Monday, May 29, 2006

European Freedom of Expression

Yes. Freedom of expression. That was the phrase emanating from many European lips during the Muhammad cartoon controversy as rightists and their attendent rags defended their overt provocation of Muslims everywhere. It was blatant hypocrisy, of course, since a few European countries have laws banning public statements of Holocaust denial.

And now, France has just charged a one of the country's biggest rap stars with "offending public decency," a charge stemming from a law introduced by a Daniel Mach, a man who appears possessed of many of the same qualities that caused Joe Lieberman to launch his own crusade against "offensive music." The French law makes it a "criminal offence to insult the dignity of France and the French state" and Richard Makela, aka Monsieur R, is facing potential jail time for calling France a "bitch."

And the Euros were telling us that the Muslims were touchy.

But Europeans value freedom of expression, just as long as it's directed at someone or something outside of Europe. Don't forget that, or your ass could wind up in a freedom of expression loving prison.


Blogger Kel said...

I agree with you totally about the hypocrisy over the disgraceful Mohammad cartoons.

The argument about "freedom of expression/speech" was false. I don't have the right to shout "fire" in a crowded place where there is no fire. Freedom of expression/speech has always carried with it certain responsibilities.

As for the cartoons, which I searched for and found online, they were deeply offensive as they implied all Muslims were terrorists as Mohammad himself was, in the eyes of the cartoonist, a terrorist.

In all the years that the IRA were bombing this country I never once heard of them referred to as Catholic terrorists.

That's why I regard the phrase Islamic terrorists as so offensive.

As for France's latest law outlawing "insulting the dignity of France", what happened to free speech/expression there then?!?

2:22 PM  
Blogger theBhc said...


An excellent article by Heiko Henkel about the cartoon controversy appears Radical Philosophy this month. Well worth a read.

The Danish cartoon controversy and the self-image of Europe

6:08 PM  
Blogger Kel said...

Thanks, I'll give that a read.

5:03 AM  

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