Precinct 333

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Jersey Muslims Seek To Suppress Free Speech

At first glance, many Coptic Christians believed the murder of the Hossam Amranious family in Jersey City was a case of religious violence. Given the persecution of Copts in Egypt by the Muslim majority, that wasn’t unreasonable – especially given death threats received by family members for their proselytizing of Muslims on-line and at school.

Now members of a Muslim group want criminal charges against those who dared to raise the spectre of Muslim violence against dhimmis who didn’t keep to the subordinate place required of them under Islamic shari’a law.

Sohail Mohammed, the lawyer for the American Muslim Union, wrote to Attorney General Peter Harvey Wednesday seeking an investigation of comments made by some in the Coptic community in the days following the slaying of the Armanious family in January.

Mohammed said those comments might have been designed to dissuade Muslims from attending the funeral, and could have been intended to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.

He noted that many Muslim leaders stayed away from the funeral. The handful who did attend were greeted with abuse and several had to be escorted by police officers from the church hall where the funeral was being held for their own safety, he said.

"We are concerned that those comments were deliberately intended to incite the public," Mohammed said. "If it was intentional, we want Mr. Harvey to do an investigation and determine if it was a bias crime. If there was bias related to it, it becomes a bias crime."

Wait just a minute here. Speech is not a crime. It is not a crime to incite the public to hold negative views about a group, unless immediate violence is intended. Telling the truth about Islam is not a crime, and stating that you believe a hate crime has been committed (as many did in the case of the Armanious killings) does not constitute a hate crime.

What we have here is simply one more case of a Muslim leader trying to make it unacceptable to raise any question about Islam or Muslims. Let’s hope that Peter Harvey has the guts to stick to his guns and defend the First Amendment rights of Arab Christians against this attack by the American Muslim Union.


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