Fund the Truth About Islam or Lose the War of Ideas

02 May 2011

FavStocks 2 May 2011
By Phyllis Chesler

One cannot tell the truth or venture one’s opinion about Islam or about Muslim behaviors without risking being slandered, heckled, censored, sued, impoverished, physically attacked, and, more rarely, murdered

And that’s for those of us lucky enough to be living in the free West. What happens to dissident and feminist thinkers and writers in Muslim-majority countries is far worse; their bravery continues to inspire me at a very dark moment in history. The Western punishments are as follows:

One loses one’s left, liberal, and feminist friends. One is not invited to their parties, funerals, or conferences. One is not invited to lecture. One’s past contribution is written out of their history. Meanwhile, one is forced to debate vicious liars and propagandists in order to be "heard” at all. One is shouted out of classrooms and lecture halls or forced to speak under hostile, tense, oppressive, and potentially dangerous working conditions. One requires bodyguards on campus.

In short, hate speech and delusions of appeasement have, increasingly, appropriated for themselves all the rights and privileges of free speech in the West and, in the United States, the protection of the First Amendment. Truth goes begging and truth-tellers are sued. They are not funded by the Saudi (Wahabi-Salafist) Lobby which has funded Middle East Studies programs, conferences, and scholars all over Europe and North America, nor are they funded or supported by the Iranian Axis of Evil (Syria, North Korea, Hezbollah, and Gaza’s Hamas, which has just joined with the West Bank’s Fatah in a national unity government.)

But there is also good news.

Earlier this week, Hans Erling Jensen wrote and called to inform me that he and Kurt Westergaard, the Danish Mohammed cartoonist, have just established The Westergaard Foundation to "support free speech” and to fundraise for truth-tellers whose reputations and incomes have suffered because they have dared to tell the truth about Islam. As he explained his ideas, I said: "You want to establish an economic base for those of us who are publishing samizdat, who, as thinkers and writers, have been sent to the gulag.” "Exactly,” he said. (...)