Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Left and Right Jabs on Freedom of Speech

I received this story last night and thought it was interesting.

Well, what do we have here. Looks like a small case of some people being able to dish it out, but not take it. Let's start at the top. The story begins at Michigan State University with a mechanical engineering professor named Indrek Wichman. Wichman sent an e-mail to the Muslim Student's Association. The e-mail was in response to the students' protest of the Danish cartoons that portrayed the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist. The group had complained the cartoons were "hate speech." Enter Professor Wichman. In his e-mail, he said the following:

Dear Moslem Association: As a professor of Mechanical Engineering here at MSU I intend to protest your protest. I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders, murders of Catholic priests (the latest in Turkey!), burnings of Christian churches, the continued persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt, the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims, the rapes of Scandinavian girls and women (called "whores" in your culture), the murder of film directors in Holland, and the rioting and looting in Paris France.

This is what offends me, a soft-spoken person and academic, and many, many, many of my colleagues. I counsel you dissatisfied, aggressive, brutal, and uncivilized slave-trading Moslems to be very aware of this as you proceed with your infantile "protests." If you do not like the values of the West -- see the 1st Amendment -- you are free to leave. I hope for God's sake that most of you choose that option. Please return to your ancestral homelands and build them up yourselves instead of troubling Americans.

Cordially, I. S. Wichman, Professor of Mechanical Engineering"

Well! As you can imagine, the Muslim group at the university didn't like this too well. They're demanding Wichman be reprimanded and mandatory diversity training for faculty and a seminar on hate and discrimination for freshman. How nice. But now the Michigan chapter of CAIR has jumped into the fray. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, apparently doesn't believe that the good professor had the right to express his opinion.

For its part, the university is standing its ground. They say the e-mail was private, and they don't intend to publicly condemn his remarks. That will probably change. Wichman says he never intended the e-mail to be made public, and wouldn't have used the same strong language if he'd known it was going to get out.

How's the left going to handle this one? If you're in favor of the freedom of speech, as in the case of Ward Churchill, will the same protections be demanded for Indrek Wichman? I doubt it. Hey folks, send this to everybody and ask them to do the same and tell them to keep passing it around till the whole country gets it. We are in a war.

Fact of the Matter

The fact of the matter on this is that it is always interesting to see how people assume freedom of speech can only apply to certain folks. The facts that Professor Wichman are things which people should be offended at. Cindy Sheehan calls the insurgents in Iraq freedom fights. Do freedom fighters behead civilians to get their points across? Do freedom fights strap bombs to their chest and blow themselves up? Do freedom fights rape women? Do freedom fight fly planes into buildings? The answer to all of this is no!

In looking at universities and the student populations that live there, there are a high degree of international students coming to our universities for an education. If the United States is such a bastion of evil, then why do these kids still come to school here? The answer is because our universities still provide the best education in the world.

What is rather annoying is how international students will blast the United States and assume because they are international, they can get away with it. Let us not forget that they are being educated in this country, wearing clothes bought with American money, buying American merchandise, and receiving the benefits of American citizens simply because they are hear for an education.

Another thing to be remembered is that Muslims have not been perfect angels in the annals of history. In 1453, when Constantinople fell to the invading Ottoman Empire, Sultan Mehmed II allowed his soldier to have free reign of the city for three days, where upon they raped women and nuns and desecrated churches. During World War I, the Ottomans threw prisoners into locomotive engines.

So once again, I cannot help but ask: Is freedom of speech only allowed for minorities and immigrants? Or is it only allowed for liberals and Democrats? Does it mean that if you are white, Republican, conservative, or just against the popular main stream of dissent, you are not allowed to express your opinions? It would seem that the answer to these questions is yes.
Yesterday, Not Larry Sabato put up a post showing how Jim Webb representative Steve Harding said Senator George Allen “has not earned the right to challenge Jim Webb in his support of the Constitution and its free speech provisions.”

Since freedom of speech is a phrase being thrown around so much, I cannot help but wonder if perhaps we really do have freedom of speech, or if it is just conditional speech so long as it is non offensive or goes with the flow of whoever is shouting the loudest? Opinions?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you know what... I think I have said this before, but its worth saying again... why do I, as a white person have to sacrifice all of my beliefs and rights to make sure that someone who is whining and yelling happy? Why do I as an American have to give up all of my freedoms granted in the Constitution to those who come over to visit? I am glad they are putting money into our system, but if we have to obide by your country's terms over there, can you not do the same for ours? IF you dish it, except negative and positive responses, suck it up and take it like a real AMERICAN. My family of military soldiers sure has and continues to do so.......