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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘free speech’

Better Than They Are

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

On these shores, Americans commemorated the cold-blooded gleeful murder of thousands of their fellow men and women by bowing their heads and enlisting in one of the free work projects of the National Day of Service listed at Serve.gov, a combination that says all that needs to be said about our present day relationship with our government.

In newly liberated Benghazi, the city that Obama named as his moral imperative for fighting an illegal war against the will of the American people, gunmen opened fire on the American embassy and killed an American security guard. That dead man is the first American casualty in the Libyan War– a casualty that will be acknowledged and honored around the same time that someone in the media calls the Libyan War, a war, instead of sticking to the shameless lie of a No Fly Zone.

In Cairo, a mob of a thousand climbed the wall, tore down the American flag, tore it to pieces, burned it and tried to replace it with their own flag with the words, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger”. That message was the same one that the murderers of Americans have shouted, written and videotaped themselves chanting in one form or another.

As befits a great power, the US Embassy in Cairo responded by condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” The US Embassy’s statement was virtually indistinguishable from the one issued by the beleaguered Christian Copts of Egypt. The Christians of Egypt act that way because they live at the merciless mercy of Muslims. Apparently so do we.

When the Prophet-Criers climb our walls and murder us, we apologize for having offended their religious feelings. The same religious feelings that took down the World Trade Center as part of a murderous crusade going back over a thousand years. They kill us and we elect a man with a Muslim background to tour the world and explain to all the angry Muslims that we’re really very nice people once you get to know us.

If they want to be ruled by Muslim governments under Islamic law, we’ll give that to them. If they want a billion dollars, we’ll send it to them. If they want us to apologize for having free speech, we’ll do that too.

If they burn a couple more embassies, we’ll even see do something about that Bill of Rights which does not permit the gendarmes of tolerance to arrest a man for blasphemously calling Mohammed a pedophile and burning a Koran bought and paid for with his own money. Not like our more enlightened European cousins who put a stop to that behavior long ago and are sniffing around the flanks of Sharia law to see which parts of it can fit safely into their tolerant order.

And of course burning a Koran is ridiculous. So what if they burn American flags. So what if they burned 3,000 people, the ones who didn’t jump or kill themselves some other way. So what if their great ambition in life is to climb over all our walls and kill most of us and enslave the rest because the Koran, that most holy book which unlike New Yorkers must not be burned, tells them to do it. So what?

They can kill us because someone somewhere insulted their prophet. But when they kill thousands of us, then we must feel eternal shame because we renditioned some of the perpetrators, put them in a room and then, under medical supervision, poured water on them until they eventually told us about all their other plans to kill us.

The answer, you see, is that we are better than they are. And we get plenty of opportunities to show off how much better than them we truly are.

They kill us and we apologize to them. They kill us and we spend a fortune developing drones that will be able to take out the leader who ordered the attack with as little collateral damage as possible. And then when the natives dig up the daughters they murdered last week and the brother-in-law they beat to death last month in a clan feud, and dump them on the smoking vehicle, and the local stringers who have arrangements with Al Qaeda and the Taliban snap away at the wreckage, we will feel bad because after all the billions we spent developing and deploying a weapon meant to kill as few people as possible– there are the bodies that prove we are terrible people.

And when Karzai, whose prisons are full of raped and mutilated women, yells at us in front of the camera, before taking a hit of coke, and going off to have sex with one of his dancing boys, tells us that we are terrible people, we will believe it. Because we are better than them and we have a conscience.

This collective conscience does not respond to the mutilated bodies of Americans, in Afghanistan or in New York. It is a conscience deaf to the pain of the thousands of soldiers and their families who died or suffered crippling injuries because the new administration wanted to win the hearts and minds of Muslims, the only people who truly matter, by minimizing civilian casualties. But show that conscience a naked Muslim with women’s underwear on his head and it will shriek and clutch its pearls. It will turn that Muslim into the shame of America, while looking away from the Rape Rooms that same Muslim supervised.

After September 11 we could have struck back, the way we struck back at Japan, without mercy or empathy, with no concern for the enemy as anything but a faceless mass that hurt us. We could have leveled their cities, brought their civilization to the ground and done it with no more concern than a government legislator deciding how much money to squeeze out of the taxpayer for this year.

But we didn’t do that. We did not come to hurt them, but to save them from themselves and teach them how to be good people like us. We wanted to make them into the kind of kind noble people who only respond with the minimal amount of violence possible to an attack. The kind of people who will let thousands of their own people die rather for the sake of their conscience. Good people like us.

Our experiment at civilizing the savage failed miserably in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will go on failing as often as we keep attempting it. And at the end of the experiment, there will be burning embassies and savages crying, “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger,” the same words that the bearded bandit who was one of the first Muslims and their many times great-grandfather was crying out as he was raping the shamelessly unveiled tribal woman who would become their many times great-grandmother.

“There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger” means that the Muslim need not waste time worrying about his conscience. His conscience is a Koran and that book says that he’s entitled to kill any time that an infidel offends Islam by mocking his prophet, walking in front of him or building a skyscraper that is taller than a mosque. The Muslim need not waste time pondering the ethical implications of killing another human being to know that he is better than we are. His little black book assures him that he is better than us, that he has every right to kill us and that if he fails, he will be raping demon virgins who are so anorexic that their bones can be seen through their flesh.

But, we oh what good people we are, we will apologize for having an embassy and for having free speech and for getting our embassy in the way of their mob and our free speech in the way of our religious sensibilities. And we will see about getting all of the above out of their way. After Muslims killed thousands of Americans we did everything we could to learn about their religion, to celebrate it and soothe their ruffled feathers. Like an anxious host, we are still rushing around to see that our Muslim guest has enough coffee and egg rolls while promising to do something about that free speech that offends him.

Like all good people, we are expert at blaming ourselves. Aside from the rabble who claim that there really were no Muslims on those planes and possibly no planes at all, just a vast conspiracy by the people in our own government who were not at all Muslims, there are the other rabble who claim that our foreign policy motivated the attacks. One way or another, we are to blame. That is how we know that we are good people… by blaming ourselves. The more we apologize and ask our murderers to forgive us, the better people we know ourselves to be.

One day, and this is our highest hope, we will look a Muslim terrorist in the eye right as he shoots us and beam into his soul a message of hope and peace, and just as the life bleeds out of our veins, the Muslim will fall at our feet and be filled with the understanding that all life is precious and sacred. And even if we are the last of our kind, our deaths will have been worthwhile if by the final sacrifice of our civilization we can elevate the savage out of his savagery.

We are you see, good people. Not moral people nor sane people. Morality requires values and sanity demands contact with some outpost of the real world outside the simulacrum of outraged noise on all the channels, real and virtual. Morality is hard, goodness is easy. Morality is about right and wrong, but goodness is about condemning those most like you in order to feel better about yourself.

Goodness is childishly easy. Go to a movie theater and wait for people to talk. Then feel good about not being one of the talkers. Goodness is watching thousands of people getting killed and feeling good because unlike those crazy rednecks or the bridge and tunnel crowd, you feel no yearning for vengeance. Goodness is watching Americans die and then picking out a Muslim convenience store and offering him whatever support he needs against all those bigots who are sure to show up with American flags and torches sooner or later, because unlike you, they aren’t good people at all.

We are a nation led by immoral people who think they are good, by politicians, professors, priests, rabbis, pundits, crackpots and activists who having no values are determined to excuse all the evil that they do by being relentlessly good people. When they sacrifice something, whether it’s a night out or your life, then they will make sure that everyone knows it. And when you protest, they will tell you about all the sacrifices that they are making, because despite all the blood and filth on their hands, they are good people. Good amoral sociopaths who learned everything they know about right and wrong from television and feel-good slogans.

The bigger their hypocrisies, the bigger their sacrifices, and they love nothing so much as sacrificing others. Their conscience is always bothering them and they put it to sleep with showy acts of public goodness. They will not feed a beggar on their street, but they will go around the world to feed an orphan, especially at someone else’s expense. And that way they remember that they are good people. Not just good people, but better people than us, the miserable mob waving torches and flags who don’t know the value of condescending to an Imam at an Iftar dinner or feeding a Bangladesh orphans on someone else’s dime or spending thousands of lives to enable Muslims to be the good people that they must be somewhere underneath all those ugly layers of murder, child-murder and mass murder.

So, no we will not fight back after September 11. Nor will we fight back when our embassies are attacked. The good people running things will take stock of what we have done that could have caused this and apologize for it and remind us to feel good about being such good people who diplomatically apologize to others instead of bombing them from the sky. They will feel worse about a burnt Koran than about a dead American because they are sociopaths with no more understanding of right and wrong than the teleprompters who feed them their lines. All their morality is learned behavior and their teachers were liars, morons and lunatics who passed on their disease to the next generation.

Embassies can burn and so can skyscrapers, but like all amoral people, they will cling to the moral high ground with their fingernails because it is the only thing between them and the abyss. They will tell us that we act the way we do because we, as a nation, are better than they are. We don’t lash out, we don’t get angry, we don’t go to war for revenge. We are not meant to feel anything except for the satisfaction of serving others, whether it’s picking up trash outside an inner city school on a National Day of Service, that happens to coincide with something called 9/11, or dodging Taliban bullets so that Afghan schoolgirls can get a proper education.

We are meant to be good people and that is what good people do. They give until it hurts and then die knowing that their giving natures kept them on the moral high ground of being six feet under.

We are good people. Too good to fight. Too good to defend ourselves. Too good to keep our laws and retain our traditions. Too good to be angry when we are killed. Too good to want to do anything but make our killers understand our pain. Too good to respond to our own murder with anything but immediate guilt.

We are better than they are. Not better at survival, but better at rationalizing our own destruction. We are so good that we open up our cities to our own murderers and close our eyes at the airport so as not to make a single one of them feel bad. We could fight back, but we’re too good. And if we start defending ourselves, then we will be forced to ask, “What is the difference between us and them?” Once we start killing, we will become murderers and it is better to be murder victims, it is better to mourn in defeat than to celebrate a victory, it is better to serve as Dhimmis than to live as conquerors.

We could fight back, but we are better than they are. That is a decision that our leaders have made and they remind us of it every September 11. They remind us that they are too good for victory. We could object, but they would only remind us that they are better than we are.

Daniel Greenfield

The Bible and the US Constitution Protect the KKK’s Right To ‘Adopt-A-Highway’

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Conspicuously wearing my kippah, I walked out of a TJ Maxx in Cincinnati Ohio, where I was visiting family, when a car full of skinheads sped up to me with arms stretched out the window in a Hitler salute chanting “Sieg heil!” I sternly retorted: “I condemn and despise your hateful ideology but support your right to free expression!” If these Neo-Nazi skinheads thought Jewish people were strange, I’m sure my response confirmed it.

The Georgia Department of Transportation rejected the Ku Klux Klan’s application to adopt a highway because of the group’s hateful ideology. The American Civil Liberties Union is now defending the Klan. Despite the KKK’s despicable and hateful ideology, the First Amendment protects their free speech, and therefore their right to participate in Georgia state’s Adopt-a-Highway program.

At face value, Jewish law does not appear to support pure free speech. It does, however, recognize and espouse the benefits of rigorous debate. The interpretation of Jewish law is in fact created through heated debate, for example, between the schools of Hillel and Shamai. The Jewish approach tends not towards regulating different opinions, but rather promoting the “marketplace of ideas,” believing that is where the truth of matter will be revealed.

Laws prohibiting the government from regulating hate speech, excluding of course obscenity, defamation, and incitement to riot, are generally unconstitutional in the United States. U.S. Supreme Court opinions dating back to Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire 315 U.S. 568 (1942) affirm that speech directed at a specific individual meant to inflict injury or “incite an immediate” threat (i.e., yelling “fire” in a theater) is not protected under the First Amendment. However, unless you can show that the words pose a direct and immediate threat, hate speech is still generally protected.

The more difficult question is where do we draw the line when it comes to hate speech that is not designed to incite but is an expression of a hateful ideology? Should society regulate speech such as a sign bearing the insignia of the Georgia KKK on an interstate highway?

In Jewish law the punishment for hate speech (e.g. Lashon Hora) is a heavenly dermatological disease called tzaraat. In Numbers 12:10 Miriam is afflicted with the disease for criticizing the Ethiopian race of Moses wife. Interestingly, nature and the divine, not the justice system, afflict an offender with tzaraat (Artscroll Tanach, Leviticus 13, commentary, page 272). Those afflicted with tzaraat were marginalized from society, in designated camps, as part of their atonement (Leviticus 13:45-46). The inherent message is that we don’t need to ban or censor hateful speech, because the real solution is marginalizing hateful ideology through truthfulness. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said it best: “Freedom of speech carries with it certain obligations. One of those is to condemn false speech. The best answer to false speech is not censorship, it is truthfulness.”

Racist, homophobic, and hateful organizations like the Ku Klux Klan undermine their ideology more than promote it. Allowing them to speak in public helps expose them for who they are. The best way to respond and defeat those ideologies is by exposing them.

By attempting to suppress their speech we only make them stronger. Racist ideologies thrive in countries like Austria, France, and the United Kingdom, where hate speech is restricted. For instance, the Netherlands islamophobic and racist Party for Freedom received almost 1.5 million votes in the 2010 election. Those guilty of hate speech often garner media attention, become martyrs, and use speech suppression as a recruitment tool.

In 2004 when the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the KKK had a free speech right to adopt a highway, the Missouri legislature used the opportunity to effectively and constitutionally combat the hate speech:

Lawmakers named that section of roadway the Rosa Parks Highway, as the New York Times reports. When a different white supremacist group adopted another highway segment, Missouri lawmakers renamed that road for Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, a Jewish theologian who escaped Nazi Germany for the U.S. where he became a civil rights activist.

The best way to delegitimize racist and bigoted viewpoints is through the marketplace of ideas, not through government regulations infringing on the First Amendment.

Eliyahu Federman

Former Mossad Chief: Arab Spring ‘Incredible Opportunity

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, speaking at the 2012 Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, expressed cautious optimism about the potential outcomes of the Arab Spring, saying that “we are in a very unique position that has never been seen before.”

Dagan was part of a panel discussing the Arab Spring, steps that regional actors could take to help ensure a peaceful transition to democracy, and the impact of these revolutions on Israel. The panel also featured, among others, former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, and former senior Presidential adviser Dennis Ross.

Dagan, who has maintained a high profile since his tenure as Mossad chief ended, said that “the radicals in the Arab League are no longer there and a range of mutual interests that require regional cooperation provide an incredible opportunity for fostering peaceful relations.” Still, he acknowledged that the Arab Spring is far from over: “I am worried about Islamist parties with a radical agenda that will take power. It will present a big problem for us.”

Referring to the recent Presidential election in Egypt and claims that the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate Mohammed Morsi is slated for victory, he said that “in Egypt it was never important which way the votes go but who counts them.”

Former IDF chief Ashkenazi also weighed in on the monumental changes taking place in the Arab world, saying that “the storm sweeping the Arab world is of tectonic proportions. It happens once every 100 years and cannot be overestimated. This is not just a coup. I don’t know anyone in the defense establishment that predicted what happened there.” He said it was critical that Israel preserve open lines of communication with the Egyptian army: “It is practically the only channel…with Turkey as well.”

Discussing the importance of Israel maintaining its relative military superiority, Ashkenazi offered his solution to the controversial issue of national/military service for all Israeli citizens: “It has long been my belief that not everyone must be drafted. We should go by a principle of service for all, not enlistment for all.

“The IDF should get first pick,” he continued. “Whoever is not selected by the IDF will go to the Fire Services, Magen David Adom or other services…As for the haredim, it’s very important they join the army and then enter the work force. The Torah greats will decide who goes to yeshivot and the rest will join the army.”

Dennis Ross, talking about the role that the U.S. should play in the Arab Spring, said “we in the West are not the authors of this story, so we won’t be the ones to write it. But if we are asked for help, we should offer it, with ground rules – respect religion, minorities and free speech – if they don’t follow these rules they shouldn’t be entitled to help.”

The Presidential Conference will wrap up tomorrow, after hearing from the likes of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Natan Sharansky, Rabbi Michael Melchior, and journalist Caroline Glick.

Jewish Press Staff

J.E. Dyer: Ceramic Pig Watch – Offensive Speech in Britain

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Ever since the case of the offensive ceramic pigs in 1998, the British have been assiduously refining their methods for dealing with offenses to Islam.  Earlier this year, Bruce Bawer at Frontpage recounted the tale of David Jones, who was going through security at Gatwick Airport when he made a stray comment that brought down the full force of the Speech Police on his head (emphasis added):

[A]ccording to the Telegraph, “he spotted a Muslim woman in hijab pass through the area without showing her face” and, in a “light-hearted aside to a security official who had been assisting him,” said: “If I was wearing this scarf over my face, I wonder what would happen.”

Kapow! Poor Mr. Jones spent the next hour or so being lectured about what he was and was not allowed to say by an airline official, a police officer, and several security guards, one of whom identified herself as a Muslim and told him she was “deeply distressed” by his comment. Of course it was Jones who was being unjustly harassed and who had every right to feel “deeply distressed,” but, as he later pointed out, “Something like George Orwell’s 1984 now seems to have arrived in Gatwick airport,” so that it is now considered reasonable for individuals in positions of power to claim that they are being caused “distress” by the very people whom they, in an outrageous abuse of power, are in the very process of tormenting. The cop on the scene even instructed Jones “that we now live in a different time and some things are not to be said.”

It now turns out that not only are things not to be said, but no one else is to be allowed to know what was said when someone is jailed for saying them.

A Mr. Darren Conway of Gainsborough, Leicestershire, was sentenced in March to 12 months in prison for the crime of posting “offensive” posters about Mohammed and Islam on the window of his apartment.   According to the Gainsborough Standard, Conway said he printed the posters from images at Facebook, which suggests he found them online through his connection with the British National Party (BNP).  Presumably the images are no longer available, or there is no way to verify which ones he printed out.  At any rate, the British authorities and the media offered no details about the posters after the police removed them.

A number of British citizens were naturally interested in what was on the posters, since they got a man convicted and sent to prison.  It does seem reasonable for the people to know what will get them locked up.  “Offensive to Islam” could mean a lot of things, and no one should have to guess what’s considered actionably offensive.  One report (cited at the Frontpage link, previous paragraph) indicated that one of the posters depicted a rally of the English Defence League, but it offered no particulars about any of the other posters and how they were offensive to Islam.

So Edgar Davidson, a British blogger, made a Freedom of Information request to the crown prosecutor for details about the offensive posters displayed by Conway.  The prosecutor declined his request last week, offering this explanation:

There is a substantial public interest in many circumstances in protecting from disclosure information gathered for the purposes of a criminal case. The defendant in this case was prosecuted as he publically displayed the offensive posters referred to in your request. As displaying this material was proven to be a criminal offence in a criminal court, and the graphic and violent images depicted in these posters caused offence in the neighbourhood in which they were displayed, there is a very strong public interest in these articles not being distributed any further.

Davidson invokes the adjective “Kafkaesque” in describing this interaction.  Bruce Bawer cites a public statement by Ms. Judith Walker of the crown prosecutor’s organization, and parses it as follows:

We all owe Walker a debt of gratitude, for in this statement she takes us right to the heart of the matter, giving us a crystal-clear picture of how these people think. To place in the window of your home slogans and pictures that add up to a criticism of Islamic ideology is not to exercise your freedom of speech; it is to commit an act of “harassment” that has no place “in a tolerant society” and that must therefore be punished.

J. E. Dyer

Finland’s War on Free Speech

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Finland’s Supreme Court has found a prominent politician guilty of defaming Islam for “Islamophobic” comments he made on his personal blog.

The ruling represents a major setback for free speech in a Europe that is becoming increasingly stifled by politically correct restrictions on free speech, particularly on issues related to Islam and Muslim immigration.

The Helsinki-based Supreme Court ruled on June 8 that Finns Party MP Jussi Kristian Halla-aho was guilty of “inciting hatred against an ethnic group” for blog posts he made in 2008 which compared Islam to paedophilia, and for sarcastic comments which insinuated that immigrants from Somalia are predisposed to stealing and living off welfare.

In its ruling, the court said that hate speech does not fall under the protections afforded by the freedom of speech, even though Halla-aho said his comments were a protest against public policy and not against Islam and Mohammed per se.

Halla-aho, who has become well known in Finland and elsewhere for his well-argued essays criticizing multiculturalism and runaway immigration, was ordered to pay a hefty fine and delete the comments from his blog.

Halla-aho maintains a blog called Scripta, which deals with issues such as “immigration, multiculturalism, tolerance, racism, freedom of speech and political correctness.” His blog attracts thousands of readers every day, and the Tampere-based newspaper Aamulehti has described him the best-known political blogger in Finland. Halla-aho’s notoriety has placed the guardians of Finnish multiculturalism on maximum alert.

In a blog post in June 2008, Halla-aho wrote that the Islamic prophet Mohammed was a paedophile, and that Islam is a religion of paedophilia because Mohammed had sexual intercourse with his wife, Aisha, when she was only nine years old.

According to Halla-aho: “This sentence is related to a discussion where I criticize the idea of the subjective offensiveness of some sentence as being sufficient criteria for its judicial offensiveness. In other words, if some group is offended by sentence X, sentence X is illegal irrespective of whether it is true or not. In my opinion, stating of facts cannot and must not be criminal, even if they offend someone. This is also a problem of equality. For example, a Muslim is offended by criticism of his religion far more easily than an average Christian. If subjective offensiveness suffices as the elements of a crime, the law protects a Muslim with greater force than it protects a Christian.”

He continued: “My sentences about Mohammed and Islam were not opinions, but inescapably logical conclusions based on known facts. I did not use the word ‘paedophile’ as psychopathological concept, but in its popular meaning of a person having sex with children. The traditional Muslim knowledge, the Hadith literature, tells us that Mohammed had sex with his wife Aisha when she was nine years old. A nine-year-old is seen as a child today, and physically she was a child in 7th century, no matter what her judicial status was. Therefore, if Mohammed had sex with Aisha and Aisha was a child, Mohammed had sex with a child. That Mohammed is a holy figure to Muslims cannot make him immune to criticism in West, especially if criticism is based on undisputed facts.”

In another post, Halla-aho responded to a Finnish columnist who wrote that drinking excessively and fighting when drunk were cultural and possibly genetic characteristics of Finns. In order to show the double standards of such arguments, Halla-aho asked sarcastically if it could be stated that robbing passersby and living at the expense of taxpayers are cultural and possibly genetic characteristics of Somalis.

According to Halla-aho, “I turned the newspaper Kaleva‘s sentence into parody where ‘Finns’ were replaced by ‘Somalis.’ My hypothesis was that Somalis are under the special protection of the media and government officials, and my argument is that what is permissible to present about Finns becomes impermissible when it is about Somalis. My own version was as follows: ‘Robbing passers-by and living as parasites on tax money is the national, maybe even genetic characteristic of Somalis.'”

He also wrote: “In order to poke fun at The Council for Mass Media in Finland, I mentioned in the text that I present this argument as supposition, not as a fact. In addition, I proved that by using crime statistics, the argument about Somalis can be proved just as effectively as Kaleva’s argument about Finns.”

Soeren Kern

German Cartoon Riots: Clubs, Bottles, and Stones

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

In an explosion of violence that reflects the growing assertiveness of Salafists in Germany, on May 5th more than 500 radical Muslims attacked German police with bottles clubs, stones and other weapons in the city of Bonn, to protest cartoons they said were “offensive.”

Rather than cracking down on the Muslim extremists, however, German authorities have sought to silence the peaceful critics of multicultural policies that allow the Salafists — who say they are committed to imposing Islamic Sharia law throughout Europe — openly to preach violence and hate.

The clashes erupted when around 30 supporters of a conservative political party, PRO NRW, which is opposed to the further spread of Islam in Germany, participated in a campaign rally ahead of regional elections in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). Some of those participating in the rally, which was held near the Saudi-run King Fahd Academy in the Mehlem district of Bonn, the former capital of West Germany, had been waving banners depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammad (see photo here), to protest the Islamization of Germany.

The rally swiftly disintegrated into violence (photos here and here) when hundreds of angry Salafists, who are opposed to any depiction of their prophet, began attacking the police, whose job it was to keep the two groups apart.

In the final tally of the melee, 29 police officers were injured, two with serious stab wounds, and more than 100 Salafists were arrested, although most were later released. A 25-year-old German protester of Turkish origin, suspected of having stabbed the two police officers, remained in custody on suspicion of attempted homicide.

According to Bonn’s police chief, Ursula Brohl-Sowa, “This was an explosion of violence such as we have not witnessed in a long time.”

Germany’s intelligence and security agencies say they are closely monitoring the Salafists, who are increasingly viewed as posing a threat to German security.

Salafism, a branch of radical Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia, seeks to establish an Islamic empire (Caliphate) across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe — and eventually the entire world. The Caliphate would be governed exclusively by Islamic Sharia law, which would apply both to Muslims and to non-Muslims. Salafists also believe, among other disconcerting doctrines, that democracies — governments made by men as opposed to theirs, which was made by the almighty — legitimately deserve to be destroyed.

According to German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, “Salafism is currently the most dynamic Islamist movement in Germany as well as internationally. Its fanatic followers represent a particular danger for Germany’s security. The Salafists provide the ideological foundation for those who then turn violent.”

The interior minister of the German state of Lower Saxony, Uwe Schünemann, said, “The violence of the Salafists in Bonn has once again shown what is behind the mask of supposed religiosity: nothing but brute force.” He also said that the violence was “a direct challenge to liberal democracy as a whole.”

The interior minister of Bavaria, Joachim Hermann, said that: “We cannot tolerate violent retribution and revenge. We apply the rule of law, not Islamic vigilante justice.” He added that Salafists should be “brought to justice and severely punished,” and that “We have to monitor the Salafist scene even more. And we have to be more diligent in cracking down on hate and violence. We cannot allow that terrorists and violent criminals are free to operate under our noses. We need to take action against Salafism and its intolerant, fanatical ideology with all legal means.”

Despite these and many other pronouncements, Salafists still have free reign in Germany: Salafist preachers are known regularly to preach hatred against the West in the mosques and prayer centers that are proliferating across the country.

In recent weeks, Salafists have been engaged in an unprecedented nationwide campaign to distribute 25 million copies of the Koran, translated into the German language, with the goal of placing one Koran in every home in Germany, free of charge.

The mass proselytization campaign — called Project “READ!” — is being organized by dozens of Islamic Salafist groups located in cities and towns throughout Germany, as well as in Austria and Switzerland.

According to the German newspaper Die Welt, the Salafists have launched a “frontal assault” against people of other faiths and “unbelievers.” Die Welt has reported that German authorities view the Koran project, which fundamentalists are using a recruiting tool, as a “most worrisome” campaign for radical Islam. Security analysts say the campaign is also a public-relations gimmick intended to persuade Germans that the Salafists are transparent and “citizen friendly.”

A spokesperson for the Berlin branch of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) told Die Welt that “the objective of this campaign is to help bring those who are interested into contact with the Salafist scene to influence them in the context of extremist political ideologies.”

Soeren Kern

The Death Of Academic Discourse

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Of the many intellectual perversions currently taking root on college campuses, perhaps none is more contradictory to what should be one of higher education’s core values than the suppression of free speech.

With alarming regularity, speakers are shouted down, booed, jeered, and barraged with vitriol, all at the hands of groups who give lip service the notion of academic free speech – and who demand it when their speech is at issue but have no interest in listening to, or letting others listen to, ideas that contradict their own world view.

Earlier this year, two Israeli officials, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon and Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren had the unpleasant experience of confronting virulent anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian Muslim students whose ideology on academic debate seems to be “free speech for me, but not for thee.”

Ayalon, who spoke at Oxford University, had his speech interrupted by several audience members, including one who yelled incessantly and called Ayalon a “racist” and “a war criminal” while waving a Palestinian flag, another student who loudly read passages of the incendiary Goldstone report, and a third student who remained standing for the entire balance of the lecture while she hurled anti-Israel invective.

The genteel, soft-spoken Ambassador Oren did not fare much better during his visit to the University of California at Irvine, a notorious hotbed of radical anti-Israel sentiment. During the aborted speech to some 500 people about U.S.-Israel relations, which was loudly interrupted ten times, boorish hecklers screamed over Oren’s talk such profound observations as “Michael Oren, propagating murder is not an expression of free speech,” “I accuse you of murder,” “How many Palestinians have you killed?” and “Israel is a murderer.”

Oren is hardly what even his staunchest critics could consider an Islamophobe eager to trample Palestinian aspirations. A Columbia and Princeton graduate, he is the author of two seminal books on the Middle East – Six Days of War and Power, Faith and Fantasy. He is at least as qualified to speak about the Israeli/Palestinian situation as the raucous, boorish students who had decided, in advance of his UC-I appearance, that he was morally unfit to even appear on their campus.

Even after he took a 20-minute recess to let the crowd cool off and regain its collective composure, his return to the podium was greeted with more volleys of invective, shouting, and speech-stopping bombast from the Muslim students, eleven of whom – eight from UC-Irvine (including the Muslim Student Union president) and three from UC Riverside – were eventually escorted out of the hall and arrested.

The fact that UC-I’s habitually craven administrators, led by Chancellor Michael Drake, were even motivated enough by the students’ errant behavior to have them ejected from the event is a promising sign.

While the university has always claimed to be dedicated to encouraging debate and scholarly inquiry by letting the Muslim Student Union mount annual hate-fests to demonize and vilify Israel and Jews, the MSU has effectively hijacked all discussion of the Middle East on campus, and its events are not platforms at which opposing views are aired and discussed.

As is frequently the case when speaking about the Israel/Arab conflict, the discussion often glosses over the real problems of Palestinian culture, politics, and society (including its cult of death), and focuses all criticism on the perceived defects of Israel, Zionism, and Jewish power.

This notion that pro-Israel speakers and scholars do not deserve, on a moral or intellectual basis, an opportunity to participate in scholarly debate is a dangerous one, even if it comes from tendentious students. It starts with the assumption that Israel, because of its perceived moral defects and its oppression of the hapless Palestinians and the theft of their lands, does not even have the right to participate in intellectual debate, that academic free speech in Israel’s case can be modified and is not absolute.

And while Muslim students and other campus radicals have, at UC-I and other college campuses, seen to it that speech they do not approve of, spoken by people with whom they disagree, is shut down with the “heckler’s veto,” they have never missed an opportunity to invite their own stable of slimy, anti-Israel, anti-U.S. speakers.

Richard L. Cravatts

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-death-of-academic-discourse/2010/04/28/

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