Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Muslim Activist Qasim Rashid Calls for Restrictions on Speech about Islam

Hmmm. Whenever I say, "Islam doesn't allow criticism of Muhammad or his teachings," I'm labeled a racist, Islamophobic, hate-mongering bigot. How dare I even suggest that Islam isn't perfectly in line with the U.S. Constitution? But when Muslim leaders call for restrictions on free speech, no one seems to care.

I'm still waiting, though, for some consistency on the part of Muslims. If Qasim Rashid wants my speech to be restricted because it might offend Muslims, what about verses of the Qur'an that are offensive to non-Muslims? The Qur'an calls Christians and Jews the "worst of creatures" (98:6), and commands Muslims to violently subjugate non-Muslims (9:29), and asks Allah to destroy Christians and Jews (9:30), and invites men to beat their wives into submission (4:34). If we're going to start banning speech, why wouldn't this speech be first on the list?

Dr. Qasim Rashid
(CNSNews.com) – America’s free-speech model is in desperate need of an update, says an American-Muslim human rights activist who recently spoke at an event linked to an Obama administration appointee. Dr. Qasim Rashid argued that cyber-bullying laws could be used to limit freedom of expression – such as the burning of Korans -- in war time:

“When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in times of peace are a hindrance to this effort,” Rashid said on March 19 at Howard University. “And their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and…no court can regard them as protected by any constitutional right.”

Rashid began his remarks by personally thanking Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in June 2011. Al-Hibri founded Karamah, a group devoted to the rights of Muslim women, and it was this group that invited Rashid to speak.

“I do want to start by thanking Karamah,” Rashid said. “I was fortunate enough to have several constitutional scholars look at this paper and provide feedback. Dr. al-Hibri, of course…”

The topic of the March 19 event at Howard University was titled, “The Limits of Free Speech in a Global Era: Does America’s Free Speech Model Endanger Muslim Americans?”

“Our understanding of free speech today is not some long-held 227- or 235-year understanding,” said Rashid, a member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America, who presented a paper titled “In Harm’s Way: The Desperate Need to Update America’s Current Free Speech Model.”

Rashid quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who in 2011 said, “Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war.”

Advances in technology that allow videos and messages to cross the world in an instant require a “revised speech model,” Rashid said.

“Most, if not all of you are familiar with the 2011 case where Terry Jones, a pastor from Florida, burned a Koran on March 20, 2011, and this event itself provides a prime example of the gap that advanced technology caused in America's free speech model,” Rashid said.

“So in addition to placing a big sign on his church lawn that said Islam is the devil, Jones burned the Koran, screened it live on the Internet and put in layman's translations so that people in war-torn [areas] in particular can see what he's doing,” he continued. “Now like the hypothetical KKK member who might burn a cross on his black neighbor’s lawn to target him specifically, Jones did the exact same thing by burning the Koran -- broadcast it and targeted Muslims in a war- torn country…to target them specifically.”

Rashid noted that government officials warned Jones that his actions might provoke violence, and while Jones said he knew it, he burned the Koran anyway, sparking deadly protests in Afghanistan and a condemnation by Pakistan’s government.

Using the Koran burning as an example, Rashid said that cyber-bullying legislation could be used to prosecute individuals for their speech on a case-by-case basis.

“My argument is that we already have legislation, right?” he said. “I mean, we already have a cyber-bullying policy in all 50 states that even without the threat of violence – even without violence occurring, we're already holding individuals responsible for this intentional infliction of harm on others.”

“So I think that legislation's already there,” Rashid said. “It's just more a question of how is it going to be applied.” (Continue Reading.)

Notice that Rashid quotes Senator Lindsey Graham. I also noticed the implications of Graham's words here.


Aletheya said...

But it's ok to call non muslims, second class citizen, and that we are the worse of all creatures.
What kind of god is these people serving? A god who can't do anything by himself?

Anonymous said...


He is fully free to take his ideas to an islam-dominated hellhole instead of trying to turn America into one.

He is fortunate we don't use his reasoning and apply it to him.

Maybe we should prosecute would-be tyrants who would limit political and religious speech.

They're the ones working against our laws.

gabriella oak said...

This wannabe fascist makes me want to burn a few Qurans and post a video of their smouldering ashes on youtube. This may lead to some Islamic cavemen somewhere in the world rioting in the streets and committing murder and mayhem.

Their reaction is a result of my video. It made them wild with anger therefore it's not their fault.

My video is a result of reading this Islamist's speech. It made me wild with anger therefore it's not my fault.

That only leaves Qasim Rashid. It's HIS fault !

Sit down and shut up before you do anymore damage, fool.

Unknown said...

“Most, if not all of you are familiar with the 2011 case where Terry Jones, a pastor from Florida, burned a Koran on March 20, 2011, and this event itself provides a prime example of the gap that advanced technology caused in America's free speech model,” Rashid said.

Ah so - therefore, it's OK to burn US flag, but burning quran hurts? And free speech is OK for spreading inhumane ideas - as half credibility of woman witness against male one? Is it OK to give as positive example insane pedo, who married 6yr. girl who had sex with her at 9 years, but pointing out, that Muhammad was pervert and insane impotent hurts?

You dont say said...

Islam is Hell
Islam is Killing in Name of God
Islam is Terrorism
Islam is taking our Freedom


Chief Mac said...

This is from their Qu'ran
O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and Christians for friends. [Surah V, v. 51]

The most vehement of mankind in hostility [are] the Jews and the idolators.[Surah V, v. 82]

Fight against such of those [Jews and Christians] ... until they pay for the tribute readily, being brought low.[Surah IX, v. 29]

Allah fighteth against them [the Jews]. How perverse they are![Surah IX, v. 30]

So can I not use those same laws to have the Qu'ran banned as hate speech?

gr said...

It is nice for me to call a guy an idiot, and tell him also that despite of the fact that I insulted you, it is unacceptable for you to insult me back?

Muslims have an unusual zealot feeling towards their faith. It is ok to have a faith even if your religion does not stand a chance the examination of logics. But, to have an international violent campaign against people who object to YOUR VIOLENCE? That defies logic. I use to be a big Christian believer, and was never happy when someone insulted Christianity, but NEVER demonstrated against or even written a complain. My religion did not NEED MY DEFENCE!

Look around Muslim countries to see how they name their children: defender of religion, sword of Islam, pride of Islam, revival of Islam, the light of the religion, .......There is no equivalent in any other religion in the world. The xenophobic anger is partly cultural, but must be tamed by educated people rather than fed legitimacy as this guy appears to be doing.

Anonymous said...


Do you mean "xenophobia" in Mohammedan countries, or in Western ones that have populations not receptive to islam?

I only ask because "xenophobia" is another one of those modern words that mean nothing and everything at the same time.


Unknown said...

Dr. Rashid Qasim's target isn’t free speech *per se* or even hate speech in general, but a particular kind of speech: excitable speech, as exemplified by racial or derogatory epithets or acts structured and intended for the sole purpose of either causing harm or insult to Muslims. So don’t buy the knock-down objection that Qasim is trying to limit free speech or silence accurate, legitimate criticism of Islam.

I agree with Qasim that some kinds of speech do intentionally harm or degrade certain groups of people through words or acts, but I part ways with him on the formal ramifications of such speech. Rights are contextually absolute powers. And since freedom of speech is a right, freedom of speech is a contextually absolute power. If he means to insist excitable speech antics like Qur’an burning or uttering derogatory slurs in public are illocutionary acts like yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, he needs to show such speech acts violate some right or unquestionably cause harm. For now, I can’t reason out why Qur’an burning on private property would constitute an illocutionary act like yelling “fire” in either wartime or peacetime.

If his goal is to legally regulate inflammatory or derogatory content, he isn’t alone. Feminists like Catharine MacKinnon and the late Andrea Dworkin have been a part of the crusade to censor hardcore pornography for decades, culminating in a series of legal writings, court hearings, and several books on the subject. Their arguments go beyond the mere impropriety of porn, but to the heart of the socially sensitive derogatory images and stereotypes hardcore pornography perpetuates. I don’t sign on to that, but Qasim’s point seems right out of the MacKinnon/Dworkin playbook assigned as required reading in almost every Women Studies course in North America.

More on target are the informal ramifications of his point. Speech aiming specifically to harm or degrade someone is, as Mill once said, stupid. It seems to me, as to every other Muslim on this planet, some intended speech antics are directed at Muslims – blogger Pam Geller’s subway ads, public Qur’an burnings, etc. – do intend to inflict harm or insult sensitivity in a certain way. Consider the notorious Danish cartoons of Muhammad. The violent reactions that followed their initial publication were, rightfully so, condemned. But overlooked were the stereotypic undertones of the cartoons: the cartoons played on insensitive stereotypes about Arabs as harebrained and obsessed with large swaths of women and violence. The content was no different from the usual run-of-the-mill anti-Semitic caricatures coming from Middle Eastern and European political commentary. Is there a moral significant difference between the two? I don't see it. But with respect to anti-Semitic political caricatures, it's perennially an issue worthy of debate. Arn't we often bombarded with the question of whether anti-Israeli caricatures are anti-Semitic in content? So if we can have a debate in this country (I’m offshore at the moment, but I’m American) about the impropriety of caricatures drawing moral parallels between Nazi Germany and Israel, the impropriety of porn, or the impropriety of masculine pronouns, I think it’s safe to question the moral legitimacy of Qur’an burning or insensitive stereotypes (e.g. “Muslims/Arabs are blood thirsty!”), or insulting Muslim/Arab intended references like “savages” on subways ads, and ask whether or not they fall under the umbrella of impropriety.

Unknown said...

We are too weak until sharia will conquer and replace democracy in US and over the world. They are to strong... May God help us.. ;,(

Anonymous said...

@ annie chong-

LOL- You're funny.

All idolatry -most definitely including that of mohammed- will be crushed and made the footstool of Christ.

Selecta Mark said...

Gravesend shop worker guilty of lottery fraud

As long as its infidels who cares!


Selecta Mark said...

Labour peer Lord Ahmed apologises to Jewish community

Caught in the act and he blames the Jews!


ElenaG said...

Justin -- in the End, but before it will sweep devilish destruction across the planet!

Derrick -- as a logical man, how is it then that Islam cannot be examined in the light of logic w/o a violent reaction by its adherents? Christians and Jews do not riot when their religions are examined, nor do Hindus or Buddhists. The inability to handle criticism seems to be an islamic phenomena alone. This makes Islam a threat to all free speech.

Anonymous said...


Yes. This is true. Idolatry always spreads destruction and pain in its wake.

Islam is evil, and equally culpable are the civil magistrates who allow this idolatry to flourish and grow.

Search 4 Truth said...

@ derrick

Your stupid. And please condemn the subway ads by the Palestinian movement that are hateful, generalizations, and intend to inflict harm or insult sensitivity in a certain way.

Also please speak of the, and I quote "stereotypic undertones of the cartoons: the cartoons played on insensitive stereotypes". That are portrayed throughout the Islamic world everyday even in the child educational programs. Or should I say indoctrination programs!

Where and when have you spoken of the hatefilled rhetorric of Muslims throughout the world of all non Muslims?


The silence is deafening! HYPOCRITE! And there really is no comparison. You wanna go tit for tat? I dont think so. You disgust me!

Lets take a look at the rhetoric from your Utopian Islamic societies! Oh wait, Islam has failed, There are no Utopian Islamic societies! Right? Allah has failed again!

Search 4 Truth said...

@ Derrick

Also why dont you try being consistent. Because the Quran offends all non Muslims. So lets BAn the Quran!

Quran (8:12) - "I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them"

Quran (9:29) - "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book ( Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

Quran (9:30) - "And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!"

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book [Christians and Jews] had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. (3:110)

Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves… (48:29)

Those who disbelieve from among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures. (98:6)

Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. (8:55)

So if you want to make speech that someone finds offensive a crime. Throw out the Quran because I am offended!

NOBODY has the right to not be offended. Your so backward and illogical it is frightening. Sorry if the truth is offensive. But its the truth!

Tom said...

@Derrick Abdul-Hakim said:
"...some intended speech antics are directed at Muslims – blogger Pam Geller’s subway ads..."

This is precisely how muslims present an argument... Pam Geller's ad was in respond to an Ad that "OFFENDED" her, put up by some muslim hate group..

Why have muslims not have a street protest to lambast those anti-Isreal ads, where is the sense of fair play?
And further to that She had to Fight to put up those ADs in a court of law.. but the Ads by the muslim hate group was put up without any resistence & freeely!

You muslims want it All your way.. No muslim!, it is the Highway if you want to take away Free Speech as defined by the WEST!

Saqibtahir said...

What a shame. Qasim is a hypocrite who is trying to curb free speech in USA and wants free speech rights for his persecuted Ahmadiyya sect in Islamic world.