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We are all Ayatollahs now

We are all Ayatollahs now

Importance of free speech
Date Published: 
Monday, 1 October, 2018
Summary: 

Ayatollahism is everywhere. Witness the rage, sometimes physical, against feminists who criticise the transgender ideology. Or the arrest of people for making offensive jokes. Or the fashion for No Platforming anyone who holds non-mainstream views. Or the branding as ‘phobic’ anyone who criticises mass immigration, or same-sex marriage, or, of course, Islam. No one is sentenced to death. But all of these attempts to ostracise the holders of certain views share in common with the Ayatollah’s fatwa a pathetic intolerance of different thought.

Thirty years after Rushdie’s novel was published, the battle isn’t over. It has hardly begun. The struggle for the right of people to think what they like and say what they please, and to mock all gods, prophets, ideas and fads, remains as pressing today as it has ever been.