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Muzzling Jihad Watch By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, July 06, 2007


I began getting the emails several days ago: Jihad Watch readers telling me that they had been accustomed to reading the site at work, but now their employer had blocked access to the Jihad Watch site on company computers. Many reported that the ban on Jihad Watch was explained with the assertion that Jihad Watch contained “hate speech.” This was true even in Federal Government offices. And it wasn’t only the Feds. Jihad Watch was blocked, readers informed me, on the computers of the State of Connecticut; the City of Chicago; Bank of America; Fidelity Investments; Site Coach; GE IT; JPMorgan Chase; Defense Finance and Accounting Services; Johnson Controls, Inc. IT; Boeing; Tenet Hospitals in North Carolina; Provisio; the Sabre Group TSG; Wachovia bank; and others: several people have written in to tell me that as of this week they can no longer access Jihad Watch at work, but haven’t told me where they work.

This was not a simple case of employers being annoyed with their workers lying down on the job and spending time reading Jihad Watch instead of working. This is an attempt to silence us, as an email from a federal employee made abundantly clear when he noted which sites were blocked – and which sites weren’t:

 

I wanted to drop a line about the inability to access JihadWatch at work. I work for the Fed Gov. Three weeks ago, Memri was blocked. Two weeks ago HotAir, which I used to look at on my lunch break for your updates, was blocked. As of Friday, June 29th, JihadWatch was blocked. I can however, visit CAIR, read anything about Islam, and even get the Arab news. The censors I deal with are from the Dallas area. It is very easy to see that this censor is not operating according to the proper rules of access. They are operating by their political beliefs (or hopes.) It is unfortunate that these people block the very information that we need in these times....

 

With all this happening so suddenly in so many places, obviously this is a decision made in some central location, with impact within all these different places -- but I am not certain of the source of it. I have contacted a web filter service to which several of these organizations apparently subscribe and which therefore may have initiated this general ban, but have not heard back yet. In any case, the matter of most concern in this is the likelihood that the decision was made to ban Jihad Watch was political. If it were merely a matter of filtering out controversial material, sites that treat some of the same material from a different perspective – particularly pro-jihad sites – would also have been banned. But they evidently have not been.

 

Jihad Watch is dedicated to the defense of human rights for all people against those who would impose Islamic law, with its institutionalized discrimination against women and religious minorities, over both Muslim and non-Muslim societies. There is no “hatred” in this, except when we report the words of hatred and supremacism of the Islamic jihadists. We are trying to raise awareness of the nature, extent, and goals of the global jihad, which threatens everyone who loves and cherishes freedom and the equality of rights of all people before the law.

 

However, to tar all such initiatives as “hatred” is a tried and true tactic of the Left. Intellectually bankrupt as it is, it silences its critics rather than dealing with them on the level of ideas. They can’t answer us, so they try to shut us up and discredit us. Leftists, as well as apologists for Islamic jihad terrorism, label their opponents “hatemongers” and “bigots,” hoping thereby to make people of good will turn away from their message. And the politicized nature of this Internet censorship will come as a surprise to no one.

 

Committed Leftist ideologues have for many decades waged a war to gain control of the portals of communication. Their stranglehold was broken with the demise of the Fairness Doctrine and the advent of talk radio and the Internet. The Internet, for all its faults, has delivered the coup de grace to the control the politically correct media have long had on the news. Neither liberal or conservative news outlets dare to face the truth about the global jihad in any thoroughgoing or realistic way, but you can get it at Jihad Watch. And so, we are going to fight this. We are establishing a mirror site for Jihad Watch, and will continue to try to get the ban reversed – and in the process, hope to draw attention also to the politicization of Net filtering companies. We are not going to take lying down being vilified and silenced, when we are telling the truth.


Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.



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