[This article is reprinted from IsraelNationalNews.com.]
Dr. Jamie Glazov and his Canadian publisher, Mantua Books, have just published a new kind of “samizdat” which is the Russian word for self-publications written by dissidents and passed from hand to hand. “Self-publishing” (by hand, on typewriters, on printing presses) was a 20th century way of dealing with Soviet government censorship. The Russian authors and readers who were found with such writing in their possession were routinely subjected to harsh imprisonment.
Westerners, (and this includes Israel), do not live in a Soviet Gulag and are not subject to political censorship, but we do face a new kind of Orwellian censorship and self-censorship. Independent and anti-totalitarian thinkers and activists are demonized, “disappeared,” legally sued, threatened with death—and in the name of anti-racism and human rights. Historian, journalist and Frontpage editor Glazov has been tracking this astounding turn of events—both the censorship and its denial—for a very long time, perhaps even in utero. After all, his parents were Soviet dissidents and he dedicates the book to his mother.
Glazov’s book is a careful compilation of selected interviews which he conducted with 30 dissidents, including one with himself and (full disclosure) one with me as well, between 2004-2010. These interviews appeared in David Horowitz’s Frontpage magazine. The book is titled: Showdown With Evil: Our Struggle Against Tyranny and Terror. Glazov understands that the new Evil Empire is the global alliance between Islamist totalitarianism and western liberal progressivism or leftism. The interviewees’ work is post the Intifada of 2000 and post 9/11.
This collection showcases some of the radically dissident work being done by those who are defamed and marginalized by the mainstream media as “conservatives,” “Islamophobes,” “racists,” and “traitors.” Glazov stands with them. Included here are Steven Emerson, Victor Davis Hanson, David Horowitz, Andrew Klavan, Rep. Sue Myrick, Robert Spencer, and Charles Winecoff.
[Cartoon by Diversitylane.wordpress.com.]
Glazov has consistently and persistently supported human rights, women’s rights and gay rights. He has a very moving interview with Charles Winecoff in this book. Winecoff “came out” as a conservative in the gay rights movement and had the same kind of “Darkness at Noon” experience that others, including myself have had.
Technically, Glazov did not “self-publish.” Publisher Howard Rotberg founded Mantua Books and is Glazov’s publisher. On the other hand, Mantua is a small, relatively new press, one which was forged in fire, and Rotberg is as determined as Glazov is to publish the truth-which-dare-not-speak-its-name in most mainstream western publications.
Rotberg, a Jewish lawyer, self-published his first novel, The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and Its Author, in 2003. He was not only defamed in a Canadian bookstore when two Arabs disrupted his lecture by calling him a “f**ing Jew” but was then labeled a racist-Zionist. His work was banned from the bookstore chain. Since then, Mantua has published six books, including David Solway’s Hear, O Israel and now this work by Glazov.
The interviewer, Glazov, and his interviewees all understand that their difficulties here are nowhere near as perilous as are those of their counterparts in the Islamic and communist world where the media is controlled by the state and in which anyone who publishes anything—however minor—against the party line (or which exposes the corruption of government officials), is jailed, tortured, or murdered.
For example, in 2006, Moscow journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered because of her opposition to Putin’s policies in Chechyna; her murderer remains unknown. Attorney Sergei L. Magnitsky exposed official Russian corruption against an American firm. He was jailed in 2008, and then refused medical treatment while in custody; this purposeful neglect killed him. Finally, professor and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo was arrested, sentenced to eleven years in prison and, in 2010, not allowed to travel to Sweden to receive the Noble Peace Prize. His crime? “Inciting subversion of state power” by crafting and signing a human rights charter in 2008.
And, in the Islamic world: In 2006, Kareem Amer, an Egyptian blogger and former law student, was expelled from al-Azhar University for criticizing some of the university’s instructors, writing in his blog that the “professors and sheikhs at al-Azhar who … stand against anyone who thinks freely” would “end up in the dustbin of history”. The prosecutor admitted that he was on a “jihad” against Amer. In 2007, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison on charges of atheism (“There is no God except Man,” he wrote). His words were seen as defaming the President of Egypt, disrupting public security, and inciting hatred against Islam.
In September 2010, Hossein Derakshan, known as Iran’s “blogfather” because he helped to start Iran’s blogging revolution, was sentenced to 19 ½ years in prison, supposedly for spying on behalf of Israel. He left Iran for Canada in 2000 and visited Israel as a Canadian citizen in 2006. Although at first he was harshly critical of President Ahmadinejad, eventually he changed his mind and began blogging in favor of him, even comparing him to a modern-day Che Guevara. But the regime still decided to make an example of him when he returned to Iran in 2008.
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