- - Monday, January 12, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Give me liberty or give me death. The pen is mightier than the sword. These are fantastic statements that people and politicians love to make while giving speeches. These words are now dripping with the real blood of innocent cartoonists and jihadi terrorists. Twelve satirists from the French magazine Charlie Hebdo are dead for refusing to bow before the tyranny of fear perpetuated by radical Islamists from across the globe. Summary judgment was carried out by local zealots, the Kouachi brothers, who themselves are now dead at the hands of French police.

Fear and intimation are powerful tools when shutting down freedom of speech is the goal.

Communist ghosts of the 20th century are cheering as Islam’s ghosts from the 7th century join in the fight to silence those who would speak freely. Recently, the world watched as North Korea tried to shut down freedom of expression at the movies by waging cyberattacks on international companies and the entertainment industry. We’ve watched as political correctness has destroyed the world’s ability to speak the truth about situations, allowing them to fester rather than be dealt with.

Radical jihadi brothers dreaming of Muhammad’s martyrdom died in infamy and explosions, heroes to the Islamist movement. To the rest of the civilized world, they are not heroes, but disgusting animals with no sense of reality. The true martyrs are the brave cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo. The artists paid the full measure as they were slaughtered sitting at their desks with pens in their hands.

Freedom of speech is a good hill to die upon. It should be littered with the sacrifices of liberals, conservatives and libertarians alike. The barbarism that is facing the world should unite us all. We should proudly stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers and sisters of the civilized world against the onslaught of ideological atrocities.

How did we get here?

In Europe, and especially France, the story begins and ends with immigration. France has the largest Muslim population in Europe — almost 6 million people. But make no mistake, Muslim immigration has skyrocketed in every European nation as well as America. The French are merely holding the front lines. So many Muslims have moved into France that the police have quite literally ceded control of many areas of Paris to complete Muslim control. A nation-state cannot function when it becomes a honeycomb of “no go zones” and is full of people with no vested interest in its success.

If you want to see the future of an America that hasn’t learned from Europe’s mistakes, look at France right now.

Stephane Charbonnier, the deceased editor of Charlie Hebdo, said, “Without freedom of speech we are dead.” He is dead because he understood the importance of freedom. I hope they build statues of that man someday, because he is a true hero. When asked why he didn’t stop mocking Islam and whether he was putting lives at risk, he responded, “I don’t feel as though I’m killing someone with a pen. I’m not putting lives at risk. When activists need a pretext to justify their violence, they always find it.”

And find it they did. Stephane Charbonnier and his associates are dead, those terrorists are dead, but the war has just begun. We must face the truth and look it in the eye. How can radical Islam be defeated?

I believe there is but one way: a five-point freedom agenda. First, we must profile and expel fundamentalists from society. They have to go, period. Second, we must re-examine the immigration policies of high-risk countries. People from known dangerous places need more scrutiny. Third, political correctness must die on the trash heap of history. Truth will set us free. Fourth, freedom of speech must be furiously defended, especially, speech we don’t agree with. Finally, we must understand that not all cultures are created equal. Some contain life and beauty, while others are filled with the seeds of death.

Terrorist groups no longer operate from the top down. Social media allows them to spread horizontally at alarming rates. Since, the rise of the Islamic State, we’ve seen heads being cut off and other horrors in the sands of the Middle East. Recently, we’ve seen attacks in Ottawa, Canada; Sydney, Australia and Europe. Within America, terror attacks have not brought down any big towers since Sept. 11, but make no mistake, terror is here.

Just since 2009, there have been the underwear bomber, the Fort Hood massacre, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Little Rock military recruiter office shooting, the Oklahoma City beheading and others. The Oklahoma City beheading was ended by an armed citizen. When all guns are outlawed, only the lawless will have guns. The Benghazi attack that killed four dead Americans was at first blamed on a video mocking Islam. Factual or not, the message was clear: Make fun of Islam and you die.

Countries in Europe, America and around the world will have to make a choice. Relinquish society to an Islamist state or fight its spread like the cancer that it is. The war must be waged with pens, words and, if necessary, with weapons. If a nation’s leaders and citizens refuse to enjoin this fight, their society will fade into the history books, much like the civilizations of old.

Eric Schiffer is chairman and CEO of Patriarch Equity.

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