Two for Thought
By John Fuller
In dozens of Muslim countries across the world, demonstrations allegedly protesting an American video insulting the prophet Mohammed have taken place.
American property is destroyed, American sovereignty breached, American lives lost and President Barack Obama’s administration reaction is to apologize and investigate the filmmaker.
In statements of lunacy, the administration is claiming that the aforementioned video is the cause of all these demonstrations.
Debate has raged as the Obama administration has apologized for American free speech and others emphasized that free speech is not unlimited and in situational circumstances, limitations on speech are necessary.
The reality is that demonstrations against America in more than 30 countries are not about free speech. Many of the demonstrators have no idea what a YouTube is.
Obama’s bowing, apologizing, vacillating and attempts to “reset” American foreign policy in the Mideast have encouraged centuries-old fundamentalist Islam hatreds to surface and challenge what they see as a declining American presence.
Americans discussing the proper role of free speech are deluding themselves as to who is the real enemy.
By Joe Carbonari
Let’s be clear, we’re talking about hate “speech” here. “Speech” designed to denigrate and inflame and it has, literally, throughout the Muslim world.
You’re right, it’s much bigger than just a film; it’s hundreds of years of animosity and outrage, condemnation and killing. Judaism, Islam and Christianity all have had their turn, and it continues and it builds.
This is a threat to the world. We must each curb ourselves. If one of us commits an offense against another, should we not apologize?
If the offense is sufficiently egregious, should we not take special measures to see that it does not reoccur? By refusing to do so we imply that the offended is unworthy of our consideration.
Of course this will further offend and may even lead to acts of retribution. Perspective is lost, outrage is escalated, people die. Is this justified? Of course not. Is it foreseeable?
Perhaps, and we should seek to prevent it. When an action is akin to crying “fire” in a theater, it crosses the bounds of “reasonably defined,” as opposed to “absolute,” free speech.
The international incitement-to-riot should also fall in this category of “unacceptable,” whether coming from Jew, Christian, Muslim or anyone else. It is an act against humanity.
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