Charlie Hebdo – The ever fascinating utterly complicated issue of freedom of speech
A comment I posted at a site talking about the Charlie Hebdo incident:
Dora667 says: When I disobey religious mandates, I’m not “oppressing” those who want to abide by that religion, they have the right to do as they please. However, when religious people tell you that what you do is “blasphemy,” they engage in a serious –yet, almost impossible to challenge– act of oppression toward others. That’s what Charlie Hebdo was dealing with while pushing the limits of “freedom of expression:” the right to *disobey* by being utterly irreverent.
In all this “I defend freedom of speech” circus around the Charlie Hebdo incident, my 2 cents is that “hate speech” is the name given to blasphemy in the West – you are punished and go to prison just the same for your speech, even if the state can’t kill you (overtly). When people tell you that what you do is “blasphemy” OR “hate speech”, they engage in a serious act of oppression towards you – the suppression of your most fundamental right to speak. It’s clear that Charlie Hebdo supporters and the French dislike freedom of speech as much as the next imam or idiot.
See for example the case of Maurice Sinet, a French cartoonist on trial for his speech in France. Contrary to many people, and despite their ridiculous chest beating, I don’t see the Charlie cartoonists or the French or the West as any great defenders of freedom of speech. And given that it is one of the most fundamental issues in any society, it is a pity that our mass media don’t have more intelligent debates on the matter.
Maybe one silver lining in this tragedy is that there may be a bit of debate as a result, as I have had the opportunity to read now several very thoughtful articles and opinion pieces taking on multiple aspects involved in the Charlie Hebdo incident – like the fact that Charlie will now be funded by the govt. The little mouthpiece certainly got its reward for its dirty work to stoke the flames of racist hatred and will continue to do so.
But first things first, scrap away these “hate speech” censorship laws and then come tell me how much people support freedom of speech in the West. And you can scrap away with the laws about speech that deems to violate privacy of public figures while you’re at it. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech.
Unfortunately, since the West cannot be anything but a farce, it’s own blasphemy laws will all remain in place – perhaps will even be strengthened – after this affair. The schizophrenia must continue, as always.
I have much more to say, but I have been too busy reading, following, reflecting, and distressing over the evil politics that are behind and deeply intertwining in the Charlie Hebdo affair.
I posted a large number of links to good articles and nice quotes on my twitter feed @Alessandra_Ref – here are some of them:
The terrible truth is that it takes only a single gunman to kill a journalist, but it takes a nation to kill a right like free speech – http://jonathanturley.org/2015/01/11/if-france-wants-to-stand-with-charlie-hebdo-it-must-stand-first-with-free-speech/
Does anyone really believe that mocking Mohammed serves to stop terrorism rather than fomenting it?
As a Muslim, I’m Fed Up With the Hypocrisy of the Free Speech Fundamentalists – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mehdi-hasan/charlie-hebdo-free-speech_b_6462584.html
Charlie Hebdo, the free press and racism – http://www.workers.org/articles/2015/01/13/charlie-hebdo-free-press-racism/
Martino Mora: If Europe identifies with
#CharlieHebdo, it has already lost its battle.
Charlie Hebdo: crossing the Rubicon – http://dearinfidel.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-crossing-rubicon.html?m=1
http://t.co/oRGYxqBvk4 – Paul Berton: Is there a middle ground in all the madness?
http://t.co/mYeEOHSSd3 – Gilbert Rémond, militante del Partido Comunista Francés: yo no soy Charlie
#JeNeSuisPasCharlie Monsieur Valls a dit “nous sommes en guerre”. Et la première victime de la guerre c’est la vérité…
http://t.co/8EuYpg4i2N – Open letter and call for reflection – What should Islam be in the 21st cent?
http://t.co/LN75NjNWRI – Bertez: Appel à l’Union Nationale est une escroquerie de communiquant politique
Tina Beattie: greatest threats to freedoms are political & economic, not religious (I would add moral) http://t.co/X0CFwid7SM
Curiously we have less civil rights and less freedom of speech the more we have”anti-terrorism” & “hate speech” laws
http://t.co/IVABSomvuy – Viviamo in un’epoca tragica: la famiglia distrutta, i giovani senza ideali, la violenza…
http://t.co/Hj9W48eHYh William Saletan: there is no freedom of speech as long as we have”hate” speech laws -only hypocrisy
http://t.co/ANWOISiBSv – “Europa se consume en una espiral de odio xenófobo, de islamofobia, de anti-semitismo”
http://t.co/qrzp0jR7EN – Puedo decir miles de injurias hacia alguien y si se molesta decirle que es mi libertad de expresión?
http://t.co/94BJ2FWvaG – Descolonizaçoes: Quando um humorista faz uma piada racista, está endossando o racismo de quem ri
As sad as this tragedy is, now comes the orgy of hate as the reaction – all so justified
“I’m offended when those oppressed in a society are deliberately insulted” – http://t.co/LjEGARvqu3
Ich bin nicht Charlie Hebdo – http://t.co/tzZpFOy3wM
#CharlieHebdo – It’s Der Stürmer all over again…
“Yo no considero estos dibujitos como humor, simplemente son insultos q quieren incitar odio” – http://t.co/iHWTkbSa3i
Mi dispiace, ma io non sono Charlie! – http://t.co/KQE0mEpIH6
“Je ne suis pas Charlie” or two reasons we should reject polarization – https://t.co/ORr6viLn8t
C’est sacré quand BFMTV le décide et le reste du temps c’est rigolo ? – http://t.co/Z6kzPxQZMI
We can all have free speech in the West, some in the streets and some in jail 😉
Causing offence ought not to be a crime. But often, the purpose is inciting hatred against others – http://t.co/K3IYIozE2O
#CharlieHebdo did everything to fuel hatred. They’ve achieved their objective – hate is pouring forth & will escalate
murder is indefensible, but supporting a racist publication is naive
Una Messa a Punto – http://t.co/P1cBNt5Bgo
Only 2 years ago in 2013, and France decreed that “hateful” tweets are criminal and should be censored – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jan/02/free-speech-twitter-france
Lastly (for now), there was this little episode:
(headline:) EN DIRECT. Attentat à Charlie Hebdo : les forces d’élite de retour ===> I read this first as saying the “power elites” were back in full force telling us how to think and which (liberal) gods to bow down to and vomiting their sexist, racist, anti-religion hate and vitriol and inciting us to unite in hate of you know who…
Ah, an enlightened article, I thought – then I realized I had mistakenly interpreted forces d’élite – or “elite forces”. The French means the special elite police forces were back to hunt for the terrorists 🙂
Of course, no mention of all the other elite forces that were right behind them.