In his speech in Cairo, President Obama just declared, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
That sounds nice, doesn’t it. I mean, who likes negative stereotypes?
Actually, the people who hold negative stereotypes appreciate them. Only, they don’t think of them as negative stereotypes.
It’s also a matter of free speech. All those who fall under the jurisdiction of the US government are supposed to have the freedom to criticize what they will, whether their criticisms are popular or not. There is nothing in the Constitution that indicates that religion ought to be exempt from criticism.
There is also nothing in the Constitution that suggests that it is part of the duties of the President of the United States to fight against criticisms of religion in general, or criticisms of particular religions. Barack Obama has it wrong when he says that to fight criticisms of Islam is his responsibility as President.
In fact, it’s Obama’s responsibility as President of the United States not to fight against criticisms of Islam, or of any other religion. The President is the Executive leader of a secular government that is supposed to respect the religious liberty of everyone in the USA and its territories. An essential aspect of that religious liberty is the right of people to criticize religions without government suppression of their dissent.
Please, President Obama, do not “fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear”. It’s none of your business.