Now that President Morsi has made his first speech at the United Nations General Assembly, and has called for the United States to revise its adherence to the First Amendment, I find it particularly interesting how that call complements other statements Mr. Morsi made in the very same speech.
He called for ending non-Arab interference in Arab affairs when he said (emphasis mine):
The vision of the new Egypt that we strive to realize for our nation also constitutes the frame of action we present to the world, and which should guide our cooperation with the international community, in a spirit of equality and mutual respect, entailing non-intervention in the affairs of other states as well as the implementation of the international principles, agreements and conventions. Today we reiterate our commitment to them, particularly the United Nations Charter, which Egypt took part in drafting. (Emphasis mine)
In essence, Mr. Morsi is telling the world, particularly the non-Islamic world, to butt out of Egyptian internal affairs.
Just a few paragraphs later, he illustrates that he views this non-interference pledge as strictly a one-way street (emphasis mine).
Egypt would like to stress that the international system will not get fixed as long as the application of double standards remains. We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural particularities and religious points of reference, and not seek to impose concepts that are unacceptable to us or politicize certain issues and use them as a pretext to intervene in the affairs of others.
What Muslims and migrants are going through in a number of regions worldwide, in terms of discrimination and violation of their human rights, and vicious campaigns against what they hold sacred, is unacceptable. It is opposed to the most basic principles of the Charter of the Organization where we meet today. These practices have become pervasive enough that they now carry a name: Islamophobia.
We must join hands in confronting these regressive ideas that hinder cooperation among us. We must act together in the face of extremism, discrimination, and incitement to hatred on the basis of religion or race. (Emphasis mine)
I will acknowledge one point made by Mr. Morsi. The leaders of so-called developed nations have interfered for centuries, if not millennia, in the affairs of Africa and the Middle East (as well as any other nations where they thought they could get away with it). Over the past one hundred years or so, these developing nations have been unrelenting in their claim that they do not want, and will not allow, interference in their internal affairs and their efforts to shape their own destinies. The accusatory phrase “interfering in the internal affairs of our country” has been used again and again by politicians of every stripe and in every undeveloped nation on the planet.
Yet when Mr. Morsi informs us that one of our most cherished “cultural peculiarities” is not acceptable, not one word drifts outward from the White House, not one word from the Department of Justice, and nothing from a single member of the United States Congress. We get nothing from the faculty lounges of our universities or even (or perhaps most egregiously) the ACLU. In fact, none of the people you might expect have made even a peep defending our most important “cherished cultural peculiarity”: our freedom of speech.
For Americans, that very silence should be what’s unacceptable.
This essay was originally published at American Thinker.