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Shut Up and Play Nice: How the Western World Is Limiting Free Speech

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the if-you-don't-have-anything-nice-to-say dept.

Censorship 1160

concealment writes "In the face of the violence that frequently results from anti-religious expression, some world leaders seem to be losing their patience with free speech. After a video called 'Innocence of Muslims' appeared on YouTube and sparked violent protests in several Muslim nations last month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that 'when some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others' values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected.' It appears that the one thing modern society can no longer tolerate is intolerance. As Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard put it in her recent speech before the United Nations, 'Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.'"

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GIRLS ON FILM !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657355)

See it here, first !!

Re:GIRLS ON FILM !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657753)

Are these muslim girls? Wrestling in mud? Naked?

the maiming and killing must be ok with them (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about 2 years ago | (#41657357)

but speech that triggers violent behaviour in religious whackjobs must be curtailed!

Re:the maiming and killing must be ok with them (3, Insightful)

alphatel (1450715) | about 2 years ago | (#41657407)

It is your own fault that you have suffered this jihad. Your must be destroyed. It is too bad I cannot learn that killing in the name of God is ultimately killing in the name of Ignorance. But that is because all your oil money doesn't trickle down to me.

Re:the maiming and killing must be ok with them (1, Troll)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 2 years ago | (#41657559)

Sweet, sweet victim-blaming.

BEWARE OF THE ORWELLIANS (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657715)

So now we have people who are labeling individualism with hate. Orwellianism is happening right now; as we speak.

This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657383)

Trading our liberties for other imagined benefits will not end well. You cannot crack the door for this beast.

Re:This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657577)

Appeasement didn't work with the Nazis, why would it work with Islamofascist scum?

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about.. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657627)

I have a crystal ball. It has shown me the future. The day that 'intolerance' is made into 'hate speech':

"Arrest that man! He doesn't tolerate my abuses of power! That's intolerant!"

Re:This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about.. (5, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | about 2 years ago | (#41657665)

crack the door ?
crack the door ??
crack the door ???

David Irving. Dozens of Muslim political prisoners (Tarek Mehanna, most recent - exclusively free speech).

On 11 November 2005, the Austrian police in the southern state of Styria, acting under the 1989 warrant, arrested Irving. Irving pleaded guilty to the charge of "trivialising, grossly playing down and denying the Holocaust" and was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in accordance with the law prohibiting National Socialist activities (officially Verbotsgesetz, "Prohibition Statute").

The door has been cracked open long time ago, it's just this time they are coming for you, Martin.

Re:This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about.. (5, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | about 2 years ago | (#41657815)

European governments have never embraced the concept of absolute Freedom of Speech. It is a peculiarly (U.S.) American idea, which never caught on, elsewhere. Not even in Canada, as a matter of fact.

Why so anonymous? (5, Interesting)

stevegee58 (1179505) | about 2 years ago | (#41657683)

I never thought I'd say the US was a beacon for anything without feeling embarrassed. But if protecting free speech, even hateful, intolerant, vitriolic speech, is all the US stands for then I'm damn proud to be American.
F.U. to the cowardly countries who can't stand to hear opposing opinions that might upset someone.

Still not technically illegal... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657739)

But remember politicians trying to get the Koran burning fundie from Florida to not burn Korans? Yeah, that was bullshit.

Or the bleats that "Oh they'll be extra mad in Iraq and Afghanistan and attack the soldiers even more!"

Bunch of crap.

Re:This is what Benjamin Frankin warned us about.. (3, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#41657691)

This needs to become a hot button item. Everyone needs to ask about it and it should be a polarizing issue like abortion and gay rights seems to be. This is far more important than either of those in shear number of people affected. If a politician votes to limit any of the freedoms outlined in the Bill of Rights he does not get my vote. Period.

And Another Bit from Franklin (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41657717)

Trading our liberties for other imagined benefits will not end well. You cannot crack the door for this beast.

Well, being a reader of Slashdot, we're all familiar with that quote. I think more appropriate here is Franklin's "Apology for Printers" [jprof.com] that contains many apt gems concerning this news including:

8. That if all Printers were determin'd not to print any thing till they were sure it would offend no body, there would be very little printed.

The first and foremost fear I have is a destruction or suppression of culture. I'm not saying "Innocence of Muslims" is a good film. Of course, I'm not saying "Manos Hands of Fate", "The Room" or "Birdemic" are spectacular films either -- but I own licensed copies of them. I also own several editions of James Joyce's "Ulysses", a book which was banned in many countries when it was written. I will tell you right now that we would be missing major cultural artifacts if those in power had succeeded at eradicating "Ulysses" and its author. Yes, I'm afraid of corrupt politicians, populations that cannot access knowledge, etc. But those are effects that UN officials won't immediately see. Effects that can be immediately felt are people who collect poorly scripted, acted and funded films will no longer have access to "Innocence of Muslims." No one's saying it's a good film -- then again what defines a "good film" is so subjective I wouldn't know a blockbuster if it hit me in the face.

Authors from Franklin to Bradbury knew this and everyone today should know this: you must resist 'trimming' (by anyone's definition of the word) culture to protect it and keep it intact lest every bit of it be an option on the chopping block for whatever fanatic that has the press as a mouthpiece each day.

Re:And Another Bit from Franklin (4, Insightful)

Geeky (90998) | about 2 years ago | (#41657821)

I also own several editions of James Joyce's "Ulysses", a book which was banned in many countries when it was written. I will tell you right now that we would be missing major cultural artifacts if those in power had succeeded at eradicating "Ulysses" and its author.

Apparently it was banned for obscenity. I applaud the vivid imagination of those who realised it was obscene - I read it, then read about the obscenity, and just thought "He was doing *what* on the beach??? Did not get that". Obviously I'm uncultured.

If, on the other hand, it had been banned for being pseudo intellectual literary codswallop, I'd have understood completely.

Another Double Standard (5, Insightful)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#41657397)

It's okay for these people to burn our Flag, and pictures of our president, and chant Death to America.

Re:Another Double Standard (2)

noh8rz9 (2716595) | about 2 years ago | (#41657419)

Yes, exactly right. It is ok for people to burn the flag and chant dept to America. It's also ok for people to make crappy YouTube videos. That's what makes America exceptionally great.

Re:Another Double Standard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657445)

Yes, exactly right. It is ok for people to burn the flag and chant dept to America. It's also ok for people to make crappy YouTube videos. That's what makes America exceptionally great.

... You haven't been watching the news lately I presume? Or maybe you have...

Re:Another Double Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657471)

and chant dept to America.

dept? [thefreedictionary.com]
Department to America!
Department to America!
Department to America!

Re:Another Double Standard (0)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 2 years ago | (#41657693)

I've got some sad news for you. If you burn the US flag and chant death to America within the US today, chances are pretty high that you're going to get arrested and/or abducted, possibly tortured, and charged with terrorism.

Re:Another Double Standard (4, Insightful)

Shatrat (855151) | about 2 years ago | (#41657791)

The Westboro Baptist Church has been pushing the envelope of how offensive one can possibly be and nothing has happened to them. They are to offending dangerous people what Felix Baumgartner is to skydiving. Maybe you're imagining moral equivalency where none exists in order to make yourself feel superior to those around you?

Re:Another Double Standard (0)

MrDoh! (71235) | about 2 years ago | (#41657807)

But if you change it just a little bit from 'death to America' to 'the guy in the Whitehouse is trying to kill America' you get to be on FoxNews every night and earn a fortune.

Re:Another Double Standard (1, Troll)

gorzek (647352) | about 2 years ago | (#41657845)

Bullshit.

Re:Another Double Standard (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657587)

If this means that we can bomb the shit out of anyone who burns an American (or European) Flag, then I say let's do it.
Two can play at this game.
If this shit escalates, "the West" will win. (assuming Russia and China don't decide to side with the sand ninjas)
Sure, Iran and Pakistan will probably manage to nuke a couple of cities but the rest of the world will nuke them out of existence entirely.
And then finally this BS will be over, and we can go back to worrying about the Russians, Chinese, and other, more traditional, problems.

Re:Another Double Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657659)

Yeah, and I take great offense to that. Does that make it okay to burn down mosques and to actually kill people that had nothing to do with it?

Re:Another Double Standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657663)

Yes, personally I'm not one of those people who has ever had the importance of a flag (it's a piece of fucking cloth, and I don't suffer from the disease of nationalism) nor the importance of a holy book (it's a bunch of fucking paper, and I stopped believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and Jesus, when I was about 8) instilled in me.

Despite this I have often found it to be quite hypocritical that many muslims when protesting about someone burning the Koran, then go on to burn flags as if they're unaware that some people are just as offended by flag burning, as those folk are by Koran burning.

Honestly, I half wonder whether the solution is to simply go in the other direction to what the politicians are callkng for and burn enough holy books and flags and post enough videos on the internet that these folks are forced to get the fuck used to it, and get the fuck over it or whipe themselves out by killing each other in stupid protests in the first place.

Things are only offensive if you let yourself be offended by them. I always found it odd that some people find it offensive to be referred to by an abbreviation of their nationality, for example Pakistanis not liking being called Pakis. When's the last time you heard an Australian get offended from being called an Aussie? or a British person a Brit? I think the fact these people get offended by an abbreviation of their nationality really says more about them and their own insecurities and problems than it does the person using the term.

The sooner people stop letting themselves be offended by everything from koran burnings, through to swearing, and porn through to flag burning, the better off the world will be.

Why? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657403)

The religious are stupid, and worthy of ridicule. A desire to protect them from words is a desire to suppress opposition to stupidity. Any politician who does so should rightly be called out for allowing religion to dictate his/her political views... great fun when your representatives share your own religious outlook; not so fun when you're the one being oppressed. Try to keep that last bit in mind.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657581)

Yeah, those stupid religious people developed these crazy ideas like human rights and liberty. They even started a country that used those concepts and grounded all of those concepts in a God so that it was outside of the reach of government. I think they use some silly word like "inalienable," or such, to describe the connection.

Yeah, those stupid religious people...

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

Zeromous (668365) | about 2 years ago | (#41657651)

>They even started a country that used those concepts and grounded all of those concepts in a piece of paper

FTFY

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657671)

Case-in-point: you cannot even accept the established history of your own country, let alone accept that the motivations driving beliefs 250 years ago might be just slightly different than they are today. Religious people today are decidedly more stupid than religious people of centuries past -- especially when comparing leaders of men to your average trailer-trash. Further, your founding fathers were, by-and-large, not religious -- you go ahead and find one mention of "God" in the US Constitution... I'll wait.

Well.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657411)

Pass a law that makes being a DOUCHEBAG a crime... Then the rest of us can have plenty of free speech and not fuck it up.

Of course if you make being a douchebag a crime. We're going to need alot of new politicians. But i'm ok with that.

Free speech (4, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | about 2 years ago | (#41657421)

Freedom of Speech should NEVER be joined with smashing people up / killing them because they got "offended" by a comment. This is the trouble with politicians, because they are attacking Free Speech by linking the two.

Cracking down on Free Speech also helps politicians cover up the crimes by them and the bankers that bankroll them.

Re:Free speech (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657801)

But I'm afraaaaaid of terrorists! Why not just make them go away, by not saying anything raunchy about their god?

Ironic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657423)

This is somewhat ironic considering how often these religious fundamentalists promote hate, discrimination and violence against anyone who does not subscribe to their beliefs.

Re:Ironic (5, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#41657767)

Honestly, this more than anything is what pisses me off about religious preachers.

Archbishop Sentamu in the UK was mouthing of about gay people a few months ago saying how they didn't deserve the same rights as others and generally being horrible about them.

Of course, in response to this public outburst, he then got e-mails saying that it was like saying that because he was black, he didn't deserve equal rights etc. either. So what does he do? He runs straight to the police and claims discrimination.

Honestly, there's no helping these people, they're quick to discriminate against and preach hate against certain other minorities, but if someone dares to point out the hypocrisy of that to them they're first to cry discrimination themselves.

The scary thing is, this guy is now in line to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury - arguably the most influential religious role in the UK.

A religion is just a set of beliefs (5, Insightful)

KingTank (631646) | about 2 years ago | (#41657427)

Seems to me that freedom of speech is pretty useless if you can't use it to express your beliefs, or denounce someone else's beliefs.

Re:A religion is just a set of beliefs (3, Interesting)

Spad (470073) | about 2 years ago | (#41657725)

See: The fuckwits handing out jail time to people for making offensive comments on social media or wearing offensive T-shirts in the UK.

One of the defenders of this stupidity said by way of justification: "He went out there intentionally with the aim of upsetting people", as if that somehow makes it OK to lock them up, because god forbid someone might have to cope with being upset about something someone says.

what? No. (-1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 2 years ago | (#41657431)

I expect people to treat my faith with respect because that is the civilised and enlightened thing to do. I expect those who show their ignorance in civilised discourse by denigrating religion to be ostracised by the community. I do not expect the government to do that ostracising.

Re:what? No. (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41657453)

I expect people to treat my faith with respect because that is the civilised and enlightened thing to do.

I expect people to grow up and put faith aside because that is the civilized and enlightened thing to do. How do we reconcile these beliefs?

Re:what? No. (1)

MrSenile (759314) | about 2 years ago | (#41657583)

I expect people to grow up and put faith aside because that is the civilized and enlightened thing to do. How do we reconcile these beliefs?

Usually by behaving maturely and not using part of your 'debate' or 'reconciling' as a method to use a verbal club to beat the other side in submission based on your own belief system.

...which happens all too often when you bring politics, religion, or race into any discussion.

Re:what? No. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41657865)

Usually by behaving maturely and not using part of your 'debate' or 'reconciling' as a method to use a verbal club to beat the other side in submission based on your own belief system.

But that's very much the point. I believe that it is inherently immature to rely on faith for explanations when no explanation will do. Each side finds the other immature, and one side seeks to control the actions of the other. There can be no peace as long as this is true.

Re:what? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657603)

So, you consider yourself enlightened because of your ignorance of anything greater than yourself? Interesting.

Re:what? No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657645)

We don't reconcile them. We tolerate the difference because the greater good requires it. Neither side has to release its views--they just have to accept the differences of the other side.

Just remember, though, in these debates, the progressive, enlightened ones are never tolerant. They have evolved beyond that...

Fuck'em. (3, Insightful)

oldhack (1037484) | about 2 years ago | (#41657433)

Muzzling fascists can go fuck themselves.

They're not exactly innocent, either (5, Insightful)

roidzrus (2739093) | about 2 years ago | (#41657439)

Religious hate speech can be a two way street; I've heard some not-so-nice things said by them about Jews and Christians.

Insulting! (1, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#41657441)

Every religious speech is an insult to my religion; Not-believing-in-imaginary-friends ...ism.
I guess the only way to stop religious speech is by being violent.

Re:Insulting! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657593)

Not-believing-in-imaginary-friends ...ism.

Oh, you mean Atheism (not atheism).

Oh, My! (5, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#41657455)

'Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.'

Oh, and why does religion warrant such protection? If we're going to protect religion from hatred then everything should be protected from hatred. And that is a very slippery slope down the road to Hell paved with such good intentions.

If you don't like the movie, don't watch it. That is how freedom of expression works. People who can't tolerate that should be thrown in jail for their intolerance of intolerance. :) (e.g., it is the actions that matter. Sticks and stones and all that.)

Re:Oh, My! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657573)

What does "religious hatred" even mean? Does that include hatred born of religion?

Re:Oh, My! (2)

jandersen (462034) | about 2 years ago | (#41657769)

Oh, and why does religion warrant such protection?

It doesn't - but I think the discussion focuses on the wrong thing. This is not about protecting our freedom of speech against Muslim or other extremists, this is about protecting the freedom - of speech, of anything - against extremists on all sides. The socalled "freedom" extremists are in effect helping their spiritual brothers, the Muslim extremists, against the moderate majority everywhere.

Another thing is - what does freedom of speech actually mean? Does it mean that you have a right to publically make any communication at all, without ever being called to responsibility, no matter what damage your actions have caused? Or does it mean, simply, that expressing your views is not in itself a crime? There is a difference there; and I personally believe in the second version, not the first. It should never be a crime simply to express you views. But if you cause damage or loss of life, then you should be made to pay for it.

Don't Use Our Tactics (1)

Ryyuajnin (862754) | about 2 years ago | (#41657457)

when people use this freedom of expression to provoke/humiliate others' values and beliefs to provoke/humiliate others' values and beliefs, they might protest violently, so please refrain from provoking/humiliating others' values and beliefs who provoke/humiliate others' values and beliefs that might protest violently.

What hatred? (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | about 2 years ago | (#41657459)

I have no hatred of Islam, or any other religion. I have disdain for many and fervent disagreement with several. Am I not allowed to voice my opinion?

Does Ban Ki-Moon's opinion extend to the hatred expressed and acted upon by followers of a religion who assault and murder those to leave that faith? (Apostasy)

What about the fatwa and decree of death against Salman Rushdie for his publication of The Satanic Verses? Is the call to murder what Ban Ki-Moon is referring to?

No religion is in isolation from the beliefs and practices of those who claim to be adherents. I have several friends who are Muslims, but who aren't violent extremists. They bear no resemblance to the medieval barbarians making the news in South Asia and the Middle East.

Can I simply direct my scorn and derision at the backward practices of those who are attempting to spread their beliefs with violence and sustain them with oppression?

It isn't the religion I have issues with or hatred for, it is the actions of the religious.

The elephant in the room (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657463)

Islam.

Re:The elephant in the room (2)

Ryyuajnin (862754) | about 2 years ago | (#41657629)

Tolerate Islamist extremists, or one will explode next to you. On second thought...

Balance (2, Insightful)

Punko (784684) | about 2 years ago | (#41657467)

In anything like this, it is about balance. Dealing in absolutes is of no benefit. The basic human right to freedom of expression is not unlimited; it is not absolute. Society must place limits. However, those limits must err on the side of offending the most easily offended, as opposed to not offending anyone.

It is no different than the burden of proof in that we must err on the side of finding "not guilty" a few guilty people in order to ensure we do not find any innocent person guilty.

I cannot and will not support unrestricted freedom of expression, for it is the nature of mankind to abuse that freedom beyond what rational people would consider acceptable to the detriment of our society.

Does that assume that we need to set limits? Yes. Well who decides those limits? Sadly, with democracies, that would mean the majority of voters. But on the positive side, most civilized countries have legal systems to balance the desires of the elected officials to prevent the tyranny of the majority (or the tyranny of popular thought).

Re:Balance (3, Informative)

stevew (4845) | about 2 years ago | (#41657701)

If you live in the US - you really don't understand how the First Amendment operates.

You are correct that the right is limited - but it is ONLY limited by that speech which might create a public panic, etc. Yelling FIRE! in a crowed room is against the law. However - saying something that is hurtful to someone else is NOT and CANNOT be illegal, for within that realm comes ALL political speech which is fundamental to the operating of a democratic form of government.

As soon as you start limiting such speech you manage to disenfranchise some segment of the population to the vagaries of the majority. If the offended minority can't stand up and defend themselves VERBALLY - what is left? It becomes a two way street.

What CAN NOT be allowed is for the minority's offense to itself become illegal, or for that minority to cause violence to the person causing the offense. THAT is where we draw the line in the US. Mr. Ban Ki-Moon can jump off of the UN building if he doesn't like it.

Re:Balance (0)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 2 years ago | (#41657847)

It could be argued that if you know saying something will provoke violent response, that results in the injury or death of others... Regardless of who actually committed the actions, then it's pretty much the same as Yelling 'Fire' in a crowded room.

How are they not equivalent? Both have the same results. Both depend on knee-jerk reaction from those that are the target, and both end up in injury and/or death. The only difference is that one is a panic response, while the other is a rage response, and I don't see how those two are different.

Who is being intolerant? (5, Insightful)

java_dev (894898) | about 2 years ago | (#41657481)

Why is the party making a statement (or video) always the one being accused of intolerance, while the recipient who can't tolerate what is being said not accused of the very same thing? I don't get it...

Re:Who is being intolerant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657795)

It's part of the goal for the New World Order. It's the only way they can establish a one world government under the United Nations, by haveing the same laws, and they are hitting hard at our very foundations.

We need to put an end to this crap right now.

Pretext for political censorship (3, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about 2 years ago | (#41657485)

Apparently the world's wealthy have had enough of the free speech experiment.

Welcome back to kindergarten (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657487)

It was just a video. Maybe muslims should just grow up.

Sticks and Stones, people...

Grow a thicker skin (3, Insightful)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 2 years ago | (#41657489)

Seriously... People have been mocking religion for thousands of years, you don't see the Jews or Christians rioting and killing people every time someone pokes fun at God or Jesus. I'm not counting the middle ages here either.. just the last 200 or so years..

This is absolutely ridiculous.. I think every time some country or the people of that country chant death to America, or insult our culture, we should go on a rampage and wreck their embassies, burn down neighborhoods where that particular demographic happens to call home......

Lets see how they like it.

Re:Grow a thicker skin (1)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 2 years ago | (#41657513)

ps.. if you did not get the sarcasm in that post.. well, that is just sad...

Re:Grow a thicker skin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657641)

Despite what television has taught you, most of the Catholic related violence in the middle ages was in three categories:
1) Catholic church trying to find heretics among their own priests
2) Catholic church sponsoring an attempt to stop an Islamic invasion of Israel, Spain, Romania, and other regions
3) local rulers uses religious excuses to kill threats to their power

You can argue that Catholic priests had a right to ignore all official doctrine for their own benefit in their locality. I'd disagree.
You can argue that the crusades were mostly poorly thought out or unneccessary. I'd agree with the bad planning and poor tactics.
You can argue that when the Duke of Westsphincter kills a "witch" while "under orders of the church" it is appropriate to blame religion and not notice that the "witch" was actually his older bastard brother who had a stronger claim to rule. I'd disagree.

Slowly we march.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657493)

To the drums of "Open your mind, accept all beliefs, but only if they're the ones we choose to accept".

Freedom of speech/expression/call it what you will must be utterly open, or it doesn't exist.

Plans ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 2 years ago | (#41657503)

Next up: Discovery of plans of some three letter org to distribute 'offending' material in order to create a basis for regulation of speech.

CC.

BS... (3, Interesting)

Valor958 (2724297) | about 2 years ago | (#41657505)

To this, I call BS. We still protect filth like the Westboro Baptist Church and KKK to host their hatred in whatever form they so choose. They are allowed to do as they please citing religious pretext or freedom of speech/expression, but we're not allowed to hinder them using the same freedoms they abuse.

Personally, I say suck it up and grow a pair. If your faith is so withered and weak that a few choice words from a 'non-believer' would incite you and your extremist buddies to slaughter wholesale, you deserve more than a few choice words.

I see it as no more than an excuse since the 'true' Islamic followers would be fine slaughtering the rest of the world one piece at a time until such a time that only believers or converts remain.. .as dictated by the core of their faith. Islam IS a plague on humanity and needs to be purged. If that leads to a 'holy war' of us vs them... so be it. Humanity will be better and stronger for it in the end.

It took WW2 to see the dangers of Hitler-esque beliefs and actions, and now we're encountering what is nearly the same exact thing, but from a faceless faith as a whole. 'True' Islamists are the new Nazis, but more extreme in the fact that now it is religious based and not race based.

As a race, we have recovered and advanced since WW2, and are much better off. We have balanced ourselves so that those with power are limited in the use, and abuse, of it to prevent a M.A.D. scenario from those able. Tossing such weak minded and bipolar folks into the mix with their own nukes or other WMDs would lead to much worse than WW2. They do not seek to conquer, but to destroy for the sake of destroying. Stop it before it starts. Tough decisions for tough times.
Rag on me, down vote me, whatever... the world is on a tipping point and I fully expect to see WW3 or it's equivalent before my time is up. I would not be at all surprised to see it led by the Islamic governments or the faceless masses blindly supporting it out of fear and brainwashing. All organized religion is dangerous in extremes, due to the urge to 'spread the faith' and 'save the non-believers'... but when the core beliefs include 'death to nonbelievers' or anyone who would say anything disparaging... that's a whole new playing field. Islam must go.

Re:BS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657561)

*yawn*

And today a friend of mine got hes Facebook account blocked for the third time due to US puritan morals about seeing nipples ...

Title of the Article should be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657509)

World leaders find bullshit excuse to restrict the free speech that has always been a thorn in the side of those in power who want more control over the populace!

Stupid (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 2 years ago | (#41657515)

This whole concept is stupid. What they're essentially saying is that free speech can only be practiced as long as it doesn't offend anyone.

When in the hell did THAT type of speech ever need protection in the first place? The entire point of having a law in place protecting free speech is to make sure that people CAN say the things that are controversial. If we're just slapping each other on the ass saying how great everyone else is then any laws protecting it are redundant.

Re:Stupid (1)

flyonthewall (584734) | about 2 years ago | (#41657799)

What they're essentially saying is that free speech can only be practiced as long as it doesn't offend anyone.

How about saying that free speech can be practised without slander? The problem with some is not the speech, but the content.

Fact check (5, Insightful)

BillCable (1464383) | about 2 years ago | (#41657529)

I thought the whole "YouTube video sparked violent protests" thing had been thoroughly debunked. Nobody had seen the video in question. The "protests" were actually coordinated terrorist attacks to coincide with 9-11. Forgive me if I'm wrong there.

Re:Fact check (1)

fearofcarpet (654438) | about 2 years ago | (#41657761)

As far as I have read, the coordinated 9/11 stuff was just with respect to the attacks on the embassies. A lot of the protesting was the result of that "movie trailer" being hyped on some jingoistic satellite channels that are apparently the Arab equivalent of FOX News, which made it easy to (deliberately) conflate the two events.

Re:Fact check (1)

bytesex (112972) | about 2 years ago | (#41657777)

'Protests' or whatever you call them, didn't just occur in Lybia and/or Egypt.

OK, I'll shutup. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657535)

So, when it's asked, "Why don't you visit the Mid-east or some other Muslim country?"

I'll shut up.

When it's asked, "Why don't you invest in the Mid-East?"

I'll shut up.

When a Muslim charity asks for money, I'll say nothing but "I can't."

When certain people scratch their heads and wonder why they're treated as outcasts of the World society and continually live in the Third World, I'll keep my mouth shut.

Slippery slope (5, Insightful)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 2 years ago | (#41657543)

By all accounts, Innocence of Muslims is worthless tripe. But we cannot permit even this sort of stuff to be censored, because we know it will not stop there. The same groups of people who were rioting over Nakoula's amateurish film were also up in arms about Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, a serious work of literature. And more recently, British broadcaster Channel 4 cancelled a planned public viewing of Tom Holland's Islam: The Untold Story because of "security fears". Holland's work was a serious contribution to the study of Islamic history, and Holland is actually quite respectful of Islam, which he considers a moral advance over the polytheism that preceded it. But since he questioned the canonical story of Muhammad and the official history of Islam's origin (just as Christian scholars have been doing with the Bible and church history for centuries), far too many Muslims simply couldn't abide that.

We cannot, must not, allow the precedent that if you yell loud enough and threaten enough violence that you can silence your opponents.

There's only two things... (2)

PhotonSphere (193108) | about 2 years ago | (#41657563)

"There's only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."

~Nigel Powers~

Circular reasoning, contradiction, and FAIL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657569)

... one thing modern society can no longer tolerate is intolerance.

Does he even realize that that behavior itself is intolerance?

Why the hell is the general logic of people, that when they see something utterly despicable, the first thing they want to do, is to do exactly that?

Look! Somebody's being intolerant! Let's be intolerant too!
Look! Somebody murdered my daughter! Let's murder his daughter too!
Because we are so much better!

Somehow they think, that their bullshit justification is better than the other side's bullshit justification. Because we are "good" and they are "bad".

No, I'm not saying what the extremists do is right. I'm saying we shouldn't do it, exactly because it's wrong!

Finally good news... (1)

jeti (105266) | about 2 years ago | (#41657591)

Finally good news for the members of the Church of Scientology, probably the most ridiculed religion on earth.

Double standard (0)

Finerva (1822374) | about 2 years ago | (#41657599)

Why is it not perceived as intolerant to not tolerate those who are intolerant of religion?

The Road to Hell is Paved (2)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 2 years ago | (#41657625)

And we know it is with good intentions. Ultimately "restricting hate speech" will be defined in law as "restricting critical analysis". Galileo was one of the first to run afoul of such folly and I thought we had learned our lessons.

No Latitude (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657635)

There is NO latitude on this issue. We will not allow our free speech to be hindered in ANY way. ANY politician that even ATTEMPTS to negotiate a treaty or law that would be interpreted by the average citizen as infringement, will not be tolerated. Any politician even slightly entertaining this issue will be subject to removal by covert military force, and that removal would be lawful, and legal in both spirit and letter of the law.

All the chatter in the media has been nothing more than propaganda, promoting the idea.

If you are a politician... Don't touch our RIGHTS!

Balance (0, Troll)

jandersen (462034) | about 2 years ago | (#41657637)

There is no such thing as complete freedom - of expression, or anything else; this is something we all need to bear in mind, instead of just parading all the usual, automatic responses. When one person takes more freedom, then there are others who get less, in essence. This certainly holds true when some extremist decides that he has the right to provoke violent responses; every time somebody sticks his finger up at the prophet Muhammed or some other stupid stunt, there are people who suffer, women who get oppressed a bit more etc.

Saying that "it isn't my fault that x choses to react like so and so ..." is nonsense - that is no more than another way of saying "I don't care about those people". And any way - this is about cause and effect. In other parts of life, if you cause damage, whether it is because you are careless, stupid, unlucky or malicious, then you bear part of the responsibility and may well be prosecuted.

I think it is perfectly reasonable that if you abuse your freedom of speech, then you should be held legally responsible. If you cause riots and loss of life or property, should you not be made to pay? Extremists are cowards, who hide behind laws they only regard with contempt.

Re:Balance (2)

DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) | about 2 years ago | (#41657843)

Exactly. It's like how we prevent rapes by restricting women from wearing revealing clothing. If X causes Y, we must restrict X.

Lets be honest about it (5, Informative)

andyring (100627) | about 2 years ago | (#41657679)

That video WAS NOT the trigger for anything in the Middle East. The video was on YouTube since June or July. What happened was, plain and simple, a TERRORIST ATTACK by Al Qaeda, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. It has nothing to do with free speech, despite the White House trying to portray it as such, and which they finally, grudgingly admitted.

In Canada... (2)

Webs 101 (798265) | about 2 years ago | (#41657685)

Hate speech is not protected in Canada [wikipedia.org] .

It's not clear to me if "Innocence of Muslims" would qualify or not since I haven't seen it.

Don't forget South Park (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657695)

To paraphrase those guys, it's all fair or nothing is. Free speech is really an all or nothing deal, naturally some people with it will use it to be douche-bags. It then falls to the less immoderate not to restrict or prevent offensive free speech, or even those who employ it, but simply to recognize and personally condemn it. None of this is anything new, it's simply unfortunate that so many world leaders have gotten pessimistic enough to forget it.

anonymity is the only defense against power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657713)

that is why the powerful want so desperately to get rid of it

as the person making the muslim baiting video proved, if you say something the people in power don't like you will be tracked down and the full weight of the "legal" system will be brought down on you

only when we have a distributed, anonymous communication system will we be truly free

As an American...... (1)

who_stole_my_kidneys (1956012) | about 2 years ago | (#41657721)

I am constantly ashamed by the stupid shit Americans do:

Mid-life crises Harley Davidson riders

Hot Dog eating contest

Jersey Shore

Reality TV

'Innocence of Muslims'

Organised religion

However as an American i am glad i have the choice to decide if i want to take part in the stupidity or form my own onion and tell whom ever the fuck i want to about it in whatever media form i damn well please.

and if you don't like, go fuck your self and burn down your own country, that will show us.

Who's hurting who, and what is worse? (2)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#41657737)

That's all this is about. If I excercise free speech and insult someone, that person's (or group) feelings where hurt. Or religious beliefs, whatever.

If my free speech is restricted for that reason, then you might argue that likewise, only my feelings were hurt. Oh right, so I should shut up just because I might insult people? That's should be obviously ridiculous to anyone living in a free society (of sorts). And I'd argue that the 'pain' inflicted by restricting free speech is much worse than the 'pain' inflicted if someone gets insulted. Especially long-term and in the greater scheme of things. For example: a specific religion is just one group in the population, free speech affects everyone including atheists and other religions.

For more specific issues, we already have appropriate restrictions in place. For instance, if I shout things specifically meant to cause violence, claim things that damages a person's reputation / business but which are provably untrue, etc. Such exceptions should be enough... if you are insulted so easily, grow a thicker skin.

Huh? Intolerance? Where? (1)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#41657747)

It appears that the one thing modern society can no longer tolerate is intolerance. (...) 'Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.'"

Best I'm aware, modern society tolerates intolerance including towards itself, and accommodates itself with the ludicrous side-effects for doing so (e.g. the TSA). The line it refuses to cross is when a lunatic blows himself up in the middle of a crowd for religious reasons. (One line it and its media arguably shouldn't have crossed, but did regardless, was to give special treatment and coverage to some criminals due to their religion.)

There are a select few religious nut jobs, by contrast, that cannot seem to tolerate anything that but their peers, and that have little to no sense of measure or humor. Enlightened societies, including the ones they live in, should make it a point to ridicule them until they become more tolerant and grow a sense of measure and humor.

Ridiculous (1)

ankhele (1123305) | about 2 years ago | (#41657759)

There will always be someone who feels offended. Either by what we say, what we do not say, what we do, what we don't do, what we are, what we aren't ... Therefore being offended cannot ever be a justification for actions, especially for legislation. Ban Ki-Moon should shut up and think about freedom of speech and tolerance before spouting such idiocy again!

Seriously... some people just don't get it...

As for Ms. Gillard ... freedom of speech certainly includes spouting non-sense, gibberish, idiotic crap and what-not! Otherwise it would not be freedom of speech. Too bad that Australia doesn't have a reasonable form of free speech [wikipedia.org] ; so her comments are completely in line with that country's crappy laws :(

What Western world? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41657779)

Ban Ki-moon is not Western, a neither is technically Australia. The article is mostly just nitpicking, while it's true that freedom of speech is nowhere achieved perfectly we still have orders of magnitude more of it than the Muslims.

That's exactly what is protected. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657781)

If they were calling out to a specific individual, and belittling them, that's bullying. If calling out an entire race, that's racism.

Calling out choices, such as a particular religion or cult in general, well, that's opinion, and fully 100% protected under freedom of speech and should be.

If someone wants to feel upset because of it, again, that's their choice. Most people are taught (properly) to ignore people who belittle their choices.

There's one main rule I can state that is 100% true.

"You do NOT have the right to not be offended." Take your lumps like the rest of the human race and get over yourself.

The violence that results from what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657803)

> In the face of the violence that frequently results from anti-religious expression

No. No, no, no.

The violence that frequently results from religious agitation. The violence that frequently results from clear, overt advocacy of religious violence by individuals who teach others that doing violence is a religious duty.

Who is responsible for violence? The perpetrators. Do the perpetrators get to shift that blame onto the victims of violence? No. Violence results from the decision to do violence, from the decision to teach and praise violence.

tolerating religious hatred (1)

Dunge (922521) | about 2 years ago | (#41657811)

'Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.' It's the inverse, this is exactly the first thing that get laughed at.

Re: "If you don't have anything nice to say..." (2)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#41657849)

"If you haven't got anything good to say about anybody, come sit next to me."

There, Alice Roosevelt [wikipedia.org] (1884-1980, Theodore Roosevelt's daughter) finished it for you.

This whole article is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41657863)

bullshit

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