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Can Millennials [And Academia] Take a Joke? by Clark Conner

Millennials can be a hypersensitive bunch, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the academy. American institutions of higher learning have become veritable minefields of trigger warnings, safe zones, and speech codes.

It appears we can add another line item to the growing list of things too radical for college students: humor. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld recently joined an expanding group of high-profile figures in denouncing higher education’s culture of hyper-sensitivity.

In an interview with ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd, Seinfeld discussed why comics are reluctant to take their act on campus:

COWHERD: Does the climate worry you now? I’ve talked to Chris Rock and Larry the Cable Guy; they don’t even want to do college campuses anymore.

SEINFELD: I hear that all the time. I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, “Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.” I’ll give you an example: My daughter’s 14. My wife says to her, “Well, you know, in the next couple years, I think maybe you’re going to want to be hanging around the city more on the weekends, so you can see boys.” You know what my daughter says? She says, “That’s sexist.”

COWHERD: That’s amazing.

SEINFELD: They just want to use these words: “That’s racist”; “That’s sexist”; “That’s prejudice.” They don’t know what they’re talking about.

It took roughly 24 hours for Seinfeld’s point to prove itself. The day after the Huffington Post ran an article on Seinfeld’s comments, an open letter appeared on the site addressed to Mr. Seinfeld from a “College Student.”

The letter touches on a myriad of topics, including racism, sexism, offending the “right” people, and (for reasons unknown) “the underlying culture of violence and male domination that inhabits high school football,” but its overarching spirit is summed up in the author’s ironic introduction:

Recently, I’ve heard about your reluctance to perform on college campuses because of how “politically correct” college students are… As a college student that loves and appreciates offensive, provocative comedy, I’m disheartened by these comments.

So, a college student was “disheartened” by Jerry Seinfeld’s observation that college students are too sensitive. Let that sink in.

Seinfeld isn’t the only comedian to denounce the current sensitivity epidemic on campus. In a discussion with Frank Rich, Chris Rock espoused the same views as Seinfeld:

RICH: What do you make of the attempt to bar Bill Maher from speaking at Berkeley for his riff on Muslims?

ROCK: Well, I love Bill, but I stopped playing colleges, and the reason is because they’re way too conservative.

RICH: In their political views?

ROCK: Not in their political views — not like they’re voting Republican — but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anybody. Kids raised on a culture of “We’re not going to keep score in the game because we don’t want anybody to lose.” Or just ignoring race to a fault. You can’t say “the black kid over there.” No, it’s “the guy with the red shoes.” You can’t even be offensive on your way to being inoffensive.

Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno, too, shared his experience with a college intern who conflated his dislike of Mexican food with racism.

The experiences of Seinfeld, Rock, and Leno obviously can’t be projected on the whole of entertainment media, but their willingness to criticize the don’t-offend-me culture indicates a growing sense that American campuses are becoming hostile to humor. 

And their criticisms aren’t unfounded: the uptrend in campus outrage over even mildly provocative humor is inescapable. Ask Robert Klein Engler, formerly of Roosevelt University, who received his walking papers after telling his class a joke he overheard as a way of stimulating conversation about an Arizona immigration bill.

“There was a sociological study done in Arizona,” Engler said to the students, “and they discovered that 60 percent of the people in Arizona approved of the immigration law and 40 percent said, ‘no habla ingles.’”

That caused a student, Cristina Solis, to file a written complaint with the university, which in turn opened a harassment investigation against the professor.

According to reporting from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, Engler was summoned by university officials to discuss the harassment charges, but they wouldn’t disclose the nature of accusation, nor the identity of the accuser. Engler agreed to cooperate with the university’s investigation, but only if the accusations were put in writing.

Roosevelt wouldn’t do so, and also refused Engler the right to be accompanied by his attorney at investigation meetings. Stripped of due process, Engler chose not to participate in the sham investigation, which resulted in Roosevelt University terminating his employment.

What’s worse, Ms. Solis voiced her approval with the university’s decision to terminate Engler. In a quote to the student newspaper preserved on Minding the Campus she proclaimed:

If that [Mr. Engler’s firing] is what it took to give him a reality check, and to make sure that no other student has to go through that, maybe it’s for the best. It’s just something you don’t say in a classroom, not coming from a professor, and especially not at a school like Roosevelt University, which is based on social justice.

What a dangerous precedent this is, that a lone student infatuated with the idea of social justice can spearhead a movement to fire a professor over a throw-away joke.

Teresa Buchanan, formerly an associate professor at Louisiana State University, also knows what it means to offend the wrong people.

Buchanan was known by her students as a “gunslinger” who sometimes incorporated profanity or sexually charged jokes in class. For example, Reason reports that one of her zingers came in the form of advice to female students that their boyfriends would stop helping them with coursework “after the sex gets stale.”

After the Fall 2013 semester, Buchanan was informed by the university that she was being placed under suspension pending an investigation for “sexual harassment” and promoting a “hostile learning environment.”

The investigation dragged on, and 15 months later a faculty committee upheld the university’s accusation of sexual harassment. The committee, however, decided that termination was not the solution, but rather that LSU should ask that Buchanan tone down her language.

This suggestion was ignored by university president F. King Alexander. Buchanan was fired on June 19, 2015.

Not only are American academics under fire for using semi-edgy humor, British academics, too, are learning the hard way to leave the one-liners at home.

The saga of Sir Tim Hunt illustrates how even the most prestigious careers can be derailed by pitchfork-wielding mobs feigning outrage over innocuous comments.

Hunt, a Nobel laureate, found himself to be the object of scorn, stemming from a joke he made while presenting to the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea:

It’s strange that such a chauvinist monster like me has been asked to speak to women scientists.

Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab: you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them they cry. Perhaps we should make separate labs for boys and girls?

Now, seriously, I’m impressed by the economic development of Korea. And women scientists played, without doubt, an important role in it. Science needs women, and you should do science, despite all the obstacles, and despite monsters like me.

This comment was first reported by Connie St. Louis, a journalism professor at University College London (UCL) who was present for Hunt’s speech. She claimed his comments induced a “stony silence” on the crowd.

In reaction, an armada of social media warriors descended on Hunt, resulting in his resignation from multiple honorary positions, including at UCL. Although Hunt incessantly apologized for his “transgression,” his opponents continued to besmirch his character and career.

In making the comments public, however, St. Louis only mentioned some of Hunt’s remarks. She omitted the part where Hunt clearly stated he was joking and praised the role of women scientists.

A few weeks later, a report from a European Commission official recalled a different version of events. Unlike St. Louis, the report included Hunt’s entire statement and claimed that Hunt’s joke was received by laughter, not the agitation asserted by St. Louis.

Despite the EC report vindicating Hunt and dispelling the charges of sexism, the damage is done. Hunt’s top-shelf academic career is now in shambles after being sullied by a throng of raging speech oppressors.

A joke was all it took.

Anything Peaceful

Anything Peaceful is FEE’s new online ideas marketplace, hosting original and aggregate content from across the Web.

EDITORS NOTE: A version of this post first appeared at the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. The featured image is courtesy of FEE and Shutterstock.

How Economic Control Threatens Political Liberty, Free Speech and the Rule of Law by Jon Guze

John Cochrane (aka “The Grumpy Economist”) has posted a long meditation entitled “Rule of Law and the Regulatory State,” in which he makes a very important point:

The United States’ regulatory bureaucracy has vast power. Regulators can ruin your life, and your business, very quickly, and you have very little recourse. That this power is damaging the economy is a commonplace complaint. Less recognized, but perhaps even more important, the burgeoning regulatory state poses a new threat to our political freedom.

What banker dares to speak out against the Fed, or trader against the SEC? What hospital or health insurer dares to speak out against HHS or Obamacare? What business needing environmental approval for a project dares to speak out against the EPA? What drug company dares to challenge the FDA?

Our problems are not just national. What real estate developer needing zoning approval dares to speak out against the local zoning board?

Readers who doubt that this is an urgent problem should read the whole thing, which includes numerous chilling descriptions of regulatory abuse, but here I want to focus on an issue he raises in passing: how best to refer to this urgent problem?

Cochrane says he hasn’t found “a really good word to describe this emerging threat of large discretionary regulation, used as tool of political control.” He considers “socialism,” “regulatory capture,” and “cronyism,” but he rejects all three. Regarding the last two, he notes:

We’re headed for an economic system in which many industries have a handful of large, cartelized businesses — think 6 big banks, 5 big health insurance companies, 4 big energy companies, and so on.

Sure, they are protected from competition. But the price of protection is that the businesses support the regulator and administration politically, and does their bidding. If the government wants them to hire, or build [a] factory in unprofitable place, they do it.

The benefit of cooperation is a good living and a quiet life. The cost of stepping out of line is personal and business ruin, meted out frequently. That’s neither capture nor cronyism.

The fact is, we’ve seen this system of political economy before — most notably in Mussolini’s Italy and in Hitler’s Germany — and there’s a commonly used term for it. It’s fascism. Maybe Cochrane thinks that term is too emotionally charged. However, I’d have thought a bit of emotional charge was warranted. As Cochrane says:

The power of the regulatory state…lacks many of the checks and balances that give us some “rule of law” in the legal system. …

The clear danger we face is the use of regulation for political control. Each industry gets carved up into a few compliant oligopolies. And the threat of severe penalties, with little of the standard rule-of-law recourse, keeps people and businesses in line and supporting the political organization or party that controls the agencies. …

A return to economic growth depends on reforming the regulatory state. But… preservation of our political freedom depends on it even more.

Read the rest here.

This post first appeared at the John Locke Foundation.

EDITORS NOTE: See Steve Horwitz’s “Why the Candidates Keep Giving Us Reasons to Use the “F” Word“; Jeff Tucker’s “Trumpism: The Ideology“; and Jason Kuznicki’s “The Banality of Donald Trump.”

Jon Guze

Salman Rushdie: World Learned ‘Wrong Lessons’ from His Iran Fatwa

peace with iran tshirts

‘Fear disguised as respect’

“The writer said that the controversy that surrounded the PEN prize to Charlie Hebdo this year convinced him that, if the attacks against ‘The Satanic Verses’ had occurred today, ‘these people would not come to my defence and would use the same arguments against me by accusing me of insulting an ethnic and cultural minority.’” Indeed so. That was what happened after our free speech event in Garland, Texas: the international media, including many “conservatives” such as Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham, excoriated Pamela Geller and declared that she should have shown more “respect” — which really meant that she should have submitted in fear, as they were doing.

The freedom of speech is seriously imperiled, and most Americans have bought into the idea that “hate speech,” which they assume to be an entity that can be objectively established, does not deserve protection. They have no idea that they’re thereby paving the way for authoritarianism and totalitarianism.

“Salman Rushdie says the world learned the ‘wrong lessons’ from his Iran fatwa ordeal,” Agence France-Presse, July 22, 2015:

More than a quarter century after being slapped with a fatwa from Iran [sic] calling for his murder over his book “The Satanic Verses”, Salman Rushdie says the world has learned the “wrong lessons” about freedom of expression.

The British author, in an interview published Wednesday by the French news magazine L’Express, said his ordeal by religious fanatics determined to violently avenge what they construed as blasphemy should have served as a wake-up call to the world.

Instead, after the September 11, 2001 attack on America and the massacre in Paris in January this year of cartoonists and staff at the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly, and with the ongoing rampage of the brutal Islamic State group in the Middle East, Rushdie saidsome writers and other people were too cowed to talk freely about Islam.

“It seems we learned the wrong lessons,” he said in the interview printed in French.“Instead of concluding we need to oppose these attacks on freedom of expression, we believed we should calm them through compromises and ceding.”

The “politically correct” positions voiced by some — including a few prominent authors who disagreed with Charlie Hebdo receiving a freedom of speech award at a PEN literary gala in New York in May — were motivated by fear, Rushdie said.

– ‘Fear disguised as respect’ –

“If people weren’t being killed right now, if bombs and Kalashnikovs weren’t speaking today, the debate would be very different. Fear is being disguised as respect,” he said….

The writer said that the controversy that surrounded the PEN prize to Charlie Hebdo this year convinced him that, if the attacks against “The Satanic Verses” had occurred today, “these people would not come to my defence and would use the same arguments against me by accusing me of insulting an ethnic and cultural minority”….

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Don’t Agree with the Mayor’s Politics? No Permits for You! by Walter Olson

Boston mayor Martin Walsh gives Donald Trump the Chick-Fil-A rush* over his immigration opinions. Via the Boston Herald:

If Donald Trump ever wants to build a hotel in Boston, he’ll need to apologize for his comments about Mexican immigrants first, the Hub’s mayor said.

“I just don’t agree with him at all,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told the Herald yesterday. “I think his comments are inappropriate. And if he wanted to build a hotel here, he’d have to make some apologies to people in this country.”

More on the use of permitting, licensing, and other levers of power to punish speech and the exercise of other legal rights at Overlawyered’s all-new regulatory retaliation tag. (And no, I’m not exactly thrilled with Mayor Walsh for making me take Trump’s side in an argument.)

* In case you’d forgotten the infamous Chick-Fila-A brouhaha, here’s Overlawyered’s coverage:

The uproar continues, and quite properly so (earlier here and here), over the threats of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Chicago alderman Proco (“Joe”) Moreno to exclude the Chick-Fil-A fast-food chain because they disagree (as do I) with some of the views of its owner.

Among the latest commentary, the impeccably liberal Boston Globe has sided with the company in an editorial (“which part of the First Amendment does Menino not understand?…A city in which business owners must pass a political litmus test is the antithesis of what the Freedom Trail represents”), as has my libertarian colleague Tom Palmer at Cato (“Mayor Menino is no friend of human rights.”)

The spectacle of a national business being threatened with denial of local licenses because of its views on a national controversy is bad enough. But “don’t offend well-organized groups” is only Rule #2 for a business that regularly needs licenses, approvals and permissions. Rule #1 is “don’t criticize the officials in charge of granting the permissions.”

Can you imagine if Mr. Dan Cathy had been quoted in an interview as saying “Boston has a mediocre if not incompetent Mayor, and the Chicago Board of Aldermen is an ethics scandal in continuous session.” How long do you think it would take for his construction permits to get approved then?

Thus it is that relatively few businesses are willing to criticize the agencies that regulate them in any outspoken way (see, e.g.: FDA and pharmaceutical industry, the), or to side with pro-business groups that seriously antagonize many wielders of political power (see, e.g., the recent exodus of corporate members from the American Legislative Exchange Council).

A few weeks ago I noted the case of Maryland’s South Mountain Creamery, which contends through an attorney (though the U.S. Attorney for Maryland denies it) that it was offered less favorable terms in a plea deal because it had talked to the press in statements that wound up garnering bad publicity for the prosecutors. After that item, reader Robert V. wrote in as follows:

Your recent article about the [U.S. Attorney for Maryland] going after the dairy farmers reminded me a case in New York state where the Health Department closed down a nursing home in Rochester. They claim is was because of poor care, the owner claims it was because he spoke out against the DOH.

The state just lost a lawsuit where the jury found the DOH targeted the nursing home operator because he spoke out against them.

According to Democrat and Chronicle reporters Gary Craig and Steve Orr, the jury found state health officials had engaged in a “vendetta” against the nursing home owner:

Beechwood attorneys maintained that an email and document trail showed that Department of Health officials singled out Chambery for retribution because he had sparred with them in the past over regulatory issues. The lawsuit hinged on a Constitutional argument — namely that the state violated Chambery’s First Amendment rights by targeting him for his challenges to their operation.

The Second Circuit panel opinion in 2006 permitting Chambery/ Beechwood’s retaliation claim to go forward is here. It took an extremely long time for the nursing home operators to get their case to a jury; the state closed them down in 1999 and the facility was sold at public auction in 2002.

Versions of these posts first appeared at Overlawyered.com, Walter Olson’s indispensable law blog, published by the Cato Institute. 


Walter Olson

Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies.

Did Oregon Gag the Anti-Gay Marriage Bakers? by Walter Olson

Readers who follow the battles over forfeiture law may recall the recent case in which a North Carolina convenience store owner from whom the government had seized $107,000 without any showing of wrongdoing decided to fight the case in the press as well as in court, backed by the Institute for Justice.

Lyndon McLellan’s decision to go public with the dispute drew a menacing letter from a federal prosecutor about the publicity the case had been getting:

“Your client needs to resolve this or litigate it,” Mr. West wrote. “But publicity about it doesn’t help. It just ratchets up feelings in the agency.” He concluded with a settlement offer in which the government would keep half the money.

That case ended happily, but the problem is much broader: many individuals and businesses fear that if they seek out favorable media coverage about their battle with the government, the government will find a way to retaliate, either informally in settlement negotiations or by finding new charges to throw against them.

That such fears might not be without foundation is illustrated by last week’s widely publicized Oregon cake ruling, in which a Gresham, Oregon couple was ordered to pay $135,000 in emotional-distress damages for having refused to bake a cake for a lesbian couple’s commitment ceremony.

Aside from the ruling’s other objectionable elements, the state labor commissioner ruled it “unlawful” for the couple to have given national media interviews in which they expressed sentiments like “we can see this becoming an issue and we have to stand firm.”

Taking advantage of an exception in free speech law in which courts have found that the First Amendment does not protect declarations of future intent to engage in unlawful discrimination, the state argued — and its commissioner agreed — that the “stand firm” remark along with several similarly general comments rallying supporters were together “unlawful.”

That ought to bother anyone who cares about free speech. I’ve got a piece up at Ricochet.com, my first there, exploring the question in more detail:

Suppose someone began a sentence with the words “I don’t think I should have to serve [group X] at my shop….”

If they follow with the words “but since it’s the law, I’ll comply,” the sentence as a whole would clearly count as protected speech under current law. If they follow with the words “and I won’t, law or no law,” it loses protection.

But suppose the speaker were to end the sentence at “…my shop.” Up to that point, the speaker has expressed only an essentially political opinion, not a forward-looking intention to defy the law.

Such speech is all the more of core First Amendment interest when it takes place not in a local, commercial context but as part of broader political discussions between citizens as to whether laws are unjust or government too heavy-handed.

Read the rest here.

Walter Olson

Walter Olson is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies.

RELATED ARTICLE: Hypocrisy ALERT: Gay Bakeries Refuse to Make Pro-Christian Cakes [+Videos]

EDITORS NOTE: This piece cross-posted from Cato at Liberty and Overlawyered.

How Team Obama helps The Organization of Islamic Cooperation wage Jihad on Freedom of Expression

Washington, D.C.: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the largest Islamic organization in the world – comprised of 56 UN Member states plus the Palestinian Authority — has long been trying to silence, and ultimately criminalize, all criticism of Islam, specifically targeting America and the West.  What has largely gone unremarked is the help the OIC has received from the Obama administration to this end.

Deborah Weiss, attorney, author and expert on Islamist efforts to stifle free speech reveals in a new monograph published by the Center for Security Policy Press how the OIC is working through UN resolutions, multilateral conferences and other international vehicles to advance its agenda.  The goal of these efforts, according to the OIC’s 10-year program of action, which was launched in 2005, is to combat so-called “Islamophobia” and “defamation of religions”.  In practice, this means banning any discussion of Islamic supremacism and its many manifestations including:  jihadist terrorism, persecution of religious minorities and human rights violations committed in the name of Islam.

Upon the publication of her monograph entitled, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech, Ms. Weiss remarked:

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation is the largest and most powerful voting bloc in the United Nations and yet most Americans have never heard of it. Of particular concern is the OIC’s ten-year program which amounts to an international effort to suppress freedom of expression under the guise of protecting Islam from so-called “defamation.” This initiative, however, is in the service of OIC’s long-term mission: the world-wide implementation of Shariah, a legal-political-judicial-religious doctrine which favors Muslims over non-Muslims, men over women, and denies basic human rights and freedoms.

Ms. Weiss’ monograph documents how the Obama Administration has collaborated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in ways that, whether intentional or unwitting, have advanced the OIC’s supremacist agenda.  As it happens, recently released State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch through court-enforced Freedom of Information Act requests underscore the extent of Team Obama’s collusion with the OIC.

Specifically, these emails offer insights into how, in September 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the White House worked with the OIC to fabricate a narrative that falsely blamed an online video “Innocence of Muslims” for the violent uprising at the U.S. special mission compound and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya.

In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the documents reveal that the Obama administration immediately went into damage-limitation mode, with a well-coordinated effort to scapegoat the video as the cause of the attack.  Rashad Hussain, President Obama’s envoy to the OIC, reached out to the Organization’s leadership urging it to condemn the “anti-Islamic film” and “its related violence” and to respond in a way that is “consistent with Islamic principles.”

The OIC readily obliged, issuing a statement accusing the video of “incitement” – though nothing in the video called for violence against Muslims – and claiming that it “hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims” and “demonstrated serious repercussions of abuse of freedom of expression”.

The effect was to reinforce the OIC’s goal to protect Islam from “defamation” instead of supporting the US Constitutional principle of free expression.

In her monograph, Ms. Weiss elucidates examples of the escalating assault on freedom of expression that the OIC has launched against the West and their implications. She describes the critical role freedom of speech plays in preserving religious freedom, human rights and national security efforts.  As she correctly points out, “If you look around the world, you will see that freedom is the exception, not the rule.”

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, observed that:

Deborah Weiss’ important new book is a clarion call to Americans and their federal representatives to end all cooperation with the Islamic supremacists of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, including cessation of participation in the anti-free speech “Istanbul Process” launched by Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State.  Citizens and policy-makers alike should, instead, commit themselves vigorously and unapologetically to freedom of expression – including to its employment as an indispensable weapon in the execution of a comprehensive strategy to defeat the Global Jihad Movement.”

The Center for Security Policy/Secure Freedom is proud to present Ms. Weiss’s monograph as a superb addition to its Civilization Jihad Reader Series.  The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech by Deborah Weiss, Esq. is available for purchase in kindle and paperback format on Amazon.com.

EDITORS NOTE: For further information on the threats shariah poses to our foundational liberal democratic values, see more titles from the Center for Security Policy’s Civilization Jihad Reader Series. Readers may purchase The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech in Kindle or paperback format on Amazon. Click here for a free PDF of the newly released monograph.

Half of Democrats support laws curtailing the freedom of speech

The problems with this should be obvious, and it’s a sign of the fix we’re in that they aren’t. Who decides what speech is “intended to stir up hatred against a particular group”? Islamic supremacist groups such as Hamas-linked CAIR and other “Islamophobia”-mongers relentlessly claim that foes of jihad terror and Sharia supremacism are stirring up hatred against Muslims. This charge is entirely baseless, as any Muslim who sincerely rejects jihad terror and the imposition of Sharia in the West should be standing with us, and is welcome to do so.

But the key question here is, who decides? The allies and friends of those who believe, or claim to believe, that it is “inciting hatred” to oppose jihad terror and Sharia supremacism are in the corridors of power. If the Democrats succeed in criminalizing “hate speech,” there is no doubt that it will become illegal to speak honestly about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and the jihadis will be able to advance unimpeded.

“Half of Democrats support a ban on hate speech,” YouGov, May 20, 2015 (thanks to Anne Crockett):

Most Americans support expanded federal hate crime laws, but are divided on banning hate speech

Since 1994 people convicted of federal crimes motivated by the ‘actual or perceived’ identity of victims have faced tougher sentences. Many other states had passed ‘hate crime’ statutes in earlier years, and in recent years many states have been adopting laws which make crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation of gender identity hate crimes which face tougher sentences, something the federal government did in 2009. Unlike much of the rest of the developed world, however, the United States does not make it a criminal offense for people to make statements which encourage hatred of particular groups. For example a prominent British columnist, Katie Hopkins, is being investigated by the police for referring to African migrants crossing the Mediterranean as ‘cockroaches’.

YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups.

Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.

When it comes to crimes motivated by hatred, most Americans do back the current federal hate crime laws, including the expanded definition of hate crime passed in 2009. 56% of Americans back the federal law mandating tougher penalties for cimes motivated by race, religion or gender, and 51% support expanding that to include sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. Democrats (68%) tend to be much more supportive of the law than either independents and Republicans. Republicans (38% to 39%) are split over the expanded definition of hate crime, while independent tend to support (46%) rather than oppose (28%) it….

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That is always the endgame for Islamic supremacists: to destroy the freedom of speech so that Islam cannot be criticized and the jihad cannot be opposed, so that it can advance unimpeded. People have no idea what is at stake in this controversy.

“Group that hosted Prophet Muhammad Cartoon Contest has Houston supporters,” by Joel Eisenbaum, Click2Houston.com, May 13, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

But other Houstonians, including a Houston area Muslim imam, who condemned the Garland attack, but supports restrictions on free speech, believes incendiary language should be restricted by law.

“I think there needs to be a change to the law where people do not disrespect especially high people,” Imam Mobasher Ahmed said.

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Blurred Lines: When Guns Become Speech by JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Suing the government is always risky. It’s mostly unsuccessful. But the inventor of the first 3-D-printed gun (“The Liberator”) is forging ahead anyway. He has filed suit against the U.S. Department of State for forcing him to take down his digital files from the Internet.

The New York Times quoted several constitutional attorneys who believe that Wilson case is non-trivial and could possibly be decided in his favor. First Amendment attorney Floyd Abrams told the Times: “On the face of it, it seems to me like a serious claim.”

The grounds he has chosen are interesting and compelling. He says that by forcing his data offline, the government violated his free speech rights. He did nothing but post a file type with digital content, essentially just a series of 1s and 0s

The State Department scrambled to find some old regulation to use to force it down. They scrounged up Cold War-era regulations concerning “International Traffic in Arms” — legislation designed to control the flow of arms from the U.S. to Soviet-bloc territories in Eastern Europe.

But Wilson never trafficked in guns. He didn’t even manufacture any with an attempt to market them, much less transport them across national borders. He merely shared an idea through the medium that is the primary vehicle for the exercise of speech in our time. How can a law designed to prevent guns exports pertain to the sharing of an idea?

What is the difference between a real gun and a digital model of a gun? Guns are physical, weighty, take up space, and subject to the constraints of scarcity. To be transported, they have to be packed and shipped.

But what if you can take the model for printing a gun and render it in an infinitely malleable, portable, reproducible, weightless file that can shared like an email? Anyone who obtains that file can print a functioning gun.

Under those conditions, a gun leaves the physical world to become part of the realm of ideas. To invent it, change it, and share it is no different from inventing, changing, and sharing any other idea. It is a human right. And that is precisely what the First Amendment seeks to protect. For any government to forbid it is to muzzle the freedom to think and to speak.

Wilson publicly posted his computer-aided design (CAD) files on a distributed network. He did nothing more. It’s a form of speech. But the government said no. Over the following two years, Wilson tried his best to comply with the regulations to which the government claimed he was subject, but never did receive a green light.

Meanwhile, this being the Internet, his CAD files migrated to a thousand other places online. Wilson very cleverly assured that this would happen by releasing his file with a compelling video that garnered massive media attention. Millions of downloads took place. Just days after the files had been posted, crowd-sourced improvements to his 3-D gun were all over the Internet, and YouTube was hosting video tutorials in how to print and assemble them.

The case really pushes us to think about the implications of government regulation in the digital age.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the acceleration of a great migration of the physical world to the digital world. It began with messaging, moved to images, and then onward to sound files and movies.

With 3-D printing, potentially any object can be digitized and ported peer-to-peer anywhere in the world, making a mockery of production controls, consumer regulations, trade barriers, patents, taxes, and a thousand other government restrictions. With the migration of money from physical to digital, and from national to global, as with Bitcoin, the same new reality presents itself.

The more this revolution progresses, the more we become aware of just how outmoded our systems of government control really are. They were created in an analog age where all sources of economic value seemed to be instantiated exclusively into scarce, physical goods. When government sought to control them, they were really controlling physical things and persons. This is what government does well, by use of its monopoly of coercive control in a particular geography. Government is a uniquely analog institution.

But what happens in a digital age when the physical inhabits a digital space in which “things” become infinitely portable (regardless of borders), infinitely malleable (regardless of regulations), and essentially indestructible (regardless of how much coercion is used)?

Government experiences a loss of control. It becomes ineffective, outmoded, and obsolete. Inner contradictions begin to reveal themselves.

In a digital world, government attempts to control really amount to an intervention in fundamental civil liberties such as speech that nearly everyone believes must be protected.

The American left — which has long believed it could heavily regulate the “economy,” while leaving civil liberties intact — will have trouble making sense of this one. The American right — with its belief that free enterprise can live happily alongside censorship — faces a similar cognitive dissonance.

What’s beautiful in this case is that Cody Wilson knew of this tension all along, and his gun was designed to underscore the point: If you try to control the Internet, you are really attempting to control people in ways that are unconscionable. He is a student of the libertarian tradition, and his passions are fundamentally with the cause of human liberty. He is not a “gun nut” so much as a “human rights nut”; now he can fairly be said to be a free speech nut. Matters are playing out exactly as he had hoped.

Regulating in the world was much easier when we are talking about land, heavy machinery, and other things that take up space. It all comes down to who has the most manpower and firepower.

But when the truly valuable things in the world cross that great divide between material and merely intellectual, the balance of power shifts too. The cause of freedom has the advantage. This is the single most salient feature of the politics and economics of our time.

I truly hope that Wilson wins his case. But even if he loses, he has made his point: Either we shut down the progress of the world toward ever more sharing of information, or we stop trying to impose atavistic forms of coercion and control.

Meanwhile, I just Googled for CAD files of printable guns. In a fraction of second, 2,000 different models filled my screen. In some ways, Wilson has already won. You can’t stop the signal.

Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.

The Thinning Skin of America

While reading a column this week about the pernicious effects of “micro-aggressions” on the psychological development of America’s young men and women, I thought to myself: what has happened to this rugged country?

police speechThis idea, born out of academia, that “micro-aggressions” and “trigger words” can cause lasting damage to the “delicate” human spirit is surely an insult to the memories of the millions of Americans, my grandparents included, who suffered through the Great Depression, fought in the trenches, cities, beachfronts and the forests of the World Wars, and the many millions more who labored through a lifetime of arduous, back-breaking, manual labor without the benefits of advanced safety equipment or robotics.

Does anyone really want to live in a country where the language police stand ready to declare a word as “triggering” at a moment’s notice and to subsequently label and stain the speaker with an unflattering adjective, while having to immediately provide a “safe space” for the delicate flower on the receiving end?

Does anyone really want to live in a country where social and ideological pressure from academic elites and society’s “thought leaders” force people into group identifications and allegiances in order to demonstrate the implicit discrimination acting against us through “micro-aggressions”?

Does anyone really want to live in a country where controversial speech is labeled “provocative” because terrorist savages feel that gunning people down in cold blood is the appropriate remedy for being on the receiving end of words that offend them?

Should these panels of self-ordained “experts” on the use of language, and the psychological and sociological reasons for the use of the language, really be given such power? The power to mark someone with the Scarlet Letter for grievances against society either real, or imagined, is a dangerous one in the wrong hands. More dangerous is the power of savage violence to suppress speech, and to create a climate of fear indicative more of a third-world tyranny than the world’s most prosperous democracy.

The danger of restricting speech, both controversial and ideological, creates an obvious slippery slope with no clear defining limits to the speech dragnet. A growing number of Americans sense the danger of operating on this slope, but some do not. Sadly, many have bought into the false narrative that the enlightened “elites” in academia, the government bureaucracy, the cultural “thought leaders,” and the media should determine which form of speech is acceptable and which form should be restricted.

America is exceptional because anyone is free to openly speak about and celebrate our country and its political leadership. Or you are free to lob endless insults at both (free of threats), without fear of imprisonment or harm. Sadly, this is the historical exception, not the rule. In order to preserve this going forward, I have a suggestion: MAN UP!

Now, I understand that the use of “MAN UP!” rather “man up” can be perceived as potentially “micro-aggressive” because I used capital letters and an exclamation point. I also understand that it can be perceived as “triggering” because I used the word “man” instead of using the words “man and woman,” but I refuse to issue any faux apologies to placate the speech police crowd and their Hester Prynne end-game. I am the son of a resilient single mother, the husband of a first generation immigrant who fought against nearly insurmountable odds to become a successful mother and small business owner, the father to two strong and determined young ladies who never settle for second best, and the partner of a core group of determined and effective female political strategists who run my political organization. I will not now, nor ever, be lectured to by a group of academic elites, who haven’t accomplished an iota of what these powerful women have, about what constitutes both constructive and destructive interpersonal interactions.

We, as a country, need to man up. One could spend an entire lifetime pinpointing real and perceived grievances against America for reasons both legitimate and not, but the real question is – where is this getting us? Race relations, community strife and the balkanization of America into separate groups have all grown worse under this administration despite their rhetoric otherwise, and the constant attention they shower on identity politics. There are both angels and fools among us, the world is a tough place

We should focus more on what we can do to empower our young men and women growing up under tough circumstances and on how to teach them to take a punch and then get back up. A vibrant national school choice initiative, tax rates which give businesses the opportunity to expand into struggling cities, personal control over healthcare and health insurance and, most importantly, a reduced role of government in all of our lives which is stealing away the pride of ownership over our efforts, are but some of the steps we need to ensure that the next generation develops the resolve to fight on in the face of adversity and accept nothing less than the success they deserve.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review.

6 Reasons Pamela Geller’s Muhammad Cartoon Contest Is No Different From Selma

“In 1965, defying racist Democrats posed a legitimate threat to your life. In 2015, defying jihadists poses a legitimate threat to your life. Martin Luther King knowingly risked his life. Pamela Geller knowingly risks her life.”

This piece is brilliant in its clarity. Leftists and Islamic supremacists have, of course, reduced it to “Nolte likens Pamela Geller to Martin Luther King!” but that is not the point at all, although there really isn’t any problem with the comparison anyway. The point is that both “provoked” an oppressor to expose him as such, at risk to their lives. One is revered, one is excoriated. Both are heroes.

“6 Reasons Pamela Geller’s Muhammad Cartoon Contest Is No Different From Selma,” by John Nolte, Breitbart, May 9, 2015:

When you are dealing with the mainstream media, it is always difficult to tell if you are dealing with willful ignorance or just plain old ignorance-ignorance. There are plenty of moronic savants in the national media who have cracked the “hot take” code to please their left-wing masters but have no fundamental grasp of history, or much of anything much of else.

The act of willful ignorance in the media manifests itself through bias, and lies of omission conjured up to serve that bias. These dishonest liars know they are dishonest liars, and willfully choose to not tell the world pertinent facts like, say, Baltimore has been run by Democrats for a half-century, Hillary Clinton is in favor of legally aborting infants born alive, Ted Kennedy abandoned a drowning woman, and George Zimmerman is Hispanic.

Anyone who knows anything about history understands that tactically and morally, Geller’s provocative Muhammad Cartoon Contest was no different than Dr. Martin Luther King’s landmark march from Selma to Montgomery.

The first thing the spittle-flecked will scream upon reading the above is that I am comparing Geller to King. I did not know King. I do not know Geller. I am not comparing anyone to anyone. What I’m comparing is one righteous cause to another.

The second thing the spittle-flecked will scream is that King never would have held a Draw Muhammad Cartoon Contest … which brings me to the first reason there is no moral or tactical difference between Garland and Selma:

The Oppressor Chooses the Form of Protest, Not the Protester

Whether it is a bully stealing lunch money, an abusive husband “keeping the little woman in line,” a government passing unjust laws, or religious zealots demanding fealty from all, oppressors come in all shapes and sizes.

Oppressors do, however, share three important things in common: 1) The use of the threats of everything from shaming to instituting unjust laws to violence. 2) The goal of stripping others of their rights. 3) The choosing of the design and structure of whatever defiant protest might take place against them.

The protester has absolutely no say in this matter.

The only way to defy and protest against the bully who takes your lunch money, is to not give him your lunch money. Through his own actions the bully has designed the form of protest. The same is true for the abusive husband. If he is using the threat of violence to keep you “in line,” a defiant protest can only come in one form: doing the exact opposite of what he tells you to do or not to do.

If an unjust government passes a law making it illegal to sit in the front of the bus, the only way to protest the unjust government is to sit in the front of the bus.

Martin Luther King did not choose his form of protest in Selma. Racist Southern Democrats did.

Pamela Geller did not choose her form of protest in Garland. The jihadists did.

The day that changed America is called “Bloody Sunday.” On March 7, 1965, five-hundred-plus civil rights activists provoked violence from their oppressors by defiantly gathering on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

It was the oppressor who chose this form of protest, not the protestors. Racist Democrats who ran Selma and the state of Alabama refused to authorize the march and pledged to stop it. Therefore the only righteous way to defy these racist Democrats who refused to allow Americans to exercise their God-given right to protest for their God-given rights, was to go ahead with the march.

What was true in Selma 50 years ago also was true in Garland 5 days ago.

It was the jihadists who told us they would oppress us with violence if we exercised our God-given rights to draw and satirize Muhammad. Therefore, to righteously defy this oppression, Pam Geller and the 200 others had no other choice but to draw and satirize Muhammad (more details on this below).

The Deliberatively Provocative Symbolism of the Site of the Protest

The launch point of the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery was no accident. To poke a finger deep in the eye of their racist Democrat oppressors, civil rights organizers deliberately chose the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The bridge is named after a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan, a confederate Civil War general, and a Democrat U.S. Senator.

Starting their civil rights crusade in such a place was an intentional taunt, an open insult to a diseased culture, and an obvious act of cultural blasphemy.

For the same righteous reasons, Geller chose the site of The Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas, to hold her defiant cartoon protest. Just two weeks after the Charlie Hebdo massacre in France, a Stand with the Prophet in Honor and Respect event was held at the Curtis Calwell Center. The Islamic event was a horror show of extremism.

An unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings was invited to the conference — a barbarian who has declared the F.B.I. a terrorist group and preaches, “This so-called democracy of America, will crumble and there will be nothing. The only thing that will remain will be Islam.”

The organizer of the event, Malik Muhammad, has advocated for Sharia Law here in America.

The entire event was premised on “defeating” those who disrespect Muhammad. This was all couched under the politically correct term of “Islamophobia,” but here is the rub:

“Frustrated with Islamophobes defaming the Prophet?” the event materials ask. … “Remember the Danish cartoons defaming the Prophet? Or the anti-Islam film, ‘Innocence of Muslims’?”

Like I said: it is the oppressor who chooses the form of protest.

A Righteous Cause for Civil Rights

In the face of a very real danger, Martin Luther King, his fellow organizers and hundreds of free Americans, stood up and defied their savage oppressors in defense of their God-given rights.

They provoked violence, taunted, and broke the law, all in furtherance of a righteous cause.

In the face of a very real danger, Pam Geller, her fellow organizers and hundreds of free Americans, stood up and defied their violent oppressors in defense of their God-given rights.

They provoked violence, taunted, and obeyed the law, all in furtherance of a righteous cause.

I Come In Peace

The Selma protesters defying their violent oppressors, did so peacefully. Their only provocation was exercising their rights.

The Garland protestors defying their violent oppressors, did so peacefully. Their only provocation was exercising their rights.

Democrat Bigots Victim-Blame

While much of the national media sided with the Selma protestors, local Democrats in the media and the political establishment blamed and demonized King, and his followers, for rocking the boat, provoking violence, insulting the local culture, and causing the violence to happen.

Last week, Democrats in the media (New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, and even some sorry corners of Fox News) and the political establishment blamed and demonized Geller, and her followers, for rocking the boat, provoking violence, insulting a culture, and causing the violence to happen.

The 1965 Democrats and today’s Democrats are also bigots. The same CNN that protects Islam from offense by blurring the Muhammad cartoons, does not blur the Piss Christ.

The same New York Times that blasts those who offend Islam, profits from Mormon bashing.

Every one of these present-day media Democrats are silent in the defense of satire and mockery directed Christianity, or they enjoy and defend it. The opposite is true of satire and mockery directed at Islam. And that is the very definition of bigotry.

For the Righteous Cause of Freedom, People Risk Their Lives

In 1965, defying racist Democrats posed a legitimate threat to your life.

In 2015, defying jihadists poses a legitimate threat to your life.

Martin Luther King knowingly risked his life. Pamela Geller knowingly risks her life.

In both good and evil ways, Sunday in Garland, Texas, history repeated itself.

The national media is hiding that fact because they are either too bigoted, cowardly, and biased to tell the truth, or too ignorant to see the truth.

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Iran Holds Holocaust Cartoon Contest, Draws Nearly a Thousand Entries

Video: Geller vs. Camerota — Free speech warrior bests advocate of Sharia submission

The stakes couldn’t possibly be higher, but no one in the mainstream media seems to understand that or to be willing to recognize it publicly. The question is this: will the free West allow thugs and murderers to dictate our behavior and force non-Muslims to conform to an Islamic religious law? Or will it stand up for the freedom of speech and recognize it as our foremost protection against an authoritarian government that would strip us of our other rights and freedoms?

CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, in this joust with Pamela Geller, exemplifies the moral blindness of the West, and its eagerness to go gently into that good night, submitting to the dictates of killers.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Brave winner of Muhammad art contest says ‘once free speech goes, it’s over’

Jihad gunmen at AFDI/JW Texas free speech event had more ammo in car

Texas shooter: “When will the kuffar understand and stop insulting the prophet?”

Geert Wilders’ Speech at Garland, Texas Muhammad Art Event

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) gave this speech at tonight’s deadly Muhammad cartoon event in Garland, Texas, sponsored by Pam Geller of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).  See our Iconoclast breaking post on the attack outside the Garland Education Center venue where two perpetrators were killed in quick action by Garland police security, while Wilders, sponsor Pam Geller and Robert Spencer and 200 guests were inside.

Watch this YouTube video of Wilders’  speech at the AFDI Garland, Texas event:

Speech Geert Wilders at Muhammad Cartoon Contest, Garland, Texas, 3 May, 2015

Dear friends,

Thank you all for being here. It’s great to be in Texas, the Lone Star State. The one star in the Texan flag represents all the free Western world needs today: defiance, pride and independence.

It is no coincidence that we are in Garland, Texas, tonight. It is here that, three months ago, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Islamic activists convened to demand that free speech be curtailed. They want to prohibit cartoons, books and films which they find insulting.

Our answer is clear:

Don’t mess with Texas!

Don’t mess with the free West!

Don’t mess with our freedom of speech!

Friends, allow me to thank Pamela Geller for organizing this exhibition.

Pamela is an extraordinary woman. I only have a few heroes, but Pamela certainly is one of them. Let us give her a big applause!

My friends, you are all winners. Everybody present here tonight deserves respect, just for being here.

The cartoonists, the participants in this Muhammad contest all did fantastic work. All of you are not only talented but also very brave. For Islam has put a death sentence on depicting Muhammad. But this has not frightened you. And even if it did, it has not stopped you. Because you believe in freedom of speech.

I applaud you for that.

However, there can be only one winner of the contest. And that is, as you already know, Bosch Fawstin.

Bosch knows what he is talking and cartooning about, being a former – or in his own words recovered – Muslim.

I have known the fantastic work of Bosch – who also created the anti-jihad superhero Pigman – for many years already and I want to congratulate him for his bravery and excellent work and winning the contest today.

Your statement, my statement, the statement of every single person present in this room here tonight is clear: We will never allow barbarism, we will never allow Islam to rob us of our freedom of speech! Never!

I know from my own experience how dangerous it is to stand for this freedom. I know how dangerous it is to speak the truth about Islam.

I am on death lists of Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban and terrorists from ISIS because I tell people the truth about Islam. Islam has declared war on us, on our Judeo-Christian civilization. Islam wants to rob us of the freedoms and liberties. Islam and freedom are totally incompatible.

I am a politician, but cartoonists, like my good friends the Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard and the Swedish artist Lars Vilks, are also on the death list. Both Kurt and Lars have already been the victims of murder attempts.

Another man on this list was the cartoonist Charb, editor of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo. As we all know, he and 9 of his colleagues were murdered last January in Paris by followers of the religion of hate. According to Islamic Sharia law, they were all guilty of the same crime.

The crime of depicting Muhammad, the crime of defaming the so-called Prophet of Islam.

A crime punishable by death by the religion of death.

In order to show them that we will not have Islam dictate us the law, we are here with an exhibition of Muhammad cartoons.

We are here in defiance of Islam.

We are here to defend our rights and stand for freedom of speech.

That is our duty.

As Ronald Reagan, your greatest president ever, said: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

I am happy to say that nobody died while watching these cartoons.

This proves that, unlike jihadis, cartoons do not kill people.

Cartoons do not kill jihadis, but jihadis kill cartoonists.

That is a huge difference which we should never forget.

Huntington was wrong. It is not a clash of civilizations, but a clash between civilization and barbarism.

Our Judeo-Christian culture is far superior to the Islamic one.

I can give you a million reasons. But here is an important one.

We have got humor and they don’t.

There is no humor in Islam.

In 1979, ayatollah Khomeini devoted an entire radio broadcast to this topic: “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun,” the ayatollah said. “There are no jokes in Islam,” he added. “There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam.”

For once, the ayatollah was right.

Islam does not allow free speech, because free speech shows how evil and wrong Islam is.

And Islam does not allow humor, because humor shows how foolish and ridiculous it is.

Friends,

You are extremely fortunate to live in America. Because you have a first amendment.

In Europe, it is not just the jihadis who go after you. The authorities do so, too.

In the Netherlands, I have been dragged to court on hate speech charges for speaking the truth about Islam. I was acquitted, but now the authorities are prosecuting me again.

We are harassed, but sympathizers of the Islamic State are left in peace. Last Summer, they took to the streets in The Hague. They carried swastikas and ISIS flags. They shouted “Death to the Jews.” And you know what? The authorities did nothing. We have weak leaders. Appeasers are ruling The Netherlands, Europe and the USA. We have to turn the tide and we will. New leadership is what we need to defend our freedom of speech and resist the ongoing Islamization of the West.

Today, many of our Western leaders want us to shut up.

When we tell the truth about Islam, they call it Islamophobia.

When cartoonists make drawings of Muhammad, they are accused of provoking people.

A few years ago, in my country, the Netherlands, the police even raided the house of a cartoonist.

In his address to the United Nations in 2012, President Obama said: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

But we say: The future must not belong to Islam!

Do you hear, Mr Obama? We say: No to Islam!!

Unlike President Obama and his European colleagues, we are not willing to sign away our freedom and independence.

The day we give away humor and freedom of speech is the day that we cease to exist as a free and independent people.

And that day will never come.

That is what this exhibition is all about!

From here we send a message to President Obama and all his colleagues: We will never submit!

We are not intimidated by Islam.

We will not be picking up swords and axes and breaking into people’s homes. But we will not remain silent either.

Moderation in the face of evil is evil. This is not what our age needs. We must uncap our pens; we must speak words of truth. We are facing a determined enemy who is striving through all means to destroy the West and snuff out our traditions of free thought, free speech, and our Judeo-Christian values. Make no mistake: if we fail, we will be enslaved. So the only option is to defend our freedom with all the energy we have. It’s time to be brave. It’s time to do our duty.

Instead of giving in to fear and adopt the Islamic taboo on depicting Muhammad, I propose that we draw another conclusion:

Lift the cause of the fear!

Let us de-islamize our societies!

No more Islam, no more mosques, no more Islamic schools. It is time for our own culture and heritage.

Let us liberate ourselves from tyranny.

That is another good reason why we are having this exhibition here today.

Depicting Muhammad is an act of liberation!

Let us hold similar exhibitions all over the United States and all over the free world. From Canada to Australia to Europe.

We need Pamela Geller everywhere in the world.

I invite you to come to the Netherlands with this exhibition. I will help you exhibit these cartoons in the Dutch parliament building.

We will never allow Islam to restrict freedom!

And we will never bow in the direction of Mecca!

I am not saying that there are no moderate Muslims. Fortunately, there are Muslims who do not live according to the Islamic commands. But there is no moderate Islam!

Not all Muslims are terrorists. But most terrorists today are Muslims.

That is why we say: The less Islam, the better!

The Islamic creed obliges one and a half billion people around the world to take Muhammad as their example.

He led a gang of robbers, who looted, raped and killed hundreds of people.

Historic sources describe orgies of inhumanity. An example is the genocide of the Jews of Medina in 627. One of the head choppers was Muhammad himself. Confronted with the lunacy of Islamic terrorists today, it is not hard to find out whom they get their inspiration from.

It is from Muhammad who – we have to tell the truth – was a warlord, a murderer and a pedophile

There is no turning back once one has become a Muslim. For even though article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that every person has the right to “change his religion or belief,” in Islam there is only a death penalty for leaving the faith.

So, let us expose Muhammad. Let us show the world what Islam truly is.

And let us support Muslims, like Bosch, who wish to leave Islam and liberate themselves from fear.

Apostates are heroes and more than ever they deserve the support of freedom loving people all over the world.

Muhammad fought and terrorized people with the sword.

We fight Muhammad and his followers with the pen.

And the pen will prove mightier than the sword.

Muhammad’s followers fight us with bloodbaths, but today here in Garland we fight them with humor.

Because bloodbaths enslave, while humor liberates.

Let me end by quoting Sam Houston, the founding father of this great state of Texas:

“Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may.”

May his words inspire us all today never to submit to Islamic barbarism.

Thank you very much.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Dutch MP Geert Wilders’ Warning on CAIR’s abuse of the First Amendment

Geert Wilders was on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on April 30, 2015 at a press conference with Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Scott Perry (R-PA).  He  warned  Americans  about the dangers of  mass  Muslim immigration  and  suggested letting  Americans who volunteer   leave and   join  the Islamic State but be denied  return  to this country. He said:

I am warning America. Don’t think that what’s happening in Europe today will not happen in America tomorrow because it will. Islamic immigration has proven to be a Trojan horse, the jihadists are among us,” he added, warning of “enormous security problems” in the United States if Muslim immigrants are allowed to stay. Let them go, but never let them return.

The Congressmen praised Wilders exercise of free speech vis a vis his criticism of Islam, defense of Judeo-Christian values and Israel. Wilders paid court to this” beautiful land” with its protection of free speech rights and expressed “the wish that the he and other citizens of the EU” had the equivalent protection.  Wilders is once again the target of investigations by the Dutch police as the behest of Public Prosecutors in the Hague over his alleged hate speech remarks at a Freedom Party rally during the May, 2014 European Parliament elections in the Hague, over “ fewer Moroccans”.   Wilders has criticized Islam for being an ideology and the Qur’an for being the equivalent of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.  His most recent book, Marked for Death, presented that and more fundamental arguments referencing    Qur’anic doctrine, Hadith, Sunna and Shariah Islamic Law. Wilders defeated an earlier hate crime charge brought against him in the Amsterdam district court in 2011.

Watch the Wilders Capitol Hill press conference with Reps. King, Gohmert and Perry:

Prior to his Capitol Hill press conference, Wilders gave a speech on April 29, 2015 at the Washington, D.C., Conservative Opportunity Society.  Two Muslim U.S. Representatives, Keith Ellison (D-MN) and  Andre Carson sent a letter  on April 23, 2015 to Secretary of State Kerry and Department of Homeland Security Chief Jae Johnson seeking to bar Wilders entry to the US on the grounds that his speech violated provisions of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. They wrote:

In the past, the United States has denied entry to international leaders under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act which allows the Department of State to deny entry to a foreign leader who is responsible for severe violations of religious freedom. This precedent is applicable to Mr. Wilders.

[…]

In the U.S., freedom of speech is a bedrock principle that distinguishes free societies from ones living under oppressive regimes. Freedom of speech, however, is not absolute. It is limited by the legal and moral understanding that speech that causes the incitement of violence or prejudicial action against protected groups is wrong. As Mr. Wilders continues his pursuit of political power, granting him entry will embolden him to engage in further incitement of violence and discrimination against Muslims.

Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are sweeping through Europe. Mr. Wilders is among the hateful leaders responsible for perpetuating prejudice. Allowing him to enter the United States will cause harm to our nation that values religious freedom and respects pluralism.

Eugene Volokh, a UCLA law professor and expert on free speech and religious freedom law in a “Volokh Conspiracy” column in the Washington Postexamined the arguments of the two Representatives, referencing Supreme Court case rulings, notably, Brandenburg v. Ohio and Hess v. Indiana, regarding “incitement. Volokh concluded:

Whether “Christian culture is superior to other cultures,” which groups should be allowed to immigrate into a country, and even whether Islam should be viewed as an ideology rather than a religion (an unsound distinction, in my view) are matters that the First Amendment allows us all to debate. The Congressmen quite clearly don’t want to allow Rep. Wilders to debate such matters here in the U.S. But their “In the U.S.” paragraph suggests that they view even such debates by Americans as constitutionally unprotected.

CAIR, the self styled Muslim civil rights group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood,  sent  Government  Affairs Manager, Robert McCaw, to question Wilders and the Congressional Representatives who participated in Capitol Hill press conference.  The CAIR press release noted the exchange:

CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw pressed Rep. Gohmert as to whether he stood by “Wilders’ statement that Islam is an ideology of a retarded culture.” Congressman Gohmert avoided the question only stating that he “proudly stands by Wilders” and that he may not always agree with him but will defend his right to make such comments.

McCaw also pressed Wilders on whether or not the Republican Party should adopt his Dutch Freedom Party’s proposal of “banning the Quran and the building of new mosques.” Wilders sidestepped the question by stating that he is “not trying to unify the two parties” and comparing the Quran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

[…]

“By endorsing and promoting Geert Wilders’ anti-Muslim hate, these elected officials tarnish the Republican Party’s reputation and harm our nation’s international image,” said McCaw.

CAIR arranged for a counter press with the authors of the letter, Reps. Ellison and Carson, joined by Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) protesting Wilders anti-Islam stands and promoting inter-faith unity.

Watch the CAIR YouTube video of McCaw’s questioning of Wilders and Rep. Gohmert:

Tomorrow, May 3, 2015 Wilders will next appear at an event in Texas.  According to a Breitbart News report Wilders Will speak at the First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest. The event will be held May 3rd at the Curtis Caldwell Center, which is owned and operated by the Garland Independent School District, and hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). The Curtis Caldwell Center was the site of an “Honor the Prophet” rally in January. About two thousand Texans came out to protest that event.

 Pam Geller and Robert Spencer of AFDI will also be speaking at the event.  For those interesting in watching this event. It will be live streamed at 5-7 (CST) and 6-8PM (EST). Read more, here.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Geert Wilders at a press conference near Capitol building April 30, 2015 in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski).

Exclusive Interview with the ‘Godfather of the counter-jihad movement’

Geller-Art-ExhibitThe “Godfather of the counter-jihad movement”, Robert Spencer joins Enemies of the State to preview Sunday’s, May 3rd, Muhammad Art Exhibit & Contest in Garland, TX.

Arie Egozi gives us a security update from Israel, where things are heating up on both the northern and southern borders.

We also discuss the shrinking violet known as Barrack Hussein Obama, and the negative effects of weak US foreign policy in the region.

His conclusion: Iran is behind almost everything going on in the Middle East!

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