Reuters reports that Egypt’s prime minister, Hisham Kandil, has magnanimously said the U.S. government should not be blamed for the film about Mohammed that is the latest pretext for Islamic supremacist savagery. And is Egypt’s government sorry about the attack on our embassy? No. Kandil says the attack was “regrettable” — but not because rioting over a film is barbaric. Rather, it is “regrettable” because “the people who produced this low film have no relation to the (U.S.) government.” So rioting against the filmmakers is fine, and if there were any nexus to the government, rioting at our embassy would be fine, too.
. . . Which brings us to the second part of Kandil’s statement: “We ask the American government to take a firm position toward this film’s producers within the framework of international charters that criminalize acts that stir strife on the basis of race, color or religion.” Translation: We’re not holding the American government responsible … yet — but if it fails to punish the filmmakers, then all that “regrettable” stuff might not be so regrettable.
The Obama administration has brought this on itself, and the rest of us, by elevating sharia blasphemy standards over the First Amendment. As I explain in Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy, the State Department is working with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim governments, to impose a resolution demanding that all nations enact laws against condemning not only incitement to violence based on religion, but also incitement to discrimination or hostility to religion.
It is no secret that Islamic law brutally punishes what it regards as blasphemy — any insult to Islam or its prophet, no matter how slight. Yet Obama has raised the expectations of Egypt’s government that he stands with them on this principle. In fact, in 2011, his State Department went so far as to host the OIC’s “High Level Meeting on Combating Religious Intolerance.”
If Mitt Romney did not ignore all the dumb advice he’s being given, and make clear that he stands for the First Amendment over sharia blasphemy laws, there would be something seriously wrong with his campaign.