Posted tagged ‘Hate speech’

Britain’s Hate Speech Police

November 30, 2017

Britain’s Hate Speech PolicePat Condell via YouTube, November 30, 2017

(He’s back! — DM)

The Real Roots of Islamic Terrorism

October 5, 2017

The Real Roots of Islamic Terrorism, Gatestone InstituteKhadija Khan, October 5, 2017

Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims. To everyone’s purported astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites. He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque — funded by taxpayers — in Stoke-on-Trent.

France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting “hate speech”, have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.

Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam were lone wolves who merely took “inspiration” from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the “online” excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

The terrorists involved in the Parsons Green Underground attack and other incidents, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and stated that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.

 

Another terrorist attacks France and slaughters two innocent women at the Marseille train station. The terrorist was reportedly chanting the Arabic verses.

Within 24 hours, another terror attack took place in Edmonton, Canada outside a football stadium, when a man with a knife left five people injured. An ISIS flag was reportedly found in suspect’s car.

The strike in a country known for going extra miles to take in immigrants from the war-torn Middle East exposes the fact that these terrorists are enemies not only of human rights but often if the very people trying to help them.

No soft gesture, however, will deter extremist Muslims unless the whole world submits to their version of Islam.

Pictured: Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, France, where an Islamist terrorist murdered two women on October 1, 2017. (Image source: ignis/Wikimedia Commons)

Western governments might nevertheless once again choose to ignore the existence of religious schools and mosques that serve as radicalization and recruitment centers for extremist Muslims across the West.

The authorities in Europe seem to have been doing very little to clamp down on the recruitment of mainly Muslim youths by terrorists. Many apologists seem to have been trying to confuse people by saying that the internet is root cause of the Islamic extremism and terrorism problem, and authorities have been blaming the websites of terror outfits. Websites do not vote.

France and Britain remain in the constant grip of Islamist terror, yet their governments, despite having laws prohibiting “hate speech”, have so far failed to address the influence that preachers of violence and hatred have with local Muslims.

Last month, an Islamic preacher was caught red-handed in Britain preaching for ISIS and jihad, and inciting youths to commit violence against non-Muslims.

To everyone’s professed astonishment, he was not delivering his lectures on websites or communicating with the gullible youths through online “chats”. He was delivering sermons live in a public-charity mosque — funded by taxpayers — in Stoke-on-Trent.

Governments in Britain and other countries in the grip of terror posed by Islamists have probably also been using the “online” excuse to shake off any charges of reckless endangerment or criminal neglect that they have might have committed by allowing these extremists to flourish in West.

The authorities seem deliberately to be ignoring the compelling presence of hardline madrassahs, mosques and faith-schools that might well be involved in clear instances of preaching violence and hate.

Blaming terror recruitment only on the internet is just an invented story, like the one that every suicide bomber or those who committed acts of terror in the name of Islam, whether in Paris, London or Berlin, are lone wolves who merely took “inspiration” from terror outfits such as al-Qaeda or ISIS.

It is laughable to claim that a “lone wolf” has committed a terror attack, especially when the terror outfits such as ISIS immediately take responsibility for them.

The London Bridge attack left Prime Minister Theresa May stating “enough is enough” and sounding finally determined to tackle terrorism a bit.

But the slogan merely ended up on the back-burner as the terror spree continued — as do the hardline seminaries and recruiters that then led to the Parsons Green Underground attack.

The terrorists involved in that and other attacks, as in Barcelona, were found to have ties with local mosques or seminaries, yet the administrations of these places have refused to take any responsibility, and state that they are not accountable for the acts of their members.

Westminster terror attacker Khalid Masood was serving as a public contact person for the website of the Luton Islamic Center Mosque just a week before he rammed a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge and went on to kill a police officer.

Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi, who murdered 22 people, including children, regularly attended Didsbury Mosque, which was also known to have home to many other al-Qaeda and ISIS recruits. The mosque was also known for having ties with al-Qaeda-linked jihadists such as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.

The perpetrators of the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attacks — Khuram Shazad Butt, Rachid Redouance and Youssef Zaghba — were believed to be associated with the outlawed Islamist group al-Muhajiroun, co-founded by the convicted hate preacher Anjem Choudary. Khuram Butt was even seen brandishing an Islamic State flag in Regent’s Park in a Channel 4 documentary.

The Berlin Christmas Market terrorist, Anis Amri, was also reportedly radicalized by a local mosque. One of the preachers of the Mosque, Abu Walaa, is these days on trial with four others in Germany for serving as an ISIS recruiter.

There is a dire need to hold government officials — and the preachers and administrators of these mosques — accountable, and to demand that they take action against extremists who target these breeding grounds, or face criminal prosecution. The policy of avoiding the problem by keeping one’s eyes shut only enlarges it and sacrifices freedom on the altar of terror.

Khadija Khan is a Pakistani journalist and commentator, currently based in Germany.

A Master’s Degree in Whitewashing Islam

September 14, 2017

A Master’s Degree in Whitewashing Islam, Gatestone InstituteBruce Bawer, September 14, 2017

I routinely find the website Document.no to be more reliable on the facts than the state-owned TV and radio stations or any of the big private (but, in many cases, state-supported) dailies.

The idea that there are Muslims who seek to turn Europe into an Islamic colony is, of course, no “conspiracy theory.” Jihad and the caliphate are core Islamic doctrines. For over a decade, however, Norwegian academics and intellectuals have accused those commentators, who face up to the reality of these doctrines, of “peddling paranoia.”

I wonder if anyone asked how a statement of opinion can violate “fundamental human rights.”

In Norway, where the mainstream media systematically bury or whitewash news stories that might reflect badly on the nation’s misguided immigration policies, its failed integration policies, or on Islam, a handful of small but heavily trafficked websites serve a vital function: getting out information that is being suppressed and providing a forum for opinions that are being silenced.

Perhaps the most prominent of those websites is Document.no, founded in 2003 by Hans Rustad, who still serves as editor and publisher. It is an intelligent, serious, and responsible site, whose contributors tend to know more about the above-mentioned subjects — and to be better writers — than the staffers at the major Oslo newspapers. I have yet to read a bigoted word by a contributor to Document.no, and I routinely find the site to be more reliable on the facts than the state-owned TV and radio stations or any of the big private (but, in many cases, state-supported) dailies.

For countless Norwegian citizens, Document.no is essential reading. For the nation’s cultural elite, however, it is anathema — a major chink in an otherwise almost solid wall of pro-Islam propaganda.

So it is no surprise to learn, via Universitetsavisa, the student newspaper at the University of Oslo, that a Religious Studies student there, Royer Solheim, has written a master’s thesis on Document.no, in which he describes it as a locus of “hate rhetoric,” “Islamophobia,” and “conspiracy theories.” Nor is it a surprise that he was graded an A.

Solheim describes the thesis itself as “a qualitative study based on a critical discourse analysis of a Norwegian Islamophobic website, document.no.” His conclusion:

“The Eurabia conspiracy theory permeates the Islamophobic discourse on the website. The Eurabia theory is based on an idea that Arabs or Muslims are increasing their influence and are in the process of turning Europe into an Islamic colony.”

The idea that there are Muslims who seek to turn Europe into an Islamic colony is, of course, no “conspiracy theory.” Jihad and the Caliphate are core Islamic doctrines. For over a decade, however, Norwegian academics and intellectuals have accused those commentators, who face up to the reality of these doctrines, of “peddling paranoia.” Their useful shorthand for this is “Eurabia theory,” a term derived from the title of Bat Ye’or’s 2005 book Eurabia.

Universitetsavisa reports that after last year’s terrorist attacks in Nice and Berlin, reader comments on Document.no were “thoroughly marked by anti-Muslim prejudice, hate rhetoric, and aversion to Islam and Muslims.” I am very familiar with the comments field at Document.no. Its level of discussion is quite high. What Solheim is plainly reacting to here is the fact that the readers of Document.no have no illusion about the motives for terrorist acts such as those that took place last year in Nice and Berlin. The readers are simply not shy about acknowledging that there is a clear, straight line connecting core Islamic doctrines with repeated mass murders of infidels. If these murders sometimes lead those readers to express even outright anger at Islam, and at the reckless European governmental policies that have rendered the continent vulnerable to these atrocities, who can blame them?

In any event, the editors of Document.no are not responsible for statements made by their readers — although, as even Solheim admits, they do make an effort to “moderate the debate and do not tolerate racism.” The fact is that the opportunity Rustad’s website affords citizens to sound off on matters vital to their own (and their children’s) future is becoming increasingly valuable. Why? Because more and more Norwegian news media are closing down comments fields on their websites when the topic is Islam — precisely because they do not want to host honest, vigorous debates about this most forbidden of issues. There is a good reason why Document.nohas more than 200,000 unique readers per month — which, as Solheim acknowledges, makes it bigger in this regard than the country’s newspaper of record, Aftenposten.

“Within a discourse there are certain norms as to what is acceptable to say,” scolds Solheim. The debates on Document.no, he pronounces with dismay, are heavy on “skepticism toward authority.” Some of the contents, he insists, violate “fundamental human rights.” Well, isn’t he a good little policeman-in-training. Unfortunately, knifings, car-rammings, and abusing women, children and homosexuals would also seem to violate “fundamental human rights.” The Universitetsavisa article briefly recounts Solheim’s defense of his thesis, at which he answered questions. I wonder if anyone asked him how a statement of opinion can violate “fundamental human rights.”

I also wonder if anyone asked him any questions about basic Islamic theology. His thesis adviser, Asbjørn Dyrendal, is apparently an expert in Christianity, Satanism, Wicca, and in — surprise! — “conspiracy theories.” In his work, Dyrendal has sounded the alarm about the supposed dangers of evangelical Christianity in America — all the while dismissing as “conspiracy theorists” those who dare to sound the alarm about the dangers of Islam. In other words, he is a prototypical member of the European academic establishment.

Fortunately, Universitetsavisa, like Document.no, has a comments field for readers. One of the readers of the article about Solheim wondered what he thinks of born-and-bred Muslims who, writing for sites like Document.no, agree with pretty much everything that Rustad and others say there about the “religion of peace.” Another asked how Solheim distinguishes “between Islamophobia and entirely legitimate Islam criticism” and whether his “research” had included checking the supposedly “hateful” claims made by Document.no‘s contributors against the facts about Islam. A third wondered if Solheim was familiar with the frequent references, in the works of the popular Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to a future and fondly hoped-for Islamic conquest of Europe. As yet another reader of Universitetsavisa put it: “It stops being a conspiracy theory when you have evidence that it’s happening.”

The University of Oslo, in Oslo, Norway. (Image source: Dan Lundberg/Flickr)

Who May Say what About Whom at Wellesley

April 18, 2017

Who May Say what About Whom at Wellesley, Front Page MagazineRichard L. Cravatts, April 18, 2017

(“All speech with which I disagree is hate speech, factually wrong or both, ipsi dixit.” — DM)

What is the solution to eliminating so-called hate speech at Wellesley? According to the editorial, it is a forced re-education, so that speech transgressors can be shown the light and taught, indeed coerced, to adopt acceptable views. If they cannot or refuse to learn the error of their thought, there will be potential censure and punishment; “if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted [emphasis added]” and “it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions.”

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

Something alarming is happening on campuses, fueled by tendentious and morally self-righteous progressive students, and some faculty, who have displayed a shocking disregard for the university’s cardinal virtue of free expression, deciding themselves who may say what about whom on their respective campuses—and purging from campuses those ideas they have deemed too hateful, too unsafe, too incendiary to tolerate or to allow to be heard.

Until now, these champions of the aggrieved have been less than transparent in both their motives and intentions, disingenuously asserting that their efforts to suppress the speech of those with opposing conservative views is done to protect perceived victim groups. Ideas which are contrary to these social justice warriors’ acceptable worldview are dismissed as contemptible—not even worthy of being debated—or are neutralized and debased by designations which characterize it as ‘hate speech’ because it is, depending on the victim groups attacked, racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or homophobic. So sure of their righteousness and ideology are they that they do not even try to hide their preconceived notions and evident bias against ideas they have decided are beyond the pale or unworthy of being given voice.

Feelings, not ideas, are what count; emotionality now trumps rationality.

The defective rationale for the thuggish substitution of the suppression of other people’s speech for what is supposed to be two-sided academic dialogue was just revealed at Wellesley College, where both students and, unusually, faculty publicly articulated the shocking notion that only certain speech is to be permitted—namely, those ideas which promote and support progressive liberal views—and that opposing views, and the conservative speakers who utter them, are not even deemed worthy of being able to share their ideas on the Wellesley campus.

In an astoundingly facile editorial in the April 12th issue of the Wellesley News, the paper’s editors responded to recent debates over free speech on that campus, precipitated, somewhat ironically, by a series of lectures as part of Wellesley’s Censorship Awareness Week, during which one controversial speaker, Northwestern University professor Laura Kipnis, critiqued the notion that American campuses are awash with sexual assault. In her book Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus, in fact, Kripnis asserted the view that, “We seem to be breeding a generation of students, mostly female students, deploying Title IX to remedy sexual ambivalences or awkward sexual experiences, and to adjudicate relationship disputes post-breakup — and campus administrators are allowing it.”

That opinion was apparently intolerable to Wellesley’s students, and some faculty, who refused to acknowledge Kripnis’s notions, theories that contradict their preconceived worldview that men are predatory and women have to be protected from them, something she describes as “neo-sentimentality about female vulnerability.”

Alluding to the Kripnis visit, the editorial attempted to distinguish the difference between free speech and what they described as “hate speech,” mistakenly asserting that “Wellesley students are generally correct in their attempts to differentiate what is viable discourse from what is just hate speech,” and that “our Wellesley community will not stand for hate speech, and will call it out when possible.”

More ominously, the editors wrote, “Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech.” Why is that? Because, the editorial contended, that “rhetoric” is not protected or allowable speech at all; “it is hate speech.”

Further, in language that would come as a surprise to constitutional scholars, the editorial finally revealed what this approach was all about: it embraced Marcuse’s idea of “repressive tolerance,” where weak, marginalized, victim groups are given access to expression at the expense of opposing thought. “The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed,” the editorial fatuously asserted, “not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging.” That, of course, is precisely what the First Amendment was not designed to do, as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. famously observed when he said that speech protections are specifically for controversial, unpopular views, “not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.”

What is the solution to eliminating so-called hate speech at Wellesley? According to the editorial, it is a forced re-education, so that speech transgressors can be shown the light and taught, indeed coerced, to adopt acceptable views. If they cannot or refuse to learn the error of their thought, there will be potential censure and punishment; “if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted [emphasis added]” and “it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions.”

It is one thing when intellectually-arrogant, morally-narcissistic students take it upon themselves to act as current-day Torquemadas and propose speech policies which are contradictory to what any university would normally seek to attain; namely, spirited intellectual debate from opposing views, with the hope that the truth will evidence itself, in Mill’s phrase, after “collision with error.” But this alarming editorial came on the heels of, and seems to have been inspired by, a March 20th email distributed to the Wellesley community by six self-righteous professors (members of the tellingly named Commission for Ethnicity, Race, and Equity (CERE)) in which they rail against “several guest speakers with controversial and objectionable beliefs [who] have presented their ideas at Wellesley.”

According to these progressive professors, “There is no doubt that the speakers in question impose on the liberty of students, staff, and faculty at Wellesley.” How does this imposition show itself? For one thing, they contended, “dozens of students tell us they are in distress as a result of a speaker’s words.” More absurdly, they continued, it is hurtful to students to expect them to confront opposing views with ideas of their own, and this necessity (which, one would think, is the reason a student even attends college) means that students will actually have to engage in dialogue and debate and waste time by countering what these professors have audaciously proclaimed are less than worthy ideas. Students “often feel the injury most acutely and invest time and energy in rebutting the [controversial] speakers’ arguments,” the professors wrote.

The notion that bringing speakers to campus with diverse views can actually lead to a more complete worldview and diversity of thought apparently is foreign to the professors, who are so concerned with protecting the sensibilities of perceived campus victim groups that they condemned those who invited controversial speakers in the first place, who “in their zeal for promoting debate . . . might, in fact, stifle productive debate by enabling the bullying of disempowered groups.”

Most egregious is the suggestion by this group of faculty that speakers be vetted prior to being invited to Wellesley, and that only those with progressive ideologies, acceptable views, be invited to speak. “This is not a matter of ideological bias,” the faculty contended, and then immediately revealed that ideological bias on their part is precisely what will influence who should speak and who should not. “Pseudoscience suggesting that men are more naturally equipped to excel in STEM fields than women, for example,” they declare without the benefit of being neuroscientists themselves, “has no place at Wellesley.”  “Similar arguments pertaining to race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, and other identity markers are equally inappropriate,” meaning that any ideas challenging preconceived progressive notions of social justice and oppression will not be welcome at Wellesley.

And in case students are not comfortable with screening offensive speakers “whose ideas would be painful,” the six professors thoughtfully offer themselves as a thought tribunal, writing that, “We in CERE are happy to serve as a sounding board when hosts are considering inviting controversial speakers, to help sponsors think through the various implications of extending an invitation.”

This is, of course, a breathtaking display of pretentiousness and audacity, by both the professors and the Wellesley News editors, who have taken it upon themselves to decide which ideas can be heard and which can, and should, be suppressed—all in the name of protecting the sensibilities of victim groups on campus. That is a dangerous notion, and one that contradicts the primary goal of the university, which is the unfettered exchange of many views in the “marketplace of ideas.”

More importantly, it is not the role of universities to create “safe spaces” in which students are sheltered from any ideas that might challenge their pre-conceived notions; it is not the business of universities to insure that no one’s feelings are hurt. Yale University’s insightful 1974 Woodward Report on free speech affirmed this very point, suggesting that “. . . [a university] cannot make its primary and dominant value the fostering of friendship, solidarity, harmony, civility, or mutual respect . . . It will never let these values, important as they are, override its central purpose. We value freedom of expression precisely because it provides a forum for the new, the provocative, the disturbing, and the unorthodox.”

Unfortunately, many on the left believe that their progressive views are virtuous and moral, and those of conservatives are regressive, cruel, and unjust. The moral rectitude of these academics is not only ill-conceived, but startling and offensive. “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive,” observed literary critic C.S. Lewis, who bemoaned exactly this type of individual, “omnipotent moral busybodies . . .  who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Facebook and Twitter censor Jihad Watch, block thousands from reading it

March 3, 2017

Facebook and Twitter censor Jihad Watch, block thousands from reading it, Jihad Watch

(Please see also, Facebook enables Fatah terror promotion by reopening their terror promoting page. — DM)

The facts at hand presumably speak for themselves, but a trifle more vulgarly, I suspect, than facts even usually do.

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 2, 2017: 16,683
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 2, 2017: 1,051

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 6, 2017: 12,882
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 7, 2017: 1,880

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 7, 2017: 23,783
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 7, 2017: 1,718

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 8, 2017: 18,926
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 8, 2017: 1,091

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 9, 2017: 11,914
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 9, 2017: 974

And then the very next day:

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 10, 2017: 2,923
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 10, 2017: 295

The dropoff has continued:

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 20, 2017: 3,408
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 20, 2017: 416

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, February 27, 2017: 2,369
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, February 27, 2017: 329

Referrals to Jihad Watch from Facebook, March 2, 2017: 1,645
Referrals to Jihad Watch from Twitter, March 2, 2017: 206

mark-zuckerberg

Did thousands of people who used to click on Jihad Watch articles from Facebook and Twitter suddenly on February 10 lose interest? Of course not. This is what happened: Facebook and Twitter are censoring Jihad Watch as “hate speech.” Now, I do not accept and will never accept the idea that reporting on jihad activity and Sharia oppression constitutes “hate speech,” but that is, of course, the longstanding claim of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Muslim groups in the West, and has been uncritically adopted by the Left, with which Facebook and Twitter are so firmly aligned.

In reality, what constitutes “hate speech” is a subjective judgment. The label itself is a tool in the hands of the powerful, enabling them to control the discourse and silence dissenters to their agenda. That is ultimately what this is about: the purveyors of the Big Lie always have to shut down those who tell the truth, because they are aware that their whole enterprise rests on a lie and is deeply threatened by the truth. They can only put their lie across by constant repetition and relentless persecution of those who tell the truth. The truth-tellers, in contrast, need not resort to censorship against the liars, for they are confident that the truth, if given a fair hearing, will be obvious and compelling.

The good news in all this is that despite this choking-off of referrals from Facebook and Twitter, Jihad Watch’s overall readership is growing. Apparently many people who used to come here from Facebook and Twitter are finding different avenues. That is very important in general: free people must not accept this censorship, which is a desperate lashing-out of a discredited and weakening political and media elite against an inexorably growing populist revolution. If Facebook and Twitter shut out the truth, then we have to, in large numbers, shut out Facebook and Twitter. That is certainly what I am going to do: while each Jihad Watch post automatically goes up on Facebook and Twitter (for as long as that will last), I will never personally go to either one again.

And despite the ever-decreasing platform for those who dissent from the socialist, globalist, internationalist agenda of these sinister and authoritarian elites, there is every reason to be confident. They have all the money and all the power and all the platforms, and even so, Brexit was voted in, Trump was elected, and much, much more is to come. There is, after all, one weapon they do not have on their side, and that is why, for all their intermediate success, they are doomed to failure: that weapon is, of course, the truth.

“EU Reads Riot Act to Facebook, Twitter, Google Over Hate Speech (FB, GOOG),” by Rakesh Sharma, Investopedia, December 5, 2016:

The European Union has warned Facebook Inc. (FB), Twitter Inc. (TWTR), Alphabet Inc. subsidiary Google (GOOG), and Microsoft Inc. (MSFT) that they could face the prospect of hate speech laws, if they fail to clamp down on such speech on their platforms. The companies, which own or run social media platforms with member numbers that run into millions on the continent, had signed a code of conduct to take down instances of offensive and hate speech within 24 hours back in May. (See also: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft Agree To Report Hate Speech To The EU).

According to a new report that quantifies their efforts, the tech behemoths still have some way to go. The report, which will be discussed by EU ministers this week, stated that the companies reviewed 40 percent of reported cases within the first 24 hours and 80 percent within 48 hours. Germany and France saw the highest rates that were “in excess” of 50 percent while only 4 percent and 11 percent of reported posts were removed in Italy and Austria respectively.

“If Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft want to convince me and the ministers that the non-legislative approach can work, they will have to act quickly and make a strong effort in the coming months,” Vera Jourova, EU’s justice commissioner, told FT in an interview. (See also: Facebook May Allow Third-Party Groups To Censor Content In China)….

And:

“Google Launches AI Program to Detect ‘Hate Speech,’” by Lucas Nolan, Breitbart, February 23, 2017:

Google has launched a new AI program called Perspective to detect “abusive” comments online in an effort to crack down on hate speech.

Publications such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Economist are testing the new software as a way of policing comments sections, according to the Financial Times.

“News organizations want to encourage engagement and discussion around their content, but find that sorting through millions of comments to find those that are trolling or abusive takes a lot of money, labour and time,” said Jared Cohen, president of Jigsaw, the Google social incubator that built the tool. “As a result, many sites have shut down comments altogether. But they tell us that isn’t the solution they want.”

Perspective is available to all publications that are currently part of Google’s Digital News Initiative, which includes The Guardian, the BBC and The Financial Times. In theory, the software could also be utilized by social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter. Twitter has recently attempted to impose stricter rules on users in an attempt to reduce supposed harassment on the platform.

CJ Adams, a product manager at Jigsaw, discussed the adaptability of their program, saying, “We are open to working with anyone from small developers to the biggest platforms on the internet. We all have a shared interest and benefit from healthy online discussions.”

Perspective is used to filter and compile comments on websites for human review. In order to learn what exactly counts as a “toxic” comment, the program studied hundreds of thousands of user comments that had been deemed unacceptable by reviewers on websites like The New York Times and Wikipedia. “All of us are familiar with increased toxicity around comments in online conversations,” said Cohen. “People are leaving conversations because of this, and we want to empower publications to get those people back.”…

Sweden: Hate Speech Just for Imams

February 22, 2017

Sweden: Hate Speech Just for Imams, Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, February 22, 2017

In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a “virus” is fine.

Antisemitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports.

One of Sweden’s main news outlets, in fact, described anti-Semitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, in the eyes of Swedish authorities, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much.

Swedish authorities also give large sums of money to organizations that advocate violence and invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS. One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS and has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with assault rifles alongside his small children.

Are some individuals receiving preferential treatment under Sweden’s “hate speech” laws? It seems that way.

Under the Swedish Penal Code, a person can be held responsible for incitement if a statement or representation made “threatens or disrespects an ethnic group or other such group of persons with regards to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religious belief or sexual orientation”.

In 2015, the imam at Halmstad mosque, Abu Muadh, said that homosexuality was a “virus” from which parents were obliged to protect their children.

The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Rights (RFSL) filed a legal complaint in October 2015. “[M]any people are listening [to the imam] and there is a risk that the opinions and other expressions of homophobia will spread among believers, as they attach great importance to their representatives’ words”, said Ulrika Westerlund, chairman of RFSL.

The Swedish legal establishment however, seemed entirely unconcerned; the imam was not prosecuted.

“[F]or something to be incitement, it needs to reach a certain level and in this context, the assessment is that this statement does not reach that level”, said Martin Inglund, acting investigation officer at Halmstad police. He added that an assessment had been made based on freedom of religion, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights. It took the police only one week to make the decision not to prosecute the imam.

“It is a strange decision, said Jonnié Jonsson, chairman of RFSL Halland, “I do not think anyone has the right to violate other people in the name of religion”.

Then there is the recent case of Stefan Vestling, a local politician from the Sweden Democrat Party. He was recently prosecuted and convicted for “incitement against an ethnic group”, when he wrote the following comment on the official Facebook page of the Sweden Democrats Party in Norberg in December 2014:

“Muslims who have ended up in the ‘diaspora’ are at war. A Muslim who lives in Sweden is thus living in a war zone, where it is allowed to rape a woman, as this is a Muslim right according to the Quran. [A Muslim] is allowed to have sex with women who have been conquered in war… that is to say the infidels’ women (Quran Sura 4:3, 4:24). Easiest for ‘Swedish’ horny Muslims is of course to join ISIS where they can have their sick, devilish desires fully satisfied”.

The prosecutor failed to convince the district court that Vestling had committed a crime. “Freedom of expression includes the right to convey such information and opinions and ideas that offend shock or disturb” the court wrote in its ruling. However, at the Court of Appeals in Svea, in December 2016, the court found that Vestling’s post had been offensive to Muslims. The appeals court seemingly had no problem with the first part of Vestling’s post. It was the last sentence, “Easiest for ‘Swedish’ horny Muslims is of course to join ISIS where they can have their sick, devilish desires fully satisfied”, which was considered to be in violation of the Penal Code. Vestling was handed a suspended jail sentence and a fine. He has appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.

Both the statements made by Abu Muadh and the statements made by Stefan Vestling were offensive; yet the Swedish authorities ended up protecting the imam from legal repercussions, even though prosecuting him would send an important signal to other Muslim preachers who view homosexuality in a similar way. That they do has been documented by a Swedish-Muslim blogger, who wrote:

During my years as a Muslim, I have visited several Swedish mosques from north to south. In all the mosques, homophobia was the norm. I have heard worse things than “homosexuality is a virus.” In no mosque, I repeat not one, have I come across teachings that tolerate homosexuality… The fact that the media act as if they were astonished [at Abu Muadh’s statement] shows how little contact they have with Muslim environments in Sweden. For those who have been on the “inside”, who have visited mosques and spent time with Muslims who are active in the mosques, the imam’s views [sound] completely mainstream.

Swedish experts largely consider Abu Muadh a radical, who moves in Salafist circles and has encouraged jihad, glorifying martyrdom in the battle to spread Islam. In a video clip on YouTube, he urges people who have “sinned” to wage jihad to be forgiven by God. In an interview with Hallandsposten in June 2016, he said that Muslims should not befriend unbelievers. He has argued that Muslims must not emulate the dress and haircuts of “kuffars” (infidels) and has declared 95% of all TV programs “haram” (forbidden).

In Sweden, comments that object to sexual violence against women in the Quran are prosecuted, but calling homosexuality a “virus” is fine.

Homosexuals are not the only ones to find themselves among those groups that Swedish society apparently no longer count as minorities worthy of protection. Anti-Semitism has become so socially acceptable in Sweden that anti-Semites can get away with anything, and no one even notices, as Nima Gholam Ali Pour reports. One of Sweden’s main news outlets, in fact, described antisemitism as simply a different opinion. Clearly, neither homosexuals nor Jews count for much in the eyes of Swedish authorities.

In addition, Swedish authorities give large sums of money to organizations that invite hate preachers who support terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Al Qaeda.

The Gothenburg-based nonprofit organization, Swedish Federation of Muslims (SFM,) was handed a government subsidy of 535,200 SEK [$60,000] in 2016. This is in addition to 150,000 SEK [$17,000] that SFM received from the city of Gothenburg.

SFM applied for the money “to combat Islamophobia”, which the organization considers “one of the biggest problems in Sweden right now”. One of the speakers SFM hired was Michael Skråmo, who has publicly called on his fellow Muslims to join ISIS. Now, calling himself Abdul Samad al Swedi, he has appeared in propaganda videos, posing with Kalashnikov assault rifles alongside his small children, outside Kobane in Syria. Abu Muadh is also a regular speaker.

1149Michael Skråmo, a Swedish convert and ISIS jihadist, brought his family to Syria. He has also urged Muslims in Sweden to bomb their workplaces.

Terror researcher Magnus Ranstorp said that he was surprised that SFM had been awarded state grants. “I see lots of question marks. We’re talking about a group that invited hate preachers, whose Salafist orientation is in many ways the opposite of tolerance”, he said. The decision to award SFM government subsidies also runs counter to the government’s agreement with the four conservative Alliance parties that no public money should go to advocate violence.

What is the Swedish authorities’ response to the official granting of money to organizations that host extremists? “Of course this is serious, and it is our view that this must be factored into future contribution assessments”, said Daniel Norlander, chief secretary of the National Authority Against Violent Extremism. The authority apparently does not think that the money should be returned or that there should be any sanctions. After all, we are only talking about preachers of violent jihad.

Winston Churchill: Anti-German Hate Group Leader?

February 6, 2017

Winston Churchill: Anti-German Hate Group Leader?, Jihad Watch

(Hmmm. I wonder what analogy Mr. Spencer may be drawing. — DM)

churchill-1

Imagine if this were 1930, and the Southern Poverty Law Center existed, and it issued a lavishly illustrated, apparently meticulously documented report on critics of the Nazis, dubbing them “anti-German hate group leaders.” There were profiles of Winston Churchill, Edgar Mowrer, and other early critics of Hitler, noting when they had made false claims about Hitler (false, that is, according to the Nazis) and charging them with “hate” and “anti-German bias.”

Imagine then that the mainstream media, whenever it quoted Churchill, Mowrer, or the others, described them as “anti-German,” and noted that the Southern Poverty Law Center said that they were hate group leaders. It would call them “rabble rousers” and “wide boys” and “demogogues.” Quotes from Goebbels and Göring would also invariably be included, calmly explaining the truth of the matters at hand and patiently answering questions about what a shame it was that they had to deal with the likes of Churchill. This kind of coverage would be universal: critics of Nazism were never described in the mainstream media in anything but pejorative terms. Whenever they got mainstream media attention, they were challenged to respond to charges that they were “anti-German” and “spreading hate.” Their views were more often presented by the SPLC and others who dubbed them “anti-German” than by themselves. The leading authorities the media consulted about Hitler and Nazism were favorable to both, and opposed only to excessive violence by the Brownshirts, which they stressed was inconsistent with the spirit of Nazism, and had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Meanwhile, the critics were constantly vilified, ridiculed and mocked, and likened to the Ku Klux Klan and other genuinely hateful groups. People wrote that they wanted to attack them physically, and that it would be legitimate to do so.

Imagine that this situation prevailed, without any cracks in the edifice, for five years. Ten years. Fifteen years. Imagine that it prevailed as Hitler came to power, as he began persecuting the Jews, as he began his rearmament of Germany, as he bullied weak Western leaders, who were anxious to appease him anyway, into allowing him to take Austria and Czechoslovakia, and finally as he invaded Poland and the Western powers finally decided to fight back.

Imagine then that every step that Britain, France, and ultimately the Soviet Union and the United States took to defend themselves against Hitler and the Nazis was decried by the mainstream media and a huge segment of the American public as “anti-German” and a manifestation of hatred and bigotry. Every step FDR took to prosecute the war was denounced and even voided by federal court orders; he was derided as a fool, a criminal, an authoritarian ruler, and there were open calls not only for his impeachment, but for a coup to remove him from power, and even numerous calls for his assassination.

In that scenario, which side do you think would have won the war?