Archive for the ‘Blasphemy Laws’ Category

Largest Islamic Body in the World Calls for More Anti-Free Speech Laws in Wake ofCharlie Hebdo Attack

Patrick Poole

Last week’s terror attack targeting French magazine Charlie Hebdo‘s office in Paris has sparked a global conversation about the nature of free speech, with the “Je Suis Charlie” hashtag in support of the murdered Charlie Hebdo staff going viral and becoming the most used hashtag in the history of Twitter.

But this afternoon, the UN representative for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ufuk Gokcen, was expressing another view with respect to free speech.

The OIC is comprised of the 57 Muslim-majority nations and the Palestinian Authority. They are the largest bloc at the UN, and when they meet on the head-of-state level, they literally speak for the Muslim world.

So it is noteworthy that after the Charlie Hebdo attack, Gokcen is now calling for more implementation of the OIC-sponsored UN Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 and the follow-upRabat Plan of Action that would criminalize the very type of speech that Charlie Hebdo engaged in:

The timing of Gokcen’s call couldn’t be more perfect.

Today, University of Tennessee law professor Robert Blitt (a colleague of our own Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds) had an oped published in USA Today calling out the OIC for its retrograde views on free speech and how they fuel Islamic extremism:

The OIC, whose member states range from moderate U.S. allies such as Jordan to adversaries such as Iran, describes itself as the world’s largest international body after the United Nations. For more than a decade, “the collective voice of the Muslim world” has spread the belief that any insult directed against the Muslim faith or its prophet demands absolute suppression. Quashing “defamation of Islam” is enshrined as a chief objective in the organization’s charter.

With countless internal resolutions, relentless lobbying of the international community and block voting on resolutions advocating a prohibition on defamation of religion at the U.N., the OIC continuously pushes to silence criticism of Islam.

Translated into practice inside Islamic nations and increasingly elsewhere, this toxic vision breeds contempt for freedom of religion and expression, justifies the killing of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, and casts a pall of self-censorship over academia and the arts.

By building the expectation that dissent or insult merits suppression, groups such as the OIC and the Arab League have emboldened extremists to take protection of Islam to the next level. With the most authoritative Muslim voices prepared to denounce violence but not to combat the idea that Islam should be immune from criticism, a meaningful response to counteract the resulting violence continues to be glaringly absent.

An OIC statement released after a 2011 Charlie Hebdo issue “guest-edited” by the prophet Mohammed typifies this troubling position: “Publication of the insulting cartoon … was an outrageous act of incitement and hatred and abuse of freedom of expression. … The publishers and editors of theCharlie Hebdo magazine must assume full responsibility for their … incitement of religious intolerance.”

As Professor Blitt notes in his oped, the OIC has been the international driving force behind the passage of Resolution 16/18, which was co-sponsored by Pakistan and the United States and passed in December 2011.

When passed, Resolution 16/18 was billed by the Obama administration as an improvement over previous “defamation of religion” resolutions. But the effort immediately came under fire from religious liberties and free speech experts:

In the view of veteran international religious liberty analyst and advocate Elizabeth Kendal resolution 16/18, “far from being a breakthrough for free speech … is actually more dangerous than” the religious defamation resolutions.

“Indeed, the strategic shift from defamation to incitement actually advances the OIC’s primary goal: the criminalization of criticism of Islam,” she wrote.

The OIC’s push to criminalize “defamation of Islam” goes back to the OIC’s 10 Year Plan of Actionadopted in 2005. Under the section “Countering Islamophobia” (VII), the plan says:

3. Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.

In their published implementation plan for their 10 Year Plan of Action, they are more clear that combating “defamation of religion” is not what they were after, but rather criminalizing “Islamophobia”:

Which is effectively what they’ve accomplished with the generous assistance of the Obama administration. Just two months before the passage of Resolution 16/18, senior Justice Department officials were meeting with U.S. Islamic groups discussing that very thing.

In fact, in my annual “National Security ‘Not Top 10’ of 2011? (no. 7) here at PJ Media, I noted theactive cooperation of Hillary Clinton and the State Department in working with the OIC as part of their “Istanbul Process” to that end.

And in November 2012, when I reported here that U.S. Embassy in Jeddah Consul General Anne Casper was going to be addressing the OIC’s symposium on “defamation of Islam,” the OIC quickly scrubbed any reference to her appearance.

My colleague Stephen Coughlin has posted a video lecture outlining how the OIC’s efforts with respect to Resolution 16/18 are really rooted in Islamic law’s codes prohibiting blasphemy:

It’s hardly surprising that even after the Charlie Hebdo attack the OIC is not content to abandon their decade-long effort to criminalize “Islamophobia.” But, much as Professor Blitt has warned in his oped today, by doing so they are pushing the global Islamic community further away from the rest of the world.


Posted: June 11, 2013 in Blasphemy, Blasphemy Laws


Posted on June 10, 2013

images (78)by Justin O Smith

“I imagine myself following in Malcolm’s discovery… that some whites might live beside him as brothers in Islam.” -Obama, ‘Dreams From My Father (pg 86)

On June 4, 2013, approximately fifteen-hundred American patriots arrived in an inspiring and spectacular fashion at the Conference Center in Manchester, Tennessee. They came from as far away as Georgia, Texas and New York to defend the First Amendment, one of our most cherished rights, against Sharia law encroachment and manipulations and Department of Justice impediments and violations, as the Obama administration advances the plan to criminalize any criticism of Islam under the UN Resolution 16/18. Old and young alike, Armed Forces Veterans of several wars and community and spiritual leaders arrived, with a very few naively expressing support for the American Muslim Advisory Council’s (AMAC) position and most expecting a propaganda and indoctrination event; the latter were prescient in this matter. . . .

Read Article at The Counter Jihad Report

Justice Dept Official: Criticism of Islam Not Protected Free Speech

by Clare M. Lopez
The Clarion Project
June 2, 2013

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The Department of Justice appears poised to move one step closer to enforcement of Islamic law on slander and blasphemy in America by threatening prosecution of citizens who exercise their First Amendment rights to free speech—if such speech dares to criticize Islam.

Bill Killian, a top Department of Justice (DOJ) official and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, is scheduled to headline an event on June 4, 2013 entitled, “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” that’s sponsored by the American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee. The stated purpose of the meeting, according to the local Tullahoma News, is “increasing awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some have made them out to be in social media and other circles.”

Of course, the timing for the event would seem particularly ill-chosen in the wake of recent jihadist attacks and plots at the Boston Marathon (April 15, 2013), in the Iran-al-Qaeda plot against the Canadian Via Rail (April 2013) and the slaughter of British soldier, Lee Rigby, on a Woolwich, London street to the Islamic cry of, “Allahu Akbar!”

Nonetheless, based on statements made by the DOJ’s Killian to the Tullahoma News, online postings that describe truthfully how authoritative texts and teachings of Islam inspire jihadis to acts of violence, may henceforth be considered violations of federal civil rights laws. If such statements, however truthful, or apparently even original Islamic scriptural texts, are considered “inflammatory” by the FBI’s Muslim advisors, Killian wants American citizens to know “what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

This is a chilling and very direct threat to the First Amendment guarantee of the right to free speech. Even though the First Amendment also guarantees of freedom of religion, it does not limit critical discussion (“inflammatory” or otherwise) by private citizens of any ideological, legal, political or religious belief system, including Islam.

Killian and his FBI bosses ought to know that.

The implied threat to Americans’ right to criticize Islam (or any other ideology) puts Killian and the U.S. Justice Department wittingly or unwittingly in lockstep with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “10 Year Programme of Action,” whose explicitly stated objective is to achieve international criminalization of criticism of Islam.

The legalized stifling of all criticism of Islam in America would bring U.S. law into compliance with Islamic law (sharia), which decrees that “slander” is “anything concerning a [Muslim] person that he would dislike” (including criticism about his religion).

Obviously, according to this definition, the scope for causes of Muslim rage is virtually limitless. Worse yet, as this writer noted in a December 2011 essay, the current U.S. administration, and specifically the Department of State, have been working assiduously through the so-called “Istanbul Process” and the United Nations Human Rights Council with its Resolution 16/18 to bend U.S. law more closely to conformity with this sharia definition of “slander” than anything currently on the books in American criminal law.

Which brings up the role of the Nashville, TN-based American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC), whose less-than-transparent outreach and training activities for Tennessee law enforcement were highlighted in a February 15, 2012 article.

AMAC’s online website includes a mission statement dedicating the group to “[e]ngage and educate the law enforcement community and other agencies to better understand the Muslim community through an accurate understanding of religious and cultural traditions.”

Even more revealing, though, is its Home Page mission statement that commits the AMAC to serve “as a bridge between the Tennessee Muslim community and federal, state, and local law enforcement as well as other government and private agencies.”

Unfortunately for Tennesseans who prefer their liberty untrammeled by the bondage of Islamic law, AMAC knows what Killian does not: That, in the words of the Muslim Brotherhood’s senior theoretician, Sayyed Qutb, “The chasm between Islam and Jahiliyyah [the non-Islamic world] is great, and a bridge is not to be built across it so that the people on the two sides may mix with each other, but only so that the people of Jahiliyyah may come over to Islam.”

In other words, Islamic bridges like AMAC’s to U.S. law enforcement officers are meant for one purpose and one purpose only—to coax naïve FBI, police and sheriffs into implementing sharia in America all the while never even realizing they’re fulfilling the “civilization jihad” agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Western vanguard of the forces of jihad and sharia.

DOJ moves against free speech in Tennessee bring American citizens ever closer to the sort of OIC-sponsored “hate speech” standards already in effect in Europe, which has never had the kind of free speech guarantee Americans enjoy under the First Amendment.

The agenda of the OIC (self-described representative of the Islamic ummah) is clear and leads in a straight line to the complete submission of Qur’anic verse 9:29:

“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Unbelievably, in the aftermath of the horrific Woolwich murder of a UK soldier by Islamic jihadis, British citizens were actually arrested for posting “offensive comments” about Islam on Twitter. Lest any think that couldn’t happen in America, listen carefully to what DOJ official Bill Killian says at the upcoming AMAC event in Tennessee.

Ten Key Points on Islamic Blasphemy Law

Andrew G. Bostom

There is an intensifying, global campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy law on non-Muslims, including those living outside Islamdom, in non-Muslim societies.

What follows are ten key points on the doctrinal origins and practical implications of this global campaign:

1) According to the Sunna (the traditions of Muhammad and the early Muslim community), by using foul language against the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Allah, or Islam, the non-Muslim transgressors put themselves on a war footing against Muslims, and their lives became licit (such as the poet Kaab b. al-Ashraf, who composed poems denigrating Muhammad, and was assassinated). [see 1.1, 1.2, 1.3]

2) This “offense” was then constructed and legitimated by Muslim jurists when Islam was politically, militarily, and economically dominant, so that it was expected that the non-Muslims under Islamic rule would not denigrate the religion of Islam, nor cast aspersions on its major figures or institutions. [see 2.1, 2.2,2.3]

3) The jurists saw any such denigration as an unacceptable hostile act, punishable by death, automatically, as per three of the main Sunni schools of Islamic Law (Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali), and the major Shiite schools. According to the fourth major school of Sunni Islamic law, the Hanafi, the punishment of a non-Muslim guilty of blasphemy is left to the discretion of a Muslim judge. The death penalty was in fact most often applied by the Hanafis. (see 3.1, 3.2) Qadi Iyad (d. 1149), the great Almoravid jurist, captured the doctrine’s animating Muslim supremacism in his seminal Ash-Shifa, which includes one of the most authoritative analyses of Islamic blasphemy law’s treatment of non-Muslims, ever written: “Once Islam was firmly established and Allah had given it victory over all other religions, any such detractor that the Muslims had power over and whose affair is well-known, was put to death.”

4) On February 19, 1989, Iranian theocrat Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning author Salman Rushdie to death (along with those involved in the publication of Rushdie’s book, The Satanic Verses), while promising eternal salvation to any Muslim “martyred” in this cause. As noted by Muhammad Hashim Kamali, who, since 1985, has taught Sharia and jurisprudence, as a professor of law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia, in his authoritative Freedom of Expression in Islam: “…no serious Muslim commentator has challenged the basic validity of the Ayatollah’s fatwa. Adjudication was generally viewed to be necessary if only to find out if Rushdie was willing to repent.” The fatwa wrought targeted murders in Europe and Japan, and a mass killing in Turkey.

5) This orthodox Islamic doctrine-incorporated, for example, into the “modern” Pakistani legal code (295C: “Use of derogatory remarks, etc; in respect of the Holy Prophet. Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.”) has wreaked havoc, in our era, particularly among Pakistan’s small Christian minority community.

6) “Rising Restrictions on Religion,” a report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life issued August 9, 2011 found that application of the Sharia at present resulted in a disproportionate number of Muslim countries, twenty-one — registering the highest (i.e., worst) persecution scores on their scale. Furthermore, the Pew investigators observed, “Eight-in-ten countries in the Middle East-North Africa region have laws against blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion, the highest share of any region. These penalties are enforced in 60% of the countries in the region.”

7) An Egyptian state security court, on November 28, 2012, issued a verdict, which sentenced to death seven expatriate Coptic Egyptians, as well as American pastor Terry Jones, for “blaspheming” Islam. Egyptian Judge Saif al Nasr Soliman stated plainly when the ruling was issued, “The accused persons were convicted of insulting the Islamic religion through participating in producing and offering a movie that insults Islam and its prophet.”

8) Egypt’s extra-territorial application of the Sharia reflects a larger global campaign by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (subsequently renamed the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC]). As the largest voting bloc in the UN, which represents mainstream, institutional Islam, and all the major Muslim countries, in addition to the Palestinian Authority — the OIC has lobbied continuously over the past two decades for a UN resolution insisting countries criminalize what it calls “defamation of religion.” Now the OIC, consistent with its Sharia-based “human rights” paradigm, the 1990 Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, which rejects freedom of conscience and speech as defined (and upheld) in the U.S. Bill of Rights, and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is calling for a specific ban on speech allegedly impugning the character of Islam’s prophet, which the OIC terms “hate speech.”

9) The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), is well-accepted by the mainstream American Muslim community. The Islamic scholars affiliated with this group have attained influential positions in universities, Islamic centers, and mosques throughout the United States, and train American imams. Should the mainstream AMJA accomplish its goal of implementing Sharia in North America, the organization has already issued a ruling which sanctions the killing of non-Muslim “blasphemers“, courtesy of AMJA Secretary General Salah al-Sawy: (Dr. Salah Al-Sawy, 1/21/2009)-[F]or those scholars who say that repentance of a person who insults Allah or His Messenger shall not accepted, [they] mean that repentance does not lift up the set punishment for cursing and insulting the Prophet, i.e., execution. Because the Prophet is the one who was actually wronged and insulted and he is no longer alive, therefore, he is not alive to practice his right to forgive him [the blasphemer] for what he did. Also, no Muslim is ever is entitled or authorized to forgive on the Prophet’s behalf.

10) Blasphemy committed by a Muslim is considered apostasy (see here, here, and here) from the Muslim creed, and therefore has been a so-called hadd offense (requiring severe, mandatory punishment), with a requisite death sentence since the advent of Islam.

AMJA senior Fatwa Committee member Hatem al-Haj reaffirmed this classical, mainstream Islamic viewpoint for American Muslims in 2006: (Dr. Hatem al-Haj, 4/17/2006) — As for the Sharia ruling, it is the punishment of killing for the man with the grand Four Fiqh Sharia scholars, and the same with the woman with the major Shari’ah scholars, and she is jailed with Al-Hanafiyyah scholars, as the prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever a Muslim changes his/her religion, kill him/her,” and his saying: “A Muslim’s blood, who testifies that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is not made permissible except by three reasons: the life for the life; the married adulterer and the that who abandons his/her religion.”

Mirroring a shared communal understanding of their clerical leadership with regard to “blasphemy/apostasy,” the results of polling data collected by Wenzel Strategies during October 22 to 26, 2012, from 600 U.S. Muslims, indicate widespread support among American votaries of Islam for this fundamental rejection of the basic freedoms of expression and conscience, as guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

When asked, “Do you believe that criticism of Islam or Muhammad should be permitted under the Constitution’s First Amendment?, 58% replied “no,” 45% of respondents agreed “…that those who criticize or parody Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges,” and fully 12% of this Muslim sample even admitted they believed in application of the draconian, Sharia-based punishment for the non-existent crime of “blasphemy” in the U.S. code, answering affirmatively, “…that Americans who criticize or parody Islam should be put to death.”