File under "Intellectual Freedom Means the Freedom to Think Like Us!"
More foolishness from a Regressive Librarian: a "letter to IFLA Journal on Freedom of the Press, Social Responsibility and the Danish Cartoons." The subtext of this ridiculous letter seems to be that it's "socially responsible" to refrain from criticizing anyone who might kill you for criticizing him. It's certainly prudent if you don't want to be killed, but there's nothing socially responsible about gutting a liberal virtue like free speech to protect people who wouldn't do the same for you.
I consider it socially responsible to point out, for example, the oppression of women in Muslim countries and the betrayal of equal rights for women by people who kowtow to thuggish extremists who would gladly deny said equal rights. I also consider it socially responsible to point out that I don't think rape victims and homosexuals should be stoned and that I think Sharia law is barbaric. I might also point out that the idea of dying for your religion and going to heaven to be joined by forty virgins is sexist, misogynist, brutal, and just plain idiotic. But that's just me. Apparently the regressive librarians like this sort of thing.
So I guess the logic of the barbarians is, if I speak freely and you kill me, then you're not a murderer. I say something you don't like. You threaten me. That's somehow my fault. Sounds strangely like some of the logic of the Regressive Librarians Guild. I'm just glad they toss out resolutions instead of bombs. All the rhetoric about peace is pleasant as long as you're really gullible enough to believe that if America hadn't invaded Iraq then millions of Muslims around the world wouldn't riot and kill people for criticizing Islam. That's such an idiotic idea only a regressive librarian would believe it. I guess the regressive librarians don't get it. Peace is not what this particular enemy of liberalism wants. This enemy wants not peace, but submission. The War in Iraq is being used as a red herring to avoid the real issue of the Danish cartoons--intellectual freedom, free speech, and liberal democracy. I like them; the Muslim protesters don't. And apparently neither do the regressive librarians.
Apparently there were no conflicts between Muslims and the West until the US invaded Iraq. At least that's what I think the writer is implying, but then again I might be as confused as he is. I considered addressing the statements about "neutrality" since they seemed to be errantly aimed at people like me, but they're so ill-conceived and irrelevant to any issues I ever address I thought it unnecessary. I have a feeling, though, that this particular regressive librarian would confuse the idea of neutrality with the idea of library versus non-library issues. However, it's been pretty clear for a while that fine logical distinctions (or even rough ones for that matter) aren't the strong point of the regressive librarians. Nevertheless, it goes to show you that the SRRT folk only like free speech when they agree with it. What a surprise.
(If you don't like intellectual freedom or the freedom of speech and you love Muslim terrorists and you really want to get riled up, you can read my post from last fall on Islam and Intellectual Freedom. The ALA still hasn't come out against the chilling effect on intellectual freedom and free speech when people threaten to blow you up for speaking freely.)
I would find the Regressive Librarians contemptible if I didn't find them beneath contempt. I wonder when it will become clear to people that they are completely opposed to the liberal values that the ALA purports to defend. As I behold their nonsensical shenanigans, I wonder at the nerve they sometimes have of daring to call themselves "liberal," when it's quite clear they disdain liberalism and liberal values. Intellectual freedom? Freedom of Speech? Freedom of the press? Freedom of religion and freedom from religion? Gender equality? Equal rights? So many trifles to be discarded when the revolutionary utopia comes and everyone thinks like them. Or when we all become dhimmis. Either way, we won't have to listen to this regressive drivel anymore. For some reason, though, I don't want to trade my freedom and my rights for the illiberal bliss of regressive librarians or terrorists. Perhaps I just need some regressive "reeducation."