The Cartoon War has finally made some stand up and say enough is enough. Michelle Malkin picked up on this gauntlet just tossed down by those sick of the violence, and the death threats, and the bounties placed on those who embrace free speech.
MANIFESTO: Together facing the new totalitarianism
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
We reject cultural relativism, which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.
We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.
We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Maryam NamazieTaslima Nasreen
I insist that we, too, have our names added to this list.
This is not an exercise in hypocrisy. YES, we do beat on the media, and usually on a daily basis. This critique of the media is based on the deception, the lies, the spin, and the misstatements of the media, in general. These people have no compunction about getting the story or facts wrong, and never really apologizing; a correcting is anything but an apology for their mistakes. Those who reside up on high, believeing themselves to be masters of all that they survey, are about to have a hard fall. No one trusts them any longer. The only reason they still have ratiings is because some people in this nation have them as a sole media source. That is changing, and has been for quite some time. Talk radio is now a major medium, and the blogosphere is just getting started.
However, civilized society has never called for the deaths of, or heads of, journalists that they disagree with. They call, snail mail, or e-mail executives to complain about this person or that. Talk radio ridicules these poor saps, and the blogosphere uses them as a punching bag, or as Hugh Hewitt puts it, we are "beating them like bongo drums." But we have NEVER resorted to violence over a column, an editorial, or a cartoon.
Radical Islam has. And to shrink from these animals now will only embolden them. There is such a thing as a "free press" in the West (though some of it is state-controlled in Europe), and with that freedom comes to freedom for them to speak and act like asses. This is their right, and ours is to ignore such outbursts of stupidity; no matter how offending they are, and even if it includes our faith. It is, to us, like water off of a duck's back.
To the Islamicists perpetuating this violence, they have no concept of "live and let live." An offense to Allah, no matter how misperceived, demands only one act and that is retribution. It is the acts of violence we have seen played out for almost four weeks now. And the media's silence on the issue--their refusal to show the public what these people are outraged over--is simple, basic appeasement in it's worst form.
It is appeasement through intimidation. So, where is this vaunted press? The ones so brave to venture to Iraq and Afghanistan, and watch the horrors of war? Where are the brave souls willing to throw all aside to get "the story?" They are nowhere to be found, and even when they are, it is paltry displays by media outlets with more courage than the media elites.
The moderate Muslims above have finally spoken--with one voice--that this is over, and that the cartoonists should not be facing this sort of issue. For a long time, the free world has been waiting for this day; a day in which the silent majority is speaking up, and saying "ENOUGH!" This is also a dark day for the radicals; it signals a significant loss of support amongst their brethren. It was not enough for Zarqawi to lose support in Iraq, and for al Qaeda forces in afghanistan to be crying for assistance. This is the nail in the coffin. This is the domino that will finish off the radicals. IF enough moderates join this movement, the radicals are finished. These are not just simple people.
Michelle's work on rounding up the relevant information was indispensible on this post. Below are snippets explaining who these people are. (TY Michelle)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, from somilian origin, is member of Dutch parliement, member of the liberal party VVD. Writter of the film Submission which caused the assasination of Theo Van Gogh by an islamist in november 2004, she lives under police protection.
Chahla Chafiq, writer from iranian origin, exiled in France is a novelist and an essayist. She's the author of "Le nouvel homme islamiste , la prison politique en Iran " (2002). She also wrote novels such as "Chemins et brouillard" (2005).
Essayist, editor in chief of Prochoix (a review who defend liberties against dogmatic and integrist ideologies), author of several reference books on « laicité » and fanatism : Tirs Croisés : la laïcité à l'épreuve des intégrismes juif, chrétien et musulman (with Fiammetta Venner), Frère Tariq : discours, stratégie et méthode de Tariq Ramadan, et la Tentation obscurantiste (Grasset, 2005). She receieved the National prize of laicité in 2005.
French philosoph, born in Algeria, engaged against all the XXth century « ism » (Fascism, antisemitism, totalitarism, terrorism), he is the author of La Barbarie à visage humain, L'Idéologie française, La Pureté dangereuse, and more recently American Vertigo.
Irshad Manji is a Fellow at Yale University and the internationally best-selling author of "The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith" (en francais: "Musulmane Mais Libre"). She speaks out for free expression based on the Koran itself. Née en Ouganda, elle a fui ce pays avec sa famille musulmane d'origine indienne à l'âge de quatre ans et vit maintenant au Canada, où ses émissions et ses livres connaissent un énorme succès.
Mehdi Mozaffari, professor from iranian origin and exiled in Denmark, is the author of several articles and books on islam and islamism such as : Authority in Islam: From Muhammad to Khomeini, Fatwa: Violence and Discourtesy and Glaobalization and Civilizations.
Writer, TV International English producer; Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran's International Relations; and 2005 winner of the National Secular Society's Secularist of the Year award.
Taslima Nasreen is born in Bangladesh. Doctor, her positions defending women and minorities brought her in trouble with a comittee of integrist called « Destroy Taslima » and to be persecuted as « apostate »
Salman Rushdie is the author of nine novels, including Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses and, most recently, Shalimar the Clown. He has received many literary awards, including the Booker Prize, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel, Germany's Author of the Year Award, the European Union's Aristeion Prize, the Budapest Grand Prize for Literature, the Premio Mantova, and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature. He is a Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres, an Honorary Professor in the Humanities at M.I.T., and the president of PEN American Center. His books have been translated into over 40 languages.
Director of publication of Charlie Hebdo (Leftwing french newspaper who have republished the cartoons on the prophet Muhammad by solidarity with the danish citizens targeted by islamists).
Ibn WarraqIbn Warraq , author notably of Why I am Not a Muslim ; Leaving Islam : Apostates Speak Out ; and The Origins of the Koran , is at present Research Fellow at a New York Institute conducting philological and historical research into the Origins of Islam and its Holy Book.
Born in Lebanon, christian, Antoine Sfeir choosed french nationality to live in an universalist and « laïc » (real secular) country. He is the director of Les cahiers de l'Orient and has published several reference books on islamism such as Les réseaux d'Allah (2001) et Liberté, égalité, Islam : la République face au communautarisme (2005).
And once again I say: Sign us onto this manifesto.