free-speechFreedom of speech is important to us at Debating Europe. We believe there are limits to that freedom (for example, inciting somebody to commit violence is clearly over the line). However, it’s important to discuss where we draw that “red line”, so as to avoid setting limits in such a way that it censors people whose opinions we don’t agree with.

For example, what about extremist speech that stops short of outright incitement to commit violence? During the 2016 Security Jam (the report of which can be read here), participants were asked the question: Should radicals be allowed a platform of free speech if they don’t advocate violence? 76% of respondents said “Yes”.

It’s a topic we’ve discussed several times in the past. Our readers are split, but many tend to come down on the side of 100% freedom of speech, without any limits at all. Myron, for example, paraphrases Voltaire when he says “I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight till the end so you can say it freely” (Voltaire never actually said this, though it summarises his beliefs accurately enough).

To give you some examples of high-profile hate speech cases and legislation in Europe, we’ve put together the infographic below (click for a larger image).

HATE_SPEECH_02

We had a comment sent in from Link_CJD, who (quoting Alan Derschowitz) argued that “the threat or fear of violence should not become an excuse or justification for restricting freedom of speech”. Is he right, even in the case of radical incitement to violence?

To get a reply, we spoke to Dr Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh, a French-Iranian human rights activist and scholar of Gnosticism, Islam, and Christianity. What would he say?

e79e125bdfYes, freedom of speech is very, very important, and it is the right of each human being to have freedom of speech. It is an inseparable right, a sacred right.

But should we draw a line between ‘hate speech’ and ‘free speech’? If so, where should that line be drawn? That was the question from Corvus, who asks: Who gets to decide what is hate speech and what is criticism?

e79e125bdfIn the verses of the Quran, this teaching is [attributed] to the Prophet Mohammed, that all Muslims must respect freedom of speech according to logic and reasoning, to listen correctly and talk softly… and not try to force people into accept your reasoning… The moment that somebody thinks he is related to a supreme authority and that it is necessary to impose his will on others, then the line between freedom of speech and respect for others has be deleted. He is not within his rights. He is passing the borders of his own right and would like to impose [his view] on others.

Finally, we had a comment from Maia, who believes that the internet (including social media) is a potent tool for radicalisation. She believes that access to Facebook and Twitter should be blocked in some countries (such as Syria) to stop violent extremists like ISIS from spreading hate online. How would Dr Azmayesh respond?

e79e125bdfThe internet is just like an instrument. It is possible to manipulate this instrument, to handle it with bad intentions or good intentions. The internet is not important, what is important is how the internet is used.

People who would like to keep society open [too often] leave the ground free for people who have bad intentions, who would like to use the internet to manipulate and brainwash people who don’t know the reality of the teachings of the Quran. We should [use the internet to] educate people better about the values of human rights and citizenship, and enter into discussions with people who need to debate and to learn to be educated.

Should all radical speech be censored? Where should the line be drawn between ‘hate speech’ and ‘free speech’? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – wiredforlego


83 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. カメニャク マリオ

    No. But hate speech and nazi apologeticism are obvious cases of what should be banned. We should also never confuse radical anti-fascism with fascism.

    • SD

      Exactamundo, wilders is no Fascist he is fighting a fascist ideology there is a difference.

  2. Pedro Castro

    Censored? Defenetly no. It should be mocked and ridiculed, censoring wouldn’t help.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Pedro Castro
      Well said!

  3. Bart Van Damme

    The notion of censoring radical speech is itself radical speech according to my standards. And that is where the problem lies: my standards are not yours, so which of us gets to decide what is radical and what is not? If tomorrow an extreme right-wing politician comes to power and starts censoring speech such as “multiculturalism is enrichment” or “not all migrants are bad”, would you call him a fascist for doing that? If so, you should also call other people fascists for censoring other subjects.

  4. Matej Zaggy Zagorc

    That’s like putting a band-aid over a broken window. We need to start fixing the problem at its core- education and positive social influence. Censoring would most likely have the reverse effect, since radicals would try even harder to be heard.

  5. Fernando Nabais

    Geert Wilders was put on trial because he called the Quoran fascist. left wingers call fascist to everybody and to everything and never any of them was accused of anything. Censoring “radical speech” is just an excuse for a legal censorship. Anything they don’t like, they will call it radical and censor it. By “they” I mean the ruling politic class.

  6. Ivan Burrows

    .

    We know the EU extremists would love to silence descenting voices and with the EU elite now actively attempting to paint anyone who disagree with their European experiment as a Russian agent the idea of the EU being a supporter of free speech is laughable.

    Vive la liberté !

  7. Jason Picci

    Should divisive and perfidious speech be sanctioned? Silly questions? Should devil’s advocates be arrested?

  8. Yannick Herve

    La radicalité c’est de mentir sur l’Europe (UE), son histoire, ses performances, ses objectifs sans arrêt, jour après jour, sur tous les médias avec des financements publics et aucun contradicteur, ceux-ci étant interdits de parole.

  9. mazharuddin

    Freedom of Speech, Writing and Discussion is a sacred basic right of humans from God.But this Right should not be used to promote falsehood and to spread such material that contrary to facts and even do not touch human senses. Such speech, writing should be tried that having evident falsehood. But no denial to such free speech and writing that having evident fact with corroborative evidence.

  10. Andu Ogodai

    Censored no. But hate speech should never be respected or tolerated. Let them put themselves out there and be made fun of.

  11. Zisis Poimenidis

    Free speach is only an aspect of a much greater consept. To be more accurate, free speech is one of many ways to demonstrate that consept. To isolate it, in order to provide or suggest a definition, range of application, or a regulatory authority, will lead you to mistakes. But if you consider is as an aspect or component of the consept of HUMAN RIGHTS, then and only then you can determine what free speech is or should be. You will also have your answer about radical speech

  12. Julia Hadjikyriacou

    I would rather know what people thought rather than be in ignorant bliss. Maybe just note the root of any particular hate speech and educate the younger generations. They used to do that in my primary school in the UK and it works on most people who possess the traits of compassion, reasoning, empathy, respect and even even shame.

  13. Stephen Panev

    Sometimes radicals are the only way, when there are hard times and the moderates can’t do anything about it. So there should be no censoring.

  14. Andre Lopes

    Censored depends in what case and implications. I am apologists of educating, in worst case cenario, law and justice

  15. Αναγέννηση

    All types of Free speech are part of Democratic Dialogue. The Security Forces would be cutting off their hands if the Governments introduce censorship making it harder to track and follow terrorists.

  16. Markus Weber

    If you start thinking about resorting to censorship, then you’ve already lost the debate.

  17. Luchian Mdm

    That would natural imply banning Islam which has high number of hate speech agaist the unfaithfull… But we know that’s not what you intend…you intend censorship of opposition to their terrorism…to live only one option – as many exits from the EU as possible.good luck

    • Duncan

      So, your suggestion is that you need to be punished for your speech about banning the human right of free speech? Irony!

  18. Faddi Zsolt

    According to this Azmayesh, all the unelected rulers and emperors of the EU are guilty, because they force us to accept such things what the majority of us wouldn’t do! Free speech über alles!

  19. GonEprata Megarp

    So moral, is because that we fell we need to be so politically correct that our politics and politicians are so incorrect and dangered…before jumping into consider something hate speach, for the sake of felling moral, just look around the rest of the world if it considers the exact same thing as hate speach, because if not, theres a risk that when something bites you, you cant say because you have already cut your tongue off, if we are not carefull, people will be both blind and mute…im not advocating some specific ideology, i just think the one that we have is stupid! This is stupid! I think we dont get any more moral by exploring hate speach…i think that in a strong nation, there is no mainstream “hate speach” because people are virtuous, in a nation of weak people, everything is offencive and considered hate speach, specially if it has some inconvinient truth atached to it, people become victims, always on the defence, instead of resolvers, who can work toguether with the rest of the nation, they become more of a dividing group with thr victim narrative “us and them”, there is also a risk of some hate speach victims becoming a tool for dividing and.controling political debate, that is becoming more lickely as hate speach keeps geting new forms and victim groups, even asking this kinds questions in a place like this i think is not the best way to put things straight.

  20. Mark Smit

    No. But anything that suggests taking away that same right from anybody else should be. A logical result is that anything that would cause others to be fearful to speak up or express themselves, should be made illegal. And it also automatically bans anything that calls for silencing others in violent ways.

  21. Jakub Bláha

    We can have free speech or censorship. We can have freedom or oppression. We can be free or slaves. We cant be both. But I can tell you this. I WON´T be a slave to polit. corectness, I WON´T sacrifice my freedom of speech, because someone feel offended. I WON´T GIVE UP MY FREEDOM YOU LEFTIST LIBTARDS!

  22. Duncan

    In short, anything that is legal to say (under UK law) should not be censured. The law here permits right to be heard. The law also prohibits inciting violence and slander. If someone were to break the law with what they are saying then they should feel the full extent of the legal system. If someone comments within the limits of the law then their right to be heard defends their comment not being censured. Why try o fix what ain’t broke? Surely we need to focus on more resources for punishing those guilty of speech crime than trying to sweep comments that we disagree with under the rug?

  23. Dave Hollings

    There should be freedom of speech limited only if what is said threatens or causes actual harm to others. Simply saying things that someone else finds objectionable or offensive should be allowed as free speech. Too many people pay lip service to free speech – they mean free speech for those people with whom they broadly agree. The real test of whether or not you support free speech is how much you are prepared to defend free speech for those with whom you fundamentally disagree.

  24. José Bessa da Silva

    Well, I do think some speeches should have consequences, but what is “extremist”? That is the first thing to define. As far as I can see, for the EU anyone that is not in favour of the EU itself is an “extremist” and I’m pretty sure that those are the ones that this question is intended to. So no, I do not think any speech should be censored and certainly not by Brussels.

  25. Joanna Canfield

    It already is…free speech is what?…Free to insult? Free to give an opinion based on fiction…as in the recent advisory Brexit vote. Free for the media to print lies without any comebacks? If that is what is construed as Free Speech…I don’t want that thank you!…

    • Duncan

      First let’s correct your comment about the media. They cannot print lies without comebacks, if their printed lies are challenged correctly. They may get little in the way of repercussions, but not free from. Secondly, advisory referendum? I don’t recall seeing mention of the referendum being advisory in nature. Not until that is, that a bunch of remoaners jumped onto this notion after the result wasn’t what they’d hoped it would be. If we’d have voted to remain, I’d have not liked it. I genuinely feel our bed future lies outside of the superstate of EU that is evolving. But I absolutely would have respected the decision my (forgive this slightly sexist term, but it hasn’t been pc’d up yet) fellow countrymen made through majority decision. Why bother with democracy if the majority opinion of the society doesn’t effect direction of the society? I also didn’t post anything online, or say it out loud before the voting cutoff about which way I’d voted or how I thought others should vote because I didn’t want to try to make peoples minds up for them. My vote had been sent in postally weeks ahead of the time, and my only online comments where about how appalled at David Cameron a) not remaining publicly neutral as i had, made worse given his job at the time and b) not having formulated a leave policy should the public vote for leave (as it turned out later, he’d blocked parliament from doing so). And also at my disgust for both campaigns for the torrent of lies, missinformation and lack of real information. So having gone on for a bit and deviating from my key point. Where did you see anything about the “consultation” nature of the referendum prior to the completion of the voting? Since I clearly missed that.

  26. Nikos Vlachos

    Free speech cannot be reduced to “politically correct” speech – who decides what is “correct”? On the other hand, inciting people to violence should not be permitted. But, then, inciting to violence does not constitute political analysis. There can be no limits to the latter.

  27. Vesselin Alexiev

    I see no reason in censoring opinions as long as they are well argumented and follow a friendly tone. Censoring bigotry on the other hand….

  28. Nando Aidos

    Radical speech, as hate enticing speech, should be subject to criminal action.

  29. Michael Šimková

    Incitation or advocacy of violence should not be tolerated. Other opinions, however disagreeable, must be allowed an open forum. Censoring the opinions of large swathes of the population only further drives alienation and radicalization. It creates the impression that the protected opinions are indefensible in an open forum and require special protection. Furthermore, it can create an association in people’s minds between moderate opinions and powerful interests with the capability to censor public discourse, which is then exploited to further drive radicalization. Censorship is a disastrous policy that ultimately undermines anything it might hope to achieve. One need only look at post-Soviet states to see where censorship leaves the censors in the long run.

    The best way to counter opinions we find disagreeable is to give them an open forum and counter them with better ideas, reasonable arguments and sound evidence. You can keep people quiet about what they believe by threatening them, but you will not thereby stop them from believing it; on the contrary, they will cling all the more to their beliefs and will never be burdened with an authentic rebuttal that could change their mind, because you have censored any discussion that might lead to one.

    Make no mistake, however. If you want people to believe in a harmonious multiethnic society, you have to create one. You cannot create a war zone with grenades flying left and right where the police fear to tread and call it “peace”, and expect people will play along. You have to be serious. Just because you feel ‘righteous’ doesn’t mean you can run away from your problems, or hide behind accusations of racism to avoid acknowledging the breadth of your own failures. If you want to be anti-racist and to be right, you still have to earn it. You are not entitled to it.

  30. Alexandros Fragkos

    It doesnt matter what the political employees (aka Govs) of the Bourgeousie will do. The destruction of Capitalism and the victory of Communism are inevitable.

    • Yasmine

      Communism was defeated in Europe in the 90’s Alex. Have you not been watching the news for a few decades? It is now surrendering in Iran and Cuba…it didn’t work for them…

  31. Tim Lewis

    Any radical speech in the name of any religion should be banned. It’s all based on lies and seeks to brainwash the weak and vulnerable

    • Duncan

      Thank you very much for disproving your own agenda. If you feel that religious speech should be banned then every believer in a religion will have the right to want to ban your opinion from being voiced. According to the figures, atheists are heavily outnumbered world wide. So your opinion, being the minority in society is the radical one and is the one that will be prohibited.

    • Yasmine

      Duncan, your whole answer to Tim is based on an erroneous reading of his comment…

    • Duncan

      @Yasmine, my reply was based on simple truths. “radical” is abnormal/unusual. Since atheism is in the minority, speaking out against religion is a radical stance. It’s really simple.

    • Yasmine

      Duncan, original comment reads “any radical speech in the name of any religion” it is not referring to religious speech. You’re off topic…as usual…

    • Duncan

      I disagree Yasmine, first I don’t see how radical speech in the name of religion can be separated from other religious speech without causing religion to stagnate. The idea of a bible not written in Latin was for some time considered heresy. That was at least according to the people in charge of that religion, it had no basis in the actual religious texts themselves. Now ofcourse, you can obtain a bible in many languages. Progress through radical thinking!
      Next there’s the effect this notion has for the spreading of the words of one religion or another. Without this radical new religion of Christianity spreading across Europe, we’d be pagans still.
      Then there’s this comment of yours that claims I’m usually off topic, based on what? I either comment about the header question, or something somebody else has posted.

  32. Frans Brinkman

    Free speech is a vital necessity. If it is connected to truth, logic and dialogue. And dignity.

    • Duncan

      Unfortunately, free speech comes hand in hand with allowing the ignorant and untruthful to say what they want too. Otherwise, you would need someone or someones to decide what is truthful and wise, and then they would have to prohibit speech to ensure this idyllic form of permitted free speech, making it not at all free speech.

  33. Mihai Iov

    Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones explains it pretty well:”When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

  34. Michael Williams

    We should not stop ANY free speech.
    It’s only by letting people talk, we know what they are thinking, and can either agree, or give a counter argument.
    Even if that offends someone.
    Too many wimps in this world, who think they are the only ones who should have a voice.
    Sometimes, if you don’t have something nice to say.
    Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say it.
    Especially if you beleive it to be true.

    Too many rules and regulations and Political Correctness these days, that restricts free speech.

  35. Thanasis Michalakos

    That’s a legitimately stupid argument and only serves to draw more comments stating the obvious. Would debating even exist in a world ruled by censorship? Dont answer that, I know you can’t.

  36. Hugo Miguel

    No,that devalues democracy and free thinking. Censorship is never good or the answer.

  37. Lenox

    In a well-educated society, radical speech should be accepted, since it is easy enough to demolish through logic and experience. However, xenophobia certainly should not be encouraged as a government policy. But then, we return to the beginning: ‘in a well-educated society…’.

  38. catherine benning

    All speech that goes against the the beliefs of the listener, or those in power over us, is classed as ‘radical.’ Therefore, such and Act would, in effect, censor all speech and remove all our civil rights.

    This procedure would immediately return us to medieval pre-democratic legislation.

  39. Wayne James

    As many on this thread have said; Censorship is an absolute NO under any circumstance. Its critical we elevate to a higher level of thinking and behaviour if we are to ever stop wallowing in this embarrassing and tragic existence.

    1. You don’t change behaviour (which comes from inner thoughts and beliefs) by silencing people. You encourage thoughts to he shared so they can be challenged and scrutinised for common agreement and understanding. Censoring just hides them away forcing them to leak out in hidden behaviour. See racism in U.S. and elsewhere.

    2) Hate speech is rarely due to something as simple as differing ideology or wanting seven virgins in heaven (especially when I have 30 right here on earth). Rather its due to the perception of threat or a challenge to core freedoms and needs. It needs to be unpicked and addressed. Important to acknowledge that with much of the hate speech present today; the fears are not just perception but rooted in reality and oppressive behaviour from others. We need stop the offending behaviour to stop the outcry.

    3) Finally, it is paramount that we begin to take our values and principles more seriously and avoid being selective with them. Stealing is wrong regardless of the circumstance and across the board. As is censorship, as is pre-emptive military aggression, as is deception. Until we can embrace and embody these simplest of truths, we’ll continue to talk in circles while our species degenerates into mindlessness and apathy.

    But we’re making progress right now! 😊

  40. Graça Soares

    YES, stating by those speeches Announced by Radical Islamists!!!!

    If there were no radical Islamists allowed, there was no need for people becoming so Nationalist Worldwide!!

  41. EU reform- proactive

    Obviously, it is ISLAM which causes the present furor! So please- for the sake of clarity- let’s for a moment be honest & exclude any other subjects/causes from such “interrogation” & discussion- can we?

    Has any “European Human Rights” spokesperson or EU politician ever discussed or disclosed their official stance, or highlighted the differences between that of the “EHRC STATUTES” & the principles with that contained in the Islamic “CAIRO DECLARATION” on Islamic Human Rights? Besides conveying genuine sorrow & pity for all innocent victims which are consequences of failed western politics and the internal feud (“schism”) in ISLAM.

    To mention the US’s leading role & “interference” globally & their clandestine and open “regime changes” since WWII & EU’s prompt & obedient “following”…….& more)

    Are these principles compatible or not? What should the EU politician’s guidelines be? Support their so sacred European (“the West’s”) Human Rights, or those contained in the “Islamic Declaration”? Close both eyes & ears & not “play pc”- to avoid a confrontation?

    Please EU, make a long overdue but CLEAR pronouncement! Thereafter, one can confront the rest!

    • catherine benning

      @ EU reform- proactive

      You are incorrect in believing it is only Isl amic radi calism they are suggesting here on this thread. It is not. Far from it. They are now trying to bring censorship to anything spoken that is not considered in the interests of politically correct dogma. It is the tru th they are wanting to hide for fear of retal iation.

      Example, in my country now a Judge, who was given an important job of looking into past child abuse, has been thrown out of her job because she referred to the vast As ian child ra pe that has taken place here over the years and is rising daily. She was thrown out for speaking the tru th and telling it like it is. And she was termed as having ra cist speech, therefore unfit for her job. Even though she did nothing other than state facts she had in her files.

      We are being collectively li ed to by our leaders and they are desperately trying to cov er up what they have done to our countries in these matters. Our children and women are being used as fodder in this game of encouraged inva sion.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/12/child-sex-abuse-inquiry-uk-scale-catastrophe

      All this woman suggested was that the inquiry should investigate what is going on in child ra pe today, as to pursue the dead was too huge and a fruitless task as it will not change what goes on now. But, because what is taking place today is being carried out by large numbers of As ians on whi te female children she has been ruled a racist. As if ‘she’ is the perpetrator of these crimes.

      http://news.sky.com/story/dame-lowell-goddard-says-racism-and-misconduct-claims-are-false-10616311

      This is just one example. But in my country they seek to hide the mass of crime taking place by immi grants from outside of Europe.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm-SrZ8-9kw

    • EU reform- proactive

      Catherine, – tragic!

      However, if one does not separate & target the many different issues one by one- nothing will happen.

      Who protects the public from misdeeds of politicians? Which institutions are appointed to do that in your country? The Ombudsman’s office- which? The office of the public guardian? Who? How do you combat “State capture” of any sorts?

      It seems the only country who has a “proper” independent “Office of the Public Protector” is South Africa. It doesn’t help to have a tons of Human Rights- which in turn are manipulated by those who are skilled to “capture” anything- like in the US?

      http://www.mintpressnews.com/lawmakers-trying-pass-bill-exempting-politicians-arrest-prosecution-corruption/201937/

      Quote: “A Public Protector has the power, as regulated by NATIONAL legislation: to investigate any conduct in state affairs, or in the public administration in any sphere of government, that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice.”

    • Duncan

      @Catherine & EU, it’s a tad out of sink with the question at hand. Aka “should all radical speech be censored?” I interpret the question as it is stated. They are asking therefore if any examples of speech that go against the “conventional” way of thinking should be censored. And the answer is obviously not. It’s radical thinking that gave birth to almost all human advances in sciences and technology. And there is also the point Catherine raised about just who exactly determines what is considered radical, as everybody will have a bias on this matter nobody is therefore fit for the job of judging what is radical in the first place. But more than this, debate and talking about differences is the only non violent way to settle differences of opinion. If you remove the capacity to debate, it will be replaced by more violent forms of expression. As for the specifics of the conspiracy that Catherine refers to, I’m really not so sure it’s a deliberate attempt to permit a foreign/alien culture to take over our own. I’m almost certain it has more to do with over reaction on the part of liberalists mixed with gross incompetence. Sadly Catherine, I think you are giving the powers that be too much credit to assume everything they do is deliberate. I’m far more cynical than you it seems.

    • EU reform- proactive

      Duncan, too many issues determine & influence such a delicate subject- isn’t it? I do not consider myself qualified enough to act as a “judge” or feel strictly bound to answer such “forum question” literally. Some measure of freedom & tolerance is always required!

      Everyone should freely decide how best to tackle any “DE forum question”- somehow intelligently- according to his/her unique personality- not so? Should you choose to feel “schoolmasterly” bound to the DE- so be it!

      However, any perceived transgression(s)- regarding this subject- can only be seriously tested once brought before a/or the “Humans Rights Commission”. THEY are the judge- the rest is indulging in popular gossip!

  42. Belamie Versco

    Freedom after censorship is no longer freedom. I agree about some censorship, but you must not claim to call the result “freedom of speech”. Better call it “politically correct speech”. ;)

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  44. Yasmine

    Unless you make clear what you mean by radical, the question is impossible to answer. What is radical to one person is common sense to another and the death of common sense is what this society has been mourning for a few years now. We need radical views or else we would not move forward as a society. Unless the speech breaks the law or incites others to commit crime, such as murder, breaking and entering, trespassing etc, why should it be removed? I also think that swearing should not be tolerated because other than to offend on purpose it has no other contribution, adds nothing to the discourse and should be ignored.

    I am glad that common sense prevailed in the court cases used as examples above because the examples do not actually break the law and there are different ways of interpreting things. To remove a comment because you find it offensive is against human rights law but also is very arrogant because it does not accept other people’s thoughts and frame of mind, which don’t find anything offensive in that comment.

    We have seen here comments removed for no obvious reason. Even when I asked why my comments or those of others were removed there was no answer from the page moderators, so, obviously, there was no credible explanation. Perhaps the comments mean something offensive in the UK that someone from Germany or Greece does not see or understand. To remove those comments on that basis automatically assumes the superiority of UK English and constitutes linguistic and cultural fascism. Check out how many times linguistic bodies have complained against misconceived political correctness.

    There is nothing wrong with somebody expressing their views about Islam, as long as this is done in a polite way. There have been so many negative comments about Christianity before and that was all right. Why can’t Islam be the subject of public discourse? And what race exactly is it? There are blond and blue-eyed Muslims just like there are dark ones. Those who cannot live under freedom of speech and open public discourse have no place in this society. We should not change for them because that would take us backwards in time.

    • Duncan

      Yasmine, that post started off so well. I was finding myself nodding as I read it and my opinion of you improved. But towards the end I couldn’t help wondering if you ever bother to read any replies people make properly. It’s been said before, but I guess I’ll put it here again for you. Racism as a term is used to identify acts of discrimination against groups of people as a broad term. The argument that it cannot be racist because muslim is not a race falls to pieces when you start to look into dna divergences. Mainly because we are all interbred, and there are no actual racial differences between us. Just differing levels of one strain of dna over another. This is as true of any two people on the planet as any other two. Racism is therefore correctly used as a broad spectrum terminology for discriminatory speech, treatment and/or behavior.
      Also, that whole piece about assuming the superiority of UK English is an invalid explanation as to why differences between the cultures of England, Germany and so on are being considered offensive by other cultures with different feelings on a given subject. The language used is not the dividing element with regards to differences of moral and ethical viewpoints.

  45. Morgan

    As most others here, I am of the belief that freedom of speech is cut off somewhere around actual active incitement of hatred. Having a radically right wing view on, say, foreigners, does not quite warrant being silenced. One actively trying to incite supporters to harm people for various political reasons, on the other hand…

    • catherine benning

      Here is another way to cut off ‘freedom of speech’ if you don’t have the same view as the opposing propaganda.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rt-russia-today-banks-frozen-what-is-it-putin-state-media-funding-a7365646.html

      There is nothing wrong with expressing ones views on any subject, no matter its content. To do so is done with the intent to stultify the population.

      There is no doubt RT has biased views. So do we all. However, most of their reports are backed by footage they claim to report on. On the other hand, our journalists no longer give any views, opinions, comments or journalistic reports, backing up any of it with intelligent or believable footage, documentation or any other support for their logic, other than reports being fed by the US machine. It is disturbing to say the least.

      This link is to the only journalist we presently have who gives an alternative view any more. We used to have a very balanced report on most matters. Not any longer. And I do wonder how long it will be before this lone reed is silenced.

      http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/

      And here is a discussion that will not be made public in our general media as it discusses complete censorship in politics.

      http://www.disrupter.media/peter-hitchens-gone-wrong-western-politics/

      The video clip at the bottom of this article discusses speech is being radically censored by the State. Especially in the truth of political propaganda.

  46. Yasmine

    So here is an article about a Muslim journalist in the UK complaining about comments made about the appropriateness of her appearance and reporting on specific stories and the commenter getting cleared:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-37706827

    The news channel she was reporting on, still not willing to accept the regulator’s ruling and equates Islam to ethnicity (which exactly?) in order to justify its own judgements. This is the brainwashing that people are being subjected to in a society dominated by misperceived political correctness. We are being branded as racist if we dare to try and discuss Islam. Would we also be branded racists if we tried to discuss Christianity or Buddhism? This is the same news channel, Channel 4, which decided not to publish some drawings of the prophet Muhammed a few years back on the grounds that they would upset or offend. Definitely, not a supporter of free speech…

  47. Marcel

    All speech against democracy should be banned, I agree. So, the EU should be shut down accordingly.

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