25 September 2012
Obama’s UN Unorthodox Equivocation on Intolerance
During President Barack Obama’s annual speech before the United Nations General Assembly gave a perplexing perspective on religious liberty.
Mr. Obama famously noted that “The future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam”. Clearly, that line is in response to the violent demonstrations at American embassies on 9/11/12 which killed Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other American diplomats. President Obama has persiverated on blaming this violence from the Arab Street stemmed from the existence of a snippet of an internet video “The Innocence of Muslims”, despite clear evidence that the attack was pre-planned (rarely do spontaneous rioters carry rocket propelled grenades) as well as acknowledgment by the Libyan government.
The second curiosity is that President Obama could not bring himself to say “Muhammad”. Sunni Muslims prohibit any depictions of the prophet Mumhammad, but judging from his particular phrasing, the P.C. police may prohibit even uttering his name. This does not jibe with Western sensibilities, as was parodied by Monty Python in the Life of Brian (1979).
Although President Obama went on to equivocate tolerance to include condemning Holocaust deniers or those who torch churches. This even-handedness is admirable in the abstract but is mind numbingly naive in the real world. It is unlikely that the Arab Street will hear any more of Obama’s oration other than the first clause about not slandering the prophet of Islam. It is worth noting that slander under Shariah does not just mean saying derogatory things, but can mean any opposing, including proselyting or doing Christian missionary work.
The Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is angling to rally its 57 nation state members to speak forcefully with one voice to shepherd international regulations “against attacks on what people deem sacred.” This would account for Mr. Obama’s equivocation in citing anti-islamic, anti-semitic and Christophobic behavior while tacitly supporting the IOC inspired UN resolution 1618.
While the President later acknowledged that the American Constitution allows for freedom of speech, this God-Given First Amendment right was not honored in the instance of “The Innocence of Muslims” video. After the violence erupted in the Middle East and the Maghreb, this film-maker was taken into questioning by the Los Angeles police, supposedly for coincidental parole violations. How constitutionally convenient! Moreover, General Martin Dempsey contacted video promoter Pastor Terry Jones to voice his concerns about the film. So much for respecting the First Amendment on either free speech or the free exercise of religion.
There are concerns in conservative circles about the Obama Administration’s support for United Nations Resolution 1618 as it is seen as an international blasphemy code which would trump American constitutional free speech rights.
Most people think that the Presidential Election this cycle is a referendum on President Obama’s performance on the economy. But thoughtful voters should look forward and appreciate the consequences of four more years of Obama’s influence in world affairs.