On September 11, 2012, a planned and carefully executed assault on our consulate building in Benghazi, Libya, left our ambassador and 3 other embassy staff dead. The ambassador's body was dragged through the streets of Benghazi.
In Cairo, Egypt, also on September 11th, a large protest took place because of a video movie trailer that ridiculed Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. In the days following, more and more protests began in Muslim countries around the world. The video, made by two Egyptian expatriates who currently live in the United States, was a product of the American right of free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.
I start with these two items not to rehash the events of that day but to bring attention to the results, not only the results in Islam but in our own United States.
The reaction of Islam to the video ridiculing their prophet isn't really surprising. Islam has proved itself to be fanatical time and time again, reacting with hatred and violence to anything and anyone they deem disrespectful to their religious beliefs. They kill people who disavow them, particularly Christians. They even kill their own family members if those family members do anything that doesn't show proper respect to Islam. Nothing they do surprises me anymore.
What truly surprised me - no, surprised is the wrong word - what truly astounds me is the reaction from our own government. I won't say surprised because our current President has always shown a fondness and favoritism toward Islam. He bends over backward (and bows forward) to appease them in so many ways that his reaction wasn't so much surprising as astounding. What I mean is that he reacted in a way that actually threatens to curb our first amendment right to free speech.
The Obama administration apologized to Islam for a video that ridicules Mohammed that was made in our great country where we have the right to ridicule anyone, even our own President. Islamic leaders from across the globe are now calling for America's right to free speech to be censored so we can no longer say anything negative about Islam and many liberals in this country are actually thinking that might be a good idea. In a speech to the U.N., the President defended our right to free speech but since he denounced and condemned the video and apologized for it (and basically for Americans' right to make such a video) on cannot help but wonder if his defense of free speech was genuine or simply an intelligent campaign move. After all, condemning free speech in the name of Islam wouldn't exactly be a smart campaign move with the election a little over a month away.
There are some who liken Americans' criticism of Islam to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Their argument stems from the fact that sometimes people die because of criticism of Islam. What they apparently fail to realize is that if we give in to Islam and outlaw the right we have to voice our opinion about it freely, we are being held hostage by Islam. If we censor our freedom of speech because Islam says "If you say anything we don't like we will kill someone", we are allowing Islam to make rules for us to live by. And I, for one, do not plan to live under Islamic rule.
Another problem I have with the administration's reaction is their statement that all religious beliefs should be respected. He defends Islam yet ignores while also defending the right of some "artist" to have an exhibit in which a crucifix sits in a jar of urine. Is that not offensive to Christians? I know if offends me. President Obama professes to be a Christian so where is his outrage and condemnation of this very blasphemous and disgusting exhibit? Wait - you say that's protected by the first amendment? So apparently the first amendment only applies to ridicule or disrespect of Christians and does not apply to ridicule or disrespect of Muslims.
You say that the government condemning art that ridicules Christians would be a violation of the first amendment - in particular a violation of the government endorsing one particular religion? Well, by that standard wouldn't limiting free speech against Islam while allowing it against Christians be exactly that same violation?
Over the past weekend 22 Christian protesters were arrested for protesting against the health care law on the sidewalk outside the White House. Apparently that sidewalk is an area where free speech has already been outlawed. But I can't help but wonder if it had been Muslims protesting against that evil video if they'd have been arrested as well, or left alone? After all, in Dearborn, Michigan, at a recent Arab festival, Muslims physically attacked a group of Christians who were protesting outside the festival and the police sided with the Muslims. They did nothing when the Christians were assaulted with stones and bottles.
If there is truly going to be religious equality and tolerance then it has to be directed at all religions, not just toward Islam. Since this President took office the United States has fallen all over itself to appease Islam and I'm getting pretty tired of it. Americans have the right to disagree with anyone in the world - at least for now. If the President wants to change that to appease Islam it's just one more reason to vote for the other guy. And to those people who think it should be criminal to disrespect Islam - might I suggest you head over there and become part of their society? Maybe a first-hand look at the "religion of peace" will open your eyes.