I shall keep harping on this subject until I am heard or dead or everyone understands.
|Mona Lisa, Censored|
Now, my chance to sound off on the issue closest to my heart. I know I have causes and issues up to my ears and leaking out my kazoo, but if I had just one, it would be freedom of speech/the press/expression.
This gentleman, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, says:
"Freedom of speech is one thing, but usage of your freedom should not be to offend others or advocate hate speech or provoke people to violence."
I DISAGREE!!! STRONGLY. One purpose of freedom of speech is to be offensive if one believes offense is called for. I have often written and published statements that some people find highly offensive and I shall continue to do so when I deem it necessary. Offensive speech is exactly what freedom of speech is meant to protect. And what one person finds completely innocuous, another may find inflammatory.
As for HATE SPEECH, does anyone really believe that censoring it stops it? It merely drives it underground. Better to let the nasties express themselves openly where they can be seen and we know who they are. "Provoke to violence" is a bit more difficult, but what provokes one to violence will not provoke another. Some people are violent and will respond violently. Are we going to give them control of what we say and print?
Purposely blaspheming anyone's religion is crude and infantile and it's something no civilised person would purposely do, especially not publicly as on the Internet, but censorship is just not the solution. Again, it only drives the fools underground and renders them invisible to spread their venom. Better the devil you can see than the devil hiding amongst us, invisible.
Free speech is dangerous, yes. But the alternative is much worse. Censorship? I'll let Patrick Henry speak for me:
Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?FORBID IT, ALMIGHTY GOD!I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
I shall now quote Voltaire's (or somebody's) famous statement and then stop:
"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend to the death your right to say it."