Originally Published: January 21, 2016 6 a.m.
Freedoms of speech and the press are gifts our Founders gave us to help preserve our other rights. While the unfettered use of these freedoms can occasionally cause hurt feelings, deceptions, divisiveness and derision, the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences. The benefits include, but are not limited to openness, transparency, debate, and a clear look at the speaker's or writer's ideas and possible motives. This enables the listener or reader to make an informed decision on the topic or on the arguments presented and to examine a free exchange of ideas or to present counter ideas and arguments.
The enemies of these freedoms are: political correctness, "hate" speech policies, prohibitions of "micro-aggressions," free speech zones, and any similar rules, regulations and laws. All of these are attempts to dampen our freedoms.
In addition, the imposition of political correctness can be dangerous to our health and our lives. Take, for instance, the political correctness surrounding Islamic terror. Both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have stated that Islam is a religion of peace. This shows a blatant ignorance of the history of Islam.
From the beginning, Islam has been an expansionist religion. While the vast majority of Muslims may live peacefully, a significant minority interprets the Koran as a call to subjugate the rest of the world under Islamic rule. They will cite Koranic verses to prove their points.
The shariah law that they want to impose includes the taxing of non-Muslim monotheists (Christians and Jews), or their forced conversion to Islam or death. It includes the position of women as having fewer and lesser rights than men and the barbarous punishments such as stoning, beheading and amputations. The radical Islamists believe it is their right and in some cases their religious duty to enslave non-Muslims and rape infidel women.
While there are American Muslims, like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, who started the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, who believe in the separation of mosque and state, and in freedom of religion, the media seldom mentions them or give voice to their opinions about Islam and freedom.
Islamic apologists and moral relativists will point to the Crusades as a Christian instigation of Western conflicts with Muslims. In reality, Mohammad started waging war on Jews and Christians and it continues to this day. If one would put a black dot on all of the locations in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern and Eastern Europe where Muslims have attacked in the last 1300 years, there would be hundreds of black dots. If one put red dots where Christians and/or Jews attacked Muslims, there might be a couple of dozen.
Islamists, that is radical Muslim terrorists, and their monetary and moral backers, believe that Islam is superior to all other religions and that gives them the right to conquer infidels, take their property, rape non-Islamic women and punish those that violate Islamic law. This includes their perceived "right" to kill those who blaspheme Allah or Mohammad among other things. In the Islamists' minds, there is not Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Expression, in fact, "Freedom can go to hell" as the sign of some British Muslim protesters read.
Political correctness demands that our politicians state that Islam is a "religion of peace," despite all the evidence to the contrary. The Fort Hood massacre was committed in November of 2009. Army Major Nadal Hasan, who was a self-described "Soldier of Allah," and wrote emails to radical imam Anwar al-Awlaki, admitted to the shootings, to being a practicing Muslim and to the conflict between Islam and our Constitution. The US Department of Defense and federal law enforcement agencies did not classify this mass shooting and killing as a terrorist act but declared it to be "work place violence."
Americans, at least the vast majority, can see through these PC statements made after every Islamist atrocity and they are getting fed up with it. It has continued through the Boston Marathon bombing, the attacks in France, San Bernardino and every other Muslim attack in the world.
For example, earlier this month, a dramatic incident unfolded on the streets of Philadelphia. The event was caught on a street camera and it showed a man in a long white garment, later identified as Edward Archer, run up to a marked Philadelphia police car firing a weapon. The still pictures show how Archer kept firing even as he reached in to the police car. Three of his bullets hit Officer Jesse Hartnett in his left arm. Even so, Hartnett was able to extricate himself from his police car, chase the suspect, Archer, return fire and hit the suspect.
During the press conference after the incident, a Philadelphia Police Captain and the Police Commissioner, Richard Ross, told the press about the suspect Archer's statements about his allegiance to ISIS and to Allah, and cited that as his motive for the shooting.
After they spoke, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, "In no way, shape or form does anyone in this room believe that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you've seen on the screen." He was probably the only person in the country that didn't believe Islam had a great deal to do with Officer Hartnett's shooting. It was pretty apparent that the Mayor of Philadelphia took political correctness beyond the border of the absurd and into the realm of buffoonery.
If we don't call Islamic terrorism by its true, politically incorrect name, we minimalize it and fail to properly address it. That's a deadly mistake.
Buz Williams is a retired Long Beach, California, police officer who has lived in Prescott since 2004.