In Egypt, the United States condemns free speech

Update: In an attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, at least one American has been reportedly killed.

Today, Egyptian demonstrators in Cairo scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad. There seems to be some confusion about the nature of the film — if any film actually exists — that has gotten everyone so excited in Cairo. (Update: Seems that this might be the movie.)

According to Reuters, protestors replaced the American flag with one that read ???There is no God but God, and Mohammad is his messenger.??? Now, you may believe that the American government would strongly support the rights of people to disagree with the sentiment of protestors — or any sentiment.  You???d be wrong.

The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others

Is it possible that the Egyptian mob has actually taken over the embassy and begun to issue press releases?

To begin with, Al Qaeda isn’t the enemy of “democracy” — it’s the enemy of the United States, Christians, Jews, modernity and liberalism, etc.  Second, religious freedom, not, “respect for religious beliefs,” is a cornerstone of American democracy.

It’s unclear to me when exactly this message was posted. Nina Shea at NRO writes that the above was a “a special message” for 9/11, intimating that it was before the protestors stormed. But really, is there any good time for the United States to attack a fundamental — nay, universal! — right?