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Amadeus85
11-25-2007, 03:59 PM
European countries often say that free speech is european major value, and that we should be all thankfull for living in continent where free speech is not threatened and practiced.But do we have really full free speech in Europe?Sometimes i think that the answer is no. While it is ok to humiliate feelings of religious people (christians, jews and muslims) any critical opinions about gays and lesbians and homosexuality are not allowed and even penalized in many countries.While it is ok to hang naked woman on cross (in the name of art expression of course) or put a cross in glass box filled with urine or put a picture of man's sexual organ on cross (situation from my country, but our catholic talebans accused that "artist" in the court and she had to stop her exhibition), or making picture of muslim prophet with bomb on head, in the same time it is not allowed to say that homosexual act is sin ( every monotheistic faiths say that). But it is not the end,soon brittish justice minister jack Straw, wants to impose a new law about hate speech. Everyone who would call to discrimination of gays and lesbians could risk even 7 years in prison (for rape you get 5 years).So i ask,is a cross in, i beg your pardon, urine allright, brave, cool, amazing and fresh and making fun or saying critical words about homosexuality a crime?
In this year, 11 year old Gearg Rawlinson from Widnes, England, was examined by police for callling one friend a gay.
Two football fans of Norwich City called fans of opposite team gays. The penalty was 300 pounds for each of him.
In 2006 in Sweden, lutheran pastor was sentenced to prison for quotation from Bible about sodomy. One month he spent in jail.
In France in 2005 politic of ruling UMP party said that heterosexuality is better than homosexuality. The penalty was 9 000 euros.
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Suomipoika
11-25-2007, 06:02 PM
I think one mistake you are doing is lumping all European countries together. EU alone has 27 members all with very different approaches when it comes to freedom of speech. Many of the values we see as self-evident today are actually rather new for us, less than 100 years since the fall of communism, absolute monarchy and fascism, none who were particularly open to freedom of speech. Not 100% sure, but I think there even are actually places in Europe that never experienced freedom of speech, mostly thinking Belarus here. So its really new thing for us, but that unfortunately doesnt stop the self-righteous people from europe making claims of superiority and ultimate knowledge.

Finland has a law, roughly translated to "religiouspeace law", thus drawing a piq on cross lands you fines or publishing the famous danish cartoons on internet gets the server shut down (none of our papers printed them, and what I found funny was that a yearly published book that criticises alledged lack of press freedoms in Finland ended up censoring a cartoon that criticised the cartoon controversy). Meanwhile you can say pretty nasty stuff about homosexuality. My perception is that atleast in here the situation is completely reversed.

Personally I think anything should be legal, denying holocaust, placing cross in urine, insulting homosexuals in most colourful ways or singing about chopping the heads of kuffars, as long as it doesnt directly encourage to a rather specific violent action.
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Esther462
11-25-2007, 06:39 PM
I know there has been laws made across Europe to try and stop religouse hatered against other faiths. Whist that has tryed to help it has stopped the freedom of speach for the faiths to expresse them selfs. I think freedom of speach and the right to practes your faith in freedom is ok as long as it's not harming anyone.
Don't get me started on the homosexuals.
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sabah
11-25-2007, 07:01 PM
:sl:

good topic. Personaly i think the term freedom of speech is often used to front hate against others. here in the west, there seems to be double standards, a muslim speaking about religion can be deemed as a terorist where non muslims get away with the whole culture of deeming islam as an evil religion.
May allah grant us sabr

peace be upon you!
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Suomipoika
11-25-2007, 07:22 PM
Originally Posted by sabah
:sl:

good topic. Personaly i think the term freedom of speech is often used to front hate against others. here in the west, there seems to be double standards, a muslim speaking about religion can be deemed as a terorist where non muslims get away with the whole culture of deeming islam as an evil religion.
May allah grant us sabr

peace be upon you!
We have dozens of countries and millions of people, how can you make such a generalised claim? Are there people/newspapers/politicians who do that? Most likely. But Im just as certain that there are millions and millions of people/newspapers/politicians here in the "west" who think and do the completely opposite.

Its probably bit like with Islam and terrorism. See only the (self-proclaimed) muslims who do evil and make generalisations about that. See only the racists in the "west" and make generalisations about that.
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sabah
11-25-2007, 08:05 PM
Originally Posted by Suomipoika
We have dozens of countries and millions of people, how can you make such a generalised claim? Are there people/newspapers/politicians who do that? Most likely. But Im just as certain that there are millions and millions of people/newspapers/politicians here in the "west" who think and do the completely opposite.

Its probably bit like with Islam and terrorism. See only the (self-proclaimed) muslims who do evil and make generalisations about that. See only the racists in the "west" and make generalisations about that.
i didnt mean to generalise the 'whole of the west' as theres those who engage with us for equality. However there does seem to a double standard culture, its an issue that many muslims here feel.
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Suomipoika
11-25-2007, 10:14 PM
Originally Posted by sabah
i didnt mean to generalise the 'whole of the west' as theres those who engage with us for equality. However there does seem to a double standard culture, its an issue that many muslims here feel.
How exactly is freedom of speech used to front hate against others? When arguing about freedom of speech I find myself often defending the right to say really crazy ideas, like holocaust denial. I think holocaust happened with 6 million dead jews just the way its taught in mainstream media and schoolbooks, however I will defend the right of people to say it never happened. Surely that doesnt mean Im masking my hate towards jews, or does it?

I think people notice things that offend them more likely than things that offend others. So when someone says negative things about islam, its more than likely that in a country where majority of people are secular or christian, they will simply ignore it. However when a muslim says something that goes against the values of majority, of course they will notice it, make noise about it, and some probably go way overboard in their comments which again is ignored by most, because once more it doesnt offend them. To top that all we might even get few politicians trying to score some cheap political points to add what "horrid things" the muslim said under the next drawt of hate laws. Ill agree its not very fair, and its an issue that should be looked more closely and solved somehow in a way that makes muslims happy to live in Europe.

My perception is that the same behaviour exists everywhere and I found it curious that the feelings (as you say) some muslims feel towards the existing "double standard culture" in west are similar to what I feel towards the muslim community in regards of some issues. Example, when talking about west, certain negative stereotypes and themes about west and westeners are repeated over and over again to ad nauseam, among those being sex/fornication, cheap western women who dress improperly and alcohol, like those things are all that west is about. The offending value of these stereotypes are largely ignored. However if one makes generalisations or negative stereotypes about muslims, there will sooner or later be someone complaining about that. When talking about terrorism perpetrated by a muslim I have to make sure in so many ways as possible as not to insult or offend anyone, by adding phrases like self-proclaimed.
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snakelegs
11-25-2007, 10:31 PM
it is very difficult to advocate freedom of speech for those you disagree with.
many years ago tha nazi party was denied a permit for a march. the ACLU challenged it on their behalf. (the ACLU is a liberal, private group who fights for civil rights through the courts). they were strongly criticized and indeed lost many members. i was critical of them too at the time.
eventually, i came to the conclusion that if you allow freedom of speech for those you agree with, you must also allow freedom of speech for those you don't.
it gets really tricky though when it comes to things like hate speech....
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sabah
11-25-2007, 10:54 PM
Originally Posted by Suomipoika
How exactly is freedom of speech used to front hate against others? When arguing about freedom of speech I find myself often defending the right to say really crazy ideas, like holocaust denial. I think holocaust happened with 6 million dead jews just the way its taught in mainstream media and schoolbooks, however I will defend the right of people to say it never happened. Surely that doesnt mean Im masking my hate towards jews, or does it?

I think people notice things that offend them more likely than things that offend others. So when someone says negative things about islam, its more than likely that in a country where majority of people are secular or christian, they will simply ignore it. However when a muslim says something that goes against the values of majority, of course they will notice it, make noise about it, and some probably go way overboard in their comments which again is ignored by most, because once more it doesnt offend them. To top that all we might even get few politicians trying to score some cheap political points to add what "horrid things" the muslim said under the next drawt of hate laws. Ill agree its not very fair, and its an issue that should be looked more closely and solved somehow in a way that makes muslims happy to live in Europe.

My perception is that the same behaviour exists everywhere and I found it curious that the feelings (as you say) some muslims feel towards the existing "double standard culture" in west are similar to what I feel towards the muslim community in regards of some issues. Example, when talking about west, certain negative stereotypes and themes about west and westeners are repeated over and over again to ad nauseam, among those being sex/fornication, cheap western women who dress improperly and alcohol, like those things are all that west is about. The offending value of these stereotypes are largely ignored. However if one makes generalisations or negative stereotypes about muslims, there will sooner or later be someone complaining about that. When talking about terrorism perpetrated by a muslim I have to make sure in so many ways as possible as not to insult or offend anyone, by adding phrases like self-proclaimed.
As you say you use your freedom of speech to defend others or events like you mentioned however others miss use the right, i believe in freedom of speech however there must be a cut off point ie when somethink you say is going to offend others for example the danish cartoons, in which deeply hurt millions of muslims, would you call this freedom of speech?

you mention sterotypes that may be linked with westen women, im sure you wouldnt defend another individual name calling, saying that they are expressing their freedom of speech.

My point is, sure freedom of speech is a positive thing in regards to the development of a society and also enables people to engage with one another however there must be a cut off point when it comes to hurting someones feelings espec in regards to insulting a religion of an individual.
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Suomipoika
11-25-2007, 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by sabah
As you say you use your freedom of speech to defend others or events like you mentioned however others miss use the right, i believe in freedom of speech however there must be a cut off point ie when somethink you say is going to offend others for example the danish cartoons, in which deeply hurt millions of muslims, would you call this freedom of speech?
Yes. I completely disagree with the action, but I think its within freedom of speech to do this.

you mention sterotypes that may be linked with westen women, im sure you wouldnt defend another individual name calling, saying that they are expressing their freedom of speech.
I think its within freedom of speech to call me an idiot or a moron. (That might go against board rules tho. :sunny:) Also I think its within freedom of speech to use negative stereotypes about western women, even if I think its wrong and racist.

My point is, sure freedom of speech is a positive thing in regards to the development of a society and also enables people to engage with one another however there must be a cut off point when it comes to hurting someones feelings espec in regards to insulting a religion of an individual.
What about those values that are as important to me as Islam is to you? I love my country (and Europe) and would die defending it, I am deeply offended and hate people who insult it. Will we add nationalism and countries aswell as EU to the list of things that cannot be insulted? What about all the other values that people love and get deeply offended and hurt when they are insulted? Where do we draw the line? Who determines it?
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sabah
11-26-2007, 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by Suomipoika



I think its within freedom of speech to call me an idiot or a moron. (That might go against board rules tho. :sunny:)

you plonker (lol sorry couldnt resist a little joke)!

What about those values that are as important to me as Islam is to you? I love my country (and Europe) and would die defending it, I am deeply offended and hate people who insult it. Will we add nationalism and countries aswell as EU to the list of things that cannot be insulted? What about all the other values that people love and get deeply offended and hurt when they are insulted? Where do we draw the line? Who determines it?
Thats the problem in which no one has a solution for, however theres problems linked with enabling freedom of speach also ie how far to take it ie the danish cartoons, terorists promoting hate against the west.
I dont have the solution, but im sure theres one out there, i hope :sunny:.
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