France Rejects Voltaire
That has changed!
Today, Islam is protected from criticism by law. Even carefully worded articles bring threats of violence, with little protection from the French government. When it does acknowledge the rights of a writer, the government even goes out of its way to scold the writer for being insensitive:
M de Robien [Education Minster] voiced solidarity with the teacher but added that he should have been “careful, moderate and sensible in all circumstances”. Similarly Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, said: “Everyone has the right to express his views freely, while respecting others, of course”.
These caveats, if taken seriously, would allow any arbitrary claim of disrespect to veto the expression of ideas critical of a belief system. There can be no “buts” to free speech. And when a brave man tells the truth, as Monsieur Redeker has, he should be a cause celebré. The truth needs no apology. As I said earlier this year:
Our side, in this battle, has failed to use our most important weapon: we are fighting for the truth. This isn’t incidental to the debate; this is the whole purpose of the debate! Freedom of speech isn’t irrelevant to the truth; it is a means required to establish the truth.
Update: American book publisher afraid to publish book.
Update2: A Time To Speak Out: “In the face with violent intimidation, the worst thing anyone can do is acquiesce to being silenced … it is all the more crucial in this politically correct age to stand and forthrightly speak the truth.”