"The most contentious assertion in Berman's book is that some of the most prominent of people who rushed to the defense of Salman Rushdie when he was threatened with death for a novel deemed blasphemously irreverent to Islam, have failed to offer wholehearted support to Muslim dissidents today. This failure, Berman argues, represents a deeply troubling abandonment of Enlightenment values in the face of recurrent threats to freedom of expression. […] In any case, Berman's portrait of the behavior of today's intellectuals when confronting the plight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali is devastating. I was going to say his portrait of certain intellectuals, because he singles out the well-respected writers Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash for their aggressive sniping and snarking at Hirsi Ali when she was (and still is) under threat of death. But in fact the relative silence of the rest of the intelligentsia, when confronted with the threats against her, is almost more scandalous".