Another Obama Assault on Free Speech

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We're In, is now available.


obama33The Obama Administration’s latest assault on the freedom of speech is so audacious that it leaves me speechless – and that’s the idea.

According to Politico, Bill Killian, the Obama-appointed U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, “is reportedly vowing to use federal civil rights statutes to clamp down on offensive and inflammatory speech about Islam.” Said Killian: “We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected.”

Killian and an unnamed FBI special agent are holding a meeting Tuesday evening with local Muslim groups in Manchester, Tennessee. “This is an educational effort with civil rights laws,” Killian explained, “as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion. This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

Killian offered an example: “a recent controversy where a local Tennessee politician posted a photo of a man aiming a shotgun at the camera with the caption ‘How to wink at a Muslim.’” He asked the rhetorical question: “If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?”

The problem, however, is that neither the Obama Administration nor Islamic supremacist groups that have been campaigning against the freedom of speech for years – notably the 57-government Organization of Islamic Cooperation – have ever drawn any kind of distinction between genuinely threatening speech (which the shotgun photo may arguably have been) and honest analysis of how jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism.

On the contrary, they conflate the two, thus smearing as “hateful” all examination of the motives and goals of the jihad terrorists who have vowed to destroy the United States and conquer the free world. Obama did this in 2011 when he mandated the scrubbing of counter-terror training materials of the truth about Islam and jihad. Truth about the exhortations to warfare and conquest in the Qur’an and the teachings of Muhammad was now “hate” and “bigotry,” to be jettisoned.

And Obama, of course, has been at war with this most fundamental of freedoms for quite some time. In 2011, the UN Human Rights Council adopted Resolution 16/18, with the support of the Obama administration. It called upon Western states to pass laws that would criminalize “defamation of religion” – i.e., criticism of Islam. This was no isolated incident. Right after the Benghazi jihad massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed to have the producer of a video about Muhammad – the one that Administration officials falsely blamed for the attack — “arrested and prosecuted.” The filmmaker is still the only person in prison for those attacks, ostensibly for a minor parole violation, but clearly for the crime of exercising his freedom of speech. And those are just two of the many ways in which the Obama Administration has shown itself to be a foe of the First Amendment.

Nonetheless, the First Amendment still remains, for now – at least until a case involving the question of whether what the Administration deems to be “hate speech” enjoys constitutional protection comes before an Obama-majority Supreme Court. But the idea of circumventing it using existing civil rights laws is a new wrinkle. “The Department of Justice,” Politico noted, “did not respond Friday to a question about what guidelines it draws concerning offensive speech and Islam, or whether the department believes that civil rights statutes could be used to stifle criticism of Islam.”

It is doubtful that they didn’t respond because the thought of doing such a thing had never crossed anyone’s mind there. In July 2012, then-Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division was asked by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “Will you tell us here today that this Administration’s Department of Justice will never entertain or advance a proposal that criminalizes speech against any religion?” Perez (whom Obama has now nominated to be Secretary of Labor) refused to rule out such a proposal – strongly suggesting by his refusal that the Obama Administration is indeed contemplating ways to circumvent the First Amendment and outlaw criticism of Islam.

If this ever happens, it’s all over. If the U.S. adopts any kind of law criminalizing criticism of Islam, that would be the end of any resistance to jihad, as we will be rendered mute and thus defenseless against its advance. And while this possibility still seems wildly farfetched to most people, it must be borne in mind that the First Amendment does not automatically enforce itself. If those charged with guarding and protecting it are determined to do away with it, they can hedge it around with nuances and exceptions that will render it as toothless and essentially void as the Second Amendment already is in many major cities.

The seminar in Tennessee is just one skirmish in a long war. But it is a war that most Americans have no idea is even being fought. And as Lenin and the Bolsheviks demonstrated, that is how determined and organized minorities subdue larger but careless or indifferent foes. If the mainstream media were doing their jobs, Bill Killian and his little workshop would be front page news nationwide, and Killian would be facing extremely tough questioning about his authoritarian tendencies and the anti-freedom agenda he is pursuing. That he is not, and that the mainstream media are largely indifferent to this story, will only hasten its demise.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and other pro-freedom organizations will be holding a demonstration for free speech on June 4th at 5:30pm Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd, in Manchester, Tennessee. Then the DoJ event follows from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PMat the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd, in Manchester. Please join us to stand for freedom.

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  • guest

    systematic dismantling of western freedoms and the constitution by this unbelievably un american administration. the west is being “suicided” by the manchurian candidate aka islamic trojan horse . and his unknown backers/owners???

  • LindaRivera

    Where are the 85 comments on this article. They are ALL gone, except for one new comment! I hope frontpage will put the comments back!

  • Guest

    Whenever anyone has to assault free speech to get their way, it just shows that they have no honest defense for their position. Those who have the truth on their side are not afraid of opposing views being expressed, and they therefore do not feel the need to silence those who disagree with them.

  • LindaRivera

    The U.S. administration are radically OPPOSED to people telling the truth about Islam, but are EXTREMELY happy for Muslims to preach violent, MURDEROUS jihad against us. Our leaders are united with the enemy. TREASON!

    townhall.com: At Least 80% U.S. Mosques Promote Violent Jihad

    ….Allah’s order to “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them” is an
    injunction, not a suggestion. “When we destroy a population,” Allah says, “then we destroy them utterly” (17:16-17)…..”fight those who do not profess the true faith till they pay the jiziya (poll tax) with the
    hand of humility.”

    Muhammad invented jihad in his lifetime; Islam was spread by jihad in its first century, and it has been defined by jihad ever since. Islam had developed a doctrine, legal system, and historical practice of mandatory violence against nonbelievers…

    Muhammad’s early followers adopted bloodshed and terrorism as a divinely ordained method….
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/greghengler/2011/06/14/at_least_80_us_mosques_promote_violent_jihad

    At Least 80% U.S. Mosques Promote Violent Jihad http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=gRSNxR4jU4k

  • LindaRivera

    Founder of Islam, Mohammed: “I have been made victorious with terror”, “Wage war on the infidel and kill them until Islam is dominant” (Quran 8:39)

    VIDEO: GRAB ONTO the GUN, and the SWORD,and DO YOUR JOB – BOSTON IMAM to MUSLIMS

    The Boston Mosque imam who asked Muslims to go out and kill is hugged
    by Governor Deval Patrick. Wake up America and the Free World, to the enemies within!

    The top responsibility of any nation is to PROTECT its people. Our nations’ leaders have completely abandoned that responsibility. Muslim Obama and other Western leaders HATE our non-Muslim people. Our TREASONOUS leaders have utterly betrayed us; massively colonizing our countries with many millions of Muslims determined to conquer us.

    Quran 9:5 “Kill Jews and Christians wherever you find them”.

    “Grab onto the shovel, grab onto the gun, and the sword, don’t be afraid to step out into this world and do your job.”

    Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and the Imam http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qUYIHRRaPmA

  • popseal

    The Oxford History of Islam, Encyclopedia Britannica, the works of Bernard Lewis and a lot more will have to be BURNED. The thought police and their politically correct cowardice will be the end of the West. We will slip under the veil of that violent superstition founded by Mohammed a known killer. He and his first generation of ruthless disciples say all that is needed.

  • Fred Parker

    The photo example IS NOT ILLEGAL NOR THREATENING! Now if I send this to the group being referred to, then it is arguably a threat. If it is just on a general post or web page, it is not a threat! Don’t give an inch on this or any other progressive issue. It will open the flood gates.

  • Michael Mcardle

    these people want another revolution. thanks to my AR-15 we will win again.

  • LadyGator88

    So, Nazis can protest in a town of Holocaust victims, the Jonesboro Nutbag Church can protest at military funerals, with a Supreme Court decision that is in favor of the Nazis (Nationalist Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie)? Yet, we cannot say anything negative towards a person if they are Muslim? The Constitution allows for freedom to practice religion and separating religion from the state imposition or state religion. However, it does not guarantee tolerance from others. Suck it up. Jews have done it for decades and had a ruling against them in SCOTUS; Christians are certainly feeling the brunt of hate now (Ask Tim Tebow).

  • tarandfeatherthecrooks

    It worked for Khmer Rouge and Stalin, didn’t it?

  • Irish_Sunset

    The Solution is Simple… Americans Hate Muslims, Muslims Hate Americans. This is OUR Christian Nation… NOT Obama’s Muslim Nation… Get the Hell Out if You don’t like it! Go back to your Tyrannical Communist Sharia Law Country!

  • disqus_HNokd970Ne

    The only good muslim is a dead muslim. They don’t belong in our country including Obama if he is so much for them let him go live in one of their countries but he must remember that Islam kills homosexuals…bye bye

  • LoveOurProphet@att.net

    Salamualykum, (Peace and blessings be upon everyone)

    Please dont change/alter/misquote or misconscrew anything regarding Islam. If you sincerely would like to know about the religion. Ask a Good practicing Muslim. Please. If I want to know something about Christianity, Im not going to ask a Christian who killed and raped. Im going to ask a GOOD Christian who practices their religion sincerely. If you are sincere. Here is a few quotes in the Quran.

    According to Islam, the life of a human being is a trust from God, irrespective of his or her ancestry, color, or language, and hence should be protected meticulously. The main idea in Islam is to praise God the Almighty (Qur’an, 1:1; 6:45), to show compassion to creation. Humankind is the best of all creations (Qur’an, 17:70) and is created of the best stature (Qur’an, 95:4). So, every human deserves respect by nature; approaching them with lenience, tolerance, and humility is certainly virtuous. Hence, staying away from hatred and having a tolerant attitude is essential for humanity.

    Please seek the truth. May God/Allah protect us and guide us all,

    Ameen

  • whocares

    Nothing would have happened it never does. I never seen the left rush to defend Christians or Jewish people. What B.S.