Reblogged from EmancipationConversation…
Film provocateur, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is temporarily a right-wing martyr to free speech, though when it all sorts out might turn out to be more hustler than hero. Still, the picture of him covering his face as he leaves his house under the protection of police officers makes a good visual…
Nakoula is reportedly fearful for his life after the film generated widespread outrage in the Middle East and has prompted anti-American violence in numerous countries. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last week.
Deputies picked up Nakoula at his Cerritos home on behalf of federal probation officials shortly after midnight on Saturday. Nakoula was whisked away by a waiting car, his identity shrouded by a white scarf covering his face. He wore a heavy winter coat and kept his hands in his pockets.
A U.S. Courts spokeswoman said Friday that federal probation officials were reviewing whether Nakoula, who was convicted on bank fraud charges, violated terms of his probation in relation to the video and its uploading onto the Internet.
Fox News got into it, and host Eric Bolling tried to change President Obama’s religion for him. They’re always doing that. They haven’t figured out yet that the liberal Christians of the United Church of Christ are way scarier than Muslims. Dare to attend their Coffee Hour and you will know what I’m talking about…
BOLLING (co-host): Can we throw that picture up of the filmmaker again? When he’s all, like, in disguise and the cops are leading him out? To me, America changed. I —
DANA PERINO (co-host): Yeah, I agree.
GRED GUTFELD (co-host): Yeah.
BOLLING: Someone emailed that picture la– Mark Levin, actually, sent it to me. He goes, “Take a look at this.” America changed at that moment. To use a — what is being called a flimsy ploy to bring this guy in for questioning —
PERINO: What next?
BOLLING: — proves that the Obama administration, through all this appeasement and apologizing, answers to the Quran first and to the Constitution second.
I’d love to see a reporter ask Mitt Romney if he answers to the Book of Mormon first and the Constitution second. I’d love to see that type of question put to all our politicians. I think President Obama would be able to say that he answers to the Constitution in his service as President and the Bible in his personal religious convictions. It’s called separation of church and state.
I wonder how many of the politicians who use God to get votes would be able to handle that without stuttering? I once saw Sen.Harold Metts testify in the State House against marriage equality with a Bible in his hand. He was waving it. Really. This was a pretty clear message that he has no problem with using his office to promote his religion, and if you don’t follow his religion you can just move out of his district.
Come to think of it, that’s why there’s a Rhode Island. The Puritans told Roger Williams not to let the door hit him on the way out. History shows that when a state establishes an official religion, the religious start purging and persecuting dissidents among their own. It may have something to do with power politics and human nature.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula threw gasoline on a fire from the safety of his home in the USA, not caring who got hurt. He gave cover to violent anti-US extremists so they could carry out their political attacks under the cover of religion. Free speech doesn’t mean a free pass from criticism for lack of responsibility. Or for that matter, gratuitous insult.
I was raised Catholic, back when nuns wore habits. They told us stories about priests who ran into burning churches to save the Holy Host. To profane this little white wafer would be a sin unthinkable. But heretics and evil-doers were everywhere, so each of us must be prepared to defend the Faith, with our lives if need be.
Different religions have symbols they hold in reverence. From a humanistic perspective, I would not disrespect anyone’s religious practices. Or tell anyone their grand kid was funny-looking. Why be needlessly hurtful and offensive? This is bad policy in social relations.
In Democracy our elected representatives should be fair to all and favor none. So I’d love to see Fox ask each one of them if they serve the Constitution, or their religion first. Those who serve their religion should abandon politics and follow their true calling as clergy.
9 thoughts on “Fox News Host Opens a Can of Worms”
Sorry Nancy, I can’t agree with your blaming an obsure film-maker who did nothing illegal more than the hooligans who riot and even kill (think also of the Dutch politician Van Gogh, assissinated by an Islamic extremist). We’ve let ourselves be intimidated by them way too much, not just Fox, we should all stand up for free speech.
I would be more sympathetic to the feelings of the offended Muslims if they showed some concern for Muslim intolerance, such as the destruction of Buddhist monuments in Afghanistan, the routine and relentlessly vicious anti-Jewish rhetoric in their world, the persection of Christians in Nigeria, East Timor, south Sudan, and even the total ban on Christianity in Saudi Arabia, and more.
Well,Barry-we agree on this.I’m afraid Nancy has a blind spot for people like Louis Farrakhan who routinely spread hate and the church/minister who saw fit to give him a lifetime achievement award-I guess he did a good job demonizing Jews.
As far as the President goes,I think his response has nothing to do with any “loyalty”to the Koran-I actually think he doesn’t pay much mind to religion at all-his response was just incompetent.
The President also has some strange ideas about the Constitution-his reliance on administrative remedies often comes perilously close to evading the system of checks and balances contained in that document.
I was once working with an agent from another agency-he was Black and I liked working with him,but one day he asked me-“I don’t agree with Farrakhan’s attacks on Jews,but what do you think of his other statements and activities?I just said-If someone calls you a n——,do you care what else they have to say?He got all flustered and then said-yeah,I see what you mean”.
Not every Muslim cleric is spreading hate,but there sure are enough who do.The truth isn’t always convenient.
The world is an absurd place. American exceptionalism, the end product of 3000 years of the development of Western ideals, has been one of the few bright places in a world largely living a desperate existence. One of our treasured freedoms is the ability to say almost anything, no matter how absurd or distasteful to some without fear. With the absurd or distasteful also comes wisdom. The Islamic tradition is decidedly not Western, decidedly authoritarian, decidedly antithetical to freedom of speech, expression, equality of women or others of different religious beliefs, or rationalism. The difficulty of a cultural religious ideology that lives in a 9th century world, following a 7th century ideology, is that it clashes with the realities of the 21st century as understood in the West. It is perfectly alright for people to believe that a meteor is a holy rock or that a supposed prophet went to heaven on the back of a horse, or warriors get a gaggle of virgins if they die in battle for the cause, or any other silliness. The problem is that what also follows is an inability to let others believe what they care to believe, perhaps some things equally silly. One only looks to the fact that fewer books are published in the entire Islamic world of 1.5 billion people each year than are published in the comparatively small country of Italy. The current situation, caused by extremism, not some stupid video, leading to the slaughter and destruction of American lives and embassies in Islamic countries, reflects that 9th century mentality of mobs led by terrorists. The failure of the Obama administration to do anything effective, may be a far worse indicator of threats to come. Obama and his public “effector,” Ms Clinton, remind one of the dark days before the Second World War and the antics, totally miscalculated, of the British led by Neville Chamberlain.
I’m reading the New Yorker article by Salmon Rushdie about the time he spent as a fugitive of the fatwa against him for writing The Satanic Verses. I’m not defending anyone who answers speech with violence. I guess it’s a tribute to our American principles that someone like Fred Phelps can spew in any public place with no worse consequences than being mocked.
However, I’ll use my free speech to say that throwing provocation when others are on the front lines is irresponsible and gives cover to violent political factions who need an excuse for attacks they already planned.
Any store-front reverend can get on the news by burning a Koran, that doesn’t make him a hero. Ambassador Stevens was serving our country, negotiating to keep the peace. He was doing more to protect America than any armchair warrior.
Nancy-you claim you demonstrated against the Vietnam War-well,according to the North Vietnamese leaders,the “movement”in the US gave them a large morale boost.I came home and saw NVA flags being displayed by what were supposed to be fellow Americans-there was no possible excuse for that.I wonder how displaying Nazi and or Japanese flags would’ve gone over in WW2?Now you come along all judgmental and calling people “armchair warriors”.Nice.I don’t know if you carried an NVA flag-probably not,but I’m quite sure you didn’t criticize those who did.Granted that Vietnam was a stupid war of choice initiated by the Democratic President but at the time I only knew I was there because we were supposed to be fighting the communists.i didn’t have a printable opinion of people at home who I saw as backstabbers.I still have a bad attitude towards them and will til my last day.
Barry mentioned Van Gogh-I know he was a documentary film maker-way to the left actually-and he was killed for making a film about the rights of women featuring Ayan Hirsi Ali.This is what Donald is talking about-the feeling that so many Muslims have about being justified in murdering those who don’t submit to their crazy ideas-and God help a woman who wants to leave that faith like Ms. Hirsi. I once met a Pakistani woman who wanted asylum here because she rejected Islam and even though she lived in the UK she feared the Pakistani community there.I doubt she got it.This was in the 1970’s!!
This is a strange comparison– the Peace Movement vs people who fan the flames of war for whatever reasons. I think Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has more in common with Barry Goldwater, who urged us to nuke Vietnam. Assuming human nature is the same there as here, I think that would stiffen resistance. Incidentally, the first American fatalities in Vietnam occurred in the Eisenhower administration in 1959, JFK inherited that war.
I marched from Our Lady of Providence Seminary to the State House with future Catholic priests. Opponents of the war included young men up for the draft, bereaved parents, civil rights workers, Quakers, ordinary citizens appalled at the pictures on the evening news. I’m not ashamed to have taken the same stand as Martin Luther King, Coretta King, Robert Kennedy, Eugene McCarthy and others on the right side of history.
There is no North Vietnam any more. There’s only Vietnam. John McCain has traveled there several times in the past few decades. What was it all for? How will we look at the brutal war in Afghanistan in future years? War is easy to start, once started it’s hard to put the fire out. The Unitarians have a principle–‘free and responsible search for meaning.’ Freedom is not an absolute good without responsibility. It’s possible to stand against the fanatics and political manipulators who use speech as an excuse for violence without embracing that speech when it is intended to incite.
Every storefront preacher who wants to be on the evening news just has to burn a Koran. The Muslim world has to put limits on its own violent factions, but we in our turn don’t have to dignify hate speech by putting a junk film on a level with ‘The Satanic Verses’. It’s better when religious people organize in the US to call for peace, and I think that there have been some who have done that.
I know our first casualties were in 1959-I had a friend who was there during that period and he remembered the situation as very low level adviser ops.Kennedy wasn’t the big expander-it was LBJ and the phony Gulf of Tonkin episode that really cranked things up.I was there 1968-69 and I got there on 9/2/68 right after watching the Chicago riots-the war was going full blast then.What was it for?In retrospect I can’t be sure-we really didn’t use all our potential to defeat the North Vietnamese and then went home minus 58,000 men.Now Vietnam and the US are friendly and everyone I know who went back for a visit was pleasantly surprised at how nice the people were-which says something about them since we bombed and shelled the sh*t out of them for years on end.They’re mostly Buddhists,which is a world away from Moslems.I frankly don’t give a damn what happens in Afghanistan after we leave-we jut need to leave.If Bush had stayed out of Iraq maybe this war would’ve been ended by now or even earlier.I can’t lay this mess on Obama.The Afghans are a bunch of medieval warlord ruled people who have no interest in a modern nation-they prefer enclaves-and I say let them have it their way-I just don’t care.
To finish I might say I have a different view of Joan Baez than of Jane Fonda-I have no anger at the former,and hatred for the latter-being for peace doesn’t mean you wear the escutcheon of the enemy.
BTW freedom of speech doesn’t presuppose that said speech in whatever format will necessarily be of high quality.The Moslems at the UN are demanding an end to anti Islamic “hate speech’in the next breath from calling Jews every expletive imaginable.The hell with them.
The false premise of cultural relativism is at once a pitfall and simply nonsense. In a 21st Century world of science, technology, literature, western ideals of free and creative thought and speech that have dominated the total force of what we can call progress, archaic 7th Century absurd Islamic ideology and behaviors are out of step. Tolerance for the absurd is fine, but tolerance for the absurd and dangerous is less than rational. There is not much rational in an Islamic mob that wants to kill novelists in the Middle East, allow the stoning of women who dare question husbands, or who doubt the slaughter of Jews in the past and intend to repeat the offense in the future. Were these isolated head hunters on some remote island, is far different than
the barbarisms the Islamic world; the one would find anthropologists living in villages, the other has riotous behavior of mobs on television.