Escape from reality

Diana West, in Twisted ‘tolerance’ discusses the problem of inordinate sensitivity leading to absurd judgment. The topic is the case of an Autralian minister sentenced for highlighting Koran passages that are not complimentary to the idea that Muslim religion is one of peace and tolerance.

As Robert Spencer, author of “Islam Unveiled” (Encounter Books, 2002), has pointed out, at another point in the trial the Australian judge was affronted that Mr. Scot had said that “the Quran promotes violence, killing and looting.” Mr. Spencer wrote in FrontPageMag: “In light of Quranic passages such as 9:5, 2:191, 9:29, 47:4, 5:33 and many others, this cannot seriously be a matter of dispute. Muslims have pointed to verses in the Bible that they would have us believe are equivalent in violence and offensiveness, or have claimed that the great majority of Muslims don’t take such verses literally; but it takes a peculiarly strong resistance to reality not only to deny that such verses are there, but to charge one who pointed them out with religious vilification.”

Mr. Nalliah, who plans to visit Great Britain to campaign against a similar vilification law now under consideration in Parliament, calls Victoria’s shockingly totalitarian statute “sharia law by stealth.” And so it is. In outlawing criticism of Islam — which, so far, is the effect of the law — Victoria has not only codified a peculiarly strong resistance to reality, it has also adopted the practice of sharia-ruled states. This makes for a startling spectacle — a free people placing a muzzle on speech, a limit on faith and a damper on inquiry. Douglas Wood lost his freedom at gunpoint; Danny Nalliah and Daniel Scot lost theirs by court-ordered political correctness. We know who rescued Mr. Wood; who will save the pastors?

What to connect with this? How about the ruckus centering on profiling terrorist suspects in airplane passengers? Or the FEC considerations to regulate web logs that might involve political commentary? Or the flag burning ammendment?

The idea of free speech is being pushed to absurd limits and matters of intellectual integrity and a speaker’s responsibility are being shoved aside. The result is harmful for everyone.

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