"We have to impress upon Muslims that they live outside the boundaries of civilized society."
-------Michael Ledeen, author
Freedom of speech is under attack in the United States. On college campuses and in other venues, we hecklers harassing or even shouting down those with whom they disagree. In some cases, demonstrations prevent the speakers from beginning. Sometimes the hecklers use violence, others the protestors use noise, but the result is the same: preventing the free flow of ideas.
This past week, March 4-5, 2007, the Secular Islam Summit held in St. Peterburg "brought together ...brave and eloquent defenders of freedom and conscience...as well as many other Muslim and ex-Mulim dissidents. Phyllis Chesler writes about the summithere and here.
CAIR, the Council of American Islamic Relations, also at the summit, "dispatched its henchmen to shout the reformers down...and posted on its Web sit no fewer than four stories bashing the event and its courageous speakers."
CAIR declared the summit illegitimate because few of the participants are "practicing Muslims," and those who are, it claims, are merely pawns playing into the hands of "Islamophobes." "In order to have legitimate reform, you need to have the right messengers," asserted CAIR spokesman Ahmed Bedier.
And who might that be? The four CAIR executives who have been successfully prosecuted on terrorism-related charges? The CAIR co-founder who said the Quran should replace the U.S. Constitution as "the highest authority in America"?
True voices of moderation are the delegates to the Secular Islam Summit, who insisted in their declaration that mosque and state should always be separate. They also called for tolerance for non-Muslims, and an end to violent jihad. CAIR should take notes.
So what if many of them are ex-Muslims? They risked their lives to leave Islam and now dare to openly criticize an ideology that everyone else is afraid to criticize. What these brave souls have to say carries far more weight than anything said by CAIR, which couldn't even bring itself to condemn Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11.
Yes, Bedier argued, but the summit's "funding is coming from the neoconservatives." An article posted by CAIR suggests "Israeli intelligence" is behind the movement.
In CAIR's kooky world, the Zionists are behind everything, even 9/11.
But if anyone was behind 9/11, it was the Saudis. And guess who bankrolls CAIR? Right: the Saudis.
Fittingly, CAIR's Bedier balked when summit delegate Tawfik Hamid, a former terrorist, challenged him to denounce Saudi sharia law for "killing apostates, beating women and stoning women."
"This is not about Saudi Arabia," he huffed. "We condemn any nation that misuses Islam, but we're not going to condemn an entire nation. That's like condemning London (sic)."
Another CAIR sugar daddy is the ruler of Dubai, which acted as the staging ground for the hijackers and the transit point for 9/11 cash.
Sheikh Mohammed, who before 9/11 requisitioned cargo jets to supply Osama bin Laden's Afghan camps, owns CAIR's D.C. headquarters through his foundation, which also holds telethons for Palestinian "martyrs."
The same foundation recently pledged $50 million to CAIR to boost its operations, which includes a legal shop set up to intimidate critics with vexatious lawsuits.
Radical groups like CAIR have been on the offensive, primarily because counterattacks by moderates have been few and far between.
What right does CAIR have to disrupt the peaceful interchange of ideas? What right do they have to quash free speech or to decide for America that they are the only and ultimate voice on any matter that deals with Islam and Muslims? What right do they have to make demands of the 97% of American public for an accommodtion that diminishes all our rights?
In the last two year we have seen Muslim mobs riot to silence Western journalists in Denmark, and even the Pope, the creation of legislation to kill speech in Australia, Britain, and Europe, and in this country, constant efforts by CAIR to silence our speech.
Frankly anyone can have silly ideas about their beliefs in the creator, but they don't have the right to apply those ideas to the rest of us that don't believe. They don't have the right to change our rights to enhance their own.
Read theSt. Petersburg Declaration
Here is a video provided by Andrew Marcus Pajamas Media
Here is an account of the boycott of the Jeff Katz show, Charlotte, NC, in which Robert Spencer mentioned the St. Petersburg Declaration.
Here is a WND story by Art Moore: "Muslims issue manifesto against radical Islam."
Radical Islam. Certainly we all are taken aback when confronted by that term. But how can we tell which Muslims are radical, especially as Muslims often say, "there is no moderate Islam, only Islam." It's like being pregnant: either you are or you aren't.
With Islam, it's the struggle of the free and the unfree!