Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Gagging Us

Small Fears

I am not frightened of "terror". I am rather more concerned about terror's cheerleaders' wholesale penetration of our society, and their accomodation by suicidalist elites. I am appaled by the resulting breakdown in law and order, in Sydney, Paris, Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and a disturbingly increasing number of places. I am even more appaled by the elites' willingness to blame themselves for "racism" even as imams call for the rapes of unveiled girls and a rape epidemic sweeps unwitting countries, applaud suicide bombing and openly call for Sharia law in our countries.

I worry about this as much as I worry about the diplomatic and economic clout of a large UN voting bloc in control of an oil weapon and now even nuclear weapons.

What Matters Now

The attempt to silence us is far more worrying that any of these other developments. None of the problems described above are insurmountable if we can discuss, debate, criticise freely, and demand that our governments do what must be done.

This is an attempt to prevent an honest investigation of the religion of Islam, and how it pertains to terror and Islamist militancy. (Incidentally, why has it taken so long for the Pentagon to finally ask questions about the Islamic roots of Islamic warfare, and why do they need to conduct an extensive study to find what they could have found by browsing www.jihadwatch.com ?)

Without our voices, without our right to reason and criticise, we cannot awaken our sleeping and self-hating compatriots. We cannot face the other dangers outlined above. This is why gagging us is the enemy's current main priority, and must be the thing we fight most strongly against.

The gagging process is one of intimidation on three fronts, one of violence, one of what many strategists are now calling "lawfare", the use of our own institutions against us and one of diplomatic bullying when the other two fail. In addition, there is a disturbing trend among the EU and the UN in siding with Islamists against free speech. The forces arrayed against Denmark for refusing to bow to Islamist demands provides many of the cases in point in this post, which relies on a concise and lucid account by Patrick Goodenough in Townhall.com [Hat Tip: Tom Paine at Silent Running]

Intimidation through Violence

It could be argued that every act of terror, every kindnapping and every beheading is intimidation through violence. This is certainly true, and concessions are extracted with every hostage release. While it could be argued that these are matters affecting distant regions, we need to consider some facts close to home.

Concessions from Terror

After September 11 politicians were falling over each other to attend mosques. After Madrid, the pullout of Spanish troops from Iraq was swift, final and unapolagetic.
After 7/7 the governement formed a number of Muslim advisory groups.
Sounds like terror working to me.

Concessions from Rampage

Not all violence in question is the work of bombers, kindnappers, snipers and beheaders. Not all of them carry the Koran. Riots in France, Britain, Denmark, Belgium, Germany and Sydney are carried out by "youths" bearing molotov cocktails, iron pipes and firearms, and directed against their host culture. The results tend to be more "understanding" and "tolerance", while the hands of police remain tied.

Fear of Speaking or Publishing

There is a price to be paid for criticising Islam in the West, even when the law permits it. Theo Van Gough was the first prominent casualty of this trend, Salman Rushdie fell afoul of Islam more than a decade before. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders are under 24 hour protection after receiving numerous death threats. And then there is the matter of Jyllands-Posten. How did the whole thing start ?


The newspaper first asked caricaturists to submit ideas after three
artists turned down a request by a Danish children's author to illustrate a new
book on Mohammed. The artists had refused, fearing that doing so would put them
in danger.

Were they right in their fear ? Well, after Jyllands-Posten asked some brave cartoonists to stand up for free speech, there were death threats, angry protests and


As far away as Pakistan, local media carried reports saying
Islamists were offering rewards to anyone who killed the cartoonists. The
reports prompted the Danish government to amend a travel warning, advising
citizens planning visits to Pakistan.

So writers, cartoonists and journalists are forced to conduct self-censorship, for fear of offending a lawless, dangerous and murderous segment of the population. Only the bravest will challenge this self-imposed constraint.

Lawfare

Street violence is enhanced by legal intimidation. The law is used to bully, silence and punish those who would criticise the Prophet, his teachings and those who follow them, or those who would investigate, question and oppose their agenda.

Back to the Dark Ages: Legislated Self-Destruction

In an age of supposed enlightenment and rampant hyper-secularism, it is surreal to see such a scramble to legislate what could only be described as blasphemy laws. It is now illegal in many enlightened Western countries for its citizens to freely criticise certain opinions and beliefs and those who hold them.
This situation belongs in the dark ages, not in an age of free speech.
The Australian state of Victoria has its Racial and Religious Tolerance Act which has acted as a blasphemy law in the case of "Catch the Fire Ministries".
The UK is about to pass its own version of these laws. In all cases, there is only one community that asks for, or benefits from these laws, and it is proposed by a Labor governement with a heavy reliance on that constituency.
Western states are busy legislating their own destruction.

Intimidation

The use of lawfare against critics of the ROP has led to a number of prominent cases, the Victorian case is mentioned above. Italy too has ridiculous medieval laws, perhaps due to its relationship with the Vatican. This is why Oriana Fallaci is facing the charge of "Defaming Islam" in an Italian Court.
The number of such prominent cases is thankfully small, and they are rarely successful. Sadly, the objectives of such cases are met even when they are unsuccessful.
They serve as a warning to any who might attempt the same thing.
In France, Michel Houellebecq was tried for calling Islam a "Stupid Religion". While acquitted, he has himself said that he will be the last to dare say such a thing.
Lawfare as a form of intimidation works by preventing prudent, intelligent individuals from venturing onto risky territory. Thus the most cogent voices will stray on the side of caution, and Islam will be safe from deep criticism in Italy, France, the UK, Victoria and a growing number of Western states.

Diplomatic Bullying

Another interesting perspective of the Jyllands-Posten case is that it serves as a wonderful case study of that special case where there is no basis for lawfare, and the goverment does not back down to intimidation. The heroic stand taken by Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been met with challenges and threats from diplomats of 11 Muslim countries (including a number of prominent "moderates"), the Organisation of Islamic States, and the Arab League.


The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), representing 57
Muslim states and territories, issued a memorandum on January 1 accusing the
Danish government of "indifference" after Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen
declined to intervene in the dispute.Rasmussen called it a matter of freedom of
speech, echoing the reasoning of the newspaper at the center of the row.
Jyllands-Posten had said it wanted to test the limits of free speech at a time
it was under threat because of the influence of radical Islam.The OIC dismissed
the free speech argument, saying in its statement this week that the publication
of the cartoons "was meant to disturb and infuriate Muslims, and could not be
considered as an innocent behavior falling within the scope of freedom of
expression in which everyone believes."Claiming that the publication "has
offended hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world," the organization
announced that the governments and cultural organizations in all OIC member
states had been asked to boycott a forthcoming cultural project on the Middle
East, partly funded by the Danish government.Last week, foreign ministers of the
Arab League mandated the 22-nation bloc's secretary-general, Amr Moussa, to take
up the issue directly with the Danish government.In a declaration, they voiced
"surprise and indignation over the Danish government's reaction, which was
disappointing, despite the political, economic, and cultural bonds with the
Muslim world."Not only did Rasmussen refuse to take up the matter with the
newspaper, he also declined to meet with a delegation of ambassadors from 11
Muslim nations who wanted to discuss the "tone" of the debate over Islam in
Denmark."As prime minister I have no tool whatsoever to take actions against the
media, and I don't want that kind of tool," he said at the time.

There is no respect for freedom of speech or Danish sovereignty. There is not even any understanding of the limits of the powers of a Prime Minister of a liberal democracy. There is only the bullying power of the most backward and dangerous fifth of the world.

Alongside terror and lawfare comes diplomatic brute force, applied as a blunt instrument against the very fabric of Danish society, democracy and freedom.

Subverting International Institutions

The most frightening development is the subversion of key international institutions to the Islamist agenda. It is frightening when given a choice between freedom of speech and medieval blashpemy laws, key UN and EU representatives are eager to ditch the former in the name of the latter.


After being approached by the OIC, U.N. high
commissioner for human rights Louise Arbour told the Islamic bloc in a letter
that she had asked U.N. experts in religious and race issues to investigate."I
understand your concerns and would like to emphasize that I regret any statement
or act that could express a lack of respect for the religion of others," Arbour
said.Franco Frattini, the vice president of the European Union's executive
Commission, told the Jyllands-Posten in the run-up to Christmas that while he
"fully" respected freedom of speech, the cartoons were adding to "growing
Islamophobia" in Europe.
The fear is that institutions such as the International Criminal Court, as well as the unfortunate but still overwhelming moral imprimatiur of the UN will force nations such as Denmark, and more enlightened states of Australia to adopt the gag on criticism of Islam and its followers.

This is the most immediate challenge facing the West today. Gagging laws must be fought tooth and nail. Gagging insitutions must be exposed for the cowards and collaborators that they are. Intimidation and terror must be answered loudly at the ballot, in the opinion pages, in conversation with compatriots. We must NOT remain silent. The silencing of the West is our Stalingrad, our Rorke's Drift, our Vienna. It is our last redoubt. God help us if we fail here.
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