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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 25, 2012 / 5 Tamuz, 5772

Tough 'South Park' Sentence a Win for Free Speech

By Steven Emerson




Regret didn't suffice for the convert to Islam who helped promote death threats against the producers of the animated television show



JewishWorldReview.com | A convert to Islam who helped promote death threats against the producers of the animated television show "South Park" after it featured a character representing the prophet Mohammad will serve 11 years in prison, a federal judge ordered Friday.

Jesse Morton pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy and two counts related to issuing threats in connection with actions after an April 2010 episode of the comedy. He asked the court for a sentence less than half of what he received, arguing he never tried to carry out the threats and since had moderated some of his extreme views to the degree that he hopes "one day help build bridges between the West and the Muslim World."

He apologized in court, the Associated Press reports, saying he "justified atrocities by Muslims simply because they were carried out by the weak against the powerful."

Regardless of Morton's current attitude, his actions in this case and through a radical website he helped launch inspired a host of others to plot terror attacks, prosecutors said. They will haunt the victims for the rest of their lives and stand to let threats silence public discourse.

U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady seemed to agree with the prosecution argument that the threats will live on indefinitely for those targeted, and that a strong sentence is needed to stand against such brutal assaults on free speech.

"You were rubbing elbows with some of the most dangerous revolutionaries of the past few years," O'Grady said Friday, adding "there has to be religious tolerance in the world. There has to be freedom of speech."

Co-conspirator Zachary Chesser received a 25-year sentence last year. As he did with Chesser, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Kromberg wrote a forceful sentencing memorandum for Morton detailing the perpetual nature of the threats conveyed.


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Morton, 33, was a founder of the radical website Revolution Muslim, created in 2007 for posting material "supportive of violent jihad," court papers show. That's where the "South Park" threats were published, along with excerpts on bomb-making from al-Qaida's English-language Inspire magazine. The posting included a picture of slain Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was killed after producing a short film considered offensive to Islam. Producers Matt Stone and Trey Parker faced a similar fate, the posting said, suggesting Revolution Muslim supporters "pay a visit" to them. It also included audio files of American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki justifying the killing of anyone who defamed the prophet.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) minimized the significance of the threats when they first were issued, dismissing Revolution Muslim as "an extreme fringe group that has absolutely no credibility within the Muslim community." National spokesman Ibrahim Hooper even speculated the group was "set up only to make Muslims look bad."

But Morton's plea makes it clear that the group enjoyed a vast reach.

Revolution Muslim posts inspired others to plot and wage violence. In a statement of facts, he acknowledges interacting with at least a half-dozen other radical Islamists, including those who plotted to attack sites in the United States, Britain and Denmark.

History shows that those targeted for death threats never fully escape risk, Kromberg wrote. Plots targeting Danish cartoonist Lars Vilks continue. Writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali still lives with constant security protection.

"Morton may sincerely regret his actions today, and we hope he does," Kromberg wrote. "Nevertheless, the solicitations for murder that Morton posted on an internet site patronized by terrorists and their sympathizers likely will never disappear."

Morton admitted to investigators that he never saw the "South Park" episode that prompted the threats. It featured a character - fully hidden in a bear suit - that was supposed to be the prophet Mohammad. Even the irreverent comedy team was reluctant to actually show an image of the prophet out of fear of a resulting violent backlash.

"Mohammad is the only person in the world that can't get ripped on," the character Cartman says in the episode.

When Seattle cartoonist Molly Norris responded with a proposed "Everybody Draw Mohammad Day," she too, faced threats. The three "will always be marked as enemies of Islam and targets for those who seek to gain entrance to heaven by killing one - - and this is true regardless of Morton's regrets," Kromberg wrote.

Morton's ironic response - issuing threats to those who suggested Islam might be intolerant or "that some Muslims are too quick to resort to violence" - required a strong statement from the court to protect those threatened and those who might express opinions in the future.

"Morton did not call for 'An eye for an eye.' He did not incite Muslims to retaliate against a television show he found insulting by making another television show, nor did he incite Muslims to retaliate against a cartoon he found insulting by making another cartoon. Instead, he incited them to slit throats for a television show and for a cartoon - a throat for every drawing, book, speech, or movie that he deemed to be 'insulting.' Offend us, Morton said to his fellow Americans, and you will end up in hiding like Salman Rushdie, Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, attacked like Kurt Westergaard, or dead like Theo Van Gogh. The law must resist this violent intimidation at all costs."

The entire case represents a threat on free speech, the government argued:

"The natural consequence of Morton's actions is for people throughout the country to fear speaking out - even in jest - lest they also be labeled as enemies who deserve to be killed. The role of Muslims in the United States, the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world, and the existence of links between Islam and terrorism are issues of major public importance. Yet, anyone choosing to address them publicly must carefully weigh the risk of being marked for death by the likes of Morton for saying or writing something perceived as insulting while doing so. Left unchecked, that risk will hamper public policy decision making by dampening public discourse over some of the most consequential issues of our age.

While the drafters of the Sentencing Guidelines may have contemplated the kinds of harm that Morton caused to MS, TP, and MN, we doubt that they ever contemplated a harm of the magnitude that Morton caused our society as a whole by making people shrink from expressing their opinions - - or even telling a joke - - lest they be accused of being an enemy of Islam for whom beheading is the only appropriate punishment. Regardless of the need to punish him for his other offenses, his sentence must deter others from engaging in similar conduct that would chill free expression in our society.

We have an obligation to do our utmost to ensure that violent fanatics do not dictate what Americans draw, what Americans say, and what Americans read. We have an obligation to resist their suffocating rules and thuggish demands at every turn."

Read the full memo here.

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JWR contributor Steven Emerson is an internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security and considered one of the leading world authorities on Islamic extremist networks, financing and operations. He now serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism, one of the world's largest archival data and intelligence institutes on Islamic and Middle Eastern terrorist groups.

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© 2012, Steven Emerson

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