In “Paving the way for ‘soft jihad,'” Barbara Kay ably explains the significance of recent Islamic advances against free speech — which are part of what I call the stealth jihad. From the National Post, July 22:
When Ibn Warraq’s secularist manifesto Why I Am Not a Muslim was released in 1995, a fellow dissident was disappointed to learn the ayatollahs hadn’t called for the author’s head: “It’s such a damn good book, I don’t understand why you haven’t had a fatwa.”
Ayatollah-prescribed fatwas are so pre-9/11. Nowadays, as liberal elites rush prophylactically to ward off charges of tolerating “Islamophobia,” the fatwas (in all but name) against damn good books like Mark Steyn’s America Alone aren’t bruited in mosques; they issue forth from human rights commissioners.
An unintended but all-too-predictable danger inherent in the prosecution of Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn (the latter via Maclean’s magazine) was the encouraging message it would send to more fevered imaginations. As reported on his blog on Monday morning, Ezra Levant has received an anonymous e-mail death threat: “Ezra, you will be killed by my hands.”
Although this is doubtless a hollow menace (real killers rarely serve notice), the sender’s wish to sow fear in Levant, and by extension all journalists, is merely a cruder version of the impulse behind the human rights complaints.
Many Canadians believe the nation’s human rights commissions (HRCs) are motivated by high ideals and good intentions. But in conspiring to silence what a handful of Muslims deem “hate speech,” these good intentions are paving the way for the hell of global “soft jihad.”
The soft jihad is gradualistic and law-abiding, but no less desirous of Islamic domination of the West than its violent counterpart. Soft jihad strategy exploits liberal discourse and weaknesses in our legal system to induce guilt about a largely mythical “Islamophobia.”
The list of complaint-triggering speech offences is long in all Western countries, and ranges from the trivial to the politically existential: A decoration on a lid of ice cream distributed by Burger King offends because it resembles Allah in Arabic script; Fox Entertainment’s drama 24 portrays South Americans, Bosnians, Germans and Muslims as terrorists, but only Muslims complain; a Turkish lawyer sues an Italian soccer team because the red cross on their jerseys reminds him of the Crusades.
More alarmingly, this spring a report from the 57-nation strong Organization of the Islamic Conference announced that leaders of Muslim nations “are considering legal action against those that slight our religion or its sacred symbols.” This offensive has the potential to rival the frighteningly successful phenomenon of “libel tourism,” in which Muslim litigants seek out friendly jurisdictions for launching HRC-type fatwas against writers critical of Islamic practices like shariah, or even certifiably Islam-related terrorism.
The most recent case involves the book Funding Evil by Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of the American Center for Democracy and a pioneer investigator of the financial networks that fund terrorism. She has irrefutably proven many networks are Saudi-based. […]
It is therefore no exaggeration to say that Levant and Steyn are fighting for the defining ideal of Western civilization which, once lost, would spell the beginning of the end of all our other freedoms.