Free Speech: Not for long if islamists have their way

by Kal El on August 28, 2008 · View Comments

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And of course you have politically correct bleeding heart libtards bending over forwards to accommodate them. All in the name of tolerance, which is never reciprocated in the muslim world (it is still illegal to own a bible in Saudi, converts to Christianity are routinely jailed, beaten and killed in Iran, one can be jailed for insulting islam in Kuwait, journalists are executed for condeming jihad in Afghanistan, etc…), but who cares, as long as liberals feel good about themselves.

Islamists are attacking freedom of speech

Freedom of speech is under attack. Let us count the ways.

The first and most obvious: Those who criticize militant Islamists — from novelist Salman Rushdie to Danish cartoonists to memoirist Ayaan Hirsi Ali — are routinely threatened with deadly violence. It would be black humor to say this is having a chilling effect.

The second is “political correctness.” On campuses and within Western governments it is increasingly taboo to label terrorists who slaughter in the name of Islam “Islamist terrorists.” In Canada, “human rights commissions” attempt to enforce this taboo by putting such writers as Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant on trial for the “crime” of expressing opinions that offend Islamic grievance groups — and also for quoting Islamists accurately and thereby casting them in an unfavorable light. If that’s not Orwellian, what is?

But it is the third approach that could be most consequential for Americans. It’s known as “libel tourism” and here’s how it works: A book published in the United States names an individual abroad who supports terrorist groups. That individual — for the sake of discussion, let’s say he’s a Saudi petro-billionaire with a home in London — goes online and orders a few copies, which arrive in the mail. He takes those books to a British attorney who files a lawsuit complaining that his client has been libeled.

The billionaire knows it will be much easier to prevail in the U.K. than it would be in an American court, where the First Amendment and decades of case law provide free speech protections. (Under English law, by contrast, the burden in a libel case is on the defendant to prove his innocence — which can be impossible if he’s been using confidential sources or even just sources who don’t want to cross an ocean and take part in a courtroom battle.)

The legal costs are chump change for the billionaire, while few nonfiction writers command similar resources. If the writer chooses not to spend months living in a hotel and fighting it out in court, the case will be forfeited and he will be hit with a “default judgment.” If he doesn’t pay, he’ll never again be able to set foot in the U.K. and other countries that enforce British court judgments.

But more important is this: The message gets sent, loud and clear, to journalists, scholars and publishers, that researching and writing about terrorists and those who enable them is verboten — even in America.

Publisher Roger Kimball has noted that when he was about to publish “Andy McCarthy’s Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad,” he received a message from a distributor working in the U.K. and Canada asking if there were “any references to Saudis and terrorist(s) in the book” as that “could potentially create libel lawsuits as it could offend Saudis living in England and this has happened with many other U.S. publications and we do not want to be jeopardized in selling this book.” No, no — we wouldn’t want that, would we?

No no we most certainly do not want to offend jihadis who want us dead. That would be a hate crime, calling a muslim terrorist a muslim terrorist.

Read the rest of the article here.

Related posts:

  1. US, Europeans say Islamic countries want to limit free speech at the UN
  2. Islam taking on free speech. And winning, sadly
  3. The price of free speech is high for Geert Wilders
  4. Pakistan to EU: Amend free speech regarding defamation of islam or else
  5. Islam: The Free speech asterisk
  • jennyjen

    Can I start an “American Grievance Group”? We can sue people for being complete idiots and/or offended by our free speech (e.g. Islam). We can stomp around waiving flags and wearing those red, white and blue top hats.  If you dare to use political correctness around one of us, we will declare a “heehaw”- meaning “you’re a jackass” and send you out on a snipe hunt with a wiffle-ball bat and a large net.  Maybe you’ll catch another Jackass and the 2 of you can live happily ever after, just as soon as you bring me back my snipe!

  • http://Moonbattery.org Ummah Gummah

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    LEN ASTASLEM

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