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Stephen Coughlin Aug 21 LA “Can Islam Coexist with Civilization?”

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Free Speech vs. Islamic Law?

by Denis MacEoin

….We know that Muslims and Muslim authorities are not robust in taking criticism or satire, but are, rather, seemingly hypersensitive to almost anything non-Muslims say of them.

The only conclusion one can draw from this is that the UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/1 seems to have influenced Congress. Do not forget that the OIC is the only international religious body to have campaigned ceaselessly for legislation to protect believers of Islam from physical and verbal abuse, with verbal abuse determined according to shari’a principles rather than the traits of international or national democratic values.

In Great Britain, a landmark judgement was passed on January 5, 2016, in a court in Belfast, Northern Ireland, when a judge ruled that evangelical pastor James McConnell was not guilty of hate speech directed at Muslims. McConnell had been arrested last May after remarks during a sermon about Islam at his church. In his sermon, he had spoken of Islam as “satanic,” “heathen” and “a doctrine spawned in hell.” These may be sentiments with which most of the world would not agree, but entirely within the bounds of evangelical Christian theology, not least in that frequently bigoted region of fundamentalist, belief, where even the majority of fellow Christians are despatched to hellfire, with Catholics at the bottom of the heap. It is also not that different from what many Muslim clerics say about Jews and others.

As his sermon had been posted online, McConnell was charged under the Communications Act 2003 of making improper use of a public electronics communications network and of causing a grossly offensive message through those channels. But even though the judge found his remarks offensive, he was exonerated and walked out of a court a free man.

In Europe, criticisms of Islam have been met with a range of penalties. Individuals have been prosecuted and sometimes been found guilty of “Islamophobic” speech or writing — notablyElizabeth Sabatisch-Wolff and Susanne Winter in Austria, Geert Wilders and Gregorious Nekschot in the Netherlands, Lars Hedegaard and Jesper Langballe in Denmark, Michel Houellebecq and Brigitte Bardot in France, Oriana Fallaci in Italy, and others elsewhere. Some have been exonerated, others jailed or fined. Pastor McConnell has been fortunate in avoiding jail. So far the UK has been tolerant, but further trials — very often for what really amounts to nothing more than blasphemy as perceived by Muslim groups or individuals — are very likely. Today, more than ever, there are forces at work that seek to make these prosecutions a certainty, not just in Europe, but in the United States, Canada, and other countries in the West.

The threat to freedom of speech a comes mainly from one quarter: an international body known as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). In recent years, one of the core activities of the OIC has been repeated attempts to introduce via the United Nations Human Rights Council a law forbidding any form of blasphemy, criticism, or negative comment, especially about the Islamic religion. To understand this, it is important to note that, from the time of the prophet Muhammad to the present day (and more strongly within modern radical Muslim movements), the Islamic religion has been predicated on a call for domination over all other religions and political systems. Here, for example, are some explicit expressions of that demand in radical websites: a YouTube video and a website linked to the British extremist,Omar Bakri Muhammad.

In the video, Omar Bakri declares “We must live by and make a domination and die (?) on in our da’wa (missionary work) and jihad in order to spread it [Islam] all over. The video page is entitled “Proclaim openly for Izharudeen”, meaning “proclaim openly for making the faith victorious over all others,” and displays a photograph of several Muslims carrying placards declaring “Islam will dominate the world: Freedom go to hell. A website publishing extracts from the classical Qur’an commentary of Ibn Kathir is headed with the words: “Islam is the Religion that will dominate over all Other Religions” and below that cites a Qur’anic verse declaring that God will “make it [Islam] victorious over all religions” before quoting several traditions declaring the same thing in various formulations. Finally, a Facebook page titled “In sha Allah, Islam will dominate the world” from which several more sites with the same statement are revealed below the main heading.

Islamic policy from the time of the seventh-century Arab conquests through the later empires was to set Muslim rulers above native populations, even if at first Muslims were in a minority. Pagans could choose to convert or die, but Jews, Christians, and before long Zoroastrians, were treated (under the oppressive terms of the Pact of ‘Umar) as dhimmi people, forced to pay a protection tax, the jizya, in order to preserve their lives and property. There were different laws for people of a different religion…

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Meet the honor brigade, an organized campaign to silence debate on Islam

By Asra Q. Nomani

…The official and unofficial channels work in tandem, harassing, threatening and battling introspective Muslims and non-Muslims everywhere. They bank on an important truth: Islam, as practiced from Malaysia to Morocco, is a shame-based, patriarchal culture that values honor and face-saving from the family to the public square. Which is why the bullying often works to silence critics of Islamic extremism.

“Honor brigades are wound collectors. They are couch jihadis,” Joe Navarro, a former supervisory special agent in the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, tells me. “They sit around and collect the wounds and injustices inflicted against them to justify what they are doing. Tragedy unites for the moment, but hatred unites for longer.”

In an e-mail exchange, the OIC’s ambassador to the United Nations denied that the organization tries to silence discussion of problems in Muslim communities.

The attacks are everywhere. Soon after the Islamophobia Observatory took shape, Sheik Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, the emir of Kuwait, grumbled about “defamatory caricatures of our Master and Prophet Muhammad” and films that smear Islam, according to the OIC’s first Islamophobia report.

The OIC helped give birth to a culture of victimization. In speeches, blogs, articles and interviews widely broadcast in the Muslim press, its honor brigade has targeted pundits, political leaders and writers — from TV host Bill Maher to atheist author Richard Dawkins — for insulting Islam. Writer Glenn Greenwald has supported the campaign to brand writers and thinkers, such as neuroscientist and atheist Sam Harris, as having “anti-Muslim animus” just for criticizing Islam.

“These fellow travelers have made it increasingly unpleasant — and even dangerous — to discuss the link between Muslim violence and specific religious ideas, like jihad, martyrdom and blasphemy,” Harris tells me….

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Defending Islam from free speech

by Robert C. Blitt

Many have taken false comfort in blaming the cold-blooded attack of Charlie Hebdo on the fanatical action of a small minority of Muslims. But attributing the horror perpetrated in Paris to a band of Salafist radicals alone betrays a willful blindness to a longstanding campaign by broad-based Islamic groups to silence those they consider blasphemers.

The Islamic State and al-Qaeda are by no means the most powerful purveyors of the destructive idea that Islam demands unqualified protection against perceived insult. In the aftermath of the Paris attack, reputable Muslim groups around the world have denounced the violence, but important bodies such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Arab League, as well as many of the individual states comprising these groups, must bear responsibility for nurturing an environment that breeds violence in the name of defending Islam.

Moderates, radicals agree

The OIC, whose member states range from moderate U.S. allies such as Jordan to adversaries such as Iran, describes itself as the world’s largest international body after the United Nations. For more than a decade, “the collective voice of the Muslim world” has spread the belief that any insult directed against the Muslim faith or its prophet demands absolute suppression. Quashing “defamation of Islam” is enshrined as a chief objective in the organization’s charter.

With countless internal resolutions, relentless lobbying of the international community and block voting on resolutions advocating a prohibition on defamation of religion at the U.N., the OIC continuously pushes to silence criticism of Islam.

Translated into practice inside Islamic nations and increasingly elsewhere, this toxic vision breeds contempt for freedom of religion and expression, justifies the killing of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and casts a pall of self-censorship over academia and the arts.

By building the expectation that dissent or insult merits suppression, groups such as the OIC and the Arab League have emboldened extremists to take protection of Islam to the next level. With the most authoritative Muslim voices prepared to denounce violence but not to combat the idea that Islam should be immune from criticism, a meaningful response to counteract the resulting violence continues to be glaringly absent.

An OIC statement released after a 2011 Charlie Hebdo issue “guest-edited” by the prophet Mohammed typifies this troubling position: “Publication of the insulting cartoon … was an outrageous act of incitement and hatred and abuse of freedom of expression. … The publishers and editors of the Charlie Hebdo magazine must assume full responsibility for their … incitement of religious intolerance.”

This ominously prescient declaration tepidly closed by urging that Muslims exercise restraint….

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The OIC “Organizes” for Censorship

by EDWARD CLINE

….According Robert Spencer and David Horowitz’s 2011 publication, Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future:

 …A front group – the International Institute for Islamic Thought – invented the term “Islamophobia.

Abdur-Rahman Muhammad is a former member of the International Institute for Islamic Thought.  He was present when the word “Islamophobia” was created, but now characterizes the concept of Islamophobia this way: “This loathsome term is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliché conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.” In short, in its very origins, “Islamophobia” was a term designed as a weapon to advance a totalitarian cause by stigmatizing critics and silencing them.

The term occurs in the 1991 Muslim Brotherhood document, “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” which details the means and ends of introducing Islam in the U.S. with the long-term end of colonizing it with immigrant Muslims and gradually and stealthily transforming it into an Islamic state. Kern quotes from the OIC report:

Islam and Muslims have increasingly been portrayed as representing violence and terror that seek to threaten and destroy the values of Western civilization and that the Muslim way of life is incompatible with Western values of human rights and fundamental freedoms. For Muslims, Islamophobia is a deliberate scheme to distort the teachings and principles of peace and moderation engrained in Islam. As part and result of this scheme, Muslims tend to be collectively accused for any violence that erupts in society and are seen as ipso facto potential suspects well ahead of any investigation. This negative stereotype causes Muslims to be subjected to indignity, racial discrimination and denial of basic human rights. (p. 11, OIC report)

Islam and Muslims are justifiably associated with violence and terror and as a threat to Western civilization. That is, after all, an article of faith expressed in the Muslim Brotherhood memorandum of 1991.

The Ikhwan [the Brothers] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.

And over all other ideologies, beliefs, and principles. There will be no arguing the point. Kern goes on about how that “grand jihad” is being carried out by calling for restrictions on speech that castigate or criticize Islam, and quotes from the report:

The chapter further underscores that increased hate speech and discrimination against Muslims is a major factor behind the rise of the phenomenon of Islamophobia. In this context, acceptance of various forms of intolerance, including hate speech and the propagation of negative stereotypes against Islam and Muslims in some western countries contribute towards proliferation of intolerant societies. This process is further supported by three main manifestations, namely: the exploitation of freedom of expression and perpetuation of an ideological context advocating an inescapable conflict of civilizations; the right wing parties have politicized Islamophobia and instrumentalized fear in the context of growing socio-economic instability as well as the erosion of human rights in the name of national security and the fight against terrorism. (p. 7, OIC report)

The report claims that the news media is largely responsible for contributing to the alleged environment of fear and trepidation experienced by Muslims….
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Stealthy Moves against Freedom of Speech

by EDWARD CLINE

nofreespeech

….In its quest to criminalize speech that’s critical of all Islam-related topics, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)* endorsed the formation of a new Advisory Media Committee to address “Islamophobia.”

This past September, the OIC held “The First International Conference on Islamophobia: Law & Media.” The conference endorsed numerous recommendations which arose from prior workshops on Islamophobia from media, legal and political perspectives.  A main conclusion was the consensus to institutionalize the conference and create an Advisory Media Committee to meet under the newly established OIC Media Forum based in Istanbul Turkey.

Note that the conference was not held to discuss the criminalization of “Judeophobia” or “Christophobia” or even “Atheistiophobia.”

Supposedly, the purpose of the conference was to support an OIC campaign to “correct the image of Islam and Muslims in Europe and North America.”  By this, it means to whitewash the intolerant, violent and discriminatory aspects of Islam and Islamists.  The OIC has launched a campaign to provide disinformation to the public, delinking all Islam from these undesirable traits and attacks all who insist on these truths, as bigots, racists and Islamophobes….

Its present goal is the international criminalization of all speech that “defames” Islam, which the OIC defines as anything that sheds a negative light on Islam or Muslims, even when it’s true (wrote Clare Lopez in American Thinker in 2011).

Its target is the West and one of its tactics is to accuse those who criticize Islam or its various interpretations as “Islamophobic.” It is attempting to pass the equivalent of Islamic blasphemy codes in the West, using accusations of bigotry to silence anyone who speaks the truth about Islamic terrorism or Islamic persecution of religious minorities.

The OIC wants enforceable laws passed in Western nations that complement its wish to criminalize speech regarding Islam. In practice, this would mean that only Islamic clerics and spokesmen would be allowed to say anything about Islam. And Muslims, treated as “victimized” minorities in those nations, would be free to persecute, murder, rape, and terrorize Jews, Christians, atheists and other non-Muslims with impunity and indemnity everywhere and any time they wished. As they do now.

Can such Orwellian laws be passed in this country? The existence of “hate speech” and “hate crime” judicial decisions in American courts has prepared the ground for them here. It was Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who invited OIC members to a conference in Washington to discuss how American law can conform to U.N. Resolution 16/18 and the OIC agenda. What difference can it make to her if Americans are gagged and threatened with prosecution for speaking out against Islam or drawing to the public’s attention the gruesome facts of Islam in practice and in action?

Just remember, and to paraphrase that Orwellian warning: “Hate speech” is “hate crime.” Just ask Audrey Hudson, the journalist whose home was raided by Federal and Maryland state law enforcement in search of evidence of her own “hate crime.”

And so began Hudson’s nightmare – held captive by armed agents of the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland State Police and the Department of Homeland Security as they staged a pre-dawn raid in search of unregistered firearms and a “potato gun.”

“I think they found a great way to get into my house and get a hold of my confidential notes and go through every other file in my office.”  – Audrey Hudson, journalist

But instead of taking the potato gun, agents seized unrelated government documents and notes from the former Washington Times journalist.

Agents took Hudson’s records during a search for guns and related items owned by her husband, a civilian Coast Guard employee. They also confiscated her legally registered firearms, according to court documents obtained by The Associated Press.

The lesson here is that a search warrant no longer is a protection against the depredations of any government agency that has the power to expropriate one’s property, or to intimidate anyone who has been critical of government policies, gaffes, failures and tyrannical behavior. Search warrants are now just a pretext to violate one’s person and one’s rights.

The barbarians and totalitarians inside and outside our borders are ready to ambush the First Amendment and render us helpless against their onslaught.

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Saudi Arabia, the UN and the OIC

by Lawrence A. Franklin

A stated Islamist goal, to replace Western civilization’s liberal democratic order with a Sharia-governed Ummah[community of Muslims], now seems to involve an effort to delegitimize Western international organizations, as seen this week by Saudi Arabia’s refusing a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Saudi Arabia’s refusal likely reflects its view of itself as helping to establish an alternative international order based on Sharia law. For Islamists, the United Nations, like all secular international organs, lacks legitimacy.

OIC vs. UN

The Islamic world threw down the gauntlet to the secular international order in 1990 when it drafted an alternative declaration of human rights, the Kairos Document, based on the Sharia law. The 56 countries of what was then called the Organization of Islamic Conference, since renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], criticized the UN’s 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as being insensitive to religious concepts of the non-Western world. In Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi’s October 13, 2013 statement, explaining the sudden and unprecedented rejection of a seat on the Security Council, he cites Saudi Arabia’s “historical responsibilities toward its people, Arab and Islamic nations as well as toward the peoples aspiring for peace and stability in the world.” The Saudi explanation continues by enumerating a litany of UN failures to solve problems in the Mideast. This statement underscores Saudi Arabia’s role as the capital of a shadow-caliphate alternative to the current liberal democratic international order.

 

Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), Secretary-General of the OIC Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu (2nd L), Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (3rd L) and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton (4th L) participate in the OIC conference on “Building on the Consensus” in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 15, 2011. (State Department photo)

 

Riyadh’s sentiment was preceded by last summer’s rebuttal — which revealed the global scope of Islamist objectives — by the Pakistani Taliban fugitive, Adnan Rashid[1], to the UN address by the heroic Pakistani Malala Yousafzai (then 15 years old), shot by the Taliban for having asked for women’s education. In a letter, Rashid denounced Malala’s naiveté for placing trust in an international organization that he claimed is a tool of the West with which to punish Islamic nations.

Rashid’s riposte, however, has an unwritten corollary. He and his fellow Islamists bear allegiance to an alternate network that exists in parallel with the institutions of the current international order, the most visible symbol of which is the OIC.[2] The OIC, which promotes Islamic social, economic, and political solidarity, is, in fact, already the second-largest international organization after the UN. It has not only attempted to negotiate disputes among Islamic factions in Muslim-majority countries, such as Iraq and Somalia, but has also helped to mediate disputes between non-Muslim-majority states and their Islamic minorities, as in the Philippines and Thailand. In adjudicating these disputes, the OIC has employed, as the legal frame of reference, the principles of Sharia law rather than international law.

One has only to examine the flag and the logo of the OIC to realize its ambition. A crescent moon encompasses the entire globe. The earth rests on a sea of green, the color of Islam, with the Kaa’ba in the center of the globe. The flag resembles the national banner of the al-Saud Kingdom (the only country among all the embassies in Washington D.C. that, on 9/11, did not lower its flag)…..

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