But first some exciting news out of Egypt.
From the Washington Times:
An Egyptian court has convicted a Coptic Christian lawyer in the southern province of Assiut on charges of blasphemy and sentenced him to one year in prison with hard labor.
The verdict against Roman Murad Saad was handed down on Saturday. It’s the latest in a surge of blasphemy cases following Egypt’s 2011 uprising.
Saad was sentenced in absentia. If he’s arrested or surrenders to authorities, he will be given a retrial and will have to pay 10,000 Egyptians pounds (around $1,400) in fines.
Court officials say Saad was found guilty of ridiculing Islam’s holy book, the Quran, at a lawyers’ union library. No further details were immediately available in the case.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to media.
No further details were immediately available? No, were good with just those. Don't need to know more about that case.
Well, good thing we've got that whole Bill of Rights thing to protect against anything untoward like that from happening here, right?
Good thing that 1st amendment protects us from being punished by our own government for potentially "offending" anyone elses religious sensibilities, right?
Well, a government official charged with upholding the Constitution appears to be looking at a looser interpretation of the 1st amendment than our "reasonable person" model.
Special speakers for the event will be Bill Killian, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Kenneth Moore, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Knoxville Division.
Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.
“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told The News Monday. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”
Why does a talk about freedom of religion and federal laws and consequences seem a bit incongruous?
Killian gives a specific example of someone behaving poorly towards the Muslim community:
Killian referred to a Facebook posting made by Coffee County Commissioner Barry West that showed a picture of a man pointing a double-barreled shotgun at a camera lens with the caption saying, “How to Wink at a Muslim.”f
Killian said he and Moore had discussed the issue.r
“If a Muslim had posted ‘How to Wink at a Christian,’ could you imagine what would have happened?” he said. “We need to educate people about Muslims and their civil rights, and as long as we’re here, they’re going to be protected.”
Actually, we do. There is precedence for this. We know it was 4 years ago, but do you all remember this?
We do. And we also remember the rioting that took place across northern Europe when that and other alleged offensive cartoons of Muhammed were re-printed in a Danish newspaper.
And let's not forget about Salmon Rushdie who still has a bounty on his head for his "Satanic Verses" that was printed over 20 years ago.
We wonder if Killian remembers this from about the same time period as "Satanic Verses"?
Yep. Good ol' "Piss Christ". And the amount of riots, death threats and overall incidents of violence caused by this piece of "art" have a common number. For Mr. Killian's benefit, that number would be "zero". A demeaning and degrading image of the central figure of Christianity elicited a relatively big fat whateverburger from Christ's followers.
Back to the article:
Killian said he has made other presentations in the state about Muslim culture and civil rights laws, and the Muslims he’s become acquainted with are outstanding citizens.
“Some of the finest people I’ve met are Muslims,”
Awwww.... he has Muslim friends!
And now for the money paragraphs:
“We want to inform everybody about what the law is, but more importantly, we want to provide what the law means to Muslims, Hindus and every other religion in the country.
“It’s why we came here in the first place. In England, they were using Christianity to further their power in government. That’s why the First Amendment is there.”
That this man is in any position of authority scares the living hell out of us.
That he says what he says without any hint of irony simply blows our mind.
The first amendment is there precisely to protect U.S. citizens from clueless idiots like you, Killian, that are on some sort of P.C.-driven power trip.
Descending into some third world crap hole where the law is selectively applied before our very eyes.
We have to break this off but an exit question: Is this loser Killian suggesting that people on social media and "just bloggers" are not afforded the same 1st amendment protections as traditional media outlets? It would seem to be that way to us.
* It has occurred to us that we may very well have violated Mr. Killian's police state interpretation of the law with this post.