Salman Rushdie, and a few other Intellectuals, have proclaimed a MANIFESTO AGAINST THE NEW ISLAMIC TOTALITARIANISM....
The piece is a powerful statement of belief, and purpose, that needs the widest audience possible, and the support of Freedom, and Democracy, Loving people everywhere, even if, like me, you don't agree with all it may say....
Together facing the new totalitarianism
After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.
We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.
The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.
Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.
We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.
We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.
We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The above link to the original tells you all you need to know about the signers:
The Blog Agora has Links to International Media Reaction, and a growing list of Blogosphere responses:
A Tip of the Hat to Instapundit.
***UPDATE - 3/1***
1. Beth, of Blue Star Chronicles, has an astonishing collection of links to others who have shown support for, and spread the word about, this Manifesto, plus links to analysis, and other reactions to it.
2. The Vice President's remarks. ( Thanks to Blue Star Chronicles )
3. Jay, of Stop the ACLU, has some thoughts, links to more analysis, and to others who are Blogging this story in support, here. ( If he wants to add me to his "List of Signers" it's fine with me. )