Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Censorship Government Your Rights Online

Shut Up and Play Nice: How the Western World Is Limiting Free Speech 1160

concealment writes "In the face of the violence that frequently results from anti-religious expression, some world leaders seem to be losing their patience with free speech. After a video called 'Innocence of Muslims' appeared on YouTube and sparked violent protests in several Muslim nations last month, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that 'when some people use this freedom of expression to provoke or humiliate some others' values and beliefs, then this cannot be protected.' It appears that the one thing modern society can no longer tolerate is intolerance. As Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard put it in her recent speech before the United Nations, 'Our tolerance must never extend to tolerating religious hatred.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Shut Up and Play Nice: How the Western World Is Limiting Free Speech

Comments Filter:
  • Free speech (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wowsers ( 1151731 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:24AM (#41657421) Journal

    Freedom of Speech should NEVER be joined with smashing people up / killing them because they got "offended" by a comment. This is the trouble with politicians, because they are attacking Free Speech by linking the two.

    Cracking down on Free Speech also helps politicians cover up the crimes by them and the bankers that bankroll them.

  • BS... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Valor958 ( 2724297 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:29AM (#41657505)

    To this, I call BS. We still protect filth like the Westboro Baptist Church and KKK to host their hatred in whatever form they so choose. They are allowed to do as they please citing religious pretext or freedom of speech/expression, but we're not allowed to hinder them using the same freedoms they abuse.

    Personally, I say suck it up and grow a pair. If your faith is so withered and weak that a few choice words from a 'non-believer' would incite you and your extremist buddies to slaughter wholesale, you deserve more than a few choice words.

    I see it as no more than an excuse since the 'true' Islamic followers would be fine slaughtering the rest of the world one piece at a time until such a time that only believers or converts remain.. .as dictated by the core of their faith. Islam IS a plague on humanity and needs to be purged. If that leads to a 'holy war' of us vs them... so be it. Humanity will be better and stronger for it in the end.

    It took WW2 to see the dangers of Hitler-esque beliefs and actions, and now we're encountering what is nearly the same exact thing, but from a faceless faith as a whole. 'True' Islamists are the new Nazis, but more extreme in the fact that now it is religious based and not race based.

    As a race, we have recovered and advanced since WW2, and are much better off. We have balanced ourselves so that those with power are limited in the use, and abuse, of it to prevent a M.A.D. scenario from those able. Tossing such weak minded and bipolar folks into the mix with their own nukes or other WMDs would lead to much worse than WW2. They do not seek to conquer, but to destroy for the sake of destroying. Stop it before it starts. Tough decisions for tough times.
    Rag on me, down vote me, whatever... the world is on a tipping point and I fully expect to see WW3 or it's equivalent before my time is up. I would not be at all surprised to see it led by the Islamic governments or the faceless masses blindly supporting it out of fear and brainwashing. All organized religion is dangerous in extremes, due to the urge to 'spread the faith' and 'save the non-believers'... but when the core beliefs include 'death to nonbelievers' or anyone who would say anything disparaging... that's a whole new playing field. Islam must go.

  • OK, I'll shutup. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:30AM (#41657535)

    So, when it's asked, "Why don't you visit the Mid-east or some other Muslim country?"

    I'll shut up.

    When it's asked, "Why don't you invest in the Mid-East?"

    I'll shut up.

    When a Muslim charity asks for money, I'll say nothing but "I can't."

    When certain people scratch their heads and wonder why they're treated as outcasts of the World society and continually live in the Third World, I'll keep my mouth shut.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:33AM (#41657577)

    Appeasement didn't work with the Nazis, why would it work with Islamofascist scum?

    -- Ethanol-fueled

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:36AM (#41657627)
    I have a crystal ball. It has shown me the future. The day that 'intolerance' is made into 'hate speech':

    "Arrest that man! He doesn't tolerate my abuses of power! That's intolerant!"
  • Why so anonymous? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stevegee58 ( 1179505 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:41AM (#41657683) Journal
    I never thought I'd say the US was a beacon for anything without feeling embarrassed. But if protecting free speech, even hateful, intolerant, vitriolic speech, is all the US stands for then I'm damn proud to be American.
    F.U. to the cowardly countries who can't stand to hear opposing opinions that might upset someone.
  • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot AT spad DOT co DOT uk> on Monday October 15, 2012 @10:44AM (#41657725) Homepage

    See: The fuckwits handing out jail time to people for making offensive comments on social media or wearing offensive T-shirts in the UK.

    One of the defenders of this stupidity said by way of justification: "He went out there intentionally with the aim of upsetting people", as if that somehow makes it OK to lock them up, because god forbid someone might have to cope with being upset about something someone says.

  • Re:Why so anonymous? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @11:33AM (#41658489)

    Before you get too caught up in your jingoism, do remember that the Obama administration had the guy who made the "Innocence of Muslims" movie thrown in jail through some trumped-up parole violation. (Apparently posting a video with a screen name is "using an alias" now.)

    Even in the grand old United States, you only have "freedom" of speech until they figure out some other way to send you to jail.

  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @11:38AM (#41658569)

    And shooting that little girl in the head probably did more damage to Taliban's influence in Pakistan than all the actions by the US and Pakistani governments over the past 11 years combined. There are tens of thousands of people openly protesting against the Taliban as a result of that assassination attempt; it will be a long, long time before someone can openly declare support for the Taliban in Pakistan.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 15, 2012 @12:04PM (#41658933)

    Oh, good argument. You win. I hereby convert to Islam because we sided with Russia in WWII against the greater evil.

  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @12:46PM (#41659575)

    While I doubt any pro-lifer would want a baby to die of malnutrition, we tend not to see them marching with signs in the street to that effect, and they're happy to vote for politicians that cut healthcare and education spending in favor of nominal pro-life policies (while suspiciously never actually achieving them).

    Pro-lifers seem believe that the state's tolerance of abortion falls morally upon everyone in the state, and if they take no act to stop it, then they are as guilty as the doctors -- this plays into the various evangelical narrative tropes of the "sick society" or "corrupt world" that tempts judgement and requires "rescuing."

    However, you don't meet many pro-lifers who believe their moral obligation to heal the sick of feed the hungry extends to getting laws passed or protesting on the steps of the Supreme Court. For some reason, whenever it comes to a social issue that codes as "left wing" from a 1950s perspective, the Pray Brigade seems to forget where they put their marching shoes.

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @01:59PM (#41660557)

    Ahh, the bliss of ignorance. You do understand the social solutions to problems have existed very intentionally for thousands of years correct? Why would that be? Why would Socrates and Plato say those things are needed for a successful Republic?

    The courts don't have time, nor is it possible to legislate social behavior all of the time. Society does have the time, and is the "normal". Does this mean that I advocate dueling or shooting someone when out of line socially? No, that would be illegal. But a punch in the mouth goes a long way in reminding someone about social behavior. And long ago, but not that long ago, courts would be extremely lenient on assault cases where a person was convicted of assaulting someone that spit on an old lady or cussed out a waitress that was not happy with their verbal sexual advances (and sometimes just toss out the case).

    A fat lip goes a long way toward getting an apology and different behavior from someone acting out of the societal normal. It is not always the answer and should not be the "normal", but in some cases it's the best form of justice.

  • by shiftless ( 410350 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @02:32PM (#41661039) Homepage

    Free speech is based on the threat of violence indeed. You know NOTHING about modern American culture. Nothing.

    Define "American" culture.

    In the South, um....actually, yes, the politeness is due to the threat of violence. I'm from north Alabama and in my culture you don't run your mouth to people and act like a complete asshole (for long) because you will get popped in the mouth sooner or later. I have been to other parts of the country (living in Michigan now) and I've seen and heard things go down as commonplace that would have somebody outright get the shit kicked out of them if they said it to somebody where I'm from.

    I recently read a book whose name and author escapes me but it actually explained this phenomenon quite well. It described how my part of the country was mostly settled by Scots (I'm about half-Scot myself) who are largely a herding culture, which the theory indicates vary from agricultural cultures in significant ways.

    There was a study conducted which analyzed how southerners and northerners responded to insults, and aggravating/annoying people, etc. Basically they found that northerners are quick to make a wisecrack to the annoying person or to roll their eyes, etc. When insulted they tend to shrug it off or deflect it, not showing outward signs of stress and not acting aggressively, but in reality the insult did add to their stress levels.

    Southerners on the other hand were very polite up to a point, in both words and manner, but then at a certain point when somebody pushed the line too far, they would just snap and go off on somebody, which actually reduced their stress. When insulted, the study found they tended to act more aggressively and be more confrontational, in subtle ways even like body language and mannerisms. All of this totally jives with my own experience and observations, both of my own feelings and how I've observed others of my culture acting.

    So the theory is, in herding cultures the different clans will sometimes attack and steal other's animals property, or commit other acts against them, and when insulted in such a way it's important to show a strong response, otherwise it marks one as weak and likely to be victimized further. The side effect of this mentality is people tend to be a lot more polite in general, more respectful in how they address other, etc.

    There are some things you see in other parts of the country that just don't happen back home, and things back home you'd never see anywhere else, like how complete strangers will wave at you when you pass them on the highway. In my town you can leave your car unlocked in a parking lot all day, or all week even, and nobody will bother it. I've seen cars break down on the side of the road and sit there for days or even a week or two untouched. You can buy something at a store and not count your change, cause people rarely ever steal it, though they might miscount. You rarely ever hear about somebody being robbed. Being an armed robber in those parts is a dangerous hobby, cause even if you get away with it for a bit sooner or later some little old lady will put a slug through your chest, and nobody but your mama will mourn you. Etc. So the theory fits and makes a lot of sense to me.

  • by mbkennel ( 97636 ) on Monday October 15, 2012 @04:04PM (#41662457)

    "Taliban represents the views of Pakistanis the way Terry Jones and skinheads represent the views of the U.S."

    The U.S. government does not supply military weapons to Terry Jones and skinheads to kill people of the type they hate in Mexico, and then get "shocked, shocked" when they start killing people of the type they hate in USA, and then the U.S. government doesn't withdraw from Texas and Louisiana and let Skinhead militias terrorize their own people.

Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. -- F. Brooks, "The Mythical Man-Month"