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Texted last night and this morning by one of BackChannel’s friends —


In the cab.  Men actually left vehicle and were on foot.  Swat told e . . . .


Not having fun.  Police officer shot led times two.  Bomb squad.  We have been moved to a hardened position.

The event was sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and attended by its president and co-founder, Pamela Geller — who is also president of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). Both are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Jamieson, Alastair.  “‘Draw Muhammad’ Shooting in Garland: What We Know About Texas Attack.”  NBC News, May 4, 2015.

Since when has earnest and honest — not disingenuous, not libelous — speech been framed as “hate speech” — and with the speakers branded as a “hate group”?

Have you met the Stepford students? They’re everywhere. On campuses across the land. Sitting stony-eyed in lecture halls or surreptitiously policing beer-fuelled banter in the uni bar. They look like students, dress like students, smell like students. But their student brains have been replaced by brains bereft of critical faculties and programmed to conform. To the untrained eye, they seem like your average book-devouring, ideas-discussing, H&M-adorned youth, but anyone who’s spent more than five minutes in their company will know that these students are far more interested in shutting debate down than opening it up.

O’Neill, Brendan.  “Free speech is so last century.  Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’: Student unions’ ‘no platform’ policy is expanding to cover pretty much anyone whose views don’t fit prevailing groupthink.”  The Spectator, November 22, 2014.

I had been writing a series of columns in the Village Voice about certain thought police at that very paper.  I had found out that on Monday nights, when the paper went to bed, some editors and copy editors — without telling the writers — were cutting out certain words, sometimes sentences and paragraphs, that might offend the Voice’s constituencies.

Hentoff, Nat.  “Free Speech for Me — But Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other.”  New York, HarperCollinsPublishers, 1992.

Where are we today?

How did this happen that comment and criticism of Islam — the same would seem much more safe and secure when the target of critical speech involves Christianity, Judaism, and every other religion expressed in the brave and free United States of America — has been framed as provocation for violence and seems to be being made to serve to excuse it?


Want some more?

Kike. Wop. Spic. Kraut. Dink. Jap. Mick. Honkey. Frog. Greaseball.

How’s that?

Context and intent count.

Just so no English language speaker is caught short or left behind while trading the dozens, The Racial Slur Database lists some 2,649 of these pejoratives.

Contempt, which is what epithets express, contribute to our defensive arsenal in language: they are the weapons we reach for when we are done with words and reason and, overall, ready to rumble.

Sometimes they come out when rumbling.

Oppenheim, James.  “N-Word Metonymy – Richards, Schlessinger in Context.” Oppenheim Arts & Letters, August 18, 2010.

Pamela Geller, the organizer of the Texas “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas, that ended in a terror attack on a police officer, said on national television Monday she’d do it again – that free speech is way too important to cede to Shariah law extremists.

“Clearly what happened is indicative of how needed this conference was,” said Geller, on “Fox & Friends,” in reference to the violence that came on the tail end of the cartoon drawing contest, as WND previously reported.


Said Pamela Geller: “Inoffensive speech needs no protection; offensive speech needs protection.” (about 1:40 into the Fox video).

Ad hominem attacks and epithets may be offensive and also protected speech too, but add virtue to Geller’s so-called hate speech: considered and contemplated, well researched, respectful, clearly delineating “the terrorists”, albeit in absolute terms, while — for readers who actually care to look into this issue — recognizing Islamic humanists and reformists and other Muslims often in the path of jihadists themselves.

Related on BackChannels: Shimmer.

On the web, where most of my experience of the world arrives mediated, I have seen the development of a new global across-the-broadest-campus intelligentsia, and perhaps that soon should be the focus of a BackChannels post.

When contentious issues and conflict are worked by the public, is God like a cook watching over a simmering pot on the stove?

Too cool, and the food doesn’t transform — it needs some serious heat; too hot, and the pot boils over or boils out — those conditions need some serious cool.

Additional Reference

http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/local/2015/05/03/garland-curtis-culwell-center-swat/26848435/ 5/4/2015/0828 CDT

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20150503-breaking-gunfire-reported-at-anti-islam-event-at-garland-isd-facility.ece – 5/3/2015/0715 CDT / 5/4/2015/0830 CDT.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/texas-shooting-organisers-of-prophet-mohamed-cartoon-contest-condemn-attack-as-war-on-free-speech-after-police-kill-two-gunmen-10223333.html – 5/4/2015/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/05/04/why-a-woman-named-pamela-geller-organized-a-prophet-muhammad-cartoon-contest/ – 5/4/2015.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5676/free-speech-erosion#.VUZKkPjMqRo.facebook – 5/3/2015.


Pamela Geller is a 56-year-old Jewish arch-conservative from New York, a vehement critic of radical Islam who organized a provocative $10,000 cartoon contest in this placid Dallas suburb designed to caricature the prophet Muhammad.

Elton Simpson was a 30-year-old aspiring Islamic militant from Phoenix who fantasized to an FBI informant about “doing the martyrdom operations” in Somalia and was convicted in 2010 of lying to the FBI about his plans to travel to the volatile eastern African nation.

Kaiman, Jonathan, Tina Susman, David Zucchino.  “Texas attack refocuses attention on fine line between free speech and hate speech.”  Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2015.

From the Awesome Conversation:

The “Islamists” — which noun we use to set them apart from Muslims who are not “Islamists” and have been frequently the targets of the same — have a deep investment in force of will and intimidation. Control, locus of control, need for control, motivation for sadism, etc. are more topics worth concentrating on.

Americans know — and I believe I’m within reason saying this — that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer exercise and represent free speech in action accommodated to American constitutional principles. Ascribed to Patrick Henry: ““I may not like what a man says, but I shall defend to the death his right to say it!” That’s it.

We don’t shout down opponents; we don’t deny anyone a soapbox. We may choose not to listen to their rants; we may choose to not invite our “verbal adversaries” to our house parties. But we don’t shut them up lest we ourselves suffering being shut up.

While Geller and Spencer have been “framed” — called, described as, denoted as, accused — as “Islamophobes”, the truth is that practice will simply elicit its opposite, sooner or later, in political reaction. I’ve shared the Back-Channels concept “Shimmer” with Geller — didn’t hear back — and out of no cause or motivation not my own but solely curiosity and enthusiasm for the broadband web, I’ve made acquaintance and friends across the Islamic world.

Religious teleology adjusts to many forces across time. The Catholic Church maintained the charge of Deicide against the Jews until into the early 1960s, and the Lutheran Synod in America tooks its time ejecting, at least officially, the same. In other aspects, the Jesuits continue writing letters to Jesus and God only knows — or only God knows! — the ways in which people profess faith and integrate themselves with a spiritual program or script . . . or come to the immense opportunity to adjust and update the same in fact or emphasis.

This too is a part of Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/NewAgeIslam

Such missions (thank you for being here) have become a day to day part of global intellectual life.

Reference URL: New Age Islam.

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