Again today freedom of speech, the right to free expression received a violent response from the Muslim community in Texas, USA.
Earlier this week six writers – Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi – withdrew from the PEN American Center’s annual gala on 5 May in protest against the free speech organization’s decision to give the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award. In an email to PEN, Kushner said she was withdrawing because of Charlie Hebdo‘s ‘cultural intolerance’ and its promotion of ‘a kind of forced secular view’. Carey criticised ‘PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population’.
In my original post on the Charlie Hebdo killings back in January, I challenged ‘the pusillanimity of many so-called liberals, their unwillingness to stand up for basic liberal principles, their readiness to betray the progressives within minority communities’ and observed that…
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