The film Fitna shows Qur’anic verses coupled with Muslims committing violent acts. As a result the Dutch government has filed charges against Mr. Wilders for his insult to Islam. While the Netherlands may be a western country, it has increasingly become more Islamic in attitude primarily because of its nearly 1 million Muslim citizens compared to its 15 million non-Muslim citizens. Presumably, the Dutch are bending over backwards to make the Muslim feel welcome in their country while they ignore their other citizens.
Additionally, the freedom of speech is also being curtailed in the United Kingdom. Two police officers entered a Pub off duty with their wives in tow and noticed the posting of newspaper articles on the wall. The articles were from a mainstream paper, presumably everyone who wanted to read the paper were aware of their contents, and had the opportunity to purchase the paper. However, since the barman chose to display only the clippings of Muslim violence he was charged with a crime. All the barman had done was to purchase his local paper, clip the articles he was interested in, and post them for others to see and that is a crime in England.
In Australia, two members of the Christian clergy were arrested and heavily fined for their criticism of Islam. Additionally, the Aussie government wants to tighten free speech rules in order to more effectively prosecute views that differ from its own. All with the intent of preserving public order, no doubt. I don’t know about you, but I have been informed that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Here in the U.S. we have a Constitutional amendment that preserves our freedom of speech, but is our own right under assault? The left has sought to institute global warming denier laws that would jail dissidents based upon holocaust denier laws in Europe. Also, the left seeks the introduction of legislation that would bring back the Fairness Doctrine in radio in order to silence the voices of conservatism. Essentially, the Fairness Doctrine would provide an avenue of attack for leftists to demand free air time in order to respond to whatever they objected about. Under this doctrine previously, the AM band was restricted to music and religious programming. When the FM band came into prominence, the AM was nearly dead and those in radio thought that AM would go away forever.
Rush Limbaugh’s voice changed all of that and the AM band is now vibrant again. To return to the Fairness Doctrine would spell the end of talk radio and the AM band today. Unfortunately, the burning desire to restrict free speech is reflected throughout the Federal Government. Even President Obama has no use for outside opinions. In a meeting with Republicans President Obama intoned, “You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done.” What the President was implying was that if the Republicans insisted on maintaining conservative values they would be ignored and left behind. When Eric Cantor (R. VA.) objected to the President’s plan to disburse hefty payments to those who did not earn enough to pay taxes the President replied, “I won, I will trump you on that.” The message is clear, don’t offer a differing opinion.
This was the reason that the 1st amendment was created. So that opposing opinions in government would be heard. This principle has two effects, it presents another way and it acts as a relief valve for opposition. This is why it is the ballot box that changes American government and not the muzzle of a rifle. When the freedom of speech is limited, it is as if the relief valve of a boiler is stuck closed. So long as the boiler’s pressure remains within specifications, everything is fine. However, if the boiler begins to exceed its designed pressure and the relief valve is permanently shut off, then you get a rather impressive explosion. The boiler analogy is a nearly perfect one to the behavior of human beings. Our founding fathers did not want war with England, but when England refused to listen to their voices the seeds of warfare were planted.
Hesitation and doubt are beginning to be felt within the conservative community across the world. Rights as a free people are beginning to be lost in the nations of the West as governments charge citizens with crimes for expressing an opinion. The public’s fascination with the left will not last and one day they may regret the error of their ways.