How to Defend Freedom of Speech in the Face of Religious Attacks

by | Nov 16, 2015

Charlie Hebdo, the West and the Need to Ridicule Religion.

Attacks like the one on January 7, 2015, against the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris are becoming all too common. Threats by Islamic terrorists and dictatorial regimes have been happening since Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie in 1989. In this talk, Ayn Rand Institute senior fellow Onkar Ghate discusses how to defend freedom of speech in the face of religious attacks. This talk was recorded on Saturday, July 4, 2015, at the Objectivist Summer Conference 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Ghate is a resident fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute where he teaches in the Institute’s Objectivist Academic Center. He has lectured on philosophy and Objectivism throughout North America.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.


  1. Dr. Ghate often offers the most clear and concise analysis. This presentation is no exception. Thank you for posting.

  2. This presenter grouping “religion” under one banner while addressing tactics of radical Islam is poorly thought out few-to-many fallacy. Encouraging people to mock or be hostile to law-abiding, peaceful people exercising their freedom religion is a bad idea.

    Likewise, the presenters definition of “religion” is narrow. Merrimack-Webster definitions 2 & 4
    Describe religion as a set of personal or institutional set of beliefs held to with faith and ardor; much more inclusive; including atheists. Dr. Ghate’s argument is an exercise in equivocation at best. He is simply arguing my religion is better than others – embarrassing indeed.

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