleash violence? Can't the consequences of the cartoons' original publication be understood without reproducing them? Weren't the cartoons really akin, as Yale Senior Lecturer Charles Hill pointed out in a letter to the Yale Alumni magazine, to the depictions of Jews as grotesque monsters that successive American administrations have sought to persuade Arab newspapers to cease publishing? And isn't it true, as Mr. Hill also observed, that Yale's obligation to defend free speech does not oblige it to subsidize gratuitously offensive or intellectually worthless speech?

These are good questions—to which there are good answers.

Rights are subject to limits, but a right as fundamental to the university and the nation as freedom of speech and press should only be limited in cases of imminent danger and not in deference to speculation about possible violence at an indeterminate future date. One can't properly evaluate Ms. Klausen's contention that the cartoons were cynically manipulated without assessing with one's own eyes whether the images passed beyond mockery and ridicule to the direct incitement of violence.

Even if the cartoons exhibited a kinship to anti-Semitic caricatures, it would cut in favor of publication: a scholar would be derelict in his duties if he published a work on anti-Semitic images without including examples. And finally, if Yale chooses to publish a rigorous analysis of the Danish cartoon controversy, which affected the national interest and roiled world affairs, then the university does incur a scholarly obligation to include all the relevant information and evidence including the cartoons at the center, regardless of whether they are in themselves gratuitously offensive and intellectually worthless.

The wonder is that Yale's censorship has excited so little debate at Yale. The American Association of University Professors condemned Yale for caving in to terrorists' "anticipated demands." And a group of distinguished alumni formed the Yale Committee for a Free Press and published a letter protesting Yale's "surrender to potential unknown billigerents" and calling on the university to correct its error by reprinting Ms. Klausen's book with the cartoons and other images intact. But the Yale faculty has mostly yawned. Even the famously activist Yale Law School has, according to its director of public affairs, sponsored no programs on censorship and the university.

Alas, there is good reason to suppose that in its complacency about threats to freedom on campus the Yale faculty is typical of faculties at our leading universities. In 2006, even as the police had barely begun their investigation, Duke University President Richard Brodhead lent the prestige of his office to faculty members' prosecution and conviction in the court of public opinion of three members of the Duke lacrosse team falsely accused of gang raping an African-American exotic dancer. It turned out they were being pursued by a rogue prosecutor. To be sure, it was only a vocal minority at Duke who led the public rush to judgment. But the vast majority of the faculty stood idly by, never rising to defend the presumption of innocence and the requirements of fair process. Perhaps Duke faculty members did not realize or perhaps they did not care that these formal and fundamental protections against the abuse of power belong among the conditions essential to the lively exchange of ideas at the heart of liberal education.

Similarly, in 2005, Harvard President Lawrence Summers sparked a faculty revolt that ultimately led to his ouster by floating at a closed-door, off-the-record meeting the hypothesis—which he gave reasons for rejecting only a few breaths after posing it—that women were poorly represented among natural science faculties because significantly fewer women than men are born with the extraordinary theoretical intelligence necessary to succeed at the highest scientific levels. Before he was forced to resign, Mr. Summers did his part to set back the cause of unfettered intellectual inquiry by taking the side of his accusers and apologizing repeatedly for having dared to expose an unpopular idea to rational analysis. Apart from a few honorable exceptions, the Harvard faculty could not find a principle worth defending in the controversy over Mr. Summer's remarks.

As the controversies at Yale, Duke and Harvard captured national attention, professors from other universities haven't had much to say in defense of liberty of thought and discussion either. This silence represents a collective failure of America's professors of colossal proportions. What could be a clearer sign of our professors' loss of understanding of the requirements of liberal education than their failure to defend liberty of thought and discussion where it touches them most directly?

Mr. Berkowitz is a fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.
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« Reply #181 on: October 17, 2009, 08:31:13 AM »

Free speech or the diversity of ideas is a myth on college campuses Check out the entire documentary but here is the trailer:


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« Reply #182 on: October 17, 2009, 11:10:02 AM »

More suppression of free speech because it is not politically correct and offends some liberal students and evidently the faculty or administration have no problem with it either because I have not heard them renounce it.  Nothing new of course.  We continue to give it all away:

Harvard group cancels invitation to anti-immigration speaker
Was scheduled to talk at forum
 ‘Many are looking for answers to the illegal immigration chaos,’ said Jim Gilchrist of the Minuteman Project. 

By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff / October 16, 2009
 Less than a year after speaking at a Harvard University student conference, the head of an anti-illegal immigration movement had his invitation to speak at a similar forum tomorrow rescinded following a student uproar over his aggressive position on immigration.
Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project, which sends armed civilians to patrol the Mexican border for illegal immigrants crossing into the United States, was scheduled to speak during a public interest and law conference hosted by the Harvard Undergraduate Legal Committee.

Gilchrist was slated to appear on a panel that discussed “Immigration and Its Future in America.’’

But student protests, emboldened since Gilchrist spoke at a Harvard Law School event in February, led to the cancellation of his invitation.

The Undergraduate Legal Committee released a statement that read, “Mr. Gilchrist’s participation in the conference on the behalf of the Minutemen Project was not compatible with providing an environment for civil, educational, and productive discourse on immigration, and we cannot host him at this time.’’

A representative from the group would not elaborate on the statement.

Gilchrist could not be reached for comment, but said in a statement on his website that the protests came from only a few and that “the minute they received threats from fellow students these pre-law students shied away from defending free speech.’’

“That future graduates of the most renowned university in the world are literally afraid to support the very cornerstone of the foundation of our nation, namely ‘free speech,’ ought to frighten anyone looking to America as the beacon of liberty, freedom, and justice for all,’’ he said.

Gilchrist seemed to be looking forward to tomorrow’s conference and had solicited funds for the trip.

“Believe me, in these turbulent times many are looking for answers to the illegal immigration chaos,’’ he said in an earlier statement. “Not just the man on the street, but all the way up through the nation’s Ivy League schools.’’

A former Marine and journalist, Gilchrist has run into protests before. He was attacked in 2006 while speaking at Columbia University.

The incident spurred national debate on free speech as well as immigration, while many condemned the violent protests.

He formed what he calls the “multi-ethnic’’ Minuteman Project in 2004, saying he was frustrated with the nation’s failure to enforce immigration laws, and has participated in academic panels, given countless interviews, and has been published in legal journals.

But his hard-line anti-immigration stance has met much opposition, centering on the arming of civilians enforcing federal laws - referred to by many as vigilantes - and the group’s animosity toward immigrants, particularly Mexicans.

Gilchrist’s participation in a Harvard Law School Journal on Legislation panel in February prompted the head of the American Immigration Lawyers Association to withdraw from the event, saying in a letter that, “I draw the line . . . at debating or appearing with members of known hate groups, and those who advocate violence whether explicitly or implicitly.’’

Kyle de Beausset, an undergraduate student and migrant advocate, who was one of the original Harvard protesters, said yesterday that Gilchrist’s removal will allow discussions to move toward policy, rather than animosity.

“It’s a victory for people who are trying to get hate out of the immigration debate,’’ he said. “There’s a difference between having views, and hate speech.’’

Beausset said more students have been alerted to the group’s stance since the arrest in June of a woman with ties to the Minuteman Project.

Shawna Ford and two others allegedly shot and killed a father and son, and wounded the mother in a robbery that Beausset said was to “finance her nativist activism.’’

He said the episode showed the extremes to which some members of the movement will go.

“I’m concerned about the broader national implications of legitimizing these extremist views with the Harvard name,’’ he said in a letter to fellow students.

Milton Valencia can be reached at

© Copyright 2009 Globe Newspaper Company.
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« Reply #183 on: October 19, 2009, 06:13:46 PM »

Good post ccp. I believe footage of Gilchrist's 2006 appearence actually made it into the documentary.The really telling part is the handling of a conservative muslim on a campus (in Tenn. I believe) that wrote an editorial challenging the student gov't selections of guest speakers.He wanted more consevatives ,OOPS. rolleyes

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« Reply #184 on: October 21, 2009, 07:09:10 AM »

Sweden Democrat leader reported for 'hate speech'

Published: 20 Oct 09 11:50 CET

An opinion piece by Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson in which he labels Muslims a major threat has been reported to Sweden's highest legal official by the Centre Against Racism (Centrum Mot Rasism). The anti-racism organization called on the Chancellor of Justice (Justitiekanslern - JK) to examine whether claims made by the head of the far-right party were tantamount to agitation against an ethnic group (hets mot folkgrup).

Åkesson's article, published in Aftonbladet on Monday, has provoked a furious reaction following the Sweden Democrat chief's assertion that the spread of Islam represents the country's "greatest external threat since World War II".

"We are of the view that the article agitates against Muslims when it points at Islam as the greatest threat to Sweden," said Mariam Osman Sherifay, head of the organization and Social Democrat politician, to the TT news agency.

Osman Sherifay was also highly critical of Aftonbladet's decision to print the article, a move she said was out of step with established journalistic standards.

"The newspaper is giving the Sweden Democrats space that they don't deserve. The fact that they're racists is not news. Aftonbladet could instead have examined the party's views," she said.

Osman Sherifay's political rivals, the conservative Christian Democrats -- currently the smallest of the four parties in the governing centre-right coalition -- were also quick to shoot down Åkesson's comments.

"My understanding of media reports from the weekend's Sweden Democrat conference was that they wanted to broaden the party and show that they have more strings to their bow than just xenophobia," said party leader Göran Hägglund in a written comment to The Local.

"But when they formulate this opinion piece all we get once again are sweeping accusations portraying an ethnic group as a threat, all of which is based on facts that are dubious to say the very least."

Tempers have flared between the two parties in recent months as the battle heats up for the conservative vote. A number of opinion polls have indicated that the Sweden Democrats are closing in on the four percent threshold necessary for representation in the Riksdag as the Christian Democrats struggle to keep their heads above water.

Relations between the two reached perhaps their lowest ebb during the summer when the Christian Democrat leader accused the Sweden Democrats of failing to shake off their Nazi past. But this didn't stop Åkesson from weighing in recently on Hägglund's side as the latter slammed Sweden's "cultural elite" for their purported antipathy towards "regular people".

But Hägglund, who has called on the established parties to tackle the Sweden Democrats head on, was keen to reiterate his view that the Christian Democrats have little in common with their challengers from the far-right.

"Theirs is a viewpoint that places the value of human life on a scale. Some are worth more than others. The way their party views human life is light years away from both my own view and that of my party," he said.
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« Reply #185 on: January 01, 2010, 10:13:45 PM »

Official: Danish police stop attack on cartoonist

That peaceful religion of peace is at it again:

Official: Danish police stop attack on cartoonist

By JAN M. OLSEN, Associated Press Writer Jan M. Olsen, Associated Press Writer 4 mins ago

COPENHAGEN – Police foiled an attempt to kill an artist who drew cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that sparked outrage in the Muslim world, the head of Denmark's intelligence service said Saturday.

Jakob Scharf, who heads the PET intelligence service, said a 28-year-old Somalia man was armed with an ax and a knife when he attempted to enter Kurt Westergaard's home in Aarhus shortly after 10 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Friday.

The attack was "terror related," Scharf said in a statement.
"The arrested man has according to PET's information close relations to the Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, and al-Qaida leaders in eastern Africa," he said.

Scharf said without elaborating that the man is suspected of having been involved in terror related activities during a stay in east Africa. He had been under PET's surveillance "although this has no connection with cartoonist Kurt Westergaard," he said.

Police shot the Somali man in a knee and a hand, authorities said. Preben Nielsen of the police in Aarhus, where the attack took place, said the suspect was seriously injured but his life was not in danger.

The Somalia man, who had a staying permit in Denmark, was to be charged Saturday with attempted murder for trying to kill Westergaard and a police officer, Scharf said.

It was unclear whether the suspect managed to actually get inside the home of the 75-year-old cartoonist in Denmark's second largest city.

Westergaard, who had his 5-year-old grandson on a sleepover, called police and sought shelter in a specially made safe room in the house, Nielsen said. Police arrived two minutes later and tried to arrest the assailant, who wielded an axe at a police officer. The officer then shot the man.

Westergaard was "quite shocked" but was not injured, Nielsen said.
Westergaard remains a potential target for extremists nearly five years after he drew caricatures including one of the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

The drawings printed in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten daily in 2005, triggered an uproar a few months later when Danish and other Western embassies in several Muslim countries were torched by angry protesters who felt the cartoons had profoundly insulted Islam.

Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet, even favorable, for fear it could lead to idolatry.

Westergaard, whose provocative cartoon thrust Denmark into the midst of an international crisis, has been exposed to death threats and an alleged assassination plot.

Throughout the crisis, then-Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen distanced himself from the cartoons but resisted calls to apologize for them, citing freedom of speech and saying his government could not be held responsible for the actions of Denmark's press.
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« Reply #186 on: January 05, 2010, 09:38:20 PM »

I lack the google-fu to really follow this; anyone else?
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« Reply #187 on: January 05, 2010, 10:19:50 PM »

Counterterrorism Blog
Google and the Problem with al-Manar
By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

UPDATE, 4/12/2006, 11:09 A.M.: Video clips from the CD-ROM that accompanies Avi Jorisch's Beacon of Hatred are available at this website. It is worth visiting to get a sense of the kind of propaganda that al-Manar regularly broadcasts.

Last Thursday, my colleague Olivier Guitta noted that Google carries the Hizballah-run al-Manar as one of the sources in its news section. (See this link, showing that al-Manar is still featured in Google News.) Questions have been raised in the past about the criteria used for selecting Google News sources. For example, there is a 2005 post by Michelle Malkin noting that her website and Little Green Footballs were rejected as news sources, while Democratic Underground and the malicious were included. What is clear, though, is that the Google team believes -- rightly -- that it confers a degree of prestige upon those websites that it chooses to include in its Google News feed. That is why Google's selection of al-Manar as a news source is disturbing.

Guitta noted that al-Manar was placed on Treasury's list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities and that al-Manar has also been banned in France. But to understand why Google's use of al-Manar as a news source is disturbing, it's necessary to look beyond the mere fact of its designation and understand the kind of propaganda that al-Manar is known for disseminating. The definitive study on al-Manar, Beacon of Hatred: Inside Hizballah's al-Manar Television, was written by Avi Jorisch and published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 2004. The research performed for the monograph was extensive: Washington Institute staff recorded and analyzed hundreds of hours of primetime al-Manar programming, and Jorisch conducted a number of interviews at al-Manar's headquarters in Lebanon, as well as at the offices of other Lebanese TV stations and al-Jazeera's headquarters in Qatar.

Jorisch's study makes clear that al-Manar views its mission as propagandizing for Hizballah and promoting violence against the United States and Israel. Hizballah has openly called for violence against American forces in Iraq, and al-Manar's programming has accordingly incited violence and hatred toward Americans. Among many examples, Jorisch's description of a music video was particularly interesting:

Al-Manar has also broadcast explicit calls for acts of resistance against U.S. forces in Iraq. One video lambastes U.S. troops in Iraq with the following lyrics: "Down with the mother of terrorism! America threatens in vain, an occupying army of invaders. Nothing remains but rifles and suicide bombers." The video ends with an image of a suicide bomber's belt detonating.

Al-Manar also calls for the destruction of Israel. One video featuring Hizballah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah makes this desire crystal clear:

In it, he challenges fellow Arabs to account for what they have personally done to liberate Palestine and Jerusalem. Population figures for each Arab country are listed, and the video ends with big letters that read, "Population of the Arab world: 300 million Arabs. Occupied Palestine: 5 million Jews. What are you waiting for?" The clear message to viewers is that the Arab world should encounter no difficulty in destroying Israel through sheer numbers alone.

Al-Manar consistently supports acts of terror against Israelis. The programming frequently praises suicide bombers, and indeed, Jorisch writes that "station officials maintain that one of al-Manar's aims is to promote suicide missions. The station also strives to ensure that the families of suicide bombers know that they will be compensated for their loss."

Nor is this advocacy of violence limited to Israelis: Many al-Manar guests portray all Jews as part of a sinister conspiracy to dominate the world. As Sheikh Taha al-Sabounji, the head mufti of northern Lebanon, said on al-Manar: "Judaism is a project against all humanity. It is about time the world understands this. Those who are fighting Israel are not just defending themselves; they are defending the whole world. They are protecting all the future generations of humanity. If they don't believe this, then they should read in the Jewish books what is written about Islam, Christianity, about Jesus and Muhammad. It's our job as Muslims to call upon the Christian world to rise up and become aware of what the Jews are doing. . . . There is no such thing as Zionism . . . . There is only Judaism." And Nasrallah stated on a diferent show, "If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

Reasonable minds can differ about the relative merits of, Little Green Footballs and Democratic Underground for inclusion in Google News. But the inclusion of al-Manar -- itself a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity, and known for its unrelenting support of terror against Americans and Israelis -- is simply indefensible.

UPDATE, 3:16 P.M.: If you find the inclusion of al-Manar as a Google News source outrageous, I encourage you to send a polite but firm e-mail to encouraging them to remove al-Manar as a news source.

UPDATE, 5:03 P.M.: I just learned that, in refusing to list a website called Alain's Newsletter as a Google News source, the Google team explained: "We've reviewed your site and cannot include it in Google News at this time. While we make an effort to provide a well-rounded perspective on controversial topics by including sites that represent contrasting points of view, we do not include sites that contain hate speech." If Hizballah's al-Manar isn't hate speech, I don't know what is.

By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross on April 11, 2006 3:08 PM
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« Reply #188 on: January 20, 2010, 12:55:20 AM »

Islamic Groups Lose Lawfare Attempt in Texas Supreme Court


Islamic Groups Lose Lawfare Attempt in Texas Supreme Court— Free Speech Rights of Internet Journalists Upheld;

January 19, 2010

People - Joe Kaufman ANN ARBOR, MI – The Texas Supreme Court dealt another blow to Islamic organizations which use lawsuits as a form of “legal jihad” to silence public discussion of Islamic terrorist threats. On Friday, January 15, 2010, the Texas Supreme Court denied a petition for review of a Second District Court of Appeals opinion which dismissed the defamation lawsuit brought by seven Dallas-area Islamic organizations against internet journalist Joe Kaufman.

On his radio show, Mahdi Bray, head of the Muslim American Freedom Foundation, the political arm of Muslim American Society –Dallas, exhorted his radio audience of the need of Muslims to lawyer up and fund additional lawsuits. The case against Kaufman was used as the example. In fact, for the last several years, Muslim groups in the U.S. have engaged in the tactic referred to as Islamist Lawfare which uses our American laws and legal system to silence critics and promote the Islamic agenda in America.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan acted as lead counsel for Kaufman, at no charge. The Law Center was assisted by Texas attorney Thomas S. Brandon, Jr. who acted as local counsel, and Los Angeles, CA attorneys William Becker, Jr. and Manuel S. Klausner. The Law Center’s attorney, Brandon Bolling, later moved to a for-profit law firm.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “It is gratifying to see a courageous citizen like Joe Kaufman withstand the legal intimidation of a well-financed lawsuit aimed at shutting down his right to speak out against the threats of radical Islam.”

On July 25, 2009, the Texas Second District Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that as an internet journalist Kaufman had the same procedural protections under the Texas law given to traditional electronic and print media, including the right to a pretrial appeal. [Read opinion] Accordingly, Kaufman had the same right to appeal the lower court’s denial of his motion to dismiss the frivolous libel claim before a time-consuming and expensive trial. Most parties have to wait until after a trial before they can appeal an unfavorable lower court ruling.

As a full-time investigative reporter, Kaufman has written extensively on Radical Islamic terrorism in America. He was sued because of his September 28, 2007 article titled “Fanatic Muslim Family Day” published by Front Page Magazine, a major online news website. Kaufman’s article exposed the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and the Islamic Association of Northern Texas (IANT) ties to the radical terrorist group Hamas.

Kaufman’s article called ICNA a radical Muslim organization with ties to Al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. According to Kaufman, ICNA is an umbrella organization for South Asian-oriented mosques and Islamic centers in the United States created as an American arm of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) of Pakistan.

Significantly, neither ICNA nor IANT, which were mentioned in Kaufman’s article, sued Kaufman. It is speculated they were afraid of being subjected to pretrial discovery depositions. On the other hand, none of the seven plaintiffs that sued Kaufman were even mentioned in his article.

The seven Islamic organizations that sued Kaufman are the Islamic Society of Arlington, Texas, Islamic Center of Irving, DFW Islamic Educational Center, Inc., Dar Elsalam Islamic Center, Al Hedayah Islamic Center, Islamic Association of Tarrant County, and Muslim American Society of Dallas. All are affiliated with CAIR, one of the unindicted co-conspirators in the successful federal prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation.

This is the third straight loss for the Islamic groups in this case. After the ruling in favor of Kaufman on June 25, 2009, they asked for a reconsideration of the decision through what is known as an en banc opinion (appeal to the whole court, not just a panel of the court). The court denied that request. Last week the Texas Supreme Court also denied their request for review. However, plaintiffs can still file a petition for review with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at
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« Reply #189 on: April 22, 2010, 09:12:14 PM »

Hat tip to GM on this:

Dhimmitude in corporate media:
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« Reply #190 on: April 25, 2010, 12:44:41 AM »
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« Reply #191 on: April 25, 2010, 09:28:24 AM »

As it so often does "Day by day" leads the way with a practice run for "Draw Mohammed Day"
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« Reply #192 on: April 25, 2010, 04:25:17 PM »

Comic Depictions of Mohammed: Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold
posted at 1:56 pm on April 24, 2010 by Howard Portnoy

Did you hear the latest knee-slapper about Moses? Actually, I don’t have a joke about Moses to share, though if I did and chose to, I wouldn’t need to go into hiding. If the joke were sufficiently tasteless or insulting, the Jewish Anti-Defamation League might issue a statement. Beyond that I know of no organized source or form of ritual retribution I would summarily face for my sacrilege. I wouldn’t need to live in mortal fear that some rabbi would assign a price to my head, instructing his congregants to hunt me down, machete in hand. That is because in my religion—and I suspect in yours—that just isn’t how things are done.
It’s not how they should be done in any religion, but sadly that just isn’t the world we live in.
Much has been written in recent days on the pickle “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone put themselves in by depicting (or rather not depicting by dressing him in a bear costume) the prophet Mohammed in an episode of their popular cartoon series. By now, the absurdly over-the-top reaction of a New York-based jihadist group has been too ubiquitously documented to require reprise here.
Much of what I’ve seen in commentaries adopts the same point of view as an editorial in today’s New York Post titled “Cowardly Central.” The bottom line of the editorial is summed up in a single, closing sentence: “And until the West decides—culturally and collectively—not to take it any longer, it’s only going to get worse.”
The general point is hard to dispute. Behind it is the attitude—in a very real sense it was a warning—that we Americans conveyed in the days and weeks after 9/11 by flying the American flag and displaying posters showing Old Glory and carrying the legend “These colors don’t run.”
But there is an important distinction between that situation and this one. It is one thing to stand tall and hang tough as a nation. It is quite another to do the same when you as an individual have been singled out and have a bounty on your head.
Before you exception me your exceptions, understand: I agree with the general tenet that if you give the islamist cretins an inch, they’ll take a mile, and that we should not tolerate their threats, which are little more in the end than thinly veiled excuses to kill more of us “non-believers.” They certainly needed no provocation to wantonly murder 3,000 innocent Americans on 9/11, and we now know from another headline this morning that they will keep on trying with every last breath in their being.
That eventuality—a day when the last of these monstrous miscreants takes his last breath—is something to be devoutly wished for. But until it arrives, we need to do what it takes to survive—both en masse and as individuals. If that means we resist depicting their prophet, so be it. It’s a small sacrifice to make it if means living to fight another day.
It is a truism of survival that under threatening circumstances it is important first and foremost to keep you head. At this critical juncture in the lives of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, let us all pray that they are able to keep theirs.
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« Reply #193 on: April 25, 2010, 07:15:52 PM »

As I understand the point of it, the purpose of the Draw Mohammed Day is that these two cartoonists do NOT stand alone.
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« Reply #194 on: April 26, 2010, 06:28:54 AM »

I agree with "Draw Mohammed day". I posted the article because I liked how the author pointed out that islam alone has to threaten and murder those that refuse to live by it's theology.
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« Reply #195 on: April 27, 2010, 07:37:12 AM »

'South Park" is hilarious, right? Not any more.

Last week, Zachary Adam Chesser—a 20-year-old Muslim convert who now goes by the name Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee—posted a warning on the Web site following the 200th episode of the show on Comedy Central. The episode, which trotted out many celebrities the show has previously satirized, also "featured" the Prophet Muhammad: He was heard once from within a U-Haul truck and a second time from inside a bear costume.

For this apparent blasphemy, Mr. Amrikee warned that co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone "will probably end up" like Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh, readers will remember, was the Dutch filmmaker who was brutally murdered in 2004 on the streets of Amsterdam. He was killed for producing "Submission," a film that criticized the subordinate role of women in Islam, with me.

There has been some debate about whether Mr. Stone and Mr. Parker should view the Web posting as a direct threat. Here's Mr. Amrikee's perspective: "It's not a threat, but it really is a likely outcome," he told "They're going to be basically on a list in the back of the minds of a large number of Muslims. It's just the reality." He's also published the home and office addresses of Messrs. Stone and Parker, as well as images of Van Gogh's body.

According to First Amendment experts, technically speaking this posting does not constitute a threat. And general opinion seems to be that even if this posting was intended as a threat, Mr. Amrikee and his ilk are merely fringe extremists who are disgruntled with U.S. foreign policy; their "outrage" merits little attention.

This raises the question: How much harm can an Islamist fringe group do in a free society? The answer is a lot.

Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim first thought to have been a minor character in radical circles, killed Theo van Gogh. Only during the investigation did it emerge that he was the ringleader of the Hofstad Group, a terrorist organization that was being monitored by the Dutch Secret Service.

The story was very similar in the case of the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The cartoons, drawn by Kurt Westergaard, were published in September 2005 to little notice but exploded five months later into an international drama complete with riots and flag-burnings. The man behind this campaign of outrage was an Egyptian-born radical imam named Ahmed Abu-Laban.

Prior to this conflagration, Mr. Abu-Laban was seen as a marginal figure. Yet his campaign ended up costing Denmark businesses an estimated $170 million in the spring of 2006. And this doesn't include the cost of rebuilding destroyed property and protecting the cartoonists.

So how worried should the creators of "South Park" be about the "marginal figures" who now threaten them? Very. In essence, Mr. Amrikee's posting is an informal fatwa. Here's how it works:

There is a basic principle in Islamic scripture—unknown to most not-so-observant Muslims and most non-Muslims—called "commanding right and forbidding wrong." It obligates Muslim males to police behavior seen to be wrong and personally deal out the appropriate punishment as stated in scripture. In its mildest form, devout people give friendly advice to abstain from wrongdoing. Less mild is the practice whereby Afghan men feel empowered to beat women who are not veiled.

By publicizing the supposed sins of Messrs. Stone and Parker, Mr. Amrikee undoubtedly believes he is fulfilling his duty to command right and forbid wrong. His message is not just an opinion. It will appeal to like-minded individuals who, even though they are a minority, are a large and random enough group to carry out the divine punishment. The best illustration of this was demonstrated by the Somali man who broke into Mr. Westergaard's home in January carrying an axe and a knife.

Any Muslim, male or female, who knows about the "offense" may decide to perform the duty of killing those who insult the prophet. So what can be done to help Mr. Parker and Mr. Stone?

The first step is for them to consult with experts on how to stay safe. Even though living with protection, as I do now in Washington, D.C., curtails some of your freedom, it is better than risking the worst.

Much depends on how far the U.S. government is prepared to contribute to their protection. According to the Danish government, protecting Mr. Westergaard costs the taxpayers $3.9 million, excluding technical operating equipment. That's a tall order at a time of intense fiscal pressure.

One way of reducing the cost is to organize a solidarity campaign. The entertainment business, especially Hollywood, is one of the wealthiest and most powerful industries in the world. Following the example of Jon Stewart, who used the first segment of his April 22 show to defend "South Park," producers, actors, writers, musicians and other entertainers could lead such an effort.

Another idea is to do stories of Muhammad where his image is shown as much as possible. These stories do not have to be negative or insulting, they just need to spread the risk. The aim is to confront hypersensitive Muslims with more targets than they can possibly contend with.

Another important advantage of such a campaign is to accustom Muslims to the kind of treatment that the followers of other religions have long been used to. After the "South Park" episode in question there was no threatening response from Buddhists, Christians and Jews—to say nothing of Tom Cruise and Barbra Streisand fans—all of whom had far more reason to be offended than Muslims.

Islamists seek to replace the rule of law with that of commanding right and forbidding wrong. With over a billion and a half people calling Muhammad their moral guide, it is imperative that we examine the consequences of his guidance, starting with the notion that those who depict his image or criticize his teachings should be punished.

In "South Park," this tyrannical rule is cleverly needled when Tom Cruise asks the question: How come Muhammad is the only celebrity protected from ridicule? Now we know why.

Ms. Ali, a former member of the Dutch parliament, is the author of "Nomad: From Islam to America—A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations," which will be published next month by Free Press.
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« Reply #196 on: May 12, 2010, 10:30:32 AM »

Jon Stewart on South Park
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« Reply #197 on: May 13, 2010, 09:12:48 PM »

Raging Muslim Students Screaming “Allahu Akbar” Assault Swedish Artist During Free Speech Lecture


Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 12:37 PM

Woah!… Raging Muslim students attacked artist Lars Vilks during a free speech lecture in Sweden. 15 Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar” rushed the podium, headbutted Vilks, broke his glasses and tackled him to the floor. The whole assault was caught on tape:

Vilks has been receiving death threats since he drew an image of the prophet Mohammad with a dog’s body.

The AP and Atlas Shrugs have more on the attack:

A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was assaulted Tuesday while giving a university lecture about the limits of artistic freedom.

Lars Vilks told The Associated Press a man in the front row ran up to him and head-butted him during a lecture, breaking his glasses but leaving him uninjured. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the attacker.

Vilks has faced numerous threats over his controversial drawing of Muhammad with a dog’s body, but Tuesday’s incident was the first time he has been physically assaulted.

Earlier this year U.S. investigators said Vilks was the target of an alleged murder plot involving Colleen LaRose, an American woman who dubbed herself “Jihad Jane,” and who now faces life in prison. She had pleaded not guilty.

Vilks said a group of about 15 people had been shouting and trying to interrupt the lecture before the incident at Uppsala University.  Many of them stormed the front of the room after the attack and clashed with security guards as Vilks was pulled away into a separate room, he said, describing the scene as “complete chaos.”

“A man ran up and threw himself over me. I was head-butted and my glasses were broken,” Vilks said before hanging up for questioning by police.

The Muslims want Lars Vilks dead because he drew this:

He drew the Prophet Mohammad with a dog’s body. Now, he must die.

UPDATE: Zombie has background on the “roundabout dog.”
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« Reply #198 on: May 20, 2010, 06:42:06 PM »
« Reply #199 on: May 20, 2010, 07:25:07 PM »

Hmm, I guess I failed as my effort was more of a pictogram:
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