Geert Wilders is the latest in a lengthening roster of Europeans who have been criminally prosecuted for criticizing Islam. Under the slogans of stopping "Islamophobia" and banning "defamation" or "insult" of Islam, for two decades a concerted demand has been made for the West to enforce Islamic blasphemy rules, as is customary in certain member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
The Netherlands has been among the many EU states struggling to comply. In the name of liberalism, it has enacted laws criminalizing "hate speech," with grossly illiberal results. A sample of the Dutch cases shows that the desire to protect minorities is a self-deluding piety in these circumstances. What really lies at the root of these vaguely defined and arbitrarily adjudicated cases is fear of Muslim violence.
One of the earliest such Western cases occurred in the Netherlands in 1992, a few years after Iran's fatwa against Salman Rushdie triggered murders of "blasphemers" connected with his book The Satanic Verses. A Muslim cabaret artist of Pakistani background, "Zola F," was found guilty of authoring an unflattering book about Muslim immigration, entitled The Impending Ruin of the Netherlands, Country of Gullible Fools. This created the anomaly of a white court condemning a brown immigrant for "racist hate speech."
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an ex-Muslim of African heritage who became a Dutch parliamentarian, was similarly prosecuted. She was charged for criticizing the Islamic teaching on killing homosexuals. Already known for her role in co-directing Submission (the film on abuses against Muslim women that led to the 2004 murder by a Muslim extremist of her co-director, Theo Van Gogh), she announced plans for a sequel on the treatment of homosexuals in Islam. This prompted the Netherlands' main Muslim lobby to register a complaint that her remarks were "blasphemous and have been received with a great deal of pain by the Muslim community." In 2005, after two years of legal proceedings for "incitement" to hatred, during which time she received numerous death threats and had to go into hiding, a court finally decided that although she had "sought the borders of the acceptable," her speech did not warrant prohibition, and she was let off.
Hate-speech arrests occurred in the aftermath of the Van Gogh murder. When an artist in Rotterdam painted a street mural that included the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" next to the date of Van Gogh's murder, a local mosque leader complained to police that the message was "racist." The police, on orders of the mayor, sandblasted the mural and arrested a television reporter at the scene and destroyed his film. Another Dutch man hung in his window a poster for a far-right movement that stated, "Stop the tumor that is Islam. Theo has died for us. Who will be next?" After being convicted by two lower courts, he finally prevailed on appeal.
Widespread Muslim violence and protest over the Danish cartoons of Mohammed has put Dutch officials on high alert for provocative caricaturists. In 2008, after an Internet monitoring group reported him to authorities for cartoons deemed insulting to Muslims, the edgy Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot was arrested. Police seized his computer's hard drive and cartoon sketches. The cartoons in question opposed Muslim immigration in various tasteless ways. Nekschot remains under suspicion of "insulting people on the basis of their race or belief, and possibly also of inciting hate," and could face two years in prison or a $25,000 fine if prosecuted. During the course of this case, it was revealed that the Dutch government had established an "Interdepartmental Working Group on Cartoons," apparently to apprise officials of any drawings that Muslims could find insulting.
The Wilders case is not unique, but it is important. It demonstrates the continued willingness of authorities in Europe's most liberal countries to regulate the content of speech on Islam in order to placate Muslim blasphemy demands. Few such cases end in conviction, but their chilling effect on free speech within and on Islam continues to widen.
- Nina Shea directs the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom and co-authored the forthcoming book Silenced (Oxford University Press), on contemporary blasphemy rules.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s Supreme Court has ruled that a man has the right to discipline his wife and young children as long as the beating leaves no physical marks.
The wife suffered injuries to her lower lip and teeth, and the daughter had bruises on her right hand and right knee. The court also ruled that the bruises were evidence that the father had abused his Sharia right.
"Although the [law] permits the husband to use his right [to discipline], he has to abide by the limits of this right," the National quoted Chief Justice Falah al-Hajeri, as saying in a court document. The court further ruled that a father does not have the right to beat his children after they become adults. "He is not allowed, according to Sharia, to beat his daughter, who is 23 years old," the Chief Justice said.
Massachusettes State Senator Wants To Partner With the American Muslim Task Force
The following letter is posted on the website Ikwanophobia, which is an Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website. It certainly seems authentic (hat tip: GMBDR):
I want to thank you and the American Muslim Task Force to inviting me to part of your organization's Town Hall forum on issues important to the Muslim-American community last night at India Kabob and Grill in Shrewsbury. I'm hoping you can pass on this message from me to all of the people who attended the forum last night, and the other members of the Task Force.
I really enjoyed the conversations with my fellow panelists and the audience on a wide range of concerns that were expressed, including civil rights, human rights, economic development, public education, and taxes.
I am very moved by the warm reception that I received, and was encouraged by the idea of creating a multi-cultural, multi-racial coalition to support the positions that I as a proud progressive Democrat are the foundation of my principles and beliefs. If I can be of any help in helping support the establishment of that coalition, please be in touch, and of course I hope to attend that meeting.
I did not mention during the Town Hall forum that I do have a re-election this year, and would be honored to have the support of the Muslim-American community. To that point, if anyone would like to volunteer on the campaign, they can contact Kelsey Smithwood, my Field Director, at [email protected] or 978-202-3071, or stop by my campaign office at 19 Main Street in downtown Hudson.
Further, if members would like to support me in another way, they can make a donation to my re-election campaign, as my Republican opponent does not share the same views that I do. To make a donation, members can go towww.JamieElridge.com to donate online, or send a donation to: the Jamie Eldridge Committee, P.O. Box 641, Acton, MA. Certainly if you or other leaders in the Muslim-American community would like to host a fundraiser for me, that would be extremely helpful, and would give me another opportunity to address the concerns of the Muslim American community in Massachusetts.
Once again, thank you so much for inviting me to attend the American Muslim Task Force last night, and I feel that I have many new friends and supporters from the excellent, thoughtful discussion.
AMT is the latest umbrella group of made up of Muslim Brotherhood fronts, such as MAS and ISNA.
DALLAS - A 20-year-old Jordanian man caught in an FBI sting trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper was depressed and slept by his mother's grave after her death from cancer, his father testified Monday during a sentencing hearing.
Hosam Smadi faces up to life in prison after pleading guilty in May to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. Under his plea agreement, however, it is likely he will receive a 30-year sentence and then face deportation.
Smadi's father said his son also stopped eating after his mother died of brain cancer about five years ago.
According to the pleading documents, Smadi acknowledged leaving what he thought was a truck bomb in a garage beneath the 60-story Fountain Place building in September 2009. Smadi said he parked the truck, started a timer connected to the decoy provided by undercover FBI agents, then rode away to watch the explosion.
Smadi dialed a cell phone number from the roof of a nearby parking garage, where he had planned to watch the explosion. The number was supposed to set off his truck bomb. It instead alerted tactical agents hiding in a stairwell, who swarmed the rooftop and arrested the teenager.
Many of us have had to deal with the death of loved ones. Very few feel that a mass-murder would be the ticket to happiness.
The Corriere della Sera today reports that among the prehistoric finds at a site in the Mugello, in Tuscany, remnants have been identified of the earliest known bread, some 30,000 years old. If you are overwhelmed at summer's end with over-ripe tomatoes, and are in the mood for pappa al pomodoro, but need a bread dry enough to soak up all the juice, this Tuscan find could come in handy.
Ha 30mila anni il primo pane
18 Ottobre 2010
(ANSA) - ROMA - Risale a 30.000 anni fa il primo pane della storia. Le tracce del pane piu' antico del mondo sono state scoperte in Toscana, a Bilancino in Mugello,in un insediamento preistorico portato alla luce negli anni '90. A incuriosire i paleontologi sono stati due pezzi di arenaria dalla forma inconfondibile: gallette cotte su pietre arroventate, nutrienti e dal sapore gradevole. Analisi di laboratorio hanno permesso di estrarre gli amidi rimasti provenienti dalle radici di una pianta palustre.
Plans To Transfer Still More Money To Muslim Pakistan To Save It From The Consequences Of Islam
The squandering of trillions, trillions transferred from the American government to Muslim states and peoples -- two trillion for the Iraq venture, one trillion for Afghanistan, and hundreds of billions in aid transferred to Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, the "Palestinian" Authority -- --all because those in charge of policy in the American government, which itself has come to resemble Baby Huey, the very large and very stupid cartoon character of yore -- apparently cannot stop to think about the meaning and menace of islam, which would logically cause them to seek to exploit, rather than to vainly move heaven and earth to men, and even end, the pre-existing sectarian, ethnic, and economic fissures with which the Camp of islam is riven.