Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Steve Malzberg Show | Terror in Texas | Andrew McCarthy | First Amendment | Texas attack

Andrew McCarthy: Constitution Allows 'Critical Examination' of Islam

Wednesday, 06 May 2015 05:00 PM

The sponsors of the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest — during which two ISIS-inspired gunmen opened fire in a Dallas suburb — should not be blamed for holding the event, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says.

That's because the nation's constitutional guarantee of free speech allows for the "critical examination" of Islam, no matter what form it takes, McCarthy said Wednesday on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show."

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"When you [place blame] … you're really justifying the fact or avoiding the fact that this is ideology driven," he said.

Two gunmen armed with assault rifles, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, were shot to death by police outside the "Draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas, when they jumped from a car and opened fire.

Islam considers it blasphemous to depict its prophet visually — a belief that has led to violence in other countries. The Islamic State has taken credit for the attack and says it is now gunning for one of its organizers, Pamela Geller.

McCarthy compared controversial cartoons of Muhammad to the furor that erupted in 1987 when Andre Serrano created "Piss Christ" — a photo that depicted a crucifix emerged in a jar of the artist's urine.

"There's nothing that's more obnoxious to Catholics and Christians … right? I don't think anybody would blame Serrano if some crazed Catholic decided to do something violent.

"Of course, that didn't happen because if it had happened, there would've been universal condemnation that [the attacker] was violating not only society's laws, but also the tenants of his faith."

McCarthy said Islamic laws lack that restraint.

"You have this problem in Islam and it has to do with things that are in the literal scriptures — that are commands to violence — and this is codified in Islamic Law," he said.

"What they're trying to criminalize or make illegal is not just insulting depictions of the prophet, it's any critical examination of Islam whatsoever, no matter how respectfully done, how tastefully done — and that's the real threat to free speech."

McCarthy — a National Review columnist and author of "Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama's Impeachment," published by Encounter Books — served as a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

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The sponsors of the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest — during which two ISIS-inspired gunmen opened fire in a Dallas suburb — should not be blamed for holding the event, former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy says.
Andrew McCarthy, First Amendment, Texas attack
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2015-00-06
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 05:00 PM
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