Todays, on stage assault of author Salman Rushdie, as he was preparing to speak, at the Chautauqua Institution in New York, is yet one more example of the significant violence that has crept into our public speech platforms.
While historically the Ayatollah Khomeini, placed a previous bounty on Rushdie’s head, some three million dollars, related to a religiously offensive book Rushdie wrote some years back – the truth is that there have been many such on stage attacks. These have come from those who disagreed with the possible content of what was being stated, under the protection of our first amendment right of freedom of speech.
The growing intolerance that is seen, especially from those of a cultural or political nature, is more and more obvious. For certain, this knife wielding assailant, did indeed interrupt Rushdie’s speech, when he fell to the ground, before the assailant was subdued. Public speaking has become a literally dangerous undertaking. More active protection is in order, now - and no matter the event. There has been no update as to Rushdie’s condition at present. Stay tuned.
As this story unfolds, consider the intolerance and violence that hinders “freedom of speech” as we know it. Remembering, it is never appropriate to attack someone physically because you disagree with them. America does not support bigotry in the form of anarchy.
“What a vast difference there is between the barbarism that precedes culture and the barbarism that follows it.”-Friedrich Hebbel