Friday, August 31, 2012

Rusin in FPM: "Islamist Vandals Wage War on Free Speech"

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Islamist Vandals Wage War on Free Speech

by David J. Rusin
FrontPage Magazine
August 31, 2012
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When Cyrus McGoldrick, advocacy director for the New York office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), logged into Facebook on August 12 to hint at his desire to vandalize anti-jihad ads that may soon run on city buses, he did not simply underline CAIR's troubling attitude toward free expression. McGoldrick's words — and the subsequent actions of others — have illuminated an overlooked aspect of the Islamist assault on Western speech: the defacement, if not obliteration, of political and commercial messages.
A destroyed AFDI ad in Greenwich, Connecticut.
"In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad," states the advertisement that infuriated McGoldrick. The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) had to win a court battle to reverse the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's previous decision to reject it, but reluctant bureaucrats, who continue to delay, are not the only obstacle to disseminating these and similar views. After claiming that "the ads are great" because they expose their allegedly "racist, supremacist, hateful" backers, McGoldrick's post ends with this provocative thought: "I almost DON'T want to protest/vandalize them. But then again …" — remarks followed by a mischievous emoticon. Coincidence or not, multiple copies of a separate AFDI "Islamorealism" ad — citing more than 19,000 Islamic terrorist attacks worldwide since 9/11 — were later destroyed at commuter rail stations in New York and Connecticut.
Up to now, such acts of vigilante censorship on behalf of Islam have been relatively rare in the U.S., whose First Amendment traditionally has fostered a society in which controversial speech is opposed with more speech, not crudely silenced. However, America may be inching closer to other Western nations where Islamists and their fellow travelers have long made a habit of countering "offensive" words and images with vandalism — an important symptom of creeping Shari'a that is worth examining in detail.

Recent vandalism of Redegalli's burqa mural.
Assuming that they make it past the government censors, visual critiques of Islamic practices are perpetual targets, as Sergio Redegalli can attest. In September 2010, the Australian glass sculptor decorated the exterior wall of his Newtown studio with a "Say No to Burqas" mural depicting a veiled woman inside a red circle with a line through it. News stories and blog posts chronicle the waves of abuse inflicted on the artwork — two defacements by September 23, 2010, at least 20 by November 26, 2010, roughly 40 by January 19, 2011, and a total of 63 by February 13 of this year — prompting Redegalli to recreate it over and over again. Though he primarily blames leftists instead of Muslims, fresh damage to the mural's driving-while-veiled version in August 2012 bears Islamist fingerprints. "Think twice before mocking Islam!!!" cautions a note placed at the scene. "We will have our rights one way or the other" — a pledge that typically results in denying rights to everybody else, starting with the right to free speech.
Belgium provides another recent example of Islam-critical graphics being disfigured. Early this year, An-Sofie Dewinter, the daughter of anti-Islam politician Filip Dewinter, appeared in an ad campaign sporting a face veil and bikini, with "Freedom or Islam?" stamped across her chest and "You choose!" over her crotch. Radical Fouad Belkacem, a.k.a. Abu Imran, replied with a video documenting how one of the posters had been vandalized by painting a cloak-like garment atop her bare skin and writing "Welcome 2 Belgistan." The burqa debate always brings out the worst in Belkacem; he was arrested in June for urging Muslims to attack non-Muslims after the detention of a woman in face-concealing attire, which was restricted in 2011.

Efforts to cover females go beyond ads focusing on Islam. Disturbingly, commercial advertisements are in the crosshairs of Europe's Islamist morality police, for whom seeing too much of a woman's body pictured on a sheet of paper cannot be tolerated.

This phenomenon has been especially prevalent in the UK. A Times of London article revealed in 2005 that Muslims Against Advertising (MAAD) had launched a website with instructions on how to vandalize ads and which ones to select. "There is no longer any need to cringe as you walk past a sleazy poster," the group declared. "We'll improve it." Many answered the call, as ads pitching bras, beauty products, and even television programs were trashed. "Photographs of semi-dressed women are the most frequently targeted, with the offending body parts painted over or ripped off," the Times observed. In a telling example, thugs destroyed images of scantily clad women on an East London billboard promoting the series Desperate Housewives, but fully clothed characters were untouched. Responding to the controversy, leading British Islamist Ahmed Sheikh argued that "freedom of speech should end when you offend others."

A defaced bikini ad in Birmingham, England.
The UK's Islamist vandals continue to act on this logic. "Street adverts featuring women in bikinis have been defaced in apparently targeted attacks," the Evening Standard noted in June 2010. "Police said 14 bus shelters around Tower Hamlets" — a borough of London known for its heavy Islamist presence — "including many in Limehouse, were hit last month." A Bollywood movie poster with a kissing couple fared no better. In May 2011, a painted-over bikini advertisement in Birmingham was "blamed on militant Muslims who were offended by her flesh," according to the Daily Mail. "I don't think it's just kids messing around," a local man asserted, because "they've spray-painted specific areas and covered up anything that might be offensive to very religious people." Later in 2011, two young Muslims admitted to multiple counts of criminal damage after they "used black paint to draw the traditional headdress over a model in a poster for Lynx deodorant." Perpetrator Mohammed Hasnath explained that "if someone was to look at our wife or mother or daughter with a bad intention we would not like it, so we were just trying to do good." The pious Hasnath's other attempts to "do good" have involved plastering London's East End with anti-gay stickers, for which he was fined, and possessing al-Qaeda magazines, which led to a 14-month sentence.

The pattern is not limited to Britain. Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported this past April: "In Kanaleneiland, a predominantly Muslim area of Utrecht, a poster advertising the open museum weekend has been covered by a black bag. The poster shows a woman in a short pink strapless dress." The bag carried an appeal invoking Allah and lamenting "sexually tinted advertising." Also shrouded was "another poster showing a woman in a bikini in the distance walking on a beach."
In Denmark, people depicted on ads need not be skimpily attired to enrage Islamists; they merely have to be participating in democracy. "The election posters of several Muslim MP candidates were painted over with Islamist slogans in various districts and suburbs of Copenhagen," according to a news item from 2011. The not-so-subtle warnings: "Legislation belongs to Allah. Democracy is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy in hell." Politicians fingered members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist group that seeks the establishment of a Shari'a-run caliphate.

Islamists also have adapted to the information age, recognizing that much of the Western speech they despise now exists online. Al-Azhar University scholars, representatives of the highest religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, even crafted a fatwa in 2008 that sanctions hacking for the purposes of jihad. Therefore, those who criticize Islam or otherwise offend its followers often find that their freedom of expression is no safer on the internet than it is on a Tower Hamlets billboard.
Arab News sympathetically profiled one such hacker, a Saudi native, in 2011. "An Alkhobar woman studying in the United States is taking credit for destroying 23 Danish websites that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad," the piece begins, relaying material originally published by an Arabic-language source. "Nouf Rashid told the Arabic newspaper she was hacking into Danish websites having references to cartoons of the Prophet along with other sites that had questionable content in her view," including pornographic ones.

A warning delivered by hackers to Lars Vilks.
Rashid joins a veritable army of Islamist hackers — most in Muslim countries, but some in the West — who target those demonstrating insufficient deference to their faith. Examples abound. Hackers commandeered the website of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo when it ran an issue with Muhammad as the "guest editor" in 2011; the electronic vandals left a message decrying the "disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech." A year earlier, others hijacked the site of a newly opened Spanish nightclub called Mecca and posted a video predicting "a great war between Spain and the people of Islam" if it was not renamed. The sites of anti-Islam European politicians, including Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders and recent French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, have been defaced, as has the online home of Swedish Muhammad-as-a-dog artist Lars Vilks. To this day, dedicated anti-jihad websites are regularly disabled.

Islamic and nationalistic slogans on a hacked French website.
The most prominent controversies bring collective punishment, as whole populations are forced to suffer for the speech of a few. By February 8, 2006 — at the height of the uproar over the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoonsmore than 900 Danish websites had been hacked to convey warnings about caricatures of Islam's prophet, some incorporating threats of violence. A similar fate befell countless Dutch websites following the 2008 release of Fitna, a short film by Wilders that draws links between Islam and terrorism. Further, in 2011, an Algerian hacker still upset with France's former colonial rule of his nation took control of French Catholic websites.

As much as Western governments work to curtail speech deemed offensive to Muslims — from putting citizens on trial to bolstering the Organization of Islamic Cooperation's push to prohibit "defamation of religions" — it is never enough for Islamists, who are not shy about demanding greater and greater conformity with Shari'a, particularly its anti-blasphemy provisions. In fact, misguided efforts to placate Islamists actually fuel their fire and promote do-it-yourself censorship.
When politically correct government officials reflexively smear scrutiny of Islam as racist and bigoted, they paint a target on ads and websites that express Islam-critical views, granting a degree of legitimacy to the desire to silence their messages. Likewise, bowing to Islamists' neuroses about the female body only raises their expectations to be shielded from such images. It is no coincidence that MAAD's drive to cover photos of women commenced soon after the Advertising Standards Authority, the industry's self-regulator, frowned upon underwear ads near mosques. Give an inch and they will take a mile. Capitulation to direct threats is especially problematic. The operators of the aforementioned Mecca nightclub, it should be recalled, did change its name, thereby inspiring every Islamist who dreams of strong-arming Westerners into curbing their own words. Moreover, the sight of high-profile entities caving to pressure creates an atmosphere of intimidation that is exploited by suit-and-tie Islamists, whose soft-spoken accommodation requests provide a seemingly easy path for avoiding short-term pain — though their long-term objectives are no different than those of the vandals.

Vigilante censorship by Islamists and their allies is a growing challenge — and America is not immune. The proper response surely must begin with fortitude, not appeasement. Secure those websites that tackle the tough questions about Islamic supremacism, replace each destroyed ad with two more, and insist that governments do their job and protect free speech, the linchpin of liberty. Sergio Redegalli put it best when he explained why he keeps repairing his burqa mural: "I don't believe bullies have the right to stand over people and deny us our freedoms." Larger doses of this resolve are necessary as speech comes under increasing assault, through methods both lawful and unlawful, by Islamists aiming to leave the Western world ignorant of their designs, defenseless against their jihad, and ultimately transformed beyond recognition.

David J. Rusin is a research fellow at Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
Related Topics:  Cartoons, Censorship, Entertainment / Media, Free Speech, Gender Relations, Government, Head Coverings / Dress, Interfaith, Islamic Law (Shari'a), Legal, Lobby Groups, Mosques / Imams, Multiculturalism, Sexuality  |  David J. Rusin This text may be reposted or forwarded so long as it is presented as an integral whole with complete information provided about its author, date, place of publication, and original URL.

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UANI Calls for Full Economic Blockade Following New IAEA Report










August 31, 2012
Contact: Nathan Carleton, 
Phone: (212) 554-3296  

UANI Calls for Full Economic Blockade Following New IAEA Report
New York, NY - United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, issued the following statement regarding the International Atomic Energy Agency's latest report showing that Iran has continued to expand its nuclear program, and make it even less accessible to inspectors:

This report confirms that the Iranian regime is moving full speed ahead with its efforts to develop a nuclear weapon. The international community must use every tool at its disposal to prevent this from happening, including imposing a full economic blockade on the regime. Every option, including a military option, must be on the table.

Completely isolating the regime is the best hope left to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The world must force the regime to choose between having a nuclear weapon, or having a functional economy. We call on the Obama administration, the EU, and other nations to impose a full economic blockade. This needs to be done comprehensively, and immediately.






United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a program of the American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran, Inc., a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran should concern every American and be unacceptable to the community of nations. Since 1979 the Iranian regime, most recently under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's leadership, has demonstrated increasingly threatening behavior and rhetoric toward the US and the West. Iran continues to defy the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations in their attempts to monitor its nuclear activities. A number of Arab states have warned that Iran's development of nuclear weapons poses a threat to Middle East stability and could provoke a regional nuclear arms race. In short, the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran is a danger to world peace.

United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) is a non-partisan, broad-based coalition that is united in a commitment to prevent Iran from fulfilling its ambition to become a regional super-power possessing nuclear weapons.  UANI is an issue-based coalition in which each coalition member will have its own interests as well as the collective goal of advancing an Iran free of nuclear weapons.

The Objectives of United Against a Nuclear Iran

  1. Inform the public about the nature of the Iranian regime, including its desire and intent to possess nuclear weapons, as well as Iran's role as a state sponsor of global terrorism, and a major violator of human rights at home and abroad;
  2. Heighten awareness nationally and internationally about the danger that a nuclear armed Iran poses to the region and the world;
  3. Mobilize public support, utilize media outreach, and persuade our elected leaders to voice a robust and united American opposition to a nuclear Iran;
  4. Lay the groundwork for effective US policies in coordination with European and other allies;
  5. Persuade the regime in Tehran to desist from its quest for nuclear weapons, while striving not to punish the Iranian people, and;
  6. Promote efforts that focus on vigorous national and international, social, economic, political and diplomatic measures.
UANI is led by an advisory board of outstanding national figures representing all sectors of our country.



American Coalition Against Nuclear Iran | 45 Rockefeller Plaza | New York | NY | 10111

More People Must Care about CAIR

The Legal Project
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More People Must Care about CAIR

by Adam Turner
Frontpage Magazine
August 31, 2012
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It has come to my attention that I may be suffering from "CAIRophobia."
Almost certainly, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), I am already afflicted with "Islamophobia," which they define as "unfounded fear of and hostility towards Islam. Such fear and hostility leads to discriminations against Muslims, exclusion of Muslims from mainstream political or social process, stereotyping, the presumption of guilt by association, and finally hate crimes." Islamophobia is actually a term the Muslim Brotherhood – the granddaddy of all Islamist groups – and their cohorts may have invented to take advantage of the bleeding hearts among the politically correct. So, if I am suffering from it, I suppose it is just a short hop to also suffering from "CAIRophobia," which I define as having a very rational fear of CAIR.

I accept this phobia. In fact, I sure wish some others had CAIRophobia.
CAIR is very busy pressure group these days. Recently, it demanded that the Pentagon drop a former CIA operative who worked inside Iran's Revolutionary Guards, known by his pseudonym of Reza Kahlili, as a lecturer at the Department of Defense's Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy. Although Kahlili is primarily known for teaching, writing and lecturing about the dangers the radical Iranian regime poses to the West, CAIR still felt the need to call for his dismissal for his supposed "anti-Islam agenda" as a former Muslim-turned-Christian. This is all part of CAIR'S continuing quest to purge the Defense Department and other government departments or agencies of the services of any expert who identifies radical Islam as a major threat to our nation. CAIR's public relations "jihads" have been waged against such people as Robert Spencer, John Guandolo, and Matthew Dooley. In Kahlili's case, the Pentagon refused to drop him, but it did go out of its way to assure CAIR that Kahlili "does not lecture on or about Islam or any religious treatise, and his personal beliefs are his own."

CAIR has also recently been hard at work attempting to shame and malign Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and her four congressional compatriots for their letters to the Inspector Generals (IGs) of the Defense Department, the State Department, the Justice Department, the Homeland Security Department, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. These letters asked the IGs to investigate thoroughly the degree to which members of, or sympathizers with, the Muslim Brotherhood are active in our defense and intelligence communities, and what impact that possible infiltration might be having on our national security. Through its pressure, CAIR presumably hopes to force the congressional leadership to block any such investigation. Harming the political careers of these Congressmen and intimidating others from ever addressing any issue related to radical Islam is an added benefit.

Further, CAIR, with the help of its left-wing friends at the Associated Press, along with other politically correct leftists, has also sought to embarrass and intimidate the New York Police Department (NYPD) from doing its job: protecting the public of New York City. The NYPD has found itself in CAIR's crosshairs because of its continuing surveillance of Muslim people, mosques, etc. in public areas. Even though going to Muslim-inhabited areas to surveil Muslim terrorists makes as much sense as going to an Italian-American club to surveil possible members of the Italian Mafia or going to an Irish-American bar to surveil potential IRA terrorists, CAIR believes that Muslim Americans deserve the special right not to be surveilled.

The amazing part of all this is that CAIR has an uncanny, Teflon-like ability to avoid mainstream criticism of its own disturbing background.

These are the facts involving CAIR. CAIR is an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas terror funding case. Some of its members have been indicted and then convicted of terrorism, fraud or other criminal charges. Research has shown that CAIR does not seem to have much of an American membership, and that it probably relies on funding from other sources, including the now defunct Hamas-funder, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), and potentially illegal foreign funding, especially from Saudi Arabia. CAIR even hit up the despicable Gaddafi regime in Libya for cash. The executive director of CAIR, Nihad Awad, participated in a three-day summit of U.S.-based members and supporters of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. CAIR refused for many years to unequivocally condemn Hezbollah and Palestinian terror organizations by name, even those which are formally designated terror groups by the U.S. and international community. Members of CAIR have also been caught promoting or making anti-Semitic statements. For much more information on CAIR, just see this website devoted to exposing CAIR, which CAIR unsuccessfully attempted to shut down through a defamation lawsuit.

Luckily, there are some other prominent CAIRophobes. The FBI has severed its ties with CAIR. Numerous U.S. senators and congressmen have condemned it, including Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Dick Durban. Numerous judges, FBI agents, and even a U.S. attorney have also weighed in.
But there should be plenty more. A simple Google search of the word "CAIR" would lead a researcher to a page with a link to the (above-mentioned) website, "Anti-CAIR." Anti-CAIR, which is run by Andrew Whitehead, has at the top of its front page these words:

CAIR Founded By Terrorists – "We Know The Founders Of CAIR Are HAMAS Operatives": CAIR Has Been Identified By The Government At Trial As A Participant In An Ongoing And Ultimately Unlawful Conspiracy To Support A Designated Terrorist Organization, A Conspiracy From Which CAIR Never Withdrew.

Each of these claims is backed up on the website. Further, also on the first page of the Google search, there is the Wikipedia link for CAIR. Wikipedia's description of CAIR contains many of these same criticisms, listed in a separate section titled "Criticism." Granted, any Internet user knows to check Wikipedia's information and claims; but as mentioned before, these criticisms are easily supported on the web.

Yet, somehow, someway, many in the politically correct mainstream, in government and out, and the politically correct mainstream media, continue to interact with CAIR as if they were a normal interest group. Many news organizations simply describe CAIR as only a respectable "Muslim civil rights group," or simply fail to mention their scandalous past at all. See these articles at the Associated Press, Reuters, and even Fox News. Many interest groups are still willing to work with CAIR as well, including the ACLU and the NAACP. And many government officials still associate with CAIR. At one of its banquets CAIR honored the Sheriff of Los Angeles County for his work with them. Perhaps most disturbingly, members of the Obama administration have admitted to "hundreds" of meetings with CAIR.

If only CAIRophobia were more contagious.

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