All taken from just one article, The Freedoms We Fight For.
UNFORTUNATELY, WE IN THE WEST haven't always been vigilant about standing behind speech rights. Too often, when Islamists threaten free expression, some Westerners clamor to make excuses for them. In 1997, for example, Salman Rushdie and novelist John le Carré had a high-profile feud in the letters section of the Guardian. In the course of the feud, le Carré said that Rushdie bore the responsibility for the bounty on his head because "there is no law in life or nature that says that great religions may be insulted with impunity."
Standing up for free speech in the face of religious fanaticism should be automatic for anybody who understands the classical liberal principles upon which Western society was built. Unfortunately, it seems that many Westerners either fail to understand these principles, or else fail to grasp the reality of the threat. Ultimately, it is Salman Rushdie's response to John le Carré that encapsulates the consequences of not recognizing the current Islamist attack on free speech: "John le Carré is right to say that free speech isn't an absolute. We have the freedoms we fight for, and we lose those we don't defend."
As I've posted before in Freedom of speech in Denmark, this is an intolerable, and extremely insidious, assault on one of the West's core values. We cannot stand by silent and allow Moslems to dictate the terms of public debate in the West through threats. Stories such as these need to be told, and told again and again. We must demand Moslems among us to publically demonstrate their self-proclaimed tolerance by condemning, in no uncertain terms, calls for violence against critics, or even mockers, of their religion.