Mr. Carey, in an email interview yesterday, said the award stepped beyond the group’s traditional role of protecting freedom of expression against government oppression.
“A hideous crime was committed, but was it a freedom-of-speech issue for PEN America to be self-righteous about?” he wrote.
He added, “All this is complicated by PEN’s seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population.”…
“If PEN as a free speech organization can’t defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name,” [Salman] Rushdie said. “What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them.”