In this collection of Robert Spencer’s writings, he discusses the real dangers of Islamic jihad and the spread of sharia laws across the world.
“You keep abusing Islam’s almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech. Be Allah’s curse upon you!”
That was the message that hackers left on the website of France’s satirical weekly, Charlie Hebdo, after it announced plans to feature the Islamic prophet Muhammad as “editor-in-chief” of an upcoming issue. When the issue appeared last week, the publication’s offices were firebombed and destroyed.
Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, was not cowed. “We no longer have a newspaper,” he said. “All our equipment has been destroyed or has melted. We cannot, today, put together a paper. But we will do everything possible to do one next week. Whatever happens, we’ll do it. There is no question of giving in.”
Already there are calls for free people to surrender. Calls for self-censorship and greater “sensitivity” toward Muslims have already begun. Bruce Crumley wrote in Time magazine in the wake of the bombing that “it’s obvious free societies cannot simply give in to hysterical demands made by members of any beyond-the-pale group,” and that “intimidation and violence must be condemned and combated for whatever reason they’re committed,” but that “it’s just as evident members of those same free societies have to exercise a minimum of intelligence, calculation, civility and decency in practicing their rights and liberties—and that isn’t happening when a newspaper decides to mock an entire faith on the logic that it can claim to make a politically noble statement by gratuitously pissing people off.”
Certainly a decent person doesn’t go around gratuitously angering people. But when it comes to censorship or even legislation, who is to decide what angers people gratuitously? The people in power, of course. Time is essentially calling for restrictions on the freedom of speech and the creation of a special, privileged class that is beyond criticism. That is the death of free society and the road to tyranny, for the class that is beyond criticism will have a free hand to do whatever it wants, and what will anyone be able to say?
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