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Free speech or blasphemy?

A growing threat to our freedom of speech is the attempt to stifle religious discussion in the name of preventing “defamation of” or “insults” to religion, especially Islam. A revival of blasphemy laws maybe? It started in 1989 when Ayatollah Khomeini ordered Muslims to murder Salman Rushdie for writing “The Satanic Verses” because they were blasphemous. Its Japanese translator was assassinated, its Italian translator was stabbed, its Norwegian publisher was shot, and 35 guests at a hotel hosting its Turkish publisher were burned to death in an arson attack.
Additionally, further eruptions: Theo van Gogh’s and Hirsi Ali’s film, “Submission,” Danish and Swedish cartoons depicting Mohammed, Pope Benedict XVI’s speech at Regensburg on the topic of faith, reason, and religious violence, Geert Wilder’s film “Fitna” and a false Newsweek report that the U.S. military had desecrated Korans at Gitmo. Dozens of people have been murdered, ad infinitem. So much for “peaceful Muslims.”
I have a pet theory that there are peaceful Muslims out there, but they are afraid to come forward or they will be treated as traitors to the cause!
This violence is not simply spontaneous. It is channeled and stoked by governments for political purposes. Curiously, victims are not usually Westerners, but  minorities and dissidents in the Muslim world. Their fate: jail (rarely), threats, beatings and killings.
Specifically manhunts are on for Baha’is, Ahmadis, and Christians as “insulters” of Islam. Yes, Virginia, these nasty happenings are going on all over the world.
It is unfortunate that the Beltway progressives soft-soap this horrendous evidence, constantly downplaying the seriousness of the big picture.
Bruce King
Hamilton

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