Canada: Death knell for freedom of speech as House of Commons passes “anti-Islamophobia” motion

Imagine if a “right-wing extremist,” say, a white supremacist, had killed three people in London yesterday. Do you think Canada would have today passed a motion condemning a “phobia” of white supremacists?

The supporters of the Canadian bill condemning “Islamophobia” insist that it will not restrict the freedom of speech, but interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose was more realistic: she said that she was concerned that charges of “Islamophobia” would be used “to intimidate rather than to inform,” and added: “I do worry that some of my work trying to empower women and girls in Muslim communities could be branded as ‘Islamophobic’ if I criticize practices that I believe are oppressive.”

Of course she is absolutely right. That is exactly what happened to Pamela Geller and me when we held a conference about honor killing, and when we tried to run ads in Edmonton offering help to women and girls who were threatened. This “non-binding” motion will have a chilling effect on speech, and will work toward intimidating into silence anyone who dares to speak out against Canada’s suicidal refugee policies, seditious activity in mosques, Sharia oppression of women taking place in Canada, and more. If it isn’t overturned, it will lead ultimately to new and binding laws that will be the end of Canada as a free society. Establishing a particular group as beyond criticism is laying the groundwork for tyranny.

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Turkey: Record-Breaking Purge in Academia

Nearly three centuries later — and slightly revising the historian Shelby Foote‘s famous line — “A Turkish university, these days, is a group of buildings around a small library, a mosque and classrooms cleansed of unwanted scholars.”

The “Great Turkish Purge” launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist, autocratic government in the aftermath of a coup attempt in July surprised many in its size. It should not have done. The failed putsch gave Erdogan’s government a golden opportunity to advance his crackdown on dissent of every kind. No wonder Erdogan, on the night of the attempt, said: “This [coup attempt] is a gift of God”.

In its annual “Freedom in the World” report, entitled “Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy,” the Washington-based Freedom House said on January 31 that Turkey suffered the largest decline in freedoms among 195 countries over the past year. Turkey’s aggregate score declined 15 points to 38 out of 100 (the most free) — from having been in 53rd place in the 2016 report. It did manage to maintain its “partly free” status for “freedoms” together with 59 other countries. “[A]n attempted coup in July… led the government to declare a state of emergency and carry out mass arrests and firings of civil servants, academics, journalists, opposition figures, and other perceived enemies,” the report said.

Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz said that a total of 33,065 personnel have been dismissed from his ministry, most of them teachers, educators and administrative staff. Of those purged, 3,855 have been detained on charges of “terrorism”.

Qualitatively speaking, the situation at Turkish universities is no better. Most university presidents, appointed by Erdogan, staunchly ally with his party politics and dismiss academics they view as “Erdogan’s political adversaries.”

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Thoughts on Making Universities Safe for Free Speech

Universities and colleges in the United States need to be safe places where students of all backgrounds and beliefs can live and study, free from intimidation by other students, faculty, and administrators.

Protests are fine, and they are our right as Americans, but there needs to be zero tolerance for violence and intimidation. If a speaker or group is committing or inciting battery, assault or vandalism, the situation should be a police and judicial matter — as well as valid grounds for mandatory expulsion. There is no place for vigilantism by students, faculty or administers on campus to enforce political conformity. There is no place for any kind of intimidation and violence anywhere in the US. We should never let rioters have a hecklers veto over who gets to speak. The following are some ideas to rein in the current terror on campuses:

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A Tale of Two Talks: Free Speech in the U.S.

Sometimes the whole tenor of an age can be discerned by comparing two events, one commanding fury and the other, silence.

To this extent, February has already been most enlightening. On the first day of the month, the conservative activist and writer Milo Yiannopoulos was due to speak at the University of California, Berkeley. To the surprise of absolutely no one, some of the new anti-free speech brigade attempted to prevent the event from happening. But to the surprise of almost everyone, the groups who wish to prevent everyone but themselves from speaking went farther even than they have tended to of late. Before the event could even start, Yiannopoulos was evacuated by security for his own safety. A mob of 150 people proceeded to riot, smash and set fire to the campus, causing more than $100,000 of damage and otherwise asserting their revised version of Voltaire’s maxim: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to your death my right to shut you up.”

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The Two “Islamophobias”

If we had to choose one thing that has obstructed many Westerners from understanding modern Islam and undermined our ability to handle its excesses, it would be our perception of Islamophobia. How many times have fair and honest criticisms of one aspect or another of Islam, rebukes of behaviour, or literary and artistic expressions of Muhammad or other figures been loudly shouted down or banned on the grounds that such criticism was “Islamophobic”? In Europe, individuals have been arrested, tried and sentenced for “Islamophobic” utterances. As Judith Bergman recently commented, in Europe it is becoming a criminal offence to criticize Islam.

In 2011, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, for example, a former Austrian diplomat and teacher, was put on trial for “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion [Islam],” found guilty twice, and ordered to pay a fine or face 60 days in jail. Some of her comments may have seemed extreme, but the court’s failure to engage with her historically accurate charge that Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl and continued to have sex with her until she turned eighteen — its regarding the historical record as somehow defamatory — and the judge’s decision to punish her for saying something that can be found in Islamic sources, illustrates the betrayal of Western values of free speech. A charge of “Islamophobia” was enough to confine the freedoms that most Westerners take for granted.

Sabaditsch-Wolff is not the only person to suffer for this “offence”. Danish author Lars Hedegaard suffered an attack on his life and lives in a secret location. Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist, suffered an axe attack that failed, and is under permanent protection by the security services. In 2009, in Austria, the politician Susanne Winter was found guilty of “anti-Muslim incitement”, for saying, “In today’s system, the Prophet Mohammad would be considered a child-molester.” She was fined 24,000 euros ($31,000) and given a three-month suspended sentence. The phrase “child molester”, like the charge made by Sabaditsch-Wolff was based on the fact, recorded by Muslim biographers, that Muhammad had sexual relations with his new wife A’isha when she was nine years old (after marrying her when she was six).

Neither historical fact nor literary sophistication (as the British author Salman Rushdie learned to his cost) are able to deflect charges of Islamophobia.

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Canada: Trudeau examining ways to silence “hateful criticism” over “anti-Islamophobia” motion M-103

Every citizen in Canada is also entitled to live in a country where he or she feels safe from jihad terror and the Islamic agenda of civilizational jihad and conquest outlined in the Muslim Brotherhood’s Strategic Plan for North America.

The controversy in Canada over hatred and threats allegedly directed to Members of Parliament (MP) is part of the larger controversy over Toronto-area MP Iqra Khalid’s efforts to force through “anti-Islamophobia” motion M-103. The Center for Israel and Jewish Affairs, among others, presented her with the option of promoting instead a motion against “anti-Muslim bigotry,” rejecting the term “Islamophobia” as “misleading, ambiguous, and politically charged,” but Khalid remains resolute in pushing her anti- “Islamophobia” agenda, which is widely seen as a first step to curb the freedom of speech. Her motion enables the current incursion of anti-democratic values into Canada, as we see from the example of Europe: the Muslim migrant chaos and rampant crime, including the rape of infidel women, has been arrogantly waved away by leftist politicians and leaders who insist that it is “racist” to point out the fact that Islamic texts contain justifications for such crimes. These rapes are not isolated cases, but are committed so frequently in part because of the justification for them within Islamic teaching:

(Quran 24:31) And tell the believing women to reduce of their vision and guard their private parts and not expose their adornment except that which appears thereof and to wrap their headcovers over their chests and not expose their adornment except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, their brothers’ sons, their sisters’ sons, their women, that which their right hands possess, or those male attendants having no physical desire, or children who are not yet aware of the private aspects of women. And let them not stamp their feet to make known what they conceal of their adornment. And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.

If a woman does not cover up, she is fair game to be assaulted:

(Quran 33:59) O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused.

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Germany’s New ‘Ministry of Truth’

The elites and intellectuals are apparently now counted among the German minorities in need of protection.

Toward the end of last year, Germany experienced a previously unheard-of boycott campaign – funded by the German government, no less — against several websites, such as the popular “Axis of Good” (“Achse des Guten“). The website, critical of the government, was suddenly accused of “right-wing populism”.

The German government’s efforts at thought control seem to have begun with the victory of Donald J. Trump in the US presidential election — that seems to set the “establishment” off. Germany’s foreign minister and the probable future federal president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier — one of the first to travel to Iran after the removal of sanctions there to kowtow to the Ayatollahs — called America’s future president a “hate preacher“.

Germany’s newspapers were suddenly littered with apocalyptic predictions and anti-American fulminations.

For hard-core Trump-haters, however, a witch hunt by itself is insufficient; they want activism! Since November, Germany’s left-wing parties have had a strong increase in membership, as reported by Der Spiegel. At the same time, the federal government evidently decided, at least regarding the federal elections taking place in 2017, that it would no longer count on journalists’ self-censorship. The German government, instead of merely hoping that newspapers would voluntarily — or under pressure from the Press Council — refrain from criticising the government’s immigration policies, decided that it, itself, would inaugurate censorship.

The Federal Government’s “Ministry of Truth”

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