Stop right there

What was that we were saying about free speech? About internalized censorship? About the idea that laws against ‘blasphemy’ and ‘defamation’ of religion make genuine free speech impossible?

I am in receipt of notes from the copy-editor of Does God Hate Women? on the subject of “possible defamation/points of contention that could cause offence.” There are eight items; all but two ask about ‘defamation’ of or ‘inflammatory’ statements about Islam; none are about the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the FLDS, Hindutva, Orthodox Judaism, or any other religious outfit or religion discussed in the book. The passages questioned, like the book as a whole, is heavily referenced, while ‘defamation’ refers to false statements. In short – internalized censorship is alive and well and flourishing.

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