The clearest indication that Haroon Moghul is a jihad terror-enabling charlatan is the fact that after jihadis attempt to commit mass murder at a free speech event, he doesn’t write a piece defending free speech and explaining why Muslims must accept it, or a piece condemning the Islamic jihadis and explaining why Islam’s death penalty for blasphemy must not be carried out in the modern age, or a piece calling for reform of the teachings and doctrines that Islamic jihadis use to justify violence and supremacism.
Oh, no. You will never see such from his august pen. What Haroon Moghul, fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Fellow at the New America Foundation, perennial Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, and an energetic purveyor of the spurious concept of “Islamophobia” (a propaganda term designed to intimidate people into fearing to resist jihad terror), serves up instead is yet another in today’s ever-growing pile of condemnations of Pamela Geller for daring to stand for the freedom of speech.
Moghul is desperately afraid that other Americans might realize that standing up for free speech against violent intimidation is a great idea, in the finest American tradition. That would interfere with the mainstream media’s push to get us all to silence ourselves and conform to Sharia blasphemy laws in order to save our skins. And so Moghul pens this vicious little screed in order to convince his easy marks at CNN that Pamela Geller is not really a defender of the freedom of speech but really a very bad person, and to stay on the reservation, not question the elites, and continue to allow for restrictions on the freedom of speech.
“Don’t be fooled by Pamela Geller,” by Haroon Mohgul, CNN, May 4, 2015:
(CNN)It’s possible you’d never heard of Pamela Geller before Sunday night’s tragic attack in Garland, Texas. You might think she’s taking a brave stand for free speech, for American values, and that by supporting her, you’re supporting America.
I’m here to disabuse you of that notion. While Geller claims to stand for American values, much of what she does undermines our values.
Sunday night, two gunmen opened fire outside an anti-Muslim event in Texas, and were quickly shot dead.
We are constantly labeled as anti-Muslim, and here Moghul calls the event anti-Muslim. Neither are true. Our quarrel is not with Muslims either as individuals or in the aggregate. It is with the elements of Islamic teaching that incite violence and hatred (including and especially Jew-hatred, which is particularly virulent in the Qur’an and Sunnah), deny the freedom of speech and the freedom of conscience, and that encourage oppression of women and non-Muslims. We’re also constantly told that Muslims in the U.S. reject all this. Fine. Then they should have no quarrel with our opposing those things. We’re always characterized as saying “all Muslims are terrorists,” when we have never characterized all Muslims as anything.
You may say, “Ah, but depictions of Muhammad, many of them crude — that’s anti-Muslim.” Yet even most of those were depicting aspects of Muhammad’s life as described in the earliest Islamic texts. If the cartoons depicting Muhammad with his child bride are offensive, are the Islamic texts stating that he consummated his marriage with a nine-year-old when he was 54 also offensive? If a cartoon of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban is offensive, are the Islamic texts in which Muhammad orders people killed and beheads between 600 and 900 Jews also offensive?
I myself find many of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in poor taste, and some to be offensive. Yet I stand with them in defense of the freedom of speech, the cornerstone of any free society. If Haroon Moghul rejects the death penalty for blasphemy and stands for the freedom of speech, he should have been with us in Texas at our event, in the spirit of the adage, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Security prevented what could have been a far greater tragedy, and I am thankful for that, and for those authorities who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom of speech. But this isn’t only about free speech — which, it should go without saying — is a right for all Americans. It’s also about how some people use freedom of speech to subvert other American values.
And on that foundation, Moghul will now spin his sly argument for why the freedom of speech should be restricted.
I am Muslim, and after attacks like these, folks always ask, “Do you condemn terrorism?” Or they throw up their hands and say, “Where are the Muslims!” Well, to be blunt: Not at the event. In fact, every major mosque in the Garland, Texas, area not only shrugged off the anti-Islam event happening in their backyard, but also declined to exercise their equal right to peacefully protest it.
It appears from early reports that the suspects were not currently involved with a mosque. This is because American Muslims — our mosques and our leadership — reject radicalism out of hand.
There you go again, Haroon. Moghul is counting on his hapless CNN audience not knowing that Usama Shami, the President of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, has said that the gunmen were both members of his mosque and that he had known one of them, Elton Simpson, for ten years. He professes shock at what they did, of course, as they were wonderful, gentle fellows — and that will probably be good enough for the feds. But in a sane society, what is taught at that mosque would be investigated. And in the meantime, the imam’s statement exposes Moghul’s lie here.
There’s a reason ISIS uses the Internet to propagandize. Jihadists won’t gain traction in American mosques.
So why did Geller claim that the attackers represent large numbers of American Muslims — as she puts it, “your everyday, run of the mill moderates praising mind-numbing savagery” — although her only evidence for that are a few Twitter accounts linked to ISIS, one of which may have belonged to one of the attackers, and none of which represent any American Muslims?
Here again, Moghul is not being accurate. Of course, he probably isn’t aware that one of the accounts calling for violence against our event was owned by a Muslim woman from Alabama, as that information was not publicized. But his claim that jihadists don’t gain traction in American mosques is belied by the fact that well over a hundred Muslims from the U.S. have gone to join the Islamic State. Others have plotted jihad attacks here. Where are all these Muslims learning their Islam, if not in American mosques? Were they “radicalized on the Internet”? If so, why wasn’t the peaceful Islamic teaching they supposedly learned in their home mosques not able to withstand the jihadi appeal?
It’s not as though Geller ever lets facts get in the way of a good opportunity: After the attack, she didn’t call for dialogue, for understanding, for bringing people together, which is what real leaders do.
Haroon Moghul is a fine one to talk about not letting facts get in the way of a good opportunity. And in any case, by “dialogue,” this disingenuous Islamic supremacist means, Geller should let Islamic supremacist deceivers like me cover up her truth with lies.
Instead, she went on Fox news and called it a war. And that appears to be what she wants. That’s why she’s dangerous, not brave. She’s not celebrating hate speech for the sake of free speech, but to provoke reactions that polarize America, set people at odds, and alienate Muslims, who are American citizens and often first in line to report planned terrorist attacks. (American Muslims are allies, not enemies.)
Pamela Geller called it war, eh? As if she made up that idea? The Islamic State and other jihad groups are clearly at war with the United States. What Haroon Moghul wants is for Americans not to realize that, and not to fight back. If Muslims in America are really standing against the Islamic State and its war against the U.S., then they should be standing for American principles, such as the freedom of speech, not deriding those who are making a stand.
And plenty of people know this, not just American Muslims, who might be presumed to be partial.
Anders Breivik, the Norwegian who killed dozens of fellow Norwegians and published a long, rambling screed justifying his murderousness, cited Geller repeatedly to justify his terrorist actions.
This is a staple of Leftist/Islamic supremacist smearmongering at this point, and I have answered it 1000 times, but here again: Breivik actually condemned me and others for not advocating violence. He got the idea to be a terrorist, he said, from Muslims in al-Qaeda and other jihad groups. If every lunatic who commits violence in the name of an idea discredits that idea by doing so, then Moghul’s Islam is far more discredited than anything Pamela Geller or I say. Also, Breivik later claimed that he was actually not a counter-jihadist, but someone trying to destroy the counter-jihad movement — which is far more credible than his manifesto, since he gave hate merchants like Moghul one of their foremost weapons.
The UK’s conservative, right-wing government even banned her from the kingdom (along with her colleague Robert Spencer). Because they know what the Southern Poverty Law Center knows: She’s using one democratic value to subvert other democratic values.
Is the UK government an unimpeachable source regarding whom they ban and whom they admit? Would Moghul then endorse the fact that just before they banned us, the British government admitted a Muslim cleric who has taught that Muslims should smash the skulls and sever the limbs of unbelievers? Mohammed al-Arefe has said: “Devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for the believer. Allah said that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to fight.” Or would Moghul grant, if he were honest, that the UK government’s decisions in these matters are motivated by political calculation, not by a judicious appraisal of whether one’s opinions are really beyond the pale of acceptable discourse. And the same is also true of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hard-Left group that uses the “hate” label to demonize and marginalize those who oppose its political agenda.
Democracy requires free speech, but it also requires individual responsibility. That’s at the heart of what makes this country work. So what happens when they clash? What happens when a person uses free speech to stigmatize an entire people? Even though American Muslims condemn terrorism, it’s unfair to be expected to. Collective responsibility? Guilty until proven innocent? That’s what it means to ask us all to condemn actions, when we have nothing to do with those actions.
Here is Moghul being even more dishonest, for Pamela Geller has never actually used free speech to stigmatize an entire people, or held Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of a few, or held them guilty until proven innocent. He doesn’t quote her doing so, because he can’t. This is outright libel, and he knows he can get away with it, for his CNN audience will credulously swallow all his nonsense — fact-checking is a thing of the past.
There are other American values, too, which deserve mentioning: Exercising your freedoms with responsibility. Yes, we have the right to say things, even offensive things. But should we? Should we act with no consideration of the consequences? Should Geller have hosted an event she knew would draw a violent reaction? Should she put up advertisements in New York with the beneath-contempt claim that killing Jews is obligatory for Muslims?
Moghul is here counseling submission to jihad savagery. “Should Geller have hosted an event she knew would draw a violent reaction?” With adequate security, which we obviously had, yes — rather than submit to violent intimidation. The other path is to allow the violent ones to dictate the public discourse. “Should she put up advertisements in New York with the beneath-contempt claim that killing Jews is obligatory for Muslims?
Then he lies outright: “Should she put up advertisements in New York with the beneath-contempt claim that killing Jews is obligatory for Muslims?” He will fool his CNN marks into thinking that she made up that claim, but in reality, it comes from a Hamas video that ran on its official TV station, containing the words, “Killing Jews is worship that draws us close to Allah” — which is what our ad said. But for Haroon Moghul, Geller is evil for calling attention to it.
Note, too, how Muslims responded: With levity and humor.
And a couple of AK-47s in Garland, Texas.
But maybe making this about Islam prevents people from seeing the bigger picture here, the reason American Muslims are rightly and justifiably offended by Gellar [sic] and her ilk: Should white activists line up to drop the n-word “to support American values” of free speech? Or perhaps march into Ferguson, Missouri, or Baltimore waving Confederate flags? You have every right to. But should you?
And should you be surprised if a few people react violently, even if that violence is unacceptable? (Which it is.) What if you kept doing it, over and over again? For what possible reason would you want to?
Don’t let Pamela Geller fool you. She might use an American value to defend her work, but it’s merely a means to an end, and you won’t like where she’s taking us.
This is just a sly attempt to link her to racists and white supremacists. This kind of argumentation is contemptible. At stake here is not what one should or should not do; it is whether we will submit to violent thugs’ dictates about what we can or cannot do.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the pundit who David Cameron said made him “choke on his porridge.”
If CNN really wants to fact-check this story and remove the falsehoods, they’ll be left with a blank page.