The Forum Site - Join the conversation
Forums:
Politics

The fascists of free speech

Reply to Topic
AuthorMessage
Pages: 1 2 · >>
reiko On March 27, 2006

Deleted



New York, New York
#1New Post! Feb 27, 2006 @ 23:13:08
The fascists of free speech
Source


A FRIEND OF MINE took his young daughter to visit the famous City Lights bookstore in San Francisco, explaining to her that the place is important because years ago it sold books no other store would ? even, perhaps especially, books whose ideas many people found offensive.

So, although my friend is no fan of Ward Churchill, the faux Indian and discredited professor who notoriously called 9/11 victims "little Eichmanns," he didn't really mind seeing piles of Churchill's books prominently displayed on a table as he walked in.

However, it did occur to him that perhaps the long-delayed English translation of Oriana Fallaci's new book, "The Force of Reason," might finally be available, and that because Fallaci's militant stance against Islamic militants offends so many people, a store committed to selling banned books would be the perfect place to buy it. So he asked a clerk if the new Fallaci book was in yet.

"No," snapped the clerk. "We don't carry books by fascists."

Now let's just savor the absurd details of this for a minute. City Lights has a long and proud history of supporting banned authors ? owner Lawrence Ferlinghetti was indicted (and acquitted) for obscenity in 1957 for selling Allen Ginsberg's "Howl," and a photo at the bookstore showed Ferlinghetti proudly posing next to a sign reading "banned books."

Yet his store won't carry, of all people, Fallaci, who is not only being sued in Italy for insulting religion because of her latest book but continues to fight the good fight against those who think that the appropriate response to offensive books and cartoons is violent riots. It's particularly repugnant that someone who fought against actual fascism in World War II should be deemed a fascist by a snotty San Francisco clerk.

Strangest of all is the scenario of such a person disliking an author for defending Western civilization against radical Islam ? when one of the first things those poor, persecuted Islamists would do, if they ever (Allah forbid) came to power in the United States, is crush suspected homosexuals like him beneath walls.

Yet those most oppressed by political Islam continue to defend it, even (perhaps especially) in the wake of the Danish cartoon furor. I've heard that in Europe this phenomenon is now called the Copenhagen syndrome, and some of its arguments really are amazing.

For instance: "Freedom of speech is not absolute. It has to be in the service of something, like peace or social justice," a young British Muslim woman named Fareena Alam wrote in Britain's the Observer a couple of weeks ago. Although it's true that freedom of speech is not absolute ? laws against libel and making violent threats are stronger in Britain than here ? Alam has it exactly wrong. Free speech doesn't have to be in the service of anything but its own point of view. If it did, it wouldn't be free speech.

I saw this sort of thinking for myself up close earlier this month when I spoke at USC about media bias a few days after the first cartoon riots had broken out. A student wearing a hijab came up to me afterward scoffing at the notion that violent demonstrations in response to the offensive drawings were even all that violent.

"Oh, how many people have died?" she asked, screwing up her face in disbelief. At the time, the death total was four or five. By now it's more than 100.

It isn't only Muslim women who are out there defending political Islam, though. Another young woman in the USC audience, after announcing that her father had been held in five Nazi concentration camps so she knows about the Holocaust, segued into a long, rambling position statement about just how little we understand the Muslim world.

But the truth is, by now we understand the Muslim world all too well. For those who manage to remain perplexed, there are many helpful news photos of placards ("Behead Those Who Disrespect Islam," "Get Ready for the Real Holocaust" ), often carried by religiously shrouded women, that can clear up their puzzlement.

Back to City Lights, which indeed has no plans to sell any books by the "fascist" free-speech defender Fallaci. The store's website proudly declares that the place is "known for our commitment to freedom of expression," in which case you might assume such commitment includes supporting those whose free expression puts them in real danger.

But, although "The Force of Reason" is expected to reach the U.S. this spring, a City Lights clerk said when I called that the store has no plans to carry anything by Fallaci.

"You're welcome to buy her book elsewhere, though," my friend was told helpfully when he visited. "Let's just say we don't have room for her here."

OK, let's just say that. But let's also say that one of the great paradoxes of our time is that two groups most endangered by political Islam, gays and women, somehow still find ways to defend it.
bendover On November 25, 2007

Deleted



Muff, Ireland
#2New Post! Feb 27, 2006 @ 23:17:54
Some night I'm not feeling so tired I might read that post.
mollymalone On March 01, 2008

Deleted



Muff, Ireland
#3New Post! Feb 27, 2006 @ 23:25:28
Wow thats long Reiko
reiko On March 27, 2006

Deleted



New York, New York
#4New Post! Feb 27, 2006 @ 23:34:52
Ok the short version.

It's about a bookstore that had a history of selling books no matter how controversial but when a friend of the authors tried to find a book called "The Force of Reason", a book about a militant stance against terrorists, he was told by the clerk they don't sell books by fascists.
So free speech only for those who agree with you.
bendover On November 25, 2007

Deleted



Muff, Ireland
#5New Post! Feb 27, 2006 @ 23:41:13
Thanks Reiko.

Some liberals arn't as liberal as they seem then?

Sorry to see the debate in the other thread about good debating skills has been blocked. Maybe we could ALL learn from good debate and continuing to respect each other.
stumblinthrulife On April 16, 2008

Deleted



Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
#7New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 00:28:32
A very interesting post, morphx, especially the point about Alevists. And thank you for drawing attention to the difference between Sunnis and Shijites, I think it's something few people understand, myself included.

Personally I think the cartoons were originally intended only as topical political and religious satire. But I agree that they are now being flaunted by those who hate the muslim community not as an insult, but as a red flag to a bull. As you say, they want further violence, as it only serves to strengthen their stance against Muslim. Unfortunately the over-vocal minority are once again painting an entire religion with it's colours. There is something ironic that the protests against cartoons depicting Muslim as violent should be violent.

I defend the original publication of the cartoons as freedom of speech and political satire. Christianity, judaiism, jehovahs witnesses, all major religions have been satired in time. In fact, in comparison to how the western world is demonised in many middle eastern countries, the cartoons are actually positively tame.

However, the use of the cartoons as a way to bait further violence in order to justify hatred of Muslim is entirely inappropriate, and I am entirely against it. The hatred that permeates the world today makes me sick to my stomach.

I may disagree with globalisation, but I feel that with the world becoming smaller and small it is the only thing that may bring a semblance of peace. And with it the death of individualism and the beautiful spectrum of colour our world is painted in. It will take that, or extra-terrestrial colonisation to give every creed it's own planet. And even that will only last until interstellar travel closes those distances and trade barriers too.
alljive On March 03, 2007




trondheim, Norway
#8New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 00:28:46
Free information, no matter the consequences.
morphx On January 11, 2013




Antwerp!!!, Belgium
#9New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 00:48:44
@stumblinthrulife Said
A very interesting post, morphx, especially the point about Alevists. And thank you for drawing attention to the difference between Sunnis and Shijites, I think it's something few people understand, myself included.


i forgot to add, all who reacted violently are Sunni's.
Most of u know that there is a civil war goin on between Sunni's and Sjiets, for as i know, for 700 years.
And Alevi's are hunted by those two groups for also 700 years. Because "we" can proove that the point they are fighting about, is totally misunderstood by both parties.
The reason they fight, is often something very small and ignorant. Like should we change this letter in the Kor'an into another letter, so we can read this the way it should be.
Can u imagine they kill people over a letter?

Alevi's are hunted down, because they seperated themself from both sides, after a Major figure, Hz. Ali, was killed in a Mosque 700 years ago. He was the one who spreaded the religion all over the world, in a peacefull way. And in a "slightly" different way, the Prophet, Mohammed, did...
When Ali would become the next "Kaliefa" of the Muslim World, they stabbed a sword in his back when he was praying...
So the imams of Hz. Ali said :
"ok, if a muslim is killed by someone hired by the prophet, when he is praying to god, and if that person says that violence is not the right thing, and if that person tries to put up a good environment, well... then u all have it plain wrong..."
after that, we got seperated, and started to investigate and try to understand the Kor'an... and "we" did find some faul stuff
and for 700 years we are trying to show the world, that they got it all wrong, even the Sjietes and the Sunni's.
Everywhere we tried, we got killed and hunted down.
But now, its starting to change, even if its slow, its changing.
The muslims are starting to realize, that they were wrong on certain issues. And time will show them, that alot was wrong in their faith, and the way they defend or believe in their faith.

@stumblinthrulife Said
I defend the original publication of the cartoons as freedom of speech and political satire. Christianity, judaiism, jehovahs witnesses, all major religions have been satired in time. In fact, in comparison to how the western world is demonised in many middle eastern countries, the cartoons are actually positively tame.


indeed, and i agree 100%
those cartoons are not offending as what is shown on South Park
i dont get it how u can get sooooo angry, that u start to kill people for these cartoons???
But if u read what i wrote, that they killed people for a letter in the Kor'an, u wont be surprised that much...

@stumblinthrulife Said
However, the use of the cartoons as a way to bait further violence in order to justify hatred of Muslim is entirely inappropriate, and I am entirely against it. The hatred that permeates the world today makes me sick to my stomach.


that is exactly what that Italian tried to do. But im very glad that the whole Italian community, even the Prime Minister, asked him to quit his role in the government...
morphx On January 11, 2013




Antwerp!!!, Belgium
#10New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 19:21:50
nobody reacts on this topic
damn long posts!!
bendover On November 25, 2007

Deleted



Muff, Ireland
#11New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 19:36:01
Thank you Morphx for explaining a subject I just could not get a grasp of.

Let's just hope and pray that everything calms down and that there is no more loss of life. Unfortunately two more Britsih soldiers were killed today in Southern Iraq.

It's a sad situation.
stumblinthrulife On April 16, 2008

Deleted



Lake Saint Louis, Missouri
#12New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 19:41:34
@morphx Said
nobody reacts on this topic
damn long posts!!


Far too much agreement in this thread. Maybe one of us should play devils advocate to get a good debate going. Note debate, not argument
bendover On November 25, 2007

Deleted



Muff, Ireland
#13New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 19:44:54
@stumblinthrulife Said
Far too much agreement in this thread. Maybe one of us should play devils advocate to get a good debate going. Note debate, not argument


Sometimes doing right is doing wrong?

What were foreign soldiers doing in Iraq in the first place?

Retreats to the bunker and waits for incoming "friendly fire".
treebee On April 13, 2015
Government Hooker

Moderator




London, United Kingdom
#14New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 19:45:26
best i can do im afraid
shaggyjebus On August 26, 2008

Deleted



Goodlettsville, Tennessee
#15New Post! Feb 28, 2006 @ 19:50:10
Maybe the bookstore feels that it is protecting people from an angry, violent person?

If I wrote a book about why we should kill all the niggers, would the bookstore carry it? Would it be bashed if it refused to carry it?

Is that good?
Reply to Topic<< Previous Topic | Next Topic >>
Pages: 1 2 · >>

1 browsing (0 members - 1 guest)

Quick Reply
Politics Forum - Some Rudeness Allowed

      
Subscribe to topic prefs

Similar Topics
    Forum Topic Last Post Replies Views
New posts   Random
Sun Sep 19, 2010 @ 04:53
5 1557
New posts   Society & Lifestyles
Mon Feb 15, 2010 @ 23:32
20 2715
New posts   Politics
Mon Nov 30, 2009 @ 03:03
22 1574
New posts   Religion
Sat Jun 09, 2012 @ 03:36
10 6576
New posts   US Elections
Tue Aug 13, 2019 @ 14:56
76 17841