Freedom of Speech and Blasphemy –Where to Draw the Line

on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We hear a lot of outcries among the western anti-fundamentalists regarding how Muslim “overreact” to acts that are undertaken under the right to freedom of expression –the so called freedom of expression. To me, there are two aspects that need to be considered when we talk about this; where do we draw the line between freedom of expression & blasphemy, and are the vanguards of freedom of expression totally partial, or is it just Islam that comes under the line of fire.
Alright, so freedom of expression is something that could be very good if it is used properly. I mean everyone should obviously have the right to express what they feel and do what they want without being troubled, but don’t we also need to understand that such law/right does not negate every other law/right that could come in direct opposition to it. Everyone should be given the freedom of expression, but it doesn’t stay “freedom of expression” if you’re hurting someone by it, and then of course there are different levels of hurt, you hurt one person then it is a personal matter, but when you do something that affects a whole faction of the world’s population –it becomes a social problem in this case.
I have never been able to understand what kind of irrational logic it is that supports bigots like Terry Jones and Sam Bicile in doing what they want. How does burning a book that is considered as the holiest book on the face of this earth, reiterate freedom of expression? To anyone who can see with his eyes  and think with his mind, will clearly understand that such an act is just an expression of hatred; and such evil levels of hatred are not accepted anywhere in this world except among the prejudiced minds who clearly support anti-Islamic groups.
So there is a difference between freedom of expression and hate speech. This world needs to understand that. This needs to be understood because something like that is hurting the second largest group of people in the world.
Moving on, do the supporters of these entire acts even deserve to speak against Muslims who are agitated by it? Let’s go some time back in time to see these so called acts of freedom of expression from another angle. The director and producers of the movie Dogma (1999) were given death threats and charges of blasphemy because it had anti-Christianity elements. Christians held street protests against Jerry Springer – The Opera in which Jesus was made fun of and people were given death threats, as well. In 2003, Gerhard Haderer’s cartoon book ‘The Life of Jesus’ was banned in Greece because it was blasphemous and inflicted insult on a religion, and the author was given six months sentence. In Linköping, Sweden local newspaper Östgöta Correspondent editor in chief was threatened with life for posting a poster that mocked Jesus. A Phone S4 mobile phone ad was banned in 2011 because it made fun of and belittled Jesus Christ.
Now, what I want to show by listing these events is a comparison that needs to be made. Banning, death threats and lawsuits if undertaken by Christians were considered the right thing to do, but is that the same way Muslims and anti-Islamic people are treated? I don’t think so. So now, are they impartial? I don’t think so.
Muslims believe Jesus Christ to be one of the Prophets from Allah (SWT), we love Him like any other Prophet before Prophet Muhammad (SAW) – this is beyond the point here. All I am asking for is to make some events like these to be treated in the same way. All we want is the respect that other people’s faith deserves because if that doesn’t happen, I don’t see harmony making its way to this world any time soon.

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