The recent shooting at a free speech event in Garland, Texas, on Sunday shows how divided the nation is concerning freedom of speech and how quickly some Americans are willing to give up that right.
On Sunday evening the American Freedom Defense Initiative, headed by political activist Pamela Geller, held a rally in the Curtis Culwell Center, the very place where, in January, Muslims held their annual "Stand With The Prophet In Honor And Respect" conference, described as a “movement to defend Prophet Muhammad, his person, and his message.”
Ms. Geller's organization, which has been deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, opposes Islam and the spread of Sharia in the United States. Her event, whose keynote speaker was Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who has a death threat against him issued by Al Qaeda, was about the right of Americans to denounce Islam as they wish under the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Two Muslim gunmen, who apparently linked themselves to ISIS, arrived at the event and began shooting in the parking lot. An unarmed security officer was hit in the ankle before Garland police returned fire and killed both of the gunmen, who were wearing body armor and carrying rifles.
Many in the main stream media began criticizing Pamela Geller and the event itself as the problem rather than the gunmen who decided they would not allow American citizens to exercise their right to speak out against Islam. Even some people at Fox News, not exactly known for their liberal views, criticized Geller saying she instigated the shooting with her event. That's frightening.
The event itself was held in support of the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo, the French satire magazine that was attacked by Muslim extremists in January for publishing cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed. The theme was a contest - who could draw the best cartoon of Mohammed. Apparently the gunmen took offense to the event and decided that the way to silence those who would slander the prophet was by killing them. Fortunately, thanks to an alert security force, their plan was unsuccessful.
It's disturbing to me that so many prominent Americans are criticizing Geller and the event itself more than the actions of the gunmen themselves. They're calling her incendiary, a hatemonger, Islamophobic, and a "carton contest organizer known for her inflammatory rhetoric." It's as if they believe the gunmen were actually justified by what they attempted because Ms. Geller's contest insulted them.
Funny - I remember when some "artist" put a crucifix in a jar of urine and displayed it and no one tried to kill him. The mainstream media didn't condemn him for insulting Christians. Even Fox News didn't say he should never do anything like that because it was insulting to Christians around the world. But they're saying that people shouldn't insult Mohammed because it's an insult to Muslims around the world and could lead to violence.
Donald Trump says Geller was taunting Muslims with her event. Bill O'Reilly said it was stupid and unproductive to insult Muslims in this manner. Fox News' Martha MacCallum said Geller should show restraint when it comes to Islam.
And Chris Matthews, MSNBC's loud mouthed, Obama man-crush, Muslim sympathizing stooge, said that Pamela Geller "caused the shooting by setting a mousetrap for Muslims." Really?
What they all fail to understand is that they're telling America and the world that freedom of speech should be constrained in the name of political correctness toward Islam. They're telling the world that Islam must not be insulted because to do that might cause Muslim extremists to react in a violent manner.
Unlike many other countries in the world, Americans enjoy the right to say pretty much whatever they wish. Or they always have, at least. That freedom includes the right to criticize any religion, including Islam. There is no freedom in America for people who are offended by said speech to murder anyone. You do not have the right to get offended, grab your gun and go kill people simply because you don't like something they said.
The right to freedom of speech is one of the things that sets America apart from other nations. It's one of the things Islam hates about the USA. They believe they should have the right and the authority to tell Americans what they can and can't say about Islam. And now it seems they have help from some people right here in America.
What they don't seem to get is when Americans are forced to remain silent - the terrorists win.