Monday, January 28, 2013

France and anti-Semitism: the West and freedom of speech

I really want to know this: Western governments and media need to make up their mind, and fast.  Their hypocrisy can't fly anymore.  Is insulting religion part of the freedom of speech that they brag about--as they always preach and hector to Muslims--or is insulting religion and religious groups something to be condemned and not tolerated and even banned by law?  Because I really don't know the answer.  I basically get the impression that insulting Islam and Muslims is always defended as part of Western freedom of speech while insulting Judaism and Jews is part of legally prohibited hate speech?   This is why even hypocritical Islamists are more consistent than Western governments as they call for banning insults to ALL religions.  But Western governments and media want to distinguish between insults to Islam and insults to Judaism as if we don't notice.  Also, look at this:  "French groups even went so far as to sue Google for allegedly promoting “unsolicited and systematic associations between famous people and their Jewishness” through the service’s auto-complete function, meaning that typing in the name of a famous figure occasionally yields the word “Jew” or “Jewish” among the suggested searches."  Who are the "French groups"?  Does that mean that any reference to the religion of any person is now not acceptable or is it only in relation to Jewish people?  I just want to understand Western laws better.

PS Personally, I don't believe that Jews or Muslims should acquire any special legal status to shield them from criticisms or even insults, just as we communists and anarchists receive regular criticisms and insults.  All criticisms and insults should be legal provided that the person who hurl the insults is willing to accept the consequences of his/her prejudice or bigotry.