Free speech all over the world has some limitations. Every country has a law against any speech that insults the sentiments of a specific group or community
Ernest Zundel, a German painter, political and civil activist and the author of Did Six Million Really Die? was imprisoned for seven years in Canada on the charge of a security threat. He also suffered three attempts on his life and lived facing hatred. Before he was detained by the Canadian Security Intelligence, he had never been convicted for any crime in the 40 years he had spent in Canada.
Francois Duprat, a French historian, writer and educator, author of The Mystery of the Gas Chamber and the publisher of the French version of Did Six Million Really Die? was killed along with his wife when a bomb planted in his car went off. The responsibility for the bombing was accepted by two Jewish groups, JRC and JRG. The perpetrators were never found.
Dr Henri Roques presented the famous thesis in which he concluded that the allegation of mass gassing of Jews was a hoax. The thesis caused an outcry from Jews around the world, eventually forcing the French government to have his doctorate revoked. Roques’ thesis was eventually published under the title of The Confessions of Kurt Gerstien.
The birth of New Germany was subsequent to World War II and the defeat of the Nazi regime. After 1945, the Nazi salute was banned in Germany. Any gesture that is similar to the Nazi salute is considered an insult and a penal offence, hence punishable by three years imprisonment. The reasoning behind this harsh penalty is the long years of war and tyranny of the Nazi party over Germany.
Free speech all over the world has some limitations. Every country has a law against any speech that insults the sentiments of a specific group or community. These laws are applicable to everyone, irrespective of religion, race or ethnicity. In Denmark, according to the Danish Penal Code 266B, any person who publicly makes a statement that insults or degrades a group of persons on account of race, religion or ethnic origin is liable to punishment. Under this Danish law, Jyllands-Posten should have been tried for posting the hateful cartoons about the Prophet (PBUH), but it never happened. The hypocrisy of the Danish law is evident here.
The west has always had double-faced freedom of speech. Countries that are apparently law followers mostly turn out to be lawbreakers when it comes to challenging any concept that is sacred to Muslims. Then the law is overlooked, while when it is against any Jewish, Christian or Semantic belief, the same is applied forcefully.
The integrity and dignity of the Prophet (PBUH) for a Muslim is above all his worldly relations, may it be the supreme relationship of a child with his mother or any other human bond. Muslims around the world can compromise on a number of concepts, but when it comes to the honour, dignity and respect of the Prophet (PBUH), a strict line is drawn. Analogous to the emotions created by infringing the sentiments of the Holocaust victims or the emotional upheaval caused by the Nazi salute, every Muslim is gravely hurt by the smallest gesture or act pointing adversely to the honour and dignity of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).
The uproar in the international media in the case of Rimsha Masih was appreciable, but the same media has lost its ink when it comes to the matter of the film that has attacked the honour of the Prophet (PBUH), hurting Muslims across the world. The case is indeed sensitive and has called for massive protests all over the world, while the producer is in hiding, being protected by police, whereas in reality he is an offender who should have been tried for producing hateful content.
People like Terry Jones and Sam Becile are also the Taliban in the cover of their American skin. Their ideology of violence and vehemence must also be condemned. The US, which poses itself to be the biggest preacher of peace and human rights in the world, should not turn a deaf ear when it comes to its own citizens who are inciting violence.
Hatred breeds hatred, it can never in turn love. The constant hatred against Islam that is shown by many events in the past is slowly injecting hatred in Muslims against the west. The detestation is doubled when no actions are taken against the people who are spreading it. The west should standardize its laws for everyone, irrespective of religion. It must also keep an eye on people who trigger shameful acts, as all those bad things will harm the world already tainted with problems, and incite more violence.
Published: Op’ed Daily Times