Radical Jihadists Engaged in Stealth Campaign to Silence Free Speech

Washington, D.C. – The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) – in a full-page ad running in the New York Times today – cautioned that Islamist terrorists are successfully suppressing free speech to the grave detriment of U.S. national security. “Radical Islamist terrorists are determined to eliminate the West through horrifying brutality and a stealth jihad against our values in the name of Allah,” IPT Executive Director and Founder Steven Emerson said. “Perhaps most chilling is that the U.S. government and civic institutions at the highest levels are capitulating to their aggressive censorship campaign.” The ad, titled “Still Here. Still Free. But For How Long?” discusses the ongoing global activity of radical Islamist terror organizations and the great pains that their sympathizers are taking to censor debate. The advertisement cites the White House eliminating the term “radical Islam” and similar language in its counter-terrorism programs. It also discusses jihadist terror organizations effectively silencing discourse on college campuses and in media that might offend followers of Islam. “How is it possible for U.S. citizens to engage in the necessary debate over Islamist terror when U.S. leaders ban its most descriptive and accurate characterizations?” asked former House Intelligence Committee Chairman and IPT Shillman Senior Fellow Pete Hoekstra. “Denying the overtly religious motivations behind their barbaric attacks minimizes the true nature of a strong and terrifying enemy just waiting for the right opportunity to strike again.” Editor’s note: A copy of the ad running in Wednesday’s New York Times follows below:

We join in commemorating today’s official opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum as part of the on-going national healing process. The threat from radical Islamist terrorists who killed thousands of innocent Americans on Sept. 11, 2001 is as real today as it was then, if not more so. It is undeniable that those behind the 9-11 attacks and other Islamic terrorism were motivated by radical Islamic ideology. To deny the truth behind the religious motivation of Islamic terrorists is an insult to the memory of the 9-11 victims and all other victims of Islamic terrorism. Islamist terrorists were behind the bombing of Madrid’s commuter train system in 2004; they attacked London’s subways in 2005; they opened fire on innocents in a Kenyan shopping mall in 2013. U.K. jihadists hacked a British soldier to death that same year. Just weeks ago, Nigerian Islamists kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls and forced them to convert to Islam. Radical Islamist ideology clearly motivated all of the attacks – the perpetrators said so unambiguously. The 9-11 hijackers themselves invoked the term “jihad” or holy war which they pledged to wage against Jews and Christians. And the leader of Nigeria’s Boko Haram recently said: “This war is against Christians, I mean Christians, generally, the infidels. Allah says we should finish them when we get them… I am working for Allah and will die for it.” When a killer like Nidal Hasan screams “Allahu Akbar”—God is Greatest –before opening fire on his fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, we must not avert our eyes to the radical Islamist motivation behind his murderous attack. The Fort Hood massacre has never been classified as a terrorist act; rather, it was designated as a case of “workplace violence.” Yet, Islamist groups, masquerading as “civil rights” groups, have embarked on a bullying campaign to censor the word “Islam” when discussing Islamic terrorism. And the media plays a key role in this deception by legitimizing these radical Islamic groups and not exposing them. This is the new form of the jihadist threat we face. It’s an attack on one of our most sacred freedoms—free speech—and it endangers our very national security. How can we win the war against terrorism if we can’t even name the enemy? Those who dare to talk about jihad as holy war, or invoke the term Islamic terrorists, or discuss the religious motivation behind Islamist group are slandered as “Islamophobes” or bigots. The courageous Muslim voices who dare criticize radical Islam find themselves scurrilously attacked and slandered by national Islamist groups as turncoats – “Uncle Toms”—when these moderates should be lauded as heroes. The chill on free speech takes an even more dangerous turn when prosecutors charged with keeping us safe are prohibited from investigating the religious justifications for terrorist attacks. Scandalously, the FBI has succumbed to pressure from these Islamist groups in purging and destroying thousands of books, pamphlets, papers and PowerPoint presentations that were deemed to be “offensive to Islam.” Moreover, the Obama Administration has effectively prohibited the use of the term “radical Islam” and similar language in its counter- terrorism programs. This takes the incursions on free speech to a new low: our leaders deliberately avoiding the identification of the enemy. American Islamist groups are continuing to succeed in curbing free speech. New examples seem to pop up each week. Brandeis University capitulated to an organized campaign to rescind plans to give Ayaan Hirsi Ali – a tireless campaigner against abuses of women in Muslim cultures – an honorary degree. ABC Family Channel killed a pilot TV series, called “Alice in Arabia,” about an American teenage girl forced to live against her will in Saudi Arabia. Universities have canceled screenings of a documentary called “Honor Diaries.” In deceptive public statements, Islamist groups claim they are against “terrorism.” But when asked if they specifically condemn “Islamic terrorist groups” they refuse to acknowledge the Islamist motivation, a motivation the Islamic terrorists openly admit themselves. Islamist groups do backflips to avoid discussing the role their shared radical ideology plays in terrorist attacks. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which the FBI alleges has ties to Hamas, provided a compelling example at a May 8 news conference when asked to condemn Boko Haram: “What’s happening there is not because Islam is the problem,” said the CAIR official. He continued,” And we’re tired of people coming on television and examining, ‘Well where does this ideology come from?’ This ideology comes from nowhere…. Islam is not the problem; extremism and violent extremism is the problem, which is a result of many other factors of people that are in Africa that they’re facing, whether it’s poverty, whether it’s lack of resources, whether it’s the exploitation of their resources by other people.” This is sheer nonsense. And dangerous when the Obama Administration collaborates with both Islamist groups and the national media in enforcing the censorship agenda of these Islamist groups. The Investigative Project on Terrorism, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research center, has spent years shining a spotlight on this campaign of stifling free speech and censoring an open discussion of who our enemies are. Let the opening of the National September 11 Memorial Museum mark the day that we honor our lost compatriots by demanding an end to the censorship about the religious justification for Islamic terrorists, acknowledged by government counter-terrorism reports as the most dangerous threat to our national security. This article has been reprinted with the permission of Mr. Steve Emerson, Founder and Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

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