Back in May of 2009, the US military burned stacks of bibles in Afghanistan; why weren't we having this conversation then? No one threatened violence against them. Obama did not stand against the bible burning.
In another striking blow to American non-Muslims and freedom of speech, President Obama came out against the qur'an burning in Florida. A stupid idea, of course but protected under the laws of free speech. The burning of books is wrong in principle: the antidote to bad speech is not censorship or book-burning, but more speech. Open discussion. Give-and-take. And the truth will out. There is no justification for burning books. If Americans are free and not under Sharia, then the church can do this if it wants, and their freedom and rights should be protected. Islamic supremacists should not be allowed a victory for their violent intimidation -- if these people want to burn a book, they're free to do so.
Obama is wrong to say this will threaten American troops. This is based on the false assumption that they are fighting us because we are doing things they don't like. Actually they are fighting us because of imperatives within the Islamic faith. They will never like us unless we convert to Islam or submit to Islamic rule. If we stop doing things they dislike, where will we draw the line? How far will Sharia advance in the U.S., with Americans afraid to stop its advance for fear of offending Muslims and stirring them up to violence? The Muslim Students Association is already pushing for halal cafeterias, segregated dorms, segregated gym facilities on campus. This is incompatible with American freedom. We have to draw the line.
"The principle of free speech is not concerned with the content of a man's speech and does not protect only the expression of good ideas, but all ideas. If it were otherwise, who would determine which ideas are good and where forbidden? The government?""Once a country accepts censorship of the press and of speech, then nothing can be won without violence. Therefore, so long as you have free speech, protect it. This is the life-and-death issue in this country: do not give up the freedom of the press -- of newspapers, books, magazines, radio, movies, and other forms of presenting ideas. So long as that's free, a peaceful intellectual turn is possible." Ayn Rand
Obama's position on free speech is inconsistent with this support for the Ground Zero mega mosque using the blanket of "freedom of religion" (though no one was suggesting it not be built on religious grounds). Where is the blanket of protection for free speech?
Obama: "If he's listening, I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans," Obama said. "That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance."
And freedom of speech. "Tolerance" is nowhere in the first amendment.
Back in October 2009, the Obama administration actually co-sponsored (with Egypt, itself not a bastion of free inquiry and free expression) an anti-free speech resolution at the United Nations. Approved by the U.N. Human Rights Council, the resolution calls on states to condemn and criminalize “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.” What could be wrong with that? Everything. There is, after all, the First Amendment, which preserves Americans’ right to free speech and freedom of the press. “Incitement” and “hatred” are in the eye of the beholder – or more precisely, in the eye of those who make such determinations. The powerful can decide to silence the powerless by classifying their views as “hate speech.” The Founding Fathers knew that the freedom of speech was an essential safeguard against tyranny: the ability to dissent, freely and publicly and without fear of imprisonment or other reprisal, is a cornerstone of any genuine republic.
If some ideas cannot be heard and are proscribed from above, the ones in control are tyrants, however benevolent they may be. Now no less distinguished a personage than the president of the United States has given his imprimatur to this tyranny. The resolution also condemns “negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups,” which is of course an oblique reference to accurate reporting about the jihad doctrine and Islamic supremacism – for that, not actual negative stereotyping or hateful language, is always the focus of complaints by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and allied groups. They never say anything when people like Osama bin Laden and Khaled Sheikh Mohammed issue detailed qur'anic expositions justifying violence and hatred; but when people like Geert Wilders and others report about such expositions, that’s “negative stereotyping.”
Eugene Volokh explained why even the First Amendment may not be able to stand up against Obama’s assault on free speech. “If the U.S. backs a resolution that urges the suppression of some speech,” he explains, “presumably we are taking the view that all countries – including the U.S. – should adhere to this resolution. If we are constitutionally barred from adhering to it by our domestic constitution, then we’re implicitly criticizing that constitution, and committing ourselves to do what we can to change it.” Volokh added that in order to be consistent, “the Administration would presumably have to take what steps it can to ensure that supposed ‘hate speech’ that incites hostility will indeed be punished. It would presumably be committed to filing amicus briefs supporting changes in First Amendment law to allow such punishment, and in principle perhaps the appointment of Justices who would endorse such changes (or even the proposal of express constitutional amendments that would work such changes).” In 2008 the Secretary General of the OIC chief Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu issued a warning: “We sent a clear message to the West regarding the red lines that should not be crossed” regarding free speech about Islam and terrorism. And he reported success: “The official West and its public opinion are all now well-aware of the sensitivities of these issues. They have also started to look seriously into the question of freedom of expression from the perspective of its inherent responsibility, which should not be overlooked.” No American president had ever taken more seriously his “responsibility” to restrict the freedom of speech and bow to Muslim demands than Barack Hussein Obama. When he said during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech that “peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely,” the irony was blistering. And he worked to erode American sovereignty in other ways as well.
President Barack Obama said in an interview Thursday that the Quran-burning plan by a Florida pastor was "destructive" and a "recruitment bonanza for al-Qaida."
Speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview broadcast Thursday, Obama warned that Rev. Terry Jones' plan would endanger U.S. troops and could lead to serious violence in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The president called it a "stunt" and exhorted Jones to "listen to those better angels" and call off the protest this weekend.
"If he's listening, I hope he understands that what he's proposing to do is completely contrary to our values as Americans," Obama said. "That this country has been built on the notion of freedom and religious tolerance."
The president also said Jones' plan, if carried out, could serve as an incentive for terrorist-minded individuals "to blow themselves up" to kill others.
"And as a very practical matter, as commander in chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform," the president said.
Rings hollow. Our rules of engagement greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform.