Opinion

EU’s Anti-Racism Body Wants A Media Gag Order — Does Clinton, Too?

REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Larry Alex Taunton Founder, Fixed Point Foundation

Islam is not a religion of peace.

This seems obvious to any sensible person.  I said it in this article for USA Today.  I said it again last year in a televised debate with Imam Zaid Shakir on Al-Jazeera America.

The data bears this out.  A Pew Research survey found that only 57 percent of Muslims have a negative view of Al-Qaeda and only 51 percent have a negative view of the Taliban.  One wonders just what, exactly, these terrorist groups would have to do to get a negative review from the remainder of Muslims—behead a Catholic priest in his own church in Normandy or slaughter a pregnant woman with a machete?  Oh, wait.  They already did that.

According to the Global Terrorism Index, there has been a fivefold increase in fatalities from terrorist acts since 9/11.  Four groups are responsible for most of these.  All of them are Islamic.  Shocked?  Of course you aren’t.  It is, as I say, obvious.

During the most recent presidential debate in St. Louis, embattled candidate Donald Trump said, “These are radical Islamic terrorists and she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama.  He won’t use the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’”

No, she won’t.  No, he won’t.  And if The European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) have their way, the British media won’t either.  The ECRI have recommended that the British government bar news agencies from reporting the religious background of terrorists.  It seems unlikely this policy had Methodists in view.

The commission’s report states:  “[The] ECRI recommends amending the criminal law to add the ground of language to the existing provisions and to include … the public expression with a racist aim of an ideology which claims the superiority or which depreciates or denigrates a group of persons … public insults and defamation …”

This language, whatever its good intentions, is crafted to criminalize as racist the free speech of those in media who would make the connection between a terrorist’s religion and a terrorist’s acts.  To put it more bluntly, under such a law, this article would be illegal.  It is also meant to give those who would enforce the law broad powers of interpretation.  The report calls for the “downplaying” of a terrorists’ motivation “in favour of alternative explanations.”  So, under these guidelines, one wouldn’t report that the perpetrators of 9/11 were Muslim, but would instead attribute the attacks to, say, a misspent youth, a group of men suffering from severe midlife crises, or global warming.

Are all terrorist acts committed by Muslims?  Of course not.  Even so, the ECRI’s recommendation is nonetheless an implicit acknowledgement that Islam has a disproportionate number of adherents who believe that non-Muslims are to be terrorized and killed until they submit to Allah.

But if last night’s debate is any indication—and it is—presidential wannabe Hillary Clinton would have us believe that Muslims were signers of the Declaration of Independence or toughing it out at Valley Forge with General Washington.  She would have us believe that Muslim immigrants are all in the mold of Muhammad Ali, whose conversion to that religion just happened to coincide with the Vietnam War.

Oh, well, the measure is largely pointless anyway.  I mean, when you heard…

… that 84 men, women and children were deliberately crushed under the tires a truck in Nice, France;

… when you heard that some 137 concert-goers in Paris had been shot;

… when you heard about 49 people being murdered in an Orlando bar;

… or when you heard the news of 32 people killed and more than 300 wounded in a Brussel airport bombing…

Did anyone really need to tell you that there was a high probability that the perpetrators were Muslim—or did you think the Amish did it?

Larry Alex Taunton is the author of The Faith of Christopher Hitchens and is the Executive Director of the Fixed Point Foundation.  You can follow him at larryalextaunton.com or on Twitter @larrytaunton