Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wrapping Up Banned Authors Week

Alright, so it was actually more like Banned Authors Week and a half. Still, I hope I've been able to show that the Islamist proclivity for murdering authors and other intellectuals who offend them is both widespread and longstanding. It extends far beyond Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasreen, and the Danish Cartoonists. Islamism's war on intellectual freedom and those who would exercise it is truly global in scope and has been going on for decades. Unfortunately, given the time constraints on my blogging, I was barely able to scratch the surface of this phenomenon.

Still, there are several overall trends that are apparent in the examples I described. One obvious commonality is the use of the apostasy doctrine to not only discredit Muslim freethinkers, but to outright sanction their murder. A second is the role of so-called "moderate" Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Brotherhood does not generally engage in murdering "apostates", it is more than happy to incite others to do it for them. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Islamist censorship has hindered the development of critical thinking and genuine reform in much of the Muslim world, thus helping pave the way for the climate of anti-American conspiracy theories and extremist ideology that fuels jihadist terrorism.

To get a sense of just how widespread Islamist censorship is, read these articles by Zyed Krichen and Dr. Koenraad Elst. In the meantime, I leave you with an apropos quote from George Bernard Shaw:

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.


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