Spot the real tyrants

March 30, 2010

Were they in Searchlight, or in Los Angeles? On the Right, or the Left? You make the call.

*(And note that, once again, all the hotties are on the Right. The babes of democracy live.)

RELATED: At a book signing Beverly Hills, the Left once again demonstrates its commitment to free speech and tolerance – for themselves and no one else.

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The jihad against free speech

March 28, 2010

Typical of fascists and other would-be dictators, Islamic supremacists use intellectual bullying and physical violence to stifle criticism and cow opposition to the spread of sharia law in free lands. The hope is that enough shouts of “racist” and “Islamophobe,” coupled with acts of violence and murder, will intimidate non-Muslims into submission and self-censorship.

Islamist Watch has a good article on this, using the furor over the Muhammad cartoons as an example of the path to submission and dhimmitude:

Islamists do not wish to debate their opponents; they wish to silence them. This means demonstrating the high costs, whether legal or physical, of speaking out. Recent news items show how the fear of violence can drive capitulation — and, therefore, how violent Islamism can advance, rather than inhibit, the work of stealthy, nonviolent Islamists to crush free speech.

Following the global riots of 2006 and a flare-up two years later, caricatures of Muhammad once again are stirring jihadist passions. Two Chicago-area Muslims were charged last October with planning terror strikes against those involved in the publication of the Danish Muhammad cartoons. New Year’s Day then saw an attack on the home of Kurt Westergaard, creator of the infamous bomb-in-the-turban illustration.

Read the whole thing; the author has many good examples. For another, have a look at this article on Islamic lawfare, the use by Islamic supremacists in the courts and international law to criminalize and punish those who would speak against them.


Amsterdam’s dhimmi judges

February 7, 2010

A few days ago I wrote about the trial of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who has been charged with “inciting hatred” for criticizing Islam. At the time, I described the decadent state of liberty in Holland, where a free man could be put on trial for expressing an opinion. The great Pat Condell minces no words in his latest video, declaring that Wilders was put on trial for embarrassing the Dutch establishment with the truth and calling shame on the crooked judges of Amsterdam:


Warrior for the Religion of Peace? Or a lone nut?

January 1, 2010

And is there a difference?

Danish police shoot man trying to enter Mohammed cartoonist’s home

Danish police on Friday shot and wounded a man trying to enter the home of an artist who drew controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The man, a 27-year-old Somalian who was armed with an axe, was caught trying to break into the home of Kurt Westergaard at 10pm local time, police said.

Police shot the man, injuring him in his leg. He was taken into custody and is expected to recover.

Mr Westergaard, 74, was one of 12 cartoonists commissioned by the Jyllands-Posten newspaper to produce caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed five years ago. He has received several death threats since.

Get that? This brave jihadi was trying to take an ax to a 74 year old man for drawing a cartoon. By another account, his wife and their grandchild were in the house at the time, too. This is what the dominance of Islam and sharia law would bring: a death sentence not just for an individual who criticizes Islam and Muhammad, but for free speech itself. No one would ever feel free to speak their mind, lest it offend some imam who’s just dying to issue a fatwa. And Westergaard is by no means the first: Salman Rushdie has been in hiding since 1989 for writing a book that offended Ayatollah Khomeini. More recently, Somali refugee and Dutch citizen Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, and Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan have all had to take measures against death threats for criticizing Islam. The simple exercise of freedom of speech cost Theo van Gogh his life, gunned down and stabbed to death on an Amsterdam street by a Muslim angry over his criticisms of Islam.

Killing for insulting Islam and Muhammad is an old tradition in Islam, of course, going all the way back to Muhammad himself. The Bukhari collection of hadiths relates how Muhammad himself had a Jewish poet, K’ab bin al-Ashraf, assassinated for saying things offensive to “Allah and his Apostle.” (See volume 5, book 59, number 369)

Congratulations to Mr. Westergaard for surviving this attack, and all praise to the Danish police for their quick response. And for all of you who shout “democracy go to hell!” and think it’s a blessing to kill those who exercise their rights as freeborn people, you can fatwa this:

To exercise your rights as a free human being and see more blasphemous images, including the infamous Jyllands-Posten cartoons, visit the Zombietime archive.

(hat tip: Power Line)

UPDATE: According to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service, the assassin has “close ties to the Somali terror organization al-Shabaab as well as to al-Qaeda leaders in East Africa….” Fancy that.

LINKS: More from Fausta and Mark Steyn. Also at Infidels are Cool.


Don’t give Obama any ideas

October 24, 2009

FOX News might be next:

Saudi journalist sentenced to 60 lashes

A Saudi court sentenced a female journalist Saturday to 60 lashes for her work on a controversial Arabic-language TV show that aired an episode in which a man bragged about his sex life, two sources told CNN.

The court in Jeddah also imposed a two-year travel ban on Rosanna Al-Yami, according to a Saudi Information Ministry official, who could not be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media. The ban prevents her from traveling outside Saudi Arabia.

This official identified Al-Yami as a fixer, who helps journalists obtain stories, and a coordinator for Lebanese Broadcasting Corp., the network that aired “A Thick Red Line,” a popular show on social taboos.

On one episode, a Saudi man, Mazen Abdul Jawad, bragged about sex and got into trouble with Saudi authorities for his boasts. Abdul Jawad was put on trial and sentenced to five years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

Suleiman Al-Jumeii, the attorney who represents Abdul Jawad, also confirmed the sentence against Al-Yami, saying he believes she is the first Saudi journalist ever to be sentenced to lashes.

(via Jihad Watch)


Religion of Tolerance Watch

October 19, 2009

Dutch parliamentarian and head of the Freedom Party Geert Wilders recently visited London, where gave a news conference in a meeting room of the House of Lords. Wilders is (in)famous for his opposition to the Islamization of Europe and the spread of sharia law. In my opinion, he’s a staunch, if flamboyant, defender of free speech and Western liberalism against a new totalitarianism. Others see him differently, including many Muslims, who showed up to protest his press conference. That’s their right: even speech we deem hateful is protected, though the line draws near when that speech carries an implicit death threat:

So, let me get this straight:

  • The penalty for insulting the “prophets” is death.
  • Geert Wilders had better watch his back (or neck, as the case may be).
  • But the young Muslim at the start of the video isn’t threatening Wilders. Oh, no.

And lest you think I’m drawing too much from this, note the speaker’s reference to Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker murdered in Amsterdam by a devout Muslim for insulting Islam and Muhammad – by exercising his right to free speech. Van Gogh was Wilders’ countryman, and the Dutch lawmaker, who lives under police protection, knows exactly what message was intended.

But he’s an Islamophobe and overreacting; after all, Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance, and perfectly compatible with Western democratic liberties.

Care to buy a bridge?

(hat tip: The Jawa Report)


Why do Democrats hate the Bill of Rights?

October 13, 2009

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And yet the Democratic* majorities in the House and Senate are set to pass the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which will, if not stopped or struck down, limit our natural right to free speech by violating the First Amendment.

*(Insert irony as needed)

How will this happen? Byron York at the Washington Examiner has the story:

The crime bill — which would broaden the protected classes for hate crimes to include sexual orientation and “gender identity,” which the bill defines as a victim’s “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” — passed the House earlier this year as a stand-alone measure. But it’s never had the votes to succeed by itself in the Senate. So over the summer Democrats, with the power of their 60-vote majority, attached it to the defense bill.

Republicans argued that the two measures had nothing to do with each other. Beyond that, GOP lawmakers feared the new bill could infringe on First Amendment rights in the name of preventing broadly defined hate crimes. The bill’s critics, including many civil libertarians, argued that the hate crimes provision could chill freedom of speech by empowering federal authorities to accuse people of inciting hate crimes, even if the speech in question was not specifically related to a crime.

Republican Sen. Sam Brownback offered an amendment saying the bill could not be “construed or applied in a manner that infringes on any rights under the First Amendment” and could not place any burden on the exercise of First Amendment rights “if such exercise of religion, speech, expression, or association was not intended to plan or prepare for an act of physical violence or incite an imminent act of physical violence against another.”

The Senate passed Brownback’s amendment. After that, several Republicans, their fears allayed, voted for the whole defense/hate crimes package, which passed the Senate last July.

Meanwhile, on the House side, representatives passed their own version of the defense authorization bill, which did not contain the hate crimes measure.

Then it was time for the House and Senate bills to go to a conference committee, where the differences between them would be ironed out. That’s where the real action began.

First, the committee — controlled by majority Democrats, of course — inserted the hate crimes measure into the House bill, where it had not been before. Then lawmakers made some crucial changes to Brownback’s amendment. Where Brownback had insisted, and the full Senate had agreed, that the bill could not burden the exercise of First Amendment rights, the conference changed the wording to read that the bill could not burden the exercise of First Amendment rights “unless the government demonstrates … a compelling governmental interest” to do otherwise.

That means your First Amendment rights are protected — unless they’re not.

Emphasis added.

Let’s set aside the sneaky tactic of attaching unrelated bills that can’t pass on their own merits to other bills in order to bull-rush the opposition; that’s a tactic used by both sides, probably since the early days of the Republic. It needs to stop, but that’s not the point.

The key issue here is the willingness of the Democrats to play fast and loose with the Constitution and individuals’ rights in order to buy the votes and contributions of one or more client groups by granting the group a special protected status. In this case, the right of free speech is subordinated to some made-up right “not to be offended.”

Let’s be clear: what happened to Shepard and Byrd were grotesque crimes, and the perpetrators deserved the death penalty. But the law already adequately covered what happened in these cases, because they covered the physical acts: kidnapping, torture, and murder. The law the Democrats seek to pass, however, goes far beyond criminalizing a physical act to criminalizing speech itself. While it’s true that there are accepted limits to free speech (the famous “yelling fire” example, or the fighting words precedent of Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire), unless the speaker is threatening violence or directly inciting violence, free speech is free speech and cannot be restrained by Congress.

Just as dangerous to civil liberty is the bolded clause above, allowing the government to determine when speech crosses the line and needs to be limited to protect a “compelling government interest.” Even if such limitations were constitutional (and they’re not), just how will the Justice Department determine this? What standards will they use? How will they guarantee that whatever standards they use are applied equally? If I am to be prosecuted for saying Islam threatens democracy, will an imam be prosecuted for saying that Jews are the enemies of God? This provision appears to leave it to the whim of the Attorney General.

Free speech means nothing if it does not protect speech that we may find objectionable or offensive. It is the bedrock and foundation of Anglo-American liberty, and this measure by the Democrats, while proposed for nominally noble purposes, is a huge step toward shattering that foundation.  It shackles the natural rights of individuals, all for the sake of pandering to yet another set of groups that are willing to sacrifice their own individual rights. Again I ask: Why do Democrats hate the Bill of Rights?

The Founders would be spinning in their graves.

(via Power Line. Cross-posted at Sister Toldjah)

LINKS: More at Big Government.

UPDATE: If you want to read a very good book on the Bill of Rights, I recommend Levy’s Origins of the Bill of Rights.

UPDATE II: At Reason.com, Jacob Sullum points out that the proposed law could land the defendant with longer sentences for his thoughts and speech than he’d get under state laws for the physical crime: The Bigot Bonus.