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Fear of a Jihadi Planet

| 9 Comments | 1 TrackBack

And you thought the Motoon kerfluffle was
a) over, and
b) a kerfluffle.

But no. Dominos continue to fall.


This week saw NYU unprecedentedly denying the public access to a previously open panel discussion. (Atlas Shrugs was there; above is a photo of the cowardly compromise which allowed the event to proceed.)

The Western Standard of Canada published the cartoons and is being summoned before a human rights court.

Now Borders and Waldenbooks are refusing to carry a magazine which contains an article accompanied by reproductions of the Dreaded Cartoons of Blasphemy ™.
"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday.
Don't let anyone tell you this is about high-minded sensitivity to other cultures. It's about fear. Even those most in thrall to political correctness are occasionally honest about that.

The last time I actually bought something at a bookstore was because I had a gift certificate. And I didn't buy a book, I bought a pair of earrings. Like many people who spend too much of their lives online, I do most of my shopping at, so boycotting Borders and Walden requires no sacrifice on my part. YMMV. I just checked and, yes, you can buy a subscription to Free Inquiry at Amazon and the April/May issue will be delivered to your door. (In a plain brown wrapper?)

Over at LGF there's a movement to walk into your local Borders and ask for the upcoming issue of Free Inquiry, and explain why. I like it.

1 TrackBack

Tracked: March 31, 2006 4:27 AM
Borders Bans Magazine Issue from The American Mind
Excerpt: Borders has decided not to carry the April-May issue of Free Inquiry because it will contain Muhammad cartoons that sparked...


I think its partially about fear but mostly about just wanting no part of a controversy, and there is a politically correct component to that.

Look at it this way, if this was some right wing Christian fascist issue- say violence was breaking out over the desecration of Christ, bookstores and universities would be acting completely the opposite. They would be on the front lines of standing up for speech.

So yeh, its about fear, but its about the fear of having to deal with an issue you dont feel invested in. When the values non-judgemental multiculturalism and free speech butt heads, multiculturalism wins every time.

You can always walk into a Border's bookstore and explain to the manager why you will not be buying anything in future.

This may be a hardship to some. But we have to give up something in the fight for freedom from opression.

Actually, I don't have that big a problem with Border's decision. In fact, I commend them for honestly explaining why they aren't displaying the magazines.

Perhaps they should be braver - but at least they are honest. There's a big difference between that explanation and the one that most media outlets give - that showing the cartoons is insulting to Muslims and unnecessarily inflames racial tensions. (I'm just too lazy to go looking for the NYTimes reason).

I haven't been following the story too closely, but I think there was a newspaper in Phoenix that gave the same explanation - that they were afraid to publish the cartoons for fear of violence against their employees.

A bookstore (particularly a large corporation) can make that argument. The media cant. If they are going to change their coverage every time they feel threatened, how can you believe anything you hear in the news? A certain amount of courage is required in media outlets.

Again, no major newsroom would be backing down from threats from white supremicists or the mafia... and many journalists in the US have actually been killed or hurt by those entities. But for some reason a lot of media claims this Muslim thing is too dangerous to their employees. Seems very selective to me. This isnt Europe, there arent Islamo-fascist riots in our streets.

Does anyone really believe some newspaper reporter in Phoenix would be in danger for publishing a cartoon? Doing an expose on a street gang is a thousands times more dangerous.


Fear of loss or reprisal, yes of course. "PC" corporations cannot and will not come out and say, "Look, there's a zillion anonymous people out there bearing grudges and affinities to the Muslim groups who are dragging deep-pocketed corporations before expensive courts of inquiry - all of which are BAD press... we don't want to incur this hidden liability. More to the point, we're in the business of selling 'whatever sells', and must guard that outcome against breach by the outraged boycotting liberal (!!!) masses".

I mean you don't hear corporations significantly concerned about how the Conservative Voices are going to react to their marketing decisions (with the notable exception of Southern and Midwestern Christians of all orders), do you? The libs' toothless tiger (ACLU) takes Walmart to court because it prohibits carrying RU486 (day-after abortion toxin) in its 29,484 pharmacy-stores. WalMart knows full well that their market is chock-full of modestly affluent (hence why they exist) Christian folks all across the land. Who have some life-and-society affirming values, like "babies are good, life is a gift, don't abuse it". But the ACLU isn't about gifts, and life, or morals and society-building principles. Nope, it is about rights, and by Gum it is going to get 'em.

The real problem is that the affine Islamicist masses have earned, and worse, revel in the power afforded by their reputation for destructiveness and lawlessness (and lawful harassment via lawsuit, hubristic press releases, boycotts). Theirs is a position of strength-to-the-Left. (The "mainstream left" (whatever that means) is morabund, having failed to keep alive the noble sounding principles of Labor movements, Class struggles, The Man, collectives, unions, and the Working People.) The affine Islamicists are smug indeed showing only a crocodile's play-acted tears at their worst representatives excesses.

And Corporate America knows that. And won't go against the tide. Why should it? I wouldn't, as a business man. I will as an individual though!

For me it has become simple: if we can pass laws governing PC issues such as where a smoker can smoke, where a porno shop can operate, how to prosecute alleged sexual harassment, prohibitions on 'philosophical' positions (sex ed, evolution, class prayer, flag desecration, cartoon printing eventually?), then we can pass laws UPHOLDING our freedom from the very same prohibitions. It is ALL about the number of people behind the motion. You get 100,000 people in a state to tell their guv: "either this, or forget your chances for a re-election", and guv-dude is going to get the bill passed.

But that's just it, isn't it? We truly have been drugged essentially to inaction by the Boob Toob, by working/commuting 10.5 hours for an '8-hour' day, by shilling for the outraged, but settling in for a comfy weekend of meat-burning and motorized "fun". I argue, rather strongly, that these very drugged-and-predictable forms are near the acme of civilisation: the wealth of self-directed leisure time. But there is a cost: liberty.

And that is what the rabid fringes are forever nibbling away at: they hate the middle because it is forever larger than they, it is forever voting against their special interests, and thereby marginalizing them.

For they are on the margin.

Thank God.

I tend to agree with that. The next big problem (and we already see it in Europe and Canada) is that when people dont want to face up to these decisions personally they demand the government outlaw it thereby taking the guilt off themselves. No media organization or progressive business wants to think of themselves as cowards, so just nudge the legislatures to pass measures making what they dont want to do illegal. Problem solved (in their view).

I found the contacts for Borders’ media relations people. I thought some of your readers might like to tell Borders what they think about their policy.


Anne Roman at 734-477-1392 or

Beth Bingham at 734-477-4457 or

Holley Stein at 734-477-1224 or


I think Borders and Amazon are either owned by the same company, or they have a very tight business relationship. If you go to you'll see the Amazon logo on the page.

Sorry about that.

Does Borders dictate Amazon policy?

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