Push to Suppress Free Speech by Congress, The U.N. & Hillary Clinton
Shortly after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, which left 14 dead and 22 injured, Attorney General Loretta Lynch expressed more concern over anti-Muslim rhetoric than she did about actual terror attacks. At that time, Lynch also threatened to prosecute anti-Muslim speech which edges “toward violence.” Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, has made similar remarks, as has FBI Director James Comey.
But, as is pointed out by FrontPageMag, “edging toward violence” is, of course, not the constitutional standard for illegal speech in the land of the free. The correct legal standard set forth in ‘Brandenburg vs Ohio’ by the Supreme Court is “incitement to violence.” The content of language has to explicitly encourage the violence with imminent lawless action the likely result. No doubt that Lynch’s ‘edging toward violence’ standard will not be equally applied to the Muslims preaching ‘death to America’ in American mosques.”
In a move that received minimal media attention, HR 569: Condemning Violence, Bigotry and Hateful Rhetoric Towards Muslims in the United States was introduced in the House on December 17, 2015. On January 15, 2016, it was referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. But, “the law regarding freedom of speech and of religion, as it exists in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, is already compelled to protect all citizens and to extend that protection to non-citizens who come to American shores. Are Muslims in need of greater protection?” According to the FBI’s 2014 Hate Crime Statistics’ analysis of data for victims of single-bias hate crime incidents:
- 8.6 percent were victims of crimes motivated by the offenders’ anti-Christian bias (6.1% anti-Catholic, 2.5% anti-Protestant).
- 16.1 percent were victims of crimes motivated by the offenders’ anti-Muslim bias.
- 56 percent were victims of crimes motivated by the offenders’ anti-Jewish bias.
Another resolution, which could eventually pose a real threat to free speech in the U.S. is the UN Human Rights Commission’s Resolution 16/18. The resolution is an attempt to, “establish Islamic ‘blasphemy laws,’ making criticism of religion a criminal offense. The UNHRC Resolution would apply internationally (non-binding as of yet, except, presumably, for the countries that want it to be binding), and infractions would be punishable by law.”
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton played a significant role in paving the way for this resolution, which could have potential impact the U.S. According to the Daily Caller:
“In 2012, Hillary Clinton co-chaired a meeting with 57 Muslim countries in Istanbul, Turkey.
The closed-door meeting was for the purpose of devising a process to implement U.N. Resolution 16/18, which would prohibit speech insulting Islam.
Championed by the Obama administration, Resolution 16/18 claims to seek a balance between freedom of religion and freedom of expression by ‘combating intolerance, negative stereotyping and stigmatization of, and discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief.’
At the close of the Istanbul meeting in 2012, Secretary Clinton called for ‘formulating international laws preventing inciting hatred.’ OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu commended the Obama administration. ‘I particularly appreciate the kind personal interest of Secretary Clinton and the role played by the U.S. towards the consensual adoption of the resolution,’ he said.”
Seated on the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) are some of the worst human rights abusers in the world, including Libya, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Cuba, and China. The OIC’s strategy to criminalize “defamation of Islam” goes back to the OIC’s 10 Year Plan of Action, which was adopted in 2005. Under Section VII Countering Islamophobia, the plan states:
“3. Endeavor to have the United Nations adopt an international resolution to counter Islamophobia, and call upon all States to enact laws to counter it, including deterrent punishments.”
Patrick Poole has commented that, “in their published implementation plan for their 10 Year Plan of Action, they are more clear that combating ‘defamation of religion’ is not what they were after, but rather criminalizing ‘Islamophobia.’”
In addition to these resolutions, free speech is also being obliterated on college campuses across the U.S., individuals have been arrested in Europe for speech that offends Muslims and Twitter has reportedly been censoring speech, which has inspired the #FreeStacy hashtag.
Yet, free speech issues are often placed on the back burner by many who claim support it. There’s always something more pressing, like an election, for instance. But, nothing will have more impact on future elections than the suppression of free speech. As Thomas Jefferson said: “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Those who support free speech need to make some noise.