The government of the world's most populous Islamic state says YouTube has two days to take down a Dutch lawmaker's provocative film on the Koran or it will block access to the popular video-sharing Web site.This is a big story, I would argue, and needs more mainstream media coverage. But check out Jason Pappas' post on Islam, terror, and free speech:
The warning by Indonesia came as the U.N.'s primary human rights watchdog ended a month-long session amid allegations by Western member-states and non-governmental organizations that Islamic nations are working to curtail free speech.
Geert Wilder's 16-minute film linking Islam's revered text with terrorism has sparked protests in a number of countries. It also drew criticism from the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the European Union....
But the film has been uploaded on YouTube by multiple users and can still be found with a simple search in both its English and Dutch versions.
In response to queries, a YouTube spokesperson said the site allows people "to express themselves and to communicate with a global audience."
"The diversity of the world in which we live - spanning the vast dimensions of ethnicity, religion, nationality, language, political opinion, gender, and sexual orientation, to name a few - means that some of the beliefs and views of some individuals may offend others," she said.
Freedom of speech is under assault. First and foremost is the threat to Wafa Sultan (hat/tip AOW). Like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders, she is a vocal critic of Islam. Very few step forward to speak the truth; few of us become public figures. The blessings of liberty that we, as listeners and readers require if the truth is to prevail, can only be as secured by protecting the few brave souls who enter the public realm and speak the truth.And don't miss this from Papas as well, on the Western denial syndrome surrounding Islam:
In Europe, the threat is so great that Geert Wilders’ film can not be shown in public. After van Gogh’s death, no one will sponsor a showing. Even the Internet isn’t exempt from the threats of jihadists. His film was removed from several venues because of the threats to the families of the owners of these websites. But it keeps reappearing. At the moment it is here (hat/tip FPM). Watch it; it is powerful!
Along those lines, let me again quote Ladan Boroumand and Roya Boroumand, in "Terror, Islam, and Democracy":
There is widespread denial, across the political spectrum, of Islam’s threat to our civilization. The far left has become so consumed by its hatred of our culture that it has abandoned its traditional hostility towards religion in the face of the revival of one of the most barbaric and oppressive religious ideologies in history. Having assumed a policy of anti-anti-Islam, the left has made what Horowitz calls an Unholy Alliance with our enemy, defending it at every opportunity. The anti-rational nihilistic post-modern left is a heavy weight on the whole left side of the spectrum, drowning out any sane voice of moderation. Such fashionable academic nonsense has already corrupted popular politics.The problem, however, isn’t confined to the left.
The right is split, with some having great difficulty facing the fact that a long-standing religious tradition, such as Islam, can be fundamentally inimical to our civilization to such a degree that it rivals the dangers of the last century. The ecumenical right can be as relativistic, at times, as the left by treating any religious-based ideology as just another path to God.
As Western experts and commentators have wrestled with these questions, their intellectual disarray and bafflement in the face of radical Islamist (notice we do not say “Islamic”) terrorism have become painfully clear. This is worrisome, for however necessary an armed response might seem in the near term, it is undeniable that a successful long-term strategy for battling Islamism and its terrorists will require a clearer understanding of who these foes are, what they think, and how they understand their own motives. For terrorism is first and foremost an ideological and moral challenge to liberal democracy. The sooner the defenders of democracy realize this and grasp its implications, the sooner democracy can prepare itself to win the long-simmering war of ideas and values that exploded into full fury last September 11.See also Allahpundit at Hot Air.
Photo: Madrid Bombing, March 11, 2004