Continuing coverage of our SION International Freedom of Speech Congress, September 11th. Here is the video of Swedish artist Lars Vilks' presentation. Watch the whole thing: brilliant, riveting, witty, and devastating. While we were conducting our hugely successful International Freedom Congress on free speech, our embassies were being viciously attacked in the jihadists' war on ..... free speech and freedom of conscience. The bloody irony is not lost on us. The Obama administration's apology for "religious incitement" and "hurting the feelings of Muslims" crystallizes the battle set before us.
On the 11th anniversary of the jihad attacks that murdered 3,000 people, a group of freedom fighters from all over the world gathered to tell the truth about Islam, jihad, and the mainstream media's war on free speech and honest reporting and analysis of that jihad. Speakers from the U.S., England, Europe, India, Israel, and Australia spoke to a standing-room-only crowd about the media's craven complicity in whitewashing the reality of jihad and demonizing those who fight for freedom.
Gerard over at American Rattlesnake has the best write up, by far, of our historic free speech event on September 11th. Here's an excerpt but go- read the whole thing:
Reclaiming Liberty: SION Conference (Part I) September 13, 2012 By G. Perry
If there was a single, overarching theme to the first Stop the Islamization of Nations Congress, it was just that. Freedom. The freedom exercised by Rifqa Bary-the courageous young woman who converted to Christianity despite the wishes of her Muslim parents, and whose portrait you see emblazoned upon the poster above-as well as the freedom to engage in critical inquiry regarding any and all subjects-including Islam-are one and the same. For fundamentally, they both come down to the exercise of free will. Individual choice is something that is not highly valued in authentic Islamic culture, as the plight of the recently freed Iranian Christian pastor Yousef Nardakani, and the fate which befell Arab journalists who republished the famous Jyllands Posten Mohammed cartoons, demonstrate.demonstrate.
I traveled to the UN Millennium Plaza Hotel on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 massacres in order to listen to a roster of speakers who would illuminate just how precarious the freedom we enjoy is, why it is imperiled-not only in the United States, but across the globe-by whom, and how we can resist the encroachment of those who would circumscribe, and ultimately, eliminate it.
Notwithstanding the passel of amiably grouped American and United Nations flags in that photo, the values of the United States and those undergirding the United Nations could not be further removed from one another. Anyone who has read the aptly titled The UN Gang by Pedro Sanjuan, a career diplomat and Foreign Service officer-a book that , ironically enough, was stolen while I attended the conference-would recognize just how different our nation is from the anti-American swamp in Turtle Bay. Unfortunately, those in power today-particularly within this administration-seemingly want to emulate the rogue’s gallery of Islamic theocracies, tinhorn military dictatorships, and third world socialist backwaters that currently comprise its membership. At least, with respect to the citizen’s relationship to the state.
Although the words from the Old Testament prophet are laudable-if a bit confusing when juxtaposed against the United Nations general opinion of Jews-they in stark contrast to most of the actions undertaken by the UN, which range from supplication before the preeminent state sponsor of terror, to deploying “peacekeepers” whose chief recreational activity consists of terrorizing the people they were putatively sent to protect. However, the most insidious threat posed by the United Nations is its attempt to nullify our natural rights in order to preserve the edifice of Islam as a great religion.
In decades past, the free world-led by the United States-would have led the fight against criminalizing dissent. However, the position espoused by the American government has been changed dramatically. The instinctive reflex on the part of government officials is exemplified by the craven tweet-since deleted-by the United States embassy in Cairo issued shortly before it was assaulted by a salafi mob. A mob which included, it should be noted, both the younger brother of Al Qaeda’s current emir and members of the terrorist organization whose leader is responsible for the first World Trade Center bombing. Of course, now that the Arab Spring is in full bloom, we should keep in mind that yesterday’s terrorist might very well be today’s democrat.
The most significant aspect of this transformation is the State Department’s active encouragement of a UN resolution, crafted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which would criminalize any substantive criticism of Islam. As Robert Spencer pointed out during the conference, this treaty would have the force of law, and there’s no reason to believe that the United States Supreme Court-McConnell vs. FEC made its cavalier attitude towards expressive speech plain-to honor our First Amendment rights any more than it has recognized those enshrined within the Second Amendment, or, I would add, the Fifth.
The institutionalization of this dhimmification of our legal system is occurring in our own backyard. State Senator David Storobin, who-regardless of any other criticism that can be leveled against him-should be congratulated for having the temerity to attend this conference, explained why this is such a pernicious development. A man whose family escaped from the Soviet Union-the largest totalitarian empire in world history-and whose relatives were slaughtered by Islamic separatists-Senator Storobin is perhaps uniquely qualified to speak to this issue. He denounced hate speech laws, which he correctly described as penalizing thought rather than criminal action, and averred that he believed in the principles of the Founders. “The founding fathers of America, not the Soviet Union. Madison, not Lenin.”
It’s a quote worth keeping in mind when the vanguards of the left insist upon adopting a policy of prior restraint against the only religion of global breadth they seemingly venerate. What makes matters even more grave is the fact that those whose sensitivities will be preserved at the expense of our liberty, unlike the victims of other thought crimes-or perceived thought crimes-the left has sought to give protected status, these individuals have the propensity to vent their displeasure in ways much more colorful than public protests or civil disobedience. This fact was brought home to the audience during the speech of the man you see below, David Yerushalmi, founder of the American Freedom Law Center and tireless advocate for American civil liberties.