There's a war on free speech -- and radical Islam is winning

This is for two reasons. One reason is that people are afraid of becoming the next victims of radical Muslims. The other reason is that Muslim pressure groups have been effective at portraying adherents of the religion as a uniquely marginalized group. But this is not supported statistically.

In 2013, 60 percent of religious hate crimes were motivated by anti-Jewish bias, according to FBI data, compared with less than 14 percent that were motivated by anti-Islamic violence. This discrepancy cannot be explained by the demographic makeup of the U.S., as Jews represent only about twice as much of the population. Yet there’s much less hypersensitivity about anti-Semitism.

On his show’s “Talking Points Commentary,” O’Reilly framed the controversy as one about whether organizers did “a foolish or a noble thing.” But that’s a false dichotomy. One doesn’t have to honor the organizers as noble heroes to think the content of the event is irrelevant. The important part of the story is that people were targeted with violence in America for exercising free expression.

If the takeaway from this incident — even among those who depend on free expression for their livelihood — is that people shouldn’t offend radical Muslims, than the radicals have succeeded in undermining American values by creating a chilling effect on free speech.