POLITICAL HONESTY ABOUT ISLAM
Varun Gandhi speaks out against Muslim atrocities - 2009
Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker acquitted of hate speech
By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press
June 23, 2011
AMSTERDAM (AP) — The boundaries of free speech in Europe widened Thursday after a Dutch court acquitted politician Geert Wilders of inciting hatred against Muslims when he compared Islam with Naziism and called for a ban on the Quran.
Political analysts say the ruling will likely embolden Wilders and other right-wing populists across the continent to ramp up their anti-immigrant rhetoric, with remarks like Wilders' call for a "head rag tax" now squarely within the boundaries of fair political debate.
The ruling did lay down a clear limit: Calls for violence remain out of bounds. Wilders, who has lived under constant police protection due to death threats since 2004, has never called for violence or endorsed it.
Presiding Judge Marcel van Oosten said some of Wilders' comments — such as saying foreign influences are "breeding" in the Netherlands and threatening to overrun Dutch culture — may be "crude and denigrating." But he said they did not amount to inciting hatred and must be seen in a wider context of a fierce national debate over immigration policy and multiculturalism.
While the United States has enshrined the right to freedom of speech in its Constitution, many European nations introduced hate-speech laws in the wake of World War II, determined to prevent the scapegoating of minorities.
Van Oosten cited one of Wilders' most incendiary statements — "the core of the problem is the fascist Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and Mohammed as laid down in the Islamic Mein Kampf: the Quran" — saying that criticism of a religion and its followers is not illegal.
Wilders sat stone-faced while the judge read the ruling, but smiled broadly and shook hands with his lawyers after the verdict. His cheering supporters hugged each other in the public gallery, and Wilders waved to them and grinned as he left the courtroom.
"It's not only an acquittal for me, but a victory for freedom of expression in the Netherlands," he said afterward. "Fortunately you're allowed to discuss Islam in public debate and you're not muzzled."
Political science professor Andre Krouwel of Amsterdam's Free University said Wilders might have been convicted a decade ago, but his ideas have since entered the mainstream. Wilders' Freedom political party is now the country's third-largest in parliament and it is propping up an all-conservative Dutch government that agrees with much of his right-wing platform.
"(The verdict) will further the inward-looking and to some extent xenophobic atmosphere in the Netherlands," predicted professor Leo Lucassen, chair of the Social History department at Leiden University.
The verdict comes a week after the government announced plans to end programs to help integrate immigrants into Dutch society, which "fuels this idea of immigrants who are basically an alien element to the Dutch people," Lucassen told The Associated Press.
The government also is moving to ban Muslim face-covering clothing and to further slash immigration.
Dutch Muslims who pressed for the trial said Wilders' strident anti-Islam tone has already led to increased discrimination and harassment against them, and even attacks on mosques. But Krouwel said seeking remedy in the courts proved an "incredible mistake" because Thursday's decision "legalized populist rhetoric."
"Inside the Netherlands and outside, politicians will now go the same way: to the edge of what is allowed," he told the AP. "Right-wing politicians in other countries will be able to point to the Netherlands and say, 'They can say it there, why not here?'"
Immigration-related issues have dominated politics in the Netherlands and much of Europe over the past decade. Wilders has drawn comparisons with populists such as the late Jorg Haider in Austria and Jean-Marie Le Pen in France.
His stances resound deeply with Dutch voters, who have reconsidered their famous tolerance amid fears their culture is being eroded by immigrants who don't share their values. Around six percent of the Dutch population is now Muslim.
Groups that filed the complaints that led to Wilders' prosecution were disappointed with Thursday's ruling.
"What surprises me is that the judge says that what's permissible is determined by the context of the societal debate," said Aydin Akkaya, chairman of Council of Turks in the Netherlands. "In other words, if you just find a 'context' you can go nuts."
Mohamed Rabbae, chairman of the moderate National Moroccan Council, said the case has gone as far as it can in the Dutch courts and the battle will switch to another venue.
"We will go to the U.N. Committee for Human Rights in Geneva. The suit will be directed against the government of the Netherlands for not protecting ethnic minorities against racism and discrimination," he said in an email.
The court found that Wilders was "at the edge of what's legally permissible" when he described the threat Islam allegedly poses to Dutch culture as "a fight going on and we must arm ourselves."
"This has an inciting character," Van Oosten said. But because the lawmaker later added that he has no objections to Muslims who integrate and accept Dutch values, judges ruled he had not crossed the line.
The court paid special attention to Wilders' 2008 film, "Fitna," — Arabic for "ordeal" — a 15-minute series of verses from the Quran juxtaposed against news videos of violence and terrorism. The film prompted angry demonstrations and official protests around the Muslim world.
"Given the film in its whole and the context of societal debate, the court finds that there is no question of inciting hate with the film," the judgment said.
Even prosecutors called for his acquittal and said they are satisfied with the ruling. Despite prosecutors' initial reluctance to prosecute the politician, the court ruled last year that it was in society's interest the case be heard, given public confusion over free speech rules.
Associated Press correspondent Arthur Max contributed to this report.
Statement by Lars Hedegaard on his conviction for “hate speech”
Copenhagen, May 5, 2011
It is with great sadness I have to report that Denmark’s reputation as a haven of free speech and a bastion of resistance to sharia encroachment is irreparably tarnished. Denmark is my country and I used to be proud of it.
On May 3 the Eastern Superior Court in Copenhagen convicted me of hate speech under Denmark’s infamous Article 266 b of the penal code – a rubber provision that may be stretched to serve any political purpose dear to the hearts of the ruling elites.
My crime is to have called attention to the horrific conditions of Muslim women and for my audacity the court has now enabled my detractors to label me a racist.
Muslims can say whatever they want with impunity. Just a few weeks ago Denmark opened its gates to the hate-spewing preacher Bilal Philips, known for his advocacy of wife-beating and the killing of homosexuals. He was provided a platform in Copenhagen and nobody thought of dragging him into court.
Our authorities and their allies among the pc elites have chosen sides in the struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of darkness and so opted for the oppressors of their own people and against those deserving of their protection.
The real victims of this despicable case are freedom of speech and the tens of thousands of girls and women – Muslim as well as non-Muslim – whose plight may no longer be mentioned in my country for fear of legal prosecution and public denigration.
We cannot permit this outcome to stand. I have therefore decided to appeal my conviction to the Supreme Court and – if that is denied – to the European Court of Human Rights.
This is a fight for liberty against tyranny. It will be long and hard but losing is no option.
Oklahoma Bans Sharia Law
by Connie Hair
Voters have passed an amendment to
the Oklahoma state constitution to ban the use of Islamic Sharia law in the
state courts by an overwhelming 70% of the vote. The amendment also bars judges
from using foreign law in rendering decisions.
Seen as a pre-emptive strike, Oklahoma now joins Louisiana in blocking Sharia law, a draconian legal doctrine that does not recognize the most basic human rights as measured by any Western standard.
As previously reported on HUMAN EVENTS, free speech rights are under assault worldwide through violence, threats of violence, and Sharia-compliant “incitement” laws.
In England, 85 Sharia courts are
in use and are pulling even non-Muslims into the system, threatening to overturn
equal justice in the courts.
The American Thinker tells of a June 2010 study titled “Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights”, which begins with a quote from the Secretary General of the Islamic Sharia Council Suhaib Hasan, “If Sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country [Great Britain] into a haven of peace because once a thief’s hand is cut off nobody is going to steal.” Furthermore, “once[,] just only once, if an adulterer is stoned[,] nobody is going to commit this crime at all,” and finally, “[w]e want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don’t accept it they’ll need more and more prisons.”
Any attempt to shut down the dual court system in England would likely cause more jihadi violence and bloodshed.
In 2005, Canada rejected setting up the dual court system amid vocal protest, yet Sharia is creeping into the legal system in divorce and custody cases, undermining the equal status of women under the law.
In the United States in August, a New Jersey judge denied a restraining order to a Muslim woman after she had been repeatedly raped by her husband. Marital rape is permitted under Sharia law.
Fox News reported that the man’s wife is a Moroccan woman who had recently emigrated to the U.S. at the time of the attacks.
“Defendant forced plaintiff to have sex with him while she cried. Plaintiff testified that defendant always told her ‘this is according to our religion. You are my wife, I c[an] do anything to you. The woman, she should submit and do anything I ask her to do,” according to court records.
“In considering the woman’s plea for a restraining order after the couple divorced, Charles ruled in June 2009 that a preponderance of the evidence showed the defendant had harassed and assaulted her, but ‘The court believes that [defendant] was operating under his belief that it is, as the husband, his desire to have sex when and whether he wanted to, was something that was consistent with his practices and it was something that was not prohibited.’”
It took an appellate court to overturn the judge’s decision, raising grave concerns and prompting support for pre-emptive measures to block Sharia from use in America’s courts.
More constitutional amendments banning Sharia law are expected to hit ballots nationwide in 2012.
Anti-Islamic Dutch lawmaker speaks at US college
(AP) – October 20, 2009
PHILADELPHIA — An anti-Islamic Dutch lawmaker's visit to Temple University was cut short after a question and answer session turned nasty.
Geert Wilders (VIL'-durz) was escorted from the Philadelphia university's lecture hall as some in the crowd of several hundred students began shouting jeers at the Dutch politician.
Wilders' previous 30-minute address was met by a mixture of applause and boos Tuesday night at the public university serving about 34,000 students.
He touched on common themes in his speeches, including calling the Muslim holy book, the Quran, "an evil book" that promotes violence and intolerance.
The event was organized by a student group called Purpose and is being funded by the California-based David Horowitz Freedom Center, a foundation that promotes conservative scholarship.
Synagogue Hails Dutch
Lawmaker as a Hero
March 2, 2009
JTA Wire Service
In his home continent, Dutch politician Geert Wilders is something of a pariah, banned from the United Kingdom and facing prosecution in the Netherlands for his harsh views of Islam.
His calls to end immigration from Muslim countries and ban the Koran—he compared it to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and said it incites to violence—have earned him broad condemnation in Europe and forced him under the protection of a security detail, a rarity for Dutch leaders.
But in some quarters of the American Jewish community, Wilders is more akin to a hero. At the very least, he was greeted as such by about 250 people last week at a Conservative synagogue in this Boston-area town.
The boisterous crowd at the Ahavath Torah Congregation gave Wilders, who heads the Dutch Party for Freedom and serves in the parliament, a standing ovation and shouted “Bravo” at the conclusion of his speech.
In an event co-sponsored by the Middle East Forum’s Legal Project and the Republican Jewish Coalition, Wilders made his only synagogue appearance on his recent tour of the United States, where he appeared on cable news networks and radio talk shows, spoke at the National Press Club and held a private showing of his anti-radical Islam film “Fitna” for senators and their staff on Capitol Hill.
The Middle East Forum’s director, Daniel Pipes, said he doesn’t agree with Wilders that the Koran should be banned. But he does believe that Wilders should be able to publicly present that view, which is why his organization co-sponsored the talk and is raising funds for Wilders’ legal defense.
“I don’t need to agree with him to see the importance of him making his arguments,” Pipes said.
Wilders is among a small number of European political figures who have spoken out forcefully about the impact of Muslim immigration and what they see as a religion irrevocably at odds with Western values. In the Netherlands, renowned for its liberalism and tolerance, the debate has often been particularly fraught.
A former parliamentary colleague of Wilder’s, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was forced into hiding for her work on a film critical of Islam’s treatment of women. Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker and Hirsi Ali’s partner, was murdered on an Amsterdam street in 2004. Pim Fortuyn, another Dutch politician outspoken about immigration and Islam, was murdered in 2002.
In Europe, where freedom of speech laws are generally more restrictive—Holocaust denial, for example, is widely outlawed—figures like Wilders have pushed the boundaries of acceptable discourse. But in the United States, with its comparatively looser speech laws, the violence and intimidation directed at Islam’s harshest European critics is seen by some as allowing radical viewpoints to flourish.
“If our collective voice is impeded from speaking” or “shut down,” said Pipes, then “the way is paved for radical Islam to move ahead.”
Pipes says hate speech laws, which also have been used to prosecute Holocaust deniers in Europe, are a bad idea.
“I believe in the First Amendment,” he said.
Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks takes a similar position, saying that while he also opposes banning the Koran, he believes Wilders’ views should still be given a hearing.
“If we only had speakers we agree with 100 percent of the time, it would be a very small universe of speakers,” Brooks said.
Bjorn Larsen, whose International Free Press Society arranged Wilders’ U.S. tour, said the Dutch politician was invited personally by the rabbi at Ahavath Torah, Jonathan Hausman.
Hausman would not speak on the record to JTA about the event.
Security was tight in Stoughton, with bags being checked and guards for Wilders. After a showing of “Fitna,” Wilders said the Koran is being used as a justification for “hatred, terrorism and violence against the world,” and he outlined how he believes the rise of Islam in Europe is threatening the traditional Judeo-Christian values of the West.
A staunch supporter of Israel who once lived on a moshav, Wilders also proclaimed solidarity with the Jewish state.
Israel “is receiving the blows for all freedom-loving people,” he said. “We are all Israel. We have to defend our freedom.”
Wilders noted that while he was banned from the United Kingdom despite being a member of the Dutch parliament and carrying an E.U. passport., the head of Hezbollah was allowed to enter the country.
“This is Europe today,” he said.
There were no protests at Wilders’ speech—there was little advance publicity—and many in the crowd were sympathetic to his arguments. Andrew Warren of Sharon said he wanted to judge for himself whether Wilders is xenophobic, and said afterwards that Wilders had not crossed the line.
“The unfortunate reality is that a lot of troubling passages in the Koran are being embraced by militant ideology,” Warren said.
Louise Cohen of Brookline described Wilders as a hero and a man of courage.
“What’s disturbing to me is that no one has said that there is anything in his movie that is false,” she said.
While unaware of Wilders’ call to ban the Koran, Cohen said his film makes a case that the Koran is a hate document.
That view troubles Ron Newman, who said Wilders took certain verses from the Koran that appeared to promote violence and used them to generalize about all of Islam.
Saying that a similar approach could be used with portions of the Torah, Newman cautioned that the line of reasoning could be used to produce an anti-Semitic film.
“I don’t like that being done to us,” he said. “I don’t support people who do that to others.”
Nonetheless, as a staunch supporter of free speech, Newman said the attempt to squelch Wilders’ film and the refusal to allow him into Great Britain is a travesty.
Staff writer Eric Fingerhut in Washington contributed to this report.
Putin Denounces Plans for Radical Islamic worldwide Caliphate
Vladimir Putin declared in Brussels on Monday that radical Islamic groups are planning to systematically annihilate non-Moslems and to create a worldwide Caliphate.
He added that western civilisation was at risk of being attacked by terrorists, these attacks being more than sporadic one-off attacks. Rather, they are, in the opinion of Vladimir Putin a “concerted effort and programme” by an organisation which has a global structure and which has the intention to commit murderous atrocities in the name of Islam.
Vladimir Putin also declared that there was a possibility that this organisation (Al-Qaeda) already has nuclear weapons. He did not hesitate to point out that the terrorists operating in Chechnya are part of this worldwide league of extremists and indeed are in constant contact with Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda. Western sources repeatedly refer to the Chechens as “separatists” who want to fight for their independence, whereas the reality is quite different.
The Chechen terrorists are a small part of the 850,000 Chechen population, most of whom despise the bandits for what they are: common criminals with connections to international crime, posing in the name of Islam and separatism to gain sympathy for their cause from the ignorant or from those who periodically like to attack Russia.
President Putin declared that if the West does not deal effectively with the Chechen question, acts such as those perpetrated in Moscow and Bali will become commonplace all over the world.
Fallaci: Warrior in the Cause of Human Freedom
By Robert Spencer
November 30, 2005
“We are gathered here tonight,” announced David Horowitz, “to honor a warrior in the cause of human freedom.”
Oriana Fallaci, who received the Center for the Study of Popular Culture’s Annie Taylor Award in New York Monday evening, has been a warrior for human freedom ever since she joined the anti-fascist resistance in 1944, at age fourteen. For over six decades, she has fought against those she has labeled “the bastards who decide our lives,” opposing all forms of tyranny and oppression, from Mussolini and Hitler to Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. She amassed a fearsome reputation as an interviewer, recounting of Ariel Sharon: “‘I know you’ve come to add another scalp to your necklace,’ he murmured almost with sadness when I went to interview him in 1982.” Other scalps on her necklace include that of Henry Kissinger, who termed his interview with Fallaci “the most disastrous conversation I ever had with any member of the press.” While interviewing the Ayatollah Khomeini, Fallaci called him a “tyrant” and tore off the chador she had had to wear in order to be admitted to his presence. According to Daniel Pipes in his introduction of Fallaci Monday night, she is also apparently one of the few who ever made the irascible old man laugh.
Today, at seventy-five years old, Fallaci still stands for freedom. She is suffering from cancer. She stated with her usual directness at the Taylor Awards ceremony: “I shall not last long.” But she has dedicated the four years since 9/11 to trying to awaken her native Italy, Europe and the world to the magnitude global jihad threat, which most analysts continue, whether from willful blindness, ignorance, or a misplaced strategic imperative, to misapprehend. Pipes noted that “she has her differences with the President. When he says that Islam a ‘religion of peace,’ she has said, ‘each time he says it on TV? I’m there alone, and I watch it and say, “Shut up! Shut up, Bush!” But he doesn’t listen to me.’”
And it isn’t, of course, just Bush. Fallaci spoke fervently Monday evening about how Western nations are selling their own homelands and culture to their mortal enemies. “We seem to live in real democracies,” she said, “but we really live in weak democracies ruled by despotism and fear.” Western elites – government and media – are paralyzed by fear, afraid to speak out against the life-destroying aspects of the Sharia law that Islamic jihadists want to impose on the rest of the world. The risk of offending Muslims is, in their calculus, apparently greater than the risk of national or civilizational suicide. Alexis de Tocqueville, according to Fallaci, explained that in dictatorial regimes, despotism strikes the body: the dissenter is tortured into silence. But in democratic regimes that have succumbed to corruption, despotism ignores the body and strikes at the soul. One is not tortured for dissent; instead, one is discredited for it. To affirm the patent fact that Islam is not a religion of peace today renders one “unelectable,” or “bigoted,” or beyond the bounds of what is fit to print. In despotic democratic regimes, Fallaci observed, everything can be spread except truth.
That is indeed the present-day situation. Most of the liberal and conservative mainstream not only will not feature trenchant criticisms like Fallaci’s of the violent and supremacist impulse within Islam; they will not even discuss them. Those who, like Fallaci, speak the truth about the motives and goals of the jihadists are vilified and marginalized, while the purveyors of comforting half-truths, distortions and lies fill the nation’s airwaves and newsprint. Fallaci herself faces the most frivolous of frivolous lawsuits in Italy for defamation of Islam; a Muslim group tried to have banned her searing, passionate response to 9/11, The Rage and the Pride.
Why does all this happen? In her speech Fallaci explained that it was to a great degree because “truth inspires fear.” When one hears the truth, one can only be silent or join the cause. It is a call to a personal revolution, an upheaval, a departure – perhaps forever – from a life of ease and comfort. So most will prefer not to hear the truth -- in no small part because of the difficulty of living up to it. Yet the real heroes, she said, are “those who raise their voices against anathemas and persecution,” while most succumb -- “and with their silence give their approval to the civil death of those who spoke out.”
“This,” Fallaci declared, “is what I have experienced the last four years.” She described how, since 9/11, the whole of Europe has become a “Niagara Falls of McCarthyism” – with the new Grand Inquisitors of the Left persecuting and victimizing all others. “In Europe, we too have our Ward Churchills, our Noam Chomskys, our Michael Moores, our Lewis Farrakhans.” And they are doing immense damage to the unity, will and cultural identity of the people. In Europe as in America, the new thought police ban Christmas observances to avoid offending Muslims; history is rewritten to depict Islam as having built a civilization of peace and mercy (regardless of the preponderance of evidence to the contrary), while Europe’s own Judeo-Christian civilization is regarded as “a spark of a cigarette – gone.” A spent force. In Leftist-controlled municipalities, police stand idly by while Muslim hooligans demonstrate their contempt for European society and culture by urinating upon and otherwise desecrating churches. Fallaci: “This is considered ‘freedom of expression’ – unless the offense is committed against Muslims.”
Meanwhile, the “religion of peace” myth and other falsehoods that interfere with our ability to defend ourselves are propagated aggressively by elected officials, the media, the Hollywood elite, and the justice system. Defenders of freedom are stripped of credibility and denied the means to get their message across. Or if they do get it across, they are not believed. “I really feel as a Cassandra,” said Fallaci, “or as one of the forgotten anti-fascists.” Yet she wears the Left’s attacks with defiant pride. “Since I wrote the trilogy (La Rabbia e l’Orgoglio (The Rage and the Pride), La Forza della Ragione (The Force of Reason), and L’Apocalisse (The Apocalypse), my real medals are the insults I get from the new McCarthyists.”
Fallaci told the audience that she faced three years in prison in Italy if convicted in her trial for hate speech. “But can hate be prosecuted by law? It is a sentiment. It is a natural part of life. Like love, it cannot be proscribed by a legal code. It can be judged, but only on the basis of ethics and morality. If I have the right to love, then I have the right to hate also.”
Hate? “Yes, I do hate the bin Ladens and the Zarqawis. I do hate the bastards who burn churches in Europe. I hate the Chomskys and Moores and Farrakhans who sell us to the enemy. I hate them as I used to hate Mussolini and Hitler. For the cause of freedom, this is my sacrosanct right.”
What’s more, Fallaci pointed out that Europe’s hate speech laws never seem to be used against the “professional haters, who hate me much more than I hate them”: the Muslims who hate as part of their ideology. While Fallaci faces three years in prison in Italy, “any Muslim can unhook a crucifix from a wall in a school or hospital and throw it into the garbage,” with little fear of consequences. Also unprosecuted, she said, were those responsible for a vile little publication entitled Islam Punishes Oriana Fallaci, which urges Muslims to kill her, invoking five Qur’anic passages about “perverse women.” In Italy Fallaci must be guarded around the clock; but no effort has been made to bring those who threatened her to justice.
Yet for all the isolation and the verbal abuse to which her enemies have subjected her, Fallaci remains indomitable – and has found an unlikely ally in Pope Benedict XVI, whom she warmly praised Monday night. Fallaci, who identified herself as an atheist (a “Catholic atheist”), was the first individual granted a private audience with the new Pope. She stated that the Islamic challenge had opened up a void in the West that only spirituality could fill – “unless the Church also misses its appointment with history. But I don’t think it will.”
Despite these warm words for the Pope and the ancient institution he heads, however, Fallaci announced that at the risk of disappointing many of her hearers, “I am not a conservative. I don’t sympathize with the Right more than I do with the Left. I cannot b associated with the Right or with the Left.” Why not? Because, she said, both Right and Left have been guilty of the “abuse of democracy, demagogic egalitarianism, denial of merit, tyranny of the majority, and lack of self-discipline” that are sapping the strength of Europe today. “Europe’s Islamic invasion has been backed by the Left, yes. But it would never have reached the point it has if the Right had not been complicit.”
Another indication of that complicity was, according to Fallaci, the American Right’s support for the entry of Turkey into the European Union – which both Fallaci and her friend in the Vatican oppose. “European citizens do not want Turkey in our home. Condoleeza Rice should stop exercising realpolitik at our expense.” And in America, she asked why the Right was so complacent before Leftist outrages such as the ongoing war against Christmas, the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama courthouse, the amending of the noise ordinance to allow for the Muslim call to prayer over loudspeakers (but not church bells) in Hamtramck, Michigan, and others. Why, she asked, was Ward Churchill not fired for calling the 9/11 victims “Little Eichmanns,” while Michael Graham was fired for suggesting that Islam might have something to do with present-day terrorism?
This, Fallaci concluded, is the war we are really fighting. “I do not see Islamic terrorism as the main weapon of the war that the sons of Allah have unleashed upon us. It is the bloodiest, but not the most pernicious or catastrophic aspect of this war.” Far more dangerous to the West in the long run is unrestricted Muslim immigration, which already has brought at least 25 million Muslims to Europe (not counting, Fallaci said, the huge numbers of illegal aliens). That number will double by 2016 and, as Bernard Lewis and others have predicted, almost certainly create a Muslim Europe by 2100.
Yet all this immigration has not been accompanied by integration and assimilation – not because of European racism, but by the Muslims’ own choice. Fallaci noted that many other groups have assimilated into European societies, but Muslims have not. “They don even care to learn our language. They only obey the rules and laws of Sharia.” They do not want to learn European ways; rather, “they want to impose on us their own habits and way of life. They have no intention of integrating with us. On the contrary, they demand that we integrate with them.” Today’s Islamic expansionism, therefore, does not need the armies and fleets with which the Ottoman Empire once terrorized Europe. It only needs the immigrants, whom short-sighted politicians and befuddled multiculturalists continue to welcome. Fallaci said that Europeans – French, Dutch, Germans, English, Italians – are about to reach the status of the Comanches, Cherokees, and Sioux: “We will end up on their reservation.” She noted that some Muslim spokesmen, confident of their imminent supremacy, already refer to non-Muslim Europeans as “indigenous people” or “aboriginals.”
What to do about all this? Establish dialogue with Muslim leaders? Try to strengthen moderate Islam? Fallaci was dismissive of both options. Muslims have no intention of entering into genuine dialogue with non-Muslims, she said, and “I do not believe in moderate Islam. What moderate Islam? Is it enough not to cut heads off? Moderate Islam is another invention of ours.” Adopting Western dress, she said, was easy; adopting Western values was not.
Then Fallaci threw down the gauntlet to the multicultural, politically correct, and fearful. “There is not,” she asserted, “good Islam or bad Islam. There is just Islam. And Islam is the Qur’an. And the Qur’an is the Mein Kampf of this movement. The Qur’an demands the annihilation or subjugation of the other, and wants to substitute totalitarianism for democracy. Read it over, that Mein Kampf. In whatever version, you will find that all the evil that the sons of Allah commit against themselves and against others is in it.” As jarring as such language is to contemporary sensibilities, Fallaci here made a statement of fact that can be verified or disproved. And indeed: Islamic terrorists such as Osama bin Laden, Zarqawi, and others have never hesitated to quote the Qur’an copiously to justify their actions. It remains for those who identify themselves as moderate Muslims to convince violent Muslims that they are misusing the Qur’an – if indeed they are – and should lay down their arms. They have had no notable success in this so far.
Fallaci’s a voice of rare courage. “I am not as young and energetic as you are,” she told the crowd Monday night. “I am hopelessly ill. I shall not last long.” When she is gone, we may hope – for all our sakes – that many others will be ready to step into the breach and speak the truth as she did, whatever the cost, as she did. As Oriana Fallaci so memorably demonstrated in her address on receiving the Annie Taylor Award, nothing less than our civilization itself is at stake.
US evangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson
drew a diatribe Tuesday, March 14, from American Christian and Muslim leaders
for descending in a new rant against Islam.
"At a time when inter-religious tensions around the world are at an all-time high, Robertson seems determined to throw gasoline on the fire," the BBC News Online quoted Reverend Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, as having said.
Calling the comments "grossly irresponsible," Lynn said it seems as if Robertson was "wrestling with demons of his own; namely intolerance and bigotry."
"To condemn an entire religion because of the behavior of some is deplorable," he said.
On his live television program The 700 Club, Robertson said anew Tuesday that "Islam is not a religion of peace", and "the goal of Islam, ladies and gentlemen whether you like it or not, is world domination."
He was responding to a news item about the reaction of Muslims in Europe to the publishing of cartoons that lampooned Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
He said the pictures of violent Muslim demonstrations against the cartoons "just shows the kind of people we're dealing with. These people are crazed fanatics, and I want to say it now: I believe it's motivated by demonic power. It is satanic and it's time we recognize what we're dealing with".
Lynn said it is imperative that Robertson issue an immediate and unequivocal apology.
"Because millions of viewers have already heard the inflammatory remarks. When will Robertson ever learn to think before he speaks?"
The offensive cartoons were first published by a Danish newspaper in September and then reprinted by papers across Europe.
The furor exposed a gulf of misunderstanding between the West, which defended the publication by citing the right of free speech, and Muslims who saw it a sort of blasphemy.
Nihad Awad, director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said US religious and political leaders must condemn Robertson's remarks in the strongest possible terms.
"The failure by mainstream religious and political leaders to challenge Mr. Robertson’s Islamophobic remarks will send the false message to Muslims worldwide that the majority of Americans agree with his hate-filled views," he said on the rights advocacy group's Web site.
"The constant, and largely unchallenged, drumbeat of anti-Muslim rhetoric is poisoning the public’s attitude toward ordinary American Muslims."
Two recent polls showed that almost half of Americans have a negative perception of Islam and that one in four of those surveyed have "extreme" anti-Muslim views.
The Washington Post’s report on the poll findings quoted experts who say negative attitudes about Islam are "fueled in part by political statements and media reports that focus almost solely on the actions of Muslim extremists."
"Islamophobic rhetoric inevitably translates into acts of bias, discrimination and even violence against Muslims," said Awad.
Robertson has repeatedly defamed Islam and Muslims on his program.
He once called Islam the "religion of the slavers" and said Americans who reverted to Islam exhibited "insanity."
Robertson had also criticized US President George W. Bush for calling Islam as a "religion of peace."
During a 2002 appearance on Fox News Channel's "Hannity & Colmes" program, Robertson smeared both Islam and the Prophet Muhammad.
His repeated ravings are part of a string of anti-Islamic remarks from prominent US evangelicals, chiefly Jerry Falwell and Franklin Graham.
Washington Post via IslamOnline.net & News Agencies
WASHINGTON, March 15, 2006
Aussie PM defends cleric after Q'uran remarks
May 05 2006
Australian Prime Minister John Howard stepped up to defend the country's
highest-ranking Catholic cleric on Friday after Cardinal George Pell sparked
controversy by saying the Q'uran was rife with "invocations to violence".
Pell, the traditionalist archbishop of Sydney, made the comments about the Islamic holy book during a speech to a United States audience earlier this year. The text of the address was posted on the archdiocese's website this week.
Speaking to a group of Catholic business leaders, Pell said an understanding of Islam was vital for the future of Western democracies.
He said the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States was "a wake-up call" that prompted him to read the Q'uran.
"I recommend that you too read this sacred text of the Muslims, because the challenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives," he said.
"In my own reading of the Q'uran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages," he said.
"Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited," he said.
A prominent Muslim spokesperson, Keysar Trad of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, chided Pell for making "ill-informed comments" which he called a "totally subjective, an off-the-cuff dismissal of the teachings of one of the world's great religions".
"I think there will be many Catholics out there who'll be cringing when they hear these comments, and they'll be saying 'what happened to the legacy of Pope John Paul 2?'," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
But Howard defended Pell as someone who "brings a great intellect" to the debate among religions.
"I'm quite sure he is not trying to be unhelpful," Howard said in a radio interview when asked about Pell's remarks.
"I know for a fact he's been a strong proponent of good relations between Christianity and Islam," he said.
Film on radical Islam a wake-up call to the West
By JOHN GLEESON, WINNIPEG SUN
June 1, 2006
Nonie Darwish was wowed by our gorgeous weather but she was less than impressed by one Winnipeg media outlet's shrill, torqued coverage of the documentary film she appears in, Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West.
Aspers sponsor hate film, say critics, roared the headline, despite the fact that only one critic is quoted in the story, an academic.
"This is not a hate film," Darwish told the packed house at Imax Theatre following a Wednesday night screening. "It is against hate, against terrorism."
Darwish went one further and said criticizing the film for not depicting "the other side" is like criticizing an account of Nazi atrocities for "not showing the other side about Hitler."
It was a pretty apt comparison, since the film delves into the extreme cult of death and hatred toward the West that prevails in many parts of the Arab world -- and, in particular, focuses on the state-sponsored brainwashing of Muslim children that is tragically fuelling global terrorism.
Indeed, one of the people interviewed in the film was a former Hitler Youth officer who draws chilling parallels between his own indoctrination and that of school-age children in the Middle East.
Darwish, who now lives in the U.S. but grew up in Egypt and Gaza in the 1950s, recalled having to recite poetry in school pledging jihad against Israel. "We would have tears in our eyes, pledging that we wanted to die," she said.
She was a prime candidate for indoctrination, since her father, a top Egyptian army intelligence officer and founder of the Fedayeen, became the first targeted assassination carried out by the Israeli Defence Forces. It took her many years, she said, to shed her hatred and understand that her father was killed because he ordered the killing of hundreds of Israelis.
Today, Darwish is an outspoken advocate for reconciliation and peace but says westerners are still kidding themselves about the nature and degree of the threat posed by radical Islamic terrorism, which she calls "a declaration of war against Western culture."
"America has to wake up because we are strangling ourselves with political correctness."
As a wake-up call to the West, Obsession sets the record straight on a number of important points that have been glossed over in the name of "not offending" the peaceful but too often silent majority of Muslims.
* Radical Islam is just that, a destructive and hate-filled interpretation of a belief system contained in the Qur'an. It may well be a false interpretation, it may only be shared by a small fraction of the world's 1.2-billion Muslims (though experts in the film estimate that 10% to 15% of Muslims support radical Islam) but to disavow any connection between the two is to deny the primary motivation of the enemy.
* Those who subscribe to the radical Islamic worldview are bent on nothing short of global conversion to Islam by force. "This religion will destroy all other religions by jihad," says a school primer used by Jordanian and Palestinian children.
* The "big sin" committed by westerners is not economic, military or cultural imperialism -- it is the fact that westerners are non-believers (kuffars). As one British-based radical cleric puts it in the film, being a kuffar in a Muslim land means you deserve to be enslaved or killed, "like a cow."
* The saturation o hate propaganda against the West -- the U.S. and Israel, in particular -- is much more pervasive in the Muslim world than most westerners realize.
In reality, says Darwish, despotic regimes use the West as a scapegoat to deflect attention from their own often considerable failures.
Standing before a receptive audience at Imax, she called on Muslims to stand up and speak out against the perversion of their faith by violent fanatics. That, of course, is the true remedy for radical Islamic terrorism.
For the rest of us, let's lose the blinders, shall we?
BROOKSVILLE, Fla., Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A prominent local Republican in Florida said Tuesday he believed Islam was a "hateful, frightening religion."
Tom Hogan, Sr., the recently appointed commissioner of Hernando County, told the St. Petersburg Times Tuesday that he agreed with a letter his wife Mary Ann had written to the paper describing Islam as a "hateful, frightening religion."
"Overall, worldwide, it certainly is," Hogan said. "Don't you read your own paper?
"There's a saying out there, and there's some truth to it, that not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. It's their thing," he told the newspaper.
Mrs. Hogan wrote her letter to the St. Petersburg Times last week in which she criticized county authorities for supporting the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr, the festival that marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Oct. 23, at a local mosque.
The St. Petersburg Times described Tom and Mary Ann Hogan as being "widely considered the first couple of Hernando County's Republican Party, and both have helped lead the party since the 1960s."
The paper said that local Muslim religious leaders in Hernando County "reacted with shock and dismay" to the Hogans' comments.
"We're deeply concerned about the hateful and racist nature of these comments," Ahmed Bedier, executive director of the Tampa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the newspaper. He said he would urge Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who appointed Hogan to the county commissioner's post less than three months ago, to fire him from it.
But Mary Ann Hogan told the St. Petersburg Times she was standing by her comments. "They can call it whatever they want to," she said. "I'm calling them barbarians. "
Threats on Islam sites could deter terrorists
By The Denver Post
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., speaks with supporters during a campaign stop at Silver Eagle Harley-Davidson/Buell motorcycle dealership in Waterloo, Iowa, Saturday, May 12, 2007. Tancredo participated in a local annual motorcycle ride of ABATE of Iowa, a statewide motorcycle safety and awareness group. (AP | Scott Mussell, The Waterloo Courier)
Washington - Republican presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo says the best way he can think of to deter a nuclear terrorist attack on the U.S. is to threaten to retaliate by bombing Islamic holy sites.
The Colorado congressman on Tuesday told about 30 people at a town-hall meeting in Osceola, Iowa, that he believes such a terrorist attack could be imminent and that the U.S. needs to hurry up and think of a way to stop it.
"If it is up to me, we are going to explain that an attack on this homeland of that nature would be followed by an attack on the holy sites in Mecca and Medina," Tancredo said at the Family Table restaurant. "Because that's the only thing I can think of that might deter somebody from doing what they otherwise might do."
Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia, are Islam's holiest cities.
A Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group responded Thursday, calling Tancredo's statement "unworthy of anyone seeking public office in the United States."
"Perhaps it's evidence of a long-shot candidate grasping at straws and trying to create some kind of a controversy that might appeal to a niche audience of anti-Muslim bigots," said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
This isn't the first time Tancredo has suggested such action.
In 2005, he drew international criticism after he told a radio talk-show host that "you could take out" Islamic holy sites if terrorists ever launched a nuclear attack against the United States.
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