- Talking about Fitna, a contributor to the Washington-based Islamica Magazine, Arsalan Iftikhar, told CNN that "he doubted the film would spark the same type of violence that followed the caricature of Mohammed, adding, 'We in the global community learned a lot from the Danish cartoon controversy ... I don't think it will be anything remotely like that.' " [emphasis mine] " Dutch lawmaker's film criticizing Islam finds Web host" (March 27, 2008).
- Then, there's Joseph Cohen. He born in a Jewish family in America, went to an Orthodox Rabbinical school, decided that it was a "racist cult," converted to Islam and started calling himself al-Khattab.
His website, RevolutionMuslim.com, is discussed in "U.S. Based Revolution Muslim Website Spreading Messages of Hate" FOXNews (March 26, 2008). Content on the website changes rapidly, and has included
- The Statue of Liberty, with an ax blade cutting through her side
- Video mocking the beheading of American journalist Daniel Pearl, entitled "Daniel Pearl I am Happy Your Dead :) "
- Video of a puppet show lampooning U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq
- The latest speech from Sheikh Abdullah Faisal, an extremist Muslim cleric convicted in the UK and later deported for soliciting the murder of non-Muslims
- 9/11 was an "inside job"
- U.S. foreign policy is to blame for the 9/11 attacks
He launched his website with the intention of
- "Preserving Islamic culture"
- "Calling people to the oneness of God"
- Asking people to "support the beloved Sheik Abdullah Faisal, who’s preaching the religion of Islam and serving as a spiritual guide."
I think that al-Khattab's website is, to say the least, distasteful. I also am dubious about his claim that he does not support terrorism. I suppose it depends in part on what he means by the term.
But this is what freedom of speech is about: allowing someone to express his opinions. Even if you don't agree with them; even if they aren't popular in Berkeley, or in Saline, Michigan, for that matter.
Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.