Freedom of Speech vs. Fear, Fanaticism and Fundamentalism
Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 29, 2008
Yesterday was a Day of Victory for Fear, Fanaticism and Fundamentalism, a day when yet another voice of Fear, Fanaticism and Fundamentalism was silenced in the name of Hatred and Prejudice.
Lives were threatened, Democracy and Free Speech were taken hostage, and Reason Negotiated with Terror, and Lost. The Irony of it all is that one brand of Fundamentalist, Bigot and Phobic was Silenced by another. But what really happened was that, Truth, Democracy and Human Rights on Both Sides were the true Casualties.
Free Speech is for ALL, hatred or not. Democracy cannot exist where there is no Free Speech. Free Speech cannot exist where there is no Democracy. Free Speech is the only Human Institution that guarantee Democracy. The moment you Silence your enemies is the moment you cease to be a democratic creature. The brilliant thing about Free Speech is that as much as it gives your opponent the right to oppose you and argue for his or her case, it also gives you the right to oppose him and argue for your case. Every time a bigot, hater, fanatic, extremist or fundamentalist of any kind speaks out, Democracy is given a golden opportunity to Reply and Refute. Free Speech guarantees that opposing views, also those which are hateful, can be scrutinized and used as educational material.
Expose hate. Deflect hate. Oppose hate. Embrace truth. (Knate Stahl)
Don’t just expose that hate with which you disagree – anyone can do that, it’s easy. Expose also that hate with which you agree. The hatred, prejudice and bigotry that rests within your own heart. That is where all hatred comes from.
Don’t just deflect hate from those whom you love, anyone can do that, almost by nature we do that. Deflect also the hate that is aimed at your opponent, from out-side, but also from within yourself. That is where all hatred comes from.
Don’t just oppose hate in general, whether you agree with it or not. We can all talk the talk. Oppose hatred specifically by refusing to be a breeding ground for it. Don’t talk the talk – walk the walk, even if it cost you more than you think can pay.
“whoever kills a person, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he had killed all men. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved the lives of all men.” Quran 5:32
Embrace Truth. Truth is never in the extremes. Truth is always in the middle, in the grey area, in that which is not clear-cut, certain and easy to discern. Embrace Truth. Truth is never easy – always simple, but never easy.