Hate laws, speech codes, blasphemy laws and the like are just plain wrong. They are as wrong as banning scarves or religious books as some in Europe wish to do. One of the best features of our constitution is the clear, concise codification of unalienable individual rights. There is a right to hate in america and there is a right to criticize the ones that hate; and I would have it no other way. Stifling individual rights is the quickest way to emulate Euro-style serfdom in the US.
The recent move by the Organization of Islamic states and the UN to codify anti-blasphemy laws specifically for Islam into charters binding on all member nations is discussed in this video from CNN.
A couple of notes on this: Lou Dobbs does get something wrong here, Pakistan’s government right now is a duly elected Parliamentary government, one of the few in the Islamic world. It is a weak parliamentary government and under extreme stress right now due to the Nawaz wing protests and the breakaway ungoverned tribal provinces.
Chris Hitchens was also in a dust up recently, and I side with him on it even though he was attacking someone else’s extreme speech through the action of defacing a Nazi sign in Lebanon. Michael Totten gives the best summary of the event.
Authorities in Lebanon issued arrest warrants for 10 suspected Al Qaeda terrorists who were rounded up earlier. Story at USA Today.
Al Absi audio tape released, story at Ashar Alawsat. This looks familiar:
It is noticeable that Al Absi’s emergence on the internet, just like Osama Bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri, [Abu Musab al] Zarqawi and others before them materialised after an unexplained absence. It is as if the demise of these figures as human beings is connected to their transformation into distant voices and faces that threaten and terrorize and appear suddenly in an incomprehensible manner; however it has become a phenomenon that is being repeated on a daily basis within our media.
In his latest audio message it appears that Shaker Al Absi, who is not known for mastering the Jihadist discourse since he was originally an outsider to this experience, has received some kind of training on how to deliver speeches without which the image of “the jihadist” would be incomplete. The audio message entitled “A warning and a Horn” mentioned that the recording was prepared by the media department of Fatah Al Islam in the same way that the specialized Sahab media entity is based on Al Qaeda’s tapes.
Like the other Jihadi leaders, after sending a bunch of idiots to their deaths he ran away to become a disembodied voice, pretending that it’s victory.
It should be no surprise to anyone, but it turns out that the AQ headquarters for North America is in Toronto Canada. Story at Canada Free Press. Pinning it down further I would wager that most North American AQ leaders are in Mississauga.