Tag Archives: Freedom of Expression

What is a weasel?

Well, a ‘weasel’ that imply deception and irresponsibility include: the noun form, referring to a sneaky, untrustworthy, or insincere person. Yet this is not complete, the words person and company are interchangeable. That is the feeling I see at present (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55597840), they label themselves with “It comes amid a Big Tech purge of the online platforms used by Mr Trump and his supporters”, and it comes now AFTER congress ratified the win of president elect Biden, AFTER the stage and settings that American endured for years. The BBC is fair enough to give us “Some lawmakers and celebrities have been calling for years on Twitter to ban Mr Trump altogether. Former First Lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Thursday that the Silicon Valley giants should stop enabling Mr Trump’s “monstrous behaviour” and permanently expel him” we are seeing the price of enabling and facilitation and the people are catching on, it is a bad day for Facebook and Twitter altogether. For years they facilitate and there will be a price down the lane, they will pay it because they see it as an essential price for doing business. Yet is that enough?

The BBC gives a quote that is out there is it is debatable with “as mere mortal, repeatedly spreading disinformation, fake news and inciting violence will get you thrown off mainstream social media platforms”, you see what constitutes ‘repeatedly spreading disinformation’ and when exactly does it become disinformation? It is a serious question because it optionally shows the initial inactions of big-tech, the message that President Trump gave on ‘landslide victory’ is one, his views and his statements on ‘black lives matter’ is another. To see this we need to take you back to July 2020, there we see “The US president tweeted on Wednesday about New York City’s decision to paint “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue, calling it “a symbol of hate””, what clear evidence is there to call ‘black lives matter’ a symbol of hate? All whilst the people behind it state clearly “builds power to bring justice, healing, and freedom to Black people across the globe”, we might agree, we might disagree, we might not care, but it clearly is not set as a symbol of hate, and that is merely one of many examples and big-tech did not act, only after the next guy is ratified  do we see “after close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account”, as such I ask you, what is a weasel?

Those who follow my blog know I am not anti big-tech, I am not against Google, Apple, Amazon or Facebook, but that does not mean I will not hold them to account when the time is there. And in this case, after close to 4 years of facilitating it is time to hold them to account. In this, I do have a sense of humour and state that I am against discrimination and Microsoft devices, so there! 

In this I wonder if these weasels will act on a global scale as ABC gives us ‘Victorian Liberal MP Bernie Finn posts Trump election conspiracy theories to Facebook’, we need to accept the freedom of expression, but I wonder how much freedom is in jeopardy when elected officials are spouting conspiracy theories, especially on elections that they seemingly have a lack of knowledge of. 

And locally ABC covered their ass by also giving us “The ABC is not suggesting Mr Finn supported the violence or rioting at the Capitol”, consider that when the power players in this world start to wield actions based on facilitation and return on that investment, in that premise consider personally how much facilitation would happen towards you personally and when you realise that you do not matter, what will facilitation cost you?

I wonder if you tallied that part of the equation yet, if not you have some work to do.

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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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Lollies to the right

 

Yes, today is Friday and as every Catholic is seeking out the best place to find their serving of Friday fish, others seek their food from optionally different vendors. Yet for many Muslims, its Dutch Sweets day, and let’s be honest the Dutch have a great sweets department, from the liquorice (the best in the world), Haagse Hopjes, gingerbread, ginger snaps, chocolate letters, butter cake, Apple Pie and custard pies, the Dutch know how to present some of the very best Vitamin C (Candy) items on the planet. Yet for many today, the menu wants a slice of Geert Wilders. It seems that finally the setting is that Geert Wilders has opted to cancel the Mohammed Cartoon competition. The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/30/geert-wilders-far-right-dutch-mp-cancels-muhammed-cartoon-competition) is telling us that his response was “To avoid the risk of victims of Islamic violence, I have decided not to let the cartoon contest go ahead“, which is actually a bit weird. You see, he pretty much had to flee Texas, USA in 2015 over a similar event. Did he think that something unacceptable to Muslims in the USA would suddenly be tolerated in the Netherlands whilst hiding behind ‘freedom of expression’? For me it is actually a little sad, as I had a nice setting to take away Dutch business for myself (for mere professional, and greed driven reasons), in addition it inspired me to write a film script for Netflix called ‘How to assassinate a politician‘, aka ‘The Essay‘, and that is off the table now too (or perhaps not).

And in light of what was presented, we are also seeing two settings of falsehood. The first by him with ““It’s not just about me,” Wilders said in the statement. Opponents of the event “see not only me, but the entire Netherlands as a target”“, that is not a truth, it is correct (but for other reasons), it is a non-Truth because Geert Wilders instigated the outrage in a way that he would create the outrage. He got to play the ‘Muslims hate us card’ whilst he is very aware that his actions and his actions alone instigated it. The second player was not lying, but still acted (as far as I can tell) in falsehood. You see, when we see “Rutte added that people in the Netherlands have far-reaching freedom of speech rights and the government did not intend to seek the contest’s cancellation” we see a falsehood and a dangerous setting. Dutch law does not allow for certain settings.

When we look (at https://www.wodc.nl/binaries/ob248-volledige-tekst_tcm28-68659.pdf) at the Dutch Paper ‘Profanity, discriminating expressions because of religion and hate speech‘ we are confronted with the setting of Dutch Criminal Law Article 137. Here we see: “He who publicly, verbally or in writing or image, deliberately exhausts a group of people because of their race, their religion or belief, their heterosexual or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental disability, is punished with imprisonment of a maximum of one year or a fine of the third category“, it applies, because Islam is outspoken on the fact that there will be no image of the prophet Muhammad, that is one setting that the Dutch Prime minister cannot avoid and in that, the setting we see that not only was the competition planned to be held in the Dutch parliament building, the fact that we are confronted with the quote “Rutte added that people in the Netherlands have far-reaching freedom of speech rights and the government did not intend to seek the contest’s cancellation“, a clear setting where we see more than a mere collision of ‘freedom of speech’ and the law. So even as we see on page 26: “the discrimination provisions of relatively recent make-up, and were only introduced in the Netherlands in 1971“, considering that it was introduced after he was too old to be breastfed by his mommy and long enough to accept that the law was in place long before he got elected into politics, it is from that point of view that we can establish his intent in the act of insulting Islam.

In addition to this, the entire matter was handled incorrectly by Dutch Parliament, even the setting that the cancellation was not sought. There might have been some defence possible if the venue was not in a Dutch Government building, but that was not the case, tying the hands of Dutch politicians through their inactions.

So the predictions that I made 8 days ago in the article ‘Liberalism overboard‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/08/23/liberalism-overboard/) and the fact that we now also see that Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been requested to cut ties with the Dutch, so in this we are still seeing escalations. In this Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan Ardi Stoios-braken is about to get an interesting anniversary day, as she assumed the office on September 7th last year, in this there is now the smallest chance that she will not even be able to complete the one year milestone. The additional part where we see that Pakistan is importing close to $400 million from the Netherlands each year is optionally be getting hit as well. 54% if that pie is consumer goods and even if overall the amount is not that big a deal, there is still the chance that it will also impact Dutch exports to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Indonesia and Qatar, to what extent is impossible to say, but the wound reopened by Pakistan is much larger than most people realise, especially ass the Dutch Prime minister had the option to diffuse the situation in May 2018 and decided not to do that, that in itself is the larger evil to deal with. The other element in all this is Tehreek-e-Labbaik, a hard-line party that is close to one year old. The issue is that they have the options to sit in conversations with the imams, who would be reaching out to the nations mentioned earlier and even more so the nations I did not mention (Jordan, Iran and Yemen for example). In all this the crises is still continuing and anyone thinking that this will blow over, think again. For Pakistan the issue is actually twofold and Al Jazeera gives these two parts with “Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), Pakistan’s newest hard-line religious party, which calls for blasphemers to be put to death and celebrates those who have murdered the alleged perpetrators“, which should be regarded as a risk and danger towards violence. the second part is seen with: “A year ago, this kind of a political rally, in the heart of the political base of Pakistan’s ruling party, would have been unthinkable” this second part gives us not merely that there is a hard-line growth within Pakistan, it also implies and gives consideration that those voices will be listened to in Saudi Arabia and therefor also in Indonesia, which in turn might escalate issues in Egypt as well, although I have zero information that there is an interaction of thoughts between these groups at present, the likelihood of it happening should be set to much higher than not.

All issues that could have been prevented by not allowing such an anti-Islam provocation on Dutch government grounds and the additional timespan that the Dutch government would have had to soothe the emotions of Muslims in all this is now pretty much null and void.

In conclusion, it is the Media that also has a negated responsibility. When I am confronted with ““I have decided to cancel the competition to avoid the risk of making people victims of Islamist violence,” Wilders said in a statement. “I don’t want Muslims to use the cartoon competition as an excuse for Islamist violence.”” (Deutsche Welle), as well as “Wilders said adding that the competition is not to “provoke or insult”” (Straits times) are all settings of falsehood. this is not merely my opinion, the evidence can be seen with “Two men who opened fire Sunday outside of an event in Garland, Texas attended by Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker and outspoken critic of radical Islam, have been killed by police“, which was an event in Garland Texas on May 4th 2015. Geert Wilders at that time responded on Twitter with: “Shots fired at Garland Mohammed cartoon free speech event. I just left the building after speeching. #garlandshooting — Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) May 4, 2015“. So not only was there an event three years ago, there was also every clear indication that it would happen again and with the Dutch Criminal Law in place, as well as the additional Dutch inactions, we can clearly see that there is a larger issue in play and the inactions of its current government must optionally be taken as a setting that is more about anti-Islam than with Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression from my point of view, but that last part is my personal take on the issue.

So when we do see escalations, hopefully all non-violent ones. We need to consider on the increasing collisions that we see in Freedom of Speech versus Freedom of Religion. It is my view that we are nearing a critical point where Accountability can no longer be avoided and if we agree that some will act on a freedom, we must also hold these people accountable for these actions (and perhaps they will be perfectly valid ones). I wonder what happens when that happens, if people start to think before they speak, we might see levels of de-escalation or better stated an increasing level of common sense whilst awake, which is never a bad thing.

So have a good Friday and do not forget that Monday morning is (at this very moment) a mere 59 hours away.

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