The Cobourg Dainty Star proselytized, “Perhaps a better alternative to banning the books . . . would be to teach to them. In this way, an alternate viewpoint could be presented simultaneously with the author's message so that students could weigh the arguments . . . against those of their teachers or religious leaders. Today, society must furnish answers to young people, not just prohibitions.”
I commend the Cobourg Dainty Star for those principles relating to freedom of speech, inquiry, and broad exposure to ideas. Since they recommended the book, The Golden Compass, I prefer to recommend the acclaimed autobiography, Infidel, written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Ms Hirsi Ali was born into the Muslim faith in Somalia. Her family upbringing occurred in several Middle Eastern countries, which included the unrelenting total submission of her womanhood to serve Allah and men. As a young girl she suffered the removal of her labia and clitoris to eliminate forever the possibility of sexual pleasure; this was done by her grandmother with the assistance of other women who held her down. Her description of this barbaric act in its every detail of experience deserves widespread publicity.
Her story becomes engaging when she makes a fateful decision to flee an arranged marriage and ends up in the Netherlands, where she confronted the enlightenment of the West, not just its material success, but its social and intellectual success, She came to realize that such success came with freedom in all of its manifestations, but most of all, freedom from theological totalitarianism.
She immigrated spiritually from a world of unrelenting repression to a liberating world of secular intelligence. Her book is a moving testament of a woman empowering herself, throwing off the straight jacket of the hijab, devouring Western ideas that prevailed over the dictatorial dogmas of the church.
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting this powerfully intelligent woman who must live her life under the 24/7 protection of burly security officials. She a free thinker and free speecher – and that alone makes her a worthy target for elimination by the forces that are unable to withstand her arguments lest they infect other minds.
She is most eloquent in her argument that Islam is an ideological fraud, that it is the opposite of being a religion of peace. And she is right, because the life of the prophet Muhammed is one of extraordinary violence, in which he spread his supremacist message on the edge of a sword. (Did anyone note several weeks ago when the self-appointed protector of Mecca and Medina, the Saudi King, visited the Vatican he gifted the Pope with a sword. When the late Pope John Paul visited anywhere on earth, he never came bearing weapons as a token of Catholicism. Note that Christans, Jews or any other infidels are prohibited from visiting [defiling] the cities of Mecca or Medina).
Ms Hirsi Ali has a profound concern for the future of Freedom as achieved by The West. By a multitude of increments, Islamic Sharia law is being implemented throughout the West. Ironically it is being implemented by the very forces that owe their existence to freedom of speech; the news media. The most famous example was the widespread prostrating of the news media to avoid publishing the Danish cartoons which satirized various aspects of Islamic dogma. The Western press implemented a widespread blackout. It has since been revealed that the cartoon fiasco, which resulted in numerous deaths, and the spreading of anti-Western bigotry throughout the Muslim world, was an absolute contrivance inspired by demagogues
Sadly, this betrayal of the Western world’s greatest asset, freedom of speech, beguiled the editors of the Cobourg Dainty Star when they editorialized that freedom of speech came with “certain responsibilities” without ever enumerating just what those responsibilities were. On the one hand they were sensitive to the feelings of Muslim bigots, but on the other hand they defy the feelings of Catholic bigots by recommending Catholic schools should teach a book which is antithetical to god-belief. Would the Cobourg Dainty Star recommend that Islamic-based private schools should contain the books of apostates, blasphemers and infidels or would they shy away behind the veil of multicultural piety?
Jesus Christ was a far better man than Mohammed could ever be, revisionist or otherwise. Mohammed is a despicable human being and the ideology that proselytizes him as a supreme role model should be emasculated of power as happened to communist ideology and nazi ideology.
-- Wally Keeler