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Ayn Rand Institute’s Free Speech Campaign

From ARI:

Announcing the Ayn Rand Institute’s Free Speech Campaign

In light of the recent violent outrage in the Islamic world over the “Danish Cartoon” controversy, and the anemic response to this outburst in Europe and America, the Ayn Rand Institute is pleased to announce a campaign to bring the Danish cartoons to the widest possible audience—and to arrange a series of lectures to discuss the vital need to defend free speech.

So long as men are free to criticize, free to dissent, free to present their own ideas without fear of reprisals—the fight for rational culture has a chance. But the crisis over cartoons of Mohammad threatens to wipe out freedom of speech. Our leaders have shamefully sided with the mobs chanting death threats and torching embassies. Free speech, our leaders say, is not an absolute, its exercise must not offend religious beliefs—it is a right, in other words, that we are not free to exercise.

If the threats, riots and killings fomented by Islamic states are allowed to proceed—if they are allowed to compel Western thinkers into self-censorship—the first to be silenced will be the critics of Islam.  And then the critics of religion.  And then everyone else.

The Ayn Rand Institute disseminates the pro-American ideals of reason, egoism, and individualism, and our efforts fundamentally depend on the absolute right to free speech. That is why we have launched a campaign to inform the American public about what is at stake in this crisis. In a series of public events on college campuses, ARI speakers will explain: the actual meaning of free speech—and why it must include the freedom to offend; what should have been the reaction of Western governments to the crisis; what reactions to the cartoons in the Islamic world tell us about that culture; and how the Western media ought to defend the right on which its livelihood, and our culture’s survival, depends.


The Ayn Rand Institute is supporting and participating in three speaking events, which are free and open to the public.

Unveiling the Danish Cartoons:
A Discussion of Free Speech and World Reaction

March 10, 2006
Los Angeles, California
Please RSVP for this event
[details] [PDF event flyer]

March 13, 2006
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
[details] [PDF event flyer]

April 10, 2006
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
(Time and location TBA) 

To learn more about the Ayn Rand Institute’s Free Speech Campaign, please visit our Campaign page.

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