Saturday, September 15, 2012

they hate us for our freedoms

I've been reading a lot about how the recent unrest and violence in the Muslim world, directed against American targets and reflecting broad anger towards America and its actions, actually shows the superiority of Western values and freedoms. See, the right of that horrendous imbecile to make his little film shows that Anglo commitment to freedom of speech is absolute, even when we find the content of such speech offensive. Muslim reaction to this film, and calls for the prosecution of the people responsible for it, show that they just do get freedom the way we do. We defend our freedoms even when they cost us.

Except, that, no we don't.
Azhar Ahmed, 19, of Ravensthorpe, West Yorkshire, was charged with sending a grossly offensive communication.
He told Huddersfield Magistrates Court he accepted the message had been "unacceptable" but had denied it was "grossly offensive".
The judge said his comments were "derogatory" and "inflammatory"....
The offensive message, which said "all soldiers should die and go to hell", was posted by Ahmed just two days later on 8 March....
Ahmed told the court he was only trying to make his point that many other deaths in Afghanistan were being ignored and added he had no idea it would cause so much upset....
District Judge Jane Goodwin said Ahmed's Facebook remarks were "derogatory, disrespectful and inflammatory".
He will be sentenced later.
Freedom of speech, you see, unless it is directed against our precious, fragile troops, or when it is invoked by a Muslim. Since the West's decade-plus long effort to collectively punish Muslims began, we have taken a novel approach to our inconsistent application of human rights: human rights are for humans. Muslims don't qualify. Not now. Maybe not ever.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech protections are very different - generally less protective - in the UK than they are in the US. Wikipedia appears to have a decent overview.

N. Eugene said...

There's a reason we fought for independence.

Greg Sanders said...

The UK does have bans against hate speech that the U.S. does not:

From wikipedia:
In the United Kingdom, several statutes criminalize hate speech against several categories of persons. The statutes forbid communication which is hateful, threatening, abusive, or insulting and which targets a person on account of skin colour, race, disability, nationality (including citizenship), ethnic or national origin, religion, or sexual orientation.

Now I don't know to what extent those rules are enforced. Apparently the Danish Cartoons were not reprinted in most UK papers, but that's true of the U.S. as well. Again, off wikipedia, there don't appear to be an prominent cases of insults against Islam being prosecuted. There was a case about a woman being insulted for wearing a hijab, but that apparently resulted in an acquittal.

So, it seems plausible that the laws in the UK are inconsistently applied which would be a good reason to appeal this particular case. I would find it difficult to believe that no one has said similar things about Muslims in the U.K. with similar prominence. At the same time, inconsistent application might also support the viewpoint in the U.S. that such laws are a bad idea.

Freddie said...

In case it isn't clear that I think this way: thank god for the First Amendment.

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

You're conflating "the West" and "America". But of course, they're not the same. America prides itself on freedom of speech; most European counties don't. That's why this icky little film was made in America, same as N.W.A. records and Boiled Angel comics. This trial happened in England, where speech restrictions are much stricter.