(Ottawa Citizen) –In these days of draconian political correctness, neurotic anti-hate speech laws and dictatorial human rights police, I have sometimes fretted that the western tradition of free speech is in jeopardy.
No doubt it is, in some quarters at least.Â Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸanÂ wants â€œIslamophobiaâ€ declared as â€œa crime against humanityâ€ and â€œinternational legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred.â€
Likewise, theÂ Arab League has called for the development of an international legal framework to criminalize blasphemy. Ditto the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries, which wants Western countries to make it an international crime to criticize Islam or Mohammed â€“ all on the name of â€œreligious tolerance.â€ (Naturally, thereâ€™s no mention of not insulting â€” or persecuting â€” Christians and Jews.)
Of course, all this is to be expected from the Muslim world, which insists that only Muslims get to define what constitutes an insult â€” which isÂ an insult to intelligence.
Unfortunately, there are too many western politicians so frightened of appearing intolerant â€” and of losing Muslim votes, I suppose â€” that they kowtow to these kind of asinine dictates.
Not all, though, Iâ€™m happy to report. At least some European politicians possess sufficient backbone to stand up for Enlightenment traditions.
This week theÂ Dutch parliamentÂ revoked a decade-old blasphemy lawÂ from its statute book.Â Insulting Allah (or God or Yahweh or Buddha or Vishnu, I presume) will no longer be a crimeÂ in theÂ Netherlands.
The Dutch politician who can take some credit for this reinforcement of the liberal tradition of free speech isÂ Geert Wilders.
To read more on this specific case, clickÂ here.
Today’s REMINDER brought to you by Mohammed turban bomb: