On her Wednesday show Megyn Kelly opened her show by outlining the issue involved in the media attacks against Pamela Geller. I posted about it yesterday.
When Geller sponsored a Mohammed cartoon context in Garland, Texas a couple of jihadis decided to shoot the place up. They were killed by a quick-thinking Texas law enforcement officer.
On Thursday evening Kelly continued her statement, adding not merely that Geller had the right to do what she did, but that she had a duty to do so. By Kelly’s lights, Geller was defending a core American principle, the liberty of expression.
Kelly explained that Geller was committing a justifiable act of defiance against those who attempt to ban certain statements about one specific religion. If blasphemy against the prophet of Islam is forbidden we are on the road to the establishment of a religion.
In Kelly’s words:
Well, last night we had a thoughtful discussion about free speech and American values and why our commitment to liberty as a nation requires everyone to stand up for the rights of those speaking, even if they’re using the most offensive of words. It’s not about aligning ourselves with the words. It’s about defending a core American principle. First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh explained how, not only did the people organizing a “Draw Muhammad” event down in Texas have the right to do it, which some had questioned, but how what they did was actually important and of real value because it was an act of defiance.
Defiance towards those radical Muslim fanatics who mean to impose their radical moral code on us, namely that certain figures may not be drawn or parodied upon pain of death. What happened in Texas is that a group said no, you don’t get to control speech in this country, even if a religion finds it offensive. Sure enough, the jihadis showed up with AK-47s and tried to murder everyone there.
Now some suggest that the risk from the event is that some of our Muslim nation coalition allies might be less inclined to fight the jihad if they see some private group like this one hold a private event. So private citizens shouldn’t do things even behind closed doors now, lest they cause offense? Because our friends in Egypt might get ticked off.
But the fact is we don’t compromise America’s bedrock principles just to make other nations like us more just as we don’t require them to change their values before we fight a common enemy. Otherwise, Egypt’s “We will kill you for leaving Islam” might be a deal-breaker. The bottom line here is that some in this country have been so busy trying how to figure out how to avoid causing any religion any offense, they have forgotten what is offensive to Americans, namely those who would trample on our core ideals. In America, we stand for liberty and freedom to offend, to provoke, to persuade and to defy.
Alan Dershowitz was on Kelly’s show and he responded to her statement:
Let me start with you first and applaud your statement. It was fantastic. It is the paradigm for how Americans have to look at our freedoms and our First Amendment. Jefferson would have been proud of you.