"The most famous, news making cartoons in history" Greg Lukianoff
NYU's administration limited attendance to 75 non-NYU guests (out of 150 already registered to attend). So I got there early as only the first to arrive would be let in (or so they told me) The cartoons were NOT displayed (see the announcement below).
In order to allow entry to non-NYU guests, the student organization sponsoring this event has been forced by NYU administrators to NOT display the Danish cartoons. The panel discussion on free speech will nevertheless proceed as planned.
The Objectivist club: explained "we decided it was more important to have some people in the hall to hear the ideas." Muslim students cheered the decision to pull the images.
In continuing attempts to sabotage the event, Islamic students secured a large number of tickets and then destroyed them.
I made it downtown early and a kind sweet fellow Objectivist, RB, promised to save me a seat. Upon my arrival, there was one lone free speech demonstrator with roughly 25 Islamic students mulling around across the street handing out flyers on "intolerance". Whoa, the irony. Strong police presence.
No media save one FOX cameraman and reporter and while I spoke to them, I am sure they won't run what I said. When asked about the toons I said "Why hasn't FOX run the Danish cartoons?, Why has FOX submitted to dhimmitude? This is America! " Like I said, don't expect to see it anytime soon.
The panel the Ayn Rand Institute assembled were articulate, bright, knowledgeable, rational - Dr. Bostom was particularly brilliant, an Islamic historian who could recite passages from the Koran cold and quotedm extensively from noted scholar Bat Ye'or.
But I have to tell you, the moment that spoke the loudest, that was at the very heart of the controversy, was the intense security and security check. The whole nine yards, bags searched, cops, metal detectors............the whole megillah And after I snapped this pic, the police boomed, "NO PICS!" No pictures, no audio taping , no video...........
The panelists sat in front of easels with black canvasses
Peter Schwartz, former chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ayn Rand Institute and author of The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: A Moral Ideal for America. Schwartz made some salient points but he was so apoplectic over the rise of the religious right I had to turn him off at points. Equating the power of the religious right with the rabid left was moral equivalence and just plain wrong. They have not taken over the Republican party the way the far left has hijacked the Democratic party platform. Schwartz was a raving atheist, unforgiving of religion.
Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education; Lukianoff was superb taking to task the group of Muslims in the back holding a ginormous banner that said FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS FREEDOM TO HATE. He challenged them to consider what they were saying and what they were professing could easily be turned around to work against them. But the crew that was there was beyond reason. Waste of precious breath. “If you make it through four years of college and haven’t had your deepest beliefs questioned, ask for your money back” and accused the university of allowing a “heckler’s veto.”
Andrew Bostom, author of The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims; and I will buy Bostom's book, you should too.. He is brilliant. In explaining the religion of peace, he said yes it's a religion of peace but only after the world is pax islamica...meaning , yeah it's a religion of peace only after they take over the world.
Jonathan Leaf, New York Press editor who resigned over his paper’s decision not to publish the Danish cartoons. Yes this is the guy that resigned. He was clear. Concise.
Listen, they were all good. It was painful to watch reasonable men arguing for a fundamental individual right. It was an indication of how far we have fallen.
What was of considerable concern was these cartoons were the most famous in history. These were news making cartoons. People died, embassies burned, thousands rioted and the mainstream media refused to run them. Panelists pointed to the hypocrisy of The New York Times' claim of sensitivity but had no problem running photos of the Virgin Mary surrounded by small vaginas and covered with elephant dung. The mainstream media has no problem running items that are offensive to people they do not fear. Apparently, the New York Sun still has had a constant police presence at their headquarters (they ran the cartoons a few weeks back.)
You could see these men were stunned by the absence of the cartoons on the podium. They could not ingest the censure by the university, what one was a bastion of free thinking and free speech, campuses across the country have taken on a group think collectivist mentality. The panel answered as many questions from the audience (roughly 125 people) that time would allow. Of all the questions submitted, they answered almost all of the hostile ones.
The Islamic students demanded to know why their side was not represented on the panel to which Kara, the Objectivist club organizer that put this baby together, said "numerous inquiries were made. I contacted at last 15 Islamic societies, professors et al and no one would come."
My favorite question was the guy sitting next to me who was told he had to remove his Muhammad bomber tee shirt. "Why did I have to remove my tee shirt while the Islamic students can hold that enormous banner that deeply offends me?" It was rich. Lukianoff responded, "you are 100% right, come see me after the program I'll take your case." heh. Even sweeter, this same guy recognized me from my "infidel babe of the week" stint. heh heh.
The banned tee shirt took on a life of its own when a bit later an audience meber wanted to know what was so offensive about my neighbor's tee shirt. Suddenly, seemingly from out of nowhere, this guy pops up, rips open his button down and rebel yells "this is the tee shirt, here is the tee shirt. Lo and behold, the man was wearing the mo bomber tee surreptitiously.
About halfway through the program a group of Islamic students all got up and walked out. Their only contribution was to glare hard at anyone that clapped enthusiastically. The girls in the back wore the full metal jacket - headgear , covered from head to toe.
The crowd was mostly non NYU so the Objectivists Club really had no choice, if they displayed the cartoons, none of us from the general population could have attended. As for NYU, I understand their security concerns but in some things you must take a stand.
Four blank pedestals were displayed behind the speakers to symbolize what one member of NYU’s Objectivist Club, Ryan Puzycki, called “a hijab on free speech.”
What I found most notable in the evening was that such an evening is necessary. Necessary and dangerous. Boiling it all down to its essential oils, this is the gotcha moment.
Like I said to the FOX reporter, "this is America!" I should have exchanged the exclamation point with a question mark.
Borders, Waldenbooks Won't Carry Magazine AP
Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.
Imagine that, book stores self censoring ..........Fahrenheit 451
UPDATE: From the "soooo outta hand" Dept:
Danish Muslims sue newspaper that printed prophet cartoons
A group of 27 Danish Muslim organizations have filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper that first published the carricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, their lawyer said Thursday. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday, two weeks after Denmark's top prosecutor declined to press criminal charges, saying the drawings that sparked a firestorm in the Muslim world did not violate laws against racism or blasphemy. d'oh
Good move. If you can't baffle them with bullshit, force them into bankruptcy defending frivolous lawsuits. Oh and BTW, when did Islam become a race? I thought it was a religion?
Protein Jeff reports that the Western Standard and Jyllands-Posten are being sued for re-printing the images:
One thing is clear here: in their haste to show their intolerance of the supposedly “intolerant” dissemination of information, the [Alberta Human Rights] Commission has provided interest groups with the incentive to file suits as a way to prevent other criticisms; because the financial burden of having to pay for the right of free speech necessarily acts as a material check on such speech.
In other words, free speech isn't free. Which is why the Western Standard has to do this.
Anne Roman at 734-477-1392 or email@example.com
Beth Bingham at 734-477-4457 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Holley Stein at 734-477-1224 or email@example.com
BTW, TYPEPAD keeps rendering my cartoon images as "unavailable". It's them, not me. Dhimmis dhimmis everywhere.
"Your company's craven policy of capitulation in the face of the mere
hypothetical threat of terrorism is absolutely appalling -- a complete
moral abdication that only encourages those threatening our rights and
I am a writer, and the editor of The New Individualist, a news and cultural magazine. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, I am the first editor in the nation to dare to print one of those "offensive" cartoons of Muhammad right on the cover of our Winter 2006 issue. I therefore have no doubt that our magazine, which is still available only by subscription, would have been banned by Borders, too.
Let me be clear: I did not publish the cartoon to offend Muslims. I did so as a profound matter of principle: to stand up to those who are trying to annihilate our First Amendment rights. I did so because here, in America, nobody can be permitted to get away with coercion and intimidation against anyone's freedom to write and speak and publish. I did so because I learned many years ago, as a child on school playgrounds, that when you surrender to bullies, you grant them dictatorial power over your life. " Read it all
UPDATE: It gets better. The Ayn Rand Institute issues a statement. Read it.