Freedom to insult

That is the stage that we see reopen an hour ago on Reuters. The article ‘Saudi Arabia condemns cartoons offending Prophet Mohammad’ (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security-boycott-saudi/saudi-arabia-condemns-cartoons-offending-prophet-mohammad-idUSKBN27C0FE), which pretty much repeats my view given in ‘Creation of doubt’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/10/18/creation-of-doubt/) almost 10 days ago. Even as the BBC gives us ‘France targets radical Islam amid row with Turkey’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54692802), the larger issue is avoided by almost all. In a stage where we see ‘freedom of expression’ versus ‘disrespecting religion’ how can this ever be right? We see it in Hedbo in their view of christian values and in this there is no real setting, there is no doctrine against an image of Jesus, or an image of cardinals or the pope. Yet there is a clear directive on images of the prophet Mohammed, and Islam is quite outspoken of that part and that is ignored again and again.

The Reuters article gives us “Freedom of expression and culture should be a beacon of respect, tolerance and peace that rejects practices and acts which generate hatred, violence and extremism and are contrary to coexistence”, yet we see a lack thereof by the teacher Samuel Paty, in this I believe that the action against him were wrong, yet I wonder what drove a teacher to intentionally insult Islam, yet the media is driving around that question, driving around it by well over a mile. In this the BBC gives us “The government believes the response cannot only be about law enforcement. They also need to manage social networks and associations, because this tragic case shed light on a whole network which spreads hate speeches within the population. The system needs changing”, an interesting quote, yet if we look at ‘a whole network which spreads hate speeches within the population’, yet that applies to a schoolteacher as well as the person who beheaded that teacher, and that part is largely missing. And by the time we get to “Marine Le Pen has also cast the peaceful public expression of Islam as a threat to French national identity”, in this it is not about “peaceful public expression of Islam”, it is the intentional disrespect of Islam that is the larger part here, and ever as some state that this is the need of Macron to win a reelection, the stage of intentionally insulting religion has a much larger stage all over Europe, and as far as I can tell the big newscasters are all in silence there, they will skate around the subject and most of them are doing just that.

Even as the Guardian gives us yesterday ‘Macron’s clash with Islam sends jolt through France’s long debate about secularism’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/26/macrons-clash-with-islam-sends-jolt-through-frances-long-debate-about-secularism) we get a set stage, and as such we need to look at that stage.

First there is secularism, which means “indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations”, as such we need to see “rejection of religious consideration” when it is set against ‘insulting religion’. In an age of discrimination laws where some might accept “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on Thursday that insulting Islam’s Prophet Mohammed is not covered by freedom of expression” (source: Al Arabiya), the stage is not that clear as France rejects the Blasphemy Law, as such France is in a different pickle, yet the stage of ‘insulting religion’, and until that part is dealt with, the stage remains and might actually get worse.  So whilst we all accept and see that beheading a teacher is wrong, no one is wondering why a teacher is allowed to openly insult religion, insult Islam. Even as some papers give us “some of them caricatures of the prophet Muhammad, during a history lesson about freedom of speech and freedom of conscience”, I would have had the same stage in 2015, I protested like others Je suis Charlie, yet at that point I did not know why the action was taken. I believe that the protest was valid, but the lack of validity that goes with openly insulting religion is not addressed, not by any news paper. Why is that?

Now that I know that images of the prophet Mohammed are taboo, why would a teacher repeat the same insult? If it truly was about freedom of expression, why not use the christian examples (we christians do not object to this) and refer in that same lesson that Islam has specific rules on idolisation, yet the papers and plenty of other sources steer clear of that part, I wonder why?

It is clear that there is a gap in secularism, as such we need to take heed on how we openly insult the religions around us, why do this, what is there to gain? 

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