ONLY America has a First Amendment. It goes beyond the concept of freedom of speech in that it not only gives us the right to say something that might be offensive to others, it does not give others the right NOT to be offended. Contrary to what Muslims and Left Wing Fascists would like you to believe, it was not created to protect polite or politically correct speech. It is our most cherished and important basic human right and it is protected by our Second Amendment. Got it?
HUFFPO UK Here, two foreigners, Mehdi Hasan, political director of The Huffington Post UK and The Times columnist, David Aaronovitch, debate the concept of free speech. While they are supposed to be arguing from opposing sides, their opinion on what should be the limits of free speech are remarkably similar. They both argue that freedom of speech is not an “absolute right.”
Aaronovitch comes right out of the bo exclaiming that “no one was the right to offend because there is no such thing in the United Nations charter.” (I don’t know about the UK, but in America, our laws are not dictated by the UN, at least not unless Obama gets a second term) In what soon became a heated discussion, David Aaronovitch challenged his view that freedom of speech could be practised with discretion or restraint, telling Mr Hasan: “you cannot decide from your Olympian aerie what is good and not good.” He argued that not being offended and being “less touchy” was the only way to live in harmony, saying “at a global level if we are going to get on we are going to have to put up with these things.”
Mr Aaronovitch told the hall it was simply not practical to be offended in a world where social media allows offensive views to circulate with virulent intensity.
Mehdi Hasan, political director of The Huffington Post UK, called for a crackdown on the culture of Islamophobia and argued freedom of speech was not an “absolute right” during a debate on Thursday. (He erroneously cites America’s ‘Civilized Man vs Savage’ ads as an example of abusive free speech that calls all Muslims savages. I guess he considers all Muslims to be jihadists?)
Speaking opposite Times columnist David Aaronovitch at a HuffPost/Polis debate, on the right to offend, Mr Hasan argued free speech was being “fetishized” and claimed many free-speech campaigners in the west were guilty of “brazen hypocrisy.”
“We have a civic duty not to offend others,” he told the a packed audience at the London School of Economics. “How can you construct a civilised, cohesive society if we go round encouraging everyone to insult each other willy nilly?
“Yes we do have a right to offend but it’s not the same as having a duty to be offensive. You have a responsibility not to go out of your way to piss people off. (NO, we don’t. I go out of my way to piss off people like you everyday. Sue me)
Mr Hasan argued that the debate about the right to offend in relation to the French cartoons and the US movie could not be divorced from the climate of Islamophobia, “depressingly rampant” in some parts of our society – especially the media. (But fails to ask himself why so many people hate Muslims? That would be a good start for someone who claims to know so much)