The Opponents of Militant Islamism Are Often As Bigoted as Their Targets
While I don’t entirely agree with Jacob Mchangama regarding the decision the court made dealing with MTA refusing to run Geller’s bus adds, everything else he wrote here is spot on.
Too often the Western opponents of militant jihad speak up for pluralism and free speech only so long as it’s their rights that are being protected.
One of the supposed core values of the so-called “counter-jihad movement,” a loosely organized collection of vocal activists battling what they believe is the immediate threat of an Islamic takeover of the West, is an unflinching defense of free speech. Because dominant parts of the political elite in many Western states have been hesitant to oppose the real threat that certain Islamic states and Islamist groups pose to free speech, as seen by, for example, their handwringing during the Danish “cartoon crisis,” the counterjihadis have had some success in posing as the true defenders of free speech. The counterjihadis appear willing to defend this enlightenment principle, whereas feckless politicians and intellectuals fear appearing as bigoted or insensitive to minorities. Yet one need only scratch the surface to realize how dominant members of the counterjihad movement are more than happy to compromise on free speech as long as the ends justify the means and those denied their rights are Muslim.
The most blatant example of this agenda was made by one of the godfathers of the counterjihad movement, American blogger and author of “Jihadwatch,” Robert Spencer. Spencer recently wrote a short piece commenting on the news report that Angola had banned Islam and decided to demolish all mosques—a report that turned out to be false. As he has often hailed America’s First Amendment protections of freedom of conscience, expression and religion, one might have expected Spencer to unequivocally condemn the draconian measures ascribed to the Angolan government.