There is no ‘but’ in free speech

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Green list MP Golriz Ghahraman both claim to value free speech, but both are determined to control it.

Free speech is like a herd of wild horses – free to roam where they like without human interference. Both May and Ghahraman mistakenly believe that you can break a wild horse’s spirit, put a saddle on it and force it to take you wherever you want it to go and it will still be a ‘free’ wild horse. Quote:

Challenged in Parliament about why criticism of Christianity is taken for granted while criticism of Islam embroils one in societal (and legal) difficulties, British Prime Minister Theresa May answered:

We value freedom of expression and freedom of speech in this country. That is absolutely essential in underpinning our democracy. But we also value tolerance to others. We also value tolerance in relation to religions. This is one of the issues that we’ve looked at in the counter-extremism strategy that the government has produced. I think we need to ensure that, yes, it is right that people can have that freedom of expression. But in doing so, that right has a responsibility, too. And that is a responsibility to recognize the importance of tolerance to others. End quote.

May’s statement is completely contradictory and foreshadows the end of freedom of speech in Britain. We tolerate bad things, not good things. How can speech be free if you are prevented from criticising bad things? The purpose of freedom of speech is to protect people from being persecuted or prosecuted for expressing their opinion. Free speech is a safeguard against tyranny. Quote:

By introducing this massive exception, May is turning the freedom of speech on its head and emptying it of all meaning. She is also implying that the British government will now be bringing the full force of the law against those who are deemed intolerant, and indeed, that has already begun. End of quote.

Here in New Zealand Golriz Ghahraman is also keen to ‘regulate’ free speech. Quote:

More regulation is needed to combat hate speech on the internet, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman has told a public meeting hosted by InternetNZ. […]

“If we as minorities and as women are not able to be ourselves and are not able to participate in public life because of somebody else’s freedom of speech, that is an abuse of the right to freedom of speech and should be subject to regulation. End of quote.

A member of the public at the public meeting that Ghahraman attended pointed out that she herself had been targeted for hate speech and death threats because she is a Jew and a Zionist. One of the people targeting her was, in fact, a Green MP whose emails she was forced to block from her computer.

The bottom line is that anyone who is targeted online has the tools at their disposal to protect themselves. They can block hateful people. If death threats or threats of violence or other harm occur before the person manages to block the person then we already have existing laws to deal with them. One man who threatened to kill Cameron not that long ago was given name suppression but was sent to prison since he has a history of threatening to kill people online. Quote:

Massey University pro-vice chancellor Paul Spoonley noted that […] it is […] an offence under the Harmful Digital Communications Act to send “threatening, intimidating or menacing” or grossly offensive digital communications, or to use them to harass people or to encourage them to commit suicide. End of quote.

Given that there are already adequate laws in place, as well as online tools to protect people, I can only attribute May and Ghahraman’s statements to hidden motives: the same motives that I have previously written about with regard to the Human Rights Commission’s push to introduce hate speech laws.

At the core of all three promotions of hate speech law is a desire to enforce Islamic blasphemy law on Western nations. This is all about forcing we infidels to ‘tolerate’ Islamic values and culture and to shut down our criticism of it.

 


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