September 07, 2010

More On The Quran Burning Controversy

I’ve already spoken on this issue once, noting that this little church has the clear right to make its point by burning the Quran. I’ve even been somewhat supportive of their doing so, on the same basis that I supported Draw Muhammad Day. I think it is important to stand firm and exercise one’s rights in the face of Islamic extremist threats, and to refuse to back down simply because the more savage members of the Religion of Peace are likely to engage in non-peaceful behavior in response.

What’s more, I’m concerned by the reports that General David Petraeus has made this statement.

The U.S. commander in Afghanistan on Monday criticized a Florida church's plan to burn copies of the Quran on September 11, warning the demonstration "could cause significant problems" for American troops overseas.

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in
Afghanistan," Gen. David Petraeus said in a statement issued Monday.”

Why am I uncomfortable with this statement? Because I am concerned with the notion that our military commanders (and, equally, our civilian leaders) would seek to preempt our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion by condemning certain exercises of those rights as harmful to the war effort (or some other significant public policy). Indeed, in this case the statement lends itself to accusations of disloyalty on the part of a group of citizens who have exercised those rights, and borders on accusing them of treason if they do exercise their constitutionally protected freedoms.

I’ve surfed the web these past couple days and seen many writers and commenters – some on the right and many on the left – becoming nearly hysterical as a result of Petraeus’ words. When you boil them all down to their essence, you come up with something on the order of the confrontational words of CNN anchorette Kiran Chetry during an interview with the pastor of this tiny congregation.

I just want to ask you this: does it bother you that the military and the military leaders believe that by doing this, you are very likely putting the risk- the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk in Muslim countries? David Petraeus, the general- this is what he said: 'Their actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of young men and women who are serving in uniform over here, and also undermine the very mission that they're trying to accomplish.' Are you willing to have the blood of soldiers on your hands by this demonstration?

There you have it – exercising one’s constitutional rights in the face of Islamic outrage makes you guilty of the blood of the victims of Islamofascism. And coming from a member of the liberal media (and the liberal blogosphere), it is truly outrageous. After all, since 9/11 we’ve seen a host of news stories and blog posts that undermine the war effort, serve as intelligence sources for the enemy, and provide propaganda for al Qaeda and the Taliban. Any suggestion by government officials that such reporting or commentating should cease in the name of protecting the troops or supporting the war effort would have been greeted with cries of “censorship” and “creeping fascism”, and denials that the speakers and the writers bore any guilt for the lives lost because of the terrorist response to their words. Indeed, the New York Times and Washington Post, among others, ignored private entreaties to refrain from reporting information that was infinitely more harmful to the war effort than a tiny congregation and their pastor burning the Quran will ever be – and those efforts were rewarded with Pulitzer Prizes and book deals, not the opprobrium of “blood on your hands”

Indeed, the very notion that Americans should refrain from speaking because their words might make Muslims mad has become a recurrent theme. We heard the same sort of rhetoric this past spring over Draw Muhammad Day. We’ve heard it again from politicians who support the Ground Zero Mosque as they seek to silence the supermajority of Americans who oppose the location. Now we hear it from those opposed disrespect for the Muslim holy book – “Shut up! You’ll piss off the Muslims and hurt the war effort!”

That sort of reaction disturbs me much more than burning the Quran does – despite my rather light-hearted support for burning the Quran in that earlier post, I do find the decision to do so to be somewhat disturbing – because it makes effectively makes the sharia-stoked sensitivities of Muslims the measuring stick of how far the First Amendment rights of America go. What next ? Official condemnation of anti-Islamist bloggers? Government press releases urging that books not be published or sold because their contents are offensive to Islam? Government censure over the content of church sermons that contradict articles of the Muslim faith? Maybe not – but I can’t help but feel that the words of a general I highly respect and the reaction of the former First Amendment absolutists of the media and what used to be the “dissent is patriotic” Left is but the first step down the path towards de facto imposition of sharia-based limitations on the American freedoms. And if that happens, then the terrorists really have won, no matter what happens on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq.

UPDATE: The Obama White House, where they argue passionately for the right of Muslims to build the Ground Zero Mosque as an undisputed exercise of American rights under the First Amendment and argue opposition to building it is consequently un-American has now turned around and declared that it is un-American to burn a Quran EVEN THOUGH there is an indisputable First Amendment right to do so. Interesting, isn't it, how the Obama Regime believes that anything that is offensive to Muslims (especially those who hate us and want to kill us anyway) is "un-American" and that whatever Muslims do, say, or believe is to be regarded as the height of patriotism. I guess that Barack Obama believes that tolerance for the thoughts and beliefs we disagree with is a one-way street, and not required of Muslims. It therefore seems to be official that "dissent against Islam is unpatriotic".

UPDATE II: For the record, the folks at Dove World Outreach are pretty scummy individuals -- but as has often been the case, it is in defending the rights of scummy individuals that our own rights are protected from encroachment. They've aligned themselves with the Phelps Phamily Phreaks of the Westboro Baptist Cult -- but just as I defend the right of WBC to speak in ways that offend patriotic Americans, I defend the right of DWO to speak in a manner that offends America's enemies.

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Comments on More On The Quran Burning Controversy

I refuse to condemn Petreaus for speaking what is likely the truth. Widespread videos circulating of Americans burning the Koran will make his job tougher. Petreaus is responsible for American lives there, He has as much of a right to speak up about people who are endangering these soldiers, as the people do to burn Korans. We can be angry at the Islamoterrorist, but does a Public burning of it accomplish anything? Should we not speak up against burning of the American flag? Telling people they shouldn't isn't the same as telling them they can't.

|| Posted by Liberty, September 7, 2010 06:49 PM ||

Petraeus wasn't ordering people not to burn Qurans, but rather, making it clear why the idea is not sound. I agree with him. I don't think stooping to sacrilege helps anyone or proves anyone's defiance to religious fascism.

|| Posted by Coco Q Rico, September 7, 2010 07:17 PM ||

Liberty -- declaring them disloyal, or responsible for the deaths of US soldiers if they exercise their right to criticize the ideology of the enemy certainly treads a line.

Remember -- people were rewarded for disclosing secret programs and classified documents that without question DID harm the war effort during the Bush years. They were hailed as heroes and champions of American freedom. Now criticizing, mocking and insulting Muslims or Islam is un-American, bordering on treasonous? I don't think so -- and I mistrust any military or civilian leader who attempts to make that case.

To reemphasize my point from above -- during the Bush years, dissent against the government was the highest form of patriotism. Today, under the reign of Barrack Hussein Obama, it appears that dissent against Islam is to be deemed as just short of treason. I find that dichotomy to be more than a little disturbing.

|| Posted by Rhymes With Right, September 7, 2010 07:27 PM ||

hell, you dont have to go back to the bush years, that treasonuos private gave info to the eurotrash wikilinks and libs are holding vigils trying to say he's a patriot.

some of what he disseminated either has allready gotten someone killed or could.

thats real.

the fact that no one in POWER wants to address is that muslims dont really need an excuse to murder. they gladly do it with or without provacation.

and I find the irony unbelievable.

I feel like im the only one who sees it.

all through modern history in america flags have been desacrated as a form of free speech.

religious symbols have been desacrated in the name of art and free speech.

allways the desacration, the attack, has been pointed inward at our culture, our nation.

and we have been told to shut up. its free speech, its as patriotic as apple pie becuase its the ultimate expression of how awsome our system is that people are allowed to do it.

google it. do a search, you will find not one example of a liberal politician saying its unamerican to do it. the best you will do is some one saying its in poor taste.

but suddenly a foreign got that? foreign religion and system of belief which is 4 square in conflict with our way of life and of dubious intent and honesty in which it relates to nonbeleivers and has a history of killing thousands of us in the most gruesome mannor is under protest with a silly book burning and suddenly its unamerican? suddenly its dangerous?

what happened to islam as one of the worlds great religions? as stated by the state department today? a great religion, of peace (hahahah) is threatened by a po dunk strip mall evangelical church bying copies of the koran and then burning thier own money?

and suddenly free speech is unamerican?

dont get me wrong I dont like the idea of burning books, reminds me of germany circa 39, regardless of if that analogy comes close but in the botom line I recall hating seranos piss christ becuase im a christian and a catholic but I didnt want the government involved.

I thought hippies who burned the flag should be spurned and shunned as terrible people but not jailed.

so I think im pretty consistant in saying I think they are foolish to burn the koran but im troubled by gov. officials trying to make it unamerican.

and anyone who thinks im apolegetic for islam needs to visit my blog. I am a commited anti jihaddi exposing islams dangerousness and duplicity when I see it for 10 years now.

|| Posted by rumcrook¾, September 7, 2010 08:10 PM ||

You are 100% correct. So is the general. So are those who speak out against the mosque. So are those who speak out against those who speak out against the mosque. So is the pastor who wants to burn the koran. You are all using your constitutional rights to speak out on something. You are even have the right to say that someone else cannot speak. You would be wrong of course but it is your right to be wrong and say it as often as you like. Isn't freedom great???

|| Posted by GoneWithTheWind, September 7, 2010 09:46 PM ||

I didn't know the Dove group was associated with the Phelps crazies. That says a lot.

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