Sunday, March 05, 2006

Free Speech and Sensitivity

This is what happens when you let sensitivity to someone's feeeeeeelings become a higher principle than the freedom of speech.

Much of Europe has painted itself into a corner on the censorship issue. What can Norway say to pro-censorship Muslims when it already has a hate speech law forbidding, among other things, "publicly stirring up one part of the population against another," or any utterance that "threatens, insults or subjects to hatred, persecution or contempt any person or group of persons because of their creed, race, color or national or ethnic origin ... or homosexual bent"? No insulting utterances at all? Since most strong opinions can be construed as insulting (hurting someone's feelings), no insults means no free speech...

Many nations have set themselves up for Muslim complaints by adopting the unofficial slogan of the West's chattering classes: Multiculturalism trumps free speech. Sensitivity and equality are viewed as so important that the individual right to speak out is routinely eclipsed. (emphasis mine--Darren) Naturally enough, Muslims want to play the same victim game as other aggrieved groups. The French Council of Muslims says it is considering taking France Soir, which reprinted the Danish cartoons, to court for provocation.

Read the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

use "principle" not "principal"

Darren said...

Can't believe that one slipped by me. Thanks for catching it!