Skip to comments.Obama’s Religious Freedom Appointee Involved in Muslim Event Calling for Limiting Freedom of Speech
Posted on 03/26/2013 12:30:56 PM PDT by markomalley
Americas free-speech model is in desperate need of an update, says an American-Muslim human rights activist who recently spoke at an event linked to an Obama administration appointee.
Dr. Qasim Rashid argued that cyber-bullying laws could be used to limit freedom of expression such as the burning of Korans -- in war time:
When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in times of peace are a hindrance to this effort, Rashid said on March 19 at Howard University. And their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and no court can regard them as protected by any constitutional right.
Rashid began his remarks by personally thanking Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in June 2011. Al-Hibri founded Karamah, a group devoted to the rights of Muslim women, and it was this group that invited Rashid to speak.
I do want to start by thanking Karamah, Rashid said. I was fortunate enough to have several constitutional scholars look at this paper and provide feedback. Dr. al-Hibri, of course
The topic of the March 19 event at Howard University was titled, The Limits of Free Speech in a Global Era: Does Americas Free Speech Model Endanger Muslim Americans?
Our understanding of free speech today is not some long-held 227- or 235-year understanding, said Rashid, a member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America, who presented a paper titled In Harms Way: The Desperate Need to Update Americas Current Free Speech Model.
Rashid quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who in 2011 said, Free speech is a great idea, but we're in a war.
Advances in technology that allow videos and messages to cross the world in an instant require a revised speech model, Rashid said.
Most, if not all of you are familiar with the 2011 case where Terry Jones, a pastor from Florida, burned a Koran on March 20, 2011, and this event itself provides a prime example of the gap that advanced technology caused in America's free speech model, Rashid said.
So in addition to placing a big sign on his church lawn that said Islam is the devil, Jones burned the Koran, screened it live on the Internet and put in layman's translations so that people in war-torn [areas] in particular can see what he's doing, he continued. Now like the hypothetical KKK member who might burn a cross on his black neighbors lawn to target him specifically, Jones did the exact same thing by burning the Koran -- broadcast it and targeted Muslims in a war- torn country to target them specifically.
Rashid noted that government officials warned Jones that his actions might provoke violence, and while Jones said he knew it, he burned the Koran anyway, sparking deadly protests in Afghanistan and a condemnation by Pakistans government.
Using the Koran burning as an example, Rashid said that cyber-bullying legislation could be used to prosecute individuals for their speech on a case-by-case basis.
My argument is that we already have legislation, right? he said. I mean, we already have a cyber-bullying policy in all 50 states that even without the threat of violence even without violence occurring, we're already holding individuals responsible for this intentional infliction of harm on others.
So I think that legislation's already there, Rashid said. It's just more a question of how is it going to be applied.
According to the Cyber-bullying Research Center, 49 states have bullying statutes and 16 states have cyber-bullying laws, which can prosecute individuals for electronic bullying.
In Arkansas, for example, a person can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if they engage in communications online with the purpose to frighten, coerce, intimidate, threaten, abuse, harass, or alarm another person.
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Dr. al-Hibri sat on the National Advisory Board of the American Muslim Council (AMC) from 1991 to 1998 with AMC Executive Director Abdurahman Alamoudi. Alamoudi was later sentenced to 23 years in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges for his involvement in an assassination plot of then- Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
In June 2011, President Obama appointed Dr. al-Hibri to the USCIRF, an eight member federal body that monitors religious freedom conditions abroad and recommends policies that will enhance freedom where it is imperiled.
Dr. al-Hibri founded Karamah in 1993, one year after she became the first Muslim female law professor in the United States. She has written extensively on women's issues, democracy, and human rights from an Islamic perspective, her biography says.
Karamah said that Dr. al-Hibri is out of the country and was not available for comment.
Save Old Glory. Burn, stomp, desecrate the god of our enemies, the Koran at will.
The country is nearly bankrupt and we have a “Religious Freedom Appointee”?
What does this position pay (with cost of benefits)?
Between the homosexuals and the muslims, I don’t see much reason to remain an American.
Rashid can take his free speech limitations and shove them up hisMohammed.
America The Land of the Free The Home of the brave. in real small print you must be either a homosexual or a muslim for it to apply to you. Hope that explains it all.
Just declare anything said against Liberalism, Islam or any Democrat hate speech. That should take care of the 1st. Amendment. On to the Second.
What’s his email address? Maybe we could, you know, inundate him with what we feel.
Remain an American. Fight for your beliefs. Don’t run and give up.
If we have a “Burn A Koran Day” we’d lower ourselves to their level. But not saying it wouldn’t be fun!
Fight who? Fight how? Vote? Yeah, that worked out well. Write to my elected officials? They only listen to donors. Pray? I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed. Prayed Obama wouldn’t be elected the first time and the second time.
If you can tell me something concrete to do that will make a difference, I will gladly do it.
“When a nation is at war”
Who is at WAR? War has not be declared since 1941 here in the States.
Well Sir, if you can find a better country then I suggest you emigrate there. As for me, I’d fight one way or other for my country.
He has a website with a contact form...
Qasim Rashid, BSc, JD, is an American-Muslim human rights activist, writer, and lecturer on American-Islamic Issues. He received his Bachelors of Science in Business-Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed his Juris Doctorate at Richmond Law. The Richmond Law Faculty selected Qasim from his graduating class to receive the prestigious Nina Kestin Service Award for unsurpassed contribution to the University, the surrounding community, and to legal scholarship.
Qasim is a national spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA (the Nations first American-Muslim organization) and serves as a Volunteer Chaplain for the Virginia State Prison system. Prior to completing his JD, Qasim worked for several years in both the education and telecommunication sectors.<
The idea that WE can’t speak out against a cult like islam because it might offend muslims is so completely against everything for which people escaped Europe and came here.
Except that i wouldn’t waste any money I wish i had a Koran. I’d fire that sucker up.
True. This taken along with the kids being taught to stomp on the word Jesus at school in the name of “Intercultural Communication” sounds like a full-blown abdication of the First Amendment.
Right now is the War on the Bill of Rights, especially one, two, four and ten.
Sent him a message saying “Maybe we could start by ending hateful speech against America” .....
Did not know we had a religious freedom appointee.