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“Stay Quiet and You’ll Be Okay”

By Mark Steyn

“….In Copenhagen, in Paris, in Garland, what’s more important than the cartoons and the attacks is the reaction of all the polite, respectable people in society, which for a decade now has told those who do not accept the messy, fractious liberties of free peoples that we don’t really believe in them, either, and we’re happy to give them up – quietly, furtively, incrementally, remorselessly – in hopes of a quiet life. Because a small Danish newspaper found itself abandoned and alone, Charlie Hebdojumped in to support them. Because the Charlie Hebdo artists and writers died abandoned and alone, Pamela Geller jumped in to support them. By refusing to share the risk, we are increasing the risk. It’s not Pamela Geller who emboldens Islamic fanatics, it’s all the nice types – the ones Salman Rushdie calls the But Brigade. You’ve heard them a zillion times this last week: “Of course, I’m personally, passionately, absolutely committed to free speech. But…”

And the minute you hear the “but”, none of the build-up to it matters. A couple of days before Garland, Canadian Liberal MP (and former Justice Minister) Irwin Cotler announced his plan to restore Section 13 – the “hate speech” law under whichMaclean’s and I were dragged before the Canadian “Human Rights” Commission and which, as a result of my case, was repealed by the Parliament of Canada. At the time Mr Cotler was fairly torn on the issue. We talked about it briefly at a free-speech event in Ottawa at which he chanced to be present, and he made vaguely supportive murmurings – as he did when we ran into each other a couple of years later in Boston. Mr Cotler is Jewish and, even as European “hate” laws prove utterly useless against the metastasizing open Jew-hate on the Continent, he thinks we should give ’em one more try. He’s more sophisticated than your average But boy, so he uses a three-syllable word:

“Freedom of expression is the lifeblood of democracy,” said Cotler, who was minister of justice under Paul Martin.

“However…”

Free speech is necessary to free society for all the stuff after the “but”, after the “however”. There’s no fine line between “free speech” and “hate speech”: Free speech is hate speech; it’s for the speech you hate – and for all your speech that the other guy hates. If you don’t have free speech, then you can’t have an honest discussion. All you can do is what those stunted moronic boobs in Paris and Copenhagen and Garland did: grab a gun and open fire. What Miliband and Cotler propose will, if enacted, reduce us all to the level of the inarticulate halfwits who think the only dispositive argument is “Allahu Akbar”….

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I Support Free Speech, But… | Afterburner with Bill Whittle

Islamic Terror in an Age of Individual Jihad

by CLARE M. LOPEZ

Anyone who thinks that what happened at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX on 3 May 2015, when two Muslim terrorists tried to attack a “Draw Muhammad” art contest, was an isolated incident, needs to think again. Although the two jihadist shooters, both affiliated with the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix (a Muslim Brotherhood-linked mosque), were quickly shot dead by security at the site, it’s their modus operandi that we need to understand. This is what the future jihad in America is going to look like. It is called ‘individual jihad’ (fard ‘ayn) and it is not just doctrinally-authorized in Islam, but is aggressively being encouraged, even commanded, by the Islamic State (as the Caliphate) through its online magazine, ‘Dabiq,’ as well as a flurry of other statements and videos by both IS and al-Qa’eda.

As the Center’s Senior Fellow (and author of the newly-released “Catastrophic Failure”), Steve Coughlin, points out, 2015 is the final year of the “10 Year Programme of Action” for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The top action item for that decade has been criminalization of the criticism of Islam – that is, pushing for legal measures to bring U.S. and other Western societies into compliance with Islamic blasphemy and slander laws. Those laws impose the death penalty for anything considered ‘offensive’ to a Muslim. Some think that just avoiding anything that might remotely be thought ‘offensive’ to Muslims is the best way to deal with the situation. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton certainly did all she could during her tenure to collaborate with the OIC through the Istanbul Process and UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18. But it’s never enough and never going to be enough until all of humanity is subjugated to shariah; so now, in this final year of the ‘Programme,’ we are beginning to see the physical enforcement of those Islamic speech codes across the Western world, including in our own homeland. That enforcement increasingly is taking the form of individual acts of jihad terrorism…..

Taking shape, then, is a concerted jihad campaign to instill terror among those who dare to resist shariah. Especially via online messaging and social media, the Islamic State has been urging faithful Muslims to make the hijrah to Middle East battlefields but specifically encourages those who cannot or choose not to, to wage individual jihad in place, wherever they live. Thanks to misguided federal refugee resettlement policies that are channeling thousands of all-too-often poorly-vetted Muslim immigrants into the U.S., combined with official refusal to recognize Muslim Brotherhood operatives, groups, and Islamic Centers as the jihadist threat they actually are, there is a now a ready pool of indoctrinated jihad recruits living among us, whose numbers the FBI admits it has no way to manage or even monitor. From this pool in coming weeks and months will emerge the individual jihadis, converted, inspired, and trained by Brotherhood imams and mosques who will answer the IS call to jihad issued by recruiters lying in wait for them all over the Internet.

Understanding and confronting this dynamic that is taking direct aim at the American right to free speech is imperative for both the engaged citizen and an informed law enforcement community. It is the only way to stay free.

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Our Cartoon Contest Provoked Jihadis? Here’s News: They Were Already Provoked

by Robert Spencer

….An Islamic State e-book, Black Flags for Rome, sketches out a scenario in which Islamic State partisans sow murder and mayhem on the streets of Europe and America. It contains advice on how to obtain weapons and instructions on how to build bombs.

In the face of this threat, which is only growing, is not being “provocative” really going to accomplish anything?

When the Islamic State boasts of the West’s societal and cultural weakness, is it really wise to give them another example of it?

But why add fuel to the fire? Precisely because the jihadis have threatened to kill those who draw Muhammad, and made good on that threat in January in the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine. To stop drawing Muhammad in the face of these threats and violence will only send the signal that threats and violence work — and that will bring even more threats and violence.

Drawing Muhammad is a crime in Islamic law, not in American law. To refrain from doing so is to accept the authority of Islamic law even over non-Muslims — which is exactly what the jihadis are trying to assert. No wonder they think we’re weak.

King is right that drawing Muhammad is “insulting someone’s religion.” But it is the murderous jihadis who made this question the flash point of the defense of the freedom of speech, not Pamela Geller and I. It is they who, by their determination to murder those non-Muslims who violate their religious law on this point, have made it imperative that free people signal that they will not submit to them. If we give in to the demand that we conform to this Sharia principle, there will be further demands that we adhere to additional Sharia principles. It is ultimately a question of whether we will submit to Sharia, or stand up for freedom.

At Garland we were standing. In the aftermath, it is clear that a huge segment of the Western political and media elites are ready, if not eager, to kneel, not daring to “provoke” their new masters.

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The Cartoon Wars

It is most important to keep on challenging these would-be censors, so that people with Kalashnikov rifles do not make our customs and laws.

by Douglas Murray

….The organizers at the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, are not left-wing journalists but conservative activists; and because the Dutch politician Geert Wilders spoke at the opening of the exhibition, that added a layer of complexity for people who like labeling actions with political valences, rather than just seeing actions as apart from them. It seems clear, however, from the pattern of condemnations on one side and silence on the other, that a cartoonist may be worthy of defense if he is associated with a left-wing organization, but not if he is associated with a right-wing one.

Of course, this idea goes to one of the false presumptions of our time: ­that people on the political left are motivated by good intentions even when they do bad things, while people on the political right are motivated by bad intentions even when they do good things. So a cartoon promoted byCharlie Hebdo may be thought to be provocative in a constructive way, whereas one promoted by AFDI can only be thought if as being provocative in an unconstructive way. Whether people are willing to admit it or not, this is one of the main problems that underlies the reaction to the Texas attack.

Such a distinction is, needless to say, a colossal mistake. When people prefer to focus on the motives of the victims rather than on the motives of the attackers, they will ignore the single most important matter: that an art exhibition, or free speech, has been targeted. The rest is narcissism and slow-learning.

It does not matter if you are right wing or left wing. It does not matter if you are American, Danish, Dutch, Belgian or French, or whether you are from Texas or Copenhagen. These particularities may matter greatly and be endlessly interesting to people in the countries in question. But they matter not a jot to ISIS or their fellow-travellers. What these people are trying to do is to enforce Islamic blasphemy laws across the entire world.

That is all that matters. If we forget this or lose sight of it, not only will we lose free speech, we will lose, period.

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muhammedart

Winning image from the AFDI’s Mohammad Cartoon Contest, by Bosch Fawstin

Jihad in Texas: Robert Spencer

The vast Empire of Censorship in Europe – and how to fight it

by Brendan O’Neill

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I have to tell you that freedom of speech no longer exists in Europe.

In almost every European country in 2015, there are individuals who are in prison or doing some kind of community service or paying off a fine simply for something that they said, simply for expressing themselves.

In Scotland, birthplace of so much of the Enlightenment, a man is currently in jail for the crime of singing an offensive song.

The man is a 24-year-old fan of the largely Protestant football team Rangers. And he was recently found guilty of singing a song called “The Billy Boys”, which is an anti-Catholic song that Rangers fans have been singing for years.

Under Scotland’s Orwellian Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, he was sentenced to four months in jail for songcrimes. We’ve had thoughtcrime and speechcrime — now we have songcrime.

In Sweden, which many view as the Mecca of liberalism, the happiest, fairest nation in Europe, a man was recently released from a six-month prison sentence for producing offensive art.

His name is Dan Parks. He’s a painter. He does paintings which he says are designed to challenge political correctness and to rattle the authorities. And they can certainly be described as offensive and racist works. For this, he was sent to jail for six months at the end of last year and his artworks were destroyed by the Swedish state.

In the past, Europe burnt allegedly corrupting books; now it incinerates or pulps offensive art.

In Spain, a rapper called Pablo Hasel was recently released from a two-year prison sentence for the crime of singing songs that contained violent lyrics.

Hasel is a communist who raps about how much he hates the People’s Party of Spain and how angry he is about the imposition of austerity in Spain. In one of his raps he went so far as to praise al-Qaeda and ETA. For this, for praising those groups, he was sent to jail.

In France, which still presents itself as the guardian of man’s rights, three people are currently paying off fines imposed on them for making homophobic comments on Twitter.

In January, these three individuals became the first in French history to be found guilty of anti-gay hate crimes, not for attacking anyone or damaging anyone’s property, but simply for expressing themselves on the internet.

In Turkey, the Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink is currently under investigation for crimes of “terrorist propaganda”. What she actually did is post comments on Facebook and Twitter expressing support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is banned in Turkey.

She faces up to five years in jail for this, for the crime of expressing a political view.

Some people say Turkey isn’t fit to become a full member of Europe because it’s too authoritarian. On the contrary, Turkey’s willingness to punish and fine and imprison people for speechcrimes shows that it has all the necessary credentials to be European in the 21st century.

In Germany, a 74-year-old woman is currently struggling to pay off a fine imposed on her by the courts for the crime of carrying an offensive placard.

She was on a march against immigration when she held up a sign that said “The arrogant Turks and Muslims are threatening Europe”. For this, for expressing her quite hardcore, not-very-nice political views, she was convicted of incitement to hatred and fined 1,000 Euros….

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