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Posts Tagged ‘innocence of muslims’

Muslim Riots Continue to Spread in Europe

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Muslim protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to more European cities. Muslim rioters had initially clashed with police in Belgium, Britain and France, but since then, protests have spread to Austria, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Norway, Serbia and Switzerland.

In Germany, while thousands of Muslims took to the streets in various cities, the biggest demonstration took place in the Dortmund, where 1,500 Muslims holding Turkish flags marched through the city center on September 22. In Hanover, protests involved about 1,000 Muslims on September 23. In Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony police reported protests involving 1,600 people. Protests were also reported in Bergisch Gladbach, Cuxhaven, Münster, Freiburg and Karlsruhe.

A radical Islamist, Abu Assad al-Almani, has called for bombings and assassinations in Germany after it emerged that the actor who plays Mohammed in the anti-Islam movie was allegedly German. In an 8-page document, entitled “Settling Scores with Germany” and posted on the Internet on September 25, Abu Assad states: “In addition to the ugly cartoons, now the Americans have produced a film in which those pigs poke fun at our dear prophet and insult him.”

Abu Assad continues: “The one who played our noble Messenger was a German;” he then calls for revenge attacks. He asks Muslims in Germany to attack any German citizen who supports the film by “cutting their heads from their bodies and capturing it on film so that it is accessible to the public, so that the whole of Germany, and even the whole of Europe, knows that their criminal games will be thwarted by the sword of Islam.”

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) says the document has been produced by a group called the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), the European propaganda arm which supports Al Qaeda and other radical Islamic organizations. The BKA says it is taking the threat “very seriously.”

In Berlin, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich has postponed at the last minute a poster campaign aimed at countering radical Islam for fear it might have incited violence by extremists. The posters had been due to go up as of September 21 in German cities with large immigrant populations. The posters were aimed at those who suspected that a friend or family member might be drifting towards radical Islam.

In another sign that German officialdom is coming unhinged by political correctness, the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) lashed out at Baden-Württemberg’s Integration Minister, Bilkay Öney, for stating what many Germans believe is obvious, namely that “Islam tolerates no criticism.” She also said it was easier to dialogue with Muslims in Germany because they are relatively well educated. “In other parts of the world,” she said, “some take to the streets and set fire to embassies.”

CDU regional director Thomas Strobl rebuked Öney, a Turkish-born German politician, saying: “What Mrs. Öney says is surprising and shocking. Such remarks are unacceptable, as they emphasize what divides us, instead of linking and integrating.” Strobl wondered how Öney, who is a Muslim, could hold such politically incorrect views about Islam.

Elsewhere in Germany, more signs emerged that the threat of Muslim violence is endangering free speech in Germany. Development Minister Dirk Niebel (FDP) called for a ban on broadcasting the anti-Islam video in Germany. “Such a film should not be shown. We should not be adding fuel to the fire,” he told the newspaper, Bild. “The person who demands limitless freedom of expression has no idea what conflicts can be provoked by it,” Niebel said. His comments follow similar statements by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich.

In Greece, the center of Athens (recently dubbed the “New Kabul”) turned into a war zone (videos here) on September 23, when more than 1,000 Muslims — mostly immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh — hurled bottles and other objects at police, who were trying to prevent the rioters from descending on the American Embassy.

Protesting Muslims, chanting “All we have is Mohammed,” gathered in Omonia Square holding banners reading, “We demand an immediate punishment for those who tried to mock our Prophet Mohammad.” Shouting “Allah is Greater,” they then assaulted police with stones, bottles and slabs of marble they broke from the sidewalks.

When Greek riot police used tear gas to control the protesters and protect the security zone they had established around the embassy, infuriated Muslims responded by vandalizing streets and buildings in downtown Athens, as well as by setting fires to trash bins, smashing shops and display windows and vandalizing automobiles. Around 30 Muslims were arrested.

Post-Mortem on the Muhammad Protests

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

As Muslim crowds dissipate and American diplomatic missions return to normal activities, here are three final thoughts on the riots that began this Sept. 11 and killed about thirty:

The movie really did matter: The Obama administration dishonestly skirted responsibility for the murder of four Americans in Libya by claiming that the attack was a protest that got unpredictably out of hand against the “Innocence of Muslims” video.

In response, leading analysts have concluded that the video hardly mattered anywhere. Barry Rubin scorns the video as a “phony excuse for the demonstration” in Egypt. Michael Ledeen upbraids the administration for claiming “that attacks against Americans aren’t attacks against Americans at all, but attacks against a video.” “It is not about a video,” writes Andrew McCarthy, “any more than similar episodes in recent years have been about cartoons, teddy-bears, accidental Koran burnings, etc.” Hussein Haqqani dismisses the protests as a “function of politics, not religion.” For Victor Davis Hanson, the video and similar incidents “are no more than crude pretexts to direct fury among their ignorant and impoverished masses at opportune times against the United States, and thereby gain power.” Lee Smith speculates that “blaming the video is part of some complex public diplomacy campaign.” Cliff Kinkaid flatly calls the video “a diversion intended to save Obama’s presidency.”

I respect and learn from all these writers, but disagree about the video. Yes, individuals, organizations, and governments goaded the mobs – indeed, there always needs to be some instigator who mobilizes Muslims against an offending statement, text, drawing, or video. But it would be a mistake to see the mob as but a tool of clashing interests (such as Salafis vs. Muslim Brothers in Egypt) or American political imperatives. Rage directed at the video was heartfelt, real, and persistent.

The person of Muhammad has acquired a saint-like quality among Muslims and may not be criticized, much less mocked. German orientalist Annemarie Schimmel pointed out (in her 1985 study on the veneration of Muhammad) that his personality is, other than the Koran, “the center of the Muslims’ life.” Outrage among Muslims over insults to his person is sincere.

Note, for example, the notorious section 295-B of Pakistan’s Criminal Code, which punishes any defamation of Muhammad, even if unintentional, with execution. These regulations have so much support that two prominent politicians, Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti, were assassinated in 2011 merely for voicing opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Their murders had nothing to do with the West and certainly were not diversions in a U.S. presidential campaign.

Trends: As someone who’s been watching that clash since Khomeini’s time, I ascertain three main trends. First, Muslims increasingly devote themselves to the political imperative of preserving Muhammad’s sanctity. Second, Western governments and elites (i.e., journalists, lawyers, intellectuals, artists) have become increasingly timid over time when facing Islamist fury, willing to apologize, appease, and placate; for one appalling example, see the U.S. embassy in Cairo‘s effusions on this Sept. 11, as a mob raged outside. Third, Western non-elites have increasingly responded to Islamists with a You-want-to-be-insulted-well-take-this! attitude that includes Koran burnings, “Defeat Jihad” ads, belligerently offensive French cartoons, and a promised roll-out of Muhammad movies.

Obama vs. Morsi: The American and Egyptian presidents offered starkly different views on the freedom to blaspheme in their speeches to the United Nations last week. Barack Obama insisted that “in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond. And on this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence.” Mohamed Morsi disagreed: “The obscenities recently released as part of an organized campaign against Islamic sanctities is unacceptable and requires a firm stand. We have a responsibility in this international gathering to study how we can protect the world from instability and hatred.”

In brief, each side has an approach and method (free speech vs. prohibition of blasphemy) which it considers fundamental to its identity and forward with a certain reverence. Ever since the Khomeini edict against Salman Rushdie in 1989, each side intends to impose its way on the other side, suggesting that this clash of wills has just begun.

Russia Bans “Innocence of Muslims”

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

In a show of solidarity with movements seeking to preserve respect for Islam, a Moscow ruled on Monday that the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” may not be shown in all of Russia.

In a report by the Tehran Times, the court’s decision followed one of the previous week in a court in Grozny, capital of the Muslim-dominated Russian province of Chechnya.

Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film – which aimed to suggest to viewers that there are deviant and unsavory aspects of Islam and founder Mohammed – could incite ethnic and religious intolerance.  Various terror acts across the Middle East have been attributed to Muslim outrage over the low-budget US-made film.

The Russian communications minister threatened to block access to YouTube if owner Google did not immediately block access to the film.  Google said it would comply with court orders.

Mocking Muhammad Is Not Hate Speech

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

To stop Islamist violence over perceived insults to Muhammad, I argued in a FoxNews.com article on Friday [also republished on the JewishPress.com], editors and producers daily should display cartoons of Muhammad “until the Islamists get used to the fact that we turn sacred cows into hamburger.”

This appeal prompted a solemn reply from Sheila Musaji of The American Muslim website, who deemed it “irresponsible and beyond the pale.” Why so? Because, as she puts it, “The solution to escalating violence and hate speech is not more hate speech.”

Hate speech, legal authorities agree, involves words directed against a category of persons. Here’s a typical definition, from USLegal.com: “incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like.”That sounds sensible enough. But does mocking Muhammad, burning a Koran, or calling Islam a cult constitute hate speech? And what about the respectful representations of Muhammad in the buildings of the U.S. Supreme Court or the New York State Supreme Court? Even they caused upset and rioting.

Attacking the sanctities of a religion, I submit, is quite unlike targeting the faithful of that religion. The former is protected speech, part of the give and take of the market place of ideas, not all of which are pretty. Freedom of speech means the freedom to insult and be obnoxious. So long as it does not include incitement or information that urges criminal action, nastiness is an essential part of our heritage.

On a personal note, I have had to learn to live with torrents of vulgar venom, in speech and in pictures alike, from those who disagree with me; you don’t hear me whining about it. More broadly, Catholics, Jews, Mormons, and other faith communities in the West have learned since the Enlightenment to endure vicious lacerations on their symbols and doctrines.

If proof be needed, recall Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, Andres Serrano’s Piss Christi, and Chris Ofili’s The Holy Virgin Mary. Or the avalanche of antisemitic cartoons spewing from Muslims.

For an over-the-top recent example, The Onion humor website published a cartoon under the heading, “No One Murdered Because of This Image.” It shows Moses, Jesus, Ganesha, and Buddha in the clouds, engaged in what the caption delicately understates as “a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity.” As the Onion mock-reportingly but accurately goes on, “Though some members of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths were reportedly offended by the image, sources confirmed that upon seeing it, they simply shook their heads, rolled their eyes, and continued on with their day.”

I asked for the cartoons to be published again and again to establish that Islamists must not chip away at the freedom to mock and insult by hiding behind bogus claims of incitement. Name an instance, Ms Musaji, when biting remarks about Muhammad, the Koran, or Islam have led to riots and murders by non-Muslims against Muslims?

I cannot think of a single one.

When attacks on Muslims take place, they occur in response to terrorism by Muslims; that’s no excuse, to be sure, but it does indicate that violence against Muslims has no connection with lampooning Muhammad or desecrating Korans. Muslims need to grow thick skins like everyone else; this is one of the by-products of globalization. The insulation of old is gone for good.

To make matters worse, Islamists tell us Be Careful with Muhammad! and threaten those with the temerity to discuss, draw, or even pretend to draw the prophet of Islam, even as they freely disparage and insult other religions. I can cite many examples of actors, satirists, artists, cartoonists, writers, editors, publishers, ombudsmen, and others openly admitting their intimidation about discussing Islamic topics, a problem even Ms. Musaji herself has acknowledged.

To cool the temperature, Muslims can take two steps: end terrorism and stop the rioting over cartoons and novels. That will cause the antagonism toward Islam built up over the past decade to subside. At that point, I will happily retract my appeal to editors and producers to flaunt offensive cartoons of Muhammad.

Originally published at Foxnews.com on Sept. 24, 2012. See also Danielpipes.org.

Savaged for Daring to Name Savagery: Pamela Geller Attacked by Critics of Free Speech

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Pamela Geller, conservative commentator and blogger provocateur, is the executive director of the American Freeedom Defense Initiative.  AFDI created and paid for an ad campaign to run in several urban transit systems, in response to anti-Israel ads that ran in the same spaces.

The AFDI ads contain a paraphrase from the philosopher Ayn Rand: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man.”  It concludes with: “Support Israel.  Defeat Jihad.”

The ads are already running on the sides of San Francisco buses, they began running today, September 24th, in New York City, and they were scheduled to begin appearing in the Washington, D.C. metro system.  However, the DC system balked, citing the violent rioting by Muslims allegedly inflamed by a YouTube video which presents an unflattering view of Mohammad, so Geller initiated an emergency court action at the end of last week to enforce her First Amendment rights.

Because there is so much misinformation both about Geller and her ad, The Jewish Press asked her to explain what her ad means, why it is scheduled to run this week, what the responses to it have been and, most importantly, why she continues to express her views so publicly, when she is repeatedly condemned by virtually the entire spectrum of mainstream media and even by other Jewish and pro-Israel groups.

First, let’s get the chronology and the geography straight.

2010, Seattle

In late 2010, in Seattle, Washington, anti-Israel groups sought to run advertisements on the side of municipal buses reading: “Israeli War Crimes: Your tax dollars at work. Stop30billion-Seattle.org.”  Just before the anti-Israel ads were about to go up, the county executive crafted a new policy banning all non-commercial advertisements.  The new policy enabled the municipality to reject not only the anti-Israel ad, but also two counter-ads that had been submitted, one of which was one proposed by Geller, the other one offered by the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

September, 2011, New York

Last September, another series of anti-Israel ads went up in various transit systems including the one in New York City.  This ad shows two smiling dads – one Israeli, one “Palestinian,” with their young daughters.  The ad copy: “Be on our side.  We’re on the side of peace and Justice.  End U.S. military aid to Israel.” In other words, American tax dollars is being used to support Israeli militancy and injustice.  These ads ran in 18 NYC subway stops for a month, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.

That same month, Geller’s organization, AFDI, submitted the anti-Jihad ad.  The MTA refused to run it, claiming the ad violated its advertising standards because it “demeans[s] an individual or group of individuals.”  AFDI claimed that rejection violated the U.S. Constitution. On September 227, 2011, AFDI, Pamela Geller, and AFDI’s  associate director, Robert Spencer, filed suit against the MTA claiming that the transit agency’s no-demeaning standard constitutes “viewpoint discrimination” and is unconstitutional and therefore the MTA’s rejection of AFDI’s ad unlawfully restricted their free speech.

September 2012, New York

On July 20, 2012, Judge Englemayer, the federal district court judge in New York before whom the matter was heard, ruled that the MTA’s  prohibition on “demeaning” language is unconstitutional and the ad must run.  Significantly, the court ruled that

the AFDI Ad is not only protected speech—it is core political speech. The Ad expresses AFDI’s pro-Israel perspective on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in the Middle East, and implicitly calls for a pro-Israel U.S. foreign policy with regard to that conflict. The AFDI Ad is, further, a form of response to political ads on the same subject that have appeared in the same space.   As such, the AFDI Ad is afforded the highest level of protection under the First Amendment.

While AFDI was the victor in the case, Judge Engelmayer threw more than a few crumbs to the ad’s opponents.

For example, there was a fundamental disagreement over the use of the term “savage” – Geller claims it refers only to those committing acts of barbarism against innocent victims in the name of Islam.  Judge Englemayer, however, held that a reasonable person could conclude the term referred simply to Muslims.

What’s more, the judge practically wrote a recipe for the MTA to follow for rewriting its advertising policy so that a ban on an ad like AFDI’s could, in the future be upheld by a court.

Enraged Zionists Burn Apple stores!

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Violent demonstrations broke out in front of Apple stores all over the world when furious Zionists found out that the Apple Maps app on its new iOS 6 operating system does not show any capital for the State of Israel.

“It’s outrageous,” said one who called himself ‘Moshe’, as he heaved a brick at the stylish store in Manhattan. “Ya tapuchim bnei zonot,” he shouted, running from police officers. Others poured gasoline on a huge effigy of an iPad and set it alight while singing hatikvah.

When it became clear that not only was there no capital shown on the map of Israel, but that World Clock listed ‘Jerusalem’ without any country — the only city so listed — the fury reached a fever pitch, with Apple ‘geniuses’ running for their lives as mobs of enraged Jews broke into the stores, waving signs calling for the beheading of CEO Tim Cook and the reversal of the verdict in the Samsung patent suit.

“You can’t insult Zionism and get away with it,” said one rioter at Apple HQ in Cupertino, wearing a ski mask underneath his kippa. “We’re all Android users now!”

*** In case you are reading this in an Arab country and miss the satirical intent, I’ll make it clear that there were in reality no Zionist riots, despite the fact that Apple seems to be taking the position that the Jewish homeland has no capital, and that Jerusalem is located on Mars. We will give Apple a few days to fix this clearly inadvertent bug in its new software, and to apologize. I’m sure they will.

Visit Fresno Zionism.

Obama, Clinton, in Ads Disavowing Anti Muslim Film which ‘Must Not Be Named’

Friday, September 21st, 2012

On Thursday, September 20, President of the United States Barack Obama and Hillary R. Clinton, the US Secretary of State, were featured in a thirty second television spot paid for by American taxpayers that was intended to make clear to angry Pakistanis that the US government disapproves of the cheap, artless film that portrays the Islamic prophet Mohammed as a pedophile and a womanizer.  That film is blamed by many as the source of more than a week of rioting and violence by Muslims around the globe in which at least 30 people in seven countries are dead, including the American ambassador to Libya. Two people died in protests in Pakistan.

The ad, which cost some $70,000,  aired on approximately seven different television markets in Pakistan, according to U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

The statement includes clips of the President saying, “Since our founding, the United States has been a nation of respect – that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.”

Secretary Clinton then refers to the film, saying,  “Let me state very clearly that the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its contents.  America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.”

In what is eerily reminiscent of the cowed population’s response to the evil villain in the Harry Potter series, the name of the offending film, “Innocence of Muslims,” is never mentioned.  The ad featuring Obama and Clinton is labeled: “President Obama and Secretary Clinton remark on the video circulating on the internet.”  There is also a series of videos with ordinary Americans explaining that the offensive video does not reflect the views of Americans.  That series is titled: “Americans Condemn the YouTube video.”  The ads were subtitled in Urdu.

Despite the official efforts to stem Muslim anger, thousands of Pakistanis attempted to storm the American Embassy in Islamabad on Thursday.  When riot police were unable to hold off the crowds, the Pakistani military was called in.

The Pakistani government has proclaimed Friday, the Islamic day of prayer which is when Muslim riots tend to be most extensive and violent, to be a national holiday so that the expected demonstrations can proceed “peacefully.”

The American officials did not film their statements for this advertisement, instead clips were taken from statements condemning the film each official had made earlier.  President Obama’s remarks were recorded in Washington, D.C. on September 12 and those of Secretary Clinton’s remarks were from September 13 in Morocco. The ad ends with the camera fixed on the official seal of the United States of America.

In other action taken by the US government on Thursday, all US citizens were warned to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan until further notice.  American consulates throughout Pakistan have been closed to the public all week.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-clinton-in-ads-disavowing-anti-muslim-film-which-must-not-be-named/2012/09/21/

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