First of all, "target" and "bully" are wan verbs to describe the terror, bloodletting and systemic abuse that Christian populations and women suffer at the hands of Islam. More important, though, the violence inherent to religious cleansing and female oppression is in no way comparable to the most critical words or pictures on a page or screen. Such an equivalence is immoral. The president should be ashamed.
But we should be afraid. As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last December, the Obama administration has been working with the OIC to "move to implementation" of U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, an international law that would criminalize criticism of Islam. Obama's "slander" speech just greases the skids.
But, but, but ... the president also said: "The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech -- the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect."
Let's crack that code. "More speech" as a weapon sounds perfectly fine until the president defines it. What does he mean by "voices of tolerance" rallying against "blasphemy"? (Since when does a supposedly secular politician decry "blasphemy"?) Obama's "voices of tolerance" sound like the public pressure-cooker Hillary Clinton described when proposing to enforce the U.N. blasphemy resolution through "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."
Excuse me, but who's "we"? The Obama administration and the Islamic bloc? Are these the progenitors of what President Obama calls "the values of understanding and mutual respect" that must triumph over "hateful speech"?
Clearly, this president is not protecting free speech as our founders guaranteed it, and, in fact, he gravely endangers it. Meanwhile, if I choose to write against child rape as condoned under Islamic law with roots in Muhammad's consummation of a marriage with a 9-year-old -- Islamic "slander," for sure -- in what way is the "mutual respect" President Obama calls for even conceivable as an antidote?
Here's the secret that blasphemy laws are written to smother: Regarding the fundamentals of freedom of conscience, the autonomy of the individual, protection of children and equality of women, Islamic and Western doctrines have nothing in common and are, in fact, at irreconcilable, dagger's-point odds. Silence -- Shariah blasphemy laws -- is the Obama-Clinton-OIC Islamic answer. Indeed, in the Shariah-compliant end, silence will replace the questions, too.
But we're already used to it. Don't believe me? Afshin Ellian, an Iranian-born Dutch law professor, poet and columnist, puts it this way: "If you cannot say that Islam is a backward religion and that Muhammad is a criminal, then you are living in an Islamic country, my friend, because there you also cannot say such things. I may say Christ was a homosexual and Mary was a prostitute, but apparently I should stay off of Muhammad."
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