Talk about a country bending over backwards to cater to Islam! Spaniards, you have reason to be angry at your country. For the Gatestone Institute (and also Jihad Watch) reports that Spain is set to deport a legal immigrant who was allowed residency in the country in 2006 for fear of persecution. Imran Firasat, from Pakistan, married a non-Muslim Indonesian woman, and received the customary death threats for apostasy in both Pakistan and Indonesia. Here he is with his family:
Firasat fled to Spain, but wasn’t a quiet citizen: he proceeded to agitate against Islam and the Qur’an, which he asked to have banned in Spain because it incited hatred. He even asked to burn one in public.
Well, that wouldn’t fly, but Firasat continued to criticize Islam. In 2012, he made a film, “The Innocent Prophet,” which you can see on YouTube, but of course there’s an obligatory warning even there:
I wonder who complained about that being offensive?
Here’s Firasat’s film, one hour and 11 minutes long:
According to Gatestone, the film was the nail in Firasat’s coffin, although its model, “Innocence of Islam,” was truly dreadful, and, to my mind, genuinely Islamophobic in the sense of being anti-Muslim as well as anti-Islam:
Spanish authorities, however, took measures to deport Firasat in December 2012, after he released a one-hour amateur film entitled, “The Innocent Prophet: The Life of Mohammed from a Different Point of View.” The movie, which was posted on YouTube, purports to raise awareness of the dangers of Islam to Western Civilization.
The film shows images of the Muslim terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, on double-decker buses in London and on commuter trains in Madrid. The movie, which features many passages from the Koran that threaten violence against non-Muslims, promises to answer the question: “Was Mohammed an inspired prophet of God, or was he a madman driven by his own demons, thus producing a religion of violence and tyranny?”
Firasat, who runs a website called MundoSinIslam.com (A World Without Islam), says he was inspired by another amateur film, “The Innocence of Muslims,” which portrayed the Islamic Prophet Mohammed as a womanizer and a pedophile. Released in September 2012, the movie triggered a wave of riots across Europe and the Middle East that resulted in the deaths of more than 30 people.
I haven’t watched the whole film, but my sampling shows that it’s strong stuff, and in some places verges on true Islamophobia. Muhammad, for instance, is called the head of a “Mafia” and depicted with an automatic weapon.)But in the main the film underscores the lack of “peacefulness” of the faith itself, showing hateful verses from the Qur’an, and criticizes the tenets of that faith. The bulk of the film is a critique of the religion, and, at the end, Firasat says that his aim is not even to make people leave the faith, but simply examine it, and at the least embrace “the way of love and humanity” that could inhere in a new Islam.
Well, maybe that is “hate speech” in Spain, which, after all, doesn’t have the same rules for freedom of speech as does U.S. But it doesn’t matter, at least morally. What matters is that the Spanish Supreme Court decided to deport Firasat, and, depending where he goes, this is equivalent to a death sentence.
Further, the deportation order comes not from Firasat’s movie itself, but clearly from the fear that it would incite Muslims to violence:
Shortly after Firasat’s film was released, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo and Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz initiated a process to review his refugee status.
A Foreign Ministry document, dated November 27, 2012, stated that “the consequences of the release of a video with such [anti-Islamic] characteristics are highly worrisome and constitute a real risk for Spanish interests because the author of the video identifies himself as a ‘Spanish citizen.'”
The document added that Firasat’s actions, including his threats to burn the Koran, were “destabilizing” and “heightened the risk of attacks against Spanish interests abroad, especially in the current context of the extreme sensitivity and indignation in the Muslim world.”
Fernández issued an order on December 21, 2012 to deport Firasat based on Article 44 of the Law on Asylum and Protection, which allows the state to revoke the refugee status of “persons who constitute a threat to Spanish security.” The deportation order stated that Firasat constituted a “persistent source of problems due to his constant threats against the Koran and Islam in general.”
Firasat appealed the deportation order at the National Court [Audiencia Nacional], arguing that the expression of his views about Islam fall within the constitutional right to free speech.
But the National Court rejected Firasat’s appeal. A ruling dated October 3, 2013 states:
“The right to the freedom of expression can be subject to certain formalities, conditions, restrictions or sanctions, which constitute necessary measures, in a democratic society, to preserve national security, public security and the constitutional order.”
In other words, criticism of Islam constitutes a threat to national security and order!
And the Supreme Court of Spain, in a total display of cowardice, upheld that ruling:
Now the Supreme Court has not only confirmed the National Court’s ruling, but it has gone one step farther. Its ruling states:
“The right to the freedom of expression does not guarantee the right to intolerant manifestations or expressions that infringe against religious freedom, that have the character of blasphemy or that seek to offend religious convictions and do not contribute to the public debate.”
This paragraph is strangely similar to an international blasphemy law being promoted by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries dedicated to implementing a worldwide ban on “negative stereotyping of Islam.”
Have a look at UN initiativ 16/18, introduced by Muslim countries trying to codify that blasphemy law. It passed the UN General Assembly in 2011—with the support of the Obama Administration.
That, of course, really means, “we are committed to avoiding criticism of Islam.” It doesn’t have the power of law, but Islamic countries are promoting its enforcement.
What is ironic about all this is that Spain gave Firasat and his family residency to protect him from the perfidies of Islam, but now wants to expel him because he’s making public statements about those perfidies. And the real reason for his deportation is not really his own actions, but fear of retribution from Muslims. That’s quite clear from the Supreme Court’s statement.
Firasat can still appeal his “sentence” to the European Court of Human Rights, and the Spanish government has said that it wouldn’t deport him to a country where he’d be endangered. Great: put the problem in someone else’s lap.
I accuse the Spanish government of cowardice and hypocricy born of fear of Muslim violence. They abjure the rights of criticism of Englightenment democracies, preferring to endanger the life (and family) of an activist.
The final irony is that the Spanish government fears the very violence that Firasat criticizes in his film, criticism which he’s being deported. If he’s wrong, and Islam really is a peaceful religion, what’s Spain afraid of?
Although Firasat may be a bit of an extremist (who wouldn’t if you have to leave your home because of dumb religious rules on apostasy?), he’s also a very brave man. As he said:
“When I heard that the U.S. ambassador [in Libya] was slain,I said okay, you Muslims, use violence, but we will continue to make films. One day one of us will lose.”
Let’s hope it’s reason that doesn’t lose.