Obama has an interesting double standard concerning those who mock Muhammad and Islam.
On the one hand Obama is supportive of expressions that is against Islam. He also does not condemn expressions against Islam but instead is support of the right of expression against Islam. With the recent terrorist attack related to Charlie Hebdo, Huffington Post reported Obama’s statement:
“The fact that this was an attack on journalists, attack on our free press, also underscores the degree to which these terrorists fear freedom of speech and freedom of the press,” Obama said from the Oval Office during a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry and Vice President Joe Biden.
“But the one thing that I’m very confident about is that the values that we share with the French people, a belief — a universal belief in the freedom of expression, is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few,” he added.
Note above how Obama believes freedom of expression is something Obama believes is a universal belief and one that ought not to be silenced which in the immediate context of the terrorist act against Charlie Hebdo include the magazines’ mockery against the prophet Muhammad and the religion of Islam.
In the same speech Obama also goes on to say the following about Paris, the city that the terrorist attack took place:
“What that beautiful city represents — the culture and the civilization that is so central to our imaginations — that’s going to endure,” Obama said. “And those who carry out senseless attacks against innocent civilians, ultimately they’ll be forgotten.”
Note that Obama thinks those who are terrorists will be forgotten but the city of Paris that allows the freedom of expression to mock Islam and which Charlie Hebdo works out of–it will endure. Remember this point.
Obama has also emphasized that the French values (including those of allowing Charlie Hebdo to express itself against Islam) reflect American values and ultimately enduring “universal values” elsewhere in his condolences:
France is America’s oldest ally, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the United States in the fight against terrorists who threaten our shared security and the world. Time and again, the French people have stood up for the universal values that generations of our people have defended.
Yet on the other hand Obama is against expressions against Islam. In 2012 when the US Consulate in Benghazi was attacked, the Obama administration initially blamed it on Nakoula Basseley Nakoula who made a movie mocking Muhammad and Islam. As an example of this we find what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated two days after the terrorist attack on September 13th, 2012:
I also want to take a moment to address the video circulating on the Internet that has led to these protests in a number of countries. Let me state very clearly – and I hope it is obvious – that the United States Government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject its content and message. America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation. And as you know, we are home to people of all religions, many of whom came to this country seeking the right to exercise their own religion, including, of course, millions of Muslims. And we have the greatest respect for people of faith.
To us, to me personally, this video is disgusting and reprehensible. It appears to have a deeply cynical purpose: to denigrate a great religion and to provoke rage.
Note how Hillary openly condemned the video. Note also how she questioned the motive of the video maker and speculated that the purpose was merely to provoke rage. Hillary, as a representative of the Obama’s administration, does not approve of attacks against Islam. Apparently Obama himself also presupposes this narrative that the video caused the Benghazi attack and implicitly rejected the video’s attack on Islam since the day before Hillary’s speech Obama stated in his own “Remarks by the President on the Deaths of U.S. Embassy Staff in Libya” the following:
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others.
For several days following Benghazi Obama publicly stated his disapproval and condemnation against the video and its anti-Islamic content. He did this on September 18th during the“Late Show with David Letterman:”
OBAMA: “Here’s what happened. … You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who – who is extremely offensive video directed at – at Mohammed and Islam…”
LETTERMAN: “Making fun of the Prophet Mohammed.”
OBAMA: “Making fun of the Prophet Mohammed. And so, this caused great offense in much of the Muslim world. But what also happened was, extremists and terrorists used this as an excuse to attack a variety of our embassies, including the one, the consulate in Libya.”
And also a statement on September 19th:
The message we have to send to the Muslim world is that we expect you to work with us, to keep our people safe, and as offensive as this video was – and obviously we denounced it, the United States government had nothing to do with it – that’s never an excuse for violence.
And climaxing with Obama’s speech to the UN:
The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.
What is it going to be: Will mockers of the prophet of Islam and Islam itself have a future or not?