In Human Events today, Pamela Geller recaps PayPal’s near-capitulation to the forces that are trying to stigmatize (and ultimately criminalize) political dissent in the United States. Even though PayPal ended up on the right side, they enabled a great deal of defamation of SIOA and of the counter-jihad cause. I will be switching away from PayPal as soon as I get a chance to deal with the technical issues involved.
The little money that my organization Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) and the Freedom Defense Initiative (FDI), as well as my website AtlasShrugs.com, generate came close to being cut off Friday when Paypal called all three websites “hate” sites. The leading online payment service said it would close my accounts if I do not act first and remove the Paypal option from each website. After an avalanche of emails from Atlas readers, PayPal reversed itself and said the whole thing had been a mistake; but the implications of the incident for conservatives remain ominous.
Paypal sent me a notice Friday saying that “after a recent review of your account, it has been determined that you are currently in violation of PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy. Under the Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used to send or receive payments for items that promote hate, violence, racial intolerance or the financial exploitation of a crime.”
SIOA is an advocacy group devoted to defending the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience and the equality of rights of all people. Atlas Shrugs is a news site and a political blog. I am not responsible for the bad news in the world. I just report on it.
So for PayPal, defending American values and reporting the news accurately had become “hate.” Truth is the new hate speech.
My SIOA and FDI colleague, Robert Spencer, explains: “This is an issue with much larger implications than just a few Paypal accounts. This is a question of whether people with politically incorrect opinions will be denied access to services. Businesses are free to refuse to deal with whomever they choose to, except where regulated by law. But when they won’t do business with someone because they dislike her political opinions, the potential for abuse is enormous, and the possibility of making it economically unfeasible to hold political opinions that are unpopular with the political elites becomes immediate and real.”
I have no large donors. Apparently the jihad in the United States is hard at work trying to kill free speech (including SIOA’s religious liberty bus ads and our No 9/11 Mosque Movement), preventing the truth from making its way to those in pursuit of it. Paypal contributions have helped pay for the bus ads, the wildly successful June 6 rally against the Islamic mega-mosque at Ground Zero, live coverage of these initiatives, and much more. I said that repeatedly in news stories when Associated Press, Reuters and others kept asking me about who paid for the religious liberty bus ads. Readers did. Americans did. You did….