Nathan Lean wants "society" to take action against those who stand for freedom and human rights against jihad, Sharia and Islamic supremacism, for we "must be stopped." This is a veiled but clear call for restrictions on our freedom of speech. By publishing it on its Aug. 26 Op-Ed page, The Times is working against its own interests. For my opinions are certainly politically incorrect today, but if Lean succeeds in getting them criminalized, editors at The Times might find one day that they too hold an opinion unacceptable to those in power.
Lean thinks that "society" should act against my colleague Pamela Geller and me because the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik cited us in his manifesto. But actually, Breivik cited many, many people, including Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy and Thomas Jefferson -- who are never blamed for Breivik's murders. Also swept under the rug is the fact that Breivik's manifesto is ideologically incoherent: So far was he from being a doctrinaire counter-jihadist that he wanted to aid Hamas and ally with jihad groups. Brevik's real inspiration for his violence was, by his own account, Al Qaeda, as becomes clear in his manifesto when he spends 25 pages quoting extensively from the Koran and other Islamic sources. I am no more responsible for Breivik than the Beatles are for Charles Manson.