Remember Google’s old motto, “Don’t be evil”? It sounds so ironic now, with the social media giants all rushing to implement Sharia blasphemy restrictions and choke off all criticism of Islam. Twitter is working so hard to do this that it should adopt a new motto: “Be evil.”
Twitter certainly lives by that motto. It lets stand open death threats against me. It censors content to suit Iran’s Islamic authorities. It has flagged as “hateful” tweets stating the fact that Islam is not a religion of peace and reporting accurately about anti-Semitic statements by an imam. It has let Islamic State accounts stand while banning those of people who report terrorists. It has shadowbanned my account, preventing thousands of readers from seeing Jihad Watch posts.
And it isn’t just me, of course. Breitbart reported Monday that “a Muslim apostate and high profile campaigner against both female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage has been suspended from micro-blogging platform Twitter, amidst a wider crackdown on right wing voices on the website, and other online platforms like Facebook.”
The human rights activist in question, Shazia Hobbs, explained: “It’s absolutely disgusting. There was no reason given. Twitter would not tell me what tweets were in violation of their rules. They said it was because of ‘harassment’. All I tweet about is the rape of Pakistani children by Pakistani men.”
That’s not allowed to be noticed. Twitter even classifies as “hateful” the commonplace and demonstrably true observation that Islam is not a religion of peace.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that a hashtag, #ConfessYourUnpopularOpinion, was trending on Twitter. So I thought I would have a little fun, wrote out the tweet below, and forgot about the whole thing until several days ago, when I received this email warning me that this tweet was being evaluated for possible violation of Twitter’s “hateful conduct policy.”
Dear Twitter user,
We are writing to inform you that certain content on your Twitter account @jihadwatchRS has been flagged, for possible violation of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy (https://support.twitter.com/articles/20175054), specifically:
We are sending you this notification to allow you to evaluate it.
If it is determined that the flagged content does not violate our hateful conduct policy, Twitter may still withhold content in France if the content appears to violate the laws of France.
For more information on our Country Withheld Content policy please see this page: https://support.twitter.com/articles/20169222
If you believe we have contacted you in error, please reply to this email and let us know.
“We are sending you this notification to allow you to evaluate it,” said Twitter.” All right. Let’s evaluate it.
One might also get the impression that Islam is not a religion of peace from these Qur’an verses:
2:191-193: “And kill them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is worse than slaughter. But do not fight them by the holy mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, kill them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is all-forgiving, all-compassionate. Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s; then if they give over, there shall be no hatred except for evildoers.”
4:89: “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore do not take friends and protectors from them, until they emigrate in the way of Allah; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and kill them wherever you find them; do not take any of them as friend or helper.”
5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, and hasten about the earth, to do corruption there: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land. That is a degradation for them in this world; and in the world to come awaits them a mighty chastisement.”
8:12: “When thy Lord was revealing to the angels, ‘I am with you; so confirm the believers. I shall cast terror into the unbelievers’ hearts; so smite above the necks, and smite every finger of them!”
8:39: “Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s entirely; then if they give over, surely Allah sees the things they do.”
8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to strike terror thereby into the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not; Allah knows them. And whatsoever you expend in the way of Allah shall be repaid you in full; you will not be wronged.”
9:5: “Then, when the sacred months are over, kill the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; Allah is All-forgiving, All-compassionate.”
9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah and the Last Day and do not forbid what Allah and His Messenger have forbidden, and do not practice the religion of truth, even if they are of the People of the Book — until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.”
9:111: “Allah has bought from the believers their selves and their possessions against the gift of Paradise; they fight in the way of Allah; they kill, and are killed; that is a promise binding upon Allah in the Torah, and the Gospel, and the Koran; and who fulfils his covenant truer than Allah? So rejoice in the bargain you have made with Him; that is the mighty triumph.”
9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the godfearing.”
47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”
Ah, but these are interpreted in a benign way by mainstream Islamic authorities, right? Wrong. There are some tolerant verses in the Qur’an as well — see, for example, sura 109. But then in Islamic tradition there are authorities who say that violent passages take precedence over these verses. Muhammad’s earliest biographer, an eighth-century Muslim named Ibn Ishaq, explains the progression of Qur’anic revelation about warfare. First, he explains, Allah allowed Muslims to wage defensive warfare. But that was not Allah’s last word on the circumstances in which Muslims should fight. Ibn Ishaq explains offensive jihad by invoking a Qur’anic verse: “Then God sent down to him: ‘Fight them so that there be no more seduction,’ i.e. until no believer is seduced from his religion. ‘And the religion is God’s’, i.e. Until God alone is worshipped.”
The Qur’an verse Ibn Ishaq quotes here (2:193) commands much more than defensive warfare: Muslims must fight until “the religion is God’s” — that is, until Allah alone is worshipped. Ibn Ishaq gives no hint that that command died with the seventh century.
The great medieval scholar Ibn Qayyim (1292-1350) also outlines the stages of the Muhammad’s prophetic career: “For thirteen years after the beginning of his Messengership, he called people to God through preaching, without fighting or Jizyah, and was commanded to restrain himself and to practice patience and forbearance. Then he was commanded to migrate, and later permission was given to fight. Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to restrain himself from those who did not make war with him. Later he was commanded to fight the polytheists until God’s religion was fully established.”
In other words, he initially could fight only defensively — only “those who fought him” — but later he could fight the polytheists until Islam was “fully established.” He could fight them even if they didn’t fight him first, and solely because they were not Muslim.
Nor do all contemporary Islamic thinkers believe that that command is a relic of history. According to a 20th century Chief Justice of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Humaid, “at first ‘the fighting’ was forbidden, then it was permitted and after that it was made obligatory.” He also distinguishes two groups Muslims must fight: “(1) against them who start ‘the fighting’ against you (Muslims) . . . (2) and against all those who worship others along with Allah . . . as mentioned in Surat Al-Baqarah (II), Al-Imran (III) and At-Taubah (IX) . . . and other Surahs (Chapters of the Qur’an).” (The Roman numerals after the names of the chapters of the Qur’an are the numbers of the suras: Sheikh Abdullah is referring to Qur’anic verses such as 2:216, 3:157-158, 9:5, and 9:29.)
Here again, obviously there is a widespread understanding of the Qur’an within Islamic tradition that sees it, and Islam, as inherently violent. And we see Muslims who clearly understand their religion as being inherently violent acting upon that understanding around the world today.
But if you note that on Twitter, you’re “hateful.”
Twitter, like the other social media giants, should be broken up using anti-trust laws. It is an increasingly fascist platform that ruthlessly clamps down on voices that dare to dissent from the Leftist agenda.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.