“There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of — not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, ‘Okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.’"
Absorb those words. A sort of legitimacy to mowing down cartoonists and back office staff in a magazine office because they published something that offended them. He backpedalled on the word legitimacy fairly quickly, but his meaning is quite clear. The west must bend and moderate it's values to accommodate Islam.
Viewed as the inane mewlings of an outgoing 'progressive' Secretary of State this is one thing. However, that would be the wrong way to view it.
People have a misconception that sharia law in the west means beheadings and stonings. Sharia does mean these things in it's most extreme form, but that is just one aspect. It's like equating secular law with incarceration.
Sharia is a legal system outlined in the Quran and developed over 1,400 years of Islamic jurisprudence. It covers how Muslims should live but also how non-Muslims must act, and how the two should interact. It is shamelessly supremacist, relegating non-Muslim dhimmi to second class status by treaty. Those who seek peace without converting to Islam are subject to a raft of restrictions and impositions. Converting to Islam removes these rules.
The key point for Kerry's comments relates to the principle that the dhimmi, as such conquered people are known, is the well established principle that those who criticise Islam have broken their treaty obligations and are no longer protected.
The west is developing it's own form of Sharia, not by a formal pact but on a case by case basis where overt criticism of Islam or the defence of western values is seen as an afront to Islam.
A better lens through which to view this insane comment is to see John Kerry as some vanquished local priest in the medieval Levant. His church crumbling and his congregation dwindling. His response to another random outburst of sectarian violence against Christians is to try and restore order and safety at any price. To remind Christians that it's their fault for breaking the terms of the pact.
He still notionally proclaims the truth of his faith, quietly, out of earshot of the Muslim rulers. But the message is clear. We must change to accommodate their violent intolerance. We know the rules, and we can't complain too much when they enforce them.
It is a sad and pathetic attitude for anyone in a free western country to have. For one of the most powerful political leaders in the most powerful of western countries it is appalling. What hope does anyone have of defending free speech when such a figure gives 'legitimacy' to the Charlie Hebdo attacks?