Americans are reacting in shock after the U.S. Embassy in Egypt apologized to the Muslim world for “abuse” of free speech–after it was stormed by radical Islamists who raised the Al Qaeda flag and chanted slogans in support of Osama bin Laden on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. In fact, restrictions on free speech regarding religion have been the official foreign policy of the Obama administration since the fall of 2009.
Upon enthusiastically joining the anti-Israel club of tyrants known as the U.N. Human Rights Council, Obama’s new appointees co-sponsored a resolution–with Egypt, no less–that embraced restrictions on free speech that Islamic countries had sought in order to justify harsh anti-blasphemy laws.
The text of the resolution provided that “the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities”–and condemned “negative racial and religious stereotyping,” and stated that the media had a special “moral and social responsibility” to develop “voluntary codes of professional ethical conduct” regarding these topics.
As Anne Bayefsky of eyeontheun.org noted at the time, Islamic countries understood these clauses “as allowing free speech to be trumped by anything that defames or negatively stereotypes religion.” She added that even the appeasement-oriented European Union had offered a stronger defense of freedom of expression than the Obama administration did. In the past, the U.S. had defended the broad freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the Constitution against international encroachment. No longer, under Obama.
The statement issued by the U.S. Embassy–“We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others”–was not the result of panic in the face of an angry mob, but long-standing Obama policy, crafted with the goal of appeasing the extremists now at the gates.
Though it now pretends to have championed the cause of democracy all alone, the Obama administration saw no problem in co-sponsoring a human rights resolution with an Egyptian regime that showed little respect for human rights. The common ground–and the goal of the exercise–was to craft an international standard that satisfied the extremist cause in the Islamic world.
Though the Egyptian regime has changed, its values have only become more hostile to those traditionally cherished by Americans. The only practical difference is that the former Egyptian government would not have permitted today’s embassy raid, which could not have been carried out without the tacit approval of the authorities.
So much for the results of Obama’s appeasement.