By Beila Rabinowitz
March 8, 2007 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Dr. Daniel Pipes is slated to receive the "Free Speech Award" from The Free Press Society 2004 [Trykkefrihedsselkabet af 2004] in Copenhagen Denmark this month.
The presentation will take place in the Arbejdermuseets Festsal - the Workers Museum events hall on March 10th at noon and will be open to the public for a nominal fee. The FPS was founded by Lars Hedegaard [its current president] a historian, author and journalist who has co-authored with Dr. Pipes [source http://www.danielpipes.org/article/450].
According to their website, "The Free Press Society" has:
"Taken our name from the Society that was established in 1835 when the adherents of free speech which feared encroachment by the State. The old Society was dissolved in 1849 under recognition of Denmark's first democratic constitution first guaranteed the freedom of expression. Today, however, free speech is once again being threatened, primarily by religious and ideological interests and international pressure groups. For this reason we have found it necessary to re-establish the Society. [source http://www.trykkefrihed.dk/FREE%20PRESS%20SOCIETY.htm]
The Free Press society cites the 1989 fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie "which resulted in an attempt on the life of his Norwegian publisher" as the opening salvo in the assault on free speech in the West, and the subsequent attacks on critics of Islam both Muslim and non-Muslim.
Dr. Daniel Pipes was among the first Western academics to recognize the historical significance and political implications of Khomeini's threat and in 1990 published his ground breaking book, "The Rushdie Affair...The Novel the Ayatollah and the West" a study which probed the reasons for Muslim wrath. Pipes' analysis demonstrates how the Rushdie fatwa was an attempt by Islamists to force Westerners to defer to Shari'a based rules of conduct and ideological dictates.
The publication of the Danish cartoons which depicted Mohammed show that the FPS and the insights in Dr. Pipes book remain weapons in the ideological struggle against legal Islamism. In the preface to his book Dr.Pipes explains what he has termed "The Rushdie Rules"
"[That] editors, newspapers,and academic, teachers abide by a new set of rules (new to modern Westerners at least) which limit the freedom to discuss Islam with the same methods, terminology and frank inquisitiveness which are considered normal in discussing Christianity and Hinduism. The Rushdie affair has convinced many that speaking frankly about Islam would be physically dangerous or at least costly in other ways e.g. by provoking stigmatizing labels like "prejudiced," "xenophobic," "neo Crusader" and "anti-Muslim fanatic "along with social consequences."
Seventeen years after it's publication Dr. Pipes' book, "The Rushdie Affair" remains a guide to help understand the wave of violence which erupted upon the publishing of Flemming Rose's cartoons in the Jyllands Posten and how he and his associated became the focus of a fatwa and the object of vilification by Muslims worldwide.
In the resulting hysteria which swept Muslims world, over 100 died in rioting; non-Muslims everywhere also came under attack. Effigies of the Prime Minister were burned along with Danish flags, citizens were threatened and foreign ambassadorial offices became the targets of frenzied mobs.
Significantly, the uproar against the cartoons came months after their publication, engineered by Imams living in Denmark who had traveled to the Middle East to incite the attacks.
As Flemming Rose explained in a Newsweek interview:
"I think if any religion insists that I, as a non-Muslim, should submit to their taboos, then I don't think they're showing me respect. I think they're asking for my submission. This is a key issue in this debate..."
The Muslim attempts to "punish Westerners" for the imagined disrespect to their religious figure defined the struggle that Western civilization now faces to preserve its democratic values in the face of Islamist intimidation and barbaric agression.
Flemming Rose declared:
"I was concerned about a tendency toward self-censorship among people in artistic and cultural circles in Europe. That's why I commissioned these cartoons, to test this tendency and to start a debate about it."
When asked if he would apologise he answered:
"Apologise for what?" [source http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11179140/site/newsweek]
Rose continues to live under tight security. On March 27 the Free Press Society plans to present him with the Sappho Award "for journalists whose work in the service of free speech has been 'fearless and uncompromising.'"
In 2004 Rose traveled to Philadelphia where he met Dr. Pipes for the first time, and conducted an interview which he published as "Trusen fra Islamism"- "The Threat of Islamism."
The Philadelphia meeting between Pipes and Flemming Rose was cited by Islamists and conspiracy theorists as proof that the former was the "Hidden Hand" behind the latter's decision to run the cartoons.
To dispel this canard Dr. Pipes wrote a piece titled "Those Danish Cartoons and Me" in which he explained how his meeting with Flemming Rose had been "transmogrified" into a "an elaborate conspiracy theory" and related that:
"I watched the spread of this fantastical account with bemusement and apprehension. As the author of two books and many articles on conspiracy theories, I have intensively studied these misguided attempts to undersand reality. This time, I had the dubious priviledge of doing so on the inside looking out". [source http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3405]
The Free Press Society speaks for all those to whom Dr. Pipes refers to as "civilisational allies" when it proclaims:
"Of course Islam is not the only threat against the freedom of expression but it is the most dangerous threat at the moment and The Free Press Society insists on calling a spade a spade. The most dangerous and immediate enemies of free speech must be clearly identified and opposed. If we shy away from this task the defence of free speech will become meaningless."
Before he was murdered, the Dutch filmmaker and columnist Theo van Gogh warned about the Islamist threat, referring to America as "The last beacon of hope in a steadily darkening world."
The presentation of the Danish Free Press Society award to Dr. Daniel Pipes [an American whose family fled the menace of European Nazism and whose father helped defeat Communism] is a reaffirmation of Western resolve and solidarity in the face of the new struggle against the ideological tyranny of radical Islamism.
When asked to comment for this article Dr. Daniel Pipes optimistically stated:
"There is fight in the Old Continent yet."
©1999-2007 Beila Rabinowitz, PipeLineNews.org LLC, all rights reserved.