Free Speech: Use It Or Lose It

In 2005, Lars Vilks penned the infamous “Danish” cartoons. In 2006, global, choregraphed Muslim riots ensued, people died, newspapers boycotted the cartoons.

Publishers and authors began self-censoring, changing or backing out of contracts in order to avoid expensive lawsuits. Or worse.

In 2006, Palgrave-Macmillan reneged on its promise to publish "Quran: A Reformist Translation."

In 2007, the Cambridge University Press published "Alms for Jihad" but then immediately pulled books off the shelves to avoid a libel action lawsuit filed by the same sheikh who had sued Ehrenfeld.

In 2007, Canadian author Mark Steyn and his magazine, MacLeans, were summoned before the Canadian Human Rights Commission on charges that Steyn had “subjected Canadian-Muslims to hatred and contempt” and for “being flagrantly Islamophobic.”

Eventually, the Commission condemned Steyn but dismissed the charges for jurisdictional reasons. However, legal costs still had to be paid.

In 2008, Random House reneged on its contract to publish "The Jewel of Medina," a novel about Mohammed’s wife Aisha—and all because a single professor suggested via e-mail that the book “might lead to violence.”

Also, in 2008, Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, made a documentary, "Fitna," (translation: Strife), about Islam and anti-Western terrorism. Although Wilders’ just won a great electoral victory, he is currently facing government charges as a “racist” and purveyor of “hate speech.”

In 2009, ironically, Yale University Press published a book about the Danish cartoon controversy—but omitted the cartoons themselves without telling the author.

In 2010, the American author, Bruce Bawer and his Norwegian colleagues were accused of “racism” and “Islamophobia” by Norwegian leftists and Islamists; in June, 2010, the Norwegian government de-funded their excellent online website Human Rights Service which published work about Islam and women’s rights.

Finally, in June, 2010, the Public Prosecutor for Copenhagen charged the International Free Press Society and its president, Lars Hedegaard, with “racism.” Hedegaard dared to critique certain Muslim practices.

It is urgent that the West revamp our understanding of “hate speech” and “racism.” If we fail to do so, we will lose our right to free speech

The above is excerpted from Phyllis Chesler's article: How to Keep the USA From Becoming the United States of Arabia.


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Setting Precedents

As Robert Spencer put it: "'s a small accommodation in itself, but it reinforces the precedent that American practices must give way to Muslim ones whenever they clash. Once that precedent is set, it does indeed lead to the Islamization of American society, unless at a certain point non-Muslims are willing to draw the line and say 'Thus far, but no farther. No more accommodation of Muslim demands.' That line will never be drawn, however, as long as Americans continue to fail to see the larger implications and inevitable outcome of these individual incidents."

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