This could never happen here. Could it? Here is my piece in PJ Media today:
It is February 27, 2013. Barack Obama, having been safely reelected, awakens one morning to news that Muslims in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Egypt, and elsewhere are rioting and storming U.S. embassies, tearing down the American flag and raising the black flag of jihad.
February 27 was the date of the Reichstag Fire in 1933.
They’re in a rage over a book that depicts Muhammad as waging war against his enemies, consummating a marriage with a nine-year-old girl when in his fifties, and raining down curses upon Jews, Christians, and others.
Islamic texts accepted by mainstream Muslims show Muhammad doing all these things.
A grim-faced Obama immediately takes to the airwaves.
“This book is reprehensible and disgusting,” Obama tells the world, his eyes flashing with indignation. “It does not represent the position of the government of the United States, and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms. This unseemly provocation of the noble believers in the Holy Qur’an has to end. This is America. We are better than this. We are not a people who condone hate. We are a people who offer a welcoming, helping hand to those in need. And it is high time that we afford religious minorities the same protections that we strive so hard to offer to racial minorities.”
The Obama administration quickly drafts a law that would criminalize the “use of any means to broadcast, write, produce, publish or distribute material that encourages or incites terrorism, including a website and public speaking, and of material that incites hatred that is likely to lead to violence against or stigmatization of a specific group.”
I adapted the text of this law from an actual law that is currently being considered in Canada, that would bar people from entering the country if they were deemed to be engaged in the activities enumerated.
The international community is thrilled. European heads of state rush to congratulate and thank Obama. British Prime Minister David Cameron calls him “far-seeing.” Germany’s Angela Merkel says he is “a true statesman.” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte opines that Obama is “richly deserving of his Nobel Peace Prize,” and predicts that a new era of peace will soon dawn between the West and the Islamic world. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), announces that he is “gratified” that the United States has finally recognized the “red lines that cannot be crossed regarding discussion of the holy figures of the world’s great religions.”
The mainstream media is just as happy. Eric Posner writes in Slate that finally Americans have come around to the rest of the world’s point of view, that there is “no sense in the First Amendment” and that we need not be “paralyzed by constitutional symbolism.” Sarah Chayes in the Los Angeles Times hails the new clarity about the “distinction between speech that is simply offensive and speech that is deliberately tailored to put lives and property at immediate risk.” In the Washington Post, Nathan Lean effuses that the U.S. has “recognized the power of our multiculturalism” and will finally “reach our true potential as a nation” now that “the voices of intolerance that wish to divide us along religious lines” have been “drowned out by overwhelming calls for pluralism and co-existence.”
Muslim spokesmen in the U.S. are enthusiastic as well. Haris Tarin of the Muslim Public Affairs Council heralds the imminent demise of the “hate-mongering industry in the United States that sees Islam as the problem.” Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn expresses his satisfaction that the U.S. has finally “put a law not to insult a spiritual leader.” Mohammad Qatanani of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, New Jersey, is likewise pleased that “we, as Americans, have put limits and borders on freedom of speech,” recognizing that non-Muslims “have no right to talk about Muslim holy issues,” as doing so will incite “hatred or war among people.”
As you can see from the links, these are all real quotes or close adaptations of real quotes from "journalists" and Muslim leaders who recently called for restrictions on the freedom of speech.
A few roadblocks still remain on the road to peace. Some radio hosts object, but local stations drop their programs for fear of losing their advertisers and FCC licenses. A teary-eyed House Minority Leader John Boehner says at a press conference: “Look, I agree with the president that the Muhammad book is reprehensible and disgusting, and I don’t condone hate speech in any way, shape, or form, but I am concerned about the First Amendment implications of this new bill.” After a firestorm in the press, however, charging that Boehner and the Republicans favor hate speech and are sowing division among people, Boehner backs down and agrees to support the bill. A Supreme Court challenge is quickly defeated when Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, and Sunstein lead a 6-3 majority vote in favor of the proposition that “hate speech” is not entitled to First Amendment protections and can lawfully be subject to restrictions.
The change is immediate. Books critical of Islam and Muhammad disappear from the shelves. Websites tracking jihad terror activity are shut down, and, after vowing to continue to call attention to Islamization and the spread of Sharia in the West, a few bloggers are quietly imprisoned. The mainstream media is unperturbed – these people were, after all, purveyors of “hate speech.”
But when Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli is taken into custody over a story reporting on new statements calling for jihad by the Taliban’s Mullah Omar, Post publisher Katharine Weymouth is outraged. “The story,” she writes in a front-page Post editorial, “was merely reporting on Mullah Omar’s words. If there was any incitement to hatred, it was on the part of Omar, not the Post.” White House press secretary Jay Carney, however, explains: “The president feels that this kind of reporting can tend to stigmatize and increase suspicion of the Muslim community in the United States. The Post, and the rest of the media, has to learn to be more inclusive.”