Diana West

Prediction: I don't believe Hamza Kashgari will be executed or even face hard time for his Twitter "blasphemy." Despite widespread enthusiasm for his demise among his fellow Saudis -- at last count, a Facebook page titled "The Saudi People Demand Hamza Kashgari's Execution" had a whopping 23,000 members -- I'm guessing Kashgari's already publicized repentance will be accepted by Saudi poobahs. The crisis will likely end in a gesture of royal magnanimousness. The new "moderation" of the Kingdom -- see, they don't kill you for tweeting! -- will become the story of the day, maybe even "fair and balanced" enough for Fox News to cover it.

That would make it a win-win situation, at least when it comes to Islamic law enforcement: Saudi Arabia gets international "modernization" brownie points, and no one dares break Shariah inside the country anyway, particularly given the bloodthirsty scorn of the Saudi public. (Remember that Facebook community of execution-for-"blasphemy" enthusiasts.) No "blasphemy," no "defamation," no problem.

This same issue is part of a much larger story, a terrifying point of parley between the Islamic world, as represented by the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the Free World, as led, still, by the USA. Why terrifying? Any accommodation of Islamic so-called blasphemy law is an unconstitutional erosion of American free speech.

I'm mortified to report that the USA, as represented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is working itself into sync with the Saudi, OIC and, apparently, Fox position that silence on Islam is golden. Last summer, Clinton, while meeting with the OIC in Turkey (where they throw journalists who cross the state in jail) to discuss "defamation" of Islam, promoted a de facto censorship of Islam's critics by calling for "some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don't feel that they have the support to do what we abhor."

Funny, but I don't think Fox covered the secretary of state's menacing comments about free speech. Not even a tweet's worth.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).



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