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Home / World News / Rowling, Rushdie, Atwood sign letter warning liberals of illiberalism

Rowling, Rushdie, Atwood sign letter warning liberals of illiberalism

The letter criticised the state of public debate and the “swift and severe retribution” dealt out to any perceived wrongs. It decried an “intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism.’’

world Updated: Jul 08, 2020 23:37 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
London
JK Rowling
JK Rowling

Dozens of artists, writers and academics have signed an open letter decrying the weakening of public debate and warning that the free exchange of information and ideas is in jeopardy amid a rise in what they call “illiberalism”.

JK Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Margaret Atwood are among the f writers, artists and academics to argue against ideological conformity in an open letter in Harper’s Magazine. The letter comes amid a debate over so-called “cancel culture” - where prominent people face attack for sharing controversial opinions. “The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy,’’ the letter said.

“But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion - which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.’’

The letter criticised the state of public debate and the “swift and severe retribution” dealt out to any perceived wrongs. It decried an “intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism.’’

“The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away,’’ the letter said.

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