Friday, September 21, 2012

Talk About Free Speech And Mohammed Misses The Point

But the First Amendment isn’t the problem here, the dysfunctions and inadequacies of the Arab and Muslim world are.
Jonah Goldberg, Free Speech Isn’t the Problem

In my last post, I presented Pat Condell's latest video, where he goes on a rant about the Muslim riots.

I posted that video with a sort of guilty pleasure.

Listening to Condell--and if you have listened to him before you know what I mean--I felt like I was vicariously venting along with him.

One criticism I saw of this particular video is that Condell is lumping all Muslims together when he rips into the Muslim rioters and their pretenses.

Whether you agree with that criticism or not, if you feel that Condell was over the top, here is the same argument, expressed more judiciously by Jonah Goldberg who writes Free Speech Isn’t the Problem:
Amidst all of the talk of religious tolerance and the hand-wringing over free speech in recent days, one salient fact is often lost or glossed over: What we face are not broad questions about the limits of free speech or the importance of religious tolerance, but rather a very specific question about the limits of Muslim tolerance and the unimportance of free speech to much of the Muslin world.

It’s really quite amazing. In Pakistan, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories, Christians are being harassed, brutalized, and even murdered, often with state support, or at least state indulgence. And let’s not even talk about the warm reception Jews receive in much of the Muslim world.

And yet, it seems you can’t turn on National Public Radio or open a newspaper or a highbrow magazine without finding some oh-so-thoughtful meditation on how anti-Islamic speech should be considered the equivalent of shouting “fire” in a movie theater.
That really is Pat Condell's argument in a nutshell--and without the "colorful" language.

But instead, we have the following apology from the Obama administration to Pakistan:

Thankfully, there is no overt apology -- and Obama does in fact condemn the Muslim violence.


  • Obama's claim that "we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others" runs in the of the fact that this is free speech and the US government in fact does not -- and cannot -- reject those 'efforts'.
  • It sounds absurd to hear Hillary Clinton reassure Islamic extremists about our commitment to religious tolerance when those same extremists don't even share our belief in religious tolerance.

Islamists rioting in the street--burning embassies, murdering people and threatening violence should not distract us from the fact that Islamists are rioting in the street--burning embassies, murdering people and threatening violence.

Those Muslims rioting in the street are the problem, not free speech.

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