35
   

Does freedom of speech excuse preaching hate?

 
 
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 05:29 am
If you don't know the American ambassador to Libya was killed yesterday, by a mob angry with the USA for allowing Terry Jones (not of Monty Python, but the Koran burner) to distribute a film mocking the prophet Mohammed. If you've not seen any of it, it's badly acted, chock-full of inaccuracies and seems to have no purpose other than to insult Moslems. Now another American has died as a result of Terry Jones actions. Is it time for America to introduce legislation banning the preaching of hate similar to laws in Europe?



Quote:
The US ambassador to Libya has died after an attack by militiamen on the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi, Libyan officials say.

Ambassador Christopher Stevens is said to be among four US officials killed in a protest over a US-produced film that is said to insult the Prophet Muhammad.

US media quote US officials confirming the ambassador's death. But there is no comment from the state department.

Protesters have also attacked the US embassy in Cairo over the film.

In the attack in Benghazi, unidentified armed men stormed the grounds, shooting at buildings and throwing handmade bombs into the compound.

Security forces returned fire but Libyan officials say they were overwhelmed.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-19570254
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Type: Discussion • Score: 35 • Views: 21,889 • Replies: 594

 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 06:03 am
To me, it's the equivalent of shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater. The man who inspired this thread is happily promoting a war with Islam. Why should he be allowed?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:01 am
@edgarblythe,
I agree with you Ed. There seems to be no other point to this film other than insulting Moslems. It's not even a critique, it's just an out and out assault.
maxdancona
 
  5  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:07 am
Freedom of speech protects preaching hate.

Be definition, once you start telling people what they can and can't say you have taken away the freedom of speech.
engineer
 
  8  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:10 am
@izzythepush,
Freedom of speech doesn't excuse preaching hate but it does allow it. It equally allows us to condemn in the strongest way the hater. That said, that some nutcase in a population of 300 million decided to make a hateful movie does not in any way justify the death of the US ambassador. If the demonstrations were peaceful, would we be having this conversation? If a peaceful mob were protesting, we would say that is how freedom of speech works. You can be an ass and we can call you on it. Because the mob was violent we want to restrict free speech? I can't see that.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:11 am
@maxdancona,
We seem to do fine over here, freedom of speech shouldn't be about spreading lies and hate.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:20 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
Because the mob was violent we want to restrict free speech? I can't see that.


The violence goes both ways, many Moslems living in America feel intimidated. It has been suggested that the white supremacist who shot up the Gurdwara thought he was shooting Moslems.
maxdancona
 
  6  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:21 am
@izzythepush,
Let's try this again. Freedom of speech is about defending speech. It isn't about "spreading" speech or "promoting" speech. Freedom of speech means that people can express whatever they feel is true.

Once you start telling people what they can and can't say, you no longer have "freedom of speech".
maxdancona
 
  7  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:25 am
@izzythepush,
I respect your opinion, but you should be honest about it.

You can't ban certain types of speech and then call it "freedom of speech". If you are telling people that they can't express certain ideas, then you are taking away freedom of speech.

You should at least be honest. What you would like to do is take away freedom of speech. Then we can discuss whether this is a good idea.

But you can't ban speech and call it freedom of speech.
engineer
 
  8  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:28 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

engineer wrote:
Because the mob was violent we want to restrict free speech? I can't see that.

The violence goes both ways, many Moslems living in America feel intimidated. It has been suggested that the white supremacist who shot up the Gurdwara thought he was shooting Moslems.

But hateful free speech is better than hateful actions. I'd much prefer the nutcase in Wisconsin stand on a soapbox spewing hate than enter a building spewing bullets and I prefer seeing the haters and knowing who they are rather than believing that because you don't see them they aren't there.
tsarstepan
 
  5  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:34 am
@izzythepush,
So violence and murder should be justified if you are reacting to a Razzie worthy film? Seriously?

If the film is that high on hate mongering, don't react to it by storming a random 'proverbial castle' and killing those people inside. Protest the filmmaker (nonviolently) and/or just ignore the crappy film. It probably would have gone to the great crappy movie dust bin without any undeserved notice.

Blaming the filmmaker for this hideously overreaction is unnecessary and defends this overkill reaction. Should they go on a killing spree for parodies (South Park, etc...) be justified as well?

No. We shouldn't be legislating antispeech laws because of another violent under/uneducated group decides murder is the best way to protest crap culture. Violent fundamentalists should never be cowed down to.

These fundamentalists need to get a grip on their violent tendencies and figure out their priorities. They need to assign blame to their daily frustrations not on crappy filmmakers but to their newly inept government which they themselves put into place. This is another sign that the Arab Spring is an abject monstrous failure.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:37 am
@maxdancona,
We have laws against spreading hate in the UK. Now you may think that means we don't have freedom of speech. I disagree, as long as you're not spreading hate you can say pretty much what you want. David Icke claimed the queen was a shape shifting lizard.

Freedom of speech is about being able to say things about government, and the rich and powerful without fear of reprisal. It's about discussing unpleasant truths and unorthodox opinionion. This is a complete perversion of freedom of speech.

Hate crimes have never had to worry about freedom of speech in that they normally target the powerless. The Inquisition, and The Protocols Of Zion, were both the product of oppressive regimes.

I am not allowed to spread hate, but I think I have freedom of speech.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:38 am
@engineer,
Spreading hate leads to violent actions. People read watch such material and take action.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:43 am
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

So violence and murder should be justified if you are reacting to a Razzie worthy film? Seriously?


I never said that.

tsarstepan wrote:
These fundamentalists need to get a grip on their violent tendencies and figure out their priorities. They need to assign blame to their daily frustrations not on crappy filmmakers but to their newly inept government which they themselves put into place. This is another sign that the Arab Spring is an abject monstrous failure.


Easier said than done, Democracy is very new in the Middle East, it takes a while to get established. You can't compare Libya or Egypt with a long established democracy. In both of these cases the revolution is still ongoing. There are fundamentalists who want to turn the Arab world into one giant caliphate with America as the Great Satan, and this sort of thing plays into their hands.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:52 am
@izzythepush,
Quote:
We have laws against spreading hate in the UK. Now you may think that means we don't have freedom of speech. I disagree, as long as you're not spreading hate you can say pretty much what you want.


With this definition every country in the world has freedom of speech. You are making the term meaningless.

tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:54 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

tsarstepan wrote:

So violence and murder should be justified if you are reacting to a Razzie worthy film? Seriously?


I never said that.

You did so implicitly when you directly blamed the horrible and talentless filmmaker for the deaths in Libya.

Quote:
Easier said than done, Democracy is very new in the Middle East, it takes a while to get established. You can't compare Libya or Egypt with a long established democracy. In both of these cases the revolution is still ongoing. There are fundamentalists who want to turn the Arab world into one giant caliphate with America as the Great Satan, and this sort of thing plays into their hands.

And in this day and age with information and accessibility to it being far greater then that in the times of US and French Revolutions, heck even the well documented failed Russian and Mao Revolutions, if they can't get their acts together to see what long established democracies have succeeded and which ones failed, then yes its a viable comparison. They want a theocracy. Hence, failed democratic movement.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:58 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

What you would like to do is take away freedom of speech. Then we can discuss whether this is a good idea.


Beautiful. I don't know if you did that on purpose, but just beautiful. Obviously, we might very well not be able to discuss this without freedom of speech.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 07:58 am
@maxdancona,
Not at all, in oppressive regimes things that criticise the regime are censured, and the writers are locked up.

Anti hate speech legislation protects the weak and powerless, not the strong and powerful.

I'm not prohibited from telling the truth, but I can't make stuff up about groups of people I don't like.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 08:00 am
@tsarstepan,
Terry Jones does bear some responsibility for the deaths of people in Libya and Afghanistan, but that doesn't mean the killers should be allowed to get away with it. You're misrepresenting my position.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Wed 12 Sep, 2012 08:01 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

Quote:
We have laws against spreading hate in the UK. Now you may think that means we don't have freedom of speech. I disagree, as long as you're not spreading hate you can say pretty much what you want.


With this definition every country in the world has freedom of speech. You are making the term meaningless.
Perhaps. But like in the UK, we here in Germany (and moct other European) are "weighting" the various freedoms.
Thus, for instance our constitution says in article 5 (freedom of expression)
Quote:
These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honor.


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