Archive for the ‘Islamophobia’ category

Britain: The “Islamophobia” Industry Strikes Again

December 20, 2017

Britain: The “Islamophobia” Industry Strikes Again, Gatestone InstituteBruce Bawer, December 20, 2017

The new report is a remarkable document. Among its premises is that “anti-Muslim hate crime” is a major crisis in the U.K. that demands urgent action by politicians, police, educators, employers, civil-society groups, the media, and pretty much everybody else. As for the far more serious matter of crimes committed by Muslims, the report mentions them only within the context of discussions of anti-Muslim hate. In the town of Rotherham alone, for example, in accordance with orthodox Islamic attitudes toward “uncovered” or “immodest” infidel females, over 1400 non-Muslim girls are known to have been sexually abused by so-called Muslim “grooming” gangs in recent years – but the epidemic of “grooming” is cited in the Runnymede report only as one item on a list of practices and phenomena that it identifies as contributing to British “stereotypes” about Muslims. Similarly, here is the Runnymede Trust report’s solitary reference to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie: “In Britain…many Muslims felt unsupported in their reaction to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and faced a backlash from those who they felt prioritized freedom of speech above respect for minorities.” The point here is apparently that Britons who stood up for Rushdie’s right not to be slaughtered for writing a novel were guilty of Islamophobia.

The British government’s program Prevent, the part of its counterterrorism strategy that seeks to inhibit the radicalization of British subjects, also comes in for criticism in Runnymede’s report. Prevent is faulted both for being rooted in the notion (which it finds offensive, true or not) that the chief terrorist threat to the country is posed by “Islamist terrorists” (a term that the report puts in scare quotes) and for “put[ting] the onus on Muslim communities.” The report charges that because the British government, as part of the Prevent program, monitors (for example) imams who preach violence against the West, Prevent represents a violation of free speech. I can find no record of the Runnymede Trust ever criticizing the zealous attempts by British authorities to silence critics of Islam – a practice that has led to the banning from the U.K. of prominent American critics of Islam, even as the government has continued to permit preachers of violent jihad to enter the country

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The Runnymede Trust report’s solitary reference to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie states: “In Britain… many Muslims felt unsupported in their reaction to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and faced a backlash from those who they felt prioritized freedom of speech above respect for minorities.” Apparently, Britons who stood up for Rushdie’s right not to be slaughtered for writing a novel were guilty of Islamophobia.

Much of Runnymede’s report is devoted to the high levels of Muslim poverty and unemployment in the U.K. — but instead of seeking reasons for this problem in Islam itself, it blames this problem primarily on “institutional racism,” while avoiding the ticklish question of why Hindus, whom one would also expect to be victims of “institutional racism” in Britain, are economically more successful than any other group in that nation, including ethnic British Christians.

The Runnymede report points out that domestic violence and child abuse are also committed by Westerners; the difference, needless to say, is that while FGM and honor violence enjoy widespread approval in Muslim societies and communities, where they are viewed as justifiable (if not compulsory) under Islam, domestic violence and child abuse are universally condemned in Western society and are never defended on cultural or religious grounds.

Founded in 1968, the Runnymede Trust describes itself as “the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank.” Its chair is Clive Jones CBE, a former executive at Britain’s ITV; its director is Omar Khan, a Governor of the University of East London and member of a variety of advisory groups involving ethnicity and integration. Runnymede’s reports are taken extremely seriously, and its recommendations heeded, at the highest levels of the British government.

In 1994, Runnymede published a report on anti-Semitism. Its title, A Very Light Sleeper, was borrowed from a statement by the author Conor Cruise O’Brien: “Anti-Semitism is a very light sleeper.” Now, anyone familiar with contemporary Britain knows that the alarming contemporary rise in Jew-hatred in that country – as in all of western Europe – is principally a consequence of the growing population of Muslims. But the Runnymede Trust’s report seemed designed mainly to divert attention away from that fact. Tracing anti-Semitism through Luther, Voltaire, Marx, Henry Ford, and Hitler, the report did a splendid job of implicitly identifying anti-Semitism as a Western phenomenon – a product of what the report presented a distinctively Western tendency to divide the world into “us” and “the Other.”

Of course, no civilization is more virulently anti-Semitic than Islamic civilization. But the Runnymede Trust’s 1994 report presented as gospel the at best exaggerated notion that medieval Islamic societies were tolerant of Jews, who were thus “able to play a full part” in those societies. To the extent that the report acknowledged the reality of today’s Muslim anti-Semitism, it depicted that prejudice (a) as being confined to “extremist” groups, such as Hizb ut-Tahrir, that (it was quick to emphasize) are also hostile to many Muslim countries; (b) as being caused by anger over the fact that Jerusalem, “the third most sacred place for Muslims after Mecca and Medina,” is controlled by Israel; or (c) as being caused by irrational fears of the sort that also exist in Christianity and other religions.

But when it came to Jews and Muslims, the thrust of the report is summed up in its assurance that the Koran also “refers to Jews and Christians as People of the Book” – never mind that the Koran also refers to Jews as “apes and swine,” describes them as cursed, calls on Muslims to kill them, and forbids Muslims from befriending them. Reading Runnymede’s report on anti-Semitism, one gathered the impression that it was compiled mostly so that Runnymede could be able to point to it and say that it had, in fact, issued a report on anti-Semitism.

The reality is that the Runnymede Trust does not appear to be terribly interested in anti-Semitism. For many years, it has seemed to be far more exercised about the purported pervasiveness of anti-Muslim prejudice in the U.K. In 1997, it published a report, Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, which “was launched at the House of Commons by then-Home Secretary Jack Straw.” Of its 60 recommendations, many were ultimately implemented. This year, on the twentieth anniversary of that report, Runnymede issued a new, 106-page report, Islamophobia: Still a Challenge for Us All, edited by Farah Elahi and Omar Khan.

The new report is a remarkable document. Among its premises is that “anti-Muslim hate crime” is a major crisis in the U.K. that demands urgent action by politicians, police, educators, employers, civil-society groups, the media, and pretty much everybody else. As for the far more serious matter of crimes committed by Muslims, the report mentions them only within the context of discussions of anti-Muslim hate. In the town of Rotherham alone, for example, in accordance with orthodox Islamic attitudes toward “uncovered” or “immodest” infidel females, over 1400 non-Muslim girls are known to have been sexually abused by so-called Muslim “grooming” gangs in recent years – but the epidemic of “grooming” is cited in the Runnymede report only as one item on a list of practices and phenomena that it identifies as contributing to British “stereotypes” about Muslims. Similarly, here is the Runnymede Trust report’s solitary reference to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie: “In Britain…many Muslims felt unsupported in their reaction to Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses and faced a backlash from those who they felt prioritized freedom of speech above respect for minorities.” The point here is apparently that Britons who stood up for Rushdie’s right not to be slaughtered for writing a novel were guilty of Islamophobia.

In the town of Rotherham, England, in accordance with orthodox Islamic attitudes toward “uncovered” or “immodest” infidel females, over 1400 non-Muslim girls are known to have been sexually abused by so-called Muslim “grooming” gangs in recent years. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

The report does acknowledge the reality of what it euphemistically calls “the terrorist threat,” but it never seriously addresses this threat and excuses this failure by explaining that “this report is about Islamophobia.” While noting, moreover, claims that some individuals that Islam “should be subject to criticism” because it “is a system of beliefs,” the report maintains that this “focus on ideas (or ‘ideologies’) has obscured what instead should be a focus on people.” The point apparently being that even if you’re criticizing Islam strictly as a set of ideas, that act of criticism is still being directed at people – which, again, makes you an Islamophobe. Several paragraphs of the report are, indeed, devoted to a convoluted “explanation” of why, even though Islam is not a race, Islamophobia is nonetheless a form of racism.

The British government’s program Prevent, the part of its counterterrorism strategy that seeks to inhibit the radicalization of British subjects, also comes in for criticism in Runnymede’s report. Prevent is faulted both for being rooted in the notion (which it finds offensive, true or not) that the chief terrorist threat to the country is posed by “Islamist terrorists” (a term that the report puts in scare quotes) and for “put[ting] the onus on Muslim communities.” The report charges that because the British government, as part of the Prevent program, monitors (for example) imams who preach violence against the West, Prevent represents a violation of free speech. I can find no record of the Runnymede Trust ever criticizing the zealous attempts by British authorities to silence critics of Islam – a practice that has led to the banning from the U.K. of prominent American critics of Islam, even as the government has continued to permit preachers of violent jihad to enter the country.

Much of Runnymede’s report is devoted to the high levels of Muslim poverty and unemployment in the U.K. – but instead of seeking reasons for this problem in Islam itself, it blames this problem primarily on “institutional racism,” while avoiding the ticklish question of why Hindus, whom one would also expect to be victims of “institutional racism” in Britain, are economically more successful than any other group in that nation, including ethnic British Christians.

There is nothing in the Runnymede Trust report about Islamic theology – about jihad, sharia, the caliphate, the systematic subjugation of women, the execution of adulterers and apostates and gays. Audaciously, a chapter on women and Islam reduces the whole question to “Western stereotypes of Muslim women as oppressed, passive victims.” Female genital mutilation (FGM) and honor violence, the report asserts, have been “sensationalized” by the British media. In an effort to downplay the importance of these phenomena, the Runnymede report points out that domestic violence and child abuse are also committed by Westerners; the difference, needless to say, is that while FGM and honor violence enjoy widespread approval in Muslim societies and communities, where they are viewed as justifiable (if not compulsory) under Islam, domestic violence and child abuse are universally condemned in Western society and are never defended on cultural or religious grounds.

As for Islamic patriarchy, the report insists that patriarchy exists in the West as well as in the Islamic world. The report’s repeated endeavors to draw this kind of moral equivalency are so patently absurd – and desperate – that they do not even merit a civilized response. Indeed, the report itself – whose authors are manifestly determined throughout to absolve Islam of any blame for anything whatsoever, and to attribute every ill afflicting the British Muslim community to Islamophobia – would not merit any comment at all if the Runnymede Trust were not taken as seriously as it is in the corridors of British power.

Bruce Bawer is the author of the new novel The Alhambra (Swamp Fox Editions). His book While Europe Slept (2006) was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

White House defends Trump’s retweeting of videos showing Muslim violence

November 29, 2017

White House defends Trump’s retweeting of videos showing Muslim violence, Washington TimesDave Boyer, November 29, 2017

(Does President Trump refuse to understand that Islam is the true religion of peace and tolerance? He needs remedial instruction from Obama, CAIR et al. — DM)

Photo by: Evan Vucci
President Donald Trump yells to reporters as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Washington.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House on Wednesday defended President Trump’s retweets of videos on Twitter portraying Muslims committing acts of violence.

“The threat is real,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “The threat needs to be addressed. The threat has to be talked about, and that’s what the president is doing in bringing that up.”

Mr. Trump shared videos Wednesday from Britain First party leader Jayda Fransen, titled: “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” “Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!”

The president’s move prompted the office of Britain’s prime minister to issue a statement condemning the tweets.

“It is wrong for the president to have done this,” said the office of Prime Minister Theresa May. “Britain First seeks to divide communities by their use of hateful narratives that peddle lies and stoke tensions. They cause anxiety to law-abiding people.”

Arab American Institute Executive Director Maya Berry said Mr. Trump’s retweeting of “inflammatory anti-Muslim bigotry from a white-nationalist group” should be denounced by other Republican leaders.

“As the president’s tweets are official statements of the administration, these xenophobic retweets cannot be ignored,” she said.”It is particularly important for Republican leadership, like Speaker Paul Ryan and [Senate] Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to repudiate and condemn this bigotry.”

Farhana Khera, executive director of Muslim Advocates, predicted that Mr. Trump’s action on social media would spur reprisals against Muslims in the U.S.

“As he attacks our community, we can and will expect others to follow his lead, with sometimes deadly consequences,” she said. “Hate crimes motivated by anti-Muslim bias are at all-time high, and the president’s words and actions further inflame this violence. Mosques have been burned and bombed, children are bullied, homes are vandalized, and people are attacked. Our country deserves better.”

Dawa: Sowing the Seeds of Hate

November 4, 2017

Dawa: Sowing the Seeds of Hate, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, November 4, 2017

“In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.” — Ayaan Hirsi Ali in her book, The Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It.

The ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state in the United States could hardly be much clearer. The pretense of caring for “diversity” and “inclusion” that ICNA displays on its public website cannot be characterized as anything other than an attempt at dissimulation, as is the stated goal of “establishing a place for Islam in America.”

If Western leadership is unable to fathom the danger posed by organizations such as Tablighi Jamaat, iERA and ICNA, and, according to critics, others such as CAIR and ISNA — let alone do something about it, instead of endlessly obsessing over “Islamophobia” — Qaradawi could be proven right.

While the West is preoccupied with fighting “hate speech”, “Islamophobia” and white supremacist groups, it appears more than willing to ignore the cultivation of Muslim hate speech and supremacist attitudes towards non-Muslims.

It is a cultivation that occurs especially in the process of dawa, the Muslim practice of Islamic outreach or proselytizing, the results of which seem to have been on show this week in a downtown New York terror attack. The terrorist, Sayfullo Saipov, originally from Uzbekistan, was apparently only radicalized after he moved to the United States. The mosque he attended in New Jersey had been under surveillance by the NYPD since 2005. A 2016 U.S.-commissioned report said Uzbek nationals were “most likely to radicalize while working as migrants abroad,” according to the U.S. State Department.

On the surface, dawa, or outreach — in person or online — appears to be a benign missionary activity, about converting non-Muslims. Legal in Western societies, it is allowed to proceed undisturbed by the media or government. Dawa generally attracts little attention, except when members of an outreach organization suddenly turn up in the headlines as full-fledged jihadists.

Politicians and the media in the West seem to prefer viewing Islam solely as a religion and not as a political system that, according to critics, seeks to impose its own laws and regulations, sharia, on the world.

According to the Somali-born Muslim dissident and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, however, in her recent bookThe Challenge of Dawa: Political Islam as Ideology and Movement and How to Counter It:

“The term ‘dawa’ refers to activities carried out by Islamists to win adherents and enlist them in a campaign to impose sharia law on all societies. Dawa is not the Islamic equivalent of religious proselytizing, although it is often disguised as such… [It] includes proselytization, but extends beyond that. In Western countries, dawa aims both to convert non-Muslims to political Islam and to bring about more extreme views among existing Muslims. The ultimate goal of dawa is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.”

Somali-born Muslim dissident and author, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, wrote in her recent book that in the West, the ultimate goal of dawa (the Muslim practice of Islamic outreach or proselytizing) “is to destroy the political institutions of a free society and replace them with strict sharia.” (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)

Presumably, the last thing a society would want are groups that cloak political activity in religious practices, protected under the precepts of freedom of religion.

In the Philippines, recently, members of the dawa organization known as Tablighi Jamaat (“Group that Propagates the Faith”) entered the country under the guise of missionary activity — that they were going to participate in the Tablighi Jamaat’s annual gathering there. It turned out, however, that they had come to wage jihad together with Isnilon Hapilon, the late “emir” of Islamic State in Southeast Asia.

The Tablighi Jamaat has been described by the expert on Islam and journalist, Innes Bowen, in her 2014 book, Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Trent, as “a Deobandi missionary movement and one of the largest Islamic groups in the UK… it has quietly grown into one of Britain’s most successful Islamic movements. Vast numbers of British Muslims have spent time in its ranks”[1]. However, the Tablighi Jamaat was largely unknown in the UK, until it emerged that several British Muslims charged with terror offences had all spent time[2] in the organization. Among these terrorists were Richard Reid, the “shoe-bomber,” and three of the four perpetrators of the London 7/7 terrorist attacks. The American enemy combatant, John Walker Lindh, who aided the Taliban, was associated with the Tablighi Jamaat; and the San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook prayed in San Bernardino at the Dar al Uloom al Islamiyyah mosque, described as a “haven for Tablighi Jamaat activists.”

The movement, according another expert on Islam, Yoginder Sikand, in his 1998 study of the Tablighi Jamaat , sought “to promote a sense of paranoia and even disgust of non-Muslim society”[3]. He quoted a prominent British promoter of the Tablighi Jamaat as saying:

“a major aim of tabligh is to rescue the ummah [Muslim community] from the culture and civilization of the Jews, Christians and (other) enemies of Islam to create such hatred for their ways as human beings have for urine… and excreta…”.

The Tablighi Jamaat has been described in the Middle East Quarterly, in an article called “Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad’s Stealthy Legions“, as a wolf in sheep’s clothing:

“Tablighi Jamaat is not a monolith: one subsection believes they should pursue jihad through conscience…while a more radical wing advocates jihad through the sword … in practice, all Tablighis preach a creed that is hardly distinguishable from the radical Wahhabi-Salafi jihadist ideology that so many terrorists share”.

Nevertheless, Tablighi Jamaat remains a legal, active organization, which yields a considerable influence over Muslims in Europe, especially the UK and the United States. Already in 2003, the deputy chief of the FBI’s international terrorism section, Michael J. Heimbach, said, “We have a significant presence of Tablighi Jamaat in the United States and we have found that Al-Qaeda used them for recruiting now and in the past.” One 2011 undercover video segment from the Darul Ulum Islamic High School in Birmingham, England, associated with the Tablighi Jamaat, showed that Muslim children were taught Muslim supremacy. Eleven year olds were taught that Hindus “have no intellect” and “drink cow piss”. The teacher also said, “You are not like the non-Muslims out there… All that evil that you see in the streets… people not wearing Hijab properly, people smoking… you should hate it…” The children were also told:

“You need to free yourself from the influence of the Shaitan [Satan] and of society… The Kuffar [derogatory term for non-Muslims] have brought so many new things out there…They are controlling your minds… Are you part of those who prefer their way of life: The way of the Kuffar over the way of the Prophet?”

Both US and Dutch intelligence once seemed aware of the imminent danger of dawa organizations. In 2004, a Dutch government report identified threats to Dutch society from the practice of dawa and concluded that an “interaction or even interwovenness of Dawa and Jihad demonstrate the relationship between the various forms of radical Islam and the phenomenon of radical-Islamic terrorism.”

The study also distinguished various kinds of dawa, both overt and covert, and the threats emanating from it:

“Dawa may be aimed at trying to convince Muslim communities that non-Muslim communities are hostile towards Islam and wish to oppress or even destroy it. Dawa may also serve to convince Muslim communities that the values and standards of non-Muslims are incompatible with those of Islam and should therefore be considered as depraved. In such a form of Dawa, Muslim communities are often encouraged to emphasise (in a provocative way) the differences with other groups and sometimes also to express their contempt and hatred towards standards and values and the culture of non-Muslims”.

It would appear that Western governments have largely unlearned — at least officially — these insights into dawa as a tool for fostering feelings of Muslim supremacy and hatred of non-Muslims. Instead, they engage in endless, misguided obsessions over “Islamophobia.” Their unlearning should be a cause for concern.

Other dawa organizations also operate in the West. One is the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), led by two converts, Abdur Raheem Green and Hamza Andreas Tzortis, that works globally to spread Islam. Unlike the Tablighi Jamaat, it focuses its missionary efforts on non-Muslims. Its leaders have made racist, supremacist and anti-democratic statements such as, again, calling non-Muslims, “kuffars.” Green has said that, “The purpose of the jizya [protection money, or “tax”, paid by non-Muslims to Muslims] is to make the Jew and the Christian know that they are inferior and subjugated to Islam,” and “If a Jew or Christian is found walking down the street, a Muslim should push them to the side”. He has also said that the “immediate problem” for Muslims in Britain is being surrounded by “kuffar” and that one of the only justifications for Muslims to remain in the UK is to “call the kuffar to Islam.”

Tzortis has said that apostates who “fight against the community[…] should be killed” and that, “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom.” He has also spoken in favor of child marriage. He admits that he used to be a member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a radical Islamic organization, but that he left the organization for “scholastic and philosophical reasons.” In a statement on the iERA website, Tzortis and Green try to distance themselves from some (unspecified) past statements by writing, “some of the anachronous statements attributed to iERA personnel have been either clarified or publicly retracted, and were never made at university campuses.”

The iERA evidently enjoys a large platform on UK campuses. According to a report on extremist events on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/17, iERA was behind 34 out of the total 112 events that took place that year. Unlike the far-right fringe groups recently banned by British Home Secretary Amber Rudd — the mere support of such groups is punishable by up to 10 years in prison — the iERA is free to carry on its dawa activity undisturbed[4] and does so at an incredible pace. According to the organization’s Facebook page, in October 2017 alone iERA or its representatives were active doing dawa in Canada, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and in the United States. The iERA also trained 15 dawa leaders from all over the world — from Iceland and Poland to Honduras and Finland — in a recent online dawa training program.

In the United States, the iERA works with the Muslim American Society (MAS) and Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), according to the iERA website. ICNA, a leading Muslim organization in the US, is actively involved in dawa, and in 2015 ran “Global Dawa day,” which referred to Tzortis’s training course.

According to ICNA’s 2013 Members Handbook (for its female members), the organization considers itself an Islamic movement which is an

“organized and collective effort waged to establish Al-Islam in its complete form in all aspects of life. Its ultimate objective is to achieve the pleasure of our Creator Allah and success in the hereafter through struggle for Iqamat-ad-Deen [the establishment of Islam in its totality]. Islamic movements are active in various parts of the world to achieve the same objectives”.

The ultimate goal of establishing an Islamic state in the United States could hardly be much clearer. The pretense of caring for “diversity” and “inclusion” that ICNA displays on its public website cannot be characterized as anything other than an attempt at dissimulation, as is the stated goal of “establishing a place for Islam in America.” ICNA already has a place for Islam in America — it presumably wants to expand that place until nothing else is left.

The 2013 Members Handbook describes that ICNA’s work proceeds in “stages.” One of the stages is dawa, or “effective outreach.”

“Those who accept the truth of Islam are provided with appropriate Islamic literature and given the opportunity to become a Muslim. They are made part of the Islamic Ummah as brothers and sisters.”

The Members Handbook goes on to describe how already in the 1970s:

“ICNA established its own forums for dawah work at the local, regional, and national level. It established vital institutions at the national level for support of its dawah activities… Recognizing other movement oriented groups in this land, ICNA continues to coordinate and combine its efforts with them”.

In fact, ICNA has a separate project called the “Why Islam Dawah Project,” which

“aims to organize the dawah work in North America in a professional and effective manner. Highlights of the project are Toll-Free number for non-Muslims; Distribution of Islamic literature… Dawah through Media; Dawah in Prisons; Campus Dawah Support; Dawah Flyers Online; Dawah through Email”.

ICNA is considered by experts such as Steven Emerson, Founder and Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood. Its spiritual leader, Yusuf al Qaradawi, has preached that the West will be conquered by Islam — not through the sword, but through dawa.

If Western leaders are unable to fathom the danger posed by organizations such as Tablighi Jamaat, iERA and ICNA, and, according to critics, others such as CAIR and ISNA — let alone do something about it, instead of endlessly obsessing over “Islamophobia” — Qaradawi could be proven right.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Germany: Full Censorship Now Official

October 21, 2017

Germany: Full Censorship Now Official, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, October 21, 2017

Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU.

When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state’s private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?

Perhaps fighting “Islamophobia” is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?

A new German law introducing state censorship on social media platforms came into effect on October 1, 2017. The new law requires social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, to censor their users on behalf of the German state. Social media companies are obliged to delete or block any online “criminal offenses” such as libel, slander, defamation or incitement, within 24 hours of receipt of a user complaint — regardless of whether or the content is accurate or not. Social media companies receive seven days for more complicated cases. If they fail to do so, the German government can fine them up to 50 million euros for failing to comply with the law.

This state censorship makes free speech subject to the arbitrary decisions of corporate entities that are likely to censor more than absolutely necessary, rather than risk a crushing fine. When employees of social media companies are appointed as the state’s private thought police and given the power to shape the form of current political and cultural discourse by deciding who shall be allowed to speak and what to say, and who shall be shut down, free speech becomes nothing more than a fairy tale. Or is that perhaps the point?

Meanwhile, the district court in Munich recently sentenced a German journalist, Michael Stürzenberger, to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a senior Nazi official in Berlin in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph. The court found Stürzenberger guilty of “disseminating the propaganda of anti-constitutional organizations”. While the mutual admiration that once existed between al-Husseini and German Nazis is an undisputed historical fact, now evidently history is being rewritten by German courts. Stürzenberger has appealed the verdict.

A German court recently sentenced journalist Michael Stürzenberger (pictured) to six months in jail for posting on his Facebook page a historical photo of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, shaking the hand of a Nazi official in Berlin, in 1941. The prosecution accused Stürzenberger of “inciting hatred towards Islam” and “denigrating Islam” by publishing the photograph. (Image Source: PI News video screenshot)

Germany has made no secret of its desire to see its new law copied by the rest of the EU, which already has a similar code of conduct for social media giants. The EU Justice Commissioner, Vera Jourova, recently said she might be willing to legislate in the future if the voluntary code of conduct does not produce the desired results. She said, however, that the voluntary code was working “relatively” well, with Facebook removing 66.5% of the material they had been notified was “hateful” between December and May this year. Twitter removed 37.4%, and YouTube took action on 66% of the notifications from users.

While purportedly concerned about online “hate speech,” one EU organization, the EU Parliament, had no qualms about letting its premises be used to host a convicted Arab terrorist, Leila Khaled, from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) at a conference about “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle” in September. (The EU, the US, Canada, and Australia, have all designated the PFLP a terrorist organization). The conference was organized by, among others, the Spanish delegation of Izquierda Unida (United Left) as part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left bloc in the European Parliament.

In the UK, Prime Minister Theresa May also said that she will tell internet firms to tackle extremist content:

“Industry needs to go further and faster in automating the detection and removal of terrorist content online… ultimately it is not just the terrorists themselves who we need to defeat. It is the extremist ideologies that fuel them. It is the ideologies that preach hatred, sow division and undermine our common humanity. We must be far more robust in identifying these ideologies and defeating them — across all parts of our societies.”

Prime Minister May keeps insisting that “these ideologies” are spread “across all parts of our societies” when in reality, virtually all terrorism is Islamic. Meanwhile, her own Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, has refused to ban the political wing of Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s hate speech, apparently, is perfectly acceptable to the British authorities. So is that of South African Muslim cleric and hate preacher Ebrahim Bham, who was once an interpreter to the Taliban’s head legal advisor. He was allowed to enter the UK to speak in the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, a government building, at the “Palestine Expo” a large Jew-hate event in London in July. Bham is known for quoting Nazi Propaganda Minister Goebbels and saying that all Jews and Christians are “agents of Satan“. Meanwhile, a scholar such as Robert Spencer is banned from entering the UK, supposedly on the grounds that what he reports — accurately — is “Islamophobic”.

The British Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) also recently stated that online “hate crimes” will be prosecuted “with the same robust and proactive approach used with offline offending”. The decision to treat online offenses in the same way as offline offenses is expected to increase hate crime prosecutions, already at the highest recorded level ever. Prosecutors completed 15,442 hate crime cases in 2015-16.

Jews in Britain, who have experienced a dramatic increase in anti-Semitism over the past three years, are frequently on the receiving end of hate crimes. Nevertheless, their cases constitute less than a fraction of the statistics. In 2016/17, the CPS prosecuted 14,480 hate crimes. According to the Campaign Against Antisemitism:

“we have yet to see a single year in which more than a couple of dozen anti-Semitic hate crimes were prosecuted. So far in 2017, we are aware of… 21 prosecutions, in 2016 there were 20, and in 2015 there were just 12. So serious are the failures by the CPS to take action that we have had to privately prosecute alleged anti-Semites ourselves and challenge the CPS through judicial review, the first of which we won in March. Last year only 1.9% of hate crime against Jews was prosecuted, signaling to police forces that their effort in investigating hate crimes against Jews might be wasted, and sending the strong message to anti-Semites that they need not fear the law… Each year since 2014 has been a record-breaking year for anti-Semitic crime: between 2014 and 2016, anti-Semitic crime surged by 45%”.

Almost one in three British Jews have apparently considered leaving Britain due to anti-Semitism in the past two years.

British authorities seem far more concerned with “Islamophobia” than with the increase in hate crimes against Jews. In fact, the police has teamed up with Transport for London authorities to encourage people to report hate crimes during “National Hate Crime Awareness Week”, which runs from October 14-21. Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police will hold more than 200 community events to “reassure communities that London’s public transport system is safe for everyone”. The events are specifically targeted at Muslims; officers have visited the East London Mosque to encourage reporting hate crimes.

Last year, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac) announced it was spending £1,730,726 of taxpayer money policing speech online after applying for a grant from the Home Office. Meanwhile, Khan said that he does not have the funds to monitor the 200 jihadists estimated to be in London, out of the 400 jihadists who have so far returned to the capital from Syria and Iraq. (He also implicitly admitted that he does not know the whereabouts of the jihadists who have returned). When asked by the journalist Piers Morgan why the mayor could not have them monitored, Khan answered:

“Because the Met Police budget, roughly speaking, 15 percent, 20 percent is funded by me, the mayor. The rest comes from central government. If the Met Police is being shrunk and reduced, they’ve got to prioritize and use their resources in a sensible, savvy way.”

When Morgan asked what could possibly be a bigger priority than, “people coming back from a Syrian battlefield with intent to harm British citizens”, Khan did not answer. Perhaps because it is hard to admit in public that fighting “Islamophobia” is now a higher priority than fighting terrorism?

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech

October 12, 2017

UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, October 12, 2017

(Please see also, Britain Moves To Criminalize Reading Extremist Material On The Internet. — DM)

The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their Dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered “conducive to the public good.”

At around the same time as the two neo-Nazi groups were banned at the end of September 2017, Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to ban Hezbollah’s political wing in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings. In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade.

Apparently, 112 events featuring extremist speakers took place on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/2017, according to a recent report by Britain’s Henry Jackson society: “The vast majority of the extreme speakers recorded in this report are Islamist extremists, though one speaker has a background in Far-Right politics….” That one speaker was Tommy Robinson both of whose events were cancelled, one due to hundreds of students planning to demonstrate to protest his appearance. The report does not mention student protests at any of the Islamist events.

The topics of the Islamist speakers included:

“Dawah Training… to teach students the fundamentals of preaching to others… Western foreign policy towards the Islamic world in general… Grievances…perceived attacks on Muslims and Islam in the UK… [calling for] scrapping of Prevent and other government counter-extremism measures [critiquing] arrest and detention of terrorism suspects… [challenging] ideas such as atheism and skepticism… religious socio-economic governance, focusing on the role of religion in fields such as legislation, justice… finance… religious rulings or interpretations, religious verses or other texts, important historical or scriptural figures…”

London was the region with the highest number of events, followed by the South East, according to the report. The most prolific speakers were affiliated to the Muslim Debate Initiative, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), the Hittin Institute, Sabeel, and CAGE. Most speakers were invited by Islamic student societies, and a high proportion of the talks took place during campus events such as “Discover Islam Week”, “Islam Awareness Week” and “Islamophobia Awareness Month”.

One of the most prolific speakers, Hamza Tzortis, is a senior member of iERA. He has said that apostates who “fight against the community[…] should be killed” and that, “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”.

That so many extremist speaker events continue to take place at British universities should be cause for alarm. In March 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) imposed a dutyon universities, among other public bodies, to pay “due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism”, yet at 112 events last year, the number of extremist Islamist events on campuses have not dropped significantly. In comparison, there were 132 events in 2012, 145 events in 2013 and 123 events in 2014.

Evidence shows that the danger of becoming an actual Islamic terrorist while studying at British university campuses is also extremely real. According to one report, also by the Henry Jackson society:

“Since 1999, there have been a number of acts of Islamism-inspired terrorism… committed by students studying at a UK university at the time of their offence…there have also been a significant number of graduates from UK universities convicted of involvement in terrorism, and whom… were at least partially radicalised during their studies”.

The most well known case is probably that of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who in 2002 was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl. He is believed to have been radicalized while studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the early 1990s.

While removing extremist speakers from campuses might possibly reduce the risk of radicalization, extremist speakers are readily available to talk to Muslim youths outside of campuses. The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

What, then, have been recent responses by the British government to the issues of Islamic radicalization and terrorism?

One response has been a proposal to tighten existing law on viewing ‘terrorist content’ online. People who repeatedly view terrorist content online could now face up to 15 years jail, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced. The law will also apply to terrorists who publish information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism. Tightening the law around viewing terrorist material is part of the counter-terrorism strategy the government is reviewing after the increased frequency of terrorist attacks in Britain this year.

Britain’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that people who repeatedly view “terrorist content” online could now face up to 15 years jail. (Image source: UK Government/Flickr)

Amber Rudd has included ‘far-right propaganda’ in the new law, saying:

“I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law.”

What is ‘far right propaganda?’ Based on previous British policies, ‘far right propaganda’ would likely include reading Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch or Pamela Geller’s ‘Geller Report’. While local hate preachers from legal Muslim organizations freely roam UK campuses, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were both forbidden entry to the UK in 2013 by the British Home Secretary, because their presence would “not be conducive to the public good”. This is what Geller was told:

“After careful consideration…you should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here is not conducive to the public good…You have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviours by making statements that may foster hatred, which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK…You co-founded Stop Islamization of America, an organization described as an anti-Muslim hate group… You are reported to have stated the following: ‘Al-Qaeda is a manifestation of devout Islam … it is Islam’ [and] ‘If the Jew dies, the Muslims will die as well: their survival depends on their constant jihad, because without it they will lose the meaning and purpose of their existence.’ The Home Secretary considers that should you be allowed to enter the UK you would continue to espouse such views…”.

The letter to Robert Spencer was in almost identical form:

“The Home Secretary notes that you are the founder of the blog Jihad Watch (a site widely criticized for being Islamophobic). You co-founded the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups. You are reported to have stated the following: “… it [Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers… for establishing a societal model that is …incompatible with Western society…”

The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered “conducive to the public good.”

It is also conceivable that reading quotes from Winston Churchill’s book about Islam online would be seen as ‘far right’ and therefore punishable by up to 15 years in jail. In 2014, Paul Weston, chairman of the Liberty GB party, was arrested on suspicion of religious/racial harassment for quoting an excerpt on Islam from Churchill’s book, ‘The River War’ — written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in Sudan — in a public speech.

Another recent government response to terrorism has been to outlaw two far-right groups: Scottish Dawn and NS131, which are aliases for the group National Action, a fringe neo-Nazi group, banned in 2016. Being a member of these groups or merely supporting them is now a criminal offense that carries a sentence of up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Amber Rudd said in September:

“National Action is a vile racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group which glorifies violence and stirs up hatred… Our priority as Government will always be to maintain the safety and security of families and communities… we will continue to identify and ban any terrorist group which threatens this, whatever their ideology”.

Apparently, however, to paraphrase George Orwell, some terrorist groups “are more equal than others.” Amber Rudd recently refused to ban the political wing of Hezbollah, an equally racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group that has actually committed terror attacks all over the world, as opposed to the banned neo-Nazi groups. Banning Hezbollah’s political wing would have closed a legal loophole that allows demonstrations in support of the political wing of Hezbollah, while its military wing is banned in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its ‘political’ and ‘military’ wings.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had written to Amber Rudd asking her to close the legal loophole after Jewish groups pleaded with him to stop a large Al Quds day march, which nevertheless took place in London in June 2017 and featured Hezbollah flags. While the British government decided that supporters of fringe neo-Nazi groups should be jailed for up to 10 years, it apparently thought that supporting Hezbollah is just fine. In response to Khan, Amber Rudd wrote :

“The group that reportedly organised the parade, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, is not a proscribed terrorist organisation. This means they can express their views and demonstrate, provided that they do so within the law. The flag for the organisation’s military wing is the same as the flag for its political wing. Therefore, for it to be an offence under Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000, for an individual to display the Hizballah flag, the context and manner in which the flag is displayed must demonstrate that it is specifically in support of the proscribed elements of the group”,

In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade. Evidently, free speech in the UK has become extremely selective.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Pentagon severs all ties with SPLC, after using group’s training materials on “extremism”

October 3, 2017

Pentagon severs all ties with SPLC, after using group’s training materials on “extremism”, Jihad Watch

This is most welcome and long overdue. The SPLC’s training materials on “extremism” wouldn’t point the Defense Department toward jihad terrorists and Sharia supremacists, but toward foes of jihad terror and others that the SPLC classifies as “extremists” along with the likes of the KKK and neo-Nazis. This hard-Left moneymaking and incitement machine’s latest dossier on “Islamophobes” says: “Before you book a spokesperson from an anti-Muslim extremist group or quote them in a story, research their background — detailed in this in-depth guide to 15 of the most visible anti-Muslim activists — and consider the consequences of giving them a platform.”

The SPLC wishes to silence those who speak honestly about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, blaming us for a supposed rise in “Islamophobia.” If they really want to stamp out suspicion of Islam, of course, they will move against not us, but the likes of Omar Mateen, Syed Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Nidal Malik Hasan, Mohammed Abdulazeez, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and the myriad other Muslims who commit violence in the name of Islam and justify it by reference to Islamic teachings.

The SPLC doesn’t do that because its objective is not really to stop “Islamophobia” at all, but to create the illusion of a powerful and moneyed network of “Islamophobes” whom can only be stopped if you write a check to the SPLC. That’s what this is really all about. It’s scandalous that the Pentagon ever took this seriously, and good that it has stopped.

“EXCLUSIVE: DOD Drops SPLC From Extremism Training Materials,” by Jonah Bennett, Daily Caller, October 2, 2017:

The Pentagon has officially severed all ties to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) after previously relying on the group’s training materials on extremism.

Brian J. Field, assistant U.S. attorney from the Civil Division, stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), in an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation from the Department of Justice.

The DEOMI is a DOD school founded to fight segregation and inequality that teaches courses in racial, gender and religious equality, among other subject areas like equal opportunity and pluralism. The courses are available to DOD civilians and service members.

As part of a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Immigration Reform Law Institute, Field wrote in the email sent in late September:

Additionally, the DEOMI office informed me that, based on a previous FOIA request, DEOMI records concerning, regarding, or related to the preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes were forwarded … That 133-page document did reference the SPLC; however, based upon guidance from the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, all references to the SPLC have been removed from any current training.

Interestingly, DEOMI still makes use of materials on “Hate Symbols” from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a group similar to the SPLC. Students at DEOMI use the Hate Symbols reference on the ADL site to “learn more about gang colors or clothing; hate group tattoos and body markings associated with such gangs.”

As a matter of policy, the DOD does not have an official list of hate groups….

In February, The Daily Caller News Foundation published an exclusive piece indicating that the FBI, which formerly used the SPLC as a “hate crimes resource,” has also been distancing itself from the group….

Was Las Vegas a Jihad Attack?

October 3, 2017

Was Las Vegas a Jihad Attack? FrontPage MagazineRobert Spencer, October 3, 2017

(Please see also, Active Shooters at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas possibly at Harvest Festival. — DM)

 “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”

In light of all this, it looks as if the Las Vegas massacre was likely a jihad attack. But since that doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, or the agenda of all too many in law enforcement, don’t expect it to be announced forthrightly by any authorities anytime soon, if ever

************************

Memphis imam Yasir Qadhi said that the Las Vegas massacre was a manifestation of “white privilege.” Texas imam Omar Suleiman tweeted ridicule of ISIS’ claim of responsibility for the attack: “Breaking: ISIS claims responsibility for hurricane Harvey saying he became Muslim days before hitting Houston.”

They didn’t ridicule the ISIS claim, but unnamed U.S. officials did decisively dismiss it: Reuters reported that “two senior US officials said on Monday that there was no evidence that the shooter who killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas was tied to any international militant group….One of the two US officials discounted Islamic State’s claim of responsibility and said there was reason to believe that the shooter, whom police identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, had a history of psychological problems.”

The only one insisting that the Islamic State was responsible was the Islamic State itself. Its Amaq news agency initially announced: “The Las Vegas attack was carried out by a soldier of the Islamic State and he carried it out in response to calls to target states of the coalition. The Las Vegas attacker converted to Islam a few months ago.”

Then, after its initial claim was dismissed everywhere, the Islamic State doubled down, issuing an official communiqué identifying Paddock as “Abu Abd Abdulbar al-Ameriki.” Even after their claim was dismissed everywhere, they didn’t back away from it. They don’t seem to be afraid that Stephen Paddock will turn out to be a white supremacist neo-Nazi or some such. They don’t seem to be worried about being exposed as grandiose liars.

And historically, they haven’t been liars, at least when they claimed responsibility for jihad attacks. Islamic State expert Graeme Wood notes in The Atlantic that “the idea that the Islamic State simply scans the news in search of mass killings, then sends out press releases in hope of stealing glory, is false,” and that those who claim that ISIS is in the habit of taking credit for attacks it had nothing to do with “do not have a preponderance of prior examples on their side.” Contradicting Suleiman’s ridicule, Wood notes: “The Islamic State does not claim natural disasters. Its supporters rejoice in them, but they reserve their official media for intentional acts.”

This doesn’t mean that Wood accepts everything ISIS says at face value. He reports one false ISIS claim: “In June, a gambling addict shot up and torched the Resorts World casino in Manila, Philippines. The Islamic State claimed credit, with a dubious follow-up alleging that Jessie Javier Carlos, 42, converted to Islam some months before, without telling anyone. That explanation appears to be a total lie.”

Others, however, disagree. Sidney Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said: “It’s very likely that the Resorts World was a terrorist operation.” Veryan Khan, editorial director and founder of Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC), added that the attack was not just a terror attack, but specifically an ISIS one, “at the very minimum sanctioned – if not directed – by the Islamic State.”

What’s more, Jones added: “It isn’t true that ISIS has a history of claiming others’ attacks as their own.” And Rohan Gunaratna, author of Inside al-Qaeda and head of the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, likewise vouched for the general veracity of ISIS’ claims of responsibility: “The propaganda organs of ISIS such as Amaq exaggerate but do not falsely take credit for attacks mounted by other entities.”

While social media is abuzz with charges that only racist, bigoted “Islamophobes” are taking the Islamic State’s claim seriously, it should be noted that neither Jones nor Gunaratna have ever been accused of “Islamophobia,” and that both stated that the Islamic State was generally trustworthy in its claims of responsibility not in response to the Las Vegas attack, but back in July.

In light of all this, it looks as if the Las Vegas massacre was likely a jihad attack. But since that doesn’t fit the establishment media narrative, or the agenda of all too many in law enforcement, don’t expect it to be announced forthrightly by any authorities anytime soon, if ever.