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February 21, 2006

We Support Free Speech, But...

The free-speech absolutists in the media suddenly discover quite a few nuanced caveats about "offensiveness" and "responsbility" when radical Islamofascits are angry.

Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister, proclaimed free speech "a right that all Canadians enjoy," but regretted "the publication of this material in several media outlets," because "this issue is divisive."

Ah, yes, let's have free speech only over those non-divisive issues on which we all agree (and about which, therefore, we would not need to speak freely).

Peter MacKay, the foreign minister, went further. "Freedom of expression is a legally enshrined principle in Canada," he said. "But it must be exercised responsibly," and with "respect for cultural diversity."

Nice words. The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations even praised MacKay for striking "the right note between freedom of speech and responsible freedom of speech."

It's his "but" that's the key, though. Anyone who claims to be in favour of free speech "but," isn't truly in favour of free speech. Typically, he means he is only in favour of speech he agrees with; or speech that falls within parameters he finds acceptable; or speech that doesn't disturb the calm, challenge too many assumptions or anger those who will riot, burn down embassies and fly jetliners into buildings.

Mohamed Elmasry, national president of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC), said about the Western Standard magazine's decision to reproduce eight of the 12 Danish cartoons in its current issue, that the magazine and its defenders were wrong to insist "freedom of speech trumps political correctness."

But since politically correct speech is speech that has been deemed acceptable by the political class, then permitting political correctness to trump free speech means authorizing the political establishment to determine what speech is and isn't fit for public utterance. Pretty soon, the only speech that will be allowed is that which doesn't threaten their hold on power.

In countries dominated by Muslims, the Muslim religion is usually the state-sponsored one, with all other religions relegated to second-class (if that) status, or dhimmitude.

We cannot allow angry Islamists, by protesting, bombing, and killing, to force upon us the same priviledged status for Islam in the West -- where any religion or belief can be parodied, derided, or blasphemed, except the Muslim faith, which must and shall be protected from all insult at any cost.

This isn't just about cartoons. This is about the Islamists' attempts to inflict their theocracy upon us. Not even through war and conquest, which would be terrible enough. But through something even worse-- sheer cowardice on our part. They are attempting to impose their belief system upon us through our own voluntary submission to Islamic law, just for fear of speaking up for ourselves and making some radical Islamists somewhere very cross.

It's one thing to be forced to accept an alien religion and culture through military conquest. It is simply craven to accept such things while still ostensibly free and unconquered.

Submission. The key tenet of Islam. It is strange that many of those in our nation who are most hostile to religion, and most angered that anyone with a religious viewpoint even argue a political point in the public square, for fear of poluting it with their Jesus-talk, are so willing to submit entirely to the tenets of fundamentalist Islam.

I don't think that Islam should be discriminated against in the West. But I'll be God-Damned To Hell before I see it elevated, as quasi-official state doctrine enforced by our cultural guardians in the media and the academy, above every other faith in the country.

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posted by Ace at 01:48 AM

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