Pigs in Blankets

Pigs, pork, bacon … all being covered up by a Western publisher deathly afraid of offending the “tiny minority” of Muslims who will kill them. Ostensibly, they are afraid to “offend” people, specifically “Muslims and Jews” — except for the suggestion that no Jew has ever complained.

From the International Business Times article:

One of the biggest education publishers in the world has warned its authors not to mention pigs or sausages in their books to avoid causing offence.

Oxford University Press (OUP) said all books must take into consideration other cultures if they hope to sell copies in countries across the world. As a result, the academic publisher has issued guidance advising writers to avoid mentioning pigs or “anything else which could be perceived as pork” so as not to offend Muslim or Jewish people. *** “Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following: Pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork.

“Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.”

The guidance issue was also condemned as “ludicrous” by Muslim Labour MP Khalid Mahmood.

Bad Times for Christians and Jews

The New York Times is in the same mode. It is officially okay to insult Christians and Jews, but not Muslims because “it’s not the same at all.” The NYT has always had a soft spot for Shariah law. Here, from several years ago, is an op-ed extolling the virtues of Shariah. They compare it favorably to the laws of Europe, which the author says that:

… until the 18th century, the laws of most European countries authorized torture as an official component of the criminal-justice system[.] As for sexism, the common law long denied married women any property rights or indeed legal personality apart from their husbands. When the British applied their law to Muslims in place of Shariah, as they did in some colonies, the result was to strip married women of the property that Islamic law had always granted them — hardly progress toward equality of the sexes.

In fact, for most of its history, Islamic law offered the most liberal and humane legal principles available anywhere in the world.

As the expression goes, “that don’t impress me much.” He goes on to tout how popular Shariah law is becoming and how rapidly it is spreading.

More recently in the Times, there is a visible dispute between the appropriateness of blaspheming against Christians and Jews (perfectly okay) versus Muslims (“it’s not the same at all”).

On the Wrong Side

There are other people on the wrong side of the issue of free speech. One of them is Barack Obama, who tucked this line into an otherwise reasonable-seeming set of sound-bites at the UN:

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.

That line is widely quoted. But people pay much less attention to the rest of that paragraph:

But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. 

Since Obama himself does not condemn, say, the urine-soaked crucifix or dung-covered Virgin Mary nor had much to say about the destruction of Coptic churches in Egypt, perhaps he is telegraphing to his audience that he is not credible.

Of course, the main purpose of this speech to the world was to push the idea that the Benghazi attack was because of a video, and thus the “decimated” al Qaida was still no threat and not to blame:

That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.  Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.

It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well — for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith.  We are home to Muslims who worship across our country.  We not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe.  We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video.  And the answer is enshrined in our laws:  Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. 

They did find a reason to throw the fellow in jail, as Hillary Clinton promised they would. Obama goes on about protecting the rights of his opponents…

Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense.  Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs.  As President of our country and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day — (laughter) — and I will always defend their right to do so.  (Applause.) 

Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views, even views that we profoundly disagree with.  We do not do so because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened.  We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. 

… at precisely the same time that his IRS was criminally persecuting those critics of his administration at the request of Obama lieutenants and Democrat Congressmen.

And Pope Francis is in on restricting free speech


So it seems from the quotes in this Reuters article. He is one of many on the Left with the “free speech, but…” caveat.

(Reuters) – Pope Francis, speaking of last week’s deadly attacks by Islamist militants in Paris, has defended freedom of expression, but said it was wrong to provoke others by insulting their religion and that one could “expect” a reaction to such abuse.

You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith,” he told reporters on Thursday, aboard a plane taking him from Sri Lanka to the Philippines to start the second leg off his Asian tour.

It seems to me that a Pope flatly stating “you can’t” carries more than the usual amount of weight.

Limits to Speech

“Everyone has not only the freedom and the right but the obligation to say what he thinks for the common good … we have the right to have this freedom openly without offending,” he said.

The “right” for freedom of expression “without offending.” This sounds like “if it offends, you no longer have the right.” How else could this be interpreted?

To illustrate his point, he turned to an aide and said: “It is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if (he) says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal.

So those who “slander the prophet of Islam” can “expect a punch”? I will say this: The future no longer belongs to the twelve at the offices of Charlie Hebdo: They’re dead. To that extent, Obama was correct.

“You can’t make a toy out of the religions of others,” he added. “These people provoke and then (something can happen). In freedom of expression there are limits.”

More clear now. There are limits to the freedom of expression (in his mind) and those limits are based on whether your expression offends, insults, or provokes others. Perhaps others in government … as such has been the way of totalitarian governments always.

A Quick Death for the Pope?

Interestingly, the Pope expressed a wish to be killed quickly if he were captured by jihadists, as he is “very timid” when it comes to physical pain:

Earlier this week, the Vatican denied Italian newspaper reports that U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials had informed the Vatican that there could be an imminent attack by Islamist militants. Francis said he was more worried about others – rather than himself – being hurt in an eventual attack and that he was confident about security measures in the Vatican and during his trips.

“I am in God’s hands,” he said, joking about having asked God to spare him a painful death. “Am I afraid? You know that I have a defect, a nice of dose[sic] of being careless. If anything should happen to me, I have told the Lord, I ask you only to give me the grace that it doesn’t hurt because I am not courageous when confronted with pain. I am very timid,” he said.


The possibility occurs to me that this entire “don’t offend Muslims” speech is motivated by timidity, just as it has been with mainstream media outlets submitting to fear of retribution. Other possibilities exist, of course, but some of those are more unpleasant to contemplate.

While the satirical work of Charlie Hebdo offends all, not just Muslims, their deaths for satire should be much more offensive yet, and the focus of outrage from these leaders. These so-called proponents of freedom of expression seem ready to hide under a blanket of “but you must not slander the Prophet of Islam” (or you should “expect a punch”).

They’re ready for Shariah law, it almost seems.

==============/ Keith DeHavelle