ARI Launches Free Speech Campaign

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Wed, 2006-03-08 04:45

(Note from Linz—no, I haven't joined ARI, but this project seems well worth supporting, & is another instance of ARI leaving TOC in the dust.)

In light of the recent violent outrage in the Islamic world over the "Danish Cartoon" controversy, and the anemic response to this outburst in Europe and America, the Ayn Rand Institute is pleased to announce a campaign to bring the Danish cartoons to the widest possible audience--and to arrange a series of panel discussions to discuss the vital need to defend free speech.

So long as men are free to criticize, free to dissent, free to present their own ideas without fear of reprisals--the fight for rational culture has a chance. But the crisis over cartoons of Mohammad threatens to wipe out freedom of speech. Our leaders have shamefully sided with the mobs chanting death threats and torching embassies. Free speech, our leaders say, is not an absolute, its exercise must not offend religious beliefs--it is a right, in other words, that we are not free to exercise.

If the threats, riots and killings fomented by Islamic states are allowed to proceed--if they are allowed to compel Western thinkers into self-censorship--the first to be silenced will be the critics of Islam.  And then the critics of religion.  And then everyone else.

The Ayn Rand Institute disseminates the pro-American ideals of reason, egoism, and individualism, and our efforts fundamentally depend on the absolute right to free speech. That is why we have launched a campaign to inform the American public about what is at stake in this crisis. In a series of public events on college campuses, ARI speakers will explain: the actual meaning of free speech--and why it must include the freedom to offend; what should have been the reaction of Western governments to the crisis; what reactions to the cartoons in the Islamic world tell us about that culture; and how the Western media ought to defend the right on which its livelihood, and our culture's survival, depends.

Our immediate plans include the following:

* Hold three talks on college campuses--UCLA, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Southern California.

* Promote these events with an aggressive print advertising and Internet marketing effort.

* Finally, we plan to place the Danish ads on www.aynrand.org and promote them aggressively in print, on the airwaves, and over the Internet.

Our budget for these activities is $33,000. 

For us to succeed in executing this campaign, we need your help now.

Any contribution that you can make to ARI to help offset these costs would be greatly appreciated.

To give now to support our campaign to defend free speech, please go to:

http://www.aynrand.org/freespeech

If you prefer to give by phone, please call our donor services coordinator, Dave Gulbraa, at 800.365.6552, extension 204.  Of course, you can also mail your contribution to ARI at 2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250, Irvine CA 92606 (please indicate on the check that this is for the ARI Danish Cartoons Project).

It is critical that free speech be defended--and that the violent mystics who threaten this freedom be opposed philosophically.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Yaron Brook
President and Executive Director


F_wit

Andrew Bates's picture

Yes.

No.

Because you're a f_wit. Threatening to use force on someone to compel them to do something is coercion. This violates the underpinning of the right to free-speech - the non-initiation of force.

Yes.

Probably some goat fuckers who, sharing your retarded ignorance of the nature of individual rights (and the ability to read Linz's first line "This is not a call to genocide"), will try to get Linz punished for saying a religion should be shamed and laughed out of existence, as opposed to killing all its adherents.

Let's say I have just this moment agreed to pay a third party to kill you. That is a voluntary contract between him and I and I will not be the one who kills you. All I have done is speak and offer to pay when you die. By your non-integrated reckoning, I should receive no punishment as I have not initiated force.

Amen!

Andrew Bates's picture

Sanction! Smiling

And not just the men offering the rewards but the countries too.

I'd love to see what a

Landon Erp's picture

I'd love to see what a peaceful protest endorsing the cartoons in the middle of Iran would lead to.

Wait, I think I did see something like that in a Japanese gore movie once.

---Landon

It all basically comes back to fight or flight.

Turn-off

Peter Cresswell's picture

He had me turning off at 'Dude.' ;^)

Frizzy -- You aren't making

Jason Quintana's picture

Frizzy -- You aren't making any sense. Can you elaborate on what you are trying to say?

- Jason

Dude! Martin Luther King

Frizzy's picture

Dude! Martin Luther King endorced peaceful protests to gain aceptance of existing rights for all people.
Do you take every single word of Rand as gospel because you cannot argue on the merits of your own comprehension?

Serious?

James S. Valliant's picture

No, Frizzy, as Rand said, it is physical force which defines the parameters of all rights. The prohibition against its initiation must include specific and credible threats of force backed up with the means of immediate execution, along with the solicitation of, or conspiracy to, or the aiding and abetting of, any use of force or violence against another. Destroying and damaging property, and demanding that governments use the force of law, of course, are more than mere "threats."

P.S. There was nothing "to get."

Good Grief...

Frizzy's picture

Maddog31, you might percieve me as a "stupid troll", but wishing will not make it so. If you have a clue, please use it. Emotional outbursts are a sign of someone who does not rationally understand what is going on, please check your cues, then use your clues.

Peter, please actually post your link. You might want to look up Sarchasm if you are not sure if I am serious.

Is it ok to use force

Frizzy's picture

Is it ok to use force against someone that makes a threat of violence?

Is a death threat, or a threat of violence, not part of freedom of expression?

I would have said that "freedom of speech" will allow you to make any reasonable or outrageous claim, as long as all you do is "speek".

Is a death threat really grounds for retribution?
If so, who do you expect to will attempt to get justice against issue #70 of the Free Radical?

You cannot be serious?

Peter Cresswell's picture

If your question was a serious one, 'Frizzy,' you might find this useful: Some Propositions on Free Speech.

Of course, if your question was not a serious one -- as it's phrasing suggests it wasn't - then the advice of 'maddog' would be more appropriate.

Nobody claimed that Muslims

Tom Matassa's picture

Nobody claimed that Muslims do not have the right to voice their disapproval of the cartoons or their publication. What they do not have the right to do is kill or threaten to kill somebody because they were published.

Fuck off and get a clue, you stupid troll.

"Free Speech"

James S. Valliant's picture

Frizzy,

I'm not sure what you mean.

Yeah, the violence and threats and demands of the Muslims who are protesting the Danish cartoons are "going against" free speech. This is the way rights are violated -- by force.

"Free" speech is only "free" when it's "free" from a response of violent force.

This is also the way rights must be protected -- by force. That's why government legitimately (when it acts legitimately) uses guns and tanks and stealth bombers and prisons -- to protect rights like free speech.

In an age when college audiences, in the name of free speech, demand the right to shout at a speaker so loudly that the speech cannot be heard, and when students who use "offensive" or "hate" language are compelled to take sensitivity training, we need to define our terms.

"Free speech" does not include the right of protesters to destroy private property or to demand that cartoonists be punished. On the contrary, protecting free speech requires that governments take action against the violence and intimidation.

Doesn't that sort of go

Frizzy's picture

Doesn't that sort of go against the free speech thingee? or is free speech only ok for young white christian males living in America?

Reprisal for rewards

sjw's picture

I agree 100% Andre--a bounty is equal to an attack and should be responded to the same as if a terrorist had literally attacked a citizen--the person offering the bounty is a terrorist and should be taken out and all of his money confiscated.

Million Dollar Rewards

Kyrel Zantonavitch's picture

I hope they focus on the recent brazen million dollar rewards for murdering people. I definitely think this is the worst and most menacing aspect of the Danish cartoon controversy. I think the West could have saved itself a lot of grief -- including maybe 9/11 -- if we had responded to the Salman Rusdie fatwa and million dollar bounty very differently. These public death threats against Western free expresion are simply intolerable. I even think there should be an immediate military reprisal.

For anyone who has not seen

Jason Quintana's picture

For anyone who has not seen the video mentioned by Robert W, follow the link he posted above. This is one of the best things I have seen in quite a while.

- Jason

ARI Launches Free Speech Campaign

mcohen's picture

I am definitely going to attend the talk at Johns Hopkins University on Monday. I'll take my son if he is not too busy with schoolwork - it will be the best education for him.

-- Michelle

Mea Cupla

Robert's picture

To my eternal shame I forgot to mention that the ARI is on the side of the Angels with this one. Brilliant. I may even let the moths out of my wallet and donate some $$. That is after I purchase the TFR etc...

My only excuse is that I'm blown away with the courage displayed by the lion-hearted Dr Sultan!

Good Stuff

jtgagnon's picture

I've been very impressed with ARI's response to recent events and plan on supporting this. They've been doing some really good stuff and I strongly support them across the board. I, too, wish I could attend one of the talks. C'est la vie.

An exercise in courage that

John M Newnham's picture

An exercise in courage that I will support. Excellent news.

Courageous & Apt

sjw's picture

A courageous and fitting move by ARI, that's just the response required by activists for freedom on this historic issue (and I wouldn't take any activist organization seriously that didn't have a bold response to it). It's also a good demonstration of leadership and vision on Yaron's part.

Death to Totalitarian Islam!

DianaHsieh's picture

I'm glad that you posted that, Linz. (I just blogged it myself... I only wish I could attend one of the talks.)

I just checked the TOC web site -- and they still haven't said a single word about the "cartoon jihad." Could they be any more useless?!? Then again, silence is surely better than whatever bizarrely appeasing drivel they would produce.

Diana Hsieh
http://www.dianahsieh.com/blog

Dr Wafa Sultan

Robert's picture

How about ARI bringing the words of Dr Wafa Sultan to the widest possible audience? She said a hell of a lot more in 10 minutes than all four cartoons put together!!!

From her interview on Al Jazerra TV:

"The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century.

It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete... "

Transcript from the Jerusalem Post:
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/S...

Snippets from the interview:
http://switch5.castup.net/fram...

Hat Tip:
PC.blogspot.com

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