So what else is new? Is anyone doing anything else these days? Still, I think it important to answer as many as I can of these and show the truth. “When Slogans Beget Slaughter,” by Ishaan Tharoor in Time Magazine, August 6 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Last year on Sept. 11, I stood at Ground Zero as hundreds of people shouted obscenities against Muslims and Islam.
There were actually many thousands of people there, as photos attest. But however many people were there, were “hundreds of people” really shouting “obscenities against Muslims and Islam”? Absolutely not. In a crowd of that size it is impossible to ensure that everyone is civil and polite, but our speakers set the tone, and none of them indulged in or encouraged any “obscenities” whatsoever. The videos are readily available on YouTube. Tharoor here is defaming not just me, but all the decent people who turned out to protest the desecration that is the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero. And his whole argument here depends on this defamatory charge. But I’d like to see him substantiate it.
They were gathered to protest the proposed construction of a Muslim-run interfaith community center nearby, which had earned the inaccurate moniker Ground Zero mosque.
A “Muslim-run interfaith community.” We were actually the ones who suggested that if the Ground Zero Mosque organizers were serious about reaching out to non-Muslims, they could include a synagogue, a church, and a Hindu temple inside their center. This suggestion, like everything we said, was arrogantly brushed aside with more smear charges of “hate” — as Tharoor is charging in this piece.
The rally was conducted by a motley crew of Islamophobes, among them several European visitors. Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has called for a ban on immigration to the Netherlands from Muslim countries, denounced the arrival of a “new Mecca” on the shores of what was once New Amsterdam….
Actually he didn’t say that at all. Watch his speech here. He was actually lauding New York’s tradition of tolerance, and said that if New York were open only to people of one persuasion, it would not be New York, but would be like Mecca.
I mention this because the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the man behind the massacre in Norway, echoed those calls. Multiculturalism, Marxism, the supposed insensibility of Islam to Western values and the appeasement tendencies of a naive liberal elite: such were the grievances raised separately by both Breivik and the riled-up crowd in lower Manhattan. The writings of Robert Spencer “” an organizer of that rally and an anti-Muslim polemicist routinely accused of hate speech “” were cited 64 times in Breivik’s manifesto, according to the New York Times. […]
Here the plan becomes obvious. Tharoor is by no means the only one trying to use Breivik’s murders to discredit any and all opposition to “multiculturalism, Marxism, the supposed insensibility of Islam to Western values and the appeasement tendencies of a naive [or complicit] liberal elite.” Sit back and take it as your freedoms are stripped from you, for opposition leads to mass murder. Of course, this is no more true than it would be true to say that Martin Luther King should have stopped opposing institutionalized racism because of the Watts riots.
As for my being “anti-Muslim,” to oppose a radically repressive and intolerant ideology is not to oppose a people. If to defend the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people is “anti-Muslim,” I leave it to Tharoor to explain why his Religion of Peace ends up on the wrong side of such principles so often. And as for my being “routinely accused of hate speech,” that is only evidence of how indefatigably and tirelessly the Islamic supremacists and their stooges in the mainstream media try to discredit freedom fighters by charging them with “hate.” Anyone and everyone who dares to oppose the jihad and Islamic supremacism is tarred with the “hate speech” label. As Pamela Geller says, truth is the new hate speech. I will stick with the truth, thank you.
It’s wrong to suggest that Breivik is wholly a product of these politics. But it’s equally wrong to disregard them altogether. Standing at Ground Zero, I would never have considered even the most foulmouthed Islamophobe there to be capable of what Breivik did, or of inciting it. Yet Islam seems forever on trial, especially in the eyes of the Robert Spencers and Geert Wilders of the world. Why shouldn’t they now also be held to account for the terrors incubated by their own appalling ideology?
Tharoor does not and cannot quote anything that Wilders or I or any “foulmouthed Islamophobe” said that actually could be reasonably seen as inciting Breivik. In reality, an examination of his manifesto shows that I did not and could not have incited Breivik to commit any acts of violence.
There is a key distinction here that Tharoor, in his mad fury to demonize us, is glossing over: Islam is not “forever on trial” because of Wilders and me. Islam is “forever on trial,” at least for people who are paying attention to this issue, because of people like bin Laden, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Feisal Shahzad, and Abdulhakim Muhammad, Khalid Aldawsari, Baitullah Mehsud, and Roshonara Choudhry. Click on each link and you will see devout Muslims referencing Islamic teachings to justify violence against unbelievers.
By contrast, neither Wilders nor I nor anyone else who spoke at last year’s 9/11 Rally justified violence against Muslims or anyone. We have never called for it, never excused it, never contemplated it. But Tharoor has to ignore this, and hope the luckless remaining readers of Time Magazine don’t know it, in order to make his demonization stick.
Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. — Isaiah 59:14-15 (Thanks to Ron Morgen)
Join us again this September 11 at Ground Zero for our 9/11 Freedom Rally.