Google Blocks the E-Mail Address of a European Politician Who Offers Anti-Religion Stickers December 28, 2013

Google Blocks the E-Mail Address of a European Politician Who Offers Anti-Religion Stickers

Let’s say that there’s this European politician who is openly agnostic, and who one day decides to distribute free stickers criticizing Christianity. The stickers contain a statement of opinion that is harsh, but a far cry from incitement.

Christianity is a lie. Jesus is a crook. The Bible is poison.

Anybody who wants one can send a message to a dedicated gmail account,

However, offended Christians petition Google to shut down the account — and Google does just that, ostensibly because it doesn’t want to help spreading “hate.”

What are your thoughts? Go ahead, let it all out. I’ll wait.

Now, surely you wouldn’t change your mind about how ridiculous Google’s decision if the e-mail address were, and the religion in question were Islam, right?

The free stickers are real, and they are indeed offered by an agnostic politician (link in Dutch). But these are the words printed on them:

Islam is a lie. Mohammad is a crook. The Qur’an is poison.

Is there really a problem with that?

(image: Magnus Gjoen)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • i don’t speak Dutch, so the link isn’t going to clarify this for me. You’re saying google did shut down the email account because the politician spoke that about Islam? if so, yes, my answer is the same. it’s a chilling suppression of free speech.

    Google is a private company. they can do what they want, and i can choose another email account from a company more devoted to my right to free expression. but i do not approve of them, like so many others, treating atheists like second class citizens.

    i am fairly sure i can find about 1 million Islamic, Christian and other religious sites powered by Google right now that call for my death because i’m an atheist, gay, black, etc. funny how Google doesn’t seem to have a problem with that.

  • KMR

    Mmmmm. Interesting. I cringed when I saw the first bumper sticker but shrugged when I saw the second. Obviously I need to check myself in regards to biases.

    Is printing stuff like this effective though? Will it actually accomplish something positive? Obviously the author is well within their rights at least here. So is google although I’d have to question whether the company is being consistent.

  • Foo

    It appears that it is in fact true. I was able to visit the link, and chrome translated it for me.

  • Foo

    My thoughts are the same either way. I know certain “right wing” types in the US like to think that atheists only oppose xtians, but I for one find all religion and religious indoctrination to be utter bullshit.

  • A3Kr0n

    So he could have a sticker that read “Kill an infidel, go to Heaven -Mohammad”, and it would be perfectly acceptable?

  • i always forget i can do that. /doh

    hee, there’s some irony for you. using google translate to read a page about google being Evil.

  • KMR

    Is it a chilling suppression of free speech? A & E has done the same thing with that Duck Dynasty guy and there were a ton of non-believers on that post praising the action. If this is a chilling suppression then I wonder why more secularists weren’t condemning of A&E?

  • WallofSleep

    Just because he speaks the truth does not mean that Google is obligated to give him a platform from which to speak it. That said, I have zero confidence in Google and any claims of ethics it may make, especially their “Don’t Be Evil” motto.

  • Jeff

    The distinction, though a fine line, is that A&E is a private company with a brand to protect. DD’s guy (never watched it, so don’t know what they hell it is about) made comments, FULLY PROTECTED BY HIS FREE SPEECH RIGHTS, that may have damaged the A&E brand (don’t watch A&E either so not sure what they do). A&E has a legally binding business contract with DD guys. I’m sure there are plenty of clauses that say “make us look bad, you don’t work for us any more”. They exercised that clause….but the backlash showed the the DD guys didn’t risk the brand (and may have helped it). That’s a fine, free market business decision. Like I said, I don’t watch either.

    Google, however, MAY, and probably does, have a contract when you get an email address from them, that says “sorry, we can block you account if we think you are being a dick, and, BTW, we decide what is dickish or not”. You fully agree to those terms (I’ll bet you’ve never read your terms and conditions statement for your email) in exchange for the account.

    I do not agree with censorship, but the First Amendment (hopefully everyone realizes it only applies to ‘merican’s an ‘merican soil) says “Congress shall pass no law….” Private companies can pretty much do whatever the fuck they want so long as it is legal, and they spell it out pretty clear in the Terms and Conditions statement. Again, I disagee with what they did. It is morally wrong to ME, but it is legal.

  • Jeff

    “I’d have to question whether the company is being consistent” You, sir, have said the magic words and are great high exalted ruler of the Internet this day. You asked the perfect, most logical, most reasonable question about this situation. However, I would not hold my breath waiting for an answer, you probably do not look good in blue….

  • EuropeanCommunist

    From Gmail ToS:

    In addition to (and/or as some examples of) the violations described in the terms of service, users may not:

    Send, upload, distribute or disseminate or offer to do the same with respect to any
    unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent, infringing, obscene, or otherwise objectionable content

    Gosh, I sure hope no Christian knows my email address because I’m pretty sure he’d find my existence objectionable.

  • How many of us have read Google’s terms of service?

  • The difference is that the Duck Dynasty bigot is being promoted by A&E, so they are very much in their right to distance themselves from that. His actions potentially even open the network up to legal liability. And his ability to express himself hasn’t been significantly impacted by the decision (now reversed) of A&E to suspend him. In fact, he probably has even more channels of expression available to him as a consequence.

    In the U.S. (but not all countries) the operators of Internet services such as Gmail is providing are substantially sheltered from any legal consequences of those using the services, and simply using a Gmail address doesn’t reflect very strongly on Google at all. Their decision to block a simple email address does significantly impact somebody’s ability to express himself.

    That said, Google may be operating as required by European laws, here. In many European countries there is substantially less freedom to express yourself than we have in the U.S. They have very broad ideas about “hate speech”, and make illegal that which we tolerate here.

  • Since I live in NL I know the background. If he had put “Religion is a lie, all prophets are crooks. Holy texts are poison.” then nobody would give a shit here. But singling out Islam as the (implied) only false one causes knee-jerk denials.

  • Mark G

    I’m willing to bet that Google wouldn’t have shut down the account if it were a Xtian sticker. I think it has everything to do with the fact that it’s denouncing Islam, and they’re concerned with the very real possibility that violence against Google’s offices, employees, etc. – by extremist Muslims – could be a result of their inaction.

    Xtians, for the most part, don’t call for their followers to rain down firebombs and suicide attacks on companies, groups or people who denounce Xtianity. They just try to sue or discredit you in the papers.

  • brianmacker

    “Christianity is a lie. Jesus is a crook. The Bible is poison.”
    I don’t see a problem with it other than that it can be disputed as too simplistic, and too flowery. I’m not sure where the “Jesus is a crook” part comes from. I think he stole a donkey once so you might call him a thief. Crook seems like a term referring to someone who makes their living by criminality. He was more like a con artist. Not sure how the bible could be “poison”. Was someone planning to eat it?
    Calling Mohammad a crook is more appropriate. He did raid caravans for a living. He was however far worse than a mere crook. He was also a genocidal slaver and pedophile.
    Both Christianity and Islam are based on falsehoods. They aren’t “a lie” however. More like a bundle of falsehoods, since lying requires that the teller knows it is false, and the singular seems inappropriate. Islam is more clearly based on lies because the founder, Mohammad was the lier. Not sure how it would apply to Christianity. It is possible that Christianity started via rumor, not lies.
    Of course, I don’t think any of this is “hate”. It’s opinion. Google is being ridiculous.

  • brianmacker

    “A & E has done the same thing with that Duck Dynasty guy”
    A&E shut down Phil Robertson’s email account?

  • KMR

    Thanks to both you and Jeff. Haven’t thought of it in terms of private versus public companies although I don’t know if the distinction is enough to validate one action being a suppression of free speech and the other one being perfectly fine. I’ll have to think on it more.

  • This is exactly it. A&E didn’t try to stop Phil from going on any more talk shows, they didn’t try to shut down his email address or his duck call business, they just temporarily suspended him from the job they were giving him. Google on the other hand should have nothing to do with this sticker.

  • EuropeanCommunist

    Actually reading it again (and lacking the ability to edit), please substitute “Christian” with “Muslim”. Or even better, “religious person”.

  • silentknight

    the difference is that duck dynasty guy had a contract and when he threatened the efficacy of A&E(however diaphanous it may be) they terminated the contract, its just business, just like if you were to deliver pizza for a living and the company you work for fires you for calling a customer some derogatory term. the reason for blocking this mans email address is unsubstantiated, and so far as i know nothing in Google’s email policy retracts the users freedom of speech.

  • KMR

    Not that kind of blue, no 😉

  • brianmacker

    Yeah, I was wonderiing if Google was planning on shutting down the email accounts of anyone using it to spread Islam, because Islam’s message is far worse than calling something a lie, crooked, or poison. Advocating crimes against others is obviously worse. Islam defames Jews as greedy, and is even more hateful of Idolators. Islam obviously clears the bar on being “hate”.

  • brianmacker

    I don’t see how an email account is a “platform from which to speak”. It is a private messaging system, and is not akin to a soap box or other platform upon which a speaker stands as the phrase alludes.

  • But he can get another email address. Yes the ads have gone out, but he could set up his own domain and servers. FWIW, I’m still trying to work out my position. It’s a good question question Terry.

  • Jeremiah Traeger

    Am I the only one bothered that it’s a politician doing that? I know we in the USA get pissed when a politician uses his podium and power to espouse his or her views on gawd.

    To be clear, this is not a legal objection as I don’t know Dutch laws regarding this.

  • brianmacker

    Would a bumper sticker that read, “Islam is false. Mohammad was a robber, slaver, and mass murderer. The Koran advocates evil.” make you cringe? If so, why?
    “Will it actually accomplish something positive?”
    It lets others know the truth. I think that is positive. I also acts to draw targets off the backs of others who are telling the truth. If murdering a guy like Van Gogh leads to more of communications of the truths that the murderer sought to surpress then that is positive. It undermines the certainty that others claim for their intolerant religion, which is in fact commiting many evils. It acts as a polling mechanism which emboldens the oppressed to do something about the evil it exposes. People are afraid to act against evil when they think they are outnumbered, or that most are docile and apathetic in the face of evil.

  • brianmacker

    There are some leftists who side with Islam and oppose Christianity. There has been outcries from the left over criticism of Islam as “Islamophobia” when they’ve been silent for decades over far worse things done to Christians, and Christianity. So not surprising that some right wing types get confused and think atheists think this way. Generally I read them referring to “leftists” not “atheists” in their criticisms though.

  • jamilleChristman

    What I find strange is the fact the netherlands has a secular majority, so it begs the question of why? Is it a message to other countries?

  • Conuly

    But, like much of Europe, a large Muslim *immigrant* population. I don’t care whether you call this sticker racism or islamophobia or plain old fashioned jingoism, it is an ugly thing that has nothing to do with the objective truth of whether or not their religion is correct.

    Whenever i see this sort of thing from Europe, I go ahead and pretend they’re talking about Hispanics. It’s the same sort of thing.

  • Conuly

    Oh, yeah.

  • unbedenky

    Why not go for the more general
    Religion is a lie. Messiahs are crooks. Holy books are poison.

  • mobathome

    About “Google doesn’t seem to have a problem with” etc., does Google require a complaint about a site before they act?

  • Terry Firma

    He has done that now — set up his own domain, I mean. The fact that he initially chose a gmail address might indicate that he knew of the possibility that Google would shut it down, and that he picked gmail anyway to benefit from the controversy and the publicity it would generate. I’m just guessing…

  • Itarion

    I’m fairly sure that con art is criminal behavior. Since, as you say, Jesus was a con artist, he would be a crook.

  • Sander Aarts

    Because it doesn’t fit his demagogy. In fact, this action by Google works out well for him, because again he gets the attention he wants. Free speech advocates all come to his rescue, but they forget that he only wants free speech for himself. Even within his own party people are kicked out as soon as they dare to publicly question his dictates.

    To give you an impression who we’re talking about: Geert Wilders was one of the inspirations for Anders Breivik, the Oslo terrorist.

  • KMR

    It’s a good guess. Someone on the Duck Dynasty post mentioned that the actions again Phil are going to turn out to be brilliant for A&E. Mobilize the fan base and money comes in.

  • let me clarify. i know that in our corporate controlled world, there is no “right” to free expression when using their products. i clicked the ‘agree to terms’ button, and that was my choice. but i am disturbed by the increasing encroachment upon free expression that corporations have demonstrated in the last few decades. more and more, we accept that profit is more important than free expression, and that consumers should take instruction and directions from the businesses they patronize. that is very chilling to me.

    as far as the DD guy, other commenters have said what i would’ve said. his rights as a citizen were not violated and i’m quite tired of people who don’t understand the definition of what freedom of speech means in this country. it has to do with government, not a private corporation. anyway, the bigot got his job back and imho the whole thing was planned from the beginning to sell DD junk at walmart, etc.

  • Miss_Beara

    This is true and I do not understand it. There was a post on another blog in the atheist section of patheos where Islam was discussed in a positive way and someone said “Islam is rubbish just like all other religions.” She then called that person an islamaphobe. Not “all Muslims are terrorists” or anything like that. Just that it is rubbish. Even if you lump all other religions in there, you are still an islamaphobe.

  • ragarth

    Playing devil’s advocate, comparing Christianity and Islam in this context is not necesserily appropriate. Yes, they’re both religions but one is a majority with a major public platform while the other is a minority. This power discrepancy necessitates some deference to the minority because they’re less able to defend themselves against harmful statements. Given this, generic anti-blah statements should be more carefully weighed when against minorities than when against majorities.

  • Daniel J. Schalit

    Unfortunately there is a difference between the two, as the latter is objectively much more likely to get you murdered.

  • Dave

    Evolution is a lie, Dawkins is a crook. Origin of the species Is poison.
    I am sure Google would suspend the account of someone who promoted this bumper sticker.

  • i know many in the queer community have complained, to little effect as far as i can tell. atheists too. we’re the two groups in this country and other who are still considered fair game for classification as second class citizen. but upset religious people? they are catered to constantly.

  • quasibaka

    While Google’s actions are disappointing , the context is important :
    1.The guy is using the gmail account to promote his ideology . This brings some publicity onto google.
    2. Gmail is a free service – like most freebies , it is provided as is with no guarantees and/or rights . So google as a commercial entity does not want to be embroiled in such a debate. They don’t want to be on the frontlines of the war. The government/judiciary’s lack of clarity on this issue is the major fault here IMO.

    and finally :
    3.The guy maybe promoting hate speech . While all religions are a lie , religious leaders of one group try to bring hate onto another religion . This is very common in my country (India)
    The distinction between free speech and hate speech is thin , subjective and delicate .

    I personally support government control of hate speech . In my country , you can be punished by jail time for abusing people of lower castes using derogatory terms.

  • it’s a difficult discussion to have for several reasons, not the least of which stems from the fact that Islamophobia and racism are very intertwined in this country.

    it is a fine line, but one can walk it. the critique of islam should always be free of racist logic. islam is a religion and not a racial classification, but far too many can’t seem to understand that. atheists must always be very clear they do understand that fact, when criticizing Islam and its practitioners.

  • why does it ‘imply’ that Islam is the only false one? i don’t read that at all.

  • i encourage you to look more closely at the xtian right. there are regular calls for the deaths of gays, liberals and feminists by many voices. Uganda is an obvious, and not at all singular, example.

  • i sincerely hope you are being sarcastic. i’m fairly sure i can find plenty of google accounts that say that every single day.

  • mobathome

    Could it be an EU phenomenon? (I know that unlikely given what you write.)

  • WallofSleep

    It’s a free service. They’re under no obligation to provide it to those they don’t want to.

    ” It is a private messaging system…”

    In the sense that it’s the private property of Google, yes.

  • Brian Westley

    Would this be the Streisand effect or a reverse Streisand effect, since publicity was the desired outcome…?

  • Artor

    Xtians, for the most part, don’t call for their followers to rain down firebombs and suicide attacks on companies, groups or people who denounce Xtianity.

    For the most part, perhaps, but there are still Xians who do exactly that. See: Operation Rescue, Army of God, Scott Roeder, Eric Rudolph, Joseph Stack, Anders Breivik, etc. ad nauseum.

  • Carmelita Spats

    “Polling Mechanism” and “It lets others know the truth”…I agree. I
    want the following bumper stickers plastered on my truck: “Not Even In Arkansas: Incestuous Jesus Impregnated His Own Mother with Himself”, “Marriage Equality: Jesus Had TWO Daddies”, “God Hates You: Hate Him Back”, “Christoholics Anonymous…Because Braying to A 2,000-Year-Old Virgin Carpenter is Mental Illness“, “Defend Your Body ‘Cause You Ain’t No Jizz Rag for Christ” and “Project Secularism: Let’s Give Church Ladies Tolerable Haircuts From A Recent Decade”, but my truck would get keyed in the Bible-Meth Belt where intolerant church ladies, like Gov Rick Perry, commit many evils. I’m sure if I were living under Sharia Law, I’d have another set of bumper stickers but then I’d be a tongue-less harpy instead of tongue-tied with enough tongue for ten rows of teeth so I’d have to go back to the plastic arts…unless I was left with just one good arm.

  • Artor

    Yes, but they are open to criticism for their cowardly, censorious actions. Seriously, fuck Google and their “don’t be evil” platitudes.

  • WallofSleep

    Oh, absolutely. I agree with everything you just said.

  • I’m wondering if the account was blocked not because of the content of this person’s stickers, but because of the number of complaints brought against it.

    Google may have had little more to do with this than an automated system. If an account receives too many flags, the software itself may block an account until further review. I’ve seen it a lot with atheist videos posted on YouTube (also owned by Google) where Christian groups sent in mass complaints and triggered an automated response.

  • brianmacker

    “not a racial classification, but far too many can’t seem to understand that.”

    The only people I see getting confused on that issue are people on the left.

  • brianmacker

    I doubt that.

  • pachydermatous

    To me, “Islamophobia” would be if you treated Muslims differently than you would treat anybody else in the same situation just for the simple fact that they are Muslim, for example if you refused a Muslim service at your business or if you pulled your advertising from a show that portrayed American Muslims as regular people because members of a competing religion complained about it.

    It’s not Islamophobia or hatred if you are simply criticizing the religion of Islam. People have the right to practice their religion and not be mistreated for it, but they don’t have the right to go through life free from criticism of their ideas.

  • brianmacker

    He said “for the most part” so I would interpret that as meaning he is aware of the outliers.

  • brianmacker

    I didn’t claim the were obliged to do it. They could start canceling free service to any African American too, without this “obligation”. That doesn’t make it right, rational, etc.

  • brianmacker

    Most of our politicians do similar things. Many run on platforms denouncing us heathens, and such.

  • brianmacker

    What “power discrepancy “? Any Muslim can open an email account, print bumper stickers, and sell or give them out for free. You seem to have bought into this bogus belief promulgated by the left that mere numerical inferiority is evidence of preferential treatment.

  • brianmacker

    Perhaps he doesn’t believe that.

  • brianmacker

    Some cons are legal, and the “victims” never would accept restitution, and even though told about the con, continue to give. I can’t be too sympathetic of them as victims. That’s the kind of con Christ was running. He didn’t exactly amass millions in a swindle and ended up dead for his troubles. It is still a con. Just not the kind of con we associate with “crooks”.

  • brianmacker


  • B Dallmann

    This is similar to when I made a comment somewhere criticizing Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians, and I was called an anti-Semite. -_-

  • B Dallmann

    I thought about this myself. There were so many people that were outraged, saying they’d stop watching A&E, but it seems like the controversy just brought in more viewers than ever before.

  • sailor

    The message is wrong. Jesus is not a crook. Jesus is either dead or he never existed.

  • anon atheist

    1.6 billion people plus a couple of the richest countries in the world how could somebody possibly overlook this tiny minority? Oh my fucking god.

  • Ibis3

    I have no problem with either sticker, and don’t believe either qualifies as hate speech. Google was wrong in this case. However, that is not to say that other statements about Christianity/Christian and Islam/Muslims respectively are automatically equivalent (cf. statements about white people and PoC or men and women). There are context and history that always must be considered when making an evaluation as to whether something is racist, sexist, or some other shade of bigotry.

  • well, you must be very privileged and not be exposed to much right wing media, then. pam geller, anyone? she’s just the tip of that racist heap of crap.

  • KMR

    Chick-Fil-A’s controversy brought in a record amount of business for them. I haven’t found anything posted yet but I bet you in six months we’ll find out it’s the same thing for A&E. It’s certainly feasible that this guy is hoping for the same thing and is trying to set himself up for it.

  • Maybe a bit strong but in no way obscene or anything so since when has Google decided what is/isn’t crossing the line? I know they’ve bent (some would say broken) their “Don’t be Evil” motto several times but now it seems they’re getting into censorship & free speech issues (on the wrong side) & that crosses my line. It’s ridiculous. I just tried sending an eMail to see if i could get some stickers & it IS indeed blocked/disappeared.

  • Terry Firma

    And John Fowles’ “The Collector” was the inspiration for more than one serial killer. The genocidal Aum Shinrikyo cult was inspired by Isaac Asimov’s “Foundation” novels. Unabomber Ted Kaczynski was influenced by a Joseph Conrad book. John Lennon was killed by a crazy person seeking to impress Jodie Foster.

    Will you roundly condemn Jodie Foster, Joseph Conrad, John Fowles, and Isaac Asimov for being responsible for bloodshed?

  • Conuly

    They’re a minority in Europe.

    Sheesh, next you’ll be saying that there isn’t any racism in the US because Africa has a lot of black people!

  • Terry Firma

    “The distinction between free speech and hate speech is thin , subjective and delicate.”

    It’s actually rare for the distinction to be any of these things. And in this case, while I suppose it is indeed “subjective,” it most certainly isn’t “delicate.”

  • LesterBallard

    Instead of crook I would have went with child rapist, but that’s me.

  • Mario Strada

    Agree. If you know how to game the system is not that difficult.

    At the same time, if I were to do a campaign like this, I would register my own domain and buy an account at a mail provider that can handle a lot of mail traffic and that is not as easily petitioned.

  • Dave

    Yep. It’s sarcasm.

  • newenglandsun

    I’ve never heard of self-proclaimed agnostics asserting that any religion is a “lie”. In fact, I have a deep respect for agnostics a lot more than I do so for others.

    Alas though, sorry Geert. If I was Dutch, you would certainly not be my ally because I also have a lot more respect for Islam than any other religion. I hate this hatred toward Muslims in my own country – America, the land of the “free”.

  • I think you have a fan.

  • I don’t know if that’s actually that easy to do though. Most commercial hosts probably have a similar automated system. So that might leave running your own mail server on your own hardware. Of course that has its own host of problems.

    Really it’d be easier to just get a new email address as this politician seems to have done.

  • If Google started denying service to African Americans they’d have a big civil rights act lawsuit on their hands.

  • Stephen DuMont

    yeah, your car is definitely going to be vandalized if you have one of these.

  • Roger Peritone

    No problem at all…so long as no actual violence is advocated, free speech should have priority.

  • UWIR

    The point is that there is an argument that inciting anti-Christian feelings is less dangerous than inciting anti-Muslims feelings. That Muslims can print out bumper stickers is irrelevant; the question is how much power those bumper stickers have. A majority discriminating against a minority is significantly different from a minority discriminating against a majority; if every Christian refused to do business with Muslims, that would seriously harm Muslims, but if every Muslim refused to do business with Christians, Christians would be only mildly harmed (and Muslims would themselves be harmed, by limiting their business options).

  • UWIR

    plat·form (pltfôrm)
    a. A horizontal surface raised above the level of the adjacent area, as a stage for public speaking or a landing alongside railroad tracks.
    b. A vessel, such as a submarine or an aircraft carrier, from which weapons can be deployed.
    c. An oil platform.
    2. A place, means, or opportunity for public expression of opinion: a journal that served as a platform for radical views.
    3. A vestibule at the end of a railway car.
    4. A formal declaration of the principles on which a group, such as a political party, makes its appeal to the public.
    a. A thick layer, as of leather or cork, between the inner and outer soles of a shoe, giving added height.
    b. A shoe having such a construction.
    6. Computer Science The basic technology of a computer system’s hardware and software that defines how a computer is operated and determines what other kinds of software can be used.
    7. Geology
    a. A flat elevated portion of ground.
    b. The ancient, stable, interior layer of a continental craton composed of igneous or metamorphic rocks covered by a thin layer of sedimentary rock.

  • UWIR

    Wouldn’t be membership of privileged (white, straight, male) make one more, not less, likely to be exposed to right wing media? There is a lot of treatment of anti-Muslim feelings as “racist” among the left, although there are some right-wingers who treat Islam as a race. I am not aware of Pam Geller doing so.

  • UWIR

    Since the publicity was probably not desired by the person doing the suppression, it’s still Streisand effect.

  • UWIR

    The present tense is a bit odd. Does he believe Mohammed is still alive? Or is this a translation issue?

  • UWIR

    Well, we could test that. Find someone advocating anti-atheist hatred, flood Google with complaints, and see whether their account gets blocked.

  • Because Islam is the only one mentioned, he will be accused of discrimination.

  • Jan Kafka

    Amazon censors opinions of non-Christians on its forums.

    I posted this on an Amazon forum: “Many Christians are narrow-minded, unintelligent, willfully ignorant, hateful, bigoted– you know who I’m talking about!– thoroughly despicable, immoral (if not amoral) people. Despite this, God still Loves them.” ‘Hate speech’, says Amazon and removes it.

    This is okay: “The Koran and Hadiths of Islam is an insult to women and pretty much
    everything outside of Islam. Christians and Jews are supposedly created
    by Allah, and purposefully led astray, and made evil, so that they will
    all occupy Hell in the place of all Muslims. All non believers are
    detested, Muhammad murdered 1000’s of “non believers”. He pillaged,
    murdered, raped. He was a sex slave trader, and he had sex with a 9 year
    old. This is all in the Koran and Hadiths. All of Islam reads about all
    this, and they they still love him, and if anyone shows any disgust in
    Muhammad, they are to be killed, just as Muhammad had all his political
    opponets, and detractors murdered. Murdering for political gain,
    terrorism, pedophelia, and hatred is taught in the Koran and Hadiths.
    The Koran and Hadiths lies about Christ, and lies about all other
    religions as being evil. The lack of disgust for Muhammad and Islam is
    staggering. You have this videao that lampoons and exposes the craziness
    in the Koran, Islamists go on yet another murder tirade(as the Koran
    and Hadiths teach them to do) and everyone shows disgust for the makers
    of the video. It seems to me the video makers are the only sane ones in
    the room. If anything, they diserve a pat on the back for attempting to
    expose Muhammad and what is in the Koran.”

    I was eventually banned from posting in Amazon forums or reviewing books etc, for making ‘spiteful’ comments.

    Email from Amazon: “We’ve repeatedly removed your discussion board posts from the website, as they were outside of our guidelines and were considered to be spiteful.

    “Post: Uhhh…’goblue’ (aka ‘Ferengi’) is a long-time Amazon troll. He’s been banned a couple of times but Amazon is a lot more tolerant of trolls these days while apparently having become far less tolerant of sincere posters who don’t toe the Amazon party line (IE, Amazon seems to be bigoted against non-Christians in general and non-believers in particular). ‘goblue’ might be an annoying, repetitive, thick-headed jerk but as a self-identified Christian, he fits in with Amazon’s agenda.”

    Yet “Richard Dawkins is an utter moron” is entirely acceptable, as is “If there are a 100 atheists in a room, and a skin-head Australian Nazi
    comes in with a machine gun and kills them all, is a crime committed’

    Yes, Amazon does occasionally delete a post made by a Christian (or ban one altogether) but most censorship is directed against atheists and other non-Christians. The censorship of Christian posts is few and far between (and the banned Xians almost always seem to create new accounts and continue as before, unhindered by Amazon censors).

    See also:

  • anon atheist

    Sheesh, next you’ll be saying that we can’t criticizes christianity because christians are a minority in over 50 countries in the world.

  • Randay

    Gmail is a lie, Google + is a crook, Google is poisonous. In whichever you like.

    Most EU countries are secular and the people don’t give a damn about Jesus Boy.

  • Randay

    There is no “islamophobia” and there is no “anti-semitism” and no “xianophobia”. Such terms are made up by their adherents to get special consideration. “Don’t criticize us or we will label you racist or some other bullshit”. Go ahead, I don’t care. As soon as you use such arguments and ad hominem attacks you have shown that you have nothing rational to say.

    Especially when I speak about islam/muslim I mean mean-hearted muslim men, because they are the ones who constitute Islam. It is an ideology of male-chauvinist pigs, by male-chauvinists pigs, for male chauvinist pigs. If that is “islamophobic”, so be it. I am happy to be on that side of the fence(as a leftist too).

  • bananafaced

    It’s free speech just like Phil Robertson’s (Duck Dynasty) interview.

  • Conuly

    And if anybody had claimed that you could not criticize the religion of Islam, you might have had a point.

    But nobody did claim that.

    C’mon, you’re better than this! No more straw men!

  • Malcolm McLean

    Unity Mitford said in public, very emphatically, “yes, I am an anti-Semite”. It was the word the German government and its supporters used to describe themselves. It was only after the German defeat that it became a boo-word.

  • Sander Aarts

    I never said Wilders is responsible for Breivik’s actions? He’s not. Please don’t pretend I said so.

    The reason I added that info is because I often see foreign free speech advocates in a hurry to show their support for him, without knowing the context in which the ‘injustice’ occurs of which he seems the victim. Sure, he should be able to say the things that are printed on the sticker. But I would like to advise anyone to read up on him, in order to make an informed decision on how supportive one wants to be to his cause. So, the reference to Breivik was meant as an invitation to do some research.
    BTW, the inspiration examples you gave were, except for Jodie Foster, works of fiction. In Wilders’ case the inspiration came from his political viewpoints/statements. That still doesn’t make him responsible for Breivik’s actions, but neither is it fiction.

  • Terry Firma

    To me, it read like a smear.

    Show me where Wilders has advocated the murder of Muslims, or anyone at all.

    While you’re searching, let’s look at the other side: There’s a fatwa on his head, he needs a 24/7 security detail, and Muslims the world over openly advocate that he must be killed like a dog.

    Yet he’s the aggressor, somehow?

  • brianmacker

    Chicago D, I know that they seem to train feminists to go directly to the ad hominem of “privilege” but please spare me. I have the privilege of being rational and dealing with facts, and not using fallacies like that. In the case of Pamela Gellar she has stated “”Islam is not a race. This is an ideology.” so it is quite clear that she understands that ” islam is a religion and not a racial classification”. She does NOT count as someone who is confused on the issue. Almost all the people I see getting confused on this issue are leftists calling people racists for being anti-Islam. For example when leftist attacked Richard Dawkins as a “racist” over his comments about Islam and its lack of science. Dawkins’ comments were in response to the numerous claims by supporters of “(a) their total numbers and (b) their science”. One example of such a confused self proclaimed leftist would be Alex Gabriel over at Free Thought Blogs.

  • brianmacker

    Anti-semite means specifically someone who hates Jews. Given the facts about Israel it is very common for anti-semites to attack Israel with regard to the Palestinians. You might just be in thrall of anti-semetic propaganda with regards to Israel. Then again some people make these charges erroneously. Palestinians themselves tend to be virulent anti-semites. Those who deviate from such a narrative soon find themselves killed, so it is hard to get a reading on this.

    Also, genetic studies have shown that Jews are very close genetically. From Wiki: “Concerning North African Jews, Autosomal genetic analysis in 2012 revealed that
    North African Jews are genetically close to European Jews. This findings “shows
    that North African Jews date to biblical-era Israel, and are not largely the
    descendants of natives who converted to Judaism” As some have claimed, Judaism is both a religion and an ethnicity. Not surprising in that they discourage conversions, and trace Jewishness via maternal lines. So if you are an anti-semite you are also likely a racist.

  • brianmacker

    I disagree. There are people who are true islamophobes, anti-semitism is rampant, and I read comments by atheists all the time that can only be characterized as “xianophobia”.

    Just watch any Louis Farrakan diatribe on the Jews. That just scratches the surface.

  • brianmacker

    That was a totally unresponsive, and pointless comment.

  • brianmacker

    Normal meaning when talking about speech and giving someone a platform is “2” which derives from “1a”. An email account does not meet definition 2.

  • brianmacker

    Those are stupid arguments that are totally at odds with free speech. They are rationalizations for suppressing not only free speech, but worse, for suppressing true free speech. All you need do is classify someone speaking the truth as being “dangerous” and throw them in jail. Regardless of the truth of the matter. This is exactly how atheists have been suppressed for millennial.

  • brianmacker

    Someone like you perhaps?

  • brianmacker

    By this “obligation” I meant a real obligation, not an artificial one.

  • brianmacker

    To me Islamophobia means an irrational fear of Islam. That however cannot be the case. Rationally Islam should be feared. What you are describing sounds more like an anti-Muslim.

  • UWIR

    I presented an argument for the position that it is legitimate to treat anti-Muslim speech differently from anti-Christian speech, not an argument for banning anti-Muslim speech. The argument that I presented not preclude the consideration of other factors when deciding how to treat speech. You clearly are lacking in critical thinking, and it is frustrating having to explain that argument mean exactly what arguments mean. That an argument can be twisted into a “rationalization” for some other position is not a valid counterargument. That an argument can be used by censors does not mean that the argument is, itself, arguing for censorship. Rather than addressing whether the argument is true, you are addressing the consequences of making the argument, which is, ironically, what you are accusing the argument of doing.

  • brianmacker

    Go ahead. Those atheist billboards are done on the same basis.

    BTW, are you trying to offend me? I’m an atheist.

  • brianmacker

    “I presented an argument for the position that it is legitimate to treat anti-Muslim speech differently from anti-Christian speech, not an argument for banning anti-Muslim speech.”

    I know, and it is an invalid argument, that once accepted can be used more broadly. It is similar to the false claim that “blacks can’t be racists because they are in the minority”.

    “You clearly are lacking in critical thinking, and it is frustrating having to explain that argument mean exactly what arguments mean.”

    Arguments have implications. That is a part of critical thinking that you need to learn.

    The criteria of your argument “endangerment” is too broad. True speech can endanger. If I truthfully claimed you were a murderer that puts you in danger of a lynching. If you are a minority that puts you in even more danger if only because there is a larger potential pool of lynchers. That’s not my problem.

    Once you accept your argument there is no reason why your means of “discrimination” between different speech on this basis cannot be used to outlaw it. This is in fact happening on campus, and other places to great ill effect.

    I didn’t even fully attack all your critical thinking flaws. Like your false belief that discrimination comes into play here. Muslims are NOT discriminated against in opening email accounts and printing bumper stickers. Making true statements about Islam is not an example of discrimination against Muslims.

    It’s not that I can’t “get” your arguments. They are just poor arguments. You make all sorts of bad assumptions and make deductions that do not follow from any good assumptions you make.

    There have been numerous societies in which the minority has discriminated against the majority to great effect. It is very very common. So you are completely wrong about that assumption too. Example after example can be found throughout history and even today. They practice actual discrimination however, not free speech, to do so.

    There are also numerous examples of minorities who are discriminated against not being economically effected by that discrimination to great effect. Chinese and Jews, as minoritiies, in a variety of countries, have been discriminated against and yet earned far above the income of those doing the discrimination.

    You’d have to learn some economics to understand how that is possible. I suggest you pick up a book by economist Thomas Sowell as a start.

    “That an argument can be used by censors does not mean that the argument is, itself, arguing for censorship.”

    I didn’t say you were arguing for censorship. You have to now explain why your argument is valid in the one case but not the other. We do ban speech on the criteria of endangerment. You’ve now claimed that we can treat majority speech as endangering to minorities. Why can’t we then ban it. They ban holocaust denial in Europe. That is at least false speech. Your argument also works against true speech.

  • brianmacker

    I was using the term as normally used. Emails is not a public broadcast system. This isn’t a radio station, or magazine. I did the writing so I’m the one who gets to choose what I mean. I didn’t mean private property.

  • Bec

    Except that you cannot use any public forum or set up a blog etc without having a verified email account first.

  • UWIR

    An email account is not a means for public expression?

  • brianmacker

    Then one would expect blocking to occur when and if they set up a blog using the email account and then used that as a platform. It is also likely google can block blogs without disabling email accounts.

  • brianmacker

    Not normally, no. Emails are sent to private addresses. Of course, you can use email to send to private addressees who don’t want to receive such emails but that isn’t public either. Nor was he doing that.

  • Not me personally. After our first exchange I’d figured picking my nose would have been a better use of my time.

    Maybe my optimism is getting the better of me but for a brief moment I thought an olive branch had been offered.

  • brianmacker

    I just agreed with you on an issue. When I agree or disagree I may or may not respond. In this case you were right so I agreed. I don’t hold a grudge, but am quite aware you don’t like me. That isn’t going to stop me from siding with you when you are right. I don’t think like that.

    Obviously you were using the term “fan” sarcastically. Plus denying you were the particular non-fan at the same time you pointed it out. Your comment also carries the connotation that you are not in the category of “non-fans”, a pal pointing something out to me. I was just pointing out you were actually in the category “non-fan”. Which your reply more than confirms.

    Let me make this clear. I don’t in fact think I owe you an olive branch. I also don’t care if you like me. To me you are just some anonymous commenter on the internet. If you are expecting an apology you can forget it, and I have apologized to people on the internet.

    BTW, your thumbnail looks like a KKK hat complete with eye holes. You might want to change that.

  • It’s a metal slime from the Dragon Quest series of games. You can see the entire image here:

    If you thought it looked like a Klan hood, then you have issues of your own to deal with.

  • Sander Aarts

    “Advocated the murder of Muslims”, “aggressor”? Again, I haven’t said or implied any of those things.

    I hope you’re not suggesting that his views/motives can’t be wrong because some of his oponents are even more wrong. If you are then I’m sorry but I don’t operate in that ‘either with or against’ mode. I don’t think the world is that black and white, and easy. There are many shades of grey and Wilders’ shade may be not as sinister as that of the lunatics that want him killed, but his isn’t very bright either.

    All I ask is for people to do some research before they come to his rescue so they know what he really stands for.

  • Randay

    “The total number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United States fell by 14% in 2012, continuing a three-year trend of incremental declines, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents, issued Monday.”,7340,L-4408907,00.html

    A few years ago the American Jewish Congress posted an article showing that while there has been a long-term decline in anti-semitic incidents, Jews were more fearful of it.

    So it is not rampant, but a perception. “The ADL Audit reported a total of 927 anti-Semitic incidents across the US in 2012” So with approximately 6 million Jews in the U.S., that makes a rate of 0.16%. It is likely even lower because Jewish militants have invented “the new anti-semitism”, usually meaning criticism of, or action against, Israel to include even more events.

    It is in the interest of Jews, as well as say Muslims and other religious, to exaggerate their plight to plead for action against something that does not exist. Latinos, Blacks, and women have more cause to complain about discrimination and violence against them.

  • Randay

    I guess you don’t watch Fux News or listen to or read xian evangelical preachers, e.g. Pat Robertson once said that Muslims were “worse than the nazis”.

  • Mark G

    I don’t discount that point, it is well-taken.

    However, this is happening not in Uganda, but in Europe – where the Muslim population is growing, and is becoming more vocal and influential. While, here in the USA, we do have isolated incidents of abortion clinic bombings and the like by radical Christians,they are more isolated, and pretty roundly denounced by both the press and other, less radical, Christians who form their majority. This type of criticism seems to be far less common in Islamic “jihad” attacks, as the extremists in Islam will also attack those critical of their methods, even if they are Muslims as well.

    As an aside, this is an interesting point of view on how Islam can quietly sneak up on a society:

  • $84687101

    I don’t think Google should block an email account over content like this. It would be reasonable to block an account that was being used for spam, or for unlawful purposes such as distributing child porn, but email providers should be very hesitant to shutdown accounts and there ought to be real evidence of criminality, not simply emails some people don’t agree with.

    On the other hand, I’ll go ahead and say it: There is a difference between the hypothetical anti-Christianity sticker and the anti-Islamic one. This is a United States perspective, and I won’t claim that it equates to the European case, but in the U.S. Christianity is the dominate religion, by far, and has significant control of our politics. Calling out Christianity that way is going against the mainstream and criticizing the powerful. Doing the same with Islam is criticizing a very small minority with no political power. Taking that approach to Islam is unnecessary in the States and is hurtful to people who have enough problems fitting in as it is. There’s a time, place, and manner in which to criticize beliefs, including Islam, but singling out the beliefs of minorities and immigrants for criticism, while failing to criticize the dominant religion of the majority for the same things? That seems like a bad idea to me.

  • UWIR

    You are playing semantic games. Emails are used to communicate with the public. Certainly, in the case, the email address was being used as part of public expression.

  • brianmacker

    Still looks like a KKK hood, sorry. White, pointy, with two eye holes.

  • brianmacker

    I was talking about in Europe. Which BTW is where the majority of anti-Israeli propaganda occurs.

  • brianmacker

    Which is moot. Did he say Muslims were a race? No.

  • brianmacker

    Emails are not used to communicate with the public. If that were the case then people wouldn’t need to use Freedom of Information requests against the government to get emails sent by the EPA. Since when are emails public information? Never. Emails are used to communicate privately. The email address was NOT being use to express anything publicly. To do so would require that they know everyones email address. They don’t know mine. I’m part of the public, and they can’t inform me or anyone else of any information without an address. I can’t believe how ignorant you are about this subject. Little kids can grasp these concepts.

  • UWIR

    “Emails are not used to communicate with the public. ”


    “If that were the case then people wouldn’t need to use Freedom of Information requests against the government to get emails sent by the EPA”

    The fact that people send private emails does nothing to establish that every email is private. And just because indiviudal emails are private, that doesn’t mean that email communication as a whole is private. If I go around talking to people about an issue, each individual conversation might be private, but my activities as a whole constitute interacting with the public.

    “Since when are emails public information?”

    When they are released to the public. Duh.

    “The email address was NOT being use to express anything publicly.”

    It was being used to communicate with the public about a bumper sticker.

    “To do so would require that they know everyones email address. They don’t know mine. I’m part of the public, and they can’t inform me or anyone else of any information without an address.”

    The email address was publicly advertised, and presumably any member of the public could have communicated with him through that email address. The fact that you chose not to has nothing to do with it. If you choose to not be in the park when someone makes a public speech, that doesn’t change the fact that the speech is public.

    “I can’t believe how ignorant you are about this subject. Little kids can grasp these concepts.”

    Are you constitutionally unable to have a respectful conversation?

  • Randay

    Europe, heh? So that is why you mentioned Louis Farrakan. On what basis do you say that the majority of anti-Israeli propaganda occurs in Europe? Anyway, being anti-Israel is not anti-semitism but some groups conflate the two and then you have the so-called “new anti-semitism”. That is one way to inflate figures in the U.S. and Europe about alleged growing anti-semitism.

  • brianmacker

    “Scratches the surface” covers Europe.

    In the US 2/3 of all religious hate crime is committed against Jews. I’d say that makes it rampant here too even if you think some small rate of decline shows it isn’t. It spent decades escalating to the highs of 2004. Plus 13% of all hate crime period is committed against Jews in the US which is way out of proportion to their numbers here.

    Other forms of anti-semitism are also on the rise. For example the ASA academic boycott. With all the vile countries on the planet what could possibly motivate this group to single out a tiny democratic country like Israel?

    It is the inconsistency that shows the anti-semitism.
    Plus all the anti-semitism that was evidenced in criticizing the Bush administration. Leftists straight out claimed that the jooooze controlled our government. Just do a search on “neocon jew”.

    ” On what basis do you say that the majority of anti-Israeli propaganda occurs in Europe?”

    Watching and reading European news coverage. Things like the Al Durha affair with France 2, and just talking with Europeans and how they quote that kind of propaganda to support their antisemitism. Spreading false anti-Jewish rumors is on par for antisemitism.

    Then there are things like this:
    Inverted Nazi salutes by popular comedians.

    “Anyway, being anti-Israel is not anti-semitism but some groups conflate the two and then you have the so-called ‘new anti-semitism’.”

    All governments follow policies which one can be for or against. Being “anti-Israel” is not the same as being against, for instance, the use of land mines or the death penalty. It is far more liberal, and has a better human rights record than the vast majority of other countries. Israel is the only Jewish state on the planet. What other criteria is being used to single them out other than anti-semitism?

    “That is one way to inflate figures in the U.S. and Europe about alleged growing anti-semitism.”
    The “figures” are about beatings, vandalism, etc. I call any anti-zionists and anti-Israelis by the name anti-semites when they go around beating random Jews in the name of the cause.

  • brianmacker


    Open an email account and try communicating with a public audience. You’ll find it is impossible. You will only be able to send private messages.

    “The fact that people send private emails does nothing to establish that every email is private.”

    Give a single example of an email that is NOT private. Even spam is sent to private accounts.

    “When they are released to the public. Duh.”

    Via something other than email, like a newspaper or web site, Duh.

    “It was being used to communicate with the public about a bumper sticker.”

    No. It was being used to receive private orders for bumper stickers. Presumably even with private credit card information. Hardly public.

    “The email address was publicly advertised”

    So what? Peoples phone numbers are publicly advertsied when lislted in the phone directory. That doesn’t make a private phone number (nor any conversations done on it) a form of public communication.

    “If you choose to not be in the park when someone makes a public speech, that doesn’t change the fact that the speech is public.”

    A public speech is public because it is done in public. There is no requirement in the definition of public that every person on the planet read or hear of it. It just has to be done publicly not privately.

    “Are you constitutionally unable to have a respectful conversation?”

    I have respectful conversations all the time. In fact a tiny minority of conversations are with people who are so stubbornly ignorant, and abusive like you. Don’t you feel hypocritical after your other rants in response to my simply pointing out that communist countries are atheist?

  • UWIR

    “Open an email account and try communicating with a public audience. You’ll find it is impossible. You will only be able to send private messages.”

    Just because YOU don’t know enough about computers to communicate with a public audience with an email account, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It takes a fuckload of arrogance to think that simply becuase one doesn’t know how to do something, it’s impossible.

    “Via something other than email, like a newspaper or web site, Duh.”

    Not necessarily true, and irrelevant, anyway. A private email is an email that is intended to not be released. If an email is sent with the intent of being released, then it’s a public email. .

    ” “It was being used to communicate with the public about a bumper sticker.”

    No. It was being used to receive private orders for bumper stickers.”

    Orders FROM THE PUBLIC. Ergo, communicating with THE PUBLIC.

    “A public speech is public because it is done in public. There is no requirement in the definition of public that every person on the planet read or hear of it. It just has to be done publicly not privately.”

    EXACTLY MY FUCKING POINT! You were arguing that it’s not public, because YOU didn’t get any emails.

    “I have respectful conversations all the time. In fact a tiny minority of conversations are with people who are so stubbornly ignorant, and abusive like you.”

    You’re the one being stubbornly ignorant, and in both of the threads we have been involved with, YOU have been the first to iniaitate the rudeness.

    “Don’t you feel hypocritical after your other rants in response to my simply pointing out that communist countries are atheist?”

    It wasn’t in response simply to your pointing out that communist countries are atheist, you lying piece of shit, It was in response to comment after comment in which you ignored what I was saying, refused to answer my questions, attacked straw men, posted idiotic arguments, and generally acted like an asshole.

  • Randay

    From your links, I see that now there are a third and fourth types of anti-semitism: “Orwellian” whatever that means and “on par for” whatever that means.

    A boycott of Israel is logical in that it is the state that the U.S. supports unconditionally the most and for no good reason. Most of the neo-cons are Jews, starting with the person who invented it, Leo Strauss. But I haven’t seen criticism of them for being Jewish. Who says neo-con Jew Wolfowitz for example? I would also like to know where you get your figures from. Learn more about the neo-con ideology at the BBC documentary, “The Power of Nightmares”. They seem most unlikely to me.

    As to the comedian who you didn’t name, that is Dieudonné. Anelka got the gesture wrong. It should have been his right hand over his left. This is not an anti-semitic gesture but one the comedian has used for years in sketches which is a form of the French “bras d’honneur”, equivalent to Americans giving the middle finger to someone. It is a sign saying “screw those in power”.

    Recently French President Hollande made an insulting joke about Algeria, and that was while speaking to the racist Jewish group, Crif. Your comment on France 2 doesn’t surprise me, because it often highlights supposed anti-semitism. But there is more discrimination against French-Arabs, called Maghrebins, and Blacks than against Jews.

    As to beatings, the Jewish Defense League has attacked bookstores, where authors of books critical of Israel were signing books, and hit people with boards and baseball bats. Funny that the police never found nor arrested anyone responsible.

    People are against Israel because it stole Palestinian land and drove hundreds of thousands into exile, and it is illegally occupying and expanding its illegal colonization of the West Bank. Read Ari Shavitz’s book, “My Israel” to see how much Israel supports human rights from 1948 on.

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