An Imam in Tennessee named Yasir Qadhi is using the ban on images of James Foley’s beheading to argue for the ban of speech critical of Islam. This is exactly what the purpose behind the Innocence of Muslims video was. It was designed to gin up Muslim protests in order to pressure western governments to enact laws making criticism of Islam criminal; it’s all part of the Istanbul Process as Shoebat.com has reported.
In the case of Foley, Qadhi’s twisted logic is as follows: If the U.S. finds it appropriate to censor graphic images of Foley out of respect for his family, it should also find it appropriate to censor images critical of Islam, like the Danish Muhammad cartoons and presumably, Innocence of Muslims.
Here is what Qadhi posted on his facebook page:
Twitter recently announced that they would delete any tweets that showed images of the execution of the American journalist James Foley, and ban the account of the user who posted such images. Facebook as well announced a strict policy in this regard. This was done to respect the memory of the deceased and honor his family’s request.
Now, I actually sympathize with this type of censoring, mainly because I don’t feel that such gruesome images should become commonplace and be seen by millions of men, women and children (and I mean ALL gruesome images, not just of this journalist).
However, what was interesting was the fact that this news wasn’t given that much national attention, nor was there any outcry regarding ‘censorship’ or ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘infringing on rights’. In fact, quite the opposite: most people who commented were supportive. People in the Western world, by and large, are sympathetic to such a ban, and appreciate the respect that Twitter and FB are showing to the families of the bereaved.
This proves my point that I made in a lecture many years ago, when the controversy over the blasphemous images of the Prophet (SAW) erupted. I claimed back then that the issue of the cartoons had nothing to do with ‘freedom of speech’, but rather with each society’s own views on what is acceptable and unacceptable to show.
Each society has a self-imposed and ever-changing red-line of taboos that it will not cross, in speech or in images. For this society, respect should be shown to the deceased’s family; for us Muslims, an infinitely more amount of respect should be shown to our religious symbols and especially to our Prophet (SAW).
Here we have a moral equivalency argument that says posting photos of Foley’s beheading is as taboo in America as posting cartoons depicting Muhammad is in Islam.
On that note, Qadhi has also referred to Jews and Christians as “filthy” and that they may be killed if they don’t convert to Islam in this video:
Qadhi is a highly educated Imam. It shouldn’t take a degree to understand that most Americans would find those words worse than taboo.
Based on his own logic, perhaps Qadhi should censor himself.
Here is Qadhi explaining his relationship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair:
h/t Jihad Watch