People demonstrate during a rally to condemn the killers of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and the attack on the U.S. consulate, in Benghazi September 12, 2012.
Credits: Reuters/ESAM AL-FETORI
Freedom of speech does not restrict odious people from spouting odious views, and it can therefore lead to odious results.
But, as the foundation of democracy, it is also worth defending, no matter the price.
Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, has just paid for it with his life.
It’s nonsensical but, then again, common sense has always been a rarity in the Middle East.
A diplomat respected by Libyans thankful for his significant role in their new-found freedoms, Stevens was murdered by a small but savage group of Muslim zealots in the town of Benghazi who had worked themselves into a frenzy, ostensibly not to celebrate the anniversary of 9/11 but because of an amateur Internet film on the Prophet Mohammad.
It was produced in the U.S. by American-Jew Sam Bacile, and backed by that whack-job Florida pastor, Terry Jones, who outraged Muslims two years ago by threatening to torch the Qur’an.
The film, which caused no stir until dubbed in Arabic, purportedly depicts the Muslim prophet as a “womanizer, pedophile and fraud.” Not nice, but not illegal either.
Let’s face it. Both Bacile and Jones are repulsive to all but those of their ilk, and Christopher Stevens certainly did not deserve pay the price for their freedom to speak their minds, no matter how sick or intolerant their opinions are.
Adding unneeded fuel to the already inflamed was that bizarre “apology” criticizing free speech that came out of the American embassy in Egypt over the film, only to be later disavowed by the Barack Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
While Obama avoided the free speech issue, Clinton did not.
“Some have sought to justify this vicious behaviour as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,” she said. “The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
“Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” she added. “But let me be clear: There is never any justification for violent acts of this kind.”
Trouble is. Muslim extremism has no brain.
It does not consider the source of any perceived indignation, and never has.
It just reacts — like a rabid dog.