Slandering one is a crime, slandering millions is ‘free speech,’ go figure

Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom & no such thing as publick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin, 1722. For TMT collection on Free Speech, click here

Without freedom of thought there can be no such thing as wisdom & no such thing as publick liberty without freedom of speech, Benjamin Franklin, 1722. For TMT collection on free speech, click here

Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times

Free speech is like food, we need it badly.  If there is too little of food, we starve to death and if too much we suffer from obesity, which also kills, in the form of diabetes mellitus, heart disease and sleep apnea, to name a few.

Too little of free speech means totalitarian dictatorship and blasphemy laws and too much means obscenity, child pornography and anarchy.  No wonder, there are laws against excessive free speech in Europe and USA.

Moderation seems to be the key.

Free speech certainly serves a very useful purpose, as outlined in the above quote by Benjamin Franklin. I for one is fully aware of the merits of free speech, as I struggle with moderating comments in the Muslim Times, deciding which one is free speech, adding value to the discussion and which is merely rhetoric or slander and abuse.  Merit of free speech is also demonstrated by the destruction caused by blasphemy laws, in the so called Muslim countries.  In the Muslim Times, we have collected scores of articles on the merits of free speech.  But, here, I propose to show the other side of the coin.

Free speech these days is not invoked or allowed against any race or religion but against the Muslims and Islam alone, in the West; as James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA painfully found out, after he stereotyped against all Africans.

As the apologists of “free speech,” invoke it against the Muslims, they behave as if right to speech is absolute and has no exceptions.

They conveniently forget that many of the exceptions for freedom of speech are tackled in the Article 10 of European Convention of Human Rights.

This Article provides the right to freedom of expression, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society.” This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, but allows restrictions for:

interests of national security
territorial integrity or public safety
prevention of disorder or crime
protection of health or morals
protection of the reputation or the rights of others
preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence
maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary

The the apologists of “free speech,” forget that maligning all Muslims and putting them on trial, in the national media, every time a Muslim terrorist commits a horrendous crime, can lead to discrimination and actual crimes against the peace loving Muslims.  No wonder many mosques have been violated in the aftermath of recent terror attacks in Paris.  Mosques have been defaced with racist slogans, sprayed with gun shot, or otherwise degraded, in different parts of France.  A mosque in the eastern city Aix-les-Bain was seriously damaged by arsonists Thursday night while another fire targetted a mosque in the southwest town of Albi. Pig parts were dumped outside Muslim prayer halls in Corsica.

There have been more than 50 anti-Muslim incidents in France since last week’s shootings by gunmen claiming to represent Islamist groups, the country’s Muslim community said.

The incidents included 21 reports of shooting at Islamic buildings and the throwing of some form of grenades, and 33 threats, a spokesman for the monitoring body at the Central Council of Muslims in France said.

How this “free speech,” will negatively affect the lives of millions of peace loving Muslims in the West in years and decades to come, only time will tell.

The apologists of “free speech,” forget that the Article 10 of European Convention of Human Rights, clearly provides for the exception for, “protection of the reputation or the rights of others.”


The apologists of “free speech,” forget that there are laws against slandering and defaming any one in USA.

They forget that if slandering one is a crime, slandering millions could not be “free speech?”  The peace loving and moderate Muslims have nothing to do with the crimes of terrorists.  Any accomplices of the crime are picked up by the police and law enforcement agencies; why then the “free media” takes on itself to malign all the innocent Muslims?

The apologists of “free speech,” forget that there are laws against denying holocaust, due to the fear that it may promote anti-semitism or violation of the rights of the Jews.  But, when it comes to the honor, reputation and rights of millions of peace loving Muslims, in the West, these same apologists of “free speech,” look the other way.

In his last sermon in Mecca, the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, declared life, honor and property of every human being, as inviolable.  He addressed a crowd of more than a hundred thousand people, at the time of the final pilgrimage, an event that itself symbolizes human equality, “All of you are equal. All men, whatever nation or tribe they may belong to, and whatever station in life they may hold, are equal,” he said, “Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one.”  He asked, “What day is this?” They replied, “A sacred day.” Then he said, “What month is this?” They replied, “A sacred month.” Then he said, “What city is this?” They replied, “A sacred city.” He said, “Allah has made your blood, your property and your honor as sacred as this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this city of yours. The whole of his sermon is recorded in history and has been more famous and cherished than President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, in the Muslim world, over the centuries.

Islam places particular emphasis on honor and chastity of women and slander against the chastity of a lady, is one of the few crimes, for which the Holy Quran describes physical punishment.

The Muslim Times promotes secularism and we do not ask for any new laws, but, to safeguard the rights of the Muslim minorities in the West, we just call for equal implementation of the existing laws, to ensure our human rights, so the peace loving and moderate Muslims can confidently stand up against the Muslim extremists, both in the West and the East, in our global village.

In the wake of cold blooded murder of three Muslim students in North Carolina, some of the main stream media like Huffington Post has begun to realize the extreme consequences of stereotyping and negative portrayal of the Muslims in general.  For example see the articles and video clip in:

Chapel Hill Shooting Highlights Problematic Discussion Of Muslims

We do not ask for any special concessions, we just ask for a few minutes of silence, so people can ponder over the proposition that slandering one is a crime, slandering millions is “free speech?”

Categories: Free speach, Free Speech, Freedom

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8 replies

  1. “The the apologists of “free speech,” forget that maligning all Muslims and putting them on trial, in the national media, every time a Muslim terrorist commits a horrendous crime, can lead to discrimination and actual crimes against the peace loving Muslims.”

    Do you have any examples you could share with us? I agree, that if a publication were to say, for example, “All Muslims are terrorists”, that would likely amount to slander (or libel, if published).

  2. Sometimes, it is black and white, like you are asking for and we will find examples; but, often it is by insinuation and it is repeated so often that the message is not lost on non-suspecting audience.

    In the video below, Bill Maher starts off with talking about extremist Muslims, then he talks about all Jews, all Christians etc. and then starts about all Muslims in general, until the distinction is lost and all of them get condemned, for host of reasons:

    Additionally, do not take my word for it, read what Karen Armstrong had to say about speech of Bill Maher and Sam Harris:

    Karen Armstrong on Sam Harris and Bill Maher: “It fills me with despair, because this is the sort of talk that led to the concentration camps”

  3. I will list examples for Al here. These may not be precisely, what he has demanded but will come close in one sense or the other:

    Firstly, title of an article: Anger as Rupert Murdoch says ALL Muslims should be held responsible for terror attacks in France

    Read more:

    Here is the title of another article: ‘Every Muslim Is A Potential Terrorist’: Ex-Muslim Warns West About Islam, ‘If A Muslim Takes His Faith Seriously … He Is A Warrior For God’

    The mass killings in Paris are no different. The torrent of chatter on blogs, websites and reader comments, again proved again that anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant groups eagerly exploit the notion that mass murder, terrorism and Islam are one and the same. The murders gave avowed anti-Muslim groups in Germany, Sweden, Holland and France, even more ammunition to tar all Muslims as terrorist.

    Right wing politicians and anti-immigrant groups in Europe and the U.S. jump on any terrorist attack, even when there’s absolutely no evidence the attack is tied to a radical Islamic terror group, to fuel the anti-Muslim flame. This pattern has been well-established since the Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing in 1996.

  4. Charlie Hebdo was deliberately Islamophobic as a reflection of their political worldview. The Hebdo anti-Muslim cartoons remind me of the notorious anti-Jewish cartoons in the German Nazi press of the 1930s – only far more pornographic. The obsessive pounding on Muslims to which your weekly has devoted itself for more than a decade has had very real effects. It has powerfully contributed to popularising, among “left-wing” opinion, the idea that Islam is a major “problem” in French society. That belittling Muslims is no longer the sole privilege of the extreme right, but a “right to offend” which is sanctified by secularism, the Republic, by “co-existence”. And even – let’s not be stingy with the alibis! – by the rights of women. It’s widely believed today that the exclusion of a veiled girl is a sign, not of stupid discrimination, but of solid, respectable feminism, which consists of pestering those whom one claims to be liberating. Draped in these noble intentions that flatter their ignorance and exempt them from any scruples, we see people with whom we were close, and whom we believed mentally healthy, abruptly start to cut loose with a stream of racist idiocies. Each has their own source of authority: Skirt Day [film starring Isabelle Adjani – trans.], Elisabeth Badinter, Alain Finkielkraut, Caroline Fourest, Easter Bruckner, [Prime Minister] Manuel Valls, [fascist National Front leader] Marine Le Pen or countless others, there’s one for every taste and “sensibility”. But it’s rare that Charlie Hebdo is not cited to support the golden rule authorising us to spew all over Muslims. And, since your disciples have learned their lessons well, they never fail to exclaim when they’re caught red-handed: “But it is our right to mock religions! Don’t confuse legitimate criticism of Islam with anti-Arab racism!”

    The coalition of state terrorists -along with 40 heads of states, displayed their unity in Paris on 11/01/15 and showed their deep hatred against the Muslims. They killed more than a million in Iraq and Afghanistan in the recent wars. Did they show a single moment’s silence in their memory? France herself killed 1.5 million Algerians in its war of occupation in the sixties. Did they pay any homage to those innocents who were killed there? Recently the Christians killed thousands of Muslims in Central African Republic. Where is the solidarity with the innocent victims of the genocide?
    But they showed solidarity with Charlie Hebdo! They chanted chorus not only in Paris but also in all major European cities: “We are all Charlie”. What does that mean? It means, like hateful Charlie Hebdo they too declared that they are equal abuser and hater of our beloved prophet (peace be upon him). They are not ready to retreat an inch from that abusive path. The butcher of Gaza -the Israeli PM was cordially welcomed in their midst.

    They talk about protecting western values and culture. Do we need any lecture to understand the western values and culture? Didn’t they display those values and culture during the last several centuries all over the world? Is it not the values and culture of military aggression, occupation, colonisation, imperialism, ethnic cleansing, slave-trading, genocide, World Wars, gas chambers, dropping atom bombs, waterboarding, Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharib, Sabra, Satilla and Gaza? They killed 75 million only in two World Wars! Who else can match their brutality? Their war machines are still not withdrawn from the Muslim lands.

    When all the Muslims will unite together to tell the world that we are all Palestinian?

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