This is one posting that deserves very wide distribution. The twelve people who wrote and signed their names to this letter know first hand what totalitarianism and militant Islam can do in the name of their religious views. It will be interesting to see how big media outlets cover this particular story:
Together facing the new totalitarianismAs Charles said, I sign my name to this letter as well.
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of “Islamophobia”, an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.
We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.
We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Others who are signing their name to this manifesto: Rusty at The Jawa Report, PBS Watch (who provides a short bio for each of the signatories), Vince aut Moire, Michelle Malkin, Small Town Veteran, Stop the ACLU, House of the Dog, Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, Junkyard Blog, Tipping Point, GM Roper, Captain Ed Morissey, Slapstick Politics, and more added as I find 'em. Better yet, add comments or trackbacks and I'll add your name to the growing list of people who are saying enough is enough. Memeorandum is tracking those covering this story.
Also, this letter was first published in the French weekly Charlie Hebdo. Jyllands Posten picked up the story from which Agora translated. No Pasaran had picked it up as well.
Thanks to those that have commented or trackbacked and want their names added. They include The Political Pit Bull, Sean Rooney, Patricia E. Hardin, Peter Warner, Annoying Little Twerp, Blue Star Chronicles, All Things Beautiful, and Tel Chai Nation.
Technorati: Buy Danish "jyllands-posten mohammed" "muhammad cartoon" embassy torchings "muhammad image archive"