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Muslim Activists Should Stop Defending Pam Geller’s Right to Mock Prophet Muhammad ﷺ


Muslims Don’t Just Condemn Everything – They Defend Your Right to Everything!

How would you react if you came to learn Western Muslim leaders had stated, “We don’t support the views of the Ku Klux Klan, but we defend their right to walk down the streets of Baltimore and yell the “N” word at will – that’s their right”?  What would you say if they issued a press release stating, “We don’t support the views of Neo-Nazis, but we will defend their right to promote a pro-white anti-immigrant agenda”?

Myself, I’d be perplexed.  Those mentioned are clearly bigots, and the least of their crimes is hate speech.  Why would Muslims stand by bigots and defend their right to spread bigotry and hatred? The good news is that no Muslim organization or leader (to my knowledge) has done such for the aforementioned organizations.

The bad news is that the recent shooting at the Draw Muhammad Day event, thrown by anti-Muslim bigot Pam Geller (of the known hate group Stop Islamization of America) and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, has demonstrated an acute confusion between being forced tolerate a law vs providing a defense of it when it is exercised in an immoral and atrocious manner.

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Rather than simply leaving it at “She and her group can do what they want under the law”, we have individuals stating, “I defend her right to free speech”.  Let’s be more explicit so the implication of what we’re saying is clear and practical rather than abstract and theoretical – “I defend the right of the bigot Pam Geller’s right to mock, to denigrate, to make fun of Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and whatever way she wishes that is supported by the law.”

So the law gives bullies a right to bully others – why are we defending the right of the bully to bully?

Some Disclaimers Before We Dig Deeper

Conversations around such issues tend towards the counterproductive because they tend towards accusing leaders and activists of character weaknesses which are used to construct ad hominem arguments.  Having seen years of discussions tend towards the negative, let me offer the following disclaimers:

Disclaimer 1: I do not consider the people who are advocating these positions as sellouts.  They are not suck-ups, weak, or anything of the sort.  They are the people that are out there and speaking on our behalf when surreal event after surreal event piles on us, and I for one am thankful for what they do.  I am most certainly not with those who casually throw out the munafiq label.  My comments are directed at ideas, principles, and actions and meant to be constructive.  The examples used are simply demonstrative of points I’m making, not what I think our fellow activists actually believe or would support.

Disclaimer 2: I believe that the individuals who have stated such are doing the best they can to shield the greater community from further negative scrutiny, loss of rights, and far more.  Again, we owe a debt of gratitude to those activists and leaders who are daily on the forefront fighting to protect the rights and livelihoods of Muslims in the West.  I believe even in this case, they are acting with the best of intentions with these imperatives in mind.  If anyone has to deal with harassment, threats, and vitriol from such people personally, it’s those on the proverbial front line defending us.

Disclaimer 3: It must be repeated that these activists do not support the bigoted comments of people like Pam Geller – they find those comments as abhorrent and detestable as the rest of us.  What they are defending is not the statements, but the right under the law to make such statements, so please make sure that distinction is understood.

Having said that, let’s examine why it is problematic to defend a person’s right to hate speech.

Misunderstanding the Virtue of Tolerating vs Defending a Right

It is considered a patient virtue and a sign of intellectual consistency when a person can say, “I disagree with you, but I’ll defend your right to say and hold the views that you have, as horrible as I think they are.”  Thus, the left-leaning ACLU has no problem, in principle, defending Rush Limbaugh’s right to free speech, though much of it has been damaging war propaganda during the Bush years that has contributed to millions dead abroad in Iraq and Palestine, not to mention the race- and gender-baiting.

At a higher level, the idea is this – if we don’t agree with things people say or do, as long as what they do is within the law, we should be willing to defend their right to do whatever is within the law.  Is that really a virtue?

Let’s put that to the test – until last month Denmark, among other EU nations, held laws allowing for the existence of bestiality brothels, stating such activity was legal unless the activity caused physical harm to the animal.

During the time this was “the law”, would anyone have said, “I completely disagree with this act, it is abhorrent, but I respect and will even defend the right of people who take part in this”?  I would imagine not – what you would have said was, “That’s disgusting, and the laws need to be amended so that such disgusting, perverted behavior is permanently illegal and violators are severely punished.”

Some of you may even take a different tack and try saying, “These discussions are apples and oranges anyway, you can’t compare bestiality with hate speech.”  The example is used to demonstrate a larger point – when the law allows people to engage in acts we find abhorrent (sex with animals, mocking the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), using the N word, etc), we shouldn’t defend the right of the individual to continue in their disgusting action – we should be willing to say the action itself is immoral, it is wrong, and the law is wrong and needs changing.

What we can say is that while the law is in place, we will abide by it, and allow others the ability to practice is it, but we should never say we will stand to defend their right to practice whatever disgusting thing the law allows.  We can tolerate their practice of the law, but not condone it – we should oppose it and put ourselves forward as proponents for changing or refining the law to something better than what it is.

There is No Virtue in Discriminatory Hate Speech

The right to discriminatory hate speech should not be defended, but condemned.  I repeat, the right to do so needs condemnation, not just the actual speech itself.  The right of groups to promote ethnic, gender, religious, and other types of bigotry should be curtailed and not seen as a virtue as even some of our supporters in academic circles, such as Dr. Brian Levin, see it.

When this is said, free speech advocates as well as bigots are quick to point out that you can’t ban speech simply because you’re offended, and I largely agree with this.  However, discriminatory hate speech is a subset of all types of offensive speech.  For Venn diagram aficionados, it’s the smaller circle contained in a bigger circle.  It is some, but not all types of offensive speech.

Discriminatory hate speech should be criminalized.  Dr. Levin states the following in his article:

What separates Geller from the terrorists who attacked her venue is not hate but violence. In the United States the Supreme Court has, over recent decades, fully protected the expression of viewpoints that are offensive, bigoted and even provocative as long as they do not constitute a genuine threat. Funeral protestors, homophobes, flag burners, anti-Semites, and Geller do not, and should not, need government approval to hawk their hateful wares in the marketplace of ideas, nor do we need to buy it. I am far more concerned about terrorists, as well as religious, government, and academic institutions, limiting my right to free speech than I am about the purveyors of hate exercising theirs.

What Dr. Levin and the Supreme Court fails to realize is that discriminatory hate speech is the dehumanization of people, particularly minorities, in an effort to marginalize them, take away their rights, and in many cases cause violence and death to them.  In the case of Geller et al, it is clear why they say Islam is not a religion belief  but a political system – the purpose is to take away the religious rights of Muslims.  It’s not simply constructive dialogue or a scholarly view with substantial research and backing.  Hate speech is a tool used to subjugate, harm, and traumatize people.  That it leads to either lone-actor or state-sanctioned violence is undeniable and the examples are many, from Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Japanese internment to bigots like Michelle Malkin making the case for profiling Muslims (acknowledging that it is a human rights violation, but hey, we did it justifiably [according to her] with the Japanese, let’s just do it again).

How can you not see the free use of discriminatory free speech as anything less than constituting “…a genuine threat”?  We’re grudgingly arriving at a tipping point where we finally understand socio-political grievances are the cause of terrorism and not Graeme Wood’s “ISIS is Islamic…very Islamic” take on the world.  Why are we not able then to make the connection between the hate speech that catalyzes the war drums?

So How Should We Respond?

I largely agree with what has already been said – that we don’t support vigilante action from the Muslim community – we don’t support individuals attempting to take the law into their hands and causing harm to others.  That since the law allows hate speech, people are allowed to peddle it.  At the same time, we should be at the vanguard of promoting better laws rather than accepting them because others tell us these values are virtuous.  There is no virtue in allowing hate speech, either from majorities towards minorities or vice versa.  On the contrary, they are the proverbial “Fire” in the theater, speech that has a high likelihood of causing the physical harm including the loss of life.

So am I saying we should advocate changing the law?  That’s very ambitious and a lifetime undertaking – I’m not saying we can or should.  What I am saying is that you should know, in principle, your own values with respect to the law and articulate your position against it as such.  In other words, we should be able to say, “I do not believe in the legality of hate speech.  I do not believe in the legality of calling African Americans the “N” word, I don’t believe in the legality of the religious bigotry of Pam Geller or Geert Wilders (here or abroad), I don’t believe in the legality of any type of stated bigotry, especially of minority groups who are harmed, intimidated, and marginalized because of it.”

After that, I would expect rote memorization of every nasty quote she and her supporters have made in speeches and online to be recited for full effect.  Any time an interview occurs, this person is a racist and a bigot, here’s what they say, I don’t support what they say or their abuse of free speech to push bigotry.

Final Thoughts

We need not resort to violence to defend the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), nor should we defend the right of others to attack him as a roundabout way to defend him or ourselves.  A better defense is a strong offense – turn the discussion back on the bigots and make them have to defend their bigotry and don’t be afraid to respectfully break with our allies, stating that their values, while well-intended, have far-reaching consequences that net-net are more harmful than beneficial.

Additionally, bigger picture, we as Muslims ought to consider what our own fundamental values are – is unrestricted free speech one of our principles?  Do we hold to the idea that the more offensive speech is, the more right it has to be protected?  These are not difficult questions to research and answer, but the answers may be difficult to digest if we attempt to make our value system appear as though it fits neatly and cleanly within another.

Simply ask yourself if Islam condones racism or racist speech.  The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said in his final sermon:

“There is no preference of an Arab over a Non-Arab or a white over a black or a black over a white except by the (degree) of piety .”

To put it in modern terms, a person is not judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  How about religious bigotry, does our faith condone insulting other faiths or their gods?  Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an:

And do not insult those they invoke other than Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge. Thus We have made pleasing to every community their deeds. Then to their Lord is their return, and He will inform them about what they used to do [6:108]

I can go on, but the point is that unrestrained free speech is simply not one of our principles.  We ourselves do not stand for and condone discriminatory, insulting hate speech in our faith, and we ought to provide our perspective and elevate the discourse rather than giving the impression that we are content with the right of dialogue to wallow in the sewers of bigotry and hatred.

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Siraaj is the Executive Director of MuslimMatters. He's spent over two decades working in dawah organizations, starting with his university MSA and going on to lead efforts with AlMaghrib Institute, MuslimMatters, and AlJumuah magazine. He's very married with wonderful children



  1. Stardusty Psyche

    May 6, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    How would you react if you came to learn Western Muslim leaders had stated, “We don’t support the views of the Ku Klux Klan, but we defend their right to walk down the streets of Baltimore and yell the “N” word at will – that’s their right”?
    Answer-I am proud to live in a country that is so free that does in fact happen.

    What would you say if they issued a press release stating, “We don’t support the views of Neo-Nazis, but we will defend their right to promote a pro-white anti-immigrant agenda”?
    Answer-That is exactly what I would say.

    Why would Muslims stand by bigots and defend their right to spread bigotry and hatred?
    Answer-The Constitution of the United States of America.

    • GregAbdul

      May 6, 2015 at 11:28 AM

      no, I am not proud nor do I defend hate speech…and neither does this author. Hate speech is protected just like porn and alcohol and gas guzzling cars….everything legal is not good for society and thoughtful people, who want a better world, do not stand with the bad in the name of freedom.

    • Leafless Tree

      May 6, 2015 at 7:28 PM

      Incorrect answer Stardusty.

    • Anonymous

      May 9, 2015 at 8:17 AM

      The Constitution is not a document revealed by God. It is not inherently perfect and therefore can be amended and interpreted. The Founding Fathers never would have accepted or tolerated
      many actions today that were considered immoral in their time but which are supposedly shielded by the Constitution now.

  2. GregAbdul

    May 6, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    al hamdulillah. I know the Muslims in Texas are in a bad place. I see great work coming from them and I wonder how often they have to take wishy-washy public statements and positions in the name of peace. It was fine to not protest the Garland event, but as a tactic, it is foolish to think that if you simply never respond when in a place were you live with a bunch of bullies/bigots in your backyard, that you are creating peace by ignoring them or giving them false platitudes. It is foolishness to think ignoring them will make them go away.

    This is the state of too many of us in the West today. We are into huge denial. We bury our heads in the sand. We shave. We take of the hijab. We hide. We pretend that those Muslims who do stand up and speak out are troublemakers. I add an important point here. Those two young men in Garland worked for the Shaytaun. They gave the enemies of Islam comfort. Imagine, at the end of their utterly boring hatefest, the police rush in and tell the haters they have been attacked! Other than a slight wound to an officer, no one is hurt, but the two Muslims stupid enough to rush an event protected by wall-to-wall law enforcement are very dead and evidence of the righteousness of the cause of mocking Prophet Muhammad. Their nothing event, that probably had 100 people in attendance is now national news, running as headlines days after the event, evidence of “the sleeper terrorists” hiding in plain sight in America.

    So we must be thoughtful when responding to the bigots and the bullies, but on the other hand, there is a big difference between a thoughtful response, given in the best manner and fear-influenced silence, that gives the hateful free reign as they go about lying about Islam and our Prophet and encouraging mistreatment of Muslims all over the world. I think “love your enemy is in the Bible. The Quran tells us to defend ourselves until the hostility ends.

    • Ismail

      May 20, 2015 at 5:34 AM

      Swadakta akhy,quite on point.

  3. Tony Overmier

    May 6, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    Who decides what constitutes hate speech? Any words that offend some one?

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 6, 2015 at 2:17 PM

      Discriminatory speech and harassment that would get you fired at work should be criminalized, period.

      • Anonymous

        May 8, 2015 at 5:54 PM

        Okay, but then, I think, people would turn the Qur’an into hate speech. It has things about the Yahood that wouldn’t fly in the secular world. If you restrict these rights in a secular world, they will turn it against us easily. The people in government are not God-conscious, they won’t protect us and they can’t. I think it’s better to have free speech, even if it’s offensive on our part, so that we can actually practice our religion in some way. The nature of the secular governments is that they keep adding laws, and man-made laws are burdensome and destructive.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 8, 2015 at 6:02 PM

          2 Points:

          1. Hate speech laws already exist in many western nations (eg Canada, the Netherlands). Geert Wilders was convicted for the same statements he made here. The UN already has a number of charters signed into law banning bigotry of all types of protected groups while simultaneously affirming and protecting religious freedom. This has been the case since the earlier 1970s.

          2. What is mentioned about the Jewish people in the Qur’an can be found in the Bible and Torah. One of the attacks on our faith is that it is simply a bad copy/paste job of the bible. If that’s the case, then you’ll find similar stories in the bible (and more) about the Jewish people.

      • Anonymous

        May 8, 2015 at 11:34 PM

        Brother Siraaj Muhammad, we do not live in the Netherlands, or Canada nor are we bound by UN resolutions. Our ultimate authority is the Constitution of the United States of America, including the 1st and 14th amendments.

        Your proposals are violations of the constitution and would require the repeal of the 1st amendment, which should never and will never happen.

        You are simply wrong about the supposed mistranslations of the Qur’an and Sunnah.
        …Allah loveth not the unbeliever…
        …strike at their necks…
        …cut off their fingertips…
        …kill the doer and the one to whom it was done…
        …stone them…
        …whip them…
        …beat her…
        …women have deficient minds…
        …rape and impregnate your pagan slaves…
        …Jews are the vilest of creatures…

        I can give you dozens and dozens of verses that say these things in explicit language. Go to and The Qur’an and the Sunnah absolutely are hate speech. By your rules they would have to be banned.

        And yes, the Bible says to kill all people in the land we now call Israel or Palestine and take the land. It says to keep the virgin girls. That is why Likud was founded on the principle of stealing all land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River for Israel.

        Two wrongs don’t make a right.

      • Siraaj

        May 9, 2015 at 12:00 AM

        I’ve read the Quran cover to cover multiple times in English and Arabic. I’ve reviewed interpretation on contentious topics. Some of the statements you’ve pointed out are out of context while some (rape and impregnate slaves…?) I’ve not come across. Please do point out the relevant text, first I’m seeing this.

        For the Muslim, Allah’s Law comes first. However, we also abide by the laws of the land. If the law of the land says I have to a traffic ticket for speeding, I have to respect that.

        In any democratic nation, laws are made by the people for the people. Interpretations can vary. Laws can change to accommodate new and better understandings of the world.

        While it is true that you are not bound by any of what you’ve mentioned, your argument is essentially that if the law is one way, you are bound by it and that’s it. During the days of slavery, you would have supported it because its the law. If you were in Germany, you would have supported the right of citizens to visit animal brothels. In America, you support late-term abortions that murder children who could otherwise survive outside the womb if their brains weren’t cracked open inside the stomach of the mother. You would keep the vote of a black man 3/5ths a white mans.

        On and on it goes, because in your view, all laws on the books must be supported. There is no moral imperative to fight to change laws when they make no sense.

        As I’ve said to everyone else here, we already have free exercise of religion and enforced criminalization of hate speech, harassment, and discrimination in the private sector, college campuses, and other areas in the US, and as well in many western nations. These nations have been practicing these laws for decades as has the private sector, and this bogeyman about religious rights disappearing is a figment of the imagination.

      • Marty

        May 16, 2015 at 9:19 AM

        Pamela is a very courageous woman. She is aware of Islam and so am I. My final word is yes to Muslims living in post Christian countries, no to Sharia.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 16, 2015 at 12:32 PM

          Hi Marty

          If by shariah you mean implementing the hudood, that is, classic penal code laws, no one is trying to do that.

          But the word “shariah” is an umbrella term for all religious acts Muslims do. For example, a Muslim might say, “the shariah requires us to pray 5 times a day” or “the shariah requires us to not eat pork” or “the shariah requires we slaughter animals by saying Gods name before taking its life.”

          When PG says she’s not against Muslims but shariah, it causes a lot of confusion because the shariah isn’t just the penal code. And she knows this well. Her stance, like ayaan hirsi ali, is you can be Muslim in name, but you can’t practice your faith or hold any sincerely held beliefs.

          I wish I could chalk this up to ignorance, but I already know she knows better.

          • Marty

            May 17, 2015 at 7:07 AM

            I appreciate your response, and would like to add that just because you meet resistance of Islam through healthy criticism, that is not grounds for hate speech.

            Sharia is a way of life that comes from Islam, true? This is incompatible with the west, true! We have to bend to your way of thinking. Our multicultural institutions slap the racist card of anyone who resists Islam. Islam is supposed to be a revelation from Allah, this can not change! The west is built on the ideas coming from the bible, not the Qur,an. There will be a dark political future in the west if Islam continues to push its way through. A constant erosion of freedom to criticise the prophet-hood of Mohamed, the document called he Qur’an, Muslim persecution of Christians, etc.
            In my opinion this is not because Islam is true, but because we in the west have abandoned the only truth that is found in the bible. The truth is found in the person of Jesus, not your false prophet. Try not to be offended and
            do not make the same mistake as my secular friends have done, do not reject the offer the Son of God has given you.

      • 4peace

        May 18, 2015 at 4:18 PM

        Dear Marty,
        When Jesus came, Jews claimed he is a false prophet. Because they ignored the truth in him.
        Now the people who claim to be the followers of Jesus are not believing in another prophet
        and behaving exactly like Jews who ignored Jesus.
        Isn’t strange.
        Always look for the truth and follow it.

      • Kuffar Khanum

        March 23, 2016 at 11:35 PM

        In that case, vast portions of the Quran containing discriminatory speech towards idol-worshippers should be blacked out, and all commentary or preaching based on them banned, since they offend members of idol-worshipping religions. And as for the funny argument of “Jesus was called a false Prophet too” implying that the same is being done to Muhammad, well, that is what Muslims are doing to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as well (and to various other Mahdi wanna-bes).

    • Dyyf

      May 19, 2015 at 10:50 AM

      “You would keep the vote of a black man 3/5ths a white mans.”

      That was for census purposes (and representation purposes) only. Plus it was determined to be unjust. And that’s the key difference here between the West and Dar-al-Islam (DAI), here in the West we believe justice can be arrived at through reason and reasoned debate; in DAI it’s “whatever Allah says” it is.

      We also have decided that standing up to oppression and political terrorism where it rears its head is part of justice. That’s why the Selma marches stood up to the unjust Jim Crow laws of the old South and why Gellar is standing up to the similar political terrorism of DAI. Given that, given that both Selma and the world today people are being oppressed (by the White Democratic power structure in the past and DAI’s leaders today) it is incumbent upon all justice-seeking persons to stand up to DAI’s oppression or to strongly support it.

  4. Sarah

    May 6, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    Quite frankly yes, most proponents of free speech give a loud YES to your questions about neo-nazism etc. I myself support free speech unless it is inciting to violence etc – which is where your conceptualization of ‘certain kinds of hate speech being worthy of condemnation’ is useful.

    I may hate what someone says, but I’m not going to deny them their right to say it. And I honestly don’t think that that’s what the Prophet did – the Sahaba used to itch to punish those who insulted him, but the only times that someone was stopped/punished by the Prophet was when they incited violence against him. At least, that’s what I’ve understood.

    Perhaps I hold to this strongly because I’ve lived in places where free speech is not adhered to. Free speech is the entire reason you’re able to have this conversation as a Muslim, online and in the US. I understand that there are bazillions of double standards, but frankly the definitions of ‘hate speech’ are easily malleable in reality when they’re placed into law.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 6, 2015 at 2:23 PM

      Thanks for stopping by and adding your comment =)

      It’s interesting to me that when that viral video of the woman walking the streets of ny and people made either lewd comments or statements like, “Hi, how are you?” all of it was deemed sexual harassment and not an exercise of free speech in a public space. When this was pointed out, people said, but women feel harassed and threatened because they don’t know if it’s just men being stupid or if it’s building to something else.

      And I agree with that point, but I would simply extend it to all hate speech. Many (though not all) minorities feel threatened when we hear hate speech calling for us to be removed, banned, to get out of our country, etc. I would imagine many African Americans feel a sense of an existential threat when such hate speech is uttered or promoted.

      But if we really feel that it’s perfectly ok to hold racist views, then we should have no problem with them taking public positions of authority to oversee them as well. We shouldn’t target people because of their guaranteed free speech rights., after all.


      • Bobby

        December 12, 2016 at 10:15 PM

        You do realize that we have South Park & Family Guy in the West, right? You do realize Jews & Christians & Mormons see their religions mocked all the time. Is there some reason Muslims deserve special insulation from the religious satire people from these other faith communities have always been grown-up enough to deal with?

  5. Heather

    May 6, 2015 at 12:11 PM

    I think you are missing the point of what freedom of speech really means. A threat is not freedom of speech, so if the bigot states go do x….and someone does x, that is not free speech. If someone calls you a name or draws a picture, well that is free speech and the following applies: “sticks and stones may break my bones but names and lies won’t hurt me.” I think most people know a bigot when they see them and feel that to break the bigot’s bad behavior you can not engage them in an argument, you let them speak all they want until they cross the line. Further, I think that this particular “bigot” is not a Muslim so why would the rules of the Prophet apply to her? By insisting she adhere to the Prophet’s word, Isn’t that forcing religion upon someone else, isn’t that giving her justification to continue being a bigot? This person has no manners plain and simple. They are looking to start a fight. Why pay attention to her? Why give her and others like her ammunition? A narcissist or psychopath will grab onto anything and use it to pull others into their game. The acknowledgment alone gives them justification to continue – whether they come out on top or not. So why pay mind to them, pay mind to what is going on to make sure no physical harm comes from the person(s), but responding to it, why? I think those that are saying they support the “bigot” are saying so because they recognize that if they do not then someone can turn around and say your depiction of women is bigoted and goes against my religion or the wearing of a beard is a health hazard or whatever other nitpicking items one can pull out of their holy book to justify why you can or cannot do something. Should your advice to speak the word be put to practice rather than saying I support your right to free speech and moving on – I suspect a lot of people will be arguing and fighting – this could go on forever as you implied in your opening paragraphs.
    A lot of what you state in your opinion and in the current Islamic dialog in general is offensive to me as a woman and an American, but I support you and will defend your right to your opinion and practicing of your faith. However, if anyone tries to force their way/religion/et al upon me – then you have entered into my personal space. That is not acceptable, there is an old saying of the native’s to the Americas that goes something like this,” your rights stop where my rights start.” Similar to the saying of, “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” So in everything you say and do you must be aware that the same applies to you. That is what freedom is about. Rather than focusing on words – wouldn’t it be better to focus on how as humans we can learn to love and respect each other regardless of what “bigots” say and do. By focusing our energy and attention to people that have no clue about the “golden rules” of harmony, love, respect, and peace we are losing all of those that want to live happily with our neighbors and spend our time enjoying our family and friends – helping others who ask for help and/or need help. I don’t know about you, but I think it starts with regular people talking about positive things more than negative things. People focusing on our similarities not how bad our differences or preferences are in comparison to one another but celebrating the differences in a positive way. Peace, love and respect.

    Best regards,

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 6, 2015 at 2:29 PM

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for your comment. My point may not have been as clear as I intended, so let me quote what I wrote in the article:

      “So am I saying we should advocate changing the law? That’s very ambitious and a lifetime undertaking – I’m not saying we can or should. What I am saying is that you should know, in principle, your own values with respect to the law and articulate your position against it as such. In other words, we should be able to say, “I do not believe in the legality of hate speech. I do not believe in the legality of calling African Americans the “N” word, I don’t believe in the legality of the religious bigotry of Pam Geller or Geert Wilders (here or abroad), I don’t believe in the legality of any type of stated bigotry, especially of minority groups who are harmed, intimidated, and marginalized because of it.””

      So, for example, the Supreme Court confirmed the right of late term abortions in Roe v Wade. The law stands, and I’m not likely in a position to change it either, so if someone asks me, won’t you stand with this person’s right to a late term abortion, I will say no, I don’t support the law to begin with, though I will not stop others who are attempting to exercise their rights under it. Do what you want, but I’m certainly not DEFENDING your exercise of it. I think the law is wrong.

      I’m not saying we can or should force Geller to change, but we should be clear that we think the idea of legalized hate speech of any kind is wrong.

      • Anonymous

        May 6, 2015 at 5:15 PM

        You’re welcome. I understand what you are saying. I am not understanding how you separate the two. I don’t think you can. My family members do many things I do not agree with, short of harming another I stand with them on a philosophical level not a personal level. Further, I think having special rules for groups of people further divided us in our quest for harmonious living. Haters exist all over the world and if we give in to micro managing our positions to cover “hate speech” vs “opinion speech” then our time is wasted.
        In other words don’t oil the squeaky wheel. Polish the working wheels. Throw out the wheels beyond repair.
        Thank you for the thought provoking blog. Hopefully conversations like you started will become the way all people communicate!

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 6, 2015 at 5:20 PM

        Hi Heather,

        I would separate it the same way we do so in the private sector, in the work environment. Protections against discrimination, either in hiring practices or in the work environment itself are already in place.

        Sexual harassment, racial, religious, age, whatever group you can think of has protection from hate speech by law. The laws already exist, all I’m saying is, you can potentially extend it to the public square (not saying it will actually happen). I would rather people not feel harassed, threatened, and scared because it is not clear if we’re dealing with a random big mouth bigot, or someone with violent tendencies and inclinations eg the North Carolina shooter.

        • Heather

          May 6, 2015 at 5:38 PM

          Good points indeed. I would say that using speech the same way you do obvious harassment is a gray area that depending upon the way the wind blows can cause irrevocable damage. There has got to be a way to turn the minds of people towards the power of kindness.
          I believe (probably naively) that people that act out of hate are in fear and have never known true unconditional love …. I know I am getting off point with that.
          To stay on point the gray area of speech as a crime means anytime anyone feels “threatened” legitimate or not then prosecution begins …. I don’t want to live in a world like that. It will be a never ending soap opera. Much like what is going on today in the world. There has to be another way to achieve peace and piece of mind for all.

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 6, 2015 at 5:42 PM

        I agree that it would take us into a gray area, but I would rather people fear harming others and running afoul of discrimination, and exercise caution and restraint rather than abuse an unchecked right while intimidating and harassing others.

  6. Tamer

    May 6, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Just so people understand what free speech legally means.. here is a quick list of caselaw from the Supreme Court of the United States:

    Freedom of speech does not include the right:

    To incite actions that would harm others (e.g., “[S]hout[ing] ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.”). Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
    To make or distribute obscene materials. Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957).
    To burn draft cards as an anti-war protest. United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).
    To permit students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration. Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).
    Of students to make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event. Bethel School District #43 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).
    Of students to advocate illegal drug use at a school-sponsored event. Morse v. Frederick, __ U.S. __ (2007).

    Freedom of speech includes the right:

    Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag). West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
    Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”). Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
    To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages. Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).
    To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
    To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions). Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).
    To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest). Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).


  7. Olivia

    May 6, 2015 at 3:23 PM

    It is already known that the speech of Muslims is often incriminated for “inciting terrorism” even if it is not inciting a direct attack but does exactly what is mentioned abt these islamophobes; discriminates and hates on non Muslims alongside a zeal for weapons and violence and “jihad”. Considering the rise of white conservative terrorism this speech and sort of event incites terrorism and should be a crime. If Muslims did an event like this no doubt they would be under surveillance and arrested.

    • Anonymous

      May 6, 2015 at 5:24 PM

      How do you think they caught these would be gunmen? Why do you think the government is not watching this women’s group? The government watches all groups of people who have the potential to incite violence. This is how they shut down the kkk from their reign of terror, the various other Waco type groups …. Be strong and don’t believe the hype. America works and actively seeks to right their wrongs but by taking away core principals you take away what works about america. This way of doing things is slow but it works and is why millions of people come here. To escape tyranny of the rich, tyranny of traditions …. The chance to be who they want to be. Unfortunately with that you have to accept all people even those that are less than kind – it is in our thoughts and actions as kind people that we rise above the vitriol they espouge.

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 6, 2015 at 5:39 PM

        One of America’s core principles is that the interpretation of laws can change with time when the practicality of previous interpretation fails. We are decades past the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King Jr which itself was close to a century past the freeing of all slaves.

        At any point in time, someone could have said, leave segregation as is, this country works, it’s great, cant you see it’s a superpower? Can’t you see the economic prosperity? But the reality is we’ve refined the law and its interpretation to accommodate better practices.

        Allowing hate speech which incites people to block another’s right to religious practice, that allows marginalizing, harassing, and intimidating others should be criminalized, in my view.

        • Anonymous

          May 6, 2015 at 5:48 PM

          The government watches everyone is the point, not just Muslims. They don’t jump is the agony of the process. During the civil rights movement the arguments you state were used but despite all of the calls for separate but equal – the right thing was done. It was done by people not the government – the government heard the case brought by the people and sided with the people. A slow process. Now even slower is getting 100% of hearts and minds to move away from race as anything other than a label of division.

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 6, 2015 at 6:07 PM

        Yes, and in this case, I think the right thing is not allowing hate speech that dehumanizes, discriminates, and harasses protected groups by age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and so on. While the US and likewise the population catches up with that ideal, I’ll simply consider myself and others like me on the bleeding edge of positive change ;)

        In reality, I have no aspiration to change the law, but I voice my fundamental disagreement with it’s interpretation and the idea that we should defend such an interpretation. Defending laws that allow bullies to bully, in my view, is antithetical to the very nondiscriminatory framework of the constitution and the protections afforded to all groups, majorities and minorities.

        • Anonymous

          May 6, 2015 at 6:15 PM

          Unfortunately. That is what bullies do they exploit any weak point they see to get their way. Fighting bullies at the root cause of bullying will end the exploitation of our amendment rights. Not taking away your rights because of the bully. Then they win.

    • Peter Hall

      May 16, 2015 at 10:13 AM

      “The Rise of White Conservative terrorism”????

      You have to be joking, sorry but what planet are you living on?

      BTW when was the last conservative white terrorist attack on a Muslim???

  8. S. N. Smith

    May 6, 2015 at 4:53 PM

    5 Reasons Why Even Charlie Hebdo Wants Nothing to Do With Islamaphobe Pamela Geller

  9. S. N. Smith

    May 6, 2015 at 5:50 PM

    How Muslim-Americans Can Avoid Being Trolled by Israel-Firsters

    The clip is worth watching also.

  10. awake

    May 6, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Your prophet is dead, never to return. He does need protection from incendiary speech. If he does, it’s time to find a new prophet.

    In the U.S., the Constitution is clear regarding the freedom of speech. Violent vigilante justice will never be codified in the rule of law, nor tolerated by the masses in a pluralistic secular democracy. These Muslims have played right into their hands and have validated the necessity of the event itself.

    Because of the words and actions of Muslims here in the U.S. and abroad, the narrative has substantially changed, and the amending of laws is truly becoming more tangible, though not in the way you might desire.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 7, 2015 at 2:22 AM

      Hi awake, thanks for stopping by and appreciate your comments.

      Firstly, I don’t dispute that the interpretation on first amendment rights protecting all offensive speech including hate speech in the public domain is clear. I also agree with you that vigilante justice is wrong and what occurred at the event was wrong. I further agree with you that laws will change in ways we won’t like, and I would add thats been going on for quite some time.

      What I am saying is that our faith doesn’t sanction discriminatory hate speech – I ended my post with quotes from Islamic texts on racism and religious bigotry. It is not from our value system and we should not defend anyone’s right to it. It would be like telling a conservative to defend someone’s right to late-term abortion – yes, it’s the law, but the values conflict means most against the ruling would rather see the law conform to their values in the best case, and at the very least disagree with the law and reject any notion of defending it. The same would be true if one were to ask a progressive to defend laws barring same-sex marriage.

      Pam Geller is a noted bigot and head of a hate organization. Even this last episode, the media has unequivocally deemed her speech hate speech, one bigoted act in a long history of bigoted acts.

      I have no plans to change the law, but I reserve the right to disagree with the extent it goes in allowing discriminatory hate speech. In other discussions, I was pressed to give more details as to how I can justify it or what the parameters would look like it I did advocate for it. I justified it by pointing out the harm and trauma, physical and emotional to targeted groups. I further stated discrimination and harassment laws in the workplace should simply be extended elsewhere. They allow for plenty of offensive speech while protecting for against harassment and discrimination in religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality, age, veteran status, and so on among other groups. I think it’s the moral thing to do, but few if any will want to enact such, and I’m not interested in really pushing it, and I say as much in the article itself.

      • GregAbdul

        May 8, 2015 at 10:39 AM

        as salaam alaikum Brother, I like to consider myself your brother in being a “conscious incompetent” when it comes to our faith. the issue is, maybe you are focusing a little too much on the legal aspect. Hate speech, harassment and discrimination are really social phenomena that occur as cultural practice. We have tons of laws banning discrimination and harassment on the books today. The laws should not be repealed, but in America there is still rampant discrimination hate and hate speech and the laws only make the hateful people find tricks and gimmicks (mock the prophet contest) to get around clear American legal history. Jefferson (America’s first closet Muslim President) said all men are created equal, read the Quran and protected Islam, yet white America has spent almost 400 years seeing one group after another as subhuman. They like to talk about fixing Muslim hearts and minds, but clearly, here in the West there are plenty of hearts and minds that need fixing as well. I agree that those who defend Geller go too far. The bigger problem, I think, are those who try to pretend there is no problem for Muslims in the West post 9/11, because we do have Muslims who are irrational haters, who feed off the Gellers and just like the two dummies in Garland, they are all too loud when the get their chance. The haters and extremist off both ends feed off each other and make life hard for us in the middle. Do you really think passing a law further restricting hate speech will change the polluted hearts of both the crazy Muslims and the crazy non Muslims?

      • Siraaj

        May 8, 2015 at 1:27 PM

        Salaam alaykum Greg,

        I agree with you in what you’ve said, and although I did say I’m not really advocating changing the law, you’re right that the conversation has gone there.

        The real point is that we should not be proud of the idea that we are defending someone’s right to mock the Prophet (saw). There are profound misunderstandings of our relationship with him and what it means to love him when that occurs.

        The response is usually, “that’s just offensive speech, be tough and talk back!” or “you want unique protections for your faith.” Reality is our faith doesn’t tolerate it for anyone else either, and this same type of understanding, strangely, doesn’t apply when you go into the office to work. Suddenly, common sense prevails and people don’t want to be or feel discriminated against or harassed in the office.

        As I’ve said in the article, and ive said in the comments, I’m not interested in changing the law. However, if you want to know my view on how to make such a law fair not just for Muslims, but for all people, all you need do is look at laws that already exist.

        I will add other nations that are considered free, western nations have already criminalized racism and inciting racism. Would love to see the same here as a start.

    • suhail ahmad

      May 15, 2015 at 3:49 PM

      Why is there this dualistic policy for muslims and non-muslims?. On the one hand, muslims are attacked and persecuted in the west and these governments are taking radical actions to oppress muslims further. Yet, the very same governments turn a blind eye to zionist terrorists the likes of Pam Geller. This woman openly advocates the annihilation of not only the Palestinians, but muslims at a whole but nobody scrutinises her zionist beliefs, which are as follows –

      1) talmud sanhedrin 59a, page 400, soncino edition, 1935.
      A heathen (gentile/non-jew) who pries into the torah and other jewish scriptures is condemned to death, for it is written, it is OUR inheritence, not theirs.

      2) 57a Gittin, London, soncino press, page 261, translated by M. Simon 1936.
      Balaam (Jesus) is raised from the dead and being punished in boiling hot semen. Those who mock the words of the jewish sages and sin against israel are boiled in hot excrement.

      3) talmud sanhedrin, baba mezia, 114a-114b.
      Only jews are human. Gentiles are animals.

      4) talmud sanhedrin 57a, page 388, soncino edition 1935.
      For murder, whether of a Cuthean (gentile) by a Cuthean, or of an israelite by a Cuthean, punishment is incurred; but of a Cuthean by an israelite, there is no death penalty.

      5) babylonian talmud. Funk & wagnall’s jewish encyclopaedia, 1907, gentile, page 617. Even the best of the gentiles should be killed.

      6) talmud, moed kattan, baba mezia, 114a-114b, soncino edition 1935, talmud sanhedrin.
      If a jew is tempted to do evil, he should go to a city where he is not known and do the evil there.

      7) Funk & Wagnall’s jewish encyclopaedia, 1907, gentile, page 621.
      Gentiles’ flesh is as the flesh of asses and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

      8) talmud sanhedrin, 58b, page 398, soncino edition. 1935.
      If a heathen (gentile) hits a jew, the gentile must be killed. Hitting a jew is hitting God.

      9) talmud, babba kamma, 37b, page 211, soncino edition, 1935.
      If an ox of an israelite gores an ox of a Canaanite, there is no liability. But if an ox of a Canaanite (gentile) gores an ox of an israelite, the payment is to be in full.

      10) talmud baba mezia 24a, also affirmmed in baba kamma 113b, talmud sanhedrin, page 666, soncino edition, 1935.
      If a jew finds an object lost by a heathen (gentile), it does not have to be returned.

      11) talmud sanhedrin, 76a, page 470, soncino edition, 1935.
      God will not spare a jew who marries his daughter to an old man or takes a wife for his infant son or returns a lost article to a Cuthean (gentile).

      12) talmud sanhedrin, 57a, page 388, soncino edition, 1935.
      What a jew obtains by theft from a Cuthean (gentile), he may keep.

      13) talmud, babba kamma, 37b, soncino edition, 1935.
      Gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has exposed their money to israel.

      14) talmud, babba kamma, 113a, page 664-665, soncino edition, 1935.
      Jews may use lies (subterfuges) to circumvent a gentile.

      15) talmud yebamoth, 98a, soncino edition, 1936.
      All gentile (non-jew) children are animals.

      16) talmud, abodah zarah, 22a-22b, soncino edition, 1935.
      Gentiles prefer sex with cows.

      17) talmud, abodah zarah, 67b, soncino edition, 1935.
      The vessels of gentiles, do they impart a worsened flavour to the food cooked in them?.

      18) talmud sanhedrin 105a-b, page 717, soncino edition, 1935.
      Balaam (Jesus) fornicated with his jackass.

      19) 57a Gittin, talmud sanhedrin, pg.261, soncino press 1936, translated by Simon M. Trans
      jewish priests raised balaam (Jesus) from the dead and punished him in boiling hot semen.

      20) talmud sanhedrin 106a and 105a-b, pg.726, soncino edition 1935.
      She who was the descendant of princes and governors (the virgin Mary), played the harlot with a carpenter.

      21) talmud sanhedrin, 52b, pg.356, soncino edition, 1935.
      Jesus was lowered into a pit of dung upto his armpits. Then a hard cloth was placed within a soft one, wound round his neck and the two ends pulled in opposite directions until he was dead.

      22) talmud sanhedrin 106 soncino 1935 edition & jewish encyclopaedia, balaam, pg.469.
      Hast thou heard how old balaam (Jesus) was?. Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days. It follows that he was thirty three or thirty four years old.

      23) talmud sanhaedrin 90a, soncino edition 1935.
      Those who read the uncanonical books (new testament), will have no portion in the world to come.

      24) talmud sanhedrin 116a, soncino edition 1935.
      jews must destroy the books of the christians.

      25) The jewish press, (1988).Feb.19.8C.
      ‘Marriage to a gentile can never be sanctioned or condoned. Such a liaison classifies the woman as ‘zona’. Common parlance interprets the term ‘zona’ to refer to a prostitute.

      This woman and her followers pose a far greater threat to peace than any other so called ‘muslim terrorist’. Why is it that the US government is allowing people like her to walk freely and without legal repercussion/criminal prosecution?.

      • Ismail

        May 20, 2015 at 6:09 AM

        Audhu billah,I never thought it’s this despicable.

        • Peter Hall

          May 20, 2015 at 10:16 AM

          OMG are you for real? How many Muslims have been murdered in Western countries as a result of Pam Geller?

          How many Westerners have been Murdered as a result of muslim Extremists?

          I am trying to be fair here, but when I keep seeing denial by Muslims that Muslim extremists are the perpetrators, and not the victims.

          Are you serious? Trying to claim to be victims? The majority of victims of Muslim extremists are other Muslims. Yet the bigoted racist core of Muslims always have to bring out the Jew card, showing how racist and Bigoted they are. Please, that record is worn out, next you will try and blame Jews that 78% of Muslims are illiterate.

          That every week, for the last 25 years, and average of 3,600 Muslims are murdered by other Muslims PER WEEK. That is every week! A total 4,600,000 Muslims MURDERED by other Muslims in the Name of Allah.

          What was last weeks tally in Syria alone? 90% of all deaths in Iraq in the last decade was due to sectarian violence.

          Every week for 25 years more murdered, that in the last 25 years in Northern Ireland, yet Muslims have been doing that every week.

          However being a mindless fool, you like to blame the Jews, sorry stupid, that does not cut it.

          Muslim Extremists are the ones killing Muslims, In Syria, in Yemen, In Iraq, In Libya, In Egypt, In Sudan, In Somalia, In Aceh, In Nigeria, In Lebanon, In Gaza, In Pakistan, In Afghanistan.

          If you think all these murders are the result of the Jews, you are either delusional or brain dead.

          The biggest taker of muslim lives, are Muslim Extremists, how many Westerners have been killed fighting Isis?? NONE, ISIS has murdered a few unarmed journalists and humanitarians, but have not killed a single Westerner in battle.

          What religion was the Jordanian Pilot burned to death by Isis? What religion were the 1566 unarmed cadets murdered in Camp Speicher in Tikrit slaughtered by ISIS, were they Hindu, NOPE, Christian, NOPE, Jewish?? NOPE, they were Muslims.

          Guess who killed the 322 members of the Sunni Albu Nimr tribe?? Jews? NOPE Baptists? NOPE it was extremist Muslims.

          I do not see any Chinese or Korean victims in the following article? ONLY DEAD MUSLIMS

          So where is the outrage of the Muslim world??? No you just do not want to pull your head out of the sand and see who your enemy is, no, you want to Blame the Jews of Pam Geller.

          At the accelerated rate of Muslims killing Muslims, there soon will be none of you left to blame the Jews any more, and you can stop worrying about Pam Geller then.

          *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

  11. Tes

    May 7, 2015 at 3:17 AM

    OK. Let’s make some laws against hate speech. Let’s see where it gets Muslims. You do realize, don’t you, that every word of the Koran, every sermon, every hadith, every page of Koran school curricula will need to be fine-combed for bias, prejudice and hatred? We will be looking for bias against Christians, Jews, pagans, Hindus, Buddhists, women, children, Westerners, Easterners, gays, transsexuals, bisexuals and any other class of people who feel offended or threatened by what Muslims say or write. We will go through fatwa boards, Islamic message boards, attend sermons in mosques and observe lessons in Islamic schools to document what is being said there and who is saying it. Once we have identified the portions of Islamic thought and expression that are threatening to any class of people, we will let Muslims know that expressing those things is now against the law. I and the rest of the Americans who are threatened by anything we perceive as Islamic hate speech will launch accusations, police investigations, civil suits and criminal suits against any Muslim that persists in saying anything that promotes violence or bias against any religious, sexual, ethnic or political group in this country. We can hire teams of translators who can record and examine sermons and teachings in every Muslim mosque, Islamic center and political organization in order to thoroughly eliminate hate speech in the Muslim community. Do not think you can hide behind “political freedom” to criticize Israel: Jews feel threatened by that, and that makes it anti-Semitic hate speech. Do not think you can hide behind the Koran to claim that Christians are polytheists who are going to hell: that is hate speech too and it blasphemes Christian doctrine and that could make Christians unhappy.

    What do you think, Siraaj? Is it a plan?

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 7, 2015 at 9:58 AM

      Hi Tes,

      Thanks for stopping by and offering an interesting and thought-provoking question, greatly appreciated. There are so many things that come to mind, but I will try to summarize.

      Firstly, on-the-ground reality. With no restrictions in place, Muslim leaders, religious or otherwise, already censor most of the politically incorrect material from public view. Not that it doesn’t get out – pre-9/11, I think it would have been easier. I’m not a religiously trained scholar of our faith, but I consider myself sincerely committed to aligning myself to discovering what Allah requires of me, and that search has led me through many texts and interpretations of faith, both the theologies and the jurisprudence, from the past and present. As a former unconscious incompetent in our faith (I consider myself a conscious incompetent now, more the latter than the former anyway), and having discussed these issues privately with other religious scholars, I’m aware of what never sees the light of day. Practically speaking, most leaders, even religiously trained, articulate our beliefs as one and the same as secular western democracy. As an example, we believe we can or should stand for unrestricted (barring the exceptions that explicitly threaten life) freedom of speech, and should defend bigoted statements, even those that mock the Prophet (SAW). There may exist some political calculus there for trained leaders, but the masses are left believing this is *truly* the right thing to do, not simply a thoughtful negotiation of values to maintain our rights. My fear is that Western Islam will go the way Islam as it has in other lands – in the case of Islam in India (my own nation), it will fuse with cultural, political, and social ideas that are both alien and against our faith (our faith is not against all culture, but problematic elements in them) and people will take those ideas as though they are the faith. The immigrant experience and the 2nd generation response to remove culture and return to religion (or sadly, secularism) is enough, and the Western community should not be so arrogant to think they are immune from this. Bottom line, with all these freedoms in place, we’re far too conformist and far less concerned with what our faith *actually* says on a number of matters.

      Secondly, the implication in your statement is that the Islam is a religion of unfair bias, and perhaps all religious texts are. I would welcome someone, anyone, poring through our religious texts and bringing them out to the public. God knows, as mentioned earlier, Muslim leaders and scholars are avoiding it. I would welcome a discussion that considers, nay, demands answers rather than the current paradigm which involves a lot of ducking and dodging (which, as I mentioned earlier, happens considerably). We need our “Abysinnia” moment, if you will, where we are challenged to truly explain all our beliefs for what they are. The current paradigm has left a landmine for the iman of the common Muslim who wanders the internet and discovers detailed texts of our faith through the lens of surrounding society and attacks of hate groups who twist meaning. All of us, and I include myself, need better training in openly discussing our faith with others.

      Thirdly, to the heart of your question, I have pointed to the laws that already exist regarding discrimination in the private sector. The law distinguishes between actions and statements one makes with vs without sincerely held religious beliefs. As an example, if an employer considering hiring me checked my facebook profile and found I said, “women should stay in the kitchen, that’s where they belong”, they could immediately discount me as a candidate. On the other hand, if they discovered me saying, “women are required to cover their heads” and they knew this was because I’m a Muslim, they cannot discount me (theoretically, practically is another matter of course). The laws that exist allow us religious exemptions, allow us to express religious views and share them with others provided that sharing is consensual, and again, recognizes the difference between religious vs nonreligious views. Additionally, these laws don’t allow for the frivolous use of claiming religious exemption, eg a hate group cannot simply convert themselves to religious status as a new religion for the purpose of circumventing and gaming the system to get religious exemptions.

      Finally, as I have said repeatedly in both the article and the comments, the intent of my statements is to make clear that in principle, we should not support the areas of the law that allow for discriminatory hate speech, and that there are grounds for it. We can conform and abide by laws we disagree with, but to push further and say we defend the right of a bully to bully demonstrates just how far down the rabbit hole we’ve descended, in the circles of academia and progressive liberal political alliances while simultaneously attempting to placate conservatives. If we are not at a place where we are able to communicate the beauty of Islam, all of it, without coming off as hateful, we have a lot of work ahead of us in learning to do so without hiding it.

      Thanks again, looking forward to your response.

      • Tes

        May 8, 2015 at 1:17 AM

        To summarize your third point: you believe that potentially hateful expression due to the practice of Islam (or other religions) should still be protected by the religion clause of first amendment. Your plan would be to change the first amendment to remove everyone else’s free speech rights while keeping the freedom of religion clause to protect your own rights. You will give the freedom of religious expression to certain “valid” religious groups because you know that you will not be able to strip the entire nation of their freedom of speech while keeping it only for Muslims. Allowing some other religions to have the same freedoms as Muslims makes it almost seem fair. You are a pragmatist, after all. Is this a fair summary?

        I’m sorry to tell you there are still some flaws in your plan:
        1. There are many religious people in America. Are you sure you want to give that many people the right to free expression of their religious beliefs about Islam? Religious people have a variety of beliefs about Islam. One key belief of some people that I know (and don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger) is that Allah is actually a malign spiritual entity, who seeks to be worshiped and gain power in the earthly realm. This entity has deceived Muslims into thinking he is a god and has inspired them to create a religion around him. Would you allow such religious people to speak what they perceive to be their truth about Allah? If not, how do you plan to shut them up? Are you going to plan another “change” to the Constitution?

        2. Have you considered that reserving free speech for your approved religious groups is a form of discrimination against people who are not religious? Do you have a plan to explain to agnostics, secularists, deists, atheists and others that they are to be stripped of their rights to freedom of opinion because you think you and other religious people should exclusively have that right? Is this social justice, in your opinion?

        3. Have you considered that Americans may not give up one of their most cherished freedoms without a fight? Have you considered that your flippant and casual dismissal of the first amendment is also a dismissal of the suffering and bloodshed of countless Americans who were willing to sacrifice on behalf of securing their freedoms?

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 8, 2015 at 1:39 AM

        Hi Tes,

        Firstly, I don’t have a plan – this is simply me saying I don’t support laws that allow discrimination and harassment of protected groups, and targeting and intimidating people because of the group they come from.

        If you want to know how I would execute such a law fairly, i.e. within the framework of the Constitution itself, I would simply move what already exists for the private sector to the public – that’s it. It may need tweaks, but the basic foundation is sound. It allows for all types of speech (even consensual religious discussion), and it assumes that people have differing and contrary views of religion, that it believes in its own salvific exclusivity over all other groups.

        To your questions:

        1. I have no problem with it. When I walk in a church (and I have), I assume all the people all think I’m currently on a path to Hell, and vice versa.

        2. About atheists, deists, and secularists, they’re sincerely held views (or lack of them) are protected. So I can certainly share my views with them, but I can’t harass them with hate speech. Free speech advocates are fine with neo-nazis walking down a jewish neighborhood and waving a swastika. I’m not.

        3. As I mentioned in the beginning, I have no plan to even make an attempt to roll back those laws in the same way I will make no attempt to roll back rules on alcohol drinking to prohibition, or censor pornography, or criminalize prostitution in Nevada, or roll back gambling laws in any state.

        As with the freedom to be a bigot, the law sanctions all of these and people are free to exercise their rights. I won’t stop them. But if someone says, “Even if you don’t believe in this, you should defend the right of others to do this”, my answer is no, I will not defend their right, or act as though supporting someone’s right to commit evil, to bully, to harass, to intimidate is some kind of virtue. In my view, it isn’t. I understand the intent, but the consequences are far too damaging, and as part of my free exercise of religion, I certainly think I’m within my rights to do and state so ;)

        But just for the fun of it, let’s say I was serious about actually changing the law – I know the overwhelming majority of people would oppose it, but so what? They can argue against it – the point is that while it’s offensive to many, it’s not hate speech, it’s not targeting any protected groups and attempting to belittle or marginalize them. In any event, people are free to hear and decide as they please and advocate for or against it.


      • Tes

        May 9, 2015 at 2:49 AM

        Siraaj, you say your family is from India. Are you or your parents naturalized American citizens? I ask this because the naturalization oath has these words:

        “…that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same;”

        Whoever in your family swore this oath, did they do it sincerely? What did your parents teach you about the Constitution and free speech?

        I want you to understand that your opinion piece and subsequent comments display an attitude that many Americans have come to fear: Muslim immigrants are coming to this country, gaining citizenship by falsely swearing to the citizenship oath and waiting till their numbers increase to the point that they can strip Americans of free speech via political pressure.

        The language of the citizen oath is strong and acknowledges that there will be “domestic enemies” who will live in our nation, yet attack our Constitutional rights from within. Muslims have been and are welcome here, but there will be no compromise on the Constitution. There are a number of nations which limit free speech. Many of these countries have the economic benefits that Muslims seek. These would be ideal countries for Muslim immigration. In places where free speech is not as highly cherished, Muslims would not have to be in conflict with their fellow citizens in their attempt to enact blasphemy/hate speech laws.

    • mojo

      May 7, 2015 at 10:17 AM

      Well said Tess,
      I suspect you will not get an answer to your statement or the answer will be a change of subject (often happens).
      Come on Siraaj.

      • mojo

        May 7, 2015 at 10:21 AM

        Told you what would happen, no response to your proposal, just try and change the subject.

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 7, 2015 at 10:32 AM

        Hi Mojo,

        Thanks for stopping by. I can certainly appreciate that attention-spans and time is limited. Please read paragraph #4 which begins with “Thirdly…” which addresses the question directly.

        Apologies for burying the lead and going off into tangents.

  12. ymr

    May 7, 2015 at 3:40 PM

    Really a law can’t anything be considered hate speech. The Quran talks about how (some) of Jews are greedy for money. That, could be considered to some people as hate speech. Anything could be considered hate speech. In this day and age arguing against gay marriage is considered Homophobia. People are getting fired for arguing homosexuality is wrong. Should all sermons be censored to be sure there is no hate speech? Hate speech is a really subjective term these days.
    Okay Mr. Make a law. Tell me how this law works and how it would be enforced.

    • shawn

      May 7, 2015 at 3:47 PM

      ymr — You are over-reacting. Calm down and don’t allow your emotions to take over.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 7, 2015 at 5:02 PM

      Hi ymr,

      Thanks for the comments, as I mentioned earlier, under current law with respect to protected groups in the private sector, people cannot be harassed or targeted because of closely held sincere religious beliefs. For religions such as Islam which are centuries old, our beliefs, laws, and practices have been on the books for a while. Meaning, those religious beliefs, even if they are not liked by others, have to be left alone. This applies only to religious groups, so yes, it is possible to pull off both in practice, as we’re doing it right now.

      As I said, I don’t wish to change the law, but I do wish to say that I disagree with it in principle because it violates my value system, and as such, I don’t believe Pam Geller’s “right” to bigotry is moral or correct, so I would never claim or try to “defend” her right to bigotry.

      But if someone wants to get into what it would look like if it changed, look up laws on religious protection in the workplace, it’s long but makes for interesting reading.

      • Sarah

        May 8, 2015 at 3:35 PM

        Then I think that when crafting your argument, you should consider how you’re touching on another debate, which is “Why should the religious be granted exemptions for their beliefs in the first place?” There’s a lot of people who dislike this itself, and would certainly be very happy to see religious exemption laws nulled when they relate to issues such as propagation of views seen as discriminatory against others (e.g. words against those of other religions, women, various types of behavior considered sinful).

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 8, 2015 at 6:26 PM

          I think the law doesn’t allow certain religious practices anyway, so if there is a religion that is truly practicing hatred and discrimination towards another group, I wouldn’t mind seeing their right to it abrogated. There are plenty of times when such discussions cross the line of religious difference to hateful bigotry.

  13. shawn

    May 7, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Hannity Provides Platform For Anti-Muslim Pam Geller And Extremist Anjem Choudary To Debate

  14. Hamza

    May 8, 2015 at 10:27 PM

    Just in case any non-Muslim is reading this article…keep in mind that Siraj Muhammad’ opinions don’t necessarily reflect the view of other Muslims.

    Even though I don’t believe Pam Geller has constructive dialogue, I fully support her right to say whatever she wants. I think she’s the least of the problems that our community is facing now. The problem was the violent reaction which is causing great distress to our community now. If these 2 people hadn’t attempted murder, 99% of America wouldn’t even be aware of this Drawing contest.

    If these 2 deviant individuals really had a problem with this event, they should have organized a huge peaceful protest outside of the event. That’s how you truly expose bigots. You don’t stoop to their level by resorting to violence.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 8, 2015 at 10:38 PM

      My opinion is my own, although I’m sure others do agree with it. The UN certainly does, as do the 125 countries that have signed on to criminalize hatred and bigotry of protected groups. Canada has criminalized all forms of hate speech as has the Netherlands (which is why Geert Wilders is in America, he’s already been convicted multiple times for hate speech).

      I personally think it’s sad Muslims are so badly impacted by the surrounding value system, which takes freedom of speech to such an extreme, that they are unable to recognize they’ve internalized both the good and the bad. Our faith long ago blocked out racism and religious bigotry, and while the EU and the UN are catching up to us and moving forward, Muslims are allowing themselves to fall backward.

      It’s sad that I have to cite other nonMuslim western nations to point out this isn’t some errant idea, that the moral repugnance of the action and defending the action make no sense. Muslims should be able to look at their own principles and value system and understand this.

      • Tes

        May 9, 2015 at 1:42 AM

        As Siraaj holds up the shining example of Canada, let’s mention one interesting element of their hate speech laws as an example of the twisted and oppressive nature of these laws.

        Are you aware that the TRUTH of a statement is no defense against hate speech laws in Canada? You may state a demonstrably true fact about a “protected” group in Canada, and if it is perceived that that fact will make people hate them, then you can be prosecuted under Canada’s hate crime laws.

        Section 13(1), “Intent is not a requirement, and truth and reasonable belief in the truth is no defense.”

        In short, truth is no longer a virtue at all in Canada, since the law of the land opens true speech to criminal prosecution. The criminal courts of Canada will compel you to speak the truth when they demand it, and be silent or lie when they demand it. Canada’s hate speech law is a thing of shame, and it is a result of the fact that Canada historically does not have the same heritage of free speech as the United States.

        The “marginalized” group (A) that pressed strongly for hate speech laws is now finding that another “marginalized” group (B) is using those same laws to suppress opinions important to them (A).

        What are the other 126 states that criminalize hate speech? Do you have a link?

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 9, 2015 at 2:24 AM

        Hi Tes,

        13(1) was challenged and was repealed in 2013 :) Reasonable people can point out when something doesn’t make sense and find ways to bring it closer to what does ;)


      • Tes

        May 9, 2015 at 3:14 AM

        Section 13 was enacted in 1977 and ostensibly repealed in 2013. 36 years of legal prosecution for telling the truth.

        Now, the law seems to be in a gray area:

        Provincial law provides the courts continued access to section 13-like language:

        Read the article to find out some other aspects of Canada’s hate speech laws.

        Section 13 is a big, nasty fly Canada has let in the kitchen, and they are not going to easily get rid of it.

      • Siraaj

        May 9, 2015 at 9:27 AM

        Hi Tes,

        Have you evaluated all 36 years worth of cases that arose as having “spoken the truth” vs simply being bigoted opinions?

        Your opinion seems to be all speech and ideas are fair to express, unless you express an idea that contradicts current interpretations of the Constitution – in that case, you should leave the country and not express that opinion.

        Human behavior is interesting, and US conservatives have strangely contradictory values. For example, believes in free speech it says, but then wants to gut the constitutions first amendment by enforcing biblical law on the land. I spent many years and long hours listening to various conservative talk radio hosts, and this site simply neatly lines up with them.

        As I said before, I have no ambitions of changing any laws or telling others to do so – I simply point out that while we must respect the practice of the law by others, we’re not obligated to defend it. Doing so is a contradiction of the first amendment, and telling others they are forced to do so when they have a right to remain silent and maintain their religious beliefs is strange.

        As for myself, I’ve been in America for most of my life. First 10 years were Canadian, the rest American. I’m, for all intents and purposes, “american” in culture as well as citizenship, and I already know very well that amending laws is defending the law – defense is simply a matter of perspective. Amendments affirming equality of women and minorities is defending it and the people. If people decided they wanted free speech without bigotry protections, then let them have it – are you so afraid you can’t win in the marketplace of ideas?

        I personally have no such illusions (or in your case, unsubstantiated fears) that these laws will change, or immigrants will push against it. Unrestrained freedom of speech is part of the American DNA and isn’t going anywhere. You may note that many Muslims and Muslim activists support and defend it, hence the title of my article.

      • Ismail

        May 20, 2015 at 6:17 AM

        Siraaj,I do agree with your opinion,100%,you’ve enlightened me coz I would have reacted just like the 2 shabab who went to that event to murder.jazakAllah for your knowledge and may Allah increase it.

    • Tes

      May 9, 2015 at 4:47 PM

      1. It is my opinion that you should not enter a country and swear an oath of citizenship under false pretenses. It is my opinion that people who are entering the country should be vetted to ensure that they are not planning to overthrow the rights of the people who live here. As you have noted, most citizens of this country are avid supporters of our first amendment rights. They are asking themselves why they have to defend these rights from people that they generously gave citizenship to. Maybe you can tell me why, Siraaj. By the way, your arguments against free speech rights are not illegal and you are free to express them under the same Constitution you degrade. I have never suggested otherwise.

      2. I post links from many sources, whether I agree with them or not. And you can be assured that I disagree with the Christian Reconstructionist fringe movement that Chalcedon represents. If you have factual arguments against the article, please let me know.

      3. In a recent Wenzel poll, 58% of a polling sample of 600 Muslims favored limiting free speech in the USA, 12% of that group actually approved of executing critics of Islam.
      You have noted that Muslims are a small minority in America, but there is a small minority group in Canada who were the main lobbyists to push forward the hate speech laws there. Should we not be worried about small numbers of people? Pamela Geller is only one person, so why are Muslims so worried about her?

  15. Siraaj

    May 9, 2015 at 9:08 PM

    Hi Tes,

    The Constitution is not set in stone. Its scope, interpretation, and laws are changing. The same is true of all law in general. Think of how your arguments would look in 1859 if our discussion was over slavery. I would be arguing abolition (change the law), and you would be arguing to leave it as is and not threaten your rights. The right to ownership existed for hundreds of years until someone realized it didn’t make sense. You would have fought the underground railroad, and you would have likely fought alongside the south in the civil war if what you said was taken in principle.

    In truth, I can’t even place myself that way because I’m saying I disagree with the principle on religious grounds, but I will not make any move to attempt changing it because I, one, I don’t have the interest, and two, if I did, I know it would not go well.

    Additionally, you should notice your language – the way you discuss the Constitution itself is not far from blasphemy laws, ie how dare you try to change it? As I’ve already pointed out, other laws limit the scope of applicability, given a context.

    I don’t want to rebut the arguments of the article because I don’t mind that hate is prosecuted. If as they allege christians aren’t getting a fair shake, I’m all for them doing so.

    Finally, if Pam Geller were a loan actor, I wouldn’t care. However, post 9/11 Muslims have been targeted and profiled in the US. There are numerous hate groups, not just one. The number one cable news network regularly bashes islam and muslims and they give people like Geller a platform. Hate speech is an incitement to reduce not only rights, but physical safety and security.

    As we debate this, front page story is 3000 cases are being reopened at sfpd because of rampant racism discovered. I’m sure advocates of free speech are happy to defend texts that call black men animals that need to be put down. Myself, not so much.

    Hate speech isn’t just speech – it’s a precursor and an endorsement to harm another group, usually a minority group.

    • Tes

      May 10, 2015 at 1:42 PM

      The Constitution is not set in stone. But before you rush to change it, consider some things:

      1. Once you change a foundational right in the Constitution, the people like me who consider it a social contract may consider ourselves to no longer be bound by any of it. The inconvenience of substantial numbers of Americans who no longer consider themselves bound by any rules at all is probably the main reason our government will not consider changes to the first amendment.

      2. Once you change part of the first amendment, people may seek to change other parts. The religion clause would be an excellent first target. We could establish “official” religions that can practice in our country, and I see no reason that Islam would need to be one of those. After all, it’s not very popular these days, is it? I see no reason that we should allow hijabs, niqabs, quran schools, Saudi-funded mosques or anything else that makes Americans uncomfortable or looks like it needs changing. Are you planning to appeal to the good-will and generosity of a nation you already consider bigoted to give you your religious rights once we remove them from the Constitution? Are you planning on asking for fair play from people that have been stripped of their rights to free expression by your efforts? Good luck with that!

      Your comment about my stance on changing the Constitution being similar to the blasphemy laws I abhor is ridiculous. I have told you that you are welcome to your opinions about the Constitution and it is not illegal to propose changing it. Blasphemy laws actually criminalize a form of expression.

      In fact, Muslims right now are in serious danger of opening a real conversation about blasphemy laws. I’m speaking of the laws are being used to persecute millions of people around the world. This is not the “persecution” that you complain of in America, where well-fed, well-treated Muslims with every imaginable privilege of the first world whine about someone spray-painting on a mosque one night.

      The largely-unreported persecution of non-Muslims under Muslim blasphemy laws is being used to prosecute minorities, the illiterate, retarded, vulnerable, elderly and defenseless. Once accused, these helpless people are both persecuted by the police or legal system and are attacked by mobs by which they are hacked, burned alive, stabbed, raped, attacked with acid, forcibly converted or made homeless. This horror-show is playing out in nearly every Muslim-ruled country around the world.

      If you want to encourage blasphemy laws here, then we will be having a long national conversation about the fruits of those laws everywhere else. Do Muslims really want to open that Pandora’s box? Once the grisly details are out, you can never put them back in the box. If I were you, I would be very, very careful about risking that. Read “Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here” and “Hatred: Islam’s War on Christianity” and ask yourself if you want the factual information within those books to become common knowledge.

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 11, 2015 at 11:18 AM

        Hi Tes,

        You said, “The Constitution is not set in stone. But before you rush to change it, consider some things:”

        But since I’m not in a rush to change it, there’s nothing there for me to consider, yes? Let’s make it clear again that I have no interest in it, only that I reserve the right to not have to defend laws, or aspects of laws (and I certainly am not saying the entire “free speech” clause of the 1st amendment is bad, or even that all offensive speech should be censored and criminalized) on principle.

        Having cleared that, it is rather strange to me that people who champion the Constitution so strongly, champion democracy have strange ideas about it. Let’s put aside our discussion of the first amendment for a moment. Let’s talk about all changes that have occurred to the Constitution. Is it your contention that when African Americans and women were given equal rights i.e. their “foundational rights” were changed that the consequence was your statement “the people like me who consider it a social contract may consider ourselves to no longer be bound by any of it”?

        Amendments to the Constitution don’t come easily. To be ratified, they need 2/3rds vote in both the House and the Senate, and then they must be passed to each state’s governor who passes it to the state legislatures, and 3/4ths of state legislatures must approve the amendment. It is your government representatives who are authorized by the Constitution itself to change the law, acting on your behalf whether you like what they do or not, that make changes. If you truly believe in the Constitution, then surely you respect its amendment process, and who has been given authority. The people give authority to represent via voting, and the Constitution designates what specific authorities are granted to those voted in. So long as you live here, it’s binding on you. I may not personally agree with everything, but I certainly respect the rule of law and the process. I’m surprised you would espouse a position that directly contradicts the Constitution.

        2. I don’t consider the nation bigoted. In fact, this Pam Geller episode has demonstrated who that there are a lot of good people out there. Multiple op-eds have gone out castigating her as a bigot and racist rather than the free speech advocate she paints herself to be. I do want to block bigots from further bigotry and incitement to it.

        As for your points about religious freedoms, if that changes it wouldn’t make me happy in the least, but that’s when I’ll put my big boy pants and move on to where I can practice my faith. Some will lobby for, some will lobby against, and ultimately in the marketplace of ideas, some will prevail and others will not. In a democracy, “by the people, for the people” means the majority of people, via their representatives, are either ok with or for a law. People may come in and lobby for change, and for change to occur, it still needs to be through those representatives you’ve elected. As long as the process and rule of law is respected, everything is fair game.

        That’s the inherent risk for minorities in a democracy. At any moment, the majority can strip them of their rights and harm them. And if that happens, those minorities will likely have to leave or lobby for change.

      • Tes

        May 12, 2015 at 1:40 AM

        Equal rights for women and racial minorities are in harmony with the basic principles of the Constitution. These amendments grant people more clearly defined rights in a way that is consistent with Constitutional principles.

        Stripping the first amendment of free speech rights is a removal of a right that we have been granted by the Constitution. Would black people (or anyone else) consider themselves bound by the Constitution if a perfectly legal amendment were passed that legalized black slavery?

        You are right that politicians with public support can change laws and amend the governance and rights of a nation. Our Constitution exists in large degree to defend us from pure democracy, which is a dangerous and wicked system of government, greatly to be feared. For this reason, there is great resistance to change any part of the Constitution, except to add to or clarify liberties.

        To you, the Constitution is a game open to manipulation. But most ethnic and religious minorities who come to this country recognize that the Constitution is their greatest friend, guaranteeing their rights and liberties against the winds of popular opinion and demagoguery. That is why many immigrants are the greatest champions of our freedoms. Muslims are turning out to be a disturbing exception to this trend and people are asking why.

        As for your point that you will “move on” if you are dissatisfied with the twists and turns of Constitutional rights in this country? That is the difference between you and me. I have nowhere else to go. I have no citizenship rights or claims on any other country. My family’s links to Europe were severed over 100 years ago. So the stakes are much higher for me than they are for you. Of course, since you have chosen NOT to move to one of the many Muslim-ruled utopias in favor of a Western country that allows scary “hate-speech”, I really do not know what you are looking for…How about…Canada!

        Ya gotta love those hate-speech laws!

  16. Hassan

    May 10, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Defense of freedom of speech/freedom of expression means the defense of unpopular speech. In fact, the ability to voice unpopular or offensive views freely is the litmus test. This is why the KKK is able to hold rallies in black neighborhoods (as they have done) and we are allowed to protest them to show solidarity with the community they are attempting to defend and disagreement with their ideology.

    Because we can freely express ourselves and assemble peacefully, Neo-nazis were allowed to march in Skokie, Illinois – a city with a sizeable Jewish population, at a time when it had become home to thousands of holocaust survivors. People had the right to protest this and they did (20 Nazis marched for about 10 minutes while 400 people protested).

    President Carter said of this event, “I must respect the decision of the Supreme Court allowing this group (the Nazis) to express their views, even when those views are despicable and ugly as they are in this case. But if such views must be expressed, I am pleased they will not go unanswered. That is why I want to voice my complete solidarity with those citizens of Skokie and Chicago who will gather Sunday in a peaceful demonstration of their abhorrence of Nazism.”

    This is why even hate speech and offensive expression should be protected in a free society. Now, if you want to go somewhere that puts limits on your ability to express yourself, there are many places that you can go- the United States should preserve this freedom as it is essential to the concept of democracy.

    Why stand up for unpopular speech, even if most consider it bigoted? Because it sets a standard…if unpopular speech weren’t protected, there would have been no civil rights movement, no anti-war movement, no gay rights movement, and so on.

    If the question is one of incitement, then I’m afraid that in the case of a draw Muhammad contest, the fighting words doctrine does not apply, as it is limited to those utterances that would cause a REASONABLE PERSON to immediately breach the peace. I think most everyone considers the violent reaction to this obvious provocation was unreasonable, which is why Muslim communities throughout the country condemned these acts.

    In this country, you get rights and freedoms that you may not enjoy elsewhere, but what you don’t have is the right not to be offended. When a holocaust survivor sees even 20 people in full Nazi regalia waving swastika flags, there is an expression of hatred that is probably emotionally hurtful or even traumatic, but the Jewish community reacted peacefully, and the result was attempts to educate the public on the realities of the holocaust.

    Had there been no violence at the Draw Muhammad contest, it would have proved that we can be offended and we could have reacted constructively. Of course the violence was carried out by 2 people and the entire Muslim community is not responsible, but it should be a wake up call – there needs to be a fundamental shift in consciousness if we want to stop bigotry against the community. When and if there comes a time when people can hold such an event peacefully without violent reaction of hostile condemnation but education and creation of a dialog, then those that seek to offend the community will have lost.

    The only way to defeat bigotry is to react constructively instead of destructively, even if their actions are deliberately hurtful. Violent reaction or declarations that they shouldn’t have the right to express themselves are ultimately fruitless, as they do nothing to address the real or perceived grievances that these people have with Muslim Americans (which they have every right to express, and we have every right to counter) and only serve to bolster their prejudices.

    • Siraaj

      May 10, 2015 at 12:01 PM

      Salam alaykum Hassan,

      I don’t disagree with you about how the Muslim community should react ie peacefully and with intellectual responses, and that violent reactions are wrong, period.

      But for myself, bigotry and racism is the same in terms of legality personally with alcohol drinking, pornography, and other matters illegal in our faith – others are free to it, but don’t expect me to defend your right to it.

      Throughout the comments I have also pointed out numerous western nations have ratified UN resolutions criminalizing discriminatory hate speech. Geert Wilders has been convicted twice in the Netherlands for hate speech against Muslims.

      Islam recognized the repugnance of religious bigotry 1400 years ago and blocked it, and western nations are catching up now and ratifying laws to criminalize it, rightly recognizing that hate speech is a precursor to human rights violations, bigotry in law enforcement (go see the sfpd case in the news today), and genocide. Rather than allowing hate speech to grow more than just speech, its harms are cut off at the roots to protect groups.

      A person need not either leave the country or change a law they disagree in moral principle with in order to point out they disagree with it. I’m sure each person in this country will find laws they disagree with but will remain – how many actually believe the supreme court interpretation that money is speech? Or in the ruling of roe v wade? Obamacare?

      A free is one that also doesn’t target others and intimidate them because they are different.

      • John Howard

        May 13, 2015 at 10:00 AM

        The word bigot has been used and abused. Pamela Geller being the principal target. Tell me if a person advocates death for practising homosexuals , apostates, and all those who insult their prophet does that not constitute a bigot as well?

  17. Sarah

    May 10, 2015 at 1:53 PM

    Overall, I think that your argument is interesting, but it’s suited much better to articulations of an Islamically-inspired governance than that of the United States (as you pretty much pointed out with your example of alcohol). And I think that this article on free speech would perhaps be much more controversial and interesting if it were flipped in a different way towards the Muslim community, because as you know we are embroiled in shrill refutations of each others views. Yasir Qadhi himself only recently admitted that the ‘harmless’ refutations of Shia groups do indeed result in violence – so we can only imagine the results of fatwas that declare takfir and right and wrong, which are easily ignorable in the States but not so much in Islamically governed areas. This becomes ever more problematic since there is no single authority in Islam to determine what is legitimate ‘refutation’ and what is ‘hate speech’, and we have seen the results of this in the recent discussions about authority in Islam following the gore of ISIS and similar groups who appropriate classical Islamic rulings in order to legitimize themselves and declare takfir on others.

    If this were an ideal simplistic Islamic state as most Muslims currently envision “God’s Law” to be, even if such a speech law was as limited as you describe, I think that a whole lot of scholars and Muslims would be promptly in trouble. Imagine if the devolution in 90s Salafism in the States towards cultishness had been on a level where those people were in power to enact their ‘jarh wa ta3deel’ on others. In that idealistic state that I mentioned, accusing someone else of non-Islam could easily result in death for the accused – Raif Badawi in Saudi, Maryam in Sudan, Ahmedi communities in Pakistan are all recent examples – the threat of apostasy/blasphemy/”hate speech towards religion” laws is that they are used to make people shut up about the very immoralities that you mention and are levied against minorities or anyone who seems different (easy to declare that someone who ‘questions the scholars’ or ‘defies the legitimate authority’ are outside the community). Resolve apostasy and free speech problems, and I think that you would resolve many of the issues of the Muslim world today.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 11, 2015 at 1:45 AM

      I would agree with your point about where my point is better directed were it not for the fact that we all get our principles and values from somewhere, whether it is our parents’ religions, a coffee chat with friends, a cliche text meme shared on facebook, a dead philosopher’s book we were forced to read to fulfill college requirements, or yay longwinding discussion on a blog :) Eventually, we may actually feel strong enough either to stand for or against an idea. I’m not convinced Christians who advocate against gay marriage or abortion rights are simply not aiming to enforce a Christian form of shari’ah. Even if they won’t get that, I expect they’ll advocate for abortion rights and gay marriage rights the way I do alcohol – they won’t, and they’ll reserve the right to disagree with laws that exist on the books on religious grounds.

      About the other points you’ve mentioned, I have given some thought on this, and i have seen work from up and coming leaders trying to redefine the parameters for takfir to be more open and make it more difficult to declare it. I think this is mistaken, as much of this is takfir by implication rather than explicit, which then leads to the whole, “your blood is halal” problem which ISIS and al-Qaeda perpetuates, not to mention other groups. I think where they ought to look is in the area of making a person’s blood halal so easily.

      Although I consider myself conservative, I’ve been vocally critical of the current Muslim leadership structure, the way discussions take place, the way partisanship has divided and destroyed the community. I have the same criticisms you’ve mentioned. Tone is important. Discussing theological differences is one thing, but if you’ve ever read works from different scholars on differences, it’s not simply a matter of surveying differences, but namecalling, vicious namecalling, and I often wonder how it is that after expounding on the beautiful manners of the Prophet (SAW) and the mercy of in holding differences of opinion, is it any wonder that the masses who follow these leaders are heated up and wanting to go after one another?

      I digress, but I do agree with your points – our community has much to re-learn in terms of civility, to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.

      • Sarah

        May 12, 2015 at 11:18 PM

        Interesting that you mention American Muslim community politics as shaping your attitude towards this. I remain orthodox as well, and from a conservative family, it’s just that living in many places and having been exposed to a LOT of Islamic history and interpretation whilst a strict Muslim, I realized that the tradition is MUCH more open than it’s often portrayed as on a smaller community level. I think that it’s possible to remain an orthodox believer whilst being critical and more open-minded than most of the scholars are; perhaps this post would interest you.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 13, 2015 at 6:37 PM

          Agreed with you’ve stated and the link, stripped down to its essence, I think “real” Islam is the intent and attempt to worship Allah (swt) and please Him (either in ways He has required or forbidden, or in ways that are permissible that the law is silent on) with the available faculties, knowledge, and resources at your disposal.

          In a state-based setting, I think we would accept the choices of that state not because it is real Islam per se, but that it is the best attempt at arriving at it, given our resources (intellectual, physical, financial, etc). If a country opts for a local moon sighting to start Ramadan, I don’t expect everyone in that state will agree with the opinion, but that they will submit to the idea that the state is responsible for and decides which opinions will be followed in matters that have communal significance.

  18. ymr

    May 11, 2015 at 9:10 PM

    What is the point of this article? The prophet (saw) said somethings which are offensive to the PC filter liberals have.
    For example,
    Abdullah b. ‘Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: The Jews will fight against you and you will gain victory over them until the stone would say: Muslim, here is a Jew behind me; kill him.
    Abu Huriariah
    “May Allah destroy the Jews for Allah forbade the use of fat for them, but they sold it and made use of its price.”

    • Siraaj

      May 12, 2015 at 2:29 AM

      The point is that we should not defend anyone’s right to mock our faith. Rather than allowing and defending hate speech for everyone that targets a group, we should stand for better speech by all.

      • Vorang

        May 13, 2015 at 3:52 AM

        And what about other faiths? Should all of them enjoy the same lever of protection, or just yours?

        And before you answer (if you answer) just think: Satanism, Voodoo, Aztecs and human sacrifice…. or Pastafarianism, Invisible Pink Unicorn…

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 13, 2015 at 6:39 PM

          All faiths are considered as being under “protected groups” – another protected group, btw, is military vetarans, also a choice.

      • Vorang

        May 18, 2015 at 4:46 AM

        Veterans are protected because they risk their lives in defense of their country and it’s people (how you defend your country by attacking other countries thousands of miles away is a question for another place).

        Religious groups are protected in a way that they are free to practice their faith (as long as they leave others alone). They are not protected in a way that others have to abide their rules. Satanists might find it very offensive that you glorify a god who is Satan’s eternal enemy.

  19. The Bull

    May 12, 2015 at 1:36 AM

    The big difference between the KKK and Nazis compared to Pam Geller is that she is not a racist and does not want to kill anyone. Islam is not a race, it is a belief system that seeks to dominate over every other system by force if necessary. It does seem unreasonable that in Islam there is provision for killing someone for mocking the prophet. Also, what constitutes mocking? Some one could sneeze Muhammad, a Muslim could hear this, take offence and kill. There is a story that in the ME someone would not take an iou when selling Kebabs. They said they would not even give an iou for the Prophet. For this they were killed?!?!?
    That’s the problem with the Quran. It’s way to easy to use it to justify killing, rape and subjugation.

    • Siraaj

      May 12, 2015 at 2:37 AM

      Hi Bull,

      I dont recall calling her a racist, I said she’s a bigot who peddles hate speech of islam and Muslims. For once, even conservatives agree.

      I really can’t speak to your case mentioned, I dont know its details, but generally speaking, there is a great deal of governmental corruption in Muslim countries leadership because they ate mostly run by secular western puppets.

      Any book can be interpreted by anyone. I recall a hilarious scene in an old movie, Rodney Dangerfield “back to school” in which he pays author Kurt Vonnegut to write the analysis of the book he authored, and Dangerfield’s professor fails the paper, telling him this isn’t what the books about. It is fiction, but the point is anyone can interpret. 1.6 billion Muslims practice peacefully, so if the numbers of people indicates practice, then the 1.6 billion trumps all else.

      • The Bull

        May 12, 2015 at 3:04 AM

        The KKK and Nazis were racist. Pam has a problem with the ideology behind Islam. As far as I am aware she doesn’t have a problem with Muslims (except the violent ones) and admits that most are peaceful.
        I don’t believe you can reasonably interpret a book anyway you like. When the Quran says to be hard against the unbelievers (48:29) this cannot be interpreted to mean to be compassionate. Some may interpret this some other way but this is the vast minority. Peaceful Muslims ignore verses such as this.

        15 to 25 percent of Muslims are radicalized according to most intelligence agencies. That’s about 300 million Muslims that support or are engaged in violent Jihad. i.e. they take the Quran literally as it is written.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 13, 2015 at 7:07 PM

          Hi The Bull,

          Can you cite the source of that statistic directly? Also, we don’t ignore those verses, we make sure to understand them thoroughly. The verse you cited (and others similar) are explained in detail here, no apologetics or roundabout equivocation:

          I would suggest you do a google search on the quran and corroborate the surrounding verses, and as well, please note the exegetes quoted are not from our time period ie they are there during the heyday of the original Muslim state under a caliphate.

      • Vorang

        May 12, 2015 at 11:13 AM


        1.6 billion…. This is fallacy called “ad populum” and doesn’t prove anything. How can you know that the other 0.2 billion who practice it violently are not right? Or 5.2 billion who do not practice it at all?

        And while we are on the topic of violence, what can inspire 200 000 000 people to become violent? That’s 12.5% of practitioners.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 13, 2015 at 6:50 PM

          You’ve mentioned this stat a few times – can you please point out the original source?

      • Vorang

        May 18, 2015 at 4:52 AM

        My original source is this site, article titled “TO DEFEND OUR BELOVED PROPHET, LET US EXEMPLIFY HIS TRUE IDEALS SAY IMAMS”, point No. 2.

        The rest is simple math:

        1.8 bn Muslims – 1.6 bn peaceful Muslims (your text here) = 0.2 bn violent ones

        7 bn humans on earth (approximation) – 1.8 bn Muslims = 5.2 bn non- Muslims

        And correction: Percentage of violent Muslims is 11.11% (math error on my side)

  20. Deborah Aulefer

    May 12, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    I think it is clear, even to non-Muslims like myself, that Geller is a bigot. Yes she can say what she wants, but as the article also says, opponents should use her own quotes against her, and challenge her perspectives.

    Of course, violence is never a solution.

  21. Vorang

    May 12, 2015 at 11:00 AM


    Your first paragraph is totally off the mark. You are comparing pure racism with religious provocation. You are comparing race – something you are born with and cannot change, to religion – something you can change any time you want (unless you are a Muslim in a Muslim country. Then you are dead).
    Pam Geller might hate you (Muslims) or somebody else, but drawing pictures of somebody is not hate speech. It might be a provocation, but nothing more. She did it in a closed space and if somebody doesn’t like seeing pictures of Muhammad he just needs to not go there. Same way you probably do not go to restaurants that serve pork only, or strip bars or any other place your religion forbids you to go to.
    Any provocation (in civilized society with civilized members) is a positive thing, because the only civilized reaction to provocation is discussion, exchange of thoughts, reexamination of your own thoughts and beliefs and possible improvement of everybody involved.

    The same law that protects your right to worship whomever you want protects her right to draw whomever she wants. You, and any other religious person, should be the first one to jump and protect that same law.
    You basically say that it offends you when somebody draws a person you believe is a prophet and that law should declare it hate speech and forbid it. Now, try to imagine a very similar situation: Your holy book, like any other, is full of violence, hatred and bigotry towards other religious groups, it even encourages it. By maintaining this web page, by building mosques, by publicly displaying your religion you are actively promoting that book. According to your logic, somebody just needs to be offended by your behavior (which has far worse possible consequences than somebody drawing a picture) and you should be forbidden your religious rights.

    You should be aware that Pam Geller and weirdos like her are your best friends in protecting your, and anybody else’s, rights to practice your religion freely (if peacefully).

    • Susan Harr

      May 12, 2015 at 4:41 PM

      I’m not sure that provocation necessarily leads to discussion and exchange of ideas! Some decades ago it led to the death camps…..

      • Vorang

        May 13, 2015 at 12:21 AM

        … and that is why i have said “in civilized society with civilized members”

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 13, 2015 at 7:02 PM

      Hi Vorang,

      Whether it’s pure racism or not is irrelevant to your point and mine as well. Everything you said about Pam Geller with respect to religion applies to race as well in this case, so the basis for discrimination doesn’t matter. If she wrote discriminatory remarks against african americans, your statements would remain the same.

      My point throughout the comments has been in the private sector, the law considers a number of groups that are “by choice” as protected – religious groups (all of them) and military veterans. Pam Geller targets Muslims and Islam specifically for bigoted comments. If she truly had a problem with the content in the Qur’an, I would expect the consistency of any atheist who decries all religion for essentially having the same problems that they perceive, including the bible – misogyny, slavery, and so on. But she’ll never talk about the bible, never caricature Jesus (she’s Jewish), or trample the sensibilities of the the audience that will subsidize her lifestyle ie xenophobes in the Republican party.

      When I head to the office, I can practice my religion freely under the law, and I can also be offensive if I need to so long as I don’t cross into discrimination and harassment. It makes the work world better, it’ll make the rest of it better too.

      • Vorang

        May 18, 2015 at 5:40 AM


        Race or group by choice is crucial difference.

        Making fun of you because of you skin color is a big NOPE. Discriminating against all Muslims just because they are Muslims is also a NOPE too. But, making fun of you (and offending you in the process) because of your choices – publicly displayed choices – is OK. I would even encourage it for progress reasons. Attacking ideas, ridiculing somebody for sticking to any idea is fine. That’s the way to test if the idea is really good one or not.

        Pastafarians should be allowed to wear cauldrons on their heads if that’s what their religion prescribes. Everybody else should be allowed to laugh at them for wearing it publicly. Pastafarians believe pirates are the prophets. Do you think the world should stop prosecuting pirates because it hurts Pastafarians?

        You should understand that for people not of your religion, the fact that drawing a stick figure and writing “prophet” beneath it offends you, is beyond comprehension. And it’s their right to laugh at that.

        The same law that allows you to say “My religion is the only true one and I am going to heaven and those who do not believe will go to hell” allows this Geller woman, and anybody else, to say “Your religion sucks, mine is better”.

        Both of you are protected by the same law and if you take away her right to express her opinion about your prophet, there goes your right as well.

  22. Susan Harr

    May 12, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    Another very interesting post. Recently I led a debate on freedom of speech – soon after the Paris assassination of Charlie Hebdo journalists. I took the stance that the journalists should not have published the offensive cartoons on the grounds of what an English philosopher called “the public harm principle”. I was argued down by most of those attending the debate, but when I asked whether anyone present would have drawn such a cartoon had a Muslim attended our debate, and shown it to her/him, the answer was “No”. (In the same way, if one came across a young person suffering terrible acne all over his/her face, one would not greet him/her with “Hi, Spotty!”) I found it interesting that people will condone offensiveness if it is done by, say, an organisation, or as an event, but would shrink from the same offence if in a one-to-one situation! Some sort of hypocrisy here, I felt, if not moral cowardice. Personally I found the Hebdo cartoons, as they were described to me (I didn’t actually see them or look them up) childish, puerile, pointless and serving no purpose whatsoever. I also have Muslim friends in my city in England, very tolerant, friendly people, and they said they were HURT by the cartoons, deeply hurt, though they would not react with any kind of violence. Why do people deliberately seek to hurt others? Isn’t the world a better place, wouldn’t it improve and progress, if we tried to say the kind word, to understand, rather than to mock?

    • Vorang

      May 13, 2015 at 3:44 AM

      Hi Susan,

      #1 Are you comparing religious people with somebody who is “suffering terrible” disfigurement? Religion is easily changed. If acne condition could be changed as easily, there would be a lot less miserable teenagers (and their parents).

      #2 Most people wouldn’t offend somebody personally, even thou it is not (and shouldn’t be) forbidden by the law. It’s common decency. The example you are giving is like me posting a drawing of Muhammad here on this site. That’s personal. What Charlie Hebdo did, is like me posting that drawing on my web page. Are you saying that I shouldn’t do that because somebody might come to it and feel offended?

      #3 The whole argument about somebody being hurt doesn’t make sense. What if I say that when people disagree with me I feel really HURT. Will you stop expressing your opinion? My children are hurt when I tell them it’s bed time, or “no more candies”. The younger ones actually cry. Should stop it?

      #4 I agree with you that supporting Charlie Hebdo and not willing to do it yourself is cowardice. I am a coward myself. I am afraid to provoke murderers, I am afraid they might come after me and hurt my family. But I will claim that we do need heroes even if I am not one. I will not participate in many just and righteous things, just because I am afraid my family might get hurt. But they are people out there who are doing it and they are the ones who deserve respect.

      To sum it up:

      People (individuals) might deserve respect. Not all thou. They should be respected or despised based on their choices and actions. To use your example: Hitler, Goebbels, Stalin…. But, individuals should not be called out for something that is not their choice – skin color, gender, sexual orientation, physical shortcomings….

      Nations or religious groups deserve respect the same way they deserve to be hated, despised, loved… They are simply too diverse for that. Respecting ALL Muslims is as ridiculous as hating ALL Muslims.

      Ideas should be questioned and ridiculed. Ideas can be changed. This is how progress in society is made. Where would we be if the idea “whites are superior to all others” has not been challenged? If you don’t like it when your idea is ridiculed – stop having ridiculous ideas. Or at least don’t try to make others comply with your ideas.

      The world would not progress if everybody behaves in kind and understanding way you propose. It would stagnate and rot. I do not see any progress in saying: “ Oh, he doesn’t like sitting on bus close to somebody with a different skin color. It really hurts him. Lets make the others sit in the back of the bus, so this one is not hurt”.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 13, 2015 at 6:42 PM

      What’s interesting is that we’re not even saying we should take away offensive discussion, but discussions that try to dehumanize protected groups are all walking down the pathway of physical harm, isolation, marginalization, and even extermination. The Japanese did not suffer in internment camps and lose their status as law-abiding citizens for decades without cause.

      • Vorang

        May 18, 2015 at 5:47 AM

        How is drawing a prophet dehumanizing anybody? Can you describe the path from a drawing to “physical harm” and “extermination”?

        In this case “physical harm” and “extermination” come from the other side.


    May 14, 2015 at 9:17 AM

    @ Siraj and Everyone else.

    The PROBLEM is not Pamela Geller’s guts to be provocative, or her great strength to ‘HATE’ or the ‘ILLUSION’ called FREEDOM OF SPEECH’ nor is it the SOLUTION that there should be an ammendment in the US Constitution to restrict what people should say and not say, to cartoon or not to cartoon inorder to hurt or not hurt others. The major problem HURTING our whole world today, our temporary home planet earth which we all live in and should be privilege to live in PEACE and HARMONY is the simple fact that we are very, very highly IGNORANT ABOUT ISLAM most especially the followers of the Deen, ISLAM as Muslims have become today, i mean a great Multitude of Muslims, most especially those who are born into a family that already practices the Deen, Islam.

    To ‘MOSTLY’ of such people born into it, they practice it as like a tradition of their fathers, FAITH not based on DISCOVERY, CONFIRMATION OF CERTIANTIES, CONVICTION but are WANDERERS in the INDOCTRINATION and CONJECTURES they have received and keep receiving. Yet, Islam is a PRAGMATIC Deen not an IRRATIONAL DOGMATIC RELIGION. They follow their fathers even if their fathers are doing things which Islam prohibits such as VIOLENCE. These multitude of IGNORANT MUSLIMS also infect some reverts to Islam with their IGNORANCE, from whom they learn these wrongs from them.

    A sincere Muslim will not be bothered about the ‘ILLUSION’ called ‘FREEDOM OF SPEECH’. He will be MOSTLY bothered about why some Muslims REACT so violently the way they mostly do when Prophet Muhammad pbuh is Scoffed at, Mocked, Ridiculed, Slandered or Abused.

    Didn’t Prophet Muhammad pbuh experience a lot more worse damaging of his image in the hands of his own very uncles, kith and kin and country men than an exhibition of a ‘FACE’ that is not he’s in the first place, Pam Gellar’s exhibition? Does anybody has a real and authentic picture of Prophet Muhammad, pbuh to place side by side in order to confirm if it is him or not that have been drawn? Why should any Muslim bother over an IMAGINATION.
    Prophet Muhammad pbuh is for REAL and wont be pleased with our kind of responses. And the best way to play the game is to support Pam Geller’s right as backed by the constitution of the LAND so that as a Muslim we can always find true Wisdom in the Quran in finding a solution to her case.

    THE CARTOON IS DEFINATELY NOT OUR PROPHET!PERIOD. So why get angry over what is not and cannot be him. A Muslim should be the reflection of Prophet Muhammad pbuh in all Deeds. Would the Prophet if alive today, have gone to kill those who drew a picture of him? would he have said the should stop talking freely? Why do some Muslims react in such a negative way even against the image of the Prophet which they should be a reflection of. THIS ARTICLE IN ITSELF IS SO NEGATIVE. If you are given a platform so free as the FREEDOOM OF SPEECH, what it simply means is that when people throw HATE SPEECHES at you, you should reciprocate by throwing ‘LOVE’ speeches back at them by EDUCATING THEM ABOUT ISLAM. THIS IS TRUE ISLAM and not by coming up with articles such as this which has not in anyway explained Islam in the light that it deserves.
    Those Muslims who stand for freedom of speech understand that it is with this illusion called freedom of speech that muslims can use as platforms in order to invite all to Islam. IF IT WASN’T FOR FREEDOM OF SPEECH, SUCH GREAT PROPAGATOR OF ISLAM AS AHMED DEEDAT WILL NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO SPEAK LET ALONE HEARD, LET ALONE WIN REVERTS TO ISLAM. He didn’t win reverts to Islam through violence or by attacking the same platform FREEDOM OF SPEECH has given him such gold opportunity which if we use correctly will make a most positive peaceful difference even if others choose to abuse this privilege such as Pam Geller.

    How does HATEFUL SPEECH equate to taking the laws of the land into one’s hand by trying commiting MURDER which at the end they themselves are being KILLED. should we not try to be divergent in our thinking by taking a peaceful route which ISLAM truely represent. are there no other alternatives. The best which is to TALK about it, EDUCATE. THE PROMBLEM IS MUSLIMS ALWAYS COMPROMISING OUR DEEN AND COMING OUT TO SHOUT ABOUT OUR IRRESPONSIBLITIES BY BLAMING THEM ON OTHERS, CREATING MIRRAGE EXCUSES AS AGAINTS PRACTICING ISLAM JUST AS PROPHET MUHAMMAD PBUH DID BY ALWAY BEING TOLERANT, WISE AND KIND IN OUR TREATMENT OF OTHERS EVEN IF THEY ARE AGAINST US.

    The Quran is a book of ULTIMATE WISDOM not of FOOLISHNESS and STUPIDITY or of PROVOGATION to VIOLENCE, which on the part of Muslims who claim to love prophet Muhammad and this DIVINE REVELATION fail to abide by its very CLEAR principles.

    One of which says:

    “Nor can Goodness and Evil be equal. Repel (EVIL) with what is BETTER: Then will he between whom and thee was HATRED become as it were thy FRIEND and INTIMATE!” Suratul. Ha-Min Quran 41 vesre 34.

    It is interesting that Allah then further said:




    Siraj, freedoom of speech must stand no matter how delusioned it may be.


      May 14, 2015 at 10:21 AM

      @ Siraj Muhammad

      Your statement is VAGUE. i like some clarification. PLEASE KINDLY TELL ME WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SUGGEST.

      btw Love? Against Love? or For Love?


    May 14, 2015 at 10:23 AM

    or that Allah is not wise Enough to have commanded that LOVE wins over HATRED?


    May 14, 2015 at 6:58 PM

    @Siraj Muhammad and everyone else.

    Have you ever wondered, WHY ALWAYS A SUPPOSEDLY CARICATURE, CARTOON OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD? Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon Him. (P.B.U.H)

    Do you know whose quote this is???

    “They are making fun of Muhammad and do not harm him. They are making fun of a character that they have imagined and to whom they have given a name. THIS MAN IS NOT OUR PROPHET”

    Here comes the answer and even more for us to understand the reason why they seem to always ridicule Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h).

    Following the “massacre of Charlie Hebdo” and other event that have targeted France, the French film director, ISABELLE MATIC (not an Arab Migrant or an Indian Migrant but an original French Lady) announced on her Facebook page on January 11, 2015 that she converted to Islam, only a few days after Charlie Hebdo Paris attacks. That quotation was made by her.

    It was also reported by imams who lead various congregrational prayers in Mosques in France that there was a higher number of reverts to Islam after the “Charlie Hebdo” ridicule in a very short pace of time (* do your research) as compared to the same months last year, 2014, infact double the number of reverts to Islam. THE MOST EVIDENT of course is Isabelle Mattic. *You may want to authenticate by doing some research.

    There is no doubt too, that some doubtful ‘Muslims’ who became confused by the Violent reactions to the provocations “Charlie Hebdo” also could have left the fold of Islam to faiths of their new choices other than Islam after the violent response to that cheap incitement and instigation made in France “Charlie Hebdo”.




    Let me re-emphasize that the quotation above was made by the new revert to Islam, ISABELLE MATTIC. So what about it?

    What its about is that, it really amazes me as to how new reverts actually understand the simple ethics of Islam so much more than millions of born Muslims seems not to understand today.

    Perhaps the reason is because they get to learn from the scratch and not by copying what others do, except by enquiry.


    “My parents are Muslim that’s why I am one” THIS IS ALSO A SHOW OF IGNORANCE AND ARROGANCE. MAY ALLAH GUIDE US.

    Follow Isabelle Matic’s simple logic?


    Since it is not him, Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h and can never be him, so why bother about this CHEAP INCITEMENT FOR FAME AND POPULARITY by some non-muslims who are being heavily paid for their guts for gutters. Paying attention to such foul smell by reacting violently only sparks the light of popularity which these IGNORANT or ARROGANT persons seek. I never knew Pam Geller, the organiser of Sunday cartoon exhibition of supposed Prophet Muhammad but today I do, courtesy the two other IGNORANT Muslims who went for the kill but were being killed.

    FOOLISHNESS is not retaliated with the same act of FOOLISHNESS or even worse MURDER but by act of WISDOM. This is the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h). Do we truely love Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h and this is why we feel bad that he is being supposedly mocked?

    Isabelle Mattic did show the TRUE spirit of ISLAM even though a new revert to Islam she seems to really understand the Deen. There can be no any other sensible response to those who have choosen to make a cartoon or caricature of a man with a ‘FACE’ that no one ever captured on canvas, or by photography or any other means except by his description in the Hadiths, but whose ‘DEEDS’ as documented in these Hadiths depicts truely his ‘FACE’. A FACE WHOSE REFLECTION IN THE MIRROR OF TRUTH IS ISLAM.

    to be continued……………….

    • John Howard

      May 14, 2015 at 7:32 PM

      You lost me once you started using the word “revert” I and so many many non muslims find that term utterly offensive. To claim that ALL people are muslims but they just don’t it is an arrogance beyond belief. Your religion came well after many others and to make that claim that you are the true faith throws dirt in the eyes of 5 1/2 BILLION people who neither want or believe in your religion. And as for your converts – the correct term how many of those have turned out to be terrorists?

      • M.Mahmud

        May 15, 2015 at 9:49 PM

        John- some disbelievers know Islam is the truth and reject and most are deluded into thinking it is false and reject it. This is there own choice and if Allah wied everyone would enter Paradise. But He did give us a bias towards goodness. People are on the innate human disposition from birth and it is there parents that make them Jew or Christian or so on. Revert is a modern day term. In the time of the first Muslims if someone entered Islam it would be said ” he submitted.”


        May 19, 2015 at 7:29 AM

        John Howard, please dont be LOST. Perhaps after this might make you find yourself.

        A writing i did long ago.

        A Wanderer or An Explorer

        From our Mother’s WOMB that bore us, through to the TOMB, Mother Earth that will bear us. Is that duration in between called LIFE? Are we nothing but moulded MUD inevitably returning back to DUST? A TRANSITION? A TRANSMUTATION? A TRANSFORMATION?

        So, what is LIFE?

        Do we not speak our thoughts loudly out in simple, plain English language that, LIFE IS A JOURNEY? Is life a journey? If it is, shouldn’t we also ask our minds a rather supposedly simple question: A JOURNEY TO WHERE AND FROM WHERE??? Is LIFE just a journey? A journey by WANDERERS who know not from where and to where? Are we not mostly WANDERERS? LOST!!! Following ways we never EVALUATE, do not INVESTIGATE but JUST IMMITATE so blindly with a firmness of BELIEVE without REASONING? Can anything be more astonishingly STUPID by a creature gifted with INTELLECT? Hmm! I always wonder. We are never INQUSITIVE in POSITIVITY but so, so RECEPTIVE to NEGATIVITY without sorting out our INSANITY?

        We do not ask a simple question such as, WHY? That three letter word, WHY, is a key that unlocks TRUTH and REALITY. Likewise, we don’t apply efforts, extra efforts, in dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s and finding if X=Y with SINCERITY about LIFE. Aren’t we suppose to be EXPLORERS of CERTAINTIES and not WANDERERS in CONJECTURES?

        Is the world LOST? Is our world LOST? Is my world LOST but FOUND? These are all different questions altogether. With definately not the same answers. What does it mean to be LOST? We might as well ask the question this way rather:

        Someone who JOURNEYS through an unknown area to find out about it, seeking and searching. Shall we say such a person is LOST because he is NEW in that area, an area previously unknown to him? Is this the yardstick for becoming LOST. The answer is an emphatic NO! He is not LOST, he is only EXPLORING the territory. HE IS DEFINATELY NOT LOST!!! He or she is only seeking to make DISCOVERIES, but definately not LOST!!! VERY MUCH OF COURSE NOT LOST. 100% NOT LOST!!!

        What about a WANDERER? A Wanderer Is a person who moves from place to place and has no permanent home. So, is a Wanderer LOST? Isn’t he or she also on a journey in an unknown territory like the EXPLORER? And hence, what they have in common is that they are both in and on a JOURNEY?

        One is seeking to make discoveries about the territory, while, the other is seeking to be comfortable within the territory which he has not yet discovered. Hence, the reason why he keeps moving from here to there, unsettled, the Wanderer.

        So, what TERRITORY am I talking about, what UNKNOWN AREA am i talking about?AM TALKING ABOUT THIS WORLD OF COURSE, THIS LIFE, THIS UNIVERSE.

        Was this World already known to anyone of us before birth? Are you an EXPLORER or a WANDERER? Have you discovered it, LIFE? Or you are just comfortable with the TERRITORY. IS A WANDERER NOT LOST?

        When we were born we were mostly greeted with the slogan, “WELCOME TO THE WORLD” and not “WELCOME TO YOUR WORLD”, “YOUR OWN WORLD”. Why? The reason is because it only becomes “YOUR OWN WORLD” when you are able to discover its REALITIES, its TRUISMS by probing through its beliefs, systems, myths, legacies, traditions, legends, supersitions, ideologies and in general CULTURE in order to ascertain what is TRUELY TRUE sorting it out from what seems TRUE but is FALSE and what is obviously FALSE but is said to be TRUE.

        Then, you have achieved a status, standing on top of the world, you now have your own stand, a stand by your self which you can defend because its by your own discovery. YOUR OWN WORLD FOR WHICH YOU ARE NOW RESPONSIBLE BY KNOWLEDGE OF DISCOVERY AND NOT BY COMFORT IN IGNORANCE .

        Am I making any sense???

        So, what am I trying to say? LIFE is not just a JOURNEY but a PUZZEL which you must FIX all by yourself. Which answers must be discovered by exploring all available resources in this world. Should we just be BLIND FOLLOWERS, A WANDERER? Did we already make the discoveries in our mother’s womb about this world and this is why we believe everything our parents have told us since childhood without making our own discoveries if they are TRUE or FALSE? IN WHOSE WORLD ARE YOU THEN LIVING? In your own world which you discovered or in another man’s own world which he has made you to accept through MANIPULATION OF REALITIES, a conditioning of the human mind and sometimes by TRUTH?

        I am not trying to make you become LOST in this reading. I just want us to THINK. Thinking is among the greatest gift God has given us mankind. To be INTELLIGENT and not to be just STUPID. Every one of us is INTELLIGENT, but we mostly shut down our faculties to pre-conceived ideas we are careless not to scrutinize but are COMFORTABLE with them just because we choose foolishness over wisdom. That is a LOST life, a Wanderer, who knows not where he is going, being directed to move from here to there because he hasn’t even discovered the territory so he bases his or are TRUST on others findings not his own. He has not been searching.

        Life is a great adventure and those who venture in the journey of exploring past and contemporay thoughts, histories, scriptures, cultures, science, arts, technology…………… end up living in a WORD OF THEIR OWN. A WORLD OF GREAT SERENITY AND OF GREAT WISDOM AND OF GREAT STRENGTH. They are not push arounds because they know where they are coming from and where they are going, they are EXPLORERS and not WANDERERS who are push around, moving from place to place. They dig indepth far beyond the surface to find TRUTH, the DIAMOND beneath our fake gold plated world. A worthy prize for those who dig with SINCERITY.


        SO, DID OUR LIFE NOT BEGIN IN HER WOMB? Can we remember the LIFE we lived in our mother’s womb? Can you? Can I? Didn’t we live a life in her womb while she was pregnant with us so much that at certain times she would say passionately to herself: “my unborn child just gave me a kick”. What ever that may mean is nothing but A SIGN OF LIFE, LIVING IN ANOTHER LIFE. So tell me what kind of LIFE did you live in that WOMB for 9 months? Can you tell us just a little you could remember? Didn’t we live for 9 months sometimes even more or just a little less than? That was a duration of life of its own too but which we cannot recall but we lived it. YES! WE DID.

        Should we then still be living a life of ‘I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR WORLD TODAY’ but as if we are still in our mother’s WOMB? Should we be living a life of ‘DELIBRATE IGNORANCE’ all because we want to feel our STOMACHS, despite now living out side of our mother’s womb? Should we not be able to explain our world today?

        Should it be all about food as it was in the womb or say at birth? When a baby is born, he can feel its way to its mothers breast even with its eyes closed. Most of us still live with our eyes closed but mouth wide open always thinking about FOOD. Deaf, dumb and blind can’t find any other way but that which leads to FOOD. Should it still be all about ‘food’ (money, money,money) now that we are outside the WOMB before we return to the TOMB that will bear us, mother Earth?

        So, what happened to our faculties of sensory perception while in our mother’s womb. Perhaps our sensories were not receiving any perception. A DARK WORLD? Or perhaps that was just another world UNKNOWN but which stage we have passed, a phase perhaps insignificant but we lived a LIFE in it.

        Can the LIVING then tell us what happens in the TOMB? CAN THE DEAD WHO HAS BEEN THERE TELL US WE THE LIVING WHAT IS HAPPENING THERE? How can we get answers to these questions, if we don’t keep exploring but wondering and not pondering? Of which the SURE, EMPHATIC answers must be found in a duration between the WOMB and our TOMB and to questions far beyond…….

        So, beyond the womb, after 9 months, we are born. The question is: Were you born into the world or into your world?

        Into our world means a world of the BORN FREE but into the world means, a world of the BOND BORN.


        Imprisoned we are by, ideologies, myths, falsehood, religion, environment, desires, nationalism, fashion, media, pride in tribe, gender, race, greed, ………….. and so much more?

        Have you been able to navigate your way to becoming FREE from all these shackles?

        SO, WHAT IS MY POINT? We must keep on exploring, finding out the TRUTH about this world and its REALITIES by our own self and not be fed with CONJECTURES with eyes closed and mouth opened. We are not babies anymore.

        So, is your name ROSE? Was it you who chose the name that you bear today? That name was given to you and not by you, whether you liked it or not, for example ROSE. This is how we are born into a pre-fashioned systems not of our making and we are expected to follow and even die for them. Are you still a baby, helpless?

        Yes, a baby is helpless, ignorant and could not have chosen a name by itself. How could you have known when the pronoun ‘IT’ is rightly used for a baby. ‘IT’ like an inanimate ‘THING’. Can’t talk, can’t make choices, can only cry. Helpless!

        Are you still so helpless, not able to make choices based on reason but adapting to what was passed to you by birth and Wandering about, LOST, never asking questions as to WHY THIS, WHY THAT, WHY THOSE.

        Have you ever asked the reason why you are called Rose? CAN YOU DEFEND THE REASON WHY? DO YOU LIKE THE NAME? ARE WE NOT ALL THEN BORN INTO BONDAGE SINCE WE MUST SUCCUM AT BIRTH TO WHAT EVER BECAUSE OF OUR HELPLESSNESS? Even our name we couldn’t choose by ourself. So why take so much pride in a life already fashioned by others for you, which we care not discover its TRUISM? So why do we take pride in things not by our own discovery which we are so ready to die for. This things which we never take a second look at just because we are born into them.

        Should we remain in this state of been dictated to, given defination of and not haven’t being an explorer, but living by just wandering ? The choices were never ours, they were made to be ours by others. When are you going to start making your choices based on DISCOVERY, CONFIRMATION, CONVICTION and CERTAINTY and not just being a WANDERER that settles for anything, dictation which we must obey like a ZOMBI, the living dead without reasoning. LOST!!!

        And so ROSE changed her birth name after discovering a plant that grows with small sweet-smelling white or yellow flowers called JASMINE. A new name of her own choice, because even though Rose is also a beautiful flower she does not like her type of THORNS she has discovered as an ADULT that it carries. JASMINE , A BEAUTIFUL FLOWER WTIH A BEAUTIFUL SMELL. YET, THEY ARE BOTH FLOWERS WITH DIFFERENT CHARATERISTIC. ROSE IS NOW JASMINE BY DISCOVERY NOT BY MERE NAME BY HER FATHER.

        My point is that we don’t even discover ourselves let alone the systems that run our lifes and rule our world.

        Ask a grown up adult male or a female why he or she is sagging his or her trousers down in the waist line. The entertainment industry has dictated to him or she to doing so even though its shameful. He or she does not see it as so because he or she has NO DEFINATION of what SHAME is so any DICTATION goes. A WANDERER, following presets that will soon become obsolete and then joins another wagon of created ideas by the environment. So you become subjected to and not an objective, pragmatic person all because you are a WANDERER since from birth and not an EXPLORER as an adult. This is my point be an EXPLORER not a WANDERER, wandering in total DELUSION.

        Hence, JASMINE can defend her name from her own point of view and not from somebody else’s because it by herself not by daddy. Am not saying we should start changing our names but we should always make discoveries and not just swallow everything like a thoughtless baby who is so helpless that can’t even choose a name for its self because it had to be so at that stage in LIFE. What have you been able to discover in this stage in your life? Are you still living like a baby?


        We are mostly caught up between our THOUGHTS and BELIEFS and what is the REALITY. Yet we mostly cannot justify our BELIEFS based on REALITY and our THOUGHTS are narrow, instead of being divergent, broadly wide. People make us to think what they themselves want us to think and believe against what is the REALITY. What a WANDERER we mostly are. BOND BORN and not FREE BORN.

        There was a time, in history which if you say that the earth was spherical and not flat, you may be flattened to earth, HANGED, FOR HERESY.

      • Taqwa

        May 31, 2015 at 8:14 PM

        Before Islam was even firmly established with the Qu’ran etc. everyone and anyone who just believed in 1 God is considered a Muslim in the faith. That’s why many hundreds of Prophets before the last one who is Mohammed S.A.W.(Ibrahim [Abraham] Yunus [Jonas] Nuh [Noah] etc.) are indeed Muslim; they preached monotheism and struggled. Simple concept but was too difficult for humans and still is…
        Thus requiring more commandments from God.

        Also yes, in this faith everyone is considered to be born Muslim. You can argue you think it’s arrogant but one can also argue that they think God or Jesus asking us all to worship them day and night is also arrogant. You only find it insulting because you find Islam and all its worshippers as inferior. Satan also felt Adam to be inferior too..

        • Peter

          May 31, 2015 at 11:22 PM

          I think he was arguing that you have the right to believe anything you like, however, that does not mean what you believe is not offensive to others.

          Saying everybody is born a Muslim, is a perfect example, you may believe this is true, however it is offensive to some people. Also such a statement is a a fallacy. It has a particular name, it is call the fallacy of composition, which is where someone has a belief based on what is true for the part, and believes that it is a truth for the whole. Another example would be, if someone says he is a Muslim, therefore he must be a terrorist.

          That is another example of the fallacy of composition. As under the definition of a terrorist, many terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, but most Muslims are not terrorists, and the non Muslims Terrorists are offended by someone professing such fallacies.

          So just as you would be offended being called a Terrorist, because you are a Muslim, the same offense is caused by your statement that everybody is born a Muslim.

          I am not a Muslim, but if I hear someone saying all Muslims are terrorists, I am offended. I know it is a fallacy.

          So he was not arguing about your beliefs, whether it is right or wrong, but he was trying to make you aware that it does offend some people. I note a lot of Muslims call for respect for Muslim beliefs, what Muslims need to appreciate, is that it is a too way street.

          If you want people to respect your beliefs, you also must be respectful of others. Your are entitled to your beliefs, but like most beliefs, you should hold your beliefs not in isolation, but be cognitive of the beliefs and sensibilities of others.

          Do you understand now?


        June 2, 2015 at 8:01 AM

        PETER HALL

        i honestly respect your line of thinking. You are a TRUIST.

        Your thoughts is put perfectly clear in the Quran as thus:

        In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

        1. Say: O ye that reject faith! (ISLAM)

        2. i worship not that which ye worship,

        3. Nor will ye worship, that which i worship.

        4. And i will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship.

        5. Nor will ye worship that which i worship.




    May 14, 2015 at 6:59 PM


    Never in the history of mankind has the public life and private life of a single individual been so merticulously documented. Highlighting his very least of actions in his life time as a mercy for mankind to emulate in order to gain the Love of God by following such an exalted character. Muhammad the Messenger of Allah. P.b.u.h

    The simple reason is because Allah in the Quran says:

    Say: “If ye do love Allah, follow me (I.e obey Muhammad): Allah will
    love you and forgive you your sins: For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (3:31) The Quran is filled with such commands to Muslims to love Allah by obeying Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h). But to be frank how can Muslims claim to love Allah and His Messenger when we model our lifes after the BAD IDEALS OF BAD CULTURE OF THE WEST, NORTH, EAST AND SOUTH. So hypocritical Muslims are today.

    Every time there is a caricature of prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h we react as if we truely love Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) but it is MOSTLY A BIG FAT LIE!!!


    We have left the straight path, ISLAM. Following compromise of our own making, our vain desires. ITS ALL HYPOCRISY!

    Muslims are commanded to always stand for Justice.

    On September 25, 2002, a group of armed ‘Islamists’ in Karachi ,Pakistan entered the office of a Christian charity, tied seven workers to chairs and then brutally murdered them. According to Muslim witnesses, the Muslims showed no haste. They took a good 15 minutes in segregating the Christians and making sure that each one of their targets received the most horrific death. THE LATEST I CAN REMEMBER IS THE CHOPPING OFF HEADS OF SOME COPTIC CHRISTIANS, IN LIBYA THIS MARCH 2015 BY A GROUP WHO CLAIM TO REPRESENT ISLAM (ISIS) BUT WHO ARE ACTUALLY A TOOL IN THE HANDS OF THE MAKERS OF TERROR, AMERICA. DID MUSLIMS AID LIBYA TO STAND WHEN IT WAS BEING PULLED DOWN FOR DEMOCRACY TO TRIUMPH? Was it not Muslims killing Muslims???

    And so there is rarely any condemnation on the part of other Muslims, neither is there much protest expressed by a community renowned by the Glorious Quran which says:

    “You are the best community brought forth for mankind. (Why? The answer is because.) You (Muslims) order what is RIGHT, you forbid what is WRONG and you believe in Allah…} Aal ‘Imraan: 110

    Ordering what is right and forbidding what is wrong is how we aid and support one another. It is what gives us success in this life and in the hereafter. Neglecting it has grave consequences both in this life and in the hereafter collectively as a Umah. May Allah save us.

    And still yet Allah says we should be just even to those who hate us. Will it make any sense if people of other religion should to take to violence because of an IGNORANT and ARROGANT act by a Muslim because he hates the other side, an act precisely and exactly as PAM GELLER’S PROVOCATIVE EXHIBITION? How shall the world see this religion if among its followers respond with VIOLENCE as a reaction to a provacation. It will be seen as a Religion without patience and self restriant and without sense. IS THIS HOW ISLAM SHOULD BE PORTRAYED. Ain’t you Siraj Muhammad suppose to be ashamed of this action of violence by the Ignorant ones among us even though it was a provocation by A PAM GELLER?



    May 14, 2015 at 7:00 PM


    While rumors of a Quran desecration or a Muhammad cartoon bring out deadly protests, riots, arson and effigy-burnings, the mass murder of non-Muslims or Muslims generally evokes YAWNS by a community that has been challenged by ALLAH to always stand for JUSTICE Irrespective of HATRED.

    “O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and LET NOT THE HATRED of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. BE JUST: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well -acquainted with all that ye do. Suratul Maida or The Table Spread Quran 5 verse 8

    This critical absence of moral perspective in us today’s Muslims will puzzles any one who truely understands ISLAM.

    We are very much unlike Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) despite all the persecution he faced in Mecca. What did he do?

    After the bloodless conquest of Mecca by Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h)

    He asked:

    “O you people of Quraish! What do you think of the treatment that I am about to accord to you”?

    They replied:

    “O noble brother and son of noble brother! WE EXPECT NOTHING BUT GOODNESS FROM YOU” (because despite their wrong they know so well that prophet Muhammad will show them MERCY. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    Upon this he said to them:

    “I speak to you in the same words as Anabi Yusuf, Prophet Joseph, spoke unto his brothers: He said: “NO REPROACH ON YOU THIS DAY: ALLAH WILL FORGIVE YOU AND HE IS THE MOST MERCIFUL OF THOSE WHO SHOW MERCY!” Suratul Yusuf, Joseph. Quran 12 verse 92.

    And then he further said “GO YOUR WAY, FOR YOU ARE FREED ONES.” Despite all the ills they did to him he forgave them all and in return they all embraced Islam.


    Why all these Caricatures and Cartoons? My initial question.


    Allah says:

    “We know indeed the grief which their words do cause thee (Muhammad p.b.u.h). It is not thee (Muhammad p.b.u.h) they reject (hate) IT IS THE VERSES OF ALLAH (the Quran, Sharia) WHICH THE WICKED REJECT. Rejected were the prophets before thee: with PATIENCE and CONSTANCY they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our help did reach them: THERE IS NONE WHO CAN ALTER THE WORDS OF GOD. ALREADY HAS THOU RECEIVED ACCOUNT OF THOSE PROPHETS” Suratul An-am or Cattle Quran 6 verse 34.

    Was Jesus p.b.u.h not stoned at by the children of Israel for calling them to worship One God? What about Moses p.b.u.h. Every one sent by God did not escape the ridicule of the wicked ones.

    So, Pam Geller the organiser of Sunday’s Cartooning of the supposed prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h had this to say on CNN while being interviewed by Alisyn Camerota:

    I am anti-jihad. I am ANTI-SHARIA,” Geller said. “You, by saying I paint with a broad brush, are saying all Muslims support jihad. Alisyn, you sound very Islamophobic.”

    She said it all. The fight is not against Muhammad p.b.u.h but the Message he brought from God to the whole of Mankind. Have you ever wondered why so many Jews do not accept Jesus as the Messiah till date but Muslims do. Have you ever wondered why so many Christians do not accept the prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h as a messenger of God despite the fact that Islam is the only other way of life that accept Christ as sent by God but as a prophet?


    • M.Mahmud

      May 15, 2015 at 9:52 PM

      Islam is the only religion that accepts Christ AS not the only other religion to accept Christ.

      My freedom of speech enables me to deny other religions and frankly I quite like that.

      • John Howard

        May 19, 2015 at 8:10 PM

        Does this mean that you use western values to achieve your own ends but at the same time refuse to accept that others have the same feelings and rights about their beliefs or are you a bigot as well


    May 14, 2015 at 7:04 PM


    An original White American lady revert to Islam, Shariffa Carlo explains this further as I quote her.

    “One day, I was particularly bored, so I went into one of these political discussion chat rooms on the net. Just my luck (surprise, surprise), they were discussing Muslim terrorism. I read for a while, then decided to join in. Soon the conversation turned towards the essential beliefs of the Muslims, and one of the liberals brought up the issue of free speech in Muslim countries. I proceeded to talk to them of their own system and the results of its leniency. I spoke about how the American people had traded some freedoms or rights for others. When asked to elaborate, I said. “You traded away the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the rights of free speech, freedom from virtue, and freedom from responsibility for your actions. Essentially, You traded the freedom of safety for the freedoms of speech, action and non-virtue. You consider it acceptable to be afraid of the evil elements within your society, so much so that your women fear walking alone at night and your children can not play in peace in your neighborhood. The evil elements of your society are given free rein to terrorize the good, while you continue to preserve your precious right to complain about it. In pure Islam, we do not allow certain types of speech, that which harms the beliefs, persons and virtues of our people, (and others) but our people enjoy a higher quality of life because they are free to live moral, decent lives and to feel safe and comfortable in their homes, their neighborhoods,
    their cities and their countries. You have chosen the path to the left, but we have opted for a middle course — one which creates some restrictions and some freedoms. We believe that there cannot be freedom without limits because that leads to anarchy and destruction. These people believed that the right to speak freely, to view pornography, to malign God, man and country were essential to happiness. The Muslim knows better — or should. Absolute
    freedom is dangerous. Allah knows this, that is why He chose for us Islam as our religion. That is why we, Muslims, always take the preferred middle course, a course which may have restrictions but which creates freedom as a result of the restrictions.

    Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “…do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and worship Allah in the forenoon and in the afternoon and during a part of the night, and always adopt a middle, moderate, regular course whereby you will reach your target (Paradise).” Sahih Bukhari: Volume 8, Book 76, Number 470.

    Our prophet was consistently asking us to take the middle course.This was and is for our own good. We have seen the results of extremism in both directions. The United States’ moral, cultural and physical decay is the perfect example of extremism in leniency and the USSR’s utter collapse is the example of extremism in harshness. Islam, the religion created by and sent to us by Allah, is the only system which can consistently narrow and expand our freedoms in such a way that our overall life is always improved. It may seem harsh when compared to some systems or
    lenient when compared to others, but its beauty comes from an OVERALL BALANCE.

    Allah says, “…Allah does not lay on any soul a burden except to the
    extent to which He has granted it; Allah brings about ease
    after difficulty.” (65:7)


    “On no soul does Allah Place a burden greater than it can
    bear…” (2:286)


    “Surely with difficulty is ease. With difficulty is surely
    ease ” (94:5-6)

    Notice the symmetry. Allah does not make our deen to be more difficult than we are able to bear, nor does He make it completely easy. He provides us with ease and difficulty, and in His Great Mercy and Justice, He provides us more ease through this difficulty. In the last verse quoted, in its original form, the Arabic, we can see that there are two eases for a singular difficulty.

    No one who is a true believer in Islam can claim that Islam is the easiest ‘religion’ in the world”.

    Quoting SHARIFFA CARLO. It will interest you to find out how she became a Muslim. She was supposed to be like Pam Geller too even worse an Anti-Islamist. Do your research.


    Allah says:

    “And verily, you (O Muhammad p.b.u.h) are on an exalted Standard of character.” Suratul Qalam or the Pen. Quran 68 verse 4


    It is to emulate him and not worship him. This is the instruction by Allah which the prophet emphasised by himself.

    The messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Allah’s grace and peace be upon him) said, ‘Do not praise, laude, approbate, or eulogize me the way that the Christians did to Jesus, the son of Mary. I am only the slave of Allah’, thus say, ‘The slave of Allah and His messenger.'” (Authentic: Bukhari, Ahmad, Darimi, and others.)

    Would violence have been the response of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h to what is happening today? THE CARTOONS, THE CARICATURE, THE E.T.C ? Would he have being against those who are for freedom of speech despite being Muslims because their stand is to use that same freedom in presenting and defending the case?

    You should know better SIRAJ MUHAMMAD.

    • Peter Hall

      May 16, 2015 at 3:57 AM

      Can you please just post the link?

      Long cut and pastes really are rather dull.

  29. WOrdworld

    May 14, 2015 at 7:38 PM

    let us educate ourselves on how to respond in a very matured, wise, peaceful and intellectually defensive way and not by shedding or trying to shed blood or be destructive or trying to pull down the efforts of Muslims who stand for a right that can turn the table around for the very BEST. The same ridiculous freedom of speech is our best chance.

  30. Siraaj Muhammad

    May 14, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    Hi WordWorld,

    Appreciate the time and effort you took to explain your point of view. I agree with you that not only is violence not the answer, but we should be firm in speaking against it, as we were with the two who attacked the “convention”.

    I believe there is value in freedom of speech insomuch as it doesn’t devolve into discrimination and hatred. once it crosses that line, no one sanctions it. As I mentioned earlier, we have plenty of religious freedom in the private sector while lawfully protecting protected groups from hate speech.

    My main point is that Muslims should not be in the business of defending someone’s right to attack the Prophet (SAW), and can disagree with the law in principle, even if they know there is no changing it – I know laws related to pornography will not change, but I do not have to say anything like, “I think pornography is disgusting, but I defend your right to watch it.”

    • Peter Hall

      May 15, 2015 at 3:00 PM

      Well Siraaj,

      I am neither pro, nor anti Muslim; whoever what I find disturbing in what you have written, is your complete lack of moral insight.

      Two things happened that day.

      1) A group of people go together in a closed environment, to act in what I feel is a distasteful manner. If no Muslim attended the meeting, no Muslim would of been offended.

      2) Two Muslims, most probably feeling the same outrage as you are exhibiting in your post, but expressing it in an entirely different way to you, decided they wanted to go and murder a group of unarmed people for holding a meeting in private, to discuss something that might or might not offend Muslims, if any Muslims decided to attend.

      You completely avoided the fact that two Muslims, went to kill as many people as they could, on the belief that is what Muslims should do?? Yet you fail to address this at all?

      The biggest insult Islam as a religion, and to law abiding Muslims or anybody with a moral compass, are people like those 2 idiots, and people like you.

      Murdering unarmed people for any reason is bad enough, but murdering in the name of your religion? This is not 7th century Arabia!

      The you have no place commenting on what is right and what is wrong, when clearly you have no moral compass at all, which more sadly reflects upon the values Islam have given you, and brings more shame upon the Prophet, than anything a Pam Geller could ever say, or anything a cartoonist could ever draw.

      I do not find Homosexuality tasteful, but what people do behind closed doors, as long as it does not affect me, if fine. If Homosexuals want to marry, it is no business of mine. If some freak wants to do the deed with a goat behind closed doors, and the goat is not injured, is of no concern of mine.

      Yet if people like you, and those two idiots who wanted to MURDER in the name of their religion, were more worried about your own actions, and less about sticking your noses into things that you find offensive, then Islam would not be gaining such a bad reputation around the world.

      You want everybody to respect your beliefs, but you clearly have no respect for human life, otherwise you would be clearly outraged that 2 individuals went out to murder people in the belief their God wanted them to, and you have not once said this is incorrect!!!

      You, and your fellow offended Muslims, need to appreciate that if your God is truly all powerful, as you claim, he does not need morons running around killing people in his name, he can do it himself if he wants to.

      The vast bulk of Muslims get this, and live as good people, yet you, and the idiots who like shooting people, beheading people and blowing themselves up to kill others, do not.

      You are clearly showing every day, your God is weak and easily offended. It is you, and your type that make Islam look like a joke to the rest of us. You should be ashamed.

      Funny how you mention bestiality, yet certain sects of Islam have written published rules, that seem to be more worried about feeding the animal after to another village that censoring the practice to Muslims.

      You strike me as they type of guy who would beat the Muslim who has sex with goat, if he does not dispose of it after in the way prescribed, yet ignore the act of bestiality in the first place.

      • M.Mahmud

        May 15, 2015 at 9:54 PM

        Perhaps you should takr a trip to free speech loving Denmark. They have animal brothels there.
        Don’t worry I think halal meat is banned there though

      • Notheist

        June 5, 2016 at 5:25 PM

        The goat cannot consent

  31. Saud Hassan Kazia

    May 15, 2015 at 1:43 AM

    The issue really is why one type of offensive speech more protected than another. .. say the truth about Jews controlling Media and financial institutions (backed by names) and you could get in trouble really fast. ..deny holocaust or question it and it’s a crime. ..say anything critical of Israel in public forum by anyone important would mean ADL and other antisemitism watch groups would start to go on a smear campaign and destroy your career and your life..but say anything that will offend billions of Muslims…no reaction or no useful reaction and definitely no support from media…
    many people have been forced to apologize for that which media has deemed unacceptable. ..and many have been cornered to their own niche audiences like those that say 9/11 was an inside job or those that just question the official “story”
    Abba Martin got a horrendous and violent backlash with uunbelievabely hateful messages and her personal information distributed to public just for exercising free speech by tweeting a picture of her tshirt that said “fuc# Chris Kyle”…

    my idea of free speech have the right to express what you want in a capacity that does not deliberately provoke or offend others…if suppose Abby didn’t tweet just to her fans but to a greater public…that would be provocative and hateful. ..

    There are hundreds of groups on Facebook whose sole purpose is to slander Islam and Muslims. ..I and so maby others have reported to Facebook regarding a few of them and individual highly toxic posts, yet the FB team will not take them down yet a 90,000 strong Muslim Public Affairs UK group gets removed because FB thinks it’s posts violate their terms. ..

    We are at a situation in this world largely due to negative media propaganda that it’s not about the nature of hate speech but who is perpetrating and who the target is…

    The law has to clearly define what is free speech and what is hate speech and enforce it for all

    • Peter Hall

      May 15, 2015 at 3:19 PM

      There is a difference between free speech, and lies.

      Now denying the Holocaust is a lie, only a fool would say otherwise. 9/11 conspiracy theories is yet another example. They are not examples of differences of opinion, they are fabrications designed to promote antisemitism, just like the lies that the Jews control the world media. It just is not true.

      Looks to me it is more Australians English and Anglo- Saxon Americans, with only 1 Jew on the whole list!

      Everybody has the right under free speech, to criticize anybody, and as far as I can see Israel cops more than its far share, as do Muslims.

      However, the use of lies and fabrications is not free speech. I believe Islam is a very robust religion. It is just that a small minority of its followers are insecure hateful little people, who like to try and scare people, and bully people, and meddle in other peoples lives, and distort their own religion in doing so.

      Muslims need to speak up against the bullies, the tyrants, and the fools that seem to be grabbing the limelight with their utter stupidity.


        May 15, 2015 at 5:36 PM

        I honestly share your veiw, Peter Hall. Muslims have to come up with an alternative to responding to hate speeches in a violent free way. ITS A FREE WORLD. why are Muslims not spending their money, time and energy on creating Social Network, Media, e.t.c.e.t.c powerful enough in the best interest of Islam and stop relying on Facebook, e.t.c e.t.c if the chose to be bias to Islam. MUSLIMS ARE JUST TOO LAZY A PEOPLE IN THE MAJORITY WHO JUST LIKE TO THROW BLAMES AND NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILY.

    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 15, 2015 at 3:36 PM

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts, greatly appreciated. Please read the paragraph in my piece entitled, “So How Should We Respond?” In that paragraph, I not only mention that we should not venture into any type of vigilante action, and that we have to respect the law, but that we should be able to disagree in principle (even if we recognize the law will not change), and we should respond by being able to quote their bigotry.

      I thought I was very unambiguous about my position in non-violence, and why it is wrong. I don’t think anyone disagrees that what the two attackers did was just plain wrong.

      • Peter Hall

        May 16, 2015 at 3:53 AM

        Again, you are showing lack of insight.

        Saying it once is not enough. Until the idiotic minority of Muslims, learn and understand that it is NOT ISLAM to murder and kill people, YOU have a responsibility to repeat it, again and again, as a preface to every comment you make, in what you think is the defense of Islam.

        The danger to islam is within.

        Your justification is laughable in the extreme, in that you cannot see the biggest insult to Islam was not Pam Geller, but the 2 morons who went there to try and kill her, and all the others there.

        Pam Geller is a small sideshow compared to what those two “Muslims” tried to do, as a insult to the Prophet. You talk about how the west does not understand Islam, it is pretty clear to me that the problem is not the West knowing what Islam means, but Muslims!!!!

        90% of all Muslims who suffer a violent death in the last decade has been a result of muslims thinking it is ok to kill and murder, in defence of Islam or on behalf of their version of Islam. So why are you wasting your efforts on pam Geller? You are giving her what she wants!

        Your failure to seize the moral high ground, is only making what she says about blood thirsty Muslims wanting to come and kill everybody, sound more true.

        You do not discredit someone who is trying to demonize you and your Religion as demonic, blood thirsty and evil, by demonizing them and having your followers act in evil, blood thirsty and evil ways!!

        The vast bulk of the Muslim world does not act in this way, quite the opposite, and the minority who do, are the insult to Islam. Pam Geller is only a somebody, because of the actions of some Muslims.

        For ever nutter like Pam Geller, there is an equal nut within the Muslim community, with the same need to grab an audience, and present utter stupidity as the the truth, to the gullible and the stupid.

        The Difference is, that very few people in the west pay much attention to these people, like Pam Geller, they are not our leaders for most part.

        However within the Muslim world, it is not the case, the very same types of nutters are taken seriously, which results in groups like ISIS, Al Shabab and various other lunatics.

        Pam Geller I doubt could excite enough people to fill a hall, yet the muslim versions of her, can fill stadiums many times over with the corpses of their victims many times over. Most of their victims are other Muslims.

        I see that you are not a radical, or trying to inspire hate, you only want respect for your belief system. However respect has to be earned, not demanded.

        It is people like you who need to lift the bar far higher, as an intelligent and articulate Muslim, you bear a far greater burden, to make sure Muslims at the fringe are held accountable.

        Many more Muslims leave Islam, out of shame and embarrassment of what the minority of Muslims do, than are ever converted. Unfortunately most of the new converts to Islam are not converting for doing good, but as a license to do evil.

        That is the message most loudly heard and seen by non-Muslims, that the Muslim lunatic fringe has centre stage.

        Forget the fringe loonies of the Western world, it is the fringe loonies of the Muslim world who you should worry about, and it is muslims murdering other muslims in the name of Islam that is the bigger problem.

        It it not shameful, that Muslim Israelis actually live with greater legal rights, freedoms and security, than Muslims living in virtually all Muslim majority countries?

        You have a responsibilty, I would say a duty, to devote your efforts to get Muslims to get their own houses in order, than worry about societies that function far more harmoniously, and successfully than any Muslim Society on the planet. You are wasting your obvious ability, on side issues. Which is a shame.

        • Siraaj Muhammad

          May 16, 2015 at 12:34 PM

          Peter, a woman is raped every 44 seconds in America by Americans, not terrorists. I know that its only a minority of men doing it but every thing you say must be prefaced by condemnation of them to make it clear, and you can’t stop until mankind stops raping.

          • Peter Hall

            May 18, 2015 at 12:04 PM

            It is very true that in the USA a woman is raped every 45 seconds. And you have provided a perfect example of what i am trying to make you aware of.

            However, I have never seen men dancing in the streets celebrating a woman getting raped. I have never seen posters in the USA praising the rapist, I have never heard men praise God that another woman has been raped, I have never seen men in the USA look for excuses to justify rape in religious texts. I have never seen crowds burn effigies rape victim and stomp on them.

            Only a relatively few Muslims are involved in terrorism, however unlike rapists in the USA, every time a Muslim terrorist flies into a building killing thousands, every time a Muslim terrorist decides to cut the head off on camera and televise it, it is quite acceptable in the Muslim world to be dancing in the streets, to erect shrines to the suicide bombers, to burn effigies.

            Why? I doubt 90% of the Muslims who do these things would never steal a carrot, and would help anybody in need without hesitation. However they think that the actions of the terrorists are part of Islam!

            The failure of islam is the vast majority of Muslims do not understand the religion they follow. Otherwise explain why acts of utter horror, like the rape, are not celebrated on the streets. Yet Muslim terrorists kidnap schoolgirls as sex slaves, decapitate aid workers, and murder muslim women, children and old people without hesitation.

            Those actions are not condemned by anywhere near enough of the mainstream Muslim majority. Those people, the 1000s we all saw on TV, on the streets in Muslim majority cities celebrating 9/11, were all saying how great Allah is?

            So rape and murder and bad things happen in every culture and every society. If we look at history, the Christians, the Europeans and the Asians have all done as bad or worse than muslim terrorists are doing now. the Bible, Torah, etc all have sections that can be interpreted and used to give justification to do horrible things.

            But in the 21st century, it is Islam that is repeating the mistakes of the other religions followers in the past. However islam does not have the excuse of ignorance. The continued deterioration of Islam, and the things that are being done every day in its name, can only be blamed upon the leaders and the teachers of islam, that is the UTTER failure to educate the vast bulk of Muslims, of what is acceptable and what is not.

            Most 5 yo know it is wrong to kill anybody, it is wrong to hurt others, and it feels bad to pick on others, as it is to be picked upon. Yet so many muslims seem to not understand it is a insult to Allah to praise him for the killing of innocents.

            You may equate the actions of rapists in America, to that of Muslim terrorists, as acts of evil. I do not disagree with you.

            However it is how people react to evil in the USA, and how Muslims in the Muslim world react to evil is the big difference.

            That is why I am offended that you feel strong about a woman who no one really cares about, except Muslims that is, yet Muslims praising Allah for acts of pure evil, you do not have a problem with?

            Every day, Western media broadcasts dozens of examples of Muslim terrorists praising YOUR ALLAH, as they commit evil. EVERY DAY, and I do not have to cite examples as you know this very well.

            Yet you do not find that offensive? Yet you do not call to punishment for evil people committing evil acts and bringing Allah into it?

            What does that say about your respect for Allah? You are worried about a woman who draws cartoons, but muslims doing evil deeds using Allahs name and you say NOTHING! So much for your outrage.

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 16, 2015 at 4:12 AM

        Hi Peter,

        Your criticism seems to be evolving. At first you said I failed to address the problem of violence at all in my post. When I pointed out explicitly doing so at some length in the post, it was “not enough”. And that it should preface every comment.

        I think that’s altogether unreasonable. My position is clear and open for all who read my post and comments. Although I dont believe I have to say it, I’ve mentioned it at least a half dozen times in the comments section as well.

        • Peter Hall

          May 16, 2015 at 4:26 AM

          Now you are going into denial, you only mention it as a footnote, as it is immaterial to your outrage over what pam Geller says.

          Your focus is on Pam Geller and what she says under free speech, as insulting to Islam.

          I say bunkum, the biggest insult to the Prophet is not Pam Geller, it is the actions, happening every day, done by Muslims, to mainly other Muslims.

          That is, killing in the name of Islam. Yet you cannot see this??????????????? Really?


    May 15, 2015 at 6:26 PM

    you said that your POINT is that Muslims should not be in the business of defending someone’s right to attack the prophet S.A.W.

    Linda Sarsour, a New York City Muslim community leader,
    explained to me that Geller can “draw any damn cartoon she
    wants and I defend her right to do so. I have always fought for her right to be a bigot and I have the right to counter her bigotry with my own speech.”



    It is stated clearly the distinction between defending a right of which this right accomodates ‘BIGOTRY’ of which a Pamela Geller finds fanciful. Hence, read the last few words of Linda Sarsour “I HAVE THE RIGHT TO COUNTER HER BIGOTRY WITH MY OWN SPEECH”. This a sane Muslim responding to a provocation within an available platform which is freedom of speech that accomodates ‘BIGOTRY’. It should only become worrisome when Muslims respond in retaliation with the same ‘BIGOTRY’. but TWO Muslims did respond in a manner far too worse and their Negative attitude is NOT YOUR MAIN POINT OF VIEW. PLEASE WHAT IS ISLAM REALLY ALL ABOUT. PLEASE!!! So, What Sarsour is saying and other sane people are saying is that, Pam Geller has the rights but its left to Muslims not to abuse the same right as Pam Geller, inciting some Zealotry Muslims who are so insane and subjective to doing much more EVIL by being incited. A LACK OF MATURITY. As if when a man sees a woman in a mini skirt, she is telling him to COME RAPE ME, and the man allows is urges to control him instead of Him controlling his urges. WHAT REALLY IS ISLAM ALL ABOUT IF NOT ABOUT SELF CONTROL, SELF RESPONSIBILITTY IN THE SERVICE TO ALMIGHTY ALLAH.


    When you study the context of the whole scenario, it wouldnt have been a great deal if those two murderers have not gone to the venue for the kill of which the ended up being killed.



    • Siraaj Muhammad

      May 15, 2015 at 6:41 PM

      Hi WordWorld,

      Thanks again for your impassioned post. As I wrote in my disclaimer, I have a great deal of respect for all our workers on the front lines, and cast no aspersions whatsoever on their intent, credential, and so on. What I offer is constructive criticism on the principles.

      Firstly, let’s be clear that in no place have I said “free speech” is bad per se – I have said discriminatory hate speech. Not just offensive speech – discriminatory hate speech. Harassment via discriminatory hate speech is already criminalized in the private sector, ratified as criminalized by the UN, and as well criminalized in a number of free, western nations.

      Secondly, if this principle of defending someone’s right to some behavior under the law, then a Muslim should also be able to say:

      In Nevada: “I don’t believe prostitution, I believe it exploits women, but I’ll stand for your right to sell your body, or I’ll stand for a pimp’s right to sell women’s bodies for monetary profit. I’ll speak out against the practice itself, but I will stand for your right to do it, or profit from it.”

      In Germany: “I don’t believe in bestiality brothels, I think it’s disgusting, but I will defend your right to copulate with an animal or provide animals to foreigners with strange tastes.”

      In America: “I don’t believe in pornography, but i will defend your right and others to act in pornographic films, and I will defend the right of movie studios to make these exploitative films which damage and destroy the actresses and the watchers.” (btw, this falls under free speech).

      On and on it goes – your principle is that because the law allows something, I should accept it and even defend because it’s the law. But if I don’t believe in something myself for moral reasons, then why should I claim to defend the right of someone to practice such? I shouldn’t, but that is essentially the path you walk down.

      • Peter Hall

        May 16, 2015 at 4:21 AM

        I think you do not understand that many of your beliefs are highly offensive to many people.

        What is offensive and racist to some, is religious doctrine to others.

        People like Tom Cruise believe in a Religion that believes in Aliens, that was written by a guy who’s previous claim to fame was a science fiction writer. The claims made by Scientologists are offensive to me, however I believe they have a right to hold them.

        The same with Islam, I believe my wife is my equal, and I would take her testimony over any male. I do not believe in slavery under any circumstances, rape, murder or polygamy. (It is indisputable Islam embraces aspects of these practices, as does Judaism and Christianity in varying degrees)

        However, I believe that you are entitled to your belief system, just do not expect me to endorse aspects of it I find offensive.

        Where the protection of Islam you seek fails in my opinion, is,as an example.

        If we were in court, and you said that my wife’s testimony should only be given half the weight of your brothers testimony, because it is part of Sharia Law and as a Muslim.

        I would argue not only are you wrong, but the fundamental principal, that you based that statement is flawed, and that in essence Islam is wrong. In my defense of my wife, and the value of her testimony, would necessitate my attacking a tenant of Islam, and therefore making public a criticism of what many muslims believe.

        The protection you desire, can open abuses far worse than being offended. The protection from criticism is in the realm of the protection sort by the dangerous, and the evil.

        Every Evil person of the last 100 years, sort and forced the very same protections you seek for Islam. Mao, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein have all demanded protection from criticism, and evil flourished under that protection. Do you really want islam lumped into the same bed as those individuals?

      • Siraaj Muhammad

        May 16, 2015 at 4:35 AM

        I neither demand nor will I refrain from criticism – criticism is not the problem, particularly constructive criticism – that is most invaluable. But bigotry has no place in a civilized society.

        My post is not about Pam Geller per se – its reminding our activists they can accept the first amendment as is, but they needn’t run around touting that they defend her right to slander and mock our faith, our people, and our religious figures.

        • Peter Hall

          May 16, 2015 at 4:46 AM

          However, you do not live in a vacuum of Islam, there are many different belief systems out there, and as in my example of a court case, where differences of belief are encountered, the only way is open and free debate.

          If In a court dispute, based on the scenarios I presented, the wrong way for me to prove my point, would be to pull out a gun and shoot you and your brother. It may settle the dispute, but is obviously wrong. The correct way is to talk, yell, argue, plea and present evidence. Either the Judge, Jury, or the rule of law, or all of them will decide if i am right or you are right. Not the gun.

          That is free speech, it is only the weight of public opinion that will decide, not 2 losers with guns. Islam does not need more losers with guns, but people who can argue with intelligence and logic.


    May 15, 2015 at 6:32 PM


    Prophet Muhammad’s, (p.b.u.h) cousin, son inlaw and the Fourth Khalipha, among the four rightly guided Khaliphs in Islam. Once said these beautiful words, and I quote:


    If there are among the companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) who was truely blessed with the understanding of Al-Islam, then we cannot deny that Hazrat Ali (r.a) is among those in the very forefront of understanding and practing the Deen. I am not trying to make any distinction among the Sahabas, the companions of Rosul-Allah or making a rating among them. No! My take is based on the fact that Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h by himself did bestow on his cousin, Hazrat Ali (r.a) a title as he called: Ali is the KEY to knowledge, and there are quite a number of Hadiths to justify his claim the title.

    Hence, we can as well try to gain beneficial insights and understanding about Al-Islam by learning from this Noble Khalipha, Hazrat Ali’s (r.a) saying as quoted above and as well as from all the other Sahabas, Companions of Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. by tapping into the knowledge and wisdom Allah blessed them with which are very well documented.

    So he, Hazrat Ali (r.a) adviced Muslims to give their enemy as much as 1000, ONE THOUSAND,CHANCES so that the ENEMY may become a FRIEND. In other words,become a MUSLIM.

    Are we, the Muslims generation of this present day Ummah, willing to be so PATIENT and SELF RESTRAINING enough to give the most MALICIOUS and most ARROGANT ones among the ENEMY, precisely the most WICKED among the non-muslims who live their lifes only for hurting us Muslims, all because we believe in One God alone, without associating any partner(s) with Him in worship and we also testify that Muhammad p.b.u.h is the last Messenger sent by Him, God, Allah, to the whole of Mankind? Are we willing to give the ‘ENEMY’ so much chances as much as 1000 chances to become our FRIEND and stop being our FOE?

    Hazrat Ali’s (r.a) advice is not just from the wild wind of imagination or innovation but from the Divine book of Wisdom, which is the Glorious Quran and also from his personal experience being among the very foremost who accepted Al-Islam as a complete way of Life after Muhammad p.b.u.h was called to the office of prophethood. Hazrat Ali (r.a) was the third who accepted Islam after Khadijah (r.a), the Prophet’s Spouse followed by his freed slave Zaid bin Harithah (r.a).

    But, before I quote a verse of the Quran that supports Hazrat Ali’s (r.a) quoted words above and his experience in Islam which is a re-enforcement to his saying. I will like to ask us, MUSLIMS a question from our comptemporay world today.

    Are we Muslims willing to give PAM GELLER as much as 1000 chances to becoming a Friend and stop being a Foe?

    Pamela Geller is the official organizer of the provocative cartoon Exhibition titled: “DRAW THE PROPHET” of the supposed Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h that took place in Texas on May 3, 2015.
    Pamela Geller is also the President of the American Freedom Defensive Initiative, which has been designated a Muslim HATE group by Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization known for tracking hate group.


    I doubt if the two Muslims who were killed after the exhibition “DRAW THE PROPHET” went to the venue to extend a hand of friendship to PAM GELLER with riffle in hand. ANY CHANCE FOR GELLER, OR THEY TWO WERE NOT ACTUALLY TAKING ANY CHANCE AT ALL ON HER?

    • M.Mahmud

      May 15, 2015 at 9:57 PM

      I like free speech as well. God’s curse on Geller. May she find nothing but frustration and rage.

      • Peter Hall

        May 16, 2015 at 4:30 AM

        Let God curse her, why do you care so much what she says?

        You are making her important!


        May 16, 2015 at 6:11 AM

        i will rather say, May Allah guide her frustrations and anger towards Islam so that she can enjoy the tranquility and senerity that sincere Muslims are being favoured with by Allah. WE ARE ALL STILL ON OUR JOURNEYS. Its only when we end with our last breath as Sincere Muslims that we have fulfiled our Journey. until then let us keep on praying to live and die as sincere Muslims whom Allah will be PLEASED WITH.

        Pam Geller’s outrage? How did Umar bin Al- Khatab ‘become A RIVERT, CONVERTED, SUBMITTED. Was he not on his way outrageiously with sword in hand with intense intention about going to kill Prophet Muhammad pbuh?

        Pam Geller also has a chance dont curse her but pray for the best for the whole of mankind. our world is getting tougher ever second all because we have choosen to worship our man made systems. ISLAM IS FOR REAL, NOT MAN MADE BUT BY ALLAH AND FOR ALLAH.


        Speech is better that the spear. i am for free speech all i need to be is a MUSLIM and not a DEMOCRAT.


    May 15, 2015 at 6:39 PM

    Is any one familiar with this name, ARNOUD VAN DOORN?

    Arnoud Van Doorn is a former far right politician from the ANTI-ISLAM DUTCH FREEDOM PARTY of Geert Wilders. Like Pam Geller, he contributed to the production of Dutch Anti-Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) Film. Very malicious towards Islam and Muslims.

    Hazrat Ali (r.a) has given Muslims a way to solve such a problem of hatred towards Islam by who are called ENEMIES OF ISLAM. Hazrat Ali (r.a) said and I quote again: “GIVE YOUR ENEMY 1000 CHANCES TO BECOME A FRIEND, BUT DON’T GIVE YOUR FRIEND 1 CHANCE TO BE AN ENEMY”

    Arnoud Van Doorn took a chance and today he is not only a friend of Islam but a Muslim and not just a Muslim but a Dawhee, a propagator, whose goals is to spread what he once hated so much, ISLAM to every corner of the globe as much his capacity can take him.

    At the moment he is the president of the EUROPEAN DAWAH FOUNDATION and Ambassador of celebrity relation for Canadian Dawah Association in Europe.

    Arnoud Van Doorn became Muslim in 2013. Later, his eldest son, ISKANDER AMIEN DE VRIE followed him in converting to Islam in 2014 after seeing his father becoming more peaceful and making progressive changes since embracing what he once detested so, so, much, ISLAM. Today he lives for Islam and fights for Islam and he is am sure ready to die for Islam.


    Why was Arnoud Van Doorn an acute HATER of Islam? The answer is that he was so IGNORANT about ISLAM and he must have based his hatred on the INDOCTRINATION he had received which where pure MISCONCEPTION about Islam. A misconception which today’s Muslim Ummah are working so, so hard to fortify, earning digusting and distorted images for Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) by being an outright REBEL against his very own character which we HYPOCRITICAL mostly claim to be defending by putting anyone who says anything NEGATIVE about our beloved Rosol Allah to death by murder.

    If Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, had been in the exercise of puting to death everyone who abused him as:

    “And they (enemies of Islam) say: O you (Muhammad pbuh) to whom the Message (Quran) is being revealed! VERILY YOU ARE A MAD MAN”. Suratul Al-Hijr or The Rocky Tract. Quran 15 verse 6

    “And the (Arab Pagans) wonder that a warner (Prophet Muhammad pbuh) has come to them from among themselves! And the non-muslims say: THIS (prophet Muhammad pbuh) IS A SORCERER, A LIAR” Suratul Sad, Quran 38 verse 4

    “This (the Quran) is nothing but a lie that he (Muhammad p.b.u.h) has invented, and others have helped him at it” Suratul Furqan, the Criterion Quran 25 verse 5

    Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h whom we claim to be defending today after being dead over 1400 years ago. The question is how did he, Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h dealt with the scoffing, degrading, ridiculing, belying, mocking by ardent zealotry non muslims while he was alive and had the responsibility to deliver Islam to the whole of mankind, friend or foe?

    Was he, Prophet Muhammad pbuh after the lifes of these wicked non- muslims with the Angel of Death? Was he is privileged to ask God to grant him such a will to kill them all?

    And infact God gave him such an opportunity without him asking for it and at the time which could have defined to us today that when ever the last messenger of Allah is abused, Muslims should resort to violence and kill or destroy.


    • Peter Hall

      May 18, 2015 at 6:57 PM

      Your comment that Islam is the only religion that accepts Jesus, is not only inaccurate, but highly offensive.

      Now do you think you are promoting Islam in a positive light by making such provocative statements that are clearly either a lie, or the product of a deluded mind??

      • suhail ahmad

        May 19, 2015 at 6:03 AM

        Peter Hall. Your crusade to portray Islam and muslims in a negative manner is not only offensive but also the product of a deluded mind. You have clearly forgotten the atrocities that have been perpetrated by christians and particularly by usa. So allow me to refresh your highly selective memory. Historically, masonic-christianity has been synonymous with illegal invasions, forced conversions, rape, pillage, brutal genocide, grand theft of other people’s land and natural resources, slavery, racism and white supremacism. In fact, if you look through history, the most prolific and heinous mass murderers have ALWAYS been white caucasian christian fundamentalists (and zionists). If you think muslims are terrorists, we are but a drop in the ocean compared to you folks. Examples:

        Don’t forget it was the christians who destroyed the great library of Alexandria because they felt Greek ‘knowledge’ came from the devil.

        Don’t forget it was the European christians (not muslims) who started WW1 & WW2 and who murdered over 6 million European jews. Whilst the European christians were busy persecuting jews for over a millennia, it was the Islamic caliphate in Europe (muslim moors of Al-Andalus and then the Ottomon caliphate) who gave the jews sanctuary and protection. In fact, when the christians prince ferdinand and queen isabella, illegally invaded and destroyed the Islamic caliphate of Spain, the jews fled to Morocco alongside the muslims. To this day, Morocco has a massive jewish population.

        Dont forget it was white caucasian christians (not muslims) who murdered 20 million aborigines.

        Don’t forget it was white caucasian christians (not muslims) who nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        Don’t forget it was christian americans (not muslims!) who committed horrific war crimes and brutally murdered a million innocent civilians during the illegal Vietnam war.

        Don’t forget it was white caucasian christians (not muslims) who murdered over 10 million North American Indians and stole their land.

        Don’t forget it was white caucasian christians (not muslims) who murdered 50 million South American Indians.

        Don’t forget it was white caucasian american christians (not muslims) who murdered and crippled a million Indians in Bhopal via Union Carbide leak in 1984. To this day, usa has not paid a single cent of the $1.5 billion owed in compensation.

        Don’t forget it was white caucasian christians (not muslims) who illegally and criminally invaded Iraq & Afghanistan and brutally murdered 1.1 million innocent civilians in Iraq alone.

        Don’t forget that it was/is American soldiers (not muslims) who are regularly partaking in ‘weekend rape rallies’ in Iraq. These terrorists do not show mercy to even teenage girls.

        Don’t forget it was white caucasian christians (not muslims) who took 180 million Africans as slaves, of whom 88% died and their bodies were thrown into the Atlantic ocean.

        Don’t forget that it is the war mongering nation usa that is currently waging war against 74 sovereign nations (and it’s loyal poodle, the uk has also played a significant role in many of these conflicts).

        So please spare me your delusions of grandeur. If you want to talk about ‘terrrorism’, then first remove the racist double standard and then come to the point. When non-muslims commit terrorism it is white-washed as ‘our right to self defence’ but when a muslim is suspected or more accurately, falsely accused of terrorism, then racist folks the likes of pam geller come out of the woodworks to demonise all muslims and Islam. So look at the atrocities your own kind have committed and continue to commit before you attempt to demonise Islam and muslims.

        *This comment was edited by the MM Comments Team in order to comply with our Comments Policy*

        • Peter

          May 20, 2015 at 3:10 AM

          Well Sunhail, that was a dummy spit of epic proportions wasn’t it??

          However, a long rant filled with lies does nothing, but make you silly!

          1) I have been at pains, to constantly state, that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful. so your opening rant is a lie.

          2) Making up numbers of millions of murders that you claim are the result of Christians, going back centuries ago, only makes you look ignorant as silly.

          For example “What 20 million Aborigines”. Where did this happen and when? You just made it up, it is a pure fabrication.

          You are deliberately confusing murders by religious extremists, with the causalities of secular wars. Japan was the aggressor in WW2 and it lost, it was not the victim.

          3) Spain was invaded by the Moors, it was reclaimed from the Moors, by the rightful inhabitants. You have the right to your view, but if on a Western forum, expect to have your errors corrected.

          In pure numbers, how about the 280 million Africans who died as a result of the Muslim slave trade, or the 90-million Indians killed by Muslims in India. Lets not forget that Islam looked after the Jews so well, how many Jews now live in the Arabian Peninsula TODAY?? Zero.

          Or Turkey?

          Or EGYPT?

          However, unlike you, I am not saying the 280 million Africans died as a result of Islam, that would be a lie, it was the slave trade run by Muslims, who were conducting business according to the norm of their time, and Islam was a moderating behavior in the slave trade at that time. the 280 million Africans died, was not due to Islam, and may have reduced the deaths by a few million.

          So where I post the truth, you have posted lies.

          You do not deserve to die because you posted lies out of ignorance or evil intent. However, making figures up, and misrepresenting history, makes you look stupid.

          Trying to compare moral values of the past with today is one thing many Muslims have trouble with.

          In the 7th Century, in many ways Islam was quite progressive compared to many other cultures and religions. In the 10th to 14th century, some Muslim societies were far more progressive than their European counterparts.

          However, the problem we are facing now, is where the MAJORITY of the worlds Muslims apply the essence of Islam in a modern context, a few revert back to moral codes, that are of the 7th century Arabia.

          Name a single Muslim country where slavery is now legal? NONE.

          I am sure if Mohammed was here today, he would not have been taking about how to treat your slaves better, and having multiple wives as way of looking after widows, as he would know we now have social security.

          He was commenting on social problems of his time, as well as secular matters, and his method of solving or addressing those problems is his message, not the literal actions.

          I rest my case.

        • John Howard

          May 20, 2015 at 4:35 AM

          Muslims were known for their mathematics and numbers. Sadly it appears you have not inherited that skill. Firstly 20 million aboriginals? The population of Australia is around 23 million NOW! At no time was the aboriginal population even remotely close to that They were a nomadic people at the time and there was never existed in small tribes never more than a hundred at a time in a tribe. The vast majority of the country is arid and does not sustain a huge population especially as they used to set fire to the land to get the animals into areas where they could kill them This was a wasteful and dangerous process The aborigines have suffered under white rule but I have no doubt they would have been wiped out under any other nation. As for Bhopal that was a great disgrace but a million dead? The figures are a little hazy but 6,000 were the number of deaths which is horrible enough but a million? No way!
          We certainly have had wars where millions have been killed but when your god was alive how many died in his conquests? The Ottomans killed over a million Armenians and as Peter Hall has stated the blood on Muslim hands is certainly no better. Yet again I have to ask if the west and whites are so terrible why have over a hundred million muslims chosen to come and live here? The fact is that for all the west’s faults we are the only ones who have tolerated you and given you the freedoms you will never have in islamic countries

  35. Peter Hall

    May 16, 2015 at 4:58 AM

    You said “But bigotry has no place in a civilized society.”

    Very true, but in a civilized society, guys with guns who want to shoot bigots is by far the greater sin and moral danger. The motivation to bigotry should be not tolerated, however the motivation to shoot bigots should be tolerated even less.

    It is a question of morality, the massive gulf in the degree of immorality of the two actions is what I am trying to bring to your attention.

    The motivations that inspire to kill, is far more dangerous to any society is far greater, than the motivations that inspire to be a bigot.

  36. Justice For All

    May 17, 2015 at 1:02 AM

    All of you have been arguing in futile in the name of free speech!
    In fact, action of a few do not constitute the actions of all. If that was true then how do you explain Catholics and Protestants killing each other for years in Belfast? Blowing up a Federal building in Oklahoma City by a Christian (Tim McVey) should be the action of all Christians!
    People who do not have better to do or say always write long comments without making any sense.
    So let them come to grip sooner or later. I had enough of this discussion which often off track dragging each others religions… Isn’t a wonder of the free speech?

    • Peter Hall

      May 18, 2015 at 5:26 AM

      Actually, the total number of people killed by The oklahoma Bombings, and all those killed in the Northern Ireland conflict since 1969, total LESS THAN 4000

      The number of people killed due to Islamic terrorism, well since 1995, there have been over 4000 instances of islamic terrorist attacks against non Muslims. Resulting in about 170,000 non muslim deaths.

      Muslim Vs Muslim Killing since 1980, is estimated to be over 3,700,000

      So trying to compare the 4000 odd deaths of Northern Ireland and Oklahoma, to the 3,870,000 murders as a result of islamic extremists, is laughable.

      • Peter Hall

        May 18, 2015 at 5:28 AM

        The biggest threat to Islam is not non Westerners, it is other Muslims, with 20 Muslims killed by other Muslims, for every non Muslim Killed by Muslims.

        Pam Geller is not the problem.


    May 19, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    This is not a good article in my opinion. It has no solution to reforming the 1rst amendment. You are not able to answer any of questions properly.Regardless, everyone needs to calm down and stop using CAPS LOCK. Censorship starts by removing one word until finally all free speech is gone by censorship. So, please be careful for what you wish for.

    • Siraaj

      May 19, 2015 at 5:26 PM

      The objective of the article is in its title. As I’ve mentioned many times, I have no intent to change it. Throughout the comments, I’ve demonstrated (depending on questions asked) different ways free societies criminalize hate speech, including America (in the private sector) without losing the capability of being offensive.

      The point of this article is to point out that respecting the law and defending the law dont go hand in hand. I may have to respect that pornography is allowed by law, but I dont have to defend anyone’s right to avail themselves of it when I hold moral disagreements with it.


    May 20, 2015 at 6:17 PM


    You seem to me a TRUIST, and am so IMPRESS, honestly. You truely do understand the PSYCHOLOGY of todays Muslims as it kept changing, declining in focus and morality through the ages since the 7th century. Muslims need alot of INTROSPECTION to do. Currently Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen. Is this not a recent example of MUSLIMS KILLING MUSLIMS. Yet Muslims always feel disturbed over issues that are ridiculous and most childish leave important things behind. Yes, its true USA wage war here and there but if i might ask. IS IT NOT THE VERY COUNTRY THE HOUSES THE KA’ABAH THAT IS AMONG HER STRONGEST ALLIES? Why should we condemn USA and leave the Muslim countries who are there passionate subordinate?

    There are lots of Iraqis who found their way to the same USA that destroyed their country because the believe in her FREEDOM. Otherwise if its for Islamic reasons, to be able to practices Islam in peace, then, there are to many countries that should have been an option other than the same USA that bombed their families.

    After a long senseless war between Iraq and Iran, Muslims killing Muslims, was Sadam not a Friend of the USA before their misunderstanding and then he became a FOE? DIDNT HE ACCEPT THE AID OF USA IN KILLING HIS FELLOW MUSLIMS? The same with Iran, they had their aids who supported them in this attrocities, killing Muslims by Muslims.


    I have alot of EDUCATION to do. Our world cannot continue like this. NO WAY!

  39. Abu Milk Sheikh

    June 9, 2015 at 5:47 AM

    The article and subsequent comments highlight the hypocrisy of free speech advocates.

    Your right to free speech only exists insofar as you toe the line of popular culture.

    Challenge any of the axioms (i.e. ‘aqeedah) of secular liberalism and you’ll find yourself swarmed and shouted down.

    It just proves our point that the concept of “free” speech is only intellectual and doesn’t exist in reality.

    • AmericanMuse

      October 14, 2015 at 7:36 AM

      Sure free speech exists, but not in the Muslim world.

  40. Saif

    July 24, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    You know this hadith the author quotes: “There is no preference of an Arab over a Non-Arab or a white over a black or a black over a white except by the (degree) of piety …”

    It’s a tricky one. The first part illustrates beautifully the egalitarian nature of Islam. The second part… “except by degree of piety…” could be taken two ways. The author chooses to interpret “piety” as being synonymous with “character,” which is not the same thing. And I think in practice, in most environment, it is not character, but a very superficial form of piety that entitles you to equality in Islam. Like, do you believe in Allah (and CALL him Allah, and not God, or Ram, or the Tao, or something else?) Do you believe that Muhammad was the messenger of Allah, and that everything he said is perfect? OK, then you are equal. But if not… then you’re either unenlightened (if you live in a non-Muslim country) OR you might lose rights if you live in a non-Muslim country. Certainly, if you WERE muslim and you decide NOT to be, then you lose rights, possibly even the right to life.

    “Character” to me, means are you a good person that helps his neighbors, deals honestly with people, etc.

    Many, many Muslims I have met exhibit good character, just like many, many non-Muslims do. But in Islam, it is not those of good character who count. It is those who “believe.”

  41. AmericanMuse

    October 14, 2015 at 7:31 AM

    I believe drawing cartoons of Muhammad or any other religious leader should be perfectly fine.

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