Update: Born in Kuwait, naturalized citizen. Was living in Hixson, TN at the time of the murders. His vehicle had a large cache of small arms.
He apparently worked for the City of Chattanooga as an unarmed security officer in the Stormwater Management Division and wrote a letter to President to GW Bush and that link is here.
Muhammad Youssef Abdulzeez from Arizona where public records show Abdulzeez is approximately 24 years old and a native of Phoenix. Abdulzeez has no prior criminal record, except a 2013 traffic violation.
Rest in Peace
Here’s the new Pentagon statement on the killing of four Marines in Chattanooga:
“We can confirm that four DoD servicemembers were tragically killed and one wounded in two separate shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee today. The shootings took place at a Network Operations Support Center operated by the U.S. Navy and at an armed forces recruiting center. Names of the deceased will be released following next of kin notification. We are working with local and federal authorities. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.”
The killer was from Phoenix and immediately the FBI and law enforcement in Chattanooga called this an act of domestic terror.
For additional photos of the shooter who is alleged to have had contact with the Garland, Texas shooters, click here.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A gunman unleashed a barrage of gunfire at two military facilities Thursday in Tennessee, killing at least four Marines and wounding a soldier and a police officer, officials told CBS News. The suspect also was killed.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said five people died in all, including the gunman. Two law enforcement sources told CBS News that the shooting suspect was identified as Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez.
Five people are dead, including the gunman, and three injured in two shootings at military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian said officials were treating the attacks as an “act of domestic terrorism,” though FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold said authorities were still investigating a motive.
Officials told CBS News correspondent David Marin that four U.S. Marines were among the dead and another was injured. The U.S. Marines released a statement saying that the injured Marine was a recruiter who treated and released after sustaining a wound to the leg.
A police officer also was shot in the ankle and is expected to be ok.
“Lives have been lost from some faithful people who have been serving our country, and I think I join all Tennesseans in being both sickened and saddened by this,” Gov. Bill Haslam said.
A facility 7 miles away on Old Lee Highway also was attacked. Brian Lepley, a spokesman with the U.S. Army Recruiting Command in Fort Knox, Kentucky, said his recruiters there were told by law enforcement that the shooter was in a car, stopped in front of the facility, shot at the building and drove off.
The Army recruiters at the facility told Lepley they were not hurt and had evacuated; Lepley said he had no information about recruiters for the other branches at the facility.
Sgt. 1st Class Robert Dodge, 36, is the center leader for U.S. Army recruiting at the facility on Old Lee Highway. He said four Army personnel were in the office at the time. He said the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and National Guard all have their own offices right next to each other. Around 10:30 or 10:45 a.m., Dodge and the others heard a gunshot, “which kind of sparked our attention,” he said.
“Shortly after that, just a few seconds, the shooter began shooting more rounds. We realized it was an actual shooting,” he said. They then got on the ground and barricaded themselves in a safe place. Dodge estimated there were 30 to 50 shots fired.
He did not see the shooter or a vehicle.
The Army recruiting office was not damaged, but doors and glass were damaged at the neighboring Air Force, Navy and Marine offices.
Reinhold said all the dead were killed at the Navy Operational Support Center and Marine Corps Reserve Center Chattanooga. It sits between Amnicola Highway and a pathway that runs through Tennessee RiverPark, a popular park at a bend in the Tennessee River northeast of downtown Chattanooga. It’s in a light industrial area that includes a Coca-Cola bottling plant and Binswanger Glass.
The two entrances to the fenced facility have unmanned gates and concrete barriers that require approaching cars to slow down to drive around them.
“I couldn’t even begin to tell you how many,” she said. “It was rapid fire, like pow pow pow pow pow, so quickly. The next thing I knew, there were police cars coming from every direction.”
She ran inside, where she remained locked down with other employees and a customer. The gunfire continued with occasional bursts she estimated for 20 minutes.
“We’re apprehensive,” Hutcheson said. “Not knowing what transpired, if it was a grievance or terroristic related, we just don’t know.”
They’ve seen dozens of emergency vehicles rush by: bomb teams, SWAT teams, and state, local and federal authorities.
The Armed Forces Career Center on Lee Highway sits in a short strip between a Cricket Wireless and an Italian restaurant with no apparent additional security.
Near the other shooting location on Lee Highway, Nicholas Donohue heard a blast of gunshots while working at Desktop Solutions. But he had music playing and wasn’t quite sure what the noise had been. He turned off the music and seconds later, a second blast thundered. He took shelter in a back room.
“Even though it knew it was most likely gunfire I heard, you also don’t want to believe it’s happening in the moment,” he said. “Since I didn’t see anything, I couldn’t be sure.”
By the time he emerged, police were cordoning off the area.
Author Brad Thor is not one to mince words when it comes to defending free speech and challenging jihadists.
So it should come as no surprise that during an in-depth interview in connection with his forthcoming “Code of Conduct,” when the topic of Islamic supremacism versus the West came up — and in particular the Garland, TX shooting — sparks were going to fly.
The First Amendment exists to protect speech you don’t agree with. It actually is there — if all that was worthy of protection was speech everybody agreed with, we wouldn’t need the First Amendment. OK.
So you don’t have to agree with what Pamela Geller is doing, but my G-d, Pamela Geller is doing more to help reform Islam than any pansy on the left or right who is criticizing her.
And I don’t care who criticized her. I don’t care who it is: You are weak, and you’re a pansy for not standing behind her.
It makes no sense to me that you would not support someone who is trying to bring about reform in one of the most dangerous ideologies since Nazism. And it actually predates Nazism, so I can’t say it’s since Nazism.
This idea that Pamela Geller somehow deserved what they got — and she’s making it worse for people. You know I heard people say “Well why provoke all Muslims?” She’s not trying to provoke all Muslims. She’s trying to provoke a discussion.
And moderate Muslims should not be offended by the depiction of their Prophet Muhammad. They can say it’s in their book … Islam is the only major world religion that has not had a reformation. Judaism has. Christianity has. Islam has not.
And … I would encourage you to please link to probably one of the best articles ever written about the West and how we are pandering to fundamentalist Islam. It was actually — I don’t know that you do a lot of links to the Huffington Post — but it was on the Huffington Post and it was written by Sam Harris, who is on Bill Maher a lot. And Sam’s an agnostic.
And Sam wrote a great article called “Losing Our Spines to Save Our Necks.” And he talks about the fact that we have allowed a protected space to be carved out in the public square where every other group is expected to debate rationally on the playing field of ideas, except for Islam.
We can go ahead and talk about Catholicism, Mormonism, Buddhism, Hinduism, but we can’t critique and discuss the tenets of Islam. And that’s because we are hamstringing ourselves.
And Islam needs more attention, more criticism, not less. If we don’t criticize Islam and put pressure on Islam, how do you expect reformers and again moderates to have the wind at their backs, the wind in their sails to have them do the work that needs to be done? Because we as non-Muslims can’t affect any change.
All we do, like I said, we get our civil liberties eroded.
It’s longer lines at TSA for those of us who can’t reform Islam.
We need to do everything we can to help reform it. And reforming Islam means we have to draw attention to all its failings.
It’s only when people are shown “Hey, the house is full of termites,” that maybe they’re gonna stop spending money on cable and tons of beer, and start applying the money to fixing their own house.
Sneak Peek at “Code of Conduct”
Taking it to Islamic Supremacists
XXX? in 2016?
Note: The link to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.
Former federal prosecutor and current National Review contributor Andrew McCarthy has published a slender but substantive new book coincidentally released eerily close to the recent Garland jihadist attack titled “Islam and Free Speech.”
We had the chance to sit down with McCarthy to discuss a variety of topics relating to his new book including a broader question that America has been grappling with for over a decade since Sept. 11, 2001: How can a free and pluralistic society built on protecting liberty including specifically religious liberty adequately counter a theopolitical Islamic supremacist ideology that seeks to use our freedoms and tolerance to undermine us.
Here is how McCarthy responded to the question:
The doctrine of Soviet Communism was … ultimately not just the complete and extensive undermining of [the U.S.], but when and if or if and when finally necessary, the violent overthrow of the United States, or the United States government.
So it’s not like this is the first time that we’ve dealt with a conquest ideology that seeks … to supplant the West with its own vision of what society should be. We’ve had this kind of a problem before.
The difference is, Soviet ideology never traveled under the banner of religious liberty, and there was never the kind of squeamishness about examining it that we have now. And … the best way to combat it is to get over that squeamishness.
Featured Book Title: Islam and Free Speech (Encounter Broadside) Author: Andrew C McCarthy Purchase this book
What we have to understand is that there is a difference between what we ought to regard as Islam the religion … which is something that is adhered to by, you know, many many many patriotic American Muslims, who have no desire whatsoever to have a United States that’s structured like the totalitarian societies that a lot of them either left or reject for their own reasons.
So we have to distinguish that from this political Islamist ideology that is rooted in Islamic doctrine, and a very literal interpretation of it, and that rejects a division between church and state, or between mosque and state.
That ideology is — it has a religious component — but it’s a political ideology overwhelmingly. And it ought to be dealt with as one. And we should stop — you know our public officials should stop trying to label it as something it isn’t. It’s a political, totalitarian conquest ideology that has certain religious elements to it.
But the important thing from our perspective is it’s like every other political ideology that competes and has animus towards the west. And we have to see ourselves as in competition with it and needing to defeat it, rather than trying to figure out how we can accommodate it under the auspices of our commitment to religious liberty, because overwhelmingly it’s not a religious doctrine. The political element of it is overwhelmingly a totalitarian political doctrine. And we shouldn’t, just because it has a few religious elements to it, lose sight of the bigger picture.
With the recent shooting in Ferguson and deaths in New York City and Baltimore of residents there involved in criminal activity at the time of their arrests, there is an outcry from the likes of civil rights activist Al Sharpton and others for nullification of state’s rights and the takeover of local and state police forces nationwide by the Federal Government, specifically by the Executive Branch.
BESTPIX BALTIMORE, MD – APRIL 27 (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
In all of this, keep in mind that Obama has very successfully used “straw man” arguments to advance his objectives. In this particular case, the “straw man” argument being put forward is that all law enforcement agencies across America are inherently racist and that only his takeover of them will fix these racist organizations.
He has essentially painted a bull’s eye on the backs of our local and state law enforcement personnel and endorsed instead the criminal element in America that has responded by assassination style shootings of law enforcement personnel in NYC and most recently in Mississippi as well.
The nationalization of our local and state police forces is indeed a very bad idea and should be adamantly opposed by both the states and the general populace for several reasons.
First and foremost, it would bring ALL organized armed personnel, namely the American Military, Homeland Security, and all local and state police under the direct control of one man, namely Obama and any future Presidents of the United States.
That would in turn allow for tremendous abuses of that power that we have already seen in this Administration, such as use of the IRS and DHS against what he perceives to be his domestic enemies, namely anyone who opposes him and his policies.
Remember the National Police Force Obama Promised in 2008?
Secondly, if he decided to fully seize power and set aside the limitations of the Office of President imposed on him by the Constitution of the United States, which he has already done in a number of particulars such as with illegal immigration, failure to enforce DOMA, bypassing Congress unilaterally in matters of treaty negotiations, etc., there would be no armed force except the American people directly to stop him.
But without organization and leadership, the probability of that successfully happening on a national scale is remote.
In fact, he could use all of the organized armed forces at his disposal, including local and state police who would be under his direct control, to put down any such opposition that the people might undertake.
As reported in The Daily Bell on December 7, 2011, as early as 2009 Obama advocated “a civilian police force to match the size and power of our armed forces.” One has to ask the question “Why” such national control is required vs. local law enforcement properly trained and equipped to deal with any domestic terrorist threats?
His expansion of the Homeland Security Department has followed that pronouncement, as has his use of the NSA to go far beyond its mandate and monitor the communications of every man, woman and child in America.
And the fact that he is actively promoting and funding illegal immigration on a massive scale in America today without screening for terrorists crossing our borders begs the question of if he indeed wants to see an increase in domestic terrorist attacks like we have seen in many places across the USA such as at Ft. Hood, Oklahoma, Boston and most recently in Garland, Texas with the expressed purpose of forcing the need for such a national police force under his direct control to put down such attacks?
Obama has gone on record on more than one occasion to praise the Chinese Communist form of government and other authoritarian regimes that are essentially dictatorships based on central government control over all aspects of their citizens’ lives including how many children they can have, how they worship, how they communicate with each other over the Internet, and even how they assemble.
Do we want a man with the belief that an authoritarian form of government is preferable to a democratically elected government with clear separation of powers between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches as set for in our Constitution to have the kind of unlimited power that nationalization of our local and state law enforcement agencies would give him?
Wow, we are seriously screwed up as a nation. How quickly everyone has forgotten the massive terrorist attack on 9/11 that took almost 3,000 lives. It touched all of us. And the guys behind it were evil Islamists, plain and simple. The primary motive behind the protest by the people in Phoenix yesterday was to show that free speech still matters in this country and we won’t be cowed or stripped of our rights by thugs, who wear religion as a cloak of justification. However, you wouldn’t know that by watching the media. Even Fox News called it an anti-Muslim protest and took pains to make the Americans who held it look more like terrorists than those who are spawning and teaching those who are attacking and murdering us. In a wholesale inversion of truth, everything is being turned upside down and inside out.
I would really like to know how people can ask how drawing cartoons crosses the line on free speech. There is no line on free speech and to ask this question shows no knowledge of the Constitution or a belief in our freedoms. Perhaps on the day that those on the Left and (redundantly) in the Media can restrain themselves from pathologically lying about their own motives, their own actions and about their observations of real events, perhaps on that day we can talk about “lines” in free speech. No investigation has been conducted concerning the two Jihadists that went to this mosque and then attacked Pamela Geller and others in Garland, Texas. Yet those who protest these monsters and stand up for our rights are massively dissed by a megalomaniacal media and puerile political pundits at every turn. Pamela Geller is absolutely right on this once again. It seems today that it is shrugged at when terrorists kill people on American soil — but speak out against Islam and you are pilloried and defamed. This is Shariah Law in play.
Protesters and counter-protesters rally outside the Islamic Community Center
Friday in Phoenix. – Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Protesters argue outside the Islamic Community Center at a “freedom of speech”
rally Friday in Phoenix. – Christian Petersen/Getty Images
I share the frustration of these people holding the protest in Phoenix and I am joined by millions of others. The mosque in Phoenix produces terrorists as pointed out earlier. Here are some facts from Pamela Geller:
Simpon’s friend Courtney Lonergan remembers Elton Simpson would never waver from the teachings he picked up in the mosque and elsewhere. “He was one of those guys who would sleep at the mosque,” Lonergan said. “The fact that he felt personally insulted by somebody drawing a picture had to come from the ideological rhetoric coming out of the mosque.”
When he sought a Muslim wife, Simpson turned to the men in the mosque to find a suitable woman, and his way of earning their respect was to show his devotion to Islam by quoting teachings verbatim…
Mosque president, Usama Shami, tried to downplay the ties of the two Garland would-be mass-murderers. This included Shami’s claim to the press that neither was a regular member. In fact, Elton “Ibrahim” Simpson had been featured in a mosque fundraising video posted on ICCP’s YouTube channel in 2012 identifying him as a member.
Mosque president Usama Shami claimed the mosque did not raise money for Elton’s Simpson’s legal defense. But point in fact the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix posted $100,000 cash bond to release him from custody, Sitton said.
So, excuse me if I wonder aloud about what goes on in that mosque and the fact that it seems lying to the public by their representatives is par for the course. Typical taqiyya. I have grown sick to death of our so-called leaders protecting the enemies within this country… giving Islamists and communists full freedom to destroy us from within and without, while trying to strip the majority of Americans of their Constitutional rights. Americans are actually beginning to stand up and say that this is enough of this crap and who do our media and leaders come down on? Why Christians and patriots of course… not the breeding grounds and purveyors of murder.
Protester “Brother Dean” holds a torn copy of the Quran as he rallies outside the
Islamic Community Center Friday in Phoenix. – Christian Petersen/Getty Images
A retired U.S. Marine protests outside the Islamic Community Center Friday in Phoenix.
– Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Notice in the photos above that the police have positioned themselves between the two groups of protesters. No full-cover body armor, no riot gear, no phalanx formation, just a loose, relaxed cordon of officers placed where they could keep the cadre of squishmongers from doing anything stupid against free speech advocates well prepared to defend themselves. Why do those officers feel safe? Because they know that, in the event of violence, the armed protesters would protect them. This isn’t Baltimore, after all.
Jon Ritzheimer, a Marine for 10 years, organized the event. Now, after what he hoped would be a ‘peaceful protest‘ to make his point on free speech, he has had to take his family out of state and put them into hiding because of ISIS threats against them. Ritzheimer’s home address had been published and his wife and children threatened. But the media is still blaming this man for exercising his Constitutional rights and giving a pass to the Islamic State. Tell me that isn’t messed up. Fox News and the rest of the media is supporting the bullies out there — your basic “give the bully what he wants and you won’t get hurt” (standard pre-2001 thinking regarding hijackers) — I guess they are ‘pro-bully’ now. There’s a term that more closely describes what they are – treasonous cowards.
“I’m having to sell my house. My family is going into hiding,” an armed Ritzheimer, flanked by burly men wearing “F— Islam!” T-shirts, told reporters at the rally. “They’re calling for lone wolves to behead me. That’s terrorism right here in America.”
Jon Ritzheimer planned Friday’s anti-Muslim protest in front of a Phoenix mosque.
So, where were the protests screaming “Love not hate!” and “Stop the hate!” when a figure of Jesus was immersed in urine? Where was the outcry in the streets and press when the Virgin Mary was encrusted in elephant dung? But protest in front of a mosque and draw Mohammad cartoons and they are all over you, screaming that you are a bigot and to shut up and know your place. I’m sick of it. We are supposed to love our enemies, but I don’t think that extends to them beheading, crucifying, raping and murdering us. Sorry – pastors and imams can hug all they want… I keep seeing that little boy at the Boston Marathon blown to bits. I can’t get out of my mind the officers and firefighters who died on 9/11 or the people who went down in a plane in a field in Pennsylvania. But the Left would rather bow and lick the boots of our enemies.
Literally vociferously hating Christians and Christianity, aggressively inciting violence against them and against western culture … that’s “protected speech.” Objecting to the overtly political jihad factory facilitating murder and working violently to abridge the freedom to voice that objection … well, telling murderers to stop murdering is “hate speech” don’tcha know. That guy with the “Love Not Hate” sign below? He wasn’t standing outside the mosque on the day after Garland. Why do you imagine that might be? Is it possible his message might have been “misconstrued” by the peace-loving Muslims therein?
Two demonstrators stand in front of the Islamic Community Center to oppose the
“Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” across the street Friday in Phoenix. – NANCY WIECHEC/REUTERS
A demonstrator holds a sign at a “Freedom of Speech Rally Round II” across the
street from the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix on Friday. – NANCY WIECHEC/REUTERS
The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix saw protesters gather Friday. – Ross D. Franklin/AP
The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, where the event will take place, is where the two dead gunmen who attacked the Garland event previously worshiped.
Jackass move? Maybe. But this is what freedom of speech means. This is absolutely protected, and it is undeniably courageous to stand up against the tyranny of violent threats and actions and say “this will not stand.” Tomorrow, we will see what happens when the event takes place. We pray for safety. But we demand success. It is our right as Americans.
I will personally host any of these bikers on my program, if they change their name to “Sons of Muhammad” or “Allah’s Angels.”
That’s not a joke.
The Daily Mail wouldn’t even show pictures of drawings of Mohammad. They called the Leftists and Muslims protesting against the others a ‘Love Rally.’ I think I may barf over that one. It was a peaceful protest, but the Daily Mail called it an ugly conflict. You know what’s ugly? Thousands dying in the Twin Towers, children blown up at a marathon and Jihadists trying to kill those attending a Draw Mohammad contest in Texas. That’s ugly, you asshats. Even uglier are the abattoirs of the Middle East, literally running with the blood of the innocent and the civilized, butchered by Muslim savages. You know, PEACEFUL jihad.
Here’s one telling Tweet for ya:
ISIS member, Abu Hussain Al Brittani also mocked and threatened Ritzheimer in one tweet after the man urged attendees to bring their guns to the event, saying; ‘Whats your little handguns going to do against an IED that sprays 3000+ ball bearings faster than the speed of sound? #Phoenix #AZ’
More from Ritzheimer:
Ritzheimer then said the event would stay peaceful as long as none of those worshiping tried to incite violence.
No one from the mosque was seen at the protest.
‘Come here, come to your house of worship and worship peacefully,’ Ritzheimer said when asked about their right to freedom of religion.
‘The second it rolls over into the streets and you start trying to oppress American citizens that’s when patriots like myself take a stand and say “Nuh-uh.”
‘Enough is enough. I have two beautiful daughters and I’m not gonna let them be raised in a society like that.’
He continued by saying; ‘We have to draw the line. If we don’t, what’s next? What, are they gonna start telling us what not to do next?
Are they gonna start attacking the women for showing their hair? Showing their ankles? Or their other ridiculous stuff?’
Americans have had enough of being afraid… of being pushed around by a political ideology that is anti-Christian, anti-freedom, anti-peace, anti-Constitution and anti-American. So, the Daily Mail and the rest of the sycophant, groveling media can just stuff it.
The standoff was tense, no doubt about it, with cops dividing the two sides as much as they could. In the name of tolerance, we are being smothered in tyranny. There are crackpots on both sides, but that does not diminish the fact that we are being told we are bigots for standing up to what amounts to eradication of our rights here in America and the acceptance of terrorism on American soil. The media goes out of their way to make those on the right look like blithering, drooling idiots and those on the Left as peace-loving, inclusive saints. It’s enough to drive you bonkers.
Let’s have a look at who was on the opposing side. An issue that is getting almost no press.
The Campaign to Take On Hate, which works to challenge misconceptions of Muslims and Arab Americans, organized a Twitter campaign as well. The Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, an organization that builds bridges between Muslim and Jewish women, supported the Twitter campaign. CAIR was also there en force.
ACCESS (the largest Arab American human services nonprofit in the United States)
Arab American Institute
American Center for Outreach
Arab Muslim American Federation
CNC (Chicago community organizers)
Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition
Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)
Rights Working Group
The Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
The City of Detroit
In the midst of all the media hoopla, right on cue, the message is being obfuscated. This is about free speech and the Constitution. Muslims have a right to practice their religion freely, but they don’t have a right to suppress our Constitutional rights. Mosques here in America are producing terrorists – people who murder in the name of Allah. They can scream about Christians all they want, but the fact of the matter is that Christians are not blowing up children and trying to kill other Americans. They aren’t furthering Shariah Law and the Caliphate either. Either we stand for Constitutional freedoms in this country, whether we like those that are freely expressing themselves or not, or we are for tyranny. You can’t have it both ways. But no form of freedom excuses murder and terrorism – unless of course you subject yourself to Islamic doctrine.
Islam — the culture of conquest and subjugation — wants to burn western civilization to the ground and dance in the ashes. They are systematically setting little fires, putting the torch to civility under the pretext that all things civilized cause them great and egregious offense, looking for the day when they can shift from the flames of metaphor to the actual incineration of our culture and all that it stands for. As shocking as it will be to their sympathizers, they’re not posturing when they threaten bombings and burnings. Our duty as a free people is to see those real fires never get lit.
Presumed Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was recently asked about the “Draw Muhammad” contest in Garland, TX that was attacked by two jihadists, and what Mr. Bush thought of event organizer and ardent counterjihadist Pamela Geller.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was not, but a new book gives insight into how she might think about the issue given her support as Secretary of State of a policy put forth by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the UN that comes into direct conflict with the First Amendment.
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 26: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C), talks with Laurent Fabius (R), Minister for Foreign Affairs of France, before a United Nations Security Council meeting on peace and security in Middle East on September 26, 2012 in New York City. (Credit: Getty Images)
In this area, the goal of the OIC — which some argue serves as something of a caliphate representing 56 Islamic states and the Palestinian Authority — specifically was to:
Emphasize the responsibility of the international community, including all governments, to ensure respect for all religions and combat their defamation.
Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia and to call upon all states to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishment. [Emphasis Coughlin’s]
Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief…
According to Coughlin — who in addition to being a leading advisor to the Pentagon on Islamic law is a practicing lawyer specializing in international jurisprudence — key to HRC Resolution 16/18 in the eyes of the OIC is the notion of criminalizing “incitement to violence,” as a means of “deterrent punishment.” The OIC desires that:
the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and all other non-Muslim countries pass laws criminalizing Islamophobia. This is a direct extraterritorial demand that non-Muslim jurisdictions submit to Islamic law and implement shariah-based punishment over time. In other words, the OIC is set on making it an enforceable crime for non-Muslim people anywhere in the world—including the United States—to say anything about Islam that Islam does not permit.
Featured Book Title: Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad Author: Stephen Coughlin Purchase this book
Three particular portions of the ICCPR are critical:
Article 18: (1) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching. (2) No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice. (3) Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. (4) The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Article 19(2/3): (2) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice. (3) The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.
Article 20(2): Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
In other words, the UN Human Rights Council defines incitement according to ICCPR standards.
The action plan further states that HRC Resolution 16/18 “requires implementation and constant follow-up by States at the national level, including through the “Rabat Plan of Action” which contributes to its fulfilment [sic].”
The plan therefore would appear to serve the ends sought by the OIC in its “Ten-Year Programme of Action.”
Perhaps not surprisingly then, Coughlin reveals that during a 2012 interview, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu argued that the strictures of the ICCPR could be applied via HRC Resolution 16/18:
At this moment we have the Resolution 16/18 which was issued last year at the UN which forms a legal groundwork for criminalizing such actions that could lead to violence … there is in the International Agreement for Civil and Political Rights (Year 1966 Paragraph 18), a provision that would allow us to put limits on the misuse of the freedom of speech including misuse of freedom of press, freedom of thought, the misuse of these freedoms towards others, in a sense that it would encourage to violence and to hatred based on religious belief. [Bold emphasis Coughlin’s, italics ours]
But while the UN in general and OIC in particular make clear their intent to apply the ICCPR as a means of criminalizing acts of “incitement” in context of Islamophobia, the parallelism of ICCPR Articles 19 and 20 to the OIC’s Cairo Declaration is perhaps most telling.
Article 22 of the Cairo Declaration — which defines human rights according to Shariah law — reads:
(a) Everyone shall have the right to express his opinion freely in such manner as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah. (1) Everyone shall have the right to advocate what is right, and propagate what is good, and warn against what is wrong and evil according to the norms of Islamic Shari’ah. … (c) Information is a vital necessity to society. It may not be exploited or misused in such a way as may violate sanctities and the dignity of Prophets, undermine moral and ethical Values or disintegrate, corrupt or harm society or weaken its faith. (d) It is not permitted to excite nationalistic or doctrinal hatred or to do anything that may be an incitement to any form or racial discrimination.
Coughlin argues that this language is fully consistent with the ICCPR, again leading to the repurposing of the word “incitement” as a means to enforce Shariah compliance. He states:
It is in this context that the OIC’s “test of consequences” narrative is used to turn the meaning of incitement in Article 20 Section 2 [of the ICCPR] on its head by converting it to a legal standard designed to facilitate the “shut up before I hit you again” standard associated with the battered wife syndrome. The OIC’s Fourth Observatory Report on Islamophobia[link ours], released in June 2011, calls for:
d. Ensuring swift and effective implementation of the new approach signified by the consensual adoption of HRC Resolution 16/18, entitled “combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief,” by, inter alia, removing the gaps in implementation and interpretation of international legal instruments and criminalizing acts of incitement to hatred and violence on religious grounds with a view to curbing the double standards and racial profiling that continue to feed religious strife detrimental to peace, security and stability.
e. Constructively engaging to bridge divergent views on the limits to the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in a structured multilateral framework, and in the light of events like the burning of Quran geared towards filling the ‘interpretation void’ with regard to the interface between articles 19 (3) and 20 of the ICCPR based on emerging approaches like applying the ‘test of consequences.’ [Emphasis Coughlin’s]
Under the OIC’s redefinition of incitement, the “test of consequences” allows a third party to use an utterance as a provocation to violence, which then becomes sanctioned precisely because the third party acted out violently. Moreover, what criminalizes the utterance is the third party’s decision to respond violently. The “test of consequences” institutionalizes the calculated suppression of protected speech by naked use of force. This is institutionalized terrorism comfortably nested in facially neutral language.
What does a UN HRC resolution and the OIC’s interpretation of said resolution have to do with Hillary Clinton?
On July 15, 2011, then-Secretary of State Clinton offered America’s backing to OIC Secretary General İhsanoğlu to garner support for the implementation and ratification of HRC Resolution 16/18. Secretary Clinton stated:
I want to applaud the Organization of Islamic Conference and the European Union for helping pass Resolution 16/18 at the Human Rights Council. I was complimenting the Secretary General on the OIC team in Geneva. I had a great team there as well. So many of you were part of that effort. And together we have begun to overcome the false divide that pits religious sensitivities against freedom of expression, and we are pursuing a new approach based on concrete steps to fight intolerance wherever it occurs. Under this resolution, the international community is taking a strong stand for freedom of expression and worship, and against discrimination and violence based upon religion or belief. [Emphasis Coughlin’s]
The resolution calls upon states to protect freedom of religion, to counter offensive expression through education, interfaith dialogue, and public debate, and to prohibit discrimination, profiling, and hate crimes, but not to criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence. We will be looking to all countries to hold themselves accountable and to join us in reporting to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights on their progress in taking these steps.
America apparently would be subject to this resolution, as Clinton noted that she had asked:
Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, to spearhead our implementation efforts. And to build on the momentum from today’s meeting, later this year the United States intends to invite relevant experts from around the world to the first of what we hope will be a series of meetings to discuss best practices, exchange ideas, and keep us moving forward beyond the polarizing debates of the past; to build those muscles of respect and empathy and tolerance that the secretary general referenced. It is essential that we advance this new consensus and strengthen it, both at the United Nations and beyond, in order to avoid a return to the old patterns of division.
To be fair to Secretary of State Clinton, Coughlin asserts that “it is not clear that the Secretary knows OIC concepts of tolerance and human rights are based on shariah.”
But, Coughlin continues, “she nonetheless committed to the underlying logic of Resolution 16/18.”
Moreover, Coughlin believes that Clinton tacitly recognizes the conflict between the policy she supported at the UN and Constitutionally protected free speech, with Clinton continuing in her 2011 statement:
In the United States, I will admit, there are people who still feel vulnerable or marginalized as a result of their religious beliefs. And we have seen how the incendiary actions of just a very few people, a handful in a country of nearly 300 million, can create wide ripples of intolerance. We also understand that, for 235 years, freedom of expression has been a universal right at the core of our democracy. So we are focused on promoting interfaith education and collaboration, enforcing antidiscrimination laws, protecting the rights of all people to worship as they choose, and to use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor. [Emphasis Coughlin’s]
These sentiments might help to explain why Secretary of State Clinton along with President Obama felt compelled to send a message to the Muslim world in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi disavowing any link between the U.S. government and the infamous “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video.
Given what we know, one wonders what Secretary of State Clinton might say about Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” event.
Note: The links to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.
Right and Left Question And Condemn Pamela Geller’s “Provocation Of Islam”
On The Right:
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly: “Insulting the entire Muslim world is stupid. It does not advance the cause of liberty or get us any closer to defeating the savage jihad. . . . The goal of every decent person in the world should be to defeat the Jihad and in order to do that you have to rally the world to the side of good, our side. Emotional displays like insulting the Prophet Mohammed make it more difficult to rally law abiding Muslims… In any war you have to win hearts and minds, and the situation in Garland, Texas goes against that.”
Fox News’ Laura Ingraham: “There are a lot of things that we can say, that we have a right to say, that we shouldn’t say. We shouldn’t unnecessarily insult people, personal attacks.”
Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren: “It’s one thing for someone to stand up for the First Amendment and put his own you-know-what on the line, but here, those insisting they were defending the First Amendment were knowingly putting officers’ lives on the line — the police.”
Donald Trump on “Fox & Friends”: “What is she doing drawing Mohammed?…What are they doing drawing Muhammad. Isn’t there something else they can draw?…I’m the one who believes in free speech probably more than she does, but what’s the purpose of this?”
On The Left:
New York Times: “There is no question that images ridiculing religion, however offensive they may be to believers, qualify as protected free speech in the United States and most Western democracies. There is also no question that however offensive the images, they do not justify murder, and that it is incumbent on leaders of all religious faiths to make this clear to their followers. But it is equally clear that the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Tex., was not really about free speech. It was an exercise in bigotry and hatred posing as a blow for freedom.”
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: “This is problematic to me, because I wonder whether this group that held this event down there to basically disparage and make fun of the prophet Muhammad doesn’t in some way cause these events. Well, not the word ‘causing’ — how about provoking, how about taunting, how about daring?”
CNN host Alisyn Camerota to Geller: “And nobody is saying that this warrants the violence that you saw. I mean I haven’t heard anyone in the media saying that it’s okay for gunmen to show up at an event like this. But what people are saying is that there’s always this fine line, you know, between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper to Geller: “Nothing justifies the attack, the violent attack. There is no justification, but I do want to ask you about your reasons for holding the event, if you’ll permit me. Charlie Hebdo ran a magazine in the name of satire and criticism and the magazine continues to attack every religion, every political party, all sorts of leaders. What was the purpose of holding an event that specifically focused on the prophet Muhammad?”
The Essence Of Right And Left Criticisms
Both sides of the political aisle are in agreement in condemnation of Geller’s exercise of her 1st Amendment right, that is, subjecting the “religion of peace” to 21st century satire.
Their complaints include that :
1) it was an unnecessary, insulting provocation which dishonored the U.S.,
2) it was disrespectful to “moderate Muslims,” thus alienating them from assisting us in the conflict against jihadists,
3) it was taunting in nature, putting innocents in gratuitous danger, and
4) it was pointless in terms of a winning strategy.
Answering The Right And Left Criticisms
National Review’sRich Lowry: “Today, criticism of Islam is at the vanguard of the fight for free speech, since it is susceptible to attack and intimidation by jihadists and calls for self-censorship by the politically correct. . . . Yes, there is such a thing as self-restraint and consideration of the sensibilities of others, but it shouldn’t be the self-restraint of fear. Pamela Geller is a bomb-thrower, but only a metaphorical, not a literal, one. That’s the difference between her and her enemies — and between civilization and barbarism.”
Wall Street Journal’sBret Stephens: “The higher criticism of Ms. Geller is that, while her constitutional rights are not in question, her judgment and wisdom are. I happen to think that Ms. Geller’s [is a] substantive contribution to the great foreign-policy debates of our time . . . A society that rejects the notion of a heckler’s veto cannot accept the idea of a murderer’s veto simply because the murderer is prepared to go to greater extremes to silence his opponents. . . . We live in an era where people like the idea of rights, so long as there is no price to their practice. We want to speak truth to power—so long as “truth” is some shopworn cliché and “power” comes in the form of an institution that will never harm you. Perhaps it was always so. But from time to time we need people to remind us that free speech is not some shibboleth to be piously invoked, but a right that needs to be exercised if it is to survive as a right.”
The Essence Of The Answers Defending Free Speech
As far as being an “unnecessary, insulting provocation that dishonored the U.S.,” when free speech is threatened, it is absolutely necessary that it be robustly and vigorously defended. And ANY criticism of Islam, including refuting the “religion of peace” lie by quoting Islamic scripture, is considered by Muslims to be an insulting provocation. So, any intellectual position or declaration, which is short of completely agreeing with and submitting to Islam, will be condemned by Muslims as provoking them. Finally, regarding free speech exercise dishonoring the U.S., like it or not satire is inbred in the U.S. culture. The true dishonor rests with Islam for being a religion that must kill people that intellectually disagree with Islam’s supremacist tenant that a negative assessment of Islam is punishable by death.
When it comes to the exercise of free speech being “disrespectful to moderate Muslims, thus alienating them from assisting us,” this is just a silly argument. Leaders in nations like Egypt and Jordan, which are threatened by Islamic jihadists, know that fighting jihadists is not a matter of pride – it is an existential matter of survival. To be clear, Muslims mortally threatened by jihadists are not going to decline to fight by our side because of pridefulness. Furthermore, Muslims are well aware of the criticisms against Islam. To pretend that the criticisms don’t exist is childish.
The assertion that “it was taunting in nature, putting innocents in gratuitous danger” is best answered with the question: “Why are innocents put in gratuitous danger by the exercise of free speech?” This assertion is acknowledgement that those opposing free speech are barbarians. Again another question: “Is there are code of conduct that guarantees safety when dealing with barbarians?” From the ancient Romans to Neville Chamberlain, such a code of conduct has proven nonexistent. Barbarians will attack when they believe it is to their advantage. Muslim culture is founded on the proposition that “might makes right,” and what is “right” and “moral” is doing whatever furthers the interests of Islam, irrespective of the human damage.
Finally, regarding “it was pointless in terms of a winning strategy” – nothing could be further from the truth. Such is the sentiment of the appeaser, or of the “dhimmi” to use the term common in the Muslim world. The U.S. and Western Civilization are currently losing the intellectual and psychological wars with Islam because no clear position has been enunciated by the leaderships. Pamela Geller finally drew an unmistakable line in the sand.
The Islamic jihadists’ declaration of war was undeniably made known at the World Trade Center on 9/11. President George Bush replied by falsely declaring that Islam is “a religion of peace.” President Barack Obama has doubled down on Bush’s fallacious declaration. Pamela Geller’s “Draw the Prophet Mohammed” contest exposed that Islamic terrorist violence is targeted at U.S. constitutional rights and underlined that we are in an existential war for our constitutional freedoms. Now it is up to U.S. political leadership, media, and American people to come together and show the same intellectual and physical courage as Pamela Geller did in Garland.
Does anyone remember what happened on September 11, 2001? Or is it just “ancient history” at this point? Some three thousand totally innocent Americans were murdered by a sneak attack on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Who did it? The same murderous Islamists who attacked an event in Garland, Texas to focus attention on the insanity that passes for one of the world’s great “religions.”
Islam is not a religion. It is a cult around the so-called prophet Mohammad and his assertion that the Koran was the word of Allah. The name Islam means “submission” and the purpose of Islam is the tyrannical control over the entire world’s population. Within this alleged holy faith, two sects, Shiites and Sunnis, have been at war almost from its inception, never failing to kill one another.
The turmoil in the Middle East is the direct result of this murderous cult and those Muslims who oppose the killing that flows from Islam must keep their silence or become its victims. Jews and Christians can speak out and debate about aspects of their faiths, but Muslim risk death when they do so. For those Jews in Christians living in Middle Eastern nations, death is always a prospect for no other reason than not being Muslim.
Americans have not yet fully embraced the fact that they are on the front lines along with other Western nations in a global war with Islam.
Will it take another 9/11? Surely the recent attack by two Islamists on May 3rd in Garland, Texas, was another wake up call. They arrived intent on killing as many of those attending the American Freedom Defense Initiative event. A Garland police officer killed both before anyone had to die in the name of the Bill of Rights.
But why Garland, Texas? Because, as my friend Amil Imani noted in a recent commentary, “The venue was chosen as a defiant response to a Muslim group that had held a conference entitled ‘Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate.”’ Ironic, eh? Their response to the event that invited cartoons of Muhammed as to want to kill the participants. If that is not war, I do not know what is.
If Muslims feel hatred, they have earned it here in the United States and elsewhere they have attacked any criticism or defiance, from Charlie Hebdo in France to the countless attacks around the world from Mumbai, India to Bali. A website, the Religion of Peace, com, posts news of the daily assaults by Muslim on both other Muslims and those they call “infidels”, unbelievers.
Pamela Geller who leads the American Freedom Defense Initiative has been widely assailed for her event that was intended to respond to the earlier one in Garland that Amil Amani noted “was convened to eliminate free speech or any expression, verbal and/or artwork depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammad in a negative light.”
“As a life-long expert on the subject of Islam, I felt that this event—more than anything else Pamela could have done—would be the target of a violence terrorist attack in the name of the religion of peace, either real and explosive or on social media at the very least.” It was real.
The Garland police were taking it seriously. Amani said “I was astonished at the large police presence already there. Some of the cops were dressed in tactical gear and carrying AR-15s. The security was ubiquitous, almost as if something untoward had already happened.”
Speaking in an interview with Sean Hannity on May 6, Geller noted that neither the FBI nor the Department of Homeland Security has yet to have contacted her about the thwarted attack. “This is a serious threat” said Hannity. “Basically a Fatwah, a death threat, has now been issued.” Geller noted the lack of interest or concern expressed by those in our government one might expect to at the least make an inquiry, adding that “I have a team now, private security, and NYPD counterterror has been in touch with me.”
Now I call that a level of courage for which Pamela Geller should be praised, but I heard too many criticisms that she was being “provocative.”
When are Americans going to realize that the Islamists do not need any provocation? When are we going to start acting like we are at war? A good first step would be to stop inviting Muslims to immigrate to America. The Obama administration has been importing as many as possible. The next step is to understand that it is Obama and his administration that are part of the Islamic war.
It is the Pamela Geller’s that are crying out to us. We need to listen. We need to support them. We need to arm ourselves if we have not done so already. Then we need to secure “concealed carry” laws in every State of the Union. We are at war.
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