Islamic Group Hizb ut-Tahrir and Other First Amendment Ironies
An Islamic group with ties to noted Al-Qaeda members, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, met for a conference near Chicago today. Hizb ut-Tahrir, the group sponsoring the event, entitled the conference, “The Fall of Capitalism and The Rise of Islam.”
Fox News reports that the group name was clearly placed on the group application, however, the conference title was unknown until the signed contract was returned. Contracts no longer come with verbiage about “defamatory” or “obscene” conference topics as grounds for nullification?
Please note the irony in the following:
In May of this year, Sonja Eddings Brown, Deputy Communications Director for Proposition 8 Protect Marriage in California, was entrusted with the task of finding a venue to hold the inevitable press conference that would be held in the wake of whatever decision the California Supreme Court would make with regard to the disposition of Prop 8.
After consulting a slew of hotels not wanting to be associated with the passage of such a “controversial” case, (one of which, ironically, was the very chain at which the Islamic conference was eventually held), Ms. Eddings Brown was finally contacted by a DoubleTree Hotel in Orange County, CA, and was invited to host the event there.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution reads:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The “religious freedom” under this amendment states we have the right to “peaceably assemble,” however, Sonja Eddings Brown was turned down by a multiplicity of potential host sites where she was merely to speak to the press, a clearly non-violent activity. Yet, a group with connections to men who had recognizable roles in the most horrific act of terrorism on US soil is welcomed with open arms while they conduct recruitment efforts?
The House Judiciary Committee recently voted to send a federal “hate crimes” bill to the House, a bill which would make churches preaching Biblical prohibition of homosexuality a punishable offense.
In this article, we’ve discussed one group openly seeking to add terrorists to their ranks, and who are anti-US. The other group tried to exercise First Amendment rights to free speech, but, because their objections to homosexuality stem from their adherence to Christian doctrine, they are considered “homophobic bigots.” The first group gathers to engage in defamatory speech, which could incite violence against our country and our government. The second merely speaks what they believe their religious document, the Bible, says, in their (currently protected) right to worship.
The Islamic group does not meet the government “litmus test” for hate speech, though they are gathered for the express purpose of speaking ill of United States policy, and are part of a fundamental religious sect known for violence against the US. Further, Hizb ut-Tahrir does not appear on any governmental terror watch list. Conversely, Christians who believe homosexuality is prohibited by Scripture may, at some point in the not-too-distant future, be prosecuted for speaking against Prop 8, gay marriage, or homosexuality, in their religious assemblies.
Am I the only one to see the First Amendment irony in this?
“Hate Bill” Favoritism
If “hate bill”-obsessed Congress can’t protect Christians from “gays” as much as it wants to protect “gays” from Christians, will Congress be surprised if it can’t protect itself from most everyone? If “hate bills” are forced on captive Americans, they’ll still find ways to sneakily continue to “plant” Biblical messages everywhere. By doing so they’ll hasten God’s judgment on their oppressors as revealed in Proverbs 19:1. (See related web items including “David Letterman’s Hate, Etc.,” “Separation of Raunch and State,” “Michael the Narc-Angel,” and “Bible Verses Obama Avoids.”) Since Congress can’t seem to legislate “morality,” it’s making up for it by legislating “immorality”!
Yes, hopefully you are the only one to see irony in this. The actions of which you speak were not perpetrated by the US government, but hotels. Moreover, we are talking about hotels in two very different parts of the country. While the gist of your point is clear, the logic is not. Furthermore, because of a history of discrimination against various religious groups, all religious groups are a protected class under many federal anti-discrimination laws. Hence, no hotel wants to open itself up to a lawsuit for discriminating against an Islamic group. You protest Ms. Brown’s treatment in securing a venue for her press conference regarding Prop 8. Form the sounds of it, Ms. Brown was representing a political organizing group seeking to hold a press conference on a political matter. This is not an apples to apples comparison. Had Ms. Brown been representing a church, there would be an apples to apples comparison here. She was not, so there is not. In any event, if religiously based morality is the basis for Prop 8, then THIS would seem to run afoul of the establishment clause of the First Amendment.
Naturally, as this is a conservative blog, we must agree to disagree. Whether it was the hotel or not, it should trouble every American that this was not just a planned conference, but one that actually took place. Thank you for exercising your 1st Amendment right to express your opinion, though we do not see eye to eye on this issue.