In what can only be described as a despicable act of appeasement, the U.S. embassy in Cairo chose to side with Muslim extremists rather than defend the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Yesterday the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt and the consulate in Benghazi, Libya were attacked by mobs of Islamic fanatics. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other civilians were reportedly killed.
The ostensible cause of the violence was a so-called movie produced in the United States which is purported to insult the Prophet. It is so badly made that it borders on the juvenile. The U.S. government did not support, fund or distribute the movie. It was never shown in Egypt or Libya. But it was available online, on YouTube. The fact that this was made in the U.S. was excuse enough for the rioters. Apparently, it was also enough for the U.S. embassy to Egypt to decide to throw freedom of speech under the bus.
Only hours before the attacks in Egypt and Libya the Cairo embassy published a statement that sought to address local feelings. The statement condemned “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims . . .” That was bad enough. But it then went on to declare “Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others” after the assaults on our facilities and the murder of our ambassador the embassy reiterated its earlier views. Nothing was said about the violation of international law that occurred when the U.S. embassy was assaulted. Nor were any questions raised about the failure of the Libyan and Egyptian governments to protect sovereign U.S. territory.
Do I have this right: it is more important to protect religious feelings than defend the universal right of free speech? The freedom to worship is a basic human right; the sanctity of religious sensibilities is not. How is it even possible to abuse the universal right of free speech by making a movie, regardless of the topic? Making and distributing movies is a legitimate, widely employed tool of free speech. Remember Michael Moore? We are not talking about shouting fire in a crowded theater. There can be no excuse for what happened in Libya and Egypt, certainly not hurt religious feelings. The U.S. embassy essentially affirmed the radical Islamist view that injury to Muslim religious feelings justifies assault, mayhem and even murder. What’s next; burning heretics at the stake? Yes, but this is a right apparently reserved for extremists of the Muslim faith.
The White House has since “distanced” itself from the embassy’s statement. Not good enough. The embassy’s statement did not emerge from thin air. It reflects this Administration’s tendencies to protect and even favor Islam and Islamist views over those of any other religion. Can you imagine a U.S. embassy in any other Administration even thinking of issuing this kind of statement? I can’t. The Cairo statement was inspired by the attitudes and values of the Obama Administration and its policy of appeasing the worst elements of the Muslim faith.
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