The New York Times has become complicit in a stealth jihad against free speech in the United States undertaken by Islamists and their sympathizers who masquerade as “civil rights” groups.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) recently bought a full-page advocacy ad in the print edition of the Times. It discussed extensively the need for the media and government to directly address the reality that many acts of terrorism are rooted in radical Islam — as articulated by the terrorists themselves — and that Islamist groups attempt to deflect attention from radical Islam’s role.
A similar yet more concise version of the ad was scheduled to run on the NYT website the following day. However, something happened from one day to the next that caused the Times to demand that the IPT change the language immediately, or it would pull the ad.
Asked about the new demand, the Times replied: “In addition to being inundated with customer complaints. [sic] I have been asked for the immediate change by the publisher.”
The NYT ordered us to insert the word “radical” before the term “Islamist groups,” so that it read, “Stop the radical Islamist groups from undermining America’s security, liberty and free speech.”
An “Islamist” is not simply an individual who privately observes Islam as his faith. An Islamist is an individual who blurs the ideological lines between personal religion and the nation state — a boundary upheld as one of America’s founding principles and sustained in the First Amendment — to foster a governmental system that relies upon the supremacy of Islam.
“Islamic,” on the other hand, is an adjective that describes an idea or element derived from or inspired by Islam. Islamists promote an Islamic agenda, though some do it more subtly than others.
Groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) are Islamist, hiding behind their Muslim faith and a veneer of “civil rights” as they seek to mainstream an agenda that elevates Islam above other faiths. Their agenda subjugates democracy and supports overseas terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and various individuals such as Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yousef Qaradawi, who inspires suicide attacks and other forms of violence.
The NYT’s directive to add the word “radical” is a seemingly minor, nuanced change. But here’s why it matters: IPT’s ads hold Islamist groups like CAIR accountable for refusing to acknowledge what many terrorists themselves acknowledge — that their acts of violence were motivated by Islamic text.
That the publisher saw fit to order changes at such a late stage — after the ads had already been approved, purchased by the IPT, and were running on nytimes.com — and that the demands for change escalated so quickly is unusual.
We have to wonder who exactly exerted what kind of pressure.
We can only conclude that the same Islamist forces that the IPT devoted its full-page ad to discussing were at work again — abetted by media sympathizers — in this case, the publisher of the newspaper of record.
CAIR would probably have preferred that the Times shut down the digital ad altogether — as part of its longer-term campaign to paint the IPT as anti-Islam and Islamophobic, while portraying itself as moderate. In a letter to the Times about IPT’s ad, CAIR said, “[IPT’s] new ad takes up this defamatory theme by bizarrely attacking the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, for rightly stating that ‘Islam is not the problem; extremism and violent extremism is the problem’ when it comes to terrorist attacks.”
The IPT never said Islam is the problem in its ads. IPT suggested that radical Islam is a problem, and that CAIR — and other Islamists like them — are a problem, for their unwillingness to call out other members of their own faith who use Islam to justify their atrocities. IPT’s print ad specifically lauded those Muslim voices who criticize Islamists. Our digital ad used the word “Islamists” rather than Muslims on purpose.
The very attempt to discuss the role of radical Islam in motivating terrorists spawned a campaign to shut the debate down.
America is not at war with Muslims or Islam. The U.S. remains a welcoming and tolerant nation – one in which Muslims are freer and more secure to practice their faith than anywhere else in the world.
The censorship of free speech by Islamist groups and their media apologists continues to prevent America from addressing the core threat of radical Islam. Recognizing reality is not an attack on Islam or Muslims. Those who say otherwise are the ones of whom we — and, particularly, those in the media such as the NYT — should be wary.
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.