Radical Islamic Imam and overall terrible human being Ajhem Choudary wrote an op-ed yesterday essentially justifying the Paris Charlie Hebdo killings because free speech doesn't exist in Islam. That op-ed was published at USA Today. Choudary is infamous for coming out of his Sharia protected hell-hole in England when terror attacks occur around the world and he has never been shy about expressing his view that everyone should live under Islamic law. From the op-ed:
Contrary to popular misconception, Islam does not mean peace but rather means submission to the commands of Allah alone. Therefore, Muslims do not believe in the concept of freedom of expression, as their speech and actions are determined by divine revelation and not based on people's desires.
Although Muslims may not agree about the idea of freedom of expression, even non-Muslims who espouse it say it comes with responsibilities. In an increasingly unstable and insecure world, the potential consequences of insulting the Messenger Muhammad are known to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Muslims consider the honor of the Prophet Muhammad to be dearer to them than that of their parents or even themselves. To defend it is considered to be an obligation upon them. The strict punishment if found guilty of this crime under sharia (Islamic law) is capital punishment implementable by an Islamic State. This is because the Messenger Muhammad said, "Whoever insults a Prophet kill him."
Because the honor of the Prophet is something which all Muslims want to defend, many will take the law into their own hands, as we often see.
Choudary also appeared in an interview with Sean Hannity last night on Fox News.
It really is incredible how Choudary decries free speech while taking advantage of a media that can only operate as a result of free speech. That's how he and jihadists like him operate.
There are a few main things that should be addressed here. The first is answering the question, "Why give this guy a platform to spew his garbage?" Choudary isn't an American citizen and most media outlets are private entities, therefore free speech rights under the First Amendment aren't really at issue. He also admits that his own God doesn't allow for free speech and wrote an opinion piece that many would call propaganda. The question of whether we should pay attention to Choudary is an important one that has two different and opposite answers. 1) We shouldn't give guys like Choudary an open platform by publishing his columns or putting him on the airwaves for obvious reasons. (Fair enough) 2) We should publish his columns and put him on air to better understand the reality of the enemy we are facing and to hear it directly from the source. It's easy for critics of Islam to be accused of Islamophobia as they warn of the very things Choudary espouses, seeing it from him directly gives the reality more credibility. Further, unlike radical Islam, we welcome different points of view no matter how heinous they may be.
In the end I'm not sure which approach is best, both have their benefits and negatives, but I'm in favor of the enemy exposing themselves for the barbarians they are. It should be noted that USA Today, unlike a number of other media outlets covering the attack in Paris yesterday, didn't censor the satirical cartoons or magazine covers Charlie Hebdo published. If you're going to publish Choudary, you should also publish the cartoons he's using to justify murder in the name of Allah. The cartoons should also be published out of respect for the brave men who believed in free speech so much, they died for it.