Sunday, September 16, 2012
For Barack Obama, 'Defending Islam' Now Supersedes Our Constitution
Some pictures really are worth a thousand words.
The man above being taken in by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies for an 'interview' in the dead of night from his Cerritos, California home is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the Egyptian Coptic Christian allegedly behind the film 'The Innocence of Muslims' that the Obama Administration is seizing on as the spontaneous cause of the riots in the Muslim World that resulted in the death of four Americans at the U.S. consulate. And never mind that even the perpetrators are denying it, and that the coordinated attacks were obviously planned in advance.
In pursuit of selling this White House narrative, something insidious has happened.
The Muslim Brotherhood governments in Tunisia and Egypt as well as Islamist voices elsewhere have been calling for legal prosecution in America of those behind making this execrable film, which consists of little more than a few amateurish YouTube segments.
In the world they live in, the police showing up on someone's doorstep in the middle of the night to take them in for questioning has an entirely different meaning and context then it does to us. To the eyes of the Muslim world, the U.S. is beginning to enforce the blasphemy laws to exempt Islam from criticism that they have been so pushing hard for in the United Nations and other international forums.
President Obama famously said both in his 2009 interview with al-Arabiya and in his speech in Cairo in front of the Muslim Brotherhood that he regarded it as one of his chief duties as president to defend Islam and "to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."
This president has now gone beyond merely appeasing Islam to prosecuting its blasphemy laws for it against the infidels as a craven response to violence and murder. And that's exactly how the Muslim world will see it.
As an added bit of lagniappe, you might remember that just two months ago, Thomas Perez, the Obama Department of Justice's Assistant Attorney general refused to deny that the Obama Administration would seek to criminalize any criticism of Islam, a highly relevant question in view of some of his own remarks on the subject:
Doew anyone seriously doubt that there will be an attempt to legalize enforcement of the Islamic world's blasphemy laws here in America in President Obama's second term, should he be re-elected?
Whatever the virtues or faults of this shoddily produced film, it is definitely constitutionally protected speech under the First Amendment. Over the years, the Supreme Court has only defined limits on free speech where it contains a direct call for violence against others ( the Qu'ran, by the way, fails this test) or when it constitutes an immediate and clear danger to others ( the famed 'shouting fire in a crowded theater' argument so loved by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes).
The Last Temptation of Christ was a mainstream movie that was far more blasphemous and angering to Christians than this collection of YouTube skits is for Muslims, yet no one even suggested having law enforcement arrest the film maker and take him in for an 'interview'. This is about dhimmitude, appeasement and fear. And it will only up the ante next time.
President Obama has been notable in his cavalier disregard for our Constitution, but this is something new and very dangerous.
Will the American people allow it to stand? We'll see.
Professor Glenn Reynolds has an instructive take on this, as does John Hindraker over at PowerLine