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Are Terrorists Threatening Free Speech?

Over at City Journal, Michael Totten chronicles the recent history of intimidation and violence perpetrated against so-called blasphemers and apostates by radical Muslims who feel insulted. By forcing Americans to hold their tongues due for fear of violent repercussions, Islamic terrorists have effectively eroded the free speech rights of Americans.

Via Meadia has been keeping track of the “justice” carried out by these violent mobs, most recently against an innocent young girl in Pakistan. The problem is widespread. Totten mentions a book by Paul Marshall and Nina Shea, Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide, which highlights the extent of the problem:

Islamist murder and intimidation campaigns against apostates and blasphemers are so widespread and common nowadays that the authors managed to write 448 pages about them and only cover 20 countries. Religious minorities are the principal victims, but so are liberals, free-thinkers, and humanists from every religious community. “Our survey,” they write, “shows that in Muslim-majority countries and areas, restrictions on freedom of religion and expression, based on prohibitions of blasphemy, apostasy, and ‘insulting Islam,’ are pervasive, thwart freedom, and cause suffering to millions of people.”

Totten’s piece is an insightful look at the riots and violence spreading throughout the Muslim world. Read the whole thing.

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