Islam and Soft-Left Intellectuals: 1 Free Speech: 0

The Society for the Furtherance & Study of Fantasy & Science Fiction issued this statement:

SF3 has withdrawn the invitation to Elizabeth Moon to attend WisCon 35 as guest of honor.

WTF??? It's nice to see that in this soft-Left Obama era, democratic values such as free speech remain the cornerstone of our society. . .

This, of course, comes in response to Elizabeth Moon's post on Islam. I also picked up the story last month in this post.

And there I was, thinking that SF3 was all about discussions of gender, race, and class? Silly me!

69 commentaires:

Anonymous said...

hey pat - why don't you keep your blog focused on the literature and not on how you hate muslims. thanks.

Anonymous said...

p.s. this has nothing to do with freedom of speech. she is perfectly able to make whatever statements she wants. and others are allowed to respond how they wish, including retracting an invite when they find those statements to be offensive. clearly you and most other conservatives who love to throw that accusation around don't really understand what free speech is. freedom of speech means that you are allowed to say what you want and be free from persecution. it doesn't defend you from others expressing how they feel about your in THEIR freedom of speech to disagree with those opinions. if you want to have an actual intellectual debate about these kind of issues thats fine but why don't you do it without all that buzz word crap that simply polarizes people. the title you used for this post is just as bad as any misleading headline used by the "soft-left obama era" people you are mocking. enough with the glenn beck-bill o'reily tactics.

Anonymous said...

and how is this a victory for Islam.....? shouldn't you be mad at the society. pretty sure muslims aren't the reason elizabeth moon wasn't invited. keep your hate-speech to yourself.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with free speech "losing," Pat.

Elizabeth Moon exercised her free speech to say what she did. That's fine. Free speech doesn't mean free from consequences, though. If WisCon decides to withdraw their invitation, that's their right.

Anonymous said...

They also have free speech in Saudi Arabia. You're free to say whatever you wish. But if people don't agree, you disappear into the night.

So Moon is free to say whatever she wants. But then they take away her guest of honor status.

Yeah, that's free speech alright. I'm glad to see that many of the comments to Sf3's post express the same kind of frustration I'm feeling. :(


Nathaniel Katz said...

It's legal to say whatever you want. That doesn't mean that people have to still want to hear you speak afterwards, though.

And that's coming from someone who, even if I didn't agree with what Moon said, didn't particularly care. Mostly due to the fact that I'm unsure why I'd ever want to read another of her books again, anyway.

Tara Maya said...

I disagree; I think Pat is right, this is a blow to free speech. Or maybe it would be clearer to say it is a blow to "honest" speech.

I realize there is a difference between government censorship and social censorship. But social censorship can be nearly as deadly to a society. Social censorship does not change people's minds, it forces them to act like hypocrites. It forecloses the dialogue necessary to air issues and *actually* change minds.

If Moon were a politician or a journalist, and her political opinions had some bearing on her job, it would be acceptable, even praiseworthy for her party/employer to chastise her if she said something politically incorrect. Because otherwise her politics can be take to be approved by her party.

It is NOT acceptable or at all praiseworthy for an organization that is dedicated to fiction to make judgments about the politics of authors. Authors should not all be forced to share the same politics. The role of the fiction writer is to explore the new and extreme and interesting and controversial, not to be a sheep.

I read many writers whose politics I don't necessarily agree with, to the extent I happen to know their politics. So what? That's not relevant. In fact, I welcome it, because I like to expand my horizons and try to see other points of view.

It is especially disingenuous to enforce a majority opinion with the justification, "Everyone is entitled to an opinion." That is like your boss firing you for favoring the color blue, saying: "Everyone is entitled to a favorite color. You're entitled to like blue, and I am entitled for firing you because my favorite color is red." Um, no. That goes beyond disagreeing. That is a misuse of power.

Eric M. Edwards said...

She's free to speak utter racist bollocks and the SF3 is free to change their mind about inviting her to represent the sort of authors they want to highlight at their event.

Freedom all 'round.


Josh said...

I think Tara makes a real argument here - social censorship is real, and is potentially dangerous. But look, clearly some things deserve to be censored, right? We do have legal limits on freedom of speech (e.g., libel, yelling fire in a crowded theater, etc.) and I'm sure there are social limits to what Pat or Tara would allow an author to say and still be honored at a con. What if an author encouraged his readers to murder doctors performing abortions?

Everyone engages in some level of social censorship - for all of us, there are things that are so horrible that we have no interest in socializing with people who say them. The only question is, were Moon's comments really so bad that we don't want anything to do with her, socially? For those of us who found her comments racist, ignorant, and a seriously irresponsible of her celebrity status, the answer is yes.

You're welcome to argue that her comments weren't really so bad, but let's not paint this as some kind of radical destruction of free speech. It's just a disagreement over how awful her comments really were.

(Also, Pat, what the heck does Obama have to do with this? Do you think Moon wouldn't have gotten in trouble for her comments when Bush was president?)

machinery said...

not sure why you are surprised.
do you know the story about the catholic priest who said "
"when they came to jews i was silent, when they came to political rivals i was silent finaly they came to me and one was there to speak." (apologies for the inaccurate qoute).
well, when people say israel should exist as a jewish state, it usualy leads to this.
some will ask what has that to do with anything, and i say :
look who talks about israel in such a manner, and who is talking now.

saalon said...

What does the "soft left" have to do with this? Remember when Bill Maher lost his job for saying what he felt about the 9-11 attacks? Same story, different people outraged.

Charles said...

Pat, it's a Guest of Honor position. The Con can rescind in on the basis that the GoH doesn't meet the Con's values.

On the other hand, if they outright banned her from the Con, that's a different story.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry, but tara, you are completely wrong. freedom of speech, specifically, is completely about the government trying to suppress speech, not some private citizen or group having the freedom to ask or not ask someone to their event. that's lunacy. what is with this delusion that you can say whatever you want to someone and expect them to grin and bear it? this notion was particularly odd:

It is NOT acceptable or at all praiseworthy for an organization that is dedicated to fiction to make judgments about the politics of authors. Authors should not all be forced to share the same politics. The role of the fiction writer is to explore the new and extreme and interesting and controversial, not to be a sheep.

there is no federation of authors, no bible about what shall and shall not be done to them, and the idea flies in the face of the fact that many great pieces of literature has been made under those exact conditions. the role of writers is to write, period, regardless of if they want to be sheep. alice in wonderland, winnie the pooh, dr. seuss, none of that was controversial but all of it was fiction writing, do those authors not count? please.

your own notion of not forcing people to be sheep itself would preclude us from condemning the organization from rescinding their offer: let's not be sheep and force them to accept someone against their will, see?

they are a private group who dis-invited some author. no chilling effect (i'm sure the other authors the group kept feel fine), no big deal.

Tea and Tomes said...

If she has the right to say that Muslims cannot, by definition, be good American citizens, then WisCon has the right to revoke her invitation, expressing their views as they see fit. Free speech works both ways. She can say what she likes, whether or not it's steeped in ignorance, but others are not mandated to give her a soapbox to stand on. People often forget that the right to free speech doesn't mean that saying what you want comes without consequences.

The right to free speech does not automatically make your speech right.

This isn't a "win" for Islam and... whatever you mean by "soft-left intellectuals." It's a win for those who sat down and thought, "Hey, this woman said some completely idiotic things, some of which were very racist, and then as soon as the shit hit the fan, she deleted all comments, ran away, and refused to mention it further, which is a big funny after she told everyone to take responsibility for their actions." It's a win for the people who suffer, publically and privately, at the hands of people like her, who talk before they think and who spout off foolish rumours and facts, and who contradict themselves at every turn.

I don't mean to be nasty here, but maybe you should do your research before you start condemning people for suppressing free speech. If you have the right to say it, then others have the right to call you out, and to punish you for hate speech within the boundaries of the law. Which is being done here.

Anonymous said...

And I'm sure you and the rest of the hard right teabaggers stood up for the Dixie Chicks when they were banned from country radio stations for their comments about Bush.

paran said...

Nice to see so many people putting their names to attacks on Pat. What the action proves is that SF3 believes they have the right to make judgments on an authors politics - a pretty BS move, and completely outside their purview. How is this any different to that what that church was trying to do wrt gays and lesbians?

Good for you Pat. Politics is for everyone, and these Anonymous cowards trying to demean and pigeonhole you should take big f'n step back up into their own space - not your f'n place ppl. Where did he say he hates muslims?? a$$hats.

Anonymous said...

what does Obama or soft left have to do with this?

Anonymous said...

>> It is especially disingenuous to enforce a majority opinion with the justification, "Everyone is entitled to an opinion." That is like your boss firing you for favoring the color blue, saying: "Everyone is entitled to a favorite color. You're entitled to like blue, and I am entitled for firing you because my favorite color is red." Um, no. That goes beyond disagreeing. That is a misuse of power. <<

No, it's not quite the same. When you make comments in the public forum, you are inviting the attention of others and the consequences that invites. Moon's comments drew a lot of attention, and inviting someone to an event as a "guest of honor" is a stamp of approval, of sorts.
This would be a blow to freedom of speech if a SWAT team had broken down her door and forcefully silenced her. That's not what happened.
I'm surprised we're even having this discussion when there's so much attention to the consequences of bullying on the news right now. Is a child's right to freedom of speech taken away when they are made to stop bullying another child? Moon is just a big bully - and frankly, not a very talented one, at that.
We're talking about a midwest sci-fi convention here, not a white house dinner.

Cheerwell said...

I find it amazing any Western woman would defend a religion that throws walls on or hangs gay men, mutilates the genitals of their little girls, stones adulterers (women only), and commits racial genocide in Africa.
As a woman, they can take their misogynistic religion and stick it where the sun doesn't shine.
These intellectuals are the same bunch that will always pat themselves on the back for preaching Truth to Power, but only about Christians or Jews. Islam must be protected at all costs. If some women have to die in the East, then so be it.
Moderate Muslims can't fight the barbarity in their religion, if no one can speak out against the human rights abuses of the extremists without being called "haters".
You go, Elizabeth, and I will buy your books. The authors that go to this event, I can always pick their books at the 2nd hand store. They don't need my money.

Icarium said...

Still reiterate that Mrs Moon only says the truth. If people can't stomach it, it's their problem and doesnt affect me. Mrs Moon isn't hateful or biased. Muslims are hateful people and are about 500 years backwards in their thinking. There is no opinion in this, it is fact.

Xenophon said...

Free thinking is not a crime, but unfortunately it is a punishable offense. No said life was fair, or the world is a just place. If you want to be outspoken, there is a price to be paid. Oh how I know…for I have paid it many times.

I think political correctness is a greater crime. It keeps people’s opinions shallow and hides or sugarcoats issues that should be brought to the surface, resolving them or leaving them up for discussion. Instead they are buried under euphemistic names and left unresolved with no one willing to bring them up for fear of social persecution and retribution.

In this case WisCon has the right to uninvite someone who may have made controversial, inflammatory, or unpopular statements. Whether it is the truth or not. Is it right? …no; but it is their prerogative to choose their guest list as they see fit.

John M. said...

Gotta love the liberals: if Moon had spoken out against Christianity, her invitation would still stand.

Even here - Pat said nothing about Islam, and the first anonymous retard shows up and accuses him of hating Muslims. You laud SF3's right to do this because it's their event, and then vilify Pat for saying something on his own blog.

When Pat did the Optimus Prime thing, you thought that was all kinds of fun. But mention Islam, and you idiots come unglued.

...the dumbest people alive, I swear.

Moon never even really... oh, nevermind.

Anonymous said...

There are a whole lot of liberal hypocrite's in this thread. What if Moon had written a article on being pro-choice, and the convention dropped her? You people would be out of your freaking minds! Your precious ACLU would be suing. Lib's would be burning property in and around the show. And you lib's would be giving us all the good reasons why the show should be stopped and never allowed to occur again.

It's never about fair treatment on both sides with you folks. It's about forcing everyone to see things your way and censoring those that don't.

Roland said...

Yeah, it's probably a good idea that you stop blogging, Pat.

Anonymous said...

this argument that the folks defending the convention folks solely because the moon woman went after muslims instead of christians or some other liberal cause is a sham. unless your opinion that the convention was wrong to take back the invitation would change based on the situation, don't assume the other side's opinion would change either.

the idea that political correctness causes shallow thinking only brings up the point of what constitute deep thinking? one would think hardy debate, analysis of the issue, the give and take of ideas...exactly what has happened here.

this, then, is the very deep thinking and democratic freedoms everyone keeps saying they want, the ability to have an opinion contrary to each other and respect the person if not the opinions... yet when it is put into practice, both sides say the other side is being shallow. so did the woman have a right to say what she did? yeah. but she also gets to trigger opinions about her opinions and consequences of that. don't bash the opposition for simply being the opposition.

Unknown said...

Looks like they are the real losers. There was a time when you could say what you wanted but, but now everything we say offends someone this doesn't surprise me.

Guess I will vote with my pocket book and go out and buy a few more Moon novels. Been looking at Oath of Fealty for some time anyway.

Grack21 said...

So, it is OK for Moon to deletes all the comments people left in reponse to her post, which she called "slag". but its not OK for for a Convention to withdraw an invitation to an event they funded?

Anonymous said...

"Even here - Pat said nothing about Islam"

Uh, read the title of the post.

Arthur said...

What complicates the whole issue as well, is the remarkable intolerance Moon reveals in her post.

Her argument is that Islamic beliefs are incompatible with US citizenship. She says: "I feel that I personally (and many others) lean over backwards to put up with these things, to let Muslims believe stuff that unfits them for citizenship, on the grounds of their personal freedom."

Obviously, she can say whatever she wants, but its logical that not only leftist, but moderate institutions would not support that opinion. Its a pretty extremist (in the sense that few share this sentiment) right-wing view, bordering on fascism, but it highlights the limits of "freedom of speech."

Apparently, like the Declaration of Independence, where the "all men" in "all men are created equal" originally only referred to white men of English ancestry, Moon's idea of "freedom of speech" among the citizenry only extends to a certain arbitrary ideological limit.

The thing most people forget is, too far left and you get socialism, but too far right and you get the other evil, fascism.

To sum up, bottom line, she can say whatever she wants, her opinion is quite extreme, shouldn't expect the folks at WisCon to agree with her. After all, it is a feminist institution, which means it leans toward the liberal side of the spectrum. Its ok, nobody's freedom of speech was threatened, the free market has spoken. She made her pitch, and the market refuses to buy. Tough. But that's what our values are about, aren't they? If you're truly conservative, shouldn't you be supporting the idea of intellectual disagreement?

John M. said...

Hey, Roland. I've got a better idea. Why don't you stop reading the blog?

Case in point - if they don't agree with you, you can always count on one of them telling you to shutup. Tolerance ends right about the same time you have a different opinion.

John M. said...


Uh... I did. He didn't say anything about Islam, made no judgements, no statements about its adherents..."Islam: 1" What does that say about Muslims? Nothing.

Event #1: Moon speaks out against Islam.
Event #2: She's ostracized.

Sounds like they scored a point to me. But it doesn't say anthing about them.

Will said...

I think its funny how people on both sides of the issue react the EXACT SAME WAY to any issue. If this was happening to an anti-christian author, everyone everywhere would be saying the exact opposite of what they're saying now.

(and for the record, pat, I support Obama even though I'm not soft, left, or an intellectual)

Anonymous said...

so idk who john m is but brotha, you clearly need to go back and read the points cause you aren't listening or comprehending what the people are saying.

also, it is one thing to express an opinion, but anyone who actually read what Moon wrote would realize that they were reading hate-speech and therefore it makes complete sense that organizations that do not support intolerance would rescind an invitation.

Anonymous said...


people keep attacking muslims for archaic beliefs and other atrocities. YOU ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT MUSLIMS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT EXTREMISTS.

making blanket statements about all muslims is ridiculous. following that same logic, it was the nazis that exterminated millions of jews, it was christians. you cannot simply use a number of psychotic fanatics to make a point about an entire group of people. and those of you who are to blind to see the damage that such ignorance does are worse than 'unamerican' or 'unpatriotic' or some other criticism you would hear on the news:

you are simply bad people.

Anonymous said...

John, you skipped Event 1.5: Moon deleted all the responses on her blog and calls the posters names.

machinery said...

roland - your opinions about israel are vile, yet at the same time your preach tolerance.
i say this on the premise that you are against israel's right to exist as a jewish nation..
to someone like me, it is antisemitism.
yet you would justify it ...
so criticism of islam to you is bigotry, but denying the jews a state of their own is not.
and you claim to be a higher moral authority when you tell pat not to blog ...

Luke said...

For all of you siding with Pat. Let's paint this in extremes.

Prestigious Author Person is invited to give a, say, graduation speech in an inner city schools. Days before the scheduled event, Prestigious Author launches into a drunken, racially-charged tirade at some bar that puts Michael Richards' efforts to shame.

Invitation revoked.


Seriously Pat? At least you post a lot of great content like that, uh, like...

Wait. Your last review as October 6th. Oh yeah. We just get cover art, blurbs, and gloating about how you get review copies. And of course the breaking of the Wheel of Time embargo.

Stay classy Pat. Long-term reader here who's finally had enough.

Robin said...

I'm a soft-leftie and I disapprove some elements in some religions - for example, if they're disrespecting women's rights to control their own bodies and lives or GLBT's right to, well, exist.

It bugs me that if these sorts of discriminations are a part of practising a religion, it is very difficult, almost impossible, to criticize them and not to become ostracized in public. But if they're a part of, say, an extreme right/left-wing political party, then the attitude towards the problems concerning human rights is totally different.

As I see it, religious views are considered to be a private thing - and I'm all for letting people to believe into what they want - and so it's understandable that people are careful not to judge or insult. But religious views CAN ALSO be "political" - that is, some of the faithful are trying to dictate how others should live their lives. This is when we should be able to freely evaluate and criticize said religion. And I think that, at the moment, we fail at this. We try too hard to be PC wrt respecting private religious views and end up neglecting the possible problems when private is no longer merely private.

Unknown said...

Icarium and Cheerwell: pray tell, what specifically about me is so barbaric, hateful, and backwards?

Islam does not promote those practices any more than the Bible or Torah do. Many of the despicable practices falsely attributed to Islam are local cultural practices that go against the teachings of Islam. Nowhere in the teachings of Islam is female circumcision allowed -- in fact it is prohibited as both husband and wife are encouraged to enjoy each other. These are termed in the Qur'an "the sexual rights of the spouse". Sure it is performed in some Islamic countries by some people who happen to be Muslims, but they perform it as a local custom that they do because that is what they have been doing since before Islam existed. They may use the guise of religion as a justification, but one who cares enough to dig into the wealth of Islamic material provided by the Qur'an or the Sunnah will find that female circumcision is an abomination in Islam.

And about Pat and Islam. I do feel that, as Pat has discussed his politics and Islam more, that I find him to carry certain prejudices about Islam. He seems quick to point out certain negatives, but does not point out the positives. He also is quick to make comments depicting Islam in a negative light, but is not so quick to defend it (not that he has to, he can do what he likes). Just overall, as a Muslim, I get that sense from reading his posts. He may not mean it, but the tone of his posts in which he talks about Islam certainly give off those vibes that he really doesn't appreciate Islam or the contributions that millions of Muslims such as myself contribute to our American and Canadian societies.

Anonymous said...

Stick to the books Pat, we like you more that way..

Eric M. Edwards said...

The people arguing in this post that Elizabeth Moon's tumble from her position as a guest of honor at WisCon represents an attack on free speech, are about as clear on free speech as Christine O'Donnell is on the Constitution.

Revoking an honourary guest's special position is not silencing them. She's already spoken her piece. Which is the issue at hand. In the course of which and in her "defense" of her comments she has revealed herself to be possibly racist on this issue. If you're unsure why people would think this - perhaps because you equate her comments with free speech and nothing more, I'd suggest reading the well reasoned explanation found here.

Even if you disagree - that the SF3 feel she is not best suited to represent them as a guest of honour, is well within their rights. And to do so does not in anyway, social or other, work to restrict Ms Moon's free speech.

WisCon is not attempting to blacklist her, to demand that her publisher remove her existing catalogue of work or encourage them to think twice about new submissions - or from speaking at other conventions. They're not stifling discussion on the controversial subject of Moon's original remarks - no one will be forbidden from talking about this if they so choose and do so with decorum. They're not even banning her from attendance - simply and sensitively, deciding that they can not have her represent them in this manner due to the nature of her previous remarks.

Organizations are free and correct to make sure that those authors they invite, and certainly fete, represent the qualities they are actively seeking to promote. Racist, right-wing, and Islamophobic attacks are not something that SF3 wish to be associated with, and as is their right, have chosen to disinvite Ms Moon on the basis of her remarks and the controversy which they have caused. They are not punishing Ms Moon for a divergence of politics - or her private views held on the subject - but wisely distancing themselves from her public expression of her views, which many found to be unapologetically racist and inflammatory.

The two paragraphs above, are simply not the same thing. The latter does not represent any infringement upon the much valued principle of free speech as would have the former.


Drew Shiel said...

Sorry, Pat, but that's you off my reading list.

Tea and Tomes said...

>>I find it amazing any Western woman would defend a religion that throws walls on or hangs gay men, mutilates the genitals of their little girls, stones adulterers (women only), and commits racial genocide in Africa.

Please to stop confusing a religion with the people who claim to practice it. If you, at any point, read the Koran, you'll see that there's a good deal about loving thy neighbour, giving charity to the less fortunate, and many of the same messages of love and peace that *gasp* Christianity, Judaism, and a hundred other world religions have to offer. To judge every practicioner of a religion by the actions of a minority of extremists in power is like saying that every Christian is a step away from starting another Crusade.

>>Muslims are hateful people and are about 500 years backwards in their thinking. There is no opinion in this, it is fact.

There is no fact in this, only opinion. What you mean is that they aren't up to your Western standards, and that's a very xenophobic attitude to take. There are many Muslims who are no different from you, me, or any random commenter in this post, but they don't make the news, so nobody pays attention to them. Sadly, because they're usually the ones who are actually intelligent and not extremist in their religious interpretations the way some people in power, sadly, are.

>>There are a whole lot of liberal hypocrite's in this thread. What if Moon had written a article on being pro-choice, and the convention dropped her?

If she used the same insulting method that she did in her post about how Muslims are, by definition, unAmerican, then yeah, I can see people getting pissed off about it. She was insulting, racist, ignorant, and then when people called her out on it, cowardly when she ran away and refused to speak of it again, right after she said that people need to take responsibility for their actions.

If she wrote a post about how pro-choice was the only way to go, and how pro-lifers were unAmerican and how they ought to change to fit in better and not stand out so much and that people have given them extra-ordinary patience that they don't deserve, then yeah, there'd be the same problem. She's tarring an entire group with the same brush, taking the actions of a minority of extremists to represent the majority of a religion/group/whatever, and that isn't write. It's a logical fallacy.

Just like your argument is. Yours is a hypothetical situation that may have some merit, but ultimately there's no proof to back up your claim and so you can't claim it to be fact that people would have a different opinion.

Besides, ultimately, it's not your, my, or anybody else's decision who to invite to a convention, except the people involved in running that convention. But if they want to rescind an invitation because they feel that the person in question is no longer, in their eyes, worthy of that invitation, that is there right.

Let's not forget, too, how it wasn't just Muslims who she bashed in that post. She also said, in thaqt same post, that the abuse suffered by Native Americans at the hands of various conquering nations was all worth it in the end because they learned to speak English. How is that not racist, and in the exact same way as her tirade against Muslims?

Anonymous said...

In some elementary schools in Amsterdam the farm can no longer be mentioned, because that would also mean mentioning the pig, and that would be an insult to Muslims.

Harald said...

This is not what I am interested in reading, so I'm un-following this blog.

Unknown said...

WTF (to use your own eloquent words) does this have to do with Obama? You make fun of soft-left intellectuals but I can only assume you have very little intellect yourself to just randomly drag Obama into this so you can throw mud at him too. Are you also pissed off at the Civil Rights movement? Those Civil Right guys were pretty soft-left too...

Also, John M "He didn't say anything about Islam, made no judgements, no statements about its adherents..."Islam: 1" What does that say about Muslims? Nothing."

-I don't understand your comment at all. How can you possibly say he didn't say anything about Islam when his title and little blurb explicitly state that a loss of freedom of speech is a victory for Islam? Ask Muslims if they feel that his reference to Islam is not about them.

John M. said...

Let's say you hate the Yankees. So you throw up a blog where you rip them for a good while.

Then some gala in NY you were invited to tells you don't bother coming.

Someone, as silly as it would be in this example, could say Yankees: 1, Free Speech: 0.

Do the Yankees hate free speech?

...but as an aside, I WILL say something about Islam: there is no greater enemy of free speech and liberty than an Islamic state. Or even Islam.

Heck, you can't even draw Mohammed without getting death threats.

And I'm sick of this Islamic PC Police crap. This example. Juan Williams getting fired from NPR for admitting what everyone feels: that there are, of course, good, upstanding Muslims. But you can't see one on a plane without 9/11 popping in your head, like it or not. And I didn't see this one happen, but that retard Whoopi walking off the stage when O'Reilly said that the 9/11 attackers were Muslim this last weekend.

The left vilifies Christians for believing homosexuality is wrong, but defends Islam which actually, in an Islamic state, gets a person stoned to death if they're gay.


David H. said...

Pat's foolishness (and uncritical thinking) on this issue has just made it clearer to me that this is no longer the blog for me, especially since the quality of this blog has become so useless over the time I've been following it. Other book-bloggers post more content more frequently--and they don't post inflammatory politics, either. Sayonara, "hotlist."

Jaltus said...

The only real issue I can see is if Moon being the GoH was a paid position. If so, then rescinding it is discrimination based on political (or is that religious) beliefs. Employment cannot be denied on the basis of beliefs if it does not contradict the person's ability to be employed.

If this is not a paid position, then the point is moot and refers more to social decisions than anything else. The Con has the right to decide who it supports in terms of their public face. At the same time, it certainly says a lot about that Con that it would take into account someone's views in making this decision, no matter what the views are. It shows that the Con cares more about their political stance than their Con stance.

I am not going to decide if this is good, bad, neutral, or whatever. I am going to say that I wonder what would have happened if Moon was criticizing Mormons or Scientology or Judaism or Christianity or some other major religion. If they would react the same, then fine.

And for the record, attacking Muslims is not racism since being a Muslim is not a race. Technically it would be attacking a religion or possibly an ethnicity since Islam assumes a specific set of values that comprise a communal dynamic.

Anonymous said...

Guys - Islamic terrorism and extremism are obviously evil and intolerable, and one hopes (in vain, most likely) that these evils will be stamped out in our lifetime.

Moon was not talking about extremism or terrorism: she was talking about the core Islamic ideology, which any educated person knows is simply NOT equatable with mainline moderate Islam. Do you guys have any grasp on medieval and modern history? Individuals like Sayd Qutb and Wahhab, and organizations like the Islamic Brotherhood, are responsible for taking advantage of socio-economic conditions to put extremist Islam in the spotlight.

I certainly would not be saying the opposite if there were people screaming that Christianity is incompatible with the Western democratic ideal, or that Christians can't live side-by-side with their brethren, because that is obviously TOTALLY ridiculous. But have you ever lived in Utah? Ever seen the news about hardcore Mormons with a harem locked up in their basement? What about priests raping young boys? Abortion clinic bombings? Incestuous rape in Amish families? Hate crimes and bullying against homosexuals and people of other races? Does this not all come out of our supposedly Christian culture? Are these actions compatible with our democratic ideal?

But we, living side-by-side and interacting with Christians every day, know that the majority aren't like that. I'm guessing most of you who have posted only see Islam in the newspapers and on TV. Imagine what people in Saudi Arabia and Syria must think of US when they see snippets of our media and news about our scandals and braindead politics.

Oh, and please don't talk about the religion's views of women in comparison to Christianity. The most revered woman in Christianity is important because she gave birth: the wives of the Prophet included a businesswoman, a political leader, and an accomplished spiritual teacher. Don't point at something you don't understand, like the headscarf, and spit hate while women in our country still don't make as much as men, and one can hardly go anywhere without seeing a woman's half-naked body being used to sell something.

Also, I'm not a liberal :)

Sean D said...

Wow. There is some seriously xenophobic, racist, and hate-filled stuff going on right here.

As noted by many, please don't equate the way some practice a religion with the entirety of that religion. All of Christianity doesn't blame Hurricane Katrina and other such natural disasters on gay people, a la Pat Robertson.

Also, what is with the bile-infused use of the word "intellectuals"? Since when is having and using one's intelligence a negative thing? Maybe we should all stop listening to a continuous loop of Limbaugh and Beck, and branch out a bit. Just a thought.

machinery said...

patrick -
don't be alarmed by the negative responses from some.
muslims in arab countries and some muslim countries are turning more and more radical, and that comes along with unspeakable acts.
it's pure idiocy that people ignore these facts in the name of PC.

Anonymous said...

Free speech isn't just about the government. It's about how regular people respond to different ideas. Tolerance means listening, not shutting out. Do they have the right to uninvite her? Sure. But in doing so, they display their own intolerance, their own limits to open debate and dialogue, and their own agenda. They open themselves to legitimate criticism.

Also, if Islam is above criticism, as some in these posts seem to suggest, then Moon is right. The tenet that makes it above critique makes it incompatible with certain Western ideals. Free speech, free thought, means that every subject can be held up to scrutiny. Every topic must be a legitimate subject of debate. Those things which are cordoned off, marked as out of bounds, those are the very things which need the most discussion.

In the history of literature, this has often been the case, with authors and thinkers forging the path. As such, it is certainly a relevant topic for a Blog that deals with books. Ideas are the mainstay of writing. They deserve the defense Pat has offered here.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech cuts both ways. Elizabeth Moon is free to speak her mind on this topic. SF3 (which is not affiliated in any way with the government) is allowed to rescind their invitation based on anything she says. Freedom of speech ensures there is no LEGAL consequence for either Moon's or SF3's decisions, but both Moon and SF3 must be prepared to live with the SOCIAL consequences of their actions.

This IS freedom of speech. Period. Too many people think freedom of speech means "I can say whatever I want and you can't say anything against me." But that's not the way it works.

Anonymous said...

FUCK!!! and i thought that the of blog was losing it but this.... pat, im giving you ONE more chance. PLEASE blog about what you blog about best to the end.

Anonymous said...

Pat, you have neither the insight nor the rhetorical skills to discuss politics.

I give this post 7.5 out of 10.

rastronomicals said...

Apart from all the invective this is actually interesting news about the field. Since Pat does attempt to cover events in the field this particular intrusion of political opinion may not be as egregious as some of those in the past.

Still, it'd be good if Pat were a little less obvious in his sympathies. Reporting the news and letting commenters battle it out would lose him less readers!

Thirdly, the dialectic Pat attempts to sell where it's all Obama lefties who don't get the issue and the hardcore wingnuts who are defending us from the horde isd just a little too simplistic.

I myself am for the environment, for a reasonable national healthcare system, always opposed the War in Iraq, AND feel that radical Islam is a grave threat to Western thought, perhaps THE gravest threat.

So chill out, Pat, before insulting the left as "soft"--why you use "intellectual" as an insult is beyond me, though. A portion of the left may share your fears.

As much as Fox and O'Reilly may wish it were so, the problem is not left vs. right, it's the PCers vs. critical thinkers, and the left does in fact have some of the latter.

Oh, and to Tea and Tomes: "Stop confusing a religion with the people who claim to practice it."
Funniest thing I've read all day

Unknown said...

Really??? People are telling Pat to "just stick to the literature"? Last time I checked, it was Pat's blog. If you don't like his politics skip those posts. If you value his opinions on books then maybe you should be the one to "just stick to the literature"(entries).

Rock on, Pat.

Anonymous said...

Chalk up one more person who has no idea what "freedom of speech" means. Typical.

John M. said...

Some of you people are beyond retarded.

Because you're so full of hatred toward anyone who states an opinion that's even somewhat conservative, it's not enough for you to voice disagreement.

You have to pretend that you're leaving this blog (you're not), and that Pat sucks now, anyway (he doesn't).

Nono said...

Pat's xenophobic hotlist 1 Common sense 0

Anonymous said...

She made herself controversial with her writing on Islam now SF3 does'nt want a controversial guest of Honor which is completely within their rights. Cause and effect, people, free speech has nothing to do with it.
That you want to make it about Islam and right of free speech only shows your biased and conceited nature,Pat.

Anonymous said...

Watch what you blog Pat, you might get arrested for a thought crime.

Kayasmus said...

I have reposted the above link from a previous poster. It is an excellent list of arguments against what Moon has said. And regardless of what has just been written here, Pat, you cannot deny that you have a very anti-Islam and Muslim slant, as proven by your previous posts.

Christophe said...

One more voice to say this has little to do with free speech.
And that Pat is not at its best when writing this. But as others has said, it's his blog. We're just here to provide feedback.

(If you want a difficult free speech case, look at Snyder vs Phelps, to be reviewed by the US Supreme Court: the religious nutjobs who protested at the military funeral of a Marine are being supported by the ACLU - in the name of free speech. THAT should test your political/religious/... beliefs.

See for more information.)

Patrick said...

Saladin Ahmed offers his two cents here:

Anonymous said...

Pat's understanding of Free Speech: -1

Anonymous said...

Pat's forays into politics are always cringe inducing.
His travel comments make him seem like a frat rat on the hormone trail.
His (thankfully few) political comments always make him seem a few years younger and even less knowledgeable.

Anonymous said...

To the last two anons: it's obvious you guys are wankers. You're probably fucktards that are happy that both Iran and Saudi Arabia have become part of the new UN agency dealing with women's rights...