Monday, December 12, 2005

Practice tolerance or we will kill you

Watching European leaders bend over in the wake of Islamic violence is all the more sickening because the justifications for curbing free speech in Eurabia have the faint ring of familiarity, like we've heard them here too many times.

In Reason magazine Bruce Bawer declares that "European culture leaders should smack down fanatical Islamists. Instead, they're bending over for them."

After Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered by an Islamic savage, the response from government and cultural elites was a combination of self-censorship and self-flaggelation. Now, just as sure as night follows day the various governments are getting into the appeasement act, punishing free speech and criticism as hate crimes against Islam. Norway and Britain lead the pack:

In April, after virtually no public discussion, Norway's Parliament passed a law that punishes offensive remarks about any religion with up to three years' imprisonment—and places the burden of proof on the accused. Three months later, Britain's House of Commons approved a bill that would criminalize "words or behavior" that might "stir up racial or religious hatred."

It would be difficult to implement such totalitarian measures here in the US; they would run up against the First Amendment. But the cultural and intellectual corrosiveness of such measures is certain to be felt in the public sector, particularly the institutions of higher learning.

ACLU types are always squealing about the "chilling effects" of any free speech suppression. How's this for "chilling?" January producer Gijs van de Westelaken canceled a screening of Submission at the Rotterdam Film Festival, whose theme was "censored films." (Instead, the audience saw two pictures sympathetic to suicide bombers.)

Who says violence won't achieve political goals?


At 7:28 PM, Blogger Janjan said...

Terrorism achieves goals. Witness the "Palestinian State" in the making.

At 5:46 AM, Blogger Paul Pennyfeather said...


So true. I think Allan Dershowitz made the same point, just after the 9-11 attack. He said "terrorism works; that's why people do it." Somewhat controversial at the time, but who could look at the world today and deny that it's true?



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