By Mark Steyn
On Monday I wrote about a curious British reaction to theCharlie Hebdo massacre:
The other day Wiltshire Police went to a local newsagent and demanded that, in the interests of “community cohesion”, he hand over the names of every customer who bought a copy of Charlie Hebdo… This is Mother England in 2015: You can still read samizdat literature, but your name will be entered in a state database.
The Daily Mail‘s Amanda Williams reports today that this was not a one-off idiosyncracy by some bozo coppers in one county, but came from the very top:
National Anti-Terror Unit Handed List Of Charlie Hebdo Stockists To Local Forces Who Then Went Round Demanding To Know Who Bought Copies
The man responsible for this decision is Sir Peter Fahy, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester, who holds the additional responsibility of “national police lead for preventing extremism“. A Chief Commissar for Preventing Extremism is a title that not so long ago one would have had to go to Eastern Europe or a banana republic to find. But it is now held by a British policeman. Nevertheless, Sir Peter would like us to know that he thinks, somewhere way down the chain of command, some of the lads may have gotten a little carried away:
Anti-terror units handed local police officers the names of British newsagents who stocked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the Paris attacks.
But the decision by some forces to then visit the outlets and quiz shopkeepers about who bought the publication was ‘overzealous and unnecessary’, Britain’s anti-terror police chief has said.
Sir Peter Fahy, chief constable of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and national police lead for preventing extremism, said he was now urgently clarifying guidance to all UK forces.
It comes after police were caught asking British newsagents which sold copies of the satirical magazine for details of the customers who bought it.
Shopkeepers in Wales, Wiltshire and Cheshire reported that police approached them and demanded personal information on readers of the magazine.
In a letter to the Guardian, Sir Peter said that the move to provide details of newsagents to local police was intended to ‘provide community reassurance’.
This is the same Sir Peter Fahy who, only two months ago, was warning that Britain could “drift into a police state” in which his officers wound up having to act as “thought police”. But why drift into a police state when you can put your foot on the gas and get there in the fast lane? My tireless compatriot Blazing Cat Fur comments:
This is how a Police State operates. The same police state that turned a blind eye to Muslim Rape Gangs.
I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. The wretched David Cameron was happy to march in Paris under the #JeSuisCharlie banner, but, if he were an honest man, he’d be parading under #JeSuisTheGuyWhoTakesDownTheNamesOfEveryoneWhoBuysACopyOfCharlie. Like most of the European political class, Mr Cameron recognizes he has a problem on his hands – a problem he and the rest of the Euro-elite have created: They have imported a huge population that, even discounting those who wish to join ISIS or slaughter British soldiers on the streets of Woolwich, has no great enthusiasm for English liberties. With the characteristic arrogance of an insulated ruling class, Cameron thinks the solution to the problem is an enhanced security state mediating relations between his fractious citizenry. And, if that means reigning in English liberties, such as the freedom to read a magazine without being monitored by the state, so be it….
….I was born in Canada, and just about everything that works in my own deranged Dominion (as Stephen Harper once suggested to his befuddled London hosts) came from the Mother Country. Germany, Italy, France et al gave us better art, music, food, women, but it is the English-speaking world that has seeded and grown liberty on every corner of the earth – property rights, self-government, fair courts, laws of contract, free speech… And through the last century it is the English-speaking world that has defended and fought for those liberties when the rest of the west has turned to dark and crude perversions.
So the death of England is not like the death of Sweden or Belgium. It represents the foulest betrayal of a glorious inheritance. I have quoted before my old National Post comrade George Jonas – that things aren’t wrong because they’re illegal, they’re illegal because they’re wrong. If an English policeman no longer knows it’s wrong to ask a newsagent for the names and addresses of those who purchased a particular magazine, no amount of “clarifying” “guidance” from Sir Peter Fahy can help him. And if an English Chief Constable no longer knows it’s wrong to demand the national distributor cough up the names of all the stockists he’s shipped it to, no amount of bland soft-totalitarian blather about “providing community reassurance” can alter the fact that an English public servant is subverting a core liberty – an English liberty. A society can survive losing this or that liberty as they ebb and flow across the centuries, but there are no easy roads back when it loses thespirit of liberty. And that is what Sir Peter Fahy and his ilk are missing.
When David Cameron appeared with David Letterman a couple of years back, he knew the date Magna Carta was signed, but didn’t know what it meant. In this 800th annniversary year, in the coercive hyper-security state over which he presides, that no longer seems so surprising.
by Giulio Meotti
….”You cannot laugh at everything,” was the title of the new show in Paris by Patrick Timsit, named appropriately. The Roundabout Theatre denied the artist the space to perform, as the comedian would have to embrace a bomb. Even a show about the stoning of women in Yemen has been canceled. You never know.
In France before Carron, nobody had ever brought to the big screen a story of conversion to Christianity from the religion of the Qur’an, the story of “apostates” who, in Islamic regimes, are hanged from cranes or burned alive.
“The Apostle” is not the only film to have been deleted from the French theaters after the attacks in Paris. “Timbuktu”, the film by Abderrahmane Sissako, awarded at Cannes and nominated for an Oscar, has just been deprogrammed in Villers-sur-Marne by the decision of the mayor, Jacques-Alain Benisti. The film is a passionate appeal against jihadists, it shows all the horror in Mali, the birthplace of the wife of Amedy Coulibaly, the terrorist at the kosher supermarket in Paris. Sissako’s film was also overshadowed at the film festival of Ramdan, Belgium. “In order to move things forward, you must take risks,” said the director Carron facing the censorship of her film. “You do not win wars with silence.”
In Welkenraedt, Belgium, another exhibition that included a panel dedicated to Charlie Hebdo was censored.
By DAVID SOLWAY
…It is a stirring piece expressing an unimpeachable sentiment. But the assault on Charlie Hebdo by no means marked a turning point, as she appeared to suggest. Far from a unique event, the Muslim campaign against free speech has been going on for many years now. Freedom, the right to dissent, the satirical genre — all have been dying for some time.
The Danish cartoons marked an identical watershed. The assassination of Dutch provocateur and filmmaker Theo Van Gogh marked an identical watershed, as did the death threats against his collaborator and Danish parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who had his satirical drawings removed at a Tallerud art exhibition and who has an ISIS bounty on his head and is living under police protection, marks an identical watershed. The fatwa against Salman Rushdie and the killing of his Japanese translator marked the same watershed. Geert Wilders living under police protection marks the same watershed. Though later acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court, Lars Hedegaard’s remarks about the lethal dysfunction of many Muslim families, which led to his conviction for hate speech under the Article 266b of the Danish penal code and a subsequent assassination attempt, marks the same watershed. The South Park controversy over the appearance of Mohammed dressed as a giant teddy bear marked the same watershed — the producers instantly caved following athreat issued on the Revolution Muslim website. Molly Norris, of “Let’s all Draw Mohammed” fame, still in hiding, marks the same watershed, as does the imprisonment of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula for producing a low-rent, little-watched video trailer, Innocence of Muslims, ridiculing Mohammed. Yale University Press refusing to print the Danish cartoons in a book dedicated to the subject marks the same watershed. The list goes on.
It’s been a long time since most ordinary or even celebrated people would dare to represent Mohammed or say anything mocking or even critical about the religion of hate. Our pusillanimous leaders and members of the intelligentsia buckled under to Islamic triumphalism some years back and evince a growing tendency to Sharia-compliance. If, after the Danish cartoon controversy, every single intellectual or public figure of any note had posted the cartoons, we would be in a different place today. But instead they joined in the chorus about responsibility and not unnecessarily offending pious people.
My own country, Canada, is traveling the same route to cultural perdition. Anti-Islamic firebrand Eric Brazeau, just sentenced to a year and a half in jail for reading out the Koran on a subway train, marks the same watershed. And the much maligned Ezra Levant, one of the few courageous journalists who actually printed the Danish cartoons as legitimate news depicting what the violence was all about, was sued by an offended imam, lost his magazine The Western Standard, found himself over $100,000 poorer, and is once again fighting in court. Few of us can approximate to his moral stature and his willingness to put himself on the line for an essential cause.
Meanwhile, the hundreds of journalists around the world wearing Je Suis Charlie banners don’t have the cojones to show what Stephane Charbonnier and his colleagues died for. And how many of our news outlets have actually reported the whole story, cartoons and all? The failure to defend our freedoms began ages ago when almost no one had the clarity of vision and the moral courage — certainly not our journalists, our politicos, our academics, our intellectuals, our entertainers — to man the barricades and fight against those who would deprive us of our rights. In fact, many of these pundits and news outlets saw fit to blame the victims for provoking the jihadists. This isn’t just a paradox; it’s bad faith, cowardice, hypocrisy and a form of cultural treason of the highest magnitude.
We are told ad nauseam that the terrorist atrocities we are witnessing on an almost daily basis have nothing to do with Islam — this despite the 25,000-plus Islamic-inspired terrorist attacks since the slaughter of 9/11. As for the bloodbath atCharlie Hebdo, the disavowals quickly set in. French president Francois Hollande lost no time flogging the tired mantra,assuring us with a straight face that the Charlie Hebdo perpetrators were “fanatics who have nothing to do with Islam.”Assem Shalaby, president of the Arab Publishers Association, has condemned “this vicious attack that contravenes the principles of Islam and the message of its prophet” — which it manifestly does not, as anyone even passably familiar with Islamic scripture, jurisprudence and orthodox commentary is immediately aware. Clearly, Josh Earnest, President Obama’s press secretary, is not, deponing on CNN that the Paris murders violate “the tenets of an otherwise peaceful religion” — unless, of course, like his master, he is lying through his teeth. At the same time, to cite Honest Reporting, “Conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites claim Israel is responsible for the Charlie Hebdo terror attack. The International Business Timessupplies the oxygen” — as does CNN and, of course, the ever dependable Ron Paul. True to form, plying a double disclaimer, the BBC described the event as “an apparent Islamist attack.” A win-win for Islam…
by Guy Millière
…The event gathered nearly four million people, but seeing in it a mobilization against terrorism, jihad and anti-Semitism would be a mistake. Leaders of “anti-Zionist” left-wing organizations that support Hamas were present. Ministers of states financing jihadist terrorism, and even genocide,were also there.
The Ambassador of Saudi Arabia attended, shortly after his nation had just finished flogging Raif Badawi, a young Saudi blogger accused of “insulting Islam,” with the first fifty lashes of his sentence of 1000 lashes plus 10 years in prison, for practicing the most gentle free speech. Badawi is now being flayed alive — “very severely,” the lashing order said. He has 950 lashes to go.
Turkey, which hosts part of the leadership of the genocidal Hamas organization, was there. Turkey has also jailed more journalists than any other country, including Iran and China.
Mahmoud Abbas, the president of a Palestinian unity government, which includes Hamas and directly supports jihadist terrorism as well as genocide, was at the forefront — smiling. Binyamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, was initially not invited. He came anyhow. French officials let him know that he was not welcome and not to speak. He spoke anyhow. As a sign of disapproval, French officials left the Grand Synagogue of Paris during the ceremony for the dead Jews, before Netanyahu’s speech.
The President of the populist National Front, Marine Le Pen, was also not included. She is silent. She is sure a coming explosion will happen, and that she will receive more votes.
The slogans in the demonstration spoke of “free speech” and the need to “live together.” Signs saying “I am Charlie” were everywhere. Signs saying “I am a Jew” [“Je suis Juif”] were rare. No signs or slogans mentioned jihad or the need to combat jihad or terrorism: the watchword was that these subjects should be shunned. No signs or slogan mentioned anti-Semitism or the real cause of jihadist attacks: caricatures of Mohammed, considered by Koranic law to be blasphemous. Those subjects had to be abandoned.
Few French Muslims came — the tiniest drop in a huge ocean — and the television cameras immediately homed in on them. They were interviewed and stated their only concern: “Avoid stigmatization of the Muslim community!”
Prime Minister Manuel Valls had told journalists he was “afraid” for Muslims. Two days later — and only two days later — on January 13, he said that “France is at war against terrorism, jihadism and radical Islam.” He added immediately that one of his priorities was to fight mercilessly against “Islamophobia.”
Emergency decisions were taken. Ten thousand soldiers were deployed throughout the nation. Military patrols were placed at the entrance of Jewish sites and mosques. A few Muslims who shouted “Long live Coulibaly” or “Long live the Kouachi brothers” were arrested.
Debates in the media were organized around ethereal questions: “How to build a ‘French Islam'”, “how to explain that Islam is peaceful,” “how better to integrate Muslims.”
Anyone who knows Islam and knows of the existence of the internet also knows that “French Islam” does not exist, and that Islam in France cannot be separated from Islam as it is everywhere else.
Anyone who watches television and sees what is happening in many Muslim countries has to be doubting that Islam is peaceful. Most Muslim “experts” invited to speak are familiar with Islam, familiar with the internet and familiar with what is going on in many Muslim countries — but they lie. Almost all of them are militants, imams, Muslim scholars. Most of them are members of Islamic organizations. Many belong to the French branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the French have just obligingly given them a platform….
by DANIEL HANNAN
We all know the traditional routine that follows an Islamist terror attack: momentary shock, then platitudinous disapproval, then condemnation of Western foreign policy, then hand-wringing about an imagined Islamophobic backlash. We’ve seen it again and again, even following such abominations as the murder of Theo Van Gogh in Amsterdam in 2004 and the London Tube bombings in 2005.
But not this time. Something in Europe has changed – changed utterly. A decade ago, Trafalgar Square was filled with Muslims complaining about the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed – not, to be clear, about the assassination attempts they had triggered, but about the cartoons themselves. This time, crowds in the same place, including many Muslims, held pencils and “Je Suis Charlie” signs.
A decade ago, it was a rare and brave newspaper that reprinted the Jyllands-Posten cartoons. Today, it’s the papers that hang back that find themselves under pressure.In 2009, when the anti-Islamic Dutch politician Geert Wilders was banned from entering Britain by the Labour Home Secretary, bien pensantcommentators growled their approval. After last week’s attack, few of them would dare.
Nor, these days, do we hear the equivocal semi-condemnations that were perhaps the single most depressing response to terrorist outrages. “Of course I oppose violence, but as long as Western powers support the Zionist occupation…” “Of course I condemn the killings, but we have to understand the alienation caused by racism and poverty…” As a former editor of mine liked to say, “everything before the ‘but’ is bullshit.”…
by DR. LAINA FARHAT-HOLZMAN
…The Ayatollah Khomeini put a price on the head of author Salman Rushdie because his brilliant and satirical book, The Satanic Verses, poked fun at him. Rushdie still lives, the Ayatollah is long dead, and the book was bought and was far over the head of most readers, especially non-English reading Iranians. Sophisticated Iranians laughed with the rest of us.
What is it that makes Islamists so sensitive about their prophet that they think he can be so easily insulted? Could it be that their entire culture rests on the very shaky notion of honor and insult, not on character and accomplishment? And what makes Islamists think that they can live in Western countries with Western values and yet try to enforce their own medieval concepts down our throats? Even more important: are we prepared to defend the values that make our civilization the place that people from failed civilizations flock to for a better life?
In Paris, on January 7th, two Muslim gunmen burst into a French humor magazine killing with careful deliberation two police and 10 journalists, including the editor in chief and a cartoonist. A getaway man rushed them away. This publication has made fun of everybody, Jews, Catholics, and Muslims, but only Muslim extremists have seen fit to kill over it. They shouted “God is Great,” evidently meaning that God likes killers to assassinate people whose ideas offend. Bystanders heard them say they had “avenged the Prophet,” whatever that means.
This is not the only Islamist attack on French culture. There have been attacks and murders of Jews in French suburbs, honor killings, hordes of young French (male and female) who have gone to Syria to fight the Jihad, and France is definitely on alert.
There had better not be any tiptoeing around to avoid “insulting” people who most certainly need to be insulted! This is a war, a war against France, Europe, the United States, and Muslims who dare to be Western.
We really will have to be very vigilant—-in our embassies abroad, when we travel as tourists, and in public places. This is a great nuisance, but will be necessary, and must be done calmly and without panic. In the war of ideas, theirs is not a winning one. If it were, why would so many of them be immigrating to the West?…