Tuesday, September 11, 2012
OK, a pack of faith-crazed Muslims has been stirred up once again by some crazed clerics, and again over an alleged insult to their alleged prophet. Time to riot, threaten murder, demand America institute censorship, and all those other things so many of the practitioners of what George W. Bush called "a religion of peace" are known for. (Quick, what other religious groups are known for these actions?)
But far worse were the actions of the American Embassy in Cairo, which issued the following statement: "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others...Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy."
No, it's not. Respect for the absolute right of free speech is. If someone is offended, too bad...or rather, good! Speech that offends no one is never in jeopardy, it's speech that someone doesn't like that must be protected. The job of our government is to defend our rights, not apologize to primitive thugs. The cowardly bastards who wrote and released that statement ought to be, well, just leave them in Cairo. Sans citizenship and passports.
In a series of pieces suggesting that Muslims should be profiled by TSA for security reasons, Sam Harris makes the following observation: "Don’t draw cartoons of their Prophet, or they’ll kill you. Don’t write a novel that could be considered blasphemous, or they’ll kill you. Don’t criticize their treatment of women, or they’ll kill you. Don’t leave the religion and publicly disavow it, or they’ll kill you. Don’t burn a Qur’an, or they’ll kill you." (BTW, I think Schneier rebuts Harris' argument for profiling fairly soundly; it's Harris' rejection of politically correct insanity I endorse here.)
The September 11 attacks have been used by our government to justify all sorts of violations of our liberties and as excuses for foreign adventures. But we should not let that blind us to the fact that we really do have foreign enemies and ideologies who would destroy our freedom as well.
Happy 9-11 Day.
By the way, I have always maintained that in many ways, the riots that broke out in France and and Denmark after the "original" cartoon scandal--and, more importantly, the responses to these riots--were far worse than 9/11. To be ambushed from behind is one thing; to succumb knowingly and apologetically is quite another.