Provocation isn’t the highest form of free speech

posted at 4:30 pm on May 16, 2010 by J.E. Dyer

It isn’t even necessarily the most extreme.  Extreme, like provocative, is in the eye of the beholder.  But one thing the video of the attack on Lars Vilks in Sweden makes clear is that being shocking and offensive isn’t something one’s fellow men will line up to defend with their lives and sacred honor.

There’s no question the Vilks film being aired in the video clip is provocative.  I have no trouble seeing why Muslims would find it offensive.  Of course they shouldn’t get away with shutting down the film by turning into a pack of baying hyenas.  But neither should we be surprised that this particular manifestation of free speech got no vigorous defense from the crowd.

As Allahpundit points out, most of the crowd is excruciatingly passive as the Muslims keep the Donnybrook expanding by the minute.  It actually comes off like something from a Monty Python short to me:  if you focus on the obviously Swedish Swedes in the front row during the whole event, their disengagement becomes downright hilarious.

But why would we expect anything different?  For a long time now – at least three to four decades – the Western-modernist justification for free speech has been that we aren’t supposed to care about anything so much that we want to shut down either opposition, disrespect, or subversion.  We aren’t supposed to have any absolutes that motivate us to effective defense at the point of confrontation.

When confrontation does erupt, it’s very often over subversive or provocative expression:  images or words juxtaposed deliberately to shock or incite.  The thing about this form of expression is that people instinctively know there is nothing noble about it.  It isn’t intended to improve, instruct, ennoble, or empower.  It doesn’t make the heart or mind feel clean, positive, compassionate, generous, or hopeful.  Humans aren’t wired to be courageous and self-sacrificing in defending their right to be either its authors or its witnesses.  Our most likely responses are uncomfortable laughter, cynicism, and a sense of mental unsavoriness.  If the American Revolution had been about the right to depict George III as a pederast surrounded by his catamites – well, it couldn’t have been, is the point.  No one would have fought for that.

Provocative speech gets, rather, a free ride on the forms of expression it is worth fighting for.  The freedom to not believe in Mohammed as God’s prophet is at the top of that list.  That freedom covers everyone on earth – Christians, Jews, atheists, Buddhists, Confucianists, Baha’is, animists – who does not accept the dictates of Islam.  The freedom to not have another’s conception of God forced on us – to not be forced to do obeisance or pay a penalty – is a freedom worth fighting for.  So is the freedom, in the realms of philosophy and science, to differ with tradition, majority views, and “consensus.”  The freedom of women to participate fully in public life, on a footing of equality as human beings, is worth fighting for.  The freedom of people of different races and religious and ethnic backgrounds to do the same is worth fighting for.

I don’t know what the Swedes attending the Vilks presentation would have been willing to fight back over, but it doesn’t surprise me that no one cared to make a provocative video juxtaposing Mohammed with gay images his casus belli.  We need to have this very clear in our Western minds as our troubled world lurches forward.  The right to offend others is something that gets a pass because of the good that comes from the better, higher, more important right to make our own philosophical decisions.  The right to be deliberately offensive is a parasite, not a first principle.

Defending freedom of speech and thought is more likely to occur if Muslims challenge what really matters to us.  I’m as concerned as others that it might not occur even then, but I don’t view the Vilks video as a true test of Western mettle.  There have been truer tests in recent years, as when French politicians take care to obtain permission before entering majority Muslim areas of large cities, and the British parliament and courts knuckle under to de facto shari’a rule in parts of England herself.  Canada’s law(s) against anyone ever having to be offended by anything said by anyone – presumably excluding white males of European descent, who can be offended at will – are certainly an example of a failed test, if the fact that Mark Steyn’s comments on Islamism have run afoul of them is anything to go by.

So there is certainly reason to be concerned.  But the fact that people sat passively while howling Muslims shut down a showing of the Vilks video isn’t an indictment of the West’s moral courage.  Provocative videos with subversive sexual overtones – expressions that some people know will offend and incite others – are not the definition of what is “Western.”  They are merely what we tolerate, as the detritus – and yes, I mean the detritus; there is nothing high or noble about lampooning someone else’s religion – of the worthwhile, worth-defending attributes that do define us.

Cross-posted at The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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Comment pages: 1 2

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Not everything has to do with laws and the Constitution.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Not everything has to do with laws and the Constitution.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Of course not, but if Conservatives loose sight of their original principles in favor of softer, less well-founded principles, then we’re truly lost.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 7:26 PM

J.E. Dyer, thank you for this post. I think it presents another angle in this whole debate that has not often been discussed or analyzed. Cheers.

GrammarPolice on May 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Of course not, but if Conservatives loose sight of their original principles in favor of softer, less well-founded principles, then we’re truly lost.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 7:26 PM

My point is that liberals are the ones that seems to obsess about law and policy. Conservatives tend to recognize there are authorities outside the realm of governance.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM

I’m not quite sure what the possible defense of the Muslim Protesters is… They have a right to be upset, therefore, they have a right to interrupt a discussion…??? (violence aside)

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM

But the fact that people sat passively while howling Muslims shut down a showing of the Vilks video isn’t an indictment of the West’s moral courage.

Maybe not the entire West…but actually this whole article/post/whatever is incorrect. This incident isn’t about defending free speech or whether people should or shouldn’t stand up for provacative insulting speech/images. It’s about people standing by and doing nothing when anyone gets assaulted. End of story.

Deanna on May 16, 2010 at 7:31 PM

…..I find it morally wrong to spit on other’s beliefs.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I find it morally necessary to spit on a belief system that subjugates women and beheads apostates.

hillbillyjim on May 16, 2010 at 7:31 PM

My point is that liberals are the ones that seems to obsess about law and policy.

Really? That must be why they respect the Constitution so much…

Conservatives tend to recognize there are authorities outside the realm of governance.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Yes, often. That is what often inspires their laws. If anything, Conservatives seem to respect the rule of law the most… They don’t bastardize the law with their injection of personal desires… or at least the good ones don’t.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 7:34 PM

As conservatives shouldn’t we recognize there are other issues outside law and taxpayer money.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Doesn’t everything in politics have at least something to do with law and taxpayer money. I can’t think of any political issue that has absolutely no relation to law and taxpayer money.

nomorespin on May 16, 2010 at 7:51 PM

Doesn’t everything in politics have at least something to do with law and taxpayer money. I can’t think of any political issue that has absolutely no relation to law and taxpayer money.

nomorespin on May 16, 2010 at 7:51 PM

This has more than just politics, especially when we are talking about religious beliefs.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM

As conservatives shouldn’t we recognize there are other issues outside law and taxpayer money. I am not talking about law or taxpayer money…..I find it morally wrong to spit on other’s beliefs.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Who is this “we” you speak of? ‘Cause I know I’m conservative and if your posts here are indicative of your views in general, then I’m pretty sure “we”are not in the same group.

WaltzingMtilda on May 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Why were the Muslims there in the first place? Did they really expect that a presentation by a guy who named his female guard dog “Muhammed” wouldn’t be offensive to them? Unless I’m missing something, it seems that their whole purpose in showing up was to disrupt the event with violence if necessary. Yes, it was provocative, but their very presence indicates they were looking to be provoked.

NukeRidingCowboy on May 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Death to all who disagree with me!

Get a net.

profitsbeard on May 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

This has more than just politics, especially when we are talking about religious beliefs.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM

But we’re talking about Freedom of Speech as well, so welcome back, Politics.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Why were the Muslims there in the first place?

NukeRidingCowboy on May 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

And that is the question. I could understand if they had a peaceful demonstration OUTSIDE or perhaps waited for the Q&A to have at most a heated DEBATE. Nope. Didn’t happen.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM

This has more than just politics, especially when we are talking about religious beliefs.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM

This has nothing to do with religion. People can offend you and your beliefs, and you can be offended. They do not have the right to assault you and you do not have the right to assault them just because you’re offended. And it is also morally wrong to stand by and watch someone be assaulted.

Deanna on May 16, 2010 at 8:05 PM

It is the principle of free speech, not the speech itself, that is what one fights for. The Europeans have learned how not to stand up for principle. Pray that we never do.

Splunge on May 16, 2010 at 8:10 PM

People can offend you and your beliefs, and you can be offended. They do not have the right to assault you and you do not have the right to assault them just because you’re offended.

Agreed. Never said any different.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 8:10 PM

The Europeans have learned how not to stand up for principle. Pray that we never do.

Splunge on May 16, 2010 at 8:10 PM

*praying*

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:11 PM

This has nothing to do with religion. People can offend you and your beliefs, and you can be offended. They do not have the right to assault you and you do not have the right to assault them just because you’re offended. And it is also morally wrong to stand by and watch someone be assaulted.

Deanna on May 16, 2010 at 8:05 PM

On the contrary, it has everything to do with religion. Islam, as a religion, demands that its adherents kill those that offend Islam. They believe that if they kill those that offend Islam that they will be rewarded with heavenly bliss.

This has very little to do with offending personal sensibilities. It is about fulfilling religious obligations.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:19 PM

I find it morally wrong to spit on other’s beliefs.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 7:15 PM

I find it morally necessary to spit on a belief system that subjugates women and beheads apostates.

hillbillyjim on May 16, 2010 at 7:31 PM

And therein lies the dispute. One of you understands that Islam is uniquely awful. The other thinks Islam is basically the same as Christianity.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Agreed. Never said any different.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 8:10 PM

But you do ignore the people who did nothing while watching an assault. And that is what this is about, not the tolerance or intolerance of religion and/or criticism. We know that some people will be crude and insulting. We know that some people may be physically abusive. But to allow either of those things to happen and say or do nothing is the real crfime.

Deanna on May 16, 2010 at 8:23 PM

And therein lies the dispute. One of you understands that Islam is uniquely awful. The other thinks Islam is basically the same as Christianity.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:22 PM

I’m a devout Christian…..I would NEVER say Islam is the same as Christianity. It’s not.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 8:24 PM

BTW, what’s a Swedish Swede?

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:26 PM

BTW, what’s a Swedish Swede?

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:26 PM

President of the Tautology Club?

ClassicalMusicNerd on May 16, 2010 at 8:30 PM

President of the Tautology Club?

ClassicalMusicNerd on May 16, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Heh… yeah, that’s what I was thinking… or someone was trying to refer to the really pale skinned Swedes without describing skin color…

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Heh… yeah, that’s what I was thinking… or someone was trying to refer to the really pale skinned Swedes without describing skin color…

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:32 PM

Funny, she doesn’t look Islamic!

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:48 PM

And therein lies the dispute. One of you understands that Islam is uniquely awful. The other thinks Islam is basically the same as Christianity.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:22 PM

I’m a devout Christian…..I would NEVER say Islam is the same as Christianity. It’s not.

terryannonline on May 16, 2010 at 8:24 PM

So you do understand that Islam is uniquely awful among world religions!

No, we wouldn’t want to say anything offensive about anyone else’s religion, because Jesus said that would be morally wrong, right? Even if that religion calls for the killing of cartoonists, right?

Or, no, wait, they’re morally equal, just different? Neither one is “better” than the other, right?

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:51 PM

Heh… yeah, that’s what I was thinking… or someone was trying to refer to the really pale skinned Swedes without describing skin color…

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:32 PM

I’m looking forward to Dyer’s discussion of the American Americans.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM

I’m looking forward to Dyer’s discussion of the American Americans.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 8:54 PM

*snort*

Channel Whoopi “rape-rape” Goldberg.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Eh, what in the hell is this drivel and how did it find its way onto HotAir’s front page? It doesn’t, at all, sound like someone who has bothered to do much research into the long-standing war of ideas between the West and Jihadism. The fact of the matter is that this lack of respect for freedom of speech expressed by Muslims is the next “pandemic”, if you will. It’s going on all over Europe and it’s coming to a city near you soon. Trying to understand why they are upset is almost as “provocative” as moral equivocation. Dyer, you just don’t get it. The only solution for this garbage is to offend early, often, and blatantly. I guess we’re long past the early part, though.

You cannot concern yourself with the sensitivities of a religion that has not yet gone through an ‘enlightenment’ of sorts. If I may, an analogy:

My namesake, Mark Levin, was speaking about the unConstitutional filibuster of judicial nominees this week on the radio. He said that the filibuster absolutely must be used against the democrats; to begin manning the barricades, so to speak. Why would a man who was against judicial filibusters during the last administration suddently support it now? Because he’s a hypocrite, you say? No, because as he asserted, the only way to get rid of it is to use it against those that forgot to note the two-way street that is politics.

As an Agnostic that grew up Catholic, I don’t take particularly kind to the seemingly one-sided, ongoing disrespect and siege of “comedy” material with regards to Christianity. For all intents and purposes, I’d say it’s unnecessarily provocative. I’d also think, however, that disrespect and comedy aimed at scurrilous, rabid atheists in the vein of Bill Maher is an untapped market and due for its introduction into the mainstream.

The problem is, with regard to Islam, Jesus was not a savage meant to be emulated by a billion adoring worshippers the world over; 10% of which are thought to be radicalized. The lack of assimilation and the coddling in the name of multiculturalism, diversity, etc. has only intensified the issue. There are parts of Sweden where emergency services refuse to go without a police escort in fear of being pelted with rocks by an unruly mob and it has nothing to do with Lars Vilks or Danish newspapers.

This “reflection” about why a sane religious person might not like the tables of disrespect being turned on them need not apply here. It’s not the same. You need not look further than any run-of-the-mill Muslim demonstration; where posters proclaiming ‘Behead those who insult Islam’ are quickly becoming the Che t-shirt equivalent.

Again, Islam without an enlightenment and/or honest reflection on who/what their prophet truly was and which of his actions they may not want to emulate is a ticking time-bomb for the West. In its current form, it’s pretty much incompatible with our legal system(s). Even if you don’t want to offend 90% to overwhelm the “sensibilities” of 10%, it’s extremely short-sighted to try and rationalize this sort of thing away and pretend that mutual respect will be a two-way street.

‘To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last – but eat you he will.’ -Ronald Reagan

If you have a better solution than relentless provocation, I would sure love to hear why it’s more dignified. I know that I’d surely rather die on my feet than live on my knees. And if you find my “us vs. them” tone to sound a bit borish, it’s okay. I wasn’t expecting you to have my back in the first place.

Levinite on May 16, 2010 at 9:06 PM

If someone were to blaspheme Christ in front of me I may not like it, but I don’t get to beat the hell out of the offender without suffering legal consequences, and rightly so.

Either you believe in free speech or you don’t.

hillbillyjim on May 16, 2010 at 6:41 PM

The Christ in urine comes to mind. I simply can’t comprehend how terryannonline pretends to be, or is an aspiring reporter.

Schadenfreude on May 16, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Imagine there’s no Islam
It’s hard but you can try
No suicide hijackers coming down at us
Above us only sky
Imagine all those people
Still alive today…

Imagine there’s no Islamic countries
It’s hard but you can try
No Mohammad for them to kill or die for
And no Imams too
Imagine all the Christians, Jews and Infidels
Living life without them…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday all dhimmis will join us
And the non-Islamic world will be as one

Imagine no Burkhas and no stonings
I wonder if you can
No need for Medina or Meca
A brotherhood of non-Islamic woman and man
Imagine all the people
Living without Sharia…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday all dhimmis will join us
And the non-Islamic world will be as one

MB4 on May 16, 2010 at 9:22 PM

This post site is idiotic and childish.
mjk on May 16, 2010 at 5:02 PM

All hail the total destruction of The United States of America…may Allah and Ed cherish the whores they have become!

All Hail the Messiah!

dmann on May 16, 2010 at 9:23 PM

Beware the Allahwock, my valant one!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Mohmoh bird, and shun
The frumious sirasnatch!

Colonel West took his vorpal sword in hand
Long time the Korxome foe he sought
So rested he by an old oak tree
And stood awhile in thought

And as in thought he stood
The Allahwock’s Mohmoh bird seeking the west to put to sword and flame
Came whiffling through the tugly wood
And burbled something about cartoons as it came!

One, two!
Red, White and Blue!
The Colonel’s vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left the Allahwock’s Mohmoh bird dead, and with its head
He went gallantphing back

And will thou also slay the Allahwock?
Call me to arms, my beamish knight!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
With you leading we will win this epic fight!

Cheshire Cat on May 16, 2010 at 9:31 PM

This has nothing to do with religion. People can offend you and your beliefs, and you can be offended. They do not have the right to assault you and you do not have the right to assault them just because you’re offended. And it is also morally wrong to stand by and watch someone be assaulted.

Deanna on May 16, 2010 at 8:05 PM

I agree.

As a Mormon, we have “Christian” preachers who come to the headquarters of the Mormon church during the semi-annual world wide Church meeting called General Conference.

During one of these Church meetings, these Christian preachers will do offensive stuff such as drag a Book of Mormon on the ground and is begging for a fight.

The Mormons simply walk on by and ignore the street preacher. That’s their response to offensive speech.

I would love to see this street preacher drag a Koran in front of a Mosque in Mecca. I don’t think he’ll get the same reaction as he does from the Mormons.

The irony is that as much seeing a man drag scriptures on the ground makes my blood boil and that I want to commit an act of violence towards him, I will defend that scumbag in his right to offend me because he’s exercising his right to speech.

However, if that preacher started to use violence against Mormons, he’ll lose my support. And if Mormons attacked him simply because he’s dragging a Book of Mormon on the ground, they’d lose my support too.

Joseph Smith makes an interesting quote:

The Saints can testify whether I am willing to lay down my life for my brethren. If it has been demonstrated that I have been willing to die for a ‘Mormon,’ I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any other denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.

“It is a love of liberty which inspires my soul—civil and religious liberty to the whole of the human race. Love of liberty was diffused into my soul by my grandfathers while they dandled me on their knees. …

“If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.”

Source.

Conservative Samizdat on May 16, 2010 at 9:58 PM

BTW, what’s a Swedish Swede?

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Citizens of Sweden who are also ethnically Swedish. Not a difficult concept.

ThanksMo on May 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Citizens of Sweden who are also ethnically Swedish. Not a difficult concept.

ThanksMo on May 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Figured that out all by yourself, did ya?

Congratulations, Einstein.

hillbillyjim on May 16, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Citizens of Sweden who are also ethnically Swedish. Not a difficult concept.

ThanksMo on May 16, 2010 at 10:06 PM

Yeah… strange how that works… What are the others? Non-Swedish Swedes?

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 10:14 PM

The Mormons simply walk on by and ignore the street preacher. That’s their response to offensive speech.

Conservative Samizdat on May 16, 2010 at 9:58 PM

I’m unaware of the religious obligation for Mormons to kill those that offend the LDS.

Oh, wait! That’s because that’s not part of your religion!

Islam does not call for Muslims to exercise restraint in such situations. In fact they are specifically commanded to kill the offender.

This debate has everything to do with religion.

I know this is hard to understand, but believe it: It is a Muslim’s obligation to kill those that offend Islam.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Maybe Nordic Swedes? Or Swedish Nordics? IDK…

I’m waiting for European Europeans and maybe even Caucasian Europeans…

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM

I’m waiting for European Europeans and maybe even Caucasian Europeans…

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 10:22 PM

It gets really confusing since the Caucasus is quite Islamic.

The fact is, Dyer’s post is full of ignorance. Someone should explain to him that “race” or “ethnicity” is not religion.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 10:37 PM

*-@:{(>

Seven Percent Solution on May 16, 2010 at 10:38 PM

It gets really confusing since the Caucasus is quite Islamic.

The fact is, Dyer’s post is full of ignorance. Someone should explain to him that “race” or “ethnicity” is not religion.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 10:37 PM

:D

Look, I don’t know Dryer and haven’t really read a lot of Dryer’s pieces, but it does seem like someone is tiptoeing around some issues in an attempt to sound “reasonable” or “moderate.” That’s an impression and not exactly a fact.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 10:53 PM

There is nothing high or noble about lampooning someone else’s religion

Let’s play a game. We’re gonna make up our own brand new religion.

It’s called Malsi. It’s a very interesting religion. You should join! Part of it is to kill those who don’t share our new religion. Also, if anyone makes fun of Malsi, you need to kill them; this will get you into heaven. If anyone draws a picture of the creator of Malsi (even a flattering one) you need to kill the creator.

Now, Dyer, is it not “noble” to lampoon Malsi?

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 11:09 PM

I don’t know what the point of this post is. I see Hot Air is on the downslide though, if not for Doc Zero, it would be a total loss. I would blame Townhall, but it was already in decline before they came along. This and the Jazz Shaw piece are just garbage.

There is no justification for what these Muslims did, they should have been shouted down by others in the room. Or, perhaps they should stop emigrating to nations whose values they don’t share.

echosyst on May 16, 2010 at 11:12 PM

Truth is hate speech when it comes to islam.

Army Brat on May 16, 2010 at 11:21 PM

Truth is hate speech when it comes to islam.

Army Brat on May 16, 2010 at 11:21 PM

And illegal migrant workers and proponents of Affirmative Action… yeah, hate speech is quite convenient for those on the left…

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 11:42 PM

Truth is hate speech when it comes to islam.

Army Brat on May 16, 2010 at 11:21 PM

And illegal migrant workers and proponents of Afrmtve Action… yeah, hate speech is quite convenient for those on the left…

Sorry if this is a re-post but the filters didn’t like something.

MeatHeadinCA on May 16, 2010 at 11:43 PM

I’m unaware of the religious obligation for Mormons to kill those that offend the LDS.

Oh, wait! That’s because that’s not part of your religion!

Islam does not call for Muslims to exercise restraint in such situations. In fact they are specifically commanded to kill the offender.

This debate has everything to do with religion.

I know this is hard to understand, but believe it: It is a Muslim’s obligation to kill those that offend Islam.

July 10 on May 16, 2010 at 10:20 PM

Don’t get me wrong. I agree with you.

Its one thing to offend and be offended.

Its quite another to use violence either as a sword or shield in the name of religion.

That’s where people draw the line and there are many within the Islamic faith that have no problems crossing that line.

Conservative Samizdat on May 17, 2010 at 12:42 AM

Its one thing to offend and be offended.

Its quite another to use violence either as a sword or shield in the name of religion.

That’s where people draw the line and there are many within the Islamic faith that have no problems crossing that line.

Conservative Samizdat on May 17, 2010 at 12:42 AM

But see, it’s not that they are “using violence in the name of religion.” The religion is violence.

They are not simply lashing out due to their own personal feelings being hurt. They are actually upholding their religious obligations by killing cartoonists.

The religion specifically calls for violence against those who insult Islam.

We used religion for violence, they use violence for religion.
BL@CKBIRD on May 9, 2010 at 9:13 PM

It’s a subtle, but important distinction.

July 10 on May 17, 2010 at 1:07 AM

‘So there is certainly reason to be concerned. But the fact that people sat passively while howling Muslims shut down a showing of the Vilks video isn’t an indictment of the West’s moral courage. Provocative videos with subversive sexual overtones – expressions that some people know will offend and incite others – are not the definition of what is “Western.”’

Islam’s prophet as well as being a mass murderer, at the age of 50 fancied a ~six~ year old girl and then the dirty old man married her. Any decent film critical of Islam is going to expose Mohammad’s sexual deviancy. I personally have no difficulty with ridiculing notoriously irrational, destructive, and authoritarian ideas and people while basking in the moral rightness of it. I’m hoping, maybe in vein, that the people here who are not called “J.E. Dyer” think the same way in that they know enough not to allow tyranny to scent more power i.e., that it is making new inroads into people’s hearts and minds. Not via willing acceptance, and especially not through fear and intimidation. Ridiculing people who have an authoritarian World view has the effect of diminishing them, their ideas, and the sense that they have any power over you. Be a moral individual — ridicule Islam. Remember, too, that May 20 is Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.

FierceGuppy on May 17, 2010 at 2:19 AM

MB4 on May 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM

MB4 on May 16, 2010 at 7:03 PM

*appplause* You’re on a roll!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on May 17, 2010 at 2:20 AM

Why were the Muslims there in the first place? Did they really expect that a presentation by a guy who named his female guard dog “Muhammed” wouldn’t be offensive to them? Unless I’m missing something, it seems that their whole purpose in showing up was to disrupt the event with violence if necessary. Yes, it was provocative, but their very presence indicates they were looking to be provoked.

NukeRidingCowboy on May 16, 2010 at 7:58 PM

I agree. This was clearly a calculated decision by the angry Muslims. Bottom line here is that when people show you WHAT they are - BELIEVE THEM.

redwhiteblue on May 17, 2010 at 2:47 AM

there is nothing high or noble about lampooning someone else’s religion

The point of provocative speech like this is to clear the way for non-provacative critiques of religion, not more provocative critiques. It generates pushback, which gets people rallying for free speech.

Mark Jaquith on May 17, 2010 at 3:05 AM

Great piece and

The freedom to not have another’s conception of God forced on us

Is something some of…us need to think about more often. Not to compare, obviously, but social issues are driven, objectively, by religious conviction and the belief everyone should live by those morals.

jjraines on May 17, 2010 at 3:10 AM

Here’s my goal: Taunt the Islamopaths until their little Pedophile-Prophet follower minds explode. That way, they can drool out of both sides of their mouths. Aisha’s revenge.

trl on May 17, 2010 at 4:16 AM

The Swedes pampered Hitler and will do the same with Islam. Same old, same old. Get the popcorn as their pussy culture gets eaten alive by Islam.

Hening on May 17, 2010 at 7:44 AM

Islam is a cult, not a religion. A world-wide can of RAID needs to be opened up on this farce.

Alden Pyle on May 17, 2010 at 8:05 AM

to have at most a heated DEBATE

No debate. Muslims, Liberals, and two-year old children don’t want debate. They want their way when and how they want it. Denying it to them is wrong because it’s “unfair”.

oldleprechaun on May 17, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Popular speech doesn’t require protection. That is the very basis of they tyranny of Political Correctness.

DANEgerus on May 17, 2010 at 2:51 PM

DANEgerus on May 17, 2010 at 2:51 PM

You hit the nail on the head. This piece is dreck, scum, and dangerous.

I’m going to read some Pamela Geller just to get the stench of this piece of shinola out of the room.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on May 17, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Recall when abuses of the flag and Bible used to incite this kind of rabid behavior and now, while it causes controversy, it is of a less violent kind(most of the time). Sooner or later these incidents will get beyond the control of militant Muslims too even if the root cause might be that the sheer numbers of them will be too great. Either way, the Muslim world had better face the probabilty of change on this front…just a matter of time.

jeanie on May 17, 2010 at 4:36 PM

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