Freedom of Speech, really?

Sep 22nd, 2012 | By | Category: Latest, Religion, World

Solid argument in Huffpost from Geoffery R Stone (A distinguished professor of Law at University of Chicago) that even if what you say in public is inflammatory and incite violent reaction, you cannot be blamed for it because of this idea called ‘freedom of expression’ (according to the first amendment of the US Constitution).

I wouldn’t go into much detail describing the hypocrisy reflected by such laws and other statements made by Sec. Clinton and government officials especially when you compare it with the all the fuss same media pundits created over nude photos of a princess of Royal family. But it’s just that when you seriously threaten, prosecute and force to shut down some publisher for pushing what you consider indecent, why so dud and lifeless on what 1.6 Billion people and one of the largest religious communities on globe considers, not only indecent but also severely punishable. What I want to discuss is the hypocritical posture of EU & the West on such issues, sensitive to Muslims; Blasphemy being on the top.

Freedom of Expression you say? Let’s be objective now!

1.   In the Parliament of EU a resolution was adopted in last decade which enforces punishment by Law, against anyone propagating racist and/or prejudiced speech. The target of the Resolution was holocaust denial. As a pretext (and in some countries the aftermath) of this resolution was the adoption of holocaust denial laws. Such Laws are present in Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Czech Republic, and many more European countries. So today, in majority of eastern European countries and some West European countries too, you can be sentenced to prison for up to 15 years or fined a hefty amount or both on merely your words denying or diminishing the severity of Holocaust in your speech or writings. From 1999 to present, dozens of people have been sentenced prison or fined. Dr. Robert Faurisson PhD. a professor of French Literature at University of Lyons France was dismissed from his post, fined 7500 Euros criticized & discredited worldwide by mainstream media for his articles published in Journal of Historical Review. In these articles he denied (with evidence) the existence of Hitler’s famous “Gas chambers” and some other facts related to holocaust. This was one of the most important cases of Holocaust denial. Apart from this, there were dozens of cases where such ‘blasphemous’ people were thrown in to jail for up to 5 years.

2.  Acknowledging the fact that US and UK do not have Holocaust denial laws because of same Freedom of speech, this entity is still not absolute. The prominent exception where such freedom is exempted is SLANDER. So it’s ridiculous that a community which protects its politicians and celebrities from slandering cannot comprehend the same idea for a personality Muslims hold more beloved than their life by faith. It’s still a big question mark on the standards of the so called developed world the majority of which has laws protecting citizens and inhabitants from hateful speech to stop them from developing inflammatory reaction and keeping peace. Nevertheless, it is the same west, which allows mudslinging on the most-beloved and most-respected personality in the history of the world realizing all these facts and labels the agitated as Intolerant, Retrogressive, Dark Age-ions. I don’t want to impose labels but such an absurd mentality can only be expected from an extremely bigoted state of mind. But again, maybe it is a matter of hidden prejudice especially if history (of dark ages) is accounted for.

I have an impression which is based on reality that probably, world peace is no longer important for the West.

Hassaan Choudry

About the author

Hassaan Choudhry is a medical doctor by profession and a debater by passion fervently interested in politics and history.

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