Recently, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin received a disturbing message from Twitter. The social media company told her that a tweet from 2015 containing cartoon drawings of Islamic prophet Muhammad were in violation of Pakistani blasphemy law – Sharia. Twitter has not taken any action yet, but told Malkin that she “may wish to consult legal counsel about this matter.”
I've been #SiliconValleySharia -ed. Here's the notice Twitter's legal dept sent me last week, warning me to get legal counsel because anti-blasphemy Muslim zealots complained that my Mohammed Cartoons tweet violates Pakistan's laws.https://t.co/dn4cHniMYN@miss9afi @Imamofpeace pic.twitter.com/tO6WItRghJ
— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) February 27, 2019
That’s the kind of message that can send chills down anyone’s spine. Malkin is an American citizen living in the United States. Twitter is a U.S. based company. When did it become their business to enforce Pakistani law?
The blasphemy laws that Malkin apparently violated are regularly used to persecute Christians. In 2012, an 11-year old girl was arrested in the Muslim country for burning pages from the Quran. In 1998, Ayub Masih was sentenced to death after a Muslim neighbor accused him of supporting Salman Rushdie, the British author of The Satanic Verses, a book that generated major controversy in the 1980s. In 2009, Asia Bibi went to get water for her and her fellow farm workers. Two Muslim women refused to drink from a container used by a Christian, and a few days later she was accused of blasphemy by a mob. Bibi was sentenced to death in 2010.
You may be asking why hearsay could lead to executions without corroborating evidence, and the answer can be found in Sharia law: The testimony of a non-Muslim is regarded as unreliable.
Luckily in these three cases, the court rulings were eventually overturned, in part due to international media attention. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous and oppressive countries in the world to be a Christian, and only in the rare instance where the international community is made aware of a case, do the persecuted stand a chance to get justice.
Twitter seems more concerned with upholding Pakistani law than protecting free speech. Do you know what else is strictly illegal in Pakistan? Homosexuality. Will Twitter send warnings to their gay users that their existence is criminal? Probably not. They are still sufficiently high up in the intersectional victimhood hierarchy that it gives them some protection from other groups such as Muslims. Apparently, Christians are not as lucky.
Sharia in Silicon Valley
There may be a disturbing reason for Twitter’s Sharia compliance. It turns out that the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is the second largest shareholder in Twitter and owns more stock in the company than co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. The Silicon Valley giant may be under the influence of foreign powers.
Thus the need for an Internet Bill of Rights – to protect not only the free speech of citizens from censorship and deplatforming, but also the social media infrastructure providers from undue political pressure, both domestically and from foreign governments. Free speech is the backbone of a free society. The only alternatives to the unrestricted exchange of ideas and persuasion through argument are mob rule and intimidation by violence – not unlike Pakistan.
For more on Christian persecution, we also recommend the Liberty Nation series Christian Genocide and the Media Silence, by Jeff Charles: