Standing up for Free Speech
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Standing up for Free Speech

by The Editors | June 17, 2016

Standing up for Free Speech

Following the 2015 attack on the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas, it’s clear that standing up for free speech is more important now than ever. At ARI, we’re doing just that. And we have been uncompromising defenders of freedom of speech for decades.

After the jihadist massacre at the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, Onkar Ghate explained in “Freedom of Speech: We Will Not Cower” why anyone who values his freedom must stand up for the right to free speech. ARI also sponsored two panel discussions featuring Jyllands-Posten’s Flemming Rose that addressed the cartoons controversy. In a podcast titled Freedom of Speech, “Islamophobia,” and the Cartoons Crisis, Elan Journo interviewed Flemming Rose on the climate of self-censorship in the West. And, in his talk, Free Speech and The Battle for Western Culture, Yaron Brook explained why it’s crucial to defend freedom of speech.

Islamic totalitarianism is not the only threat to free speech today, but to fight it we need to realize that the primary threat is not the terrorists but our understanding of free speech, it’s importance — and our willingness to defend it. In his talks Free Speech Under Siege and Is the First Amendment Enough?, Steve Simpson discussed the views of free speech in American culture that are emboldening the enemies of free speech.

In a special episode of The Yaron Brook Show, titled “The Climate Inquisition,” guest host Steve Simpson discussed how the government’s investigation of Exxon Mobil, et al., is a threat to free speech, the connection between freedom of speech and freedom of thought, why freedom demands conceptual clarity and what you can do to defend freedom of speech.

ARI has always defended free speech. In 1989, when Iran put a fatwa on Salman Rushdie, ARI answered with a full-page ad in New York Times written by Dr. Leonard Peikoff called “Religious Terrorism vs. Free Speech.” And in 2006, we not only argued extensively for the right to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons, but we also defied the calls for censorship by publicly showing the pictures.

We will go on fighting for free of speech and defying those threatening to silence us. And that’s why we’re publishing Bosch Fawstin’s winning contribution from the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas.

That‘s Why I Draw You

We won’t cower.

Image: Ralwel via

About The Author

The Editors

The editors are Elan Journo, director of policy research; Steve Simpson, director of legal studies; and Carl Svanberg, editorial assistant.