Fox News Channel host Megyn Kelly responded to much of the criticism of the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest by saying, “If this is where American sentiment stands on this issue, then the jihadis are officially winning” on Wednesday.
Kelly said that the participants in and organizers of the event “were trying to make a point about intolerance by some in the Muslim world, and about principles on which the USA is supposed to stand firm. Namely, that no matter how abhorrent one might find another’s words, in this country, we defend their right to say them. Standing up for that principle is not an endorsement of the controversial speech. It is promoting a value at the very core of who we are. The group holding this contest was not on TV shouting its message. It was holding a private event behind closed doors to make a point about liberty.”
She continued, “Sure enough, the jihadis responded and were shot dead by a quick-reacting police officer on scene. Incredibly, what has happened in the days since is a rush to condemn the event organizers with nary a mention of the radical Islamists who sought to murder them over a cartoon… Over the last 72 hours, we have heard the event organizers condemned for being too provocative, too stupid, even for inviting their own attempted murder.”
Kelly concluded, “If this is where American sentiment stands on this issue, then the jihadis are officially winning. The terrorists’ point was to shut us up, not just the organizers of this event, but any American who deigns to disagree with their way of life or thinking. There may be a time and place to discuss whether this kind of discourse is helpful to our country, to our fight with the jihadis, and so on. But within hours of an attempted murder of the very folks under attack? The reaction is, ‘Well, you asked for it.’ Well, they did not ask for it. In this country, we have every right to say what we want to say about Mohammed, or anyone else for that matter. And the rest of society can condemn this group’s speech as a matter of decorum, but how about waiting a beat until the crime scene has been cleared? Lest we appear more concerned about offending Islam than we are about a fundamental pledge we’ve all taken, namely liberty for all.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter: @IanHanchett