Friday, December 19, 2008

Religion Versus Free Speech

After I poked fun at Christianity in last week's column, a reader questioned whether I'd be willing to do the same to Islam. As the reprinted cartoons in this post show, I am.

Reason reports:
A "Defamation of Religion" resolution sponsored chiefly by Islamic nations passed yesterday in the United Nations General Assembly by a vote of of 86 in favor, 53 against and 42 abstentions. It declares that governments should:
"adequate protection against acts of hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions and incitement to religious hatred in general."

A specific example of "acts of hatred" that should be outlawed was the publication by the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten of some of these cartoons of Mohammed:

This resolution is complete and utter bullshit. People need to learn to take a few knocks in the free marketplace of ideas. If religious believers want to be taken seriously by nonbelievers, they shouldn't resort to this kind of pathetic censorship. This goes for Muslims, Christians, and anyone else with a history of bitching about people not being nice to them.

Thankfully, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects Americans from this nonsense. Let's do everything we can to make sure it stays that way. If a person thinks any type of free speech every justifies a violent response and is willing to act on that belief, that person should not be welcome in this country. Period. And, yes, that means I'm perfectly comfortable excluding certain radical sects of Muslims. People should be able to believe whatever they want, but they must not be allowed to impose those beliefs on the rest of us.

1 comment:

Neal Schuett said...

It is slightly ironic that Islamic nations pass a resolution that would have kept their religion from spreading. Were not Jesus and Mohammad defaming the faiths before them?