Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald offers a cartoon controversy curriculum:
The cartoon controversy has created a teaching moment in American high schools and universities.
History teachers, civics teachers, government teachers, do the following:
Print out relevant sections from Milton’s Areopagitica (“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue” etc.), the trial of John Peter Zenger, the Virginia Remonstrances, and John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty.”
Now print out the First Amendment of the Constitution (1791).
Now print out the French Declaration of the Rights of Man (1792).
Now print out the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Now print out the Muslim answer to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is to say the “Cairo Declaration of Human Rights.”
Xerox enough copies for every member of every class you teach.
Collate, and collect. Staple.
Now distribute to classes.
Now begin the discussion of how Freedom of Speech developed, in opposition to both political and religious censorship.
Now devote all of your attention to helping the students spot the differences between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Muslim version, the so-called Cairo Declaration of Human Rights.
See if they can spot the differences and can understand why those differences exist. Tell them a little something about the Shari’a. Explain to them that Muslims are not allowed to leave Islam on pain of death — and that even in those Muslim countries whose law codes do not yet fully match the Shari’a ideal, complete economic collapse and social ostracism are the fate of any Muslim who dares to convert to another religion, or to openly express his lack of belief in Islam.
See if they can detect differences in the rights of women.
See if they can detect differences in the right of the individual to freedom of conscience.
See if they can detect differences in the guarantees offered to minorities.
See what the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights says about the equal treatment of minorities in every respect — and about pluralism.
Where reference is made in the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights to the principles of Islam, or Islamic law (the Shari’a), do some research on your own and find out what the applicable principles of Islam are in the particular case and share them with your class.
Where you may not know enough, find out about the concept of the “dhimmi” and what the “dhimmi” — that is, the non-Muslim in a Muslim-ruled society — had to endure.
Find out which Muslim countries have laws forbidding mockery of non-Muslim religions and peoples. See if you can find examples of how Christians and Jews, Christianity and Judaism, are discussed in the Muslim press, radio, television (hint: go to www.memri.org for straightforward translations without any comments added).
This should be a wonderful way to spend a week or two of the term. You are trying to teach students about the heroic development of free speech in the Western world. You are also trying to teach them about the importance of other rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Stir and shake as you will.
Sweeten to taste.
Teach them that American constitutional law on limits to free speech are clear. Free speech can be limited only insofar as that speech is a “deliberate incitement to imminent lawless violence.”
Who has been deliberately inciting imminent lawless violence in the world? The Danish imams have. The Saudi imams and the Saudi government has. The imams in Pakistan have. The government of Egypt and the government of Jordan have in the remarks of their own officials. The O.I.C. has. The government of Libya has. The Muslims who gathered and chanted and shouted and attacked embassies of what they saw as Christian, Infidel symbols, in a various countries, and killed helpless Christians in Nigeria and burned down churches in a half-dozen countries — they were the ones inciting and being incited.
The Western world has to declare unambiguously that it will not tolerate attempts by Muslims to inflict their standards, their views of the universe, their careful refusal to allow others to examine, study, critically analyze, even make fun of if they so choose, any and all parts of all religions, including Islam. Those anodyne cartoons were nothing. It is clear that what will follow, if an inch is given now, is the attempt to suppress Infidel critical discussion of what is contained in Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira.
That’s what is in the works. The world’s Muslims do not wish any Infidel, anywhere, to discuss Islam critically. They want Infidels to exhibit the behavior dictated to them by Muslims. They want reverence. They want submission. They want, and will work to achieve, the suppression of the rights that took centuries to develop in the Western world, and that some, out of a craven and casual spirit of false accommodation, are willing to throw over.
This cannot be.