The Assault on Free Speech

Radical Anjem Choudary and Tanya Cohen have something in common, they hate free speech and want it controlled. In his essay in USA Today, Choudary made it clear that he doesn’t accept the Western concept of free speech as he stated, “The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, 'Whoever insults a Prophet kill him'… so why in this case did the French government allow the magazine Charlie Hebdo to continue to provoke Muslims, thereby placing the sanctity of its citizens at risk?”

In regions dominated by radical Islamic thinking are countries devoid of freedom. Think of Iran, where basic freedoms don’t exist and in those areas dominated by ISIS in Syria and Iraq where Christians are murdered, women raped or sold in slavery, and barbaric regimes exist. In France, they are seeing Western civilization under siege as many French citizens are waking up to the reality that many of their own no longer accept the basic rights that undergird Western civilization and are engaged in acts of barbarism.

As mentioned in a previous column, Tanya Cohen is anti-free speech in spite of her ranting saying she opposes “censorship” when she writes, “Civilized countries consider hate speech to be among the most serious crimes around, with many countries even placing it on par with murder. In some countries, people are automatically declared guilty of hate speech and other hate crimes unless they can absolutely prove their innocence beyond any reasonable doubt. The principle of guilty until proven innocent may seem a bit harsh to some, but it makes sense when you consider how severe the crime of hate speech is – it is a crime that simply cannot be tolerated in a democracy. Hate speech is not merely speech, but is, in fact, a form of violence and the international community has established hate speech to be a form of violence many times. Hate speech doesn’t merely CAUSE violence. Hate speech IS violence.” She makes it clear that her opponents, who she disagrees with, are “guilty” and must prove their innocence. This turns our rule of law upside down in which you are innocent until proven guilty.

She even has 20 examples of speech to be considered hate speech including “The spreading of misinformation, including climate change denial…This would include, for example, speech that opposes a woman’s right to have an abortion and speech that approves of Israeli apartheid in Palestine…. This would include, for example, the advocacy of gun ownership.” So if you defend the right of the unborn, support Israel, believe that maybe climate change is not strictly the fault of humans, or favor the protection of the second amendment, then you are guilty of hate sppech. Hell with being censored, Ms. Cohen makes it clear that the punishment must be severe as she writes, “Anyone guilty of hate speech – which should carry criminal penalties of 25 years to life – should be sent to special prisons designed to re-educate them and to instill values of tolerance, freedom, democracy, and human rights in them. Prison is about punishment, but it’s also about changing the behavior of criminals.” As George Orwell would say, Ignorance is Strength and War is Peace. In Cohen's world, speech is free if she agrees with it.

Cohen is not alone. As I wrote previously, “It is the climate alarmist who act like mini-Fascists as in the recent march when Robert Kennedy called for the imprisonment of the Koch brothers. This is not the first time this has occurred among alarmists. Kennedy is but the latest who claims that realists are criminals or committing treason against nature. Among those who have called for a Nuremburg trial for climate realists, including former NASA scientist James Hansen. Again that Nazis-Realist connection. But it is the alarmist who uses cherry picked data to rewrite climate history, which is the equal of writing about Hitler and not mentioning the holocaust.It is alarmists who demand their opponents be jailed or exiled from the public square. “

There was a time when liberals defended free speech, but now many on the left have made it clear: they don’t stand for free speech but want it restricted. Ms. Cohen is just another example of the left's assault on Freedom of Speech. Tanya Cohen is no different than radical jihadists that seek our destruction.

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