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10 January 2015

The Biggest Threat To French Free Speech Isn’t Terrorism. It’s The Government.

The murders at Charlie Hebdo, while tragic, aren’t the problem.

By Jonathan Turley

Within an hour of the massacre at the headquarters of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper, thousands of Parisians spontaneously gathered at the Place de la Republique. Rallying beneath the monumental statues representing Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, they chanted “Je suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) and “Charlie! Liberty!” It was a rare moment of French unity that was touching and genuine. 

Yet one could fairly ask what they were rallying around. The greatest threat to liberty in France has come not from the terrorists who committed such horrific acts this past week but from the French themselves, who have been leading the Western world in a crackdown on free speech. 

Indeed, if the French want to memorialize those killed at Charlie Hebdo, they could start by rescinding their laws criminalising speech that insults, defames or incites hatred, discrimination or violence on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, nationality, disability, sex or sexual orientation. These laws have been used to harass the satirical newspaper and threaten its staff for years. Speech has been conditioned on being used “responsibly” in France, suggesting that it is more of a privilege than a right for those who hold controversial views. 

In 2006, after Charlie Hebdo reprinted controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that first appeared in a Danish newspaper, French President Jacques Chirac condemned the publication and warned against such “obvious provocations.” 

“Anything that can hurt the convictions of someone else, in particular religious convictions, should be avoided,” he said. “Freedom of expression should be exercised in a spirit of responsibility.” 

The Paris Grand Mosque and the Union of French Islamic Organizations sued the newspaper for insulting Muslims — a crime that carries a fine of up to 22,500 euros or six months’ imprisonment. French courts ultimately ruled in Charlie Hebdo’s favor. But France’s appetite for speech control has only grown since then. 

The cases have been wide-ranging and bizarre. In 2008, for example, Brigitte Bardot was convicted for writing a letter to then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy about how she thought Muslims and homosexuals were ruining France. In 2011, fashion designer John Galliano was found guilty of making anti-Semitic comments against at least three people in a Paris cafe. In 2012, the government criminalized denial of the Armenian genocide (a law later overturned by the courts, but Holocaust denial remains a crime). In 2013, a French mother was sentenced for “glorifying a crime” after she allowed her son, named Jihad, to go to school wearing a shirt that said “I am a bomb.” Last year, Interior Minister Manuel Valls moved to ban performances by comedian Dieudonné M’Bala M’Bala, declaring that he was “no longer a comedian” but was rather an “anti-Semite and racist.” It is easy to silence speakers who spew hate or obnoxious words, but censorship rarely ends with those on the margins of our society. 

Notably, among the demonstrators this past week at the Place de la Republique was Sasha Reingewirtz, president of the Union of Jewish Students, who told NBC News, “We are here to remind [the terrorists] that religion can be freely criticized.” The Union of Jewish Students apparently didn’t feel as magnanimous in 2013, when it successfully sued Twitter over posts deemed anti-Semitic. The student president at the time dismissed objections from civil libertarians, saying the social networking site was “making itself an accomplice and offering a highway for racists and anti-Semites.” The government declared the tweets illegal, and a French court ordered Twitter to reveal the identities of anti-Semitic posters. 

Recently, speech regulation in France has expanded into non-hate speech, with courts routinely intervening in matters of opinion. For example, last year, a French court fined blogger Caroline Doudet and ordered her to change a headline to reduce its prominence on Google — for her negative review of a restaurant. 

While France long ago got rid of its blasphemy laws, there is precious little difference for speakers and authors in prosecutions for defamation or hate speech. There may also be little difference perceived by extremists, like those in Paris, who mete out their own justice for speech the government defines as a crime. To them, this is only a matter of degree in responding to what the government has called unlawful provocations. As the radical Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary wrote this past week, “Why in this case did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims?”

It was the growing French intolerance of free speech that motivated the staff of Charlie Hebdo — and particularly its editor, Stéphane Charbonnier — who made fun of all religions with irreverent cartoons and editorials. Charbonnier faced continuing threats, not just of death from extremists but of criminal prosecution. In 2012, amid international protests over an anti-Islamic film, Charlie Hebdo again published cartoons of Muhammad. French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault warned that freedom of speech “is expressed within the confines of the law and under the control of the courts.”

Carbonnier wasn’t cowed — by the government pressure, the public protests or the inclusion of his name on a list of al-Qaeda targets. In an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde, he echoed Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata and proclaimed, “I would rather die standing than live on my knees.” Carbonnier was the first person the gunmen asked for in their attack on the office, and he was one of the first to be killed. 

The French, of course, have not been alone in rolling back protections on free speech. Britain, Canada and other nations have joined them. We have similar rumblings here in the United States. In 2009, the Obama administration shockingly supported Muslim allies trying to establish a new international blasphemy standard. And as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton invited delegations to Washington to work on implementing that standard and “to build those muscles” needed “to avoid a return to the old patterns of division.” Likewise, in 2012, President Obama went to the United Nations and declared that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”

The future once belonged to free speech. It was the very touchstone of Western civilization and civil liberties. A person cannot really defame a religion or religious figures (indeed, you cannot defame the dead in the United States). The effort to redefine criticism of religion as hate speech or defamation is precisely what Charbonnier fought to resist. He once said that by lampooning Islam, he hoped to make it “as banal as Catholicism” for the purposes of social commentary and debate. 

Charbonnier died, as he pledged, standing up rather than yielding. The question is how many of those rallying in the Place de la Republique are truly willing to stand with him. They need only to look more closely at those three statues. In the name of equality and fraternity, liberty has been curtailed in France. The terrible truth is that it takes only a single gunman to kill a journalist, but it takes a nation to kill a right.


'We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.' 

- Bernard Holtrop a/k/a 'Willem', Charlie Hebdo cartoonist

How could he not feel repulsed by most of them?  Until 5 seconds ago, many of the people proclaiming #JeSuisCharlie were all in favour of Political Correctness, ‘Hate Speech’ laws, Speech Codes, No Platforming, and other cudgels used to shut down free speech in the quest to achieve complete conformity of ideas.

CNN Goes Full ЯέțårĎ

Well, I had fun with two of CNN's resident geniuses!

Christiane Amanpour, Senior Foreign Correspondent
Caliphate News Network

Let's start with the Whore of Babylon (h/t Difficultas_Est_Imperium), Christiane Amanpour.  Here's Ms Intrepid Reporter...

'On this day, these [Charlie Hebdo] ACTIVISTS found their targets, and their TARGETS were journalists. This was a clear attack on the freedom of expression, on the press, and on satire.' 

Christiane Amanpour, 7 January 2015

Things she could have said to make even more sense:

‘The Einsatzgruppen weren’t bloody Jew-slaughtering Nazis. No, No, No! They were COMMUNITY ACTIVISTS!!!’ 

- Christiane Amanpour

‘The Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone weren’t CANNIBALISTIC barbarians. No, No, No! They were CULINARY ACTIVISTS!!!’ 

- Christiane Amanpour

'Dekulakisation wasn't a programme of mass starvation and executions. No, No, No! It was merely a form of AGRICULTURAL ACTIVISM!!!' 

- Christiane Amanpour

'Ismaaiyl Brinsley wasn't a cop killer. No, No, No! He was a POLICE REFORM ACTIVIST!!!’ 

- Christiane Amanpour 

'The 19 hijackers on 9/11 weren't terrorists. No, No, No! They were AVIATION ACTIVISTS!!!' 

- Christiane Amanpour 

'Jihadi John isn't a head-chopping butcher. No, No, No! He's a ANATOMY ACTIVIST!!!' 

- Christiane Amanpour 

'Genghis Khan wasn't a savage invader. No, No, No! He was a LAND USE ACTIVIST!!!' 

- Christiane Amanpour 

'Bonnie and Clyde weren't murderous bank robbers. No, No, No! They were WEALTH REDISTRIBUTION ACTIVISTS!!!'

- Christiane Amanpour 

‘The Beslan school massacre wasn’t an act of savage barbarity. No, No, No! It was a rally of EDUCATION ACTIVISTS!!!’ 

- Christiane Amanpour 

'The 2002 Nord-Ost siege wasn't a hostage crisis. No, No, No! It was a meeting of THEATRE CRITICS & ACTIVISTS!!!'

- Christiane Amanpour 

'CNN isn't a news organisation. No, No, No! It's a group of LEFT-WING ACTIVISTS!!!' 

- Christiane Amanpour* 

* Telling the truth for once.

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CNN: Where People for Limited Government are TERRORISTS and Actual Terrorists are 'ACTIVISTS'!!!

Clueless News Network 

Next up, Jeopardy!'s smartest contestant evah:

Wolf Blitzer, 2015:

Do you think Amedy Coulibaly deliberately targeted the Jewish grocery store or was it just a coincidence? 

Wolf Blitzer, 1933:

Do you think our new Chancellor deliberately targeted Jews in Mein Kampf or do you just think he was trying to boost book sales?

Wolf Blitzer, 1934:

Do you think the Third Reich is deliberately targeting Jews by prohibiting us from getting coverage through the national health insurance programme and being members of the German Labour Front or do you think that it wants to protect us from the '3,000% annual decrease' in premiums and union fees?

Wolf Blitzer, 1935:

Do you think the Nazis enacted the Nuremberg Racial Hygiene Laws to deliberately target Jews or are they merely concerned about our health? 

Wolf Blitzer, 1936:

Do you think the Wehrmacht is deliberately targeting and questioning the patriotism of Jews by continuing to exclude us from serving or is it trying to protect us from the horrors and hardships of military service?

Wolf Blitzer, 1937:

Do you think that Hitler is deliberately targeting Jews by banning them from jobs in professions such as education, medicine, accounting, denistry, etc, or is he trying to look out for us by getting us out of highly stressful careers?

Wolf Blitzer, 1938:

Do you think the Sturmabteilung deliberately targeted the Fasanenstraße Synagogue in Berlin or was it just a coincidence? 

Wolf Blitzer, 1939:

Do you think that the Nazi government is deliberately targeting Jews with its confiscation of all our gold, silver, and real estate or is it trying to protect us from the vagaries of life by setting up experts to take care of our assets?

Wolf Blitzer, 1940:

Do you think German Jews are being deliberately targeted because they are being deported to Poland or do you think the Führer is rewarding us for our trust by sending us to the wonderful new neighbourhood called Auschwitz?

Wolf Blitzer, 1941:

Do you think the Nazi forces deliberately targeted Rabbi Bloch for execution in Telz or was it just an honest mistake?

Wolf Blitzer, 1942:

Do you think the Nazis are deliberately targeting Jews or do they just need bodies to try out the gas chambers?  

Wolf Blitzer, 1943:

Do you think that the Waffen-SS deliberately targeted the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto or were they merely trying to rescue the residents from the ŻOB and ŻZW terrorists?

Wolf Blitzer, 1944:

Do you think that Hitler deliberately targeted Kurt Gerron and sent him to Therezenstadt because he was Jewish or do you think he just wanted a famous filmmaker to document the beautiful village that Hitler has given the Jews?

Wolf Blitzer, 1945:

Do you think that the Nazis deliberately targeted Jews at Buchenwald and Dachau or were thousands of corpses left rotting as a way of scaring straight other Jews about the dangers of bulimia and anorexia?

Wolf Blitzer, 1946:

Do you think the Nazis deliberately targeted Jews for extermination or was it just a coincidence that the largest group to suffer under the Third Reich were Jewish? I want to be careful here and not condemn all Nazis for the actions of a few, especially if the latter were just flukes (no, not sluts like Sandra, but aberrations).

08 January 2015

Placing The Blame For The #CharlieHebdo Massacre Where It Belongs

By George Packer, The New Yorker

The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in the Middle East, or the American invasion of Iraq before that. They’re not part of some general wave of nihilistic violence in the economically depressed, socially atomized, morally hollow West—the Paris version of Newtown or Oslo. Least of all should they be “understood” as reactions to disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists. 

They are only the latest blows delivered by an ideology that has sought to achieve power through terror for decades. It’s the same ideology that sent Salman Rushdie into hiding for a decade under a death sentence for writing a novel, then killed his Japanese translator and tried to kill his Italian translator and Norwegian publisher. The ideology that murdered three thousand people in the U.S. on September 11, 2001. The one that butchered Theo van Gogh in the streets of Amsterdam, in 2004, for making a film. The one that has brought mass rape and slaughter to the cities and deserts of Syria and Iraq. That massacred a hundred and thirty-two children and thirteen adults in a school in Peshawar last month. That regularly kills so many Nigerians, especially young ones, that hardly anyone pays attention. 

Because the ideology is the product of a major world religion, a lot of painstaking pretzel logic goes into trying to explain what the violence does, or doesn’t, have to do with Islam. Some well-meaning people tiptoe around the Islamic connection, claiming that the carnage has nothing to do with faith, or that Islam is a religion of peace, or that, at most, the violence represents a “distortion” of a great religion. (After suicide bombings in Baghdad, I grew used to hearing Iraqis say, “No Muslim would do this.”) Others want to lay the blame entirely on the theological content of Islam, as if other religions are more inherently peaceful—a notion belied by history as well as scripture. 

A religion is not just a set of texts but the living beliefs and practices of its adherents. Islam today includes a substantial minority of believers who countenance, if they don’t actually carry out, a degree of violence in the application of their convictions that is currently unique. Charlie Hebdo had been nondenominational in its satire, sticking its finger into the sensitivities of Jews and Christians, too—but only Muslims responded with threats and acts of terrorism. For some believers, the violence serves a will to absolute power in the name of God, which is a form of totalitarianism called Islamism—politics as religion, religion as politics. “Allahu Akbar!” the killers shouted in the street outside Charlie Hebdo. They, at any rate, know what they’re about. 

These thoughts don’t offer a guide to mitigating the astonishing surge in Islamist killing around the world. Rage and condemnation don’t do the job, nor is it helpful to alienate the millions of Muslims who dislike what’s being done in the name of their religion. Many of them immediately condemned the attack on Charlie Hebdo, in tones of anguish particular to those whose deepest beliefs have been tainted. The answer always has to be careful, thoughtful, and tailored to particular circumstances. In France, it will need to include a renewed debate about how the republic can prevent more of its young Muslim citizens from giving up their minds to a murderous ideology—how more of them might come to consider Mustapha Ourrad, a Charlie Hebdo copy editor of Algerian descent who was among the victims, a hero. In other places, the responses have to be different, with higher levels of counter-violence. 

But the murders in Paris were so specific and so brazen as to make their meaning quite clear. The cartoonists died for an idea. The killers are soldiers in a war against freedom of thought and speech, against tolerance, pluralism, and the right to offend—against everything decent in a democratic society. So we must all try to be Charlie, not just today but every day.


No one – and I mean NO ONE – has a right not to be offended. 

Not Muslims. 

Not Christians. 

Not Jews. 

Not men.

Not women.

Not 'other'.

Not Feminists (especially with their latest ‘outrage’: ‘Manspreading’). 

Not homosexuals.

Not heterosexuals. 

Not transgenders.

Not whites. 

Not blacks. 

Not Hispanics. 

Not Asian-Americans.

Not Native Americans.

Not illegal immigrants (a Federal definition, by the way).

Not legal immigrants.

Not Natural Born Americans.

Not pajama boys, who get upset by the ‘microagression’ of being made fun of for the way they pronounces Cool Whip. 

All may be offended from time to time, but none has the right to demand others to stop offending them by giving up their rights to speech, expression, etc. 

In today's 'Who Wants To Be A Victim?!?' world, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics, gays, transgenders, illegal immigrants, ‘rape victims’ (like Jackie and Lena Dunham), pajama boys, etc, are NEVER responsible for their actions. White people, the West, the police, the Man, the ‘system’, America, the military, 'illegal borders', etc, are the real culprits.

Political correctness, 'hate speech' laws, speech codes, no platforming, etc, are cudgels used by one side to beat the other into submission. They are also the barbiturates that the West is using to commit suicide.

07 January 2015

A Caliphate Grows In Sweden As No-Go Areas Increase

By the IBD Editorial Board

Political Correctness: The perils of multiculturalism and open borders have reached critical mass in Sweden. There are Muslim enclaves where postal, fire and other essential services — even police officers themselves —require police protection.

A police report released last month identifies 55 of these "no-go zones" in Sweden. These zones are similar to others that have popped up in Europe in recent years. They formed as large Muslim populations emigrating to politically correct and tolerant European states refuse to assimilate and set up virtual states within a state where the authorities fear to tread. 

Soeren Kern of the Hudson Institute has documented the proliferation of these zones. They are de facto Muslim micro-states under Shariah law that reject Western values, society and legal systems. In these districts non-Muslims are expected to conform to the dictates of fundamentalist Islam or face violent consequences. 

"A more precise name for these zones," says Middle Eastern expert Daniel Pipes, "would be Dar al-Islam — the House of Islam or the place where Islam rules." 

Muslim immigration to Sweden has been fostered by an open-border asylum policy. In the 1990s, the country welcomed 100,000 refugees fleeing the conflict in the Balkans. 

Sweden has also been a haven for refugees from Iraq, and a recent estimate put the number of Iraqi refugees living there at 125,000. Since September 2012, asylum-seekers from the Arab world are emigrating to Sweden at the rate of some 1,250 per week, writes Kern. 

According to a report in the Daily Caller, Swedish police officers in May pursued a suspect into one of these zones in the southern city of Landskrona. Their car was rammed, the officers forced out. They were quickly surrounded by roughly 50 "thugs" and called for backup while holding back the threatening mob with drawn weapons. 

Other officers who responded were forced to stop a half mile away, just outside the zone. The police commander didn't press the issue fearing an escalation. Only with the help of a few residents whom the cornered police knew were the officers allowed to exit the restricted area. 

Swedish police have not seriously tried to contest the zones since the 2013 Stockholm ghetto riots in which hundreds of cars and buildings were burned. The police report that there are now vehicle checkpoints operated by Muslim gangs on the borders of these zones. Instead of confrontation, Swedish authorities occasionally send special "dialogue officers" in a sort of Muslim outreach program.

A new curriculum at the Swedish Police Academy beginning next year will include course on cultural sensitivity designed to achieve "greater understanding of the intercultural perspective." Needless to say, there will be no profiling in Sweden. 

Nor will there be any profiling in the U.S., despite a not-too-dissimilar influx of Muslim immigrants to whom assimilation has its limits. In the Minneapolis neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside there is "Little Mogadishu," home to America's largest concentration of Somali immigrants. This neighborhood has become a bountiful recruiting ground for Islamic terrorists. 

CBS News has reported that as many as 40 young men from Minnesota have joined Islamic fighters in Iraq and Syria. Among them was an American named Douglas MacArthur McCain, who died fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. 

Fox affiliate KMSP-TV in Minneapolis-St. Paul has reported the case of Abdirahmaan Muhumed. Before going to Syria to fight and die for IS, he worked at Delta Global Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines. His job was to clean aircraft, and he had a security clearance that gave him unfettered access to the tarmac and passenger jets. 

There are no mini-caliphates in the U.S. quite yet. But perhaps we should keep the Swedish experience in mind as we remember the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

#JeSuisCharlie: This Is What #HandsUpDontShoot ACTUALLY Looks Like!

'Toons of the Day: They Died Standing (Updated...Again)

158296 600 Charlie Hebdo Paris terrorist attack cartoons

'I would rather die standing than live kneeling.'

- Stéphane 'Charb' Charbonnier, Editor in Chief, Charlie Hebdo

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And, too many people in the West will go on kneeling...

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Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

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Adams cartoon January 7

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To those that said these:

'The future must not belong to those who slander The Prophet Of Islam.'

- President Barack Hussein Obama, 25 September 2012

'This is what we call smart power, using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security, leaving no one on the sidelines.  Showing respect for ones enemies.  Trying to understand and in so far is as psychologically possible, empathise with their perspective and point of view.' 

- Hillary Clinton, 3 December 2014

'We are aware that a French magazine published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the prophet Muhammad, and obviously we have questions about the judgment of publishing something like this.  We know these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential be be inflammatory.  There is no justification for violence, but...[and] We have spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our other words, we don’t question the right of something like this [cartoon] to be published, we just question the judgement behind the decision to publish… [and] that’s our view of the video that was produced in this country and has caused so much offense in the Muslim world.'

- Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, 19 September 2012

- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Resolution 16/18, May 2012 

'The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'Islam has always been part of America...we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.'

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.'

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama 

'That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.' 

- President Barack Hussein Obama

I have only two words for you...