Muslims do not handle criticism well

Robert Spencer:

After a police raid Friday at Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland, bakery employee Devaughndre Broussard admitted to murdering Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post. Bailey was writing a series of investigative articles about the Bakery -- and that’s why Broussard killed him.

Your Black Muslim Bakery is an outpost of the Nation of Islam, not of any orthodox Islamic sect, but in this murder Devaughndre Broussard followed a pattern that some orthodox Muslims have also followed. Violent reprisal has long been an occupational hazard of those who dare to question or investigate Islamic groups or criticize Islamic practices. Filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered in November 2004 by a Muslim who took exception to his criticism of the oppression of women in Islamic societies. In 1992, Egyptian writer Faraj Foda was murdered by Muslims enraged at his “apostasy.”

Bailey is not the first person in the U.S. to have been murdered by a Muslim who didn’t like what he said. That distinction may belong to Rashad Khalifa, an unorthodox interpreter of the Qur’an who was murdered in Tucson in January 1990 -- probably by a member of the jihadist group Jamaat al-Fuqra. But Bailey’s case is still singular. Much more common has been the practice of trying to intimidate critics into silence through legal threats.

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has had great success with this over the years, although lately the tactic appears to be faltering. CAIR was unsuccessful in bullying the Young America’s Foundation into canceling a talk by me last week. In 2006, CAIR dropped a lawsuit against Andrew Whitehead of Anti-CAIR after Mr. Whitehead’s attorney asked a series of probing questions during the discovery process. But before that, CAIR successfully cowed National Review magazine, Fox’s 24, and others into muting in various ways their criticism of Islamic violence and extremism.

Nor is CAIR alone among Muslims in its efforts at legal intimidation. Billionaire Saudi financier Khalid bin Mahfouz has sued journalist Rachel Ehrenfeld and others for libel in the U.K., where the libel laws favor plaintiffs. Ehrenfeld’s offense? In her book Funding Evil, she wrote that bin Mahfouz was involved in funding Hamas and Al-Qaeda. Bin Mahfouz denied that he had knowingly given any money to either. Cambridge University Press has, in response to another libel suit filed by bin Mahfouz, just removed from circulation and destroyed all unsold copies of Alms for Jihad by Robert Collins and J. Millard Burr, because the book made essentially the same allegations. But France’s foreign intelligence agency has recently revealed that as long ago as 1996 Mr. bin Mahfouz was known as one of the architects of a banking scheme constructed for the benefit of Osama bin Laden -- and that both U.S. and British intelligence services knew this.

The most notorious attempt at legal intimidation of all may be the Flying Imams case, in which six imams are suing US Airways because they were removed from a flight for suspicious behavior....
This points to a fundamental weakness of Islam. It does not have enough faith in its message to debate issues with opponents. Instead it must silent them through tantrums or more violent means. It is one reason that Islamic countries have done so poorly over the last 600 years. the absence of debate means that intelligent argument is avoided and only the view of the most violent is heard or prevails. The most violent are rarely the smartest. They tend to be emotionally immature, and lack the communication skills to persuade through reason. That is one reason they resort to terrorism to "persuade."

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