Exciting ideas at the UN: A global ban on insults of Muhammad?

The events of the past couple of weeks have been deeply troubling, to say the least — and not merely because of the violent attacks and riots in the Middle East themselves, but also because of the ease with which administration officials have rushed to throw our cherished belief in the universality of the First Amendment under the oncoming bus of radical Islam.

Islamic leaders trying to pass international resolutions to limit freedom of speech when it comes to religion is nothing new, and we’ve already seen this type of proposal gain some traction through the venue of the United Nations’ moral laxity, but in light of the Obama administration’s recently-showcased willingness to give an inch, I’m worried that calls like these are only going to gain momentum. Via the Washington Times:

As the U.N. General Assembly convenes this week in New York, several leaders of mostly Muslim nations are suggesting that the world body consider sanctions on blasphemy, amid widespread protests against an amateur movie that denigrates Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will focus at least part of his remarks on the film when he addresses the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday.

“I am the prime minister of a nation, of which most are Muslims, that has declared anti-Semitism a crime against humanity. But the West hasn’t recognized Islamophobia as a crime against humanity. It has encouraged it,” Mr. Erdogan told reporters last week.

Turkey heads the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a body of 57 nations, which has long pushed for a U.N. resolution condemning the “defamation of religion.”

No. Private individuals using their own time and resources to verbally abuse a religion is not a crime against humanity, as silly or hateful as it may be — hurting and killing people because of their religious beliefs is a crime against humanity. There is no room for backing down on this point; the slope is far too slippery. As Frank Gaffney wrote in his column yesterday:

What this latest campaign of deceit by Team Obama is meant to obscure is its own national security malpractice, namely a dogged refusal to face the reality that America is at war with an enemy that it has been unwilling to name, has failed to counter and is actually emboldening. Such behavior has signaled to jihadists seeking to impose on the rest of us the totalitarian ideology they call Shariah that acts of violence — or even threats of violence — against us will be met with accommodations and concessions whenever the stated justification is outrage over some perceived insult to Islam. …

The course of this trajectory is utterly predictable: more violence, followed by more demands for more self-imposed restrictions on free speech, which are justified as necessitated by the national security. This pattern, in turn, translates into a rising perception of our submission to the Islamists’ demands, which encourages another cycle of jihadism, and on and on. What started as the U.S. government’s refusal to understand or even name the enemy for fear of causing offense may soon metastasize into a cowed submission to Shariah — all in the name of “keeping the peace,” of course.