OK, I'm not a lawyer; however, there is a CLEAR SCOTUS record that does limit free speech when and if the speech creates a "Clear and Present Danger".
Isn't it time for the court to visit the issue of curtailing speech that incites violence in the Muslim world?
Before we continue, let's clear up one point: Regardless of the source, murder and violence are never justified. That said, neither is broadcasting incendiary language or actions that are knowingly offensive to Muslims justified.
DEMOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE: Let's take a close look at the world populations of Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
The number of Christians worldwide is around 2-3 Billion: So, whilst it is difficult to give a definite answer to the actual number of Christians in the world (estimates range from 2 - 3 billion)Even though the world's Jewish population is relatively small, many countries have laws protecting Jews. In this article, you can see which countries have, or are considering, Anti-Semitism laws:
As of this 2010 report, The number of Jewish people world wide is approximately 12 million.
There are an estimated 2.2 Billion Muslims.
Anti-Semitism is against the law in many countries.
However, even though the Muslim population dwarfs the Jewish population, discriminitory anti-Muslim laws seem to abound in Europe.
And there seems to be a nationwide Anti-Shariah law movement here in the USA led by the GOP: GOP embraces anti-Shariah
TPM’s Ryan Reilly reports that the man behind the effort to add the amendment is none other than Kris Kobach, Kansas’ secretary of state who moonlights as an anti-immigration activist. Kobach wrote Arizona’s infamous SB-1070 “papers please” immigration law, and advised a handful of other states on their similar laws cracking down on undocumented migrants.No surprise, Kobach and ALEC have ties:
Kobach is (or at least was during the primary) an adviser to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, and likely the man behind Romney’s “self-deportation” immigration policy.
I believe enough people have died to warrant SCOTUS taking a look at Freedom of Speech related to insulting Muslim beliefs, especially when there is clear evidence that doing so incites violence and even murder of innocent people, including Americans, i.e., incites a "clear and present danger."
SCOTUS has created legal precedence that can deem it a "clear and present danger" to insult Muslims in these two ways: Burning the Q'uoran and Depicting Mohammed in any way.
I'll try to demonstrate this below. If you are a legal scholar, your opinions will be very much appreciated.
In order to keep the focus on the legality of "the movie", I kindly ask that we don't address other topics around this weeks events. There is enough He said/She debate in other diaries.
Again, I think we all agree that a violent, and especially murderous response to the words, non-violent actions, and insults by others is NEVER, NEVER, EVER justified.
I BEG READERS TO REFRAIN FROM DEBATING RELIGION BELOW. We have many other diaries for this as well. Thank you.
I think we can also agree that there are zealots and/or extremists within several religions, not just Muslims:
For instance, this part of "The Movie" story was released today here and in Isreal:
California man confirms role in anti-Islam film that sparked deadly Libya violence
But a Christian activist involved in the film project, Steve Klein, told AP on Wednesday that Bacile was a pseudonym and that he was Christian.The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, said Klein is a former Marine and longtime religious-right activist who has helped train paramilitary militias at a California church.Hate groups remain legal in the USA.
It described Klein as founder of Courageous Christians United, which conducts protests outside abortion clinics, Mormon temples and mosques.
It quoted Klein as saying he believes that California is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells "who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can."
However, perhaps some Muslims would argue that the scope and intensity of armed forces actions by the US, Europe, and Isreal out pace the death and destruction of the extreme Muslims.
That said, there is no lack of proof that any derision or negative depiction of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed or acts like burning a Q'uran results in outrage with many Muslims and violent acts by the most extreme Muslims. People in Muslim countries die, as well as Americans, as a result of Q'uoran burning and depicting Mohammed.
The proof stated above and below that has accumulated since 2006, in my opinion, is sufficient for the US Supreme Court to take action to curtail Americans from speaking and acting in ways that incite Muslim outrage.
The latest news states that the producer/director of the "Innocence of Muslims" movies is a Coptic Christian:
The animosity between Christians and Muslims dates back to 636 AD. It is a long and bloody history.
Isn't it time to end this hate and violence? Can it be ended? And, if not, how can the peacemakers of the world help quell the hate and distrust of both sides? What part can the Jews play in promoting peace?
Legally, the burning questions are:Will doing nothing to curtail people from insulting the Muslim faith in such blatant speech and actions sending a message to the worlds 12 Billion Muslims, many of which are poor and uneducated, that ALL Americans and Europeans condone Q'uoron burning and negative depictions of Mohammed?
Can the law be used in ways to help end escalation of tensions between the seemingly competing religions?
I think so. At the very least, can the law be used to criminalize speech and actions by one group or individual that incite violence by another.
By legal inaction and by promoting anti-Muslim laws, what message is the Western world and Isreal sending?
Let's begin with evidence that speech and actions that deride the Muslim faith, in particular the burning the Q'uran and negatively depicting Mohammed, taken over the past few years have proven that such speech and actions spurs violence and creates a "clear and present danger" in countries with a Muslim majority.
February, 2006 - Violence Erupts over Muhammad Cartoons
From Indonesia to India to Iraq, protests in the MuSslim world grew wider and more violent over the weekend, with rioters torching European embassies in two Mideast capitals.February, 2012 - 4 Americans killed in Afghanistan in new Koran-burning violence
Many Muslims consider any depiction of the prophet blasphemous.
Saturday’s fatalities brought the death toll since the riots broke out Tuesday to more than 30, four of them Americans, with hundreds more people injured.March, 2011 - Two Christians killed, churches burned: extremists respond to Florida Koran burning
In the latest display of unrest over the burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. base, angry crowds laid siege to a provincial governor’s compound in eastern Afghanistan and a United Nations office in the country’s north.
The extremist violence was triggered by the insane act - repeatedly condemned by Christians in Pakistan and India – of the pastor Wayne Sapp, who last March 20, in Florida burned a Koran under the supervision of the evangelical preacher Terry Jones.April, 2011 -Envoy: 3 U.N. workers killed running from bunker
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Fearing for their lives, the U.N. workers dashed into a dark bunker hoping to escape the mob of Afghan protesters angry over the burning of a Quran by a Florida church.September, 2012 - US Ambassador to Libya killed - September 12 as it happened
The following are the SCOTUS cases deeming "clear and present danger" ground, if you will, for repressing the Constitutionally mandated freedom of speech.
Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357, 47 S. Ct. 641, 71 L. Ed. 1095 (1927), in which they once more argued that before speech could be prohibited, a clear and present danger must be imminent.
Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, 71 S. Ct. 857, 95 L. Ed. 1137 (1951)
FACTS:The Court has not specifically addressed the clear-and-present-danger doctrine since Brandenburg.
The defendant, a leader of a Ku Klux Klan group, spoke at a Klan rally at which a large wooden cross was burned and some of the other persons present were carrying firearms. His remarks included such statements as: "Bury the niggers," "the niggers should be returned to Africa," and "send the Jews back to Israel."
An Ohio state court convicted him under Ohio's criminal syndicalism statute, both for advocating the duty, necessity, or propriety of crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform, and for voluntarily assembling with any society, group, or assemblage of persons formed to teach or advocate the doctrines of criminal syndicalism. On appeal, the United States Supreme Court reversed. In a per curiam opinion, expressing the unanimous views of the court and overruling Whitney v California (1927) 274 US 357, 71 L Ed 1095, 47 S Ct 641, it was held that the constitutional guaranties of free speech and free press did not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation, except where such advocacy was directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and was likely to incite or produce such action.
Black and Douglas, JJ., each concurring separately expressed disagreement with the "clear and present danger" test which had been applied in an earlier decision cited by the court.
The guaranties of free speech and free press do not permit a state to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation, except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.
The mere abstract teaching of the moral propriety for a resort to force and violence is not the same as preparing a group for violent action and steeling it to such action. Any statute which fails to draw this distinction impermissibly intrudes upon the freedoms guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
I would argue that speech and/or actions that have proven to incite violence qualify as presenting a "clear and present danger."
I believe the families of those killed by violent Muslim extremists following actions such as burning the Q'uoran and speech as presented in the recent movie, "Innocence of Muslims" would agree that it is time for the SCOTUS to look into deeming it illegal to do so.
Again, I am not a legal professional; however, it seems like it is time for SCOTUS to take a stand.