With the Pentagon this week dropping the Southern Poverty Law Center’s training materials on “extremism,” it’s understandable that this hard-Left moneymaking and incitement machine would be looking to diversify. But becoming the Siskel and Ebert of the woke set is a career move that must baffle even the most seasoned SPLC-watcher.
The SPLC broke out the popcorn on Monday, giving two thumbs down to the American Freedom Defense Initiative’s new documentary about the global jihad against freedom of speech, Can’t We Talk About This?.
The review was, as you might expect, relentlessly negative, but there were a couple of bright spots. The SPLC noted that the movie is well-made:
Despite having to crowd fund the production and advertisements for the film, the movie has a high production value.
The SPLC also generously noted that we assembled an all-star cast:
Pamela Geller’s 90-minute film, Can’t We Talk About This, written by Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, enlists an all-star lineup of Islamophobes to hype the alarm over the threat of Islam to the West.
“Hype the alarm.” Yes, of course, because there is no threat of jihad or Sharia oppression in the West. Just ask Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or Hamza bin Laden, or Nidal Malik Hasan, or Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, or Syed Rizwan Farook, or Tashfeen Malik, or a host of others. Ask the victims of Muslim rape gangs in the UK, or the victims of Muslim migrant rapists in Germany and Sweden. They will all tell you that the West has absolutely nothing to be concerned about, and only racist, bigoted “Islamophobes” think otherwise.
The SPLC continues:
In the documentary, notorious Islam bashers including Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Douglas Murray, Geert Wilders, Lars Vilks, Bosch Fawstin, Milo Yiannopolous, Spencer and Geller come together to attack Islam and the so-called compliance of Western politicians and law enforcement, claiming both that Islam both threatens free speech and that Muslims are the victims of liberals who are trying to protect them.
Who could possibly get the crazy idea that Islam is any threat to the freedom of speech? It isn’t as if there is a global Islamic effort to compel non-Muslim countries to adopt Sharia blasphemy laws (details here).
The review quotes me as saying:
Stay quiet and you’ll be okay is what the Islamic world is saying to the U.S. … if we stay quiet they will think it’s okay until we are completely subjugated under Islamic law.
The SPLC presents this, in tried-and-tested Leftist fashion, as if it were self-evidently absurd such that no refutation is necessary. But is it? Abdoulaye Wade — president of Senegal and former chairman of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the international body driving the jihad against the freedom of speech — once said:
I don’t think freedom of expression should mean freedom from blasphemy. There can be no freedom without limits.
The OIC has for years pursued the imposition of Sharia blasphemy laws upon Western countries under the guise of “hate speech” laws. This culminated in Resolution 16/18 of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which calls upon member states to criminalize “incitement to religious hatred.”
That is a dangerously elastic term that can be used to silence all counterterror analysis of the motives and goals of jihadis.
But in 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed on to it.
More from the SPLC review:
The film moves country-to-country, examining incidents involving Muslims around the world. While discussing the Netherlands, Bat Ye’Or [sic] — whose real name is Gisele Littman, a violently anti-Muslim person [“Violently”? Really? Which Muslim did the diminutive Bat Ye’or violently attack?] who has written several books about the harsh oppression of non-Muslims by Muslims — raises the issue of immigration, explaining “this is why they immigrate, because immigration is extremely important for conversion. It is written in the Quran that Islamic Law must dominate the whole world.”
This argument is regularly exploited by members of the anti-Muslim movement to advocate for immigration restriction but is completely unfounded.
“Completely unfounded”? Really? The Qur’an says:
And whoever desires other than Islam as religion — never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers (3:85).
Regarding immigration, the Qur’an says:
And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance. And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him — his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah (4:100).
The SPLC review is as sloppy as it is derogatory. It quotes Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whom it terms “an anti-Muslim extremist,” as saying:
When people say drawing cartoons of Mohammed is disrespectful to Mohammed I say no you are being disrespectful to Muslims because if you agree that drawing cartoons of Jesus or Moses is sacred to other people, those non-Muslims have the maturity and the sanity not to respond with violence.
In response, the SPLC informs us:
It is, in fact, considered blasphemous in Islam to have images of God.
This is just stupid on the SPLC’s part. Ayaan Hirsi Ali was referring to “drawing cartoons of Mohammed.” In response, the SPLC says: “It is, in fact, considered blasphemous in Islam to have images of God.” But Muslims don’t believe that Muhammad is God.
The SPLC sums it up with a quote from Raheem Kassam of Breitbart London:
What is this actual racism or actual bigotry that the left hurls at Muslims to say you can’t handle criticism so we’re going to wrap you up in bubble wrap and defend you for you.
Yes. And this SPLC review is a quintessential example of that phenomenon.
Then, the SPLC comes out strongly against the freedom of speech:
The film then shifts to Texas. Following the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, American Muslim leaders held a conference in Garland, Texas, “Stand With the Prophet Against Terror and Hate” in January 2015. Geller, outraged, planned her event in response, the “First Annual Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest,” aimed at antagonizing the Muslim community.
After two men attacked officers at the entrance of the event, the incident came to be known as the Curtin [sic] Culwell Center attack. This resulted in Donald Trump, Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham and other conservatives to denounce Pamela Geller’s attempt to incite the Muslim community.
Here’s the twisted logic of the SPLC, reflected in the twisted language of that last sentence: if Muslims mount a jihad attack, it is the victim’s fault for “inciting” the poor dears. The SPLC wants a world in which non-Muslims change their behavior to suit Muslim sensibilities and bow to death threats. This will only encourage more Muslim bullying and bring more demands for more accommodation.
The SPLC, in short, wants us to stay quiet so that we’ll be okay.
“Your freedom is under siege, it’s under war and part of the war is keeping you disarmed,” Pamela Geller warns viewers. Yet, her own film highlights the ways in which American Freedom Defense Initiative has antagonized Muslims and attacked Islam in the name of free speech.
So you see: we must give up the freedom of speech so as to avoid antagonizing Muslims. The SPLC is working hard in this war, to keep you disarmed.