Suggested Obama Speech Draft: Muslims Must Learn Tolerance

Good evening. Tonight I speak, as always, to my fellow Americans…but also to the entire Muslim world, from those who think theirs is a religion of peace…to the perpetrators of the ongoing insanity of blasphemy laws, jihads, and fatwas – all of you who call yourselves Muslims.

I want to talk to you about the recent resurgence of Muslim insanity.  Actually, most of Islam is insanity, but the same is true of all religions, and that’s beside the point.

Sometimes Muslims just go over the top.  Their touchiness about their primitive holy book exacts a horrible penalty for violation.

Never mind that the current case in point is a young Pakistani girl who may have Down’s Syndrome and not have known what she was doing by collecting burned Koran pages...or that some slimy Islamic Pat Robertson stuck more pages into her pouch to make her crime even more egregious.

She may be punished harshly, even executed.  It’s a heartbreaking story to those of us who love freedom.  That so much of the world is enslaved by a primitive, violent ideology…does not bode well for the future of humanity.

Linked to this is the violence around the blasphemy laws in Pakistan. Not long ago a woman was hanged for insulting the Prophet, but this would have been such a miscarriage of justice that the provincial governor called for repeal of the blasphemy laws – and was assassinated by one of his bodyguards, who became a hero.  

Later, a member of the Cabinet was shot for speaking out against the laws. The  death-enforced speech code has been successfully maintained ever since.

The front-and-center story, however, is the attacks on US Embassies by bands of psychotics who must, again, themselves deliver the death penalty for a YouTube video film that that shows Mohammed as a pedophile and murderer. 

I’m not about to condemn something I haven’t seen, unlike you intolerant Muslims.  You regularly burn our flag and our Presidents in effigy, whenever your imams decide to foment a new wave of anti-western hatred. But can’t we burn anything of yours?  We will not be bullied into submission by your – or indeed any religion’s – touchiness.

The movie may disrespect the Prophet (it may or may not be historically accurate).  Most movies are partly or wholly fiction.  That is not the issue here.  It is whether the film should have been made in the first place.

As my Jewish friends would say, oy vey

Muslims, Muslims, Muslims…we in America are getting really tired of your temper tantrums.  Here in the West we have what we call “freedom of expression.”  You will simply have to learn to live with it, because we are not about to give it up. 

For the hundredth time: If you don’t like something that is said or written, then ignore it or criticize the creator or respond to it in some civilized way.  Anything but rioting and killing, which, it has been noted, are the only two things you are good at. 

Freedom of expression is, I realize, a concept alien to your cultures.  Yet we must share the world.  We cannot be held hostage to your outbursts of childish violence. 

So, my bigoted Muslim friends, I remind you, for the umpteenth time, that you cannot force the world to live by your rules.  You can at best only ignore those who don’t obey them.

I personally would not burn a Koran, but I would not arrest someone else who did so, if the book was his property.  I wouldn’t watch a movie in which Mohammed has sex with a goat, but I would not kill the moviemaker.  That, my ignorant friends, is the difference between “semi-civilized” (you) and “somewhat more civilized (us).”

I leave you with this thought: could there be some connection between the time you devote to your religion...and the harsh, tribal nature and cultural and economic backwardness of your societies? 

Why is it that every year, ten times as many books are translated into Spanish as into Arabic? Why are there always plenty of men (always men) out there rioting in the middle of the day?  Why don’t they have jobs?  Why aren’t they in school?  Why aren’t they with their families?

Muslims…if you want to find the source of your misery, trust me: solace will not come from arson and murder.  It will come from looking yourselves in the mirror, realizing that YOU are responsible for your backwardness…and getting rid of that awful piece of primitive trash you call a holy book.  It and its poisonous ideas are holding you back.

America remains dedicated to liberty – and opposed to oppression by governments, corporations, and, most definitely, by religion.

I call upon you to cease this violence, because it is based on an egregious misunderstanding: THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CANNOT CONTROL AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF A FILM. 

I will repeat that: THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CANNOT CONTROL AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF A FILM.

If you think so…if you think I can do anything about it – as did the enraged Egyptian youth I saw on CNN – you are sadly misled. 

Don’t believe everything your imams tell you.  Are you robots? Sheep? Or human beings with minds of their own?  Don't you know that you are being manipulated by fanatic Muslim groups who look for any  excuse to attack the West? 

Recently there were riots over cartoons, which certain radical groups in the Islamic community cynically used to start more unrest...which conveniently draws the rioters' attention away from how miserable their lives are.

For now, we will trust the local authorities to control the violence and find the perpetrators.  It is unconscionable that Americans died for a movie.  I condemn this irrational anti-American violence, just as I condemn all manner of religious insanity.

If you do not cease and desist, and your governments cannot control the situation, I promise you that the destruction of American lives and property because of warped, psychotic religious dreams cannot and will not continue…and will be stopped by any means we deem appropriate.

Let us hope it does not come to that. 

To every Muslim leader, every person of influence around the world -- diplolats, scholars, business leaders, politicians -- I say: the silence is deafening.  Why have you not made vehement public statements condemning the violence, urging Muslims to be more tolerant, less touchy, reminding them that they live in a world with six billion non-Muslims?

I've actually heard about one or two Muslim clerics speaking out against the violence. I hope it won't cost them their lives.  But it's not enough.  Far from it.  All prominent, influential Muslims must rise up and say with one voice: enough! 

If you think yours is a religion of peace, prove it.  Right now, all I hear is...nothing.  Have you been cowed into silence by the fanatics who also consider themselves Muslims?

And to every Muslim who thinks he must avenge the supposed profanation of a book with violence and anger, I say: grow up.  Get over it.

Stop your childish temper tantrums over nothing.  Put out your fires, go home, go to school, go to work, play with your children, treat your women kindly (if you cannot accept them as equals), and live in peace.  As Christians and Jews learned long ago, you cannot force the world to respect your dark superstitions. 

Thank you…and may America live long and prosper. 

Views: 250

Tags: Islam, blasphemy, freedom, laws, of, religion, speech, terrorism

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Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 15, 2012 at 9:16am

Michael, what do you think it was? The reformation? I mean muslims had there splintering too. Although the reformation produced perhaps a more fundamental schism. And that schism  led to deism and free thought. (deism only one thought removed from atheism) I think there may have been a basic understanding by protestants that the church was utterly corrupt. The renaissance popes were legends of corruption in there own time. So dissent and questioning gained momentum. And the notion emerged that the highest secular value is freedom from the dictatorship of politics and religion.

At the same time in Europe we see growing dissatisfaction with divine right monarchy. Thinking this through as I am writing. Breakfast is calling my name. I am gonna chop those eggs up like they said something critical. 

Comment by Loren Miller on September 15, 2012 at 9:11am

[groan!] Glen, you cause me to get quoted again and I'll ... I'll ... I'll take an al dente noodle to yer carcass!!! [grin!]

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 15, 2012 at 9:02am

Loren, now THAT was quotable.

Only in the civilization of intolerance will a cartoon be a capital offense. No place for shakespeare's fool or jester. No place for individuality. No place for a good life. Not unless you are a male in a position of authority and you revel in the abuse of power.

It is indeed an impasse between our cultures. It is a wonderful illustration of the dangers inherent in the accumulation of power.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 15, 2012 at 6:07am

It is REALLY too bad, Michael, because if they want to insist that censorship and deference to authority should take precedence over free expression, in that very statement is an intractable impasse.  That impasse has already come to light with the attempt at a UN resolution against any form of blasphemy, a resolution I'd say most if not all of us will observe when pigs fly.  Eventually, this will come to blows, and I don't mean just storm-the-embassy blows but a fully fledged war.

Anyone want to hear one more reason why Ahmadinejad shouldn't have a nuclear weapon?

Comment by Michael OL on September 15, 2012 at 12:45am

Most disturbing to me was recent commentary by "enlightened" Muslim scholars. 

The theme goes like this: "the West seems to value individual freedom and in particular freedom of expression, as the highest possible end.  But that is a mistake.  Though freedom might be important, respect and deference are even more important.  The right to be shielded from offensive thoughts is more important than the right to express those thoughts.  Therefore the West is wrong.  The great crime here isn't the creation of that film about Muhammed, but the fact that Western governments did not censor it.  Never mind that no Western government and very few Western people approve of that film.  It's lack of popularity isn't the point.  The point is that the West failed in its moral duty to impose censorship, and this is the real cause of Muslim rage."

So there we have it, straight from the "intellectuals".  In their view, the ideal society censors unsavory things, and failure to censor is cowardice.  This really is an impasse. 

Christianity was able to begin yielding to modernity 500 years ago when censorship as a lofty ideal began to lose its dominance.  I don't know in which direction the causality points, but as soon as self-expression emerges as a venerated and respected right, religion recedes.  At the same time as the West emerged from airtight Christian dominance 500 years ago, something snapped in the Islamic world to take them in the exact opposite direction.  Too bad...

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 14, 2012 at 8:40pm

Alan it is an interesting question to me because christianity had all manner of punishment for heresy and apostasy and dissent. I think muslims did have their own lights.

Hey you gotta understand there will be no condemnation because she was asking for it.

Comment by Alan Perlman on September 14, 2012 at 7:50pm

To Jay...I've heard both of those charges and no reason to doubt them.  Morality was different back then.  So why dignify such a figure? Wasn't the Koran written by other people anyway?

To Glen...Glad you liked it.  I think that progressive, tolerant Muslim societies (were they really innovative or did they just preserve Greek learning?) just stopped on a dime, like the Chinese, and decided that all dissenting thought was taboo. 

See, this intolerance is why Islam is such a dangerous force in the world.

The speech was motivated by frustration at CNN reporting all the violence, regretting the deaths, but NEVER mentioning that this is all about a totally bogus religious offense.  No commentator will condemn the demonstrators as the raging psychotics that they are. 

Comment by Glen Rosenberg on September 14, 2012 at 6:05pm

Alan I like your speech.

It is perfectly evident that the notion some of these countries can have a true democracy is a silly chimera as long as Islam is strong. The most fundamental aspect of freedom in a democracy, speech, is impossible.

Aint it wierd how the muslim world was the leading light in 10th and 11th century and somehow the backassward christians had a renaissance and an elightenment and are now light years ahead. It would be interesting to know the explanation.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 14, 2012 at 5:18pm

Jay, it's not just that we won't get this out of Obama.  If you can name me a head of state, ambassador, or any other kind of high-ranking government official who is willing to speak truth to stupidity (which is what is represented by the protesters), then you win the door prize [it's a really NICE door ... honest!].  Some news media, as you cite, may be willing to talk about this in straightforward terms, but they'll be few and far between.  For the large part, EVERYONE will be apologetic about the film because Religion Is Supposed To Be Respectable.

Of course, the problem is that religion ISN'T ... and no one has the brass to bell the cat.

Comment by jay H on September 14, 2012 at 4:58pm
We won't get this out of Obama. We've got both Clinton and Obama himself apologizing for the 'offensiveness' of the film. Now, I've not seen it, but from CNNs description it claimed that Mohammed was a pedophile (true) and a murderer (true). Sheesh entire books like that have been written about Popes and most of what we get is Donahue pissing and moaning. Even he doesn't try to burn down embassies.

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