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Free-Speech

Summary:


The concept is nicely summed up here:

Free speech-even speech you don't like; especially speech you don't like-is one of the things that literally makes America great https://t.co/G6M3PZTdjk

— Richard Dreyfuss (@RichardDreyfuss) April 29, 2017 
International human rights law also protects freedom of expression. The government may only ban limited types of speech such as that which immediately and directly incites violence, but the government may not impose criminal sanctions for the expression of thoughts or opinions, merely because they are deemed offensive.

https://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session4/SA/ECLJ_SAU_UPR_S4_2009_EuropeanCentreforLawandJustice.pdf

Brendan O’Neill - editor of spiked

It’s time to get serious about freedom of speech. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of ideas. It is unacceptable to repress the expression of hatred. ‘Hate speech is not free speech!’, people say. But it is. By its very definition, free speech must include hate speech. Speech must always be free, for two reasons: everyone must be free to express what they feel, and everyone else must have the right to decide for themselves whether those expressions are good or bad. When the EU, social-media corporations and others seek to make that decision for us, and squash ideas they think we will find shocking, they reduce us to the level of children. That is censorship’s greatest crime: it infantilises us. Let us now reassert our adulthood, our autonomy, and tell them: ‘Do not presume to censor anything on our behalf. We can think for ourselves.'

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/we-must-have-the-freedom-to-hate1/18445#.Wu7ObIgvzIV

In April 2008, during his keynote address to the first conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, Professor Bernard Lewis warned of the ominous limits on scholarly analysis of Islam imposed by political correctness and multiculturalism:

 

The degree of thought control, of limitations on freedom of speech and expression is without parallel in the Western world since the eighteenth century and in some cases longer than that. ... It seems to me it’s a very dangerous situation, because it makes any kind of scholarly discussion of Islam, to say the least, dangerous. Islam and Islamic values now have a level of immunity from comment and criticism in the Western world that Christianity has lost and Judaism has never had.
https://pjmedia.com/blog/geert-wilders-western-sages-and-totalitarian-islam/

A damning indictment of the term 'Islamophobia':

  • The objective of using the word "Islamophobia" appears to have been to make Islam untouchable by placing any criticism of it as equivalent to racism or anti-Semitism.

  • The word "Islamophobia" deliberately intends to transform the critique of a religion -- a fundamental right in Western societies -- into a crime.

  • "The term 'Islamophobia' serves several functions....Above all, however, the term is intended to silence Muslims who question the Koran, who demand equality of the sexes, who claim the right to renounce their religion, and who want to practice their faith freely and without submitting to the dictates of the bearded and dogmatic." – Pascal Bruckner, in his book, Un racisme ordinaire : Islamophobie et culpabilité, Grasset, 2017 [English version: An Imaginary Racism: Islamophbia and Guilt, Polity 2018]

  • It is not Muslims people "hate," any more than they hate Hindus or Buddhists or Shintos. It is the violence and coercion that some adopt -- what is known as jihad or holy war -- that people reject.

  • In the attacks at the Bataclan Theater and other sites in 2015, terrorists murdered 131 persons and wounded 413. Is it irrational to remember who was calling those shots?

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15159/islamophobia-political-weapon

How stifling criticism of Islam is counter-productive to reform of Islam and sharia: 

  • On the surface, for those who wanted to reform Islam, the only place to do so appeared to be the West. We all assumed that here in the West, it would be safe to question and criticize. Instead, so many institutions utilize a far more subtle method of silencing criticism.

  • The more you conceal or disregard constructive criticism of Islam, the harder you are making it for reforms to occur in the religion and the easier you are making it for Muslim radicals to prevail.

  • The reason I criticize the radical elements of my religion is not because I have hatred in my heart, but because I desire to protect those who have been abused and abandoned by their leaders.

What is it that I say that rankles the left so much? I refuse to be apologetic for radical Islam in the West. I refuse to gloss over the darkest consequences to which rampant extremism has led. I do not waffle beneath the idea of multiculturalism or tolerance; some things are not meant to be tolerated. The message of the apologists is clear: Get in line. Send out the same messages that others are: about all aspects of Islam being a loving and benevolent religion. Focus on this and sweep the crimes against humanity under the carpet.

Why Can't I Criticize My Religion?

This point on tolerance is also very apposite:

Tolerance demands conditions, something that the great Catholic preacher Fulton Sheen knew a century ago. The following piece is an excerpt from his 1931 book, Old Errors and New Labels, and is provocatively titled “A Plea for Intolerance.”

I’m sure his words were timely then, but perhaps moreso today. This line sums up his argument:

“Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.”

What a crucial point! The greatest barrier to dialogue is our failure to separate people from their ideas. When that happens, people become afraid to challenge bad ideas because they feel like they’re demeaning the person who holds them. But people are not their beliefs—they have beliefs, but they are not identical with their beliefs. That’s a vital distinction, which Sheen helps us see.

https://brandonvogt.com/fulton-sheen-need-intolerance/

This professor also makes the valid point: ‘Hurling labels doesn’t enlighten, inform, edify or educate.’

What those of us in academia should certainly not do is engage in unreasoned speech: hurling slurs and epithets, name-calling, vilification and mindless labeling. Likewise, we should not reject the views of others without providing reasoned arguments. Yet these once common standards of practice have been violated repeatedly at my own and at other academic institutions in recent years, and we increasingly see this trend in society as well.

One might respond that unreasoned slurs and outright condemnations are also speech and must be defended. My recent experience has caused me to rethink this position. In debating others, we should have higher standards. Of course one has the right to hurl labels like “racist,” “sexist” and “xenophobic”—but that doesn’t make it the right thing to do. Hurling such labels doesn’t enlighten, inform, edify or educate. Indeed, it undermines these goals by discouraging or stifling dissent.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-cant-be-debated-on-campus-1518792717#click=https://t.co/rEmRMjIwWK

This article on how language manipulation can be used to manipulation beliefs:

How language manipulation distorted national identities

Not all indoctrination is bad. Helping someone understand their own thought processes to help quit smoking or other addiction, for example, is arguably also a form of brainwashing. But in this instance, the intention is to help the individual. Crucially, the individual is aware of what is about to take place.

What should be of concern is when this takes place without our conscious awareness. Because, and you don’t need me to spell this out, that if it’s being done deceitfully we can pretty much guarantee that it isn’t in our interests. So how do we know? It can be difficult, but here are some pointers:

  1. When you see or hear a headline, first ask yourself why this story is being aired? Or how much air-time it is getting? Who benefits from you buying into the narrative? There are endless stories all over the world the media can choose from, so why did they choose this one?
  2. What and how is language being used? Are there any words or phrases that are being repeated often? This is important because if this is the case, you will notice people around you repeating the same phrases as their own
  3. Spend time on numbers 1 and 2 before you get involved in the story. The moment you delve in and get involved in the arguments, you are psychologically much less able to step back and evaluate with the same effectiveness. It is, literally, the perfect example of: ‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’.

https://shysociety.co.uk/2018/03/17/language-manipulation-distorted-national-identities/

Finally, this legal blog makes some very interesting points on the laws currently used to monitor 'hate' speech in the UK.

http://barristerblogger.com/2018/03/24/its-time-to-change-the-bad-law-used-to-prosecute-count-dankula/

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    08/03/2019
    Summary: 

    ‘Cultural racism’

    Tellingly, there is no attempt to define ‘Islam’ in the APPG report. What they have done instead is racialise Islam so as to make Islamophobia a form of racism. It does not matter that Islam is not a race, or that many Muslims do not see themselves as anything like a separate race. The authors want Islamophobia to be seen as racist. The report explains:

  • Summary: 

    The West’s movement towards the truth is remarkably slow. We drag ourselves towards it painfully, inch by inch, after each bloody Islamist assault.

    In France, Britain, Germany, America and nearly every other country in the world it remains government policy to say that any and all attacks carried out in the name of Mohammed have ‘nothing to do with Islam’. It was said by George W. Bush after 9/11, Tony Blair after 7/7 and Tony Abbott after the Sydney attack last month. It is what David Cameron said after two British extremists cut off the head of Drummer Lee Rigby in London, when ‘Jihadi John’ cut off the head of aid worker Alan Henning in the ‘Islamic State’ and when Islamic extremists attacked a Kenyan mall, separated the Muslims from the Christians and shot the latter in the head. And, of course, it is what President François Hollande said after the massacre of journalists and Jews in Paris last week.

    ...

    There may be some positive things to be said about Mohammed, but I thought this was pushing things too far and mentioned just one occasion when Mohammed didn’t welcome a critic. Asma bint Marwan was a female poetess who mocked the ‘Prophet’ and who, as a result, Mohammed had killed. It is in the texts. It is not a problem for me. But I can understand why it is a problem for decent Muslims. The moment I said this, my Muslim colleague went berserk. How dare I say this? I replied that it was in the Hadith and had a respectable chain of transmission (an important debate). He said it was a fabrication which he would not allow to stand. The upshot was that he refused to continue unless all mention of this was wiped from the recording. The BBC team agreed and I was left trying to find another way to express the same point. The broadcast had this ‘offensive’ fact left out.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    16/11/2019
    Summary: 

    “The dossier reveals that Cllr Griffiths posted an article on Facebook in 2017 claiming German Muslims had campaigned to end the Oktoberfest beer festival, because it was ‘un-Islamic.'”

    Well, did such a campaign occur or did it not? If it did, why is it forbidden to speak about it?

    “Cllr Griffiths then liked a comment posted on the post which said: ‘They can go back to where they came from. Try going to a Muslim country and ask them to stop Muslim traditions because it offends incoming Christians. How outrageous is sharia behaviour.’”

  • Country: 
    European Union
    News Date: 
    14/11/2019
    Summary: 

    Sharia Watch: Anyone using the term 'Islamophobia' needs to be able to give clear, evidence based reasons why what the European Court of Human Rights has ruled on sharia is wrong!

    • The objective of using the word "Islamophobia" appears to have been to make Islam untouchable by placing any criticism of it as equivalent to racism or anti-Semitism.

  • Country: 
    Maldives
    News Date: 
    07/11/2019
    Summary: 

    Has Amnesty International spoken out against the stigmatizing, demonizing, and deplatforming of critics of jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women in the West, or only in the Maldives? What do you think? And why the inconsistency? Because in the West, Islamocritics are defamed as “right-wing,” and hence worthy of no consideration.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    18/10/2019
    Summary: 

    The Birmingham school protests have turned into one of those totemic issues: tolerant Britain vs backward religious people

  • Author(s):

    Summary: 

    By punishing politically incorrect speech and making punitive examples of free thinkers, tech titans are enforcing their own authoritarian version of Silicon Valley sharia — a set of both written and unwritten codes constricting expressions of acceptable thought in the name of “safety” and “civility.”

    Laura Loomer was suspended permanently from Twitter over the Thanksgiving holiday for this tweet — and I quote in full:

    “Isn’t it ironic how the twitter moment used to celebrate ‘women, LGBTQ, and minorities’ is a picture of Ilhan Omar? Ilhan is pro Sharia(.) Ilhan is pro-FGM(.) Under Sharia, homosexuals are oppressed & killed. Women are abused & forced to wear the hijab. Ilhan is anti Jewish.”

    See also:

  • Country: 
    France
    News Date: 
    13/10/2019
    Summary: 
    • Defending someone who is accused of being a "racist" implies the risk of being accused of being a "racist" too. Intellectual terror reigns in France.

    • France is moving from a "muzzled press to a muzzling press that destroys free speech". — Alain Finkielkraut, writer and philosopher.

    • Writers other than Éric Zemmour have been hauled into court and totally excluded from all media, simply for describing reality.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    03/10/2019
    Summary: 

    The chancellor of the exchequer Sajid Javid has said he does not use the word 'Islamophobia' because of its capacity to shut down legitimate criticism of religion. The National Secular Society has said the government should heed Javid's comments, which came in a BBC Radio 4 interview on Monday, as it considers its strategy on anti-Muslim hatred.

  • Author(s):

    Summary: 

    I have searched online to find any articles written about what makes a young white man join an organisation deemed so dangerous that the Home Office has banned it.  Where is the outpouring of sympathies for young white men like Clarke who have seen their towns and cities changed beyond recognition because of diversity and multiculturalism.

    Or do we only have sympathy when it is brown Muslim girls who up and leave the UK to join ISIS and then regret their decision because they are now in a refugee camp with their husband and children dead and want to return to the country and people they despise?

    Why did the Home Office ban National Action yet Hizb ut-Tahrir a group that glorifies terrorism and is banned in many Muslim majority countries is not?

    The more I read, the more I am convinced that the lunatics are running the asylum.

     

  • Country: 
    European Union
    News Date: 
    11/03/2017
    Summary: 
  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    17/09/2019
    Summary: 
    • "We are concerned that the definition... could be used to challenge legitimate free speech on the historical or theological actions of Islamic states. There is also a risk it could also undermine counter-terrorism powers, which seek to tackle extremism or prevent terrorism." — Martin Hewitt, Chair, National Police Chiefs' Council.

    • Islam represents an idea, not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most hate-speech laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    12/09/2019
    Summary: 
    • Disturbingly, the main concern of Blair's think-tank appears to be the online verbal "hatred" displayed by citizens in response to terrorist attacks -- not the actual physical expression of hatred shown in the mass murders of innocent people by terrorists. Terrorist attacks, it would appear, are now supposedly normal, unavoidable incidents that have become part and parcel of UK life.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    07/09/2019
    Summary: 

    Would-be censors also advance the seemingly innocuous requirement to publish more than one opinion in any given story. This is an iniquitous imposition. When covering racial attacks on Muslim retailers, it would have had me asking ‘how many opinions, exactly?’ — and whether I would seriously be expected to interview any members of the English Defence League who would seek to justify those attacks.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    07/09/2019
    Summary: 

    For months, Ipso has been working on a new project: an ‘informal working group’ to guide journalists on what should and shouldn’t be said about Islam and Muslims. Drafts of this guidance have been leaked to Policy Exchange by someone concerned about where it might lead, and it is examined in a new study by the thinktank called Eroding the Free Press. I can disclose it here for the first time.

    ...

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    30/08/2019
    Summary: 

    Admin:  Our view is that Tony Blair and his Institute are extremely biased and frankly, they are ignoring the realities of sharia law as spelt out clearly in our  Also as spelt out by this brave who wishes to see Islam reformed.

  • Summary: 
    • Incoming innocents, entering into such an unsafe space as the first day of school, are increasingly less likely to encounter any requirement for inner strength as they face, for the first time, the perils of the world without maternal protection.

    • Yearned-for amendments to the facts of life, previously intended to equip a child against the rough and tumble of the "school of life," have been replaced by the notion that refusing to hear anything that might offend one is not a choice, but a right. Why argue with creatures who have an opposing view when you can simply shut them down?

    • The tech giants, big government, the media, and their willing executioners, are trying to push all opposition to the periphery.

  • Summary: 
    • Not all people who worry about a replacement of civilizations are necessarily violent or even incorrect. They appear to be frightened folk, sent over the edge by matters they may feel beyond control. In Europe and the United States, they have witnessed wave upon wave of attacks by individuals and groups openly espousing violence in the name of religion. They seem to fear that their own governments are doing too little to protect them and their families from future attacks.

    • "What unites these groups ideologically is a belief that Europe is facing a 'great replacement' by Muslim and African immigrants. And they want something done about it." — Marion MacGregor, "The push from Europe's young new right", Infomigrants.net; May 5, 2018.

    • Political correctness, often an extreme form of denial of reality, has made it increasingly hard for even the most reasonable and careful of thinkers to say anything critical about Islam...efforts to block fair criticism of aspects of Islam can become unjust forms of censorship.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    21/07/2005
    Summary: 

    And yet when I look back now, the remarkable thing is not how much fuss they made, but how little, especially if you think what we have come to expect from some Muslims. I have in mind not just the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, but the trembling refusal of a noted Koranic scholar to write an article for The Spectator. "You don't understand," he said. "These people will kill me if I say what I really think. I mean kill me."

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    22/07/2019
    Summary: 

    A man has been arrested and imprisoned in Scotland for painting the words “Islam is questionable” on his house, in what Police Officers claimed was a “breach of the peace”.

  • Summary: 

    In April 2008, during his keynote address to the first conference of the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa,  of the ominous limits on scholarly analysis of Islam imposed by political correctness and multiculturalism:

     

    The degree of thought control, of limitations on freedom of speech and expression is without parallel in the Western world since the eighteenth century and in some cases longer than that. ... It seems to me it’s a very dangerous situation, because it makes any kind of scholarly discussion of Islam, to say the least, dangerous. Islam and Islamic values now have a level of immunity from comment and criticism in the Western world that Christianity has lost and Judaism has never had.

  • Country: 
    Saudi Arabia
    News Date: 
    07/06/2019
    Summary: 

    Saudi Arabia has sentenced to death a teenager for participating in the pro-democracy Arab Spring protests when he was just 10 years old.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    26/03/2019
    Summary: 

    he All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on British Muslims has produced a well-intentioned but worrisome definition of Islamophobia. It states: “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    26/03/2019
    Summary: 

    The author of a report into alleged extremist speakers on British campuses has been banned from an event at a university her study strongly criticises. The university called off the talk after a threat of protests organised by its Islamic Society and the Student Union among other groups.

  • Summary: 

    Only a fool would cheer the banning of Tommy Robinson by Facebook and Instagram. It doesn’t matter if you like or loathe him. It doesn’t matter if you think he’s a searing critic of the divisive logic in the politics of diversity or Luton’s very own Oswald Mosley in Jack Wills clobber. The point is that his expulsion from social media confirms that corporate censorship is out of control. It speaks to a new kind of tyranny: the tyranny of unaccountable capitalist oligarchs in Silicon Valley getting to decide who is allowed to speak in the new public square that is the internet.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    16/02/2019
    Summary: 

    Thirty years ago this week, Ayatollah Khomeini put a fatwa on the head of Salman Rushdie.. At least 22 people were killed; Rushdie went into hiding. Britain suddenly had to confront some unsettling truths.

  • Summary: 
    • Courts and government bodies still find it hard to make useful distinctions between gratuitous, racist, or violent speech about Islam and Muslims on the one hand, and reasoned argument that questions aspects of Islam, or even the religion overall, from the point of view of human rights, on the other.

    • The situation in Europe is even more ambiguous. Most European states have laws that purportedly support free speech, yet accusations of hate speech and Islamophobia often lead to trials and sentencing can lead to imprisonment. This skewing of facts is one crucial reason why free speech needs to be defended.

    • It is more than ever necessary to educate the public and many of its leaders about both the benign and troubling facts of Islamic history, doctrine, and culture. Those leaders who must require a more solid grounding include the ones who deny that terrorism has genuine links to issues such as jihad warfare -- and who are constantly told that "real" Islam is above rebuke.

      We must indeed paint a positive picture of what so many Muslims contribute to their host societies. We should, for example, celebrate the way in which Muslim-Americans in Philadelphia launched an appeal that raised over $100,000 to help repair two Jewish cemeteries that had been vandalized. Or the Muslim veteran in Arkansas who volunteered to stand guard with others at any Jewish site that was threatened with attack.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    29/01/2019
    Summary: 

     has agreed on a list of examples that should be deemed 'Islamophobic'. The council passed a motion last night to adopt the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia.


    Admin: This is a slow, creeping erosion of fre speech. Since the government rejected this dusbious definition it appears the aim is to introduce it piecemeal by persuading local councils to adopt it.

  • Summary: 

    Why the UK government should not adopt a proposed new definition of Islamophobia.

     

  • Summary: 
    • Censored from today's campuses is discussion of another, in various respects competing, intersectionality: That of the shared, intersecting, predicaments of today's victims of Islamist aggression, including terrorism.

    • Hamas's operatives have trained in Sudan and worked with Sudanese forces, including those that have been engaged in the Darfur genocide. This is the organization whose supporters are leading movers behind the campus intersectionality/boycott campaign and have become the moral arbiters of campus political correctness.

    • Of those killed at the Twin Towers on 9/11, 215 were black (136 men, 79 women). Other African Americans were murdered in subsequent Islamist-inspired terrorist attacks in California and Florida and elsewhere, and are as likely to be victims of future such terror attacks as anyone else. But work to prevent, and minimize the impact, of such assaults apparently counts for no more to Black Lives Matter, when weighed against promoting an anti-Israel agenda, than it does to SJP and other Hamas-linked groups.

    • The "intersectionality" promoted on campuses and beyond by Hamas/SJP and their fellow travelers seeks, in pursuit of its anti-Israel agenda, to distract attention from the Islamist onslaught, its ongoing savaging of populations in Africa, Asia and America.

  • Summary: 
    • "We demand the legal right to Free Speech, in an Act which will bring an end to the ludicrous notion that 'hate speech' and 'offensive speech' deserves people be imprisoned or charged. In short, an Act to codify the citizens' right to freedom of speech without government intervention." — Petition (ultimately rejected) to the British government calling for codifying free speech.

    • "A hate crime is any criminal offense, for example assault or malicious communications, which is perceived [emphasis added] to be motivated by hostility or prejudice based on a person's actual or perceived race, religion, sexual orientation, disability or transgender identity." — From the British government's response to the petition.

    • A Home Office review proposed legislative changes that would require Muslim couples to undergo a civil marriage before or at the same time as their Islamic ceremony. Such a requirement would provide women with legal protection under British law. The review said that nearly all those using Sharia councils were females seeking an Islamic divorce. As a "significant number" of Muslim couples do not register their marriages under civil law, "some Muslim women have no option of obtaining a civil divorce."

  • Country: 
    Pakistan
    News Date: 
    28/12/2018
    Summary: 

     The accusation against a Christian mother-of-five called Asia Bibi and the death sentence that followed divided Pakistan and prompted religious extremists to assassinate two senior politicians who spoke out for her.  The 54-year-old was in October acquitted on appeal, but remains in protective custody until the ruling has been reviewed.

  • Summary: 

    Two parts to this - firstly, Hitchens warning about 'Islamophobia' used by those in power as an excuse to erode and curtail free speech - includes updated references. Looking at what has recently happened in Canada & announced in the UK, it appears Hitchens was a better prophet than any offered by religious cults. Secondly, Snippets from Hitchens & friends defending free speech & the right to offend.

  • Summary: 

    In 1984, George Orwell wrote: “The two aims of the Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought. When people ‘disappear’ no one is allowed to mention it, no one is mourned, no one person is important, only the Party and Big Brother are important.”

    Today, Orwell’s Thought Police are, rather ominously, everywhere. There is a definite intellectual chill in the air. Reason and civility are all but gone in the public square. In its place, we have insults, shaming, censorship and self-censorship that is meant to “pass” for thought. Hotly internalized propaganda rules the day online. We have met Big Brother, and he is us.

    In my view, people seem to develop some kind of psychoanalytic transference to their Listserv groups. In a way, the connection is an umbilical one. The darker side of this connection isn’t hard to find. Internet Listserv groups bully and purge dissident members—this has  and to many others. Sometimes, a small group of people (teenage “mean girls” and their mothers, academics, journalists,) attack the same person over and over again, day after day, for months, even for years. Meanwhile, hundreds of onlookers remain silent. No one stops the attacks or calls for a more civilized fight.

    My esteemed ally and sister Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been disinvited from lecture dates and awards ceremonies many times; her  have sometimes been spearheaded by feminists. I have also been , more than . The point of these de-platforming rituals, of course, is to demonstrate the difference between a Thought Crime and the Party Line. Over and over again, universities and institutions that are supposedly devoted to the free exchange of ideas fail this basic test, strengthening the extremists and the censors by handing them the victories they seek.

  • Summary: 
    • The first problem of the European Court of Human Rights decision against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff is that it means that, at least in cases of blasphemy, truth is not a defence.

    • Such a judgement hands over the decision on what is or is not allowed to be said not to a European or national court, but to whoever can claim, plausibly or otherwise, that another individual has risked "the peace."

    • There have been similar mobster tricks tried for some years now. They all run on the old claim, "I'm not mad with you myself; I'm just holding my friend back here."

  • Author(s):

    Summary: 

    But this is not a story about the triumph of tolerance over antiquated law. Ms. Bibi was freed not because the court found that the blasphemy law violated her rights or was in any other way inherently wrong, but because the trial was flawed. Blasphemy, broadly defined as speaking insultingly about God or religion, remains a capital crimein Pakistan and illegal in many other lands, in the East and the West.

    According to the  about a quarter of all countries had anti-blasphemy laws or policies as of 2014, and more than a tenth have laws or policies against apostasy, or renouncing a religious belief. That does not mean people in the West risk being imprisoned for taking the Lord’s name in vain. In many countries, like Canada, old laws remain on the books simply because nobody has bothered to get them off — as the Irish did last month when they voted in  to scrap their blasphemy laws. In the United States, six states still have old blasphemy laws, but no case would conceivably survive against the First Amendment.

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    13/11/2018
    Summary: 

    The National Secular Society has urged the BBC to treat free expression "as a positive value" as it raised concerns that new guidelines defer excessively to religious sensitivities. In response to a consultation on the  the NSS warned that

  • Country: 
    Bangladesh
    News Date: 
    09/11/2018
    Summary: 

    Concern is growing among Christians in Bangladesh after the country's PM said she would not tolerate people offending Islam. There's been widespread protests in Pakistan following the release of Christian mother Asia Bibi. She was accused of blasphemy but released on appeal after almost a decade in prison. Speaking about the situation in her own country, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said: "Anyone who pronounces offensive comments against it [Islam], or against the Prophet Muhammad, will be prosecuted according to the law."

  • Summary: 

    Why police should stay out of ‘hate incidents’. A  calling Anna Soubry a ‘fascist’, an Asian man saying his friend , and a newspaper column by 
    : these were among the 94,098 ‘non-crime hate incidents’ recorded by the UK police in the past year. The recording of such non-crimes has exploded in recent years. In the year 2017-2018, the number of hate incidents reached record levels, rising by 17 per cent on the previous year.

  • Country: 
    Pakistan
    News Date: 
    05/11/2018
    Summary: 
    • "I am requesting the president of the United States, Donald Trump, to help us exit from Pakistan." — Ashiq Masih, Asia Bibi's husband.

    • "Placing Asia Bibi on the ECL [no-fly list] is like signing her death warrant." — Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association.

  • Summary: 

    Why Western progressives are not fighting for this persecuted Pakistani woman. Where are the West’s solidarity marches for ? Where are the t-shirts? Why aren’t ‘Free Asia Bibi’ flags flying on campuses? Why haven’t student progressives elected Asia as the symbolic head of their unions, as they did with persecuted Eastern European writers in the 1970s or African liberation leaders in the 1980s?

  • Summary: 

    Jair Bolsonaro’s victory in Brazil has led to global handwringing about the emergence of ‘actual fascism’ in the fourth largest democracy in the world. In response, we republish Brendan O’Neill’s 2017 essay on what fascism really is.

    The stability, or stasis, of the technocratic era, with its hostility both to ideology and to change, has led some to see all political upset, and even politics itself, as terrifying. One consequence of technocracy is that it denuded people, especially influential people, of the means of politics, of the very language of politics, of any ability to read the world politically and to understand that politics is the clash or interplay of competing interests, not, as they had imagined it, a managerial process of ensuring the relatively healthy maintenance of social and bureaucratic life. They are utterly unprepared for politics, and so the return of politics, the very political statements of Brexit and Trump, has convinced them not simply that they face a political challenge, but that their entire class and worldview and even their existence is under threat.

  • Summary: 

    Why liberals are more disturbed by the pipe-bomb postings than they ever were by Islamist outrages. So now we’re allowed to get angry about terrorism? Now we are encouraged to talk about it openly? Now we are invited to dig down and discover the warped political prejudices that might be fuelling terrorism?

  • Country: 
    Australia
    News Date: 
    21/10/2018
    Summary: 

    Shari'a laws are a set of laws that are based on the life of prophet Muhammad. Shari'a is not just a law but a way of life, ideology and political movement, according to the Sharia laws: 

    – There is no freedom of religion or freedom of speech. 

    – There is no equality between people (the non-Muslim is not equal to the Muslim). 

    – There are no equal rights for men and women. 

    – There is no democracy or a separation between religion and state politics. 

    FGM, Acid attacks, honor killings, beheading and stoning. 

  • Country: 
    United Kingdom (UK)
    News Date: 
    11/08/2017
    Summary: 

    The former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said it was time to “call a spade a spade”, otherwise the torturous crimes would not be prevented. He accused the BBC of trying to “avoid being accused of stigmatising a community” by failing to address the perpetrators in high profile cases in Newcastle and Rotherham were Muslims who would have “claimed to be practising”. Instead, the BBC this week branded 18 people convicted of grooming and raping girls as young as 13-years-old in Newcastle an “Asian” gang. This was an “evasion” of the truth, Mr Phillips said, adding it was time

  • Summary: 

    The pressure to think a certain way about Islam comes not from Trump, but from the Left, which relentlessly labels anyone and everyone who dares to note the connection between Islam and jihad terrorism as “racist,” “bigoted,” and “Islamophobic.” The Left and its Islamic supremacist allies have successfully intimidated untold numbers of people in the West into thinking that the slightest opposition to jihad terror and Sharia oppression of women, gays, and others is somehow morally wrong, and evidence of some kind of character defect.

    I wrote a whole book about this last year, . The fact that Americans fear speaking what they think about Islam more than about any other subject doesn’t surprise me at all — it’s the world I’ve lived in for the last twenty years, and why many people today think of me as some kind of degenerate, solely for reporting on the , the , and the . I heard recently about a good still-on-the-reservation Leftist recently noted with horror that opposing jihad terror was “worse than the n-word.”

  • Summary: 

    Who was really marching against fascism in London on Saturday afternoon? The Democratic Football Lads’ Alliance (DFLA), which took to the streets to register its fury with ? Or the self-styled anti-fascist movement that gathered to block the DFLA, and which even chanted ‘No pasaran!’ as if it was the 1930s again and this was a replay of the  that pitted working-class radicals and Jews against Moseley’s fascist brownshirts?

    In truth, neither side was. Fascism is a vastly overused word these days. It now means, as Orwell predicted it would, little more than movements or people ‘I disapprove of’. Most people who call themselves ‘anti-fascist’ are really just being vainglorious, fantasising that their uptight agitation against whatever political movement is currently getting their goat puts them on a par with the men and women who fought on Cable St or who trekked to Spain with the International Brigades.

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