posted on Jan, 25 2017 @ 05:10 PM
I agree the rhetoric shown in this video is IMO awful and something I profoundly disagree with and find both sad and alarming. And, if the legal
standard of incitement to violence, conspiracy to commit violence, or etc. are met, I will even say legal action should be taken.
However, I also agree with enlightenedservant. So in addition to what enlightenedservant above has already pointed out (such as asking: which
denomination or sect does the mosque in question belong to?) I have some questions for those using this to advocate surveillance.
Those questions are:
There are other forms of speech and bigotry that I profoundly disagree with in this country, in distinctly non-Muslim quarters. Some of them sound
like they're potentially dangerous. Should they be surveilled as well, despite no crime necessarily having been committed yet, and no evidence of
conspiracy to commit crime or foment violence necessarily existing? Do we get a warrant for that first, or do we just pass legislation to make that
something that can be done now, just on the basis that they're whatever group they are? Do we do it for the KKK for instance?
How do we choose which mosques get surveilled and which don't? Do we just surveil all of them? Is that not a bit... broad strokes?
If we're doing mosques... why not city gang hangouts? It's not as if law enforcement don't know where they are in many places and instances. Surely
all sorts of criminal behavior must go in street gangs. Do we start finding out where they congregate and install surveillance regardless of any other
evidence? They're gangs, so that's enough reason, right? How do we determine what constitutes a gang?
How do we legally delineate between Islam and other religions if we say we are going to do this? What safeguards exist that ensure it only applies to
Islam, and is that singling out of Islam not a direct circumvention of the constitution already in and of itself, should we go there? In which case,
wouldn't it, to avoid that, have to apply to any and all places of worship potentially? Are people comfortable with that? Or are we just doing
If this is not an isolated incident or an isolated example unique a given sect or denomination, then evidence should exist persuasively proving that.
Is law enforcement investigating said evidence? And if so, does a mechanism for obtaining a warrant and other necessary approval for surveillance or
search and seizure not already exist under existing law and case precedents, eliminating the need for additional surveillance mechanisms?
The San Bernadino shooter was radicalized on the internet. Do we increase surveillance of internet discussions? How do we determine who should be
targeted? Should it be on the basis that they are Muslim, since the suggestion being made is that many (all?) of them "secretly hate us?" Are we
comfortable with law enforcement, or government agencies, targeting individual American citizens predicated solely on the basis of their faith and the
presumption that "they all secretly hate us," for internet surveillance? Presumably without the serving of a warrant? Everyone seemed terribly up in
arms just a few years ago about warrantless wiretapping, hence the question.
Or should there be other, more objective constellations of fact-based evidence that justifies it? And if the latter... why treat mosques in a blanket
context in this way, without the same nuance and evidence to predicate that action upon? And again, does not legal recourse for this already exist?
What new authority or capability would be being added by new legislation or other decree to empower whatever entity to carry out said surveillance?
Is surveillance enough to prevent plots from being hatched? And to that end, what should be done when such speech is detected in said surveillance?
What laws would we be enforcing? What penalties would there be? Would people be jailed? Fined? Deported? (Even American citizens?) Put on a watch
list? What would happen to people on the watch list?
Since we're doing surveillance of mosques, how do we track them when they're not in the mosque? Do we have everyone sign up to a registry (an idea
already bandied about) so there is clear identification, address, phone number, license plate, or other contact information? Papers, please? On what
legal basis would this be predicated? Solely that they are Muslim and attend a mosque?
So since no one is asking those questions or answering them... this is where I stand on the matter.
We have laws. I'd even be for toughening laws somewhat. But just enforce those laws, or toughen and then enforce them, and use evidence-based
discretion when determining when and for whom or what to obtain a warrant, and then execute said warrant to obtain further evidence and prosecute
if a crime is underway, or conspiracy to commit crime and harm is proved, and give people the right to challenge those proceedings under the
law. That's called due process.
Otherwise... all you have is speech. Detestable speech imo, at least in this instance, to be sure. But still speech, in a religious institution, that
some are now advocating we establish effectively blanket surveillance on/in. Because, "they secretly all hate us and want to do us harm."
That's the logic that led to the interment of Japanese American citizens. How close are we as a nation willing to teeter toward something like that
stain on our history being repeated? Already we've seen people in the news, when questions about a Muslim registry come up, citing Japanese interment
as "a precedent." Not a terrible, immoral, unconstitutional blunder, but a "precedent." Because, "Hey, we made it legal. So it wasn't technically
unconstitutional." Yep. Their constitutional rights were suspended in the name of national security. It has happened before. (That's not a good
thing, for those keeping score at home.)
In addition to being grossly unconstitutional, it would also, frankly, in my opinion, simply be grievously immoral. Freedom entails risk. Just as I do
not advocate the banning of weapons or ammunition, I cannot in good conscience advocate the prejudicial singling out of one religion as a whole, with
no nuance or thorough evidenciary basis, for surveillance on the premise that "they all secretly hate us and plan to do us harm."
Does this entail risk? Absolutely. Freedom being selected preferentially over security always does. But I will always choose love over fear, and if I
end up getting stabbed in the back for that, I'll die still believing it was right. I'd rather take risks and potentially suffer for what I truly
believe to be right, than seek to ensure security by doing what I firmly believe to be wrong.
No matter how repugnant the speech displayed in this video is to me.
If evidence - real evidence - exists to suggest the plotting or incitement of illegal activity or harm, then prosecute the hell out of that under our
existing laws. Including this video. If it meets the standard of a crime? Throw the book at the individuals proven to be engaging in said criminal
But what's being advocated here goes perilously far beyond that, as tends to be the case these days, disturbingly.
Just my opinion. I respect the views of everyone else.