September 14, 2012

JAMES TARANTO: Shariah vs. The Constitution: The Muslim Brotherhood Sets Up An Irreconcilable Conflict.

The Obama administration has repeatedly denounced the video that riled up the rioters in Egypt and elsewhere. But those condemnations, which we quoted yesterday, rather miss the point. The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, in its infamous apology statement, deplored “efforts . . . to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the video “inflammatory” and suggested its message is counter to “America’s commitment to religious tolerance.” Obama rejected “America’s commitment to religious tolerance.”

But although the video may indeed be insensitive, inflammatory, intolerant and insulting, that’s not why the rioters are rioting. They are rioting because in their view it is blasphemous, and therefore forbidden under Shariah. And although the Muslim Brotherhood has cannily adopted the rhetoric of wounded feelings, it is calling for the criminalization of blasphemy world-wide. . . . One suspects that, like the Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran in 1979-80, Morsi and the Brotherhood have been emboldened by the U.S. administration’s apparent weakness. It’s fine for U.S. officials to denounce the video–and Mrs. Clinton today did so in even stronger terms, calling it “disgusting and reprehensible” and saying that “the United States government had absolutely nothing to do with this video.”

But such declarations, on their own, will not appease the mob. They only fuel the expectation that the U.S. prosecute the video’s makers, a demand to which officials cannot yield but seem afraid to answer with a clear “no.” . . . The president takes an oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” In this most solemn duty, Obama is, at best, leading from behind.

Under a Reynolds Administration, such demands will be met with the Napier Response. “Let us all act according to our national customs.” #Reynolds2016.

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