The International Free Press Society (which I’m part of, as a member of the Advisory Board) has just launched a fabulous new website:
Defeating jihad, then, depends fundamentally on free speech — specifically, free speech relating to Islam, including analysis and criticism of its laws and ideology.
Under Islamic law such criticism is prohibited.
The West, with its robust tradition of self-critical analysis, may know no such prohibitions, but our multiculturally pliant societies increasingly defer to this Islamic taboo, claiming “cultural sensitivity” even as they betray our precious birthright, freedom of speech.
Thus, the threat to freedom of speech is internal and also external, as the politically correct West, increasingly a society that is self-censoring, encounters expansionist Islam, continually a society that demands censorship as a point of religious law.
Opinion leaders in the West, while claiming to support free speech in the abstract, invariably argue against it in cases where speaking freely may “offend” Muslims, in effect acting as enforcers of Islamic, rather than Western, law.
In recent years, we have seen Western societies mobilize not only courts of opinion, but also courts of law to protect Islam from criticism and debate, even resurrecting and reconsidering ancient statutes against “blasphemy.” The European Union has advanced a kind of newspeak that would in effect make it illegal to link any totalitarianism or terrorism with Islam. The United States Government has issued similar guidelines prohibiting such linkage in official communications. Meanwhile, the United Nations, including the UN Human Rights Council, has become the engine driving the effort to enforce a worldwide ban on criticism of Islam.
The IFPS rejects all such restrictions on freedom of speech. It does so regardless of the fact that the forces pushing them are globally organized, extremely well financed, politically and institutionally well connected, and skilled in the use of a wide variety of instruments – from the brute violence we know as terrorism, to coercion, bribery, propaganda, and infiltration.
I strongly suggest going there for regular updates on the Geert Wilders prosecution and similar incidents.
Here’s the IFPS press release about Geert Wilders:
For more information, contact:
President of the IFPS
January 22, 2009 – Washington, DC and Copenhagen, Denmark:
A Dutch court yesterday ordered the criminal prosecution of Geert Wilders, Dutch parliamentarian and leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), for his statements – written, spoken and filmed -regarding Islam. The Amsterdam Court of Appeals has deemed such statements “insulting,” declaring that they “substantially harm the religious esteem” of Muslims.
Clearly, the effect of this Dutch court order is to set new limits to public debate in Dutch society, in this case about the highly controversial but nonetheless crucially important subject of Islam. This makes the prosecution of Geert Wilders an unacceptable breach of the sanctity of freedom of speech in Western society.
Having ordered a criminal prosecution for the opinions of a duly elected leader of a legitimate political party, Dutch authorities have dealt a devastating blow to political expression. While Dutch prosecutors prepare their indictment and Geert Wilders’ future hangs in limbo, who in The Netherlands will dare discuss political and cultural matters related to Islam – Islamic law, Islamic integration, Islamic crime, Islamic policy – openly, freely and fearlessly? The chilling effect is instantaneous.
If, indeed, Wilders is ultimately convicted, free speech will cease to exist in the heart of Europe.
The International Free Press Society believes this court-ordered prosecution against Geert Wilders, a central figure in the fight against the Islamization of the West, amounts to a dangerous concession to the strictures of Islamic law, which prohibits all criticism of Islam, over Western traditions of, and rights to robust and unfettered debate. As such, it is tantamount to a surrender to totalitarian influences that undermine all Western freedoms. And as such, it must be resisted.
It is important to recall recent history. Two Dutchmen, Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh, have been murdered for their outspoken opposition to Islamization in The Netherlands. Another Dutch politician, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has been infamously forced into exile.
Wilders alone now carries this debate over Islam in Dutch society forward – forcefully but logically, outspokenly but reasonably, and always peacefully. In order to do so, this member of Dutch parliament lives in a virtual prison, consigned to 24-hour guard by Islamic death threats against his life. Now, Dutch authorities have ordered him to be prosecuted for the Orwellian crime of committing “insulting” words.
As Wilders puts it, “If I have to stand trial, I will not stand trial alone, but also with the hundreds of thousands of Dutch people who reject the Islamization of The Netherlands.” He will also stand trial with those in The Netherlands and beyond who reject government prosecutions of free speech. In recognition of this this dire situation, the IFPS immediately calls on every supporter of free speech to come to the aid of Geert Wilders.To assist in this effort, the IFPS has launched an international campaign in defense of Geert Wilders and his freedom of speech.
To support these efforts, we urge you to contribute to the Geert Wilders Defense Fund. Donation information can be found at the IFPS website.
We also urge defenders of free speech to sign this letter of protest against the Dutch Government
The International Free Press Society was established on January 1, 2009.