Michael Totten would like to remind all you “liberal” idiots who pooh-pooh the importance of not submitting to Muslim “suggestions” on free speech and blasphemy of a few things:
You’re kidding yourself if you think he’s bluffing or that this is just talk. He’s not and it isn’t. There are precedents. In 1989, Iran’s blood-soaked ruler Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa condemning acclaimed novelist Salman Rushdie to death for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his novel,The Satanic Verses. Terrorists and death squads went after him and anyone who dared to publish, translate, or sell his books all over the world. They set bookstores in the United States and the United Kingdom on fire. They firebombed a small newspaper office in New York City with Molotov cocktails. They killed dozens of people around the globe as far away as Japan. Rushdie spent years in hiding under the assumed nameJoseph Anton and still lives with the knowledge that he could be murdered at any time. Just a few days ago, the Iranian governmentincreased the bounty on his head to $3.3 million.
Rushdie is lucky compared with some. In 2004, an Islamist maniac with a butcher’s knife stabbed Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to death on an Amsterdam street over a short film, Submission, about women’s rights in Muslim societies. A blood-curdling note pinned to his corpse said the local Somali-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali was “next.” Ali eventually fled the Netherlands, where she was once a member of parliament, and lives today in the United States under armed guard.
She’s not the only one who has to live this way now. Paul Berman compiled quite a list of names in his 2010 book, The Flight of the Intellectuals. Dutch politician Ahmed Aboutaleb, British writer and occasional City Journal contributor Ibn Warraq, and Italian journalist Magdi Allam all have bodyguards or have had to go into hiding. They’re liberal Arabs who live in the West, but non-Arabs are just as frequently targeted. A would-be assassin attacked Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard in his own house with an axe. An international terrorist cell went after Swedish artist Lars Vilks. French writer Caroline Fourest and French philosophy professor Robert Redeker joined the ranks of those under guard, and Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris also went into hiding. She had to enter the FBI’s witness-protection programafter Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (whom the United States later vaporized with a Predator drone) placed her on one of his hit lists. These names are but a sample. Berman’s list is more inclusive, but not exhaustive.
Terrorists and state sponsors of terrorism have been going after apostates and blasphemers for years. But the Egyptian government, supposedly an ally of the United States, just filed international arrest warrants for eight American citizens allegedly involved in the now-notorious video. All are currently in the United States, so unless they’re kidnapped, there’s no chance they’ll ever see the inside of an Egyptian courtroom. But the prosecutor’s office in Cairo says they may receive the death penalty if they’re convicted. And who can say that death squads will never go after them, Rushdie style, if they’re convicted in absentia or even beforehand?
Who indeed? Certainly the gutless Ogabe regime won’t lift a finger to prevent it, although they’ll be happy to sweep up the mess afterward and sadly deplore both the violence and the “provocation” in equal measure, as if they were remotely equivalent or even comparable. As I only half-jokingly suggested the other day, the regime clowns are probably already negotiating with the howling lunatics over extradition.