Islamists trample free speech: the murders in Libya
Initial thoughts on Libya: The monstrous attack on the U.S. Embassy in Libya must be seen as a consequence of longstanding U.S. appeasement of Islamists seeking to enforce their dogma and eviscerate the principle of free speech.
This pattern stretches back to the meek U.S. response in the furor over Danish cartoons of Mohammad, and farther back to scandals like our limp condemnation of the death-sentence fatwa on author Salman Rushdie. Now, the furor involves YouTube clips of a short film about Muslims and Mohammad. In all such cases, where are the impassioned responses we need from our political leaders, upholding the inalienable right of Americans to freedom of speech—and specifically, the right to criticize and even ridicule ideologies and religions of every stripe?
Our muted response in each successive crisis has only emboldened the Islamists to demand that we kneel in obedience to their dogma. By appeasing Islamist demands to stamp out free speech, we disarm ourselves. We surrender the right to express our ideas and—crucially today—to criticize an increasingly belligerent movement hostile to our lives and liberty. The deadly rampages during the Mohammad Cartoon crisis—not to mention the murders of “blasphemers” and other critics (remember Theo Van Gogh)—demonstrate the necessity of protecting the freedom to denounce the barbaric actions and viewpoints of Islamists. To give up that right is to surrender all other freedoms on the installment plan.
Every capitulation by the West reaffirms our submission to Muslim precepts, and the renunciation of our own values. And that encourages additional threats—of mob violence, beheadings, and rocket attacks on a U.S. Embassy—to make us subordinate our liberty to Islamic religious dogma.
The tragic death of American diplomats in Libya underscores the cost, in human lives, of failing to uphold the principle of free speech. We must uphold our right to free speech as sacrosanct. Only by curing the policy failures that have dogged us for decades can we proactively prevent such attacks in the future, rather than simply responding after blood has been shed.