A new internet magazine called The Participator has been launched by our British associate and political like-thinker, Chauncey Tinker. (The title intentionally calls to mind the long-established journal The Spectator.)
The first article was published yesterday and may be found here
It is about Islam punishing blasphemy – which is what Islam considers any criticism of Islamic belief to be. As Islam is trying to make criticism of itself a punishable crime the world over, the topic is of universal interest and importance. It could be summed up as “Islam versus free speech“. In Europe, Islam is winning. Is it winning in Britain too?
These are extracts from the article:
On a BBC Asian Network program, the Muslim presenter Shazia Awan posed the question “What Is The Right Punishment For Blasphemy?”. The question is obviously loaded with the implication that there SHOULD be a punishment for blasphemy. … There have been a great many articles written about this radio program already, but so far they all seem to have missed the fact that the BBC have committed a criminal offence under current UK law by airing it. …
(We posted commentary on the program two days ago. See Where stands the BBC on blasphemy?, March 20, 2017.)
Examples of what callers to the program gave as answers to the question include these:
The second caller … was a man called Wajid Ali (Burki?) from Birmingham – a city in the UK. This caller supported the principle of a death sentence for blasphemers under Islamic law in Muslim majority countries, but he seemed confused about whether blasphemers in non-Muslim countries should also be killed. For example he said he was upset that Salman Rushdie had not yet been killed. Rushdie does not live in a Muslim Country, he has lived in the US since 2000 before which he was living in the UK under very necessary police protection. Shazia pressed the caller on his view, asking “do you not think that the death penalty is a step too far?”. By the phrasing of this question we might even suspect that Shazia herself thinks that there should in fact be a punishment for blasphemy, but that the death penalty would be excessive. The caller responded saying that the punishment should be determined by the law of the land, so we can only conclude from all this that he was disappointed that Salman Rushdie had not been murdered by a private citizen. At the very least this is inescapably a very grossly offensive point of view, at the worst it might almost be considered an incitement to murder.
A caller called Ishaan from Cardiff … said: “sooner or later Islam is going to be taking over anyway”, a statement that was surely grossly offensive to all the non-Muslims in the UK who do not wish to live in an Islamic state. …
Surprisingly, blasphemy was still a statutory crime in the United Kingdom until as recently as 2008, when it was finally abolished. But the last time anyone was prosecuted for committing it was in 1843, in Scotland. Will it now make a come-back when sharia law – already in use as a parallel legal system in Britain – becomes the only law of the land?
The context of the question was not current law in the UK (which abolished the blasphemy law in 2008), but the current law in Pakistan, where the punishment is currently the death penalty. In the case of Asia Bibi, who has been on death row for 7 years in appalling conditions, the authorities there are clearly hoping that she will die in prison and save them from the worldwide outrage that would necessarily result if they carried out the sentence.
Please read our post on Asia Bibi – whose right name is Aasiya Noreen. It is titled Thirst: a story of religious injustice, and may be found here.
At some point the BBC woke up to the fact that the question it was asking implied that there should be some punishment for blasphemy. So it sent out a tweet:
We never intend[ed] to imply Blasphemy should be punished. Provocative question that got it wrong.
OK, now they are getting it. …
By now I think any “reasonable ordinary person” would agree with me that views were aired on this program that were at the very least grossly offensive. Under current UK law (Communications Act 2003) it is illegal to broadcast a communication on an electronic network that is “grossly offensive”.
The program may have been broadcast live (making it impossible to know exactly what would be said), but by the phrasing of the question the producers of the program have actively encouraged such sentiments to be expressed. At least one of the callers who expressed grossly offensive views was a regular caller on the show, and the producers will have been well aware of what sort of reactions to expect. As a UK Muslim herself, the presenter will also have been well aware that those views expressed are scarcely uncommon among Muslims in the UK today (polls have shown this to be the case as well). In short, the makers of this program knew full well what to expect.
All this considered then I think it is quite reasonable to suggest that the producers deliberately sought these grossly offensive opinions in order to create a sensational program and that therefore by broadcasting the program they are wilfully in contravention of the Communications Act. …
The question is then posed: “What is the right punishment for the BBC?”
So readers, I wish to ask you, what do you think would be an appropriate punishment for the BBC, for this criminal act? Unfortunately when the BBC is fined it is those who pay the licence fee who have to foot the bill. Therefore, fining the BBC will only serve to punish those who are already suffering from the BBC’s poor quality and wildly biased output.
I think that an appropriate punishment for the BBC would be that it should be privatized in totality. I believe that the BBC should also lose all their rights to broadcast TV channels and FM radio programs on the airwaves, and instead be forced to compete on the internet with everybody else. This is not a harsh punishment, certainly I am not calling for any BBC operatives to be beheaded or even to receive milder punishments such as flogging. All I am asking for is a level playing field, let the BBC compete in the free market. The BBC should also be renamed as it cannot be said to represent the views of most British people.
This will take a while to accomplish of course – it will require some legislation to be put forward in parliament. In the meantime the BBC Asian Network should sack the producers and the presenter. …
If we lived in a country where equality before the law was upheld then I think a 12 month community order and 1 month’s forced labour for the producers and the presenter of this show, and the callers who expressed grossly offensive opinions, would most certainly be called for (at the very minimum). However, personally I would prefer to hear all these grossly offensive opinions, so that we know what people think.
An opinion with which we heartily agree. It is the essence of the case for free speech.
We recommend The Participator to our readers.
We also recommend blasphemy. Against all religions, all deities, all “sacred things”, and most especially and particularly – considering the threat Islam poses to us all – against Muhammad and “Allah”.
We urge our readers to blaspheme purposefully, publicly, and often, as we try to do ourselves.*
*Of course this is addressed only to readers who live in countries where it is safe to blaspheme – which is to say, no Islamic or European country.
The Guardian reports:
In an apology, the network said it never intended to imply that blasphemy should be punished and said the tweet was poorly worded.
So that lets the BBC off the hook then, does it? Rare for the BBC to apologize! And how should the tweet have been worded? To mean what? That blasphemy should not be punished?
Unlikely the fawningly Islam-appeasing BBC would dare to say that in Pakistan, to Pakistan; because, as the Guardian goes on to say …
Pakistan has asked Facebook and Twitter to help identify Pakistanis suspected of blasphemy so it can prosecute them or pursue their extradition.
Under the country’s blasphemy laws, anyone found to have insulted Islam or the prophet Muhammad can be sentenced to death.
The interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, said an official in Pakistan’s Washington embassy had approached the two social media companies in an effort to identify Pakistanis, either within the country or abroad, who recently shared material deemed offensive to Islam.
He said Pakistani authorities had identified 11 people for questioning over alleged blasphemy and would seek the extradition of anyone living abroad.
The Guardian does not say whether Facebook and Twitter will do as they’re asked and help identify Pakistanis at home and abroad who have insulted Islam or the prophet Muhammad, so that they can be sentenced to death.
Will Twitter and Facebook deliver their users up for execution?
Maybe there should first be a debate about “what is the right punishment for blasphemy”. Maybe a death sentence is too extreme. We need the BBC to tell us what to think is the right punishment. That’s the BBC’s assumed business. To tell the world what to think. We wait in suspense for its ruling.
The great Pat Condell on the subject of Evil HQ, aka the United Nations:
THE UN MUST BE DESTROYED!
This film is about the Clintons’ corruption, which is on a colossal scale.
The documentary is derived from Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, narrated by him. It is long but it rewards attention. It demonstrates in detail how the Clintons have enriched themselves by exploiting – but never ameliorating – the desperate plight of the poorest of the poor.
Perhaps the worst of all the heart-searing accounts of their cold-blooded venality indulged in at the expense of massive and intense human suffering, is that of their activities in Haiti. The telling of this appalling story extends from 16.43 minutes to 29.43 minutes. But don’t miss the rest.
Donald Trump has said that South Korea, Germany, and Japan should pay for the US troops stationed on their soil.
Bad enough that Americans pay for the defense of allies.
But America also gives money to its enemies; most notably to Pakistan, which, though classed as an ally, is in fact an enemy.
As far back as 2011, Americans were informed that Pakistan was helping the Taliban, the Islamic terrorist organization in Afghanistan with which they had been at war since October 2001.
Pakistan’s security service provides weapons and training to Taliban insurgents fighting U.S. and British troops in Afghanistan, despite official denials, Taliban commanders say, in allegations that could worsen tensions between Pakistan and the United States.
A number of middle-ranking Taliban commanders revealed the extent of Pakistani support in interviews for a BBC Two documentary series, Secret Pakistan …
A former head of Afghan intelligence also told the program that Afghanistan gave Pakistan’s former president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, information in 2006 that Osama bin Laden was hiding in northern Pakistan close to where the former al Qaeda leader was eventually killed by U.S. special forces in May.
Admiral Mike Mullen, then the top U.S. military officer, accused Pakistani intelligence last month of backing violence against U.S. targets including the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. He said the Haqqani network, an Afghan militant group blamed for the September 13 embassy attack, was a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Pakistan denies the U.S. allegations.
One Taliban commander, Mullah Qaseem, told the BBC the important things for a fighter were supplies and a hiding place.
“Pakistan plays a significant role. First they support us by providing a place to hide which is really important. Secondly they provide us with weapons,” he said …
Other Taliban commanders described how they and their fighters were, and are, trained in a network of camps on Pakistani soil.
According to a commander using the name Mullah Azizullah, the experts running the training are either members of the ISI or have close links to it.
“They are all the ISI’s men. They are the ones who run the training. First they train us about bombs; then they give us practical guidance,” he said.
Another Taliban fighter, known as Commander Najib, said al Qaeda trainers also operated in the camps, talent spotting possible suicide bombers.
“I was in the camp for a month … They were giving us practical training in whatever weapons we specialized in … Suicide bombers were taken to a different section and were kept apart from us. Those who were taught to be suicide bombers were there,” he said.
And, of course, Pakistan was hiding Osama bin Laden from American revenge for 9/11 – though of course the Pakistani government denied it.
A former head of Afghan intelligence told the BBC Afghan officials gave Musharraf information in 2006 suggesting bin Laden was hiding in Mansehra, a town just 12 miles from Abbottabad, where bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May, but that the information was not acted upon.
Amrullah Saleh, head of Afghan intelligence from 2004 to 2010, said Syed Akbar, a Pakistani believed to be smuggling guns to the Taliban, told Afghan intelligence he had escorted bin Laden from one location to another.
“The information we had was suggesting Mansehra was the town where bin Laden was hiding … It happens after so many years that bin Laden was about 12 miles from that location,” he said.
Saleh and Afghan President Hamid Karzai took the evidence to Musharraf who, according to Saleh, reacted angrily.
“He (Musharraf) banged the table and looked at President Karzai and said, ‘Am I president of a banana republic? If not, then how can you tell me bin Laden is hiding in a settled area of Pakistan’. I said ‘Well, this is the information so you can go and check it.’,” said Saleh …
Nothing has changed. Pakistan continues to train, equip, and protect the Taliban.
But, we learn from an article by Joe Pappalardo at Townhall, the Republican dominated US Senate intends to give that treacherous Muslim state yet more aid – to “compensate” it for “helping” the US in the war against the Taliban:
A proposal for a new fund to pay Pakistan for its assistance in the war on terror has received approval from the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee.
Senator John McCain, committee chairman, introduced the funding bid as part of the Senate’s 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which was passed on May 18. If Pakistan can meet all of the bill’s conditions, the new fund will grant the nation $800 million in compensation.
This new fund replaces the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) from 2013, and solely focuses on Pakistan. The CSF paid Pakistan for its support of the U.S. and Coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, Pakistan has received $3.1 billion, but the old fund will expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
The reimbursement fund will still require Pakistan to maintain communication lines to Afghanistan, and if Pakistan does not act against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Haqqani network, the U.S. will withhold $300 million.
Committee members noted that removing Afghanistan operations from the fund’s objectives was timely because U.S. involvement in Afghanistan had decreased. Most U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been withdrawn, and the coalition forces will soon do the same, lawmakers said.
The House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, is just as keen to reward Pakistan:
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that also aims to reimburse Pakistan. However, it does not replace the CSF and offers $900 million with $450 million tied to acting against the Haqqani network.
The new bill marks a shift to a focus on Pakistan’s national security, which has become a major interest for America’s own national security.
Q: How exactly does America’s national security depend on the security of Pakistan?
The committee said continuing to use the CSF would hinder any U.S. support of Pakistan’s anti-terrorism efforts.
Q: What “anti-terrorism efforts” by Pakistan would those be?
If the recklessness with which the US gives aid to Pakistan looks to you like insanity, you will find your suspicions confirmed when you know that your tax money also goes to aid the extremely wealthy Islamic tyranny of Saudi Arabia, which works night and day to impose Islam upon America and the whole of the Western world.
And the insanity doesn’t stop there.
In the years when the US was supposed to have no ties whatsoever with Communist Cuba – yes! Your tax dollars were going there too.
And while you are still gaping in disbelief, there’s one more enemy you need to know you were aiding – Iran.
You will find Cuba and Iran listed as recipients of US aid here. The list makes interesting reading.
A poor, illiterate woman named Aasiya Noreen* worked in the fields to help support her family of five children, two of them her own and three of them her husband’s from a former marriage.
Aasiya was a Christian. A Catholic. Her family were the only Christians in the small village where she lived some thirty miles outside Lahore, the capital of the Punjab in the Islamic state of Pakistan. The Christians of the region were an underclass, traditionally assigned to menial jobs.
One hot summer’s day in June, 2009, Aasiya was harvesting berries along with some Muslim women. They all became thirsty. The Muslim women sent Aasiya to fetch water from a well. Aasiya found a battered tin cup abandoned near the well, and had a drink from it before refilling it and carrying it to her fellow workers. One of them accused her of drinking from the cup and so making it unclean. Christian lips should not contaminate a cup that Muslims drink from. All the Muslim women agreed on that.
A dispute arose. Which was the one true religion? The Muslim women knew that Islam was the truth. Aasiya knew that Christianity was the truth. She dared to say (according to her own account), “Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Muhammed ever do to save mankind?”
The Muslim women were deeply offended. They went to their imam and told him that the Christian woman Aasiya Noreen had insulted the Prophet Muhammad.
The imam took action. He gathered together a number of good Muslims willing to defend the Prophet and the true faith of Islam, and led them to the house where Aasiya and her family lived. They set upon her and her husband and her children with righteous blows. The police arrived in time to save the Christian family from being beaten to death. The avenging mob agreed to spare them on condition that the police laid a charge of blasphemy against the woman. The police duly arrested her and put her in jail, where she languished for more than a year before she was brought to trial in November, 2012.
Aasiya told the court that the woman who accused her of blasphemy had a grudge against her, resulting from an old quarrel, and the accusation was made out of a desire for revenge. The judge did not accept her story as a defense. He also chose to overlook inconsistencies in the testimony of the witnesses against her. He decided that she was guilty of blasphemy and sentenced her to death. She was to be hanged for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad whose name is never mentioned by a Muslim without having peace wished upon him.
She was the first woman ever to be condemned to death in Pakistan for blasphemy – her crime being considered so heinous that even death was not sufficient punishment. She was also to pay a fine equivalent to $1,100. She and her family had never in all their lives possessed a sum approaching $1,100. Nor did they know of any way they could raise it.
When the verdict was pronounced, the crowd in the court rose to its feet, applauding and shouting “Yes, kill her! Kill her! Allahu Akbar!”. And yet more enthusiasts for justice, more celebrants of the glory of God, broke down the doors to swarm into the court, their furious, triumphant shouts swelling the chorus of “Allahu Akbar!” The greatness of their merciful God could hardly have been more passionately attested.
Assiya’s husband, Ashiq Masih, appealed the verdict. He and Aasiya hoped that the High Court would at least suspend the sentence.
There was a man in a high position who was deeply moved by the fate of Aasiya and determined to do all he could for her. He was Salmaan Taseer, the governor of the Punjab. He persuaded the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, to come to her rescue. In December 2012, Taseer publicly announced that if the High Court did not suspend her sentence, the president would pardon her. And Zardari would have done so, but the Lahore High Court hastened to issue a stay order against a presidential pardon.
So Aasiya remained in prison in Lahore, in solitary confinement in an 8 by 10 foot windowless cell.
At first the governor would visit her, with his wife and daughter. But then the court ruled that only her husband and lawyer could see her.
On January 4, 2011, Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by one Mumtaz Qadri who resented the governor’s concern for the blasphemer. (He was hanged for the crime in February 2016.)
The Minister of Minority Affairs, Shahbaz Bhatti – himself a Christian, and the only Christian member of the cabinet – was so disturbed by the case that he set about doing all he could to get the laws of blasphemy changed. He announced that he was prepared to die fighting for Aasiya Noreen’s release. He received many death threats, and on March 2, 2011, he was shot dead in his car near his home.
Many times Aasiya’s appeal was postponed. In October 2014, the High Court finally heard her case – and upheld her death sentence. Her husband then appealed to the President. But he was restrained from issuing a pardon, so her lawyers appealed to Pakistan’s Supreme Court. In July, 2015, the Supreme Court suspended her death sentence “for the duration of the appeals process”.
Hundreds of Pakistanis have publicly protested against her being still alive. An imam offered $10,000 reward to anyone who would kill her, and apparently some 10 million citizens declared themselves ready and willing to do the noble deed. Assiya’s family have gone into hiding, and they fear for her safety and survival if she were to be released.
That is how the matter stands at present.
Aasiya Noreen is under sentence of death for taking a drink of water from an old cup on a hot day, and saying something she had been taught to believe, to some other women who had been taught that it was something that should not be believed and should not be said.
For a drink of water, for fantastic rumors about “Jesus” and “Muhammad”, lives ruined and lost.
*Aasiya Noreen is usually called “Asia Bibi” in press reports. “Bibi” simply means “woman”.
In this excellent video published by the Clarion Project in December 2015, Raheel Raza, president of Muslims Facing Tomorrow, talks truthfully about radical Islam.
(Hat-tip to our Facebook commenter, Darryl Kerney)
We quote Paul Sperry’s article at Investor’s Business Daily, titled Can America Survive Obama’s Pro-Muslim Bias?:
In a new NPR interview, President Obama complains that “strains in the Republican party suggest that somehow I’m different, I’m Muslim, I’m disloyal to the country, which unfortunately is pretty far out there”.
While there’s no evidence to suggest Obama is a practicing Muslim, there is plenty to suggest he is disloyal. He not only shares Muslim hatred for America and Israel, but actually sympathizes with the endless anti-Western grievances lodged by Muslim terrorists.
The reason the president won’t engage this enemy is because he sides with it, not because he can’t see it or understand it. It is not a matter of incompetence. It is a matter of bias.
If this sounds like betrayal, that is because it is.
Here is a bill of indictment:
Count 1:In 1995, in his first memoir, Obama shares the “rage” of his Kenyan Muslim grandfather who he claims was tortured by British colonizers, while exalting his Muslim-convert brother Roy, who swore off “the poisoning influences of European culture,” as “the person who made me proudest of all”.
Count 2:In 2004, in a little-noticed preface to his re-released memoir, the newly elected senator implied that America was punished for past wrongs on 9/11, writing that “history returned with a vengeance” on that terrible day.
Count 3:In 2006, in his second memoir, Obama vowed that he “will stand with” Arab and Pakistani Muslims to protect “their sense of security” should their community be implicated in another terror attack on America.
Count 4:In 2009, Obama in his first foreign speech apologized to world Muslims for the War on Terror, inviting banned Muslim Brotherhood leaders to sit on the front row of his Cairo address, while declaring “Islam is not part of the problem” and demanding that Israel give Palestinians “a state of their own”.
Count 5:That same year, Obama stopped cold a major investigation of terror-supporting Muslim Brotherhood front groups and mosques following the successful prosecution of Brotherhood charities by U.S. attorneys.
Count 6:Then he ordered the FBI and Homeland Security to delete “jihad” from counterterrorism manuals and fire all trainers who linked terrorism to Islam.
Count 7:Obama vowed to close the Guantanamo Bay military prison and bring 9/11 terrorists to America, where they would enjoy full rights, including habeas corpus, in civilian courts.
Count 8:As Obama kicked off a two-day summit on combating generic “violent extremism”, he argued that Muslim terrorists have “legitimate grievances” that must be addressed.
Count 9:He also asserted that “the Muslim world has suffered historical grievances”, and blamed the rash of global terrorism in part on “a history of colonialism” in the Mideast, Africa and South Asia.
Count 10:At the National Prayer Breakfast, Obama told Christians to get off their “high horse” about Muslim terrorism and “remember the terrible deeds in the name of Christ” committed by Crusaders 1,000 years ago.
Count 11: He credited Muslims with “building the very fabric of our nation” and “the core of our democracy”.
Count 12:The president boycotted January’s world march against terrorism in Paris following the slaughter of anti-Islamist cartoonists by two French Algerians, in a shocking move that would have made Obama’s late hero, Algerian mujahedeen Frantz Fanon, proud.
Count 13:Obama agreed to release five Taliban commanders for a POW who he knew was a deserter and who may turn out to be a traitor.
Count 14: Obama removed sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile program, despite overwhelming evidence by Israeli and U.S. intelligence showing that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons to wipe our closest and most trusted Mideast ally off the map.
Count 15:Obama broke his promise to 9/11 families to release the 28 pages documenting Saudi Arabian and other foreign Muslim sponsorship of the 9/11 attacks.
Count 16: The president insists on calling ISIS “ISIL” — which stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — because it includes “Palestine”, a slap at Israel.
Count 17: Despite his entire security team warning that such Muslim immigrants cannot be screened for terrorist ties and evidence that ISIS has infiltrated their ranks, Obama stubbornly insists on bringing another 10,000 Syrian refugees to the U.S.
Count 18: In the heat of the San Bernardino attacks, as bodies were being removed from the scene, Obama called a high-level security meeting to keep a lid on the Muslim connection.
Count 19: In his prime-time terrorism speech, the president spent half his time warning Americans not to blame Muslims.
Count 20: Obama insists on emptying Gitmo of terrorist prisoners, even after one of his earlier releases re-emerged as a leader of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
Count 21: The Obama regime has invited members of Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood front groups to serve in the Homeland Security and State departments, and meet regularly with the attorney general, as well as the president and his security advisors in the White House.
Obama is hellbent on shuttering the detention camp and is queuing up for release another 17 dangerous al-Qaida terrorists, earlier classified as “forever detainees” due to the high threat they pose to America.
Americans should know that if we are attacked again in a major way in his remaining 13 months in office, Obama “will stand with” Muslims over Americans, meaning that he will continue to back off radical mosques, refuse to connect terrorism to Islam and continue to hold open the floodgates to mass Muslim immigration.
This president, who had Pakistani roommates in college, is more concerned about “their sense of security” than non-Muslims threatened by Muslim terrorism like the massacre carried out by the two Pakistani Muslims who attacked San Bernardino.
What if the enemy of the state is actually the head of state?
The bill of indictment, long and bad as it is, is incomplete. It does not, for instance, include Obama’s instruction to NASA to concentrate on reaching out to Muslims rather than to outer space; nor his close friendship with President Erdogan of Turkey; nor his persistent persecution of Israel; nor his long refusal to allow the assassination of Osama bin Laden and his reluctance in finally permitting it; nor – worst of all – his fanatical wooing of Iran, in the course of which he has given the regime everything it has demanded, and swept away every impediment to its becoming a nuclear armed power.
Sperry’s list is more than sufficient, however, to make the case. As we have been saying for years: Yes, the enemy of the state is actually the head of state.
Atheists of the Left – “Humanists” some call themselves – often reveal with unconscious irony how close Leftism is to Christianity: the same moral myopia, hubris, and sentimentality.
In order to enjoy the cheap emotional satisfaction of feeling they are “good people”, they go in for this sort of thing.
We quote from the Friendly Atheist at Patheos:
After the Daily Caller News Foundation posted a map of supposed “radical mosques” in the U.S., it wasn’t long before threats were made against them.
But in a wonderful gesture on Monday, the Humanists of the Palouse reached out to the Muslims, sending them a letter of concern and offering whatever help they could:
To our Muslim friends in the Moscow/Pullman area,
Recently, we have been made aware of threats to our community, centered on the Pullman Islamic Center and it and many other Mosques being mis-reported as “radical”. In today’s climate, these threats should not be taken lightly, and we certainly do not. We fully support your right to practice religion free from harm and harassment.
We recognize your members as valued residents of the Palouse. The Humanists of the Palouse want you to know that we will always defend religious freedom and cultural diversity, and threats against these are threats against our very way of life. We stand with you, and offer our support.
If you feel threatened, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would be happy to accompany anyone who feels that their safety is at risk (e.g. grocery shopping, on a walk around town, or just for someone to talk to). If we can advocate for you in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us, and know that you have friends and allies amongst The Humanists of the Palouse.
The Center’s Board of Trustees soon issued this heartfelt response:
The entire Board of Trustees of the Pullman Islamic Association joins me in thanking you and the Humanists of the Palouse generally for this powerful statement affirming civil rights in this country. We are especially moved that a humanist group so completely supports the local Muslim group, since Islam is the most disrespected group in this country. We have noticed that the correct way to define and appreciate humanist groups in general and yours in particular is as lovers and defenders of civil rights, individual and group democratic dignities and freedom of thought, not as haters of religion. Your group’s neighborly defense of freedom of religion in the Palouse demonstrates your focus on freedom and social justice. We are impressed by and thankful for your firm support and offer of assistance and solidarity.
One of our Board of Trustees members is meeting with an FBI agent today, which demonstrates that the federal police are taking this threat seriously. Given this sobering reality of threatened arson and violence your support will always be appreciated by the leaders and membership of the Pullman Islamic Association. We hope we will not need to ask for your offered assistance, but if we do need or want such support, we will indeed reach out to Humanists of the Palouse.
That’s how you do it, friends.
You can disagree on theological issues, but I’d hope local atheist groups around the country would be willing to reach out to Muslims who are actually being persecuted by overzealous conservatives eager to shut them down.
If they lose their religious freedoms, we all do.
Can they possibly not know that sharia law – inseparable from the ideology of Islam – condemns apostasy, which is what atheism is deemed to be? And prescribes death as the punishment for atheists? (Atheist men; women not always.) In some Islamic lands they are imprisoned rather than executed. But all risk their lives, and such freedom as anyone has in a Muslim majority country.
These are reports of atheists, apostates, free thinkers who have been sentenced to prison, and/or flogging, and/or death in Islamic countries recently – the crime of atheism often being euphemized into something else in court. And some who have been killed by their Muslim compatriots.
1. From the Economist, on Alexander Aan in Indonesia:
A MOB attacked Alexander Aan even before an Indonesian court in June jailed him for two and a half years for “inciting religious hatred”.
His crime was to write “God does not exist” on a Facebook group he had founded for atheists in Minang, a province of the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Like most non-believers in Islamic regions, he was brought up as a Muslim. And like many who profess godlessness openly, he has been punished. …
Sharia law, which covers only Muslims unless incorporated into national law, assumes people are born into their parents’ religion. Thus ex-Muslim atheists are guilty of apostasy—a hudud crime against God, like adultery and drinking alcohol. Potential sanctions can be severe: eight states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania and Sudan have the death penalty on their statute books for such offences. …
Most atheists are prosecuted for blasphemy or for inciting hatred. (Atheists born to non-Muslim families are not considered apostates, but they can still be prosecuted for other crimes against religion.) Even in places where laws are lenient, religious authorities and social attitudes can be harsh, with vigilantes inflicting beatings or beheadings.
Many, like Kacem el-Ghazzali, a Moroccan, reckon the only solution is to escape abroad. The 23-year-old was granted asylum in Switzerland after people found out he was the author of an anonymous blog, Atheistica.com. …
Nahla Mahmoud, a 25-year-old Sudanese atheist … fled to Britain in 2010. …
Ibn Warraq, the pseudonymous Indian-born author of “Leaving Islam”, a collection of essays by ex-believers, … lives in exile and has received death threats for campaigning on the behalf of apostates. … Arguments for the death penalty [he says] are usually based on a Hadith, one of the sayings which, along with the Koran, form the basis of Islamic law: “The Prophet said: whoever discards his religion, kill him.” …
Ibn Warraq says that the nub of the problem is that sharia makes atheism the number one sin, ahead of murder. …
2. From the Guardian, on Ashraf Fayadh in Saudi Arabia:
A Palestinian poet and leading member of Saudi Arabia’s nascent contemporary art scene has been sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.
A Saudi court on Tuesday ordered the execution of Ashraf Fayadh, who has curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. The poet, who said he did not have legal representation, was given 30 days to appeal against the ruling.
Fayadh, 35, a key member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia, was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by the general court in Abha, a city in the south-west of the ultraconservative kingdom, in May 2014. But after his appeal was dismissed he was retried earlier this month and a new panel of judges ruled that his repentance did not prevent his execution.
3. From Patheos, the Friendly Atheist itself, on Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia:
December 26, 2013 by Paul Fidalgo [who is admirably scathing in his disgust – ed).
Saudi blogger and religious dissident Raif Badawi has been cruelly punished and toyed with by the Saudi legal system for about a year now, and things have taken a darker turn. According to Badawi’s wife, now living in Lebanon, the high court will try Badawi on the charge of apostasy. If convicted, Badawi could be executed.
This comes after a court opted not to charge him with apostasy in January, but did put him up on charges of “insulting Islam and showing disobedience”. How did they come to this decision? Badawi is the co-founder of a website called the Liberal Saudi Network, which is bad enough, but imagine the horror that washed over Saudi society with this kind of action:
The evidence against him included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.
As a result of this heinous behavior, in July, Badawi was sentenced to 600 lashes and seven years in prison.
Which was horrifying enough. But now it looks like Badawi is being brought up on apostasy charges in earnest. Badawi’s case is one of many being watched by the Office of Public Policy at the Center for Inquiry, where I work, and our Campaign for Free Expression. Browse the cases we have listed there, and you’ll see that, sadly, Badawi’s case is hardly unique.
Cases like this need more international attention, and those who position themselves as “allies” of Saudi Arabia, such as the United States, need to discover their consciences. How can the civilized world refer to itself as such when an ally practices such barbarism, it looks the other way?
The judge in Badawi’s subsequent appeal stiffened the original 2013 sentence – seven years in prison and 600 lashes – to 1000 lashes, ten years in prison and a fine of $266,000. See our post, The punishment of reason, January 12, 2015, where there is an eyewitness description of the first of the series of lashings Badawi is being subjected to.
Badawi had written, “My commitment is… to reject any repression in the name of religion… a goal that we will reach in a peaceful, law-abiding way.”
This was interpreted by the judge as “insulting Islam”.
Badawi’s health is now frail. He is unlikely to survive the lashings.
4. From Poetry Foundation, on Hashem Shaabani in Iran:
We were saddened and horrified today to learn of the death of Hashem Shaabani, who was executed on January 27th by the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
From Radio Free Europe:
An Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal reportedly had sentenced the poet to death, along with 14 others, last July on charges that included “waging war on God”.
Press reports said Shaabani was hanged after his sentence was approved by President Hassan Rohani.
In a statement on February 5, Freedom House said Shaabani was subjected to severe torture and interrogation during his three years in prison.
Human Rights Voices also reports on the execution, writing:
To those who knew him, was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system … In one of his letters from prison, made available to use through his family, Shaabani says … “I have tried to defend the legitimate right that every people in this world should have which is the right to live freely with full civil rights. With all these miseries and tragedies, I have never used a weapon to fight these atrocious crimes except the pen.”
5. From the Guardian on Avijit Roy and Rafida Bonya Ahmed in Pakistan:
No one could have predicted that the Bangladeshi writer Rafida Bonya Ahmed would make it to London last week. … In February, Islamist fanatics hacked her husband, Avijit Roy, to death with meat cleavers as the couple left a book fair in Dhaka. They nearly killed Ahmed too: slicing off her thumb and covering her body with wounds. …
Together, Ahmed and Roy ran a secular blog that promoted the writings of young liberal Bangladeshis They wrote on evolution and humanism; they condemned extremism fearlessly, as the title of Roy’s 2014 book The Virus of Faith makes clear. Seeing and fearing a courageous opponent, the enemies of free thought killed him for his ideas. …
6. From a Reuters report on Ananta Bijoy Das and others in Bangladesh:
Third Atheist blogger killed in Bangladesh.
A blogger was hacked to death by machete-wielding attackers in Bangladesh on Tuesday (May 12), the third killing of a critic of religious extremism in the Muslim-majority nation in less than three months.
Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger who advocated secularism, was attacked by four masked assailants in the northeastern district of Sylhet on Tuesday morning, senior police official Mohammad Rahamatullah told Reuters.
Rahamatullah said Das was a 33-year-old banker.
He was also editor of science magazine “Jukti,” which means “logic,” and on the advisory board of “Mukto Mona” (Free Mind), a website propagating rationalism and opposing fundamentalism …
According to the monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group, Islamist militant group Ansar al-Islam Bangladesh said al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) had claimed responsibility for the attack. …
Imran Sarker, the head of a network of activists and bloggers in Bangladesh, said Das was “a progressive free thinker and a good human being”. …
Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years …
On March 30, Washiqur Rahman, another secular blogger who aired his outrage over [Avijit] Roy’s death on social media, was killed in similar fashion on a busy street in the capital, Dhaka.
Their deaths followed the killing in 2013 of Ahmed Rajib Haider, who backed calls to impose the death penalty on Islamist leaders accused of atrocities in Bangladesh’s 1971 war of independence.
Why do our fellow atheists – of the leftist “Humanist” persuasion – not burn with anger against the ideology that persecutes atheism, secularism, rationalism, and shun the company of its devotees?
If they think they are earning the goodwill and tolerance of the Muslims towards whom they’re making this gesture, they’re pathetically deluded. Their nice little letter is not going to change sharia law, or the minds of those who want to impose it on us all.
They seem simply not to believe that the Muslims they contacted might be members of “radicalizing” mosques – which is to say, mosques with imams who urge them to support terrorist groups or join ISIS. There’s no hint that they explored the possibility. In their minds, the accusation must be wholly unjustified.
And one more thing. When those poor persecuted Muslims “in the Moscow/Pullman area” whimpered that “Islam is the most disrespected group in this country”, they are lying. The president of the United States is the son of a Muslim and an Islam lover who has brought Muslim Brotherhood advisers into his administration – and has clearly formed policies on their advice..
At the time of this writing there have been 27,322 deadly attacks carried out by Muslims since 9/11. (See the tally in our margin, taken from The Religion of Peace.) Muslim terrorists do all they can to terrify non-Muslims, and then cynically accuse them of an irrational fear of Islam, calling it “Islamophobia”.
Muslims are the target of few “hate crimes” in the US. But they perpetrate more than any others do.
We quote from an article by David J. Rusin at Islamist Watch. His staistics come from a December 2014 report of 2013 figures. (We await the 2014 report this coming December):
New FBI Hate Crime Stats: Another Blow to Islamist Fictions
There were 1,031 incidents inspired by religion last year, 625 (60.6 percent) of which were anti-Jewish. Anti-Islamic ones constituted just 13.1 percent.
On April 15, 2013, Muslim terrorists murdered three and injured hundreds at the Boston Marathon, prompting familiar warnings about an imminent anti-Muslim backlash. The FBI’s findings are proof that such collective punishment did not materialize — as it almost never does.
How have Islamist groups greeted the FBI data? With silence. It is the sound of disappointment on the part of radicals who need Muslim victims, preferably real ones, to serve as human shields for the Islamist agenda. Bad news for Islamists is once again good news for the rest of us.
Islam is invading Europe and will conquer it without firing a shot.
European political leaders not only refuse to resist the Islamization of their countries, increasingly they positively encourage it. Add to this a high Muslim fertility rate and a very low rate among indigenous Europeans, and you may be certain Muslims will become a majority on the continent in this century unless something – civil war, perhaps – interrupts the processes already set in motion.
From Gatestone, by Guy Millière:
The flow of illegal migrants does not stop. They land on the Greek islands along the Turkish coast. They still try to get into Hungary, despite a razor wire fence and mobilized army. Their destination is Germany or Scandinavia, sometimes France or the UK. Some of them still arrive from Libya. Since the beginning of January, more than 620,000 have arrived by sea alone. There will undoubtedly be many more: a leaked secret document estimates that by the end of December, there might be 1.5 million.
Journalists in Western Europe continue to depict them as “refugees” fleeing war in Syria. The description is false. According to statistics released by the European Union, only twenty-five percent of them come from Syria; the true number is probably lower. The Syrian government sells passports and birth certificates at affordable prices. The vast majority of migrants come from other countries: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria.
Many do not seem to have left in a hurry. Many bring new high-end smartphones and large sums of cash, ten or twenty thousand euros, sometimes more. Many have no passports, no ID, and refuse to give fingerprints.
Whenever people flee to survive, the men come with whole families: women, children, elders. Here, instead, more than 75% of those who arrive are men under 50; few are women, children or elders.
As Christians are now the main targets of Islamists (the Jews fled or were forced out decades ago), the people escaping the war in Syria should be largely composed of Christians. But Christians are a small minority among those who arrive, and they often hide that they are Christians.
Those who enter Europe are almost all Muslims, and behave as some Muslims often do in the Muslim world: they harass Christians and attack women. In reception centers, harassing Christians and attacking women are workaday incidents. European women and girls who live near reception centers are advised to take care and cover up. Rapes, assaults, stabbings and other crimes are on the rise.
Western European political leaders could tell the truth and act accordingly. They do not. They talk of “solidarity”, “humanitarian duty”, “compassion”. From the beginning, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said that illegal migrants were welcome: she seemed to change her mind for a moment, but quickly slid back. In France, President François Hollande says the same things as Angela Merkel.
After the heartbreaking image of a dead child being carried on a Turkish beach was published, thousands of Germans and French initially spoke the same way as their leaders. Their enthusiasm seems to have faded fast.
The people of Central Europe were not enthusiastic from the beginning. Their leaders seem to share the feelings of their populations. None spoke as explicitly as Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary. He said out loud what many of his countrymen seemed to think.
Orbán decribed the “massive and brutal” entry of the migrants into his country as an “invasion”, and said that “a country has the right to decide who is allowed to enter its territory, and to guard its borders”. He also dared to point out that the invaders are from a “different culture”, and that Islamic values “might not be compatible” with European values.
To which Western European leaders reacted with predictable (and surely irrational or even insane) fury.
Western European political leaders harshly condemned his remarks and the attitude of Central Europe in general. They decided to take a hard line approach, including: forcing recalcitrant countries to welcome immigrants, setting up mandatory quotas that define how many immigrants each EU country must receive, and threatening those countries that declined to obey. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, said that Europe was built in a spirit of “burden sharing”, and that EU breakup was a risk that could not be excluded.
An acute division, in fact, is emerging between the leaders of Western Europe and the leaders of Central Europe. Another division is growing between the populations of Western Europe and their leaders. …
Any criticism of Islam in Europe is treated as a form of racism, and “Islamophobia” is considered a crime or a sign of mental illness.
Islam … is creating increasingly distressing problems that are almost never brought to light. Muslim criminality across Europe is high. Consequently, the percentage of Muslims in prisons in Europe is high. In France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, the prison population is 70% Muslim. Many European prisons have become recruitment centers for future jihadis.
Muslim riots may occur for any reason: police upholding the law, a Soccer League celebration, or in support of a cause.
Populations of Western Europe increasingly think that … their leaders speak and act as if they have no awareness of what is happening.
Central European leaders and their people, who have directly experienced authoritarian rule, seem to be thinking that entering the European Union was a huge mistake. When the Soviet Union collapsed, they became members of the EU to join what was called then the “free world”. They do not seem willing to be subjected again to coercive decisions made by outsiders.
After living under the Soviet yoke, they preserved their desire for freedom and self-government, and evidently will not now agree to give them up. They know what submission to Islam could mean. Bulgaria and Romania were occupied by the Ottoman Empire until 1878. Hungary was under the boot of Ottoman rule for more than a hundred and fifty years (1541-1699).
Polls show that a majority of Muslims living in Europe want the application of sharia law and clearly reject any idea of assimilation.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims living in Europe have joined fundamentalist Islamic organizations. Thousands have joined jihadist movements and are now fighting in Syria or Yemen. Many have returned and are ready to act against Europe.
Illegal Muslim migrants are likely to join the Muslims already living in Europe; and they will remain Muslim. They will live on social benefits until the bankruptcy of welfare states. They will reside in the “no-go zones,” and the “no-go zones” will continue to grow. Their occupants come from countries where Christians and women are mistreated; in Europe, they are already mistreating Christians and women.
They come from countries where Western civilization is despised and where hatred of Jews is inescapable — and this remains so among Muslims already living in Europe. For more than two decades, almost all assaults against Jews in Europe were committed by Muslims. …
A project to overwhelm Europe by a huge wave of migration was described by the Islamic State in documents discovered this February. It is hard to rule out that the Islamic State plays a role in what is happening. Turkish authorities are ignoring the massive departures taking place from their coast. If they really wanted the current process to stop, they could stop it. That is clearly not what they do. The Islamic State could not survive without Turkish help. Daily flights on Turkish Airlines bring illegal migrants to Istanbul; they continue unhindered to Europe. …
In all 28 countries of the European Union, birth rates are low and the population is aging. People under thirty account for only 16% of the population, or 80 million people. In the 22 Arab countries, plus Turkey and Iran, people under thirty account for 70% of the population, or 350 million people.
Jews are fleeing Europe in increasing numbers. “Native” Europeans are starting to flee as well.
In 1972, in his book The Camp of the Saints, French writer Jean Raspail described flooding Europe with Muslim migrants crossing the Mediterranean. At the time, the book was a work of fiction. Today, it is reality.