There is a lot happening now. Remember Rahm Emanuel’s observation, made in the midst of the economic meltdown of 2008-2009, that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste”? What he meant was that a crisis makes people anxious and vulnerable and that it is easier in periods of crisis to exploit that vulnerability and push through initiatives to enlarge government. Which is why in periods of crisis one should, if one is prudent, exercise double diligence about acting hastily. As the British politician and journalist Daniel Hannan recently observed in his book The New Road to Serfdom, “most disastrous policies have been introduced at times of emergency.” There seem to be many leaders — beginning, alas, with the president of the United States — who would have us scrap the First Amendment in order to cater to wounded Muslim sensibilities. Andy McCarthy gets it exactly right in “Obama vs. the First Amendment,” his column for NRO today. Reflecting on our Cairo embassy’s statement about “misguided individuals,” he argues that Mitt Romney was right: the statement was “a disgrace.”
It elevated over the U.S. Constitution (you know, the thing Obama took an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend”) the claimed right of sharia supremacists (you know, “Religion of Peace” adherents) to riot over nonsense. Further, it dignified the ludicrous pretext that an obscure, moronic 14-minute video was the actual reason for the oncoming jihad.
And here’s the kicker:
[N]o matter how determined the president’s media shysters are to cover it up: The disgraceful embassy statement was a completely accurate articulation of longstanding Obama policy.
Andy then gives us a little history lesson:
In 2009, the Obama State Department ceremoniously joined with Muslim governments to propose a United Nations resolution that, as legal commentator Stuart Taylor observed, was “all-too-friendly to censoring speech that some religions and races find offensive.” Titled “Freedom of Opinion and Expression” — a name only an Alinskyite or a Muslim Brotherhood tactician could love — the resolution was the latest salvo in a years-long campaign by the 57-government Organization of the Islamic Conference (now renamed the “Organization of Islamic Cooperation”). The OIC’s explicit goal is to coerce the West into adopting sharia, particularly its “defamation” standards.
When I was in Tampa covering the Republican National Convention a couple weeks ago, I ran into an Arab-American lady in line for the free coffee Google was dispensing. She was a lawyer, a conservative of some description, and her business in life was to champion the Arab Spring and assure that those of us who worry about the imposition of Sharia are crazy ideologues. Arab leaders “can’t understand” why some American conservatives are up in arms about Sharia, she told me. “It’s just their religious law,” as if that settled everything.
If only. As Andy observes,
Sharia severely penalizes any insult to Islam or its prophet, no matter how slight. Death is a common punishment. And although navel-gazing apologists blubber about how “moderate Islamist” governments will surely ameliorate enforcement of this monstrous law, the world well knows that the “Muslim street” usually takes matters into its own hands — with encouragement from their influential sheikhs and imams.
We can see what that means today in Cairo, in Tunisia, in Yemen, in the Sudan — heck, we can see in in London, where angry Muslims burn the American flag outside our embassy or in Texas, where an university had to be evacuated yesterday because of a terrorist threat.