Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Freedom of Speech

Pat Condell on Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Sharia Compliance

Over at PJ Media Robert Spencer explains how promising to uphold the Constitution over Sharia is not an argument that Donald Trump wants to get into:

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s boast that if he had been president, the September 11 jihad terror attacks would not have happened because “if I were running things, I doubt those people would have been in the country,” has been gaining him even more notoriety and cheers from foes of Obama’s immigration policies. What Trump would do to prevent jihad terror attacks by domestic jihadis, or Sharia encroachment on American freedoms, however, is far less clear than his stance on immigration, and some of the things he has said about these matters should give even the most full-throated of his enthusiasts considerably less to cheer about.

Several weeks ago, in the midst of Ben Carson’s remarks on sharia, Eric Bolling of Fox News asked Trump: “Would you want the president or a candidate to say, ‘I will promise to uphold the Constitution over the Sharia law’?” Trump replied: “Well, I think it’s an argument I don’t want to get into, it’s not my argument, so it’s an argument that I won’t get into.”

Promising to uphold the Constitution over sharia is not an argument that Trump wants to get into? He may not be aware that if he becomes president, he will solemnly swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and this solemn responsibility extends far beyond his competition with Ben Carson.

What’s more, after he denounced our free-speech event in Garland, Texas, last May, which was attacked by Islamic jihadists, it is not at all clear that Donald Trump understands the jihad imperative or the war against free speech, or is at all equipped to counter them.


Trump says Islam has tremendous hatred for America, tells Anderson Cooper to go find out why that is

Many people, particularly his supporters, misunderstand this point, saying that Trump is all for free speech but that he just objects to how Pamela Geller and I were exercising it by drawing Muhammad. The fact that I was co-organizer of and a speaker at the Garland event only obscures the issue because it makes people think that my criticism of Trump on this score is personal. In reality, I would take issue with him just as strongly if he had said that people should not draw Muhammad in any context, referring to any event – not because there is some intrinsic necessity to draw Muhammad, but because when violent jihadis commit murder to prevent people from drawing Muhammad, to desist voluntarily from drawing Muhammad is to reward violent intimidation, and encourage more.

When Trump said, “They can’t do something else? They have to be in the middle of Texas doing something on Muhammad and insulting everybody?”, he was revealing that he did not grasp that essential point, and was willing to acquiesce to sharia restrictions on the freedom of speech.

The real question is this: Is the freedom of speech only to be defended when we like what is being said? Speaking strictly for myself, I always hated the Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoons: they were crude, puerile, silly and often genuinely offensive (not because they depicted Muhammad). But I understood that they were necessary, as the cartoonists were standing up to the jihadist bullies and showing that violent intimidation would not rule the day, so I never voiced any objections: to have done so would have needlessly detracted from the genuine meaning and importance of what they were doing.

That battle was lost: Islamic jihadis murdered the cartoonists, and Charlie Hebdo surrendered, vowing never to draw Muhammad again. But the principle remains, and people like Trump, Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham, who took issue with what we were doing in the wake of the jihad attack on our event in Garland, don’t seem to grasp what the freedom of speech is all about. What they’re missing is neatly encapsulated in what used to be an adage: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” In other words, I will stand with you against tyranny because even if I disagree with your opinions, I understand that once opinions begin to be criminalized, we are all the poorer, and all at risk….

Read the rest here.

4 thoughts on “Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand Freedom of Speech”

  1. You think right Mr. Trump…. Not only does Islam hate us, it has an agenda to conquer, enslave, tax and humiliate us if we don’t submit to the barbaric dessert deity.

    1. He figured that out just now? Where has he been? You think he’s a genius but any tom dick or harry could figure this out. He still doesn’t know WHY and told Anderson that he had to figure that out.

  2. the idea that Trump is worried about people being insulting is ridiculous on its face. In particular when talking about Islam which demands blood for any insult, perceived or real.

  3. Washington (CNN)

    Trump talks Islam

    Donald Trump said Wednesday that he thinks “Islam hates us,” drawing little distinction between the religion and radical Islamic terrorism.

    “I think Islam hates us,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, deploring the “tremendous hatred” that he said partly defined the religion. He maintained the war was against radical Islam, but said, “it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”

    Exactly! And we can never know when today’s moderate will become tomorrow’s radical.

    Asked if the hate was “in Islam itself,” Trump would only say that was for the media to figure out.

    (The next day the always clueless ‘Greta’ from Fox kept harping on about “all Islam” vs “radical Islam”, something which only exists in the minds of gullible western journalists.)


    “You’re gonna have to figure that out, OK?” he told Cooper. “We have to be very vigilant. We have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States.”

    Trump made headlines in December when he called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” Despite widespread condemnation of the remarks, Trump has stood by the proposal.

    In speaking with Cooper, Trump added that “there can be no doctrine” when asked to outline how he would project power overseas.

    Trump also tried to clarify his position on how far he would go in targeting the families of terrorists. He has said in the past that he is in favor of “expanding the laws” that govern how the U.S. can combat and deter terrorism, and Trump has called to bring back waterboarding, even vowing the U.S. “should go a lot further than waterboarding.”

    But Trump on Wednesday declined to say what specific measures he would support.

    “I’ll work on it with the generals,” he told Cooper. He added, “We have to play the game at a much tougher level than we’re playing it now.”

    Yes indeed.

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