Yes, Even Ads Critical Of Islam Are Protected Free Speech
In yet another case examining the correct application of the First Amendment, ads by conservative blogger Pam Gellar are going up on subways in New York City. The Metropolitan Transit Authority was ordered by a Manhattan Federal Court to place "Anti-Jihad Savage" ads, starting early this week.
The MTA had originally refused to accept the ads under their "No Demeaning Ad Standard" policy. After the ruling the MTA Spokesman said: "Our hands are tied." The ad copy states: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."
This is the second city where the ads will be seen. Recently the ads were displayed on buses in San Francisco, which saw no violence or protests as a result, only graffiti and vandalism of the ads themselves. Some words were defaced and had the word "Jihad" removed.
In New York a regular subway rider, named Abdul Yasar, found Geller's ad insensitive in an unsettling climate for Muslims, stating: "If you don't want to see what happened in Libya and Egypt after the video - maybe not so strong here in America - you shouldn't put this up."
Free speech is such a foreign concept to the Muslim world that they expect to be able to riot and kill at every offense, even here in this country. That's absurd.
The First Amendment doesn't apply selectively to some Americans and not to others. All speech is protected under the Constitution. Yet to hear this topic described on major media outlets you would think this set of ads is tantamount to a declaration of war. Watch talk show host Richard French and his guests as they discuss the topic.
Only one person on the panel actually seemed to understand that the ads themselves are not the problem: US Senatorial candidate Wendy Long. She effectively articulated what the ads are and are not saying. In listening to the other panelists describe their reactions to the ads a clear difference in beliefs becomes evident. Candidate Long believes, as most Americans do, that the ads are fine as worded. Some may disagree with the wording, but the intent is clear: blowing up innocent women and children in the name of Holy Jihad is a savage activity. So support the country that does not engage in that activity.
The other guests were inflamed by the idea that anyone would be called a savage, rightly so or not. This is a problem!
If a group of people believes that others are responsible for foreseeing the possibility of their actions causing a problem and correcting course - and they also believe that if they are offended then any actions they take thereafter are excusable - then there will never be freedom of speech.
Accepting this ruse is called appeasement, and it is a sign of weakness.
Free thinking westernized nations should decry jihadist violence without apology or offers of censorship, because that's the only way other less developed nations will learn that we honor the constitution here in the US.See more "Right Views, Right Now" opinion and analysis.