by Douglas Murray
Meet the latest victim of the “Cartoon Wars”: Maajid Nawaz, head of the counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation and prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrat party. He was on a BBC program discussing free speech and the right to offend, when two students from a London Atheists and Secular Society were present. They were wearing T-shirts with a cartoon strip on them called “Jesus and Mo.” The wearing of such T-shirts has become a matter of principle for them since students manning the stall of the Atheists and Secularists society at the London School of Economics freshers’ fair last October were asked either to cover their T-shirtsup or be physically removed. No prizes for guessing who complained about the T-shirts, but it was not the LSE Christian Society.
This local infringement on freedom of speech caused some embarrassment for the LSE, and the debate over the dreaded T-shirts of hate rumbled on until December when the university authorities apologized for becoming the blasphemy fashion police.
But as everybody who remembers the Danish cartoons affair will remember, these things are never contained. Indeed so fevered is this debate that there are endless Hydra-headed spin-offs each time the cartoon wars crops up. Each time someone tries to chop its metaphorical head off, another cartoon affair pops up somewhere else.
In any event, this time the spin-off was the BBC Sunday morning discussion show on which the students turned up, again with their T-shirts. The BBC refused to show the T-shirts and some artful filming protected the audience from the full horror of having to see a stick-figure called “Mo” saying “How ya doin?” to Jesus, who is saying “Hey.”
|This “Jesus and Mo” image, featured on t-shirts and in comic strips, is the source of controversy at the BBC and the London School of Economics. (Image source: jesusandmo.net)|
During the debate, a number of Muslims pointed out how offensive they found this outrageous image, and how against the feelings of all Muslims it was. (Poor lambs! –ed.) And Nawaz was the only one to point out that he, as a Muslim, did not find this offensive at all. Rightly amazed at the BBC’s genuflection to a new blasphemy law, when the program had finished, he sent the cartoon out to his twitter followers with a message saying that he thought his God was bigger than to find offense at something like this….
by Daniel Greenfield
…..Americans died in Benghazi for the same reason that American hostages had been taken in Iran and for the same reason that Leon Klinghoffer had been murdered on the Achille Lauro and US Marines had died in Beirut. They died because their government had appeased Muslims, had given their terrorist groups hope that they could achieve their aims if they killed enough people, had saved them at the moment of their greatest weakness and had elevated them to power.
The innocence of Obama is intertwined with the innocence of Muslims.
If Muslims are innocent of terror, then so is the foreign policy that has empowered them. But if Muslims are guilty of terror then the politicians who have pandered to them are guilty of enabling their terror.
If Muslims are innocent of terror, then Obama is innocent of complicity in their terror. But if Muslim terror is a real thing, then the man who helped them unleash it by toppling stable governments and replacing them with Islamist movements and militias shares in their guilt.
The real censorship of the War on Terror is not the censorship of dissent from the policy of fighting terrorists. Such dissent can be found in every newspaper editorial office. It is the dissent from the policy of fighting the symptoms of terror, rather than the roots of terror, from the policy of not fighting Islamic terrorism, that is censored and punished, that is a firing offense and a locking away offense.
In the age of terror, the dangerous ones are not those who denounce the war, but those who denounce the lack of a war, who upset the balance of an inept policy that seeks a small controllable conflict by closing our eyes to the larger threat. It is these dangerous ones who must be censored so that we may go on safely losing our nation building wars, bringing home coffins, Korans and refugees without ever questioning whether this should be so.
The War on Terror has not impeded the civil liberties of those who oppose the war, but of those who oppose the terror.
In 1919, the same year that Goldstein’s appeal was being heard, the Supreme Court ruled on Schenck v. United States. The case is obscure, but it has given us a famous phrase from the legal mouth of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater.”
This timeless phrase, long since legally discredited, came to life when Muslims began burning embassies while the White House claimed that the fault lay not in its foreign policy, which had overturned allies and replaced them with murderous Islamists, but with a movie. Pundits dug up Schenck and began penning essays suggesting that offending a Muslim should be as illegal as shouting fire in a crowded mosque.
Under the new civil liberties, the right of a Muslim to praise terrorists, upload videos promoting terrorism and even funding terrorist charities is sacrosanct, but make a movie mocking Mohammed and suddenly the Bill of Rights won’t be returning your phone calls as you are being frog-marched to your new cell.
In civil liberties circles it is claimed that the war against terrorism has deprived Muslims of their civil rights, but in reality Muslims have gained rights, while we have lost them. The balance between the civil rights of Americans and the need to avoid offending Muslims has been shifting their way and we all pay the price when we fly and we have begun paying it when we talk.
America’s first political prisoner in generations was arrested for offending Muslims as a cover for the failed policy of appeasing Muslims. If history is any guide, he will not be the last. The more bombs go off, the more buildings burn and the more questions are asked, the more Youssefs will be needed to deflect those questions and protect the innocence of Muslims and of their political panderers.
“The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater,” Holmes said, and modern day Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has suggested that burning a Koran may be considered a modern day version of the same thing.
But what if a man isn’t falsely shouting fire, what if there really is a fire? And what if the theater management has him dragged away for causing a panic even while the smell of charred flesh rises into the air and the red curtains around the screen begin to burn?
And what if after all the bodies are carried out on stretchers, the man is still brought to trial for shouting fire in a crowded theater, and in his defense he points to the burnt ruins of the theater as proof that there really was a fire, only to be told that if he hadn’t shouted, then there would have been no fire.
“There was only a fire because people panicked,” he is told, “and there was only a panic because you shouted. The thing to do was to remain in your seat and wait until the proper authorities had told you there was a fire. And if the authorities had determined that there was no fire, then it was your duty to remain in your seat and burn.”
Shout that Islam is violent and Muslims carry out violence and the fire marshal in charge of the tiny minority of fires arrives to inform you that if you had not shouted, they would not have turned violent. Whatever example of Muslim self-starting violence you may dig up, the fire marshal will find some first cause for it that began the violence, some offense committed by non-Muslims against Muslims, even if it was a shoving match a thousand years ago in Spain that started the whole thing.
The more fires break out, the more the fire marshal insists that fires do not begin unless someone notices them and warns other people. The more people die, the more the moral authority of the fire marshal depends on perpetuating the lie that fires are fueled by the human voice. And instead of a fire department, there is a department of silencing people who warn that a fire has broken out.
This is our War on Terror, a war which is waged to convince Americans that there is no such thing as Muslim terrorism and to convince Muslims that they should stop being terrorists.
The more people die of Muslim violence, the more the principle of the innocence of Muslims must be upheld, because it is no longer just the innocence of Muslims that is at stake, but the innocence of the political establishment that looked away while the Muslim fires burned.
A political establishment determined to protect its innocence will go to any length, and political prisoners are the least of it.
After the Arab Spring and the Libyan War, it has become impossible to untangle the guilt of Obama from the guilt of Islamists. That is the dirty secret that the fire marshals of the establishment are determined to protect.
The cover-up of Islam’s conduct has become their cover-up of their own conduct as well. So long as Islam can claim innocence, they can claim innocence as well, and those who challenge the innocence of Muslims and by extension the innocence of the political establishment will become the first political prisoners.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation: Free Speech Implications of a Proposed Ban on “Islamophobia”
“Islamophobia” is a widely used yet vague and controversial term referring to anti-Muslim bigotry. In recent years, identifying, monitoring, reporting on, and working to ban Islamophobia worldwide has been a major focus of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The OIC is an international body of 56 member states that is based in Saudi Arabia and active within the United Nations. While the United States has formally recognized its work in the past – US ambassadors have observed its sessions and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired some of its meetings – American awareness of the organization remains scant.
In 2007, the OIC began issuing regular “observatory” reports on Islamophobia, and since 2009 has published monthly bulletins that cite primarily Western examples of Islamophobia.
Is Islamophobia a serious problem, or is the term itself an ideological cudgel designed to incite fear and criminalize dissent? Dr. Mark Durie discussed these and other basic questions related to the OIC’s efforts to ban Islamophobia. Click here for his PowerPoint.
Mark Durie is an Anglican pastor, theologian, author, and human rights activist. A fellow of the Australian Academy for the Humanities, he is a Shillman-Ginsburg Fellow at the Middle East Forum, a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at the Melbourne School of Theology, and the Director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness.
Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for Religious Freedom Nina Shea moderated this discussion.
Filed under: Freedom of Speech, Islamaphobia, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Saudi Arabia, Sharia Law, United Nations | Tagged: Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, Istanbul process, UN Resolution 16/18 | Comments Off
IS THE MUSLIM in question an orthodox Muslim or a heterodox Muslim? And which teachings does the Muslim reject? These are vital questions for Muslims who wish to live in a non-Muslim country, and these are vital questions to know for non-Muslim countries when deciding who to allow to immigrate, to build mosques within our borders, to get jobs in government security, to join the military, etc.
How can non-Muslims discriminate between those who follow Islam’s prime directive, and those who have rejected it?
An organization called Former Muslims United has come up with one good possibility: A Muslim can sign the Freedom Pledge.
The 878-word Freedom Pledge outlines the principles of Islamic law under which apostates from Islam are subject to the death penalty. It notes that the four schools of Sunni Islam — Hanafi, Miliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali — “unanimously agree that a former Muslim male, also known as an apostate, must be executed” and that a woman, at best must be “imprisoned or beaten five times a day until she repents or dies” and at worst, like men executed outright. It then goes on to cite 1978 and 1989 religious rulings — from the Fatwa Council at Al Azhar University, the closest Muslim equivalent to the Vatican, and the Mufti of Lebanon, each, respectively consigning a renegade Muslim to death if they “do not repent.” Perhaps “a misunderstanding on his part may have taken place, and there would thus be an opportunity to rectify it,” intones the Mufti. But he must do so within three days, or die.
By signing the Freedom Pledge, a Muslim promises to “renounce, repudiate and oppose any physical intimidation, or worldly and corporal punishment, of apostates from Islam, in whatever way that punishment may be determined or carried out by myself or any other Muslim including the family of the apostate, community, Mosque leaders, Shariah court or judge, and Muslim government or regime.”
Only two of the 111 Muslim leaders in 50 U.S. Muslim organizations to whom FMU sent the Freedom Pledge actually signed it. Those two heroes are Zuhdi Jasser (American Islamic Forum for Democracy) and Dr. Ali Alyami (Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia).
The results of the FMU Freedom Pledge — to date sent to 163 American Muslim leaders at 50 organizations — show that less than 1.3% of American Muslim leaders are actually moderate.
Filed under: Anti-Semitism, Apostasy, Dhimmitude, Freedom of Speech, Islamic supremacism, Muslims, Sharia Law, Slavery, Treatment of homosexuals, Treatment of women | Tagged: muslim leaders | Comments Off