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View Diary: Free speech under attack in Denmark: Convicted for criticizing Islam (174 comments)

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    •  And in the US, she could. (1+ / 0-)
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      Why oh why, do we Americans feel the need to weigh in on laws that have nothing to do with us in countries where we do not live?  Surely we have enough law and justice issues here at home to keep us busy.

      And why do we as a culture so vehemently defend rights with so little talk about good judgment or discretion?  

      •  by - because, as the author explained in the diary (6+ / 0-)

        we have frequent diaries on the benefits of "hate speech" laws.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 09:59:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  because many of us see free expression as (3+ / 0-)
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        Noisy Democrat, Be Skeptical, gzodik

        an inalienable human right, not just a constitutional right.

        I have problems with Holocaust denial laws, too--although I can certainly understand them in light of the actual holocaust.

        The other aspect of the Danish case which makes it far more disturbing is that they've been frightened by why happened with the cartoon incident.  In short, a couple of lunatics scored a victory against freedom of speech.

        How much to you want to wager that she wouldn't have been fined/sentenced had the cartoon  incident never happened?

        The degree to which we've actually paid attention to the demands of a tiny group of criminals is frightening, to say the least.  

        •  The problem is that it isn't a tiny group (2+ / 0-)
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          Luftmensch, Be Skeptical

          The people who carry signs saying "Behead those who insult Islam" don't speak for all Muslims, but they speak for quite a few -- enough that there were massive riots over the cartoons.  

          •  i just mean a tiny group who were actually doing (2+ / 0-)
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            Noisy Democrat, AoT

            the threatening.  This whole 'Don't Show Mohammed' thing is really pretty new--no one would have rioted over such a thing 20 years ago.

            It's a small group of mobilizers who are getting all of this going.  The fact that they have been effective is scary.

            •  Some studies indicate that about 5% of Muslims (1+ / 0-)
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              worldwide are totally on board with the jihad-to-establish-Islamic-dominance-worldwide project. That would be about 70 million people worldwide, though no doubt far fewer than a million in most Western countries. But then more get activated and dragged into things, and as you said, the fact that the mobilizers can make that happen is scary.

              The Nazis weren't originally supported by the majority of Germans, but they were able to exert leverage to get more Germans to go along with their program.  

      •  Universal Human Rights (1+ / 0-)
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        Because Americans understand that rights like free speech are universal. Or at least we're supposed to.

        We've got plenty to keep us busy, but we've also got a lot of people with enough time to weigh in on what we think is right. Righteous people say what's right when we see something wrong, wherever it might be.

        Enforcing protections of those rights is not America's job outside of America. The only exception is when America's existential security is clearly foreseen to depend on foreign rights being protected. Otherwise it's the foreigners' job to get their country to protect theirs.

        There is arguably an American obligation to help foreigners without a democracy to obtain one for themselves. But any such assistance must have a low risk of cost to Americans, and a better than even chance of success, boosted by any benefit in protecting America from the foreigners' rights being abused.

        "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

        by DocGonzo on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 10:44:23 AM PDT

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        •  I'm sure Danes would be very much amused (1+ / 0-)
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          to know just how concerned we are about their human rights.

          "As the madmen play on words, and make us all dance to their song / to the tune of starving millions, to make a better kind of gun..." -- Iron Maiden

          by Lost Left Coaster on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:05:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's Find Out (0+ / 0-)

            While those without sin should cast the first stone, the first word of criticism need not come from only those without sin.

            I welcome the Danes', or anyone's, legitimate criticism of Americans' failures to protect human rights. If others do not, I am happy to criticise them for it.

            "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

            by DocGonzo on Wed Sep 18, 2013 at 11:15:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  The intersection of universal human rights (1+ / 0-)
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          And multiculturalism can present a situation ripe for a head-on collision. There are limitations on the acceptance of both. There are cultures that are inconsistent with universal human rights. Unconditional support for both is impossible.

          •  Every culture includes a resistance to (0+ / 0-)

            some human right or another to different extents, including anglo-american culture. The restrictions on free speech this diary is talking about are one example of that.

            •  If you are suggesting (0+ / 0-)

              that there is some moral equivalence between not reaching the zenith of universal human rights here in the US versus those in other countries, I think you're way off base. Despite great advances over the last century, there is still great work to be done here. But there is nothing in the US that compares to female genital mutilation or the general mistreatment of women in some cultures. The two are not the same.

              •  I'm not suggesting that (0+ / 0-)

                The resistance exists to different extents which means it isn't equivalent. I was just noting that you were right and expanding on that. Multiculturalism is a struggle precisely because we have to overcome the resistance to giving everyone their human rights. I could point out a lot of serious human rights violations in the US, but that isn't the point. We've got to where we are because those of us who do support human rights have fought for those rights.

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