Nothing to do with free speech

20.09.2012 - Silvia Swinden

This post is also available in: Spanish, Italian

Nothing to do with free speech
(Image by Creative Commons Attribution)

The video in YouTube that is provoking so much anger amongst muslims is still available. Is this freedom of expression? Or blatant double standards?

Just by looking at the history of this video we can see that it has not been uploaded as an artistic production or even as an attempt to provide a valid criticism of a religion. Its maker gave a false name  purporting to be an “Israeli Jew”. His real religion, and the fact that he lives in California are not important.

What is important is that this video was intended to get as many people as possible very, very angry, risking to provoke a conflagration in the Middle East, and/or more terrorism everywhere, not to mention the sticky situation it creates in Egypt for Coptic Christians and the safety of diplomatic personnel in Muslim countries, with four American deaths in Libya already casting a shadow over other delegations. So, nothing to do with freedom of expression but rather irresponsible behaviour at best, and twisted machination to start another war, or several, at worst.

YouTube is extremely efficient at taking down videos with the smallest violation of intellectual property or copyright laws. Most countries have laws against inciting religious hatred or discrimination so it is really puzzling that this piece of inflammatory rubbish is still on. It is not a question of whether Islam is a good or bad religion (only those who practice it have the right to make that judgment) but of a deception (even the actors have complained that their voices were dubbed later to make them say things that were not in the script) aimed at stirring up trouble.

As for an efficient response to it, rather than the “red rag to a bull” one, it would be more interesting to study the many options contained in the methodology of nonviolence in order to build mutual respect and human solidarity amongst all those who practice any religion, and also those who do not.

Categories: International
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