Sunday, March 01, 2009

Why Freedom of Speech?

FrankGaffney at the NPC
Frank Gaffney speaking at the National Press Club on February 27th

The recent events in Washington D.C. have brought to the forefront the International Free Press Society and Geert Wilders’ call for an International First Amendment.

Freedom of speech is under attack in Europe, Australia, and Canada, and there are ominous clouds appearing on the horizon here in the USA — witness President Obama’s insistence that we must not only respect Islam, but speak respectfully about it. To those of use who are familiar with the OIC, this sounds suspiciously like the program proposed by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

Geert Wilders and Barry MedlenerSo a stout defense of press freedom throughout the West is in order. But is the quest for an international equivalent of the First Amendment too quixotic to be worth pursuing?

As El Inglés pointedly asked, who will enforce such a law? The UN, which is already the principal engine of the “defamation of religions” restrictions on free speech? The EU? How about the OIC?

No one is seriously considering an internationally enforceable initiative guaranteeing freedom of speech. The point is to draw attention to the threat to our liberties, and to build support for the protection of free speech in individual countries throughout the West. Geert Wilders is calling for the repeal of all existing blasphemy laws and other restrictions on speech and the press, so that they cannot be used as excuses by Islam to further undermine our countries.

In any case, an international First Amendment is not really necessary, since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — one of the founding documents of the United Nations — already guarantees freedom of speech:

Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

And we all know how well the UN enforces the UDHR in places such as, say, Cuba.

You’ll also notice that Article 19 guarantees the right “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”. So Geert Wilders had a valid case against Britain based on Article 19.

The UN rushed to his defense, of course… didn’t they?

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Lars HedegaardThe International Free Press Society is the brainchild of Lars Hedegaard, the Danish author and historian. Drawing on the model of Trykkefrihedsselskabet, the Danish Free Press Society, he collaborated with a group of interested parties in the United States, Canada, and Europe to launch the IFPS. Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Mark Steyn, Roger Scruton, and Bat Ye’or are among the prominent freedom-loving writers on its advisory board.

Mr. Wilders strongly opposes the Islamization of his country — and the rest of the West — but the IFPS takes no official position on that particular goal. The organization is simply committed to a vigorous defense of Mr. Wilders’ right to speak out on this or any other topic.
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Islam is inevitably mentioned in this context only because most Muslim countries resolutely oppose free speech, especially when criticism of Islam is involved. They have institutionalized their opposition to free speech via the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which now sets the agenda for the UN on human rights issues. In his talk on Friday, Geert Wilders correctly identified the OIC as the most significant danger to worldwide free speech.

We have chosen to fight Islam through the free press movement because that is where it is most vulnerable. Political Islam cannot stand up to close scrutiny. It is threatened by free and open inquiry, and that’s why it fights tooth and nail against any criticism of Islam, labeling it “Islamophobia”.

It’s “Islamophobia” for non-Muslims to quote the Koran, unless they stick to the approved suras, such as the one about there being “no compulsion in religion”. Fitna is “Islamophobic” and defamatory of Islam because it quotes the violent and hateful suras — of which there are many — and exposes the core doctrine of Islam for what it is: a totalitarian political ideology with a mandate from on high requiring it to be spread by murder, slavery, intimidation, and deceit.

To fight for free speech is to fight to tell the truth about Islam. This will force the West — which purportedly believes in liberty — to confront the magnitude of the threat it faces.

As Mr. Wilders pointed out, most Muslims are peaceful and law-abiding, and are also largely ignorant about the hateful doctrines that lie at the core of their faith. Allowing them to experience the unfamiliar benefits of free speech will reduce the appeal of Islam and encourage apostasy.

Salafist doctrine can only spread in the shadows. When it is exposed to the light, it scuttles back under the refrigerator and waits for the darkness to return.

Our job is to keep the light on.

Our duty is to call for free speech for everyone, everywhere, under all circumstances.

No matter how insulting and offensive the results, free speech and freedom of the press are the key.

Radical Islam will shrivel when we are free to confront it with the truth.

Fight for free speech!

4 comments:

Zenster said...

But is the quest for an international equivalent of the First Amendment too quixotic to be worth pursuing?

Not in the least. If anything, it is a virtual touchstone with respect to determining exactly which nations are or are not sincere about defending modern civilization.

Freedom of Expression, just like Freedom of Religion, is an inextricable component of any healthy pluralistic culture. I would only add that an intrinsic separation of church and state must accompany the foregoing two Freedoms for them to be valid.

Respect and enforcement of these two fundamental human rights represents one of the only ways to sucessfully expose and defeat Islam or any other totalitarian entity of its ilk.

No Muslim majority nation could possibly endure either one of these imperative Freedoms, let alone both. In fact, the proper husbandry of said Freedoms stands as the only legitimate bulwark against Islamic taqiyya.

There isn't a single Muslim culture that could maintain even the slightest pretense of defending such Freedoms. Even the most convincing versimilitude of compliance with these essential human liberties would be shattered instantly by the dire necessity of killing anyone who denigrated Islam or embraced another belief system.

I would even go so far as to say that an International Free Speech Amendment represents one of the few truly functional ways of qualifying which nations should and should not be allowed to participate in the global economy. Those that cannot bring themselves to embrace the defense of these two fundamental human rights should experience the most comprehensive economic boycotts, right down to the importation of food, medicine and basic humanitarian aid of any sort.

Only such exclusion from the world's stage could drive the various populations of these theocratic and totalitarian regimes to rebel and oust their abusive masters.

It is long past tea for Muslims to comprehend, for once and all time, the full implications of attempting to impose their vile agenda upon free people. Let them all rot in their septic Islamic utopias until they either perish en masse or abandon their barbarous credo.

The West deserves nothing less for its tremendous sacrifices in the defense of genuine Freedom.

El said...

yes, it's a matter of phrasing. if the first amendment is being used as a reference point for a more general discussion about the virtues of freedom of speech, i'm behind it.

but, when i first read the expression, i had a nightmare vision of us spending the next 487 years sitting around a table with muslim diplomats trying to hammer the concept of the importance of negative rights as historically conceived into their sharia-encrusted brains, only for them to say: 'ah yes, we understand freedom of speech now. but of course it doesn't include the right to insult religion...'. cue much banging of head into tables for another 487 years by me.

as long as we're trying to set our own houses in order, i support the man with the hair all the way. i just want us to stop trying to convince muslims to see the correctness of our views. let them take their views back to pakistan and enjoy them there.

having read a fair bit of what wilders has to say on the subject, i would say i'm pretty much on the same page as him. he wants western countries to return to their historic principles, not some ineffective international body 'enforcing' freedom of speech in, say, the sudan. the 1st amendment is the most obvious reference point, i agree.

and i do *too* know what a loss leader is.

(looking around for someone to fight)

Captain USpace said...

.
This is a conversation that must be had, continually. The Islamic countries may listen, may even talk, but their negative votes must have no standing, absolutely none.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe screams
FREEDOM GO TO HELL


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
pretend to defend

human rights while stopping
speech defending human rights
.
USpace
.
All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech there can be no real freedom.
.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon
.
Help STOP Terrorism Today!

:)
.

MIRA said...

It is amazing to me that the Dutch press was asking Mr. Wilders about his fundings and challenging him on his supposedly "hate speech" at the NPC.
Well, I'm not that surprised to be honest. I am the one who is sitting to Mr. Wilder's left on your picture. I was also the one that thanked Mr. Wilders and then turned and asked the Dutch press why they didn't go after that cleric from the Netherlands shown in FITNA and his hate speech. Why didn't they confront him and where that particular mosque in the Netherlands gets its fundings from?
I knew the answer already, but I wanted to make a point.

I hope you were there at the OMNI event. It was very interesting. Really interesting that Mr. Wilders was whisked away before he could end his presentation. Please feel free to email me if you want more info and to share pictures.