If Christian and Jewish religious symbols are criticized and satirized most people do not care. Nobody takes to the street to demonstrate violently against the “culprits”. A long history of enlightenment and freedom of expression has been enjoyed by Christians and Jews. They accept religious freedom as a civilized fact of life.
This, however, does not apply to radical Muslims. They exploit liberal Western legal systems and, most recently, blasphemy laws, especially in Europe, to advance their jihad agenda.
After lawsuits against Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Rachel Ehrenfeld in the UK and against many other critics of Islam, filed by zealous Muslims, a new case has arisen in Austria. Susanne Winter, a member of the Austrian FPÃ– party and member of parliament was recently sentenced to three months in prison on probation and a fine of â?¬ 24 thousand. (about $40,000).
Ms. Winter’s “crime” was simply an observation, and observations must be tolerated in a society that believes in religious and civil freedom. Ms. Winter said, “If the prophet Muhammad were living, he would be indicted as a child abuser,” which is true. Muhammad married Aisha, a nine-year-old girl and consummated this marriage years before she had her first menses. And this is a clear case of child abuse.
The judge, Mr. Schwentner, commented on his sentence with the following words, “It is outrageous to defame a widely established religion.”
The Austrian OE24 TV and other media outlets welcomed the court ruling and held Ms. Winter responsible for any “reprisals” by Muslim terrorists.
The “Globale Islamische Medienfront” (GIME) (global Islamic Media front) in Vienna posted a death threat on its website, saying, “Killing Winter is the right and duty of every Muslim.” The blog Muslimwelt also called for killing the “Witch Winter”. A commentator on the German Deutschlandfunk said, “Islamists demand the head of Winter! No wonder, she insulted them.”
Many Austrian politicians and mainstream media rushed to condemn Ms. Winter, ignoring the fact that she was simply making use of her right to freedom of opinion which is guaranteed by the state’s constitution. For apologists in Austria and Germany, Winter is the “culprit”. She provoked death threats. Obviously, such people do not care about the constitution as much as they care about the fanatic “sensitive” feelings of radical Muslims.
Even the president of Austria, Mr. Heinz Fischer condemned Ms. Winter and branded her statement as “unacceptable”.
In other words, Austrian apologists are telling Muslim extremists: you are right, Winter is wrong.
The growing number of lawsuits against critics of Islam (of tenets and practices) shows very clearly the confrontation between Western principles of religious freedom on the one hand and jihadists’ tactics to censor and suppress information about radical Islam, on the other.
The aim is very clear: religious freedom and freedom of speech must be silenced: and critique of radical Islam and Muslims is branded as racism and defamation of an “established religion”.
Blasphemy laws in the UK, Austria, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany have added insult to injury and are actually aiding jihadists in advancing their theocratic agenda.
Radical Muslims have discovered in liberal Western lawfare systems a public forum and a legal instrument to position themselves and their radical beliefs as victims of “Islamophobia.”
Over the past decade the number of Islamist lawsuits against critics of radicals has been on the rise, and more often than not successful. The tactic is very clear: silence critics of Islam.
To avoid wasting time, bankruptcy, and running the risk of being murdered by Muslim fanatics, some critics prefer to give in to their accusers, regardless of the merit of their critique.
Some critics of the Saudi wealthy businessman, Khalid Bin Mahfouz -- whom they linked to having funded Islamic charities which then crossed the money along to terrorist organizations opted for paying fines outside the court in London. Some of them even paid contributions to these “charities.”
Further, mainstream publishers dare not publish books which might hurt the “sensitive” feelings of radical Muslims. Random House Publishing Group pulled “The Jewel of Medina” by Sherry Jones for fear of “offending” Muslims and “provoking” violent reprisals; and “Alms for Allah” had to be remaindered by the Cambridge University Press.
After 9/11, Western legislators, courts, and the mainstream media have simply become intimidated by radical Muslims. To avoid such atrocities, and further suicide and car bombs in Western cities, they try to appease radical Muslims with apologetic arguments.
It seems that the strict blasphemy laws used in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Pakistan, Egypt, Somalia, Kuwait, and elsewhere in Muslim states have been copied by Western courts. Even Western heads of state like Obama and ministers like SchÃ¤uble, the German Home Minister, relentlessly and hypocritically praise how peaceful Islam is
In Saudi Arabia, persons who insult Islam are beheaded. In Sudan, a British teacher who named a teddy bear Muhammad was threatened with imprisonment and death. Muslim critics of radical Islam such as Nasser Hamed Abu Zeid are prosecuted
Arab and Muslim thinkers and writers turn to the Internet to criticize radical Islam and jihadists. See “Al Hiwar Al Mutameden”. Link: http://www.ahewar.org/debat/nr.asp
Instead of fostering such sites, instead of supporting Arab and Muslim critics of radical Islam, the West is allying itself with the oppressors of freedom of religion, and prosecuting Western critics like Ms. Winter, Mr. Wilders, and the others.
Still worse, while German authorities, for instance, ban the propaganda of extremist groups on the right side of the political spectrum, they turn a blind eye to leftist Islamist propaganda, which is worse: it incites to hatred and violence.
In Germany, the city council of Cologne approved the construction of one of the largest mosques in Europe, funded largely by Saudi Arabia, which not only bans non-Muslims from having their own houses of worship in Saudi Arabia but also even bans them from practicing their religions.
Protesters against this mosque are portrayed as “fascists”.
Ralf Giordano, a former Jew, and Mina Ahadi, a former Muslim condemned the council’s decision:
In a conference in Cologne, Giordano stressed that two hundred passages in the Koran incite to hatred and violence against the Jews. “kill the Jews. Kill them, kill them!” He also said, “The hijab, (headscarf), which Obama wholeheartedly defends, is the first step toward wearing the Niqab (face veil) and later the Burqua (the Afghan shador from head to toe). This is Islam.”
“A huge mosque like the one Muslims want to construct in Cologne will be an eye-piercing symbol of violence.” Giordano added.
Mina Ahadi pointed out that kindergarten children of Muslim parents are forced to wear the hijab, “allegedly so that they get used to it. Young children are forced to wear a symbol of violence and oppression. This has nothing to do with religious freedom. This is indoctrination and child abuse.”
Ahadi blasted Wolfgang SchÃ¤uble, the German Home Minister for bowing to radical Islamic organizations which allege that they represent Muslims in Germany:“Lots of Muslims fled Islamic oppression in their home countries and here in Germany they are forced to be represented by the same kind of Islam they fled.”
In addition, SchÃ¤uble contradicts himself when on the one hand he says that there are more than 20 thousand extremist Muslims roaming Germany and Europe freely, two thirds of whom want Shari’a to be introduced in Germany, while on the other hand he claims in a speech at Cairo University (June 17, 2009) that more than 80% of all Muslims believe in democracy.
Like Obama, SchÃ¤uble seems not to have the slightest clue about Islam. All the scripts of Islam, including the Koran and Hadith, reject the concept of democracy and advocate “shura” (consultation among the powerful).
Obama and SchÃ¤uble and their ilk are in fear of radical Muslims and are trying to appease radical Islam and accommodate it in the world as a “peaceful mindset”.
Potter Stewart said, “Censorship reflects society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is a hallmark of authoritarian regime”. Obviously, this does not only apply to Muslims states, but also increasingly to some Western states. They are censoring religious freedom in the name of cemetery peace.
Finally, Giordano said in the conference mentioned before, “One can liberalize democracy to death by giving in to a violent religion like Islam.”