Four incidents recently showed anew how keenly Islamic supremacists want to shut down the freedom of speech—and how eager many Americans are to accommodate them.

The most notorious incident was Comedy Central's censorship of a "South Park" episode lampooning Islam's prophet Muhammad. Even Bill O'Reilly faltered when presented with an opportunity to defend free speech, telling "South Park's" creators: "I would've advised them not to do it. If somebody came to me and said, 'Look, O'Reilly, I want to do a little satire of Muhammad on "The Factor,"' I would say I don't think so, because the risk is higher than the reward."

The risk of defending free speech against violent threats and intimidation is higher than the reward? If the Founding Fathers had thought that way, we wouldn't be having this conversation now. If the enemies of free speech, such as those who threatened "South Park's" Matt Stone and Trey Parker over their Muhammad episode, see that death threats will frighten their victims into silence, they will only issue more death threats. Unless free people stand up and defend the right of free discourse no matter what the risk, we will surely lose that right—and any ability to stand up against the tyranny of a powerful group whose word and status cannot be questioned.

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