Last week, I wrote about Molly Norris, the Seattle cartoonist who made a declaration that April 10, 2010 should be known as “Everybody Draw Mohammed” day. This poor woman is now on a designated Muslim “hit list,” according to our FBI, and has to go into hiding for the rest of her life. The American-born Muslim imam Anwar al-Awlaki (the guy who allegedly inspired the Fort Hood massacre) singled out Molly Norris as a “prime target,” saying “her proper abode is hellfire.”
Our government isn’t protecting her. Moderate Muslim groups are not protecting her. Her free speech rights have evaporated along with her life as she knows it: friends and family and job are gone as she has to “go ghost.”
Well, this situation keeps happening all over America. The New York Times reports that some Harvard University faculty members and students are objecting to a plan to honor an alumnus and editor of The New Republic, because of a blog post he published this month that said Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. The editor, Martin Peretz, asserted that among Muslims led by the founder of the proposed Muslim Community Center near Ground Zero in New York, “there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood.” He went on to say he wondered “whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”
Let’s look at his assertions. For which one is there evidence of an untruth? Are there not suicide bombings and attacks all over the world perpetrated by Muslims on innocent Muslims as well as innocent Westerners? Is there a profound moderate Muslim movement which is aggressively attacking the so-called radicals? Are moderate Muslim groups protecting the speech – no, forget that – the very life of Molly Norris?
It has gotten to the point in America that truth cannot be spoken if it offends somebody or their agenda. Let Abdelnasser Rashid, president of the Harvard Islamic Society debate Mr. Peretz and provide facts and information to refute his claims. That is the American way.
I am gratified to inform you Harvard issued a statement that Mr. Peretz’s assertions were “distressing to many members of our community, and understandably so,” but it would not revoke the honor. Hallelujah. “It is central to the mission of a university to protect and affirm free speech, including the rights of Dr. Peretz, as well as those who disagree with them, to express their views,” the statement continued. At least one institution in America is still standing up for what is inherently American: freedom of speech.
I am worried though some imam will respond to Harvard’s refusal to be intimidated by issuing a fatwa for Mr. Peretz as exists for Molly Norris.
That is our world today. Face it. Deal with it.