|Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2009 3:20 pm Post subject: Bruce Bawer comes to Ottawa
|All attendess to this event will receive a free copy of the DVD Obsession! Please pass this email around to your friends and others who might be interested.
Free Thinking Film Society
The Free Thinking Film Society Presents our first speaker!
We are proud to announce that Bruce Bawer will be coming to Ottawa on September 14th to speak to us. We will also be hosting a reception for Bruce and everybody right after his speech and Q&A.
Date: September 14, 2009, 7:00 PM
Place: National Archives/Library of Canada, 395 Wellington Street Ottawa
Admission includes reception at the Archives
Tickets are now available at two locations:
Ottawa Folklore Centre (1111 Bank Street, Ottawa, (613) 730-2887) - in Ottawa South.
Compact Music (190 Bank Street) Near Nepean.
Bruce Bawer's latest book is "Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom". and here are some short reviews:
"Sublimely literate and rational...an immensely important and urgent book."
- Booklist (boxed, starred review)
"An alarming, depressing, brilliant and remarkably courageous book."
- Martin Sieff, Washington Times
"Bruce Bawer has yet again written an excellent book....I truly hope that it will serve as an eye-opener for everyone." - Geert Wilders
“Written with an urgency and clarity that makes it hard to stop reading and re-reading it. It should be studied by all who wish to understand the forces at work in the West that make an Islamic ‘House of Peace’ a brewing nightmare.”
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali
"With courage and verve, Bruce Bawer builds the case for how 'the West is on the road to sharia'....Bawer rousingly and rightly argues that the West’s unwavering principle must be 'a refusal to sacrifice or compromise liberty - no matter what.'"
- Daniel Pipes, Director, Middle East Forum
"Liberals should be in the forefront of the defense of free expression against the deeply disturbing threats Bruce Bawer documents."
- Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and The Shakespeare Wars
BIO of Bruce Bawer
Considered one of America's leading cultural critics, Bruce Bawer was born in New York City in 1956 and received his BA, MA, and PhD in English from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Described by Kirkus Reviews as "a literary essayist for the ages," he has published several volumes of literary criticism, including Diminishing Fictions (1988), The Aspect of Eternity (1993), and Prophets and Professors (1995). His other books include A Place at the Table (1993), one of the most influential books ever written about homosexuality; Stealing Jesus (1997), which Publishers Weekly called “a must-read book for anyone concerned with the relationship of Christianity to contemporary American culture"; Coast to Coast (1993), which was named by the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook as the year’s best first book of poems; and While Europe Slept (2006), a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and New York Times bestseller. Bawer's latest book, Surrender (2009), was described by Booklist as "sublimely literate and rational...immensely important and urgent." Bawer has also contributed hundreds of articles and reviews to such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, City Journal, The Wilson Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New Republic, Cato Policy Report, The Nation, and The Times Literary Supplement, and is a regular contributor of literary essays to The Hudson Review. Since 1999 he has made his home in Oslo, Norway.
New York Times Book Review
There is no more important issue facing the West than Islamism, Islamofascism or — to use yet another label — radical Islam. And there is no more necessary precondition to countering that threat than understanding it: where it springs from, how it is expressed and the ways in which it is spreading. But before we do any of that, we have to agree that the threat exists.
For the United States, the danger so far has taken the form of terror, as 9/11 so clearly demonstrated. In Europe, terror is real too, but a more insidious problem has now taken hold: many liberals and others on the European left are making common cause with radical Islam and then brazenly and bizarrely denying both the existence of that alliance and in fact the existence of any Islamist threat whatever.
Bruce Bawer’s “Surrender: Appeasing Islam, Sacrificing Freedom” is focused on this phenomenon. Bawer, an American writer who lives in Norway — the archetype, even the caricature, of the liberal European mind-set — seeks to show, among other things, that the United States is becoming as culpable as Europe, its liberal news media and college campuses willfully refusing to acknowledge the danger posed by radical Islam and opening their pages and seminars to those who seek the undoing of the very tenets that allow liberals — and everyone else — their freedoms. Bawer devotes much of his book to an attack on The New York Times for refusing to highlight the Islamist threat while swallowing the claims of figures like Tariq Ramadan, a supposed moderate who, Bawer writes, is “a habitual practitioner of the Islamic art of taqiyya — which essentially means saying one thing in Arabic and another thing in English or French.”
But it’s when he turns to Europe that Bawer is able to provide example upon example of how the West is becoming its own worst enemy. He cites, for instance, the welcome offered by the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to the Muslim cleric Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who supports suicide bombing and the execution of homosexuals. Livingstone proudly hugged Qaradawi in public at City Hall.
That alliance between a man who is presumed to be a proud liberal — Livingstone was a member of the same Labour Party as the prime minister at the time, Tony Blair — and a Muslim cleric who would return the West to barbarism was far from unique. But Livingstone is a politician. He is accountable to voters for his behavior, and he was voted out of office.
More pernicious, perhaps, is the refusal of institutions that depend on freedom of speech for their very existence to stand up for that freedom. Bawer analyzes the story of the 12 cartoons of Muhammad published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in September 2005, which is emblematic of the “surrender” of his title. When the paper was attacked by radical Muslims for daring to mock Muhammad, solidarity from other newspapers in supposedly free nations across the globe was paltry. The response of political leaders was even worse. Rather than confronting a blatant, indeed self-proclaimed, attempt to ensure that Islam could not be treated like any other subject in a free country — that is, mocked, criticized or satirized — politicians and editors simply cowered in fear of retaliation. Even those newspapers that offered words of support to Jyllands-Posten refused to reprint the cartoons.
Almost the only leader to show any backbone was the Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. His response to a demand by Muslim leaders for a meeting was to tell them that “it is so self-evidently clear what principles Danish society is based upon that there is nothing to have a meeting about.”
“Surrender” is, at times, hard going. In part that is because of the level of detail Bawer offers in support of his argument. But “Surrender” is hard going in another respect as well. Bawer is unquestionably correct, and that fact is quite simply terrifying.
Stephen Pollard, the editor of The Jewish Chronicle, is the author of “Ten Days That Changed the Nation: The Making of Modern Britain.”
Bill Moyers interview of Bruce Bawer...