What are the parallels between the right to offend Islam and the right to offend Royalty?
In the west, most consider the right to offend an important right and integral to healthy democracy. Do we have right to offend Islam? Christianity? Royalty? Here in UK , some consider it sacrilege to offend the royal family - despite the fact they're not elected. Yet the same outraged royalists still fervently believe we have the right to offend Islam. Similarly in France - they have have viciously defended the right to print offensive cartoons of the Muhammad but have banned peaceful protest against such action. Is this an outrageous & unequal double standard? No Muslim haters please....
I am not sure that I support a "right to offend" in the sense of gratuitous malice, as in Internet trolling. The prime purpose of free speech should not be to offend.
I would support a right to free expression of political beliefs and opinions on social issues, including religion. Ideally these would be logically argued positions and not mere insult.
As for the British royal family, they get insulted quite a lot and yet the Queen has not led her supporters in riots in the streets, attacking the embassies of republican countries. Of course, the Queen is not a religious figure and so there is no real parallel between royalty and Islam.
I haven't noticed any fervent royalists suggesting that it is okay to offend Islam but not royalty so your argument leaves me somewhat non-plussed.
I also don't quite understand your suggestion that it is okay to offend someone who is unelected but not one who is elected. In fact, in the west we spend a lot of time offending those who ARE elected. This is in stark contrast to most Islamic countries where you might well be put to death for doing so.
In many Islamic countries, Christianity and Judaism are frequently insulted. There is in fact a video on YouTube showing an excerpt from a drama series shown throughout the Arab world, which shows a caricature Jew chasing and killing a Christian boy in order to drink his blood! So far, the Jews have not organized mass rioting and slaughter throughout the world, burning embassies, etc, in reaction to this insult - even though it was made as a regular TV program and shown to millions - not like this silly film trailer on YouTube made by an Egyptian nutter. It is the ultimate in hypocrisy to level insults at other religions while falling into a murderous rage if you detect any insult to your own. You are talking about double standards, Joe? What about that one?
Perhaps Islamic countries feel they have legitimate issues with the west, but rioting and murder of innocent people is not the way to address these or rectify any wrong. We in the west would be far more likely to listen to the voice of reason than to the roars of racist hatred.
The prime focus of free speech should be to SPEAK FREELY rather than as you put it 'to not offend'. How silly!
It was YOU who mentioned "the right to offend" Joe, not me! I was responding to that. And I didn't say free speech's prime focus is "to not offend". I said its prime focus should not be to offend. That does not mean it would never offend.
Good question. You see since the end of the cold war, the West has been looking for a another excuse to keep people on their toes in the West and in line to pay more and more taxes so that the greedy elite and power brokers can remain in power while we the mass work to death ...:-)
So they came up with the Muslims are bad concept. Ever since that idea got floated in the West Muslims and Islam have always been blamed even though Islam and Muslim is not a new concept and it as been around for 1400+ years.
You see Muslims & Islam is being used and abused by some idiotic Muslims and many non-Muslims as an excuse to forward their own agendas and dogmas.
Yes the idiots that have been rioting on the streets are totally stupid for doing that, those non-humans who killed those US embassy people are also killers (not Muslims as they call themselves) as no Muslim should ever kill anyone unless his/her life was in danger (just like any other human).
I also say that the low-life who created and posted that video - should also be treated as such a low-life for creating that pile of crap.
No one has the right to offend another person not in this way. And those that push the line 'Freedom of Speech' I bet if you went up to them and in-front of their family said something like 'I f*c*e* your mum last night' they would not think twice before knocking your lights out - so much for freedom of speech.
There is always a limit to freedom of speech and those that do not respect that should be held responsible for their actions.
I'd hazard a guess your rule of exclusivity offended Muslim haters. Not sure who they are, exactly, but we're constantly told they're out there, so they must be, and they must be offended they're not welcome to post in your thread.
Hi Joe Cook! How's it going?
The first thing to say is that the issue is "satire." Its important to keep that firmly in mind. The Danish publication a few years back, and no doubt the makers of the latest film... what is it, "The Innocence of Muslims?" no doubt see themselves as satirists. But what is satire?
Satire is NOT just making fun of people, cultures, or institutions. Satire is "making fun" (for lack of a better term) the powerful in society. If you make fun of people who are not powerful then your just being mean, and, frankly, something of a bully.
For example, in the United States in the 1920s, you had white performers like Al Jolson who got on stage in "black face," as they made their living imitating black people. Now, this was NOT satire because there wasn't anything like parity between black people and white people at that time: black people were still being lynched in the south and Jim Crow segregation laws were in effect, and so forth. So, what you had there, was a powerful group (whites) being mean in making fun of a comparatively powerless group (blacks).
So, I would say making fun of your UK Royal Family would be satire because they are on the upper tier of society; I would imagine they are powerful, even if their nominal role is ceremonial. The Arab-Islamic world is not on parity with the West in terms of power. After all, it is in Arab Muslim lands were Obama's devastating War on Terror are being prosecuted with all the drone strikes, and so forth.
Pakistan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Palestine, the Sudan, Iran (whom we seem to threaten to invade every other day), and other countries cannot hit "us" back with anything even mildly approaching such ferocity. The Arab Muslim world is far, far, far, far WEAKER than "us" industrially, militarily, and economically. So the cartoons and the like about Prophet Muhammad are being MEAN to people who are, at this point in history, comparatively powerless.
Look, it would be like making fun of a triple amputee, who, perhaps lost his limbs in the Army or something, and saying to him, "Hey there, stumpy!"
They indeed have less military power, but they are still managing to murder innocent people. Are those rioting mobs doing so because of the political situation you describe? Or are they are being manipulated to hysteria over a non-existent movie?
Comparing France, the US, and the UK is like comparing apples to oranges. The US is extremely democratic and we were litigious enough to want to put our rights on paper. In fact, it's so democratic that it has become necessary for the government to ensure our education is terrible and that we never truly understand ourselves or the issues of the nation or the world. That has allowed the government to make some inroads around our constitution. We rose to global domination while still in the stages of forming a real culture.
I can't speak for the UK other than to say that it is still a card-carrying aristocracy, whether the people want to accept that or not. My dad is English and I still tease him for being a subject of HRM. As I understand it, common law is the rule of the land and that is no air-tight guarantee of rights. That can technically be set aside. Also, the UK has chosen to be a "junior partner" in the global economic and military hegemony of the US. Except in extreme cases, the government will always spout the anti-Islamic platitudes of the US. I don't know that the royals were ever so excited about following in these wars, though peers and gentry really only have one nationality: other peers and gentry. (Isn't Edinborough actually from Greece or Denmark?) And just when you think the future might be bright for the kingdom, an heir-apparent goes and marries "Imelda Marcos".
France is a Napoleonic-style Republic with a tradition of anti-semitism. That hurts them with there being so many Moslems living there now. The people in France have a better education than those of the US, but they have less rights. This is because it is only necessary to make education bad when people have a greater voice with more rights. Like the Britons, the Franks are our "auxiliaries" to our "Roman legions". I can't imagine why the people put up with it. The French government also supports our wars unless their political situation is untenable or unless it conflicts with their own economic interests.
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