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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Freedom... Or peace?

Sometimes it really seems as if the two are on opposite ends of a scale. And I especially felt that way after seeing the two following articles:

European press enters fray over Mohammed cartoons

Blair under pressure after defeats in Parliament
[read the two articles to make more sense out of this blog entry. Hey, a little current affairs won't kill ya :p]

It seemed to me that the common thread between these two articles were the fight between freedom of speech, and potential offenses to the Muslim communities in each country.

It also seemed to me to be a pretty dumb thing.

Ok, freedom of speech is a great thing and all, but surely there have to be limits?? You publish cartoons you know will offend just about every Muslim in the world, and you insist on your freedom of speech rights, then you cry and scream Murder and Anarchy when these JI-types decide to bomb a few buses in your country.

Granted that terrorism is NEVER the solution, but in cases like these, I feel there is a tinge of 'they asked for it'. Citing "freedom of speech" as their excuse to communicate highly flammable messages like this...... Well, it's like going up to the local bully, [who weighs about 400kg more than you do] calling him a yellow-bellied girly wuss, and then stating that to do so is your right to freedom of speech.

Please lor! Sure kena whack one what!

IF you already know that relationships between the Western world and the global Muslim community these days are not quite at their best, then why, why, why on heaven's sake do you keep on insisting on keeping your 'personal rights' at the cost of the society around you?

This I think is the one biggest flaw of the Western world. Their insistence on democracy, and especially their personal rights.... they seem to think that their personal views and preferences prevail over the safety of society at large, even if what they say could potentially hurt and kill those close to them indirectly.

Most tragically comical was the quote I read in the article about Blair's bill:

" But after the 90-day proposal was rejected, the Lords had inflicted a series of defeats on the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill in a bid to safeguard freedom of speech.

It notably put in an amendment restricting the new offence of inciting religious hatred to threatening words and behaviour, rather than a wider definition also covering insults and abuse.
The Lords also required the offence to be intentional, and specified that criticism, insult, abuse and ridicule of religion, belief or religious practice would not be an offence."

Do you know what these could mean in ordinary terms?

- It is ok to scold someone, "You dog!", but illegal to shout, "I'll kill you, you dog!"

- It is ok to laugh, and call someone, "Hahaha!! You fucking dog!" or tell someone "Your fucking religion sucks! Hahaha!" AS LONG AS it wasn't intentional [hence the "Hahaha!" to indicate humour]

- It *might probably be* ok to write long lengthy blog posts on why you think Muslims/Catholics/Christians/Buddhists/Jews/Mormons/Aum worshippers are all muthafucking dogs AS LONG AS your blog is based in the UK.

[to S'porean Internet Watchdogs... please read the context of my blog carefully... and don't haul me to court for inciting racial hatred]

What kind of blardy weirdo rule is this that allows a person to criticise, insult and abuse another person's religion in the name of free speech?? And "unintentional"??

"Hahaha! You fucking dog! Hey! Why'd you hit me for? I didn't mean it when I called you a fucking dog, you blardy muthafucker! Take that!"

There are so many things wrong with that. How can you legally prove the person's intent was malicious? How do you prove in court that the person called you a fucking dog intentionally to cause you hurt, or to threaten your life?

These rulings are so ludicrous it's a wonder the Western world survived this long....................

Not to say freedom of speech is a bad thing. It can be a very good thing, especially when you are trapped in a communist dictatorship state and your people are starving by the dozens and your leader seems to have a great fondness for luxury and nukes. It is in these circumstances that we need people to speak out against injustice, so as to make life better for all, and to push that crazy leader off his missile.

Sometimes, you can change things just by speaking out.

But people now seem to be taking this as their god-given-no-one-can-take-away right. And the worst part is that they don't seem to care about the consequences of their words, as long as they are allowed to say exactly what they like. And that is the problem: That people either have no idea of, or do not care about the consequences. To them, their personal freedom is more important to them than civility, good manners, or, other people's feelings. Which in itself is actually a very selfish action.

*sigh* This is one crazy screwed-up world........ crazy ang mohs........

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