The Flathead Valley’s Leading Independent Journal of Observation, Analysis, & Opinion. © James R. Conner.


11 September 2012

What’s the matter with our state department?

Updated (see note below). Religion besotted Muslims, outraged because a movie produced in the United States depicted the Prophet Mohammad (a hanging offense in Muslimdom), attacked our embassy in Egypt and our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, where a U.S. State Department official was killed.

The Obama administration isn’t happy about the killing, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denounced, but according to the Washington Post, neither is the Obama administration happy about insults to religion:

“We are speaking out and will never be tolerant toward any curses for our prophet,” said Moaz Abdel Kareem, 37, who had a long beard typical of followers of the Salafist movement and was carrying a black flag.

Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Egypt had condemned insults to religion, saying in a statement that “we firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi is a member, said that the United States should do a better job of protecting Islam.

“It isn’t a matter of freedom of speech,” Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Gozlan said. “It’s a matter of a holy Islamic symbol.”

That statement by our embassy in Egypt isn’t going to mollify the fanatics who attacked our embassy and killed our consular officer. Islamic zealots want us dead or converted to Islam. There’s no middle ground here; none is possible as long as Islam produces hyper-religious cultists who treat producing an image of its prophet as a capital offense.

Update. Politico reports that the Obama administration has disavowed the statement issued by our embassy in Cairo, Egypt.

I expect our embassies to issue full-throated defenses of free speech — including speech that offends. Anything less is cowardice. We know what’s the matter with Islam. But what’s the matter with our State Department?