Have you noticed how many persons – how many supposed Americans – have come out against freedom of speech lately? The media are almost unanimous against it. The following example is typical:
Looks like Pamela Geller will get her wish: More dead Americans at the hands of radical Muslims. Hell, the hatemonger finally even got ISIS to pay attention to her.
Last week Geller — whose repulsive anti-Muslim ad campaign caused the MTA to ban all religious, opinion and political ads — held a $10,000 contest in Texas. The aim? To draw caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which she knows is forbidden by most Muslims and frowned upon by the rest.
The result? Two violent radical Muslims opened fire on the group, and the shooters ended up dead at the hands of the police. Yesterday ISIS claimed credit and vowed to kill more Americans.
Violence and its ugly brother, violent protest, is the lowest form of human expression and runs counter to what most of the great religious and philosophical prophets, from Jesus to Muhammad to Martin Luther King to Mahatma Gandhi, preached.
But so is hate-filled propaganda against any one religion. Geller, like ISIS and al Qaeda, revel in hate and nothing would make any of them happier than to be the catalyst for the killing of hundreds of innocent Americans to prove a point. Geller would be a hero to the hateful. Damn the cost in innocent lives, damn the heartache.
So if Muslim savages run amok murdering innocent Americans, it will be Pamela Geller’s fault for offending them! Amazing! Does this principle apply to domestic violence? If she says something that offends him, and he strikes – or kills – her for it, is her injury or death “her fault?” Or is that different somehow?
But perhaps that’s a bridge we shouldn’t cross, being civilized and all. (I omit any Muslims that happen to be in the audience.) If memory serves, the First Amendment was enacted with a particular purpose: to protect the freedom of speech of the press. It looks to your humble commentator as if a lot of “journalists” feel they don’t need it any longer. (Let’s pass in silence over the inclusion of Muhammad, seventh-century fantasist, poseur, warlord, slaver, multiple adulterer, and pedophile, in the ranks of “great religious and philosophical prophets.”)
Even Fox News, supposedly a media bastion of American principles, is giving space to such sentiments:
Pseudo-conservative Bill O’Reilly opined as follows:
O’Reilly burnished his own anti-jihadist credentials as he said, “Insulting the entire Muslim world is stupid… It does not advance the cause of liberty or get us any closer to defeating the savage jihad.”
In fact, O’Reilly argued that it actually “hurts the cause” to fight jihad, and Laura Ingraham agreed with him that it isn’t “beneficial.” Neither of them discounted the importance of the free speech, but as far as O’Reilly’s concerned, that’s “not in play” here.
Oh? Why isn’t freedom of speech “in play” here? Does O’Reilly even understand the concept?
(Apropos of nothing much, apparently holding a celebration of the death of a would-be murderer is quite all right. But then, the standards are lowered for camel-raping, goat-fellating savages.)
Pamela Geller has demonstrated her own dedication to freedom of expression, and has backed it with her personal safety. Let no one be in any doubt about what Muslims would do to her if they had the opportunity:
Sean [Hannity] had Pamela Geller on with the infamous Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary to discuss whether Geller should be put to death for organizing a cartoon contest.
Yes, you read that correctly. ISIS has of course, vowed to slaughter Geller and “everyone who houses her events,” and “gives her a platform to spill her filth.” The New York Daily News reported Wednesday night that ISIS said in a posting on a message board that it was sending “all our Lions to achieve her slaughter.”
“Our aim was the khanzeer (swine) Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her,” it said.
Interestingly, Geller told Hannity, the FBI and Homeland Security have not been in touch with her in the wake of these threats.Choudary argued there’s a difference between cartoons of Mickey Mouse and cartoons of Muhammad, and said Geller went in “knowing full well” many Muslims consider blasphemy an issue worthy of the death penalty. Hannity went off and shouted, “You want her to die!”
Choudary said Geller should be put before a court and tried, and she would end up punished. Geller shot back, “To blame me and say that my cartoons are controversial… murdering cartoonists is controversial.”
Not surprisingly, they ended up getting in a huge shouting match...
(Geller told him to stop interrupting and at one point said “I know you’re used to stepping over women”), and Choudary told her she “knew the consequences.”
I have no knowledge of whether anyone, in any public, recorded forum, has asked Choudary whether he regards HAMAS and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations, whether Jews are the descendants of apes and pigs, or whether shari’a is the only correct law for Mankind (or whether he himself has ever raped a camel or fellated a goat). Such inquiries are generally considered “inappropriate”...meaning risky.
It is vital that Islam’s proponents be compelled to expose themselves and their beliefs. It takes both determination and skill; neither alone is sufficient. Consider how shifty were the Muslim participants in this interview:
Rod Dreher: Do you believe that homosexuals convicted in a sharia court should be killed, or otherwise punished physically?
Mohamed Elmougy: I don’t condone homosexuality. I have a lot of friends, a lot of people who work for me, just so you know. I don’t go kill them. But, you know, I don’t condone what they do outside of work, so long as it’s something not in front of me. So do I condone the sharia? We don’t apologize for our religion. If that is what our religion says, we certainly accept it open-heartedly.
Rod Dreher: But what do you think *should* be the authority. That’s what I’m asking. In an ideal situation, would you like to see sharia law be the basis for law in this country, and how would you reconcile that –
Tod Robberson: Or put it another way. In this country, the law of man takes precedence over the law of God. In your opinion, is that the way it should be?
[garbled answer by heavily accented man, saying something to effect that the law is flexible from country to country, but there are some things that we don’t have the authority to change.]
[Ghassan – did not get his last name]: President George Bush feels that he is inspired by God, and based on that he makes his policies. He made that known to us. [crosstalk] President Bush told us that law made by man is not good enough law, that we should be following God’s law.
Rod Dreher: Just describe to me your view, the Islamic view, of sharia. What role should sharia play in this society?
Mohamed Elmougy: [garbled] I don’t sit up all night thinking what the role of sharia needs to be. All I can tell you is that we as American Muslims, living in a non-Muslim country, are ordered to follow the rules of the country that we live in, no matter how much we agree or disagree with. So do I go after you if you’re homosexual, to try to kill you today? No. We haven’t seen that.
So I think to go focus on that and to leave all the other good things that American Muslims are part of, and that the religion is talking about, and only focus on things that to you sound or feel strange is just not the correct approach. Forget paranoid, it’s just not the correct approach. And it does nothing, as I said, but alienate our children from the society that they’re going to be living in, and die in.
By contrast, consider the following exchange – posted once before – between a young Muslim college student and conservative speaker David Horowitz:
When compelled, whether incidentally or by their own foolishness, to expose themselves and their vile creed to the world, Muslims show us the true face of evil – and it has nothing to do with Pamela Geller or anyone else staging a “Draw Muhammad” contest. If Islam were not styled a “religion,” it would be regarded as no better than Nazism, with which it shares many specific tenets. (Nota Bene: This is also true of left-liberalism. As Jonah Goldberg once asked an audience of left-liberal college students, “Apart from the genocide, what don’t you like about Nazism?” Of course, many on the Left would endorse genocide on the basis of one’s political leanings. After all, “re-education” isn’t guaranteed to work.)
But media luminaries such as Bill O’Reilly proclaim that "Just because you can say it doesn't mean you should say it…It is stupid. It accomplishes nothing." His face decorates millions of television screens nightly. Surely we “should” defer to his wisdom, only say what he thinks we “should” say...or think.
There is a word in all discussions of this matter whose significance is critical: the word should.
Should is routinely used about consequences: If we do this, then this should happen, or inversely, this other thing should not happen. When we’re discussing a physical process – say, the operation of a machine – should expresses our confidence in our knowledge of the applicable physical laws.
Machines, of course, are non-sentient. They lack free will. But what of men? Men assumed to possess free will and a knowledge of the law? Men who, feeling that something of importance to them has been “insulted,” decide to take up weapons and commit murder? How does should apply to them?
Megyn Kelly has a few thoughts for you:
In discussions of individuals’ rights, including their right of free expression, there’s no naughtier word than should. It’s time to banish it from all discussions about Islam. Should never applies to whether speech is free. It never applies to any individual’s exercise of his rights, for the consequences, as long as they involve no violation of anyone’s rights, are irrelevant. I’ll allow should in one specific context: What should civilized people do to expunge this seventh-century madness from our societies before it spills still more blood?