Freedom of speech works both ways


February 2, 2006 8:51 AM

From Danes stunned by Muslim boycotts – World – smh.com.au:

The Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, has expressed alarm at the wave of anger in the Muslim world prompted by caricatures in a Danish newspaper depicting the prophet Muhammad.

Freedom of speech does not mean you don’t have to think about what you are saying or writing. Because freedom of speech works both ways – you piss someone off and they have the freedom to react.

I saw one argument that all Gods and religions have been lampooned, so why not Allah and Mohammed? That argument is weak and ignorant. If a little research had been done into the sensitivities of caricaturing the Muslim faith, then this all could have been avoided. Hell, a quick browse through the Wiki article on Islam would have been sufficient.

But no, presumably the editors and the cartoonists of Jyllands-Posten did no such thing. And under the current global climate, that is inexcusable. I feel sorry for Danish ppl and companies, especially those operating in the Middle-East and other Muslim countries. You deserve better than this.

The resultant bomb threats, flag-burning and the threatening of Danish citizens by militant Muslims are equally inexcusable. But is it so hard to see how this had been caused in the first place?

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19 thoughts on “Freedom of speech works both ways

  1. Anonymous

    oh get over it. stop whining. nobody has a right not to be offended. thank god in america we can burn the flag, the bible or the koran if we want to. name me on modern islamic country. backward morons.

    Reply
  2. mooiness

    yuuka: yeah it’s in the news alright, just look around CNN or any other major news sites.

    anon: one modern Islamic country – Malaysia. No one is saying that freedom of speech is not something to be proud of or to be cherished, but with it comes responsibility. You have the freedom to say what you want, and the ppl you offend have the freedom to react. Like I’ve said, it works both ways.

    Reply
  3. Yuuka

    “Why is only one of the 47 Muslim-majority countries a free country?

    I say culture plays a big part in this oppressive Muslim mentality. A lot of Muslims think that men must hold leadership in any community body and it is men that must be obeyed without question. In my understanding of the religion, women and children are told to respect and obey the man as head of the family for he will care for and defend them as is his role. This sense of power corrupted some of these men into thinking they own women and children and were given permission from God to do whatever they liked, however they liked. They thought they could wield their power over other human beings without being questioned because God put them in charge and told others to respect and obey. They don`t realise that they`re being stupid (or maybe they don`t care about religion and are manipulating those who faithfully follow God`s word) and that God would never want people to live in restrictive, unfun, horrible conditions of oppression. Am I making clear sense here? Thanks to Muslim ideals, Muslim majority countries are the easiest to control by means of an iron fist. Ah, the dangers of blindly strong faith.”

    I wrote that a while back when someone asked the same thing anonymous just did. I could go on and on but this isn`t my blog! I just have to say this much because I can`t sit around shaking my head quietly to myself when people say things like Muslims being “backward morons”. I may not be able to change how others think but I can at least say what I think.

    Reply
  4. nyc boy

    no offense, but malaysia is not considered a modern nation. it has no world class companies, does not create anything, etc. compare that w/ japan, korea w/ samsung, honda, canon and countless others.

    i’m asian-american and i’ve seen hk movies, taiwanese movies, japanese movies, chinese movies, etc. music too. from malaysia nothing.

    btw, whatever economic development it does have is probably from it’s 30% non-muslim chinese minority. see indonesia, a fellow malay muslim country where the chinese minority is much smaller. basketcase.

    all those one billion muslims has not produce one modern invention, one modern company. the united states in the last ten years produce yahoo, ebay, google, amazon.

    thank god the rest of east asia didnt fall under the spell of islam. and because of that we will rise.

    Reply
  5. mooiness

    nyc boy: forget Malaysia for a moment and just get back to the “freedom of speech” argument which is the gist of this post. If you are gonna post more insulting comments about Islam here I will delete them.

    Reply
  6. nyc boy

    let me make it clearer. countries with free speech are successful. countries without free speech are not. they can protest all they want but they better take a good look at why they have not produce one successful modern nation. hint: it’s the lack of free speech, respect for others whose viewpoints are different. and yes that includes making fun of your prophet.

    btw, i’m an atheist so i dont have much use for any religion. i know that in many muslim countries an atheist can be killed. thank god i live in america.

    and if you think things are messy now, wait till the newspapers in the united states started printing those cartoons. welcome to the concept of freedom of expression babiee.

    Reply
  7. mooiness

    nyc boy: with the way the world is today, it’s already difficult (nay impossible) to talk sense into militant Muslims so why add fuel into the fire?

    Freedom of speech is an ideal the whole world should embrace. But why persist in antagonising a subgroup of extremists while putting the moderates in a difficult position? A little bit of understanding on both sides goes a long way.

    Yes – say and do whatever you want but don’t jump up and down when it all comes back and bites u in the ass.

    Never is the phrase “think before you speak” more apt than this instance now.

    Reply
  8. SimplySiti

    Oh my God! Equating modernity with movie production and manufactured goods? What’s next? One is only liberated when they have had sex? *shakes head*

    I dont think it is fair for nyc boy to judge which countries are modern and otherwise just base on Western liberal ideals. One’s man food is another man’s poison. Besides, there is such a thing as cultural relativity.

    As much as one should embrace freedom of speech, one should also not forget the responsibilities that come with it. This includes being sensitive to cultural differences. Neglecting the existences of culturals differences is a plain example of ignorance and perhaps cultural supremacy.

    So plese, the next time people like anon decide to dismiss people of certain religious beliefs as ‘backward morons’, I suggest they educate themselves about the beliefs of other religions. Just because you do not embrace a certain religion, doesnt mean that you dont have to respect it.

    Reply
  9. spinnee

    It’s better to always respect others ‘cuz it’s a form of self-respect… religion topics are sensitive, but usually it’ll lead people to basic moral ethnics etcetc…

    kekeke…. perhaps all of us must learn to talk and behave like the principle of WATER:

    It can form into any shape when it’s filling up a container, but the volume of it will never change.

    Reply
  10. ~*Starryluvly*~

    nyc boy said…

    let me make it clearer. countries with free speech are successful. countries without free speech are not.

    Erm, Singapore is a country which restricts freedom of expression, yet we’re doing quite fine, thanks. Considering the relative youth of the country, I’d say it’s doing pretty darn well.

    Mooi, why do you even let these idiots pollute your comments section with the snot from their ill-formed brains?

    Reply
  11. mooiness

    nyc boy: I’ve warned you before. You want to be a racist and an ignorant bigot, go rant on your own blog. Don’t do it on mine. Have a nice life full of hate. Seeya, won’t wanna be ya.

    Reply
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