Sunday, December 28, 2008

Free speech to terror supporters

Channel 4 in Britain has created a stir, again.

There are howls of outrage at giving such a operson a platform to air his views.

There is also the defence of free speech, the ability to say what you like, however 'offensive' people might find it.
For once, I am on the side of the Iranian dictator, much as I disagree with him, I accept his right to say what he wants. Pity he doesn't allow such freedoms for the Iranian people though!


JC said...

"Pity he doesn't allow such freedoms for the Iranian people though!"

Freedom of speech isn't an unlimited freedom, however. There's two points that need to be considered in giving I'm a Dinner Jacket a pulpit..

The first is "moral equivalence".. the concept that his views should hold equal merit to those propounded by another in the free world.. they don't because his honeyed words don't match the actuality of the words that count in the Arab world, ie, murder the Jews.

The second is the harm principle. Free speech is limited to doing no harm, and by giving legitimacy to the Thug, you give him Western legitimacy to continue to oppress his people, and run the biggest state sponsored terrorism projects in the world. Channel 4 gave him (and the Iranian regime)legitimacy and thus a moral right to continue his distinctly immoral and illegitimate terrorist activities in Iran, the Middle East, and certainly in the West.

There may actually be a third principle to consider, and it's that of proportionality and balance.. giving a nod to freedom of speech to a terrorist does not mean that he must be accorded the same pulpit as, say, the Queen.
If it's considered important to accord him a right, then it can be more appropriately employed in allowing him to speak to an appropriate audience, eg, on a soap box in Hyde Park.


MacDoctor said...

I'm amazed at how many people don't get the distinction between allowing someone free speech and not supplying them with a public platform to speak from. When you supply such a platform you are tacitly agreeing with his views. This is not a lecture in some academic hall, this is a nation-wide broadcast and some responsibility must be taken for it.

Channel 4 has a long history of tacky, tasteless broadcasts made to boost their flagging ratings. I am certain that their interest in broadcasting this idiot has absolutely nothing to do with free speech and everything to to with creating revenue-generating controversy

KG said...

What JC and Macdoctor said.

WAKE UP said...

Our continuing problem is that
the dumbshits in our government, bureaucracy and media don't see the irony in allowing someone like Ahmadinejaad (for example) the use of our free speech systems to say, essentially, that he doesn't believe in free speech - as if he doesn't get enough chance to say what he wants to already, given that he controls the media in his own country.

Other examples? ANY Muslim hate preacher resident in Britain, for starters.

Actually, it's beyond dumbshit, or irony- it's treason.

LaFemme said...

Agreed with all the above.

Redbaiter said...

Free speech?? For fuck's sake, this is nothing to do with free speech.

The principle of freedom of expression applies in a case wherein someone may want to comment on some political issue and is prevented from doing so by government. For instance in Canada where preachers are jailed for quoting from the bible.

The issue here is simply whether an international political thug should be provided with a taxpayer funded megaphone for his propaganda- or not.

Anonymous said...

No he shouldn't have free speech anywhere until it is the same in Iran. same goes for any Islamic leader anywhere and especially Saudi Arabia.

Let's get real here.

No NEW Mosques ANYWHERE until new churches with NO restrictions can be built anywhere in ANY Islamic country.

Further they should not sit on any UN committee where they can exercise a vote until their country has full freedom of religion and to change your religion.