In erroneously criticizing President Obama for”apologizing” to Islamic protesters infuriated by “Innocence of Muslims,” Mitt Romney declared the film represents a precious American value, the right of free speech. As a lifelong journalist, I beg to differ. No country in the world protects this type of trash.
Not even America.
My understanding is that the U.S. Constitution does not protect incitement to mob violence. True, the Constitution admonishes Congress to make no law abridging the freedom of speech, but the Supreme Court ruled long ago that the amendment does not protect those who “falsely shout fire in a crowded theater.”
And according to Wikipedia, court rulings over the years have established that:
Speech that involves incitement, false statements of fact, obscenity, child pornography, threats, and speech owned by others are all completely exempt from First Amendment protections.
I watched a few minutes of the film on You Tube, and it not only “involves incitement” by insulting the memory of the prophet, but it also includes obscenity and pedophilia. Furthermore, the whole thing seems to be based on “false statements of fact.”
The government routinely “abridges” Americans’ freedom of speech. The most innocuous documents are “classified” by the military and the diplomatic corps. It’s against the law to reveal their contents. And the authorities did not hesitate to prosecute Pfc. Bradley Manning and Wikileaks activist Julian Assange for publishing embarrassing official documents on the Internet.
It’s no secret that certain interests are trying to ignite a war between America and the Arab nations. These people have their agenda and it has nothing to do with the welfare of the American people. I suspect that’s one reason that Islamophobic movies have become a thriving industry in the United States. And it may be why the far right promotes fear of “Shariah law” and hatred of Muslim Americans.
One of the men behind “Innocence of Muslims” is Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a 55-year-old Coptic Christian, who obviously has a motive for inciting hatred against Muslims. The Muslims have not been nice to the Copts over the years. He might be in cahoots with a Jewish real estate dealer or just posing as one – the situation is still cloudy.
But whoever the people responsible for this offensive film are, they should be prosecuted.
They are a lot more dangerous than Pfc. Bradley Manning and Julian Assange.
Photo above shows Yemeni protesters climbing the gate of the U.S. Embassy a few hours ago as Mideast protests spread.