The formidable Nat Hentoff speaks out again on the imminent threat to the freedom of speech in “The cost of criticizing jihadists: UN resolution is part of Islamic muzzle,” in the Washington Times, February 9:
Geert Wilders – a film producer and also a member of parliament in the Netherlands – is facing a prison term there for “insulting” Muslims. His short film “Fitna” in 2008 juxtaposed verses from the Koran with scenes of violence committed by jihadist terrorists. The Dutch appellate court refused a free-speech defense because the insults were so egregious.
If convicted, Wilders faces a maximum sentence of two years in prison. Said the defendant: “I lost my freedom already four and a half years ago in October 2004, when my 24-hour police protection started because of threats by Muslims in Holland and abroad to kill me.”
I have heard from Muslims in this country that jihadists around the world have more than insulted traditional Muslim law by their fierce punishments of both non-Muslims and Muslims who have acted in speech or writing against jihadists’ reinterpretations of the Quran. Some of these protesters, exercising freedom of conscience, have been killed for their “blasphemy.”
Actually, there is nothing in Islamic law that goes against the traditional death penalty for blasphemy, which is taught by all the Islamic schools of jurisprudence.
What awaits Wilders in the Netherlands may be a harbinger of what will happen if a nonbinding Dec. 18 U.N. resolution, passed by a strong majority in the General Assembly, becomes international law. The resolution urges U.N. members to take state action against (punish) “defamation of religion” and “incitement to religious hatred” caused by defamation.
The main force behind this resolution, which was sponsored on its behalf, is the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Following the combustible cartoons of Prophet Muhammad that were published in Denmark in September 2005, this organization had a key role in expanding the violent protests against those cartoons in a number of countries. […]
The OIC had a New York Times ad on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, “An Invitation to a New Partnership,” addressed to President Obama. The organization wrote: “Throughout the globe, Muslims hunger for a new era of peace. We firmly believe that America, with your guidance, can help foster that peace, though real peace can only be shared – never imposed.”
The OIC, however, was at the time fresh from its U.N. victory to actually impose silence on critics of Islamic jihadists, who have long been working to hijack the true Muslim religion. And why has the press, particularly the American press, continued to be so silent on this U.N. attack on individuals’ right of conscience throughout the world to call jihadist terrorism what it is? You might want to ask your news sources why they have ignored this global gag rule on free expression.
Indeed, that is a good question to ask them.