“The runners at the Boston Marathon put my police officers, my citizens and others at risk. This program invited an incendiary reaction. Citizens picked my community, which does not support in any shape, passion or form, this ideology.”
Is the United States Constitution an incendiary device or is the resurgence of Islam as practiced in the seventh century an incendiary device?
The overall media consensus has been to blame the intended murder victims for recklessly provoking the terrorists. Such provocation, we are told, is unacceptable and irresponsible behavior given the risk of retaliation by offended radical Muslims.
By this bizarre logic, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Selma marchers should be condemned for instigating the melee on the Edmund Pettus bridge. Same for the three murdered civil-rights workers in Mississippi, the victims of Bull Connor’s police dogs, and anyone else who has taken a stand that might irritate violence-prone people.
“All viewpoints are protected under the First Amendment.”
Eugene Volokh appearing on Fox’s The Kelly File.
The Kelly File. “Is freedom of speech under attack in America?” Fox News, May 6, 2015.
As “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance,” both direct attacks on the American Homeland and intellectual forays into weakening cultural adhesion to bedrock principles and values has served primarily to strengthen the arguments and ranks of America’s conservatives, who, in fact have become America’s most thoughtful liberals in line with the “classical liberalism” on which the nation was founded.
For all intents, Lincoln’s back in town.
Allen West included this observation in a post published last August:
First of all, let’s establish this point: modern conservatism is classical liberalism as developed by English political philosopher John Locke. His basic principles were the personal rights of life, liberty, and property. Clearly, today’s “post modern liberal” has nothing in common with John Locke. Today’s liberalism has more in common with Marxism/progressivism/socialism — but as with all things Leftist, the lexicon is changed in order to mask true identity and intentions.
Search string “Lincoln, classical liberalism” yields a few delightful URLs. Count “6 Quotes That Will Remind Republicans Lincoln Was a Liberal” (February 11, 2015) among them (it kicks off with, “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”).
Too good to cherry pick as regards Lincoln’s character: McLaughlin Dan. “Five Key Lessons on President’s Day From Abraham Lincoln.” The Federalist, February 18, 2014.
• We will promote our belief that pluralism and moderation are fundamental principles of the Holy Qur’an.
• We recognize and honor the principles of individual liberty and freedom. We believe that the practice of religion and its laws are a matter of free choice within an individual’s beliefs and conscience only. Our governmental laws should be based upon our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and derived from reason.
• We believe that every Muslim is equally entitled to his/her opinion concerning the religion of Islam, in an environment free of ostracism, intimidation, and reprisal. While we recognize the value of scholarship and learned discourse in Islam, we believe that all Muslims should play an active role in the debate and ijtihad of our own faith.
• We will work to educate the public regarding the special historical relationship between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
• We will publicly affirm our belief that the primary threat to America is from both violent and non-violent Islamists who exploit the faith of Islam, and who use identity politics, victimology, tribalism, and intimidation to further their goal of Islamist hegemony.
What the arc of time may be for the intellectual transformation of the Ummah toward the above stated values (there are twelve such on the page referenced) seems to BackChannels unknown, but the blog has been around for enough years to observe that those who bid into a modern course have stood by their own programs and sought growth and greater distribution for core religious institutional concepts fit to the “classical liberalism” on which the United States has been developed.
The Garland, Texas “Draw Muhammad” event and the attack associated with it continue to play in the press. However it unfolded, whatever the play by play and the who, what, when, how, it was small and professionally foiled by police.
The shooters were known and had been tracked.
Headlines from the reading side of the BackChannels screen: “Gunman in Texas Shooting was FBI Suspect in Jihad Inquiry”; “Texas Attacker Left Trail of Extremist Ideas on Twitter”; “FBI alerted Garland Police about jihad attacker 3 hours . . . “; “ISIS Inspired, but Did Not Orchestrate, Garland Shooting at Muhammad Event”; “Texas attacker had private conversations with known terrorists”.
Block and search if you need to read the story behind a headline . . . the point is the First Amendment, the American gold standard of freedom of speech, won the day, the terrorists lost, and the arguing online about the right to speak freely — to challenge thought, to criticize ideas, to observe and report — and to argue about politeness, provocation, and, I suppose, cultural sensitivity, which all makes for lively debate, is as it should be and much, much preferred to silenced debate.
Pat Condell — posted to YouTube March 13, 2014.
Related in the region defined by political intimidation:
One more clip (and more to follow) from Pat Condell, posted on YouTube July 11, 2013 —
Addendum – May 10, 2015
How can any thinking and civilized person ever believe there is a wisp of truth to the proposition: “There are times when it is ‘understandable’ that people would slaughter others because of a cartoon”? Everyone who follows world events in the United States, regardless of their political leanings, has seen the unimaginably vile actions of ISIS against “unbelievers” and “those who defame the prophet.” How can anyone take their side? To do so even to the smallest extent renders the defender equally vile. And yet, of course, that is what we have come to in the cesspool that is the American left.
Addendum – May 12, 2015
In 2009, Yale University removed several illustrations from a book I had written about the global controversy over the Danish cartoons. The redacted illustrations included the cartoons as also other pictures featuring Muhammad, including an Ottoman print of Muhammad going into battle with Ali at his side and an illustration of Dante’s Divine Comedy made by Gustave Doré. The publisher was Yale University Press. The university argued that the images could be considered offensive by Muslims and lead to violence, including attacks on Yale and other American institutions. In an Orwellian twist, Yale University cited my own book as evidence that reproduction of the cartoons was dangerous. The press defended its decision with reference to the advice of an expert panel (of which more later) ‘that there existed a substantial likelihood of violence that might take the lives of innocent victims.’
Addendum – From May 13, 2015
There is no legitimate controversy over why the Kouachi brothers targeted Charlie Hebdo. They murdered not to redress the social grievances or right the historical wrongs the PEN authors named. They explicitly told us why they murdered — for Islam, to avenge the Prophet Muhammad. Progressives who think otherwise need to face that reality. Put another way, the Kouachi brothers may have suffered racial discrimination and even “marginalization,” yet had they not been Muslims, they would not have attacked Charlie Hebdo. They would have had no motive.
Tayler, Jeffrey. “The left has Islam all wrong: Bill Maher, Pamela Geller and the reality progressives must face: Confusion over Islam and how to relate to it imperils free speech, without which no secular republic can survive.” Salon, May 10, 2015.
And now we are bystanders in the destruction of our own remarkable history. We are allowing the barbarians to destroy memory while we watch. We were warned decades ago when Israel began fighting against the destruction of history by Muslims destroying artifacts under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in their attempt to eradicate the Jewish past in order to promote a Muslim future.
In the 1980s the Waqf destroyed an ancient wall on the Temple Mount, probably from one of the courts of the Second Temple, (Herod’s Temple) during an unauthorized dig. “The wall was six feet thick, and more than 16 feet of it was exposed, but the entire wall was quickly removed and the area covered before Israeli archaeological authorities could study it.”
In September 2000, the Muslim Waqf closed off the Temple Mount entirely to any archeological oversight by the Israel Antiquities Authority and then removed 13,000 tons of rubble from the Temple Mount, including archeological remnants from the First and Second Temple periods. History was dropped into the dump.
The purpose of autocratic and capricious information control — to shut someone up; to censor or forestall expression — is personal or cultural erasure.
Related to Bederman’s observations: Oppenheim, James. “Annihilation, One Cultural Artifact, One Memory, At a Time.” Oppenheim Arts & Letters, September 8, 2015.
We express solidarity with the many American Muslims who feel wounded by this malicious disregard of their sacred heritage. Further, we are dismayed that a member of the American Jewish community led this incendiary effort. We can only imagine how upset we would be if a group set up a public display of cartoons mocking Jews, offering (as was the case here) a $10,000 prize for the “best” rendering.
Our long history as a persecuted and often taunted minority does not allow us to stand by in silence when such an act is perpetrated against another religious community in our society. Jewish history and teaching compel us to denounce such offensive and inflammatory behavior.
More than 25 rabbis signed the above letter, which hews to the social and transactional element in the Garland controversy: indeed, we should be careful of one another by being polite.
Then too we may be even more careful of one another by being plainly honest about present and past states of affairs. For that, many Jews would simply begin with the legend of the Banu Qurayza.
The Southern Poverty Law Center regards Pamela’s organization as a hate group . Since Morris Dees, the chief trial council of the center and most of the top officers in that organization are members of my own tribe, I wonder if he would still be so loudly condemning Pam Geller if Jihad attacked a synagogue and killed innocent Jews.
Since we are their favorite targets, this is a nightmare that is just waiting to happen. But, Dees and his left wing buddies would prefer to support condemning the one women with balls big enough to stand up to Jihad and tell them no , not today.
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