Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt had condemned insults to religion, saying in a statement that “we firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”
A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member, said that the United States should do a better job of protecting Islam.
“It isn’t a matter of freedom of speech,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Gozlan said. “It’s a matter of a holy Islamic symbol.” (“U.S. ambassador to Libya, 3 other Americans killed in Benghazi”).
Like the ancient Latin expression, “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi,” (“the law of praying is the law of believing”), the law of diplomatic pronouncements is the law of a nation’s true beliefs in foreign relations.
That is what makes the first statement issued by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, in the wake of an invasion by Islamists, so disgraceful.
By early Wednesday morning the Obama administration had issued a curative statement that will more than likely undo most of the political damage that the president so richly deserves from this. I’m afraid the events came too quickly for the significant facts to make any impression on the stiff wax encasing the brains of America’s Undecided Voters. It remains to be seen if the Romney campaign will exploit this effectively from here on out.
Make no mistake that Romney was absolutely within his rights to criticize President Obama over this. For God’s sake, the whole country is within its rights to expect him to do so: who else is better placed at this moment to take on the incumbent president; this entire set of events directly reflects Obama’s dangerous incompetence in foreign policy. The Cairo Embassy’s groveling denunciations of Americans who dare “to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” is only the latest in a long line of similar statements from this administration, starting with Obama’s Apology-Tour Kickoff speech to Islam in Cairo in 2009. It was there that Obama redefined his Constitutional role “as President of the United States” to include fighting “against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Coming when it did, this had to be sweet music to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), which has been pushing an anti-blasphemy resolution since 1999:
The OIC’s anti-defamation effort was inspired by Ayatollah Khomeini’s infamous 1989 fatwa, directing “all zealous Muslims to execute quickly” the British author Salman Rushdie and others involved with his book TheSatanic Verses. While not explicitly embracing vigilantism, the Saudi Arabia–based OIC, an organization of 56 member states, quickly endorsed Khomeini’s novel principle: that Western law should be subject to Muslim measures against apostasy and blasphemy. (“An Anti-Blasphemy Measure Laid to Rest”).
Tuesday, when a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (which controls the government of Egypt) commented on these events, he dismissed the silly infidel notion that “freedom of speech” is playing any role in the controversy: “’It isn’t a matter of freedom of speech,’” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Gozlan said. “It’s a matter of a holy Islamic symbol.’”
That’s why the Morsi government can lecture us “that the United States should do a better job of protecting Islam.” And, you may ask, where does Morsi get the gall to tell America it’s got a job to do protecting Islam?
Just remember that Obama traveled to Cairo in 2009 expressly to announce to the Ummah: “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
Our Islamist enemies would dearly love to manipulate American foreign policy to include a ban on criticism of Islam. According to one source, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, in commenting on Tuesday’s attack on the U.S. Embassy, “said that he had spoken with US President Barack Obama and told him that it was necessary to put in place ‘legal measures which will discourage those seeking to damage relations... between the Egyptian and American people.’”
If you want to know what Morsi, Egypt’s Brotherhood head of state, means by “those seeking to damage relations,” here’s how it’s explained in the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood companion statement on Thursday. “[Because] hurting the feelings of one and a half billion Muslims cannot be tolerated, and the people’s anger and fury for their Faith is invariably predictable, often unstoppable,” all assaults on “the sanctities of all heavenly religions” must be “criminalized”:
Otherwise, such acts will continue to cause devout Muslims across the world to suspect and even loathe the West, especially the USA, for allowing their citizens to violate the sanctity of what they hold dear and holy. Hence, we demand that all those involved in such crimes be urgently brought to trial.
In other words, this was our fault for allowing some of our citizens to produce a film insulting to Islam.
From the Brotherhood’s point of view, subjection of Western people to Shariah is a given. It’s only a matter of explaining it to us. And their job is made that much easier when so many non-Muslim Americans have volunteered to make explaining it to the rest of us their mission. Take, for instance, how the U.S. Embassy in Cairo explained to us yesterday that “to hurt the religious beliefs of others” is “to abuse the universal right of free speech.”
Even though the OIC anti-blasphemy resolution failed last year, the Ikhwan is as determined as ever to achieve the same end by other means. And the enthusiasm the Obama administration has shown for this initiative in the past is all the more reason for the Ikhwan to think America is only a few shoves away from adopting the same kinds of hate-speech laws as those already gagging Westerners in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.
The apology of the Embassy to a mob of invaders reveals the hollow and misguided “lex credendi” of President Barack Obama. As Mitt Romney correctly pointed out, “the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
The response from the Obama campaign and the media launched against Romney for “jumping the gun” means nothing outside the arena of domestic election politics. But you can be certain that the Islamist puppeteers in the Middle East have gotten a good look at Romney, and they aren’t going to think he’ll be so easy to push around.