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 essence of freedom is freedom of speech.
Our civilization depends on it, cannot survive without it.
It was the key that unlocked the genius of classical Greece, where science began, and where Socrates taught us to question everything, always.
It was the intellectual light that began to rise in the seventeenth century, finally dispelling the long darkness of church-dominated Europe; the thousand years when Christian dogma was held to be the truth, the only truth, and people were tortured to death for questioning it.
When Rome made Christianity the official religion of the Empire in 380 C.E., it discarded the wisdom encapsulated in the saying: Ubi dubium ibi libertas: where there is doubt there is freedom.
Freedom of speech is the life of the mind.
We have posted many articles on this supremely important subject, in our own words and quoting the words of others. Put “freedom of speech” into our search slot and you will find them. They are all worth reading.
The point we want to make with this post is that freedom of speech is gravely threatened with suppression – again.
Freedom of speech is the issue above all others that divides political opinion the world over.
Freedom of speech must be absolute. Any restriction on it is fatal to it.
The Socialist Left – another dark international religion – is ever more passionately against it. Of course it is, because free criticism of it can destroy its power, just as free criticism of the old religions destroyed theirs.
In Europe it has already been largely abandoned, because most of the continent has surrendered to invading Muslim hordes, whose ideology – an invention of the dark ages – forbids it.
Freedom of speech was all the European Parliament had going for it that was of any use at all. Nigel Farage, leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), was able to promote his cause far and wide by speaking freely for it within the assembly, from where it was broadcast to the outside world. He also used it to expose the lies and bigotry of the European ruling parties, and the tyrannical nature of the EU itself. But now the European Parliament, an almost totally powerless institution created as window-dressing for the undemocratic European Union, has used what little power it has (just enough to rule itself) to bar any speech its leadership does not like from spreading beyond its hallowed hall.
Judith Bergman writes at Gatestone:
The European Parliament has introduced a new procedural rule, which allows for the chair of a debate to interrupt the live broadcasting of a speaking MEP “in the case of defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior by a Member”. Furthermore, the President of the European Parliament may even “decide to delete from the audiovisual record of the proceedings those parts of a speech by a Member that contain defamatory, racist or xenophobic language“.
No one, however, has bothered to define what constitutes “defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior”. This omission means that the chair of any debate in the European Parliament is free to decide, without any guidelines or objective criteria, whether the statements of MEPs are “defamatory, racist or xenophobic”. The penalty for offenders can apparently reach up to around 9,000 euros.
That’s approximately $9,600 at today’s exchange rate.
“There have been a growing number of cases of politicians saying things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate,” said British EU parliamentarian Richard Corbett, who has defended the new rule. Mr. Corbett, however, does not specify what he considers “beyond the pale”.
Although Richard Corbett is in fact British, it is misleading to describe him exclusively as that. Britain has a long, perhaps the longest, tradition of upholding free speech. Richard Corbett is first and foremost a Socialist. He is the Deputy Secretary General of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, and persistently voluble against British independence from the European Union.
In June 2016, Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, addressed the European Parliament in a speech which drew on old anti-Semitic blood libels, such as falsely accusing Israeli rabbis of calling on the Israeli government to poison the water used by Palestinian Arabs. Such a clearly incendiary and anti-Semitic speech was not only allowed in parliament by the sensitive and “anti-racist” parliamentarians; it received a standing ovation. Evidently, wild anti-Semitic blood libels pronounced by Arabs do not constitute “things that are beyond the pale of normal parliamentary discussion and debate”.
Mahmoud Abbas later admitted that his accusation was false and retracted it.
The European Parliament apparently did not even bother to publicize their new procedural rule; it was only made public by Spain’s La Vanguardia newspaper. Voters were, it appears, not supposed to know that they may be cut off from listening to the live broadcasts of the parliamentarians they elected to represent them in the EU, if some chairman of a debate subjectively happened to decide that what was being said was “racist, defamatory or xenophobic”.
The European Parliament is the only popularly elected institution in the EU. Helmut Scholz, from Germany’s left-wing Die Linke party, said that EU lawmakers must be able to express their views about how Europe should work: “You can’t limit or deny this right”. Well, they can express it (but for how long?), except that now no one outside of parliament will hear it.
The rule strikes at the very center of free speech, namely that of elected politicians, which the European Court of Human Rights has deemed in its practice to be specially protected. Members of the European Parliament are people who have been elected to make the voices of their constituents heard inside the institutions of the European Union. …
The rule can only have a chilling effect on freedom of speech in the European Parliament and will likely prove a convenient tool in trying to shut up those parliamentarians who do not follow the politically correct narrative of the EU.
The European Parliament lately seems to be waging war against free speech. At the beginning of March, the body lifted the parliamentary immunity of French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Her crime? Tweeting three images of ISIS executions in 2015. In France, “publishing violent images” constitutes a criminal offense, which can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros. By lifting her immunity at the same time that she is running for president of France, the European Parliament is sending the clear signal that publicizing the graphic and horrifying truth of the crimes of ISIS, rather than being received as a warning about what might soon be coming to Europe, instead ought to be punished.
This is a bizarre signal to be sending, especially to the Christian and Yazidi victims of ISIS, who are still largely ignored by the European Union. European parliamentarians, evidently, are too sensitive to deal with the graphic murders of defenseless people in the Middle East, and are more concerned with ensuring the prosecution of the messengers, such as Marine Le Pen.
So, political correctness … has not only taken over the media and academia; elected MEPs are now also supposed to toe the politically correct line, or literally be cut off. …
Where does this clearly totalitarian impulse stop and who will stop it?
Perhaps the rebel nationalist movements in Europe will resist the anti-free speech campaign by winning the next state elections, encouraged as they are by the victory of Donald Trump’s patriotic movement in America.
But it is certain that the battle between the Socialist and Muslim dogmatists on the one side and the defenders of free speech on the other will be long and hard.
Last night, Milo Yiannopoulos, a supporter of President Trump and free speech, was prevented from speaking at UC Berkeley by Leftists using violence as an argument.
News of the rioting made cable news last night as students smashed ATMs and bank windows, looted a Starbucks, beat Trump supporters, pepper-sprayed innocent individuals, and set fires in the street. Others spray-painted the words “Kill Trump” on storefronts.
The speech was canceled by UC Berkeley police as security failed. Yiannopoulos was evacuated from the area.
There was something odd in the statement that the University of California, Berkeley issued on Wednesday night in response to the leftist riot that stopped a speech by Breitbart tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos and trashed the town:
We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display, and deeply regret that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer’s presence and perspectives.
UC Berkeley, as an institution, was not only opposed to Milo’s views (or what it imagined those views to be), but also to his very presence on campus. Nothing could be further from the spirit of the Free Speech Movement.
The Free Speech Movement was started at Berkeley in the academic year 1964-1965. It must be understood that it was started by Communists in order to put an end to free speech – by first making it okay for them to indoctrinate students. They succeeded. Communism tolerates no dissent.
Unfortunately, the statement was not merely an error after the fact. It echoed an earlier statement by UC Berkeley chancellor Nicholas Dirks the week before, in which he had tried to balance the “right to free expression” against the university’s “values of tolerance, inclusion and diversity”.
Note that free expression was not described as a “value” to which UC Berkeley subscribes, but a “right” that it must allow however grudgingly.
The statement went on to take a specific stance against Milo, misrepresenting his views:
In our view, Mr. Yiannopoulos is a troll and provocateur who uses odious behavior in part to “entertain”, but also to deflect any serious engagement with ideas. He has been widely and rightly condemned for engaging in hate speech directed at a wide range of groups and individuals, as well as for disparaging and ridiculing individual audience members, particularly members of the LGBTQ community.
But not for their being gay. Milo is gay.
The point that the blindly stupid Berkeley authorities are making is that it is his fault if people don’t like what he says: so he is wrong to say it, and their reaction, whatever it might be, is fully justified.
Mr. Yiannopoulos’s opinions and behavior can elicit strong reactions and his attacks can be extremely hurtful and disturbing. Although we urge anyone who is concerned about being targeted by Mr. Yiannopoulos to consider whether there is any value in attending this event, we stand ready to provide resources and support to our community members who may be adversely affected by his words and actions on the stage (we will provide more detail about these resources in a subsequent message).
The statement betrays Dirks’s complete ignorance — or the ignorance of whoever wrote it for him. Anyone who thinks Milo is not interested in “serious engagement with ideas”, for example, has never watched a Milo lecture online, and has never seen him invite challenging questions from the audience.
Worse, Dirks signaled to UC Berkeley as a whole that Milo was, indeed, dangerous to their well-being — so much so that they might need “resources and support”. For those in the mob that besieged the lecture hall Wednesday night, that was more than adequate pretext to claim they were merely acting in self-defense.
Later in the statement, Dirks went on to defend freedom of speech, and Berkeley as the home of the Free Speech Movement, which inspired campus activism across the world in the 1960s. But he went on to describe — proudly! — how the university had actually attempted to dissuade the Berkeley College Republicans (BCR) from inviting Milo to campus:
In addition, however, we have also clearly communicated to the BCR that we regard Yiannopoulos’s act as at odds with the values of this campus. We have emphasized to them that with their autonomy and independence comes a moral responsibility for the consequences of their words, actions, events and invitations – and those of their guest. We have made sure they are aware of how Yiannopoulos has conducted himself at prior events at other universities, and we have explained that his rhetoric is likely to be deeply upsetting and perceived as threatening by some of their fellow students and members of our campus community. Our student groups enjoy the right to invite whomever they wish to speak on campus, but we urge them to consider whether exercising that right in a manner that might unleash harmful attacks on fellow students and other members of the community is consistent with their own and with our community’s values.
“… might unleash harmful attacks”! Harmful Attacks are tied up near by, and non-politically-correct words uttered aloud can unclip their leashes, and then the rabid things will spring out and savage … well, the speaker of those potent words, the authorities at UC Berkeley hope! Who brought those Harmful Attacks to the campus? Who keeps them snarling and hungry? Who invented the leash that can be undone by a non-politically-correct statement? Who but the authorities at UC Berkeley? They typify the American Left now. The fascist Left.
The chilling effect of university administrators warning students that they ought not invite controversial speakers to campus and that they bear the moral consequences of doing so negates the right to free expression Dirks claimed to be upholding.
Later, he added that the university was “saddened that anyone would use degrading stunts or verbal assaults on marginalized members of our society to promote a political platform”, presupposing what Milo would say and signaling to the community that they ought to fear “assault” in advance. …
Berkeley not only made clear its opposition to what Milo had said in the past, but to what he had not yet said in the future. …
Undoubtedly, the university will blame outsiders for the vandalism in the streets and for the flames on campus, for the bricks and bottles and pepper spray and fireworks. But on this occasion, that is an inexcusable copout. UC Berkeley made clear that it was on the side of those who wanted Milo shut down. It made clear that conservatives, of whatever ideological flavor, do not actually have the unfettered right of free expression on campus.
Chancellor Dirks and the UC Berkeley administration deserve to be held accountable for the violence that violated Milo’s rights — and the rights of those who wanted to hear him — as well as for the betrayal of the university’s free speech legacy.
Milo spoke on the phone to Fox News.
“The left is profoundly antithetical to free speech these days, does not want to hear alternative points of view, and will do anything to shut it down,” Yiannopoulos told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview on Wednesday night. “My point is being proven over and over and over again.”
There is good news about the ugly incident at Berkeley.
President Donald Trump reacted to the massive rioting at UC Berkeley in response to a scheduled campus speech by Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
He tweeted early this morning:
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
Yes, please, Mr. President!
Douglas Murray writes at Gatestone (read the whole excellent article here):
The trial of Geert Wilders has resulted in a guilty verdict. The court – which was located in a maximum security courthouse in the Netherlands near Schipol airport – found the leader of the PVV (Freedom Party) guilty of “insulting a group” and of “inciting discrimination”. The trial began with a number of complaints, but the proceedings gradually honed down onto one single comment made by Wilders at a party rally in March 2014. This was the occasion when Wilders asked the crowd whether they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and in the Netherlands”. The crowd of supporters shouted “fewer”.
On Friday morning the court decided not to impose a jail sentence or a fine, as prosecutors had requested. The intention of the court is clearly that the “guilty” sentence should be enough. For Wilders himself this will have been another unpleasant ordeal. But he may have become used to them by now. Five years ago Wilders was put on trial for insulting a religion. The first trial fell apart after one of the judges was found to have attempted to influence the evidence of one of Wilders’s defence witnesses. Once the trial restarted, it resulted in an acquittal. So the Dutch Justice system turn out to have been “second-time lucky” in getting the conviction they appear to have so badly wanted.
This is apparent from remarks, incomparably more damning icepicks than “fewer Moroccans”, made by members of the Netherlands’ Labour Party, who of course were never prosecuted:
“We also have s*** Moroccans over here.” Rob Oudkerk, Dutch Labour Party (PvDA) politician.
“We must humiliate Moroccans.” Hans Spekman, PvDA politician.
“Moroccans have the ethnic monopoly on trouble-making.” Diederik Samsom, PvDA politician.
… Any half-way civilised society – as the Netherlands most certainly is – must see that trying to squash contrary views … is the behaviour of tyrants. This gang-up of the courts and the political elite in an effort to crush dissenting opinion is unbecoming for a great and distinguished nation such as The Netherlands. But they may yet have their comeuppance.
If there is one great mental note of which 2016 ought to have reminded the world, it is how deeply unwise it is to try to police opinion. For when you do so you not only make your society less free, but you disable yourself from being able to learn what your fellow citizens are actually– perhaps ever more secretly – feeling. Then one day you will hear them. And only then – when it is too late – will you remember why you should have listened.
There is a strong probability that the Freedom Party will be the next government of The Netherlands, and Geert Wilders, as its leader, will be Prime Minister.
Similar parties look fair to attaining power in other of the near-moribund countries of Europe. Donald Trump’s victory in America has inspired and strengthened all such resistance movements throughout the sick continent. They may yet restore it to vigorous life.
Our world is changing at an unprecedented pace.
I have sworn to Allah, that any dog who mocks the Sharia, or mocks Islam, or blames it, we will cut out his tongue. I say this without hesitation: We will cut out his tongue! That’s it. The time of transgressing against Islam, and speaking insolence, has passed — it is over. Today, the People of Lies defend their falsehoods with great zeal; so shall we defend Islam with all our might — no matter what it costs, no matter what it costs! Let the whole world burn, but Islam not be mocked.
So proclaimed Dr. Abdullah Badr, a professor of Islamic exegesis at Cairo’s pre-eminent Islamic university Al Azhar, on Egyptian television in October, 2012.
In November 2012, Raymond Ibrahim wrote about it at Gatestone:
None of this is figurative. Days after Dr. Badr made these pronouncements, on October 30, a roaming band of Salafis in Suez attacked, severely beat and tried to cut the hand off a young Egyptian grocery store worker because he prevented one of their gang from using the store bathroom without permission. The bearded Salafi had said: “I do not ask for permission.”
The assaulted youth’s brother, angered at what had happened, then “insulted the men”. Accordingly, Suez’s new roaming band of Sharia enforcers, who call themselves the “Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” after Saudi Arabia’s “morality police”, claimed that he had insulted Islam and ordered that the man’s tongue be cut out. …
The father of the two boys … [said that] one of the Salafis … “kept screaming at the top of his voice that his son has ‘insulted the religion! His tongue must be severed as soon as possible!'” With help from others, the youth managed to escape Sharia justice. …
On May 3, 2011, a poet in Yemen had his tongue cut out by “unknown assailants”, supposedly for writing a poem in praise of the Yemeni dictator Ali Abdallah Saleh, who opposes the Islamist uprising there. …
Also, in April 2011, in “moderate” Bahrain, a muezzin was attacked, beaten, tortured — including with boiling oil — and had his tongue cut, reportedly to Islam’s war cry, “Allahu Akbar!” in a wave of violence by Bahrain’s opposition forces.
In the non-Muslim world, Muslims are also hacking at tongues. In Australia a Muslim man was recently sentenced to eight-and-a-half years’ jail time “for severing a woman’s tongue“. …
Why so much violence against the tongue? For the same reason that Dr. Badr would rather see the whole world set on fire rather than Islam insulted: the tongue — which utters words and free speech — is fundamental to exposing and combating the things of Islam, whether formal Sharia law or the violent, supremacist culture born of it. As the Sheikh of Islam himself, Ibn Taymiyya, once wrote, “Waging war verbally against Islam may be worse than waging war physically.”
The Islamic powers are ever more angrily and vociferously demanding that all criticism of their appalling religion and its barbarously cruel laws be suppressed under pain of punishment.
And the West is yielding to the demand.
These are among news reports assembled at The Clarion Project under the title What you can (and can’t) say in Europe today:
The editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo announced the magazine will no longer publish cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Mohammed. Six months earlier, [Muslim] gunmen slaughtered 12 people in the magazine’s offices, including the magazine’s editor, senior staff and cartoonists.
The magazine’s most prominent cartoonist, Rénald “Luz” Luzier, said earlier he would no longer draw the Prophet Mohammed since it “no longer interests me.” He quit the magazine altogether.
Unlike Norway and Iceland, Denmark decided not to cancel old laws against blasphemy, despite the fact the European Union published guidelines protecting freedom of religion and belief. The guidelines state “the right to freedom of religion or belief, as enshrined in relevant international standards, does not include the right to have a religion or a belief that is free from criticism or ridicule.”
A year after the February 14-15, 2015 shooting attacks in Copenhagen by Islamists – one at an event called Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression – the Danish government convicted and fined Danish citizen Flemming Nielsen, for a November 2013 Facebook post critical of Islam.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders is under investigation by Austrian authorities for a speech he made in Vienna recently that compared the Quran with Hitler’s Mein Kampf and suggesting the former be banned as is the later.
Wilders, whose party has been at the top or nearly at the top of the polls in Netherland for many years, made the comments in the context of arguing that members of parliaments of a nation that are accepting immigrants should have a say in the immigration policies.
In 2007, Wilders was acquitted [in the Netherlands] of an accusation of hate speech for remarks he made that were critical of Islam.
In Europe’s greatest extension, America, Robert Spencer wrote at Jihad Watch in December 2015:
December 17, 2015 ought henceforth to be a date which will live in infamy, as that was the day that some of the leading Democrats in the House of Representatives came out in favor of the destruction of the First Amendment. Sponsored by among others, Muslim Congressmen Keith Ellison and Andre Carson, as well as Eleanor Holmes Norton, Loretta Sanchez, Charles Rangel, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Kennedy, Al Green, Judy Chu, Debbie Dingell, Niki Tsongas, John Conyers, José Serrano, Hank Johnson, and many others, House Resolution 569condemns “violence, bigotry, and hateful rhetoric towards Muslims in the United States.” The Resolution has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.
Spencer commented bitterly:
The leaders of free societies are eagerly lining up to relinquish [their] freedoms. The glorious diversity of our multicultural future demands it. And that future will be grand indeed, a gorgeous mosaic, as everyone assures us, once those horrible “Islamophobes” are forcibly silenced. Everyone will applaud that. Most won’t even remember, once the jihad agenda becomes clear and undeniable to everyone in the U.S. on a daily basis and no one is able to say a single thing about it, that there used to be some people around who tried to warn them.
The first cause of the greatness of Europe and the West was Critical Examination.
As we have said before, one way or another, many times:
The idea that every belief, every assumption, should be critically examined started the might of Europe. When those old Greek thinkers who founded our civilization learnt and taught that no one has a monopoly of truth or ever will have, they launched the intellectual adventure that has carried the human race – not without a long interval in the doldrums – literally to the skies. Socrates taught the utility of suspicion. He is reputed to have said, “The highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.”
Totally opposed to this intellectual openness were the churches with their dogma. It was the rediscovery of the Greek legacy in the Renaissance in the teeth of Christian dogmatism, and the new freedom from religious persecution exploited by the philosophers of the Enlightenment that re-launched the West on its intellectual progress, to become the world’s nursery of innovation and its chief factory of ideas.
Our civilization cannot survive without this openness. Critical examination is the breath that keeps it alive. But it is in danger of suffocation. It is more threatened now than it has been for the last four hundred years by dogmatisms: Socialism, Environmentalism, “political correctness” – and above all by Islam which absolutely forbids criticism.
Islam is backward because it does not permit criticism. It does not allow any questioning of its beliefs. It punishes doubt and dissent. If we give up criticism at the behest of our enemy, we will be abandoning the mainstay of our might and poisoning our civilization at its root.
If we silence our objections to Islam, we allow Muslims to claim that it is the Truth. Nothing is more important for our survival than freedom of thought. We cannot accept any restriction on our expression of ideas. None. Ever.
The sacredness in which a belief is held by its devotees cannot preserve it from doubt. Reason knows no blasphemy. If Islam appalls us, we must be free to say so in whatever terms we choose. If Muslims take offense, let them try winning us to their beliefs by arguing with us and not by killing us.
Violence is no argument. Murder persuades nobody. It might compel obedience, but never intellectual conviction.
Let us express our offense at being assailed by blunt ignorance, and at being ordered by foolish politicians to hold our tongues. And our implacable outrage at being threatened by Muslims with having our tongues cut out, both figuratively and literally.
Pat Condell talks about the attack by Islam on free speech.
YouTube has been praised for refusing to remove the video, titled “Innocence of Muslims”, which has been blamed for the latest explosion of Islamic rage against America, and even for the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.
Well, now YouTube has removed it.
The reason they give:
This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.
Sorry about that.
But it’s more than likely that they have given in to pressure from the Obama administration.
Were they threatened by Muslims? Or only by the government? If so, with what?
Now we are all under threat.
Goodbye, First Amendment? Goodbye, Freedom?
President Obama will bow to foreign heads of state – the Saudi ‘king’, the Emperor of Japan – but not to public opinion in America.
Michelle Malkin writes:
President Obama traveled all the way to China to praise the free flow of information. It’s the only safe place he could do so without getting heckled. With a straight face, Obama lauded political dissent and told Chinese students he welcomed unfettered criticism in America. Fierce opposition, he said, made him “a better leader because it forces me to hear opinions that I don’t want to hear.”
How do you say “You lie!” in Mandarin?
While the kowtower-in-chief’s press shop feeds paeans to free speech into Obama’s globetrotting teleprompter, the White House is still waging war on vocal foes at home. Obama has lectured his critics in Washington to stop talking and “get out of the way.” He has stacked his carefully staged town halls with partisan stooges and campaign plants throughout the year. …
There are now more muzzled watchdogs in the Obama administration than on the sidelines of the Westminster Kennel Club show. …
In China, O proclaimed himself “a big supporter of non-censorship.” But his FCC “diversity” czar, Mark Lloyd, is bent on re-engineering public airwaves by redistributing free speech rights from conservative haves who earned their success to minority have-nots who demand talk radio entitlements in the name of “media justice.”
And among Obama’s closest advisers is a husband-and-wife duo who specializes in marginalizing and stifling the Democratic Party’s most effective enemies. Just days after White House interim communications director Anita Dunn — the administration’s resident Mao cheerleader and Fox News-basher — stepped down to take a planned role as a “consultant” behind the scenes, her husband, Robert Bauer, stepped up and shoved aside White House counsel Greg Craig.
The problem? Former Clinton lawyer Craig wasn’t tough enough for Chicago-on-the-Potomac. Obama needed an intimate ally who will put hardball politics ahead of policy and the law. Bauer fits the bill.
A partner at the prestigious law firm Perkins & Coie, Bauer served as counsel to the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Obama for America. He has served as Obama’s personal attorney, navigating the corrupted waters of former Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s pay-for-play scandals in Illinois. He also served as legal counsel to the George Soros-funded 527 organization America Coming Together during the 2004 campaign.
That get-out-the-vote outfit, helmed by Patrick Gaspard (the former Service Employees International Union heavy turned Obama domestic policy chief), employed convicted felons as canvassers and committed campaign finance violations that led to a $775,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission under Bauer’s watch.
During the 2008 campaign, Bauer pooh-poohed GOP complaints about voter fraud. While decrying the Republicans’ “fear message,” it was Bauer who was on a fear-inducing crusade — pulling out all legal stops to silence conservative critics of Obama’s ties to the radical left.
As I’ve noted previously, and in light of Obama’s self-serving praise for political dissent abroad, I note again: It was Bauer who lobbied the Justice Department unsuccessfully last fall to pursue a criminal probe of American Issues Project (AIP), an independent group that sought to run an ad spotlighting Obama’s ties to Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.
It was Bauer and his legal goon squad who attempted to sic the DOJ on GOP donor Harold Simmons and sought his prosecution for funding the ad. In a parallel effort launched the same week as Bauer’s legal efforts, a nonprofit called “Accountable America,” spearheaded by a former operative of the Obama-endorsing MoveOn outfit, began trolling campaign finance databases and targeting conservative donors with “warning letters” in a thuggish attempt to depress Republican fundraising.
It was Bauer who tried to bully television stations across the country into pulling the spot. Team Obama then summoned their troops to bombard stations, many of them owned by conservative-leaning Sinclair Communications, with 93,000 e-mails to squelch the commercial.
With Bob “The Silencer” Bauer now working from the inside and Anita “News Commissar” Dunn working from the outside, Obama has a state media police apparatus the Chinese regime itself could love.
From Little Green Footballs: