COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- I am being patted down by a female Danish security officer in the basement of the parliament building in Copenhagen and I have a thought. I have just triggered the metal detector -- my heels, I'm sure -- en route upstairs to the Landstingssalen, formerly the parliament's upper house. There, I am scheduled to deliver a speech at the invitation of the Danish Free Press Society, or Trykkefrihedsselskabet. (Say that three times fast -- or slow.)
Indeed, I am holding the text of my 20-minute address inside a folder in one of my hands, now rigidly outstretched as I am being searched. The speech is called "The Impact of Islam on Free Speech in the U.S.," but as I am checked for bombs and knives and whatnot, my thought is of the impact of Islam on free society everywhere.
Such a thought surely tops the heights of "political incorrectness," I know. But what should I do -- not express it? Not think it? Not even notice that Western civilization, in skewing to accommodate the jihad threat of Islam within, has already traded away too much precious freedom?
As the security officer continues patting me down, I follow this forbidden train of thought to the realization that it is only due to the incursions of Islam into the West -- Islam with its death penalty for criticism of Islam -- that I am now standing here under guard. Here we are (for there is a long line behind me by now), participants in a conference to consider Islam's censoring impact on free speech, and Danish security is doing its best to prevent Islam from censoring the speech of anyone here permanently. This strikes me as an exceedingly hard way to prove a point.
Not that there are many people likely to try outside the elegant, security-ringed conference room upstairs. In PC lingo, security in the basement is looking for "terrorists" or "extremists" -- those postmodern designations for perpetrators of Islamic jihad that, presto, turn everything Islamic into something generic. Still, with Islam comes jihad, and with jihad comes Islamic law (Sharia), no matter what "experts" tell you. And because Islam is a growing presence in the West, Western countries must now and presumably forever expend vast sums of money and manpower to manage -- not defeat, just manage -- the jihad that can break out in acts large and small at any time. Increasingly, this also means deferring to Sharia.