February 17, 2009
Part One: The Muslim War on Free Speech
By Alyssa A. Lappen
RightSideNews Copyright © 2009
The U.S. Constitution, ratified on March 4, 1789, forbade treason against the young republic. Article III, section 3 reads:
“Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”
The founding fathers apparently were more concerned with treason than individual rights—since the first ten amendments, establishing individual rights, were neither drafted nor ratified until 1791.
American patriots, whether of Christian or Jewish religious conviction, suffered brutal oppression at the hands of the British and their allies. Their homes were invaded, their property stolen, and their very lives forfeit. Therefore, they naturally cemented life and liberty “for all” into the Constitution’s very foundation. Moreover, to maintain that standard the founders realized that all citizens must support equal rights to life and equal liberty for all, without exception.
To put it another way, America’s fathers and the Constitution’s ratifying states—in both historical sequence and principal—held above everything else, loyalty to the supposition of life and liberty for all. Before all else, the nation’s founding idea was that citizens’ Constitutionally guaranteed rights were and are not exclusive to some, but deniable to others.
The very first clause of the opening item on the Bill of Rights (the initial ten Constitutional amendments) sets into U.S. law the principal of a federal government free from legislation “respecting an establishment of religion.” Americans generally understand that phrase to establish each individual’s right to freedom of faith, yet the precise wording mentions no individual rights at all. Rather, it pointedly prohibits U.S. federal laws or regulations that require or in any way institutionalize religious practices.
Now, President Barack Obama advocates a so-called civil rights agenda—to “expand hate crime” statues like the Matthew Shepard Act, named for a student tortured and murdered in 1998 for his sexual orientation.
Yet this insidious legislative turn would raise motive above the importance of criminal acts themselves, and attempt to legislatively control thinking—something time and again proven impossible, always with murderous consequences.
Even “New York Times bestselling” uber-thought cop Glenn Greenwald recognizes the danger. In defense of free speech, Greenwald decries Obama’s new policy, albeit from inside a little glass house, while casting obnoxious epithets at journalists with whom he disagrees (totally without basis in fact). One needs only imagine hate-crime “proceedings directed at opinions and groups that one likes,” Greenwald correctly observes. “If Muslim groups can trigger government investigations due to commentary they find offensive, so, too, can…” Now, replace Greenwald’s stone-throwing and name-calling with whatever you like.
Here’s the rub: In the 21st century, some claiming themselves pious consider their right not to be offended—however they perceive that—more valuable and sacrosanct than all rights of all other Americans. Thwarting every criticism of that faction would simultaneously gut Constitutional rights to life and liberty for all, without exception.
Muslims constitute the “political faction” advocating loudest for “hate crime” statutes. Their intent is to “restrict and punish speech” they dislike, i.e. criticism of Islam and Mohammed, to benefit their global war on free speech. To consolidate gains against free speech in Europe and the United Nations, the Islamic faction is heavily campaigning against North American free speech too.
Most large North American Muslim organizations hope to globally impose shari’a law, which prohibits “defamation” of Islam and Mohammed. Muslims who leave the faith or “blaspheme” against Islam or Mohammed earn the classical punishment, death—a statute on the books in several Muslim states, and elsewhere, widely enforced by mob rule. Non-Muslims daring to criticize Islam or Mohammed often receive the same punishment, whether in Islamic states or not.
Pakistan’s hudud code for example enforces shari’a on all citizens and residents—Muslims and non-Muslims. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan also execute hudud laws—and not on modern whims. Under 7th century Islamic law, these statutes apply to all mankind.
The widespread Muslim hope to prosecute shari’a laws globally stems partly from the basic Islamic belief that “all people are Muslims at birth,” enshrined for example in Morocco’s legal code and Malaysia’s constitution, despite the latter’s ostensibly secular nature and 40% non-Muslim population. Indeed, everyday Muslims often advocate for global shari’a laws. A Malaysian blogger addresses such a message to “all Non Muslims reading this.”
“You must know about the Hudud Laws of Islam as you are also a creation of Allah, no matter that you are today a Kaffir @ an Unbeliever in Allah because you have been born as such
“It is up to you, as a free human being to choose to learn and study about these True Laws of Allah, as a source of knowledge and information about what they truly are and not be misled anymore about them based on what you have read or been fed by those who have an agenda to keep you in the dark about the Truth of Islam as revealed to us by our Lord and Creator.” (emphasis in original)
Fortunately, the West has individually sponsored websites too—like Right Side News.
Also fortunately, America has stalwart patriots such as Pamela Geller, editor and publisher of AtlasShrugs.com. Geller considers America’s current situation extremely dire. The U.S., she thinks, stands on the edge of a precipice. Like revolutionary-era journalist Thomas Paine, however, Atlas speaks common sense to, and for, common Americans. She too considers America “ultimately unconquerable.” And most importantly, unlike Paine, Atlas will never retreat to Europe or anywhere else.
AAL: What induced you to start a blog, and when?
Atlas: The blog was born on February 11, 2005. We just had our fourth birthday. I started it because I’m an individualist. I grew up in a post-historical world, as it were. I assumed my freedom. It was a given. After World War II, the good guys won. It was over.
I noted world events. But apart from being Jewish and supporting Israel because it is a beacon of democracy in modern civilization, I was not involved in politics. I was very ambitions and had a good career. I was the associate publisher at the New York Observer.
Then 9/11 clubbed me. On that day, I lost everything at the very foundation of what I believed. At that moment, I realized that nothing is forever, not even America. I felt very guilty that I did not know anything about who had invaded this country. So what could I do? One reacts to the political scene. But I was politically inactive, and I had a lot to learn.
Then I went to hear [Islamic scholar] Bat Ye’or speak at Columbia University. After her lecture, I asked for advice. She told me to learn everything. I started reading, and read all her books. I read everything I could about Islam. The media was not giving us information. And I read the internet—websites, news and blogs on subjects the media wasn’t reporting. I began to see that many people were saying what I was thinking.
In a way, I was raised to do this. My mother and father had a very good marriage. They worked hard. My father was a tough guy. He made $60 a day. He was a workaholic. My mother really respected him. Once, we were driving, and he said, “Nothing is for ever.” My mother objected, “America is.” My father said, “No, not even America.” On 9/11, I realized my father was right.
Initially, I did not do the blog. I went to protests. If there was an anti-Ahmadinejad protest, I was there. If there was a Hamas rally and counter-protest against them, I was there. I covered protests; I took videos and recorded them. Now the same rallies are against Jews, in America. Finally, a really smart commentator—I have a lot of respect for him—said, “Start a blog.” He said, “Do it,” and I did.
I am exactly the same now. I blog exactly the same as when I had 10 readers, and when I had 20,000 readers. My focus is just bigger and broader. It is hard when I go to my computer. There are always another 300 emails. It’s not terribly lucrative. But the responses are worth it. Today, I got an email from a woman. Listen to this. She writes, “I found your site by accident. I never realized what a mess we are in. Thank you. My eyes are open. I am passing this on.”
AAL: What took so long?
Atlas: I had never thought of blogging. And anyway, I had to learn before I could say anything. I spent about four years. You need to know what you’re talking about. It’s not like World War II. How many people are clued in to the doctrine in the Qur’an? They can expound on it all day long, but have never read it, and still call anyone a racist who cites what’s in there. This is not about al Qaeda, or Hamas, or Islamic Jihad, or any of those organizations. They are just changing their underwear. It’s all about jihad.
AAL: Why did you name the blog Atlas Shrugs?
Atlas: I loved the metaphor [Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged]. That was exactly what people were doing. Atlas Shrugging.
There are so many misconceptions about Ayn Rand. She is individualist. Her party is the party of individual rights, the smallest minority in the world. In this story, the world’s producers and entrepreneurs, people who make things happen, are so put upon by regulation and government. It is like what’s happening now. And the characters give nice names to things, like now, calling it a “Stimulus package” when it’s really a socialist package
In the novel, all the producers go on strike. The book is a stunning indictment of statism. It speaks for capitalism. It says, “I will not ask another man to live for my sake.”
Ayn Rand was an uncompromising person. In any compromise between good and evil, she understood that evil profits. The bad never comes over to our side. Evil has to be crushed. People do not like to hear that. But it does. Science advances and technology advances. Human nature stays the same.
AAL: Why do you think mainstream newspapers and broadcast media do not cover the influence of the Qur’an, Islamic jurisprudence and theological edicts on Islam’s basically totalitarian goals?
Atlas: It is auto censorship and fear. Also, everyone is worried all about insulting Islam. Reporting even the smallest factoid earns an onslaught of charges of bigotry and racism. The net result is that you cannot even call an honor killing an honor killing and not get that kind of charge.
You can have a whole article on how a father, brothers and husband in a Muslim family are going to kill their sister or mother or niece. Yet the reporter will not even call the deed an honor killing. That line [of reporting leads] to the door. [Reporters get fired for it.] That is the problem. We saw that tendency with the [Kurt Westergaard Mohammed] cartoons. And that was [in September 2005] before Muslims were really on the march here. But even back then, in late 2005, I went to a panel discussion about the cartoons at New York University. They were going to show the cartoons so we could talk about them. But then the hosts decided at the last minute not to show the cartoons. I got there and the easels were black. That was March 2006. That is the level that we’re at now. At the one college where a school newspaper printed the cartoons, the university fired or suspended the student publisher. A couple of publishers were courageous enough to admit, “Look, we do not want to be targeted.” But that is now standard operating procedure.
AAL: A more current example is the failure to report Obama’s executive order giving $20 million and refugee status to “resettle” people from Gaza, in other words, Hamas.
Atlas: They haven’t reported that, no. The Arab narrative has taken over. The reporting in December and January said that Israel was targeting innocent civilians. But the only evidence was to the contrary. In fact, we have proof that Hamas shoots its own people in their homes. They literally shoot people in the streets, to punish them, or make it look like Israel targeted homes. Israel was hit from inside mosques and by mortars from a UN school and foreign press offices. Hamas hijacks ambulances to transport terrorists.
But U.S. newspapers don’t report it. This is auto-censorship. It is enormous. It shows where the sympathy lies. I see it as Islamic apologism. To their [Muslims’] credit, on even the smallest insult, their push-back is huge. They are winning. Mohammed said, “War is deceit,” and they are doing an awfully good job so that very few in America even recognize the risk.
If you report what they say, if you report their hate speech, you are considered a hate speaker. Truth has become hate speech. That is what we are talking about. So people are really clueless. They need blogs. Someone like me will be labeled a racist. This is what they do. They smear the good name of people and immediately associate you with the worst of humanity. If you say “ka ka”—or speak badly of Obama— your career is destroyed.
U.S. newspapers tell people not to believe their eyes. I tell people to believe their eyes and I am excoriated for it. The most highly visible example of that is Geert Wilders, [whom Holland is prosecuting for hate speech, for producing Fitna, and Great Britain denied entry last week to speak in the House of Lords]. Here is a man who cites Qur’anic verse, and they want him in jail.
But meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people can march and call for the death of Jews and it’s not hate, from London, to Paris, to Amsterdam, to Fort Lauderdale, and New York. Those death marches should have been on the front page of every newspaper and the lead story of every cable news and net. And it is almost unthinking that the police would escort the jihadists to the Israeli embassy and at the same time be harassed and have shoes thrown at them. This is the apex of civilization. And where are the Muslims counter protesting not in our name? Where are they? I want them. Where are all those moderate Muslims?
AAL: This kind of thing goes on in government, too, doesn’t it?
Atlas: On February 2, I was on a conference call with [former U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy (2001 – 2005)] Douglas Feith. I asked, when the Bush administration was planning the invasion into Iraq, if they took into account the jihadist ideology. His response was very revealing. In the beginning, he said [former Defense Secretary Donald] Rumsfeld and [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B.] Myers emphasized the importance of the ideology. They wanted a strategic method to counter it. The rest of the government was doing nothing. Rumsfeld and Myers created the Office of Strategic Influence at the Pentagon. But the Pentagon public affairs people were very unhappy with the creation of that office. And it was infiltrated almost from the beginning. Someone leaked its existence. The New York Times inaccurately reported that the Office of Strategic Influence intended to lie to foreign journalists. It never occurred to them that their sources, not the government, were lying to hurt the U.S. Feith said that U.S. government strategy has not recovered from that to this day.
AAL: So honestly, don’t you think we are going to lose?
Atlas: No. I have faith in the individual, and in the indomitable American spirit. The picture you get from the media is very misleading. I don’t think that the silent majority has a clue to whom and what we elected and the pickle that we were in even before B. Hussein took [the president’s] office.
But America is already waking up. Look at [Diane McDaniels] the mother whose son [Seaman James Roderick McDaniels] died [with 16 other servicemen] in the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. She voted for Hussein. Now she says she made a mistake. Her son was killed on the Cole, but Obama plans to release the [alleged] Cole perpetrator [Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri]. She was invited to go the White House with other Cole and September 11 families, and she refused to go.
And look at what this man did in his first two weeks of his office. The first foreign leader he calls is [Holocaust denier Mahmoud] Abbas, he is selling airplane parts to Syria, which is a state sponsor of terror [since December 1979]. He does not play hail to the chief. He ordered the U.S. Marine Band to play Sting’s “Desert Rose,” by an Arabic signer Cheb Mami, [rather than John Phillip Souza’s “Hail to the Chief”]. And he gives his first television address to apologize to the Muslim world. Apologize for what? For liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein? For paving the way to an Islamic state in the heart of Europe? And he alludes to the U.S. as being a colonial power. America was never a colonial power.
Well freedom of speech is for me. That is how I define what I do.
All is not lost. Look at Churchill. They were bombing London when he was Prime Minister. Londoners were running for the shelter in the underground. It will get much darker here. But we live in a free country. We have a moral imperative. And I know that what we see on the TV does not speak for the American culture, or America’s ethics. Freedom of speech will win in the end.
Alyssa A. Lappen, a freelance investigative journalist, is a former senior fellow of the American Center for Democracy, former senior editor of Institutional Investor, Working Woman and Corporate Finance and former associate editor of Forbes. Her work has also appeared in FrontPage Magazine, the Washington Examiner, Washington Times, Pajamas Media, American Thinker, Human Events, Midstream and Revue Politique. Her website is http://www.alyssaalappen.org/.