American Islam Scholar Defies German Ban on Israeli Flag
Robert Spencer, a scholar of Islamic history, theology and law, author, and the director of Jihad Watch, defied a German police ban on flying the Israeli flag at a Berlin gathering against anti-Semitism and Islamization on October 3, 2009. He discussed the incident with Israel National News on Thursday.
The Berlin gathering was sponsored and organized by Bürgerbewegung Pax Europa (BPE), a nonpartisan, secular
Apparently the police were afraid that the Israeli flag would 'provoke' the leftist/jihadist demonstrators.
German nongovernmental organization dedicated to defending European civil traditions from political Islam. The gathered BPE members and their guests were met by far-left activists and Islamist sympathizers who marched by twice shouting "Nazis raus" - "Nazis, get out!" Ironically, as Spencer notes in his blog entry on the event, "The people assembled for the BPE rally shouted the same thing right back at them. Of course, there were no Nazis among us, and we were standing against anti-Semitism and in favor of free speech, legal equality, and democratic government...."
According to Spencer, many people attending the BPE demonstration had Israeli flags. However, as he notes, "The German police told the BPE organizers that we had to put the Israeli flags away when leftists and jihadis passed by. ...Apparently the police were afraid that the Israeli flag would 'provoke' the leftist/jihadist demonstrators. But as I am not fond of placating thuggery and kowtowing before Islamic supremacism, I thought, well, if the police really don't want the Israeli flag shown, let them arrest an American citizen, and then things will get even more interesting. So I went out front, close to the counterdemonstrators, waving the big flag, but the German police moved me back. ...A reporter, demonstrating an objectivity level on par with that of, say, Michael Kruse, passed by with a barrage of sharp words for me and my flag...."
In continuing defiance of the police ban, when invited to deliver his remarks, Spencer brought his Israeli flag to the podium and waved it back and forth before and after his speech.
Spencer spoke about the growing trend of governments to give in to "attempts to demonize the resistance to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism as 'hatred,' 'racism,' 'fascism.'" He quoted from the Koran and demonstrated that if the laws curbing "religious hatred and incitement to discrimination and violence" were actually fairly applied, they would not protect Islam, but condemn it. However, according to Spencer, such laws are primarily designed "to render the West mute and hence defenseless against the advancing jihad."
INN: Why did you and a group ostensibly dedicated to preserving European culture from Islamic conquest come equipped with Israeli flags?
Spencer: "The group members generally seemed to recognize that Israel is on the front line of the same global Islamic jihad that threatens Europe and the United States, and all free people."
INN: How did others in the group react to the police demand to conceal the Jewish state's flag?
Spencer: "They reacted with indignation, and a determination to keep the Israeli flag flying."
INN: Was there actually any trouble as a result of your "provocation" with the Israeli flag?
Spencer: "No. When I came close to the counterdemonstrators while holding the flag, I was pushed back away from them by police. They said something to me in German, but I don’t speak German. That was all."
INN: Did you feel the demand to conceal the flags was anti-Semitic on the part of the German authorities, or mere cowardice in the face of thugs?
Spencer: "It seemed to me to be the latter. Of course, that cowardice enables and abets the thugs' anti-Semitism."
INN: In your experience, do other police departments in other countries do similar things to accomodate pro-Islam "sensitivities"?
Spencer: "I don’t recall any incidents like this outside of Germany. There was an incident in Germany a few months ago when police actually entered an apartment to take an Israeli flag down from a window, in order to avoid offending passing anti-Israel Islamic demonstrators. In the U.S., political correctness, ignorance and fear lead many police to adopt a naïve and overly accommodating stance toward groups with terror ties, but I don’t think there have been any similar incidents."