Tag Archive for: First Amendment

Defeating Islam at Home

The world is rapidly crumbling under the combined political, economic, and religious assaults. Politically, nations are at each other’s jugglers. Economically, there are more people than humanity can adequately feed, house, and care for them. Our numbers keep on exploding while resources of all sorts are depleting, the environment is degrading, and other life forms are being pushed toward extinction.

To exacerbate the problem, humanity’s genius needed for addressing its monumental challenges is severely sapped by the religious menace of Islamism.

Let’s trust the forever distrustful, self-serving politicians to deal with the political conundrum. In their for-sale hands, they are bound to make matters worse politically.

And the effete academes can sit in their ivory tower offices, smoke their pipes, and divine good as gold solutions (read, hallucinations) to the morass of the economy.

On the religious front, we are faced with the corrosive and deadly menace of Islamism. This is the subject of great concern to me, and I have specific suggestions on how to deal with this ever-expanding threat to our collective and personal liberty.

Several million Muslims live in this welcoming land. Muslims are everywhere. How are we to deal with them? Right at the start, let’s abandon some idiotic proposals that occasionally pop up. Deport the Muslims, herd them into concentration camps since they are enemies of the nation, and brand them like the dastardly murderer Nazis did the Jews. And on and on and on.

Those Muslims who are here legally are entitled to live here and enjoy the beneficence of this great country to the fullest of a citizen’s rights.

At the same time, we have every right and even responsibility to be concerned about the danger of Islamism to our way of life. It is a way for free people to live peacefully and respectfully with one another without in any way posing threats to the fundamental ideals that birthed this nation and sustained it to the present.

Moslems are not our enemies. Islamism is. Below are some specific suggestions on how to defeat Islamism at home.

Don’t kill the patient; eradicate the disease.

A Muslim is the patient; Islamism is the disease. The overwhelming majority of Muslims contract the viral virus of Islamism at birth when they are most vulnerable. Once this virus takes hold, it either completely destroys the individual’s cognitive immune system’s ability to reject the disease or makes it most difficult for the person to see the pathology. That’s why the great majority of born Muslims remain Muslim for life. It is a fact that a significant percentage of Muslims contract the virulent form of the belief, Islamism.

Islamism is a jihadist, intolerant of the “other,” and is rooted in most base beliefs and practices.

Defeat the creeping sharia law. I cannot overstate the dangers of Sharia law and its insidious, creeping nature. Regrettably, some provisions of sharia are already on the books in some states.

This Sharia intrusion is a monumental threat to our laws that are grantors of our liberty. No effort should be spared at denying the stone-age misogynistic body of Islamic laws from invading our legal system and purging the ones that have already sneaked in.

In infidel lands, the slow-acting yet deadly cancer of invasive sharia is wedged into our laws by powerful, moneyed Islamic organizations coaxing and greasing the politicians to issue ordinances or legislate seemingly harmless provisions of the sharia. Islamic organizations and vested-interested clerics begin their Sharia campaign by asking for ordinances or legislations for seemingly inconsequential little things, such as requiring stores to clearly designate and completely separate halal food and meat from nonhalal. What is important here is that ordinances and laws like this are the beginning of getting the government into the business of enforcing sharia laws. That’s the way they get a toehold, and the camel’s head pokes into the room, so to speak. Little by little, the rest of the terribly ugly stinking camel gets in the room, and there will be no way to get it out.

Islamism is a hydra, and every head of this deadly creature, no matter how small, must be severed. If not, before long, we end up in the same irreversible horrible mess that countries such as Great Britain find themselves, with full sharia law and sharia courts.

Unless you want yourself or your children to be treated/litigated under Sharia Law, you want to make sure that none of its provisions get on the books and that no mercenary politician does anything as an Islamist enabler. The separation of religion and state is the First Commandment of our Constitution that should not be violated or compromised. And you, the individual, are the best guardian of the Constitution.

Don’t do as Islamists do. Don’t vilify, persecute, or even harass the Muslims. They are entitled to be treated fairly, although they don’t feel they should also treat non-Muslims fairly. Believers in liberty want the God-given gift for all of mankind and not just for themselves. We want Muslims to be free also, without threatening our liberty. First and foremost, we must do what we can to empower them to exercise their gift of reason and free will and cast off the shackles of radical belief. We must remain true to our Pledge of Allegiance: “…justice and liberty for all.”

Don’t lie about Islam. Lying and dissimulation are—taqiyya is ordained by Muhammad for use by Muslims only. Muslims have the patent and copyright on the practice, and the non-Muslims do not need it. You lie when you aim to deceive, are ashamed of something, or wish to distort things. Free people need not resort to any such practice. The contents of the Quran that feed Islamism are the proof you need to present to Muslims.

Muslim women are the second-class victims of the beliefs and practices that date back some fourteen centuries to the primitive practices of the Arabian Peninsula. Beliefs and practices that have formed the foundation of Islam.

Be firm but kind. Do honor your conviction, a conviction worth defending with unshakeable resolve yet with kindness. Avoid belligerence when challenging Muslims. Sincere kindness works much better than hostile confrontation. Attacking a person’s belief can often backfire and serve to further confirm him in the ideology. Challenging individual Muslims with an open mind and heart is much more likely to make them rethink the pathological belief and hopefully abandon it.

Don’t believe the sanitized versions of Islam. Paid mercenaries, Islamic apologists, and many others trip over each other, overwhelming us with distorted and highly sanitized versions of Islam. The distortions and lies are frequently so blatant that we take them as truth, particularly when our own Presidents throw them at us. Islam is a religion of peace, they keep telling us. It is not, and it has never been. Study the facts. Read the Quran, study the Sunna and Hadith from Islam’s own historical documents, and find out for yourself why Islam is not what its apologists claim and, in fact, what a menacing scourge Islamism is. You need nothing more. Their very own sacred book and other records are your best proof to reason with Muslims and help them abandon the fold.

Drain Islam’s source of funds. Money is the lifeblood of every enterprise. It is money, much of it from oil sold to the kafir world by oil-bloated Islamic countries. We, the kafir are literally financing our own destruction by heedlessly continuing our addiction to oil. We are forced to buy oil from our very own enemies because oil is oil. If we boycott the oil from the Persian Gulf area, then we have to buy it elsewhere unless we buckle down and do what we must to become self-sufficient in energy. We indeed have the resources to become self-sufficient in energy but don’t seem to have the will to do it.

Challenge the professors, the preachers, and individual Muslims. Don’t get cowed in by the professor. Challenge him to document his claims and provide him with your own evidence that clearly falsifies his propaganda. Attend mosques and Islamic centers and do the same without being discourteous or belligerent. Do the same with the Muslims you know or meet. Keep in mind that many of these people are very hard nuts to crack. Yet, we must slowly wipe out Islamism from our homeland slowly.

Work with the media. A great majority of the media either sings the praises of Islam or avoids saying or publishing anything that might offend the Muslims. Money and fear are operating here. Threats of boycotting businesses and withholding advertisements are effectively used by Islamic organizations to intimidate the media. Legal actions are also threatened against the media as well as any individual who dares to speak the truth about Islam. These litigations can be immensely costly to individuals and companies, while the flush-with-funds Islamist outfits can boldly carry out their threats without worrying about the costs.

Define and defend freedom of religion. Freedom of religion is a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it grants the diverse people of this nation the right to worship according to their own beliefs. On the other hand, it becomes a license for Islamist clerics to preach hate about non-Muslims and indoctrinate their young in the intolerant, violent, and jihadist doctrine of Islamism. Thousands of mosques, Islamic centers, and university academic departments dot the land with thousands of preachers, politicians, and paid professors pushing Islam. We must make it a criminal offense to preach hate under the rubric of religion, to misrepresent and lie about religion.

Islamic clerics have a great vested interest. They make a very good living with lifetime job security. They do all they can to keep the charade going. So do the others who sing the praises of Islam. We must make sure that they do not practice dispensing misinformation, disinformation, and flaming the fire of hatred for non-Muslims.

Islam is a religion of peace. That’s not the way it is operating in Muslim lands with daily free-for-all mayhem and massacres. If Muslims want to have a place in the home of the free, they absolutely must live by the rules of this welcoming nation and abandon the attempt at subverting our cherished way of life and replacing it with theirs.

Retaining what is human. We believe the Creator has endowed human beings, both men and women equally with the gift of intellect. We are also endowed with a measure of freedom to think, choose, and act. As individuals, we are responsible for how we use these resources, for the good, for the bad, or the indifferent.

Islamic doctrine is diametrically in conflict with the above belief. According to Islam, the individual is a mere choice-less vessel in the hand of all-everything Allah. Islam strips the individual from self-reliance and replaces it with unconditional surrender to Allah. Not a leaf falls without Allah so decreeing, asserts the Quran unequivocally. Inshaallah (Allah decreeing, Allah ordaining, or Allah willing) precedes every commitment of the faithful Muslim. It is all up to Allah, as Muslims are led to believe. No wonder the Islamic world is in such a chronic state of backwardness. Muslims sit around waiting for Allah to decree and even do everything. It is a true belief of nihilism.

Resist multiculturalism. For a variety of reasons, during the past decades, Western societies opened their doors to a flood of Muslims from Islamic lands. They aimed to make the newcomers feel at home, retain their way of life, and live in harmony with the endogenous population. Some call it a practice in Christian charity. But the good-heartedness not only failed, it boomeranged to hurt the welcoming hosts severely. It is wonderful to be charitable. It is great to be good-hearted. But being charitable and accommodating evil can empower evil to tear your good heart out literally. Islamism and jihadism are on the rampage, playing out all over the world and literally tearing out the hearts of innocent people, many of them Muslim. We don’t want to repeat the European mistakes. No multiculturalism fantasy to create a nightmare reality. Muslims who live here must become part and parcel of America just like all the other diverse people who have come to this welcoming land. Muslims must abide by and honor the same values and laws that have made this nation a beneficent refuge for all people. No separate but equal foolishness was the banner cry of the segregationists for Muslims. Together, equal, and under the same law.

Challenge all politicians. The naked truth is that politicians are paid agents. They do and say what gets them elected and keeps them in office. As a voter and fund contributor, you are important. Let them know how you feel and how you are going to treat them if they sell their services and become Islam enablers. Hold them accountable at all levels of government, from the local city council to the occupier of the White House.

In short, we have a great country troubled by numerous challenges. We can ill afford to become complacent or disheartened. If we band together in a common cause with devotion to our nation’s principles and values, we can meet and defeat any threat of any nature or magnitude. Past generations of Americans have always done so, and this generation of Americans should do no less

©2024. Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

RELATED VIDEO: Not all Cultures are Equal [and You Know it]

Biden Regime Pressured Amazon to Suppress Books It Didn’t Like

“Is the [Biden] Admin asking us to remove books”?

What’s the difference between books and any other kind of speech? Books have an emotional quality to them.

Delete someone’s post and it can be called enforcing community guidelines, but burn a book and suddenly you’re a Nazi. Speech is still speech, but the idea of going after books in particular summons all sorts of historical references from the Muslim destruction of the Library of Alexandria to book-burning rallies in Berlin.

It’s why the Left was able to mobilize so much opposition by accusing school boards and parents of trying to “ban books” by keeping pornographic books out of schools.

Still every prior form of political censorship was defended by leftists, why not go after books on Amazon?

Tyler O’Neil at the Daily Signal reports that the Biden team saw no apparent difference between targeting books on Amazon and any other forms of social media censorship that it was pushing.

Andrew Slavitt, then a senior adviser on Biden’s COVID-19 response team, had previously asked, “Who can we talk to about the high levels of propaganda and misinformation and disinformation [on] Amazon?”

And by “talk to”, they meant get rid of.

In one email produced through a House Judiciary Committee subopena had an Amazon employee asking, “Is the [Biden] Admin asking us to remove books”?

After the March 9 meeting at the White House, Amazon staff strategized how to respond to a negative story that Buzzfeed would publish discussing “COVID-19 related books for sale on Amazon.” Staff noted that they were “feeling pressure from the White House Taskforce” on the issue of books “related to vaccine misinformation.”

The resulting compromise instead settled for shadowbanning the books.

In this discussion, a staffer noted that “we did enable Do Not Promote for anti-vax books whose primary purpose is to persuade readers vaccines are unsafe or ineffective on 3/9, and will review additional handling options for these books with you, [redacted], and [redacted] on 3/19.”

That March 9 decision to change Amazon’s algorithm to avoid promoting “anti-vax books” appears to have happened after the meeting with White House staff.

The media will predictably support this or ignore it: thus crossing another line. And at some point we’ll run out of lines. Liberals used to love Heinrich Heine’s line, “where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too.” There’s some truth to it. At least insofar as the sorts of regimes that burned people tended to have also burnt books beforehand.

The pattern here is similar to what we saw before with the #TwitterFiles. While externally Dot Coms defend censorship, internally we’ve seen a good deal of discomfort from top execs with what they’re being asked to do.

That discomfort is key. A judicial decision banning the government from pushing companies to censor materials was protested on the grounds that the government was persuading, not ordering. Liberals pretended that there was such a distinction. But the more of these cases are aired, the more that distinction collapses.

Justice Clarence Thomas had warned that government agencies pressuring social media companies to censor might not be considered “private action.” And without that, it’s just government censorship.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

Al Gore: Ban Free Speech, Just Like Guns, to Save the Planet

“They ought to be banned, they really ought to be banned.” — Al Gore


While most people forgot about Al Gore a decade ago, the 75-year-old environmental tycoon with a net worth in the hundreds of millions (also a former vice president) has doubled down on his flavor of green fascism in the name of saving the planet from everyone but himself.

Gore is making $2 million a month from his “green investment firm” which has been having some problems. Its assets fell from $39 billion to $30 billion and its biggest fund suffered a 28% decline. And investors may be rethinking whether a firm that pays Gore $2 million a month so it can claim it’s saving the planet by buying Microsoft, Amazon and Adidas stocks is worth it.

But Gore is keeping busy. At COP28, the UN climate summit, he demanded that voting rules be changed so that a majority of countries, rather than a full consensus of nations, could impose mandates on the United States and oil-producing nations. That means a bunch of third world countries would have veto power over our entire economy. Good for them, really bad for us.

Fresh off insulting the Saudis and the UAE ($100 million of Gore’s money came from Qatar, a foe of both, linked to Hamas which used his failed leftist cable network, Current TV, as a springboard for its failed terrorist cable network, Al Jazeera America), he decided to also go to war against freedom of speech and the internet.

Despite inventing the internet, Gore showed up to a Bloomberg Green event to rant about “algorithms”. Algorithms are not, despite what some Gore fans (all 12 of them) think, named after him, and it was pretty clear that the elderly belligerent massage enthusiast was not too clear about what they were either. But in the traditional fashion of leftists wanting to ban something by comparing it to Hitler or AR-15s, he went with the assault algorithm analogy.

“If you have social media that is dominated by algorithms that pull people down these rabbit holes that are a bit like pitcher plants, these algorithms, they are the digital equivalent of AR-15s,” Gore ranted. “They ought to be banned, they really ought to be banned. It’s an abuse of the public forum.”

(But not the kind of rabbit holes that convince people that the planet is going to blow up unless they invest a lot of money in Al Gore’s fund to save the planet by buying Amazon stocks.)

Gore was blathering about algorithms because they provide a legal argument for censorship. Conservatives are concerned about social media algorithms censoring them while leftists complain that social media algorithms aren’t doing enough censoring. When taking Chinese money during his vice presidency, Gore had claimed that there was “no controlling legal authority”, but like most leftists, he’d like there to be a controlling legal authority for speech.

Toward the end of his spiel, the old tobacco salesman turned planet-saver got to his real point.

“These devices are the enemies of self-government, and they’re the enemies of democracy. We need reforms for both democracy and capitalism, both sets of reforms are possible,” he said.

Leftists have spent 7 years howling that democracy is under threat. Everything they do is in defense of democracy. When they rig elections, criminalize political dissent and terrorize opponents, it’s because they’re trying to save democracy from “authoritarianism”.

(And sometimes you have to ‘authoritarianize’ the global village in order to democratize it.)

On stage at a forum funded by a billionaire and to an audience of like-minded elites, Al Gore argued that democracy, like capitalism, needs to be reformed. There’s something wrong with democracy, much as there is with capitalism, and the thing that’s wrong with it is that there’s too much of the wrong kind of speech. The First Amendment needs to go, just like the Second Amendment, because we can’t just have people owning AR-15s or opening their mouths.

Al Gore’s fortune came from promising to reform capitalism by making it “sustainable”. What he actually did was be a very well compensated frontman for an ex-Goldman Sachs exec named David Blood (he has joked about naming the firm ‘Blood and Gore’, but that might have been too much on the money in more ways than one) to put a green label on noted environmental stocks like Microsoft and Amazon. Instead of people just buying whatever stocks they wanted, they would invest in an ESG fund that would promise the stocks are politically the ‘right kind’.

Speech works the same way. Making speech sustainable will require ending this anarchic situation where anyone can say whatever they think. There will be guidelines and an approved list of things you can say. Perhaps there may be a 7 day waiting period for some kinds of controversial speech. The really dangerous forms of “assault speech” will have to be banned for the good of the public and the planet. The Founding Fathers had never owned an AR-15 or had access to the internet and so the 1st and 2nd amendments were never meant to apply to them.

If people are free to say whatever they want, they might recollect the time that the noted doomsday prophet for profit warned that “there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”

That was in 2009.

Al Gore may have a poor grasp of ice and the internet, but he does understand crisis. The power to denounce something as dangerous invents a crisis that allows the government to step in, gate it off and limit access to the right sorts of people. Like Al Gore and his political allies.

And there’s nothing Al Gore knows better than how to pound the podium and declare a crisis.

The ‘Al-gore-rithms’ that Al Gore would like to see imposed would replace the AR-15s of free speech with the water guns of approved speech, and the pollution of popular speech for the unpopular sustainable green speech certified by the experts and the elites of the ruling class.

Free speech is the enemy of self-government and democracy, Gore claims. And so the  salvation of self-government and democracy must be totalitarianism. We can’t have democracy or self-government with free speech. Only when the emissions from our mouths are as closely regulated as Gore would like to regulate the emissions from our kitchens and our cars will our self-government be saved from our selves and our democracy from the ‘demos’.

Al Gore wants to save democracy the way he saved the planet. But who will save free speech and the planet from totalitarians who promise to save the things that they want to control?

AUTHOR

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Trump Lawyer Says He’ll Use ‘Very Simple’ Strategy Of Pointing Out Jack Smith ‘Has The Entire Law … Wrong’

An attorney for former President Donald Trump said Thursday that Trump’s defense will use a “very simple” strategy should charges over the 2020 election be brought to trial.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges during his Thursday arraignment after Special Counsel Jack Smith secured a four-count indictment of Trump relating to his efforts to contest the results of the 2020 election. Smith previously secured a 37-count indictment against Trump in June based on an investigation into allegations surrounding classified documents.

“The legal strategy in this case I think is very simple: You attack the facts that Jack Smith put out that are wrong for instance, Jack Smith claiming, as you already pointed out, that Donald Trump did anything other than call for peace and patriotism on January 6th is wrong,” attorney Jesse Binnall told Fox News host Jesse Watters Thursday evening. “And then you attack the law, because Jack Smith has the entire law in this case wrong, and more importantly, he is ignoring the Constitution of the United States.”

WATCH:

“Here is how: The First Amendment gives you the right to speech, something that Jack Smith’s prosecutors are completely ignoring, but more than that, it also gives you the right to petition Congress for redress of grievances,” Binnall continued. “And in this case, when you are saying there was fraud in the election, there are problems in the election and we think you should seat electors X, instead of electors Y, that’s why the first petition clause clearly protects.”

Legal experts noted that much of the conduct Smith claimed was criminal in the indictment appeared to be protected by the First Amendment. Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz said that the indictment not only attacked the First Amendment, but also Trump’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

“Jack Smith is terrified that Donald Trump is going to be elected again because Jack Smith is actually the one terrified of democracy because democracy would bring accountability for him and quite honestly his out-of-control prosecutors in an out of control Justice Department,” Binnall added.

Trump’s top rivals for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, all condemned the indictment.

AUTHOR

HAROLD HUTCHISON

Reporter.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


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Biden Regime Demanded Facebook Ban Humor

“The Biden administration was working every possible angle to keep people alive”

First Amendment? What First Amendment?

The Biden administration’s internet censorship regime seemed to have a special hatred for humor. Maybe that’s because its boss is a walking joke.

We have learned that the administration unconstitutionally pressured internet platforms to remove a video mocking Jill Biden and a Twitter account impersonating Biden’s granddaughter.

Facebook reported Biden officials demanding that humor be banned if it made jokes about the vaccine.

“There is likely a significant gap between what the WH would like us to remove and what we are comfortable removing,” the Facebook vice president said.

As one example, the executive listed the White House’s desire that the company take action against humorous or satirical content that suggested the vaccines aren’t safe.

“The WH has previously indicated that it thinks humor should be removed if it is premised on the vaccine having side effects, so we expect it would similarly want to see humor about vaccine hesitancy removed,” the vice president wrote.

The future must not belong to those who mock the prophet Fauci.

Ponder for a moment that the Biden regime was pushing past what a billionaire leftist kid and a former liberal British politician from a country where censorship is routine were comfortable with.

“I can’t see Mark in a million years being comfortable with removing that—and I wouldn’t recommend it,” Clegg wrote in a subsequent email, an apparent reference to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Democrats are doubling down on “We had to ban comedy or everyone would die”.

“In 2021, in the darkest days of the pandemic, of course the Biden administration was working every possible angle to keep people alive,” a spokesman for Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee said in a statement.

If banning humor didn’t work, the Democrats were going to keep us alive by abolishing the Constitution and sending everyone to labor camps. Every possible angle had to be explored to keep everyone alive and under the watch of guard towers at every moment of the day until the time came to turn them into mulch.

Whether or not that’s humor, the Biden administration’s Office of Comedy and Censorship will have to decide.

AUTHOR

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

VIDEO: MSNBC’s Psaki warns of the ‘danger’ of the freedom of speech

Psaki’s reflexive and unthinking authoritarianism reflects the stance of the Left in general these days. Leftists are determined to silence and crush all dissent and allow only their perspective to be heard in the public square.

Learn more about this effort in The Sumter Gambit: How the Left Is Trying to Foment A Civil War.

“Psaki Urges MSNBC Viewers To ‘Think Of The Danger’ Posed By Free Speech,” by Harold Hutchison, Daily Caller, February 9, 2023:

“If you were running a local political campaign and you’re running ads on television, and you say something inaccurate about your opponent, guess what happens? The ad is pulled down,” Psaki said. “These platforms live by a different set of rules, and people consume more information from them than any other source of media. Think of the danger of that.”

The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday on Twitter’s censorship practices, focusing on the company’s actions towards an Oct. 14, 2020 report by the New York Post on the contents of a laptop abandoned by Hunter Biden. Twitter locked multiple accounts, including the Post’s and the personal account of then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany for sharing the story, citing its “hacked materials” policy.

“As Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, they’re allowing hate speech, racism. Also, let’s not forget inaccurate information about vaccines and how they can save your lives. They run rampant on these platforms,” Psaki said.

During the hearing, Republican Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina described side effects from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine while questioning former Twitter executives about the censorship of alleged “misinformation” about COVID-19.

Among those who were “shadow-banned” by Twitter was Stanford University’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of health policy, who said that lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic harmed children. Dr. Andrew Bostom, a former academic at Brown University, was suspended for five months for alleged “medical misinformation.”

“What these Republicans are doing, essentially, just to break down past all of this crazy word salad of yesterday, they are defending the pushing of inaccurate, dangerous information on the platforms that most people receive information from,” Psaki continued. “That is racist, dangerous, prompted January 6th, is prompting people not to get vaccinated. That’s what they’re defending.”…

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

What Will Persecuted Christians Face in 2023?

The Bible radically challenges the status quo. It speaks truth to power.


During a recent conversation with Margaret, a woman who suffered life-changing injuries after Islamists assaulted a Catholic church in Nigeria last Pentecost Sunday, I couldn’t help but reflect deeply on the words of Christ:

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5)

Indeed, who is it that can forgive their enemies and overcome hatred, violence and abuse of the kind suffered by Margaret but he or she who knows Christ?

In my work for the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) UK, I am frequently asked about how I deal with all the negative stories and the “doom and gloom”. But as St John’s letter reminds us, a strong faith in Christ’s ultimate victory upends this question: rather, how can I deal with all the pessimism and negativity without learning from the example of the modern-day martyrs?

Speaking to Margaret taught me two key lessons: that we in the West need the example of the persecuted Church, and they need us. The more that the opponents of the Church become emboldened in persecuting her, and the less we speak truth to power, the more severe will the persecution be this year. Our silence is a green light to violence.

2022 made this fact clearer than ever. More Christians suffer for their faith in Christ than any other religious group suffers for their faith, according to the Pew Research Center. This is borne out by fresh data from Aid to the Church in Need’s latest report Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2020-22.

The oppression or persecution of Christians increased in 75 percent of the 24 countries ACN surveyed. In Africa, the situation for Christians worsened in all countries reviewed amid a sharp increase in genocidal violence from militant non-state actors, including the jihadist groups Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram. Nigeria is in particular trouble. In the Middle East, continuing migration deepened the crisis threatening the survival of three of the world’s oldest Christian communities located in Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

State authoritarianism has been the critical factor causing worsening oppression against Christians in China, North Korea, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar). Religious nationalism has caused increasing persecution against Christians in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, among other countries. Fashionable holiday destinations like the Maldives fare poorly when it comes to the treatment of Christians. Football-famous Qatar has also been on our radar.

A key trend we are witnessing in the West which aids and abets the persecution of Christians is civil authorities’ frequent denial of the extent of the problem. This can stem from ignorance of and outright unwillingness to alleviate the suffering of Christians, but also takes the form of dubious arguments that reject explanations of the crisis rooted in anti-Christian hatred, instead preferring economic justifications or cries of “climate change”. But climate change alone cannot explain Christian persecution, as the UK parliamentarian Sir Edward Leigh MP explained in a recent article.

2023 will see these trends escalate, ACN’s research suggests. Our work proactively identifies the trends Christians face early on, rather than being purely reactive. This call to justice is crucial to waking up governments, decision-makers and the Church to the plight of the most vulnerable. We defend the persecuted Church and stand in solidarity with her but, perhaps even more importantly, we provide support and pastoral care so that she can persevere in her mission to preach the Gospel to all nations, whatever the cost.

Speaking to ACN last year after her release from captivity in Mali, west Africa, Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez said: “My God, it is hard to be chained and to receive blows, but I live this moment as you present it to me … And, in spite of everything, I would not want any of [my captors] to be harmed.”

The Franciscan sister was held by Islamist militants for over four years, during which time she was repeatedly physically and psychologically tortured. Sister Gloria made clear that her Christian faith was the source of the animus against her, describing to us how her captors became enraged when she prayed. On one occasion, when a jihadist leader found her praying, he struck her saying: “Let’s see if that God gets you out of here. Sister Gloria continued: “He spoke to me using very strong, ugly words…My soul shuddered at what this person was saying, while the other guards laughed out loud at the insults.”

As Christ says to the persecuted Church and to us: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

When I read these words, the smiling portrait of a humble and persevering Nigerian woman comes to mind. This year, like so many other Christians, Margaret will continue to suffer and to triumph. This year truth and falsehood will be asserted variably in the courts of power.

Yet, however worldly justice deals with the cause of persecuted Christians, long may their suffering smiles ring out the joy of victory.

AUTHOR

John Pontifex

John Pontifex is Head of Press and Information at Aid to the Church in Need (UK), an international Catholic charity which supports persecuted and other suffering Christians. More by John Pontifex

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EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Opponents of Free Speech Are Gaining Ground. Here’s How We Can Fight Back

When we break down the core institution of free speech, we lose a lot of what made America so successful in the first place.


Free speech used to be held up as one of the core American institutions. It was enshrined in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights for a reason: while other countries have also adopted free speech, it is a fundamentally American tradition.

More than that, free speech is essential on its own terms. It is the single best way for humans to make progress. None of us are perfect, and none of us know the full truth. Therefore we all need to engage in the marketplace of ideas in order to find the truth and develop the best path forward.

But free speech has been under attack for decades.

One of the earliest—and most influential—critics was Herbert Marcuse, a college professor and the father of the New Left. In an essay called Repressive Tolerance published in 1969, Marcuse recommended removing rights (including the right to free speech) from conservatives. Marcuse didn’t see the world in terms of human beings who all have equal worth; he saw the world in terms of power. Those with power should be forcibly silenced (at least, the ones he disagreed with) so that those at the bottom could have more freedom. For Marcuse, if a majority is being repressed, what is needed is “repression and indoctrination” of the powerful so that the weak get the power they deserve.

In recent years, Marcuse-style attacks on free speech have filtered down from academic institutions into the mainstream.

Ilya Shapiro, adjunct law professor at George Washington University and the University of Mississippi, provides a case study on the new rules around who can speak and what they can say. Early in 2022 Georgetown Law School hired him to teach. When President Biden said he would only nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court, Shapiro expressed dismay at this form of blatant affirmative action. At the voicing of this heterodox view, the sky fell down on him.

Georgetown swiftly placed Shapiro on administrative leave, where he languished for months without knowing whether or not he’d be fired. An administrative investigation into the offending Tweets lasted 122 days.

Georgetown finally reinstated Shapiro, but only on the technicality that he hadn’t officially started at Georgetown at the time he sent his tweets. The Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) said that his comments were “objectively offensive” and that saying something similar in future may be enough to get him fired.

Even more disturbingly, the IDEAA adopted a blatantly subjective standard for deciding whether or not speech by faculty would be punishable. “The University’s anti-harassment policy does not require that a respondent intend to denigrate,” according to the report. “Instead, the Policy requires consideration of the ‘purpose or effect’ of a respondent’s conduct.”

As Shapiro puts it: “That people were offended, or claim to have been, is enough for me to have broken the rules.”

This punishment of heterodox speech isn’t an isolated incident. A 2017 survey by the Cato Institute and YouGov found that over a third of Democratic responders said that a business executive should be fired if they “believe psychological differences explain why there are more male engineers.” A substantial number of respondents thus advocated stripping someone of their job for the crime of saying what many psychologists know to be true.

The new cultural norms around free speech aren’t just a problem for right-wingers. In an in-depth explainer on cancel culture, Julian explains the scope of the problem:

“Heterodox Academy surveyed 445 academics about the state of free inquiry on campus, asking them, ‘Imagine expressing your views about a controversial issue while at work, at a time when faculty, staff, and/or other colleagues were present. To what extent would you worry about the following consequences?’

One of the hypothetical consequences Heterodox Academy listed was, ‘my career would be hurt.’ How many academics said they would be ‘very concerned’ or ‘extremely concerned’ about this consequence? 53.43%.

To put it another way: over half of academics on campus worried that expressing non-orthodox opinions on controversial topics could be dangerous to their careers.

We see the same self-censoring phenomenon among college students. In 2021, College Pulse surveyed 37,000 students at 159 colleges. They found that 80% of students self-censor to at least some degree. 48% of undergraduates reported feeling, ‘somewhat uncomfortable’ or ‘very uncomfortable’ expressing their views on a controversial topic in the classroom.

In a panel on free speech and cancel culture, former ACLU president Nadine Strossen said, ‘I constantly encounter students who are so fearful of being subjected to the Twitter mob that they are engaging in self-censorship.'”

It’s not just students and professors. In an article titled “America Has A Free Speech Problem,” the New York Times editorial board noted that 55 percent of Americans have held their tongue in the past year because they were concerned about “retaliation or harsh criticism.”

Extremists on both sides of the aisle increasingly wield their power to shame or shun Americans who speak their minds or have the temerity to voice their opinions in public. This problem is most prominent on social media, but is spilling into offline conversations as well. Citizens of a free country should not live in fear that a woke or far-right mob will come for them because they express an idea that isn’t sufficiently in vogue.

The very concept of free speech is increasingly associated with violence. When former vice president Mike Pence planned to speak at the University of Virginia, the student newspaper Cavalier Daily published a furious editorial saying that Pence shouldn’t be allowed to speak. Why not? “Speech that threatens the lives of those on Grounds is unjustifiable.” It takes a lot of mental contusions to conclude that letting Pence give his opinion could threaten anyone’s life.

It’s not just students. Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett published an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “When is speech violence?

According to Barrett, “If words can cause stress, and if prolonged stress can cause physical harm, then it seems that speech—at least certain types of speech—can be a form of violence.”

She continued: “That’s why it’s reasonable, scientifically speaking, not to allow a provocateur and hatemonger like Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at your school. He is part of something noxious, a campaign of abuse. There is nothing to be gained from debating him, for debate is not what he is offering.”

The fact that psychologists are lending the veneer of science to the idea that speech is violence should be deeply troubling to every American.

When we break down the core institution of free speech, we lose a lot of what made America so successful in the first place. Robust norms of free speech helped people build the emotional and mental resilience to cope with ideas they disagreed with. It helped us build bonds with people who believed different things, because we were able to listen to and understand their position.

Free speech also enabled multiple parties to argue from competing worldviews and find a solution that was better than what any party had formulated going into the discussion.

The silver lining is this: Americans increasingly recognize that free speech is a value whose preservation is essential. The New York Times editorial board notes that “84 percent of adults said it is a, ‘very serious’ or ‘somewhat serious’ problem that some Americans do not speak freely in everyday situations because of fear of retaliation or harsh criticism.”

As a strong and integrous person, what can you do to limit the impact of the degradation of free speech on your own life?

First, speak up about what you know to be true—even if no-one else is speaking up, even if there are risks to you. Develop the courage to call a spade a spade. If you see insanity—in your workplace, in politics, in your home—call it out openly and honestly. You’ll sleep better at night. You’ll also become stronger through the act of speaking out. Speaking takes courage, but it also creates courage.

Second, seek out people who disagree with you. Listen to them. Go further; try to be persuaded by them. Skewer your sacred cows and let go of your ideology. Neither one is serving you.

Third, banish forever (if you haven’t yet) the infantile notion that words are violence. This notion is profoundly damaging, because it makes you weak. If mere disagreement can hurt you, after all, then so can everything else in life. So will everything else in your life. Instead, embrace the adage of the Stoics: other people are responsible for their actions, you are responsible for your response. Once you embrace the idea that mere words—whether vicious or merely heterodox—cannot hurt you, you are on the path to emotional strength and groundedness.

Fourth, don’t let yourself become a “tribe of one.” It’s easy, in this environment of chilled speech, to always feel scared to speak up. Find a group of friends who encourage you to speak your truth, and who speak their truth in return to you. Find people who aren’t afraid to share heterodox ideas and to challenge your sacred cows, nor to have their own challenged in return.

Find a group you’d trust to have your back in a firefight, and who will love you and expect you to have theirs in turn.

This article was republished with permission from The Undaunted Man.

AUTHORS

Julian Adorney

Julian is a former political op-ed writer and current nonprofit marketer. His work has been featured in FEE, National Review, Playboy, and Lawrence Reed’s economics anthology Excuse Me, Professor.

Mark Johnson

Mark is an executive coach and men’s coach at The Undaunted Man.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Oops! Democratic ‘Oversights’ Would Legalize Polygamy, Infanticide

One of the most famous illustrations in all of literature comes from “The Adventure of Silver Blaze,” when Sherlock Holmes notes “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”: the dog that did not bark. The canine’s silence revealed the watchdog’s familiarity and comfort with the criminal. “Obviously the midnight visitor was someone whom the dog knew well,” remarks Holmes.

Voters can glean the inner disposition of our lawmakers, learning which issues they consider vital and which never enter their minds, through a similar device: the “errors,” omissions, and oversights politicians make when drafting legislation. Allegedly inadvertent “oversights” and “drafting errors” by Democratic lawmakers over the last year alone would have decriminalized infanticide, legalized polygamy, and suppressed sacred religious liberty rights enshrined in the First Amendment.

Lest I be accused of overstatement, let’s look at the record:

1. Infanticide

En route to becoming an “abortion sanctuary,” California lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 2223introduced by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks. The original draft forbade law enforcement from prosecuting or investigating any mother for the death of her child through “miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.” Pro-life legal scholars noted that California state law extends the term “perinatal death” up to 30 or “60 days following delivery,” essentially decriminalizing infanticide. Wicks retorted that her law could never be construed to support child murder, because “one of the tools judges would use in that case is legislative intent.” (Then again, if judges valued original intent, Roe v. Wade would never have been written.) Wicks called pro-life concerns “absurd and disingenuous” … but then the Assembly’s overwhelmingly Democratic Judiciary Committee released its official analysis, which put the matter as gently as possible:

[T]he “perinatal death” language could lead to an unintended and undesirable conclusion. As currently in print, it may not be sufficiently clear that “perinatal death” is intended to be the consequence of a pregnancy complication. Thus, the bill could be interpreted to immunize a pregnant person from all criminal penalties for all pregnancy outcomes, including the death of a newborn for any reason during the “perinatal” period after birth, including a cause of death which is not attributable to pregnancy complications, which clearly is not the author’s intent.

That is, pro-life critics were right all along: The language of her bill would legalize the murder of newborns. Wicks amended the “perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause.” Despite this change, the law “still prevents law enforcement from investigating ‘perinatal death,’ and the amendments Ms. Wicks” added proved “woefully inadequate,” Jonathan Keller, president of California Family Council, told me at the time.

Nonetheless, Governor Gavin Newsom (D), an undeclared 2024 presidential hopeful, signed the amended bill into law alongside a pack of 12 other abortion-promoting bills. These bills underscore the need for the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, which passed the House of Representatives on January 11: national lawmakers must correct the “oversights” of far-left state legislators. Unfortunately, they must also correct their own.

2. Legalizing Polygamy Nationwide

After then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hustled the drastically misnamed Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) through the House of Representatives in one day, U.S. senators noted something curious: The original draft of the bill did not limit marriage to two people. While one provision mentioned “2 individuals,” another section of the bill would have amended federal law to say simply “an individual shall be considered married if that individual’s marriage is valid in the State where the marriage was entered into,” with no numerical limit.

The bill’s chief Republican sponsor, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), chalked the oversight up to a “drafting error,” though she admitted “the language needs to be clarified” that the bill does not permit polygamy/polyandry. The authors said, in effect, they intended to redefine the most fundamental institution in human society, just not quite that far. Again, legal scholars say the new legislative patch sewn into the old garment of the RFMA failed to fix the problem. The “clarified” final draft of “the bill leaves open the possibility that one person can be in multiple two-person marriages at the same time, which would trigger federal recognition if a state legally were to recognize such consensual, bigamous unions as separate family units,” noted the Heritage Foundation’s Roger Severino. Nonetheless, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R-N.Y.) exclaimed “Praise God!” as President Joe Biden signed the bill into law last December 13. That would not be the bill’s only oversight.

3. Erasing Religious Liberty

The Respect for Marriage Act makes a second appearance, as the bill’s authors also ignored all concerns about religious liberty. Despite years of litigation aimed at bringing Bible-believing Christians to heel, and warnings that the bill will usher in “a new era of oppression” of Christians like Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, Senate Democrats only entertained the notion of a religious protection amendment as a fig leaf for wavering Republicans. They insisted they did not mean to wage culture war against believers; they just crushed your religious freedom all accidental-like. Once again, the “cure” proved inadequate, as the Senate rejected Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) amendment in favor of an irrelevant and legally ambiguous substitute.

Like Holmes, we can deduce from these silences that when social liberals ponder transforming life, marriage, and society, they give not one thought to the lives of newborn children, the nuclear family, or a Higher Power (Who, in His sovereignty, might restrain and hold them accountable for their actions). Their ideological fever to revolutionize everything from marriage to human nature blinds them to any negative consequences — or convinces them these results will be tolerable, even desirable.

That analysis would explain how Democrats omitted the word “God” from their 2012 platform and then booed when His Name was restored. It might make clear why candidate Joe Biden referred to the benevolent Creator as “you know, The Thing,” apparently likening Jehovah to a 1950s monster movie — much as the man most responsible for inflicting Biden on the nation, Barack Obama, regularly elided the Almighty from his quotations of our founding documents (which Obama demeaned as “the fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day”).

A platform that doubles as a photographic negative of God’s Word might offer some insight into why the Left “did not like to retain God in their knowledge” (Romans 1:28).

Such hostility to the God of the Bible has led liberals into the legislative wilderness for two more years. One of the most overlooked upgrades the Republican congressional majority will have over previous management has gone unappreciated: Even the quality of legislative errors will improve.

The Democrats’ radical “oversights” should also warn every thoughtful statesman against hastily voting for any bill promoted by social liberals, lest they risk placing their own stamp of approval on polygamy, atheism, infanticide, or other evils they cannot see while blinded by left-wing bias.

Finally, the fact that many of these oversights come as news, even to well-informed conservatives, serves as an eloquent indictment of the nation’s Christians. It is not merely Sherlock’s dog that held its peace. The prophet Isaiah condemned the inert watchmen of his day as “blind,” “ignorant,” “greedy,” and “dumb dogs [who] cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.” They “have no understanding” and look only unto their “own gain” (Isaiah 56:9-12; compare with John 10:11-12).

Like the self-serving shepherds of Isaiah’s day, too many people who know better did not expose the implications of these bills for the sake of political favoritism, for fear of offending the Facebook algorithm (and its sweet, remunerative traffic), or sheer timidity. Some modern evangelicals also love dreams — fantasizing of being hailed as the “reasonable” and “winsome” Christian, of their leftist overlords granting their children a safe haven from endless culture wars, even of being invited to “a seat at the table” to carve out their rights as an ideological minority. They may have even been promised these things — but then, empty promises were the one thing the devil never lacked.

The other side’s silences show their fealty to their masterplan. Let our speech prove our fidelity to our Master’s plan. Now is no time to remain silent.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This The Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Fascists at The New Republic Say Free Speech Will ‘Help Ruin America’

“Why Elon Musk’s Idea of ‘Free Speech’ Will Help Ruin America”

Saying the quiet part out loud.

The New Republic, pre-takeover, was liberal and believed in things like free speech and America.

Post-takeover by a Facebook billionaire and then assorted other leftists, it hates free speech. Literally.

“Why Elon Musk’s Idea of “Free Speech” Will Help Ruin America,” is the hot take headline.

You know this is going to be stunning when the leading argument is…

The pro-Musk arguments are complete nonsense, and there are innumerable historical and modern examples of why social media platforms with nearly unlimited freedom of speech produce horrors. The Supreme Court decided free speech isn’t absolute long ago, when Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes noted that you can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater, for obvious reasons.

The “obvious reason” was a Socialist criticizing the WWI draft. That was the actual case in question.

No one at The New Republic predictably knows this. Certainly, the author, Mr. “Brynn” Tannehill, a RAND analyst and transgender advocate, has any idea that the dumb legal meme long ago joined the dustbin of history alongside segregation and slavery.

Tannehill squeals about “disinformation” while spreading it. The New Republic article is vintage hot take disinformation. Had anyone from the right written it, it would be pointed to as evidence that unfettered free speech spreads misinformation. But the Left doesn’t want a better marketplace of ideas, but a monopoly on bad hot takes and idiotic propaganda.

Any suggestion that the sort of “free speech” they envision can have highly undesirable consequences is met with howls of “Libs hate free speech” or other accusations of fascism. Similarly, warnings that unfettered free speech results in dangerous misinformation spreading are derided with “Sunlight is the best disinfectant” and the libertarian belief that in the marketplace of ideas, the best will always win out.

Only fascists want free speech.

Free speech doesn’t necessarily mean that the right ideas or the best ones, good ones or even decent ones will win out. It’s just the alternative to a totalitarian system in which the worst ones will be mandated by the government.

Fascists and other bad guys, including Communists and assorted leftists do exploit free speech (that’s why the ACLU came into being before it decided that it had enough power to get rid of free speech) and they shut it down in a New York minute when they take power.

The whole point of a marketplace of ideas is not that it rewards good speech, but that it prevents any one group from having a monopoly on speech. And that monopoly is exactly what the Left wants. It claims that only fascists benefit from free speech while defining, Soviet style, anyone who disagrees with it as fascists. That’s what progressive fascists do.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.

‘Batman’ cartoonist Frank Miller dropped from comic convention over accusation of ‘anti-Muslim hate’

Frank Miller himself is not defending “Holy Terror,” so I’m certainly not going to defend it on his behalf, and I don’t endorse torture or killing of innocent people, as his hero seems to in the illustration. But that is not what the controversy is about here. It’s over the claim that “Holy Terror” is “anti-Muslim.” I myself am frequently accused of being anti-Muslim, but the claim is false, baseless, and defamatory. It is no more anti-Muslim to oppose jihad violence than it was anti-German to oppose Nazism. It is worth nothing that “Holy Terror” is described below as “a graphic novel in which an original character known as The Fixer sets out to battle Al-Qaeda.” Meanwhile, “many believed the story depicted the religion of Islam, rather than the specific terrorist group of Al-Qaeda, as the book’s villain,” but no evidence is offered to substantiate that claim. Nor does Miller state this in his disavowal of his work. Maybe it’s true. I don’t know; I’ve never read “Holy Terror.” However, it is also true that it is routine for Islamic supremacist groups in the West to claim that opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women is opposition to Islam itself. They also routinely conflate criticism of Islam with hatred of Muslims, and numerous people fall for this, although they have no trouble whatsoever seeing the distinction between criticism of Christianity and hatred of Christians. If Frank Miller had written a comic book about fighting against Christian “right-wing extremists,” and some people accused him of attacking Christianity itself, would this convention had dropped him? Of course not. It would be celebrating him as a hero.

Frank Miller Removed From Thought Bubble Comic Convention Guest List After Being Accused Of Propagating ‘Abhorrent Anti-Muslim Hate

by Spencer Baculi, The Mix, July 29, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

Legendary comic book industry veteran Frank Miller, whose bibliography includes Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil, and 300, has been removed from the guest list for the upcoming Though Bubble UK Comic Convention after a number of attendees threatened to boycott the event based on their belief that the creator “is responsible for propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate”.

Miller was first announced as a guest for the North Yorkshire, England-based comic convention on June 2nd, with his name being emphasized to the same degree as fellow special guests Joëlle Jones (Wonder Girl) and Christian Ward (New Mutants) on a promotional poster for the event released that same day.

Though Miller’s initial invitation announcement seemed to come and go without any incident, on July 27th, award-winning cartoonist and small press publisher ShortBox founder Zainab Akhtar revealed that they would “no longer be attending Thought Bubble festival this November” in protest of Miller’s attendance.

In a statement announcing her protest of the convention, Akhtar asserted, “As a proud Muslim woman, I cannot in good conscience attend a festival that deems it appropriate to invite and platform Frank Miller, a person who is responsible for the propagation of abhorrent anti-Muslim hate, particularly via his work.”

“Anti-Muslim bigotry is repugnant and condemnable yet has become so deeply rooted, so widely accepted in society that it is not even given a cursory consideration, as evidenced once again in this situation,” Akhtar continued. “I cannot comprehend how time and time again, festivals and communities within comics espouse values regarding inclusivity, diversity, ‘comics being for everyone’, zero tolerance on hate, but all that lip-service evaporates when they are asked to enact those same values.”

In a follow-up tweet, Akhtar stated that though she had “first contacted Thought Bubble about this privately, 8 weeks ago” and had been “assured action would be taken”, Miller’s continued invitation made her feel as if “it’s been communicated to me that I am the acceptable loss: repercussions to my career/income over repercussions to theirs.”

Though Akhtar does not cite any specific instances of anti-Muslim bigotry from Miller, it is assumed that she is referring to his creation of Holy Terror, a graphic novel in which an original character known as The Fixer sets out to battle Al-Qaeda.

Originally developed for DC as a Batman story, Holy Terror would release to widespread criticism, as many believed the story depicted the religion of Islam, rather than the specific terrorist group of Al-Qaeda, as the book’s villain.

However, while Miller stood by his work upon its publication in 2006, he has since changed his opinion of the self-admitted “propaganda” story.

“When I look at Holy Terror, which I really don’t do all that often, I can really feel the anger ripple out of the pages. There are places where it is bloodthirsty beyond belief,” Miller told The Guardian’s Sam Thielman in 2018. “I don’t want to go back and start erasing books I did,” he replies. “I don’t want to wipe out chapters of my own biography. But I’m not capable of that book again.”

As Akhtar’s tweet soon sparked calls to boycott the entire convention amongst her supporters, Though Bubble ultimately announced on July 28th that “Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”

“Over the last fourteen years Thought Bubble has grown into an amazing community of comic creators and fans who we love, trust and respect. We have let you down, and in our commitment to maintaining Thought Bubble as a safe space for all, we have fallen short,” read the convention organizer’s statement. “We exist to share the art form and its worlds with people. If any individual, group or community feels uncomfortable or excluded from our show then we’ve failed.”

“We know that many of you are disappointed in us, and have been expecting a comment on this before now,” they continued. “We are sorry for our silence while we’ve been trying to fix this. Frank Miller will not be attending Thought Bubble.”

Continuing their statement, the organizers further affirmed that they were “deeply sorry, particularly to those who we should be standing up for the most,” and hoped “that you can give us the opportunity to make this better and we thank you for holding us accountable.”

“We know there is still more to discuss and we will be replying to those who have been in touch, we hope you can bear with us while we do this,” the statement concluded. “We won’t let you down again.”…

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Islamophobia and the Threat to Free Speech

My latest book, Islamophobia and the Threat to Free Speech, is available now from Center for Security Policy Press.


CLICK HERE TO ORDER ISLAMOPHBIA AND THE THREAT TO FREE SPEECH


It shows how the demonization of foes of jihad violence and Sharia oppression was a dry run for the Left’s attempt now to silence and criminalize all opposition to its agenda.

“Free speech, the cornerstone of our freedom, hangs by a thread. This book is an essential read to understand how we reached this point, and the key role ‘Islamophobia’ played in normalizing the assault on our most basic right to free expression. May it serve as a wake up call for us to exercise this right, and prevent Trojan Horse blasphemy laws of all types from superseding our freedoms before it is too late.” — Noor bin Ladin, writer and advocate dedicated to defending freedom and those threatened by the adherents of oppressive ideologies

“Robert Spencer provides a chilling account of the ongoing campaign against free speech. He reveals a sinister timeline of decades of deliberately dismantling the most important right we have. It requires much courage to disseminate that truth. As restrictions continue to gain ground in the free world, this book should inspire all to protect freedom of speech and to stand up to the policy of criminalizing words in order to silence us. And make it unequivocally clear that we will never be silenced.” — Geert Wilders

“The most important war that people face today is the global war to limit, and ultimately destroy, the freedom of speech, the indispensable foundation of any free society,” begins best-selling author Robert Spencer, noting the successful “cancellation” of the elected president of the United States by big tech social media companies.

How did we get to this point where presidents, college professors, business leaders, and of course regular citizens face silencing (and worse) at the hands of political zealots?

In Islamophobia and The Threat to Free Speech, Spencer argues that America, and the larger Western world was primed and prepared to surrender its free speech in a campaign that goes back more than three decades,

The unprecedented and disquieting acceptance by so many on the Left of the need to force their foes into silence and deny them access to the primary means of communication today did not spring up out of nowhere in 2020. In fact, the groundwork for it had been laid for it, and the pattern set, years before, in the treatment of opponents of jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women and others. Long before “cancel culture” became a common phrase, the Left and the establishment media canceled foes of jihad terror, defaming, demonizing, marginalizing, and deplatforming them without any rational consideration of the points they made.

Spencer takes the history of the war on free speech back to the 1989 death fatwa pronounced upon author Salman Rushdie by the Ayatollah Khomeini, and then takes us through how a once robust western tradition was steadily undermined by international pressure, jihadist violence, and U.S government and corporate influence. He traces the rise of the “new brownshirts” on college campuses who have used techniques of slander, disruption and threats to turn bastions of free expression into indoctrination centers.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Twitter Bans Three More Dissenters

The social media platform has no problem boasting about interfering in elections for the Left—but a big problem with people objecting that it was done.


They’re going to silence us all, eventually, if they can. On Saturday, the sanctimonious and hypocritical censors of Twitter came for Gateway Pundit’s Jim Hoft, radio host Wayne Allyn Root, and freedom activist Pamela Geller. Their crime? It appears to have been the heinous act of skepticism toward the official line, specifically, their refusal to accept at face value the official line about the 2020 election.

Root said:

“I am in shock. It appears to be a permanent ban. Although I don’t know. Twitter never warned me. . . . And never sent any communication saying I’ve been suspended or banned. I simply tried to tweet yesterday afternoon and could not. But unlike a previous suspension . . . My followers suddenly said 0.”

What Twitter wrote to Geller made clear what was going on:

Your account, PamelaGeller has been suspended for violating the Twitter rules.

Specifically, for:

Violating our rules about election integrity. You may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections. This includes posting or sharing content that may suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when, or how to vote.

Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, please contact our support team.

Thanks,

Twitter

This is absurd from start to finish. Neither Pamela Geller nor Root nor Hoft did anything to “suppress voter turnout or mislead people about when, or how to vote.” Twitter apparently hasn’t even bothered to update its ban notice since before November 3. Nor did they do anything along the lines of “manipulating or interfering in elections.”

Still, there is no doubt that if Geller did take Twitter up on its magnanimous grant to her of a chance to appeal, the appeal would be denied. Twitter’s nameless, faceless wonks are judge, jury, and executioner, and no one can question their sagacity or righteousness of their decisions.

What Geller, Root, and Hoft did, of course, was simply report and highlight the many irregularities and unanswered questions surrounding the 2020 presidential election. Twitter, along with the other social media giants and the establishment media outlets, are labeling all questioning of the election as “lies” and are busy banning any suggestion that there was anything amiss about the election at all, without even bothering to explain all the issues. This is the way a guilty person who is trying to cover up his misdeeds acts, not the way a victor behaves when he knows he has won fair and square and is happy to set the record straight.

Meanwhile, these new bans came just two days after Time published an article titled, “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election.” In it, Time’s Molly Ball boasted of

a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it.

Not rigging the election, but fortifying it. Right. And how exactly does one “fortify” an election? From the looks of Ball’s article, by rigging it.

Ball presents abundant indications of manipulation and chicanery in a fulsome self-congratulatory tone that works assiduously to turn reality on its head. A photo of Detroit campaign workers covering the windows so that no one could see what they were doing as they counted the votes—not exactly a hallmark of a free and fair election—is spun with the caption: “Trump supporters seek to disrupt the vote count at Detroit’s TCF Center on Nov. 4.”

Ian Bassin, cofounder of Protect Democracy, is quoted boasting that “the system didn’t work magically. Democracy is not self-executing.” It has to be executed by someone else, and it looks as if Bassin and others like him were only too happy to serve as executioners.

Contrary to Bassin’s statement, our “democracy” (which, as you may know or should know, is—or was—actually a republic), is set up to be “self-executing,” that is, the process should not be more complicated than each candidate making his case before the voters, and the voters freely voting. Ball details how corporate interests silenced opposing views and manipulated laws to ensure their desired result, all while writing darkly about Trump and his “henchmen” attempting to steal the election and destroy our “democracy.”

Time and Molly Ball may not have intended it, but now the cat is out of the bag. So the next step of the political and media elites is to silence those who keep pointing out the abundant signs of voter fraud, claim that they’re “lying,” and that they have to be muzzled for the public good.

Hence the banning of Wayne Allyn Root, Jim Hoft, and Pamela Geller. But as of this writing, Molly Ball and Time still have their Twitter accounts. See, there is “manipulating or interfering in elections” and there is “manipulating or interfering in elections.” Twitter is fine with boasting about doing it for the Left. Twitter is not fine with people who oppose it pointing out that it was done.

It’s all reminiscent of an older charge that has been leveled against Pamela Geller: that of being an “Islamophobe.” When she would quote bloodthirsty Islamic jihadis justifying their actions by quoting the Koran, she—not the jihadis—was called an “Islamophobe.” Her words—not those of the Koran—were dismissed as “hate speech.”

It has all been a shell game from start to finish, and the game isn’t over. The Left has arrogated to itself the right to judge what can and cannot be said in the public square. The Hoft, Root, and Geller Twitter accounts are not the first casualties of their fascist suppression of dissent, and they won’t be the last. Freedom of speech? Pah! That is so 20th century. Don’t you want to join Molly Ball and Time in the brave new world, in which one saves democracy by destroying it? You may not ultimately have any choice, comrade.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Biden Transition Official Believes the First Amendment Has a ‘Design Flaw’ — His Remedy Is to Curb Free Speech

Richard Stengel, according to the New York Post, “is the Biden transition ‘Team Lead’ for the US Agency for Global Media, the U.S. government media empire that includes Voice of America, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.” He is also a menace to our constitutional protections and to free society in general. If he is any indication of what is coming, we’re in for a rough four years, or longer.

Stengel wrote last year in a Washington Post op-ed that the freedom of speech must be restricted, for “all speech is not equal. And where truth cannot drive out lies, we must add new guardrails. I’m all for protecting ‘thought that we hate,’ but not speech that incites hate.”

What kind of speech “incites hate”? As far as Stengel is concerned, the answer is any speech that Muslims find offensive. He wrote: “Even the most sophisticated Arab diplomats that I dealt with did not understand why the First Amendment allows someone to burn a Koran. Why, they asked me, would you ever want to protect that?”

Well, maybe because a law forbidding criticism (including mockery) of any group establishes that group as a protected class that cannot be questioned, and that in turn would allow this group to do whatever it wanted without fear of any opposition even being allowed to articulate its case. The freedom of speech is, in sum, our foremost protection against tyranny. Without it, a tyrant can work his will without any fear of his opponents uttering even one cross word.

But instead of explaining and defending the freedom of speech, Stengel agreed with his “sophisticated Arab diplomats,” answering their query about Qur’an-burning with this: “It’s a fair question. Yes, the First Amendment protects the ‘thought that we hate,’ but it should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another. In an age when everyone has a megaphone, that seems like a design flaw.”

Many other nations are fixing that “design flaw,” according to Stengel, and so the U.S. should also: “Since World War II, many nations have passed laws to curb the incitement of racial and religious hatred. These laws started out as protections against the kinds of anti-Semitic bigotry that gave rise to the Holocaust. We call them hate speech laws, but there’s no agreed-upon definition of what hate speech actually is. In general, hate speech is speech that attacks and insults people on the basis of race, religion, ethnic origin and sexual orientation.”

The destruction of the freedom of speech is an idea whose time has come, says Stengel. “I think it’s time to consider these statutes. The modern standard of dangerous speech comes from Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969) and holds that speech that directly incites ‘imminent lawless action’ or is likely to do so can be restricted. Domestic terrorists such as Dylann Roof and Omar Mateen and the El Paso shooter were consumers of hate speech. Speech doesn’t pull the trigger, but does anyone seriously doubt that such hateful speech creates a climate where such acts are more likely?”

Yes. I’m not in favor of the burning of any book, and I believe that people ought to read and understand the Qur’an rather than burn it. However, note that Stengel is calling for legal “guardrails” against “speech that incites hate.” If someone burns a Bible, no one cares. If someone burns a Qur’an, there are riots and death threats. So for Stengel, burning a Bible would not be “speech that incites hate,” but burning a Qur’an would be. Saying that “speech that incites hate” must be criminalized is tantamount to calling for the heckler’s veto to be enshrined in law.

Stengel’s statement that “the First Amendment protects the ‘thought that we hate,’ but it should not protect hateful speech that can cause violence by one group against another” means that if Muslims riot over burned Qur’ans, we must outlaw burning Qur’ans. That would only signal to Muslims that they can get us to bend to their will by threatening violence, and ensure that we will see many more such threats.

In Richard Stengel’s ideal world, non-Muslims are cowed into silence by Muslims who threaten to kill them if they get out of line, and by non-Muslim officials who react to the threats by giving the Muslims what they want.

Note also that Leftist and Islamic groups in the U.S. have for years insisted, with no pushback from any mainstream politician or media figure, that essentially any and all criticism of Islam, including analysis of how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims, is “hate speech” and “speech that incites hate.” Thus Richard Stengel will silence that as well, and the global jihad will be able to advance unopposed and unimpeded.

In a year or two I might tell you “I warned you this was coming,” but by then I probably won’t be able to. 

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Religious Liberty Coalition Director Reminds Us to ‘Stand Together’ to Protect Religious Rights

Pastor Todd Coconato’s acceptance of the role of Director for the Religious Liberty Coalition (RLC) comes at a time where discrimination against people of faith has intensified. We are proud to be affiliated with the RLC, which works to protect religious freedom at a public policy level and affirms that religious liberty is an “inherent human right.” As government officials and corporations continue to take actions that suppress the rights of pious individuals, a commitment to preserving religious principles has become increasingly more critical.

Lawmakers have been using the coronavirus to restrict the First Amendment right to worship. The state of California has been particularly egregious when it comes to subjecting churches to unfair rulings. The Grace Community Church in Los Angeles cannot hold indoor church services, and the San Francisco County Department of Health will not even allow outdoor worship services if more than 12 people are present.

State and local officials have decided worship attendance is too dangerous, but massive Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests can take place without any excessive restrictions, and bars can have people in them up to 50 percent capacity.

Unfortunately, these attempts to limit religious liberty are not new. Influential corporations like Amazon (1.29) and Apple (1.00) took a clear stance against traditional religious values when they signed an amicus brief that urged the Supreme Court to rule against Jack Philips –  a Christian baker who declined to make a cake for a gay wedding. The backlash Philips faced exposed how corporations often use their platform to enforce a left-wing agenda.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said Christians who disagree with his secular views are pushing “hate,” and they have “no home” on his company’s platform. Ironically, Cook has no problem doing business with the oppressive Iranian regime. Much like the officials limiting church services, behavioral standards are whatever Cook selectively determines them to be, and religious people happen to be an easy target.

We have to stand together to protect our religious liberties. If you or your church are interested in learning more about the Religious Liberty Coalition, please email Todd.Coconato@RLCUS.org

EDITORS NOTE: This 2nd Vote column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.