Amid tight security, Mark Steyn addressed an event last weekend, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the so-called "Mohammed cartoons."
In some ways, it was a somber gathering, as many of those who should have been in attendance -- cartoonists from Charlie Hebdo and other publications -- had either been murdered by Muslim terrorists or gone into hiding.
As Steyn notes in his talk, the British Foreign Office issued an advisory, warning travelers against attending the event.
Even the newspaper that first published the cartoons declined to participate.
In his stirring speech, Steyn hailed "Rebel Commander" Ezra Levant for being one of the few publishers brave enough to run the cartoons, in his magazine The Western Standard.
At his website, Mark Steyn wrote:
[W]e were a merry band, all things considered, at Christiansborg Castle. I thank my friend Katrine Winkel Holm, of the Danish Free Press Society, and her delightful sister, Marie Krarup, defense spokeslady for the Danish People's Party, for arranging to host us behind the fortress-like walls of Parliament -- so nobody could bust in and shoot us, as they did at a similar free-speech event in February.
I was heartened to meet fellow free-speechers who had traveled from Sweden, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Britain and even Canada. My fellow panelists included Henryk Broder, author of The Last Days of Europe; Vebjørn Selbekk, whom the quislings of Norway's government treated disgracefully for publishing the cartoons; and Douglas Murray, who's already written up the event in The [UK] Spectator:
"My main message for the audience was to keep in mind that freedom has never been particularly popular. Most people prefer their security and comforts to freedom and although history shows that although everyone benefits from being free, it has always been a small minority who actually pursue and protect the cause. (...) Perhaps by the 15th anniversary things will be better."
Perhaps. On Europe's present course, though, the security we'll need in 2020 doesn't bear thinking about. But I'll be there.
(Photo of Mark Steyn: eyvind.dk)
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Ezra Levant’s book about the Canadian Human Rights Commissions, censorship and the Mohammed cartoons was voted "the best political book of the last 25 years."
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