Should extremists be gagged, or should freedom of speech be allowed?

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  1. Diana Grant profile image94
    Diana Grantposted 6 years ago

    Should extremists be gagged, or should freedom of speech be allowed?

    When an English soldier was murdered in the streets of Woolwich, London, on 22nd May 2013, video film  on various news stations, including but not limited to the BBC, showed substantial footage of Michael Adeboloja (who grew up in London, though originally from Nigeria), covered in blood and declaiming excitedly the reasons for this atrocity.  He stood around waiting for the police, rather than running away, and then rushed them, presumably with the intention of suicide by police shooting, so that he could gain martyrdom..  To what extent should the air of publicity be permitted to extremists?

  2. phtech profile image80
    phtechposted 6 years ago

    I think the same rule with extremist religions applies. If their freedom of speech could endanger other citizens, it is better that he be gagged. You have the freedom of speech no matter what but the consequences of that speech could be dire. If you say you're going to bomb something, whether you mean it or not, you will probably get detained. Great question.

    1. Diana Grant profile image94
      Diana Grantposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      But is it better to know what people are thinking through their speeches, so that we can counter their arguments in a rational and logical way?

  3. MickS profile image68
    MickSposted 6 years ago

    It is a short step fom banning certain dialogue in the interests of 'public safety', and banning other dialogue because the government of the day, of whatever stripe, feels threatened by the content.

    1. Diana Grant profile image94
      Diana Grantposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      This is the problem - When does preventing unpopular comment and comment which exposes certain people, be they wrongdoers or corporations, become Government cover-up?  Think Julian Assange and also Nakoula's Film The Innocence of Muslims - cover-ups?

  4. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 6 years ago

    If you gagged extremists, people will not know what lengths they will go to in order to make their point or statement. Such events do need to be reported. Perhaps the footage use in this report was excessive. I do not know. I did not see it. However, the general public needs to know what the minority of the people are doing so they can be aware of what can happened around them and they need to be aware of the issues that drove the extremists to that final action. Was the cause important. Had he tried other methods of gaining attention.
    News organizations have an obligation to report what is happening in our communities and our world. Some discretion is in order regarding pictures are video that are overly graphic, but the story should be told--the whole story, which includes the background of the person, previous activities of this nature, his cause and any other factors that might be relevant in explaining what this act took place. If reported properly, and objectively, the subject will not achieve martyrdom, but the people will know there are people who will go to extremes  to prove a point or to achieve some unattainable glory.

    1. Diana Grant profile image94
      Diana Grantposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, I certainly want to know all the details, and read the reports.  I am not so keen on seeing interviews with the bereaved - to me that just seems like gawking and infringement of privacy.  It doesn't supply any further substantive information

  5. Savio Dawson profile image92
    Savio Dawsonposted 6 years ago

    My heart goes out to the family of the deceased soldier, but that event was a great example of the confusion about the term 'extremists'.

    To Adeboloja the English soldiers were the extremist, who killed muslims everyday, while for us sitting at our home and watching the video, Adeboloja was the extremist. 

    This is quite frustrating since we watch our own soldiers die everyday at our international borders and then there are blasts. It is totally inhumane but then what are they all fighting for? Religion.

    God never came for a religion and yet we fight for a religion in the name of God. Sad fact about us Humans. Anyways, I hope sanity prevails and we rediscover ourselves as humans and not typecast by religion!

    1. Diana Grant profile image94
      Diana Grantposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      On examination, you might find they are also fighting for what's in the ground - valuable resources.  I find it particularly sad that we see hours and hours of outpourings when one of our own dies, and yet brush over 40 civlilian deaths abroad

    2. Savio Dawson profile image92
      Savio Dawsonposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Diana,

      I agree. We are quite indifferent to outsiders in life and in death and only express our compassion for those who are our own. But then there are many blessed souls who do not have such demarcations. They are our hope. God Bless!!

  6. Tank4u profile image72
    Tank4uposted 6 years ago

    We live in a world where violence is glorified and the Media loves to parade such things on national television in order to draw attention to their news agency. The airing of the murderer in London was to much.  Personally I would love to see many news agencys gagged...unfortunately, the Media will always cry foul when scolded but it doesn't hurt to remind them of their arrogance and irresponsibility.

  7. wychic profile image89
    wychicposted 6 years ago

    As unpleasant as much of the extremist diatribe may be, freedom of speech should still be allowed as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. "Extremism" is extremely subjective, and censoring it could so easily slide into "we don't agree with you, so you have no right to speak."

    I feel terrible for the family and friends of that soldier, though unfortunately we can't legislate basic human decency. Thankfully, we do have the right to contact those who created and/or aired the footage and remove support from the stations that show it. It's not as effective as just shutting them up in the first place, but is probably the most sure way to protect the rights of all involved.

  8. Silverspeeder profile image60
    Silverspeederposted 6 years ago

    With freedom comes responsibility.  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

    I think many of our media sources have forgotten what freedom of speech is about.

    News has become big business, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and simple reporting of the facts are no longer viable as they have to fill up air time or other media with long drawn out analysis.

  9. ketage profile image81
    ketageposted 6 years ago

    A difficult question to answer, I am all for freedom of speech.
    That being said, the media today need to be more responsible with their reporting. Giving a lunatic who kills for his 15 minutes of fame a spot in the limelight is only encouraging other lunatics out there to follow his example. The story could have been reported without giving him the publicity he so obviously craved.

  10. WalterPoon profile image75
    WalterPoonposted 6 years ago

    I don't believe in gagging. Are we to say that the voice of reason would lose out to the voice of extremism? Personally, I think that most of us would condemn Michael Adeboloja for his actions. The more publicity he gets, the more condemnation he will receive.


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