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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Obama's Resolution to Stifle Free Speech on Islam

Obama’s Resolution to Stifle Free Speech on Islam – by Deborah Weiss
Published by FrontPage Magazine, Oct 16th, 2009

On October 1, 2009, the Obama administration in conjunction with the Egyptian government, introduced an anti-free speech measure to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (HRC). It was adopted the next day without a vote.

Earlier this year, when the United States sought a seat on the HRC, it was a controversial decision. Many who found the HRC neither credible nor useful, opposed the move. Yet, others were more optimistic that America could change the HRC from within. Perhaps the U.S. could spur debate stemming from its opposition to China, Sudan, Libya, Cuba, and Saudi Arabia on critical human rights votes.

Little evidence suggests that Americans on either side of the aisle contemplated the US entering the ring and supporting the opposition’s anti-freedom measures. Yet now, the current administration has done worse: it’s leading the charge.

The draft resolution, misleadingly titled “Freedom of Opinion and Expression” includes two troubling components. First, it calls on nation states to take “effective measures” to address and combat “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”. It expresses concern and condemnation of “negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups”. It further attempts to construe this as an international human rights law and obligation. Second, it recognizes the media’s “moral and social responsibilities” and the “importance” that its potential voluntary code of conduct could play in combating intolerance.

This resolution appears to stem from, and constitute a step toward, the Organization of Islamic Conference’s resolution to “combat defamation of religions”. The OIC’s resolution would ban outright the “defaming” of religions, speech critical of religion (even if accurate), and open discussion about any negative consequences resulting from the implementation of religious beliefs (such as Sharia law).

Though both resolutions mention “religions” generally, the context and references of the resolutions make them almost certain to apply only or disproportionately to Islam. Indeed, the defamation of religions resolution singles out treatment of Islam. Yet not surprisingly, the OIC has blatantly refused to curtail hate speech against Jews or Israel.

Further, it is the nature of religion to include a component of exclusivity, thus making it impossible to express one’s theology accurately without making “defamatory” remarks against another theology. For example, merely preaching that Jesus is the son of God can be viewed as an inflammatory remark and an affront to Islam. Additionally, the wording of this resolution makes its violation subjectively determined and comes dangerously close to outlawing certain emotions, such as hostility toward Islam or Muslims.

Critically important is the resolution’s attempt to internationalize norms on speech, potentially usurping fundamental constitutional rights. Strict constructionists of the US constitution view the constitution as “the supreme law of the land” (as the constitution expressly states), whereas those who view the constitution as “a living, breathing document” might not. But even under a strict construction, when the US signs a treaty, the treaty becomes binding on the US. Though this UN resolution does not constitute a treaty, it is fair to presume that because it is a US-led initiative, the US should be bound by it.

Also problematic is the resolution’s attempt to make the restriction of free speech a human right. In fact, it is free speech that constitutes a human right and not its restriction. Ideologies, ideas and religions do not, and should not be afforded “human rights”. They should be fair game for criticism, analysis, open debate and discussion. Religions and ideologies cannot be “defamed”. Once ideologies are afforded protection from criticism, it is in direct contradiction to individual human rights. Moreover, some of the language in the resolution is vague and open to interpretation. Given the parties on the HRC who adopted it, a broad construction of speech restrictions is likely.

It is no accident that countries which have no freedom of expression show support for this resolution. For example, Ambassador Hisham Badr from Egypt, in discussing his satisfaction with the resolution, stated that “freedom of expression…..has sometimes been misused.” He went on to imply that media which fails to comply with limitations on free speech are unethical.

Pakistan Ambassador Zamir Akram, speaking on behalf of the OIC, confirmed that the resolution allows free speech to be trumped by the suppression of that which “defames” religion or expresses a negative stereotype of religion. He asserted that freedom of expression is important but this right carries “duties and responsibilities”, including the need to fight hate speech. He articulated the view that defamation of religion and negative stereotyping are forms of religious hatred. He made clear that in the OIC’s interpretation, such negativity applies not just to individuals, but to religions and belief systems, proclaiming that this constitutes a human rights violation.

Jean-Baptiste Mettei from France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, appears to be in denial about the meaning and impact of this resolution. While prefacing his remarks with praise for the resolution, the French Ambassador then declared that human rights laws protect individuals in free speech and freedom of religion and does not protect belief systems. The EU summarily rejected the concept of defamation of religion, and expressly denounced the notion that the media has a moral and social responsibility to curtail speech. He argued that states should not interfere with the work of journalists, and acknowledged their right to editorial independence. As such, the EU could not support the restrictions on journalistic speech embodied in the resolution.

In the past, when the US addressed international speech norms, it went out of its way to ensure that treaties by which it was bound would not restrict free speech or undermine America’s first amendment protections. But now, change has come.

Arguably relinquishing one of America’s most fundamental freedoms, Obama is once again bowing down to the Muslim world. The interim ranking US diplomat, Douglas Griffiths explained, “[T]his initiative is a manifestation of the Obama administration’s commitment to multilateral engagement throughout the United Nations and of our genuine desire to seek and build cooperation based upon mutual interest and mutual respect in pursuit of our shared common principles of tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.” However, to the OIC, “respect” means the silencing of offensive speech against Islam.

With all due respect Mr. President: the attainment of freedom and human rights is not tantamount to winning a popularity contest. And capitulation is not leadership. It is a sad state of affairs when France refutes major portions of a United States initiative because the initiative undermines fundamental freedoms.

Deborah Weiss is an attorney and freelance writer. She gives speeches on Political Islam's Assault on Free Speech on behalf of

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

American Paul Williams' Rights Threatened in Canada

If you've read about my legal case, you'll know that I have recently suffered through a frivilous lawsuit brought by several Dallas-area Islamist groups. They attempted to harm me financially, while trying to remove my rights to free speech, free assembly and free press -- basically all of the main freedoms we cherish as Americans.

My friend Paul Williams is going through something similar in Canada. Please read about his case below and help him in whatever way you can.

Joe Kaufman


Tracy Hood - No Compromise News


Next week, investigative journalist and author Dr. Paul L. Williams will be tried in a foreign court for his investigative work on reports of al Qaeda terrorists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

But he broke no American statute and his alleged violation of Canadian law took place not in Canada, but at his home in Pennsylvania.

Williams got into a legal jam with the Canadians while discussing his book The Dunces of Doomsday on the nationally syndicated “Coast-to-Coast AM” radio program with George Noory.

To make matters more bizarre, Williams had been advised by the Ontario Provincial Police to issue warnings to his fellow Americans about terrorist activity at the Canadian university that placed the lives of countless millions of Americans in jeopardy.

The case is significant since it represents the first time an American journalist is being forced to submit to Canadian law.

Williams has been stripped of his Constitutional rights and forced to deplete his financial savings to pay for his Canadian lawyers.

“The matter would have gone away if I simply signed an apology,” Williams said, “but what kind of journalist would I be if I apologized for telling the truth?”
He estimates that the cost of the lawsuit already has topped $500,000.
Williams visited McMaster University in May, 2006 to verify accounts by Janice Kephardt of the 9/11 Commission, journalists Bill Gertz and Scott Wheeler of “The Washington Times,” former federal prosecutor John Loftus, and others, that the liberal Canadian university had harbored leading al Qaeda operatives, including Adnan el-Shukrijumah, Jaber A. Elbaneh, Abderraouf Jdey, and Amer el-Maati.

The same sources testified that when the al Qaeda operatives left McMaster, “over 80 kilograms” (180 pounds) of nuclear material was reported missing.

During his visit to McMaster, Williams says that he discovered an over-abundance of professors from terror-sponsoring countries within the university’s department of engineering.

In the Division of Earthquake Engineering, he says, 9 out of 10 faculty members were from the Universities of Cairo and Alexandria. Similarly, Williams maintains the three McMaster officials, who head the College of Engineering and supervise the work at the reactor, all hailed from the University of Cairo.

Jane Corbin of the BBC has reported that the engineering department at the University of Cairo remains under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Williams says that he and several of his associates, including a licensed private investigator, met with officials from the Ontario Provincial Police, who confirmed that McMaster has been under scrutiny for a long time; that many of the students have ties to radical Islam and terrorist organizations; and that Islamic members of the faculty have conducted clandestine meetings at an off-campus address in Hamilton.

The officials in question - - Detective Constables Dennis Bryson and Tim Trombley - - were not available for comment.

Williams insists that the problem at McMaster was evidenced by the fact that several of the terrorists who were taken into custody in the plot to kill the Canadian Prime Minister and to blow up Parliament were students at the school.

Supporting Williams’s contentions, Hamid Mir, the only journalist to interview Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11, has testified on tape that Anas el-Liby, a founder of al Qaeda, attended McMaster and managed, along with other al Qaeda operatives, to steal 80 kilos of nuclear material from the poorly guarded facilities at the school.

Jayne Johnson, a spokesperson for McMaster, declined to comment on whether el Shukrijumah and other al Qaeda operatives were ever students at the school. She maintained that such information was confidential.

Peter Downward, the attorney representing the University says, "We regard Mr. Williams' allegations about McMaster as being on a par with UFO reports and JFK conspiracy theories. The notion that because there are people on faculty from Egypt that McMaster is then a haven for terrorism is not only logically offensive, it smacks of racism.”

McMaster may get away with dismissing findings of lawyers, investigators from the 9-11 Commission, and international journalists as racist, logically offensive, and looney.

However, the predominance of Muslims from terror sponsoring countries at McMaster and the lack of security at the reactor has been verified by independent sources, including Sean Michaels of GlobalTV-CA.
Moreover, Ontario police officials have labeled the campus “a hive of jihadi activity.”

In Canada, any person offended by a statement can file a lawsuit, and it remains up to the respondent to prove his innocence.

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