At NRO, Nina Shea has a great post about free speech, our State Department, and religious sensitivities, points that all desperately need making in light of today's outrageous attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt (and the State Department's pathetic response to it). As Shea notes:
The embassy asserts that to “hurt the religious beliefs of others” is to “abuse the universal right of free speech.” Of course, the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protects even insulting and offensive speech...
You know what? While I do not think all Muslims are evil, or that Islam itself is necessarily evil, I think it has been used for evil purposes by evil men far more often than most religions have. I do not care if saying so happens to hurt the feelings of some Muslims. And I think Muslims are way over-sensitive about criticism. There is no excuse to attack an embassy because of rumors of what might be in a film with which the embassy or its government have nothing to do. No excuse at all. The State Department should not issue such a mealy-mouthed statement; instead, Muslims should suck it up: Step forward to defend their faith in the realm of ideas, not through vindictive, ill-aimed destructiveness. That's what civilized people would do. That's what decent Muslims will do. And when they do, their contributions will be welcomed. The thugs in Cairo, meanwhile, deserve only contempt.
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