Egyptian President Calls Blasphemy a ‘Red Line,’ as Clinton Invokes ‘Free Expression’

Patrick Goodenough, CNS News, September 14, 2012

Separate statements made Thursday by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed the nub of the issue that has sparked anti-U.S. protests in many Muslim countries—the incompatibility between shari’a and the First Amendment.

“The Islamic sanctities and prophet Mohamed is a red line for all Muslims,” Egypt’s state information service cited Morsi as saying in a speech on state television.

“We do not accept and we consider an enemy anyone who assaults our prophet through words or deeds,” he said, according to Al-Masry al-Youm. “I represent all the Egyptian people, I deprecate and I stand against whoever tries to abuse or exercise abuse of any kind against our prophet or any of the Islamic holy sites.”

At the State Department, speaking alongside her Moroccan counterpart, Clinton said, “our country does have a long tradition of free expression which is enshrined in our Constitution and our law, and we do not stop individual citizens from expressing their views no matter how distasteful they may be.

“There are, of course, different views around the world about the outer limits of free speech and free expression, but there should be no debate about the simple proposition that violence in response to speech is not acceptable,” she added.

Clinton balanced her remarks with strong condemnation of the Mohammed movie clip at the center of the controversy, while Morsi balanced his with condemnation of any action going beyond peaceful protests at U.S. diplomatic missions.

But their respective words underlined the deeper and enduring clash between a constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression and the requirement inshari’a that makes “blasphemy” a punishable offense.


In some countries where shari’a holds sway, blasphemy against Mohammed is punishable by death, usually based on the Qur’anic injunction that “those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger” should be killed, crucified, lose their limbs or be exiled (Qur’an 5:33).

Although compliance and enforcement vary, the constitutions of at least 18 countries include phrases such as shari’a forming “the basis for,” “the principal source of” or “the main source of” legislation—Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

In Afghanistan, for example, the latest State Department report on international religious freedom notes, “An Islamic judge may impose a death sentence for blasphemy, if committed by a male over age 18 or a female over age 16 of sound mind. Similar to apostates, those accused of blasphemy are given three days to recant or face death.”


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  • Puggg

    The more Muslims you have in a place, the more likely it is you will have Sharia Law.  This is all demographics and immigration.

  • jedsrael

    Do you ever wonder what it is about Whites that makes them predisposed to NOT TAKING OUR OWN SIDE of an argument?

    Clinton should be saying, “Now is the time for Muslims to understand that our American first Amendment takes precedence over your child raping prophet’s ‘feelings’ “.

    • David Ashton

         Free speech is perhaps the most valuable constitutional possession of the USA.  Free speech for all, violence for none.
          However, incitement of violence against and defamation of individuals cannot have absolute protection.  Nor can pornography in so far as it is designed to produce a physical orgasm necessarily expect absolute coverage as “speech” which is designed to convey facts, opinions and information.
           By the way, I like Taylor Swift too. 

      • jedsrael

        You are now deemed a racist, because you didn’t say, “I like Taylor Swift, but I like Beyonce better.”

  • Puggg

    Read this in case you haven’t already, then come back here.
    Now that you’re back, mark my words that some left wing Laurence Tribe type law professor is working on a pretext to prohibit “Islamophobic” speech right now, probably using “national security” as a pretext nee excuse.  Ironically, the law profs that will do this will be disproportionately Jewish.

  • SarahConnor

    The U.S. is screwed –our choice is the Islamist loving Obama (who just got burned by some stupid  video probably made by a Zionist or Neocon) or the Zionist loving Romney–And while the rt hand does that don’t look but the left hand Zionist Fed is printing money by the billions with no end in sight—Ron Paul where are you when we need you???

  • IstvanIN

     Sh doesn’t care anymore than our dispassionate, disconnected, president.

  • anarchyst

    There is NO SUCH THING as a “moderate” muslim.
    Ostracization and deportation is the only answer.
    Islam is a political system masquerading as a religion and has subverted our Constitutional First Amendment.

  • JohnEngelman

    According to the traditional sources, Aisha was six or seven years old when she was betrothed to Muhammad and nine when the marriage was consummated.     
    Imagine what a cartoonist could do with that. 

  • IKantunderstand

    Western civilization and Christianity have been under attack by Islamic hordes for 1400 years.Enough already.  The only mistake the Crusaders made, was they didn’t go far enough, or fight long enough. They should have annhilated the entire sorry bunch. If for no other reason than beauty, you must be on the side of Western Christian  people. We have architecturally ethereal cathedrals. We have melodic, angelic music. We have sublime statues and religious artifacts and paintings. moslems have: Um, actually, bums in the air?

  • Sylvie

    It’s very disappointing to myself and many others that a large proportion of ‘Westerners’ consider freedom to be centred around pornography and drug-use.
    I’m sure a lot of people out there remember the ‘Piss-Christ’ debacle.
    Freedom leading to ‘dead-end degeracy’ is not freedom.

    • Persephone Gray

      We have lost the distinction between freedom and license. Freedom without a common morality leads to degeneracy and collapse. We’re already past the point of no return, and it’s not surprising the Muslims wish to avoid contagion by any means necessary.

  • I didn’t watch the YouTube video in question but I’m pretty sure that, among other things, it accused Islam of being a religion of violence. Since, instead of simply posting a “thumb down” for the video, they went on a rampage and murdered innocent people, obviously there is some truth to such accusations.

    The fact that most Muslims have not participated in the violence does not change the fact that any time there is a large group of Muslims, there will always be a violent, fanatical, element. Furthermore, there is no way to filter out this element when considering who to consider for immigration. Muslims should not be allowed in; they pose a grave danger to our society.

    • TheBison

      I saw part of the video on Youtube, it is indeed junky.  But the movie’s producers, similar to pastor Terry Jones’ earlier provocative statements about Islam, may be doing Americans a long-term favor by showing how intolerant and violent Muslims easily become and that they therefore are not well-suited for living in First-Amendment-based American society.  Given that it takes only one offensive American out of 310 million for Muslims to
      riot like that (while quickly forgetting everything else we do for them,
      such as the billions in aid and university educations for their
      students), and that there will probably always be at least one American citizen saying something critical about Islam, mass immigration of
      Muslims into the United States remains a bad idea.
      As a result of these wake-up calls, hopefully U.S. immigration changes reducing Muslim inflows and cultural changes making the USA inhospitable to fundamentalist Muslims will occur that will result in fewer Americans dying within our own country via Muslim-instigated violence.  And, yes, we need to be pulling out of their countries as well (both people and financial aid). 

      • I too watched it, and gave up on it after 30 seconds.

        And we’re supposed to believe that that crummy YT video, probably viewed by a grand total of 20 people as of a week ago, was the cause of Islamist uprisings, murderous in some cases, in many countries.  Yeah, I see how that works:  “Hey, Mohammed, have a look at this.  I’m outraged.  Go grab the rocket launcher out of the closet and let’s have a fun time down at the American embassy Allah U Akbar!”

        Better theory:  This was an AQ hit, timed to the 11th year observance of 9/11.  That the first outbreaks were in two “Arab Springed” countries was not a coincidence, IMHO, because I bet these uprisings probably took place with the countenance of the new regimes.  We know that the Morsi regime in Egypt is shot through with Muslim Brotherhood types out the yin yang, and of course AQ is an offshoot of the MB.

      • What makes you believe that a country that will not even enforce it’s immigration
        laws, or defend it’s sovereignty, would ever reduce the number Muslim imports.

        Just the opposite will happen, this government will allow even more Muslims to
        immigrate, to show how tolerant and open we are to their “religious
        beliefs.” Of course, Muslims perceive this as a sign of weakness, as even
        they cannot understand how we could be so accommodating to a self- declared
        enemy of Western society. It is insanity on a grand scale.

  • Other guest

    The UN under push from a huge block of islamic countries is trying to pass world wide laws that would penalize free speech they don’t like in all UN member countries. In Europe what they call hate speech they claim incites action against ‘community cohesion’ is illegal.

    Also note that Morsi and the MB say one thing for the English speaking audience and quite the opposite in Arabic when it called on the population to protest the percieved insult.

    • I think the powers that be would love to use this as a pretext to introduce ‘hate speech’ laws in the US. There’s undoubtedly a huge push for it, but would Americans stand for it?

      • KD_Did

        that could be. I keep wondering why the administration continues to use this movie that nobody has seen or even knew about as a talking point.  I hadnt thought of that, but its very possible. This all began on 9 11. it wasnt some unknown movie.

  • IKantunderstand

    Look, Guest, “free speech”  NEVER defined “what is right” “moral” and “good”. Who the hell gets to decide that,  in the United States of America? The definition of free speech has NEVER changed. What HAS changed, are people like you who have immigrated to this counrty with absolutely NO idea what free speech or any other constitutional rights even mean. You, Mr. Guest, need to go back to your stone age society. Even though you are here, you don’t fit in. Frankly, as per usual for your fellow stone age countrymen, I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU EVEN EMIGRATED TO THIS COUNTRY.

  • Sardonicus

    In Muslim countries there is no such thing as free speech in matters of religion or morals. This is a fundamental aspect of the Islam based on the Holy Koran. When Muslims immigrate to the West this attitude toward free speech remains the same for all devout Muslims. In Europe, governments, without constitutions, have sacrificed liberties to placate violent and restive Muslim minorities. The whole idea of “hate speech” is an accommodation of multi-culturalism.  I see this same trend in the United States with the pandering toward select victim groups by limiting free discussion and speech. It is insane to allow mass migration of people whose cultural values are so different than the host population, and Europe and eventually the United States are going to pay a heavy price for their misguided utopian social engineering. 

  • Athling

    A picture that left me speechless. Lest anyone doubts mind control techniques check this out…

    • Bad_Mr_Frosty

      These liberals are going to get us into a lot of trouble. They keep apologizing, granting concessions and making acts of appeasement. Everybody, but White people, will see that as a sign of weakness and make more and stronger demands. They are just adding more fuel to the fire and ensuring that when this blows, it will be that much worse.

    • shmo123

       Oh, I have no doubt there are many Muslim men who wouldn’t hesitate to “love” her back–whether she liked it or not. What a moron. How can we come to any sane policy regarding these people when we’re letting them in by the thousands and we have to deal with delusional fools like this?

    • Attention muslims: This unhinged woman does not speak for the majority of Americans! We
      do not condemn the video that you interpret as “mocking” your faith as
      justification for murder.  Speaking the truth about your perverted beliefs seems to result in violence and destruction. You are incapable of controlling your emotions or behaviors when it comes to your ideology.

      I see third-world heathens, controlled by beliefs, that deem it acceptable to murder in the name of their beloved allah. The majorities of Americans do not want you here and will never accommodate your sick beliefs and prehistoric actions.

  • The__Bobster

    100,000 per year, many from countries that despise us.

  • bluffcreek1967

    Why aren’t there large crowds of Americans in the streets with signs protesting Islam? Why isn’t there huge posters with drawings depicting the pedophile prophet in the most gross and demeaning manner? Why aren’t our cities littered with pamphlets informing people of the facts on Islam and how intolerant this evil religion is? Why aren’t we posting comical pictures of Muhammad in every public place so as to defy these despisers of American free speech? Why aren’t we doing more to openly mock this hideous religion?

    If Christains were burning down American embassies throughout the world, we would see every group under the sun publically protesting with large signs mocking Christ and his followers. But somehow when it comes to Islam, we remain silent!? The truth is, we fear them and they know it. Americans are afraid they will be called ‘racist’ and ‘intolerant.’ For many guilt-ridden Whites, this is a fate worse than anything Muslims can do through violence. They are also afraid the fanatical followers of Muhammad will set fire to their homes or places of business. We have allowed a religious bully to push us around, and we are afraid to stand up and fight.

    Americans cannot unite on any wide-scale basis for such protests because we are no longer united. With a massive amount of immigrants here – all with different values, cultures and religious beliefs – we are unable to reach any consensus on what to do. Far too many Whites are self-hating and unable to fight for their own racial interests. Our country is broken fractured and terribly divided. What we are now experiencing are the fruits of our diasterous pursuit of multi-culturalism – and boy has it crippled us.

  • testing

  • Persephone Gray

    Pat Condell is just brilliant. I love his pieces on Islam.

  • Persephone Gray

    Every society has its boundaries of free speech. That theirs are different from ours is not the problem. The problem is their attempt to impose their boundaries on us, where they have no relevance or jurisdiction.

  • topjoe

    Can you trust someone who apologizes to those who kill us and lies to us about what happens and should you trust that individual to run our country?  It is very clear, lack of leadership leads to very bad things…