Comments: Free speech and its fuzzy edges

A selection of comments sent to us in response to Saskia Sassen's editorial: Free speech and its fuzzy edges.

    I have a few questions for the Author of "Free speech and its fuzzy edges" ...


    Who determines the edges? Who decides what constitutes "hate speech" and what does not? Who are these guardians of right and wrong, and who appointed them?

    The answer of course is they are self appointed. The modern liberal media has appointed itself as guardians of society, and woe to those who cross the line
    .

    Hilton Gray, UK

     

    You admonish any Jewish conspiracy to gain your publishing rights, establishing the identity of hypocrisy and inscripting into the minds of authors that this is the only way to be published and to exercise their freedom to express themselves.

     

    This assuredly is not freedom of speech.
    Djermano, China

    Stop making excuses for the needless violence that has been relentlessly caused by Muslims in response to something that merely hurt their feelings and challenged their beliefs.

    This is the real world - we get challenged, hurt and offended every day but thankfully most level-headed people learn to deal with it through means other than death and destruction.

    Pete, UK

     

    The Dane responsible is a friend of Daniel Pipes, an avowed enemy of Islam, and the cartoons can be seen as an incitement to riot, something not protected as free speech.  It would be useful to know the communications of those two with our neo-cons.

    James Morgan, USA

     

    Freedom should never be considered in isolation. Divorced from its conjugate, responsibility and impinging on the sensitivities of others can lead to denial of freedom.
    E.H.Craill, Australia

    In "Free speech and its fuzzy edges", Saskia Sassen overlooks two essential elements of the "climate" in which the cartoons were published.

     

    First, as clearly expressed by the editors of the Danish newspaper when the cartoons were first published, there was the murder of Theo van Gogh for making a film critical of Islam, and the fear of reprisal expressed by Danish artists when considering producing respectful drawings of the prophet for a children's book.

     

    This climate of fear must take a place of equal importance in the discussion alongside questions of respect or hate speech.  Denmark is a secular nation. What are artists allowed to say?

    Victor Purinton, USA

     

    Not only; moreover it has different shapes and dimensions. Very big word; but not fully maintained on the ground.

     

    It depends on who has the money, who has the microphones, and enjoy the luxury of repeating and repeating the same lie until it becomes a well established fact.

    Mohamed Ali, USA

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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