Let My People Speak

Radical Islam, similar to all types of dictatorship and fascism negates the right to free speech. Free speech is the enemy of extremist movements. Anyone who wants to conquer and oppress a society, to take over a public sphere, first opens a war on free speech.

The Nazis did not allow people to express their views freely. They established a distorted system of propaganda and fought freedom of speech to facilitate the occupation, the Holocaust, and the empowerment of the Third Reich. Stalin used the KGB to fill prisons with independent thinkers, sent writers, philosophers, and physicians to the gulag, to foster the absolute dictatorship of freedom of thought. When Pol Pot took over Cambodia, he wiped out the middle class and the intellectuals to prevent any opposition, and Islamic fundamentalism following in the footsteps of previous fascist regimes, attempting to end freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

The struggle of the Palestinians, who approached the UN Security Council and are now the International Criminal Court, is not a fight for their rights, but to prevent our ability to act and to shut our mouths and ensure that our voices will be silenced. The various movements to boycott Israel do not advance Palestinian rights, but instead attempt to prevent our ability to speak freely, the only democratic state in the Middle East that encourages freedom of expression.

Radical Islam is attempting to take over Europe and colonize its citizens by taking over its public discourse through a strategy of instilling terror and fear among all. Europe and the West in general is slowly giving up its basic right to freedom of expression due to fear of violence and terrorism. After the horrible attacks in Spain, the Spanish citizens abandoned their elected government in favor of a socialist government in order to appease the Islamic extremists and buy some quiet. When in Holland, liberal activists were murdered by Islamic terrorism, the Netherlands did not take action and instead turned towards an extremist left agenda which was more palatable to Muslim immigrants.

When terrorism took root in Belgium, France and England, the terrorists were defined as suffering from mental illness and lacking political motivations, despite the fact that their acts of terror were accompanied with cries of “Allah is Great”. World closed his eyes in face of the establishment of Muslim cities of refuge across Europe, enclaves closed to Westerners, in which Sharia law has replaced the laws of the land.

When caricatures of Islam were published in a Danish newspaper, Islamic terrorism took battle against free speech. Such caricatures were no longer published in Denmark. The world is now struck by fear and anxiety, and will refrain from making humorous remarks or engaging in criticism against Islam, out of fear of a response of terror. This is how radial Islam imposes a reign of terror and how the West, step by step, retreats, asking only to be allowed to survive in dignity.

Radical Islam is not looking to live in peace with the West. It seeks to conquer it, suppress it, subject it to its laws, and for this purpose, to prevent freedom of expression and opposition, as past fascists have acted. The murder in Paris is an alarm that must awaken the entire world. We are fighting for our freedom of expression, our basic rights, and ultimately, our lives. There is no nation on earth that experiences these tragedies every day as we do; and so the world must learn from our experience of never compromising with those who negate our right to speak, express ourselves, and live.

About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center
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