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Pictured above the winning cartoon by artist Bosch Fawstin, author of the Pigman graphic novels. — Ed

Today, a free speech event in Texas was attacked by two gunmen, who were shot and killed by police when the attackers opened fire and injured security guard Bruce Joiner (read the event and assault details here). Because the event, featuring a speech by a member of Dutch parliament, involves a cartoon award bestowed for the best drawing of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, the assault must be presumed to be another Islamic terrorist attack.

Despite—or due to?—the nature of the event, there is no mention of Islam or Moslem terrorism by the statement issued by the conservative, Republican governor of Texas, which mimics every Obama administration knee-jerk response to an act of potential Islamic terrorist violence and merely refers to a “senseless act”.

In fact, before the event, which is sponsored by an activist against Islam who says she sought to exercise free speech on principle, the Texas town’s residents denounced the event on principle, comparing its intent and purpose to shouting ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater and denying even the fact that it is an exercise of free speech. One resident spoke out against the anti-Islamic event, which is currently protected by the First Amendment, as a threat to “public safety”. Of course, the oft-cited fire in a theater claim is also a distortion of the freedom of speech; it is totally justifiable to speak up in case of one’s belief that there is an impending emergency, such as a fire, even if one turns out to be wrong.

There is more to learn about today’s attack, such as who sponsored it, the motive of the attackers, and why the government failed again—as in Boston, Benghazi and on September 11, 2001—to stop an act of war by Moslem radicals in spite of mass, unchecked surveillance of the entire U.S. population and government control of travel.

Whatever the specific facts about today’s act of war against America and the individual liberty America once stood—and, still, mostly stands for—May 3, 2015 marks a major turn for the worst for liberty in the United States. Americans should already know that we are at war with state sponsors of Islamic terrorism. Americans should already know that we are in conflict with our own American government, which sanctions, appeases and actively supports state sponsors of Islamic terrorism and seeks to control the everyday lives of Americans.

With this news of an assault on a cartoon event in America’s Lone Star state, especially after the Paris attack on Charlie Hebdo, a mass murder of artists for cartoon depictions of Mohammed, Americans can no longer deny, ignore or evade that more Americans—the most religious, Christian, conservative Texans—oppose the freedom of speech. After today, in my estimation, more bad Americans will follow and rise to oppose the freedom of speech in the name of “public safety” and the fire-in-a-theater nonsense.

Today’s attack should motivate defenders of liberty. However, as seen by the town’s opposition to this event, it is likely to motivate the advocates for censorship.

This should make the good Americans and those who support the absolute freedom of speech, such as PEN American Center, CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour, Salman Rushdie—who this week came out in support of PEN’s courage award for Charlie Hebdo—focus and fight more strongly and with more passion and reason while speaking out more often than ever. As Pamela Geller, the organizer of the anti-Islamic event, said and asked: ‘This is a war. This is war on free speech. What are we going to do? Are we going to surrender to these monsters?”

The few and best Americans must rise to defend today’s artists and thinkers and oppose the voices for tyranny—on the right, on the left and especially those waffling in the middle of the road—with a united and uncompromising stand for reason, egoism and individual rights. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, the rational American must never surrender—and never submit to silence, censorship or the sickeningly insidious attack on free speech. This is the real fight of the century. Liberty must be avenged.

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Scott Holleran is a writer and journalist. His articles have been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. Visit his Web site at www.scottholleran.com.