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It Is An Exercise of FREE SPEECH To Criticize Religion

Reader comment on item: Another Islamist Assault, Another Western Cringe

Submitted by Ron Thompson (United States), Sep 13, 2012 at 11:23

I entirely agree with every element of Dr Pipes comments (except regarding the timing of Romney's remarks). It must be understood and stated to Muslims everywhere, without any apology, that Freedom of Speech for free people "specifically means the right o insult and annoy". As long as western governments, and especially our own, do not expressly say this, they will be subject to hostage-taking both by innumerable Muslims and by the more provocative among us.

In the face of these latest outrages of Muslim behavior in Libya and Egypt over a crude film by a private individual exercising his right to be provocative, we have to get explicit.

For too many months and years now, we've been subjected to an internal campaign by Muslims in the United States, unfortunately abetted by members of both political parties and two administrations, to instill in the American people the idea that there is something wrong with saying anything that "hurts the feelings" or "offends the religious sensibilities" of Muslims.

This campaign is much further advanced, and far more successful in Europe, a huge game-changing geopolitical fact which the media in the US have not reported.

Come off it. In America, and the West generally, not a day goes by that someone, somewhere, doesn't say something critical of religion, whether a particular religion, or Religion generally. No religion in the West or in the United States escapes a constant element of criticism, and even derision.

Some of our best comedians are funniest when they take on religion, and religious beliefs.

The faithful of all other religions remain intact and serene in their beliefs, allowing for the loss of individuals here and there.

Some may be offended at the criticism directed at beliefs they hold sacred, but they do not riot in the streets over such criticism, they certainly do not kill because of it, and they do not call for laws making such critics subject to the death penalty, or for those who leave their religion to be killed as apostates.

But now there is one religion about which we must all learn to say nothing critical,or even factual, about?!

We are supposed to muzzle ourselves with regard to one religion, but retain permission to be irreverent about every other religion or cult

Mohammed married a nine-year old. No one is supposed to say that? Mohammed's 'revelations' from his god, allah, condoned everything he wanted to do in his personal life. Not supposed to say that?

I didn't capitalize the word Allah in the above sentence. Have I "offended" Muslims by that omission? Mohammed's earlier revelations were more or less peaceful. The more power and support h got, the more violent his 'revelations' got. I'm not supposed to note the fact, or say it, that either he or allah changed his mind?

And how about the fact that Allah didn't communicate with Mohammed directly, but sent an angel to do it. A little dismissive of Mohammad? Not supposed to speculate about that?

Muslims across a wide arc of the globe, from Morocco, Mali, and Nigeria, across the breadth of Africa into Somalia, over through Yemen, up into Iraq, and then Syria (the current killing capital), and on up into Pakistan and Afghanistan are busy killing other Muslims, all in the name of Islam.

They kill them indiscriminately, men, women, and children.

They kill them while they're out shopping.

Suicide bombers kill them at funerals for those killed earlier.

Suicide bombers kill them in Mosques.

And now they kill and riot because a private individual produced a mere provocative film.

And we're not allowed to discuss these facts because the religious feelings of Muslims will be hurt and offended?!

A religion which teaches, condones, or excuses such behavior is not worthy of respect. Why would we have any obligation to respect the "hurt feelings" of people who follow such a religion.

Fear them maybe, and not open our doors to more of them coming into the country to try and intimidate us into never saying anything critical about their religion which commands them to do wicked things. But respect that religion? I think not.

We completely muffed a huge opportunity to stand up to this basic assault on our Free Speech rights in 2004, with our universal and disgraceful silence at the time of the Danish cartoons.

Let's not suppress ourselves and censor our minds and tongues this time.

Right up there with the right to vote, and the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, it is a free speech right to criticize religion.

Ron Thompson

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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