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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 20, 2006 / 20 Adar, 5766

Twelve voices defend freedom as Big Media cowers

By Diana West


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last month, 12 mainly European-based, mainly Muslim or ex-Muslim intellectuals, alarmed by the spell on free speech cast by Cartoon Rage 2006, signed onto an anti-totalitarian manifesto for freedom of expression published by Denmark's Jylland-Posten.


"After having overcome fascism, Nazism and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism," the manifesto began. "We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all."


Among the dozen signatories were Somali-born Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali; Ugandan-born Canadian writer Irshad Manji; Indian-born British writer Salman Rushdie, and Pakistani-born writer Ibn Warraq. Rounding out the list were a few French writers, a Bangledeshi, a Lebanese and several Iranians. What is striking is that none of them come from that "world" they hailed, the one that overcame fascism, Nazism and communism — not merely "Stalinism." (One signatory is billed as an Iranian communist, which may account for the jarring distinction.)


Not only that, but, as the blogger Belmont Club pointed out, the manifesto was printed, "not in The New York Times, Le Monde or the Times of London, but of all places, in a provincial Danish newspaper of no particular fame."


All of which should shove a big, fat question mark onto the "world" stage to ask where these brave signatories' writerly, journalistic and intellectual brethren are on this one, not to mention Big Media coverage. After all, the world didn't overcome fascism, Nazism and communism with the silent treatment, restrained rhetoric or exquisite editorial discretion. But beyond the blogosphere, coverage of the manifesto — not the last word on the subject, but certainly a start — has been sparse, just as though freedom of speech weren't in peril. And just as though the signatories, for affirming freedom of speech, weren't either.


But they are. A crude death threat has been posted at the British Muslim Web site, ummah.com — the kind of Web site where, as Time magazine reported after the London underground bombings last year, a poem said to have been posted by Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi glorified terror-bombings in Iraq, and another user wrote that "killing Americans is not murder, it is retaliation." This time, under a thread entitled "Writers Slam Islamic 'Totalitarianism,'" the names of the Free Expression 12 appeared and someone wrote:


"Now we have drawn out a hit list of a 'Who's Who' guide to slam into. Take your time but make sure their (sic) gone soon — oh, and don't hold out for a fatwa it isn't really required here." And then: "Has anyone got that Christian kaffir 'Ibn Warraq's' real name yet?"


Scrolling through such illiterate spewings is a little like reading an interactive bathroom wall; but since the Internet has linked and even activated jihadi terrorists, it's not something to ignore. The poster continued: "Well them (sic) disbelievers (the signatories) have in effect signed a death wish via this statement so to hell with them, we'll just provide the help that they so dearly crave."



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I asked Ibn Warraq, author of the superb "Why I Am Not a Muslim" written after the Rushdie affair, about the threat. "We must take it seriously in one sense, but we mustn't let it stop us in our tracks," he said. He's right, of course; although most of the "world" — writers, journalists, intellectuals — have already been stopped in their tracks, intimidated, paralyzed, almost dysfunctionally so. How to jump-start them again?


As far as I can tell, the manifesto has inspired just one outlet, an Irish Web site called The Blanket, to publish the Danish cartoons "in protest against totalitarianism," editor Anthony McIntyre said last week. This makes The Blanket, which will also be profiling the manifesto signers, the sole journal in the British Isles, online or on paper, to do so. "We wanted to show solidarity with those writers who were prepared to stick their necks out in defense of free speech," McIntyre said.


So here we are, living in a world where a manifesto for free speech constitutes "(sticking) their necks out," draws death threats on the one hand, and silence on the other. Why did they sign it, then? Ibn Warraq offered the words of John Stuart Mill: "A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight; nothing he cares about more than his own personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by exertions of better men than himself."

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JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

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