Monday, November 3, 2008

Free Speech Forum Pisses Off Audience Members.

This is disgusting.

Allegedly, the members of the audience stormed out of a panel discussion hosted by the American University's Objectivists' free speech forum. The forum sought to discuss the nature of free speech and how totalitarian Islam was a threat to free speech.

An excerpt from the news report --

"While the focus of the forum was free speech, most of the audience disapproval came from the panelists' methods of addressing Islam.

Daniel Pipes, columnist for the New York Sun and director of the Middle East forum, a think tank that defines and promotes American interests in the Middle East, warned about the dangers of 'soft jihad,' such as the creation of same-sex-only swimming pools, as well as Western governments such as Great Britain's that allowed immigrants to practice polygamy. "

Yaron Brook, the executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, a non-profit think tank that promotes Objectivism, said during the discussion that Western governments were not protecting their citizens' rights to free speech and used the example of booksellers that were afraid to sell Rose's newspaper with the cartoons with Muhammad depicted in them because they were afraid of their stores being bombed, attacked or boycotted.

Brook also warned of the increasing problems of self-censorship and the desire for journalists, citizens and lawmakers to be excessively politically correct.

"It's surprising to me that we even have to have this discussion [about free speech] in the U.S.," he said. "Free speech is one of the main things that the U.S. gave this civilization, not free speech 'as long as you don't offend anyone.' The government's role is to protect our right to offend."

Flemming Rose, the editor of the Danish newspaper that commissioned the series of cartoons depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in 2005, said during the forum that laws that prohibit certain types of speech like Holocaust denial laws and the current trend to ban anti-Islam speech should be abolished.

"You shouldn't criminalize opinions, even the most stupid," he said.

Sabrina Bahir, a School of International Service alumna, said she thought the things that the panelists said about Muslims were polarizing and imbalanced.

"The allegation of how totalitarianism is only exclusive to Islam and that there isn't totalitarian Judaism or Christianity I thought was very absurd," she said. "You just have to look back in history. There are 1.5 million Muslims on this earth and you can't clump them together in the same group."" (Bold Added)

This news report almost made me sick in my stomach. Imagine having such awesome panelists discussing stuff like free speech and then imagine a bunch of dicks and idiots walking out of a rational discussion and then having the audacity to scorn moral righteousness. What the fuck!!?

Apparently, Sabrina Bahir thinks that since there were 1.5 million Muslims on earth we can’t clump them together. Really? Ask them whether or not all the 1.5 million Muslims followed the Koran as a guide to their life and then talk of “clumping” them. Ask them whether or not Islam upholds the life of Muhammad as the best life any person could have. Ask them did Muhammad not personally slay hundreds of people and marry a girl named Aisha when she was six and consummated the marriage at 9. These are their beliefs – the ones they not just respect, but revere – their guide to modern life. Given such a mess, I don’t understand how on earth can such a religion claim to be peaceful and right respecting.

Consider some translations of the Koran –

As translated by Yusuf Ali of the Muslim Student Association

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all). (Koran, 4.34)

Al-Ghazali, a central figure in the allegedly non-violent Sufi wing of Islam:

[O]ne must go on jihad at least once a year . . . one may use a catapult against them [non-Muslims] when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children. One may set fire to them and/or drown them . . . .

But Sabrina Bahir thinks we can’t "clump" them into the same group when this is what Islam stands for. Although its true that anything taken on faith has to be violent, including Christianity (link), an enlightenment happened in Christianity. I mean nobody sees a Christian jihad today. I am sure that no Christian would walk around doing his own version of jihad because Jesus asked somebody to kill infidels. It just pisses me off that there are so many people like this female who go around making statements – without even having a hint of what they are talking about. Let’s make no mistake about Islam. If facts do matter, then such passages cannot be ignored. There is no way Islam can be peaceful – precisely because it is inherently violent and because it doesn’t give a rats ass about rights. How many more attacks and fatwa’s on painters and authors do we need to see to make the point clearer?

But again, is it evidence we are concerned about?

HT: John David Lewis at Principles in Practice.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of free speech I see you have Shelfari. I liked Shelfari until last week. I was just banned from Shelfari because I was arguing with Mormons in a very intellectual way about the historical inaccuracy of their "Book of Mormon". Mormons complained to the admin Amanda and she banned me. That is not a good way to treat your members. If someone claims something is historically accurate than I should be allowed to dispute that.

The funny thing is that the Mormons called us “retarded”, “idiots” and one even accused my wife of being unfaithful. Nothing was done about these comments. My comments were friendly and cited their sources. I am very opposed to this site now.

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