After a day of riots and attacks in Egypt and Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, our ambassador, along with three staffers to Libya has been killed. There will be many condemnations of this attack. There will be others who suggest it was legitimate.
Lets review: these protests were sparked in response to a film depicting the prophet Muhammad in an offensive manner. The director, Israeli born Sam Bacile, is now in hiding. I’ll repeat: our ambassador to Libya was killed because of an offensive movie. Our embassy in Egypt was attacked because of a movie. Let that sink in.
There is an ugly strain of thought in America’s political Left and Libertarian wings that suggests we bring these attacks upon ourselves. You will no doubt read that this director is at fault. Some will claim that he should have known better and that he incited violence. Some may even call for his arrest. This view could not be more wrong.
Living in a free society requires up to deal with being offended. In America, we deal with white supremacists, religious fundamentalists, hate groups, militias, and more. We do not arrest them for being offensive. We deal with it. Our most cherished right is free speech.
If the Middle East is to join the modern world they must learn to cope with offensive speech. They cannot suppress those who disagree with them through violence or persecution.