19th Jan 2010

Speak up for Kurt Westergaard and Free Speech

On New Year’s Day, a man attempted to kill Kurt Westergaard with an axe, because four years ago he drew a picture.  The man was a Muslim, and he was so upset that Westergaard’s drawing linked his religion with violence that he attempted to commit an act of violence in the name of his religion.

Today, an auction in aid of the victims of the Haitian earthquake rejected another cartoon, with no religious connotations, that Westergaard had donated.  His hairdresser has told him she will no longer cut his hair for fear of reprisals.

Freedom speech benefits everyone. I’m an atheist, and I’m glad I live in an age when I have the freedom to reject and criticise religion without reprisal from the state or the faithful. Not everyone thinks like me. Lots of people value their religion, and are upset when people like me don’t treat it with what they consider due reverence. But think: if you are offended by Westergaard’s cartoon, or The Satanic Verses, or the Life of Brian, or Jerry Springer the Musical, or Bezhti — freedom of speech means you can criticise it as volubly and vociferously as you like, and disseminate that criticism as widely as you can manage. Freedom of speech is as much yours as it is mine.  We must not allow fanatics the power to bully us into sacrificing that freedom. A fanatic with power is a tyrant, and tyrants don’t value the freedom of anyone but themselves.

One Response to “Speak up for Kurt Westergaard and Free Speech”

  1. Tweets that mention » Blog Archive » Speak up for Kurt Westergaard and Free Speech -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bosca, Andrew Luke. Andrew Luke said: Paddy Brown speaks out on the latest bigotry and crap dealt to cartoonist Kurt Westergaard #Haiti #Islam […]

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