Nothing I am about to write should be read as diminishing in any way my sympathy for Salman Rushdie, or my outrage at the appalling attack on him. Those who more than 30 years ago put a fatwa on his head after he wrote the novel, “The Satanic Verses,” made this assault possible. They deserve contempt. I wish him a speedy recovery. But my natural compassion for a victim of violence and my regularly expressed support for free speech should not at the same time blind me or you to the cant and

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