FrontPageMagazine.com | 3/2/2009
Beaumarchais’ Marriage of Figaro, written at the close of the 18th century, included this freedom of speech monologue in Act V, Scene 3,
I cobble together a verse comedy about the customs of the harem, assuming that, as a Spanish writer, I can say what I like about Mohammed without drawing hostile fire. Next thing, some envoy from God knows where turns up and complains that in my play I have offended the Ottoman empire, Persia, a large slice of the Indian peninsula, the whole of Egypt, and the kingdoms of Barca [Ethiopia], Tripoli, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. And so my play sinks without trace, all to placate a bunch of Muslim princes, not one of whom, as far as I know, can read but who beat the living daylights out of us and say we are “Christian dogs.” Since they can't stop a man thinking, they take it out on his hide instead.
Sadly, today, over two centuries later, Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders’ free speech rights are under attack in an effort to appease the same irredentist Muslim attitudes—attitudes which are devoid of self-criticism, and violently opposed to any criticism of Islam by non-Muslim “infidels.”