Chris Christie quite recently called Qatanani his "friend." Will he explain to his friend about the importance of the freedom of speech now?
Investigative journalist Daniel Greenfield reports that “despite the fact that Mohammed Qatanani was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that is behind both al-Qaeda and Hamas, despite his own guilty plea to being a member of Hamas, and despite the fact that even in the United States, he had defended a charity that provided funds to children of suicide bombers (this is done as an incentive to reassure terrorists that if they die their families will be taken care of), Qatanani was not deported.”
"Free Speech That Mocks Islam Is National Security Threat for U.S., Prominent NJ Imam Tells TheBlaze," by Tiffany Gabbay for The Blaze, September 20 (thanks to all who sent this in):
...In fact, so grave is mockery of the prophet considered, that the cleric – Mohammad Qatanani, who leads one of the largest mosques in New Jersey – even believes free speech that criticizes Islam poses a national security threat to the U.S. and that those responsible should be investigated by the Department of Homeland Security.
“We, as Americans, have to put limits and borders [on] freedom of speech,” Qatanani, leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), told TheBlaze. He explained that while Americans may ”have the freedom“ to speak their mind, ultimately, they “have no right to [talk about Muslim] holy issues“ as it will incite ”hatred or war among people.”
Qatanani said he thinks agitators who slander Islam, or, more specifically, the Prophet Muhammad, incite violence and hence, pose a national security risk that threatens the safety of Americans at home and abroad. Thus, America should disregard its First Amendment as it is typically applied and instead act in accordance with sharia law for the ultimate “good” of society.
In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, the cleric, who was nearly deported in 2008 for failing to disclose his former ties to the terrorist organization Hamas on a 1996 Green Card application, explained that Muslims are required by Islam to respect the law of the land in their host-countries. He followed up that statement, however, with a treatise on how those who slander the prophet be pursued legally.
While some leaders within the Muslim community have spoken out against the anti-America driven violence in the Middle East, many have qualified their condemnation with moral equivalence, treating a film dubbed “Innocence of Muslims” (which some claim served as the catalyst for the attacks), with even harsher disdain than they do murder. Qatanani said the Obama White House should take legal action against the filmmakers.
“My position is that White House has to say strong in its condemnation [of the filmmakers] and take this person to court. If he is innocent, we will accept that… The government has strong case against this person.”
When asked what can be done to prevent future attacks, Qatanani invoked Homeland Security again, suggesting that the department actually step-in to prevent artists, composers, movie-makers, or satirists (among others), from producing works critical of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. He believes it is in America’s best interest to quell this kind of free speech as it “ruins” America’s image abroad and will ultimately hurt people.
Qatanani’s statements make it appear that, in so many words, the cleric is advocating for the U.S. to operate by sharia law – the religious law of Islam – when it comes to freedom of speech as it relates to Islam. If so, it would seem to echo comments in a previous report on TheBlaze outlining Islamists’ “10-year plan” to make slandering Islam unlawful on an international level.
American freedom versus Islamic freedom
One of the most revealing insights made by the controversial faith leader came when he juxtaposed American freedom with the type of freedom permitted under sharia law.
The imam acknowledged that observant Muslims view freedom only through the lens of that which is permitted by the Quran and Sunnah, the two sacred texts of Islam, and is therefore much different from the way Americans view freedom.
“They [Muslims] think our [American] freedoms are too much,” Qatanani said. “The freedom of the American people is so different from their [Muslims'] freedoms. We believe freedoms have limits and rules, otherwise we will get people into trouble…Freedom according to Islam must be according to the Quran and Sunnah. You can do [anything] you like within the teachings of these two resources. This is the difference and main reason [for the conflict].”
A different standard of freedom?
“People there [in the Middle East] don’t understand the American Constitution and freedom of speech,” Qatanani said. We have to understand each other because misunderstanding is a killing issue… The issue of Prophet Muhammad is very delicate – they [Muslims] will not accept in any way, anybody who talks badly about Muhammad.”...