Eve Myktyn’s article “Hate speech without hate: Britain and the United States” responds to the recent attempt by Islington Council in London to ban Gilad Atzmon from playing sax with the Blockheads at the Assembly Hall because one Zionist falsely claimed he is a “holocaust denier”. Fortunately, Santa Claus was available to take his place.
At the top of Eve’s article is a picture of the famous Berkeley Free Speech Movement of the sixties, against right-wing McCarthyism. Ironically, Berkeley is now one of the most notoriously anti-free-speech places in the country, in which the police cooperated with anti-fascists to violently deplatform Zionist speakers Milo Yiannopoulos and Pam Geller.
Myktyn doesn’t mention this, but her piece does broaden the critique of censorship which Atzmon started. Whereas he has concentrated on Zionist, and crypto-Zionist, efforts to censor himself and others, she examines some cases of other kinds of censorship.
It starts by saying “Gilad Atzmon is fighting a battle for free speech in England”, which has some truth in it. He is fighting on one front out of several.
Rather than just selecting examples which seem to confirm Atzmon’s critique of Zionist censorship, Mykytyn finds a few examples of other forces trying to shut down freedom of expression in Western societies.
The one glaring exception is the censorious effect of Islam and its supporters and apologists.
The article defends the freedom of white extremist Richard Spencer, but doesn’t mention the considerable efforts being made to protect us from “Islamophobes”. Robert Spencer, along with a number of others, has just had his Patreon account removed, after pressure from MasterCard. PayPal is also on the offensive against mostly right-wing, often Zionist, internet personalities. If censorship is used at least as much against Islamophobes as Islamophiles, it tends to undermine Atzmon’s view of Western society as dominated by the former.
In different ways, the following prominent individuals on both sides of the Atlantic have had their freedom greatly curtailed by Muslims: Salman Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Pam Geller, and the staff of Charlie Hebdo.
Maryam Namazie, an ex-Muslim, was subject to attempts to stop her speaking to the secular society at Goldsmith’s College in London in November 2015, and Muslim extremists disrupted her talk, with the support of the feminist and LGBT societies at the college.
But not all gay activists are morons. For example, Milo Yiannopoulos opposes Islam. This is one of the reasons leftist mobs violently stop him from speaking – they call him an “Islamophobe”. Gilad Atzmon uses the same debate-crushing neologism. As if LGBT people had set up a Gay State In the Levant (GSIL), and thrown Muslims off roofs.
Then there’s Tommy Robinson. He and his family have to live under police protection – when they can get it – because of his outspoken condemnation of the UK’s numerous Muslim child-rape gangs.
Robinson’s hostility to Islam has led him, via a simplistic binary world-view, to sympathy for Israel. He argues against freedom for the Palestine solidarity movement, which he calls “terrorist”. But Robinson’s persecution has been much worse than what Atzmon has experienced.
On two occasions, the government jailed him on trumped-up charges. In one case, they allowed terrorists to beat him unconscious. On the latest occasion, last year, they imprisoned him for two months, but this time, they put him in isolation. However, he could only get prison meals which Muslim inmates openly bragged of poisoning, so he had to live on tins of tuna for two months.
A UK parliamentary committee has recommended making it illegal to express “Islamophobia”: “Islamophobia Defined” (PDF).
Rejecting the observation that Islam is not a race, these SJWs from all the major parties try to convince us that “Islamophobia” is a form of “racism”.
Atzmon often hints that he thinks Western states are Islamophobic, for example, that the attacks on Middle Eastern countries are something to do with them being Islamic (Being in Time). But Iraq was a secular republic. 9/11 was not retaliation for US involvement in the 1990/91 Gulf War – bin Laden wanted to participate in it too: “Al-Qaeda: The True Story of Radical Islam” – Jason Burke.
Seeing Zionism and Islam as simple opposites is the same error Tommy Robinson makes. The Western countries support Israel to the hilt, but they are also afraid to criticise Islam. Political correctness is so entrenched in Britain that two conservative prime ministers in succession have said that ISIS is nothing to do with Islam. The opposition goes out of its way to praise Muslims, and all the Muslim child-grooming cases have occurred while Labour councils looked the other way, or sent whistleblowers on diversity courses. America’s a bit less submissive, but what did president George W Bush say six days after September 11th, 2001? He said “Islam is peace”. Barack Obama was just as deluded. Donald Trump is the first president to condemn “radical Islam”.
The European Court of Human Rights recently upheld the conviction of an Austrian woman who stated the simple historical fact that Mohammed was a paedophile. Surely this is worse than being driven out of the Labour Party for reporting the fact that Nazis cooperated with Zionists.
The scope and scale of the growing censorship in Western societies are greater than Atzmon has indicated. His one-sided condemnation of Zionist censorship depends on selecting from the evidence that which appears to conform to his hypothesis. This article by Eve Mykytyn is a step in the right direction. If you defend freedom, you can’t cherry-pick which censorship you oppose.