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[VIDEO] Flemming Rose Against the Worldwide Suppression of Speech

Flemming Rose isn’t going to watch the decline of free speech without a fight. In 2005, while an editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Rose commissioned twelve cartoons about Muhammad in order to overcome self-censorship. Extremists responded to the cartoons with attacks on western embassies and riots, resulting in the deaths of over 200 people.

Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.

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Now Rose has written The Tyranny of Silence, a defense of his decision to publish the cartoons and a guide to unfettered expression in the 21st century. “I’m not willing to sacrifice freedom of expression on the altar of cultural diversity,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did an FBI Agent Help Convince ‘Draw Muhammad’ Jihadi Shooter to Attack? 

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‘Tear up Texas,’ the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.

Katie Zavadski reports: Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent.

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“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence.”

“Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday.

[Read the full text here, at The Daily Beast]

“U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying… No need to be direct.”

 “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”

— Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice

That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. Undercover sources are used in more than half of ISIS-related terror cases, according to statistics kept by the George Washington University Program on Extremism, and civil liberties advocates say some of those charged might not have escalated their behavior without those interventions.

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“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation.”

“It would certainly be inappropriate for an FBI undercover agent or cooperating witness to provoke or inspire or urge a person to commit an act of violence,” Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Daily Beast. “I could imagine an undercover agent thinking it was just the hyperbolic rhetoric they are participating in, and it wasn’t an intent to go to texas and do harm.”

[Read the full story here, at The Daily Beast]

“The affidavit raises a lot more questions than it answers, and I would hope that overseers within congress and the Justice Department would want to take a hard look at the scope of this investigation,” he added.

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The texts were included in the indictment, released Thursday of Erick Jamal Hendricks of Charlotte, North Carolina. He was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. The 35-year-old tried to recruit other Americans to form an ISIS cell on secret compounds and introduced an undercover agent to one of the Draw Muhammad attackers, according to the FBI.

But Hendricks did more than make a connection. According to the court papers, he asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court.

Read the rest of this entry »


Daniel Greenfield: How Islam in America Became a Privileged Religion

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Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.

 writes: What is Islam? The obvious dictionary definition answer is that it’s a religion, but legally speaking it actually enjoys all of the advantages of race, religion and culture with none of the disadvantages.islam

“Islamist organizations have figured out how lock in every advantage of race, religion and culture, while expeditiously shifting from one to the other to avoid any of the disadvantages.”

Islam is a religion when mandating that employers accommodate the hijab, but when it comes time to bring it into the schools, places that are legally hostile to religion, American students are taught about Islam, visit mosques and even wear burkas and recite Islamic prayers to learn about another culture. Criticism of Islam is denounced as racist even though the one thing that Islam clearly isn’t is a race.

Islamist organizations have figured out how lock in every advantage of race, religion and culture, while expeditiously shifting from one to the other to avoid any of the disadvantages.

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“Islam is a theocracy. When it leaves the territories conquered by Islam, it seeks to replicate that theocracy through violence and by adapting the legal codes of the host society to suit its purposes.”

The biggest form of Muslim privilege has been to racialize Islam. The racialization of Islam has locked in all the advantages of racial status for a group that has no common race, only a common ideology.

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Islam is the only religion that cannot be criticized. No other religion has a term in wide use that treats criticism of it as bigotry. Islamophobia is a unique term because it equates dislike of a religion with racism. Its usage makes it impossible to criticize that religion without being accused of bigotry.

By equating religion with race, Islam is treated not as a particular set of beliefs expressed in behaviors both good and bad, but as an innate trait that like race cannot be criticized without attacking the existence of an entire people. The idea that Islamic violence stems from its beliefs is denounced as racist.

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“By equating religion with race, Islam is treated not as a particular set of beliefs expressed in behaviors both good and bad, but as an innate trait that like race cannot be criticized without attacking the existence of an entire people. The idea that Islamic violence stems from its beliefs is denounced as racist.”

Muslims are treated as a racial collective rather than a group that shares a set of views about the world.

[Read the full text here, at FrontPageMag.com]

That has made it impossible for the left to deal with ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali or non-Muslims from Muslim families like Salman Rushdie. If Islam is more like skin color than an ideology, then ex-Muslims, like ex-Blacks, cannot and should not exist. Under such conditions, atheism is not a debate, but a hate crime. Challenging Islam does not question a creed; it attacks the existence of an entire people.

YAAN - FEB28 - Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali talks about her autobiography. tb (Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images) By: Tony Bock Collection: Toronto Star

YAAN – FEB28 – Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali talks about her autobiography. tb (Photo by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images) By: Tony Bock, Collection: Toronto Star

Muslim atheists, unlike all other atheists, are treated as race traitors both by Muslims and leftists. The left has accepted the Brotherhood’s premise that the only authentic Middle Easterner is a Muslim (not a Christian or a Jew) and that the only authentic Muslim is a Salafist (even if they don’t know the word).

The racialization of Islam has turned blasphemy prosecutions into an act of tolerance while making a cartoon of a religious figure racist even when it is drawn by ex-Muslims like Bosch Fawstin. The New York Times will run photos of Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” covered in dung and pornography, but refuses to run Mohammed cartoons because it deems one anti-religious and the other racist. Read the rest of this entry »


Suspect Plotted to Kill Pamela Geller

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‘Draw Mohammed’ organizer target of Boston terror plot

(CNN) Ray Sanchez, Evan Perez and Shimon Prokupecz report:  Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot after waving a military knife at law enforcement officers in Boston, was originally plotting to behead Pamela Geller, an activist and conservative blogger, law enforcement sources told CNN on Wednesday.

“They targeted me for violating Sharia blasphemy laws. They mean to kill everyone who doesn’t do their bidding and abide by their law voluntarily.”

— Geller to CNN’s Erin Burnett after learning of the alleged plot

But Rahim, a 26-year-old security guard who officials believe was radicalized by ISIS and other extremists, decided instead to target the “boys in blue,” a reference to police, according to court documents.

“I can’t wait that long,” he said of the original beheading plan, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Boston.

Geller drew national attention last month after an off-duty police officer working security thwarted an attack at her organization’s contest for Prophet Mohammed drawings in Garland, Texas. She’s president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which includes subsidiary programs Stop Islamization of America and Stop Islamization of Nations.

Police released this image of a knife Usaama Rahim allegedly waved at officers before being fatally shot.

Police released this image of a knife Usaama Rahim allegedly waved at officers before being fatally shot.

“They targeted me for violating Sharia blasphemy laws. They mean to kill everyone who doesn’t do their bidding and abide by their law voluntarily,” Geller told CNN’s Erin Burnett after learning of the alleged plot.

“This is a showdown for American freedom. Will we stand against this savagery or bow down to them and silence ourselves?”

Geller said that she’s had an “army of security” since last month’s Texas incident.

“This is what is required just to show a cartoon in America, 2015,” she said. “It’s striking. It’s devastating, and people need to understand what’s at stake. I mean, if we surrender on this point, what will we surrender next?”

‘The easiest target’

About two hours before Rahim’s confrontation Tuesday with officers on a Boston street, he allegedly told an associate he was “going to … go after them, those boys in blue. ‘Cause … it’s the easiest target,” the documents say.

Rahim’s alleged associate, David Wright, 25, appeared in U.S. District Court in Boston to face a charge of obstructing a federal investigation by destroying electronic evidence on Rahim’s smartphone. A detention hearing was scheduled for June 19 after prosecutors said he was a flight risk. Read the rest of this entry »


Erik Wemple: The Week That Cable News Failed Free Expression

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“There’s no justification for violence. But…”

“I’m a First Amendment absolutist. But…”

“You have every right to do what you did. But…”

imrs-1.phpErik Wemple writes: Though perhaps not verbatim, those are the sentiments that have spilled from cable airwaves — and, for that matter, non-cable airwaves — in the days since Sunday’s violent incident in Garland, Texas. Two gunmen were shot dead by a police officer as they attempted to mount a terrorist attack on a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest — an event whose by-product is offensive to many Muslims. The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for targeting the contest, which was organized by Pamela Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).

“And who’s being treated as the public enemy on cable? The woman who organized a cartoon contest.”

Authorities are investigating ISIS’s claim of responsibility; they’re checking the electronic communication histories of the attackers, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi; the White House has called the episode an “attempted terrorist attack.

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

“This is problematic to me, because I wonder whether this group that held this event down there to basically disparage and make fun of the prophet Mohammed doesn’t in some way cause these events.”

— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

And who’s being treated as the public enemy on cable? The woman who organized a cartoon contest.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, in speaking with a guest: “This is problematic to me, because I wonder whether this group that held this event down there to basically disparage and make fun of the prophet Mohammed doesn’t in some way cause these events. Well, not the word ‘causing’ — how about provoking, how about taunting, how about daring? How do you see the causality factor here?” (Taunting is a form of expression)

Kelly reading a tweet from punditfromanotherplanet right before she goes on the air.

Kelly reading a tweet from punditfromanotherplanet right before she goes on the air.

“To her enduring credit, Fox News’s Megyn Kelly has been screaming all week about the folly of the ‘too-provocative’ crowd.”

Donald Trump on Fox & Friends: “What is she doing drawing Mohammed?…What are they doing drawing Muhammad. Isn’t there something else they can draw?…I’m the one who believes in free speech probably more than she does, but what’s the purpose of this?” (Must protected speech have a Trump-approved purpose?)

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“The American media folded into a crouch of cowardice and rationalization. The Associated Press’s statement said it would ‘refrain from moving deliberately provocative images.’”

Comedy Central’s Larry Wilmore: “You know another thing that’s horrific, Pamela Geller? Intentionally putting innocent, unarmed security guards in danger so you can make some bull[—-] free speech argument.” (A bad moment: When comedians are rating others’ free-speech arguments)

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“Nothing justifies the attack, the violent attack. There is no
justification, but…”

— CNN’s Jake Tapper to Geller

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“It’s one thing for someone to stand up for the First Amendment and put his own you-know-what on the line, but…”

— Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren

Fox News host Martha MacCallum to Geller: “I absolutely get where you’re coming street-girlsfrom. I’m not sure you went about it the right way.” (Let the government decide on the “right way”!)

“A judgment has emerged that preaches compliance with the notion that this particular form of expression means you’re asking for it.”

CNN host Alisyn Camerota to Geller: “And nobody is saying that this warrants the violence that you saw. I mean I haven’t heard anyone in the media saying that it’s okay for gunmen to show up at an event like this. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Senior AQAP leader Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi Killed in Drone Strike

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(CNN) Dana Ford, reports: A senior commander in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been killed in a U.S. drone strike, according to an online video statement from an AQAP spokesman.

“If he is capable to wage individual jihad in the Western countries that fight Islam — such as America, Britain, France, Canada, and others of the countries that represent the head of disbelief in waging war against Islam … If he is capable of that, then that is better and more harmful.”

It was not immediately clear when Nasr Ibn Ali al-Ansi was killed.

A U.S. official confirmed that al-Ansi was dead, but would not say whether his death was the result of a drone strike.

“By the grace of Allah the great (and) the almighty, we have made efforts in external work, and the enemy knows the danger of that. We are preparing and lurking for the enemies of Allah. We incite the believers to do that.”

— the late al-Ansi

The senior commander was well known for giving a lengthy statement after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, claiming AQAP was responsible for the attack.

 “But if that is impossible, and he is able to serve his brothers on the front lines, then let him immigrate, for it is better.”

— From al-Ansi’s lengthy statement after the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris

Twelve cartoonists, editors and other magazine staffers were killed by two gunmen on January 7. The attack was revenge for the magazine’s depictions of the Prophet Mohammed, al-Ansi said then.

He blamed not only Charlie Hebdo, but also France and the United States in his statement.

Al-Ansi urged all would-be jihadists to wage war at home, when possible, as opposed to traveling abroad. Read the rest of this entry »


Twitter Terror 2015: Online Jihadist Hails Power of Social Media After Texas Attack

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An Australian Twitter user and Islamic State supporter who appeared to encourage the terrorist attack on an anti-Islamic cartoon event in the US says his movement is “winning the minds of the young generation”.

“This is a war that will be won through the power of social media. We are winning the minds of the young generation.”

— Man who goes by the Twitter name ‘Australi Witness’

The man, who goes by the Twitter name Australi Witness, told Fairfax Media he supported what “our mujahideen [holy warriors] in Texas did” but denied that he specifically told them to launch the attacks, in which both assailants died and one security guard was wounded.

“Law enforcement agencies will consider statements, whether online or offline, to determine whether action can be taken. The online environment has no borders and terrorist propaganda is reaching directly into our homes and families through simple online searches.”

— A spokesman for Attorney-General George Brandis

The Perth-based man’s activities underscore how social media has created a global reach for jihad sympathisers who can inspire violence across great distances without ever personally knowing the people they are inciting.

“This is a war that will be won through the power of social media,” the man said. “We are winning the minds of the young generation.”

Two men, Elton Simpson and Nadir Hamid Soofi, opened fire with assault rifles on Sunday at an exhibition of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas. They wounded a security guard before being shot dead by a traffic policeman, who authorities in Garland say prevented a likely bloodbath.

Australi Witness insisted he did not “explicitly” tell Simpson and Soofi to carry out the attacks, though Fairfax Media understands he could face prosecution under the Abbott government’s new laws against advocating terrorism.

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“I support what our mujahideen in Texas did, but I take no responsibility for it. Allah commanded them to attack, not me,” he said.

He reportedly posted before Sunday that “Kuffar [unbelievers] are holding a large ‘Draw Muhammed (PBUH) event in Garland, Texas on May 3rd. Please spread to US brothers.”

He also shared tweets by others encouraging an attack similar to the massacre at the office of Paris-based Charlie Hebdo magazine, including calls for “brothers in Texas” to go to the event “with your weapons, bombs or with knifes”, News Corp Australia reported. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] The First Amendment Protects Blasphemy, Offensive Speech, Cartoons, & You: Megyn Kelly with Guest Eugene Volokh

If We Blame Pamela Geller’s Group, ‘The Jihadis Are Winning’

Megyn Kelly has been pretty fired up this week about the Texas shooting outside a “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest. She clashed with Bill O’Reilly and has stood pretty firm on the free speech issue.

And Kelly opened her show tonight by again scolding the “rush to condemn the event organizers” with “nary a mention of the radical Islamists who sought to murder them over a cartoon.”

She reiterated that free speech is protected, “no matter how abhorrent,” and you don’t have to endorse it to defend it. And with all the focus on scolding Pamela Geller‘s group, Kelly said, “if this is where American sentiment stands on this, then the jihadis are officially winning.”

Kelly accused the media of drawing a “moral equivalence” between people who do offensive things and people who kill over those offensive things. Read the rest of this entry »


NBC News Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin Wants Islam Protected From Satire

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John Nolte writes: Ayman Mohyeldin is advertised by NBC News as an objective reporter. This objective reporter became infamous earlier this year for lying about and smearing a decorated veteran sniper, the late Chris Kyle,  as a “racist” who  went on anti-Muslim “killing sprees” in Iraq.

Mohyeldin, who is a Muslim, used his MSNBC perch Tuesday, not to condemn the murderous savages in his faith who attempted to murder Pam Geller and Geert Wilders at a free speech event, but to demand a culture change in America that would not “allow”  people to engage in what he calls “hate speech” against Islam.

[The full transcript of his fascist bed-wetting is here]

And as one would expect from NBC News, through omission, Mohyeldin lied through his teeth in order to pretend Islam is the only religion in America openly ridiculed.

As though “The Book of Mormon” wasn’t currently running on Broadway; as though San Francisco doesn’t hold a blasphemous “Hunky Jesus & Foxy Mary“” contest every year; as though “Piss Christ” wasn’t funded by the American government; as though Hollywood didn’t spend billions producing one film after another trashing Christianity — without being challenged by anyone on “Morning Joe,” Mohyeldin  crybabied his lie about Muslims being singled out in America. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Texas Attack: ‘The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God’

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ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack outside the Prophet Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland, Texas — and warned of more attacks to come

Holly Yan reports: In a broadcast on its official radio channel Tuesday, the group said two Al Khilafa soldiers attacked the event. Al Khilafa is how ISIS refers to its soldiers.

“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God. The future is just around the corner.”

The two gunmen, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, wounded a security guard before police shot and killed them.

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The ISIS radio announcer also referred to Simpson and Soofi as the terror group’s “brothers.”

The announcement ended with this warning:

Iraq: Rescuing the Makhmour Frontline after ISIS attack

“We say to the defenders of the cross, the U.S., that future attacks are going to be harsher and worse. The Islamic State soldiers will inflict harm on you with the grace of God. The future is just around the corner.”

While ISIS claimed responsibility two days after the Sunday attack, there was no immediate indication that the terror group in Iraq and Syria actually had contact with Simpson or Soofi, who both lived in Phoenix.

[Garland shooting: What we know about Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi]

U.S. authorities have said they are investigating whether Sunday’s shooting has any link to international terrorism. But there are clues that one of the gunmen was an ISIS sympathizer. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Spars with ‘Draw Muhammad’ Host Pamela Geller

‘Excuse me, I’m anti-jihad!’ Pam Geller tells CNN her critics are the real Islamophobes Pamela Geller Battles CNN Host over Garland Shooting: Why Is Media ‘Targeting’ Us?

“Increasingly, we’re abridging our freedoms so as not to offend savages. The very idea that if something offends me, or I’m insulted by something I’ll kill you and somehow this is okay with members of the elite media, and academia, is outrageous.”

Mediaite: Hours after a shooting at a Muhammed cartoon event Garland, Texas that left three dead, including the gunmen, the event’s sponsor and American Freedom Defense Initiative president Pamela Geller battled CNN’s Alisyn Camerota over whether the incendiary event had provoked violence.

“And then we have to get on these news shows, and somehow we are, those that are targeted, those that were going to be slaughtered, are the ones who get attacked speaks to how morally inverted this conversation is.”

“Increasingly, we’re abridging our freedoms so as not to offend savages,” Geller alleged. “The very idea that if something offends me, or I’m insulted by something I’ll kill you and somehow this is okay with members of the elite media, and academia, is outrageous.”

Camerota read from the keynote speech given at the event disparaging Islam. Geller has made a career of warning of the “Islamization” of America; the Southern Poverty Law Center lists her as an extremist.

“He’s entitled to his opinion, end of story. So what? So he said that. And frankly, what he said was true…The fact is that we need to have this discussion, there’s a problem in Islam.”

The conversation devolved into whether Geller had ever called Muslims “savages,” which she said she had done once in her life. She argued she criticized only Muslims who kill over their beliefs. “I am anti-jihad, I am anti-Sharia,” Geller said. “You, by spaying I paint with a broad brush, are saying all Muslims support jihad. Alisyn you sound very Islamaphobic.” It was that type of segment. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Interview with Pamela Geller Disrupted as Gunfight Starts Outside Event

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GARLAND, Texas – Bob Price writes: Pamela Geller was conducting an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas about the Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest just as gunfire erupted outside the event. Her security detail came in and interrupted the interview and quickly extricated her from the scene.

“This was a room of freedom lovers, brave Americans, who knew it was risky,” Geller said seconds before security grabbed her and took her away to safety. “They took a stand for freedom because they know its scary out there.”

“We’ve got to go,” a police officer told Geller. “Come on, we’ve got to stop this right now. Come on, let’s go.” Read the rest of this entry »


Je Suis Garland: Two Gunmen Killed Outside Muhammad Cartoon Contest in Texas

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GARLAND, Texas— Nathan Koppel and Ana Campoy report: Two men were killed Sunday night in this Dallas suburb after they opened fire outside an art exhibit that featured cartoon drawings of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, according to city officials.

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The men drove up to an events center hosting the exhibit by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which was offering an award of $10,000 for the top Muhammad cartoon, and began shooting at a security officer, according to a Garland city spokeswoman.

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“This is a war. This is war on free speech.”

— Pamela GellerJe-Suis-Garland

Garland police who were helping with event security returned fire, shooting and killing the two gunmen, who weren’t immediately identified. The security officer, who worked for the Garland school district, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Police suspect the vehicle used by the suspects may also contain an incendiary device, and a bomb squad was on the scene Sunday evening.

Following the shooting Sunday evening, all entrances to the Curtis Culwell Center, which is owned by Garland Independent School District, were blocked off by police cars and flares. A helicopter hovered above the complex’s main pavilion.

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“The American Freedom Defense Initiative had chosen the site specifically because the facility had previously booked another event called “Stand With the Prophet” on Jan. 17 by a group trying to combat Islamophobia.”

One of the organizers of the event, Pamela Geller, took to social media to condemn the gunmen Sunday evening, saying that participants were merely practicing free speech. Read the rest of this entry »


Free Speech: Putting Our Own House in Order

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Carl M. Cannon writes: In 2005, Flemming Rose, the culture editor at Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, formulated a response to several acts of censorship—including when a group of imams urged Denmark’s prime minister to shelter Islam from the vagaries of a free press. Rose invited all 25 members of the Danish political cartoonists association to “draw Muhammad as you see him.”

A dozen accepted the assignment and all 12 cartoons were published in Jyllands-Posten.

Then all hell broke loose.

“The bodies in the newsmagazines offices were still warm when MSNBC commentators worried aloud that the attack could fuel ‘nativist’ or ‘anti-immigrant’ attitudes in Europe. The Guardian published a column accusing Charlie Hebdo of having stoked ‘a climate of intolerance’ in France while insisting that the vast majority of Muslims are nonetheless appalled by the killings.”

The cartoons did not attack Islam; most of them did not even make fun of Muhammad. Two actually spoofed Jyllands-Posten for the exercise itself. Another drawing showed the Prophet with horns, but tyranny-silenceas Viking adornments—Muhammad the Scandinavian. The most memorable cartoons assailed Islamic terrorism, one humorously, the other with chilling simplicity.

[Order Flemming Rose‘s book “The Tyranny of Silence” from Amazon]

The light-hearted cartoon depicted Muhammad as Saint Peter at heaven’s gate, telling a line of suicide bombers, “Stop. Stop. We have run out of virgins.” The other simply showed Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. The most prescient cartoon had the Prophet gazing at his likeness in a newspaper while telling two angry, sword-wielding minions, “Relax, guys, it’s just a sketch made by a Dane in the southwest of Denmark.”

“The problem is that they want to open a debate on whether Islam is true or not, and on whether Judaism and Christianity are false or not. In other words, they want to open up everything for debate. That’s it. It begins with freedom of thought, it continues with freedom of speech, and it ends up with freedom of belief.”

— Al-Munajid, on Al-Jazeera

Denmark’s Islamic clerics did the opposite of relax. They put the drawings in a booklet, added several faked, much more incendiary cartoons that had never appeared in the paper, and headed to Muslim capitals to incited violence against Danes. In the ensuing riots and chaos, 250 people lost their lives.

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The cartoons were right up the alley of Charlie Hebdo, the French newsmagazine attacked by Islamic terrorists this week. In 2006, it reprinted them in an issue with a cover of a weeping Muhammad who is thinking, “It’s hard being loved by idiots.” Jean Cabut, the author of that cartoon, was one of the 10 Charlie Hebdo staffers murdered Wednesday. The question implied by his satirical drawing lives on.

“Dean’s assertion unintentionally underscored Bill Maher’s argument. The first modern fatwa on a western writer was issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, who called on any Muslim in the world to kill Salman Rushdie for a novel he wrote. Was Khomeini not a Muslim?”

After 9/11, George W. Bush repeatedly characterized Islam as “a religion of peace.” The extremists had “hijacked” a worthy religious faith, Bush assured his countrymen. The imagery was apt—the 9/11 suicide bombers had hijacked airplanes—but many Americans were skeptical of the president’s sanguine declaration. They wanted it to be true, but as the body count mounted over the years at the hands of terrorists yelling “God is Great!” in Arabic, they wondered.

“In his book, “Tyranny of Silence,” Danish editor Flemming Rose quotes a Saudi cleric and TV preacher Muhammad Al-Munajid—a man who has said Mickey Mouse should be killed—who revealed candidly what radical Muslim clerics and their violent followers really fear. They fear that people think about their own faith instead of being told what they must believe.”

The same dynamic is present this week. Our most sage and sober commentators assure us that the Charlie Hebdo murderers are outliers and that allowing them to frame the narrative as Islam-against-the-civilized-world is a mistake. Read the rest of this entry »


Assassination Attempt on Mohammed Cartoonist Lars Vilks

The assassin is apprehended.

The assassin is apprehended

Malmo, Sweden: The Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who is on the death list of the terror network Al Qaeda because of his Mohammed cartoons, managed to escape an attack on Wednesday.

Vilks had just given an interview to the derStandard.at journalist Teresa Eder in Rönnquist & Rönnquist gallery in Malmö when an unknown man entered the gallery. He said he wanted to show Vilks some artworks that were inside a red suitcase. Vilks’ bodyguards refused the man entry and asked him to display the contents of his suitcase in front of the gallery. When they discovered a gun inside, they subdued the man. Five minutes later the police were also on the scene.

Read the rest of this entry »