Acclaimed for his quick, dancing style as a fighter, Ali also blended a unique mix of political activism and personal conviction that won him international recognition outside of the ring.
Three-time heavyweight champ Muhammad Ali, who charmed millions with his wit and confidence in the ring and inspired many more with his commitment to humanitarian causes has died, according to the family spokesman. He was 74.
Ali had been hospitalized for a respiratory issue June 2. At the time, a rep said he was in fair condition.
One of the greatest fighters in the history of boxing, Ali retired in 1981 after losing to Trevor Berbick in his 61st career bout.
Soon thereafter, Ali — who doctors said had begun showing signs of sluggishness and neurological damage in the 1970s — began receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Ali, who called himself “The Greatest,” was married four times and had nine children, including daughter Laila, who also became a professional boxer. Ali and his fourth wife, Yolanda “Lonnie” Williams, had been married since 1986.
Born Cassius Clay on Jan. 17, 1942, Ali first stepped in the ring at age 12 in his hometown of Louisville, Ky., after his bicycle was stolen and a police officer suggested he learn how to box. Ali went on to become one of the most successful athletes and revered public figures in history.
Acclaimed for his quick, dancing style as a fighter, Ali also blended a unique mix of political activism and personal conviction that won him international recognition outside of the ring.
After winning 100 of 108 amateur fights, Ali took home an Olympic gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He later allegedly chucked the medal into a river after a waitress at a soda fountain in Louisville refused to serve him because he was black.
Weeks after the Olympics, Ali signed a lucrative contract and won his first pro bout on Oct. 29, 1960, against Tunney Hunsaker. Ali quickly ingratiated himself with the media with his boastful claims and fresh, stylish way of speaking. He told Sports Illustrated in 1961: “Most of them [other boxers] … can fight almost as good as I can. I’m just saying you never heard of them. And the reason for that is because they cannot throw the jive. Cassius Clay is a boxer who can throw the jive better than anybody.”
At age 22, he stunned the larger Liston, beating the champ in seven rounds in Miami to win his first heavyweight title. In their next match in 1965, Ali floored Liston with a hard, quick blow minutes into the bout and retained his crown when the referee stopped the fight. Read the rest of this entry »
“When this first happened, I assumed Obama was duped. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t think he cares if the clock looks like a bomb. He saw #IStandWithAhmed trending and decided he’d like to be part of it. It’s like black people still wearing T-shirts that say ‘Hands Up Don’t Shoot.’ They don’t care about the truth. They just like the story.”
I remember on September 12th, 2001, in NYC’s Union Square there were people holding signs that said “Justice Not Revenge.” The first instinct for much of the country seemed to be avoiding Islamophobia. To this day we have a crippling fear of it. Islamophobiaphobia is so severe, any Muslim circus clown can send his kid to school with a fake bomb and instead of charging the father with child endangerment, we invite the boy to the White House.
When this first happened, I assumed Obama was duped. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t think he cares if the clock looks like a bomb. He saw #IStandWithAhmed trending and decided he’d like to be part of it. It’s like black people still wearing T-shirts that say “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.” They don’t care about the truth. They just like the story.
In case you’re not familiar with the story (it’s already dying on the vine), Mohamed El-Hassan Mohamed is a Muslim prankster and publicity hound who is constantly harping about Islamophobia. His daughter was suspended for making bomb threats at school. His brother started a company last year called Twin Towers Corporation. He has made very public campaigns about running for president of Sudan even though it’s a dictatorship.
“When the police arrived, Ahmed was so elusive they were forced to detain him. The crime they were accusing him of was creating a fake bomb to cause a disturbance. This is a misdemeanor, and I haven’t seen any evidence he’s innocent. Despite the case being a no-brainer, the entire country screamed ISLAMOPHOBIA and lay prostrate before the Mohamed family.”
He drove to Florida after Pastor Terry Jones threatened to burn the Koran and represented the book as its lawyer (he failed—the Koran burned). The guy is a complete idiot who debates like a teenager lying to his dad. A week and a half ago, Mohamed’s son Ahmed brought a clock to school that had been torn out of its case and put in a new case in such a way, it resembled a bomb. The first teacher he showed it to told him to put it away. Then, in English class, he either plugged it in or affixed a battery so the alarm would go off.
“I think this kid’s father used his own son as a ploy to garner sympathy for Islam. This is an old trick in the Muslim world. They constantly use children as soldiers to detect mines or simply take bullets. They know it kills us to kill kids and they prey on our morality. Ahmed’s school is trying to tell the world that they are innocent, but El-Hassan refuses to release the records.”
[Also see – THE INCREDIBLE MELTING CLOCK STORY]
Most military personnel, except for those on field maneuvers or MPs, are not allowed to be armed on base.
Mike Glenn writes: On Friday, Defense Secretary Ash Carter approved what the Pentagon referred to as “immediate force protection steps” in the wake of Thursday’s mass shootings in Chattanooga, Tenn. that left four U.S. Marines dead and a Navy Sailor wounded. A press release from the Defense Department did not elaborate on the measures.
One of the shootings was at a local recruiting station. I’ve heard some people say these offices – where young people usually get their first notion of what military life is all about – should have security barriers to prevent such tragedies. Beyond the fact that the accused Chattanooga shooter never went inside the office, I think that’s going to be a non-starter for an obvious reason.
Military recruiters rely on casual walk-in traffic to help make their quota. That’s why the offices can often be found in strip shopping centers or malls. If you start forcing potential Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen to pass through x-ray machines and take off their shoes like they are going through a TSA line at the airport before they ever step foot in the office, many of them are simply going to take a pass on a hitch in the military
Carter also asked the military services to give him suggestions for ensuring the safety of service members at military installations. But will he allow service members to defend themselves?
Most military personnel, except for those on field maneuvers or MPs, are not allowed to be armed on base. Read the rest of this entry »
A man has been charged with helping plan an attack on a provocative Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas that ended with two Phoenix men being killed in a shootout with police.
An indictment filed in federal court in Phoenix last week says that 43-year-old Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem hosted the gunmen in his home beginning in January and provided the guns they used in the May 3 shooting in Garland, Texas. The indictment also says others were involved, but no other arrests or indictments have been made.
“They had a lot of photos. They asked not only me, but other people if they have seen him. The FBI is going to do their jobs and they are going to follow their leads and whatever they find we are going to cooperate with them.”
Nadir Soofi and Elton Simpson were roommates in Phoenix and drove to Texas to attack the event featuring cartoons deemed offensive to Muslims. They were killed by police after they drove up and opened fire outside the contest at a conference center, injuring a security guard. No one attending the event in suburban Dallas was hurt.
Abdul Kareem practiced shooting with Simpson, Soofi and others in the remote desert outside Phoenix between January and May, the indictment said. He hosted the gunmen and others in his home to discuss the contest and the shooters’ plans to travel to Texas to attack the event, according to the indictment.
Court records in Phoenix show Abdul Kareem had a criminal record, struggled with substance abuse and had difficulty finding steady employment.
He has two aggravated drunken driving convictions in Arizona, including a 1998 case where he was found passed out with a beer bottle between his legs behind the wheel of a vehicle that was still running. He was also charged in 1997 with aggravated assault after a woman told police that Abdul Kareem had pointed a gun in her direction. Abdul Kareem maintained that he didn’t point the weapon at anyone and instead had taken the gun away from his brother during an argument.
After a second DUI arrest, probation officials say Abdul Kareem was generally cooperative but had continued to drive while drunk and struggle with substance abuse. He was sentenced to four months in jail.
He was born and raised in Philadelphia as Decarus Lowell Thomas and changed his name to Abdul Malik Abdul Kareem in 2013. His attorney, Daniel Maynard, didn’t immediately respond to phone or email messages early Tuesday.
Kareem is charged with conspiracy, making false statements and interstate transportation of firearms with intent to commit a felony. He is also known as Decarus Thomas. He has lived in multiple locations in Phoenix and suburban Glendale during the last several years, records show.
Kareem attended the same Phoenix mosque where Soofi and Simpson occasionally prayed. Read the rest of this entry »
‘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.
“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 »
In January 2015, Muslim terrorists massacred cartoonists and writers at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, proclaiming to be avenging Islam’s prophet. The rampage, which included the murders of hostages at a kosher market, prompted global leaders and throngs of citizens to rally in support of free expression. But was the support genuine?
In this Broadside, Andrew C. McCarthy explains how leading Islamists have sought to supplant free expression with the blasphemy standards of Islamic law, gaining the support of the U.S. and other Western governments. But free speech is the lifeblood of a functioning democratic society, essential to our capacity to understand, protect ourselves from, and ultimately defeat our enemies.
THE HORROR: Majority of Democrats–and an Increasing Percentage of Republicans–Support Criminalizing Free SpeechPosted: May 22, 2015
John Sexton reports: A new poll shows that a majority of Democrats want to limit free speech with laws that would prohibit so-called “hate speech.”
A clear example of this desire to limit speech can be found in the New York Times editorial board’s reaction to the attack in Garland. In a piece titled, “Free Speech vs. Hate Speech,” the Times criticizes Pam Geller, the organizer of the cartoon contest and the intended victim of the attack. Speaking of Geller, the Times wrote, “she achieved her provocative goal in Garland — the event was attacked by two Muslims.”
The Times goes on to argue that no amount of violence—not the Charlie Hebdo attacks, not the theatrical brutality of ISIS, not even 9/11—can justify “provocations” (i.e. cartoons) of Islam. This is the severely limited view of the 1st amendment the left-leaning NYT has already embraced.
In contrast, the opposing view, held by most Republicans and independents according to this YouGov poll, is probably best exemplified by a piece Eugene Volokh published at the Washington Post:
Eugene Volokh writes:
I keep hearing about a supposed “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment, or statements such as, “This isn’t free speech, it’s hate speech,” or “When does free speech stop and hate speech begin?” But there is no hate speech exception to the First Amendment. Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans….(read more at Washington Post)
The 1st Amendment protects all speech, but there is no doubt the left is increasingly comfortable with limiting this…
Unmentioned in John Sexton‘s analysis however, is that Republicans and Independents, not Democrats, are increasingly warming to the idea of free speech bans, while Democrat support is relatively unchanged. For example:
Democratic support for banning hate speech hasn’t increased at all; on the contrary, Dems are a bit more likely to oppose a ban than they were seven months ago, a rational reaction to the creepy spectacle of western media outlets self-censoring images of Mohammed cartoons after the Charlie Hebdo massacre. It’s Republicans and independents who are slowly warming to hate-speech bans. Indie opposition has dropped 12 points, with an increase of eight points in support. GOPers are now 12 points more likely to support hate-speech bans than they were last year.
Allahpundit‘s exit question:
I can understand why progressives would want a legal cudgel to silence their enemies but I can’t understand why conservatives increasingly would. Even if you don’t value free speech enough to abhor that sort of cudgel on principle, surely you understand that the “politically incorrect” will be the main target of prosecutions. Why on earth would you enable this?
…Hillary Clinton has said that overturning Citizens United is a priority for her if elected President. Read the rest of this entry »
Islamic State Leader Urges Muslims to Relocate to His Murderous Caliphate, or Wage Holy Freakin’ Jihad Where They ArePosted: May 14, 2015
BAGHDAD – The leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on Thursday urged Muslims to emigrate to his self-proclaimed caliphate, in the jihadi supremo’s first audio recording in six months.
“And we call upon every Muslim in every place to perform hijrah (emigration) to the Islamic State or fight in his land wherever that may be,” he said.
“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war.”
The voice reading the half-hour speech appeared to match previous audio recordings of Baghdadi, the latest of which was released in mid-November.
As did his previous speech, the audio tape recording released on Thursday comes a few days after media reports that he might have been seriously wounded in a strike by the U.S.-led coalition bombing Idslamic State in Iraq and Syria.
“So return to your lands, and remain in your homes, and seek shelter — after first seeking shelter with Allah — with your people in the Islamic State, for you will find therein, by Allah’s permission, a warm embrace and a safe refuge.”
There was no way for AFP to immediately authenticate the latest recording nor date it but Baghdadi speaks of developments in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces launched an air campaign against Shiite rebels in late March, that suggest it is recent.
Echoing his previous exhortations, Baghdadi said moving to the caliphate he declared over parts of Iraq and Syria in June 2014 or waging jihad at home was an obligation for Muslims.
“Their war is nothing but an attempt to prove themselves once again to their masters from amongst the Jews and Crusaders….It is nothing but a desperate attempt to turn the Muslims away from the Islamic State.”
“Has the time not come for you to know that there is no might nor honor nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of the Caliphate?” he said in the speech, transcripts of which were released in five languages.
“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,” he said, calling for mass mobilization on the battlefield.
He criticised Sunni civilians fleeing fighting in the western province of Anbar to seek shelter in Baghdad and other government-controlled areas. Read the rest of this entry »
Daniel Greenfield reports: The Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that many critics on the right and the left have described as a mail order scam disguised as a civil rights organization, responded to the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, by adding one of its targets, artist Bosch Fawstin to its list of hate groups. Not only is adding the victim of a hate crime to a list of hate groups, a perverse thing to do, but it raises real concerns.
While Bosch Fawstin is in the headlines now because of his brush with death in the ISIS terrorist attack, he’s a talented artist who was nominated for an Eisner award and whose work has been praised by Chuck Dixon and Alex Toth among others.
— Amy Mek (@AmyMek) May 13, 2015
And some in the comics community find SPLC’s targeting of an artist after an attack meant to suppress his work to be troubling.
At The Outhousers, Jude Terror, who makes it clear that he disagrees with Bosch’s politics, asks some interesting questions.
If Fawstin belongs on the list of hate groups, does someone like Frank Miller, who wrote a similarly-themed (but less well-received) comic about killing Muslims called “Holy Terror,” belong there as well?
If so, what does that mean for major Hollywood movie studios promoting movies based on his work, such as the upcoming Superman v. Batman: Dawn of Justice, set to launch a multi-movie franchise?
Or for that matter, for DC Comics, who promoted Miller’s return to writing Batman comics as a major event just last month?
What about Charlie Hebdo, which the world was pretty much unanimously celebrating in January after an attack on their building killed several cartoonists and editors, and whose defiant “Je Suis Charlie” slogan can still be readily be found on t-shirts and social media avatars. Read the rest of this entry »
“There’s no justification for violence. But…”
“I’m a First Amendment absolutist. But…”
“You have every right to do what you did. But…”
Erik 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.”
“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.
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)
“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?)
“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)
“Nothing justifies the attack, the violent attack. There is no
— CNN’s Jake Tapper to Geller
“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 from. 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 »
Associated Press Tries to Shame Cartoon Event Organizer Pamela Geller for Not Expressing Regret for Successful Police Action That Saved Lives and Killed 2 Armed TerroristsPosted: May 7, 2015
PHOTO: Pamela Geller at AP headquarters, where she said she had no regrets over TX cartoon contest that left 2 dead: http://t.co/cELdeaeqGd
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 8, 2015
“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 »
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Dutch anti-Islam political leader who was guest of honor at the Prophet Muhammad cartoon show in Garland, Texas, where gunmen opened fire is calling for more such exhibitions as a show of defiance.
“The most important reaction to the attack on freedom of expression was to make sure that everybody sees this.”
Geert Wilders of the Dutch PVV Freedom Party said in a telephone interview on Thursday that he wants to set up a special Prophet Muhammad cartoon show at the Dutch legislature in The Hague and said all parties who back freedom of expression should rally around the idea.
“There’s a fine line? There’s NO line. There’s NO LINE you IDIOT! It’s free speech or it isn’t, there’s NO LINE.”
— Bill Whittle
Chris Matthews said that the Texas incident was a mousetrap for terrorism, and that event organizers crossed a line. The Trifecta Gang rips this apart.
“Chris Matthews, you miserable lowlife COWARD, you have the audacity to make a living giving your opinion on American television and now you’re gonna say that these people deserved this, the same way Gary Trudeau said that the people at Charlie Hebdo deserved to be butchered in their chairs because they drew cartoons just like he did?”
“You have got a lot of nerve, you don’t deserve to live in this country, none of you deserve to live in this country, and if you want to know what the basis of this is, you’ve got it exactly right, Scott, it’s COWARDICE, it’s FEAR, these WEASELS, these LOWLIFES, these TRAITORS, in the media…”
— Bill Whittle, just getting warmed up
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.
“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 VolokhPosted: May 6, 2015
If We Blame Pamela Geller’s Group, ‘The Jihadis Are Winning’
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 »
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 »
Man says he faces death threats after winning grand prize for drawing of prophet
“I don’t want to say where. There are Muslims out there who want to kill me.”
Bosch Fawstin netted $12,500 for winning the contest’s grand prize as well as the “People’s Choice Award” for his drawing depicting Muhammad wielding a sword and saying, “you can’t draw me!”
“I do it because we have been told we can’t. I’m not just provoking people for the hell of it.…Provocation is freedom of speech—it’s not separate from it.”
— Cartoonist Bosch Fawstin
In an interview on Tuesday, the cartoonist was vague about his whereabouts, saying only that he lives somewhere in the U.S.
“I don’t want to say where,” Mr. Fawstin said, also declining to say his age. “There are Muslims out there who want to kill me.”
“Mr. Fawstin said he was raised by Albanian Muslim parents in the Bronx but eventually renounced his faith. He said the 9/11 terrorist attacks motivated him to use his art to denounce Islamic extremism.”
He has drawn a comic book called “Pigman,” featuring a hero who battles “pigotry” and his arch nemesis, SuperJihad. He said he has also drawn several dozen cartoon renderings of the Islamic prophet. Read the rest of this entry »
In ‘The Self-Fulfilling Prophet Drawing Competition’, David Francis and Elias Grol join the chorus of elite journalists siding with the the gunmen and blaming the victims.
In describing Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller, David Francis and Elias Groll do get one thing right. They accurately describe the look of Geert Wilders’ hair.
“He’s a silver-haired politician who warns about the threat of what he calls totalitarian Islam to Europe.”
David Francis and Elias Groll have apparently paid little attention to the murderous Christian and Jew-hating supremacist ideology that’s flourishing, quite comfortably, under the flag of official Islam, and yes, spoken in prayers every single day, all over the globe.
More loaded adjectives to describe Pamela Geller. (though they neglected to discuss her hair)
“She’s a preening ideologue who thinks Muslims use their daily prayers to curse Jews and Christians.”
FP Writers David Francis and Elias Groll are really upset and offended by the free speech provocations of figures like Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller. That is a very good thing.
Labeling Geert Wilders and Pamela Geller the “odd couple of the global ‘anti-Islam’ movement“:
“They are provocateurs trading in explosive, often racist anti-Muslim rhetoric, and they are now on the front lines of a roiling debate about whether Western notions of free speech ought to take into consideration Muslim sensitivities about images of the Prophet Mohammed.”
“Ought to take into consideration Muslim sensitivities”? Really?
On the popular habit of using the Southern Poverty Law Center as a ‘credible’ source:
“She is also the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a ‘hate group.'”
Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center thinks any organization that doesn’t conform to contemporary left-wing orthodoxy is a “hate group”. The Southern Poverty Law Center would label a ham sandwich and a bag of potato chips a “hate group”. Is Foreign Policy magazine a “hate group”? (Sure, why not?)
Geller has the good sense to ignore the
smear merchants “journalists” at Foreign Policy, and accurately reveals the magazine’s ideological bias, calling it a “citadel of leftist power and influence”.
“Geller did not answer a list of questions emailed to her by Foreign Policy. In the past she has referred to FP as a ‘citadel of leftist power and influence’.”
Former State Department counterterrorism director Daniel Benjamin weighs in:
“If you wanted to conduct a science experiment to show you could elicit jihadist violence, this was the perfect setup. Extremists have shown they are eager to avenge any perception of blasphemy.”
And western apologists continue to appease them, and endeavor to not offend them.
Why does Foreign Policy have this peculiar, almost erotic obsession with Geert Wilders hair?
“Unmistakable with his mane of silver hair, Wilders has tried to cloak his intense dislike of Islam behind a veil of advocating on behalf of liberal values.”
The authors promote a fiction that there’s a “line” between free speech and “hate speech” that must be observed, and “balanced”. It’s a false distinction, often used by those who misunderstand (or want to “raise questions” about) the first amendment. The constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech recognizes no such distinction. In fact, the only kind of speech that the the first amendment was designed to protect is offensive, hateful speech. What protection does inoffensive speech need?
When somebody tells you there’s a “line” that “must be balanced”, they are lying. They are advocating censorship.
The ‘Social Value’ Argument
“Benjamin, the former State Department official who is now a scholar at Dartmouth, said the United States must now balance the right to free speech with speech like the kind used by Wilders and Geller in their advocacy against Islam.”
If Daniel Benjamin is advocating self-restraint, then this is a legitimate expression of concern, aimed preserving nonviolence in a pluralistic society. If, however, he is advocating limiting free expression in order to achieve that goal, he should drop the ambiguous diplomatic double-talk and say what he means. 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’Posted: May 5, 2015
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.
The ISIS radio announcer also referred to Simpson and Soofi as the terror group’s “brothers.”
The announcement ended with this warning:
“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.
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 »
“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.”
Why is Pamela Geller so obsessed with Islam? It’s all she can think and talk about. Is it the result of some sort of trauma?
— Hala Gorani (@HalaGorani) May 4, 2015
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.”
— Ericka Andersen (@ErickaAndersen) May 4, 2015
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 »
Foreign Policy’s David Francis Resurrects Discredited WH Spin: Ambassador Stevens Death ‘Connected to Low-Budget Film’Posted: May 4, 2015
Americans Have ‘Stirred the Pot’, Says David Francis
Five months after an attack at the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, and four months after a shooting at a free speech event in Copenhagen, two gunmen were shot and killed outside of a cartoon exhibit and contest near Dallas late Sunday evening. While the motive for the attack is unclear, one of the event’s keynote speakers, Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders, has been denounced by Islamist groups for his criticisms of the Muslim presence in Europe, and its organizer, Pamela Geller, is a long time critic of Islam.
“In 2012, protesters stormed the U.S. embassy in Cairo after Mark Basseley Youssef, a U.S. resident, released the anti-Muslim film ‘Innocence of Muslims’. Violence in Benghazi that left U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens dead was also connected to the low-budget film.”
Two Democratic lawmakers recently asked the White House to ban Wilders from entering the United States.
It remains unclear whether the shooting is connected to broader extremist Islamic movements like the Islamic State or al Qaeda. Some Twitter posts by users associated with the group denounced the event in advance. Citing FBI sources, ABC news reported one of the gunmen is Elton Simpson, a target of previous terrorism related investigations. He had previously
Tweeted using the hashtag #texasattacks.
“Its organizer, Geller, is the president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a ‘hate group’.”
Note: The Southern Poverty Law Center’s standards are so ludicrous they’d list a box of cereal a “hate group”.
The identity of the second gunman is still unknown. Read the rest of this entry »
OH YES THEY DID: Liberals Side with Islamic Gunmen in #Garland Terror Attack, Blame Organizers, Wish Geller Had Been ShotPosted: May 4, 2015
“A number of online liberals appeared to side with the gunmen and were upset that Pamela Geller, one of the event organizers, was not shot. A number of others simply blamed Geller for the shooting, while others blamed the free speech event.”
On Sunday, two gunmen attempted what appears to be a Charlie Hebdo-style terror attack on a free speech event in Garland, Texas, that included a “Draw Mohammed” cartoon contest. Both gunmen were killed by Garland police officers and one officer was wounded. But, Twitchy said Sunday night, a number of online liberals appeared to side with the gunmen and were upset that Pamela Geller, one of the event organizers, was not shot. A number of others simply blamed Geller for the shooting, while others blamed the free speech event.
“Two people at racist hate event killed, one unfortunately not Pam Geller,” one person said. A search of Twitter revealed many others who blamed Geller.
“What’s worse mocking Islam or killing people?”
“Nothing like presence of Geert Wilders & Pam Geller to bring out crazies on other side,” one person said. “Oh, and by the way, it is not the fault of ‘Jews’ but one Jew, Pam Geller,whose only job is to create problems,” another person added. Wilders, Twitchy added, is a Dutch politician Democrats wanted to keep out of the country. CAIR also joined in the effort, demanding he be denied a visa.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) May 4, 2015
“Let’s be real, the event in #Garland featured hatemongers like Geert Wilders & Pam Geller, this wasn’t an art event, it was a hate event,” another person said on Twitter, apparently blaming the intended targets for the attempted terror attack. Others appeared to openly side with the gunmen who, as we reported Sunday, received praise from ISIS.
“Racist Pam Geller is responsible for the deaths in Garland Texas,” one Twitter user said. “Her Klan meeting was meant to draw violence. She is responsible.”
“Officials believe Simpson is the person who sent out several Twitter messages prior to the attack on Sunday, in the last one using the hashtag #TexasAttack about half an hour before the shooting.”
“I live in Garland,Tx where shooting occurred,” another Twitter user said. “I’m sorry Garland ever let Pam Geller put this event on–only 200 tickets sold. Geller=idiot.”
“Two of the key speakers/organizers of the ‘Draw Mohammed’ event in Texas are Pam Geller and Geert Wilders,” tweeted Glenn Greenwald. The tweet attracted a great deal of criticism. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Freedom of Speech Under Fire in America: Pamela Geller Explains the Purpose Behind Texas Art Exhibit in #Garland, TexasPosted: May 4, 2015
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 »
Here are the five areas that require amendment
1. Muhammad’s semi-divine status, along with the literalist reading of the Quran.
Muhammad should not be seen as infallible, let alone as a source of divine writ. He should be seen as a historical figure who united the Arab tribes in a premodern context that cannot be replicated in the 21st century. And although Islam maintains that the Quran is the literal word of Allah, it is, in historical reality, a book that was shaped by human hands. Large parts of the Quran simply reflect the tribal values of the 7th-century Arabian context from which it emerged. The Quran’s eternal spiritual values must be separated from the cultural accidents of the place and time of its birth.
2. The supremacy of life after death.
The appeal of martyrdom will fade only when Muslims assign a greater value to the rewards of this life than to those promised in the hereafter.
3. Shariah, the vast body of religious legislation.
Muslims should learn to put the dynamic, evolving laws made by human beings above those aspects of Shariah that are violent, intolerant or anachronistic.
4. The right of individual Muslims to enforce Islamic law.
There is no room in the modern world for religious police, vigilantes and politically empowered clerics.
5. The imperative to wage jihad, or holy war.
Islam must become a true religion of peace, which means rejecting the imposition of religion by the sword.
I know that this argument will make many Muslims uncomfortable. Some are bound to be offended by my proposed amendments. Others will contend that I am not qualified to discuss these complex issues of theology and law. I am also afraid—genuinely afraid—that it will make a few Muslims even more eager to silence me….(read more)
Christie’s auction house also waived its commission
The cartoon panels from the iconic comic-book series bore a special dedication from co-creator Albert Uderzo, the BBC reported.
Uderzo, 87, briefly came out of retirement earlier this year to draw two tributes to the 12 victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo’s offices in Paris, where two gunmen opened fire on Jan. 7 over the magazine’s publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Defiant Danes March After Attacks Copenhagen: ‘We Will Not Accept Any Attempt to Threaten or Intimidate Our Liberties and Our Rights’Posted: February 17, 2015
Tens of thousands of Danes gathered at torch-lit memorials around the country on Monday, commemorating victims of deadly attacks on a synagogue and an event promoting free speech that shocked a nation proud of its record of safety and openness.
Singing John Lennon’s Imagine, defiant Danes promised to uphold their trademark open society and showed solidarity with the country’s Muslim minority after reports the gunman was a Dane with Palestinian roots and a passion for Islamist issues.
“We have now experienced the fear that terrorism seeks to spread. The Danish democracy is strong, the Danish nation is strong, and we will not accept any attempt to threaten or intimidate our liberties and our rights.”
— Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt
The 22-year-old gunman opened fire on a cafe in hosting a free speech debate on Saturday, killing one, and attacked a synagogue, killing a guard. He was later killed in a shootout with police in his neighborhood of Norrebro, a largely immigrant part of the city with a reputation for gang violence.
Police, which have not publicly the identified the gunman, arrested two people on suspicion of aiding the attacks but said there was no indication the shooter was part of a cell or had traveled to Syria or Iraq.
“We have now experienced the fear that terrorism seeks to spread,” Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt told reporters. “The Danish democracy is strong, the Danish nation is strong, and we will not accept any attempt to threaten or intimidate our liberties and our rights.”
Jewish leaders also called for calm and tolerance as some Muslims feared a backlash.
“We fight together with them (Muslims) for religious rights. We are moderates. We fight together against extremism and radicalism,” Dan Rosenberg Asmussen, chairman of the Danish Jewish Community, told a press conference.
Thousands of Danes left flowers at the synagogue, walking in a quiet, solemn procession, with many also leaving both Danish and Israeli flags. A march by PEGIDA, the anti-Islam movement born in Germany, however, attracted only around 50 people.
Saturday’s cafe event was attended by Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has received death threats for drawings of the Prophet Mohammad, and by French ambassador Francois Zimeray, who likened the attacks to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris. Vilks and Zimeray were both unharmed.
The killings shocked Danes who pride themselves on a welcoming and safe society, and fed into a national debate about the role of immigrants, especially Muslims. The populist Danish People’s Party, which campaigned against the building of a mosque here, has strong support in the polls. Read the rest of this entry »
Peter Malcolm reports: Ami Horowitz has released a video in which he asked young Muslim men in Marseilles what they thought of the massacres at the Charlie Hebdo office and the kosher supermarket, and the answers he got belie the conclusion that French Muslims overwhelmingly condemned the attacks. Marseilles has the largest Muslim population in France.
This is what Horowitz found:
One Muslim man said, “They defended their religion. They provoked the Muslim religion. They took care of it.”
Another young Muslim man said, “Already they are saying it’s a terrorist religion. Confusing terrorists and Muslims. I say it’s a government set-up. Somebody important who’s high up with money. To buy weapons, finance travel, to buy lots of things, you need money. It has to be someone high up in the government. It has to be.” Asked whether it was possible the Israeli government was behind the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermaket in Paris, he replied, “It’s possible. Yes, it’s possible. It was probably sponsored by someone in the government.”
Asked whether the Charlie Hebdo people deserve what they got because they insulted the Prophet, a black man answered, “Yes. You cannot play with the religion or the faith of people. There are some people who really love the Prophet; you cannot play.” Read the rest of this entry »
Shooting at Danish Free-Speech Event Kills One; Police Report Another Shooting Near Synagogue
Updated Feb. 14, 2015 7:55 p.m. ET
Reporting by Anna Molin in Stockholm and Sam Schechner in Paris: A gunman killed one person and wounded three in Copenhagen on Saturday, when he tried to force his way into an event discussing Islam and free speech in the wake of the January attack on the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
[An audio recording obtained exclusively by the BBC captures the moment two gunmen struck a free speech debate in the Danish capital, Copenhagen. A manhunt is underway for a suspect who targeted the event at the Krudttoennen cafe in the Oesterbro district of the city. Controversial Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who has drawn caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, is understood to have been present at the debate, as well as the French ambassador, Francois Zimeray. A speaker at the event is interrupted by a volley of shots.]
Later, police reported another shooting, near a synagogue in downtown Copenhagen. One person was shot in the head and two police officers were shot in the arms and legs, the Associated Press reported. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the incident was linked to the earlier shooting, police said.
‘I was inside; I had just reached back to my seat after delivering my speech, when I heard a gunshot…First I thought a closet had fallen on the ground, then that it was some fireworks.’
—French Ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray, speaking about the shooting at the free-speech event where he was present.
Police said after the earlier shooting that they were hunting a man dressed in a dark parka who sprayed dozens of gunshots through the plate-glass windows of the Krudttoenden cafe in central Copenhagen, where Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks and France’s ambassador to Denmark François Zimeray were attending an event hosted by the Lars Vilks committee. Neither Mr. Vilks nor Mr. Zimeray was injured.
Authorities didn’t disclose the identity of the victim, saying only it was a male in his 40s who was present at the conference. Police said the motive for the shooting remained unclear, but that it was possible that Mr. Vilks was the target. The artist achieved notoriety nearly a decade ago for trying to exhibit caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad as a dog.
“Denmark has today been hit by a cynical act of violence,” said Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. “Everything suggests that the shooting in Osterbro was a political assassination and thus an act of terrorism.”
Nous Soumettons à Aotre Autorité: ‘Blasphemous’ Artwork Removed From Paris Exhibition After Threat, to Avoid OffensePosted: January 28, 2015
Artwork showing women’s shoes on Muslim prayer mats is removed from exhibition after warnings of possible violence
David Chazan reports: An artwork depicting high-heeled shoes on Islamic prayer mats has been removed from an exhibition after a Muslim group warned of possible violence in the wake of the Paris attacks.
The French-Algerian artist, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, withdrew the work from an exhibition in a northern Paris suburb with a large Muslim population after an Islamic group told local authorities it could provoke “uncontrollable, irresponsible incidents”.
“I’m left wondering at the reasons that push a certain fringe among French Muslims to see this work as blasphemous. I’m from a Muslim background and my intention was not to shock or provoke, but to offer a vision as a starting point for a dialogue.”
It is considered disrespectful to step on Muslim prayer maps with shoes.
Ms Bouabdellah has replaced the artwork, “Silence”, previously exhibited in Paris, New York, Berlin and Madrid, with a video installation showing belly-dancing to the French national anthem, with swirling red, white and blue shawls symbolising the national flag.
“I protest against all pressures and/or threats that would result in a peaceful art work being pulled from an exhibition, be it due to a Christian group, a Muslim group, or a group of other beliefs.”
The decision sparked protests from other artists who complained that freedom of expression was being undermined only weeks after 12 people were killed when gunmen attacked the office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. Another four people were killed at a kosher supermarket, and a policewoman was shot dead near a Jewish school.
Ms Bouabdellah, 37, said on Wednesday that the “lack of understanding” of her work was probably related to “heightened emotions” after the attacks. Read the rest of this entry »
Laure Mandeville: Even For the French, it is Almost Surreal to See How the White House Avoids Using the Phrase ‘Radical Islam’Posted: January 26, 2015
Mrs. Mandeville is the U.S. bureau chief for the French newspaper Le Figaro.
Laure Mandeville writes: In French, we have an expression: “Call a cat a cat.” Appeler un chat un chat. That is exactly what French Prime Minister Manuel Valls did after the horrific terrorist attacks that hit my country on Jan. 7, when he identified “radical Islam” as our enemy. In France, most rallied to this clear acknowledgment of the threat we are dealing with, because it is simply impossible to deny.
“There is something nearly Orwellian in this refusal to call things by their names. If we say that the terrorists are not radical Islamists, we might as well say that truth is lie, that right is wrong, that black is white.”
— Flemming Rose, foreign editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten
That is why it has sounded almost surreal when the Obama administration and many observers in the U.S., despite their heartening support for the French, go to great lengths to insist that the terrorist attack had nothing to do with Islam.
“President Obama does us a disservice, because doing so deprives the Muslim community of its responsibility to fight this radical monster. By doing that, the West fails to understand that the Muslims will be the most crucial soldiers to fight this Islamic terrorism.”
— Muslim democrat Naser Khader, a former member of the Danish Parliament
The intention is good: President Obama doesn’t want to mix Islamist terrorists and the wider community of Muslims around the world. He is trying to appeal to Muslims, to prevent them from feeling ostracized. More than ever, the world needs Muslims who wish to live in harmony with non-Muslims.
But ask Flemming Rose how the Obama approach sounds to someone who knows too well the Islamist threat. Mr. Rose, now the foreign editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, was its cultural editor in 2005 when he had an idea for a series of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad. Their publication sparked deadly protests in several countries and has made him a marked man. “There is something nearly Orwellian in this refusal to call things by their names,” Mr. Rose tells me. “If we say that the terrorists are not radical Islamists, we might as well say that truth is lie, that right is wrong, that black is white.”
To put a fig leaf over the threat doesn’t make the problem go away, and doesn’t help us understand that the radical Islamist attacks are precisely about the House of Islam and who can speak for it.
“This is a battle about who is going to define Islam: the radical Islamists, who try to convince the world that someone can be assassinated if he dares draw a mocking cartoon representing the Prophet, or who ridicules fanatics of all sorts; or the democratically inclined Muslims who accept that religion cannot be an encompassing whole that dictates all the rules of everyday life in the earthly realm.”
— Joshua Mitchell, a professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University
By denying that this is about Islam, “President Obama does us a disservice, because doing so deprives the Muslim community of its responsibility to fight this radical monster,” says Muslim democrat Naser Khader, a former member of the Danish Parliament, now at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Read the rest of this entry »
There is more to fear in one terrorist than to celebrate in 99 well-adjusted immigrants.
Theodore Dalrymple writes: The shots in the Paris street that were seen and heard around the world killed Ahmed Merabet, a Muslim policeman going to the defense of Charlie Hebdo: a reminder that by no means all Muslims in France, far from it, are France-hating, Allahu-akbar-shouting fanatics, and that many are well-integrated.
“A handful of fanatics can easily have a much more significant social effect than a large number of peaceful citizens…if only 1 percent of French Muslims were inclined to terrorism, this would still be more than 50,000 people, more than enough to create havoc in a society.”
I go to a Muslim boulanger in Paris whose French bread and pastries are as good as any in the vicinity; and, if anything, I have a prejudice in favor of patronizing his shop precisely to encourage and reward his successful integration. And he is only one of many cases that I know.
Unfortunately, this is not as reassuring as it sounds, because a handful of fanatics can easily have a much more significant social effect than a large number of peaceful citizens. There is more to fear in one terrorist than to celebrate in 99 well-integrated immigrants. And if only 1 percent of French Muslims were inclined to terrorism, this would still be more than 50,000 people, more than enough to create havoc in a society.
The jihadists now have a large pool from which to draw, and there are good reasons to think that more than 1 percent of young Muslims in France are distinctly anti-French. The number of young French jihadists fighting in Syria is estimated to be 1,200, equal to 1 percent in numbers of the French army, and probably not many fewer than the number of Algerian guerrillas fighting during much of the Algerian War of Independence.
That is why the following argument, taken from an article in the Guardian by French journalist Nabila Ramdani, will not be of much comfort to the French or to other Europeans. Read the rest of this entry »
Hebdo printed up to seven million copies of the issue, which quickly sold out at European newsstands.
“When they refuse to publish this cartoon, when they blur it out, when they decline to publish it, they blur out democracy, secularism, freedom of religion, and they insult the citizenship.”
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd asked Charlie Hebdo’s new editor-in-chief Gerard Briard Sunday morning what he made of the decision of many American news outlets, including NBC News, to blur the cover of this week’s issue, which featured a caricature of the Islamic prophet Muhammed. Briard basically told Western media to grow a pair.
“This cartoon…is a symbol of freedom of religion, democracy, and secularism. It is this symbol that these newspapers refuse to publish.”
“Écoutez, we cannot blame newspapers that already suffer much difficulty in getting published and distributed in totalitarian regimes for not publishing a cartoon that could get them at best jail, at worst death,” he said.
“On the other hand, I’m quite critical of newspapers published in democratic countries,” he continued. Read the rest of this entry »
Manuel Valls argues that the accusation of Islamophobia is often used as a weapon by Islamism’s apologists
Jeffrey Goldberg writes: The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, has emerged over the past tumultuous week as one of the West’s most vocal foes of Islamism, though he’s actually been talking about the threat it poses for a long while.
“Anti-Muslim feeling appears to be more widespread than anti-Jewish feeling across much of France, but anti-Jewish feeling has been expressed recently (and not-so-recently) with far more lethality, and mainly by Muslims.”
During the course of an interview conducted before the Charlie Hebdo attacks, he told me—he went out of his way to tell me, in fact—that he refuses to use the term ‘Islamophobia’ to describe the phenomenon of anti-Muslim prejudice, because, he says, the accusation of Islamophobia is often used as a weapon by Islamism’s apologists to silence their critics.
Most of my conversation with Valls was focused on the fragile state of French Jewry—here is my post on his comments, which included the now-widely circulated statement that, “if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France”—and I didn’t realize the importance of his comment about Islamophobia until I re-read the transcript of our interview.
“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS,” Valls told me. “There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people.”
“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS. There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology.”
Valls was not denying the existence of anti-Muslim sentiment, which is strong across much of France. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdoattack, miscreants have shot at Muslim community buildings, and various repulsive threats against individual Muslims have been cataloged. President Francois Hollande, who said Thursday that Muslims are the “first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism, intolerance,” might be overstating the primacy of anti-Muslim prejudice in the current hierarchy of French bigotries—after all, Hollande just found it necessary to deploy his army to defend Jewish schools from Muslim terrorists, not Muslim schools from Jewish terrorists—but anti-Muslim bigotry is a salient and seemingly permanent feature of life in France. Or to contextualize it differently: Anti-Muslim feeling appears to be more widespread than anti-Jewish feeling across much of France, but anti-Jewish feeling has been expressed recently (and not-so-recently) with far more lethality, and mainly by Muslims.
“Can hostility to the various related ideologies of Islamism—ideologies rooted in a particular reading of Muslim texts, theology, and history—be properly defined as Islamophobic?”
It appears as if Valls came to his view on the illegitimacy of ‘Islamophobia’ after being influenced by a number of people, including and especially the French philosopher Pascal Bruckner and the writer (and fatwa target) Salman Rushdie. Rushdie, along with a group of mainly Muslim writers, attacked the use of the term ‘Islamophobia’ several years ago in an open letter: “We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’, a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion and stigmatization of those who believe in it.”
“We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of ‘Islamophobia’, a wretched concept that confuses criticism of Islam as a religion and stigmatization of those who believe in it.”
Bruckner argued that use of the word ‘Islamophobia’ was designed to deflect attention away from the goals of Islamists: “[I]t denies the reality of an Islamic offensive in Europe all the better to justify it; it attacks secularism by equating it with fundamentalism. Above all, however, it wants to silence all those Muslims who question the Koran, who demand equality of the sexes, who claim the right to renounce religion, and who want to practice their faith freely and without submitting to the dictates of the bearded and doctrinaire.”
It is difficult to construct a single term that captures the variegated expressions of a broad prejudice. ‘Anti-Semitism,’ of course, is a terribly flawed term to describe anti-Jewish thought or behavior, and not only because it was invented by an actual hater of Jews, Wilhelm Marr, to prettify the base hatred to which he subscribed. Read the rest of this entry »
Charles Krauthammer writes: On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, “reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities.”
“As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible.”
Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare “No” to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification (“Je suis Charlie”) with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? And yet, within 48 hours, the new Charlie Hebdo issue featuring the image of Muhammad — albeit a sorrowful, indeed sympathetic Muhammad — sparked new protests, denunciations and threats of violence, which in turn evinced another round of doubt and self-flagellation in the West about the propriety and limits of free expression. Hopeless.
As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible. At the interstices of various political rallies, he issued bits of muted, mealy-mouthed boilerplate. Followed by the now-famous absence of any high-ranking U.S. official at the Paris rally, an abdication of moral and political leadership for which the White House has already admitted error.
“On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president’s profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington.”
But this was no mere error of judgment or optics or, most absurdly, of communications in which we are supposed to believe that the president was not informed by staff about the magnitude, both actual and symbolic, of the demonstration he ignored. (He needed to be told?)
On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president’s profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington. He has ever since shuttled between saying that (a) the war must end because of the damage “keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing” was doing to us, and (b) the war has already ended, as he suggested repeatedly during the 2012 campaign, with bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda “on the run.”
During the White House briefing on Monday, press secretary Josh Earnest discussed the administration’s decision not to send a high-level official to a march honoring the victims of last week’s attack on a satirical newspaper and said the French ambassador would go to the White House later that day.
Turkey is home to 82 million people, 99.8% of whom are Muslim, according to the CIA World Factbook.
(CNN) Josh Levs, Hande Atay-Alam and Zeynep Bilginsoy reporting: A Turkish court Wednesday banned website pages that show the new cover of Charlie Hebdo, the country”s semiofficial news agency Anadolu reported. A newspaper that included images of the cover received death threats.
The developments came as Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan wrote on Twitter, “Those who are publishing figures referring to our supreme Prophet are those who disregard the sacred.” Such a move is “open incitement and provocation,” he added.
The French satirical publication Charlie Hebdo’s new cover contains what it calls a caricature of the Prophet Mohammed holding a sign saying “Je suis Charlie.” The caption says “All is forgiven” in French.
It comes a week after Islamist terrorists killed 12 people at the paper’s offices. Read the rest of this entry »