Via Commentary –
Via SarahNet –
Don’t look now, but Islam is becoming the MSM’s official religion of America.
Now, it’s not just that no one bats an eye at the amazing truth that the United States is beaming TV ads all over Pakistan apologizing for a derogatory Internet trailer for a nonexistent movie demeaning the being that Muslims call “The Prophet Mohammed.” No one in the MSM even slightly hints that doing the kowtow in the same country that sheltered Osama bin Laden to a group that reveled in, delighted in the terrorism against American civilians and still provides the framework for the terrorist Haqqani network, might be humiliating and an insult to the memory of the great Americans who were murdered just last week in Libya.
No, we just take it in stride that our President and our Secretary of State will apologize to the people who hate us and want us dead. That’s not what I am referring to.
I am referring to something worse: Have you noticed that in the past few years, and especially in the past few weeks since the murder of the Ambassador and his guards and colleague in Benghazi (a city that Erwin Rommel loved and whose inhabitants he praised), whenever the New York Times refers to Mohammed, they always call him, without quotation marks, The Prophet Mohammed, as if everyone with any sense understands that OF COURSE Mohammed is The One True Prophet and that it’s just understood that Mohammed is The Prophet.
I see this in other news outlets and on TV, too. Sober-looking newsmen and newswomen mention Mohammed as The Prophet Mohammed. No ifs, ands or buts. I hear it on the BBC World Service, too.
Now, if Muslims want to believe that Mohammed is The Prophet, God bless them. Fine and dandy. If anyone wants to believe that, good luck to him or her. But why does our mainstream media here in the USA, an overwhelmingly Christian country, refer to Islam’s prophet as “The Prophet”?
Have you ever seen any major newspaper here in the USA refer to Jesus Christ as “The Son of God, God Incarnate, The Lord Jesus Christ”? Can you imagine the New York Times running a story about a crucifix resting in urine at an “art gallery” as an offense against “The Lord Jesus, Son of God”? Can you imagine any large newspaper in this country running a story about the Pope and referring to him as “The Holy Father, The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth”? Or about Mary, as “Holy Mary, Mother of God”? It would never happen.
But somehow, probably because the people writing the articles and editing them or the producers on TV news shows fear being beheaded – and who doesn’t? – we have adopted in our media the Muslim assertion that Mohammed is The Prophet while giving other religious figures the back of our media hand.
Via AtlasShrugs –
The Suicide of the Free Press
As the Muhammad movie riots continue to roil the world, prominent Muslim leaders in the U.S. and elsewhere are calling for restrictions on the freedom of speech, including the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, and the Muslim Brotherhood – and in the U.S., Sheikh Husham al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, Michigan and Imam Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, New Jersey. Given Sharia prohibitions on free speech, that is to be expected. What is more surprising – or should be more surprising, if the free press were doing its job – is the alacrity with which the mainstream media has echoed these calls for self-censorship and submission to Islamic blasphemy laws.
In the wake of the worldwide Muhammad movie riots, the Los Angeles Times, for example, published its second op-ed in four weeks calling for restrictions on the freedom of speech. To be sure, the second piece, by Sarah Chayes of the Carnegie Endowment, was far more sophisticated and well reasoned than the crude call for censorship of the first, which was written by the thuggish Nathan Lean. Where Lean had ham-fistedly smeared and demonized those whose speech he hates and then called for them to be silenced, First Amendment be damned, Chayes argued on the basis of a fine distinction that already exists within American free speech law: “U.S. law makes a distinction between speech that is simply offensive and speech that is deliberately tailored to put lives and property at immediate risk.”
Indeed, but as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, the legal distinction to which Chayes was referring was formulated in response to the Ku Klux Klan’s advocacy of violence, and thus did not apply to the Muhammad movie filmmakers, who called for no violence from anyone. The Klan, said the WSJ, “advocated (but did not incite) violence on the part of their own supporters in order to promote their cause of racial supremacy. By contrast, the filmmakers provoked a violent reaction from the other side. To prosecute them would be analogous to punishing civil rights activists for inciting white supremacists to commit violent or lawless acts.”
A point well taken. But the larger question is, why is the Los Angeles Times coming down on the side of restrictions on the freedom of speech in the first place? Are they not aware that such restrictions, if implemented, can and probably will be used against them? While the Los Angeles Times editors are no doubt serene in their certainty that they will never print anything that will insult Islam or Muslims, there could all too easily come a time when a governing authority deems something they have published to be “hateful” or even “deliberately tailored to put lives and property at immediate risk,” and – if free speech by then has been restricted – that will be the end of the Times as an outpost of the free press.
Can the Times’ editors, and those at other mainstream media that have written favorably about free speech restrictions in the wake of the recent Muslim riots, and those who have written harshly about Pamela Geller’s pro-Israel and Islamorealism ad campaigns, really be so short-sighted? Or is it that they are so consumed by hatred for voices on the Right that they will do whatever it takes to silence them, even defang the First Amendment? Or is it that today’s mainstream journalists share the Left’s taste for authoritarianism and thus never really liked or appreciated the concept of free speech in the first place?
Whatever the case may be, the foes of free speech may see their fondest wishes come true, and not very long from now, either. In that event, they will learn firsthand the truth of Thomas Jefferson’s adage: “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” It may be that the remarkably suicidal free press of today will discover a taste for their First Amendment rights only when they have lost them. Some may even realize at that point that they have no one to blame but themselves (there will be no more “Islamophobes” for them to blame), and that the bad old world of robust discussion, debate and dissent really wasn’t all that bad after all. But by then it will be too late.
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 is Did Muhammad Exist?.