Monthly Archives: September 2011

Take your secret Saudi threats and shove 'em

TAKE YOUR SECRET SAUDI THREATS AND SHOVE ‘EM

By Ezra Levant ,QMI Agency (September 19, 2011)

Saudi Arabia has hired lawyers to threaten Canadian broadcasters who dare to run a TV ad critical of Saudi conflict oil.

I know this because I am the volunteer chairman of EthicalOil.org, the non-profit website that promotes Canada’s oilsands as an ethical alternative to the conflict oil of Saudi Arabia and other OPEC dictatorships.

Alykhan Velshi, who runs EthicalOil.org, produced a 30-second TV ad comparing the treatment of women in Canada with the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia. That’s a place where women can’t drive, can’t vote and can’t even get medical care without the permission of their husbands/owners.

Compare that to Canada, where the mayor of the oilsands capital, Fort McMurray, is a young woman named Melissa Blake

.

Saudi Arabia doesn’t like criticism like that, though. They are a fascist state without a free press or any opposition political parties. And now they’ve hired one of the world’s largest law firms, a 2,600-lawyer monstrosity called Norton Rose, to threaten Canada’s media into silence, too.

Rahool Agarwal, one of the lawyers at Norton Rose, has been contacting broadcasters across Canada, threatening them if they air the ad. Already two networks have capitulated in the face of such threats, including CTV, Canada’s biggest private broadcaster. Agarwal has also threatened EthicalOil.org with a lawsuit, too. He won’t say for what — he clearly has no legal case. But the point is silencing dissent. And it’s working.

The only way we heard about this campaign of threats was when one concerned Canadian who received a threat tipped us off. When our lawyer contacted Agarwal, he sounded genuinely surprised that he was caught. The Saudis prefer to operate under the radar.

Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Canada. They’re an enemy of the West. They’re an enemy of freedom. This is not a new revelation. Fifteen out of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden was from a prominent Saudi family. Saudi Arabia continues to finance terrorism around the world.

Normally, Islamic extremists focus their hatred on the Great Satan — the United States. But Canada is now an enemy of the Saudis, too. Because we’re competitors to them for oil. Within ten years, the oilsands could totally replace Saudi exports to the U.S.

Recently, Saudi billionaire Prince Walid bin Talal said it was in his country’s interest not to let the price of oil get too high, lest alternative sources of oil become practical. Well, the largest unconventional oil reserves in the world are in the oilsands. He didn’t use the word, but he clearly meant it.

Like Greenpeace, the Saudis hate our oilsands. They’re usually content to let Greenpeace do the heavy lifting. But this time, the Saudis were caught red-handed.

The oilsands can take care of themselves. But what about Canada’s media? At least two broadcasters have already caved to this Saudi legal pressure. The Saudis are destroying our culture of freedom and replacing it with their sharia culture of tyranny and bullying.

Foreign Minister John Baird must summon the Saudi ambassador at once. If their foreign meddling and bullying doesn’t cease immediately, he should be expelled.

Canada is free, and our media should be free — no matter what some dictatorship wants, and what that dictatorship’s well-paid lawyers threaten in secret.

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/19/take-your-secret-saudi-threats-and-shove-em

 

Also Read:

 

http://www.ethicaloil.org/news/saudi-arabia-moves-to-censor-canadian-tv-ad/

 

 

Salim Mansur "Delectable Lie" excerpt

Culture clash 

New book charges multiculturalism threatens democracy

By Salim Mansur, QMI Agency

 

In March 2010, a rare and unusual debate took place in the Senate of the Canadian Parliament. The subject of the debate was on a motion moved by the Conservative Senator Doug Finley, the "Erosion of Freedom of Speech."

 

In his remarks, Finley urged his fellow Senators consider the extent to which free speech in Canada was under siege from officially appointed censors in the human rights commissions, in the media, in the universities, and those self-appointed who could mobilize a mob to shut down speech they disapproved. He reminded his peers that Canada inherited the tradition of free speech from Great Britain and France, and that it "is as Canadian as maple syrup, hockey and the northern lights."

 

But then Finley said: "Yet, despite our 400-year tradition of free speech, the tyrannical instinct to censor still exists. We saw it on a university campus last week, and we see it every week in Canada's misleadingly named human rights commissions."

 

The reference to university was the University of Ottawa's cancellation of a speaking event for Ann Coulter, a right-wing American political commentator and author, due to fears that student demonstrations against her views might incite violence. But the odd thing in this decision was even before Ms. Coulter would have spoken, she was cautioned in a letter by François Houle, the university's vice-president, that promoting "hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges."

 

The incremental assault on free speech, through such mechanism as Section 13.1 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, that forbids any speech which likely might cause offense to people on the grounds of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, has had an effect on public opinion in Canada.

Senator Finley's effort in defending free speech was an indicator of this effect. But there were other indicators that public opinion in the West was increasingly uneasy since 9/11 with multiculturalism as an ideology and official policy undermining the core liberal value of freedom based on individual rights and responsibilities.

 

Since 9/11 the Muslim population in the West has not shown forthrightness and determination in repudiating Islamism as an ideology that increasingly makes a mockery of Islam as a peaceful religion tolerant of other faith-traditions or in isolating the Islamists.

 

In Europe, in particular, there is concern about what the growth of Muslim immigrants means for the continent's culture and for liberal democracy. Muslims in Europe are now estimated to number in around 38 million, or about 5% of the population. In contrast, Muslims account for less than 1% of the total population of Canada and the United States. These numbers will increase relatively quickly through immigration, especially under the family re-unification policy, and a higher fertility rate within the Muslim immigrant communities than among the native non-Muslim population.

 

It is the meaning of these numbers projected into the future that raises alarm, especially among those Europeans who fear their culture is being undermined by the twin forces of immigration and multiculturalism.

 

Multiculturalism has meant immigrants are not required to assimilate into the host culture. In the years after 9/11, however, the public concern with erosion of free speech, fear of home grown terrorism, levels of immigration from non-Western cultures, and unemployment among newly arriving immigrants that strained the welfare benefits and social security arrangements in liberal democracies required of politicians to respond.

 

But in liberal democracies elected politicians are generally followers, instead of makers and leaders of public opinion. Caution is a habit bred in successful politicians, of not being either too far ahead or too far behind the public on issues that might turn out to be of importance during elections. Reading the public mood is something of an art, and success in politics requires the art of gauging well the public mood and responding accordingly.

 

The response that startled Europe came from Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel addressing a youth meeting of her ruling party, the Christian Democratic Union in October 2010.Merkel remarked, "At the start of the 60s we invited the guest-workers to Germany. We kidded ourselves for a while that they wouldn't stay, that one day they'd go home. That isn't what happened. And of course the tendency was to say: Let's be 'multikulti' and live next to each other and enjoy being together, (but) this concept has failed, failed utterly."

 

Merkel's announcement on the failure of multiculturalism as an official policy was hugely important. Germany is the largest and richest member of the European Union, and given its history, Germans have been guarded and reluctant in speaking about their unease with a policy that would brand them as bigots or worse.

 

But Merkel was not alone. A few months later in February 2011, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking at a security conference in Munich, joined Merkel in declaring "multiculturalism has failed." He called for a stronger national identity and the need for "more active, muscular liberalism." Cameron's words were a useful reminder that liberalism is a fighting creed, and freedom cannot be taken for granted.

 

In April 2011, France became the first European state to officially ban the "burka"–the veil worn by some Muslim women covering the entire face–in public.

 

The French measure could be viewed as somewhat of an extreme response directed at a very small number of Muslim women wearing the full veil in public, and infringing upon their liberty to dress as they please. But the dress code for women in Muslim countries under pressure from the fundamentalists, as in Saudi Arabia or Iran, had been politicized, and it indicated the public segregation of men and women in an Islamic society.

 

The importation of such custom by Muslim immigrants to the West and its practice, however limited in numbers, also came to symbolize in the post-9/11 world a repudiation of liberal and secular values that had brought about the gains of the feminist movement. The French law against wearing "burka" indicated tolerance for those intolerant wilfully, or by custom, of liberal values had worn thin.

 

Taken together the openly stated views of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, the decision of the French government to legislate the banning of burka, and the acquittal by the Netherlands Court of Appeals of Geert Wilders of all charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims as a visible minority group, showed that despite nearly half-century of official multiculturalism the political philosophy of liberalism as the keystone principle of the modern West was not entirely eroded. At a minimum Britain, France and Germany together as the three largest members of the European Union let it be known that containment, or pushing back, of official multiculturalism needed to be publicly discussed.

 

Excerpt from Delectable Lie: A Liberal Repudiation of Multiculturalism by Salim Mansur and published by Mantua Books (Canada). The passages printed with permission from the publisher and author.

 

 

 

The Prince Arthur Herald at McGill

Giving conservative students a voice

Barbara Kay, National Post · Sept. 7, 2011 | Last Updated: Sept. 7, 2011 3:04 AM ET

They say journalism is the first draft of history. And we know the average newsroom, let alone the editorial section, is far more liberal than the electorate. How did our first-drafters come to be so ideologically skewed? Hardly any went to a formal journalism school. But a lot of them did apprentice at an informal school of a sort: the campus newspaper.

Most students aren't interested in reading or writing for the opinion section of campus newspapers, but those who are, are ambitious: They often go on to positions of influence in politics and the mainstream media. Since the Sixties, big-campus newspapers have been hotbeds of left-wing ideology and even of useful idiocy for the West's sworn enemies. And many of them not only have no competition, they are generously funded by their institutions (via mandatory student fees) to encourage radicalism.

I well remember my recoil from the shrill rantings of The McGill Daily when I arrived at McGill for graduate studies in the politically tumultuous Sixties. To say that the Daily had a left-wing agenda is an understatement. It wasn't just the editorials and opinion columnists: The entire paper was essentially one long diatribe against capitalism and the United States, every news item a springboard to further Marxist agitprop. Except that it is published semi-weekly rather than daily, and Israel is now vilified as well as America, the Daily's self-righteous agenda hasn't much changed since then, by my young McGill friends' account.

But why, in our infinitely expandable digital world, when print journalism is in decline, and access to the Daily is available online, is any student newspaper being allotted $150,000 in grants and tuition levies, as the Daily is, to put out 3,000 print copies of a newspaper written by ideologues and read by mere hundreds?

That's a question five conservative-minded students, whose talents were unwelcome at the Daily, asked themselves last year, and promptly answered by starting their own online, opinion-heavy student newspaper promoting a staunchly conservative perspective.

The bilingual Prince Arthur Herald (PAH), named for the McGill ghetto's principal artery, was launched unofficially last winter at a start-up cost of $150. Fundraising brought in $11,000, enough to pay a web designer and to formally incorporate at the federal level. And that's the PAH's total expenditure so far. Distribution is executed entirely through social media: about 15% of readers come directly through Google and over 75% via Facebook. As of August 29, the PAHpage on Facebook had 515 "likes," high for a student newspaper (The McGill Daily has 700). In its peak months of March and April, the site recorded about 1,500 unique IP addresses (all of McGill is one IP address, so the number of readers could even be higher). PAH columns have been cited twice in Parliament, and one of the French columns was cited in the Journal de Montréal. A promising beginning.

Last week I interviewed one of PAH's founders and its CFO, thirdyear McGill political science student, Alexandre Meterissian. Alex is pumped, radiating confidence and passion for the venture. He tells me the board of directors, eight editors, two publishers and about 50 writers – from McGill, Queen's and the University of Ottawa – are committed to putting out a responsible, quality product targeting a cross-country student constituency. The PAH aims to be "the Canadian conservative student's Huffington Post," whose credibility will be unassailable.

Now 90% opinion-oriented, an investigative news section is under construction, but will grow only as revenues do. They have what sounds like a feasible plan of bull's-eye marketing, based on cutting-edge software. Let's hope it works, because its financial independence or bust for PAH. "We started out with the premise that we would never ever take any public money," Alex proudly asserts. "That's what unites us." There's no affirmative action at PAH – so far all the players are male, but only because that's who expressed interest – and contributions are merit-based.

I've read several of the opinion pieces on PAH. The writing is cautious, rational and self-consciously measured in tone. That's understandable. They're newbies building a brand. But they are tackling the right subjects. A January editorial critiqued The McGill Daily's call for a ban on campus military recruitment; a March editorial took a mature, thoughtful stand against the excesses of Israel Apartheid Week; an August opinion piece in French scolded the Confédération des Syndicats Nationaux for its collusion with Hugo Chavez.

All National Post readers should wish PAH well. Unofficially, it's the Post's journalistic farm team. See for yourself at princearthurherald.com.

bkay@videotron.ca

 

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/Giving+conservative+students+voice/5361569/story.html

Iran and the EMP Threat

 

We are not prepared for an electromagnetic pulse attack. Iran is almost prepared to launch one. September 12, 2011 – 12:00 am – by 'Reza Kahlili'

The first thing they will notice is there is no power. Another damn power outage, they will grumble — but then again, there has been no storm. Confused, some will try to call for information, but the phones will be down. The TV, the radio — nothing, no reception.

The panic will come when cars won’t start.

The traffic lights will be out, too. It will get much worse. Most will not survive to see life get back to normal in America.

Thousands will be stranded on subways, and over a million passengers who fly daily across the continent will be stuck at airports with flights canceled. Those already in the air will meet a deadly fate as planes plunge from the sky, their electronics fried.

Within the next few days, water supplies will run out: water-pumping stations will grind to a halt and electric pumps for water purification will also stop. Remaining water supplies will soon become contaminated.

Next is the food supply. Without power, food plants can no longer operate, and without transportation, food inventories in warehouses rot. Many cities will run out of food in just three days, others in just a bit longer.

This will be the result of an electromagnetic pulse attack over the atmosphere of the United States. In less than a billionth of a second, the electrical intensity on Earth becomes so hot that microchips fry, power lines overload, and the electrical grid collapses. Everything with microelectronics in it fails.

Within days, tens of millions of Americans will need to leave their homes looking for water and food. Within five to 10 days, due to water pollution and sanitation issues, many will fall ill — people across America will face starvation, disease, and death. In just one year after the attack, up to two-thirds of the American population will cease to exist.

Our enemies know this. The radicals ruling Iran have openly talked about it as they have called for the destruction of America and a new world order that excludes America. While pursuing their nuclear bomb project, the Revolutionary Guards of Iran have successfully test-launched a ballistic missile from a ship in the Caspian Sea. Recently, they also announced that all their vessels now have been armed with long-range ballistic missiles, and that soon they will start a mission in the Atlantic Ocean that extends into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Guards have also progressed with their missile program under the guise of a space project. Soon they will launch another rocket into space, this time carrying a 330-kilogram payload, a sign that they can now deliver a nuclear warhead to any point on Earth. The Guards have openly stated that the rocket used to launch the satellite can be shot parallel to the Earth’s orbit, which would transform it into an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Islamic leaders of Iran see it as their duty to create the environment called for in a centuries-old hadith for the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah for the glorification of Allah:

In the last days chaos, famine and havoc will engulf the Earth. Major wars with dark clouds (atomic wars) will burn the Earth. One-third of the Earth’s population will be killed and the rest will suffer hunger and lawlessness.

Though an EMP attack on America by the jihadists in Tehran must not be ruled out, our modern society in America could also be endangered by a natural phenomenon. Solar explosions from the sun have hit the Earth before and will do so again. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted that a major solar storm could hit in May of 2013. A similar storm in 1859, known as the “Carrington event,” hit telegraph offices worldwide, causing failure in the telegraph system. Today such an event could be catastrophic due to the role microchips play in our infrastructure.

We can avoid such catastrophes if we, as responsible citizens of the United States, take action. The SHIELD Act (H.R. 668), currently before the U.S. House, needs to be passed this year. If it isn’t, it could very well be too late to protect the national electric grid.

The SHIELD Act would empower the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to work with industry and other government departments and agencies to protect the national electric grid from EMP threats. The act would ensure that the United States has enough extra-high-voltage transformers to survive and recover from an EMP event.

The act also would provide a financial mechanism to pay for the protection of the grid. The FERC estimates that the cost for protecting the electric grid would add only 20 cents to the annual bill of the average rate-payer for a period of three years.

It is critical that we call on our political leaders to take action and protect America. If we fail, we have only ourselves to blame.

The next attack on America could very well be the end of America.

Also read: Lawsuit: Iran behind 9/11?

RCMP say homegrown terror suspects preparing to build IED's

RCMP say homegrown terror suspects were preparing to build IEDs

  

By Andrew Seymour, Ottawa Citizen August 26, 2010

  

Hiva Alizadeh and Misbahuddin Ahmed appeared at the Elgin Street courthouse in Ottawa Thursday on terrorism charges following searches at two Ottawa homes by local police, RCMP and CSIS Wednesday.

OTTAWA — Three men arrested in Ottawa Wednesday were preparing to build improvised explosive devices for attacks in Canada, police say.

They were also raising money to fund IEDs for attacks on Canadian troops in Afghanistan, RCMP Chief Supt. Serge Therriault said Thursday at a news conference.

Two of the accused — Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh, 30, who is believed to be a former electrical engineering technology student, and Misbahuddin Ahmed, 26, an X-ray technician — were arrested in Ottawa on Wednesday. The third, 28-year-old Khurram Syed Sher, a doctor who once auditioned for Canadian Idol, was arrested in London, Ont.

The arrests were the product of a multi-force investigation, dubbed Operation Samossa and involving the RCMP, Ottawa police, Quebec provincial police, CSIS and the Canadian Border Services Agency. It began in September 2009 and is ongoing, Therriault said. Therriault said investigators believe the three men are part of a terrorist group in Canada and have links to international terrorism. "This group posed a real and serious threat to citizens of the National Capital Region and our national security," Therriault said.

Police declined to identify the targets of the alleged bombers, explaining that would be revealed during court proceedings.

The accused allegedly pursued terrorism plans in Ottawa and other Canadian sites, as well as Iran, Dubai and Pakistan, Therriault said.

Investigators seized more than 50 electronic circuit boards designed to trigger IEDs remotely, he said, as well as videos, schematics, drawings and manuals on the construction of IEDs.

There was also evidence that one member of the group had received training in building and detonating such devices, he said.

The three are accused of conspiring with at least three others — James Lara, Rizgar Alizadeh and Zakaria Mamosta — and other "persons unknown," who at one time or another were located in Canada, Iran, Afghanistan, Dubai and Pakistan to facilitate a "terrorist activity" between February 2008 and Aug. 24 of this year.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, speaking in Tuktoyaktuk, Nunavut during a stop on his Arctic tour, said Thursday that the arrests highlight that Canada is not immune from terror threats. "Unfortunately, I do think this incident does once again serve to remind us that Canada does face some very real threats in the troubled world in which we live," Harper said. "The reality is that Canada faces an array of security threats.

"The networks that threaten us are worldwide. They exist not only in remote countries, but . . . through globalization (and) through the Internet, they have links through our country and all throughout the world."

Hiva Alizadeh, who is believed to be an Iranian Kurd, is also charged with making or having an explosive device in his possession with intent to endanger life or cause serious damage to property for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with a terrorist group. He is also charged with directly or indirectly making available property or financial services knowing that they will be used to benefit a terrorist group. Those offences are alleged to have occurred between September 2009 and Aug. 24.

Hiva Alizadeh and Ahmed appeared briefly in an Ottawa courtroom Thursday before returning to jail pending an appearance by video next Wednesday.

The Montreal-born Sher, a 2005 graduate of McGill University medical school, was arrested in London, Ont., where he recently moved to work as a pathologist at the nearby St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital. In 2006, he was in Pakistan during the relief efforts after an earthquake in Kashmir.

Sher's father-in-law, Dr. Sajid Shukoor, said his daughter's marriage to Sher was arranged. A third party introduced him to the Shukoor family and they immediately took a liking to him. The couple married in 2005 and have three children. "We thought he was a good guy," Shukoor said. "He's a very loving and good father."

The others identified in the court documents as being involved in the conspiracy — Lara, Rizgar Alizadeh and Mamosta — do not appear to have been charged.

"He seemed like a nice young guy," said Robert Farrell, who rents the property to Ahmed, his wife, and their infant daughter. Ahmed, who works as an X-ray technician at the Ottawa Hospital, rented the home about a year ago. Guy Morency, the hospital's director of diagnostic imaging, said he "was a very good, reliable technologist." Hospital officials were told by security officials three months ago that Ahmed was the subject of an investigation.

Someone with the name Hiva Mohammad Alizadeh enrolled at Winnipeg's Red River College in 2003 to take English as a second language classes. He returned in the fall of 2008 to begin the 3 1/2-year electrical engineering technology course, but dropped out in the second term.

Questions now turn to the origin, scope and planning of the alleged plot. Also to be determined are the backgrounds and roles of the accused, whether they're "homegrown," self-radicalized extremists with little or no training, skilled operatives affiliated with and financed by the global terror network or secondary players providing logistics and material support. Increasingly, the primary jihadist threat to the West emanates from regional Islamist groups and grassroots followers.

National security officials have issued repeated warnings over the past year about the threat violent extremism poses within Canada and abroad.

"There are people inside our country who for one reason or another have become radicalized," Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said Thursday.

"That's why I've stated Canadians need to be vigilant in terms of expressing and reporting that kind of concern should they come across suspicious or disconcerting incidents," said Toews.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service recently revealed it is tracking more than 200 people in Canada with possible links to as many as 50 terrorist groups.

Story reported by Andrew Seymour, Ian MacLeod, Kristy Nease, Glen McGregor, Meghan Hurley, Don Butler, Chris Cobb, Gary Dimmock, Jennifer Pagliaro and Jennifer Green, with files from Winnipeg Free Press and the National Post.

Video:

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

 
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/RCMP+homegrown+terror+suspects+were+preparing+build+IEDs/3445591/story.html#ixzz1XlrqkSDu

Michael Coren and the Dalai Lama

Michael Coren: Dalai Lama Duped into Promoting Islamic Fundamentalism

Écrit par Point de Bascule on 08 Septembre 2011. Posted in Actualités d'ici et d'ailleurs

During a discussion broadcasted on Sun TV that was dedicated to the interreligious conference that took place in Montreal on September 7, 2011, Michael Coren reasserted that he is a devout Catholic and a true advocate of freedom of expression. He mentioned that it may not be pleasing for him when others make fun of his religion but "now I am a big boy" and "I can take it".

Asked to comment on whether or not all religions were to blame for violence, Coren answered as follows:

"Stop bombing people, stop blowing up planes, stop committing suicide bomb(ing)s, stop cutting the throats of children, stop murdering innocent people. When Mormons do that, when Mennonites do that, we can talk about all religions".

"At the moment, almost exclusively, the religion that produces people, not all Muslims, but the religion that produces these attacks is Islam. And we have here an Islamic scholar who pretends to be a moderate but is quite extreme, and I think the Dalai Lama, the man… There’s a supreme calmness about him and a decency, but I think that there’s naiveté too."

"He knows what extremism can do and he is playing it to their hands."

(…) "What he's done, I don’t think he meant to do this, is to say to people who are extreme in nature 'you're ok'. They are not ok".

Watch full video (5 minutes:

 

http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/actualites/10002454-micheal-coren-dala%C3%AF-lama-duped-into-promoting-islamic-fondamentalism.html

 

 

 

Gagging us Softly by Mark Steyn

 

 

GAGGING US SOFTLY BY MARK STEYN

 

Tuesday, 06 September 2011

In this anniversary week, it's sobering to reflect that one of the more perverse consequences of 9/11 has been a remorseless assault on free speech throughout the west. I regret to say that, in my new book, I predect this trend will only accelerate in the years ahead. The essay below was written as last week's National Review cover story:

To be honest, I didn’t really think much about “freedom of speech” until I found myself the subject of three “hate speech” complaints in Canada in 2007. I mean I was philosophically in favor of it, and I’d been consistently opposed to the Dominion’s ghastly “human rights” commissions and their equivalents elsewhere my entire adult life, and from time to time when an especially choice example of politically correct enforcement came up I’d whack it around for a column or two.

But I don’t think I really understood how advanced the Left’s assault on this core Western liberty actually was. In 2008, shortly before my writing was put on trial for “flagrant Islamophobia” in British Columbia, several National Review readers e-mailed from the U.S. to query what the big deal was. C’mon, lighten up, what could some “human rights” pseudo-court do? And I replied that the statutory penalty under the British Columbia “Human Rights” Code was that Maclean’s, Canada’s biggest-selling news weekly, and by extension any other publication, would be forbidden henceforth to publish anything by me about Islam, Europe, terrorism, demography, welfare, multiculturalism, and various related subjects. And that this prohibition would last forever, and was deemed to have the force of a supreme-court decision. I would in effect be rendered unpublishable in the land of my birth. In theory, if a job opened up for dance critic or gardening correspondent, I could apply for it, although if the Royal Winnipeg Ballet decided to offer Jihad: The Ballet for its Christmas season I’d probably have to recuse myself.

And what I found odd about this was that very few other people found it odd at all. Indeed, the Canadian establishment seems to think it entirely natural that the Canadian state should be in the business of lifetime publication bans, just as the Dutch establishment thinks it entirely natural that the Dutch state should put elected leaders of parliamentary opposition parties on trial for their political platforms, and the French establishment thinks it appropriate for the French state to put novelists on trial for sentiments expressed by fictional characters. Across almost all the Western world apart from America, the state grows ever more comfortable with micro-regulating public discourse—and, in fact, not-so-public discourse: Lars Hedegaard, head of the Danish Free Press Society, has been tried, been acquitted, had his acquittal overruled, and been convicted of “racism” for some remarks about Islam’s treatment of women made (so he thought) in private but taped and released to the world. The Rev. Stephen Boissoin was convicted of the heinous crime of writing a homophobic letter to his local newspaper and was sentenced by Lori Andreachuk, the aggressive social engineer who serves as Alberta’s “human rights” commissar, to a lifetime prohibition on uttering anything “disparaging” about homosexuality ever again in sermons, in newspapers, on radio—or in private e-mails. Note that legal concept: not “illegal” or “hateful,” but merely “disparaging.” Dale McAlpine, a practicing (wait for it) Christian, was handing out leaflets in the English town of Workington and chit-chatting with shoppers when he was arrested on a “public order” charge by Constable Adams, a gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community-outreach officer. Mr. McAlpine had been overheard by the officer to observe that homosexuality is a sin. “I’m gay,” said Constable Adams. Well, it’s still a sin, said Mr. McAlpine. So Constable Adams arrested him for causing distress to Con­stable Adams.

In fairness, I should add that Mr. McAlpine was also arrested for causing distress to members of the public more generally, and not just to the aggrieved gay copper. No member of the public actually complained, but, as Constable Adams pointed out, Mr. McAlpine was talking “in a loud voice” that might theoretically have been “overheard by others.” And we can’t have that, can we? So he was fingerprinted, DNA-sampled, and tossed in the cells for seven hours. When I was a lad, the old joke about the public toilets at Piccadilly Circus was that one should never make eye contact with anyone in there because the place was crawling with laughably unconvincing undercover policemen in white polonecks itching to arrest you for soliciting gay sex. Now they’re itching to arrest you for not soliciting it.

In such a climate, time-honored national characteristics are easily extinguished. A generation ago, even Britain’s polytechnic Trots and Marxists were sufficiently residually English to feel the industrial-scale snitching by family and friends that went on in Communist Eastern Europe was not quite cricket, old boy. Now England is Little Stasi-on-Avon, a land where, even if you’re well out of earshot of the gay-outreach officer, an infelicitous remark in the presence of a co-worker or even co-playmate is more than sufficient. Fourteen-year-old Codie Stott asked her teacher at Harrop Fold High School whether she could sit with another group to do her science project as in hers the other five pupils spoke Urdu and she didn’t understand what they were saying. The teacher called the police, who took her to the station, photographed her, fingerprinted her, took DNA samples, removed her jewelry and shoelaces, put her in a cell for three and a half hours, and questioned her on suspicion of committing a Section Five “racial public-order offence.” “An allegation of a serious nature was made concerning a racially motivated remark,” declared the headmaster, Antony Edkins. The school would “not stand for racism in any form.” In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said they took “hate crime” very seriously, and their treatment of Miss Stott was in line with “normal procedure.”

Indeed it was. And that’s the problem. When I ran into my troubles up north, a very few principled members of Canada’s bien-pensants stood up to argue that the thought police were out of control and the law needed to be reined in. Among them was Keith Martin, a Liberal MP and himself a member of a visible minority—or, as he put it, a “brown guy.” For his pains, he and a few other principled liberals were mocked by Warren Kinsella, a third-rate spin-doctor for the Liberal party and a chap who fancies himself Canada’s James Carville. As Kin­sella taunted these lonely defenders of freedom of speech, how did it feel to be on the same side as Steyn . . . and anti-Semites . . . and white supremacists? Eh, eh, how’d ya feel about that, eh?

Mr. Kinsella was subsequently forced to make a groveling apology to “the Chinese community” after making a joke about ordering the cat at his favorite Chinese restaurant in Ottawa: Even the most censorious of politically correct enforcers occasionally forget themselves and accidentally behave like normal human beings. But, before the Chinese cat got his tongue, the Liberal hack was, like so many of his ilk, missing the point: “Free speech” doesn’t mean “the brown guy” is on the same side as the “white supremacists.” It means he recognizes that the other fellow is entitled to have a side. By contrast, Canada’s “human rights” commissions and Britain’s gay-outreach officer and Europe’s various public prosecutors seem to think there should be only one side of the debate, and they’re ever more comfortable in arguing for that quite openly.

 

Thus, after Anders Breivik gunned down dozens of his fellow Norwegians, just about the only angle on the story that got the Western Left’s juices going was the opportunity it afforded to narrow the parameters of public discourse even more. They gleefully fell on his 1,500-page “manifesto,” wherein he cites me, John Derbyshire, Bernard Lewis, Theodore Dalrymple, and various other names familiar round these parts. He also cites Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Twain, Hans Christian Andersen, and my leftie com­patriot Naomi Klein, the “No Logo” gal and a columnist for The Nation in the U.S. and the Guardian in Britain. Just for the record, my name appears four times, Miss Klein’s appears four times.

Yet the British, Canadian, Australian, European, and American Left—and more than a few likeminded Americans—rose as one to demand restraints on a very narrow sliver of Anders Breivik’s remarkably—what’s the word?—diverse reading material.

“I cannot understand that you think that it is fine for people to go out and say we should kill all Muslims,” sighed Tanya Plibersek, the Australian minister for human services, on a panel discussion, “and that that has no real effect in the world.” Because, after all, calling for the killing of all Muslims is what I and Bernard Lewis and Theodore Dalrymple and Naomi Klein and Hans Christian Andersen do all day long.

She was addressing Brendan O’Neill, a beleaguered defender of free speech on a show where the host, the guests, the studio audience, and the post-broadcast tweeters were all lustily in favor of state regulation, and not of human acts but of opinions. And not just for inciters of Norwegian nutters, but for Rupert Murdoch, too. To one degree or another, they were also in favor of the government’s taking action to whip the media into line. Into line with what? Well, with the government, presumably. Whether or not they’ll get their way Down Under, in London the British state is being actively urged to regulate the content of the press for the first time in four centuries.

How did we get to this state of affairs? When my travails in Canada began, somebody reminded me of an ob­servation by the American writer Heywood Broun: “Everybody favors free speech in the slack moments when no axes are being ground.” I think that gets it exactly backwards. It was precisely at the moment when no axes were being ground that the West decided it could afford to forgo free speech. There was a moment 40 or so years ago when it appeared as if all the great questions had been settled: There would be no more Third Reichs, no more fascist regimes, no more anti-Semitism; advanced social democracies were heading inevitably down a one-way sunlit avenue into the peaceable kingdom of multiculturalism; and so it seemed to a certain mindset entirely reasonable to introduce speech codes and thought crimes essentially as a kind of mopping-up operation. Canada’s “human rights” tribunals were originally created to deal with employment and housing discrimination, but Cana­dians aren’t terribly hateful and there wasn’t a lot of that, so they advanced to prosecuting “hate speech.” It was an illiberal notion harnessed supposedly in the cause of liberalism: A handful of neo-Nazi losers in rented rooms in basements are leaving Xeroxed white-supremacist flyers in payphones? Hey, relax, we’ll hunt down the extremist fringe losers and ensure they’ll trouble you no further. Just a few recalcitrant knuckledraggers who decline to get with the beat. Don’t give ’em a thought. Nothing to see here, folks.

When you accept that the state has the right to criminalize Holocaust denial, you are conceding an awful lot. I don’t just mean on the specific point: The Weimar Republic was a veritable proto-Trudeaupia of “hate speech” laws. In the 15 years before the Nazis came to power, there were over 200 prosecutions for “anti-Semitic speech” in Germany—and a fat lot of good it did. But more important than the practical uselessness of such laws is the assumption you’re making: You’re accepting that the state, in ruling one opinion out of bounds, will be content to stop there.

As is now clear, it isn’t. Restrictions on freedom of speech undermine the foundations of justice, including the bedrock principle: equality before the law. When it comes to free expression, Britain, Canada, Australia, and Europe are ever less lands of laws and instead lands of men—and women, straights and gays, Muslims and infidels—whose rights before the law vary according to which combination of these various identity groups they belong to.

Appearing at a Van­couver comedy club, Guy Earle found himself obliged to put down a couple of drunken hecklers. Had he said what he said to me or to Jonah Goldberg, we would have had no legal redress. Alas for him, he said it to two drunken hecklers of the lesbian persuasion, so they accused him of putting them down homophobically and he was fined $15,000. Had John O’Sullivan and Kathryn Lopez chanced to be strolling by the Driftwood Beach Bar on the Isle of Wight when, in the course of oldies night, Simon Ledger performed “Kung Fu Fighting,” they would have had no grounds for complaint, even if he’d done the extended dance remix. However, the passersby in question were Chinese, and so Mr. Ledger was arrested for racism.

In such a world, words have no agreed meaning. “There were funky Chinamen from funky Chinatown” is legal or illegal according to whosoever happens to hear it. Indeed, in my very favorite example of this kind of thinking, the very same words can be proof of two entirely different hate crimes. Iqbal Sacranie is a Muslim of such exemplary “moderation” he’s been knighted by the Queen. The head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Sir Iqbal was interviewed on the BBC and expressed the view that homosexuality was “immoral,” was “not acceptable,” “spreads disease,” and “damaged the very foundations of society.” A gay group complained and Sir Iqbal was investigated by Scotland Yard’s “community safety unit” for “hate crimes” and “homophobia.”

Independently but simultaneously, the magazine of GALHA (the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association) called Islam a “barmy doctrine” growing “like a canker” and deeply “homophobic.” In return, the London Race Hate Crime Forum asked Scotland Yard to investigate GALHA for “Islamophobia.”

Got that? If a Muslim says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, Scotland Yard will investigate him for homophobia; but if a gay says that Islam is opposed to homosexuality, Scotland Yard will investigate him for Islamophobia.

Two men say exactly the same thing and they’re investigated for different hate crimes. On the other hand, they could have sung “Kung Fu Fighting” back and forth to each other all day long and it wouldn’t have been a crime unless a couple of Chinese passersby walked in the room.

If you’re not gay or Muslim or Chinese, you’re maybe wondering to yourself: How can I get a piece of the action? After all, if the state creates a human right to be offended and extends it only to members of certain interest groups, it is quite naturally incentivizing membership in those interest groups. Andrew Bolt, Australia’s leading columnist, was struck by the very noticeable non-blackness of so many prominent Aussie “blacks” and wrote a couple of columns on the theme of identity-group opportunism. He’s now been dragged into court and denounced as a “racist”—“racism” having degenerated into a term for anyone who so much as broaches the subject. But, if the law confers particular privileges on members of approved identity groups, how we define the criteria for membership of those groups is surely a legitimate subject for public debate.

One of the great strengths of common law has been its general antipathy toward group rights—because the ultimate minority is the individual. The minute you have collective rights, you require dramatically enhanced state power to me­diate the hierarchy of different victim groups. In a world of Islamophobic gays, homophobic Muslims, and white blacks, it is tempting to assume the whole racket will collapse under the weight of its own absurdity.

Instead, the law increasingly bends to those who mean it the most. In some of the oldest free societies in the world, the state is not mediating speech in order to assure social tranquility, but rather torturing logic and law and liberty in ever more inane ways in order to accommodate those who might be tempted to express their grievances in non-speechy ways. Consider the case of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a Viennese housewife who has lived in several Muslim countries. She was hauled into an Austrian court for calling Mohammed a pedophile on the grounds that he consummated his marriage when his bride, Aisha, was nine years old. Mrs. Sabbaditsch-Wolff was found guilty and fined 480 euros. The judge’s reasoning was fascinating: “Pedophilia is factually incorrect, since paedophilia is a sexual preference which solely or mainly is directed towards children. Nevertheless, it does not apply to Mohammad. He was still married to Aisha when she was 18.”

Ah, gotcha. So, under Austrian law, you’re not a pedophile if you deflower the kid in fourth grade but keep her around till high school. There’s a useful tip if you’re planning a hiking holiday in the Alps this fall. Or is this another of those dispensations that is not of universal application?

Western governments have gone far too far down this path already. “The lofty idea of ‘the war on racism’ is gradually turning into a hideously false ideology,” the French philosopher Alain Finkielkraut said in 2005. “And this anti-racism will be for the 21st century what Communism was for the 20th century: a source of violence.” Just so. Let us accept for the sake of argument that racism is bad, that homophobia is bad, that Islamophobia is bad, that offensive utterances are bad, that mean-spirited thoughts are bad. So what?

As bad as they are, the government’s criminalizing all of them and setting up an enforcement regime in the interests of micro-regulating us into compliance is a thousand times worse. If that’s the alternative, give me “Kung Fu Fighting” sung by Mohammed’s nine-year-old bride while putting down two lesbian hecklers sending back the Cat of the Day in a Chinese restaurant.

As John Milton wrote in his Areopagitica of 1644, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

Or as an ordinary Canadian citizen said to me, after I testified in defense of free speech to the Ontario parliament at Queen’s Park, “Give me the right to free speech, and I will use it to claim all my other rights.”

Conversely, if you let them take your right to free speech, how are you going to stop them from taking all the others?

from National Review

 

Islamic Coalition announces support for bill prohibiting courts from using foreign and sharia law

ISLAMIC COALITION ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR MICHIGAN LEGISLATION!

BILL WOULD PROHIBIT COURTS FROM USING FOREIGN AND SHARIA LAW

The American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) has just come out in support of legislation in Michigan known as “American laws for American courts” (see news release below). This is the bill ACT! for America got passed in Tennessee and Arizona earlier this year.

A coalition of organizations, including ACT! for America, is behind the effort to get this bill passed in Michigan. ACT! for America chapter leaders in Michigan have been actively seeking support among legislators for the bill.

As we noted a week ago, our opponents are desperate and running scared. The AILC’s support for this legislation is a huge blow to those who are desperately and dishonestly alleging that this bill is “racist.”


 

 

NEWS  
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:

 

Gregg Edgar
Gordon C. James Public Relations
gedgar@gcjpr.com
602-690-7977

 

American Muslims speak out against the enforcement of shari‘ah law in America
Islamic Coalition announces support for Michigan legislation that will bar state courts from enforcing ‘foreign law’ above U.S. and state constitution


Washington, DC (August 31, 2011) – A coalition of diverse American Muslim leaders has announced support for a proposed bill in the Michigan State Assembly, HB 4679, that is intended to bar Michigan courts from enforcing any foreign law, if doing so violates any rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and/or the state of Michigan’s constitution.

Like many Americans, members of the American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) have been observing the efforts of a growing number of state legislatures, which are seeking to address the incompatibility of various shari‘ah court systems around the world with the principles and foundations of our Constitutional republic and its laws. As American Muslims, we believe that the law should treat people of all faiths equally, while protecting Muslims and non-Muslims alike from extremist attempts to use the legal instrument of shari‘ah (also known as Islamic jurisprudence, or fiqh) to incubate, within the West, a highly politicized and dangerous understanding of Islam that is generally known as “Islamism,” or “radical Islam.”

We see no evidence that statutes like HB 4769 will adversely impact the free exercise of our personal pietistic observance of Islam, which is not in conflict with the U.S. or Michigan constitutions. We recognize that not only Muslims, but also Jews, Christians and all people of faith need the government to protect their right to peaceful assembly, mediation and arbitration free of coercion, but also within the bounds of American constitutional principles. Therefore, we stand together as a diverse coalition in support of any legislation that serves to protect and integrate our communities into the fabric of this great nation, by strengthening our accountability to the laws of the land, and the constitutions of the various states in which we live.

As American Muslims we are conscious of the fact that Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups and other Islamists and their surrogates in the U.S. are trying their best to portray any opposition to manifestations of shari‘ah law as “racism” and “discrimination against Muslims.” However, as a coalition of traditional, liberal and secular Muslim Americans, we denounce this fear-mongering and playing of the race card, which only serves to mask the Islamists’ highly politicized agenda. According to AILC member C. Holland Taylor, “the Islamist agenda threatens not only the well-being of the United States and its inhabitants, but also undermines and distorts the highest principles of Islam itself.”

“Michigan House Bill 4769 seeks to ensure that American Muslims can live in freedom and safety, in accordance with our constitutional principles, and not be enveloped by the tentacles of medieval, man-made laws that have been falsely accorded divine status,” said the AILC.

“To equate Bill 4769 to racism is not only dishonest, but is a poor and clumsy attempt at making ordinary Muslim Americans feel alien in their own homeland, while creating a rift between Muslims and the rest of our country,” said AILC member Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser.

Michigan House Bill 4769 states:

 

 

“[To] …limit the application and enforcement by a court, arbitrator, or administrative body of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights; to provide for modification or voiding of certain contractual provisions or agreements that would result in a violation of constitutional rights; and to require a court, arbitrator, or administrative body to take certain actions to prevent violation of constitutional rights.”


The AILC statement reinforces the American Muslim community's commitment to the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the separation between religion and state. Unfortunately, Islamist groups would like to compromise this separation and provide cover to medieval, misogynistic and homophobic laws that no Muslim is obligated to demand as public law.

“Shari‘ah law, wherever it has been applied in the public domain, be it in Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, has resulted in untold misery and oppression of Muslims, in particular Muslim women, by Islamists and dictators who invoke shari‘ah law to justify their rule,” said AILC member Manda Ervin. “Many of us fled the Muslim world to escape shari‘ah law and to practice Islam in our personal lives, by moving to the USA and other western countries. We do not wish these laws to follow us here,” she concluded.

The Michigan state senators are not alone in expressing concern about foreign laws creeping into North America under the guise of religious freedom. Many Muslim academics, religious scholars and human rights activists have voiced their concern.

The contrast between what has occurred in Britain and in Canada provides a roadmap for how the U.S. may address these legal issues. In Britain, shari‘ah arbitration courts have been allowed to assume virtually unchecked control of legal arrangements in many Muslim communities. This is creating a ghettoized, medieval and separatist state within Britain. In Canada, however, local Muslims led strong opposition to the Islamists’ shari‘ah agenda and were successful in preventing its implementation, thereby sparing our Northern neighbor the fate of so many Muslims in the United Kingdom, where women are commonly subjected to forced marriage and the denial of basic human rights.

“We Muslims in Canada defeated an attempt by Islamists to sneak shari‘ah law into Ontario,” said AILC member Tarek Fatah, who has been on the front lines of this struggle for many years. “We recognized the damage shari‘ah had inflicted on Muslims in the UK, and its oppressive nature in Muslim-majority countries, and decided to oppose it. We urge American Muslims not to succumb to the Islamists’ propaganda, and to back the Michigan Bill, which will protect Muslims and non-Muslims alike from the impact of foreign laws that violate the U.S. or Michigan constitutions.”

About the American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC)
The American Islamic Leadership Coalition (AILC) is a diverse coalition of liberty-minded, North American Muslim leaders and organizations. AILC’s mission advocates for defending the US Constitution, upholding religious pluralism, protecting American security and cherishing genuine diversity in the faith and practice of Islam. AILC provides a stark alternative to the Islamist organizations that claim to speak for what are diverse American Muslim communities. For more information on AILC, please visit our website at http://www.americanislamicleadership.org/.

AILC Coalition Signatories

 

Bahman Batmanghelidj
Founding Member
Alliance for Democracy in Iran
Virginia, USA

Manda Zand Ervin
President
Alliance of Iranian Women
Maryland, USA

Tarek Fatah
Founder
Muslim Canadian Congress
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jamal Hasan
Council for Democracy and Tolerance
Baltimore, MD

Farzana Hassan, Ed.D.
Past President
Muslim Canadian Congress
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M. Zuhdi Jasser, M.D.
President
American Islamic Forum for Democracy
Phoenix, AZ

Hasan Mahmud
Member, Advisory Board
World Muslim Congress
Dallas, TX

C. Holland Taylor
Chairman & CEO
LibForAll Foundation
Winston-Salem, NC

Jalal Zuberi, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Morehouse School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA