This morning I read in the newspaper that this guy named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (aka Sam Basile) was arrested. He’s the guy who put together the video that made fun of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and allegedly sparked deadly protests in the Middle East. However, the reason Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was arrested does not directly have anything to do with his speaking out against Islam. He was apparently on probation for some unrelated reasons and one of the requirements of his probation was that he post nothing to the Internet. So, it wasn’t that he posted that particular video to the Internet that got him in trouble per se. It’s that he posted anything to the Internet while still under probation. I haven’t found out yet why he was on probation in the first place, but that probably doesn’t matter. What concerns me is that he’s been silenced due to a technicality.
Another thing that concerns me is how in the Middle East right now there are people who are challenging the First Amendment rights of not only their own citizens (who don’t currently have the ability to exercise said rights as their governments and religious sects tell them not to believe they have said rights) but they are also challenging the rights of all human beings anywhere. They want their prophet Muhammad to be above reproach. To speak of their prophet Muhammad in any way they find objectionable is an offense to each believer of the Islamic faith, their community as a whole, and to their imaginary deity, who we are told gets upset when one points out that Muhammad was a bigamist and a pedophile. I mean, it’s in their own Quran, but they don’t like it when you point that out.
Not that the Quran or the Hadith or whatever are historically accurate to my satisfaction, but Muslims assume these books are dependable resources, and even these works admit that Muhammad was sexually active and, how shall I put this..? ..morally inconsistent. Muslims should be rioting about their own dogma, if they’re that upset about what Nakoula Basseley Nakoula put in his own video. As cheesy and cheaply produced as it was, essentially he just dramatized and lampooned stuff he found in the dogma. He didn’t have to exaggerate much either. Muhammad had a harem. This is widely known. The Quran itself says this is completely acceptable. Here in the West we freak out over what’s in The Book of Mormon about bigamy and multiple wives. J. Smith was tame compared to the Quran.
This isn’t about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula getting anything wrong. No one’s accusing the video in question of being inaccurate. They say it is offensive. The video depicts Muhammad. A guy portrays Muhammad as if he were a B listed celebrity in some Hollywood bio pic for an irrelevant cable network. There are people in the Middle East wanting to see Nakoula Basseley Nakoula silenced, for disrespecting a dead guy who doesn’t deserve respect. Prominent leaders in the Middle East are demanding that laws be passed making it illegal to disrespect their prophet, or say bad things about their deity. Of course, they have to demand it, because they don’t deserve this kind of behavior.
They can’t prove their god exists. They use faith to validate their behavior, and they accuse anyone who disagrees with them of religious persecution. Their own belief structure allows them to persecute anyone who disagrees with them. They give themselves permission to be insensitive and offensive to heretics and apostates and women and pretty much anyone who isn’t muslim. They have permission from their Allah to kill anyone who admonishes their belief system. They also believe, again without proof, that anyone who disagrees with them will suffer eternal torment at the hands of their invisible and nonexistent deity. So even if a moderate Muslim is nice to your face, quietly he’s saying to himself that if you aren’t in step with his abrahamic belief system, you’re gonna suffer hellfire for eternity.
The more I look at Islam, the more it reinforces my original assumption that it’s just judeo-christian crapola for the enemies of Zion. This must be a way for the invisible nonexistent deity to try and cover all the bases, so no matter which side of humanity survives after massive genocide in some catastrophic war, those survivors will theoretically still believe in a diluted form of this One True God thing. I see little to no significant difference between these three abrahamic faiths. It’s not blissful to be ignorant. These religions are ignorance passing as bliss. Not even doing a good job of that. Thousands are killed worldwide every year for disobeying the laws of Allah or whatever that part of the world calls him. Here in the United States it’s actually rather tame compared to much of the “uncivilized” world. There’s places where I’d probably be shot on sight if I walked their streets and opened my mouth.
It’s eternal vigilance that keeps our rights in check. I was taught as a child that self-evident rights are inalienable. However, that’s not what I observe in actual reality. These allegedly inalienable rights are taken from people all the time. There are people even today who live and die without the knowledge they have the right to live free and happy. They are taught that suffering is a natural part of what their god wants them to experience, and the more suffering you can get the more your god likes you. This is behavioral conditioning. People tell this to other people so they are more easily manipulated.
One more thing that concerns me: stripping allegedly inalienable rights could happen here. In fact it has happened here before. It doesn’t take much to turn that screw.
I have written before at length about how shouting fire in a movie theater is an example of our rights being stripped from us. No of course people shouldn’t want to scream fire in a movie theater. We shouldn’t incite people to riot or cause mischief that puts people’s lives at risk. However, by making laws restricting free speech, you can no longer call it free. You admit by making these laws that there’s no such thing as free speech. You’re free to say whatever you like, so long as no one gets offended when you say it. So long as it can’t later be perceived as possibly dangerous in some way. You may not have even meant to cause harm, but if other people caused harm because of your words, you could be seen as inciting to riot. Disturbing the peace. Participating in antisocial behavior. et cetera. It’s a slippery slope. We all agree to the screaming fire in a movie theater thing cuz situation-ally it makes sense. However, in a broader context, it opens the floodgates to all kinds of legislation, allowing whatever majority is in power to control alleged “free” speech so that it suits their purposes and agendas.
And if history is any indicator, such “control” is fluid and elusive. No one gets to keep it forever. This is the sort of thing that naturally happens when people start substituting freedoms for the illusion of security. You may not want to hear disparaging and disagreeable opinions, but by demanding such remarks can’t be made at all, you are placing your life as more important and superior. You get to say whatever you want about what they say. They should get to say whatever they want. Demanding otherwise and getting offended is you trying to undermine the right of other people to speak. In turn, you should then have to forego your own perceived right to free speech, cuz you have demonstrated you don’t believe they should get it, so why should you?