Steven Pinker, Boston Globe 27/1 2015
More than two centuries after freedom of speech was enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution, that right is very much in the news. Campus speech codes, disinvited commencement speakers, jailed performance artists, exiled leakers, a blogger condemned to a thousand lashes by one of our closest allies, and the massacre of French cartoonists have forced the democratic world to examine the roots of its commitment to free speech.
"In the three and a half decades since the Iranian revolution, I have been watching my friends and neighbors (and distant neighbors) on the left struggling to understand—or avoid understanding—the revival of religion in what is now called a “post-secular” age. Long ago, we looked forward to “the disenchantment of the world”—we believed that the triumph of science and secularism was a necessary feature of modernity. And so we forgot, as Nick Cohen has written, “what the men and women of the Enlightenment knew. All faiths in their extreme form carry the possibility of tyranny."
Læs Michael Walzers essay om islamismen og venstrefløjen i kølvandet på terroren i Paris her: http://www.dissentmagazine.org/article/islamism-and-the-left
Dette er en forkortet udgave af essayet, som er publiceret i Frederik Stjernfelts og Jens-Martin Eriksens bog; ”De Anstændige”, Gyldendal 2013
”Det er jo ikke terror. Der løber altså nogle gale franskmænd rundt. Undskyld, jeg siger det. Charlie Hebdo har jo tigget og bedt om at blive angrebet. Jeg har ikke ondt af disse franskmænd, der har gjort alt, hvad de kunne, for at provokere. Dem har jeg ikke for fem flade øre sympati for.”
Ville en person, der udtalte sig sådan kunne tiltales efter paragraf 136, stk. 2 i straffeloven, der kriminaliserer udtalelser, som billiger terror? I så fald burde man have tiltalt fhv. Udenrigsminister Uffe Ellemann Jensen, for det var ham, som udtalte sin tilslutning til forfølgelsen og angrebet på Lars Vilks i 2010. Foroven er ofrets navn blot udskiftet med Charlie Hebdo. Hvordan kan man som anstændig nå så langt ud i sin appeasementpolitik overfor islamistiske trusler og anslag, at man ender med at blive offer for Mescalero-syndromet? Forklaring følger.
"In our age, the idea of intellectual liberty is under attack from two directions. On the one side are its theoretical enemies, the apologists of totalitarianism, and on the other its immediate, practical enemies, monopoly and bureaucracy. Any writer or journalist who wants to retain his integrity finds himself thwarted by the general drift of society rather than by active persecution."
"Literature is doomed if liberty of thought perishes. Not only is it doomed in any country which retains a totalitarian structure; but any writer who adopts the totalitarian outlook, who finds excuses for persecution and the falsification of reality, thereby destroys himself as a writer. There is no way out of this. No tirades against ‘individualism’ and the ‘ivory tower’, no pious platitudes to the effect that ‘true individuality is only attained through identification with the community’, can get over the fact that a bought mind is a spoiled mind ... At present we know only that the imagination, like certain wild animals, will not breed in captivity. Any writer or journalist who denies that fact — and nearly all the current praise of the Soviet Union contains or implies such a denial — is, in effect, demanding his own destruction."
Only by reaffirming a genuine and principled defence of freedom of thought, expression and religion can Europe hope to create a society built on real tolerance and respect for diversity
By Index on Censorship / 16 January, 2015
For Index on Censorship magazine Samira Ahmed takes a look at 15 years of multiculturalism and how some people’s ideas of it are getting in the way of freedom of expression. She reports on how artists, broadcasters and comedians worry about how religious offence is holding back some performers and producers.