Strategy for Protecting Freedom of SpeechJanuary 17, 2015
The world is grappling with how to handle Islamist extremists. The lynch pin of advanced civilizations is the freedom of speech, and the Islamist extremist now see this as one of our vulnerabilities. By taking down this one pillar, the integrity of the entire structure trembles.
I propose what I will call the “expanding infidel group” strategy.
The center of the infidel group will be those individuals or organizations who have already published ideas, including cartoons and satire, that the Islamic extremist condemn with threat of death.
The outside part of the infidel group will be individuals or organizations who pledge support to the inside part. Specifically, they will pledge to also publish ideas that the Islamic extremists object to if somebody from the inside of the infidel group is attacked.
Attacks on our freedom of speech would then be guaranteed to expand the very thing they attack.
Further, civilized societies will step up retribution against individuals who carry out attacks, as well as their social support groups and supporting organizations.
We have seen this already happening in effect with the courageous groups that have defied the Islamic extremists by republishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons and the 50-fold increase in the sales of the Charlie Hebdo issue after the massacre, and the rapid advance of various European police forces on suspected terrorist groups.
I propose the above as an organizing principle.
I would say to US news organizations that have not published the offending cartoons: it is not too late to do so, or pledge to do so (or more) if further attacks occur.