Monday, September 17, 2012

Editorial, "Free Speech in peril," in 15 September 2012 issue of LAW ANIMATED WORLD, Vol. 8, Part 2, No. 17


all over the world, not just in our country, by the vile deeds of not only the State actors, but also of non-State actors – mostly religious fundamentalist, chauvinist, extremist groups. Especially the killing of Chris Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya and a staunch friend of Arab people, by a well-planned murderous attack, presumably by al-Qaeda thugs, is quite heartrending and mourned even by several sane elements in Libya itself. That a pervert Egyptian Coptic Christian immigrant with a past criminal record, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula @ Sam Bacile, aided and funded by an Egyptian-Muslim-convert-to-Christianity, Joseph Nassralla Abdelmasih, founder of the organization Media for Christ, produced and exhibited a highly critical, caricaturing, slanderous and negative-image-building film titled ‘Innocence of Muslims’ months ago can never be an excuse for fanatic and chauvinistic Muslim groups anywhere to go on violent orgies of attacking and killing persons and resorting to all sorts of vandalism. That the gory slaughter of Chris Stevens and the attacks on US embassies in Egypt, Libya and protests elsewhere occurred on the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 Massacre is a definite pointer to the carefully pre-planned nature of such fundamentalist spree. Free speech is too precious a right, a virtue, to be damned by the dastardly destructive and murderous attacks of fanatics or the undue advantage taken by deceitful hate-speakers like Sam Bacile. There is absolutely no reason for Muslims anywhere to overreact and take to insane orgies of protest; they can well repulse such attacks on their religious credentials by producing better and more educative films – counter hate-speech by better propaganda. Likewise the nasty attempts and actions of the Indian State to implicate and cause punished all sorts of dissenters under the hated Section 124A of IPC with vague charges of sedition is another big assault on democracy and free speech in our country. Today it may be Aseem Trivedi or Seema Azad who face the music but tomorrow any and every lover of democracy may be in danger due to such arbitrary and authoritarian actions and statutes. This only reinforces our existing demand for the immediate repeal of Section 124A, a nasty colonial legacy, from the statute book. §§§

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