RIP: Free Speech about Islam
ByÂ Adam Turner/American Thinker
The right of Westerners to speak freely regarding Islam-related topics — radical Islam or Islamism, Islamist terrorism, and Islamist terror funding — is in jeopardy.Â Islamists and their sympathizers try to silence any and all questions possibly critical of Islam with a vicious, multi-pronged assault until a critic is silenced, punished, or made an example of for others.
Islamists seem to use at least three different methods: 1) the initiation of legal proceedings, known as “lawfare” — i.e., frivolous or malicious lawsuits which often do not even hope to succeed in court and are reluctant to reach discovery to avoid disclosing information, but which therefore seem intended, on charges of hate speech or defamation, to harass and financially crush the defendant; 2) threats of violence, or violence itself; or 3) pressure applied based on political correctness, as with attempts to smear reputations by alleging “racism,” “Islamophobia,” or other epithets.Â Sometimes the Islamists use only one of these methods — sometimes two, or all three.Â Regardless, the assault is often successful. —Read more below the fold
A small victory which is really no victory at all. This case should have never gone to trial:
This one time, the Muslim victimhood game didn’t work. An update onÂ this story. “Jury took just 15 minutes to clear photographer of abusing pregnant woman in Tesco,” by Tom Harper in theÂ London Evening Standard, July 6
A celebrity photographer has spoken of her “immense relief” after being cleared of racially abusing a pregnant Muslim woman in a supermarket. Â Cinnamon Heathcote-Drury was accused of shoving the woman to the floor and calling her a terrorist during a row at a Tesco’s in Kensington last November.
Are You a Victim of Islamic Intimidation?
By Oleg Atbashian and Larissa Scott
CAIR Florida has been receiving an increase in complaints by law abiding American Muslims inappropriately targeted by law enforcement for questioning. This is a direct result of Islamophobic training CAIR has discovered many law enforcement officers in Florida are receiving. Join us this Saturday for an important program to learn how to protect yourself, your family, and your community against harassment by law enforcement or discrimination by businesses. (See screenshot).
Without verifiable proof of such “discrimination by businesses,” “Islamophobic training” or “inappropriate targeting by law enforcement”, this email appears to be a blatant slander of the tolerant American society and its legal system. The extensive influx of Muslim immigrants in recent years is the best evidence that they are treated better in the U.S.A. than in their own countries of origin. So what motivates CAIR to besmirch their host country and stir discontent? The answer lies in the old playbook developed by the radical Left and now passed on to the new radical players: calculated fear mongering. Such messages are designed to keep American Muslims misinformed, scared, and running for CAIR’s protective cover.
In this example, CAIR was promoting its own so-called “Civil Liberties” Conference titled “Know Your Rights,” with the apparent purpose of encouraging Muslim immigrants to disobey American laws, resist law enforcement efforts, and game the system with frivolous lawsuits against local businesses and government agencies that result in more political power and personal enrichment – all under the aegis of CAIR.
The email included this flyer:
Are you a victim of employment discrimination? Have you been contacted by the FBI or harassed by law enforcement? Is your employer giving you a hard time because of your hijab or won’t give you time to pray? Have you or someone you know been mistreated for practicing your faith? Treated unfair? Call CAIR. Contact CAIR Florida. We are here to help. 813-514-1414. Â (Read the whole thing over at the Peoples Cube)
Continued: RIP Free Speech About Islam
The Danish cartoon controversy, for example,Â beganÂ in September of 2005, after an author in Denmark stated that he could not find an artist willing, under his own name, to illustrate a book about the Islamic Prophet Mohammed’s life.Â In Islam, it is consideredÂ blasphemousÂ to draw a picture of the prophet.Â In response, the Danish newspaperÂ Jyllands-PostenÂ ran twelve cartoons by various artists depicting Mohammed, with the editorÂ explainingÂ that the project was an attempt defend the Danish right to exercise free speech and to contribute to the debate regarding criticism of Islam and self-censorship.Â The most controversial of these cartoons — the “bomb in the turban” picture of Mohammed — wasdrawnÂ by Kurt Westergaard.Â These cartoons were soonÂ reprinted in magazines/newspapersÂ in more than 50 other countries.Â However, the only major U.S. magazines/newspapers to reprint any of the cartoonsÂ wereÂ the conservativeÂ Weekly Standard, the atheistÂ Free Inquiry,Â andÂ the DenverÂ Rocky Mountain News.Â Many organizations cited their unwillingness to publish them out of concern for the sensitivities of Muslim readers.Â A fear of violence may also have been a significant concern.
Soon after the cartoons were published, Islamist, Islamic, or politically correct pressure groups swung into action.Â In October of 2005, some ambassadors from Muslim countries sent a letterÂ requestingÂ a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stating that they wished toÂ discussÂ the “on-going smearing campaign in Danish public circles and media against Islam and Muslims.”Â They alsoÂ hintedÂ that the Danish government should legally prosecute the paper’s editors.
At the same time, a nearly identical letterÂ arrivedÂ in Copenhagen from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC — now known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), an intergovernmental organization of fifty-seven Muslim states, also protesting the publication of the cartoons.Â As notedÂ here, “[t]he diplomatic protests aimed to use international disapproval to sanction the newspaper — and the Danes — for Islamophobia,” anÂ inventedÂ term patterned after the term “homophobia.”Â Coinciding with the arrival of the letters, three thousand Danish Muslims demonstrated in Copenhagen and demanded an apology from the newspaper for insulting Muslims.
The Danish prime minister, however, refused to bend to the politically correct pressure and declined to meet with the ambassadors.Â As heÂ explained, “[t]his is a matter of principle.Â I won’t meet with them because it is so crystal clear what principles Danish democracy is built upon that there is no reason to do so.Â As prime minister, I have no power whatsoever to limit the press –nor do I want such a power.”Â He did concede, however, that offended parties could attempt to seek legal relief from Danish courts.
Sure enough, later that same month, several Danish Muslim organizations filed aÂ complaintÂ with the Danish police claiming that theÂ Jyllands-PostenÂ had committed an offense under the law.Â They cited sections 140 and 266b of the Danish Criminal Code.Â Â Section 140Â is the blasphemy law, which prohibits disturbing public order by publicly ridiculing or insulting the dogmas of worship of any lawfully existing religious community in Denmark.Â Â Section 266bÂ criminalizes insults, threats, or degradation of natural persons, by publicly and with malice attacking their race, color of skin, national or ethnical roots, faith, or sexual orientation.Â But in early 2006, the Danish regional public prosecutor discontinued the investigation, as heÂ ruledÂ that the cartoons concerned a subject of public interest and thus were protected.Â This judgment was laterÂ confirmedÂ by the highest Danish authority, the director of public prosecutions.Â Although his ruling protected the speech rights of the Danish cartoonists in this case, the director still insisted on correctingÂ Jyllands-Posten‘s expansive view of the right to free expression in the Danish code:
Although there is no basis for instituting criminal proceedings in this case, it should be noted that both provisions (Sections 140 & 266b) of the Danish Criminal Code contain a restriction of the freedom of expression[.] … To the extent publicly made expressions fall within the scope of these rules there is, therefore, no free and unrestricted right to express opinions about religious subjects. Â It is thus not a correct description of existing law when the article inÂ Jyllands-PostenÂ states that it is incompatible with the right to freedom of expression[.]
Of course, a legal dead end was not the end of the pressure.Â In December of 2005, two Danish imams began a tour of the Middle East toÂ publicizeÂ theÂ Jyllands-PostenÂ drawings.Â In their “dossier,” the imams stuffed some other inflammatory information, including threeÂ additionalÂ — and more insulting — pictures, untruthful allegations of discrimination against Muslims in the West, and an interview discussing Islam with Dutch then-member of parliament and former Muslim-turned-critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali.Â (Ayaan Hirsi Ali had once been honored for her advocacy for free speech by the Danish governing party.)Â This first imam tour, and a second tour by the same individuals, as well asÂ instigationby various Arab governments, led to widespread protesting across the Muslim world throughout 2006.Â In the Muslim world, protestors took to the streets, destroying buildings, burning the Danish flag, and sometimes setting fire to Danish embassies. Â Eventually,Â more thanÂ 200 people were killed and hundreds more injured in violence surrounding the publication — and republication — of the cartoons.
Most disturbingly, starting in 2005, and continuing until today, Muslim radicals began to physically threatenÂ Jyllands-Posten‘sÂ employees, the cartoon artists, and Danes in general for the drawing and the publishing of the Mohammed cartoons.Â Most prominent among the Islamist targets was cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who wasÂ immediatelyÂ forced into hiding under police protection.Â Since 2005, there have been countless threats, plots, and/or attacks against Danish targets stemming from these cartoons.Â Here are just some of the more prominent ones:
- In 2005, a Pakistani Islamist partyÂ offeredÂ a reward to anyone who killed a cartoonist.
- In 2006, the Danish embassies wereÂ sackedÂ in Damascus and Beirut.
- In 2008, the Danish Embassy in Islamabad wasÂ damagedÂ in a suicide vehicle bombing. The bombing killed six people and wounded 30, mostly Pakistani Muslims.
- In 2009, following the arrest of U.S. citizen David Headley for planning the 2008 Mumbai attacks, American officials learned that Headley had also conducted surveillance in Denmark for anÂ attackÂ againstÂ Jyllands-Posten, with the codename of “The Mickey Mouse Project.”
- In 2010, Danish policeÂ shotÂ and wounded an Islamist at the home of Kurt Westergaard. The Islamist broke down the front door with the axe, before being stopped by the door to a panic room. Luckily, neither Westergaard nor his five-year-old granddaughter was harmed. Although sentenced to nine years in prison in 2011, the terrorist appealed the sentence, claiming that he was only trying to scare Westergaard to make him “stop bragging about drawing the cartoon.” His sentence wasÂ subsequentlyÂ affirmed.
- In 2011, three Norwegian Muslims wereÂ prosecutedÂ for planning to bomb the offices of theÂ Jyllands-Posten. On the first day of the trial, the prosecutors said the plot was planned with al-Qaeda in Pakistan, which is where one of the men had been trained.
- On May 28, 2012, Danish domestic intelligence servicesÂ picked upÂ two Danish-Somali brothers suspected of plotting a terror attack in Denmark.
It has been seven years since one Danish newspaper,Â Jyllands-Posten, printed cartoon depictions of Mohammed.Â Seven years.Â Yet to this day, the opponents of this cartoon speech have continued their efforts to punish the paper, and the Danish people, for their desire to preserve free speech in Denmark.Â These speech thugs have hit the Danes with legal threats, with politically correct shaming, and with murderous violence.Â While the legal process may have been abandoned (for now?), the violence, and the attempted shaming, have never stopped.Â But, to their great credit, the owners and employees ofÂ Jyllands-PostenÂ remain unbowed against the threats to their speech rights.
Unfortunately, this unrelenting assault on free speech regarding Islam-related topics has had its effect on others — both in and out of Denmark — who, unlikeÂ Jyllands-Posten, are not so brave.Â The Danish paperÂ Politiken, which originally stood withÂ Jyllands-Posten, later caved in the face of Islamist (eitherÂ legalÂ or physical threat) pressure and apologized for its republication of the Mohammed cartoons.Â Yale’s press capitulated too,Â refusingÂ to publish the Mohammed cartoons in a book about the Mohammed cartoons. Â TheÂ Washington PostÂ chose to rerun an oldÂ Non SequiturÂ cartoon rather than use the new submission that used a “Where’s Waldo?”Â gag, replacing Waldo with Mohammed, to satirize the media’s hesitancy to offend radical Islam.Â Â Comedy CentralÂ censoredÂ their hit showÂ South ParkÂ after threats over simply showing Mohammed, in four episodes, in 2006 and then in 2010.Â (InÂ contrast, Mohammed was depicted in aÂ South ParkÂ episode aired prior to the Cartoons Controversy.)
There are a few who get what this struggle is all about and fight to keep their free speech regarding Islam alive.Â Â Ezra LevantÂ is one such individual.Â And then there is the French magazineÂ Charlie Hebdo, which was bombed for its courage.Â Â But these are the exceptions.Â The vast majority do what is most rational — cave in to the pressure, and censor their Islam-related speech.
No one ever seems to notice that Muslim groups never support anti-terror efforts. Where are the events featuring demonstrations of Muslim opposition to jihad terror and workshops teachings Muslims how to reject and oppose the jihad ideology? If the mainstream rhetoric about Islam being a Religion of Peace that has been Hijacked by a Tiny Minority of Extremists were true, we would see numerous Muslim groups working to oppose the jihadis. Instead, Jibril Hough is enabling them. “Muslims to host events during DNC; up to 20,000 could attend,” by Carmen Cusido for theÂ McClatchy-Tribune, July 3 (thanks to JW)