Following the cowardly policy change for the New York MTA, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or WMATA, has now suspended all issue-oriented ads through the end of year after we submitted our free-speech ad.
Because freedom of speech is under violent assault, my human-rights advocacy group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, or AFDI, had announced a new ad campaign to defend freedom of speech and stand up to violent intimidation, kicking off in the nation’s capital.
Because the media and the cultural and political elites continue to self-enforce the Shariah without the consent of the American people by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing what it was in Texas that had jihadists opening fire, we had intended to run an ad featuring the winning cartoon by former Muslim Bosch Fawstin from our Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest in Garland, Texas.
We wanted to allow the American people to see what the cowardly press is censoring in accordance with the blasphemy laws under the Shariah (Islamic law).
We submitted the ad campaign to WMATA to run on buses and train dioramas in the Foggy Bottom, Capitol South, Bethesda, L’Enfant Plaza and Shady Grove stations.
But instead of doing what was necessary to protect the public and defending the freedom of speech, WMATA changed its rules, submitting to the assassin’s veto and sending the signal that violent intimidation works.
Oh, the irony.
This is an end run around the First Amendment. This is clearly a 21st-century tactic being used to impose Islamic law, and we cannot submit. The latest development is the media, the cultural and political elites, continue to self-enforce the Shariah without the consent of the American people. They’re doing so by refusing to show any depictions of Muhammad or showing how innocuous the cartoon was in Texas that jihadists opened fire over, trying to slaughter all of us.
These cowards may claim that they are making people safer, but I submit to you the opposite. They are making it far more dangerous for Americans everywhere. Rewarding terror with submission is defeat. Absolute and complete defeat.
More demands, more violence will certainly follow. The message is that terror works.
This is Shariah in America.
The only upside is the anti-Semitic groups will not be able to run their blood libels.
Drawing Muhammad is not illegal under American law, but only under Islamic law. Violence that arises over the cartoons is solely the responsibility of the Islamic jihadists who perpetrate it. Either America will stand now against attempts to suppress the freedom of speech by violence, or will submit and give the violent the signal that we can be silenced by threats and murder.
WMATA has already done so, but as a society we cannot submit to the assassin’s veto.
It was the jihadis, not I, who made the cartoons a flashpoint. If we surrender on that point and stop drawing Muhammad, we’ve established a precedent of surrendering to violent Shariah enforcement, and once established, we will be made to reinforce it again and again. Shariah is a unique threat to free speech and liberty.
Freedom of speech is the foundation of a free society. Without it, a tyrant can wreak havoc unopposed, while his opponents are silenced.
Putting up with being offended is essential in a pluralistic society in which people differ on basic truths. If a group will not bear being offended without resorting to violence, that group will rule unopposed while everyone else lives in fear and while other groups curtail their activities to appease the violent group. This results in the violent group being able to tyrannize the others.
There is nothing about this cartoon that incites violence. It is within the established American tradition of satire. AFDI Vice President Robert Spencer stated: “Many people on both the left and the right are saying that we should do nothing to provoke Islamic fundamentalism. The immediate answer would seem to be that we should do nothing to provoke violent jihadis, that the prudent thing to do would be to avoid doing things that anger them. But if we did that, they would not they stop coming at us. Last September, an Islamic State spokesman boasted: ‘We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us; He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise. If we do not reach that time, then our children and grandchildren will reach it, and they will sell your sons as slaves at the slave market.'”
Spencer continued, “In light of that, what is the point of asking whether or not we should provoke them? They’re already provoked. A more useful question now is whether it is really productive and helpful to signal to them that we will acquiesce to their threats of violence and change our behavior accordingly, or whether we will instead signal to them that their violent threats are not going to frighten us into submission.”
If America surrenders on this point, the freedom of speech is a relic of history.