Sunday, August 8, 2010

I am beginning to believe that Daisy Khan and Feisal Abdul Rauf really are moderates. This would explain a lot.

Why has "moderate" Islam failed so miserably in the face of the ever growing popularity of extremism throughout the Muslim world?

Maybe it's because so-called moderate Muslims are as breathtakingly inept, cravenly dishonest, ethically compromised, and intellectually bankrupt as so-called "progressive" Christians.

For now I only have time to address the issue of ineptitude. Seriously. If I were a "moderate" Muslim, I would not secretly plan for years to build a Mosque at Ground Zero, refuse to denounce extremist groups such as Hamas, raise $100M in foreign money mostly from parts of the world where Jihadism is increasingly popular and powerful, name my organization after a city that symbolizes Islamic theocratic expansionism, and launch an international organization of Muslim clerics with the word "Shariah" in its title.

I used to think that there was no evidence that the Cordoba Initiative is sincere in their claims to be "moderates" who are genuinely committed to opposing terrorism and aggression in the name of Islam. But now I am beginning to think that they are in fact shining examples of the best that "moderate" Islam can do.

If we consider the track record of Islamic "moderates", then perhaps the combination of incompetence, arrogance, and base stupidity displayed by the Cordoba Initiative is all the proof we need that these folks are genuine "moderates". Anyone who thought that the response to the Ground Zero Mosque would be any different from the firestorm of anti-Islam sentiment that has been unleashed is a fool. And so perhaps the Cordoba Initiative, and "moderate" Islam generally, is just a ship of fools.

It would explain a lot.

Melanie Phillips on Lars Hedegaard

Melanie Phillips is the author of Londonistan. The following is from her August 8, 2010 piece in the Spectator under the title "The jihad of the word erupts yet again in Denmark".

A chilling development in Denmark illustrates just how ‘hate speech’ laws, which were introduced by deluded western liberals, are being used to stifle and criminalise the expression of legitimate opinion and essential debate -- the prerequisite of a liberal society. Lars Hedegaard is president of Denmark’s International Free Press Society, which is devoted to fighting to preserve freedom of expression -- particularly against the threat from radical Islam to shut it down on the spurious grounds of ‘Islamophobia’. The inevitable has now happened: as Nathaniel Sugarman writes at The Legal Project, Hedegaard finds himself facing prosecution for ‘racism’ over remarks he has made about Islam.

The basis for Hedegaard's prosecution was an interview from December 2009 in which he made controversial statements about Islam. These assertions included critiques of what Hedegaard saw as Islam's permissiveness regarding child abuse and bearing false witness, as well as Islam's general intolerance concerning apostacism and critical speech. Snaphanen, a Danish blog, published the original interview, and Hedegaard has since clarified some of his remarks.

Hedegaard's statements earned him a hate speech charge under Danish law. While Denmark's constitution ostensibly protects freedom of expression and forbids censorship (see Section 77), the Criminal code provides that "expressing and spreading racial hatred" is a criminal offense punishable with up to two years imprisonment. (Article 266b).

It seems this is not the first such prosecution in Denmark:

On June 16, 2010, the Danish parliament voted to strip a lawmaker of immunity so that he could face charges over anti-Muslim comments. The politician, Jesper Langballe, is a veteran member of the Danish People's Party (PPD) and a crucial ally of the center-right government. In January 2010, he penned a newspaper column discussing the status of women in Islam and the "Islamisation of Europe." Included was the statement that "Muslims kill their daughters over crimes of honour and turn a blind eye while they are raped by their uncles." He is currently awaiting trial for violating Article 266b—the same hate speech statute that will likely be applied to Hedegaard.

There is however a ray of light for Denmark: it seems that the Justice Minister is now considering amending the hate speech laws on the grounds that they could be misused to restrict free speech. If so, this would underscore Denmark's general reputation for robustness in defence of its core civilisational values. It's a reputation which has nevertheless taken a knock from its adoption of these illiberal hate crime laws in the first place -- but remember the heroic Jyllands-Posten, whose staff found themselves under a death sentence for publishing the Mohammed cartoons.

However, the possible amendment of Denmark's hate laws is scant consolation for other western countries, with the UN having decided to criminalise all criticism of sharia law, as reported here. Until and unless western liberals finally understand that radical Islamists are not a minority whose human rights need to be defended but are instead a mortal threat to human rights which must be defeated -- and crucially, that the UN is the vehicle of Islamist oppression and must in turn be fought by all who care about human rights -- the light of freedom will continue to be extinguished in the west.

Here are some other relevant posts from this blog on the subject of freedom of expression in this modern world:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Lars Hedegaard & Lifting the Veil on Sexual Assault
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sharia World: A Brief News Round-Up
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Doda: "Forbidden Fruit Tastes Better"
Monday, June 21, 2010
Two More "Hate Speech" Cases Rearing Their Ugly Heads In Europe
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Sex, Religion, Art, Music & Freedom of Expression in Poland
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Holocaust Denial is OK, but criticizing Islam is not. Apparently.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The Kids Are Alright (In Which I Praise Extreme Pagan Metal)
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Early March, 2010 Blasphemy World Roundup!!
Friday, March 5, 2010
"Should the right to oppose Islam not exist?"
Friday, January 29, 2010
Fascism, Islam, and Freedom of Expression
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The Case of Geert Wilders: Islam, Free Speech, Tolerance, and Politics