A Jewish mate here in Sydney sent me a link to this report from Philadelphia Pennsylvania in the USA. David Rusin wrote this amazing article (titled "May Christians Preach Outside a Philadelphia Mosque?") about an event from 2010 and the commensurate trial. "Yes, the First Amendment still protects Christians preaching to Muslims. But as the Philadelphia case and recent controversies prove, exercising free speech rights amid hypersensitivity toward Islam does not come without costs."
Rusin is director of Islamist Watch, a part of Middle East forum
The case and another one [a month earlier in 2010] in Dearborn, Michigan, highlight the dangers of practicing free speech in relation to Muslims. At least in the changing United States. Where various forms of Christianity are still the state religion in many states, the new state religion may be multiculturalism. Or more specifically a variant form of it.
I enjoy good choral music. Part of what I like is the combination of melody, harmony, countermelodies-- the drama of who is singing what at any particular time. When multiculturalism goes mad, and the courts and police want peace at any cost, then choral music goes thin...it becomes unison singing. Don't get me wrong; I like unison singing, too, but it's not as good, not as thick, not as meaningful to me. I think the world of music improved when Gregorian Chants gave way to Bach and Mozart.
What I mean, if you missed it, is this. If we are really going to practice multiculturalism, then that must include your culture and my culture. It must include the Christians and it must include the Jews and it must include the Muslim, etc. Harmony is the word for it in music, and unison is not what we need.
Governments have to allow Christians to preach in a civil manner in public fora. Offense is not chargeable. Being stupid is not chargeable. No one should prevent someone else from believing what he wants or trying to spread that message to others. Conversations between people on university campuses should not be monitored by the Thought Police to see if the speech is acceptable. Or offensive.
I hope you are not offended by this commentary.