Manchester protesters stood for free speech
By Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller
The piece “Anti-Muslim hate comes to Coffee County” was a wildly inaccurate and defamatory mischaracterization of the free speech protest on June 4. Nathan Lean, who was not present, relied on negative press reports to paint a lurid picture of a mob of thugs where in reality there was a large number of patriots determined to resist the erosion of the freedom of speech.
We were there to protest the intended criminalization of free speech – which was the unmistakable intent of the event hosted by U.S. Attorney Bill Killian and FBI special agent Kenneth Moore. The propaganda campaign by the media and Islamic supremacist groups to obscure this only brings it out more vividly. To portray our protest as against “muslim outreach” is absurd: there are Muslim outreach events all over the country on a regular basis. We’ve never protested any of them. This one had nothing to do with genuine Muslim outreach and everything to do with aiding in the imposition in the U.S. of Islam’s blasphemy laws forbidding criticism of Islam.
The protesters turned out in such unexpectedly high numbers because they knew that truthful and accurate exploration of Islam’s violent teachings has been deemed “inflammatory” by both Muslim groups and the Obama regime — and that leaves us unable to examine the motives and goals of jihad terrorists, or to defend ourselves adequately against them. That’s why everyone was so upset with Killian and Moore – but Lean appears intent on obscuring that fact with offensive charges against us.
Lean says that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) classifies our groups AFDI and SIOA as “hate groups.” Yet the SPLC tars as “hate groups” many conservative groups that simply disagree with its hard-Left political stance, while not classifying any jihad groups as hate groups, despite their rhetoric calling for the murder of Americans. And we’re appealing the rejection of our trademark application for Stop Islamization of America – it’s ironic that while large numbers of valiant secularist Turks and Egyptians are resisting the Islamization of their countries, that Lean would smear an attempt to preserve American freedoms from subversion by provisions of Islamic law that even many Muslims reject as oppressive.
Stooping even lower in his defamation, Lean claims that we inspired the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik. In reality, Breivik cited not only us but many people, including Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, and Thomas Jefferson. Nor was Breivik really an opponent of jihad terror: he wrote about he wanted to aid Hamas and ally with jihad groups. Breivik also explained that his real inspiration for his violence was not us, but the Islamic jihad terror group al-Qaeda, about which Nathan Lean has never written a critical word.
Lean also claims falsely that we “regularly” team up with the English Defense League; in reality, we have done so twice – but we do not reject the association. Contrary to libelous claims by Lean and other rivals of the foes of jihad terror, the EDL is not “a street gang of British skinheads” or neo-Nazis. The EDL was formed to defend British soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who were being physically attacked by Muslim mobs. It rejects all racism and violence; the only violence at its rallies comes from Leftists and Islamic supremacists bent on silencing the group and brutalizing its members. Just last week, six jihadists were imprisoned for a plot to commit mass murder at an EDL rally.
Lean’s worst libel is when he likens us to Osama bin Laden. Equating a mass murderer with law-abiding Americans who have never advocated hatred or violence of any kind, and who have dedicated themselves to resisting the hate and bloodlust that led to those murders in the first place, is unconscionable.
Lean further claims that we must have found Bill Killian’s statement that “if someone makes threats of violence, that is not protected speech and they will be prosecuted” a “tough pill to swallow.” However, he does not provide even one example of our supposed “threats of violence,” because we’ve never made any.
Nathan Lean owes an apology to the patriots who turned out to defend free speech in Manchester. The freedom of speech is our foremost bulwark against tyranny; they deserve full and wholehearted support, not smears.
-Robert Spencer is associate director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “The Truth About Muhammad.” Pamela Geller is executive director of AFDI and the author of “The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America” and “Stop the Islamization of America.”