Today's New York Times carries yet more evidence that the American left literally doesn't know the meaning of free speech. Daniel Pipes's new Web site, Campus Watch, is keeping tabs on anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli professors around the country, and the profs are now crying censorship.
Many academics see Campus Watch as an effort to chill free speech about the Middle East, and are particularly perturbed by the "Keep Us Informed" section, inviting the submission of "reports on Middle East-related scholarship, lectures, classes, demonstrations and other activities"--in other words, they say, inviting students to turn in their professors.
Similarly, Anita Roddick, founder of the Body Shop, declares in London's far-left Independent newspaper that "the freedom to dissent is in danger in America." Why? Because when she wrote an anti-American screed that appeared in the Independent's Sept. 11 edition, she received some e-mails from people who disagreed. The freedom to dissent is not safe as long as there are people who dare to dissent from the views of Anita Roddick.
Nor is this attitude limited to America. The Associated Press reports from Cairo that "forty Egyptian leftists have declared the U.S. ambassador here 'persona non grata' after he accused the Egyptian media of irresponsibility and distorting the facts about the Sept. 11 attacks." Ambassador David Welch's article, which the New York Post reprints today, levels perfectly reasonable criticisms at the Egyptian and other Arab media for publishing lies and distortions.
The petition accuses Welch of attacking Egyptian free speech, as if Egypt had free speech: "If America imagines that it had occupied the whole universe, it won't be able to occupy and tame free pens. We demand that the American government consider its representative in Cairo to be persona non grata and withdraw him because he tarnished democracy and stabbed his country's constitution in the heart."