Islamophobe Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy held the Defeat Jihad Summit on Wednesday and one of the speakers was Sen. Ted Cruz. He took the opportunity to flat out lie about what President Obama said at the National Prayer Breakfast. And to wish he was more like a Muslim dictator.
Cruz compared the president’s timidity in the face of terrorism and his refusal to condemn murderous Muslim extremists with the “courageous” bravery of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in risking his own life to call out “the radical Islamic terrorists that are perverting his faith.”
Wait, for seven years the right wing has been accusing Obama of being a Muslim dictator and now Cruz wishes he would be more like al-Sisi, the military general who led a coup to overthrow the elected leader of Egypt and is thus a dictator? Fascinating. As for that alleged refusal to condemn murderous Muslim extremists, note this passage from Obama’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast:
But we also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge — or, worse, sometimes used as a weapon. From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith, professed to stand up for Islam, but, in fact, are betraying it. We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that, in the name of religion, carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism — terrorizing religious minorities like the Yezidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.
That is exactly what Cruz says Obama won’t say. And Obama has said much the same thing literally hundreds of times since being in office. Cruz, like the other professional liars on the right, simply invent whatever reality they wish existed and repeat it over and over again and their followers lap it up like a kitten to milk.
Cruz also said few people seemed to have noticed a “stunning” assault on free speech by Obama that “got very little press attention.”
The Texan began that portion of his remarks by noting something Obama said at last Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast that was “every bit as troubling as analogizing to the Crusades” and invoking the moral relativism of comparing Christianity’s ancient misdeeds with modern radical Islamic atrocities.
Cruz noted how the president said, “[W]hen someone exercises their free speech to criticize the faith of another, we should all condemn it.”
“Now, I found that a rather stunning assault on free speech from the president. It got very little press attention. Because, lest it be lost on anybody, what the president was saying is that Charlie (Hebdo) was wrong to put a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad on their magazine.
There’s wisdom in our founders writing in those documents that help found this nation the notion of freedom of religion, because they understood the need for humility. They also understood the need to uphold freedom of speech, that there was a connection between freedom of speech and freedom of religion. For to infringe on one right under the pretext of protecting another is a betrayal of both.
But part of humility is also recognizing in modern, complicated, diverse societies, the functioning of these rights, the concern for the protection of these rights calls for each of us to exercise civility and restraint and judgment. And if, in fact, we defend the legal right of a person to insult another’s religion, we’re equally obligated to use our free speech to condemn such insults — (applause) — and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with religious communities, particularly religious minorities who are the targets of such attacks. Just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t question those who would insult others in the name of free speech. Because we know that our nations are stronger when people of all faiths feel that they are welcome, that they, too, are full and equal members of our countries.
He didn’t say “criticize,” he said “insult.” And he explicitly endorsed the right of people to insult religion, only saying that others should exercise their equal right to criticize those who do so. Now, I think Obama is mostly wrong about that, but he didn’t say anything remotely like what Cruz claimed he said. And Cruz, being a Harvard Law grad, knows damn well the difference between criticizing someone and censoring them. Obama understands the difference and spelled it out clearly in his statement. There is no “stunning assault on free speech” here or anything anywhere near it, and Cruz knows it.
Again, he’s simply lying. He doesn’t care what the truth is, he only cares what kind of fear he can sell to his credulous followers.