Following the jihad attack at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland Texas this past May, Rev. Franklin Graham criticized the entire idea behind it, concluding,
The organizers of the cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, had the constitutional right to do what they did—but just because we have the ‘right’ to do something doesn’t make it right!… I disagree with Islam. But just because I disagree, I’m not going to mock them or resort to violence. We need to show respect to people of other races and beliefs. What happened to civility and respect?
At the time, several of us made very strong cases as to why — when it comes to criticizing Islam — exercising our constitutional rights is essential, and that it has as much to do with the freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as it does with the supremacist, militant nature of Islam and the servitude under which non-Muslims live in Islamic societies.
For example, William Kilpatrick made the powerful case that resisting sharia blasphemy laws (which, in essence, is what the “Draw Muhammad” event was about) is key to inspiring “moderate Muslims” to do some resisting of their own against the jihadist strain of Islam:
If the moderate Muslim was inclined to resist the radicals, he will be less likely to do so if he looks around and notices that no one else is resisting, except for a handful of people whom the media has labeled as “haters.” Why should he stick his neck out? If the supposed guardians of free speech who are relatively safe from retaliation nevertheless bow to Islamic law, then prudence suggests that he do the same. The constant kowtowing to Islamic demands has the result of putting increased pressure on the moderate Muslim to do some kowtowing of his own. He won’t necessarily join forces with the jihadists, but neither will he do much to oppose them.
Franklin Graham’s objections completely miss such a simple observation.
In an article of my own at the time, I did a quick survey of Muslim persecution of Christians in the Islamic world, concluding, “The Muslim predisposition towards jihad means ‘no cartoons required’.” Christians are hounded, persecuted and slaughtered in Muslim countries simply for wearing a cross, simply for being a Christian.
In that same article, I quoted Ryan Mauro of The Clarion Project, who said,
Whether or not one agrees with holding the event is irrelevant as to why this attack happened. It happened because of the desire to find a target; not because of the target itself.
Robert Spencer put it this way in his gracious response to Rev. Graham:
It is good to show civility and respect to all people as a matter of course. Our cartoon contest was an attempt to stand for the freedom of speech, which is the cornerstone and foundation of any free society, with the conviction that the principles of civility and respect are far less endangered by cartoonists than by those who demand civility and respect at the point of a gun. If we establish the principle that surrender is the best response to violent threats and intimidation, we will be ensuring that increasing numbers of Christians, and the Church in general, will face a future in which civility and respect will be stripped from them, and their subjugation obtained at knife- or gunpoint.
Our cartoon contest, then, as paradoxical as it may seem, was one small effort to try to ensure a future in which not just Muslims, but Christians and other non-Muslims also, can live with full dignity as human beings – not in fear, submission, and slavery. But the reaction to the contest has demonstrated that so many people are willing to submit, so eager to give the bully what he wants, so comfortable in slavery, that while the gentlemanly Franklin Graham may not live to experience it himself, his Christian descendants are likely to find living as Christians a great deal more uncomfortable, and difficult, and even life-threatening than he ever has.
“To ensure a future in which [we all] can live with full dignity as human beings.” That’s what we’re all about here, those of us engaged in this epochal fight.
While we’re very glad to see Rev. Franklin Graham issue such a strong statement in the wake of the Chattanooga jihad attack, and are grateful for all allies from all quarters in this fight for freedom, we certainly urge everyone to a higher level of consistency and tenacity in resisting the threat of Islam and the encroachment of sharia restrictions on free speech.
The time for faux protective measures and denying the truth about Islam is long past. The time has come for tough, common-sense solutions to our national security and the threat from Muslim extremists.
“After Chattanooga, Franklin Graham Says: ‘Shut Borders to Muslims,'” by Enza Ferreri, July 22, 2015:
On 16 July 2015 Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, a Muslim man, opened fire at two different military centres six miles apart (the first a military recruitment station and the second a Navy and Marines reserve facility) in Chattanooga, Tennessee, wounding two service members and a police officer and killing four other service members immediately. One of the wounded servicemen died from his injuries two days later. The gunman was killed by police at the site of the second shooting.
The killer was a 24-year-old Muslim immigrant from Kuwait granted US citizenship, a college graduate with a degree in electrical engineering.
The authorities’ head scratching in search of a motive for the killing is slightly ridiculous, if the situation were not tragic.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez is dead now but has left vital clues in a blog he ran on his Islamic beliefs. The blog has only two posts, both posted just three days before his horrific crime. The Daily Mail reports:
The first post was entitled ‘A Prison Called Dunya,’ Abdulazeez refers to prisoner who is told he would be given a test that would either take him out of his earthly prison – or send him into a more restrictive environment.
According to the website [The Daily Beast], he wrote: ‘I would imagine that any sane person would devote their time to mastering the information on the study guide and stay patient with their studies, only giving time for the other things around to keep themselves focused on passing the exam.
He added: ‘This life is that test, designed to separate the inhabitants of Paradise from the inhabitants of Hellfire.’
The second post is called ‘Understanding Islam: The Story of the Three Blind Men.’ It suggests Abdulazeez felt his fellow Muslims had a ‘certain understanding of Islam and keep a tunnel vision of what we think Islam is.
He also wrote:
Brothers and sisters don’t be fooled by your desires, this life is short and bitter and the opportunity to submit to Allah may pass you by.
As measures of terrorism prevention, six different governors of US states have authorised their respective National Guard soldiers to be armed for both deterrence and self-protection, while the Pentagon recommends “closing the blinds” (“that won’t stop bullets, but may help cut down on the air conditioning bill”, is The Examiner‘s sarcastic comment) and other “new security measures” such as increased surveillance.
These are not real, effective preventative measures, and nobody genuinely believes they are.
Much more sense makes what the American evangelist Franklin Graham proposed on his Facebook page, namely completely closing the US borders to Islam:
Four innocent Marines (United States Marine Corps) killed and three others wounded in #Chattanooga yesterday including a policeman and another Marine–all by a radical Muslim whose family was allowed to immigrate to this country from Kuwait. We are under attack by Muslims at home and abroad. We should stop all immigration of Muslims to the U.S. until this threat with Islam has been settled. Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized–and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad. During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now? Do you agree? Let your Congressman know that we’ve got to put a stop to this and close the flood gates. Pray for the men and women who serve this nation in uniform, that God would protect them.
Islam divides the world into two parts: Dar al-Islam (Arabic for “house of Islam”) and Dar al-Harb (in Arabic, “house of war”). The latter is the whole part of the world where Islam has not yet triumphed and Islamic law is not in force. For Islam, there must be war initiated by Muslims against all those peoples and in all those countries who have not yet submitted to Islam until they have done so.
What about all those peaceful and law-abiding Muslims living in the West? They cannot do anything to stop their extreme co-religionists, who not only are more determined but also have the Quran and Islamic jurisprudence on their side.
As Theodore Dalrymple put it, a minority can have much more power than a majority, on which it can exercise tyranny:
[A] handful of fanatics can easily have a much more significant social effect than a large number of peaceful citizens. There is more to fear in one terrorist than to celebrate in 99 well-integrated immigrants.
Yes, and there are many more reasons to stop Muslim immigration than to allow it.