Cartoons of Muhammad from 100 years ago

What an interesting article!

It tells the story of a satirical magazine published in Tbilisi a century ago, using satirical cartoons to promote women’s equality, individual rights and secularism…


How Muslim Azerbaijan had satire years before Charlie Hebdo

An Azeri woman points to a building with windows, which is a prison, while on their right is a house of Muslim women with none. Picture: Courtesy of the Azerbaijan National Library. In this cartoon, the magazine depicts a prison with windows and a house of Muslim women with none
This cartoon from 1909 had a pretty short explanation: “Pilgrimage to Hajj”. This 1909 cartoon, Pilgrimage to Hajj, had a pretty clear message
He also depicted Muhammad.
Very interesting read indeed…

Picture of the week

From Religion of Peace:


Thoughts on the Ruling in Baglow Vs. Freedom of Speech

For the background on this case, please see here.

For the full ruling, see here.

Prior to the closing arguments, I begged John Baglow to, please, stop this lawsuit, even at such a late date.  I promised I’d help him fundraise to cover his costs if he, even at this point, called the whole thing off.

Why?

Because I firmly believed that any ruling on this case would necessarily be a loss for freedom of speech and a disaster for all of us who socialize on the interwebitudes!

And I was right!

Yes, Connie and Mark Fournier, as well as Peter O’Donnel, have won because even though Madam Justice Polowin found the comments to be defamatory, she also found them to be fair comment and dismissed the case.

So, yes, the Fourniers and POD have won.

But it is a bittersweet victory for them and a decided loss for freedom of speech in the internet.

Let me explain why…

First, let’s name the elephant in the room:  the process is the punishment.

Baglow has dragged the defendants through the court system for years and cost them tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in court costs and lost time/productivity.  Yet, in her wisdom, Madam Justice Polowin did not order Baglow to pay the Fournier’s court costs.

Not having any training in legal matters, I find this mindblowing.

If the words were deemed to be ‘fair comment’, as Madam Justice Polowin had ruled, why should the Fourniers and POD have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, travel and accommodations in order to defend themselves against what she has ruled is a baseless accusation?

And why should they have to pay half the costs of a court expert in internet communication:  an ‘expert’ who is so very up on internet communication and customs that he testified that he’s never ever heard of Godwin’s Law?!?!?

Really?

An internet communication expert who’s never heard of Godwin’s Law?

Expert?

Come on, this is a joke!!!

Even my mother-in-law, who needs help logging on to Facebook, has enough internet savvy to know Godwin’s Law, aka reducto ad Hitlerum…

But, that is besides the point:  the bitter lump of coal (actually, coal is not that bitter, but you know what I mean…) here is that while the defendants may have been found innocent, but they still get punished by not having their costs covered and having to pay for an ‘expert’ which would not have been necessary had the judge had even high-school level knowledge of the online world around her.

Second, I most vociferously disagree with some of her rulings on a the various issues raised in the case, because they will, in a very real sense, cause a serious chill in online communications.  It will probably take me multiple readings to fully analyse the significant damage this ruling poses to freedom of speech, but, one of her rulings practically jumps out at me.

This is the ruling that providers of an online discussion space are considered to be the publishers of what other people post to these fora, whether this is moderated or not.

This spells a disaster for every blogger that permits comments and makes the running of un-pre-moderated discussion fora a very serious liability danger:  most will probably be limited to permitting only politically correct speech and no discussion of controversial topics whatsoever.

In reality, Madame Justice Polowin ruling means that, for example, WordPress or Blogger, by providing a platform for publication with the aim for people to come there and exchange ideas, that this makes WordPress or Twitter etc. the publishers of that communication and just as liable for the words published on their platform by third parties as if they themselves had written it.

Just think about the impact this ruling will have…

Sorry, I’ve got to leave this here for now….you see, dear reader, I suddenly have this terrible pounding headache….

John Baglow vs. Freedom of Speech

Connie and Mark Fournier have won!!!

Most awesome news!!!

I’m off to read the ruling here – will comment more (and finally post the missing write-ups) soon!

UPDATE:  Here is what Jay Currie has to say about this ruling.

MORE UPDATE:  Here are my initial thoughts after having read the full ruling.  They’re not happy thoughts…

John O’Donnell: Austrian Economics Applied

Open Letter to Stephen Harper: It Is Time to Classify Terrorist Organizations as Such

Dear Stephen Harper,

Today, many of us Canadians celebrate ‘Family Day’.  As I look around my living room, seeing my husband and growing sons, I cannot but worry about the future of our society.

Last October 7th, my younger son was, as a co-op student, working just a few short blocks from the War Memorial.  When the terrorist attack occurred, I could not but rush to his side and managed to get in to his building moments before the lockdown was imposed.

I mention this to illustrate that for me, the prospect of my family being endangered by a Jihadi attack is not a theoretical one…

Of all the Western leaders, You, Mr. Harper, are handling the Jihadi threat the best, providing our law enforcement people the laws they need to use as tools in order to protect Canadian citizens, while providing judicial oversight in order to protect our civil liberties, in a true libertarian fashion.  And that is most excellent!

However, in order to apply those laws effectively, our law enforcement people need another very important tool:  it is time to accurately label terrorist organizations as such.

The Muslim Brotherhood is already labelled as a terrorist organization in many countries and Canada would be wise to join them.  But, The Muslim Brotherhood has many front organizations, identified as such in documents including Explanatory Memorandum , published by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Among these Muslim Brotherhood affiliates are many organizations that have infiltrated Canadian institutions.  Perhaps one of the most intensely destructive of these is the Muslim Student Association (MSA), which has chapters in most institutions of higher learning in Canada.  For example, Awso Pesdary, recently arrested on terrorist charges in Ottawa, was active in the MSA at Algonquin College.

Pesdary may indeed be an outlier, but the truly subversive actions of the MSA are their everyday monitoring of students who happen to be Muslim or appear to have Muslim names and coercing them into attending religious services, which often contain very radical preachings.  This social pressure on moderate students who just happen to be Muslim does not stop at just prayers:  the MSA is actively discouraging Muslim students from forming meaningful social bonds with students outside the MSA.  It is easy to see how this would negatively impact those Muslim students who wish to integrate into the great Canadian society, as the intimidation by the MSA bullies can be quite intense.  In the end, all of our society looses when bright young Muslims are prevented from integrating and enriching our society.

Of course, MSA is not the only organization with strong ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  CAIR, as well as its fully owned Canadian subidiary, CAIR-Can (currently known as National Council of Canadian Muslims, NCCM), must also be on the list of terrorist organizations, as should be MAC (Muslim Association of Canada), MPAC (Muslim Public Affairs Council), II (Islamic Free Market Institute) and at many more, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • • Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
  • • Muslim Student Association (MSA)
  • • The Muslim Communities Association (MCA)
  • • The Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS)
  • • The Association of Muslim Scientists and Engineers (AMSE)
  • • Islamic Medical Association (IMA)
  • • Islamic Teaching Center (ITC)
  • • North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)
  • • Foundation for International Development (FID)
  • • Islamic Housing Cooperative (IHC)
  • • Islamic Centers Division (ICD)
  • • American Trust Publications (ATP)
  • • Audio-Visual Center (AVC)
  • • Islamic Book Service (IBS)
  • • Muslim Businessmen Association (MBA)
  • • Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA)
  • • ISNA Fiqh Committee (IFC)
  • • ISNA Political Awareness Committee (IPAC)
  • • Islamic Education Department (IED)
  • • Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA)
  • • Malasian (sic) Islamic Study Group (MISG)
  • • Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)
  • • United Association for Studies and Research (UASR)
  • • Occupied Land Fund (OLF)
  • • Mercy International Association (MIA)
  • • Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)
  • • Baitul Mal Inc (BMI)
  • • International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT)
  • • Islamic Information Center (IIC)

Identifying them for what they are – outposts of Islamism within our great country – is essential if we want to protect all Canadians, Muslims and non-Muslims, from the coercive and corrosive influence of these front organizations for Islamic terrorism and if we want to give our law enforcement people the tools necessary to protect us and our families from future domestic terrorist attacks.

Please, Mr. Prime Minister, give our law enforcement people the tools they need to protect us by declaring Muslim Brotherhood and all its affiliates for what they are:  terrorist organizations.

Sincerely,

Alexandra Belaire,

blogging as Xanthippa

PEGIDA-like demonstration against Islam in Brno, Czech Republic

Translation is below the video:

According to estimates, several hundred people gathered at the Moravian Square in Brno for a demonstration against Islam.

Nearby, representatives of tolerance and religious freedom had their own gathering.  Only about 200 of them showed up.

The action was commenced by an ecumenical religious service. The police did not have to solve any problems in the first few ‘ten-minutes’.  (Aside ‘ten-minute’ is a frequently used time unit in Czech)

Participants move freely between both gatherings.

Some argue about what is a greater threat to the society:  Islam or intolerance.

“No, you will not get to speak, you don’t have the right to stand up here.  Certainly no, you will not get it. You have no place here:  this is our event.”

Today’s date, the holiday of St. Valentine, was intentionally selected by the organizers.  They insist that celebrating the holiday of love is forbidden in Islam.

According to public information, there are several hundred Muslims in Brno.  Since the year 1998, the first functioning  Mosque in Czech has operated here.