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Welcome to Islamerica

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Superman had his Bizarro World. You and I now have Islamerica. Where up is down, left is right, hot is cold, and the First Amendment is getting a thorough scrubbing and security check. After all, freedom of speech is just so old. It was written so many years ago. We really do need to rethink that. After all, people's feelings are at stake.


In Islamerica, you have freedom of speech so long as what you say does not offend Muslims. Take Derek Fenton, the New Jersey transit worker, who burned a few pages of the Koran on Saturday, September 11. He chose to do so in front of the proposed Ground Zero mosque site in New York. Police quickly escorted him away, presumably for fear his actions would send already rambunctious protesters into a rabid frothing frenzy. On Monday, Fenton went to his New Jersey state job and received his pink slip. He was fired. For weekend behavior in another state.

Derek Fenton became a casualty of the new Islamerican rethinking of the First Amendment. Fenton lost his job for distasteful behavior on his weekend. According to the New Jersey officials, he violated their employee code of ethics. First, who knew the state of New Jersey had a code of ethics? Second, does that code of ethics provide a list of things that state workers cannot do on their own free time during a weekend? Could Mr. Fenton wear open-toed shoes that reveal his foot fungus? Could he sacrifice a goat in his front yard as a religious act? Exactly, what can a New Jersey state employee do to express himself and how can one worship without losing his job? I imagine he can burn an American flag (an act protected by the Supreme Court) and burn a Bible (an act protected by Christians who have grown accustomed to tolerating those who disagree). Just not a Koran.


Shortly after Mr. Fenton found his pink slip, Seattle Weekly announced that Molly Norris no longer existed. Molly is the political cartoonist who was outraged at the censoring of South Park by Comedy Central (an act which also gave us Faisal Shahzad and his failed attempt at blowing up Times Square). As an expression of her disgust, Molly drew a cartoon of several items all claiming to be Mohammed and facetiously suggested an “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” Others took her idea literally and created a Facebook page to do just that. Result? Anwar al-Awlaki has posted a statement to his followers that arson and assassination are the legitimate forms of retaliation against Ms. Norris.

Thus, Seattle Weekly announced that Molly has entered something akin to the witness protection program. At the FBI's urging, her identity has been wiped clean. She has relocated to a new town, with a new name and a new job. There is no more Molly Norris.

The kicker? Molly herself is footing the bill for all this. Do not offend Muslims or you will pay a high price with your wallet, your job, and even your life. Intimidation works pretty well. “Like us or we will kill you” is often an effective strategy. Just ask the Mafia.

Meanwhile, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Laurie Cardoza-Moore has been leading protests against the proposed construction of a 50,000 square foot mosque. She has received multiple death threats. She has turned those threats left on her cell phone over to to law enforcement. As far as we can determine, FBI protection appears nowhere to be found.


However, Cami Ayash, the organizing leader of the Murfreesboro mosque, has asked for and received FBI protection at taxpayer expense. Although a piece of construction equipment at the construction site was torched, Ms. Ayash and her colleagues appear to have received a grand total of zero death threats. They did report hearing some gunshots in the distance, a sound I hear nearly every weekend where I live in the South. Her fears were enough for federal agents to rally to her side at public expense. Apparently, what matters is not real threats so much as perceiving that they may exist.

Ms. Ayash's protection and that of her fellow worshipers is a result of Attorney General Eric Holder's aggressive initiative to marshal federal resources to protect Muslims. Holder has stated that position on multiple occasions. After President Obama's Cairo speech, Holder said, “The President's pledge for a new beginning between the United States and the Muslim community takes root here in the Justice Department where we are committed to using criminal and civil rights laws to protect Muslim Americans. A top priority of this Justice Department is a return to robust civil rights enforcement...”

Mr. Holder's “robust civil rights enforcement” appears to apply to abortion clinic operators (of whom one has been killed in the last decade) but not to pro-life demonstrators (of whom one has been killed in the last decade). “Robust civil rights enforcement” also applies to Muslims who receive any pushback against their plans and to Muslims who are offended by the free expression of others.


“Robust civil rights enforcement” does not appear to apply to anyone who says or does anything that ruffles the feathers of Muslims. You can lose your job, and Mr. Holder's people will not defend your right to free expression. You can receive global death threats, and Mr. Holder's team will assist you as long as you are willing to pay for it. You can receive death threats from mosque proponents, and Mr. Holder's team might, must might, take your call when you complain.

However, should you be Muslim, receive no death threats, but still fear something (real or imagined), Mr. Holder's justice will be on your doorstep at your beck and call. At no cost to you.

One can only draw the obvious conclusion. We are scared of Muslims. America is intimidated by Islam. We tremble and quake at the men who live in caves and scheme with their medieval minds. We worry that our actions may cause them some perceived slight that results in their choosing to riot and to kill each other. So we lay down our freedoms and relinquish our rights in the vain Sally Field-esque hope that somehow they will “like” us. We lay down those rights without even a battle.

When did America become cowardly? For two centuries or more, America has stood for human rights. Now those human rights and freedoms apply only to a select few whose sensitivities will determine the rights that the rest of us enjoy. We have been the moral beacon of the world. Now we are scared, even in our own country, so much so that we are even editing and trimming the beloved First Amendment. Say whatever you like, just as long as it does not offend Muslims.


Welcome to Islamerica.

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