Sunday, February 12, 2006


Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has been called "the Solzhenitsyn of our time" has this to say about the right to offend:
Shame on those papers and TV channels who lacked the courage to show their readers the caricatures in The Cartoon Affair. These intellectuals live off free speech but they accept censorship. They hide their mediocrity of mind behind noble-sounding terms such as ‘responsibility’ and ‘sensitivity’.

Shame on those politicians who stated that publishing and re-publishing the drawings was ‘unnecessary’, ‘insensitive’, ‘disrespectful’ and ‘wrong’. I am of the opinion that Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Denmark acted correctly when he refused to meet with representatives of tyrannical regimes who demanded from him that he limit the powers of the press. Today we should stand by him morally and materially. He is an example to all other European leaders. I wish my prime minister had Rasmussen’s guts.

Shame on those European companies in the Middle East that advertised “we are not Danish” or “we don’t sell Danish products”. This is cowardice. Nestle chocolates will never taste the same after this, will they? The EU member states should compensate Danish companies for the damage they have suffered from boycotts.

Liberty does not come cheap. A few million Euros is worth paying for the defence of free speech. If our governments neglect to help our Scandinavian friends then I hope citizens will organise a donation campaign for Danish companies.

We have been flooded with opinions on how tasteless and tactless the cartoons are -- views emphasising that the cartoons only led to violence and discord. What good has come of the cartoons, so many wonder loudly?

Well, publication of the cartoons confirmed that there is widespread fear among authors, filmmakers, cartoonists and journalists who wish to describe, analyse or criticise intolerant aspects of Islam all over Europe.

It has also revealed the presence of a considerable minority in Europe who do not understand or will not accept the workings of liberal democracy. These people – many of whom hold European citizenship – have campaigned for censorship, for boycotts, for violence, and for new laws to ban ‘Islamophobia’.

The cartoons revealed to the public eye that there are countries willing to violate diplomatic rules for political expediency. Evil governments like Saudi Arabia stage “grassroots” movements to boycott Danish milk and yoghurt, while they would mercilessly crash a grassroots movement fighting for the right to vote.

Today I am here to defend the right to offend within the bounds of the law.

Please read it all.

Those who do not appreciate the singular importance of this issue in clarifying the values and nature of the enemy we face are steeping themselves in psychological denial and fantasy.

I believe there are moderate and decent muslims all over the world; but they no longer have a say in the direction their religion is going. The moment for their intervention and denunciation has passed; and the road taken by Islam is now driving it on a collision course with their own sense of decency. Any moderates will have to decide on which side of the chasm they will stand: Freedom or Enslavement; Liberty or Tyranny; Civilization or Barbarism?

I wish it were not so, but it is. And every step back the West takes to appease and try to calm the juggernaut will only increase the damage it does. If we accept the kind of moral equivalency displayed in this: (hat tip: Jihad Watch)

....then the values of Western Civilization will have been obliterated.

I, for one, will not surrender them without a fight.

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death.- Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

UPDATE: Victor Davis Hanson has something to say about the same issues and is well worth reading: "Losing Civilization: Are we going to tolerate the downfall of Western ideals?"

Well, are we?

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