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Posts Tagged ‘innocence of muslims’

Muslim Riots Spread Like Wildfire Through Europe

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Protests over an American-made anti-Islamic YouTube film, Innocence of Muslims, have spread to Europe. Muslim rioters have clashed with police in several European cities, and more demonstrations are being planned. The protests are part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about the amateur film, which ridicules Islam and depicts the Muslim Prophet Mohammed as a fraud, a madman and a sexual deviant.

Muslims in many European countries are calling on governments to outlaw the controversial film. They are also pressing elected officials to enact anti-blasphemy laws that would criminalize the criticism of Islam. As most European countries lack American-like First Amendment protections, the momentum is building for the imposition of legal curbs on free speech when such speech is perceived to be offensive to Islam.

In Belgium, police using pepper spray and batons arrested more than 200 Muslims in the northern city of Antwerp after clashes at a demonstration against the film. The protest in the Borgerhout district of the city was organized by an Islamic fundamentalist group called Sharia4Belgium. The protest was organized via a text message which read: “We are ready to work with our souls and hearts to fight for our beloved prophet, even if death comes to meet us. Whoever has love for the Prophet must be present.” In Brussels, police arrested more than 30 individuals who participated in two separate protests — one in the Sint-Joost-ten-Node district, and another one in downtown Brussels near the American embassy.

In Britain, some 300 Muslims protested in central London outside the American Embassy. The crowd included many radical Muslims associated with the hardline group, Hizb ut-Tahrir; they shouted slogans and held placards, saying, “America — Get Out of Muslim Lands.” The gathering, which consisted mostly of men but also some women and children, listened to speakers who condemned the film, U.S. foreign policy and the “oppression” of Muslims.

In France, police in Paris arrested 152 Muslims for taking part in an unauthorized, impromptu protest on September 15 at the Place de la Concorde near the American Embassy; there were a number of clashes, with four police officers hurt.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he would prevent any further anti-American demonstrations sparked by the anti-Islam film. “I have issued instructions so that this does not happen again,” Valls told France 2 television. “These protests are forbidden. Any incitement to hatred must be fought with the greatest firmness.” Valls also said that among the roughly 250 protesters, there were some groups that “advocate radical Islam.”

Nevertheless, Muslims have now issued a call via text messages and social media for new protests to be held on Saturday, September 22, at 2pm at the Trocadero district in Paris. The President of the anti-immigrant National Front party, Marine Le Pen, said the protests mark the beginning of a process of “intimidation” by Muslims.

In Germany, major Muslim umbrella organizations have warned that the movie could “endanger the public peace” and lead to “street massacres” in German cities. The chairman of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, has also called for a legal ban on the film within the Federal Republic. “I do think that we must use all legal means to ban the film,” Mazyek said in an interview with ARD television. Mazyek continued that the video had the goal of “sowing discord and hatred,” and therefore “I would use all means possible to outlaw the film.”

German political leaders are now equivocating about their commitment to free speech. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, commenting on the anti-Islam movie, said, “I can imagine there would be good reasons to outlaw the film” – a reversal of her statement of just two years ago, when, commenting on the Danish cartoon controversy, she declared: “Free speech is one of the greatest treasures of our society.”

Separately, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he would consider all legal options to ban public showings of the anti-Islamic film. He said Islamic extremists such as the Salafists are likely to incite violent protests within Germany, which Friedrich called a “highly dangerous” situation.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has also pleaded for a ban on the movie, arguing that freedom of expression has its limits. “The abuse of a religion that is likely to disturb the public peace is forbidden to us,” he said in an interview on Deutschlandfunk German radio. He also argued that a ban on the film would send the message that “Germany does not stand behind right-wing radicals who insult other religions.”

The Truth About the Wave of Anti-American Demonstrations

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Visit Barry Rubin’s blog, Rubin Reports.

Most of the debate over the current wave of anti-American demonstrations in the Middle East is, to be frank, pretty silly. It disregards both historical experience and basic political sense. Consider the following points:

–There have been several such waves before, notably over Salman Rushdie, the 2001 attacks, and the “Danish cartoons.” Leaving some death and destruction in their wake, these waves of demonstrations then fade away bringing no significant political change. No amount of apology and groveling had any perceivable positive effect. This one will also end soon but the battle for political power in each country continues as does the decline in American credibility and influence.

–The causes of these demonstrations are not some act of Islamophobia but the agitation of revolutionary Islamist groups that work systematically every day to build anti-Americanism, hatred of the West, and the loathing of Jews and Christians.

–As long as free speech exists in the West, there will always be events that provide pretexts for outrage. Radical Islamists will make sure that even the most obscure of events can be used. It has also been shown how things that happen in the West are deliberately distorted. For example, Danish Islamic clerics added cartoons that had nothing to do with those published by a Danish magazine to intensify anger and hatred.

–The task is not to stamp out “Islamophobia” any more than Soviet Communist or German Nazi propaganda could be dealt with by proving the West didn’t hate workers or did hate Jews. The problem is not some cultural misunderstanding or Western fault but an ideology seeking to seize state power. That ideology and its many sympathizers and even a lot of its local enemies know that building hysterical hatred against America and the West, Christians, Jews and Israel, benefit them.

This is nothing new. Rightly or wrong, in the early 1950s–I’ve seen the documents in which the U.S. government decided not to publicize the Nazi ties of some Middle Eastern leaders including Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. And the CIA decided (in 1950) not to pursue the then Palestinian Arab leader Amin al-Husaini for war crimes though he had been a close collaborator of Hitler. Why? Because it was concluded that such information might make them more, not less, popular.–Examining the current developments, the precise situation in every country is different:

In Libya, the radical Islamists want to overturn a U.S.-sponsored government that will not give them a full Sharia state and which they see as a sell-out. The government doesn’t like the anti-American attacks but its armed forces and administration is heavily infiltrated by radical Islamists so it is not a dependable protector for the very Americans who put it in power.

In Tunisia, a country that is relatively secular by Arabic-speaking standards, the revolutionary Islamists are especially frustrated. They are strong enough to cause trouble but not strong enough to pose a serious challenge to power. The Muslim Brotherhood controls the government but is in a serious coalition with moderates and is being cautious as a result. This makes the radicals all the more provocative. And since the Brotherhood in part sympathizes with them, it will not fully crack down.

In Egypt, the radicals are a front for the Muslim Brotherhood government which the Obama Administration has taught that radicalism and anti-American pays, or at least costs nothing. The Brotherhood regime would like to figure out a way to prove it hates the United States without any cost. Now it knows how to do so. Let the radicals go into the embassy with no interference by the security forces and the Obama Administration will still give it $1.6 billion (including security assistance to an army now controlled by the Brotherhood!), help it buy two German submarines, plan about cancelling $1 billion in debt, and make its president an honored guest at the White House. Since what the radicals do doesn’t injure the regime’s interest, it will let them do what they want. The Brotherhood will even join in the demonstrations. There’s nothing to lose.

In other places the goal is to build the revolutionary Islamist movement. And when everyone forgets about this silly little video there will be more pretexts: American support for governments including those of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Israel; anniversaries of past events; terrorists being held in prison; politicized Muslim religious festivities.

Prophet Mohammed Cartoons to Be Published in Paris – Police At Ready

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Just recovering from riots in Yemen, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and Iraq, as well as the infamous attack on the US embassy in Libya resulting in the deaths of the ambassador and 3 others, the western world is gearing up for another potential round of violence coming out of Muslim territories as a French satirical magazine promises to publish several Prophet Mohammed cartoons on Wednesday.

According to the French newspaper “Le Monde”, the drawings to be published in “Charlie Hebdo” show Mohammed in “particularly explicit poses”.

The Islamic world, allegedly incensed over the YouTube movie “Innocence of Muslims” mocking Mohammed and casting him in a bad light, lashed out across the world, rioting in over 20 countries in the last month.  In 2005, cartoons of Mohammed published in Denmark and republished throughout the world led to widespread riots and led to the deaths of over 100 people, as well as the torching of churches, embassies, and private property.

French government ministers have decried the magazine’s decision, with Paris police increasing security around their offices.  The paper defended its right to free speech in France.

France is home to Europe’s largest Muslim population. The AFP reports that the senior Muslim cleric at Paris’ biggest mosque has appealed to worshippers to remain calm.

Islamist Bullying Works: Germany Considering a Ban on Showing of Anti-Muslim Film

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Freedom of expression has been a basic right in much of Germany since the spring of 1945, but the controversy over the film “Innocence of Muslims” may end up with that right being curbed once again.

Der Spigel reports that a group called Pro Deutschland is planning to stage a public showing of the anti-Islam film, which has been the focus of huge protests and violent attacks on American and Western diplomatic missions across the Muslim world over the past week. Pro Deutschland, which only numbers a few hundred members, appears to be putting Chancellor Angela Merkel on the spot, having to choose between civil rights and public order.

Merkel was asked at a press conference on Monday what she thought about the plan to show the film publicly, and she answered that a ban could be justified for the sake of public security. “I can imagine that there are good reasons for this,” she said, referring to a proposed ban on the showing, adding that a ban was being considered by her government.

The chancellor, with a long record of promoting freedom of expression and of the press, is in a bind here. Two years ago she praised Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard for his courage in publishing caricatures that caused riots in the Muslim world. Westergaard himself survived an attempt on his life for his cartoon, which showed the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb for a turban.

By law, Merkel cannot ban “Innocence of Muslims” outright. But given the potential violence that could result from showing the work, she may want to prevent it for now.

There is a legal foundation for this kind of censorship in German criminal law, which states that anyone who publicly “insults the content of religious or ideological views in a manner likely to disturb the public order, will be penalized by up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine.”

In 2006, the Lüdinghausen district court in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia gave a one-year suspended sentence to a pensioner who had stamped toilet paper with the phrase “The Koran, the Holy Koran” and sent it to 22 German mosques and Muslim community centers. The court ruled that this action was not protected by freedom of expression because they constituted a disturbance of the public order.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger this week called for a legal analysis of the situation.

Westerwelle told public radio station Deutschlandfunk that, after all, Germany wants to send the signal that “we remain a tolerant country.”

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the legality of a showing of the provocative film must be examined “for example from the perspective of the right to assemble if security and order are endangered.”

But the justice minister at the same time doubted that a national ban would work in this case, saying it would have “only a limited effect.”

Head of the Green Party’s parliamentary faction Renate Künast told the ZDF radio station that she, too, objected to a ban. Freedom of expression is a cherished value, she said. “We won’t simply throw that away. Our democracy will hold out even if a few crazy people make difficult videos.”

Künast urged people to legally protest the public showing.

In an interview with Der Spiegel this week, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, whose ministry would be the arm of government issuing the ban, said Pro Deutschland was intentionally provoking Islamists. “By doing so, they are recklessly pouring oil on the fire,” he said. “We must use all legally sanctioned courses of action to stop them.”

Aiman Mazyek, head of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, has called for an outright ban, warning on ARD station that a failure to do so could result in street battles between extremists on both sides of the issue.

Naturally, in such instances, the difference between a warning and a veiled threat are marginal.

But the Liberal Islamic Association (LIB) took a position against a ban. “The more discussion there is about a ban, encouraging a taboo on such content, the greater the damage that is done,” LIB head Lamya Kaddor told the daily Die Tageszeitung. This would only serve to further stoke anti-Islam sentiments that already exist in Germany, Kaddor added.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/islamist-bullying-works-germany-considering-a-ban-on-showing-of-anti-muslim-film/2012/09/19/

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