SOB’s Grins & Grumps

Everything Between Heaven and Earth and Beyond

  • Copyrights and Contact

    Henric C. Jensen
    All images and Artwork are
    © 2006-2018 Henric C. Jensen
    Mail

  • July 2022
    S M T W T F S
     12
    3456789
    10111213141516
    17181920212223
    24252627282930
    31  
  • Categories

  • Meta

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

Archive for the ‘Freedom of Press’ Category

Fundamantalist Islamic Hypocrisy

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on September 2, 2007


Mohammad Controversy Images

Western media outlets are fearful of provoking extremist Islamic retaliation, thus they have largely avoided printing the Mohammed cartoons, though it must be remembered that the over-reaction is the problem, not the provocation. These cartoons are not racist – they satirise the Islamic religion and its prophet, not Muslim people.

Religious fundamentalism has been a cause of prejudice and violence for centuries. The violent reactions to these cartoons say more about extremist intolerance than about blasphemy – protesters in London held placards reading “EXTERMINATE THOSE WHO MOCK ISLAM”. It is the protesters who are the problem here, and the media should not give in to such intimidation.

Lars Vilks Roundabout Dog

You know, I am a religious man, and I don’t get the problem with religious satire. I never have. First of all there will always be people who for one reason or other find it amusing to mock religion and religious figures. No big deal. Would I find similar cartoons of Moses or Avraham offensive? No I wouldn’t.

The reactions around the world to the images above, among fundamentalist Islamists, are not only rather “over the top” they are only confirming peoples worst prejudices about Islam and Muslims as aggressive, intolerant, and quite imperialistic (as in “wanting to take over the world”).

They are also quite hypocritical, as the same fundamentalist Islamists have no qualms about publishing their own versions of mocking and satirizing images aimed at Jews, Israel, The US, Europe, the UK etc…

It’s a clear case of not being able to take what they dish out.

Further, demanding censorship (or else…) in democratic states like Denmark, Sweden and the UK, is nothing less than an attempt to control those states from the out-side through blatant blackmail.

You simply cannot demand that sovereign states cater to your religious sensitivities, especially not if you at the same time ignore the sensitivities of others.

It would have been a whole other matter if those images had been depicting Muslims or Arabs in a general manner – just as it is with Anti-Semitic images in the Arab World, which portray Jews in the same manner as in the Third Reich, but those images are of the Prophet Mohammad, and last time I looked the Prophet Mohammad was not the entire Muslim or Arab World population.

Posted in Double Standards, Freedom of Press, Satire | Leave a Comment »

Freedom of Speech…

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 16, 2007


Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression are most often considered synonymous with each other. When we use them we most often, if not always, mean “Freedom to Express any Opinion we like in Speech.”But is this synonymization accurate?
Exactly what is covered by those three seemingly identical expressions?

Originally Freedom of Speech was intended to cover the citizen’s right to criticize their Government without fear of reprisals. That is how it is still intended. This can easily be understood by looking at the context Freedom of Speech is covered in Dictionaries. Or by studying the exceptions made in legislation.

In this respect equalizing Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression is correct.

Over time, however, Freedom of Speech has come to cover every man and his dog’s every utterance, whether towards the Government or towards his fellow man. The concept has been vulgarized. This is where Opinion and Speech part ways. Which is evidenced by the additional legislation that has come into being in almost all modern democracies. What would never have been thought of as being socially acceptable within the society where Freedom of Speech originated is now something there has to be legislation against.

“African Americans, Muslims, Jews, Native Americans are inferior to White/Caucasians and deserve to be exterminated…”

“Homosexuals are dirty spreaders of AIDS and should be locked away…”

“Fat People are lazy and stupid…”

“Arabs are terrorists…”

“Jews control the Banks…”

Freedom of Opinion originates in Freedom of Thought – i.e the right to think for yourself, and this should never be limited. I may hold any opinion I like at any time. Also those out-lined above. Those utterances are not covered by Freedom of Speech, because they can all be classified as hate-speech.

So, when people want to limit rights of Speech and Expression to such speech and expression that is not offensive, they are actually protecting the original intent of Freedom of Speech, rather than exercising censorship.

“freedom of speech is integral to tolerance, which some people feel should be a basic value in society. Professor Lee Bollinger is an advocate of this view and argues that “the free speech principle involves a special act of carving out one area of social interaction for extraordinary self-restraint, the purpose of which is to develop and demonstrate a social capacity to control feelings evoked by a host of social encounters.” The free speech principle is left with the concern of nothing less than helping to shape “the intellectual character of the society”.”

Freedom must be tempered by the Responsibility to have Self-Control. That is far from “I wanna say what I wanna say, and I am going to say it NOW!

Shalom!

Posted in Censorship, Freedom of Opinion, Freedom of Press, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Thought, Human Rights | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: