5 New Assaults on Freedom of Speech Around the World
Freedom of speech is under all manner of attack these days, and the assault upon it made significant advances last week.
Americans should take note. Barack Obama’s notorious post-Benghazi declaration that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam” is essentially a call for the U.S. to censor itself and voluntarily restrict our freedom of speech so as not to say anything that offends Muslims.
To go down this road would be the end of the U.S. as a free society. Restriction of the freedom of speech creates a protected class (whichever group cannot be criticized), thereby destroying the principle of equality of rights for all people before the law, and paves the way for tyranny by making it possible to criminalize dissent.
Islamic organizations, led by the 57-government Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have for years been trying to intimidate the West into criminalizing criticism of Islam, so as to render us mute and defenseless in the face of the advancing jihad. They are trying to force the free West to accept Islamic restrictions on speech that is considered “blasphemous,” under the guise of “hate speech” laws. Consequently, the Muslim countries that are enforcing blasphemy laws with increasing frequency and openness are illustrating what could be in store for the West if Obama and the OIC get their wishes.
Here are five of last week’s assaults on the freedom of speech worldwide:
5. Pakistan: Bollywood actress gets 26 years for blasphemy
Bollywood star Veena Malik, a Pakistani citizen, and her husband were sentenced last Tuesday to twenty-six years in prison for “blasphemy,” for the crime of dancing together on a television show as an Islamic religious song was being sung. Malik nonetheless maintains a touching, if fantastically misplaced, confidence in her country’s justice system: “It’s a shock to me but I have complete faith in Pakistan’s higher courts and judiciary.… This court works separately from the other courts in Pakistan. There are higher courts in Pakistan such as the Supreme Court.”
Veena Malik is higher-profile than Asia Bibi, a Christian woman awaiting execution on blasphemy charges, and other victims of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. Maybe this will finally lead to an international outcry sufficient to get them repealed. But it probably won’t: that would be “Islamophobic.”