Friday, September 14, 2012

Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech

Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech

"The Ayn Rand Institute is releasing this 1989 editorial--originally published as an advertisement in the New York Times--because the same essential issues underlie the Rushdie debacle and the current uproar over cartoons of Mohammad. In both cases, the ultimate target is not “blasphemy” but man’s faculty of reason and the principle of free speech--values our leaders are too gutless to defend as absolutes.

In both cases, Islamic leaders have incited violence and issued death threats against Westerners--but have met with a pathetically appeasing response (Khomeini’s fatwa against Rushdie still stands, and has just been reaffirmed). And today as in 1989, the West’s craven response is motivated by the same fundamental cause. Failure to combat such self-righteous barbarism invites further aggression--a lesson history continually teaches, but which Western leaders refuse to learn."


 Force used in self-defense, retaliatory force striking back at those who initiate violence, is a moral necessity. To adopt a pacifist stance--or to engage in infinite behind-the-scenes "negotiations" that lead nowhere--is to surrender the world to brutality. Timid half-measures are worse than none; one does not respond to murder merely by withdrawing ambassadors or cutting back on trade. One cannot appeal to reason in dealing with those who reject it. Force is the only language intelligible to those who live by force.

Read the whole thing here.

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