“Abuse of the Universal Right of Free Speech”

Seriously?

The US embassy earlier issued a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions”.

The statement added: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

This was in response to violent protests against a movie made by some man in the United States? It’s wrong on so many levels.

First of all, there was nothing official about the movie. It was made by some guy in the United States. Why do people hold an entire nation responsible for that?

Second, the response to violent protests in which the U.S. flag is defaced should not be to apologize. I know diplomacy and all that silliness, but still no. Peaceful protesters deserve our ears. Violent protesters do not and they most certainly shouldn’t be apologized to.

Third: “We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

Okay, so you reject the actions of people who choose to say something that specifically hurts the feelings of others? Because you can’t “hurt” beliefs. You can hurt feelings and that’s what is happening here.

Muhammad is not my prophet. I can criticize him all I want to. I can also criticize religion and support the right of others to do so. If something bothers you by all means let the other person know as much in a peaceful, reasonable manner.

You don’t like that I criticize the treatment of women in Islam? Go ahead and let me know. I will respond reasonably by saying no one has convinced me that they way women are treated is in any way okay. You don’t like my drawing of Muhammad? Go ahead and let me know. I will respond by telling you that I am sorry it bothers you, but the tremendous suppression of free speech in the name of religious sensitivity is, at the present time, more important than your wounded feelings.

“abuse the universal right of free speech”

You can’t abuse freedom of speech, and it is definitely not a universal right. It should be, but it isn’t. Comments like these certainly aren’t going to further the cause of making freedom of speech a universal right.

Sometimes you read something and it bugs you so much, but simultaneously seems so obvious that you can’t even articulate your opinion properly. This is one of those times for me.

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