- The Washington Times - Monday, November 5, 2012

As Americans go to the polls, many factors may influence how they vote for president. Among those — if not pre-eminent among them — should be the kind of country they want to bequeath to their children. It is unlikely that most voters would knowingly and deliberately opt for a candidate who appears determined to make the United States a nation that does not respect and safeguard our most foundational constitutional right: freedom of expression.

It may seem unbelievable that anyone running for the presidency would even consider such a betrayal of the oath of office governing that position, let alone work toward that end. Yet, as a new film, “Silent Conquest,” makes clear, President Obama, from his first months in office, has been enabling in this country an insidious effort by Islamic supremacists to keep us from engaging in speech, videos, training or other forms of expression that offend Muslims, their god, prophet and faith.

The documentary opens with Mr. Obama’s astounding pronouncement at the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.” This sentiment could have been expressed as easily by the Muslim Brotherhood, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Taliban or al Qaeda. Unfortunately, it is but one of many manifestations of an Obama policy approach that has brought U.S. diplomacy and government practice into closer and closer alignment with the demands of Islamists that such “slanders” be prohibited and criminalized.

Consider a few of the other examples “Silent Conquest” itemizes with help from an array of U.S. and foreign legislators, analysts in national security and other fields, and Muslim and non-Muslim activists (this columnist among them):

The Obama administration co-sponsored in March 2009 a resolution in the U.N. Human Rights Council that basically endorsed the unacceptability of any expression that offends Islam.

In Cairo in June 2009, Mr. Obama declared, as part of what Mitt Romney and others have called his “apology tour”: “I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

In July 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton launched with the OIC the Istanbul Process, a multilateral effort to find ways to accommodate Muslim demands for restrictions on free speech. On that occasion, she declared that among other means put in the service of this dubious objective would be “old-fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming.”

Mrs. Clinton evidently has found such methods inadequate. In the aftermath of the murderous attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, she joined Mr. Obama and others in insisting — despite abundant evidence to the contrary — that it had been precipitated by a “disgusting and reprehensible” act of free expression, namely, a video denigrating Muhammad produced by a California man. According to Charles Woods, the father of Tyrone Woods, one of the former Navy SEALs killed while heroically defending the CIA’s annex and his comrades, Mrs. Clinton told him that the government was going to “arrest and prosecute” the filmmaker. Shortly thereafter, the American who had given offense was indeed taken into custody and will remain there, at least until after the election.

Then there’s this, just in: The man selected to perform the investigation into the Benghazi debacle for the State Department — whose results will only become available after Nov. 6 — seems committed to the Shariah blasphemy agenda as well. As reported by syndicated columnist Diana West, in the course of his Oct. 23 appearance on a panel at Washington National Cathedral titled “The Muslim Experience in America,” retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering “made an ominous call for ‘strong efforts to deal with opinion leaders who harbor [anti-Islam] prejudices, who espouse them and spread them.’” He went on to endorse the characterization of another panelist, Islamist apologist James Zogby, who claimed “the racism [of U.S. soldiers] was really intense.” Mr. Pickering even seemed to suggest that the U.S. armed forces are “the enemy.”

The question is this: If given a second term, will President Obama and those he is entrusting with policymaking and advisory roles — including persons with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood — redouble their efforts to restrict your freedom of expression? Or will they recognize, in this regard at least, that their efforts to appease Islamists are imperiling our country and freedoms?

Unfortunately, there seems to be little reason to expect such a fundamental and much-needed course correction should Mr. Obama be re-elected and obtain, in his words, “more flexibility.” That is especially true in light of the decline of respect for the right of free expression in other quarters that this president seems to hold in higher esteem than our own nation and its Constitution. As “Silent Conquest” powerfully documents, this trend to submit to Shariah blasphemy codes is even further advanced in Europe and the United Nations.

Before you cast your vote Tuesday, reflect on this: Are you willing to bet your country and your personal freedoms on the proposition that four more years of Mr. Obama’s efforts to emulate the euro-U.N. types in accommodating the Islamists won’t wind up “fundamentally transforming” the America we pass on to our children, to their great detriment — and ours?

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy (SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for The Washington Times and host of Secure Freedom Radio on WRC-AM (1260).