“I am a supporter of the Hamas movement.” – Nihad Awad
“We strongly support free speech rights for all, but…” – Nihad Awad
Nihad Awad, the founder and Executive Director for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), has publicly denounced a Saturday Night Live skit that portrayed Jesus in a spoof of the Django Unchained movie.
Awad’s support for Hamas would seem to belie any honest attempt to defend Christians, which should then lead one to ask about actual motive. Is Awad going after the first amendment by getting its Christian defenders to agree with him on this issue? Winning their favor would be more in line with what Muslim Brotherhood groups in America attempt to do. What was the outcry over the anti-Muhammad video last fall about?
Answer: Going after free speech rights.
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If folks like Awad get traction with respect to taking away free speech rights when it comes to depictions of Jesus, it will be easier to do similar things with the likes of that anti-Muhammad video.
Here is an excerpt from a statement from Awad, via his blog:
“Such misrepresentation of what Jesus, peace be upon him, stands for is extremely offensive to Muslims and to all those who believe in his message. While we understand the use of shocking imagery and bizarre juxtapositions to provoke a humorous response, we believe such a distasteful portrayal of a religious figure revered by billions of Muslims and Christians worldwide crosses the comedic line.
“We strongly support free speech rights for all, but one would hope that common decency and respect for the beliefs of others would help avoid such unfortunate depictions.”
For starters, as you can see from the quote at the beginning of this post, Awad supports Hamas. As a supporter of Hamas, Awad has aligned with a group that is not too fond of Christians. Check out this video from Hamas TV, via Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), which features a song that calls for the killing of all Christians:
This is clearly not an isolated view. Check out the signs these Muslim protesters are holding:
Jesus is the slave of Allah?
Here is the skit from SNL:
This is why those who are offended by things like the SNL skit should not go down the road of censorship. The first amendment is there for a reason. It’s one thing to denounce the producers of the skit and point out their shameful double standards (someone would likely be fired on the spot for even suggesting a similar skit be made about Muhammad) but it’s another to institutionalize censorship of things we don’t like.
Awad may be outwardly attempting to ingratiate himself to Christians who were offended by the skit but his support for Hamas should cause suspicion about his inward motivations.
Besides, perhaps the idea of an angry Jesus scares him a bit.