Friday, March 28, 2008
Word has come to me today that a certain prominent anti-Jihad commentator has had their life threatened by Fatwa. This person has been forced underground. Addresses have been changed. Their words will not be read for now. Voice will not be heard. All contact with the outside world has been snuffed out like a candle, leaving our world that much darker.
Freedom of Speech has been violated. We are one step further from a free soceity, and one step closer to a fear society.
This person is someone you all know and love. You would all care to know about this person's well-being. You would want to know that they are ok.
But, you won't know, because this person's response is to shut down completely, to go silent.
We could criticize this person and say, "They are not brave enough," but that would be absolutely unfair. This person has stood up, as few in this world have stood up.
And, this person is not the first anti-Jihad warrior to shut up in the face of threats. When an anti-Jihadi shuts up, in any manner, the effect is silence. Therefore, no one knows that anything has happened.
I have often thought that, if I were a black man, and someone burned a cross on my lawn, I would leave the burnt cross there for all to see. I would leave it there to shame my neighbors into helping me track down the people who burnt the cross on my lawn in the first place.
A burnt cross on a lawn is a shame on the whole neighborhood. A life threatened for the exercise of free speech IS A SHAME ON OUR WHOLE SOCIETY. Why is it that we all shut up when we are threatened. Would it not be better to announce the threats, every single one of them, publicly?
Is it not the first responsibility of government to ensure the rights of its citizens? Can we not expect to be protected when we are threatened for exercising our God-granted right to Freedom of Speech?
So, here's my question, why is it that, when we are threatened, we shut up? Why do we choose to shuffle off into silence, as if we are the ones who have done something wrong?
Why is it we don't shout the truth from the rooftops, that fascists are threatening to kill us exactly because we have chosen to exercise our freedom.
So, let me tell you the truth. I have had my life threatened on more than one occasion. And, I shut up about it. I thought about calling the police, or the FBI, but somehow, in my mind, it made sense to ignore the threats. They just didn't seem that big a deal.
I have to wonder, though, if I am simply in denial.
"No," I tell myself. "You just aren't that important, Pastorius. Why would anyone want to kill you? For you to think someone would want to kill you is a kind of self-aggrandizement. It's a way for you to feel special."
And, I am right, and I am wrong.
Truth is, hardly anyone knows or cares what I write, and I am safe behind the bunker of my virtual anonymity.
But, I am not the only person at IBA to have been threatened. Another contributor has had to have police protection on occasion.
Another contributor was threatened with a lawsuit by a high official of a Middle East nation.
Another contributor had their name, address, and telephone number published on a white supremacist website, along with the names of their children, their spouse, the address of their business, the details of their charitable contrbutions, and a helpful Google map to their home.
Through backchannels, I know that the close friend of another prominent anti-Jihadi (an organizer) has had his life threatened in very specific manner. Additionally, one of his friends wound up dead under mysterious circumstances. This friend had also been somewhat prominent in organizing the anti-Jihad movement. His family asks that nothing be said about his death.
And, finally, I have noticed that another prominent anti-Jihad blogger appears to have moved to another part of the country, and never said a word about it. The blogger did note, in the comments section, that they had been threatened, but that was all they said publicly. Shortly, thereafter, this blogger seemed to have changed time zones.
And, meanwhile, many of us have been fighting among one another. Backstabbing and sniping and accusing one another of siding with our enemies. I myself have contributed more than my share to that debate.
But, let me ask a question, why is it that we all shut up when we are threatened. Would it not be better to announce the threats, every single one of them, publicly?
Why is it that we tirelessly defend free speech, but then shut up about the fact that our freedom is being directly threatened? The uninitiated might be prone to believe that our paranoia about the loss of free speech is unfounded.
Today's Infidel quote of the day is from Robert Spencer. It says:
Once you declare one group off-limits for critical examination or declare that these people must at all costs not be offended, or that if they are, they’re perfectly within their rights to stone, or lash, or imprison, or kill the offender, then you have destroyed free speech.
In a free society, people with differing opinions live together in harmony, agreeing not to kill one another if their neighbor’s opinions offend them. Whenever offensive speech is prohibited, the tyrant’s power is solidified.
Is not the tyrant's power also solidified when he is free to make threats in the backrooms of our movement?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been criticized for going around the world, lecturing people on the fact that her life is under constant threat, and asking for money to pay for her protection. And yes, it is true there would appear to be something unseemly about the way she makes a spectacle of herself.
But, I think she is doing exactly the right thing. When Ayaan Hirsi Ali makes a spectacle of herself, she makes a specatle of her inevitable martydom. Because, ultimately, some of us are going to be killed. Some of us have already been killed. We would be living in denial to think it can not, also, happen to one of us.
And, if some of us are to be killed, then isn't it better that we leave a trail of breadcrumbs leading back to the scene of the crime, so that no one can deny the reason it happened. Isn't it better that we say,
"On this day, I wrote ..., and on this day, I received this threat because of it"?
I am beginning to wonder if we ought to start a website, or maybe an organization, which will announce these threats. The Religion of Peace announces the terror attacks committed by crazy Muslims everyday. And, I'm glad they do, but that is reactive. Should we not also be pro-active? We are pro-active about exposing the madness of the Jihadis, so why are we not willing to expose it when it is directed squarely at us?
We are only the messengers. We have done nothing deserving of shame. We should not slink off into obscurity.
If they threaten the messenger, we ought to expose them. Then, if they do, indeed, one day kill the messenger, the murder will be the message we send, instead of the message they send.