ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Limits of a Crusade between Free Speech and Respecting Faith

Updated on January 15, 2015
jes732 profile image

Jamal is a graduate from Northeastern Seminary and writes on a broad range of topics. His writings are based on other points of view.

Reactionaries

If a crusade is defined as a war of religious differences, then I think the current conflict between specific violent extremists and individual freedom qualifies. Why would I call freedom a religion? Because while it doesn’t involve a spiritual deity or force, we value our freedom as such in practice. The right to do with our lives as we choose is inscribed into our laws like comparatively the writings of a holy book.

While we may tell an evangelist or jihadist to believe what they want and go about our separate lives, we will go up in arms the moment they decide to tell or force us to live according to their set of values. It is arguable even that many value it over the lives of others, as people who criticize the supporters of no gun control frequently point out.

The extremist attacks in Paris galvanized most of the Paris population in a sense of collective outrage
The extremist attacks in Paris galvanized most of the Paris population in a sense of collective outrage

Respect

The recent attacks in Paris highlight this issue in tragic and spectacular detail because it wasn’t an event motivated by politics or invasion. The incendiary factor was that according to the extremist attackers, images of the prophet Muhammad are forbidden, and that the French magazine, Charlie Hebdo had taken their liberties with expression too far. Similar conflicts have taken place in Belgium as well.

The majority of Muslims do not support acts of violence against other people of differing opinions, calling an affront to humanity according to Allah, as well as appreciating how those same rights. However, many also feel disrespected by the depiction of Muhammad. Even Pope Francis while defending freedom of speech, also said in a January 15th BBC article,

"If my good friend Doctor Gasparri speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched…"

From this point of view, the issue lies in respecting identity. Each ‘religion’ is considered an essential part of the participants’ identity on a national, cultural, or individual level. Speaking from experience, when I was in Paris in 2011, one Frenchman said to me,

“France first. Everything else is second.”

This view flies in the face of many Muslims who feel rather its God first and everything else second. Many immigrants in France have said there is a high price they pay for this value system, facing prejudice and social ostracizing. For us raised in Western nations, our freedom is what defines us, the ability to control our own lives and not be held accountable to others. We preach it and even go to war over this.

One view on freedom of speech and respecting religion by scholar Tariq Ramadan

Is there a limit to what someone can say?

See results

Dialogue to End a Crusade

Despite the cultural differences and politics involved, this is something that can be talked out, even if not coming to a mutual agreement. One common ground for example is how westerners view the growing value of sexual identity of gay and transgender rights. A work in progress to be sure, but a growing acceptance of these groups is occurring, so much so that to you never hear the word, ‘faggot’, used in movies anymore where once it was wide spread. Those that do challenge these emerging issues are often called homophones and attacked verbally and even losing their jobs. And they also claim freedom of speech.

This is a very similar circumstance to how many Muslims feel about pictures of their prophets. It is a piece of who they are as individuals and a community. Using these points to begin understanding one another can be the first step to easing tensions between faith in free speech and faith in your religion.

However, where it ultimately has to go is where the limit of either one lies, and who is the one that determines that limit?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)