Thursday, December 01, 2005

The battle for free expression

Timothy Garton Ash, writing in The Guardian, meets writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
People are trying to kill her just for saying what she thinks. Last year, he was actually killed simply because he made a provocative work of art. Welcome to our brave new Europe, three centuries after the Enlightenment.

She is Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somalian-Dutch politician and writer, who wrote the script for the film Submission. He was Theo van Gogh, the Dutch director of that film, who as a result was murdered on an Amsterdam street just over a year ago. After slitting Van Gogh's throat, the murderer pinned a letter to his chest with a butcher's knife. "Ayaan Hirsi Ali," it said, "you will break yourself to pieces on Islam." "You, oh Europe, will go down ... " this rant concluded, "you, oh Netherlands, will go down ... You, oh Hirsi Ali, will go down."

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