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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Blasphemy laws infringe on free speech

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I just read the horrifying, apocalyptic op-ed by Frank J. Gaffney Jr. ("Diplomacy of September"). The prospect of Shariah blasphemy laws coming to the United States are real. Case in point: Fred Grandy, host of a top-rated talk radio show, was fired from WMAL-AM because Shariah activists were offended by his and his wife's reporting.

Not satisfied by Mr. and Mrs. Grandy having lost their means of earning a living, the Democratic Party in Maryland's legislature and in Montgomery County have publicly denounced Mr. Grandy as "divisive" and have objected to him addressing a meeting of Republicans.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has joined the anti-Islamic speech police by driving the idea that there will be repercussions and criminalization of what some are calling hate speech against Islam. These ideas must be condemned by Americans of every stripe. This is a direct violation of our First Amendment right - freedom of speech. If we allow speech to be silenced, our great country is doomed.

This is why I urge all citizens to contact WMAL to have Fred Grandy and his wife reinstated as hosts. This assault on freedom of speech cannot stand. If we do nothing, in the words of Ronald Reagan, we will surely "spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in the United States where men were free."

LORRAINE RYAN

Berwyn Heights

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