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Repeal Hate Speech Laws By: Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On June 9, a 53-year-old man named Mahmoud Alkhazaleh stood in the middle of a street in Chicago, and refused to get out of the way of traffic. Soon enough a car approached, but when the driver honked at him, Alkhazaleh didn’t move. The driver tried to go around him, but at that point Alkhazaleh allegedly started to hit him and throw rocks at him. And shortly thereafter, three of Alkhazaleh’s sons ran up, started to beat the driver, spit on him, and throw rocks at him.

Alkhazaleh’s sons have been charged with felony aggravated battery. And that is all to the good. But Mahmoud Alkhazaleh himself has been charged with a “hate crime.” A “hate crime”? That charge comes because apparently Alkhazaleh called the driver who tried to get him to move out of the middle of the road a “blue-eyed devil.”

Now, I have no idea why Mahmoud Alkhazaleh wouldn’t get out of the middle of the street. Maybe it really did have to do with some deep hatred of American blue-eyed devils, but I couldn’t care less if it did. The only thing the law should really be concerned about here is that he and his sons apparently gratuitously beat up this driver. He should be prosecuted fully for that, and deported if he is not a citizen. If he called the driver a “blue-eyed devil” and the driver called him a “Pakistani [expletive],” their mothers should remind them that “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” and that should be the end of that.

The hate crime charge is why this story is significant, not because Mahmoud Alkhazaleh is a Muslim. There is no indication that his odd obstinacy and subsequent belligerence have anything whatsoever to do with the global jihad. The key element of this story is the hate crime angle. If people can be prosecuted for insulting words, we are all in trouble. Soon they will begin prosecuting those who commit “Islamophobia,” as the Organization of the Islamic Conference wants Western countries so very much to do. After all, it is no accident that CAIR and co. so consistently and indefatigably label all Islamorealistic discourse as “hate speech”? They want to make it illegal for the kuffar to dare to point out that Muhammad and the Qur’an preach the subjugation of the Infidels under Sharia. Then it will be against the law to discuss the motives and goals of those who would conquer and subjugate us. And one of the last defenses against that conquest will have fallen.

And make no mistake: this is coming fast. The UN’s the United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, Doudou Diène is working on it, and American Muslims are helping him. Diène recently came to the United States, where he held a hearing in Miami on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim discrimination. At the hearing he met with ex-CAIR operative Ahmed Bedier, who indulged in flights of fantasy as he told Diène “how Islamophobia and anti-Muslim rhetoric by officials and pundits are contributing to hate crimes against Muslims across Florida.”

But such wild claims have a purpose. Pakistan just asked the EU to restrict freedom of expression so as to curb “offenses to Islam.” Finland just gave a blogger 2 1/2 years in prison for “insulting Islam.” Mark Steyn is on trial in Canada for essentially the same thing. Yet the worldwide assault on the freedom of speech is completely off the mainstream media radar, and even most large American blogs are consumed with the election and trivia and have paid it little notice. We could very easily fall into a situation where it becomes a prosecutable offense to discuss the war that is being waged against us the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are only abetting this by forbidding use of the word “jihad” to describe the motives and goals of those who would destroy us. We are not to use the word, we’re told, because to do so would offend peaceful Muslims.

This is fully in accord with Mark Steyn’s precise observation that “so-called hate speech laws” are “not about facts,” but rather, “they’re about feelings.” Yet facts are really all that should concern us; the rocks Mahmoud Alkhazeh threw at the driver he confronted did not hurt more because they were accompanied by stinging words. Hate speech laws are an assault on truth telling, at precisely the moment when so few dare to tell the truth, and it is for that reason all the more urgently needed.

Prosecute Mahmoud Alkhazaleh, but drop the hate crime charges. And repeal the hate crime laws. Before it’s too late.

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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