Archive for the ‘Thought police’ category

Sweden’s New Government Censorship

November 29, 2017

Sweden’s New Government Censorship, Gatestone Institute Judith Bergman, November 29, 2017

(Please see also, Sweden: Nobody helped woman raped by 20 Muslim migrants — neighbors have “learned not to see or hear too much.” — DM)

In the report, placing the word “refugees” in quotation marks, as well as “unaccompanied children,” is supposedly an expression of “hate”. (Many, if not most, migrants classified as “unaccompanied children” have turned out to be grown men).

Government agencies are going out of their way to protect the “integrity” of possible jihadists out of concern for a “democratic society” — the society that these jihadists want to subvert and destroy — and are using their government platform to smear non-mainstream media for matters as small as the use of quotation marks. What about the “integrity” of Swedish citizens and their right to not be blown up?

Why is a municipality sponsoring an organization that supports terrorists and even awarding it prizes? It appears that glorifying terrorism is acceptable in Sweden, so long as its victims are the Israeli children. Far from countering “hate”, Sweden appears to be doing all it can to strengthen Muslim extremism.

The Swedish government is now officially questioning free speech. A government agency has declared so-called Swedish “new media” — news outlets that refuse to subscribe to the politically correct orthodoxies of the mainstream media — a possible threat to democracy. In a government report, tellingly called “The White Hatred” written by Totalförsvarets forskningsinstitut (Total Defense Research Institute), a government agency under the Swedish Ministry of Defense, Swedish new media such as Samhällsnytt (formerly known as Avpixlat), Nyheter Idag and Nya Tider are lumped together with neo-Nazi media such as Nordfront.

“Hate” is defined broadly to include violent extremism, “hateful expressions”, jokes, internet trolling and even the use of certain quotation marks. For instance, in the report, placing the word “refugees” in quotation marks, as well as “unaccompanied children,” is supposedly an expression of “hate”. (Many, if not most, migrants classified as “unaccompanied children” have turned out to be grown men).

“One might find,” according to the report’s conclusion, “that pluralism of information sources… is a positive addition in a democratic society where freedom of speech is an important foundation”, but “the new media… stretch the limits of free speech,” which “threatens other democratic values”. The report further alleges that society risks becoming tolerant of the intolerant. That is rather rich coming from the authorities of a European country that has accepted Islamic intolerance to an astounding degree. There is even a proposal from a government minister to reintegrate returning ISIS fighters, who might still wish to destroy the tolerant society that houses them.

The report is part of a series commissioned by the Swedish government to conduct quantitative mapping and analyses of violent extremist propaganda spread in Sweden by the internet and social media. The survey is supposed to include violent extremist environments in Sweden: right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism and Islamic extremism.

A previous report, “The Digital Caliphate,” supposedly looks at Islamic extremism, but is rendered useless in a Swedish context by explicitly refusing to engage with concrete ISIS propaganda in Sweden for “ethical” reasons:

“It is not in itself illegal to sympathize with violent ideologies. Our work is not about mapping the views of private people, as that would be incompatible with an open democratic society. Our analyses have therefore been limited to protect the integrity of private persons. No data has been collected from pages protected by passwords, closed Facebook pages or other types of Facebook pages or social media where the user has sought to keep the material within a closed group. All the material comes from open sources… this means that the material analyzed is limited as a large part of ISIS propaganda happens in closed channels…”

Government agencies in charge of national security, in other words, are going out of their way to protect the “integrity” of possible jihadists out of concerns for a “democratic society” — the society that these jihadists want to subvert and destroy. Meanwhile, these agencies are using their government platform to smear non-mainstream media for matters as small as the use of quotation marks. What about the “integrity” of Swedish citizens and their right to not be blown up? Furthermore, this desire to protect the privacy of potential jihadists means that the most vital part of the work — mapping the extent of Islamist violent propaganda in Sweden — is still left undone.

Sweden’s government agencies in charge of national security are going out of their way to protect the “integrity” of jihadists — people like Mikael Skråmo, a Swedish convert to Islam and jihadist who went to fight for ISIS in Syria, and urged Muslims in Sweden to bomb their workplaces.

At the same time, the Swedish establishment has its own private vigilante mob acting as the thought police. A 76,000-member closed Facebook group, called “Jagärhär” (“I am here”), is a private initiative founded by journalist Mina Dennert to attack opinions on social media with which its members disagree. “She noticed that there were people around us who had been frightened into believing all these images painted by ‘alternative media’ of people of foreign backgrounds as violent criminals… ” explains Dennert’s husband, one of the group’s administrators, who works for Swedish state television. The network has already won four prizes for its “work” in Sweden, including a prize from the Swedish group “Equalisters” (‘Rättviseförmedlingen’), which awarded the network their annual prize, naming it the group that had done the most for equality in 2016. Dennert was also awarded the Anna Lindh Prize.

The methods of “Jagärhär” vary. One tactic is to send mass complaints against a Facebook profile, causing it to be removed by the social media giant. This verdict by mob rule is what happened to the Swedish-Czech author Katerina Janouch, whose profile was shut down several times by Facebook — the apparent result of publishing, among other things, a satirical guide to political correctness. The network, which is one year old, is believed to be closely associated with Sweden’s national public television and the Social Democratic party.

Mina Dennert, also with close connections to the Swedish government, had her network apply for half a million Swedish kroner (nearly $60,000) government grant to support its work, which involved shutting down dissent on social media. Her network, however, recently withdrew its application after its dubious “work” had been revealed by none other than the new media in Sweden. The Jagärhär network has apparently inspired similar projects in other countries, such as #IchBinHier in Germany.

Meanwhile, Islamic extremists in Sweden continue their work. In Malmö, Group 194 — a Swedish-Muslim group that glorifies terrorism and actively sympathizes with the Arab terrorist group Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine(DFLP) — participated in one of the DFLP’s activities in Malmö in 2016. At the meeting, in which Swedish socialists apparently also participated, the participants reportedly celebrated the Ma’alot massacre, an Arab terrorist attack on an Israeli school in 1974 in which 115 hostages (including 105 children) were taken and 25 were murdered. The group, it seems, also routinely carries posters of Arab terrorists when it marches in the streets of Malmö on International Workers’ Day. Group 194’s entire work is focused on virulent anti-Israeli activism, as evidenced by its Facebook page. Sweden clearly has no problem with allowing hate speech from DFLP terrorists in Malmö.

This Swedish-Muslim group, bizarrely, is part of an initiative to make Malmö safe (Trygg Malmö or “Safe Malmö”). As part of this work, it is responsible for patrolling Rosengård — one of the most problematic no-go zones in Malmö — at night. The group was awarded SEK 10,000 (about $1,000) recently by the Malmö municipality — together with the other groups in Trygg Malmö — for its work in Rosengård. Why is a municipality sponsoring an organization that supports terrorists and even awarding it prizes? It appears that glorifying terrorism is acceptable in Sweden, so long as its victims are the Israeli children.

Originally, a Swedish administrative court, in a recent decision, ruled that there was no basis for denying the Muslim organization Young Muslims of Sweden (SUM) its state subsidy. Young Muslims of Sweden, which is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, had been denied state subsidies by the Swedish Ministry of Youth and Civil Affairs, as Young Muslims of Sweden and its member organizations “have been identified as an environment” where some individuals do not respect the ideas of democracy. The Swedish court did not think that there was sufficient evidence for taking away the state subsidy, so Young Muslims of Sweden may soon find its activities funded by taxpayers once more.

Far from countering “hate”, Sweden appears to be doing all it can to strengthen Muslim extremism.

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

The Dutch Death Spiral

December 11, 2016

The Dutch Death Spiral, Gatestone Institute, Giulio Meotti, December 11, 2016

“It would have been better if the Dutch state had sent a clear signal [to terrorists] via a Dutch court that we foster a broad notion of the freedom of expression in the Netherlands.” — Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence, Leiden University.

The historic dimension of Wilders’s conviction is related not only to the terrible injustice done to this MP, but that it was the Netherlands that, for the first time in Europe, criminalized dissenting opinions about Islam.

“I will never be silent. You will not be able to stop me… And that is what we stand for. For freedom and for our beautiful Netherlands.” — Geert Wilders, Dutch MP and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

“We have a lot of guests who are trying to take over the house.” — Pym Fortuyn, later shot to death to “defend Dutch Muslims from persecution.”

Before being slaughtered, clinging to a basket, Theo van Gogh begged his assassin: “Can we talk about this?” But can we talk?

A country whose most outspoken filmmaker was slaughtered by an Islamist; whose bravest refugee, hunted by a fatwa, fled to the U.S.; whose cartoonists must live under protection, had better should think twice before condemning a Member of Parliament, whose comments about Islam have forced him to live under 24-hour protection for more than a decade, for “hate speech.” Poor Erasmus! The Netherlands is no longer a safe haven for free thinkers. It is the Nightmare for Free Speech.

The most prominent politician in the Netherlands, MP Geert Wilders, has just been convicted of “hate speech,” for asking at a really if there should be fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. Many newly-arrived Moroccans in the Netherlands seem to have been responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime there.

Paul Cliteur, Professor of Jurisprudence at Leiden University, who was called as an expert witness, summed up the message coming from the court: “It would have been better if the Dutch state had sent a clear signal [to terrorists] via a Dutch court that we foster a broad notion of the freedom of expression in the Netherlands.”

Here are just a few details to help understand what Wilders experiences every day because of his ideas: No visitors are allowed into his office except after a long wait to be checked. The Dutch airline KLM refused to board him on a flight to Moscow for reasons of “security.” His entourage is largely anonymous. When a warning level rises, he does not know where he will spend the night. For months, he was able to see his wife only twice a week, in a secure apartment, and then only when the police allowed it. The Parliament had to place him in the less visible part of the building, in order better to protect him. He often wears a bulletproof vest to speak in public. When he goes to a restaurant, his security detail must first check the place out.

Wilders’s life is a nightmare. “I am in jail,” he has said; “they are walking around free.”

The historic dimension of Wilders’s conviction is related not only to the terrible injustice done to this MP, but that it was the Netherlands that, for the first time in Europe, criminalized dissenting opinions about Islam.

The Netherlands is a very small country; whatever happens to this enclave is seen in the rest of Europe. The Netherlands refused to surrender to the Spanish invasion. It was from Rotterdam, the second-largest Dutch city, that the Founding Fathers left to create the United States of America. It was to the Netherlands that some of the most brave, original European philosophers and writers — Descartes, Rousseau, Locke, Sade, Molière, Hugo, Swift and Spinoza — had to flee to publish their books. It is also the only corner of Europe where there were no pogroms against Jews, and where Rembrandt painted Jesus with the physical traits of Jews.

Take Leiden: “Praesidium Libertatis” (“Bastion of Freedom”) is the motto of the Netherlands’ most ancient university. Leiden was the university of Johan Huizinga, the great historian who opposed the Nazis and died in a concentration camp. Leiden was also the university of Anton Pannekoek, the mentor of Martinus Van der Lubbe, the Dutch hero who torched the Nazi Parliament in 1933.

In Leiden today, you meet brave intellectuals such as Afshin Ellian, an Iranian jurist who fled Khomeini’s Revolution in Iran and who also now lives under police protection for his observations on Islam. Ellian’s office is close to the former office of Rudolph Cleveringa. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands and called on Dutch public officials to fill out a form in which they had to declare whether they were “Aryans” or “Jews”, everyone but Cleveringa capitulated. He understood the consequences of such commands.

Twelve years ago, the Netherlands was again plunged into fear for the first time since World War II. In Linnaeusstraat, a district of Amsterdam, Mohammed Bouyeri, a Muslim extremist, ambushed the filmmaker Theo van Gogh and slaughtered him, then pinned on his chest a letter threatening the lives of Geert Wilders and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Before that murder, Pim Fortuyn, a professor who had formed his own party to save the country from Islamization, was shot to death to “defend Dutch Muslims from persecution.”

2117Twelve years ago, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (left) was assassinated by an Islamist who pinned on van Gogh’s chest a letter threatening the life of Geert Wilders (right). Today Wilders, the most prominent politician in the Netherlands, lives in hiding under round-the-clock protection.

Fortuyn had said, “We have a lot of guests who are trying to take over the house.”

Since then, many Dutch artists have capitulated to fear.

Sooreh Hera, from Iran, submitted her photos to the Gemeentemuseum Museum in The Hague. One of these works depicted Mohammed and Ali. After many threats, the museum proposed that it would acquire the photos without publishing them and that one day, perhaps, when the situation was calmer, they might show them then. Hera refused: it would have been self-censorship, a sad day for the West. Rants Tjan, director of Museum Gouda, bravely offered to exhibit her censored images, but that event was later cancelled, too. Hera was forced to go into hiding.

Paul Cliteur, a critic of multiculturalism, announced that he would no longer write for Dutch newspapers about Islam, for fear of reprisals: “With the murder of van Gogh, everyone who writes takes a certain risk. That is a scary development. What I am doing do is self-censorship, absolutely….”

Then a columnist, Hasna el Maroudi, from the newspaper NRC Handelsblad, stopped writing, after receiving threats.

The Dutch artist Rachid Ben Ali, irreverent about Islam, no longer satirizes Muslims.

Amsterdam, a city famous for its exuberant cultural life, had already lived through threats to artists: the occupation by the Nazis during World War II.

Several artists still refuse to mention Theo Van Gogh, so as not to “contribute to… divisions”, according to the New York Times. Translation: They are afraid. Who would not be?

In the Oosterpark, a steel sculpture by the artist Jeroen Henneman, dedicated to Van Gogh, is entitled “De Schreeuw” (“The Scream”). But it is a scream you hardly hear in the Dutch society.

What you do hear is the defiant protest after the conviction of a brave MP, Geert Wilders: “I will never be silent. You will not be able to stop me… And that is what we stand for. For freedom and for our beautiful Netherlands.”

Before being slaughtered, clinging to a basket, Theo van Gogh begged his assassin: “Can we talk about this?

But can we talk?

Ask Geert Wilders, just the latest brave victim of Europe’s Bolshevik thought police.

The Self-Contradictory Liberals

April 23, 2016

The Self-Contradictory Liberals, Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, April 23, 2016

♦ Many liberals — not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, white people and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, often in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, tolerance, diversity, and multiculturalism.

♦ These liberals repeatedly contradict their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

♦ It would appear that, whatever Israelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish.

♦ Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought and even gave their lives.

♦ Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is no secret that politicians on both the “right” and “left” lie, dissemble, equivocate, misrepresent, misinform, falsify, whitewash and cover up. Not even the noble and honest Cicero was immune to fudging and shifting sides. It is the nature of politics. For much of the time we put up with it until it grows so far-fetched, we can no longer shut our eyes and let ourselves be lulled into further acquiescence. We all put up with this, do our best to spot the lies, or rely on investigative journalists to dig beneath the surface of what governments claim or their opponents hide.

But something strange has been happening to people calling themselves liberals. (Note: The term “liberal” differs enormously between the U.S. and the UK. Americans use it to describe anyone from the Democratic Party through to those even farther to the left. But the British use it for people from the political centre towards the right, and it has no connotations of far left extremism. It is used here in the American sense.) The far left — the Marxists, Trotskyites etc. — the campus extremists, even the new leadership of Britain’s Labour Party have started to contradicting their own ideals, not least when it comes to free speech, Israel, the Middle East, Islam, and the rights of Muslim women.

All sides of the political spectrum share many ideals in their original form: advocacy of human rights, equal justice under the law; the rights of racial and religious minorities, homosexuals, workers, women. They also share an opposition to racism, anti-Semitism, fascism, and religious fundamentalism. These are ideals in any democratic nation — views demonstrated by modern legislation across a host of democratic parliaments.

But many liberals appear to distort all this. They take extreme positions, guided by three linked but often confused issues: political correctness, cultural relativism and moral relativism. There seems to be a deep-seated belief, not only that all cultures possess and practice different values (the original premise of neutral cultural relativism in anthropology); or that, God forbid!, Western values are better than non-Western ones. Many liberals appear, instead, to think, that non-Western values are better or certainly no worse, than Western ones.

The idea that Western states, heirs to imperialism and still practitioners of indirect colonialism, have imposed their values on the rest of the world, makes the values of the “victim” — the “oppressed” and the “occupied” — superior to those of the West. But it is precisely Western values and laws that have been responsible for the very concept of human rights, for efforts to free former colonies, to bring aid to Third World countries, to grant rights to minorities, to introduce high-quality education, to advocate for women’s rights, and more.

No other former imperialists, not least those of the many Muslim empires throughout history, have acted in this way towards the subjects of their former colonies. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed liberals have responded to this commitment to human rights by charging the West with some form of original sin requiring Europeans and Americans to carry a heavy weight of guilt (as documented so well by the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner in books such as The Tyranny of Guilt).

One of the greatest examples of the excessive focus on the West is universal condemnation of the transatlantic slave trade, supposedly divorced from the Muslim/Arab slave trades, which continues without protest from these liberals in some places to this day. This, even though the Islamic trade was larger and longer-lasting than the Western one. Mauritania today holds anti-slavery protestors in prison, despite slavery there having been outlawed since 1981.

It is not hard to see why so many liberals– not least the large numbers of students involved in campus demonizations of Israel, Jews, whites and other supposed public enemies — are morally and politically confused, not to say profoundly selective and bigoted, in direct contradiction to their own expressed principles of peace, toleration, diversity, and multiculturalism.

If this sounds a little abstract, here are some examples to show this confusion at its worst.

As a telling example of hypocritical behaviour, for many years now, a range of LGBT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders) organizations have campaigned against the state of Israel. They have marched, carrying rainbow banners, alongside far-left extremists and far-right Muslims, shouting abuse against Israel and calling for an end to the “occupation” of the West Bank.

The annual National Conference on LGBT Equality, Creating Change, is an event held by the US National LGBTQ Task Force, based in Washington D.C., one of the most important bodies in the struggle for gay rights. The 2016 Creating Change conference was held in the Hilton Chicago between 20 and 24 of January.

Writing about this event, leading human rights and pro-LGBT activist and lawyer Melanie Nathan declared that, “This week will go down in history as one of the saddest and most destructive, ever, in the lives of LGBTQ Jews. We became the target of antisemitism disguised as protesting alleged ‘Israeli oppression.’ Anyone who truly understands the history, the context and milieu will clearly access the bottom line and that came in the form of the chant that served to helm the onslaught by LGBTQ protesters at the Creating Change 2016 Conference, who yelled: ‘Palestine will be free from the river to the sea’.” As is well known, the river is the Jordan and the sea is the Mediterranean, meaning that Israel will be replaced by a large Palestinian state from which Jews will have been ethnically cleansed.

A pro-Israel LGBT organization, A Wider Bridge, had planned to host an all-inclusive Shabbat reception on Friday 22nd, with the aim of introducing delegates to visiting Israeli LGBT guests. On the 18th, however, conference organizers caved in to anti-Israel demands and banned the reception. Many people strongly objected to this divisive move; on the following day the banning decision was reversed. Clearly, trouble lay ahead, and, true to form, an enormous band of Anti-Israel demonstrators from the LGBT community disrupted the reception, chanting the rhyming slogan above while carrying printed and home-made posters saying “Zionism sucks,” “No Pride in Apartheid”.

That Palestinians sometimes beat and kill gay men is irrelevant to their way of thinking, as is the moral inconvenience that homosexuality is illegal in all Muslim states, and punished there by imprisonment, execution, or mob violence. These facts are of no apparent interest to those determined to slander Israel at all costs.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East — and most of Africa and Asia — where gay rights are guaranteed by law, where Gay Pride parades are held, and where gay tourism is encouraged. Yet, surprisingly, LGBT groups in the West never march or demonstrate to condemn countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and others where gay men are hanged from cranes, beheaded, stoned or thrown from high buildings.

LGBT attacks on Israel and the distortion of gay rights as “pinkwashing” — claiming that the state of Israel uses its freedoms for all its gay inhabitants in order to whitewash its supposedly evil persecution of the Palestinian people — represent something psychologically troubling. Israel should be a major source of pride and admiration for LGBT people. Yet the very idea of rights for the LGBT community is simply cast aside in favour of deeply distasteful, profoundly misguided, and frequently anti-Semitic agitation that calls for the destruction of the world’s only Jewish state. Liberal politics, post-colonialism, and a staggering inverted moral relativism work together to cancel out all the good that Israel does and all the safety it offers to all its citizens.

The charge of “pinkwashing” carries an even broader message. It would appear that, whateverIsraelis and their government do may be dismissed as mere “whitewashing” to cover Israel’s original “sin” of being Jewish — whether it be the remarkable international aid it provides in disaster-stricken regions or even the work of Israeli volunteers rescuing and feeding refugees in the enemy state of Syria, the 17 field hospitals and surgical centres Israel runs to help Syrians, its many advances in life-saving medical treatment, or the protection it affords to many persecuted minority religious communities from Christians to Baha’is. This blanket condemnation of Israel also carries another message: that whatever crimes other nations commit — from Iran to Saudi Arabia to Sudan, or whatever acts of terror Muslim groups or Palestinians carry out — these may be passed over in silence or even supported. And they are. There is even another clear message: that even the most positive side of the people we hate is really just a cover for sinister conspiracies. This view falls in line with the conspiracy theories familiar from Tsarist Russia, the Third Reich, Soviet Russia, the Baathist regimes in Syria and Iraq. Those are never healthy models to follow, above all for those who think of themselves as moral or enlightened.

Supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the Palestinians, members of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, member states of the UN, and hundreds of other anti-Israel and anti-Zionist campaigners, supposed intellectuals, and politicians repeatedly argue that Israel is an illegal colonial entity, and that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank is illegal under international law. In fact, Israel’s presence in the West Bank is perfectly legal.[1]

If there are allegations that Israel has taken land by force and claimed sovereignty contrary to international law, it has not. All Israel’s wars have so far been defensive. Either Israel was attacked first or has responded to a legitimate casus belli (legal cause for war) such as the closure by Egypt of the Strait of Tiran in 1967). There are allegations that Israel carries out “ethnic cleansing;” it does not — and much more.[2]

But when Israel’s supporters point out that its opponents are referring to lies that have no relevance to Israel — and when these supporters list UN resolutions (notably resolutions 181, 242, and 338), League of Nations rulings establishing the Palestine Mandate, and a host of other documents designed to enforce international law — Israel’s opponents shout and declare all these legal instruments to be invalid — for no apparent legal reason, but presumably that they demonstrate the falsity of their own claims. In other words, they show themselves to be not in the least respectful of international law. International law seems respected by them only if it can be distorted to be used as a weapon against Israel.

On the face of it, liberals often claim to share values that the rest of us hold, too. They declare themselves to be anti-racist, they call for rights for women, for sexually anomalous people, for the restoration of rights for people living in former colonies, for the rights of formerly oppressed people to self-determination, and much else that is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But they seem never satisfied by the straightforward promotion of these rights through democratic processes. They appear to prefer angry demonstrations, occasional rioting, and even sometimes terrorism.[3] Using an abusive form of political correctness and insisting on an absolutist version of multiculturalism, many devotees of liberalism often betray the ideals for which earlier human rights activists, feminists, anti-racists, and freedom fighters fought.

Take racism: Liberals rightly work against discriminating against people of colour. But when it comes to the Jewish people, history’s most abused and persecuted ethnic and religious community, the pretence of being anti-racist is dropped and hardline liberals explode into racist fury, adopting all the techniques of far-right anti-Semites. In Europe, large numbers of liberal activists have joined forces with ultra-conservative Muslims to march through the streets of Britain, the Netherlands and elsewhere chanting “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the Gas,” or listening as their terror-supporting Muslim allies sing “Khaybar, Khaybar, ya Yahud: Jaysh Muhammad sa ya-ud” (which loosely translates as “Remember the Battle of Khaybar, O you Jews: the army of Muhammad is coming back.” Khaybar refers to the 629 A.D. assault led by Muhammad against the last Jewish tribe in Arabia.

697July 2014: Demonstrators in The Hague, Netherlands chant “Death to the Jews”, while flying the black flag of jihad. (Image source: Twitter/@SamRaalte)

Were these left-wing demonstrators to chant and march and threaten to exterminate any other race, they would be known for the racist thugs they really are. But Jews are apparently fair game. Many self-declared liberals behave much as did the Nazis of the early years of the Third Reich.

This clear anti-Semitism by the liberal-Islamist alliance is given another ironic twist that seeks to cover its racism by placing the argument on what appears to be a purely political footing. Although the UN Charter and other mainstream instruments call for the right of indigenous peoples to self-determination, as in Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, India, Pakistan and elsewhere liberal support for self-determination is betrayed by an almost total refusal to recognize the rights of one ethnic (and ultimately indigenous) people: the Jews. Of the post-imperialist states, one alone is singled out for opprobrium: Israel. Rhetoric about Israelis being imperialists, colonizers or fascists, leads one to think that Israel’s enemies know nothing about the vast Ottoman empire that was the last legitimate regime to control the territories from which Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the disputed territories all spring. The “Palestine will be free” marchers evidently know nothing much about history. Israelis — just like citizens in their neighbouring states — are a people freed from the tyranny of the Muslim Ottomans and awarded a new destiny precisely because Europe’s imperial powers, the League of Nations, and the United Nations, relinquished their right to rule in favour of Jewish sovereignty.

Today’s new anti-Semites ignore or are wholly ignorant of the long and unprecedented history of the Jewish diaspora.[4] No other people has longed for self-determination for so long or with such sustained intensity.

To leave Israel for a moment, we can find an important anomaly among liberal feminists who actively support the wearing of the Muslim veil and even choose to turn a blind eye to the misogyny of Islamic law, forced marriages, child marriages, female genital mutilation, honour killings and the stoning of women accused of adultery. This is, perhaps, the most hideous example of hypocrisy and double standards — finding fault with even the most trivial of Western attitudes to women while doing nothing to protect Muslim women simply because it supposedly is “racist” to condemn Muslims. It appears that the fear of being called racist is more important to many than a genuine concern for the human rights of a group that is clearly oppressed. A Western man calling women “chicks” may expect the full force of feminist wrath, but a Muslim man who beats his wife because the Qur’an advises him to, is exonerated because wife-beating is part of his different and purportedly inviolable culture.

Writing in Tablet magazine last year, Heather Rogers relates how she at first dismissed criticism of misogyny within Muslims communities because “Westerners have no right to tell Muslims how to live” and downplayed arguments about the rate of Islamic honour killings. It was only on later reflection, she said, that she began to pose questions such as, “Why aren’t more non-Muslim feminists speaking up about violence against women in Muslim-majority countries?” She then gives an example of how liberal feminists distort matters. “In searching the Internet,” she writes, “I begin to find the vestiges of a discussion of the subject among Leftists, which suggests some reasons why many non-Muslim feminists choose to stay silent. One controversy is to do with an essay Adele Wilde-Blavatsky wrote in 2012 for The Feminist Wire, an online women’s studies journal. Her piece says the hijab is a symbol of male oppression. A storm ensued. One response, signed by 77 academics, writers, and activists, said the essay was an assertion of Wilde-Blavatsky’s “white feminist privilege and power.” Instead of facilitating a discussion, however, The Feminist Wire editorial collective took down the comments, pulling the essay along with them.”

Rogers then cites the 2010 case when Amnesty International fired the head of its Gender Unit, Gita Sahgal, who had protested the charity’s alliance with a former Taliban fighter and misogynist, Moazzem Begg, an extremist who still refuses to condemn the stoning to death of women. Sahgal’s credentials as a secular Asian woman defending the rights of Muslim women in general were and are undeniable. But Amnesty International, a left-wing non-governmental organization (NGO) put its pro-Muslim politics above women’s rights — a remarkable step for the world’s best-known human rights agency.

It is surprising, yet all too predictable, to find pro-peace organizations and political leaders supporting violent and intolerant opinions and groups. The simplest example is the current leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn regards war as a last resort and has been active in a number of anti-war movements, such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the hyper-pacifist Stop the War Coalition, which informs his current position in parliament. He continues to oppose renewing Trident, Britain’s nuclear missile capacity. We have to assume that Corbyn is, in principle, opposed to the use of violence except in extreme circumstances. How, then, is it that he has described the brutal terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah — the latter declared on 11 March to be a terrorist state by the Arab League — both of which have an open agenda of committing genocide against Jews, as “my friends”? He explains this as “diplomatic language in the context of dialogue.” Dialogue? This answer confirms that Corbyn has read neither the Hamas Covenant nor Hezbollah’s Risala maftuha (Open Letter). How does a man of peace enter into dialogue with Hamas? Here are two sentences from its Covenant/Charter:

“Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement… There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.” [Author’s emphasis]

I have an Arabic copy of the Covenant in front of me: the translation is perfectly correct.

Here, from the Hizbullah Open Letter, is much the same thing:

Our primary assumption in our fight against Israel states that the Zionist entity is aggressive from its inception, and built on lands wrested from their owners, at the expense of the rights of the Muslim people. Therefore our struggle will end only when this entity is obliterated. We recognize no treaty with it, no cease fire, and no peace agreements, whether separate or consolidated.

We vigorously condemn all plans for negotiation with Israel, and regard all negotiators as enemies, for the reason that such negotiation is nothing but the recognition of the legitimacy of the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Therefore we oppose and reject the Camp David Agreements, the proposals of King Fahd, the Fez and Reagan plan, Brezhnev’s and the French-Egyptian proposals, and all other programs that include the recognition (even the implied recognition) of the Zionist entity. [Author’s emphases]

Dialogue, anyone? In his obsession with dialogue, Corbyn has gone further. In a notorious interview with Stephen Nolan on Radio Ulster last year, Corbyn was asked six times, “Are you prepared to condemn what the IRA did?” — referring to their use of terrorist violence. Each time he refused to give a straight answer. As Nolan himself put it at the beginning of the interview, quoting from a Daily Telegraph article in June: “This is a man who sympathised with violent Irish republicanism in the 80s, invited IRA representatives to the Commons a fortnight after the Brighton bombing in 1984 and at a Troops Out meeting in 1987 he stood for a moment’s silence for eight IRA terrorists killed in an SAS ambush.” He is also a man who invited Hamas and Hezbollah representatives into the UK parliament. Even The Guardian, regarded by many as anti-Israeli, has castigated Corbyn for this and his other associations with terrorists and anti-Semites.

It does not stop there. During an interview with one of Britain’s most eminent political journalists, Andrew Marr, Corbyn called for dialogue with Islamic State. A week later, in The Spectator, Toby Young wrote an article entitled, “Jeremy Corbyn and the hard left are wilfully blind to the evils of Islamist Nazis.” Of course, Corbyn himself did not volunteer to fly out to Raqqa to have a cosy chat with Islamic State’s self-proclaimed leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a spirit of dialogue.

What is the reason for this staggering naïveté? You can find some of the answer by looking at again at the Hamas Covenant and Hizbullah’s Open Letter. Here are some sentences from the former:

The Islamic Resistance Movement [i.e. Hamas] found itself at a time when Islam has disappeared from life. Thus rules shook, concepts were upset, values changed and evil people took control, oppression and darkness prevailed, cowards became like tigers: homelands were usurped, people were scattered and were caused to wander all over the world, the state of justice disappeared and the state of falsehood replaced it. Nothing remained in its right place.

Here is a single statement from the latter:

As for our friends, they are all the world’s oppressed peoples.

In other words, both Hamas and Hizbullah supposedly exist to fight for the rights of the oppressed, Franz Fanon’s “Wretched of the Earth,” the victims of Western imperialism and colonialism, of American arrogance, of a worldwide Jewish/Zionist/Masonic conspiracy. What socialist would not reach out to condemn his own people and his own culture, would not repudiate his own history, merely to reach out to these victims? If Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic State, al-Qa’ida, the Iranian regime, and all the other promoters of violence proclaim themselves to be the champions of the downtrodden masses, are they then to be applauded, rewarded and financed?

It is not just the “hard left” that does this. The broad liberal press, newspapers — such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Independent, Haaretz — together with a broad consensus of politicians and church leaders, are always happy to tell us that when terrorist groups maim and kill innocent civilians it is not their fault, for the conditions of oppression under which they live have purportedly given them no choice other than to fight back; that the Palestinians have given up hope, that they and their children have no other choice but to shoot and stab their way to yet more years of failure, despair and security measures.

Most of us in the West have much to thank many real liberals for: the abolition of slavery, the cause of civil rights and anti-racism, recognition of the rights of homosexuals, empathy for the disabled, free education, the campaign against religious intolerance, and much more. Liberals share these achievements with many others from the “right” and centre, with Jewish and Christian ethical standards, with a growing sense of a shared humanity as set out in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But many pseudo-liberals have betrayed these same values and proven themselves unworthy of the work of their own ancestors — men and women who would never have sat side by side with terrorists, lied about Israel, fostered anti-Semitism or tolerated the abuse of women and children.[5] In all likelihood they would never have denounced the values of Western civilization, or valued the monstrous over the humane.

Dr. Denis MacEoin is an academic and journalist specializing in Islam and the Middle East.


[1] The occupation is perfectly legal in international law under UN Resolution 242 (1967), and was reaffirmed in the Oslo II Accord, Article XI. See Alan Baker, “The Legal Basis of Israel’s Rights in the Disputed Territories,” Jan. 2013.

[2] For a very full and wholly tendentious list of these “violations” see here.

[3] Liberal support for terrorism has recently been demonstrated by the new leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, who has famously described Hamas and Hezbollah as his “friends.”

[4] For a broad discussion of this, see Kenneth Marcus, The Definition of Anti-Semitism, Oxford U.P., 2015, chapter 6

[5] For a detailed and eloquent account of how the political left lost its way through the twentieth century and the early twenty-first, see Nick Cohen, What’s Left? London, 2007.

Op-Ed: The Left stands with the Islamist thought police

April 1, 2016

Op-Ed: The Left stands with the Islamist thought police, Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, April 1, 2016

The interview with Die Zeit is astonishing: “I feel much freer in Algeria than in France.” This shocking disclosure is from an Algerian writer who collected literary prizes in France, from the Mauriac to the Goncourt for his first novel.

On January 31, 2016, Kamel Daoud published an article on the events in Cologne in the French newspaper Le Monde .

What Cologne showed, says Daoud, is how sex is “the greatest misery in the world of Allah”.

So is the refugee a ‘savage?’

“No. But he is different. And giving him papers and a place in a hostel is not enough. It is not just the physical body that needs asylum. It is also the soul that needs to be persuaded to change”.

A few days later, Le Monde ran a response by sociologists, historians and anthropologists who accused Daoud of “recycling orientalist cliches” and of being an “Islamophobe.”

It was anathema for the “bête noire des intégristes”, (the fundamentalists’ bad guy) as Daoud was defined. The writer announced his decision to abandon journalism.

The attacks on this brave Algerian novelist and journalist also came from the London Review of Books, the journal of the Anglo-Saxon liberal elites, which defines Daoud as “irresponsible”. Rafik Chekkat called Daoud “the native informant,” arguing that “his decision to leave journalism would be the only good news in the midst of all this noise.” The Mediapart electronic magazine wondered: “Is Daoud Islamophobic?”, while its patron, Edwy Plenel, asked Daoud to issue an “apology.”

Olivier Roy, an Islamic scholar, published an article in Libération that, without ever naming Daoud, charged the writer of stigmatizing the Muslims. Jeanne Favret-Saada, an orientalist at the Ecole pratique des hautes études, wrote that Daoud “spoke as the European far right.” Jocelyne Dakhlia, professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, charged Daoud with “a culturalist vision of sexual violence.”

Daoud received a supportive phone call from the Prime Minister of his country, Abdelmalek Sellal, and has been openly defended in the press only by a few Arab colleagues.

One is Karim Akouche, who wrote in the magazine Marianne: “Our time is absurd, ridiculous, violent. They shoot without warning to those who dare shake (question, ed.) clichés (…)The voice of Daoud is more essential than ever for healing the ‘disease of Islam’”.

The Franco-Tunisian writer Fawzia Zouari wrote in Libération that the Left is silencing criticism like the bearded terrorists do, while Serenade Chafik, the author of “Repudiation”, pointed that “while the Islamists around the world shouted ‘death to blasphemers’, some journalists accused their colleagues from Charlie Hebdo of xenophobia. ‘Islamophobia’ has become the verdict of the new inquisitors and their Islamo-leftist Western friends.”

The Moroccan entrepreneur Ahmed Charai defended Daoud saying that “the intellectuals, at risk of their lives, are fighting for the universal values, but they are treated as ‘Islamophobic’. This is a great defeat of thought.”

Boualem Sansal, the author of the successful novel “2084” (Gallimard), said that Daoud is attacked by a “thought police lurking in the tall structures of culture and information.” According to Sansal, “saving Daoud means saving freedom, justice and truth.”

It is what happened to Salman Rushdie after the release of the “Satanic Verses”, when so many left-wing writers attacked not the Iranian Khomeini, but the writer: Roald Dahl, celebrated author of amusing children’s books, said that “Rushdie is a dangerous opportunist,” George Steiner, one of the most respected cultural critics, declared that “Rushdie has made sure to create a lot of problems,” Kingsley Amis commented that “if you go looking for trouble, you can not complain when you find it,” while the historian Hugh Trevor-Roper said to enjoy the suffering of Rushdie.

And it will happen again with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the most brave and important Islamic dissident. In the book “Murder in Amsterdam” and in a series of articles for the New York Review of Books and The New York Times, leftist relativists such as Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash attacked Hirsi Ali. Her call for the emancipation of women marked her as an “Enlightenment fundamentalist.”

A few days after the murder of Theo van Gogh, The Index on censorship, the magazine founded by Stephen Spender to defend freedom of expression during the Cold War,  published an essay by Rohan Jayasekera, associate director of Index, which described Hirsi Ali as a silly girl manipulated by Van Gogh in a “relation of exploitation.”

And when the Netherlands deprived Hirsi Ali of the bodyguards she needed for protection, the appeal to assign her protection of the European Union, promoted by French Socialist Benoît Hamon, failed in the absence of a sufficient number of votes, when only 144 of 782 supported the motion.

This is the terrible meaning of the “Daoud Affair.”

A great Arab writer told some important truths and the European intellectuals, instead of thanking and protecting him while Islamists threaten him with death, exhorted this novelist to choose silence, to take refuge in the novel, to surrender to his executioners.

It is an echo of what happened to Tahar Djaout, another famous Algerian writer, killed in 1993 by Islamists. The manuscript of his last novel was found among his papers after the assassination.

It recalls André Glucksmann’s famous title: “Silence on tue.” Silence, it kills!