Has the whole world gone mad? Why is this even a question? Let's say you call me a racist, bigoted Islamophobe. I am deeply insulted. At that moment I have a huge range of options before me. I can calmly explain to you that Islamic supremacism is not a race, fighting for free speech and equality of rights for all is not bigotry, and "Islamophobia" is a manipulative concept used by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies to stifle resistance to Islamic supremacism and jihad. Or I can start yelling and calling you names. Or I can start muttering into my vodka tonic about the injustice of it all. Or I can murder you, drag your body through the streets, set fire to your embassy, and demand laws against insulting me. Or I can do any number of other things.
Which one will I choose? It's up to me, not to you. You might have a strong hunch as to how I will react, and say to your companion, "That Spencer, he is going to come out with another windy, closely reasoned refutation of my charges that everyone will ignore," or "That Spencer, he is going to burn down my embassy," but you still can't be absolutely sure what I am going to do, because I am not an automaton, I am a human being endowed with the faculty of reason, and I may always choose to react in a way that will surprise you.
Or I may not. But in any case, it is up to me. If I kill you, there is absolutely no justifiable basis on which anyone could say, "Well, he had it coming. Look how he provoked him." My choice was my own, and only I bear responsibility for it.
But today that basic and elemental truth is lost. If Muslims rage, riot and murder for any reason, they bear no responsibility. The only ones who bear any responsibility for their raging, rioting and murdering are the non-Muslims who somehow provoked them.
That I have to take the time to explain this at all, and that it will be universally ignored, is an indication of how much our public discourse has degenerated. The road is being swiftly paved for the destruction of the freedom of speech. When, in another year or so, I am safely imprisoned for daring to speak the truth and a new era of peace has dawned between the West and the Islamic world, and yet the jihad keeps coming, and the full implications of the new "hate speech" laws start to become clear in the quashing of all political dissent, don't say you weren't warned.
Of course, maybe none of that will happen, and the freedom of speech will suddenly sport a thousand articulate defenders who have not yet been completely demonized and marginalized out of the public square. But I don't see them on the horizon right now.
"‘I’m not the one going into the streets with stones and Kalashnikovs’: Charlie Hebdo editor rejects responsibility for violence over naked Mohammad cartoons," by Nicholas Vinocur for Reuters, September 19 (thanks to Kenneth):
The editor of French magazine Charlie Hebdo has said that when his magazine ridiculed the Prophet Mohammad on Wednesday by portraying him naked in cartoons, he and his organization were not responsible for fuelling the anger of Muslims around the world who are already incensed by a video depicting him as a lecherous fool.
The editor, Stephane Charbonnier, also known as Charb, rejected criticism. “We have the impression that it’s officially allowed for Charlie Hebdo to attack the Catholic far-right but we cannot poke fun at fundamental Islamists,” he said.
“It shows the climate. Everyone is driven by fear, and that is exactly what this small handful of extremists who do not represent anyone want: to make everyone afraid, to shut us all in a cave,” he told Reuters.
“Muhammad isn’t sacred to me,” he said in an interview at the weekly’s offices on the northeast edge of Paris. “I don’t blame Muslims for not laughing at our drawings. I live under French law; I don’t live under Koranic law.”
Charbonnier said he had no regrets and felt no responsibility for any violence.
“I’m not the one going into the streets with stones and Kalashnikovs,” he said. “We’ve had 1,000 issues and only three problems, all after front pages about radical Islam.”
One cartoon alluded to the scandal over a French magazine’s publication of topless photos of the wife of Britain’s Prince William. It showed a bare female torso topped by a beard with the caption “Riots in Arab countries after photos of Mrs Mohammad are published”....
“We know that these images will be deeply offensive to many and have the potential to be inflammatory. But we’ve spoken repeatedly about the importance of upholding the freedom of expression that is enshrined in our constitution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.
“In other words, we don’t question the right of something like this to be published, we just question the judgment behind the decision to publish it.”...
That's the first step.