Freedom of Speech essay
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Freedom of speech has been igniting debates as to what extent it qualifies to be a right if it is not embraced by others. Speech is a universal right for everyone to be heard and give other people a chance to be heard. It is a two way traffic that gives people a chance to pass over their sentiments and all they have to say. All democratic nations allow for free expression of individual through various means of communication channel with the key message of creating awareness and for self defense among other factors. Various scholars have argued the extent to which speech would be permitted as it sometimes infringes other people’s rights as claimed by some squatters.
One of the proponents of free speech without regulation is Kamm who insist it should never be regulated at all cost. According to him, free speech should be protected because it allows people to express their feelings, which stimulate debates as moderated speech undermines the process of self expression. However, Kamm explains some of the instances and cases where conflicts have arisen as a result of religious faith and freedom of the press. Most of the conflict that Kamm explains was as a result of religious attacks by the press as they portrayed religion to be immoral. Press linked the religious virtues to be immoral through erosion of values in the society and projected the leaders to be gay. The press was also used for expression to depict Christ as promiscuous homosexual, which has undermined the faith of Christians and believers (Kamm P. 83). Various books have also portrayed other religions like Islamic in an evil manner depicting with evil pictures and verses. This is specifically to the book by Salman Rushdie which contains satanic verses from Islam and which is seen as an insult to Islamic faith. This called for the murder of the author by Ayattollah Khomeinis since it goes against Islamic teachings to be portrayed in that manner.
The call for the murder elicited various reactions from world leaders mostly from the western world who was against the practices of Islam calling for the murder of the British author. The call also worsened the relationship of US and Iran who which had been turmoil over the years. As Hunter, (P.45) puts it; the call for the murder of Rushdie became the litmus test for the US principle s of freedom of speech. There are various issues, which arose in different countries owing to their sovereignties which make them independent in defending their people from external attack. It was impossible to kill Rushdie as claimed by the Muslim world because no one is entitled to nullify ones opinion on either religion or political background.
Mildred Gordon, former Trotskyite rubbished the claims on calls to murder Rushdie arguing that fundamentalist and religious leaders were the enemies of the people and church workers. This was because they did not give the press the freedom it deserves in delivery of information; they were restricting the people’s freedom which is against the law. Other leaders argued that the white nations wanted to impose their ideologies and their cultures against the law. This was mostly the argument echoed by Bernie Brant, the former MP for Tottenham (Kamm P. 84). The US president under President Bush got into the debate after the call for the murder and rubbished the claims to be offensive and did not hold. Similar sentiments against assassination were also mentioned by Japanese government. Japanese government claimed that mentioning and encouraging murder should not be praised but instead should be condemned (Fortner & Fackler P. 304). Chief Rabbi in Great Britain too claimed that both the two parties at war have abused the freedom of speech and effects are balanced.
Kamm argued that holocaust denial was wrong and offensive and it was based on false allegations. It was based on faking historical evidences in ensuring it painted vulgar picture. Infact, Kamm claims that there are laws put in place e in most European countries which prohibits such practices. According to his arguments, holocausts were speculative hypothesis to be accepted if it was faked following the historical manipulation of some scenes. The exposures of holocaust claimed it was the trick by prominent historians rather than lawyers in painting the regimes in a bad picture, in the international arena. The quality of offensive that was put on the press was more irrelevant to holocaust, and there could not be such extent taking place in relation to that.
Kamm further claimed that those who seek compensation as a result of injured feelings should be denied but instead seek mental hurt as it is what they want. He outlined that this will be a way different groups seeking compensation from the relevant authority to use. They will keep on coming due to the incentives. The demands for compensation will keep on increasing with several groups seeking compensation at different times.
It would be unfair for Kamm to be in support of holocaust following what took place as he supports free speech. Being that he has been a strong advocate for their freedom of speech, supporting the murder of those who express themselves will put him on false light. The call for holocaust was to deal with those who preached and who portrayed other religions on false light through the unrestricted speeches and press (Garrad & Scarre P. 84). This would in many occasions be argued to be in breach of the religious faith of the strong believers. It will be of significant important if the freedom of speech is regulated in the manner that if favors both sides.