Sunday, September 30, 2012

Defacing Religion Under the First Amendment

In continuation with our classroom discussion on Friday regarding the First Amendment, I’d like to explore the question of whether or not the Government should limit people making statements, videos, etc. which may offend another religion. Obviously, there is much speculation regarding this issue as recently Mark Basseley Youssef, an Egyptian-born Christian who is now a U.S citizen, was jailed. It is important to understand that he was not jailed for creating an anti-Islam film, which enraged many Muslims in the Middle East, but was arrested for lying about his identity (Haaretz).

Many say that it was a disgrace the way he defaced the Islamic religion and the Prophet Muhammad. Others say, he was just expressing his constitutional rights under the First Amendment.  Regardless, the video resulted in violent protests in the Middle East, especially in Egypt and Libya where Google has recently decided to censor the video on YouTube. One “Pakistani cabinet minister has offered a $100,000 bounty to anyone who kills him [Youssef]”(Haaretz).

What makes no sense to me is the hypocrisy of some of these Muslim protestors. Many of these protestors demand “justice”, wanting Youssef to be killed for insulting the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. Some of the same Muslim extremists, who reacted violently to the video, have made anti-Semitic statements and openly oppose Judaism as a whole, and the Jewish state of Israel. I am not making categorizations saying that either all Muslims were offended, and/or all Muslims hate Jews but it is known through the Middle-Eastern tensions that currently exist, that there are several leaders of Islamic nations that openly oppose Israel and have previously made anti-Semitic claims. What justifies reacting violently ESPECIALLY because several of these people make hypocritical statements defacing Judaism and Israel? For further readings regarding the controversial anti-Muslim film click here and here. Please comment your thoughts below.


  1. Noah, I completely agree. Many of these violent protests are hypocritical. They protest the disgracing of their religion only to put another in the gutter. There is a double standard to this, and honestly I'm curious to see whether anyone thinks that some are even protesting Judaism. There is such a fine line, and I believe that it got crossed. Some Arabs do not like America because we support the freedom of religion, and allow Judaism. Actually, I wrote a post about religious freedom today at I honestly am not sure whether the protests had that as an ulterior meaning and or motivation.

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