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"A Culture of Cowards"
by Bruce Bawer
But my topic here, as I say, is neither Iceland nor online porn – for the blocking of which, I suppose, there are reasonable arguments. The problem is this. If Iceland did opt for such a ban, legislators in other countries would immediately want to get into the act. And for the kind of busybody politicians who consider it their job to sit around thinking up things to regulate, censor, and prohibit (all in the name, naturally, of the common good and their own concept of virtue), such a move would only be a first step. It would – and this is where the subject at hand shifts from frivolous to deadly serious – invigorate the already quite robust crusade to impose government or U.N. controls on the Internet, the principal goal of which, needless to say, is to scrub the Web clean of "Islamophobia" and any other Thoughtcrimes that impede global harmony. As any reader of this site well knows, there are those among us – and above us – who long for the ideological tidiness of the pre-Internet era, when the mainstream news media could have kept a story like, say, Benghazi from ever becoming a story at all, and, more broadly, deluded almost all of us about the basic facts of sharia, jihad, and other pillars of Islam.
It's alarming how many Americans, more than a decade after 9/11, are still living in La-La Land where Islam is concerned. But imagine how much worse the situation would be if we didn't have the Internet – if, in other words, pretty much all of our sources of information about Islam were MSM-approved whitewashers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. If the Internet has been a crucial asset for Americans in the years since 9/11, moreover, it's been even more of a boon for Europeans – and a thorn in the side to many European public officials, who recognize, and despise, it for what it is: a First Amendment zone in countries that have no First Amendment and that are, in principle, despite their purported devotion to democracy, firmly opposed to unlimited freedom of expression.
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