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U.S. muddles message on First Amendment in aftermath of embassy attacks 

Map of Egypt from CIA World Fact BookIn the aftermath of attacks on U.S. embassies in Iraq and Egypt, statements came from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. Both condemned the attacks. Both affirmed U.S. tolerance of religion—that was the primary message.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo issued a statement, asserting, “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

A major opportunity is being missed.

Why aren’t our leaders sending a clear message on the First Amendment?

Most media claim the attacks are a result of an independent U.S. video that criticizes Islam.

Islam does not allow satire of the main prophet in their faith and any depiction is taboo. The concept of limiting government control of free expression is unknown in Muslim countries where the law of man can never be elevated above the law of the faith.

The U.S. has the broadest limitations on government control of speech in the world. Why our leaders are not even bothering to explain this to the world is so troubling, it is hard to understand why U.S. media haven’t addressed the issue.

Obama has undertaken a policy of appeasement and aid in hopes of building better relationships with countries like Egypt and others in the East. One of the president’s first decisions was seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Other presidents hadn’t sought a seat. Obama’s decision came after the group approved UN Resolution 7/19 to combat “defamation of religion.”

One provision in Res 7.19 section specifies a Special Rapporteur to “report on all manifestations of defamation of religions…”

Not a single reporter has ever asked Obama about that resolution. The US Report is one of the only media to even write about the matter.

Islamic leaders want this policy in effect on a global scale. If you are perceived as maligning their faith, you will be a target whether you’re an obscure filmmaker or a major university.

It’s ironic that in the U.S., all manner of vitriol and hatred has been directed at Christian groups and leaders perceived as evangelical Christians. Not a single member of the Obama administration has addressed this despicable lack of tolerance.

Now the U.S. government has opted to apologize for some unknown filmmaker whose name 99 percent of Americans wouldn’t even know.

I viewed part of the film. It comes close to a clumsy episode of Saturday Night Live. It is negative about Islam, but then again, it’s hard to expect those persecuted to say anything good about those who oppress them. Coptic Christians and Jews are favorite targets of Islamists who take a no-holds-barred approach in expressing hatred.

The embassy attacks occurred on September 11. It’s difficult, in light of these two attacks to dismiss the significance of the date regardless of the blame meme going around about the film.

In August, 1998, U.S. embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) were bombed. The bombing was attributed to al Qaeda, the group that had mounted other attacks on U.S. interests. If you look at the list of anti-U.S. attacks in the archives at the U.S. State Dept., it will become obvious we appeased terrorists for a long time. We were in a war long before we called it a war.

The attacks in Libya and Egypt suggest that despite successful U.S. capture or kill programs against figures like Osama bin Laden, the real war is far from over.

At the moment, the UN has major influence over refugees who come to the U.S. In 2011, 27 percent of those refugees self-identified as Muslims.

It would be a good idea to provide an ongoing, firm message to the rest of the world that in America, we can say what we like when it comes to politics and religion. Any other path is a direct danger to freedom because if you lose the First Amendment, you have lost it all.

Middle East expert Dr. Walid Phares said he had been awakened at 5 a.m. with a phone call about the developments. Phares said, “[T]he rise of radicals in North Africa is a direct consequence of the abandonment of moderates and reformists by the Obama Administration which has been partnering with the [Muslim] Brotherhood and their allies.”

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Sept. 12, 2012)

Related Links

UN screening of film dubbed ‘anti-Israel’ in keeping with policy

Violence over Koran suggests irreconcilable differences


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