Green Room

PBS NewsHour Omits Obama’s Support for Blasphemy Law

posted at 1:18 am on September 27, 2012 by

Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill

During the September 25 broadcast of the PBS Newshour, anchor Gwen Ifill invited Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haas and former U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns to discuss President Barack Obama’s foreign policy and his recent address to the UN. Reporter Judy Woodruff also had a segment on the president speech. Yet none of the segments dealing with the address mentioned the fact that the Obama administration has expressed support for anti-blasphemy measures that are completely incongruous with the freedom of speech as protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Woodruff’s segment featured President Obama addressing the UN saying:

The attacks of last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They’re also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded.

If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis, because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes that we hold in common.

[…]

Given the power of faith in our lives and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression.

It is more speech, the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

That doesn’t sound like a policy aimed at supporting “more speech” in our civil discourse.  You’ll recall that the Los Angeles Times reported on September 13 that the Obama administration had flagged the trailer for “Innocence of Islam” and reported it to YouTube to see if it violated the Terms of Service agreement on the site. As the Times noted, that complaint was filed on September 11, before it was known that Amb. Stevens and three other Americans had been murdered by violent extremists with ties to al Qaeda.

And as John Hayward of Human Events wrote on September 14:

This is not an entirely new development.  The Heritage Foundation recalls that ‘As recently as December 19, 2011, the U.S. voted for and was instrumental in passing ‘U.N. Resolution 16/18’ against ‘religious intolerance,’ ‘condemning the stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of people based on their religion.’ While this may sound innocuous, it was the latest incarnation of a highly controversial ‘anti-blasphemy’ resolution that has been pushed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the United Nations since 1999.”

Patrick Goodenough of our sister organization CNS News wrote back in December of 2011, that “the resolution, an initiative of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is based on one passed by the U.N.’s Human Rights Council in Geneva last spring [of 2011]. The State Department last week hosted a meeting to discuss ways of ‘implementing’ it.”  After all, “U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 was negotiated between the Obama Administration and Egypt, a prominent member of the Saudi-championed Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).”

Obama’s critics on this front are not just conservatives. Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley wrote back in October of 2009 in USA Today that:

around the world, free speech is being sacrificed on the altar of religion. Whether defined as hate speech, discrimination or simple blasphemy, governments are declaring unlimited free speech as the enemy of freedom of religion. This growing movement has reached the United Nations, where religiously conservative countries received a boost in their campaign to pass an international blasphemy law. It came from the most unlikely of places: the United States.

Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute also wrote on September 13 that:

the…administration was earlier criticized by legal scholars for effectively endorsing anti-blasphemy legislation. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh and George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin lamented the Administration’s support for proposals at the United Nations to restrict ‘hate speech’ against Islam and other religions.

At his inauguration, like all his predecessors, President Obama swore to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution of the United States, including the First Amendment. Actions of his administration that undercut that protection deserve to be covered thoroughly by the media, especially taxpayer-subsidized media like PBS.

Originally posted on Newsbusters.

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So, once again we are the last to hear about exactly what Obama and the UN have in mind for OUR free speech rights.

We only have to look to our North and understand the Blasphemy laws our Canadians neighbours have enacted.

This IS a biased law, as you come to grips with what it means, it means no one will have the free speech ability to say anything specifically against Islam, does anyone for one second believe that ANY muslim country will abide by ANY form of a blasphemy law? NO!

Everywhere we look, on TV in Theaters in the news on posters, every variant of Christian faith is BLASPHEMED daily, do we as christians become violent against those who blaspheme our faith and beliefs? NO!

This is a totally skewed and one-sided law for the benefit of Islam primarily.

Believers in Islam will continue to harrass and blaspheme and destroy other peoples beliefs…

We only have to look back and know and understand what these Islamists are willing to do and destroy all in the name of Mohammed…

We would have no recourse against this law.

We would become defenseless, we would be forced underground and we would continue to be persecuted by these Islamists until we ALL believe as they do.

This scenario will not play out fairly.

There would be only one winner, Islam.

It is time to sit up and pay attention and not allow this to happen here.

Multiculturism and Blasphemy laws DO NOT WORK!

I encourage people to read about Geert Wilders and his fight in the Netherlands… it is a compelling story, and it isn’t over yet.

I highy recommend going to J i h a d Watch for daily news about what the Islamic world is all about from everywhere in the world.

They have followed extensively the Geert Wilders story.

People, if this

‘U.N. Resolution 16/18’ against ‘religious intolerance,’ ‘condemning the stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of people based on their religion.’

is allowed to progress past this point, I doubt it would ever be turned back.

Proposals at the United Nations to restrict ‘hate speech’ against Islam and other religions will end up being a law preventing anyone from saying anything against Islam, any other religion WILL NOT enjoy such protection under the law.

Look around, has the enactment of this law by the UN STOPPED Islamic nations from persecuting people of other faiths?

Look at the muslims themselves, they even kill each other because someone is Sunni and the other is Shi’a and neither believe the other fully believes in Mohammed and the Koran.

Further investigation into how this will ultimately affect us needs to be conducted. How fast could this become a law here and take away our rights?

I am appalled by this.

It is time to make it stop!

Scrumpy on September 27, 2012 at 9:21 AM

Thank you Matt, you are fast becoming a wonderful addition here at HA in the Green Room!

Scrumpy on September 27, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Far and away, the chief persecutor of others for their religious convictions. or even their purported failings in the faith, is Islam. Yet, the resolutions all are directed at those who oppose and expose Islam for what it really is.

As for Obama, two things are plain: One, he is violating his pledge in the Oath of Office “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” (granted that pledge is qualified by the phrase “to the best of my ability”, but that is really no excuse). When you take a world stage to announce that our First Amendment may be negotiable, you are not preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution, you are putting our precious God-given freedoms up for sale to achieve craven political ends.

And second, following from that, Obama is not capable of defending the U.S. from our enemies. Indeed, by all signs he wants them to succeed against us. He could not even muster a semblance of a pretense of anger against those who sacked our embassy in Benghazi and tortured, raped and murdered Ambassador Stevens.

This man has violated his Oath of Office and deserves impeachment. And with his capitulation in response to an act of war against our country he may well have committed treason. I know these charges get tossed around all too lightly, but … I hold these truths to be self-evident.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on September 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

This man has violated his Oath of Office and deserves impeachment. And with his capitulation in response to an act of war against our country he may well have committed treason. I know these charges get tossed around all too lightly, but … I hold these truths to be self-evident.

UnrepentantCurmudgeon on September 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I absolutely 100% agree he needs to be impeached, but who in the GOP has the balls to do it? Oh wait, the senate has to implement that… hmmmmmmmmm, who controls the senate?

Not gonna happen, can he be impeached after he is kicked out of office? My inquiring mind wants to know…

We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.
-Thomas Jefferson

Scrumpy on September 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

One more nail…..

KMC1 on September 27, 2012 at 4:03 PM

At his inauguration, like all his predecessors, President Obama swore to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution of the United States, including the First Amendment. Actions of his administration that undercut that protection deserve to be covered thoroughly by the media, especially taxpayer-subsidized media like PBS.

Christ on a cracker!!

Does anybody who has an opinion on the subject honestly think that Obama ever had any intention of following the constitution? Really?!

Not gonna happen, can he be impeached after he is kicked out of office? My inquiring mind wants to know…

Scrumpy on September 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Since the constitution specifies that the only remedy for impeachment is removal from office, I’d say the answer is NO. But don’t worry. Impeachment does not prevent future criminal prosecution, and I’m sure Obama won’t have to worry about that, either.

gryphon202 on September 28, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Quoted from Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech:

So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/04/us/politics/04obama.text.html?pagewanted=all

He won’t fight negative stereotypes of conservatives or the Tea Party, but it is his “responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Hmmmm

in_awe on September 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM