Shortly after the U.S. Constitution was written, it immediately became clear that a Bill of Rights was needed. First and foremost was the guarantee to freedom of speech. Now, some Islamic groups within the United States want to see that changed and have a law established which prohibits insulting someone's religion. Can you imagine?
As reported by Todd Starnes at Fox Radio, "Islamic leaders in Missouri and New Jersey are calling for lawmakers to limit free speech after an anti-Muslim film sparked outrage across the world."
First of all, I would dispute the fact that an anti-Muslim film sparked "outrage across the world." Most people in Egypt and Libya (where American installations were attacked) have not even seen it. But more importantly, just because someone becomes offended is no reason to outlaw free speech.
The Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City has launched a petition calling on Congress to "establish a law against insulting one's religion."
"We understand the First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights and, as such, prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, etc., but when the allowance of "free" speech incites violence it should be banned," read a statement from the Islamic Society.
While condemning the violence that was originally blamed on the film, the Muslim group said it would "be in everyone's interest to ban such actions from reoccurring."
This is unreal. I am all for stopping tax-payer funding of so-called "art" pieces which blast Christianity at every turn, but if some private citizen wants to make a sculpture or painting mocking Jesus, that's his or her business. Will I be offended? Yes. And that's my business. But if we make such action illegal, we go against the very fiber of America.
The petition at the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City goes on to state that "when freedom of speech results in defaming and insulting others and provokes the killing of innocent people, it should be outlawed."
The violence that has taken place as a result of this film is very alarming. As Muslims, violence of any sort is prohibited in our religion. Those people who are carrying out these acts cannot possibly call themselves devout Muslims as they are acting out of pure rage and not out of religious duties. We condemn the violence and feel that, in spite of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, action may be necessary to pass such a bill or, at least, censure such actions in order to calm the current situation as well as prevent future re-occurrences.
This passage does get one thing right. The violence IS very alarming. So let's focus on the violence and not the film. To do so otherwise is misguided and ridiculous.
Imagine this encounter:
* Person 1 -- You are stupid.
* Person 2 -- What?!?! YOU are stupid.
* Person 1 -- Your mom is stupid, and she's ugly too.
* Person 2 -- I KNOW you just didn't say that. (Punches Person 1)
* Person 1 -- (Stabs Person 2)
* Person 2 -- (Shoots Person 1)
So... do we make it illegal to shoot someone and focus on the violence, or do we make it illegal to talk about someone's mom, because it LED to the violence? The answer is easy.
This is America. You may be offended by what someone says or does or paints or writes. But they have a right to do it. Banning free speech brings about the total end to America as we know it. I can't believe this subject is even being proposed.