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Friday, November 02, 2012

The War Against Free Speech Rages On

By Deborah Weiss
FrontPage Magazine
October 22, 2012

The Obama administration conveniently scapegoated a short, anti-Islam video for the murderous attacks on the US consulate on September 11, 2012. Now that the State Department has confessed its knowledge that Benghazi was the result of a pre-planned terrorist attack, many in both the mainstream and conservative media are asserting that it’s obvious nobody would really have responded to a silly 14-minute YouTube clip with mass protests. Not so fast. In fact, the administration’s relentless condemnation of the video’s content, even after the Benghazi facts have been established, may have given license for many Muslims in the West to do the same.

On Sunday, October 14, 2012, thousands of Muslims stormed the London Headquarters of Google, the parent company of YouTube. They were protesting the notorious anti-Islam video clip, titled “Innocence of Muslims,” a 14-minute, amateurish, low-budget trailer that portrays Mohammad in a negative light. The video had been falsely blamed by administration officials for the murders of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other US diplomats in Benghazi, Libya.

Barricades were erected around the building, and numerous streets in England’s capital were blocked off near the Queen’s palace. Those in protest were demanding that YouTube pull down the video.

The Muslim Action Forum organized the event and approximately 800 imams from mosques across the UK assisted. Muslims from Manchester, Blackburn, and Luton attended. Others came from as far away as Glasgow.

The Birmingham Mosque told its attendees that it was important to attend the event in honor of the Prophet, and warned participants to refrain from violence in order to prove to the world that Islam is a religion of peace. The mosque provided buses to transport crowds to the event.

Though police reported that only approximately 3000 people attended, the Muslim Action Forum insists that attendance was closer to 10,000. At a glance, the irate mob appeared to consist primarily of men, but in fact, a smaller gathering of women joined them, as is often the case, in the back of the crowd. They were fully covered from head to toe in hijabs and chadors.

The name of the campaign was “The Campaign for Global Civility.” Demonstrators carried signs that demanded civility from others, even as they intimidated those with whom they disagreed. Others signs proclaimed “Islam is a religion of peace,” even as an implied threat of violence filled the air. And some even had the audacity to wave signs that read, “Prophet Muhammad is the founder of freedom of speech” despite the fact that the entire purpose of the protest was to shut people up. Additional signs read that “Google is a worldwide terrorist” and “[H]ow dare you insult the blessed Prophet.”

Protest organizer, Masoud Alam, asserted that the goal of the demonstration was to have the anti-Islam YouTube clip banned worldwide. The video has been blocked by Google in a few countries where prohibited by law, such as Saudi Arabia, and a handful of governments in other countries removed the video when Google refused. However, it remains posted throughout the West and in numerous other regions. Alam made it clear that the protests would continue until demonstrators get their way. There would be a zero tolerance for dissent.

Indeed, the protest in London was the third held this month in the here-to-fore Free World. The Muslim Action Forum plans to hold protests at Google offices around the globe, including a “Million Muslim March” anticipated to be held in the next few weeks.

Masoud Alam proclaims that he’s merely seeking “civility” and Alam Ghulam Rabbini, a Sufi cleric, explains that Google should not have the right to “hurt the feelings of 1.5 billion Muslims.” But the real goal of the protests is to stifle all criticism of Islam in a way that parallels Islamic blasphemy laws. In fact, Alam states that he believes “YouTube and its parent company, Google, continue to share Islamophobic material and continue to incite racial hatred” and admits that “[T]his insult of the Prophet will not be allowed.”

Clearly, if the video is taken down, it will not end the demonstrations, but only serve to further embolden those who seek to stifle free speech in the name of Islam.

And, in accordance with the Muslim Brotherhood mandate to sabotage the West from within, using their own hands (emphasis added), the Muslim Action Forum hopes to create a coalition of dhimmis, including Christians, Jews and conservatives to join their ranks for the cause of civility. Never mind that the bridge of civility flows in only one direction, with complete disregard for the daily diet of anti-Semitism fed through Arab media, and the persecution of Christians spread pervasively throughout Muslim lands.

So far, Google has stood firm. First, it refused to remove the video clip in response to the administration’s “inquiry” to determine if the clip violated YouTube’s terms and conditions, and now it stands strong in its response to thousands of angry Muslims who want to protect Islam from so-called “defamation.”

And, while Team Obama continues to denounce the content of this film, “shaming” those who espouse a different viewpoint, the President’s actions amount to yet another policy of appeasement. Fighting negative stereotypes of Islam wherever he finds them, as he promised to do in his speech at Cairo, the President is giving a green light to those who want to do the same by other means.

The real job of the President of the United States it to stand on principle and fight for the rights enshrined in the Constitution…. including the right to freedom of speech. Google executives have it right. They have asserted that the company “has very clear views on this issue. We believe the answer to bad speech is more speech.”

In the context of other wars, the President has stated that he wants to “lead from behind.” However, in the War against Free Speech, he’s ahead of the pack.

Please drop a note of support to Google executives to stand on principle as the pressure mounts in the coming weeks:

Google UK, Ltd. Larry Page, CEO
Belgrave House Google Headquarters
76 Buckingham Palace Road 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
London, UK , SW1W9TQ Mountain View , CA 94043

Deborah Weiss is a freelance writer and co-author of “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamist Terrorist Network” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

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