Thursday, October 4, 2012

Freedom to Insult?

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Point-Counterpoint

“The presidents of Egypt and Yemen denounced the protesters’ violence in speeches to the U.N. General Assembly. But they were equally fervent in defending the religious outrage behind them and challenging [President Barack] Obama’s fulsome view of free speech. . . .”

“In his remarks to the [U.N.] General Assembly, Yemen’s president [Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi] turned the U.S. argument inside out with a demand for strict curbs on speech that insults religion. ‘There should be limits for the freedom of expression,’ Hadi said, ‘especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures.’” . . . 

“Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton . . . pledged to support the popularly elected governments born of the Arab Spring.

“‘None of us can insulate ourselves from insult,’ she said on the sidelines of the U.N. meeting. ‘In the time since I began speaking just minutes ago, more than 300 hours of video has been uploaded to YouTube. Some of it, no doubt, is vile. Some of it, no doubt, is offensive to my religion or yours. But we must not give these views power they do not deserve.’”

Anne Gearan, reporter, Egypt, Yemen challenge some U.S. ideas,” The Washington Post, Sept. 29, 2012
(Image: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters—A boy covers his face with a strip of cloth reading "Only the Messenger of Allah" during a protest against a U.S. anti-Islamic video outside the home of Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Sanaa, Yemen.)

• Editorial Comment: Like yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater?

• Yesterday’s WORD: Did you miss yesterday’s WORDs from Bill Moyers, on the 30th Banned Books Week? Click here.

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PeezPIX by Ted Pease



Pease Poppy

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