Aside from its open opposition to the freedom of speech, the problem with this article is that it assumes that there is no legitimate criticism of Islam and its doctrines of jihad warfare, supremacism over unbelievers, subjugation of women and non-Muslims, etc. All “anti-Islamic comments online” are simply hatred of all Muslims and incitement to violence against them, and should be suppressed.
But the insidious agenda of people such as Fiyaz Mughal is to conflate all examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism with expressions of real hatred and bigotry, so that everyone will be afraid to explore the beliefs, motives and goals of jihadists, much less resist them, for fear of being charged with “bigotry” — which is, of course, what happens all the time.
This CBC article abets this effort by treating as a legitimate authority the dishonest and discredited Islamic supremacist victimhood propagandist Fiyaz Mughal. Andrew Gilligan reported in the Telegraph last June 9 that Mughal’s Tell Mama group was not going to “have its government grant renewed after police and civil servants raised concerns about its methods.” What was wrong with its methods? It had “claimed that there had been a ‘sustained wave of attacks and intimidation’ against British Muslims after the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby.” But Tell Mama and Fiyaz Mughal “did not mention, however, that 57 per cent of the 212 reports referred to activity that took place only online, mainly offensive postings on Twitter and Facebook, or that a further 16 per cent of the 212 reports had not been verified. Not all the online abuse even originated in Britain. Contrary to the group’s claim of a ‘cycle of violence’ and a ‘sustained wave of attacks’, only 17 of the 212 incidents, 8 per cent, involved the physical targeting of people and there were no attacks on anyone serious enough to require medical treatment.”‘
No attack on any innocent person is justified. Fiyaz Mughal is clearly not interested in defending innocent people, but in inflating the numbers of attacks on innocent Muslims, so as to create and perpetuate the false and tendentious claim that resisting jihad terror and Islamic supremacism somehow endangers innocent people. Tell Mama and Faith Matters showed this clearly when they demanded that the UK Home Office ban Pamela Geller and me from entering the country; the Home Office should have recognized the dishonesty at the heart of their effort in light of their manipulation of the “Islamophobia” figures.
And now, even though Fiyaz Mughal has been thoroughly discredited, the tools at the CBC are repeating his distortions and calls for restrictions on the freedom of speech, and repeating his nonsense about tweets, as if they were somehow equivalent to the recent murders of two Canadian soldiers by Islamic jihadists.
“Why online Islamophobia is difficult to stop,” by Duncan Spence, CBC News, November 1, 2014:
Islamophobia has been an ongoing concern in the west since 9/11, but a number of recent incidents in Britain have given rise to a new wave of hatred that experts say is finding a breeding ground online.
Part of the problem, researchers say, is that right-wing groups can post anti-Islamic comments online without fear of legal prosecution.
“If they were to say, ‘Black people are evil, Jamaicans are evil,’ they could be prosecuted,” says Fiyaz Mughal, founder of Islamophobia reporting web site TellMamaUK.org.
But because religious hatred isn’t covered legally in the same way that racism is, Mughal says “the extreme right are frankly getting away with really toxic stuff.”
Researchers believe the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and incidents such as the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby and the recent sexual exploitation scandal in the town of Rotherham have contributed to a spike in online anti-Muslim sentiment in the UK.
Imran Awan, deputy director of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University, noticed the trend when he was working on a paper regarding Islamophobia and Twitter following Rigby’s death.
Rigby was killed in the street in southeast London in 2013 by two Islamic extremists who have since been convicted.
Awan says the anonymity of social media platforms makes them a popular venue for hate speech, and that the results of his report were “shocking, to say the least.”
‘A year-by-year increase’
Of the 500 tweets from 100 Twitter users Awan examined, 75 per cent were Islamophobic in nature. He cites posts such as “‘Let’s go out and blow up a mosque’ and ‘Let’s get together and kill the Muslims,” and says most of these were linked to far-right groups.
Notice how these groups aren’t mentioned by name. The ones that are mentioned in this article don’t call for the destruction of mosques or the killing of Muslims, but they’re tarred by the implication. That is, of course, exactly what Awan wants to do.
Awan’s findings echo those of Tell MAMA UK, which has compiled data on anti-Muslim attacks for three years. (MAMA stands for “Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks.”)
Tell MAMA’s Mughal says anti-Muslim bigotry is “felt significantly,” and adds that “in our figures, we have seen a year-by-year increase.”
Researchers believe far-right advocates are partly responsible for a spike in online hate speech.
“There’s been a real increase in the far right, and in some of the material I looked at online, there were quite a lot of people with links to the English Defence League and another group called Britain First,” says Awan.
Both Mughal and Awan believe that right-wing groups such as Britain First and the EDL become mobilized each time there is an incident in the Muslim community.
That is, an Islamic jihad murder, Muslim rape gangs preying on non-Muslim girls, etc.
The Twitter profile of the EDL reads: “#WorkingClass movement who take to the streets against the spread of #islamism & #sharia #Nosurrender #GSTQ.” Below it is a link to their Facebook page, which has over 170, 000 likes.
Below that page, a caption reads, “Leading the Counter-Jihad fight. Peacefully protesting against militant Islam.”…
Online Islamophobia is also flourishing in Canada. The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is receiving a growing number of reports.But there are now fewer means for prosecuting online hate speech in Canada. Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act protected against the wilful promotion of hate online, but it was repealed by Bill C-304 in 2012.
“It’s kind of hard to say what the impact is, because even when it existed, there weren’t a lot of complaints brought under it,” says Cara Zwibel of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.
Though there is a criminal code provision that protects against online hate speech, it requires the attorney general’s approval in order to lay charges — and that rarely occurs, says Zwibel.
Section 319 of the Criminal Code of Canada forbids the incitement of hatred against “any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.”
A judge can order online material removed from a public forum such as social media if it is severe enough, but if it is housed on a server outside of the country, this can be difficult.
Ihsaan Gardee, executive director of NCCM, says without changes, anti-Muslim hate speech will continue to go unpunished online, which he says especially concerns moderate Muslims.
“They worry about people perceiving them as sharing the same values these militants and these Islamic extremists are espousing.”