Those Euro-style and Canadian-style laws against "hate speech" that threaten those who criticize Islam could never happen here. We have the First Amendment. Right?
Not necessarily. See here. (Emphasis added.)
A special meeting has been scheduled for the stated purpose of increasing awareness and understanding that American Muslims are not the terrorists some have made them out to be in social media and other circles.
“Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society” will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4, at the Manchester-Coffee County Conference Center, 147 Hospitality Blvd.
Special speakers for the event will be Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.
Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.
“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told The News Monday. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”
Does that sound a mite threatening? It's obviously supposed to.
This is a federal DOJ attorney and a representative of the FBI, taking it as their mission to "educate" people about how they might be breaking federal law if they post "inflammatory" things about Muslims on Facebook and Twitter. I can only imagine what they would say about blogs!
Much of the rest of the article is filled with baloney of the sort that we've all heard ad nauseum. Timothy McVeigh was a Christian terrorist. Islam is no different from any other religion. You know the drill. But it's particularly bad when it's coming from someone whose job is to protect us. For one thing, it means he's clueless about Islam. But worse than that, much worse than that, it means that Killian associates in his own mind posting something that disagrees with his views about Islam with doing something illegal. And I believe he's looking for an excuse to bring charges.
Yes, I did. I attributed an internal motive to someone I don't know. So sue me.
Are there any examples in the article of these allegedly illegal "inflammatory" postings? Just one:
Killian referred to a Facebook posting made by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”
Killian said he and Moore had discussed the issue.
“If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?” he said. “We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected.”
He and Moore have discussed the issue, have they? Hmmm, Barry West, Tennessee county commissioner, is probably going to have the FBI knocking on his door and had better hire a lawyer post haste.
Now, we all know why they picked that example, don't we? Because they can find a way to spin the post as a physical threat to Muslims, and because anything like that can then be combined with motive-seeking federal "hate crimes" law to up it to a federal crime. There allegedly has to be some "underlying crime," but if they can find one, however minor, they will then turn it into a federal offense by the alchemy of hate crimes statutes.
Just how much comfort should bloggers like, say, me take from the fact that this was the example Killian selected when he had to give a real-life example of something putatively illegal, anti-Muslim, and "inflammatory"? After all, I've never in my life posted a picture, anywhere, with a header suggestive of a physical threat. Nor has any contributor here at W4 done so.
So perhaps we anti-jihad bloggers can take a teensy bit of comfort from the fact that Killian had to reach for something that could be construed as implying a threat, however non-specific. (Newsflash, Mr. Killian: Islam critics such as Robert Spencer and even the less high-profile David Wood of Answering Muslims receive specific, personal death threats. But I assume the FBI and the DOJ are all over those already, right?)
But only a teensy bit. Killian's remarks, and his agenda, are likely to have a chilling effect on criticism and truth-telling about Islam and the jihad. Moreover, that's clearly his intent. That's his idea of "protecting Muslims' civil rights." You know, their "civil right" not to have terrorism associated with their religion any more than with any other. Their "civil right" not to have "inflammatory" things posted on social media about their religion. Their "civil right" not to be offended. The fact that these civil rights are figments of Mr. Killian's imagination is not likely to slow him down too much. After all, if the law is just a prediction about what the enforcers are going to do, then he can make the law up as he goes along, because he's the guy with the enforcement powers.
The Obama administration has repeatedly shown that it wishes conservatives had fewer constitutional rights. Obama and co. wish that the U.S. were more like the UK, Canada, or Europe where they would have more power to enforce political correctness and their own left-wing agenda. This is evident, inter alia, in the attempt to redefine "freedom of religion" to mean merely "freedom of worship." It is evident here in the attempt to wrest existing U.S. "hate crime" law (which is already questionably constitutional) into outright Euro-style law against speech that is offensive to Muslims.
Let's hope and pray they don't get away with it. And let's keep an eye out for attempts to enforce Mr. Killian's...creative idea of Muslim civil rights.