U.S. embassy in Cairo apologizes for “abuse of free speech” after protesters tear down American flag

posted at 5:21 pm on September 11, 2012 by Allahpundit

A show of strength from Salafists on 9/11 to remind Americans who’s winning these days in the Middle East. The newsworthy part isn’t the protest — we already know what a mob can do to an embassy in Cairo — but the reaction from the embassy. When this tweet started circulating a few hours ago, I thought it might be a parody account. Afraid not. The official statement from the embassy website:

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

The money word there, of course, is “abuse.” If speech is illegitimate because it offends religious sensibilities, then we’re on the doorstep of yelling “blasphemy.” In practical effect, that’s what the embassy is pushing: There’s not a syllable wasted here on condemning the cretins who climbed the embassy walls and tore down the flag — on 9/11. The denunciation is reserved for the blasphemers, who in this case turn out to be Egyptian expats who made an amateur film about Mohammed that’s presumably being used by Islamist demagogues over there to whip up the crowd. Every now and then, the Organization of the Islamic Conference pushes a blasphemy resolution at the UN designed to carve out international exceptions to free speech laws for insults to religion, i.e. Islam. The statement from the embassy is precisely the mentality they’re trying to cultivate. All that’s missing is a call for criminal penalties, but that’s less important to the anti-blasphemy bloc than western officials groveling to their sensibilities. Mission accomplished.

Do note, this isn’t the only criticism of Islam that’s been suppressed today due to fears of violence. In the UK, a private screening of a new documentary on the subject was canceled due to threats. I wonder if The One will get so much as a single question about this, and what he’ll say in defense of the embassy’s reaction. The last time we went through the now familiar “insult to Islam inspires international incident” cycle, he begged Terry Jones publicly not to burn the Koran because doing so would endanger U.S. troops. That was clever insofar as it’s hard to resist an appeal to patriotism from the C-in-C but it has the same problem as the embassy statement — namely, placing the moral onus on the speaker not to speak rather than on the violent nut not to be nutty and violent. Is O going to phone the Egyptian expats and ask them to take up another hobby besides filmmaking? Curious to see how far this logic extends.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

There should have been a pile of dead bodies just inside the embassy compound wall. And, given the presence of AF and Navy airpower in the region, within hours there should have been air patrols over the compound, dropping sdb’s if the acts of war continued (since we don’t do napalm any more). If they are being overwhelmed, they should retreat to a safe room, and an entire regiment of Marines should enter the picture to rescue them – laying waste as neccessary to get in and out. Once we pull all the way out, let the bas****s get back into the compound, then carpet bomb it from 30,000 feet.

Sorry, if that all seems a little over-wrought, but I get a burr under my saddle about acts of war on US embassies. Have had one ever since 1979 or so.

GWB on September 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Even in defeat and murder of Americans both Shillary and Obamawon give a veiled praise of our enemies! Remember the forty-five minute firefight waged by Bin Laden before his death? Total BULL by the seal who killed him! Today the brave Muslims defended the embassy and the brave honorable Muslims are still our friends! Can’t let a little murder come between us and our peace loving brothers!! Gag!! The United States may not survive four more months of these idiots!!

Marco on September 12, 2012 at 11:32 AM

It’s shocking and unprecedented that diplomats would attemt to diffuse a volatile situation by disavowing the actions of provacateurs. They should have said” Come and eat hot lead you camel humping rag-head idolators”. This would have made everyone feel better

plewis on September 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Mike Barnicle: Maybe Terry Jones should be prosecuted for these Islamist attacks

The film was not made by Terry Jones. The little-known film was produced by Israeli-American Sam Bacile. It is allegedly backed by a handful of ultraconservative Egyptian Christians and Florida Pastor Terry Jones.

Resist We Much on September 12, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Hillary cackles!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgcd1ghag5Y

Marco on September 12, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Maybe Mike Barnicle should go do something impossible to himself.

FineasFinn on September 12, 2012 at 2:36 PM

by analyzing history, it clear that biblical interpretation and practice has changed radically.

as such, as a non believer, your claims of a peaceful and tolerant biblical law are only to be believed as a CURRENT practice.

nathor on September 12, 2012 at 5:02 AM

Yet you completely ignore the historical evidence that refutes your “analysis” of historical Christianity, particularly the fact that 1st through 3rd century Christians (and beyond, but why bother with more for anyone so benighted?), all were opposed to capital punishment of any kind for any crime, here:

de rigueur on September 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM

And you have yet to cite a Christian text from any period of history that advocates capital punishment for blasphemy. The fact is, although many Christians have come to embrace capital punishment for various crimes, current Christian interpretation and practice concerning punishment for blasphemy is completely consistent with the Christian position throughout history. Your assertions are completely ahistorical. That is to say, pure ignorance.

de rigueur on September 12, 2012 at 2:43 PM

It’s shocking and unprecedented that diplomats would attemt to diffuse a volatile situation by disavowing the actions of provacateurs. They should have said” Come and eat hot lead you camel humping rag-head idolators”. This would have made everyone feel better

plewis on September 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM

:) Ironically, that probably would have made everybody feel better, since a fight is exactly what the Muslims were looking for, hence why they invented some pretext to be offended on 9/11 when YouTube has had plenty of unflattering depictions of Mohammed and Islam on-line for months and years.

What I was disappointed about is that no diplomat in this or any similar situation said something along the lines of:

“This is a good opportunity for Muslims to show the world that theirs is a religion of peace.”

This would have been another way to attempt to diffuse a volatile situation and, I think, a much better way. What they actually said seemed inflammatory to me, though I don’t doubt it was well intentioned.

YiZhangZhe on September 12, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5