Free Speech Double Whammy

LFU_SeedsDestruction_Blasts_vFMuch of the analysis of the Paris massacres perpetrated by Islamic extremists focuses on the chilling effect of the murderous rampage on free speech. If your life will end violently because your utterances or writings offend the sensibilities of barbaric cowards, you’re apt to keep your ideas to yourself. It’s an Orwellian nightmare come to life.


Among other things, the analysis recognizes the fact that the crudity of the Charlie Hebdo comics is also distasteful in polite society. Nevertheless, offending finer feelings is feather-light in the balance scale when free speech is the counterweight. Freedom of expression is a necessary ingredient in the life of democracies.


As horrific as the loss of life is, free speech was hit by another, equally sinister, force in the aftermath of the Paris bloodbath. The refusal of many world leaders, including President Obama, to identify the terrorists as Islamic Jihadists is a dishonesty also meant to strangle free speech.


The willful choice to ignore the source of the violence is done to avoid the possibility of offending nonviolent practitioners of the Muslim religion. Obama and others are going out of their way to make sure peaceful Islamists are not insulted by a truth they must already know.


This political correctness is chillingly similar to the Paris slaughter. The former seeks to avoid offending by killing the truth while the latter kills because the truth offends. They’re both the death of a free society.