This is a very important announcement from ARI:

In light of the recent violent outrage in the Islamic world over the “Danish Cartoon” controversy, and the anemic response to this outburst in Europe and America, the Ayn Rand Institute is pleased to announce a campaign to bring the Danish cartoons to the widest possible audience–and to arrange a series of panel discussions to discuss the vital need to defend free speech.

So long as men are free to criticize, free to dissent, free to present their own ideas without fear of reprisals–the fight for rational culture has a chance. But the crisis over cartoons of Mohammad threatens to wipe out freedom of speech. Our leaders have shamefully sided with the mobs chanting death threats and torching embassies. Free speech, our leaders say, is not an absolute, its exercise must not offend religious beliefs–it is a right, in other words, that we are not free to exercise.

If the threats, riots and killings fomented by Islamic states are allowed to proceed–if they are allowed to compel Western thinkers into self-censorship–the first to be silenced will be the critics of Islam. And then the critics of religion. And then everyone else.

The Ayn Rand Institute disseminates the pro-American ideals of reason, egoism, and individualism on your behalf, and our efforts fundamentally depend on the absolute right to free speech. That is why we have launched a campaign to inform the American public about what is at stake in this crisis. In a series of public events on college campuses, ARI speakers will explain: the actual meaning of free speech–and why it must include the freedom to offend; what should have been the reaction of Western governments to the crisis; what reactions to the cartoons in the Islamic world tell us about that culture; and how the Western media ought to defend the right on which its livelihood, and our culture’s survival, depends.

Our immediate plans include the following:

  • Hold three talks on college campuses–UCLA, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Southern California.
  • Promote these events with an aggressive print advertising and Internet marketing effort.
  • Finally, we plan to place the Danish ads on www.aynrand.org and promote them aggressively in print, on the airwaves, and over the Internet.

    Our budget for these activities is $33,000.

    For us to succeed in executing this campaign, we need your help now.

    Any contribution that you can make to ARI to help offset these costs would be greatly appreciated.

    To give now to support our campaign to defend free speech, please go to:

    http://www.aynrand.org/freespeech

    If you prefer to give by phone, please call our donor services coordinator, Dave Gulbraa, at 800.365.6552, extension 204. Of course, you can also mail your contribution to ARI at 2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250, Irvine CA 92606 (please indicate on the check that this is for the ARI Danish Cartoons Project).

    It is critical that free speech be defended–and that the violent mystics who threaten this freedom be opposed philosophically.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Yaron Brook
    President and Executive Director

  • I’ve already donated a bit extra just for this campaign. I strongly encourage everyone else who cares about the existence of Western civilization to do the same, even if you can only afford a few dollars.

       
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