The Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has always had friends in high places, and on Wednesday it celebrated another, announcing that it had “thanked Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) – and the 29 congressional colleagues that joined her – in urging Facebook to take immediate action to eliminate anti-Muslim bigotry from that social media platform.” CAIR’s longtime spokesman Ibrahim “Honest Ibe” Hooper noted proudly that it was “one of several organizations named by Rep. Dingell in her press release announcing the letter.”
Dingell and her colleagues demanded that Facebook’s chief Mark Zuckerberg “immediately implement” measures including the formation of “a working group comprised of senior staff focused on anti-Muslim bigotry issues”; enforcing “your hate content and hate group policies in a way that ensures militias and white supremacists cannot use your event and group pages to terrorize targeted communities”; agreeing to “an independent third-party review of the company’s role in enabling anti-Muslim violence, genocide and internment”; working toward and committing to a “100 percent proactive detection and removal of anti-Muslim content and all other forms of hate before it is even seen”; committing to “regular anti-discrimination training for your entire staff world-wide [sic]”; and “training key staff on civil rights issues and common words, phrases, tropes or visuals used by hate actors to dehumanize and demonize Muslims.”
Joining Dingell in this call for sweeping censorship, according to CAIR, were a rogue’s gallery of the most sinister anti-free speech forces in Congress, including Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (where Ayanna Pressley, the fourth member of The Squad, was on this was not disclosed). Also signing were the House’s quietest Muslim member, André Carson, as well as Carolyn B. Maloney, Jahana Hayes, Max Rose, Barbara Lee, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Bobby L. Rush, Daniel T. Kildee, Jared Huffman, Kathy Castor, Gwen S. Moore, Lauren Underwood, Jan Schakowsky, Mark Pocan, Grace Meng, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Darren Soto, Donald S. Beyer Jr., James P. McGovern, Peter Welch, Jamie Raskin, Pramila Jayapal, Yvette D. Clarke, Raúl M. Grijalva, Earl Blumenauer, and Nydia M. Velázquez.
No one could reasonably object to removing calls for “anti-Muslim violence, genocide and internment.” The problem arises over the demand that Facebook remove “anti-Muslim content…before it is even seen.” CAIR and its allies have for years defamed any and all opposition to jihad violence and Sharia oppression of women, gays and others as “anti-Muslim bigotry,” lumping such opposition together indiscriminately with calls for “violence, genocide and internment,” stigmatizing it all. This was not careless or rhetorical excess; it was a concerted, well-executed strategy. Now it is taken for granted that the slightest negative word about how Islamic jihadis use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims, and the smallest hint of disapproval of anything related to Islam, is immediately denounced and dismissed as anti-Muslim bigotry.
Skeptical? Consider, then, the case of British journalist Julie Burchill. Apparently oblivious to the titanic dimensions of the irony, the publisher Little, Brown just canceled her book Welcome to the Woke Trials: How #Identity Killed Progressive Politics because of an “Islamophobic” Twitter exchange Burchill had with Muslim writer Ash Sarkar. In the course of the exchange, Burchill alluded to Muhammad’s marriage to a six-year-old girl when he was 51, an event that is attested to in the earliest available Islamic texts. Yet for stating something that millions of Muslims around the world take as axiomatically true, Burchill’s book on the cancel culture was canceled.
And now Dingell and her henchmen are demanding that Facebook implement policies that will institutionalize and universalize such fascist hysteria. Even worse, the political climate is so rancid today that Dingell will pay no political price either for her association with Hamas-linked CAIR or for her open opposition to the freedom of speech. If she doesn’t know that Hamas-linked CAIR and its allies have for years been demonizing and stigmatizing honest discussion of the motivating ideology behind jihad terrorism as “anti-Muslim,” and that her demands will also likely result in the silencing of such discussion, she should know it. Dingell is actively aiding an endeavor to silence all criticism of Islam, which is all smeared in the same way, and enabling the tacit acceptance of Sharia blasphemy law, which forbids such criticism. She is, in short, the very definition of a useful idiot.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 21 books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Rating America’s Presidents: An America-First Look at Who Is Best, Who Is Overrated, and Who Was An Absolute Disaster. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.