Theoterrorism v. Freedom of Speech
Theoterrorism v. Freedom of Speech
From Incident to Precedent
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Introduction by Bassam Tibi Preface 1. The Rudi Carrell Affair in Germany Carrell v. Khomeini Khomeini's letter to Gorbachev The Iran-Iraq War Carrell's earlier spoofs Apologies to Iran More apologies and more controversies A new film 2. The Rudi Carrell Affair in the Netherlands A discussion between the minister and a journalist The Dutch Parliament on the Carrell Affair An analysis of the Dutch Carrell Affair The importance of humor The Carrell Affair as precedent Telephone justice The meaning of Carrell's apology Subdued tone of conversation A new sort of religious behavior Sense of humor and human emotions Not about freedom of the press 3. The Coherence of Theoterrorism Aboutaleb: the Mayor of Rotterdam The "village idiot" of Amsterdam The theoterrorists' profession of faith The Woolwich attack The Woolwich attack and the London bombings of 2005 The Woolwich attack and the murder of Van Gogh Theocracy and democracy Two schools of thought The debate about the role of Islam Attacks on mosques The Netherlands, Denmark, and Great Britain 4. The Danish Cartoons What are cartoons? Terrorizing the laicist state In good faith Why were the cartoons published? What did the cartoon affair prove? The dark sides of globalization Reactions to the cartoons Shouting fire and "senseless provocation" Can only Muslims criticize Islam? Tony Benn's call to "respect" for religion Thomas Jefferson's religious heterodoxy From cartoons to scholarly work: Jytte Klausen The refusal of Yale University Press to republish the cartoons Attacks and convictions 5. The Rushdie Affair and Charles Taylor Backing for Khomeini's judgment in the Iranian Parliament Khamenei's sermon on the Rushdie Affair The Islamist response Rushdie's apology Not a clash of civilizations, but of visions The secular West against the religious Rest? Some early Muslim reactions to the publication of The Satanic Verses Rushdie's own defense: the centrality of doubt The debate about revelation The right to express a humanist view of life "Wade through a filthy drain" The multiculturalist response of Taylor, Dummett, and others The later Taylor 6. The Rushdie Affair and Michael Dummett The legal and the moral Michael Dummett and the cause of anti-racism Dummett on Rushdie The tragedy of being an honorary white Whose pain? President Carter on the role of religion in brokering peace Rushdie knew what he was doing Rushdie, Nietzsche, Freud and Spinoza Contemporary iconoclasts despised The realist response of John Berger and John Le Carré John Le Carré revisited and book burning Withdraw the book until a calmer time has come The political response and the press Some reactions by foreign states Other religious leaders Is reaching out a wise course to take? 7. Modern hostage taking Hostage taking in general Modern hostage taking Why modern hostage taking is so effective Contagious indignation The Kouachi Brothers' final declaration of loyalty Coda Their force or our weakness? Solutions References Index

Reviews and Features

"Cliteur provides extensive analysis of [the Rudi Carrell] episodes and their implications, before exploring further theoterrorist attacks on expression, including the slaying of the filmmaker Theo Van Gogh in 2004, the "Danish Cartoons Affair" of 2005, and the murderous attack on the staff of Charlie Hebdo in 2015. And he spends considerable space examining the arguments of those in the West who have defended the suppression of blasphemous speech on the grounds that great offence may be taken by religious believers."
- Rumy Hasan, August 2019,

"Academics limited by political correctness" - read Maarten Boudry's opinion piece for the NRC here.

"Paul Cliteur has written an important book. It’s a disturbing and enlightening read. Disturbing because it unveils how Western democracies since the mid 80s have reacted with confusion and disorientation when freedom of expression has been under attack. Enlightening because Cliteur brilliantly deconstructs the cognitive dissonance among politicians, intellectuals and the media and provides us with the analytical tools to understand what’s at stake. Cliteur lays bare the logic and consequences of our muted and incoherent response to threats of violence in the name of God. A book about freedom and safety for all of us."
- Flemming Rose, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, Washington D.C.

"A topical and timely book, presented in a way that is accessible and even entertaining - though also worrying in the tendencies that it identifies."
- Russell Blackford, Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle.

Paul Cliteur

Theoterrorism v. Freedom of Speech

From Incident to Precedent

The Rushdie Affair, the Danish Cartoon Affair, the assault on Charlie Hebdo, and the earlier Carrell Affair, are examples of religious fanatics' extreme reactions to religious satire and criticism. Perpetrators of these actions consider themselves as true believers. This book aims to understand their motives by means of the concept of theoterrorism: terrorism grounded in religious zealotry.

Paul Cliteur

Paul Cliteur is professor of jurisprudence at the University of Leiden. He has been visiting professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, and at Ghent University. He is the author of The Secular Outlook (2010) and coeditor of The Fall and Rise of Blasphemy Law (2016).