Archive for Hate Speech

Anya Cordell: Hate Speech Against Muslims Incites Violence

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on October 4, 2011 by loonwatch

Hate speech against Muslims incites violence

By Anya Cordell (WashingtonPost)

Hatred is a current ‘cool’ fad—but a terribly dangerous one.

Four days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, three innocent men, (Sikh, Muslim and Egyptian Christian) were murdered. The killer of the Sikh victim vowed to “kill the ragheads,” shooting the first person he saw wearing a turban.

A Hindu man was murdered October 4, 2001, and we just marked the 10th anniversary of the day an extraordinary young Muslim, Rais Bhuiyan, was blinded in one eye and left for dead.

Even now, most articles mentioning Muslims continue to elicit strings of comments, many of which genocidally proclaim, “Kill them all.” The anti-Muslim cloud permeates our atmosphere; coloring perceptions, inciting bullying, assaults and policies.

Bhuiyan worked arduously, though unsuccessfully, to prevent the execution of his would-be killer, Mark Stroman, a swaggering self-avowed “red-neck patriot.” At his trial, Stroman raised his middle finger at the two grieving widows, whose husbands he had slain.

But Bhuiyan’s compassion, transformed the murderer. “At that time here in America everybody was saying ‘let’s get them’—we didn’t know who to get, we were just stereotyping,” Stroman told a reporter. “I stereotyped all Muslims as terrorists and that was wrong.” Moments before being executed, Stroman said. “Hate is going on in this world, and it has to stop. Hate causes a lifetime of pain.”

I wish Stroman were alive to preach his epiphany to those who are writing, yelling, garnering votes and cashing in on the ongoing smear campaign against all Muslims. Like Stroman, their commentary targets without care for the true nature of those they would harm, or inspire others to harm. Their victims are considered guilty by virtue of being born Muslim.

Last month, I was the only Jewish speaker at a predominantly Muslim conference (United for Change). Every speaker condemned 9/11 and all attacks on innocents. Each acknowledged atrocities by some who have falsely usurped Islam and distanced themselves from those criminals. This is something that Christians and Jews do not seem to need to do when members of their faith commit crimes.

At the closing, we read the Charter for Compassion . The other woman on the podium was wearing a headscarf. Some clerics were wearing long robes and the dome-shaped turbans routinely caricatured in anti-Muslim cartoons. The image was made for Islamophobes, who rail against all things Muslim.

Yet the woman looked like Mother Theresa or Mary, and the clerics were dressed no more strangely than the Pope.

A young woman at the conference told me that if one were devout, it would seem as if there was an air-conditioner under one’s scarf on hot days. I think the same magic device must be under Sikhs’ turbans, the anachronistic black coats and fur-trimmed hats of orthodox Jewish men and orthodox Jewish women’s wigs and the Pope’s mitre. Maybe the Dalai Lama has a magic heater under his saffron cotton for cold climates, and clothing challenges, including looking “different,” are something around which this unlikely group could form an alliance.

We have to be allies for one another. I received the Spirit of Anne Frank Award; for my programs and work as an ally, post 9/11–my story is at “Where the Anti-Muslim Path Leads” and (My) Life, Etc. (Post 9/11). I credit the non-Jewish friends who hid and supported Anne’s family for inspiring me to espouse the necessity of crossing gulfs on behalf of people of other religions, ethnicities, etc. I know Rais and the families of the hate-crime victims would be my ally if the tables were turned.

If those who are invested in smearing Muslims took a break from yelling and judiciously listened, I believe they would no longer be knee-jerk anti-Muslim. Islamophobes, however, deny Islamophobia while they foment it. And they seem untroubled by violence, unless it is perpetrated by Muslims.

Those whom the perpetrator of the Norway massacre credited for inspiring his vicious attacks dismissed any influence, casting aspersions instead on the victims, smearing them as Muslims and “multi-culturalists”. (A site that tracks anti-Muslim attacks, daily, is www.IslamophobiaToday.com ).

As with Holocaust deniers, evidence does not deter those who smear all Muslims. But just because many people scream something does not make it true. Similar smear campaigns by intellectuals, social and political leaders targeted Native Americans, African Americans, Jews and Japanese Americans. These cases wrought untold destruction, until they were revealed as false and horrifying in the extreme. In the wake of racism, murder and genocide, profound lessons have often been realized, but too late to reverse the irreversible.

Though I continue to hold hope, logic seems lost to Islamophobes. Since Muslims are roughly 1/5 of the world’s population, they would be wrecking massive havoc, worldwide, if their nefarious goal was domination and destruction of all non-Muslims. It clearly isn’t.

At the conference, I heard absolutely no evidence of hatred directed at anyone. Yet, Muslims are chronically impugned as haters, and, therefore, worthy of hate, according to Islamophobes.

The Charter for Compassion reminds us what makes the most sense in this crazy world: That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. I cannot top the Golden Rule, but I would also ask this question:

If hate is the problem–as it was on 9/11–how can hate be the solution?

Anya Cordell is recipient of the Spirit of Anne Frank Award, for her work against the designation of any group as “Other.” She is the author of RACE: An OPEN & SHUT Case, and presents programs against “appearance-ism” (appearance-based judging of ourselves and others), xenophobia, stereotyping, teasing, bullying, racism and all forms of bias. Following 9/11 Anya reached out to strangers and founded The Campaign for Collateral Compassion to raise awareness of the backlash against Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and others. See http://www.Appearance-ism.com

Wilders Acquittal Strains Netherlands

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by loonwatch
Geert Wilders

This article is not about the validity of the Dutch law regarding hate speech, but about the consistency of the rule of law as well as its implications for Dutch society.

Wilders Acquittal Strains Netherlands

By Cas Mudde for openDemocracy

The acquittal of Dutch politician Geert Wilders on 22 June 2011 on charges of “inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims” is a political victory for Wilders, a legal travesty, and a missed opportunity for Dutch democracy. Wilders and his Party for Freedom (PVV) are known around the world for their Islamophobic propaganda. A random selection of his Islamophobia includes statements such as “Islam is a fascist ideology”; “Mohammed was a paedophile”; and “Islam and freedom, Islam and democracy are not compatible”. He has also warned of a “tsunami” of Muslim immigrants and compared the Qur’an to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

A glance at the declarations of Wilders and his party leaves no reasonable doubt that Islamophobia is at the core of his program. Wilders may have changed his opinion on various issues, most notably non-Muslim immigrants and the welfare state, but on one point he has never wavered: his struggle against the alleged “Islamisication” of the Netherlands, Europe, and even the world. For example, at a speech on 12 May 2011 at the Cornerstone Church in Tennessee, he said:

“My friends, I am sorry. I am here today with an unpleasant message. I am here with a warning. I am here with a battle-cry: ‘Wake up, Christians of Tennessee. Islam is at your gate.’ Do not make the mistake which Europe made. Do not allow Islam to gain a foothold here.”

While I am not a lawyer, I cannot see how the Amsterdam court can come to theconclusion that Wilders did not – according to Dutch law and precedence – “incite hatred and discrimination” against Muslims. The emphasis is important: for the Netherlands has – since the case of the Centrumpartij(Centre Party / CP) of Hans Janmaat (1934-2002) in the early 1980s – long experience of charging political parties and politicians under anti-discrimination legislation.

Since that time, several parties and politicians whose public statements have been far less consistent and far-reaching than those of Wilders have been convicted of incitement to racial hatred. For example, Janmaat was given a suspended sentence of two months’ imprisonment and a fine of 7,500 guilders (c 3,400 euro) in 1997 for declaring at a demonstration that “as soon as we have the opportunity and power, we will abolish the multicultural society” – a statement that Wilders regularly makes. In fact, a Dutch court even found that the slogan “Full is Full” – used in the 1990s by the CP, and its successor the Centrumdemocraten (Centre Democrats / CD) – constituted incitement to racial hatred. Today, that statement would be almost uncontroversial.

The contrast between Janmaat’s conviction and Wilders’s acquittal reflects an important development in Dutch politics and society. While Wilders’s Islamophobic comments are objectively harsher than Janmaat’s xenophobic equivalents of the 1990s, they are also much more accepted in contemporary Dutch society. This is not necessarily to say that the Dutch population has become more xenophobic over the past generation. What has happened, rather, is that the taboo on expressing xenophobia in public has been broken, particularly regarding Islam and Muslims (see “The intolerance of the tolerant”, 20 October 2010). It was, incidentally, the earlier flamboyant populist Pim Fortuyn (1948-2002) rather than Janmaat or Wilders who was the agent of that change.

In consequence, politicians such as Wilders can gain much more electoral support than Janmaat ever could, which gives them real political power. And there is no doubt that Wilders’s political power has played a major role in the court’s decision. After all, it is much easier to convict the leader of a marginal and ostracized party like the CD than a figure like Wilders, the leader of the third-largest party in the parliament and a “support-party” of the current government (see “ The Geert Wilders enigma“, 23 June 2010).

A political failure

But a political victory is not automatically a democratic victory. In fact, I would argue that the acquittal of Geert Wilders is both a defeat of and a lost opportunity for Dutch democracy. Don’t misunderstand: I am a long-term opponent of the Netherlands’ anti-discrimination laws, I support absolute freedom of speech; and I believe that a democratic state should not limit or regulate speech, particularly in politics.

That said, a liberal democracy cannot function without the rule of law; and an essential aspect of this is equality before the law. Clearly, however, this is not the case in the Netherlands, where for decades people have been treated differently with regard to anti-discrimination laws (for example, in the 1990s the powerful conservative politicianFrits Bolkestein was not even indicted, far less convicted, for statements very similar to those of Janmaat).

To be fair, in acquitting Wilders the Amsterdam court has undoubtedly taken the changed public discourse on immigrants into account. But this does not get to the heart of the problem, which is notjudicial but political. The Amsterdam court found itself trapped by history; it was asked to enforce a law inherited from the past for which there no longer exists majority political and public support. Its acquittal has taken the lint out of the powder-keg of anti-discrimination legislation. It is now up to the politicians – not judges – to bring social values and laws back into harmony.

If Wilders had been convicted, a political crisis was inevitable: how then, after all, could the Dutch government rely on the support of a party of a convicted “anti-democratic” politician? A combination of the ensuing public outcry and sheer political necessity would have forced parliament to amend the legislation by bringing it more into accord with the public view. Now, Wilders might continue at times to raise the issue, even if mainly to portray himself as a near-martyr in order to generate political support; but the political elite will resume ignoring the topic while trying to regulate who is indicted or not (and, in the few cases that this fails, to try and influence who is convicted or not).

This outcome continues a policy of legal insecurity that undermines the rule of law in the Netherlands. It is therefore high time that Dutch politicians update the anti-discrimination laws in accordance with their own and contemporary Dutch society’s preferences

Geert Wilders is Guilty in the Court of Public Opinion

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by loonwatch
Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, the anti-freedom-anti-Muslim-peroxide-using Dutch politico is in the news this week because he is on trial for charges relating to hate incitement and defamation. This comes on the heels of Wilders’ (ironically named) Freedom Party (PVV) being allowed to join a coalition with the Christian Democrats (CDA) and the Liberal Party (VVD). The coalition is viewed as frail and many are speculating whether it can survive a crucial vote of confidence in the parliament.

Wilders and his goof troop are trying to paint this as an Islamic assault against Freedom and an appeasement or capitulation by the Dutch “ruling elite” to Islam. His two vice regents of Islamophobia in the US, fellow soldiers in hate Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have taken the talking points of *victimization* and run with almost daily postings on the “Geert Wilders” trial.

LoonWatch understands the value of freedom more than any of these goons combined. The right to Free Speech, even unpopular speech is fundamental, and frankly the democracy of the internet gives us the opportunity to expose these modern day hypocrites who wrap themselves in the flag of freedom while at the same time undermining it.

What is crossing the line?

Criticism of Islam and Muslims is fair game. Making fun of Islam or Muslims is fair game as well and most Western Muslims are thick-skinned enough to handle it. This is evidenced by the fact that incidences such as the Danish Cartoons, Fitna, Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, Terry Jones’ handlebar mustache, etc. didn’t evince the expected throng of wild-eyed bearded Muslims rioting across Western Capitols.

Crossing the line however is incitement to violence against Muslims. An essentialization of Islam and regurgitation of common, long held Orientalized views and stereotypes of Muslims provide fodder for the demagogues willing to instrumentalize such views for their ends. Wilders fits into this description, his tactic is to denounce Muslims and their “retarted culture” through a full frontal attack on Islam that usually lacks honesty and facts and seeks to disinform a public already on edge with world events and local concerns such as immigration.

Already Wilders is guilty in the public realm of hypocrisy, (proclaims “freedom” but then wants to ban the Qur’an, tax Hijabs, deport citizens of immigrant background, etc.), of exploitation (instrumentalizing Islam and Muslims for political gain) and a bad, out-of-date hairdo, but is he guilty of incitement and discrimination?

This will be for the Dutch courts to decide, but it is enough to note that he is one of the guiding inspirations for an anti-Muslim movement that spans two continents and bridges the Atlantic. Organizations such as the EDL, SIOA, SIOE, ACT! for America and many more are inspired by Wilders hate speech. When he stands in New York and says, “No Mosque here!” his followers know the implication of his words and they are enthralled. The Dutch prosecutors will analyze Wilders’ racist statements, his proposals for discriminatory policies, but no matter what they decide, and contrary to premature assertions from Wilders’ spin masters Geller and Spencer, he is already guilty!

While you are waiting for the trial enjoy our favorite Geert Wilders jingle!:


Translation:

Our Geert

I know exactly how things stand,

Don’t bore me with the facts.

Give me one of those lefty newspapers,

So that I can sh*t on it.

The Dutch broadcasting corporations,

Pretend to be journalists,

They don’t do anything but lie,

Those dirty socialists.

They hate our Geert,

We hate the government,

That is secretly heading

For islamization.

We were born stupid,

Never had any education,

But we don’t give a damn,

We’ll vote for Geert anyway.

The government doesn’t do anything

About all those Moroccans

Who are on the dole

And stealing our jobs.

They also have a god,

But ours is better.

Their women are all ugly,

Ours are much hotter.

They don’t have any respect

For rules and legislation,

But Geert is not at all afraid,

He’ll throw them out of the country.

We were born stupid,

Never had any education,

But we don’t give a damn,

We’ll vote for Geert anyway.

As soon as Geert is Prime Minister,

As he’s told us oftentimes,

He’ll ban the Koran,

Allah and His prophets.

But that’s not all,

Geert is not easily satisfied,

The Imams will have to go

He’ll close down all their mosques.

And if the Muslims

Start protesting

Geert will shoot them through the knee

And we’ll all chant:

We were born stupid,

Never had any education,

But we don’t give a damn,

We’ll vote for Geert anyway.

© Lyrics: Lucien Van Rooy

For more on the exposition of Geert Wilders please visit: Krapuul.nl (Use Google Translator)

 

Pamela Geller is Getting Sued for $10 Million Dollars for Defamation

Posted in Loon Blogs, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by loonwatch

Omar Tarazi, the attorney for the parents of Rifqa Bary is suing Rifqa’s former attorney and Pamela Geller for defamation. Yes, Pamela you regularly defame Muslims and claim they are terrorists or terrorist supporters/sympathizers. Watch Pamela play the victim soon. (hat tip: Marco, via. LGF)

$10 Million Defamation Suit Filed Against Pamela Geller

Last year Pamela Geller injected herself into the case of Rifqa Bary, a teenage runaway and Christian convert who claimed her Muslim parents were planning to kill her. (The Florida Department of Law Enforcement subsequently investigated these claims and found “no evidence whatsoever of alleged abuse or threats of death made by the girl’s parents.”)

As part of her usual hateful rabble-rousing, Geller repeatedly labeled the attorney for Bary’s parents as a terrorist sympathizer who was “appointed by CAIR.”

Now attorney Omar Tarazi is suing Geller and an activist Christian attorney in federal court for $10 million.

A Muslim attorney on one side of the Rifqa Bary dispute has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Orlando attorney John Stemberger, an activist Christian attorney who worked for the other side.

The suit was filed by Omar Tarazi in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, Friday. It names John Stemberger of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council.

Also being sued is a blogger from elsewhere, Pamela Oshry, who writes under the name Pamela Geller at the website atlasshrugged2000 and penned scathing anti-Muslim posts after Rifqa ran away from home in July 2009, saying she was afraid her Muslim parents would kill her for converting to Christianity. …

In the suit, Tarazi accuses Stemberger of falsely claiming on Fox News that Tarazi was associated with a Columbus-area mosque that had ties to terrorists. It also says Stemberger defamed Tarazi by saying Rifqa’s parents fired qualified court-appointed Ohio attorneys to use only one – Tarazi – who was paid by a pro-Muslim group in Ohio, the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR.

Tarazi was paid by no one, according to the suit. …

Oshry [Geller] published web posts that falsely said Tarazi had joined Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist organization, and received payments from ” ‘criminal’ organizations with ‘ties’ to terrorists,” according to the suit.

The attorney being sued, John Stemberger, is apparently also under investigation by the Florida Bar for possible ethics violations in the case:

Stemberger on Tuesday called the suit “ridiculous and frivolous.”

“This is just an attempt at grandstanding after a loss,” he said.

Stemberger acknowledged but would not discuss an investigation by the Florida Bar into possible ethics violations by him for statements he made about the case.

 

Pastor who Wants to Burn Korans uses N-word

Posted in Feature, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2010 by loonwatch

Pastor Terry Jones’ face is becoming all too familiar these days. The Harley Davidson riding, handle bar mustachioed loon pastor has not only called for the Koran to be burned but also produced this highly bizarre video,

We know now that the currency that Pastor Jones thrives on and attempts to capitalize on is “shock” coupled with demagoguery. Does the white haired Jones really not understand why it is offensive for a White person to say the N-word?

He surely remembers the Civil Rights movement and the Jim Crow era, doesn’t he? He plays naive in the beginning of the video, playing off of the dictionary definition of the N-word but ignores or just plain fails to mention the historical import of the N-word, how it was employed by Whites to demean, subjugate, humiliate and scorn Blacks.

This video is particularly interesting when we came across this article at the Friendly Atheist site that questioned Jones on whether he has been treated unfairly in the media,

Have any of the media reports of this event portrayed you unfairly or inaccurately? Would you like to set the record straight on any particular issue?

We have been accused of being racist. We are not attacking a race. In other words, we are not attacking the Moslem. We love the Moslems and hope that they would come to true salvation. What we are attacking is Islam, the religion, and Sharia law, the political system.

Not a racist? What do you think?