By Mr. Curmudgeon:
There is no question the American left has an affinity for the violent revolutionary uprisings of recent months around the Muslim World – “power to the people” and all.
Last weekend, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told ABC News the attack on America’s diplomatic mission in Libya was “spontaneous” and not “premeditated” and that the “violent protest was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated,” said Rice.
Contrary to the Libyan government’s claim that a foreign terrorist organization was behind the murder of U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens, it turns out average Libyan pedestrians treading the Arab Street brought rocket-propelled grenades to the scene – firepower from the people.
It was reported that Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the filmmaker responsible for uploading the anti-Muslim film to YouTube, was taken by Los Angeles Sheriff’s Deputies for questioning, and later by federal agents. Attorney General Eric Holder has since confirmed that the Justice Department is looking into whether Nakoula, convicted in 2009 of bank fraud, may be charged with violating the terms of his five-year probation on the technicality that he employed a fictitious username when establishing his YouTube account.
It sounds very much like a pretext for locking him up as an example to others. However, in some quarters, the solution is to brand such expressions “hate speech,” and subject the speaker to criminal or civil prosecution.
In Europe, where Muslim populations are larger than in the United States, legal measures separate the continent’s governments from the free speech of its citizens. For instance, Switzerland’s Article 261 of the criminal code:
“Any person who publicly incites hatred of discrimination against a person or a group of persons on the grounds of their race, ethnic origin or religion, any person who publicly disseminates ideologies that have as their object the systematic denigration or defamation of the members of a race, ethnic group or religion … shall be liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to the monetary penalty.”
At the urging of various Islamic groups, which accused Italian author Oriana Fallaci of “racism” in 2002, Swiss legal authorities presented the Italian government with an arrest warrant for the author of “The Strength of Reason.” In lieu of extradition, the Swiss said they would accept an Italian prosecution of Fallaci. Italian authorities refused, citing the Italian Constitution’s protection of free speech. However, Italian radical Islamist Adel Smith filed a civil action charging Fallaci with “defaming Islam” and “blasphemy.” She was eventually acquitted.
In “The Strength of Reason,” Fallaci called Europe’s growing Islamic population “a government within the government. A Muslim city, a city ruled by the Koran. An Islamic expansion’s stage. The expansionism that no-one has ever managed to overcome. No-one. Not even the armies of Napoleon … Today it’s fashionable to beat our breast over the Crusades. To see the Crusades as an injustice committed to the detriment of the poor-innocent-Muslims. But before being a series of expeditions to regain possession of the Holy Sepulture that is of Jerusalem (which had been taken by the Muslims, remember, not by my aunt), the Crusades were the response to four centuries of invasions and occupations. They were a counter-offensive to stem Islamic expansionism in Europe.”
Last February, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) told a gathering of American Muslims in Southern California that House Republicans were exploiting fears to a “steady adoption of sharia tenants” in the country. She told the gathering she was one of 74 Democratic co-sponsors of House Resolution 3618, the “End Racial Profiling Act of 2011.” The legislation specifically prohibits U.S. law enforcement from “relying, to any degree, on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, or religion in selecting which individual to subject to routine or spontaneous investigatory activities.”
The law authorized “the United States” (a.k.a, Eric Holder’s Justice Department) to “enforce this Act in a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief.” For us non-lawyers, “injunctive relief” means the court can order the accused law-enforcement “racial profiler” to cease investigating. Water’s attempt to link legitimate worries over sharia encroachments in America with race hatred was a reach. After all, Islam is not a race but a religious ideology practiced by people of all races. Thankfully, the law went nowhere.
Nakoula’s “Innocence of Muslims” may be clumsy and ineloquent compared to Oriana Fallaci’s well-written history of Islam’s transgressions, but both concluded on the same note. Fallaci was hounded by civil actions in Europe until cancer took her life in 2006. It’s uncertain if the Justice Department will do the same in Nakoula’s case.
The clearing house for American Progressive thought, the Daily Kos, offers the following to its readers: “America can uphold freedom of speech while also calming the Arab world. This in no way condones violence … the violence perpetrated is on those Arabs who caused it. BUT the ‘freedom’ of one man who quite possibly violated his parole is not something America and the world should risk themselves over.”
Apparently, Nakoula’s freedom to express his views is expendable. That’s why the blogger above isolates Nakoula from his fellow Americans by bracketing his freedom behind the iron bars of quotes. In doing so, he condones the violence that took the life of Ambassador Stevens and makes the mistake of thinking Nakoula’s incarceration will calm 1,000 years of Islamic conquest and rage.
The response to this cowardice should be as unyielding as the one given by Oriana Fallaci in a 2002 speech. When a radical Islamic cleric issued a fatwa ordering her death, Fallaci said:
“Citing verses of the Koran, he exhorts his brothers in the mosques and the Islamic Community to chastise me in the name of Allah. To kill me. Or rather, to die with me. Since he’s someone who speaks English well, I’ll respond to him in English: F@#& you!”
That’s an eloquent response to those, foreign and domestic, who would have America submit to the submitters.