Over at the wildly popular link sharing and discussion site Reddit, links to JihadWatch.org are being censored.
For those who don’t know, Reddit.com is a very user-friendly site where users can log in, share links and have long, threaded conversations on any topic they like. The site is sub-divided into sub-forums called subreddits or subs, and users can subscribe to any number of these and read them in a feed that is displayed when they go to reddit.com.
The subreddits are reached by appending /r/___ onto the URL of reddit.com. So if you are interested in, say, the Roman Catholic Church, you can go to reddit.com/r/Catholic. If rock climbing is your thing, you can go to reddit.com/r/rockclimbing, and so on.
Each subreddit or sub has its own moderators who can remove or delete content that violates the rules of the site. Threats and personal abuse are generally not tolerated.
Political discussion and argument is a major feature of the site. Many geographic regions have their own subreddit. There are subreddits for major cities like /r/LosAngeles and /r/London. There are subreddits for states like /r/Texas and /r/California. There are subreddits for large geographic regions like /r/Europe.
These geographically centered subs are frequented by the people who live there or are affected there. Local news is shared and discussed there. Local elections become hot topic for debate and argumentation. In the sub for my home town of Austin, Texas: /r/Austin, features stories about exciting events, self-posts (notes written by readers) about things that happened to them, posts for missing dogs and so on.
Reddit is a very user-friendly and useful website. It has lots of content, little advertisement, and plenty of laughs. It has become so popular that what happens on reddit is now even making it into the news, and traffic from Reddit is hugely influential in the success of various news items in the internet-public consciousness.
One of the largest and most important geographic subreddits is /r/Europe. It features Europe wide news stores, some local news, pictures, essays and all kinds of things relevant to Europeans. At time of writing, it has over 591,000 subscribers.
Today, I read an interesting essay by Jihad Watch Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald entitled “Schengenland And Its Discontents“. Fitzgerald discusses the various ways that the famous Schengen agreement for open borders has contributed to the current crisis in Europe. After I finished it, I thought that the readers of /r/Europe might like to read it, too.
However, it appears that the 591,000+ subscribers of /r/Europe won’t get a chance to find the article there. After, posting it, I found that it had been automatically removed. From the message I received, it seems that the anonymous moderators of /r/Europe have a policy of automatically removing links from JihadWatch.org.
Upon creating this thread, linking to Fitzgerald’s essay, I received this message:
My thread no longer appears on /r/Europe. The link is invisible to its users.
The censoriousness of the mods of /r/Europe is becoming notorious on Reddit, but until now I had no idea that the insightful, Islam-informed journalism done by Robert Spencer and company and JihadWatch.org was anathema to /r/Europe. This is rather astonishing, given how many people get their European-wide news through reddit.com/r/Europe.
/r/Europe is where more than half a million readers go for Europe-wide news and discussion, bans links from JihadWatch.org, a website that has some of the most informed commentary on the topic of Islam in Europe. This does not bode well for the future.
Since Reddit is a website that is basically run by its users, Reddit’s owners itself cannot really be blamed for this. This censorship is not, thankfully, site-wide. Reddit is open for users to create sub-forums, create content, and to edit – and censor – that content.
Having engaged on the topic of Islam on Reddit for years now, I am confident that devout Muslims have carefully worked to insinuate themselves into the moderator groups that manage various subreddits of importance to them – /r/WorldNews, /r/Europe, /r/UnitedKingdom, and even /r/exMuslim, where I’m quite sure that one of the mods is a devout Muslim who poses as an atheist in order to keep tabs on the apostates and Infidels that visit there, and to police the conversation.
Readers who want to know what motivates Muslims to behave this way should read the Qur’an, and especially pay attention to Q 3:28 and 59:2, and read Maulana Abul A’la Mawdudi’s commentary thereto. On 3:28, Mauwdudi says that it is lawful for the Believer to “even state that his is not a believer”…