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O’Reilly: ‘Bogus’ To Invoke Free Speech in Mohammed Art Contest Debate

Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly argued it is “bogus” to invoke freedom of speech in the debate over the Mohammed Art Exhibit and Contest on Thursday.

O’Reilly said that, “the dead men deserved what they got. But the incident was ignited by a contest featuring cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. Any depiction of that Islamic icon is a sin in the Muslim world. Many Americans believe the provocation was legitimate under freedom of speech, but that is not the issue. No one I know favors curtailing speech in this case. The real issue is whether the exposition was the right thing to do.”

He continued that the “Christian point of view” is that “you don’t demean other people unnecessarily. Jesus would not have sponsored that event.” And “the goal of every decent person in the world should be to defeat the jihad. And in order to do that, you have to rally the world to the side of good, our side. Emotional displays like insulting the prophet Mohammed make it more difficult to rally law-abiding Muslims, for example. Including nations like Jordan and Egypt, who are actually the fanatical Islamists. In any war, you have to win hearts and minds, and the situation in Garland, TX goes against that. Again, the freedom of speech issue is bogus. No one is saying the exposition was illegal. The point is winning, defeating the jihad.”

O’Reilly concluded by urging people to vote in a poll on his site about whether they supported Geller’s group, but asked people to “consider walking away from emotion.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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