Sunday, a couple of wanna-be jihadists‘ attempt to silence free speech at a “draw Mohammad” event were foiled. The Garland tragedy provided many causes for concern. But for the authors of this Washington Post article… well, they’re most put off by the rudeness of Pamela Geller and event organizers who (gasp!)… haven’t apologized?
Now, one would think members of the media, particularly media employed by a legacy establishment such as the Washington Post, would applaud those who stand firm against the enemies of free speech. Alas…
Sadly, the headline isn’t the worst part of the article published late yesterday evening.
Sandhya Somashekhar, the article’s author went so far as to suggest the event was intentionally designed to “bait” Mohammad image loyalists. “If the contest was intended as bait, it worked,” she wrote. Somashekhar also attempted to draw a parallel between the always provocative Pamela Geller and the fact that tension in the local Muslim community is quite high… even though the shooters began their fatal trek in Phoenix, Arizona, according to police.
In spite of the headline, the article denies the reader any reason why an apology is the presumed and appropriate course of action for Geller and crew.
The Washington Post was not alone in their “how dare you offend and provoke people with your free speech!!” fauxrage.
Yesterday, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota interviewed Pamela Geller. An apparently confused Camerota summed up the free speech vs. provocation misnomer when she said, “there’s a fine line between freedom of speech and being intentionally incendiary and provocative.”
If you’re in the mood for a CNN smack down, Geller did a bang-up job:
We posed the following to Ms. Camerota, though we’ve yet to receive a response:
I wonder what @AlisynCamerota thinks of the protected right to desecrate an American flag. Is that not also “incendiary and provocative?"
— Kemberlee Kaye (@KemberleeKaye) May 4, 2015
Haroon Moghul, also of CNN penned a piece entitled, “Don’t be fooled by Pamela Geller” in which he condemns Geller’s actions on what amounts to a school yard unspoken understanding, “if you provoke someone meaner than you, you deserve what you get.”
But maybe making this about Islam prevents people from seeing the bigger picture here, the reason American Muslims are rightly and justifiably offended by Gellar and her ilk: Should white activists line up to drop the n-word “to support American values” of free speech? Or perhaps march into Ferguson, Missouri, or Baltimore waving Confederate flags? You have every right to. But should you?
And should you be surprised if a few people react violently, even if that violence is unacceptable? (Which it is.) What if you kept doing it, over and over again? For what possible reason would you want to?
Don’t let Pamela Geller fool you. She might use an American value to defend her work, but it’s merely a means to an end, and you won’t like where she’s taking us.
But when the politically correct crowd dresses up to play ‘journalist’ this — the notion that the provocative is vile — is the result. Confusing distasteful speech with a perceived right not to be offended is the root of this whole misnomer though; one that’s foundational to the furtherance of modern American Progressivism, but has little to do with actual progress.
What they all fail to grasp is that free speech is simply that, free.
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