Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.So what?
So we are facing such a situation in Egypt and other Muslim nations. If one accepts Columnist James Taranto's piece in The Wall Street Journal, it is Sharia v the US Constitution.
…the video may indeed be insensitive, inflammatory, intolerant and insulting, that's not why the rioters are rioting. They are rioting because in their view it is blasphemous, and therefore forbidden under Shariah. And although the Muslim Brotherhood has cannily adopted the rhetoric of wounded feelings, it is calling for the criminalization of blasphemy world-wide…Mr Taranto references the SCOTUS ruling in BRANDENBURG v. OHIO, 395 U.S. 444 (1969). The ruling can be located here. It reads in part:
Held: Since the statute, by its words and as applied, purports to punish mere advocacy and to forbid, on pain of criminal punishment, assembly with others merely to advocate the described type of action, it falls within the condemnation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Freedoms of speech and press do not permit a State to forbid advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action. Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 , overruled.At some point, at some time, someone has to say to Egyptian President Mursi that we aren't wasting money prosecuting. (They could add that we need that money for a sex change operation in Massachusetts.)
The President made this point late yesterday, per The Daily Caller:
“We believe in the First Amendment,” Obama told CBS’s Steve Kroft during an interview arranged days earlier.And rightfully so.
“It is one of the hallmarks of our Constitution that I’m sworn to uphold, and so we are always going to uphold the rights for individuals to speak their mind,” he said, according to a transcript narrated by White House spokesman Jay Carney.
As almost a side-note, I am all for working with people of other nations and different views. That said, we shouldn't expect them to compromise their core values and we shouldn't compromise ours. Let's focus on what we have in common.
Finally, a hat tip to the InstaPundit.
Regards — Cliff