The worldwide revulsion at the anti-Islam film, The Innocence of Muslims, has been coupled, in many Western countries, with the caveat: “But in the interests of free speech we defend the right of the film to be shown.”
The film is a vile attack on the fastest growing religion in the world and its 1.6 billion followers. Its declared purpose is to generate religious hatred of Moslems and subject them to intimidation and bigotry.
That being the case, it should be banned as an offence against religious freedom.
The film is prima facie evidence of a hate crime. Therefore, those standing up for its “right” to be shown must surely consider themselves accomplices in a hate crime.
If Western governments were truly affronted by the anti-Islamic obscenities of the film they would ban it and prosecute anyone involved in its production, circulation and distribution. They haven’t.
Much of the commentary in the West has been devoted to a philosophical argument over the freedom of religion versus the freedom of speech.
While the two values co-exist in times of social peace and harmony they come sharply into conflict when there is a breakdown in communal or inter-state relations. Violence erupts as it has down the ages.
Socialists, who are secularists, acknowledge the limitations of the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion because we recognise they are not absolutes. They are moral abstractions which are frequently manipulated and often used for dubious and cynical purposes. Think about Rupert Murdoch’s devotion to freedom of the press!
There is one certain way to test the purists from the freedom of speech lobby: what would their reaction to be a film which made an obscene mockery of Judaism? If it depicted Moses, Abraham and Jesus as whore masters, drunks and child abusers, would it be approved for distribution under the “freedom of speech” banner?
The “free speech” test could also be applied to a film on Buddhism in which the religion’s figurehead is trashed as a pedophile and kiddy fiddler.
I suspect that laws against hate films would roll into action instantly followed by criminal prosecutions. Why isn’t Islam defended in the same vigorous way?
MRS CLINTON NEEDS A REALITY CHECK
When the US ambassador to Libya and three American officials were murdered in Benghazi on Tuesday, September 11, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: “How could this happen? How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?”
You have to ask what planet Mrs Clinton is living on. Not the Middle East or the Moslem world, it seems, but perhaps Planet USA.
In the past 10 years the US government has “helped liberate” Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. American-led Western forces have bombed their way to regime change in all three countries.
The result has been the loss of tens of thousands of lives and millions have been forced from their cities, towns and villages to become refugees.
The misery inflicted on the people of these three nations has been a war crime of historic proportions.
No Iraqis and no Afghanis were members of the Al Qaeda team which carried out the September 11 bombings of New York and Washington DC yet the innocent people of these proud nations have been slaughtered and humiliated by the US and its allies, including Australia.
Mrs Clinton and her supporters should take a reality check. US imperialism is not a liberator or an agency of democracy, it is a violent death machine which brings nothing but misery and chaos to the lands it occupies by force and the people it subjugates.
The good news is that US imperialism’s defeat is approaching. Just as it had to drag its sorry ass out of Vietnam in 1975, Iran in 1979 and Iraq in 2011, its humiliation in Afghanistan is irreversible because it is a war which it can’t win and can’t afford.
Once again, Australia finds itself on the wrong side and out of step with the sweep of history marching towards national independence, self-determination and democracy.
We hold these UN Charter rights to be sacred, yet we continue to join US imperialism to deny them to others. How does that work?