Mona Eltahawy Still Has No Clue How the First Amendment Works

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


Mona Eltahawy recently became an American citizen. Maybe that accounts for her inability to process the First Amendment. But it’s not that simple. Reading her latest Al-Guardian rant is like an excursion into the mind of a literate but completely immature 5-year-old. Her only real theme is, “But I wanna. And I’m right!”

For those just joining us on the #Savages bus and subway tour, Mona Eltahawy vandalized a pro-Israel ad run by Pamela Geller of Atlas Shrugs. Except according to her, she wasn’t attacking free speech but expressing her own free speech. It’s kind of how a three-year-old thinks that drawing on a wall with crayons is artistic expression. Adults are supposed to be smarter than that. Mona Eltahawy isn’t.

I wanted to use my profile as a commentator to test “protected speech”: if hate speech is protected, is my protest at it also protected? And if not, why not?

Because putting up an ad legally is free speech. Vandalizing an ad isn’t.

Is Mona Eltahawy genuinely this stupid? Is this something we need to start adding to citizenship tests for people from the Muslim world?

Does she honestly not understand the difference between a letter to the newspaper and scribbling all over someone else’s newspaper? They’re both protests, but one is legal and protected, while the other is an attack on someone else’s property and is not legal.

I broke the law, yes. So what? I broke it to make a point of principle.

‘So what’, is the problem here. When Mona Eltahawy took an oath of citizenship, she swore to abide by American laws. And she took that oath in bad faith.

Her point of principle is that she should be allowed to vandalize forms of speech that offend her. That is not how the First Amendment works.

In the Muslim world, permitted speech is established through violence. In the free world it’s established through ignoring what offends you. Despite her facade of liberalism, Mona Eltahawy is still very much a creature of the Muslim world and does not understand how America works.

  • gman213

    See what a relaxed immigration policy does?…allows to many dumb asses in the country!

    • objectivefactsmatter

      But PBS said she's a moderate Muslim. We need her…

      We need her to go back to Egypt and decide who the savages are.

  • cdnbn

    Daniel, when we get you elected President eventually,
    can you please ensure that clause is included in the citizenship test?
    It, and others like it, defining American principles to wannabe Americans,
    would help screen the dontwannabe's, or justify kicking them out
    when they show their true colors.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Extensive screening should be mandatory before citizenship is allowed. Because of aggressive political activism (and the customary Islamic lies), it is harder to screen out a Muslim than it is just about anyone else.

  • Tanner

    Yes, you’re right Daniel Greenfield. Mona did act like a immature child while trying to make an excuse for her vandalism. Why? Because she’s not the only one unfortunately. American Conservatives as far as I’m aware have been dealing with those kinds of people for a long time. Calling someone a racist because he/she is for secure borders, calling someone a racist or Islamophobe because he/she is critical of Islam, and putting the Nazis & Fascists with the Christians & Zionist Jews & the political Right, all these things that the Left does is childish. Mona is in the same boat. The Left can come up with any “rationalization” to justify their actions. Just remember, tolerance from the Left’s perspective is anything that agrees with their views, while Yasser Arafat defined peace from his perspective as “…the destruction of Israel.” In other words, they all have distorted definitions of words that we would normally recognize. But when it comes to people like Mona, we can’t trust the obvious words they say because those words mean something else to them in their own mind. It’s sad and it’s annoying.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Tanner is correct. It is even possible she had ideas at one time to promote moderation in Islam, but her fall from grace led to the need to suck up to the leftists or the jihads, possibly both whenever possible.

      Mission accomplished, till they feel like slitting her neck anyway for failure to cover up enough.

      • FASQ

        I'm curious — what, specifically, in Tanner's post is "correct"? It seems to me that the paragraph is nothing more than a string of subjective and unverifiable conclusions — scattered with meaningless political buzzwords — that are wholly inapplicable, and profoundly unrelated, to issue discussed in this article. At best, Tanner's post is incoherent drivel, off-topic and serves no useful purpose, other than to show that it takes some people 250 words to say nothing.

        One thing this article does not make clear is that Mona's speech was, at all times, protected. She was arrested for the act of vandalism, not for the "anti-Israel" message conveyed. The two are completely separate and distinguishable issues. In other words, Mona was arrested for vandalizing the ad, but not for the "anti-Israel" sentiment that was expressed in doing so.

  • FPF

    Nowadays people took oath like child's play, government people took oath and lie to public, elected officials took oath to protect the Constitution but openly denounce it. Keeping the oath is a condition for them to keep their positions or status. Once the oath is broken by those people, their status or positions are automatically forfeited. It's time to treat oath seriously.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Liberals are not expected to keep oaths to the USA, only to communist and socialist ideals.

  • Wsl

    “In the free world it’s established through ignoring what offends you”!? I respectfully disagree. Civil disobedience has been the cornerstone of protests all over the world with many examples in the USA to choose from. Have you forgotten Muhammed Ali’s refusal to join the army and fight in the Vietnam War? Or Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat? Or do I have to go as far back as the Boston Tea Party to highlight that it is you,sir, who does not seem to be aware of how the free world acts when protesting against oppression, racism and anti-religious sentiments.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      " I respectfully disagree. Civil disobedience has been the cornerstone of protests all over the world with many examples in the USA to choose from. "

      Yes, but for no good reason. Civil disobedience might be called for as a last resort, when the judicial systems fail. When has that happened in the USA recently? Take for example the "Occupy…" movements. They ought to all be arrested. They have no good reason for their behavior and entertaining them as if they are victims merely supports the idea that the USA government has no established ways to seek redress. This is a lie from the left.

      Most of the "civil disobedience" in the West is just tolerating "liberal" bad behavior and rewarding or tolerating crime. Allowed them to run amok like wannabe violent jihadis sends the wrong message.

    • objectivefactsmatter

      "Have you forgotten Muhammed Ali's refusal to join the army and fight in the Vietnam War? Or Rosa Parks refusal to give up her seat? Or do I have to go as far back as the Boston Tea Party to highlight that it is you,sir, who does not seem to be aware of how the free world acts when protesting against oppression, racism and anti-religious sentiments."

      Yes, fighting another citizen's free speech and protesting the government's draft or racist policies are both equally justified. Are you insane, or just lacking in discernment?

    • Janfrans Zuidema

      Pamela Geller is protesting against opression, racism and pro-religious (the islamophile industry) sentiments. According to my opinion she acts creatively. She is a civil disobedient civilian against the Empire of islam. She reminds me a lot of Rosa Parks. Mona Eltahawy reminds me a lot of the enemies of Rosa Parks. You know the ones who think they (as muslims) are superior to others (non-muslims). Racists have closed minds Wsl. Try to keep an open mind to all minds in society.

    • http://www.facebook.com/fkjuliano Fabio Juliano

      So throwing rocks through the windows of mosques to protest Muslim immigration into the U.S., nothing wrong with that, right?

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Mona Eltahawy Still Has No Clue How the First Amendment Works"

    She's an Egyptian Muslim. Of course not! What did you say?

    "Mona Eltahawy recently became an American citizen."

    Didn't you hear what I said? She's an Egyptian Muslim.

    You can have the documents of a citizen, but as a Muslim you must reject Islam before becoming a citizen of the USA that understands or even cares enough to read the requirements of American citizenship. As a Muslim in America, all you have to do is say "I promise" to just about anything and citizenship is automatic after that. Anything more strict would be Islamophobia, and the poor Muslim would then be victimized all over again.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "Despite her facade of liberalism, Mona Eltahawy is still very much a creature of the Muslim world and does not understand how America works."

    True, but liberals are acting more like totalitarian Muslims all the time.

  • Carlos Perera

    I would mortgage my house to bet that Mona Eltahawy, a bright woman, has no trouble discerning between free speech and interference with someone else's free speech. She has, however, decided to exercise Marcusian "repressive tolerance," i.e., to demand that her free speech rights be observed by the broader society, because what she wishes to say is "politically correct," while simultaneously denying the freedom of those who espouse "politically incorrect" ideas to express them publicly. And who can blame her? Hasn't she seen how the Left in the U. S. and elsewhere in the West has advanced their agenda relentlessly since the late 1960s, through the tactics of repressive tolerance?

    "Free speech for me, but not for thee!"

  • theBuckWheat

    So, Mona, as a Christian, do I have the right to destroy Serrano's Piss Christ?