Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is your right to 'free speech going to be 'right' for others?

At what point do we say that your right to free speech is superseded by the right of others to ‘live?’ I am of course speaking about a French magazine and the fact that it has gone ahead and published cartoons denigrating Islam and the ‘Prophet.’ As a result, the French Government has had to temporarily shut some of its embassies and consulates along with some schools.
Not only has the action of the magazine caused inconvenience to many people, it has possibly placed those individuals who work or study in the above institutions; it has actually put them at risk, given the over-the-top reaction from some in the Islamic community.
I am sure that our forefathers who went to war, with the words of politicians echoing in their heads about ‘fighting for freedom’ and various other catchcries, would be turning on their graves at the actions of this French magazine.
Freedom comes with a duty to use it with ‘understanding’ and sensitivity; but nothing re the events of the last few weeks, be it ignorant film makers or magazine publisher would indicate that thought has preceded actions. No way am I condoning what has happened as a result of these stupid, insensitive ‘publishings,’ but has not history taught us that such ‘reactions’ are inevitable?
Now, we must wait until ‘Friday Prayers’ to see if the feared outcomes eventuate. I say the price is too high, just as much as I say that the riotous behaviour is way out of proportion. The bottom line is that we all share this world and we have a range of beliefs, some held to the extreme. It seems logical and right that we do not insult one another. It is also obvious that those religions who talk about turning the other cheek, do not practise what they espouse. Hopefully level heads will win out in the end. A forlorn hope?