Tuesday, September 19, 2006

When is a freedom not a freedom?

In Turkey, the government is considering a petition to arrest the Pope when he arrives for violating "freedom of belief and thought":
They said the pontiff had violated Turkish laws upholding freedom of belief and thought by "insulting" Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.
So, how did "freedom of belief and thought" turn into freedom from hearing "insults"?

Proponents of modern multi-culturalism often want to ban insults. Since "insults" are in the mind of the beholder and, for any statement, there is likely to be somebody in this wide world who finds it "insulting," banning "insults" the same is nearly the same as banning speech.

UPDATE: The laws against insulting Turkey will be enforced tomorrow as a novelist is put on trial for having fictional characters in the novel mention the alleged Armenian massacre.

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