Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Islam, U.S. Free Speech, & No Room For Concessions

For years, the "Islamic" governments of OIC have been pushing through the UN a declaration that criticism of Islam should be outlawed by all nations as defamation. Even leaving aside issues of free speech, the only proper response to such a request from the U.S. should have been a one-finger salute - both for the good of the U.S. and for the good of every Muslim in this world. Yet it turns out today that the Hildabeast is in a three day closed door session with the OIC to discuss the issue. This from the Daily Beast:

The more realistic explanation for the three-day event, Lafferty said, is that administration officials, progressives and OIC officials are tacitly cooperating to gradually stigmatize speech that is critical of Islam.

Lafferty pointed to a July statement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in which she said that free speech will be protected, but the U.S. government will “use some old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming, so that people don’t feel that they have the support to do what we abhor.”

Clinton’s statement was issued at Istanbul, where the United States and the OIC launched the joint project to combat “religious intolerance.”

I've previously written at length why the OIC's efforts should be rejected out of hand, not merely for defense of the West, but for the good of Islam itself. As I wrote over four years ago:

The reason we face the problem of radical Islam today is that, in its entire history, Islam has seen no Renaissance, no Reformation, no Period of Enlightenment. These titanic events in Western history led to the development of secular values that came out of, but were separate from, the Judeo-Christian religion that birthed them. And these events gradually took religion from the sphere of a government imposition and moved it into the realm of the individual and local community.

The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Enlightenment were each developed through the process of critical thought - the questioning and challenging of religious ideals and dogma. It was this critical thought that allowed the West to seperate the wheat -- the belief in God and universal concepts of moral behavior -- from the chaff of religion – dogma that restricted development in all aspects of society: political, artistic, scientific, philosophical. Thus, today do our universities turn out the finest scientists, the finest writers, the finest mathematicians and astronomers, while the universities in Saudi Arabia primarily turn out Wahhabi clerics. And it is why the West leads the world in science and the arts while the morals police in Saudi Arabia hunt down sorcerers and the Saudi courts apply Wahhabi Sharia law to order the flogging of victims of gang rape.

There are seeds from which a Muslim Enlightenment could yet occur. They would require criticism and debate to take root. Yet these seeds are under mortal threat today from the growth of Wahhabi / Salafi Islam. . . .

Ultimately, in the world of ideas, it is only through questioning and critical reasoning that advancements occur. To put an Islamic face on that, it is only through the embrace of ijtihad and the concepts of Islam discussed earlier that there is any chance that Islam will finally see a great historical change to moderate and modernize from Wahhab’s vision of 7th century Islam into a form of Islam that can coexist with the rest of the world in the 21st century. And Western society has an obligation not to be coerced into silence, but to openly criticize what we find dangerous and wrong in Islam. If our voice is cowed, how can we expect the voice of would be moderates in the world of Islam to stand up - and withstand the inevitable Wahhabi onslaught to their existence. The cost to humanity and the world if Islam does not have its Reformation and Enlightenment will almost assuredly be apocalyptic. . . .

You can find the entire essay here. If you are not aware of the history of Islam and why any restriction of free speech rights would practically doom the West, do please take the time to read it.