On August 19th, 2014, I was invited to participate in the famous talk show "The Opposite Direction" which airs on Al-Jazeera channel, in an episode entitled “Who is the winner in the current Gaza war?” The opposite side of the debate was represented by Hamas leader Ibrahim Hamami. In the course of discussions which lasted an hour, I plainly explained my point of view, clarifying that the current conflict does not constitute an ordinary war, but rather an attack initiated by a designated terrorist movement - classified as such even in some Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirate – against a member State of the United Nations. I pointed out that Hamas did not abide by ethical or legal rules in that conflict, taking advantage of schools, hospitals, mosques, bedrooms and even churches to launch missiles at Israel. Fully anticipating that Israel would respond by bombarding those launching points, Hamas managed to show the World an Israel which is killing children and targeting schools, mosques and hospitals. The MEMRI Foundation has translated a short clip of my speech, which can be accessed at this link.
When the Hamas member failed to counter this argument in a rational manner, he started hurling accusations and insults, calling me an Arab Zionist, and mockingly suggesting that I should change my name to Magdi Cohen, or Magdi Avichay. This verbal assault went on for the duration of the show, but the surprise came at the end of the episode, when he explicitly called for my death, stating that getting rid of Arab Zionists is a primary duty that should precede the elimination of the Zionist occupiers. This was a message broadcasted on a channel watched by tens of millions in the region--a channel which is also considered the preferred channel for terrorist Muslims worldwide. This explicit threat can be viewed at the end of the above mentioned clip.
After the episode aired, I received more than 500 insulting messages from Palestinians and Arabs, including five messages with explicit death threats, stating that a plan to kill me was already in place.
The only language Hamas knows to speak is one of terror and murder. When unable to refute arguments, they resort to bullets. The rabid attempts to intimidate me are an attack against the right to opinion and expression.
Surprisingly, Abraham Hamami - who issued this death threat while we were live on the air on a widely viewed channel, making sure that this call would reach Islamist terrorists across the world - is a London resident and a British citizen. From London also came the terrorist who killed American journalist James Foley a few weeks ago. So, will the British Security Service simply wait till the next crime is committed at the hands of this Hamas terrorist? Why is the U.K. keeping silent about the likes of these terrorists until the silence is forcefully broken by a criminal act? Why the silence when Hamas is in fact classified as a terrorist organization in the European Union?
This article is meant as a message for the UK MI5 Security Service and the American FBI, so that measures may be taken against this threat.
As for me, I will not shy away from stating the truth as I perceive it, and will continue to express my opinions openly. Yet, the free world needs to pay attention to the design of Muslim extremists to suppress freedom of opinion and expression, whether under claim of Islamophobia, showing disrespect to Islam(Blasphemy), or defending Israel. They aim to silence dissenting voices, and they are not above committing murder to achieve that end.
The freedom of opinion and expression is in peril in the Western World itself, as a result of the actions of Muslim extremists. The free world has to defend the liberties that were paid for with the lives of millions in the West, until Freedom eventually became a reality to be enjoyed and appreciated. Conversely, we are now faced with Muslim extremists armed with Sixth Century perceptions, who are intent on threatening the freedom of expression in the twenty-first century.
Magdi Khalil is Executive Director of the Middle East Freedom Forum.
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