American Bloggers Beware! (part 1)
1 August 2013
yesterday's article, I covered the story of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes for the crime of insulting Islam by claiming that "Muslims, Jews, Christians, and atheists are all equal." I ended the article by saying:
Lest you think this kind of persecution of those who express their opinions about Islam on the Internet is something that happens only in repressive, fanatical Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, in my next article I will explore how it is also starting to happen in "Judeo-Christian" Western countries as well. Your Islamic future is getting closer than you think!So let's take a brief look at how Islamic sharia law is having more and more of an influence in the West. The first three examples I found on a Web page called European Hate Speech Laws published by The Legal Project. I won't be recounting all the details of each example, so you'll have to follow the included links to dig deeper. To begin with, I want to share an opening paragraph from the European Hate Speech Laws article:
Delineating the line between speech that is considered rude and that which is considered insulting for the purposes of criminal prosecution is an utterly subjective undertaking, and a distinction that governments are ill-suited to determine. Compounding the problem of these laws' arbitrariness is their selective application: while European authorities have at times appeared reluctant to go after Islamist firebrands spouting hatred, those engaging in legitimate debate about Islamism are frequently targeted for prosecution. Examples abound:Brigitte Bardot. According to Wikipedia,
During the 1990s, Bardot generated controversy by criticizing immigration, Islamization and Islam in France, and has been fined numerous times for "inciting racial hatred." On 10 June 2004, Bardot was again convicted by a French court for "inciting racial hatred" and fined €5,000, the fourth such conviction and fine from a French court. Bardot denied the racial hatred charge and apologized in court, saying: "I never knowingly wanted to hurt anybody. It is not in my character." In 2008, Bardot was convicted of inciting racial/religious hatred in relation to a letter she wrote, a copy of which she sent to Nicolas Sarkozy when he was Interior Minister of France. The letter stated her objections to Muslims in France ritually slaughtering sheep by slitting their throats without anesthetizing them first. She also said, in reference to Muslims, that she was "fed up with being under the thumb of this population which is destroying us, destroying our country and imposing its habits." The trial concluded on 3 June 2008, with a conviction and fine of €15,000, the largest of her fines to date. The prosecutor stated that she was tired of charging Bardot with offences related to racial hatred.Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, politician Geert Wilders has been involved in domestic and international controversy for years over his ardent and vocal opposition to Islam. He sums up his stance by saying, "I don't hate Muslims, I hate Islam." He has also stated, "We [in the West] are all Israel." and "Israel is the West's first line of defense. If Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Muslims, Athens and Rome will be next. Thus, Jerusalem is the main front protecting the West. It is not a conflict over territory but rather an ideological battle, between the mentality of the liberated West and the ideology of Islamic barbarism."
As a result of Mr. Wilders strong stance against Islam, he has been on the receiving end of a lot of persecution. In 2010 Australian Islamic fundamentalist preacher Feiz Mohammad called on Muslim followers to behead Wilders. His rationale was his perception that Wilders had "denigrated" Islam, and that anyone who "mocks, laughs or degrades Islam" as Wilders had must be killed "by chopping off his head." Because of his vocal opposition to Islam, Mr. Wilders has been banned from entering the United Kingdom, although the ban was later overturned. He has also had trouble traveling to Australia and Germany.
Most famously, Mr. Wilders was persecuted by the Dutch government during 2007 through 2011, being accused of "hate speech" for his criticism of Islam. After years of expensive legal wrangling and a Dutch court trial, he was finally acquitted of all charges.
More recently, after the horrific Islamic murder of Lee Rigby on a London street in May 2013, two British men were arrested for making "offensive comments" on Twitter about the murder. Then another man was charged with "malicious communications" for comments he has posted on Facebook about the murder. Yet another man was visited by officers and warned about his activity on social media. This behavior by the authorities seems very much like the Islamic religious police we encountered in yesterday's article! Muslims don't have to do this kind of Gestapo work when Western non-Muslims are willing and eager to do it for them!
On a more ominous note, in June 2013, according to a report by Jihad Watch,
Western Australia (WA) Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan is believed to have promised the Islamic Council of WA that his technology crime division will monitor ALL e-mails sent and received in WA for anti-Muslim content. Given the nature of the Internet that would include e-mails from any part of the world. The WA Police website contains an extensive list of what it considers to be cyber-bullying but the Commissioner seems now determined to extend police powers to include ALL e-mail communications, and not merely those sent the victim.Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller have been vilified for a number of years due to their strong stance against Islam — they have even received, and continue to receive, numerous death threats because of their opinions and words. While I don't necessarily agree with all the things they say regarding what to DO about the scourge of Islam, I find that their reporting is very valuable and second to none.
Also in June 2013, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were banned from entering the UK, just like Geert Wilders was in previous years. You can see a copy of the letter Ms. Geller received from the British government here. Pamela writes:
In a striking blow against freedom, the British government has banned us from entering the country. Muhammad al-Arifi, who has advocated Jew-hatred, wife-beating, and jihad violence, entered the U.K. recently with no difficulty. In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.In May 2013, leading independent news site WND reported about the veiled threats issued by Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee,
Bloggers beware. And those who use email, too. And those on Facebook. And Twitter. And anyone else using social media: Diss [insult] a Muslim and the Department of Justice will be on your case with the full weight of federal law.how Islamists are infiltrating Western politics and culture, but the above examples should be enough to paint a pretty clear picture. In the future, sooner or later, it will be illegal to voice ANY criticism of Islam ANY where in the world. For more than a decade, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has been trying to push resolutions through the United Nations which would ban the criticism of Islam worldwide, and effectively institute an international blasphemy law.
The Obama administration, which is launching a series of Muslim Outreach Summits so that Islamists can tell federal officials how they better can serve that community, says it also is holding educational outreaches to let people know that Internet postings that violate civil rights are subject to federal prosecution.
Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, is scheduled to appear at an event sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee next week, and will "provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media," according to a report in the Tullahoma News in Tennessee.
"This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion," he said. "This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are."
He said everyone needs to understand that Internet postings that violate civil rights are subject to federal jurisdiction.
Your Islamic future, my Islamic future, OUR Islamic future is rapidly approaching — and it's closer than we imagine! How these issue might affect me personally will be addressed in Sticking Our Necks Out For Muslims.
UPDATE: For more on this critical topic, be sure to read American Bloggers Beware! (part 2)