Gul says he believes in free speech, but “incitement to hate and violence” should not enjoy free speech protections. By this he doesn’t mean the hate sermons of imams calling for jihad against Infidels, but the writings of “Islamophobes,” including accurate analyses of how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to promote violence and supremacism.
The problem with his distinction between freedom of speech and “incitement to hate and violence” is that what constitutes the latter is a subjective judgment. The person who gets to decide what is “incitement to hate and violence” is the one who holds the power to control the public discourse. If the standard by which such incitement is determined is whether or not Muslims are rioting over something, then to outlaw this “incitement” would be tantamount to saying that all Muslims need do is riot in order to shut up someone who is saying things they don’t like.
And that, of course, is Abdullah Gul’s real objective: to compel the West to criminalize criticism of Islam and adopt Sharia blasphemy codes, under the guise of criminalizing “hate speech.”
As for Gul’s claim that “Islamophobia” is akin to antisemitism, the late Christopher Hitchens ably took that claim apart when writing a few years ago about the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero: “‘Some of what people are saying in this mosque controversy is very similar to what German media was saying about Jews in the 1920s and 1930s,’ Imam Abdullah Antepli, Muslim chaplain at Duke University, told the New York Times. Yes, we all recall the Jewish suicide bombers of that period, as we recall the Jewish yells for holy war, the Jewish demands for the veiling of women and the stoning of homosexuals, and the Jewish burning of newspapers that published cartoons they did not like.”
Gul’s aim in this is to intimidate people into thinking that criticism of Islamic supremacism leads to the gas chambers, and thus there must be no criticism of Islamic supremacism. The unstated assumption is that if one group was unjustly accused of plotting subversion and violence, and was viciously persecuted and massacred on the basis of those false accusations, then any group accused of plotting subversion and violence must be innocent, and any such accusation must be in service of preparing for their internment and massacre.
The key difference is not only that Muslim leaders worldwide have made their intention to conquer and subjugate non-Muslims very clear, in a way that Jews never did in the run-up to the Holocaust; it is also that anti-jihadists nowhere advocate a “final solution” for Muslims, and never will — we are merely calling upon them to drop the authoritarian and repressive aspects of Sharia and obey the laws of the Western societies in which they live. This is a movement in defense of freedom and equality of rights before the law.
“Turkish president Abdullah Gul on Syria and Islamophobia,” by Haroon Siddiqui in the Toronto Star, November 28:
…Abdullah Gul, president of Turkey, heads a prosperous moderate Muslim democracy when much of the Middle East is roiled by popular revolts against dictatorships and for better economic conditions….
As foreign minister (2003-07), Gul spearheaded Turkey”s unsuccessful bid to join the European Union. Most Turks have soured on the idea, given European resistance, and Turkey”s economy booming and Europe”s tanking.
But it”s a quest that Gul still advocates as essential to keeping Turkey on the path to European liberal standards. At the same time, he”s pained by the West”s Islamophobia.
“It”s the same as anti-Semitism,” he said.
“It reminds us that while the West has high levels of education and income, it has diseases that are not easily curable. The diseases of the East, mainly illiteracy and poverty, are easier to fix than the diseases of the West, such as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
“Islamophobia poses particular risks in today”s globalized world. It can be costly as well as a menace to world peace, increase risks to the lives of ordinary people and complicate the world political situation.
“Just like the world tackled anti-Semitism, we need to take measures to contain anti-Islamism.”
Gul mentioned the recent short anti-Muhammad film made in the U.S. by a member of the radicalized Egyptian Coptic Christian diaspora and funded by a fundamentalist Christian.
“When we look at the people behind the film and their background, we can see which groups and people they were associated with. This speaks for itself. They are full of hate for Muslims and Islam
“I believe in freedom of speech but I also believe that this discourse of hate, and incitement to hate and violence should in no way be considered part of free speech. If we don”t curb it, it will only lead to graver problems.
“The western world has troops in Afghanistan and is very much engaged in the Middle East. On the other hand, it permits deliberate acts of hate that create security issues, and innocent people from both sides suffer.”
What does he think of the violent protests in parts of the Muslim world against insults to Islam, the Qur”an and Muhammad?
“Islamophobic needling provocations will happen again. They are deliberate. But they must be ignored. The Muslim world should not react in the way it has.”…