The Frankfurt Book Fair: Freedom of the WORD is not negotiable. The fair is a place for dialogue.
Censorship of free speech has become rampant at universities. Debating controversial ideas is not on the agenda. Views that students find offensive and above hurtful have to be silenced because they can't cope with it (thereby leaving them vulnerable when they enter the workforce).
In the US it is legally OK to say offensive things about a religion and thus provoke hurt or anger. If some want it "criminalized", then we are no longer supporters of free speech.
Salman Rushdie (author of The Satanic Verses) on what is freedom of expression. 'Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.'
Mark Steyn (Canadian journalist and writer): The thin line between free speech and hate speech doesn't exist. Free speech by definition is for the stuff you don't approve of. His book AMERICA ALONE (The end of the world as we know it) is considered politically incorrect. ["If Jesus were alive today, he'd most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an 'Arms are for Hugging' sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams."]
John P. Rossi (Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, January 7, 2007) reviewed AMERICA ALONE-"A cultural critic submits how the West was done in." The West will be confronted with a militaristic Islam and is unprepared to face this threat to the pervasive influence of multiculturalism, and a tolerance of Islamic intolerance that has already crippled many countries in Europe. The rise of an unsustainable welfare state and a decline of religious [Christian] values created a crisis of confidence. Mark Steyn labels multiculturalism the West's "real suicide bomb". It was conceived by Western elites not to celebrate all cultures but to deny their own. Professor Rossi ends the review: It is the best read I have come across in some time.
Amitara Kar (The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh): "Once we learn how to keep ourselves from 'voicing our thoughts', we forget how to think them in the first place. And ideas perish at conception. What could be more dangerous than that?" Some publishers and secular authors fled Bangladesh in fear of attack over their work because free speech is never allowed to trump blasphemy.
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