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Free Speech

In breaking news, the ancestor of a scientist and bestselling author owned slaves in 1744.

Yes, seriously. This is the impetus behind the hatchet job by the Telegraph against Richard Dawkins. Butterflies and Wheels has a good roundup of satirical Twitter responses. Indeed, checking out the Twitter stream linking to the Telegraph article, it's clear that the vast majority of people who checked on the story see right through the pathetic attack by Adam Lusher.

Check out Richard Dawkin's response, The Sins of the Fathers

Clearly, certain primates employed over at the Telegraph haven't yet evolved into ethical journalists.

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At the Rally for Free Expression, journalist Nick Cohen and scientist Richard Dawkins take on the gutless accomodation of theocratic fascism in the UK and abroad. The tide appears to be turning.

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In retrospect, fleeing from one country that imposes death sentences for blasphemy to another country that has its own laws criminalizing blasphemy might not have been the best strategy. Then again, Saudi national Hamza Kashgari probably wasn't counting on the Saudis using Interpol to track him down.

Western law enforcement agencies are now doing the work of religious fanatics who spit on international definitions of human rights. When the Saudis chop Hamza Kashgari's head off, heads should also roll at Interpol.More >>

Saudi Sheikh Nasser Al Omar weeps crocodile tears as he recommends to his king that Saudi writer Hamza Kashgari be executed for supposedly writing "shameful" comments about the Muslim prophet Mohammed on Twitter.

"I'm so sad! So very sad... that this monstrous apostate has blasphemed by tweeting 'I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you.' I've never read such horrible words. May blessed and merciful Allah strike them from my memory and make Kashgari burn in hellfire for eternity."

Save Hamza! Sign the petitionMore >>

There are consequences. We have a little thing called freedom of expression in the West that means you can't threaten someone for depicting Islam's prophet Mohammed (or in the case of South Park cartoon creators, drawing a bear mascot and suggesting that Mohammed was inside). Actually, threats are a bad idea, period. You go to jail.

That's where Jesse Morton is going.

Jesse Morton, also known as Younus Abdullah Mohammad, was detained in Morocco last May in connection with alleged threats posted on the Revolution Muslim website after "South Park" depicted Mohammad as a man in a bear suit. Prosecutors allege that Morton helped write a "clarification statement" that amounted to a further threat against the "South Park" creators by praying for their deaths and suggesting that they were likely to face the violent demise of other critics of Islam.

 

Some Muslims view any visual depiction of Mohammad as offensive. The "South Park" episode was considered a commentary on an earlier controversy over a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons of the Muslim prophet.

Morton was transferred to U.S. custody in Rabat in October and returned to the U.S. later that month.

 

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Loved this recent bit from Colbert: "Corporations are people. You won't weigh in on whether some people are people? That seems kind of racist, George."More >>

Richard Dawkins on the most recent censorship of Salman Rushdie, the courageous response of his literary comrades and the increasing threat to free speech:

At the Jaipur festival, in defiance of intimidation from the civil government, three courageous Indian writers began their literary presentations by publicly reading from The Satanic Verses. I chose to support Rushdie in a different way, by reading from my own ‘Words for Rushdie’, published in New Statesman at the time of the original fatwa – for that magazine was an honourable exception to the widespread fashion to blame the victim rather than the Muslim perpetrators of the outrage.

 

The organizers of the festival were placed in an impossibly difficult position. Let down as they were by the spineless Rajasthan government, who had eyes only for the Muslim vote in the current elections, they did their best. They were personally threatened by a baying mob of bearded youths who invaded the festival compound promising murder and mayhem if Rushdie was allowed so much as a video link (as Germaine Greer said at the time of the Danish cartoons row, “What these people really love and do best is

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The Propagandist magazine human rights politics news commentaryThe Propagandist's Allies are on the warpath. Better get out of their way, bubba.

I assume he did. After all, when a religion is based on the conduct of a pedophilic genocidal mass-murderer who cursed all who chose to walk a different path, it's not surprising that his most vocal followers turn out to be violent dweebs. So much for freedom of speech in the UK:

Just before I was due to start, a young man entered the lecture theatre, stood at the front of the room with a camera and proceeded to film everyone in the audience. That done, he informed us that he knew who we were, where we lived and if he heard a single negative word about the Prophet, he would track us down. (I am told he made further threats as he left the building).
The organisers of the event, the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies called the police and the event was unfortunately cancelled.

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Along with four Canadian judges. But that's OK. Nothing to see here. The cops don't appear to be very much interested in death threats against Blazing Cat Fur and his family.

Can't some official police nerd track down the ISP from this bozo and charge him with uttering threats? Here's an excerpt of the latest from BCF's Islamist cyber-stalker:

"Against you. If you believe that you are invincible because you hide in the shadows Of the evil Zionist, you are incorrect. Death is coming for you, the third time Will be Allah’s time and your demise is coming soon. The forces are already Set and no matter of the outcome in our family, this act will occur, We will give you further notice that these blogs must be eradicated immediately or Anyone associated with them will die and will suffer the mighty blow

Riiiiiiiiiight. Thanks for the kind note.More >>

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