Friday, September 21, 2012

Drawing a ‘Red Line’ to Protect Free Speech

Even as Islamic violence against American embassies swells around the world, and evidence emerges of its coordination and premeditation, our own government and media continue to insist that the source of it all is an hilariously incompetent YouTube film that offended Muslim hair-trigger sensitivities.

Americans abroad have been killed this last week. The black flag of jihad has been raised over our Egyptian embassy. Our Libyan ambassador was sodomized, murdered, mutilated and dragged through the streets. As with Salman Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses, the Danish cartoon riots, and Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, the Islamic uproar ostensibly due to the micro-budgeted The Innocence of Muslims has been riotous and murderous, but the blame is once again falling on the “provocateur,” not the rabid mobs looting and killing in the name of cultural sensitivity. Thanks to a president who always sides with the Islamic world over America, our kneejerk official response was to blame the seeming religious bigotry of the filmmaker.

Our State Department, which is in “meltdown,” as Charles Krauthammer put it, has been scrambling to find the right wording for a response to all this, culminating in spokesman Jay Carney’s laughable pronouncement that “this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy; this is in response to a video that is offensive to Muslims.” So far, our official responses are all variations on the theme of “Nothing excuses this violence, but we also strongly condemn religious bigotry.” This neatly echoes the left’s attitude toward free speech in general these days, which is “Sure I believe in free speech, but hate speech must be punished.”

You cannot believe in free speech and then qualify it with a “but.” You either support free speech or you don’t. Honoring freedom of speech means you stand up for the right for others to say disagreeable or offensive things. If the left truly believed in free speech, the totalitarian concept of “hate speech” would not even exist. But they don’t, and so they are colluding with the OIC’s campaign to impose sharia blasphemy laws on the West.

The OIC, or Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is the world’s largest Muslim assembly, consisting of 57 member states (you know, the same number of U.S. states candidate Obama campaigned in). Its primary aim is “conducting a large-scale worldwide effort to confront Islamophobia” and make it an international crime. “We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed,” the OIC leader arrogantly declared after the shrewdly orchestrated Muslim mayhem around the world protesting such infidel abominations as the Danish cartoons.

“Red lines” – a phrase reminiscent of Samuel Huntington’s famous observation that “Islam has bloody borders.” Except that the red lines the OIC is referring to aren’t geographical – they are the ever-tightening limits that Muslim fundamentalists are imposing to choke off our freedoms. Free speech “is not a value that the Muslims share with America as a whole,” declared the American group Revolution Muslim in response to an offending episode of Comedy Central’s satirical show South Park two years ago.

It’s also not valued by our administration, either. The government has asked YouTube to review the 14-minute The Innocence of Muslims trailer and determine whether it violates the site's terms of service. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, expressed his concerns over the repercussions for our soldiers abroad, who are already in grave danger from our own military leadership’s suicidal counter-insurgency idiocy. Dempsey urged controversial anti-Islam Pastor Terry Jones to consider withdrawing his support for the film – which goes to show that if all it takes is one Florida pastor’s opinion to set off the entire Muslim world’s bloodthirsty outrage against America, maybe they’re the problem and not him.

Our news media too continue to spin the unrest as the fault of the film and focus on the filmmaker behind all this cultural insensitivity, going so far as to post a picture of his home and car with the license plate clearly visible – because as any good multiculturalist knows, if we just show zero tolerance toward those who offend murderous bullies, our enemies will stop killing us.

Law enforcement piled on, with the FBI digging behind the pseudonymous name of the filmmaker and tracking him down, reportedly out of concern for his safety (simultaneously sending an unmistakable message that if you make a film that offends Muslims, the FBI will come looking for you). Sheriff's deputies were sent to remove him from his California home.

As FrontPage’s Caroline Glick points out, the film was not the cause of the unrest, but a pretext. The storming of our embassies and the attack on our ambassador in Libya were premeditated and carefully planned, down to an Egyptian television station’s airing of the year-old film to enrage the masses. Remember how the Danish cartoons only became controversial months after they were first published, when Muslim provocateurs disseminated them after adding even more offensive cartoons of their own to insure Islamic outrage?

Instead of denouncing the anti-American violence, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt called for protests against The Innocence of Muslims, which “goes far beyond all reasonable boundaries of the freedoms of opinion and expression.” And who wants the right to determine what those reasonable boundaries are? Why, the Muslim Brotherhood, of course. Echoing the OIC’s previous condemnation of free speech, President Mohamed Morsi said that the Muslim prophet Muhammad “is a red line nobody can touch.”

The time is long overdue for Americans to stop holding up “cultural sensitivity” as a Western value, because our tolerance and our sensitivity are being abused by a supremacist culture which has only violent contempt for our civilization, our freedom, and our values. It’s time for us to slam the door on the Obama administration’s efforts to accommodate the OIC’s blasphemy laws. It’s time for us to draw our own “red lines that should not be crossed,” and stop placating religious totalitarians.

(This article originally appeared here on FrontPage Mag, 9/18/12)