The Official Blog Of Edward Cline

Force, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Speech

Blasphemy is in the news. Blasphemy and Mohammad
and Charlie Hebdo, most of
whose staff was executed by Muslim terrorists in Paris on January 7th,
including its defiant editor, Stéphane
Charbonnier (“Charb”), who
prided himself in publishing cartoons that mocked Mohammad and implicitly Islam.
The terrorists
shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and “The Prophet is avenged!” The killers were hunted
down and in turn killed.
The new
Charlie Hebdo
issue, its front page featuring an ironic cartoon of Mohammad
shedding a crocodile tear and holding a sign that reads Je Suis Charlie (“I am Charlie”), has sold
out
in France.
Charlie Hebdo has been
avenged, by the French authorities, by Charlie Hebdo’s surviving staff, and
even by the French public.
But is this
in issue of vengeance? Of tit for tat? Of an eye for an eye?
No. it is
an issue of force – of the initiation of force, and of retaliatory force. The Muslims
who massacred twelve people at Charlie Hebdo initiated force in “protest” of
the paper’s continued mockery of a religious icon. Not a single Muslim was ever
coerced to look at the cartoons. They did not write letters to the editor
objecting to the depiction of Mohammad as a laughable, pathetic “prophet,” they
did not start their own magazine and publish their own outrageous cartoons. No.
They invaded the offices of Charlie Hebdo and murdered twelve people. One of
the killers subsequently invaded a Jewish food shop and murdered four Jews.
In a
brilliant display of retaliatory force, the French authorities extinguished
both killers. That was justice, not vengeance. Vengeance is an emotional
catharsis, sometimes justifiable, too often not. Justice must be based on
facts, not on emotions.
Two fine
writers and indefatigable champions of freedom of speech, Diana West and Daniel
Greenfield, have addressed the subject of blasphemy in recent columns. West
explains why censorship, a government’s or self-censorship vis-à-vis images of
Mohammad, are Sharia-imposed and Sharia-compliant, and is a violation of  freedom of speech or the voluntary negation
of it, and that the West should submit to neither our own government’s
censorship and certainly not to Islam’s.
In her January
8th column, “The
West Must Reject Islamic Blasphemy Law
,” West wrote:
It is not enough now to assert the right to
“blaspheme,” as many are doing. We, media, citizens,
politicians, everyone, must assert and manifest the right to live free of
Islamic blasphemy law, the crux of Sharia, or Islamic law. 
West
explains that we have been incrementally submitting to Sharia law for over two
decades. The Islamic assault on freedom of speech is not the most recent
instance of submission to Islam. From installing foot baths for Muslims in
airports and other public and private venues because Muslims demand
accommodation for their degrading prayer rituals, to removing Christian symbols
in schools because they offend Muslim students, to purging FBI counter-terrorism
training materials of all references to Islam and Muslims because that would be
“illegal” “profiling,” to criminalizing criticism of Islam, no matter how crass
or cogent, as “hate speech,” the steady Islamification of speech – a.k.a.
censorship – goes on virtually unopposed by all but those who see the
consequences and aren’t afraid to point them out.
With
each Free-World killing or attempted killing (or protest or boycott or death
threats), with our every acquiescence or accommodation of this new
“normal,” the lingering fear factor further chills public expression,
further entrenches Islamic blasphemy law, further paralyzes political action to
reject Islamic law. To save liberty in the West, vigorous and widespread and
complete rejection of Islamic law, beginning with Islamic blasphemy law. is precisely what is
needed. 
This
still isn’t happening — such is the advanced state of our dhimmitude.
In the meantime, in other acts of submission, Duke
University
will broadcast every Friday the Muslim call to prayer from its
Chapel tower. At Oxford
University Press
, authors have been prohibited from including images and references
to pigs and sausage in any future children’s books published by OUP.  Are these instances evidence of fear of Islamic
retribution, or just plain agreement that Muslims must not be offended?
Daniel Greenfield, in his January 7th column, “The
Importance of Blasphemy
,” brings his seemingly limitness range of
perspective to the subject of Islamic blasphemy law. There isn’t a single
religion, he writes, that doesn’t explicitly or implicitly “blaspheme” every
other religion.
For
non-Muslims, the right to blasphemy is also the right to believe. While we may
think of blasphemy in terms of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons, each religion is
also mutually blasphemous.
Muslims
argue that the West should “respect prophets” by outlawing insults to Mohammed
and a panoply of prophets that it gathered from Judaism and Christianity. But
Islam considers the Christian view of Jesus to be blasphemous and Christianity
considers Islam’s view of Jesus equally blasphemous.
While
Charlie Hebdo pushed the outer limits of blasphemy, every religion that is not
Islam, and even various alternative flavors of Islam, is also blasphemous
relative to Islam.
Greenfield drives home his point:
Everyone’s
religion is someone else’s blasphemy. If we forget that, we need only look to
Saudi Arabia, where no other religion is allowed, as a reminder.
Blasphemy
is the price we pay for not having a theocracy. Muslims are not only outraged
but baffled by the Mohammed cartoons because they come from a world in which
Islamic law dominates their countries and through its special place proclaims
the superiority of Islam over all other religions.
Greenfield concludes:
Mohammed
cartoons exist because of the Islamic inability to cope with a non-theocratic
society. Islamic Cartoonophobia is not only a danger to cartoonists. It’s a
threat to all of our religious freedoms.
And to freedom of speech. To freedom of thought and
the freedom to say what one thinks must be said. Even if it offends or insults
the subject of one’s thought.
 When we talk
about blasphemy, we must also talk about censorship: force or the threat of
force against the practitioners of blasphemy. Government censorship is the
direct application of force; threats of censorship through murder and terrorism
are what Islam is good at. Islamic censorship can be codified in the laws of an
Islamic country; in non-Islamic countries with a purported separation of church
and state (or of synagogue and state, or of mosque and state, or of Wiccan
temple and state, what have you), Islamic allegations of blasphemy against
Mohammad and/or Islam, can result in self-censorship. It achieves censorship
without having to resort to government force to still the minds and pens and
even Hollywood productions of expressions of one’s estimates of Islam and its
icons.
A government becomes a criminal when it
criminalizes free speech. Criminals, i.e., terrorists, without the intervention
of the state criminalize free speech with murder and terrorism, can resort to
direct force, or to intimidation, or the threat of force to inculcate
self-censorship.
The best species of censorship – if it can be
called that – is simply to not look at or watch whatever it is that strikes one
as blasphemy. For example, I’d never wish to or be tempted to watch a new TV
series, HBO’s “Girls,” which, as Clash Daily, reported, without going into
graphic detail, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian
Williams reflected
on his daughter’s scene involving simulated anal sex.
This is not so much an instance of blasphemy as it is a repellant form of “entertainment”
which I’m not really interested in auditing (not even in a critical essay).
Random House, Yale University
and other publishers
and publications
have implicitly become Sharia-compliant,  offering the ostensible, lame excuse that they
will not imperil their employees’ lives by publishing a book, novel, or image
that may offend Muslims and provoke an act of terror.  
However, the excuse is not so “lame.” No company
can function qua enterprise by becoming a fortress to deter or repel terrorists
bent on killing the “blasphemers” and causing material destruction. Businesses
are not in the business of erecting redoubts and parapets to repel armies of
barbarians.
That is the business of government. It is the task
of government to protect one’s freedom of speech or expression. It alone has
the resources and the mandate to fight jihadist censorship with retaliatory
force.
But our government doesn’t wish to protect freedom
of speech. This includes our judicial system.
To censor the expression of one’s thoughts is to
suffocate one’s mind. But that is what Islam, which forbids questioning its
tenets on pain of death, is all about. It not only forbids Muslims freedom of
thought and speech, but is working tirelessly to forbid it in all non-Muslims. Islam
is totalitarian, root, trunk , branch, and even twig.
The huggy-bear moment of the Paris
Je Suis Charlie march
on January 11th was a nauseous thing to behold,
because there wasn’t a single “world leader” in it who wouldn’t impose
censorship – soft or hard – at the drop of a Mohammad cartoon.   
President Barack Obama, who did not march with the
millions that day, has promised to put pressure on American journalists to shy
away from offending Muslims, jihadists, and Islam, lest Muslims go on another
shooting spree. A search of his executive powers does not turn up such an
option.
Not that such limitations have ever stopped our Islam-friendly,
de facto Caliph-in-Chief.
The
Daily Caller
revealed January 13th article, “White House: Will Fight Media
to Stop Anti-Jihad Articles,” that Obama will be pro-active in squashing blasphemous
“hate speech” in the mainstream and alternative media. HIs press secretary, without
dithering and without a single blush, claimed that:
President
Barack Obama has a moral responsibility to push back on the nation’s journalism
community when it is planning to publish anti-jihadi articles that might cause
a jihadi attack against the nation’s defense forces, the White House’s press
secretary said Jan. 12.
“The
president … will not now be shy about expressing a view or taking the steps
that are necessary to try to advocate for the safety and security of our men
and women in uniform” whenever journalists’ work may provoke jihadist attacks,
spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters at the White House’s daily briefing.
The
unprecedented reversal of Americans’ civil-military relations, and of the
president’s duty to protect the First Amendment, was pushed by Earnest as he
tried to excuse the administration’s opposition in 2012 to the publication of
anti-jihadi cartoons by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Dancing between defending freedom of expression and
wanting to stuff a sock in journalists’ mouths with the agility of a pro
tennis-player, Earnest added:
Throughout
the press conference, Earnest repeatedly said the media would be able to decide
on its own whether to publish pictures, articles or facts that could prompt
another murderous jihad attack by Muslim against journalists. But he did not
say that his government has a constitutional and moral duty to use the nation’s
huge military to protect journalists from armed jihadis, but instead hinted
strongly that journalists should submit to jihadi threats.
That’s the “practical” course of action. After all,
one shouldn’t expect our government to propose destroying state sponsors of
terrorism. That would be “Islamophobic” to the max, right? But, you read it
here: Obama wants to “fight” anti-jihad columnists, not jihad itself.
In the meantime, while the West refuses to declare
war on Islam, Islam has declared war on the West. British imam Anjem Choudary opined,
in a Breitbart column on January 14th, ”Radical
Imam Anjem Choudary Calls Charlie Hebdo Front Page ‘Act Of War
’” on the
occasion of the publication of the new post-massacre Charlie Hebdo front-page cartoon,
that the:
… latest front cover was “blatant
provocation” and claimed insulting Islam and Muslims is “part of the war that
is taking place”. He went on to demand that Western societies be “sensible and
sensitive to the emotions and the feelings of the Muslims”, and accused
governments of refusing to “nip it in the bud”.
His comments came as Charlie Hebdo announced
they had sold out of their first million copies of the post-attack edition.
This had been widely expected and the publishers had made provision to print a
total of three million copies, using the printing press at Le Monde. The
further two million copies are now being printed.
Choudary wants Western governments to impose the equivalent
of “campus speech codes” on the Western media, whatever its form: journalism,
books, images, the audio-visual media, and even on gestures. If I happened to
be on the campus of Duke University, heard the adhan (the Muslim call to prayers) being broadcast and stuck my
fingers in my ears, could that be interpreted as “insulting” Islam, or defined
as “hate speech”? Very likely, in today’s climate of thought-aborting political
correctness – and of submission to an ideology inimical to Western civilization.
Blasphemy, urges Diane West, may be our salvation,
not our death knell. It could lead to letting the wind out of political
correctness, as well. There was a time when everyone drew Mohammad. Let’s
everyone now take part in a “Blaspheme Mohammad Day.”

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1 Comment

  1. madmax

    Diana West is one of the best Conservative writers out there. There is no Objectivist who is her equal. [However, I should add that as good as she is, Larry Auster was an order of magnitude better despite his pro-Christianity. West used to correspond with Auster frequently at his blog and she is influenced by him, although she probably couldn't admit to it as it might jeopardize her job.] She has been showing the evil of Islam and the ways in which the West (especially America) has capitulated to it in military matters for over a decade now.

    But that being said, West has a blind spot of sorts. She constantly says that the Muslims are pushing for Sharia in Western lands. OK, true. But who is going to make that a possibility? Only the Left has such power. And it is they that are in the process of enforcing Sharia. Not Muslims. The great evil is modern liberalism. Islam is not the fundamental problem here. If we did not live in a liberal society, we could easily expel Muslims and prohibit Islam. Problem solved.

    And as always its sad to say but its not just the Left. Libertarians, Objectivists and mainstream Conservatives are ALL cowards on the Islam issue. All of them are just talking in terms of "freedom of speech". But that is NOT the fundamental issue. You can't have the freedom of speech so long as Muslims live amongst you. The problem is Islam and the presence of Muslims in Western lands. All Muslims.

    But all I see from Objectivists is this "freedom of association" argument that you can't deport Muslims because that is anti-liberty. I could cry when I read suicidal definitions of liberty like that. As I keep saying, it is only the Nationalists and pro-White reactionaries on the Right that are stepping up and opposing Islam. And everyone is against them. Even Conservatives.

    IMO, there is no way to avoid the White / European vs Brown / Muslim war which is a certainty once Muslims numbers hit insanely high numbers later this century. It will part religious war and part racial war. There is no way to avoid race here as Islam is largely a non-white phenomenon.

    Who is going to defend Europe then? Libertarians? Randians? No. Only the European nationalists. You will need an army of Charles Martels to save Europe from Muslim savagery when the shit hits the fan. And no mainstream figure admits this. Why? Because racism. Depressing.

    But it is a joy to see the moral courage of a Diana West. She has more of it than any public O'ist that's for sure.

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