I started to write a blog about free speech and the anti-Islam video made by an American and the protests and killings that stemmed from it (including the tragic deaths of the U.S. ambassador to Libya). But as I was opining on my support for the First Amendment, a friend came in to our hotel room and said there are protestors marching to the U.S. embassy here in Sana’a. We could see a steady string of Yemenis walking to the embassy. We said we hoped that this protest would be like that in Cairo, where protestors marched to the embassy, but it was a non-violent protest. Then we heard gunfire, and heard that Yemen military were firing in the sky to get the protestors to turn around. We can see a road to the embassy from out hotel and saw some protestors going back the other way. But we still hear chanting and gunfire and are watching CNN and see that protestors did indeed get into the embassy. And now we hear that two protestors are dead. We’re staying glued to the TV and to the scene outside.
Anyways, Mr.YemenEm and I are safe in our hotelpartment, which is very heavily guarded. I’ll keep everyone updated on here throughout the day.
With love from Yemen,
Religion is the most widely used excuse for oppression. And when religion becomes oppressive, it always attacks free speech.
. Only free speech can be a check, a counter balance, to the cruelties of religion.
Remember that in the US, during slave days, the South violently oppressed freedom of speech and religion. This was not taught in the US, and is still not taught. The Southern states controlled what religions could preach, by use of the “anti incendiary” laws. The mails were searched, ships were searched, and any book that “could dissatisfy a slave” was not only outlawed, you could be whipped for owning it.
SO the US has had cruel oppression by “religious” men — and they could only get away with it by oppressing free speech against it. Only after the Confederates lost the CIvil War, did people have anything like free speech in the South. Only after our own Civil War could Southern religions preach against slavery, for example. Before the CIvil War, preachers could be, and were, arrested for preaching against slavery.
The same thing is true in Islam. It’s human nature, it’s men. They love power. They love prestige. They love control of women. That’s really what its about. Islam is about power prestige and control of women, and you risk being attacked if you say so, just like you could be attacked in the US South for saying so before the Civil War.
Freedom of speech can not exist with oppressive cruel religions, the history of Islam and Christianity confirm that. Either freedom of speech has to go, or the oppressive cruel use of religion has to go. One, or the other. It’s not about Islam or Christianity, it’s about men being tyrants and cruel to get power, prestige, and control of women.
I was thinking about you this morning. Glad you two are OK.