I am known for being an ardent defender of the right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press. I am also known, however, for being against bigotry in all its many forms. Today, I am torn between those two. In life, my friends, everything is not black-and-white, but there are many grey areas … and today’s post is about one of those grey areas.
Freedom of speech, as it has many times been interpreted by the Supreme Court, the highest law of the land, includes the right to protest. That is as it should be. But yesterday, Americans in 30 cities across the nation shamed themselves and all of the United States by abusing that right, for they were not protesting bad government, they were not protesting the rise in price of celery. No, they were protesting against all members of one of the world’s major religions, Islam. To anyone who joined in, supports or applauds these protests: WHAT IN THE SAM HELL ARE YOU THINKING????
The protests were not large, and in some cities, the counter-protests organized by Civil Rights groups were actually better-attended. However, the principle remains the same. Islam is a religion of peace and love. There are some terrorist groups that commit horrific crimes in the name of Islam. Christianity teaches peace and love. There are some groups of Christians who commit horrific crimes in the name of Christianity. What is the difference? There is none, but can you imagine the reaction of the masses if anti-Christian groups staged protests against Christians?
The rallies were organized by Act for America, which claims to be protesting about human rights violations but has been deemed an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Act for America calls itself “the NRA of national security”. Need I say more? The founder of the organization is one Brigitte Gabriel who claims to be “one of the leading terrorism experts in the world”, yet the sum total of her educational background seems to be a one-year business administration degree from the YWCA. Seriously????? I must, then, be a real expert, for I have taken two semester-long courses in terrorism as a part of my (unfinished) quest for a Ph.D. in International Relations!
Gabriel has said that “the Arab world was characterized by ‘evil’ and ‘barbarism’”, and a snippet from the group’s website reads …
“Throughout its existence, ACT has stayed true to its mission by working to advance anti-Muslim legislation at the local and federal level while flooding the American public with wild hate speech demonizing Muslims … The difference, my friends, between Israel and the Arabic world, is a difference between civilization and barbarism. It’s a difference between goodness and evil. And this is what we’re witnessing in the Arabic world — they have no soul, they are dead-set on killing and destruction.”
Remember last July, during Trump’s phobic election campaign, when he belittled Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of a slain Muslim soldier who had strongly denounced Mr. Trump during the Democratic National Convention? Well, Ms. Gabriel had this to say about it …
“A practicing Muslim cannot, with good conscience, hold the Constitution and say that he abides by the Constitution and lives by the Constitution, because according to Sharia law — which every devout Muslim follows — the Constitution is a man-made law and it cannot be followed.”
An ignorant statement by an ignorant woman.
Act for America counts among its supporters a number of high-profile political figures. New York Congressman Peter King, in particular, has taken part in the “Act for America Show” on YouTube, and Senator Ted Cruz has spoken at their annual Legislative Briefing in Washington D.C. Former national security adviser Mike Flynn has been a member of the group’s Board of Advisors, and Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson is scheduled to speak at AfA’s annual conference in October 2017. In March 2017, Gabriel was invited to the White House for a meeting with a member of the Trump administration’s “legislative staff.” Why am I not surprised?
People … we do NOT need this. These types of rallies do nothing but promote fear and hatred under the guise of free speech. If we wish to keep our nearly unlimited right to free speech, arguably the most important right we have in this country, then we must protect and cherish it, we must use if for good rather than evil, and we must not use it to propagate fear and hatred, to personify evil. We must use it wisely and responsibly, and that is not what those involved with yesterday’s rallies did. They shamed themselves, though they are too stupid to realize it, and they shamed our nation.
I do not want the government, nor the police, to take away our right to speak freely, nor do I want them to take away our right to protest, to hold rallies and marches. But that is what will happen if we do not police ourselves. We must unite against hate and bigotry, for both are dividing this nation, causing splits that may take decades to heal. If citizens of this country continue to act as wild boar hogs, then eventually we will all be treated as such. Think about it.