Today, President Barack Obama stated that negativity about Islam was a message that had to be rejected “by all who respect our common humanity.” Even as our ambassador in Libya is murdered by Islamists; even as Islamists in Egypt threaten Israel’s southern border and persecute Coptic Christians; even as Islamists in Iran threaten nuclear annihilation for the State of Israel; even as Islamists around the globe burn restaurants, attack police, and storm embassies, President Obama thinks that our “common humanity” requires us to reject anti-Islam material.
Here’s what he said:
Moreover, there will always be those that reject human progress – dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend upon the status quo; and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division …. At times, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of faith, race or tribe; and often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world. In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others. That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.
Notice the moral equivalence here. Those who reject human progress include “dictators who cling to power,” “corrupt interests that depend upon the status quo,” and “extremists who fan the flames of hate and division.” What about Islamists? What about terrorists? What about real extremists – not people who “fan the flames” of hate and division, but who actively support and promote violence?
President Obama’s focus on the anti-Islam YouTube video that supposedly sparked current unrest in the Middle East is myopic in the extreme. The message that has to be rejected by all who respect our common humanity is disrespect for free speech. Anti-Islam rhetoric didn’t cause the murder of our ambassador in Libya. Islamism did. In fact, Obama’s continued appeasement of Islamists by throwing a YouTube filmmaker under the bus for portraying Islam in a deeply negative light causes more violence than the actual YouTube video.