Does Your Right To Free Speech Depend On What You Have To Say?

The U. S. Constitution includes the right of free speech for Americans. That allows anyone to say pretty much anything no matter how popular or unpopular it is (short of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater). Theoretically the government cannot punish you for your opinion or voicing your opinion. But we need to remember that the First Amendment is not universal. Most countries in the world do not grant their populations the right to speak freely.

Tommy Robinson is a British activist who speaks out against the goals of radical Islamists to bring Sharia Law to Britain. He is the leader of the English Defence League (EDL) whose website defines it as an inclusive movement dedicated to peacefully protesting against Islamic extremism. Although he tells the truth about what is going on around him, he is definitely not appreciated by the British government. Yesterday Channel 4 News (British Channel 4 I presume) reported that Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll were arrested during a planned walk to commemorate Lee Rigby, the soldier hacked to death in Woolwich.

The story at Channel 4 reports:

As well as laying flowers in memory of Drummer Rigby in Woolwich, Mr Robinson and his co-leader Kevin Carroll had planned to walk to raise money for a young girl fighting against neuroblastoma.

Reacting to the Met’s decision to impose restrictions, Mr Robinson said: “The police are enforcing no-go zones for non-Muslims. It’s a charity walk with two people taking part.

“When has a Muslim charity walk ever been made to have conditions?”

The police force said the conditions were imposed due to fears that both the march and gathering would “result in serious public disorder and serious disruption to the life of the community” and a breach of the conditions would be a criminal offence.

Pamela Geller and Robert Specer, two American authors who routinely speak out against Islamic radicalism, were barred from entering Britain to take part in the walk. An article at Townhall.com on Friday pointed out that Britain had no problem letting in Che Guevara’s daughter, Aleida.

The article at Townhall states:

“The UK should never become a stage for inflammatory speakers who promote hate,” is how the British Home office explains its recent barring of Geller and Spencer.

Townhall reminds us of the history of Che Guevara and recent statements by his daughter Aleida:

In an interview with the Guardian Aleida Guevara boasted: “I want to be like Che and fight until final victory, then you feel elated. It is preferable to sink in the sea than to betray the glory that once lived!”

And what was this glory? Her father was 2nd in command of a regime that murdered more Cubans in its first three years in power than Hitler’s regime murdered Germans during in its first six, jailed and tortured political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror, and came closest of anyone in history to starting a worldwide nuclear war.

There seems to be a bit of a double standard here. Why? Fear. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are not likely to blow people up if they are denied admittance to England. On the other hand, the area of Woolwich seems to be something of a ‘no go zone’ in Britain where the British authorities have ceded control of an area to Muslims who want to practice Sharia Law.

The Gates of Vienna reports:

Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll, the leaders of the English Defence League, were arrested today in Tower Hamlets during their walk to Woolwich. Their crime? Entering a shariah-controlled area of London, where they were considered persona non grata by the Muslim inhabitants, who were expected to respond with violence.

There is now at least one official Islamic no-go zone in Britain. Presumably there are numerous others — in Birmingham, Bradford, Dewsbury, and all those other places where Muslims have claimed ownership of “their” areas. The Metropolitan police have now taken on the responsibility of enforcing the borders of these shariah-controlled zones, applying the rules laid down by the Islamic inhabitants.

No-go zones are rather common in France and certain other European countries. They are areas where a Jewish person or a woman dressed in western-style clothing may be assaulted or even killed for entering the area. They are not something we would like to see in America, but they will come here eventually if they are allowed to thrive elsewhere. One of the main causes of no-go zones is the failure of a segment of the immigrant population to assimilate. As we are talking about immigration reform, we need to ask that the people who want to settle in America also want to be Americans. There is nothing wrong with keeping alive the traditions of the country you left, but when you immigrate to a new country, you need to live under the laws and customs of that country.  That is a lesson that European countries are learning the hard way.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Shariah’s Assault on Free Speech

Last night I had the privilege of attending an event in Stoughton, Massachusetts, at the Ahavath Torah Congregation. I am posting the video of the event (which is almost two hours long, but well worth watching) below, but I will also share my notes from the event.

The event was called “Shariah’s Assault on Free Speech.” The event was moderated by Michael Graham. The four speakers, who are all too familiar with the consequences of Sharia Law, were Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Press Society, a historian and a journalist; Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of twelve books, including two New York Times bestsellers; Tiffany Gabbay, Assistant Editor and Foreign Affairs Editor for TheBlaze; and Andrew G. Bostom, (MD, MS), author and Associate Professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School. He is also well known for his writings on Islam as the author of The Legacy of Jihad (2005).

One of the topics discussed during the event was the fact that in America we have reached the point where speech is considered offensive based on who is offended by it not by what is said–you can hurl pretty much any insult or slander at Christians and Jews, but if you say something against Islam, you are engaging in hate speech.

Andy Bostom pointed out that the Assembly of Muslim Jurists in America, a Muslim lawyers group, has issued a fatwa demanding execution for insulting the prophet. A recent unscientific survey of 600 successful Muslims, done through trade magazines, showed that 58 percent of the Muslims surveyed felt that anyone who criticized either Islam or Mohammad should receive the death penalty. It is chilling to me that when President Obama addressed the United Nations, he included in his remarks the statement, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” Does he understand that under the Islamic definition of slander, declaring that Jesus is God is slander (because it states that Mohammad is not God)? The Islamic definition of slander is not related to truth–slander is any negative comment about Islam or the prophet whether or not it is true.

Part of the problem is America’s educational system. Somehow in an effort not to offend anyone, we have declared all cultures equal. All cultures are not equal. One of the attributes of Western Culture is the problem solving process based on open debate. Western Culture embraces the scientific method; Islamic culture does not. Because of this, progress is stifled. In Islamic countries there is a very small or non-existent middle class, and little chance of upward mobility for the average person. We need to go back to teaching our children to cherish America–even though we have faults, we are one of the best countries in the world to live in. Our children need to know that.

Please watch the video above the hear the full story.Enhanced by Zemanta

How Come It’s Only Called Awful When We Do It ?

This morning most of us woke up to horrible news about an American soldier who went on a rampage and killed a number of Afghan civilians. It was a horrible incident, and that soldier will be dealt with by the American military. The purposeful killing of civilians is never acceptable. There are some doubts as to the details of what actually happened–there was an awful lot of killing for one person, why wasn’t he stopped after the first house or so, etc. However, it was an awful incident, and those responsible for it will be dealt with.

But wait a minute. Robert Spencer posted an article at Front Page Magazine today pointing out a rather obvious double standard. In regard to this incident President Karzai has stated, “This is an assassination, an intentional killing of innocent civilians and cannot be forgiven.”

The article points out:

It is noteworthy, however, that in the riots and rage that followed the discovery of the burned Qur’ans at Bagram Airfield, Afghan Muslims have murdered numerous civilians. Just last Monday, a jihad-martyrdom suicide bomber murdered at least two civilians at the gates of the airfield. Thirty people have now been killed in protests over the burning of the Qur’ans, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that Obama and other American officials have apologized repeatedly, profusely, and abjectly for the burning of the Muslim holy book.

There was no call for the arrest and prosecution of those who murdered Americans and civilians after the Koran-burning incident.

The article further points out:

The U.S. soldier’s mass murder of Afghan civilians Sunday was an enormous crime. But so was the murder of American civilians by Qur’an-Rage rioters. So also is the ongoing phenomenon of Afghan military trainees turning on the U.S. and NATO military personnel who are training them and murdering them – which in recent months has been happening with increasing frequency in Afghanistan, with no murmur of apology from Karzai or anyone else.

It’s time to hold the Afghan soldiers who turn their guns on Americans to the same standard as the American soldier who murdered Afghans over the weekend.

Enhanced by Zemanta