Those who wish to stifle debate have many weapons in their arsenal, and they aren’t afraid to use them. Why should they be? They are the ones who have actually shown a willingness to use violence and vandalism to achieve their ends. They don’t worry about physical harm coming their way, nor do they worry about damaging their causes or reputations since they cloak their objections to certain speakers behind do-gooder motivations. The justification used by the do-gooders often becomes the central theme in the media reports, thereby transforming the victim of the silencing into the bad guy. Thanks to irresponsible journalism, the ‘do-gooder justification shield’ is one of their most powerful weapons and creates a situation where those who would like to discuss important issues have to worry about physical safety, additional financial burdens and damage to reputation for daring to give voice to their legitimate concerns. This brings up an important question about one particular term that is hauled out of the arsenal when anyone dares to broach the subject of threats from radical Islam; Islamophobia. Deconstructed, the word would appear to mean “irrational fear of Islam” but given the rate at which we see real violence committed in the name of Islam, one can be forgiven for asking; where is the irrational part? Humans are blessed with the ability to reason and when this reasoning is applied properly to stories about Islamist activities, an irrational reaction would be to self-censor in order to avoid being called an Islamophobe, rather than coming to the rational conclusion that there may be something to fear from Islamists. IFPS-Canada brought the Swedish artist Lars Vilks to North America because we believe his story is an important one. How and why did this man earn the dubious honour of becoming number 3 on Al Qaeda’s Top Ten Most Wanted list worthy of a $150,000 bounty on his head? Did he “ask for it” or was he simply an artist like any other following his interest in exploring boundaries in art? Is it ever legitimate to suggest that someone who becomes a target for this kind of death sentence from Islamists could be accused of having a hand in their own fate? Should a western nation tolerate such a notion? Would we ever tolerate such suggestions in different contexts like for example, that a wealthy person deserves to be the target of a kidnapping since they’ve made themselves a target by becoming rich? These are all questions that a discussion about the Vilks story could inspire and would inspire if the media were willing to tell his story but instead, three out of four of our scheduled events were cancelled or shut down in one way or another and these cancellations generated very little curiosity from the media. What do we lose when we don’t have these public discussions? In this case, we deny the public the opportunity to know the real facts which would allow them to come to some kind of conclusion about whether fearing Islam is irrational or not and whether they should be persuaded by the do-gooders to remain silent for fear of being called an Islamophobe. At a recent private reception for Mark Steyn hosted by IFPS-Canada, Vice President Mary Lou Ambrogio made the following observation about selective press silence and “Islamophobia” when presenting Mark Steyn with autographed copies of the Westergaard and Vilks cartoons: “Now when Mark and Ann Coulter were canceled, the press couldn’t wait to tell the story. Not so with Mr. Vilks. I can only surmise that the press didn’t fear talking about two American ‘right wing bigots’ getting shut down since the villains in those stories were an innocuous assortment of faculty fascists, pompous professors and robotic college kids whose tape loops seemed to be stuck on “no hate speech on our campus” and an overwrought convention centre manager who hasn’t figured out how to tell her secretary that “if Faisal Joseph calls, tell him I’m in a meeting”. What is scary is that the press, at least in Canada, clearly did fear giving Mr. Vilks a platform to tell his story and none of them have been able to tell us why." Was it the rational fear of the potential consequences one might suffer for exposing Islamist activities that caused the press to self-censor and neglect their duty to inform the public with the facts or was it their irrational fear of being called “islamophobes” that stopped them? Either way, IFPS deplores the use of these tactics by do-gooders which are designed to dissuade people from engaging in important debates and to silence legitimate criticism. Lest there be any doubt that this term, Islamophobia, slipping into mainstream usage was anything but a very conscious effort on the part of people who will benefit from stifling debate, we offer this excellent essay from Claire Berlinski. Moderate Muslim Watch: How the Term "Islamophobia" Got Shoved Down Your Throat IFPS
- Sat, 01/08/2011 - 19:02
I am posting (below) a letter from the Danish Free Press Society, the parent organization of the International Free Press Society, of which I am vice president. It is of urgent importance.
- Mon, 02/21/2011 - 16:58
By Geert Wilders Feb 22, 2011
Defending the right to say that Islam is primarily a totalitarian ideology aiming for world domination.
- Tue, 05/03/2011 - 15:02
President of the Free Press Society, Lars Hedegaard, declared guilty of racist statements
May 3, 2011
- Sun, 09/30/2012 - 00:05
Who said the following: “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.”
- Sun, 09/30/2012 - 00:29
About 1000 Dearborn, MI residents turned out for a demonstration against freedom of speech on Friday.