Yes, I understand that the embassy in Cairo is besieged but it does strike me as cowardly to abandon core principles as this juncture (emphasis mine):
U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement
September 11, 2012
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
You’d think that you wouldn’t have to provide basic constitutional lessons for U.S. Embassy employees but I guess they need a little review:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If we Americans want to say Islam is an incitement to violence, we can. If we want to put Jesus in a vat full of urine, we can. If we want to say Jews are greedy, we can. If we want to say Hindus worship cows, we can. If we want to say Mormons wear funny underwear, we can. We are allowed to hurt the religious feelings of religious people. It’s our right as Americans to be rude. Neither tact, nor forbearance, nor non-mutual respect, nor polite lies are required under our Constitution.
Last thought: It is possible that the language from embassy — that it’s bad “to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims” — is as foolish as it is because the embassy people meant them ironically. Perhaps the White House said “say something that won’t hurt Muslim feelings,” and some P.O.’d embassy official came back with this nonsensical, unconstitutional PC fecal matter. I mean, the statement is too close to parody to be real. Isn’t it? Come on, someone. Please agree with me right about now.
Of course, if that statement is a heartfelt expression from America’s representative on Egypt’s soil, God help us all, because our government is in the hands of dhimmis.
UPDATE: For more on embassy awfulness (proving that this is no joke, but is their real thinking) just check their twitter feed:
Is it possible that these government representatives do not understand that the essence of free speech is the ability to criticize religion? No, it may not be very nice, but in a normal, non-sharia, world, this type of criticism leads to a debate that enriches the marketplace of ideas — and may the best idea win. We do America a profound and lasting disservice if we abandon this core principle to pander to a 7th century mentality, the practitioners of which are deathly afraid to subject their beliefs to an intellectual airing and analysis.