KANSAS CITY, Mo. - More than 300 local Muslims are petitioning the White House for change.
Members of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City tell 41 Action News they have good reasons for wanting to limit first amendment rights. They said their petition to ban language that defames, insults or provokes violence has been sparked by a video that has caused outrage across the globe.
From violent attacks, to angry marches, the "Innocence of Muslims" film has encouraged local Muslims to fight for change.
"Insulting somebody else or putting somebody down can insight violence and lead to people losing their lives. We’re trying not to give these people a chance to misbehave," said Mohammed Kohia, who started the petition along with the executive board of the Islamic Society of Greater Kansas City.
RELATED: Request to block anti-Islam clip denied http://bit.ly/RBIXCx
Around 350 local Muslims have signed the online petition asking the federal government to limit American's freedom of speech by banning language that attacks anyone’s religion. The group is calling on President Obama to draw a line between free speech and hate speech.
"We want people to be free to say what they want but we need responsibility here. There's a big difference between criticism and hate," Kohia added.
Doug Bonney, an attorney representing the American Civil Liberties Union strongly disagrees with the petition.
"Somebody's speech is no excuse for violence, that's right," he said, "but you can't punish the speaker for the violence practiced by others. While I understand why they’re upset, their preposition is clearly unconstitutional."
Islamic leaders warn if we don't restrict insulting speech, attacks like the killing of United States Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Libya, are bound to reoccur. Yet opponents worry restricting one freedom could jeopardize our right to express our views and practice our faith.
Even president Obama has voiced his concern over the violent film, calling it "cruel and disgusting".
However, he told the United Nations that he defends the freedom of expression "even for views that we profoundly disagree with."
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Lifestyle Headlines