Saturday, March 18, 2006


From The Corner, this letter from Irshad Manjii:

As the dust settled on the Danish cartoon controversy, I -- along with Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Taslima Nasrin and several others -- released a statement entitled, "The Manifesto of 12: Together Facing a New Totalitarianism ." In this statement, we promote universal human rights and democratic values. We point out that democrats and theocrats can be found in every civilization. Therefore, this is not a clash of civilizations but call to rally the "free spirits of all countries".

This statement has been praised and condemned worldwide. But in the condemnation category is something truly troubling, and that's why I'm writing.

The signatories have received a serious death threat from a chat thread on, an Islamic website operating from Britain. ("Ummah" refers to the global Muslim community.) Its wording is unambiguous: "Excellent makes killing the kuffar [infidel] all the bit easier... Now we have a hit list of a 'Who's Who' guide to slam into. Take your time but make sure their gone soon oh and don't hold out for a fatwah it isn't really required here."

Unlike the usual stuff that comes from irate individuals, this threat emanates from a place of "authority." It's widely known that attracts many radicals.

The Manifesto signatories need you to fight back with us. We've created a petition that will be published in the coming days. If you love pluralism enough to be vocal about it, I ask you to visit my website and go to the box entitled "Violence Alert." That's where you can sign the petition and, of course, read the Manifesto. My website is:

Please forward this message to others who might sign our petition. Thanks for your courage. And, strange as it may seem to say, happy spring...


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