The Corner

Ten Thousand Thumbs Down

So there was no movie protest in Benghazi, but there was in London, England. To register their objections to the “film” (a.k.a. YouTube trailer) Innocence Of Muslims, 10,000 British Muslims besieged Google’s U.K. headquarters. They’re planning a Million Muslim March in Hyde Park in a few weeks’ time.

Speaking of free speech (as I was just below), 10,000 Muslims demanding censorship in London is far more disturbing than 10,000 Muslims doing the same in Lahore or Sana’a. When a private company finds itself with thousands of highly motivated protesters on its doorstep, it can take up the torch for a core principle of liberty — or it can opt for a quiet life. Following Obama’s prostrations before the U.N. and the Barack & Hillary apology ad on Pakistani TV, Western Muslims have made a bet on which way the necessary distributors of free speech — the ISPs, the TV networks, the publishers — will jump. As Jonathan Turley wrote in in the Washington Post this weekend: “Shut Up and Play Nice.”

It won’t work. But by the time we’ve figured that out it will be too late. That’s why it’s essential to push back now.

[UPDATE, from my Scandinavian pals Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard: In a far smaller city, Copenhagen, 2,000 Muslims gather to call for restrictions on freedom of expression, supported by a Christian minister who compares free speech to a “kitchen knife”.]

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.


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