My American Freedom Defense Initiative, or AFDI, colleague Robert Spencer and I flew to Tennessee Tuesday to join throngs of patriots and freedom lovers, all happy warriors who had converged in Manchester, Tenn., to oppose the latest Obama administration salvo against the freedom of speech – a seminar led by an Obama-appointed U.S. attorney on how civil rights laws could and should be used to shut down speech deemed “inflammatory” against Muslims (a label that has been used before to shut down truthful speech about jihad and Islamic supremacism).
This was a fight for the very soul of America in a very small town: Manchester, Tenn., a town no bigger than 10,000 people. (Almost 2,000 people were there.) This was the perhaps unlikely venue for a seminar led by a U.S. attorney and an FBI special agent on how “inflammatory” speech against Muslims violated civil rights laws. Nowhere was it ever explained how there could be honest examination of Islam’s teachings of jihad that wouldn’t be “inflammatory” – and that was just the point.
Numerous speakers addressed the roaring crowd before the anti-free speech seminar began, including Spencer and me and other freedom fighters. Then when the Muslim pandering event began, there were close to 800 people filling the small room to way beyond capacity. The lines were three deep along the wall, with folks spilling out into the hallways.
What was really beautiful was that when the event started, more than 600 people couldn’t even get in, but they stayed outside and held a freedom rally. They weren’t missing much – unless they were in the mood to be admonished and hectored as xenophobes, bigots and racists by an Islamic supremacist spokesman and two Obama officials who steadfastly refused to address the elephant in the room: the reality of jihad terror and Islamic supremacism, no matter how many times the boisterous crowd called them on their nonsense.
U.S. Attorney Bill Killian gave a PowerPoint presentation on hate crimes and hate speech. From beginning to end, it was full of condescension, smears, charges that the crowd was racist and thinly veiled threats that truthful speech about Islam could be prosecuted. Never once did he address the fact that people aren’t concerned about Muslims because of racism and xenophobia, but because of the reality of jihad terror and the uniform denial and obfuscation, and victimhood posturing that follows from Muslim communities after every jihad attack.
Killian even stooped so low as to claim a sharp rise in “religiously motivated hate crimes,” without ever informing the crowd that he was lumping in anti-Semitic hate crimes (which are at worldwide record levels, largely due to Islamic anti-Semitism) with anti-Muslim hate crimes. FBI special agent Kenneth Moore was little better. Both echoed the Islamic supremacist speaker’s opening remarks, all about how the people of Tennessee had to learn to be welcoming of people who were different.
The media coverage of our free-speech rally and the anti-free-speech event was typically deceptive and mendacious. One would think that the industry that has the most to lose from restrictions on free speech would fight the fascism. But you would be wrong. These tools are so in the bag for the Obama regime that the knaves are attacking the patriots (and there are many of us) who are standing between freedom and tyranny.
The headline of every news story should have been “Obama’s Department of Justice seeks to criminalize free speech.” Instead, the headlines spun the Muslim victimhood myth narrative: Muslim outreach program disrupted by racist-islamophobic-anti-Muslim-bigots. Nothing on the constitutional putsch. They didn’t bury the lede; they never recovered the body.
USA Today’s headline was “Tenn. Muslim group’s forum disrupted by protesters.” UPI went with “Protesters, hecklers disrupt Muslim forum in Tennessee.” And WBIR-TV’s headline was “Protesters disrupt Tenn. Muslim group’s meeting.” Nowhere in the coverage did the media deign to mention why folks were there. People came to protest Killian’s vow to criminalize criticism of Islam on social media. Folks were boisterous, and well they should be. Does anyone think we should go quietly into the night? The Department of Justice and FBI, taking their orders from Islamic supremacist groups, said the meeting would be an open forum. It was even titled “Public Discourse.” But they changed the rules. Instead of an open forum, they said no questions. Instead, we were told to write questions on index cards. Yeah, uh huh. And, of course, at the end of hours of condescension and accusations of racism, they only read two questions.
Yes, people called them on it. Yes, people grimaced and moaned when Holder’s name was mentioned. He is second only to Obama in greatest threats to our freedoms.
I was there. It was a great American moment. Americans aren’t going to sit quietly while our freedom of speech is taken away, and are never, ever, going to submit and stop telling the truth about the jihad that threatens us all. We are an army.