The mere act of criticizing Islam has become an act of politically incorrect hate speech, a media analyst and free-speech advocate says, citing several incidents in recent weeks where people have been lambasted publicly for their remarks.

"We're living in a 'here and now' where no one's allowed to say anything bad about Islam, it seems," says Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Center.

The most recent transgressor, he says, is Marty Peretz, the editor-in-chief of The New Republic and a former Harvard professor, who has come under attack for a Sept. 4 blog post in which he wrote: "Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims," and questioned whether Muslims deserved protection from the First Amendment.

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